Posts Tagged ‘Religious Right’

Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of a Christian Nation Part 3

Came across this disturbing opinion piece on Right Wing Watch:

Against the backdrop of the religious mis-education of the nation, evangelical Christians must embrace (once and for all) that they must let their voices be heard in politics, the arts, and every arena of our culture. Although Catholics are well represented on the Supreme Court, there will likely be important cases that will need the insight of unbiased evangelicals to create an atmosphere for true justice. Failure of the faith community to engage in the world of politics and processes like the selection of judges could hurt the Christian community decades from now.

Protestants must take action today! We should return to the foundations that have made the US great. Further, we must not just act on behalf of our needs, alone. We must lead the country back to the safety of its guiding principles. At the same time, despite our personal views, we must act on behalf of the entire American family – religious and secular alike. Further, we must continue to encourage religious diversity and even atheists to remain true to their beliefs as it relates to the political process. The repression of minority points of view is un-American and petty.

Harry R. Jackson, Jr.  thinks that Catholics are biased and we need the unbiased protestants on the Court to keep those evil Catholics in check.  If the Religious Right gets their way in this country they will turn back the clock on human rights.

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Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of a Christian Nation Part 2

Mass. Catholic school won’t admit lesbians’ son

BOSTON – A Roman Catholic school in Massachusetts has withdrawn its acceptance of an 8-year-old boy with lesbian parents, saying their relationship was “in discord” with church teachings, according to one of the boys’ mothers.

It’s at least the second time in recent months that students have not been allowed to attend a U.S. Catholic school because of their parents’ sexual orientation, with the other instance occurring in Colorado.

Let Freedom Ring!

 

Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of a Christian Nation

From Americans United for Separation of Church and State:

Inquisition In Jacksonville: Religious Right Grills Muslim Nominee For Rights Commission

Council Member Clay Yarborough, for example, sent a questionnaire – inquisition might be a better term — to Ahmed, demanding to know his views on everything from gay rights to the appropriateness of “under God” in the Pledge and on U.S. currency. No other nominee had been subjected to such probing in the past, but Yarborough apparently thought it was time to do so.

At a subsequent council session, Council Member and First Baptist congregant Don Redman, who serves as the council’s “chaplain,” led the audience in a Christian prayer, then demanded that Ahmed come forward for questions.

Redman said to Ahmed, “I would like you to pray to your god for us.” The implication was clear to many in the audience: Redman had just offered a prayer to the real God on behalf of the council and the assembled throng. Now he was inviting Ahmed to offer one to his Islamic deity.

Audience members, many of who came from a progressive group called OneJax, were appalled at the temerity of the demand and noisily burst into discussion and derision. The uproar finally settled down when Council President Richard Clark threatened to clear the room.

This is deplorable.  Christianity is anything but a tolerant religion.  One needs only a cursory reading of the Bible to understand that.  A truly Christian nation would be a very ugly place.

Franklin Graham and the National Day of Prayer

This year’s National Day of Prayer event certainly caused quite the stir.  It all began with the Wisconsin judge declaring the government’s proclamation of a National Day of Prayer unconstitutional and then continued when Franklin Graham and Tony Perkins were disinvited to participate in the Pentagon’s ceremonies over the controversial views of both ministers.  The Religious Right has  been highly critical of both decisions and have been declaring them just two more examples of how our religious freedom in this nation is being eroded, particularly the religious freedom of Christians. 

This whole event is a perfect example of why it is necessary to keep government out of religion and vice versa.  I’ve posted before about Madison’s and Jefferson’s views on issuing proclamations of days of thanksgiving and prayers and their other views of church and state relationships.  I firmly believe that both men would have firmly agreed with the decision of Judge Crabb and would have urged the Pentagon to cancel the whole event entirely were they alive today.  Both men argued that when government shows any type of favor to one religion those who are left out of that favor are demeaned and devalued and their adherent’s equal rights diminished.  Even though Graham and Perkins were disinvited, ministers from the Roman Catholic church, various protestant churches, Judaism and Islam still participated in the ceremony.  Christianity itself wasn’t discriminated against, however, a particular form of Christianity was and this is the very reason why no National Day of Prayer should take place at all which involves any type of government participation whatsoever.  No matter how hard the government tried to include all religions in the day’s ceremonies, some were still left out and their adherent’s made to feel less equal than the other religious viewpoints that were allowed to participate. 

Religion is a divisive influence in society.  It does not bring people together.  There were those in the religious right who fought to keep this day intact and there were those among the same religious right who felt the day was nothing more than an ecumenical orgy of heresy.  Religion is divisive even among its practitioners and therefore the government needs to say out of it and we need to keep religion out of government. 

I think it is also ironic that among all the outcries of religious persecution and discrimination we saw as a result of the judical ruling and the disinvitation of Graham and Perkins, that Franklin Graham was still able to hold his own prayer service/media event on the very sidewalks in front of the Pentagon (if that’s not the public square I don’t know what is )without being arrested, detained or otherwise obstructed by the government.  Regardless of the ranting of the religious right, we still live in a country of immense religious freedom.

Letter to the Editor Has a Selective View of History

I didn’t buy these arguments for a Christian nation even when I was a believer and had every reason to embrace them.  I don’t deny that the culture of America at the time of the Revolution was a Christian culture but to insist that the founders specifically used the bible to form the three branches of government, that America is God’s chosen nation, that capitalism is the only biblical economic system and that somehow we have special blessings from God is just plain ridiculous.  From the Opinion page of today’s West Bend Daily News:

Rulings on faith stray from Constitution

  I read some outrageous news in the Daily News last month that a judge had struck down the National Day of Prayer with the stroke of a mighty pen, which she since has set aside because of appeals. The ruling is another nail in the coffin of the United States of America, hastening the day of fulfillment for President Obama’s declaration to the Muslim states that America is not a Christian country.
   We are a nation founded on biblical principals. We have truly been blessed by God bountifully.
   All government meetings were opened with a prayer. This was the norm until anti-Christian lawyers misinterpreted the Constitution by adding separation of church and state as unconstitutional. There is no such things as separation of church and state in our Constitution.
   Lately, the 9th District in California ruled to remove the cross and “under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance to please two atheists. Now we get this scenario in Wisconsin.
   What is wrong with people giving thanks to our God for His blessings on a National Prayer Day? Why are some judges ruling in favor of atheists, homosexuals and those for separation of church and state – a fiction which the judge must know? Why are they trying to destroy the unique liberties and freedom of a great Christian country? This is appalling, and I am justly irate, disappointed and grievously saddened by the destructive direction these judges are taking using their power with the pen – extreme judicial tyranny doing grave harm to our nation.
   No other religion is persecuted as Christians are because they dare not under pain of death. Our one true faith must be defended at all costs. We must uphold our National Day of Prayer as Rep. Pat Strachota has said. This is Christian America yet.
   
Ronald W. Hepponstall West Bend

First of all Ronald does not understand the concept of equal rights for all.  When the government favors or endorses one religion over another it is creating an environment where those who do not adhere to that religion are cast as outsiders and are not recognized as being equal with those believers.  That is the concept that drove the founders vision of religious freedom.  In an earlier  post, that you can find here, about this topic I printed a letter from James Madison.  From what he said in that letter I doubt Madison would have agreed with Ronald.   Nor would Jefferson.   Neither of these two founders could be considered hostile to religion.  Both were firm believers themselves, although Jefferson leaned more toward deism, and both firmly believed in the freedom to believe as a person saw fit.  Imagine if a politician were to speak those same words today as they did in their letters.  Actually, we don’t have to imagine to hard.  Judge Crabb said as much in her ruling and look what has happened to her.

Ginny Maziarka Complains About Library’s Support of Endangered Species

From her blog, Wissup:

Local Library Takes Up Advocacy for…..gorillas?

Our local Young Adult Librarian, Kristin Pekoll (you know, the one who apparently chooses the sexually inappropriate books for our youth at our library) is now partnering with WBHS students in advocating for ….. gorillas.

Today’s West Bend News:

A number of our animal species are becoming increasingly endangered. 

    Among them are the gentle, noble and intelligent mountain gorillas. Internet sources say only about 600 to 700 of these majestic creatures are alive today and that number dwindles as their homeland is destroyed. 

    The West Bend Library is partnering with S.e.e.d, the environmental club at West Bend High School, to show people that what we do locally can affect things globally. 

I have no problem with those who want to spend their time trying to save gorillas, whales, pandas, ants, et. al,  from extinction, but I am wondering….

Would the library consider partnering with pro-life WBHS students by placing a box for maternity clothing and baby items for collection at the library to encourage women not to kill their babies?

Do public libraries generally advocate for anything not related to library issues?

Since the last library board meeting minutes posted are from February 2nd, one can hardly know if the library board approved this advocacy or not, but one can certainly learn a lot about the crappy, leaky roof.

Now she is seeing phantoms of liberal conspiracy behind the  library’s effort to educate children about endangered species.  In the mind of the religious right, environmentalism of almost any kind is viewed with suspicion because they believe it can lead to worshiping the creation and not the creator.  Environmentalism is also viewed as a conspiratorial attempt for liberal socialists to control our behavior and usher in a global Marxian utopia.  Again, they dismiss the science behind it all.  They could care less if there is actual science behind the decimation of gorilla populations or any other impact humans have on the environment.  They simply dismiss it all as fraud perpetrated by the liberal elitists and march forward with their religious crusade against humanity.  How anyone can take this woman seriously is beyond my intellectual prowess.

May Day and the National Day of Prayer

There is an ironic event occurring at the Lincoln Memorial on May 1.  It is called May Day and is being organized by conservative christian talk show host Janet Porter of Faith2Action.  Faith2Action is of course the typical right-wing christian organization opposing, homosexuality, evolution, global warming, gun control, democrats, government and anything else that would contradict their literal reading of the bible. 

Here is what this event is all about:

May Day 2010 – A Cry to God for a Nation in Distress

When: May 1st 2010 – Starting at Sunrise (6:10 A.M. EDT) and finishing at 2:00 P.M.
Where: The Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C.

Join with Christian leaders of all denominations who love God to humble ourselves, pray, seek the face of God, and turn from our wicked ways—individually and as a nation.    Jesus will be front and center at May Day.   Prayers will be offered in Jesus’ Name!

Please plan on bringing blankets, sunscreen, bottled water, and food for lunch (unless you’re fasting from it), to the event.   We are not allowed to sell water or food, but will have a limited amount available to anyone who needs it in an emergency.

And whereas, it is the duty of nations as well as of men to own their dependence upon the overruling power of God, to confess their sins and transgressions in humble sorrow yet with assured hope that genuine repentance will lead to mercy and pardon, and to recognize the sublime truth, announced in the Holy Scriptures and proven by all history:  that those nations only are blessed whose God is the Lord.

Abraham Lincoln, March 30, 1863

Proclamation appointing a National Day of Prayer and Fasting

Promote May Day with your friends and at your church.   Here are two flyers: one with all the details and one with several quotes.

We now also have a Bulletin Insert that can be used for the same purpose.

Click here for information on tour package options for buses.This event is not to impress the media or those in Washington, but to reach the heart of God.  Publicly repenting and crying out to God for His mercy instead of the judgment our many sins deserve.

Here is the irony.  The purpose of this day is almost identical to the National Day of Prayer.  Many christian conservatives are decrying the recent ruling that the National Day of Prayer is unconstitutional.  They are claiming that the ruling represents further erosion of their freedom of religion and that Christianity has just been pushed further out of the public square, yet May Day is a solid example of just the opposite.  Here is the last piece of irony.  This event is happening without any type of government proclamation. 

Why can’t the organizers of the National Day of Prayer do what Janet Folger is doing and not involve the government in their nationwide call to prayer?  Surely they have the means to organize this day on their own without the help of the President.   After all, the National Day of Prayer organizer is the wife of James Dobson who controls one of the largest christian media outlets in the nation. 

May Day is an example of a perfectly legitimate free exercise of religion.  Rather than endorsing or encouraging participation in the event, the government is simply making public property available, and so long as it does so equally to other groups without regard to their viewpoint, there is no establishment clause violation.  May Day is an excellent example for the National Day of Prayer.  Keep government out of religion.  This is a nation of wide religious diversity and it is the government’s role to protect the equal rights of all to worship who, where, when, why and how.  It is not the role of the government to endorse any specific religion or practice.