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Who Will Defend the First Amendment?

Democracy vs. TheocracyAugust 31, 2012.  The Republican National Convention is over in Tampa, Florida, and the nation looks forward next week to the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina. Both men are acceptable to the country in certain ways.  One issue some in the nation were waiting to learn about this past week is religion. In the past two elections the Christian religion was foremost in the minds of many voters. Both men are acceptable to the majority of the country’s voters in their religiosity—how they bring their Christian philosophy to the highest office in the land. Does that sound odd to you? It does to me. WHY should a person’s religiosity –his or her personal view and how they practice it—why should this matter when being elected to a secular office?

Good question. The U.S. Constitution is a secular document—a blueprint for governing without an inherited monarchy, without a deity to worship…without a god. Hmmm. Without God?  How can that be?  Humankind has always had a god or a goddess—a higher being than humans. After all, who created humans?

To me, THIS is the most egregious result of the inroads made by certain Christians to take over the Presidency of the United States of America and the whole Federal government. For more than fifty years the Religious Right has been undermining the Constitution with challenges to this secular document. It really got going with the McCarthy era of the 1950’s. Senator McCarthy was so afraid of what he perceived as the Communist influence in America that he managed to destroy people in his quest. He so controlled the Senate hearings that the nation’s citizens had to protest loudly to end it, but there was so much damage to the Constitution as well as to individual Americans. It was during those years that “In God We Trust” was added to our currency and coins.  Why are Americans so afraid to follow a secular document in its governance?  What is it in their collective psyche that only has trust in an invisible entity?

Religion has been the side issue since the Constitution with its Ten Amendments (the Bill of Rights) was ratified in 1791. The discussion of the importance of religion in secular government has ebbed and flowed in the two centuries since. The prejudice among religious denominations has continued. They jockeyed back and forth in the early days of the republic to be chosen as the national religion. President George Washington wrote letters to various denominational church leaders to tell them they could not be because the Constitution does not allow it. Check out the First Amendment.

Hopefully, one year it may dawn on us that we don’t need religion in our governance.  Has it stopped crooked politicians?  Has it stopped philanderers in the Senate and in the House?  Has it stopped the need for ethics committees? Check out which men (and they ARE men) have committed themselves to religious points of view in their lives and who are doing the ethical breaches or criminal activities. Are they the same men? What I’m telling you is there is so much hypocrisy among religious lawmakers. Let’s NOT elect men or women because of their stand on religious issues!  Pay attention to the economy, to the need for tax reform at all income levels and creating jobs!

So let’s go back to the two candidates:  President Obama and former Massachusetts Governor Romney.  We know that both are compassionate men. We know that they are both loving family men. That’s as far as it needs to go for governing this nation!  The really important thing I want to know is will they defend the whole Constitution?  Will they defend the First Amendment? A President of the United States swears to do that. He or she is not required to swear his or her allegiance to this country and its people with a hand on a religious book. NOWHERE in the Constitution does it say that the Federal officers of this country must swear on any religious book.  It should say that a copy of the Constitution must be under that hand!

Now:  Go join a campaign for a candidate in your state who is running for the Senate or Congressional district or for one of these two men running for President. Ask the tough questions: will this man or woman work for equality for all–justice for all—with no exceptions?  And with no religious dogma hanging around his or her neck?

2:29 pm | Posted in Feature | Read More »

Democracy vs. Theocracy

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