chewing ideas down to stubble, then moving on…

Government and Religion…

Posted by Jason on November 22, 2008

Wait, we can’t talk about these two things together! They must remain separate! I read this post that was the only post on that blog at the time I read it. I loved the use of the term “legislated morality.” This blogger reminded us that, through the lens of Christian morality, even if sinful actions are not committed, it is still a sin when the thought first enters our minds/hearts.

The United States, as a country, has yet to truly distinguish itself from the Judeo-Christian view of morality of its first settlers and lawmakers. The separation of Church and State does not really exist. In order to be a secular society that gives equal rights or equal consideration to all religions, we really need to descend into a state of anarchy. OH NO HE SAID THE “A-WORD!” Think about it, though. In our country, a huge majority of the lawmakers that WE put into office are either professing and practicing Christians, professing and non-practicing Christians, or children of Christian parents. The Constitution was written by mostly white, Christian men. This overwhelmingly Christian world view of most lawmakers and people in power makes it nearly impossible for the laws of our land NOT to be slanted toward the Christian morality. 

What would happen if a politician said in public, say in a debate or some other widely publicized forum, that he or she did not believe in God? GAME OVER. His/her career would be finished. How are we supposed to elect someone that we cannot trust? JFK was mistrusted and smeared because he was a Catholic of all things (for those of you who aren’t sure, Catholics are most definitely Christians). All of the mudslinging in this election about Obama caused fear that he was a Muslim, and not because he regularly attends a mosque or anything like that. Just because his father was a Muslim, he has a funny name, and he lived in a country where there are a lot of Muslims, there was and still is a huge cloud of fear and mistrust hanging in the heads of many Christians.

I’ve heard many people say that it shouldn’t even matter if Obama was a Muslim or Jew or Wiccan or whatever, and I agree. In the country where we say our ideals are freedom and equal treatment for all, we should be able to have a gay Muslim president who went to a Rastafarian academy in Mexico (do they have those?) and whose parents were an Iranian Jew and a Russian Catholic. Why the hell do we care so much about what religion someone professes!?!?

With all the shoulds and shouldn’ts, the evidence still exists. Our country has a heavy bias in our laws and policies that favors those with a Judeo-Christian world view. I don’t think we can get rid of this bias without getting rid of our Constitution, our lawmakers and our judges. We need to admit to ourselves that we live in a Christian democracy. Other religions and viewpoints are tolerated, of course, but they are rarely accepted and incorporated into mainstream American thought. Although our ideals are perfect in theory, it is impossible to rid ourselves, as a country, of our own fears and expectations that the rest of the world should be like us. Let’s just call it what it is, an imperfect system run by imperfect beings.


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