Wednesday, October 28, 2015


A commonplace occurrence is for some people to believe they are justified in forcing their religious beliefs onto people who do not believe as they do. An overzealous municipal clerk overcome with religious righteousness refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples or the refusal of certain pharmacists to sell contraception to a customer on occasion makes front page news. However, in modern society it is becoming more and more common to have legislators try to pass laws taking religiously inspired positions dealing with pro-life issues or same-sex marriage. The shocking thing is that more and more of these legislatures are passing this type of legislation into enforceable law. Often, lawmakers formulated the laws in a way that removes the possibility of individual challenge. For example, the laws shutter clinic where physicians performed abortions as part of providing health care. You are no longer free to decide if you will or will not go to such a clinic if it does not exist. For me, I realized the shocking reality of all of the impact religious is having when a remote and hardworking farmer and his wife in northern Minnesota. He told me, after making it clear that they did not like Bush, that the voted for him after their Priest told him to vote for Bush even though he didn't like him. I shutter in fear for my country when I look at the 10,000-member megachurches in the South, which is one reason the South is politically such a different place. What is obvious is the Republican Party is using evangelical Christians, for example, to usurp the first amendment of the Constitution to gain political power. I listened to the rhetoric of the Pope during his recent visit and listened to the entire slate of GOP candidates for president and heard the same thing my hard working small farm relative tell me that he votes because of the way he is told to vote. Their “God” is telling them who to vote for and who not to vote for to represent “all” the people. Church leaders formulate their specific churches to be a moral group, which is a powerful thing. According to the members, you can only go to heaven is you are a member of that church, only that church, not some other church, which by their definition is a “fake” church. As a church member, you do what the leaders or leaders tell you or suffer “moral punishment”. Of course, the leaders relish the power this gives them. People in the church will ask you to leave if you do not comply with their wishes. In biblical language, you will be stoned. In political terms, this means, collectively, Christians would not elect you to political office if you do not believe in “God” and shows it by adhering to the addictions of the church leader. The one thing all churches have in common is that you must follow the leader, who just happens to be a stand-in for “God”. In other words, you have religious freedom until you step across the threshold of the church then you are no longer free to worship as you choose; yo are no longer in America. For example, the Priest, who told my relative to vote for Bush, even though he knew Bush was a bad man. If you do not agree, you would never dare to admit it other church members for fear of retribution; it would be against God’s will. Church leaders are the only one who speaks to “God”. I know that because they tell me it is so. Of course, “God” is always right and just happens to be precisely what the leader of the church tells you what they think Bible wants you to believe. What this means is the GOP tells the church leaders to tell you how to vote. This leaves open the question, who in America is free to worship as they choose? URL: Comments Invited and not moderated

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