Sunday, October 09, 2005

Who is this God person anyway?

My Chief of Staff, Leo McGarry, insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2 clearly says he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him myself, or is it okay to call the police? ... One last thing: While you may be mistaking this for your monthly meeting of the ignorant tightass club, in this building, when the President stands, nobody sits. - Jed

Jed: She's skipping over the part that says, "Wives, be subject to your husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the Church."
Abby: I do skip over that part.
Jed: Why?
Abby: Because it's stupid.

Okay, in case anyone at this point has any doubt, the constitution reads, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances." There are all sorts of problems that people have with the various clauses in this one-sentence paragraph. The most disturbing is the wholesale dismissal of the first clause, known as the "Establishment Clause." This is the clause that ensures separation of church and state. It makes it unconstitutional to make any move to make Christianity(or any other religion) a state religion.

Things that signal a state religion include school prayer and using biblical law to create secular laws. It is only religious objections that preclude teaching evolution and allowing same-sex couples the legal protection and legitimacy of marriage. The only intelligent argument against either of these things are religious ones. These arguments force Christian values on everyone.

We strive to live in a pluralist society. We should accept more than one idea. I do not believe in taking away the right of any church or other religious institution to dictate the lives of its members. For instance, I support the Catholic church's right to not endorse homosexual behavior(although that makes it difficult to be a sexual minority), to require clergy to be celibate, and to disavow divorce by not allowing divorcees to remarry. I am not a member of the Catholic church so it is not for me to say. There is nothing wrong with a religion that requires women to cover their hair or men to grow a beard. It's when failure to follow religious doctrines becomes a crime against the State.

Failure to follow Christian laws which create victimless crimes should be an issue between church and parishioner, not between police and individual. This hasn't been the case since this country was created, but several of the founding fathers certainly had it in mind. Taking God out of schools and courtrooms does not threaten His followers; rather, it strengthens our community by including everyone. We pride ourselves on being a pluralist society. Let's make Franklin proud and be one.


Anonymous the devil's advocate said...

"We strive to live in a pluralist society."

Who's "we?"

Some laws will always be unequivocally based on religious rules. The very first governments were religious and the very first (therefore) religious laws were based on some biological and evolutionary necessities within the cultures they were designed to protect. It's why the Hindus don't eat their cows in the face of severe hunger. It's why we shalt not steal and shalt not lie.

Not saying I oppose the Establishment Cause. Just saying.

Have a safe trip?

2:22 PM  
Blogger Ceirdwyn said...

Perhaps I should have said, "We should strive to live in a pluralist society."

That statement comes from some of the arguments I have heard against Islamic Extremists. They would say that our society is better because it is a pluralist society. I just want to make sure it actually becomes one.

Anyway, thanks for keeping me honest. Have fun with the puppies!

2:50 PM  
Blogger angela said...

This is a late (very!!) comment here, but hey--better late than never. ;D

As a practicing Heathen, I am constantly amazed at how one very vocal group (the Evangelistic Christian denomination) so desparately tries to snuff out pluralism in (U.S.) society. The dirtiest card that they play is the labeling of any other peoples' religious practices (or secular life choices)as abnormal and thus 'evil.'
People like me are billed as the 'cultural enemies of America'
just because we do not subscribe to the ol' King James Bible!
If Pat Robertson and his happy CBN hooligans had their way, his draconian brand of Christianity would be installed as the "State Religion." What would these reactionary Evangelists do with those of us who refuse to follow?
I shudder to think...
Our nation goes by the Constitution, not any one powerful religious group's holy texts!

8:04 PM  

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