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A Secular vs. Religious America

Have you read the U.S. Constitution lately? If you haven’t, I hope you do, and soon–like before November 6th when you vote for candidates to represent you in the Congress—both the House and the Senate. What kind of representative are you looking for? Are you a religious person? In that I mean—do you favor having religious prayers in public schools, or encouraging discussions about religious beginnings to the planet and the solar system in the science classes? If so, then read no further, because you won’t like what I am saying.

The Constitution, in the very First Amendment, gives citizens the right to choose a religion or not to choose. Read it for yourself! Nowhere does the Constitution grant preference of one religious philosophy over another. Many Christians would like it to be different. One case that was highlighted by Americans United for Separation of Church & State in the November 2012 issue of Church & State, is this: On Sept, 19, 2012, Rep. Stephen Fincher, (R-Tenn.) introduced H. Res. 789 that says the Judeo-Christian heritage “has played a strong role in the development of the United States and in the lives of many of the nation’s citizens” and that the House “rejects efforts to remove evidence of Judeo-Christian heritage and references to God from public structures and resources.”

A long list of evidence was given including claims that the “first act of Congress in 1774 was a prayer and that the Bible is the best-selling book of all time.” Also cited was a 2007 study done by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life that found 92 percent of U.S. citizens believe in God and 78.4 percent identify as Christians. I fail to see the importance of this evidence. America is not a theocracy—but it certainly seems to be going that way. As an advocate of church-state separation I am upset by this measure. And if you are still reading—so should YOU be!

Edwina Rogers, executive director of the Secular Coalition for America: “This [resolution] only serves to divide rather than unite Americans… [It] insinuates that because Christianity is the majority religion in the United States, the religion and its followers should be privileged by our government, but this logic is problematic—our Constitution is secular precisely to protect all Americans regardless of their religious beliefs or lack of religious beliefs.”

How much do you know about the founding of this country? The Anglican Church was English. To be a member of the colonial government in Virginia, men had to be members of that church and support it financially. (Notice I said “men’.  Yes—women never had the right to be a member of any government until they fought for the right to vote and that was finally the 19th Amendment to the Constitution in 1920!)

Consequently, the First Amendment to the Constitution begins with the establishment clause—signifying separation of church and state, free speech and the press, and the rights to petition the government and to assemble peaceably. Check it out for yourself.

And–be careful how you vote on November 6th—Ask the question: Will this person represent my interests and not force his or her religion on my government and therefore on ME? With all the hate and bigotry in our society- we do not want a theocracy!

Finally—how much do you trust Mitt Romney to keep religion out of the Federal Government? As a Mormon Christian who is relying on the Religious Right base to get him elected—what do you think? George W. Bush allowed prayers in Federal office meetings–in the Department of Justice under Attorney General Ashcroft. Congress representatives like Fincher of Tennessee will not go away.  I ask you again–What do you think?

9:38 pm | Posted in Feature | Read More »

Democracy vs. Theocracy

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