Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Church and State

I read a very disturbing op-ed piece today. Take a second to read this.
If there is any doubt that the Christian right has completely overtaken American politics the vote on this bill should erase that completely. As a Christian and as an American I am insulted that only 10 congressmen chose to vote against this nonsense. This type of religious bias is exactly the kind of thing that our founders were fighting against. True many of the first American were religious but they came here for two reasons, to be able to practice their religion freely as well as to get away from a government that was controlled by religion. They left because they were in the minority and the king's religion was abusing its control.
Thomas Jefferson opposed this type of mixing of government and religion. If he were alive today he would probably say the same thing he said 200 years ago.
"Where the preamble declares, that coercion is a departure from the plan of the holy author of our religion, an amendment was proposed by inserting "Jesus Christ," so that it would read "A departure from the plan of Jesus Christ, the holy author of our religion;" the insertion was rejected by the great majority, in proof that they meant to comprehend, within the mantle of its protection, the Jew and the Gentile, the Christian and Mohammedan, the Hindoo and Infidel of every denomination."
Thomas Jefferson, Autobiography, in reference to the Virginia Act for Religious Freedom

With the government making such official pronouncements as HR 847 how is a member of the other quarter of the country supposed to expect fair representation and equal treatment? Would a Jew, a Muslim, a Hindu or a non-theist feel like an equal in a court of law when their opponents or the jury is composed of members of the officially sanctioned religion of the land? I doubt it. Personally, I think our founders meant it when they said, "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."

If you'd like to read a little more about Jefferson's opinions on this issue just read this compilation of quotes.

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