Sunday, July 15, 2007

Amen

Oh, boy. I don't know why I feel compelled to write about this dicey subject. I guess it's because I am continually confused about the use of religion by politicians to alienate and divide the citizenry. Us, the Christians, against them, the heathens.


The issue took a hard right turn when George H.W. Bush sold his soul to the religious right during the Republican Convention, in order to become president. He opened that Pandora's box, and that opening was all the wackos needed. Since then, it has just gotten worse.


Don't get me wrong. I'm not putting down religion - far from it. I'm just against zealots trying to shove their brands of religion down other peoples' throats. And, it does happen. Our founding fathers saw the danger. This is the reason the separation of church and state is crucial.

It is also the reason that some of the lawmakers wanted a law against religious harassment in the workplace. I saw an example of it first hand. Most of the people where I worked were definitely right of center politically. They knew, from my big mouth, that I was left of center. They assumed that I was not a Christian.

I made it a point never to discuss religion at work. But, in the group of us who ate lunch together, two of the women insisted upon piously discussing the Bible every day. It was their right to talk about anything they chose, so when I got tired of hearing their views, I just took my book with me, and ate lunch in my office.

Then, we got a new Human Resources manager who made it clear that he agreed with them. Before long, I started finding religious tracts in the front seat of my car when I left work. OK. I didn't say anything, thinking whoever was doing it would get tired of it and find another target. But, it kept up, so I went and talked to the HR manager, and told him that I felt very uncomfortable not knowing who was leaving the literature, and wanted it stopped. He told me he didn't see anything wrong with it.

So, I went to see my boss, Roger, the Plant Manager, and explained what was going on. He said, "Areyou getting those things, too?" I told him that HR didn't seem to see anything wrong with it, and Roger assured me he'd take care of it. And, after that day, I never got another piece of religious literature, and neither did he.

The point is that I wasn't insulted by the literature, I was insulted by the assumption that I needed, somehow, to be saved, by someone who didn't even know me.

The same type of things happen at schools. Both of my children had a teacher in grade school who made them raise their hands on Friday, if they were planning to go to church the coming Sunday, and then made them raise their hands again on Monday, to say that they had gone. She could get away with this because our area isn't all that diverse, religion-wise. But, Kell used to get upset on the Mondays she couldn't raise her hand.

A couple of years later, Jay was in this harridan't class, and she pulled the same stuff on them. One day, Kell asked Jay if it bothered him and he said "No." She asked "Why?" And, he said, "Because I just raise my hand whether we go or not. "

I thank God for the Separation of Church and State.

16 comments:

Cazzie!!! said...

Wow, the roof of the Church just might fall on our heads should me and my bratlings step foot in a church...coz we just do not go. Now, if churc was like it is in Blues Brothers...we would be there in a flash. It does not mean we do not believe, just that we like to hang together as a family here at home on a sunday, or take a drive somewhere together.

grannymar said...

Here in Northern Ireland we regularly have callers at the door telling us how we 'Need to be Saved'.

Now I will think of you Betty and tell them:

'I an not insulted by the literature, I am insulted by the assumption that I need, somehow, to be saved, by someone who doesn't even know me.'

Thank you.

her indoors said...

here here Betty, well said, i hate it when they actually knock on the door trying to 'sell' their religion.

Dirk_Star said...

Great piece...

I'm so tired of the tract thing myself. If and when I feel I need saving I'll as for it, at a church.

GoingLikeSixty.com said...

It bothers me when the Pope endorses a paper saying Catholicism is the one true religion.

Tink said...

>>"Because I just raise my hand whether we go or not."<< LMAO! No kidding!

I work for a family owned business right now. They're all Catholics. Because they don't think I'm religious (which I'm not) they're always trying to get me to work the holidays (like Easter and Christmas). Even though no one else does. It's awful!

susan said...

I think religion *could* be a good thing...but too many people think that their religion is the *only* one that has any meaning. I have trouble accepting that.

Newt said...

I'm just amazed at how angry, hurtful, mean spirited, and violent people can get all in the name of "Gods Love"

I also found it interesting the correlation between how much money the church needed and how many hell and brimstone sermons we had to listen to.

It's unfortunate that so many people can't live by the simple principal of "love thy neighbor."

Newt said...

Oh, and by "Love thy neighbor" I mean in that kind hearted, help one another, platonic way. Just in case you were wondering.

gawilli said...

You handled this nicely Betty. I have stayed away from this topic also. My thoughts on organized religion and "faith" have changed a great deal over the past few years. I'm pretty certain that if there is a higher power, this is not what was intended.

Annie said...

When all the organized religions and their congregants practice true caring for and support of each other and all humankind, then I'll be persuaded to give religion a try.

Kell said...

You nailed it. It's not that I object to the pamphlets, I object to them assuming I don't have any religion in my life. Oh, but it has to be their religion. Drives me crazy.

BTW, that story perfectly describes the difference between Jay and me. That's why he's much more well adjusted than I am *tic tic*

Arkansas Songbird said...

I try to live my life as an example of what I believe...faith in action, I guess you could say. I definitely support the separation of church and state. And fanaticism in any form is dangerous, in my humble opinion.

savannah said...

well said! there's an old arab saying that i use all the time to you be your way and to me be mine whenever i'm confronted by religious person i tell them that and smile and walk away as i say "god bless you"

patsy said...

i am like jay, lie who cares. anyone stupid enought to ask children if they are going to church sunday deserves what ever. ought to be against the law in fact i think it is.

Sister--Three said...

This reminds me of them asking us what we got for xmas...we were so poor that we hardly got anything. I felt it was a way to embarrass...A person who wants to embarrass is the last 3 letters of the word.