It should be obvious, world governments do not operate on the same principles as the United States government. Shocks of all shocks, those differences are what make America unique. That uniqueness makes our Constitution a world-changing document. It is not just one thing but also many: the willingness to tax our selves, one-man one-vote, and of headline importance right now “freedom of religion”. Special interest groups, in one way or another, have repeatedly challenged all of these things. For example, we easily talk about the government taxing us to much as though we are not the government. A large segment of the Republican Party wants to challenge the fundamental concept of the federation of states to allow re-segregation, suppress voters’ rights, deregulation, etc. You hear this as a return to the Civil War mentality or as a cry for “reestablishment of states rights”, and destroy the Department of Education and the Environmental Protection Agency. The Republicans even challenge the fundamental underlying concept that shed us of King George V, that is royalty and foolishly try to replace the king with the economic elite; the 1%. On man one vote, but it really matters to them who that man is: European descent; Christian; but, most important, wealthy. We openly talk about all of these things; however, mention “freedom of religion” and the room falls silent.
Since the start of history, the Middle East has been in turmoil because of the lack of freedom religion. The constitution says we have freedom of religion, which in terms of peace truly is the most import statement in the entire document. It is easy to find myriad people who claim to be Constitutional Fundamentalists, who interpret the statement to mean you have freedom of religion but only if you are a Christian; that is not freedom of religion! There is no place for Muslims in our nation because we are a Christian nation—does that make sense to you in light of the constitutionally mandated freedom of religion.
That Christianity is the only religion is an anachronism; yes, an archaic stance outdated but the Constitution just as royalty was outdated in the United States and the new one-man one-vote government introduced to the world for the first time ever—not all at once but over a long period in the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries. I would remind Christians that their claim is cut from the same cloth as what Shia and Sunni religious sects say in war torn Iraq, in Iran, in Syria, and in emerging democracies Turkey, and in Egypt.
They are all Muslims nations but the deep divisions clearly demonstrate that religion is a tool used by some to gain power even more powerful than state government are and often challenge state sovereignty. For example, the nation Iran (Sunni) is ready to fight against the Shia faction in Iraq anther nation but they both are going to establish their own version so Shia law, which says that God is in charge which makes them Caliphates. For those that do not know, several sites exist in each of the mentioned nations that Americans refer to as “chop-chop” square. This is where the “government, chosen by God”, cuts off heads for not believing in Allah and for alleged infidelity; hands chopped off for stealing; people are stoned to death for being victims of rape, and all the other nice things the Bible and Koran tell us to do. Gentle Americans look at this in horror while condemning people to an “eternal lake of fire” for not saying; “one nation under God”.
The answer to the Middle East strife is not to take sides but to do what Obama has so wisely done—in Egypt for example; let them fight it out while encouraging them to form a nonsectarian government modeled after our own (tongue in cheek), where they have freedom of religion; Shia, Sunni, and Christians living side by side, where people can build a Mosque near the World Trade Center. We, as people, seem innately incapable of separating spirituality from government just as we are innately incapable of believing in hierarchy dominance (peck order), living together (gregariousness), or living free of greed (survival of the fittest). Over two hundred years of U.S. history have proved it is not easy! Try to convince politically active religious leaders such as Pat Roberson and Ralph Reed that there must be science in the classroom and total, clear, separation of government from religion if we are to survive as a great nation. Democracy does not come easy but the success of the United States proves it is worth the struggle.