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lunes, agosto 18, 2008

I'm Going To Hell

Pardon me. I'm not a Christian. Never was, never will be. I don't believe that Jesus was the messiah, that he died for my sins. I don't have a personal relationship with him. I haven't been saved. Or redeemed. I haven't been re-born. I don't believe the Bible is the literal word of God. And I was simply and utterly infuriated that both the presumptive presidential nominees decided to attend Rev. Rick Warren's forum so they could show him and his many co-religionists that they were, well, just like them. That they were all good, moral Christians, and they all believed very much in a particular kind of Christianity, and that they were willing to prove it. I was outraged that they decided to make a spectacle of their "faith." But I was even more outraged that they would seek to prove they had the right kind of faith to this particular audience.

That's right, prove it. They weren't going to refuse the invitation. They weren't going to say, "I'm sorry, but what I believe is private. It's between me and my God. I am not willing publicly to discuss theology." They weren't going to say, "I'm sorry, I believe in the separation of church and state, and, therefore, I consider this mega church to be an inappropriate setting for a political discussion about secular, political matters." They weren't going to say, "I'm sorry, I'm a very good person, but I don't believe the same things you say I should believe. I'm nevertheless scrupulously honest and moral." They weren't going to say, "You're free to think about these issues any way you wish, but I don't want to discuss how my religious beliefs might be related to my policy positions. My policy positions stand on their own merit." No. No chance. The candidates decided to show up, and they blatantly pandered to these right wing evangelicals. To gain their approval, to gain their votes.

Unlike Rev. Warren, I don't believe that life begins at conception. I don't believe that homosexuality is a sin. I don't believe that Jews and Muslims and Buddhists and Hindus and atheists will all go to hell. source. I don't agree with those positions, I think they're dead wrong, but I will defend his Constitutional right to believe anything he wishes to believe. His receiving a federal income tax exemption might be a different matter.

The spectacle of the presumptive nominees agreeing to this kind of forum, however, completely disgusts me. I don't agree that the US is a Christian nation, whatever that means. I don't agree that religious belief equates with morality. I don't agree that personal "character" correlates to a person's religious preference or his/her "faith."

So today, after thinking about the forum, and after reading about the questions, and after pondering the distractions offered by the "cross in the dirt" and the "cone of silence," I realized that I was simply outraged that, in addition to all of the other parts of the Constitution that have been trashed in the last 8 years, the part of the First Amendment forbidding state establishments of religion, has now also been unceremoniously scrapped.

How else can you explain the candidates showing up at a mega church to discuss with an evangelical pastor the way their faith influences their politics?

And don't tell me that it's all about getting the votes of these religious people and that after the election the bright line between church and state will somehow miraculously be restored. It won't be. It's too late.

And don't tell me how Obama's views were more acceptable, more moderate than McCain's. That's not the point. Neither of the candidates should have been at Rick Warren's forum. Neither of them should be permitting this kind of encroachment of religion into the resolution of civil, political issues.

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1 Comments:

Anonymous Annie said...

Amen. /snark

You wrote so compellingly everything that's been roiling in me. The founders would be mortified and outraged. The dumb populace is so confused that I doubt if the people will ever figure out how Elmer Gantry is fleecing their pockets while muddling their souls.

7:34 p.m.  

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