Wednesday, February 14, 2007

On Church, State, Freedom and Hate

In order to be elected to the office of President in this country, it seems, one must at the very least profess to be a Christian (if not actually believe in one's heart of hearts, as I suspect is the case with some politicians) and at that, one needs to be a member of one of the subtypes of Christianity deemed "mainstream" and therefore acceptable.

It matters not if one actually implements the teachings of Jesus Christ or the Old Testament in one's life. I would point to those presidents whose decidedly un-Christian acts are varied and many. Regardless of whether we're talking about adultery, state-sanctioned murder (capital punishment and bombing/invading a sovereign state come immediately to mind), lying, coveting neighbors' goods (oil), and so on, ad infinitum--as long as one professes allegiance to the Almighty, one's words are more important than one's actual deeds.

It was always my understanding that the Founding Fathers set out to establish a government that was separate from religion, one that was required by its very Constitution to remain so. More than two centuries later, though, the majority religion continues to dominate politics, most saliently, the process of getting elected president.

This is not progress.

I fully support the right of every single human being to believe and worship as he or she sees fit. But the teaching of one religion does not belong in our public schools, and the interpretations of religious text by some--even if "some" happens to be a majority--do not belong in our government at any level.

When these interpretations--and that's exactly what they are: interpretations--of the Bible are used to shape policy, we are in big trouble. That is why so many of us have spoken out--we don't want government telling us what we should believe and how we should run our private, personal lives or how we should use our private, personal bodies. Not because we "hate" religion, but because we revere freedom.

Which was the point of getting away from England's church-state imbroglios in the first place, wasn't it? Or are we going to continue to allow extremists to attack the very heart and soul of that which gave rise to this country--freedom?

America is young--a gangly teenager in World-years--and it's for that reason alone that I have hope she will mature and evolve. There's always hope. One has to cling to that.

In comments at Ezra's place ; also at Shakes, Pushing Rope.

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