Keep Theocracy out of Our Democracy

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The US Constitution was ratified by the 13 states in 1789. Realizing the original Constitution failed to protect individual liberties, the Bill of Rights, or the first ten Amendments, were introduced to Congress in the same year, and came into effect on December 15, 1791. The first Amendment, as Thomas Jefferson described it, built a “wall of separation between Church and State” (Letter to the Danbury Baptists, 1802).

Even so, many fundamental Christians feel that the United States is a Christian nation and prayer should be mandated in public schools; creationism should be taught to children; and the 10 commandments should adorn public buildings. And they have taken over the Republican Party. That gives the Fundamentalist power to pursue their agenda: to rid the country of secularism.

We only need to look at the legislation passed in previous eight last years to know that this is true. George Bush won the war on the very unbiblical taxes by cutting taxes on the wealthy, which passed in the House at 1:56 am on a Friday in May, under the cloak of darkness. Those proponents of the flat tax—they are proponents of the Biblical tax, the only tax mentioned in the Bible. To fundamentalists, the free market rewards good Christian behavior and punishes the unrepentant. And so the Republicans did their bidding and cut regulations on corporations. Then of course, George Bush’s abstinence only sex education program, where lots of government funds were given to faith-based programs. Also there were multiple calls for an Amendment to the Constitution making marriage only between “one man and one woman”, to keep the Biblical definition of marriage law of the land.

The past eight years clearly chipped away at the wall between church and state. Even for the most devout Christian, this should be alarming. We only need to look at theocracies like Iran and Afghanistan under Taliban rule to see what we could become. The most literal interpretations of our Bible would put our society backwards 2000 years. Women, Jews, gays, Buddhists, Muslims, and atheists would all become second class citizens. Science would not have the place it does in our society today. We must remember that this country was founded by men and women escaping the tyranny of the Church of England; and Nazi Germany was led by a very religious man wishing to rid its country of moral decay.

We need to rebuild the wall. As a nation, we need to understand that a marriage under the law is not the same as a marriage in the Church. We need to understand that faith-based programs have their place, but not in government. We need to understand that science does not necessarily preclude the supernatural. We should know that someone else’s beliefs, or lack thereof, do not in any way diminish our own beliefs. Most of all, we should know that our salvation can not be legislated or coerced.

But it does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods or no god. In neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg. – Thomas Jefferson


17 thoughts on “Keep Theocracy out of Our Democracy

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  4. When I was growing up in the Assembly of God religion, I didn’t realize at the time, but I was being brain washed and taught that it was wrong to question what was being taught to me. I understand now, that the reason they said not to question them was because they didn’t have any answers themselves and they were leading blindly. As an adult I struggled with spirituality and wondered why I didn’t feel that devine presence in my life which everyone I knew growing up claimed to have. Today I don’t know if there is or isn’t a God, I’d like to hope that there is something after this life, but if there isn’t then enjoy this time of realness while it lasts.

  5. I was never a Christian, myself. My mother was a practicing Buddhist when I was a child. While I was taught to be tolerant of other religions, I found that few were tolerant of my lack of religion. I was constantly told I was going to hell, but of course that had no power on me, because I didn’t believe in hell.
    I can’t say that I’m an atheist, because I don’t have concrete evidence of no god or a god. So I too would be put in the agnostic catagory, as well.

  6. As a person who read the bible, believed it, and even read the recent hit series Left Behind I can honestly tell you, I never felt so taken in as the day I realized all that I had “believed” and my “faith” was based on unconfirmable, biased history.

    I don’t claim to know of all the deities people worship, but I will say this, I make my paycheck, I take care of my kid, I make things happen when no one else will, and I’m not giving credit for any of that to anything I’ve never seen. Just like I’m not letting my son believe that some fat guy in a red suit shimmies down the chimney once a year to bring him toys. I don’t want my child thinking you get something for nothing. No, his understanding is that Mom worked for the money that bought these gifts, this is Mom’s gift to me.

    Religion always felt put on to me, I’ve been to Baptist, Mormon, Catholic and Episcopalian churches and they all felt false and full of false bravado.

    Maybe that’s an incredibly dim view, maybe not, I don’t really care. I don’t consider myself atheist though. I consider myself Agnostic because I don’t doubt there could and might be something divine intervening in our lives because it’s a miracle of some sort that we haven’t self destructed, but I have yet to be sold on one.

    Either way that crumbles out in the end is immaterial, if I don’t teach my son religion, I’ll be damned if the people I vote for are going to take it upon themselves to force that down mine and his throats.

  7. This last weekend, six men in Iraq were shot to death because they were homosexuals, condemned to death by their own families. If this isn’t a reason for us to take a look at mixing religion and government, then I don’t know what is. Recently a law was passed in Afghanistan which gives a man the right to rape his wife, so in other words she doesn’t have the right to express the headache claim. I am not responding to this in order to bash christians because I believe we should have a right to believe, worship, and live our lives responsibly as we choose, however, don’t dictate laws for me based on religious principal which I may not agree with, such as marriage. How do two people in a committed relationship impact me? What the christian religious right need to understand, marriage is a committment between two people, and marriage if not licensed can still occur in the heart. As the minister of the largest gay church in the United States has said, marriage ceremonies are happening everyday, all across the country, maybe without the states licensing, but happening none the less.

  8. No Gabbygirl, I was NOT saying all Christians at all. I said “many” and there are many who interpret the Bible literally and think that laws should be written based on the scriptures of the Bible. Many politicians who have the backing of these fundamentalist have publicly stated as much. In the case of the Republican party, the “fringe” group of Christians has a strangle hold on it.
    A good website to read would be
    Many perfectly fine religions have been corrupted by politics. And theocracies tend to be stricter and have fewer personal freedoms..even Christian ones. We only need to look back at the Christian theocracy our forefathers broke free from.
    I thought I was careful not to turn this into a Christian bashing thread, that was not my intention.

  9. Well, it seems that you are claiming to know how “Christians” act. Pardon me if I am wrong, I take it that you are not a Christian or at the least a very “Lax” Christian. I believe that if you knew what the Bible actually said, as in a whole not just taking phrases here and there, you would have a whole different outlook. Like I said, Maybe I am wrong, but that’s the feeling I got when reading this entry.

  10. I think that maybe that if you understood the Bible you are supposedly talking about you wouldn’t be saying EXACTLY what you are saying.

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