Thursday, February 16, 2012

Believe Or Not

Ordinarily, I don't talk or write about religion because, while I have my own belief system, I respect the rights of all people to believe or not believe as they wish. That said, I have been thoroughly disgusted by the Republican Presidential candidates' use of religion in their campaigns. To me, they are a particularly un-godly group of men, cynically using religion as a means to a political end.

The Republicans have always co-opted Christianity as their own to a certain extent, but they seem to be becoming more extreme than ever, arrogantly claiming that God "told them" to run. Rick Santorum is the worst, apparently quite willing, eager even, to impose Catholic Dogma on the whole country through a system of proposed laws that can only be described as a war on women.  It seems logical to think voters, particularly women, would either rush to vote for President Obama or stay away from the polls in droves, if Santorum should be the candidate.

In my book there is absolutely nothing worse than someone who is trying to cram his religious views down my throat.  I will run from that person as far and as fast as I can.  I worked with a bunch of people who found it necessary to announce, loudly and often that they were Christians. I soon came realized, that since I didn't participate actively in their daily religious discussions at the lunch table, coupled with the knowledge that I am a Democrat, they assumed that I was an atheist. I found that very odd. They came to this conclusion based on no facts whatsoever.

I am also highly amused when people think it is their duty to write letters to the editor instructing the rest of us in their brand of Christianity. My question to them, if I felt the need to address them at all, would be "Who asked you?" Letters full of Bible passages are invariably met with answering letters quoting passages that say the exact opposite. Ho hum.  Why can't these people just meet for coffee or phone each other and debate to their hearts' content and leave the rest of us in peace?

Recently, a Federal Judge in Texas correctly held that the Constitution does not permit a school district to sponsor student-led prayer. He quickly came under fire for his opinion. The criticism became so nasty and violent that he decided to issue a personal statement along with the settlement, saying, in part:
"To the United States Marshal Service and local police who have provided heightened security: Thank you.

To those Christians who have venomously and vomitously cursed the Court family and threatened bodily harm and assassination: In His name, I forgive you.

To those who have prayed for my death: Your prayers will someday be answered, as inevitability trumps probability.

To those in the executive and legislative branches of government who have demagogued this case for their own political goals: You should be ashamed of yourselves."

He then said the following:

"Any American can pray, silently or verbally, seven days a week, twenty four hours a day, in private as Jesus taught or in large public events as Mohammed instructed."

I couldn't have said it better.

Stay tuned. 


patsy said...

I esp. find Santourm's opinions on birth control and all other things pertaining to women disgusting.
I saw yesterday he was for putting a cap on law suits, forgot how much which dosent matter, what was deleightful his wife was suing a doctor for double the amount of his cap. guess we see what she thinks of him. when ask about this he said that was her doing not his. the birth control beside the bed is probably hers also.

Olga said...

Your God answers reminded me of my daughter as a youngster. She would ask for something and if I said "no" she would respond, "I asked you xyz and you won't answer me!"

"I did answer. The answer was, NO."

"But THAT's not an answer!!"

I am amazed constantly by how some Christians feel the need to convert the world and pronounce what they know God thinks. It is so disrespectful.

Linda@VS said...

Amen, Sister! I grew up in an area where the first tenet of Christianity was kindness. If there were a rematch of the Christians and the lions in today's arena, the lions should be afraid. Very afraid.

Big John said...

One of the few good things about British politicians is that they "don't do God", as Tony Blair's press secretary once said.

marlu said...

And I think the British limit the time for "running" for office which I would appreciate here.

And the more they push their religion, the more uninterested I become.

Maria from SilverFox said...

Thank you, Betty. I am so glad to read your post that describes my own thinking to a tea.

I do not even call myself Christian since that word has been bastardized to mean someone who shares only the same righteous view of the far religious right.

I am proud to be an American and I hope I strive to be Christ-like. As to those other fellows, they have a right to their view, but no right to step on mine.

Betty said...

Patsy: I hadn't heard about Santorum's wife's lawsuit. That's hilarious.

Olga: It's amazing how many people think they know what God thinks, and how many different opinions there are on the subject.

Linda: If any of these sanctimonious clowns win (I include the Congressional and Senatorial races, too) we can all be very afraid.

John: You wouldn't like it here, at all.

Marlu: Limiting the time for campaigns is such a good idea. Maybe we wouldn't have this "silly season" every time.

Maria: I'm with you.

Sister--Three said...

Well, I for sure would not want Rick Perry praying for me. He had that big prayer for rain in Texas and God sent wild fires.

Why in the world can't believers see that if they do not protect others freedoms they will lose theirs.

We have flag pole meetings at my school. These are christian devotionals etc. They must be led by students.

I enjoy reading your thoughts.

Betty said...

Flagpole meetings are fine, as long as they are voluntary and not school sponsored.

Margie's Musings said...

Most of the time I have trouble with those wwho tout their religion as a campaign.

I sometimes post my sermons but they are good only for discussion. They are simply my own theology. Everyone has their own theolgy but it is simply their own....not God's. God has no theology except "love God with all your heart mind and soul and your neighbor as yourself".

Darlene said...

Betty, I think this is your best post ever and that's a high compliment because they are all so good. Needless to say, I am with you 100%.

savannah said...

amen, sister! it is truly a wonder that we've made it this far, sugar! i keep asking myself how did this polarization become so intense? i'm also so damn tired of people who know NOTHING about the Constitution quote it so often and so incorrectly! and don't get me started on the inability of most to define the concept of the separation of powers...oy yey!

Betty said...

Margie: I have read and enjoyed some of your sermons. I have never thought you were trying to push your religious beliefs on others.

Darlene: Why thank you. I always enjoy your blogs, too. I admire your patience for researching your subject matter. I don't have enough self-discipline to do that very often.

Savannah: I agree, most people don't have a clue about what the Constitution really says and doesn't say.