Although I understand the importance of religion in the lives of millions of people, I am not a religious person, per se. That is not to say I am an atheist, agnostic, or anything else. I simply have my own beliefs that do not necessarily match well with established religious beliefs. I believe that in order to live in a democracy it is important to have an understanding and tolerance of other people’s beliefs. That is what makes democracy work.
In 1966 Time Magazine had an article and cover that stated “God is Dead”. Naturally, it caused a sensation to say the least. Of course, in the minds of many people they were simply wrong. Even today to say “God is Dead” is an exaggeration and won’t fly in the face of real believers. However, it is correct to say that “Religion is Dead”. Religion has fallen victim to the very people who claim to hold religion so dearly. Religious Conservatism has killed religion in this country, and it is attempting to kill the country I love as well.
When I say Religious Conservatism, I am referring to all Religious Conservatism regardless of what brand they are pushing. But, it is fair to say that Conservative Christianity has killed religion in America. Conservative Christianity, especially Evangelicalism is guilty of perverting Christianity.
What’s more, with they kinds of laws they have vigorously supported, they are attempting to kill democracy in America as well. They have actively campaigned against all true forms of democracy in an attempt to create their theist government. In doing so, they have tried to reduced the civil rights of many groups of people and are proud of that fact. They are so proud, they continue to wage their wars against women, LBGT, people of color, young, old, poor, and non-Christians.
We have seen the far right-wing of conservatives embrace the Conservative Christian hatred and they have all but shut down the government. I am not talking about the November shutdown of government, but the shutdown of meaningful legislation being passed. They have also seen their “power” being diminished because there are a lot more people of color than when Reagan was elected.
In an attempt to gain their “power” back, we are beginning to hear the old Reagan idioms rise from the ashes. “Welfare Queen”, “Johnny Surfer”, “Lazy People”, “Entitlements”, “Enterprise Zones”, “Lower Taxes for the Rich”, and “Government is the Problem”. These are all attempts to wage the type of class warfare that Reagan waged in order to get elected.
We have seen laws passed in several states restricting voter rights. Requiring voter ID. Closing polling places in minority precincts and college campuses. Eliminating same-day registration. Reducing voting registration drives. Reducing early voting times. Reducing, or out-right eliminating abortion rights. Making same-sex marriage illegal. Denying women access to contraceptives. Denying women equal pay for equal work. And the list goes on.
In Arizona last week, the state legislature passed a bill making it “legal” for private businesses to discriminate against gays on “religious grounds”. So, according to the law, if you go into a restaurant in Arizona and the proprietor believes you are gay, he can refuse to serve you because he can claim he believes homosexuality is a sin. He doesn’t even have to prove you are gay, just believe it. Arizona is not the only state thinking this way either. Kansas, Idaho, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and several others have tried to pass similar laws. In effect, they are making discrimination legal! The Governor hasn’t “decided” yet if she will sign the bill or veto it.
The Conservative Christians are doing all of this in the name of “freedom of religion”. Not only is that an absurd claim, it is an outright lie. They don’t give a damn about “freedom of religion” they only care about discriminating against anyone who doesn’t think like them. The anti-abortion and anti-contraception laws are perfect examples of how they view “freedom of religion”. They don’t believe in these things, so no one else is supposed to either and the “small government” they all want out of their religion is supposed to make sure these rights are eliminated for all.
I must have slept through my catechism class when they discussed how righteous it is to discriminate against someone who is different from me. That never seemed to come up. Instead I heard things like “love your neighbor like yourself”. Or, “judge not lest you be judged by the same standards”. Or, my favorite, “it is easier for a camel to pass through an eye of the needle than a rich man to get into heaven”. Or, “give up all that you own and follow me”.
There have been plenty of laws introduced in the Congress that would take away food stamps from the needy. States have legislated that drug tests are required to get food stamps or welfare, but not to run of office. Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid have been under attack for a generation. Poor people seem to have no rights under the Conservative Christian agenda.
Ted Cruz said the other day that we should all pray so the LGBT community does not gain same-sex marriage. According to the Canadian, same-sex marriage is “subverting” traditional marriage and we need “god’s help” in overturning this trend. According to the Senator it is okay to deny civil liberties to these folks because they are “different”.
Even Tom Delay got into the act last week. He says that “Americans have forgotten that God wrote the Constitution”. Again, I must apologize, I never heard in my civics class that the almighty was part of the Constitutional Convention. I would have thought that the word “god” would have appeared in it somewhere if he had. But, I can’t find one instance of “god” being mentioned in the Constitution.
Christianity, and many other religions, have at least a bit of “socialism” associated with it. We are supposed to help those in need. We are supposed to love our neighbor. We are supposed to not judge others. We are supposed to seek God’s grace not wealth. All items that the Conservative Christians don’t believe. They believe we should not help those in need. We should not love our neighbor if they are “different”. They believe discrimination is not judging. They believe we should not seek god’s grace but rather our wealth is a “reward” from god. As a result, it is safe to say that Conservative Christians are anything but Christian.
I wrote once before that Conservative Christianity is a smoke screen for the KKK. In the last several weeks, I have seen nothing from them that proves otherwise. So-called Conservative Christians and their far right-wing Conservative friends have proven their true colors. Or, should I say color. They are trying to make America a place to be if you are white, hateful, bigoted, misogynist, greedy, and rich. If they win their wars, we will lose our democracy and our freedom. That is their idea of Christianity!