I find that lately I’ve been thinking a lot about religion and politics and how they affect our social contract with those around us. I’m especially bothered by the control that the religious right seems to have on our government and how that leads us toward the state of religious persecution that our forefathers attempted to escape over 200 years ago.
Although I was raised as a protestant, I have been an atheist since my teenage years. However, since my family was Christian and still attended church, I learned to keep my opinions to myself in order to not offend anyone. Something I’m sure a lot of atheists out there will understand. Being part of the minority, allows me to understand the intentions of our Founding Fathers and what they were trying to accomplish with the first amendment.
Conservative Christians mistakenly believe that our ancestors came to America to avoid being persecuted because they were Christian. This is not the case. They were persecuted because they were not the “right kind” of Christians. Throughout Europe in the 17th Century Catholics persecuted Protestants, Protestants persecuted Catholics and pretty much any religion could claim to be victims of persecution somewhere in Europe.
The reason for this was the conviction that for the good of society, everyone must follow the same religion and it was up to the government to impose that religion on the people. This is why our founding fathers wanted our government to have NOTHING to do with religion. They recognized the dangers of government becoming involved in the spiritual lives of its citizenry.
Today we are seeing religious persecution of non-Christians. It is not the disembowling or executions that Jesuits or Mennonites suffered at the hands of the Scottish or the Dutch leaders of the 17th Century. And I won’t diminish the horror of the Holocaust or other genocidal events of history by claiming that it is just as bad. But every act of terror, every genocidal movement, every subjugation of a minority population begins with people turning their backs on the rights of their fellow man to have, to hold and to practice his own beliefs.
When our government starts to support any belief system by making laws based on “biblical morality,” such as laws banning gay marriage, they start down that same road that our forefathers fled over 200 years ago. These laws are no different than the miscegenation laws that prevailed up until the Civil Rights movement of the 1960’s.
People have the mistaken belief that because the majority agrees then it should be law. In the 1950’s the majority agreed that Blacks should not be allowed to even eat in the same restaurants as Whites. Let alone go to the same schools or marry them. History has proven repeatedly that the majority are often idiots. Ever heard of “mob rule?”
There is one rule that most religions got right. Christianity calls it the “Golden Rule” and ironically it was the one law that Jesus supposedly put above all other commandments. Ironic because it is the one law that the Conservative Christians break with impunity. Matthew 7:12, the summation of Christ’s “Sermon on the Mount: “In everything do to others as you would have them do to you; for this is the law and the prophets.”
It is a simple rule that all societies recognize, regardless of their belief in a god. Treat others the way you would like to be treated. Put yourself in the other guy’s place. Walk a mile in my shoes. Don’t be a selfish jerk. Funny, how something we learned as children, whether in Sunday School or Kindergarten, is considered Liberalism or even Marxism when we put it into practice.
Conservative Christians claim to follow Christ and his teachings, but when it comes to what their own religion claims is his most important law, they refuse to practice what they preach. This is why I believe the majority of people in the world are stupid.
UPDATE for FTC Compliance:
In return for this post, God has promised me that he will not reveal himself as really being a computer nerd in Poughkeepsie, thus keeping the mystery of his true nature a secret and my blog posts relevant. I also slept with him. He demanded that when I climaxed I didn’t yell his name, but instead screamed OH DARWIN!