Valuable quotes

"No person is your friend who demands your silence, or denies your right to grow." ~~

"The minute you start talking about what you're going to do if you lose, you've already lost." ~~

Cree Prophecy - "When all the trees have been cut down, when all the animals have been hunted, when all the waters are polluted, when all the air is unsafe to breathe, only then will you discover you cannot eat money." ~~

Friday, October 21, 2011

Republican Hypocrisy and other Religious fervor

I have been watching with increased interest, not to mention amazement at the new case brought against Mitt Romney these last few weeks regarding his faith. OMG, he's not even a Christian! (??) Really?

First off, that has to do with what, exactly? Not that I'm in agreement with that statement but merely asking, by a Christians standards what does it matter? Where in the Constitution does it say a politician has to be a Christian? Actually, lest we forget, it says the opposite, but I'll get to that in a moment. Suffice to say that the understanding of the First Amendment essentially says that the government could not support any one church organization.

Yes, the bible was regularly used as a textbook in public schools. And presidents used bible quotes to justify and explain their policies or to bless the country and the people in times of great strive. All presidents did this, not just those who were ardent Christians, like Washington and Adams. Even those presidents like Jefferson and Lincoln, who would certainly not be part of the "religious right" if they were alive today. They did this, not because it was a part of our government and a law of the land, but because it was what they knew many needed to hear.

Mark Twain once said, “If Jesus were alive today, the last thing he’d be is a Christian!” I have to agree. From everything I've seen of Christianity Republican style it would make Jesus weep!

If you at all defined religion or Christianity by the words and actions of Republicans and their base these days, then Twain had it right. Republican’s policy toward children, the poor, the homeless, the needy and the aged runs counter to anything and everything that Jesus taught.

Nor can I find any passage in the bible which says: “Oh all ye faithful: The poor shall sacrifice everything so that the rich may retain their wealth forever more.”

It was Jesus who said, “as you do to the least of these, you do unto me.” What the Republicans say is, "Hey, they need to get a job." Or 'let them die on a gurney if they don't have health insurance.' And for God's sake, don't ask me to look after my brother…I'm not sharing *anything* I have! It's mine. I earned it!"

Why, they'll even cheer the mounting numbers of people put to death by one candidate because Jesus didn't say anything about loving thy brother as thyself and leaving punishment to powers bigger than ourselves, did he? It would appear in this instance anyway that it depends greatly too, on what kind of Christian you are…is this like cults then? I suppose that's a bad joke, but no different than the remark coming from Pastor Robert Jeffress of the First Baptist Dallas megachurch, proclaiming Mormonism a cult!

At any rate, back to execution & rauncheous applause from execution loving folk…'Yeah! Kill the bastard!' Interesting that the three largest Christian denominations in the United States are split on the issue of capital punishment so I guess it depended who was in that audience. The Roman Catholic Church opposes it in virtually all cases; the Southern Baptist Convention approves of it in certain cases; the United Methodist Church opposes it in all cases. Sure glad I'm not a Christian - it's all so very confusing.

But the bigger issue here, is the politicizing of every damn issue imaginable and the tendency from the extreme right to force religion down everyone’s throat, believers and atheists alike. Political orientation is not defined by one’s spirituality. There are atheists who call themselves conservative as well as liberals who are devoutly religious. A mental, thinking persons separation between church and state. If one can make any kind of broad generalization regarding politicians & religion, it is to be made in how they express their beliefs.

Liberals feel no need whatsoever to interject their religious beliefs onto people. Conservative politicians, on the other hand, see religion as a tool to be used as a means for political gain and they work that baby from dawn to dusk. It is precisely this politics of fear that has them, for example, demonizing Muslims and now, in more recent days, the Mormon faith and Mr. Romney. The underlying thinking being, ‘if they’re not one of us (i.e. Christian), they’re against us.”

So how do we decide whether a belief is religious or secular? Hinduism teaches that it is wrong to harm animals. Does this mean that any laws against cruelty to animals are illegitimate? We'd certainly be in trouble with our maker with all those operating slaughter houses. The American Indian religions all involve great respect for nature, and that the Indians took care of their surroundings, the animals within those surroundings and care of the natural environment at large. They may have been different clans and tribes but at least they are all on the same page with this one. So looking at it from a Native Americans point of view does this mean that any laws against environmental pollution are illegitimate?

This brings me back to the beginning and how important it is to keep the division of church and state separate - to show how impossible it is to govern correctly and precisely if you allow religious beliefs to intervene in decision making. Nowhere does our Constitution say that a government official may not have any given set of religious beliefs. On the other hand, it does clearly say, "no Religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States." (Article 6, Clause 3). Yes, I looked it up and so can the politicians and voters if they really cared.

To declare that a candidate is unfit for public office because he holds certain religious beliefs is a violation of the plain words of the Constitution. And for those candidates and voters alike who love to quote the bible and the Constitution, please do us all a favor - learn them first, and only then let your brain engage your mouth and speak.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I think you nailed it. Not that anything will ever change in this country because recent history shows that money runs the politician and the politician runs the voter - with the fear of God.