Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Freedom of Religion

One of the most despicable and pernicious myths in modern day political discourse is the assertion that anyone who questions the Religious Right’s claim that they and only they should be allowed to exercise full religious freedom in this country is somehow engaged in the persecution of Christians.  From the Religion of Organized Bigotry to the United States Air Force to an unending stream of button pushing, self aggrandizing and opportunistic believe-I am-a-Christian-because-I-say-I am-Christian gasbag politicians on both sides of the isle, the collective minds of the American people have been polluted with the false - I say false - assumption that this is a Christian country, has always been a Christian country, always will be a Christian country.  In fact the worst of the scam hinges on the drivel that the Founding Fathers designed it so with planning and forethought.  Well as our noble cousins the Brits would say, bollocks.

To wit:

“. . . No man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship or ministry or shall otherwise suffer on account of his religious opinions or belief, but all men shall be free to profess and by argument to maintain, their opinions in matters of religion. I know but one code of morality for men whether acting singly or collectively."  Thomas Jefferson

“. . . I beg you be persuaded that no one would be more zealous than myself to establish effectual barriers against the horrors of spiritual tyranny, and every species of religious persecution.”  George Washington

“"The Government of the United States is not in any sense founded upon the Christian Religion.”  John Adams

Anyone who doesn’t recognize these men as Founding Fathers needs to turn off Fox News, learn to read and take a high school history course. 

In my estimation there are two groups of “people of faith.”  The first have a deep commitment to a personal deity made known through individual revelation, meditation and experience.  Their faith is generally sturdy and often unshakable.   They find fellowship in religious organizations for communion not consensus.  The second group is comprised of people whose faith is saturated with panic and the isolation born of an unwillingness or inability to see that we are all part of the same thing, have nothing to fear and can’t in a real sense be alone.  Their faith is brittle and requires consensus rather than the fluid give and take of communion.  These are the religious tyrants who must stand on the flooring of other peoples’ conformity or they can’t stand at all.  These are the despots of God who insist that this country was founded as a Christian state, has always been a Christian state and must remain a Christian state.

The people of “fear-faith” are easily led by anyone who pays lip service to their overwhelming need for agreement.  They willingly settle for image over substance.  They freely give their trust to any charlatan who can quote, rightly or not, half a dozen bits of scripture from the Bible, promises to stop abortion, end homosexuality and return women to chains in the kitchen.  This unholy marriage between the terrified and the parasitic is the greatest corruption praying upon our society today.  Owing to it all other corruptions are made possible.  The interaction between these codependent and dysfunctional partners abrades our Democracy and is bleeding our Republic to death because the body politic is septic with it.

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