Friday, April 06, 2007

'blog against theocracy'

“Religion is for those who do not want to go to hell.” Spirituality is for those who have been there, and don’t want to go back.”

thanks the future was yesterday

my husband said to me re: this blogswarm, "oh, but you'll get the folks who say, 'the first amendment says that we can't have a national religion. it doesn't say we can't bring our religion with us.' so what are you going to say to them?" fine question indeed. these would be the same folks who call america a 'christian nation.' i could refer these folks to history, but that wouldn't change their mind. hell, if you won't see that the earth and its peoples are suffering because of human causes, nothing i say will change your mind about the truth in history or american culture. actually, the first amendment says:

'Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;'

to me that means that promoting one religion- in this case christianity- over any other is prohibited by the constitution. why? because if you promote one religion nationally as politicians have done for decades, you are creating a national religion. anyhoo- this is supposed to be about why this shouldn't be. why our DEIST founding fathers took the time to put this provision in the constitution in the first place. my guess is to avoid what happened throughout history- where pagans killed christians; pagans killed jews; christians killed muslims; muslims killed jews; you get the idea. they believed that people should be free to worship as they pleased- i mean that's why the pilgrims came to the new world right? catholics versus protestants and all kinds of atrocities carried out in the name of god and country.

then, of course, are those christians who say- 'but we aren't like that- we follow christian tenets and help our fellow man and feed the poor and whatnot.' sure. that's nice. so do i- without the trappings of organized religion. i feel that if you choose to believe in something- have at it. i defend your right to practice your religious beliefs- because i am a rabid defender of the constitution. do not confuse that with me believing in what you believe. as long as we are not infringing on each other's rights- hey believe what you want. which is where we have been getting into trouble- the attempts to convert- but that's a different post.

it continues to amaze me how people who denounce pagan religions; ancient mythology; islam; hinduism, etc. believe that god decided to send his supernatural son to earth in human form to perform supernatural miracles and die for humanity in order to save it from itself. these are the same folks who believe a static book is the living word of god. in and of itself, that is a good enough reason for me to insist on a secular government. but i think there are many reasons to keep church and state separate. example- lesbian couple in wyoming denied communion-

"If all this stuff hadn't hit the newspaper, it wouldn't have been any different than before — nobody would have known about it," said the couple's parish priest at St. Matthew's, the Rev. Cliff Jacobson. "The sin is one thing. It's a very different thing to go public with that sin."

The 46-year-old newlyweds — Vader is a supervisor at a recycling center, Huskinson a coal miner — ran afoul of a sort of don't-ask-don't-tell policy on the church's part. "I told my wife in good conscience that if I had known those ladies, and we'd have been having a beer, I'd have just told them to keep everything to themselves," parish music director John Chick said. He added that once news like this hits the papers, "someone's forced to deal with it now, aren't they?"

are you kidding?

religion has been used since time immemorial as a control tool. ancient civilizations figured out really quickly that organized religion causes a 'group think' mindset that is easy to control. if you control the fate of people's soul, they pretty much do what you want. i mean- who wants to be damned to hell for all eternity? the powers that be also figured out pretty quickly that one god belief is really better for total control. i mean to have apollo's followers fighting with zeus's followers over who is better- well, that's a distraction right? so, the montheistic religions took root. look how easily the christian and islamic religions spread- as ancient empires grew so did the converts (yes, i know there were several reasons for this). i don't think it was an accident that constantine took advantage of declaring the roman empire christian.

anyhoo- you don't have to look any further than modern day for reasons to keep religion out of governments. on the christian front- look no further than bush. or if you want a better reason- look at robertson, dobson, and falwell. robertson wants to assassinate world leaders; dobson is 'curing' gay people and falwell is courting presidential candidates. all while bilking millions of dollars from the faithful sheeple who send them money and hang on their every word. the only thing that this does is give the leaders power and private jets to lead a double life- and the sheeple have less in their wallets.

in the muslim world- hmmm.... i'd say that you have a similar type of arrangement. ayatollahs and imams with unlimited power over sheeple who have nothing and still give- many give their lives. where else can you get a person to blow himself or herself up in the name of god? and let's face it- zionism in israel was built out of the notion that the jews are god's chosen and that this is their homeland he gave to them. hindu folks have a rigid caste system that has declared millions of people as 'undesirable' and therefore, less human. all in the name of religion.

now, one can argue that atheistic governments are just as bad- and that is correct. one only need to look at any one of the 'isms'- communism, fascism, nazism- to see that this is just as bad. i am of the mind that secularism has worked for us for over 230 years. folks have the right to worship as they see fit- as long as it doesn't impinge on the rights of others. that suits me just dandy. there is no reason that our government should have judeo-christian faith dictating to a nation that has millions of followers of other religions here. the religious right quotes the founding fathers the way it quotes the bible- they pick and choose the passages that coincide with their belief structure. their leaders smell opportunity for massive amounts of power. there is nothing religious nor holy about this. when religion and politics mix, it generally follows that it is the people who pay the price. jefferson and adams and franklin et al- they all knew this. they had seen it happen. that is why they made sure that it wouldn't happen here. and it shouldn't.

information on where your dollars go when sending in to evangelists-

more compelling arguments than mine for separation of church and state-

americans united for the separation of church and state

first freedom first

thanks to flaring at virtual flaring for the logo


Coffee Messiah said...

It's already interesting to read some of the response's, but not surprising.

Spadoman said...

Had a minute on line as we get ready to leave "Liberal" Kansas. No, that's the name of the town I'm in, Liberal. Supposedly where Dorothy came from in the "Wizard of Oz". The way the wind blew last night, I can see why she was blown to OZ.

Christian signs are all over here. Commercials are for making Kansas the best place to raise kids based on christian values. Bill boards want NO Abortion and a couple is ONLY a man and a woman. There are NO signs that say we need to stop killing people. NO pro jew, pro muslim, pro anything but christian. NO anti-war messages.

The radio stations with the best reception are the christian stations. You can find 2-3 of them anywhere while driving through the state. Their message never mentions love and forgivness. It only interprets words from an old book and tells you what they mean and how much you need to send them as far as money. They even go so far as to suggest christian meaning in non christian music, telling the listener/sheep what is good to listen to, and what is not, never mentioning that our country is at war.

Peace. Peace means allowing and tolerating freedom of religion and free choice of your lives. Enough bullshit!

I'll be in New Mexico today by early afternoon. Socorro, Truth or consequences and Deming are the places we plan to visit. Later :-)

DivaJood said...

Betmo, you amaze me. I've posted, but nothing so eloquent as you.

SadButTrue said...

Bush 43 has made many attacks on the Constitution since 9/11/01, but we must not forget that he always intended to shred 'that goddamn piece of paper', as he calls it. One of his first acts as pResident was to announce the Faith-based Initiatives Program - designed more to provide monetary rewards to the reight-wing churches that helped him get elected than to provide social services to those in need. Apparently he interpreted his 49% popular vote mandate and illegal, partisan appointment by the Supremes as 'political capital' that he could use to unilaterally amend the Constitution.

And that was before things really got bad. :(

Peacechick Mary said...

Well done, Betmo and thanks for the tour of religious hypocrisy. I am always astounded at the degree of humiliation and total disregard for humanity people are willing to tolerate for the sake of religion.

C-dell said...

Great post better than mine. You made great points we even synced up on some points. I wish that mine was as good as this. Great post.

Unknown said...

It's quite a story, that the Bible tells. If true, it reveals a character of God, that is disturbing.

This God of the Bible comes across as a tyrant. He demands obedience and everlasting adoration. What kind of being needs such egotistical attention?

He manipulates people to get his desired result, and threatens those who don't follow his rules.

He discriminates by choosing one group of people over all others, yet claims to be the only way to personal salvation for all.

Did he create us just to have his ego satisfied? Why would he create such violent, sinful beings if that is against his nature? The contradictions are confusing.

One has to wonder why God chose to involve himself directly in the lives of humans in the early days, but has decided to ignore us for centuries.

What is everlasting life? To kneel at his feet and worship him forever? That's the purpose for life and afterlife, to adore him?

When people believe something so deeply, and that belief is threatened, they are may react violently.

Was Hitler jealous of the Jews? Did he wonder why the creator of all and the key to eternal salvation, created him inferior to others. Why did God make him a second class being?

Maybe Jesse Ventura was right, the church is a crutch for the masses who cannot handle what life gives them.

It's fine if you want to believe in supernatural fairy tales, but is that necessary, to be kind to your fellow human beings?

If your God did not exist, would you be a murderer or a rapist?

Would it be ok to be a violent, hateful person just because you find out there is no God?

Do you need God, to treat others as you would want them to treat you?

What is it about the followers of the prince of peace, that they demand all must believe in their God? To the point of social rejection, negative character judgment, or violent submission.

If Christ's philosophy is the right way to live, then why do his followers condemn those who don't believe?

Are threats of Hell, intimidation, exclusion from everlasting life, ect., ect...a good way to encourage membership in your church? Must one kill, to prove one's commitment to God? Isn't that what God asked of Jacob?

You can read this as BS ramblings, but that's how confusing I see the contradictions of God belief.

And please stop trying (through making laws in my government) to force me to live by your religion.

billie said...

time- you have said what my husband has been saying for a long time. thanks.

Thorne said...

Thank you for this! I was so excited and so overwhelmed by the full spectrum of this topic I could hardly think where to begin! I did more quoting than writing, but that's what's cool about this blogswarm, right? Many voices!

Unknown said...

Hey, I am going for the trifecta on this. I will post something Sunday on Bring it On, my blog and a local blog community our newspaper runs. My original foray into this can be seen on my personal blog as well as here:

Frederick said...

Feel free to borrow my graphic if you want, I feel I owe you anyways for never getting around to that meme from the other day...sorry about that, I've been working nights and it has me all screwed up.

Enemy of the Republic said...

Good blog. Finally made it here from C-Dell's spot. I do follow a religious faith, even though there are key issues that I feel it does not address. As I said to C-Dell: religion should not be crammed down our throats. I am a Christian, a poor one by those Kansas folk types as I curse and have lots of negativity in my mind. I also loathe George Bush and this damn war. I also support gay marriage and I don't see homosexuality as a sin. A lot of evangelicals bond over social issues and know the Bible verses that support their view, but they really don't know the Bible itself or how it was created. Yet you cannot reason with those people. I don't even bother.

Frank Partisan said...

Exploitation of religion by politicians will whatever short term gains received, will come back to haunt the reactionaries for decades, They are marked as fanatic and intolerant for decades.

The Dems learned the wrong lesson, and talk about religion as much or more than the GOP.

slcslc said...

Nice one, betmo... really good. It never fails to bring tears to my eyes to recognize this country was founded by deists. It makes me feel less alien to america knowing things didn't start out quite the way they've turned out. But the tears are also my anger that such a profound reality shift took place that people everywhere spew christian beginnings w/o so much as a hiccup.

Mary said...

It's all about tolerance. The result is peace.

Anonymous said...

The funny thing about the word "god" is that fundamentally religious people see it and assume it means their god.

Ah, assumption... we all know what it means to assume...

Great post.

Pam said...

AWESOME post!! I had to come back to finish reading it b/c I kept getting interrupted and I wanted to digest every word.

Spado - you should come to LAWRENCE kansas. It's an oasis of reason and intelligence surrounded by the insanity of kansas.

Anonymous said...

Great post, have a good weekend.

Unknown said...

I too, am against theocracy, but for somewhat different reasons. The carnal nature of man would just not let it function. Submitting oneself, totally, to the will of God, is the basic tenant of nearly all major religions. Christianity, Judaism, Islamic, et al, all fail miserably.

It would bode well for people to realize that just because someone says, "I am a Christian", does not mean they actually are. People like Robertson, Falwell, Dodson, Reed, etc, etc, are wolves in sheep's clothing. They are the bin Ladens of Christianity.

Christianity, by the very meaning of the word, is to follow the teachings and examples of Christ. 87% of this country are self-described as Christian. The true number is probably in the single digits, somewhere between 3 and 5 percent.

In a true theocracy, especially a Christian Theocracy, there would be no poverty, hunger, homelessness, hatred, or wars. There would be no political cronyism, corporate greed, bigotry, or capital punishment. It's a sad fact that more money is to be made on war, than on peace.

Fascism may be secular at it's core, but it always cloaks itself in religion. For proof, one only has to look at the early pictures of the Third Reich; with the cross of Christ, emblazoned in the center of the swastika. I did a post you may find interesting, called The F-Word.

Good post, Betmo, sorry for the dissertation-length comment.

Essential Estrogen said...

I almost used that same quote in my BAT post. Glad to see someone else used it (and used it well). Thanks so much for your thoughts.

Anonymous said...

"In a true theocracy, especially a Christian Theocracy, there would be no poverty, hunger, homelessness, hatred, or wars. There would be no political cronyism, corporate greed, bigotry, or capital punishment. It's a sad fact that more money is to be made on war, than on peace."

I highly doubt that. The Bible isn't a book of peace and never has been. The God of the Bible isn't a deity of peace and never has been. Jesus Christ didn't advocate complete pacifism either. In fact, Jesus says in the Bible that he did approve of the cruelties of the Old Testament and that he doesn't care about those who are damned. The direct reason we have so many Christian fundamentalists is because of what the Bible "directs" these people to believe.

Fascism has never been secular, because those who advocate it know that religion can be used to control the masses. People are so devoted to religious belief over reason that they can't think rationally.

Unknown said...

You are falling into the quagmire of fundamentalist thinking. The Bible is composed of two parts, the Old Testament and the New Testament. The OT is for history, the prophets, and the poets. The NT is the life and teachings of Christ Jesus.

Christian, by the suffix 'ian', means, little; from; belonging to; or follower of, the root, in this case, Christ. Therefore, as a Christian, one needs to follow, and be bound by, the New Testament. Jesus said, "I bring to you a new covenant (testament)"

Jesus did NOT approve of the cruelties of the OT. Give me some chapter and verses that left you with that impression. I'll give you one off the top of my head that says he didn't.

Matthew 5:38-39: Ye have heard that it hath been said, an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth (referring to OT Exodus 21:24, Leviticus 24:20, and Deuteronomy 19:21); but I say unto you, that you resist not evil; but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.

I would also like to see where you got the impression He says, He doesn't care about those who are damned.

As for fascism not being secular, read the linked post, 'The F-Word' in my last comment. All the fascist regimes of Mussolini, Hitler, Franco, Pinochet, et al, started under the guise of religion, but once power was cinched, persecuted the very religious people that gave them the power. See Shirer's 'The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich'.

Thanks for your comment, Sarah, Peace.

Anonymous said...

it looked so easy, our heritage beckoned
the nation was, after all, christian
and so they began their crusade marching toward theocracy
and as they plodded the children wailed “are we there yet?”
and god whispered back “you're going the wrong way”

genexs said...

Thanx for a great contribution to the BAT. You hit all the good points. I think when one joins a non-mainstream religion, you really start seeing how Christianity is shoved down our throats at every turn.