Sunday, July 22, 2007

Why Some Christians don't believe in the Separation of Church and State

When Evangelical Christians distort the facts so that they can violate the constitutional guarantee of “separation of church and state”, they make the strongest argument for “separation of church and state”. The following are two current examples of such distortions.

The Navy decided not to renew the enlistment contract of one of its Chaplains. Two of the reasons given by the Navy were (1) the Chaplain wore his military uniform while holding a public political protest and (2) the Chaplain repeatedly proselytized at multi-denominational services. Military personnel are allowed to participate in political protests but must not do so while wearing their military uniform. When speaking to a multi-denominational group Chaplains are expected to refrain from proselytizing. Chaplains are expected to provide non-denominational spiritual support to all military personnel regardless of their own personal religious beliefs and those of the military personnel they advise.

All open military religious services shall be inclusive and respectful of all religious beliefs. Chaplains are allowed to encourage personnel to develop spiritually but they are expected to not recommend any one belief over another. A chaplain that can not comply with the regulations is not suitable for being a military chaplain and should instead evangelize as a civilian.

The chaplain who was released at the end of his contract has complained that the Navy tried to prevent him from praying publicly in the name of Jesus. Multiple religious action groups have come to the support of the chaplain. This story has received a lot of coverage in the media and the internet. The statements made by the chaplain and his supporters intentionally misrepresent the military’s reasons for releasing the chaplain.

In another example of distorting the truth, Evangelical Christians are hotly opposing a bill recently approved by the House which expands the definition of a Hate Crime and provides support to non-Federal jurisdictions in their prosecution of a Hate Crime only if an act of violence was committed. The Christian opponents are claiming that the writers of the bill will use it to prosecute Churches if they speak out against homosexuality. In reality, the opponents of the expanded Hate Crime bill want to exclude any law that would protect the rights of a homosexual. For that matter, they want to exclude any law that protects the rights of any person that acts or speaks in a manner that the Christians deem to be immoral. They can’t however make that charge directly because it would not be acceptable to the majority of Americans.

Why do these religious groups misrepresent the facts? They are, in my opinion, trying to change our laws by misrepresenting the Constitution and redefining, for their benefit, the definition of Separation of Church and State. They do not respect other religious beliefs and they intend to redefine our Constitution and our Laws such that it supports and complies only with their interpretation of the Christian Bible. In my opinion the proponents of Separation of Church and State are defending our Constitution not the other way around.

The Evangelical Christians’ objective is a Christian-based Government, Christian-based Laws and the abolishment of “Separation of Church and State”. If they were to succeed, federal, state and local legislators would have to enact laws to enforce Born Again Christian beliefs. Christian prayer would be required at all public functions while all non-Christian religions would be silenced. Laws would be created to enforce Christian morality. The mere existence of other religious groups would not be protected by the law. Schools would no longer teach evolution. Science education would be rewritten to comply with Creation as defined in the Christian Bible. All published writings would have to be approved by the Christian Leadership. Satanic books like the Harry Potter series of children books would no longer be legal. Christian censorship would control the content of television and the movies.

In short order, the United States of America would become a religious state where Evangelical Christianity would be the only legal religion and its beliefs would be the basis of all civil and criminal laws.

The Evangelical Christians exaggerate and misrepresent our current laws because Truth will not benefit their cause. They do not want you to know their true objective. It’s like politics, if you can’t win the constituent’s vote with the truth about your ideas and your performance, then lie about your opponent’s ideas and performance. They encourage us to believe that their opponents are trying to limit our freedoms while they would do more to limit freedom than any threat that America has had to endure.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

No longer the Land of the Free

It started when Bush was given the presidency by the Supreme Court, my feeling that the United States of America is not the Land of the Free. The Bush Administration has demonstrated repeatedly that it will do as it pleases regardless of our Constitution and our Laws. Two Republican-appointed federal appeals court judges, in a 2-1 decision, ordered a lower court to dismiss a case brought by plaintiffs that challenged the legality of the wiretapping program. The appeals court did not address the lower court ruling that the spying program was unconstitutional, rather it ruled only that the plaintiffs could not sue since they lacked proof that they were targets of the wiretapping. The Administration claims it is protecting State Secrecy by not revealing their targets thus preventing the plaintiffs from obtaining proof if any exists.

Our Constitution established checks and balances to ensure that no branch of the government could get away with abuses. Bush ignores the check that would protect against illegal wiretapping. The check is the "special surveillance court". Bush has authorized his agencies to wiretap without a warrant from the special surveillance court. Bush's own very conservative Attorney General resigned because he would not sanction the wiretapping. A US District court ruled that secret wiretapping is unconstitutional. But Bush continues to wiretap without oversight while using his appointed judges to prevent us from challenging his conduct in court.

This is what happens all the time in other countries but, "Thank God", I used to say, "that I live in America where this will never happen." Well, live and learn. It also happens here.

Bush abuses human rights. Bush violates our Constitution. Bush started and continues the war in Iraq for the benefit of the Military-Industrial Complex. The war costs us $200 million every day and may exceed a total cost of $1 trillion. Who do you think is being paid that money? How interested are they in seeing the war end sooner than later? I'm pretty sure that they are not anxious to see the war and their hugh profits come to a halt.

Bush stole the presidency and has gone on to rape America. Who thinks otherwise?

Friday, July 06, 2007

On Second Thought...

After my post "First Do Unto Yourself The Worst You Would Do Unto Others" I started having second thoughts about the position I took. I was thinking about removing the post until I heard that a group of radical Muslim students in Pakistan, who have by force taken control of a mosque and innocent bystanders, are probably using young school children as human shields. My previous post stays where it is. What are these beings that they would put young children in harms way to protect themselves and further their cause?

Many children have been killed in the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Vietnam, etc. With the exception of the crimes committed by both sides, children were never used in such a way by a civilized people. There is a difference between an accident and intent. Some will say the child is dead either way but I don't agree that it is the same. As we have seen before these people have absolutely no respect for the lives of others. It's fine with me that they martyr themselves for their cause but they should not delay the inevitable at the cost of innocent lives.

They are evil. Bring on the Kevorkian Express.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

First Do Unto Yourself The Worst You Would Do Unto Others

I've never believed in Capital Punishment. There are several reasons why we should not execute people. The best reason is that our legal system occasionally convicts an innocent person. That is reason enough. Proponents of Capital Punishment argue that it is an effective deterrent. If that was true Texas would not continue to lead the nation in executions.

However, recently I'm tempted to suggest that Capital Punishment is justifiable for a certain group of beings. These are terrorists that are hell bent on killing to further their political or so-called religious agenda. If death is the reward they seek I think it’s high time that we accommodate their wish. Our staying on high moral ground only benefits the terrorist. Our current punishment is not a deterrent. Turn the other cheek to this enemy and he will cut your throat in both directions.

There will be no negotiated settlement, no win-win agreement, with these terrorists. The terrorists’ objective is our destruction. We are not fighting over a piece of this world. We are defending our existence in this world.

The Muslim terrorist is not the only enemy of mankind that is unwilling to share this world with others. For instance, when the Hutus slaughtered 800,000 Tutsis, the Hutu’s objective was more than the political control of Rwanda and not just reclaiming the property that had once been theirs. The objective of the Hutus was the complete destruction of the Tutsis. They intended to kill every Tutsi man, woman and child even though many of them were neighbors, relatives and in-laws. The Hutus would not be satisfied with sharing; there would be no win-win agreement.

I hate to use the term Evil but I can not think of a more appropriate descriptor for these terrorists. The inhabitants of this world don’t have to be of one mind but to coexist peacefully they must have mutual respect. People should be proud of whom they are yet not think they are above other people. I am proud to be an American but I do not believe that I am better than those who are not American. Pride is fine. Arrogance and disrespecting others is not.

Evil is what I call people who wish to destroy other ideas and the people that believe in them. I also believe that evil people will not be reformed. Could Hitler have been reformed? Could those who carried out Hitler’s wishes have been reformed? No. I do not believe that people with the capacity to slaughter innocents can peacefully share this world with others. A Hutu that is willing to kill his neighbors in exchange for a farm of his own will not, in my opinion, be reformed.

There is no room is this world for people that won’t share this world with others. There is no place in this world for ideologies that exclude all others. Such people and ideologies are non-negotiating and beyond reform.

A few years ago following some senseless slaughter of innocents I thought of a solution I called the “Kevorkian Express”. Every person in the world would have to answer one question, “Do you want to kill anybody else in this world?” If their answer is yes, they would die. They would not be killed by others. They would in a sense have killed themselves by expressing a desire to kill another. The Kevorkian Express turns evil upon itself. You can think of it as a minor modification of the Golden Rule. First do unto yourself the worst you would do unto others.

I’m not suggesting that others should be killed or I too would be eliminated by the Kevorkian Express. Rather, I am merely suggesting that each of us should first treat ourselves just as we would mistreat another.

There should be no court of appeal for Evil and there should be no court of appeal for terrorists. Catch them. Give them a ticket to the Kevorkian Express. No arraignment, no trial, no appeal, no probation, no parole, no pardon. Let them answer the Question.