Sunday, December 13, 2009
Please note: You can consider this an editorial opinion that is in no way representative of the owner and mangers(s) of this blog. Opinions expressed are my own and based solely upon my own observations and experiences. I will be the first to admit that everyone has the right to what ever beliefs they feel make life tolerable. However, if a belief system becomes too strong, and becomes legislated as the ethical/moral base of a nation, it will always become extremely oppressive. There is absolutely no way to avoid this as all religions are still administered by human beings. The only thing that can be done to insure that things stay equitable for all is to admit that anything that someone does, that does no demonstrable, tangible harm to anyone else must be considered to be within the person's rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. This would automatically preclude things like pedophilia, murder and other felonies from ever becoming legal as they definitely do demonstrable harm. Morality may never be considered a point for legislation into law. Sin against God? Tell me how this can be in any way a tangible "harm" to anyone, especially in light of the fact that two denominations of Christianity can even agree upon what form baptism should take. Do we have to sprinkle them or dunk them? In terms of the Constitution, the fact that our ancestors saw, first hand, what happens when religious law and the law of the land become one, they decided that no one group should never be allowed to push their beliefs off onto another group or culture. One does have the right to proselytize. Even so, you do not have the right to get in someone’s face over what they believe to the point of ignoring common refusal or ignoring “No Peddlers, Agents or Evangelists” signs on someone’s front door. If someone needs a religious experience, they can find you in the phone book - they do not need it forced down their throat by reason of having someone else enact their morality into law. Unfortunately, this is exactly what has been happening with evangelical, conservative, fundamental Christianity since about the Civil war with the insertion of the words "In God We Trust" onto our coinage. The camel had finally gotten his nose in the tent and has been pushing everyone else out, even other Christians, ever since! This later led to Prohibition - and we all know how well that worked, now don’t we? One of the worse examples of abuse was the insertion of the phrase, "One Nation Under God" into the Pledge of Allegiance in the year of 1954. In short, they have ignored their part of the contract known as the Constitution, essentially perceiving themselves as a law unto themselves. As this is done with the validation of their own beliefs and consciences, they will never stop until forced to. Things, like requiring a “loyalty pledge” written to Christian beliefs, became a focal point for rank and file discrimination in the 1950’s about the people's choice to not add the words "under God" into the pledge if it violated their beliefs. In other words, any other form of belief - be it atheism to Zen - was deemed to be both unpatriotic or tantamount to treasonous if those with alternative beliefs to evangelical Christianity refused to say the oath or sign an equivalent "loyalty" pledge. This was used to deny people jobs from the Federal government to local industry if they refused to sign a pledge of loyalty that contained the equivalent verbiage. In other words, this is de facto a demand that a person bow to a "legally required" religious tenet, which is in fact tantamount to a legislated national religion. Thankfully, the Supreme Court has basically given the nix to this practice. Also, people such as gay, lesbian or transgendered are still being horribly discriminated against, up to the point of being killed with relative impunity, on the basis of something that is not universally accepted as being in any way unusual by many religious and philosophical belief systems. What we are seeing now is a simple political rebound of the “faithful” over their loss of the power to oppress with impunity on other fronts. The Manhattan Proclamation is nothing more than the public statement that these people will assert that their religious beliefs, by virtue of being “the divine edicts of God,” supersede all constitutional guarantees for anyone else. In other words, a "drop dead," to anyone who does not believe as they do. We are indeed coming full circle here and, if we do not stand up for our rights, we will face living under a theocratic tyranny of unprecedented proportions. The only difference between Nazi Germany and the new order will be that the murders and torture will be absolved of wrong doing as it will be “the will of God.” OH God! Please save me from your followers! Take a look at proposed legislation in Uganda, and more importantly who and what in this country this legislation is based on! It is not uncommon nowadays for many Christians to claim that they are being denied their right to "free exercise" of their religious beliefs. I'm sorry, but I must state that this is entirely not the case. What is being denied them is the right to mandate their beliefs systems in a way where even those of alternative beliefs are required to adhere to their standards of "sin" and conduct. I would have to say that they have absolutely no validity in this argument of being denied their religious rights. What they are in effect doing is claiming that their beliefs supersede the contractual rights that are ensconced in the first and fourteenth amendments. They are doing what they please and getting mad about others, who are endowed with the same rights they claim, merely trying to defend their rights to live in accordance with their own consciences and needs. The thought that others may have alternate beliefs means nothing to them. They continue to insist that they alone hold the entire truth and that everyone else is "damned and will burn in hell." The sad thing here is that none of them is righteous under their own standards, being totally incapable of compliance with the religious legalisms that they demand others adhere to. One of the things that I take exception to, in this regard, are those who claim that a religion can be either a “man-made” or a “divinely inspired” belief system. What they fail to realize, with respect to Christianity, is that as soon as they insert dogmatic and theological tenets into the belief system, they have essentially created religion over into their own image. I can remember hearing Sean Hannity, just prior to the passage of Proposition 8 here in California, state; “I hate it when people try to force their morality down my throat.” The only thing I can say in response is what have you, and others like you, been doing to everyone else for the last two hundred and thirty three years? Take a look at all of the ridiculous “blue laws” that are still on the books in most states if you need to confirm this sad fact. I would also claim that people have the right to love, live and provide for their dependents in any way that they deem fit. You are free to teach your children what you deem to be appropriate morals. However, you are not free to teach them that they have the right to deny anyone the same privileges and rights that you enjoy. This is simply not an acceptable standard where "freedom of religion" is stated as a basic human right. I would think that Conservative Christian Fundamentalists are fouling their own nests by not seeing and protecting all of the defined human rights universally, or being content with what everyone is being guaranteed by constitutional mandate. Right now, Christianity is on the decline and it is being over-run by Islam. If enough people can insure that the Constitution will be adhered to, then there is a possibility that they will never be subjected to Shari Law as Islam becomes the majority of the electorate. However, if they insist that they ignore their contractual obligations to the rest of our society, then they will themselves have set the very precedent that will eventually require that they pay an alms tax to be merely tolerated as the lowest social rung as an infidel. Hey, what comes around goes around! Just think! A country where homosexuals, rape victims, and infidels (read: evangelical Christians) who proselytize any faith other than Islam will all be executed! I would suggest that the contemporary conservative Christians read what the Bible has to say in the old testament about those who claim the mantle of God - and how HE deals with them. It should also be noted that Christians are increasingly becoming a group who are spreading self-created, half truths and outright lies about those they oppose. What does the Bible say about bearing false witness or judging another man’s servant? Babylon is still alive and well, and now has more allies than the fundamental Christians do. Remember how Jehovah used Babylon to "instruct" the Children of Israel in the Old Testament? Besides the possibility of invoking the wrath of God by being conquered by such, consider how many people they have cast out that will be there to point the finger and accuse them when they stand before the Throne of Judgment and have to answer for their own lives. Remember the part about weeping and gnashing of teeth? The Bible tells us that God likes an honest scale, which means keeping one's word and abiding by agreements. How does God feel about those who ignore contracts? I do not claim to be in any way Godly. However, without judging, it does not take a genius to see the hypocrisy and arrogant disregard for others that so much of mainstream Christianity has become. Remember the admonition about: “Who is righteous? Not one. Our righteousness is as filthy rags.” I would suggest that God does not need the protection of today’s Christians with their skewed theology, dogmas and misinterpretations of scripture. If He does, then how can He be all-knowing, all-powerful and all-merciful? From my perspective as a Christian, the God of those who condemn others is too small to be taken seriously. My God lives and is fully capable of acting, speaking and directing the affairs of the world according to His will without me, or others, defending Him. Eit for tags and a grammatical error.