Our Constitution granted each and every one of us the freedom to believe or not believe as we decide. That protection applies to all of us. When one group has decided by some form of spiritual osmosis that their version of the unverifiable and occasionally insane has been decreed to be the new Law, and thus their political mission is to ensure that is so, then it is up to the rest of us to put that crazy back where it belongs: away from public influence.
A DANGEROUS AGENDA
Anyone who doubts either the intent or the ability of the Religious Right to reshape the landscape of religious liberty in America isn’t paying attention. And, to quote Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman: ‘Attention must be paid.’….
Removing someone’s civil rights by empowering the government to protect and preserve my religious homophobia is not my idea of religious liberty.
I believe in religious freedom, but not the kind that argues that government should tolerate employers or medical care professionals who want to deprive women of their full range of health care options. Depriving women of choices that our courts deem legal and appropriate to preserve my religious misogyny is not my idea of religious liberty….
This is the religious liberty being propagated by the Religious Right. They argue that they have no religious freedom unless their restrictive moral code is written into the Constitution. They argue that they have no religious liberty unless those whose religious ceremonies violate the sanctity of their precious theology are thrown in jail. What they want to call religious freedom is in fact [an] oppressive religious tyranny.
Does it make any sense at all that this planet, this nation, and this blend of citizenry, are all intended to be guided and governed by the extremism of discriminatory, narrow-minded, mean-spirited nonsense?
If you were to ask any thinking person what they imagine a Deity to be, would anyone come up with that version? Yet every day we witness an assortment of attempts, comments, or proposals by nitwits who are determined to enforce that very type of vision and system of governing on the rest of us.
Is there any measure of rational thought which suggests that ignorance and fear ought to be the foundations upon which any organization of any size and for any purpose are built? Yet even a cursory examination of the endless proposals and agitations sponsored by religious extremists reveals that this is precisely what they seek. What the hell?
What if, instead of seeking to coerce the rest of to do their narrow-minded bidding, they actually considered the option of expanding their minds instead of trying to close down ours? Any Deity decreeing that ignorance and fear-mongering—along with a blend of lies, deceit, and misrepresentations—are the tools of trade to get Its way suggests a revision of mankind’s definition of a God. That version needs to get tossed, and quickly.
The First Amendment prohibits the Government from establishing religion. It protects the right of every person to practice their faith how they choose, to change their faith, or to practice no faith at all, and to do so free from persecution and fear. This religious freedom allows faith to flourish, and our Union is stronger because a vast array of religious communities coexist peacefully with mutual respect for one another. – President Barack Obama
What’s not clear about that? The contortions required to suggest that language carves out an exception for Christianity is but another indicator that the Christian Right has no shame when it comes to pursuing their narrow-minded objectives, regardless of their impact on others or the tactics required to pander to their insecurities and self-interests.
Although the extremists obviously have no concern about the beliefs and expectations of those belonging to other faiths, they might want to consider the fact that what goes ‘round comes ‘round. No conditions are permanent, and if not now then soon enough other religious/spiritual interests will decide that if the Christian Right feels entitled to impose their mandates on others, there’s nothing to prevent the many other faiths from adopting the same approach to ensure that their Deity’s mandates get top policy-making priority
Where does it end? At what cost?
Why not take a break and let the various Deities duke it out amongst Themselves for a while? After several millennia’s worth of combat over nonsense, there are still no—nor will there be—winners. That being the case, why should any believer in any faith continue to blindly serve the perverse requirements of their Preferred One and Only? Introspection and questioning are options available to everyone.
Step aside and let the God War be fought by all of these Deities. They should know better than any of us which One is The Real One with the Real Laws. They must certainly be better equipped to fight cosmic battles at Their levels than the hopelessly inferior soldiers attempting to meet Those expectations.
Aren’t they tired of seeing incompetent representatives doing battle as they have been? Shouldn’t there be a better minimum standard than crazy? After several thousand years of reliance on the unverifiable, why not first get some clarification from other enlightened members of society about which Deity and which Rules deserve to sit atop the God Leaderboard.
Blind faith seems to have run its course. What’s wrong with demanding a bit of proof before anyone ventures back into battle? That’s hardly an unreasonable request to make of the competing Gods. They might appreciate a breather as well.
Lord knows the rest of us—not burdened with requirements to believe the unbelievable just because someone said we must a dozen or so centuries ago—would appreciate a Cosmic Timeout so that a handful of clearer guidelines could be added to the various Gods’ To-Do Lists.
We’re having a hell of a time trying to figure out which unbelievable we’re supposed to disbelieve first….
~ My Photo: Grey Whale Cove, CA – 09.15.04 ©
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Concerted efforts by Christian Right extremists to weave their highly questionable beliefs into the fabric of public policy must be challenged–vigorously so. The routine demonstrations of hypocrisy which serves to pervert the commonly understood tenets of that faith, and fact-averse denunciations of science or other evidence clearly at odds with the nonsense, imposed anxieties, and promoted fears, have no place in the problem-solving arena of the 21st Century.
Magical thinking is not a shield to the inevitable harm which results when irrational and mindless behaviors collide with reason and fact. We have some choices to make, and a future to concern ourselves with.
I was raised as a Catholic. For eight years in elementary school, and four more in high school, I learned what [mostly] priests and nuns taught me. Several decades ago, I fell madly, deeply in love with a wondrous and dazzling born-again Christian who ultimately broke my heart into a million little pieces. The magic, and sorrow, of youthful thinking. That didn’t prevent me from future relationships with devout but less extreme Catholic women. [Not that I am complaining or offering regrets, since I am married to the best person I’ve ever known!]
So I come to this later stage of my life having had a full dosage of less overt but still impactful indoctrination into the ways of God as defined by more overt Christians. My departure from those experiences has come by way of many life events and a great deal of study and introspection.
In 2014, I published an eBook entitled Life Will Answer. It’s an exploration of life, religion, and the tenuous connection one has with the other—at least as has been defined to date by the various theologies of past and present-day believers.
I don’t pretend to be a religious scholar. I am at best a casual observer of some religion-based behaviors, but given that I have also authored a book discussing those matters, perhaps that makes me more than a casual observer.
A fundamental point of the book is that Life has been established to honor and answer the choices each and all of us make—whatever they are and however they may be judged by the standards and guidelines we as a society have established. I do not accept the notion that there is a God or another Deity of choice offering wildly arbitrary thumbs-ups and thumbs-downs, or that this Deity has edicts we’re free to abide by or not (although if we don’t there will be hell to pay).
I wrote that book on the premise that there is more to this life than the narrow-minded, conflicting, and occasionally dangerous notions various religions offer. Given the large number of them each claiming passionate followers, it’s absurd for any collection of humans to insist that their Deity assures them It is the One and Only. Countless Peers and their own loyal adherents take issue with that.
Every day we are witness to the absurdities—and too often, the atrocities—committed in the name of some Deity or another by adherents convinced that they and they alone are privy to the guidance and dictates of that One and Only. There is little room, if any, for reason, logic, or rational thought. The absence of an intelligent component guiding their beliefs and conduct—replaced as it as by fears and justifications untethered from reality—carries its own set of consequences.
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