By Sex Panther
Save Me Jebus!
Before getting to the problem with this, lets address the fact that there is no separation of church and state in this country—it is an incredible whopper that gets pulled over the eyes of Americans repeatedly. Don’t believe me? Take a look at some of the facts:
- Every session of Congress begins with a prayer by a paid preacher, whose salary is paid by the taxpayer.
- “In God We Trust” is inscribed on the back of American currency.
- The Pledge of Allegiance had the words “under God” added to it years after it was declared.
- All witnesses in a court of law swear on the Bible and recite “Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help me God” before testifying.
- All sworn into political office also swear on the Bible.
- The 10 Commandments hang in the United States Supreme Court, and many lower courts.
- Christmas, or the birthday of Jesus Christ, is a federally recognized holiday.
Let me now take this one step further. We don’t have a problem with separation of church and state, we have a problem with separation of Christianity and State. No other religion receives such favorable treatment.
Why is this a problem? First and foremost, lets return to noted atheist Richard Dawkins’ statement that “Democrats as well as republicans parade their religiousness if they want to get elected. Both parties invoke One Nation Under God.” As if God supports nepotism, corporate kickbacks, nation building in Iraq and Afghanistan, CIA operatives, financial bubbles and bailouts. For anyone that’s actually learned the teachings of Christianity, isn’t is considered sinful to parade one’s religion? Well yes, unless the point of In God We Trust is to appear pious, rather than be so. Which brings us to our second point.
After Dawkins demonstrates through survey data that intelligence and religious devotion have a near inverse relationship in the United States, he points out that “High office in the greatest country in the world is barred to the very people best qualified to hold it, the intelligencia, unless they’re prepared to lie about their beliefs. To put it bluntly, American political opportunities are heavily loaded against those who are simultaneously intelligent and honest.” So which is it? Are we getting the Bible thumper without a brain in his head or the serpent paying lip service to both religion and truth? Dwell on that thought for a minute.
By now I’m sure Christians have two arguments to raise, lets address the one by one (I know, straw man). First, they’re saying we can’t elect the atheists, they don’t have any morals. Religion gives morality. Second, they’re saying, aren’t we the largest voting group in the United States, doesn’t our opinion count? One at a time, slow your role little drummer boy.
Once again Richard Dawkins comes to the rescue of those boogey men atheists. He glibly points out that “We are all atheists about most of the gods that humanity has ever believed in, some of us just go one god further.” This raises the point that Christianity, like any other religion, is based on the dogma of the past, and often used as a tool by Government. To quote Karl Marx, “Religion is the opiate of the masses.” It gives people a compass in a confusing world, which isn’t always a bad thing. The problem arises when people fail to notice that morality doesn’t just belong to them. The teachings of Jesus resemble those of Buddha, Mohammad, Plato, Socrates, Aristotle, Hammurabi, and most pagans. Do not get religious ceremony confused with religion. Not eating meat during lent isn’t morality any more than buying Kosher hot dogs or refusing to eat cow entirely. Morality comes from dignity, humility, and equality, someone that every person is endowed with equally (well, not psychopaths, but that’s beside the point). An atheist can raise children as honest and polite as a Christian, they just might be a bit less preachy.
On the second point, the Christians have a bit more a leg to stand on. Here is the religious survey data from the 2010 census:
2010 American Religious Survey
- 160 Million- Christian
- 30 million- Nonreligious/Secular
- 2.8 Million- Jewish
- 1.1 Million- Muslim
The truth is, a vast majority of Americans identify as Christian. However, is something the best choice just because it’s popular? Anyone who has looked at box office results or billboard charts knows the answer to that one. Wasn’t slavery once a majority opinion in the United States? How about communism in Russia? The Nazi party in Germany? Didn’t Saddam Hussein and Fidel Castro win every election?
Now to the real problem. When the majority believes in a religion to the extent that it gets legislated upon the totality, it represses change. Socrates was executed for preaching that the Greek Gods were a lie, Galileo held under house arrest for years because of his support of the heliocentric theory, Henry VII excommunicated for his support of divorce (ok, maybe not the best example), and Darwin demonized for his evolutionary theory.
In the same way, the overbearing Christianity of American government is coming dangerously close to repealing abortion and refusing to allow physician assisted suicide. In a country (a planet?) struggling with overpopulation, failed education and healthcare, and difficulty sustaining a standard of living on depleted resources, how are these additions a bad idea? The pope opposed condoms in Africa, a continent where AIDS runs rampant and resources are scarce? Get real. Unwanted children have a higher percentage of growing up malnourished, undereducated, and unhappy. Those with a terminal illness that want to die and are “saved” against their will are taking money, doctor support and hospital resources from people who are urgent need of care. Then there’s the humane side. Is it really that cruel to allow a person to die with dignity when they choose, removing unnecessary physical and emotional pain for their loved ones? Is allowing a mother who knows she is not ready to have a child age wise, financially, or emotionally, and is more likely to be single, a bad idea? I hope all of those “abortion is murder-the fetus is a person” picketers don’t have eggs for breakfast.
Down the Barrel of a Gun
Lets start right away by saying that I’m not opposed to the second amendment in spirit. In the same way that the first amendment’s goal is to protect the thoughts and words of citizens, the second amendment’s goal is to protect the physical body of citizens. However, in the spirit of Barak Obama’s “Well, Governor, we also have fewer horses and bayonets, because the nature of our military has changed,” I believe that defense has changed. If the goal of the second amendment is protect the American citizens, it should also recognize that our chief means of attack is no longer from the gun or the sword, they’re information based. The possibility of our credit card number, identity, or Internet security will be monitored or stolen is far more frequent for most Americans than the threat of being faced with a gun (well, unless the zombie apocalypse starts). Wasn’t the attack of the World Trade Center an attack on American financial and technological power?
If this amendment’s right to protect citizens were turned toward Internet freedom, identity protection, monitoring government, corporate, and banking industries rather than private citizens, wouldn’t you feel safer? In the same way that God in Government is too much, the right to bear arms doesn’t do enough.
While we’re here, lets address the way that most people view the second amendment. Should citizens have guns? Within a certain range, I have no problem with it. The soon to expire assault weapons ban certainly needs to be renewed, life is not a game of Halo. One of the chief supports for renewing this bill is that it will help limit casualties in true gun violence such as the Aurora, Colorado shootings. What in the hell does a private citizen need a machine gun or AK-47 for? When it comes to hand guns, I believe that there are parts of the country where people do keep them for personal safety, and other parts where they are used for hunting and marksmanship. There is no real reason for the government to legislate an area that isn’t a problem; let responsible gun owners keep handguns.
I don’t know, maybe this much logic is just a shot in the dark.
Missed Part 1: What’s Wrong with Generation Whatever?
Coming Soon: Part 3: Limited Government–Gays and Ganja