“What would Jesus do?” – Bracelets, bumper stickers and T-Shirts everywhere
When one thinks about the core values of Christianity, the things that should come to mind are honesty, integrity and forthrightness. When one looks at the way some who represent Christianity, the things that actually come to mind are dishonesty, a lack of integrity and behavior that closely resembles the Pharisees, which – if I remember correctly – the character that is portrayed in the bible as Jesus had such a disdain for that the words which are attributed to him call this group vipers, whitewashed tombs and a few other choice phrases.
Christians Are Denied Nothing…
The United States is a nation with a lot of Christians, but our government is secular. The First Amendment allows the same rights and privileges to all citizens, and for very good reasons. Christians, atheists, and the extremely wide and diverse belief systems of other United States Citizens are not prevented from worshiping their deities (or from not worshiping any), and the government sets no requirements as to means, mode and method of worship – as long as no civil laws are broken, laws that pertain to all citizens, religious and non-religious.
As well, nobody is prevented from voicing his or her beliefs, proselytizing or evangelizing in the public square. The prevalence of street preachers, student-led religious groups and religious events that represent all belief systems, as well as non-believer events, in public parks and other venues is proof of the guarantee of freedom for and from religion within the confines of the First Amendment.
Those like myself do not seek to eliminate the right for individuals to express their beliefs. What we seek to do is to bring our government to what it was founded as, neutral with respect to personal ideologies. This is why we work so hard to remove all vestiges of religion from government – because our government is by and for the people, and not all the people are Christian. A truly representative government cannot exist if it panders to one group over another. When a government ceases to represent all citizens and enact laws and regulations that favor a religion, it has started down the path to theocracy.
One needs to examine one of the main mantras of Christianity, which is the petition to God for redress of grievances (prayer), and waiting for an answer – be it yes, no or wait. As well, their own doctrines speak volumes about involvement in government. I will not bore you again with long lists of scripture and exegesis on this subject.
If you are a Christian reading this, you should know what your god requires of you in matters of state and you should be ashamed of yourselves for using or supporting those Christians who choose to use the same methods that the Pharisees used.
It is decidedly un-Christian to use legal loopholes in the attempt to subvert any government that has been founded as representative, and that holds the citizenry as sovereign. God may be sovereign over the lives of individual Christians, but the United States Constitution does not give their god such a designation.
The use of legislation to bring into law any precept that favors religion over the individual rights of the citizen is not only an abrogation of individual civil rights, but violates the biblical precept of political neutrality as referenced by the refusal of the character portrayed as Jesus to rule the kingdoms of the world.
In fact, the bible reads that Jesus even refused to be made king of Israel because the he stated that earthly kingdoms are part of the world, and the world is allegedly ruled by the character portrayed as “Satan.”
The bible reads that Christians are subjects of a kingdom that is “not of this world,” and are to obey laws of the governments where they live. This includes not just the payment of taxes of the country in which they reside, but the active involvement in the legislative process for the sole purpose of creating a theocratic form of government, which includes the representation of said government as Christian and the installation of solely Christian artifacts, idols and graphical representations of their faith.
Georgia and the Ten Commandments…
From the Atlanta Journal-Constitution newspaper,
A copy of the Ten Commandments could be posted in all Georgia government buildings and schools under a bill passed unanimously Tuesday by House lawmakers.
Rep. Tommy Benton, R-Jefferson, is seeking to expand a 2006 law that already permits the passage from the Old Testament to be displayed in judicial buildings and courthouses when accompanied by other historical documents deemed to have influenced the U.S. legal system.
Georgia lawmakers passed that original law one year after the U.S. Supreme Court in 2005 struck down Commandment displays in two Kentucky courthouses, ruling they appeared to be a government endorsement of Christianity.
His latest bill passed by a vote of 161-0 and now heads to the state Senate. It has few vocal opponents and a strong chance of passing in the Legislature.
“If you look at the law of the United States, we have a lot of laws that are based on the Christian and Jewish Ten Commandments, so I felt that was a very appropriate item to be put in there,” Benton said.
His opponents argue the bill would allow the Ten Commandments to be posted in school buildings, an area where courts typically draw a sharper line in favor of the secular in disputes over church and state.
This is an issue that I addressed last year with the Georgia Supreme Court. I wrote a letter to both the Georgia Supreme Court and Governor Deal, outlining why this was unconstitutional. The letter was ignored, which is par for the course here in Georgia – as with many other bible-belt states. The issue has not been dropped, and the latest decision by the state of Georgia regarding this matter will also be addressed.
Here is an image of the letter, more commentary following…
Barry Lynn, the executive director of Americans United for the Separation of Church and State said, in response to the passage of the bill,
“There’s a faulty premise there and that is that The Ten Commandments has anything to do with the civil laws of the United States — it does not, of course. We don’t make it illegal to dishonor our mother and father. We don’t have blasphemy laws.”
Barry Lynn also predicted that these displays can provoke a lawsuit. According to Americans United, Missouri, Indiana, Kentucky, South Dakota and Oklahoma also passed resolutions or laws promoting the display of the Commandments in public buildings.
“This is the kind of thing that raises a gigantic red flag, and on that flag are the words, ‘Sue us,’”
The presentation and display of the Ten Commandments is not the only issue here in Georgia and other states. It’s also the infringement on women and their right to choose, various blue laws that restrict the sale of alcohol during the times of Christian worship services, the teaching of religious myths such as creationism in the place of real science in our education system, the allowance of religious groups that purpose to proselytize to work with and within our school systems and a plethora of other legislation that is pending or has been enacted into law that favors Christianity instead of the sovereign rights of the individual United States citizen.
To be United States citizen means that we, each, should not be compelled to acquiesce to religious laws, statutes or the concept that any one religious group has regarding morality.
We should not, as individuals, be subject to the tyranny of the majority, nor should we be subject to the penalties and punishments as outlined by any religious group. Christianity or any other religion does not own the consequences of murder, rape, theft and fraud. The aversion to these crimes are the result of our evolution and the development of civilized societies, thus every community – be it a small enclave or a major nation – regardless of religious belief, has laws against these violations. They are not crimes against god, but crimes against humanity, and only secular laws should address these crimes.
The Christian community that seeks to integrate their religion into government is in violation of its own doctrine, and their bible speaks plainly of their efforts to do so.
And they accuse us of worshiping Satan…