Wednesday, February 25, 2004

The Burning Bush

There is a song that says, "I'm proud to be an American, where at least I know I'm free..."

Many people tear up when they sing, or hear, this song. What does it mean to you to be an American? Does it mean you're proud to live in a country where at least you know your free? Are you proud to live in a country where you know others are free as well?

Are you an American first? Or are other loyalties getting in the way of what it means to be an American?

These are hard questions, and I think many of you would be frightened to truly know where the allegiance of your neighbors points.

Let's begin this article with a very rapid history lesson.

America began with the natives here. Before any white man set foot on this continent. I could go on by using them as an example of how not to treat your neighbors, but their plight is well-known and it is nothing to be proud of within the history of this country.

Native Americans are mentioned to honor them, and to recognize that they truly were on this continent first.

The white man came in the form of Pilgrims fleeing an oppressive society. They wanted the freedom to practice their religion without the dictates of the government.

These British Colonies began to grow and become a haven for many who were not pleased with the Kings rule. Not just Christians, but many people of all walks of life, and all beliefs came to our shores in the hope to start a new life.

In fact, as I have pointed out in past articles, many of our "founding fathers" were not religious men, and even warned us of allowing religion to wedge itself within our government.

Soon the dictates of the Crown became too much, and the colonies broke away from England and drafted the Declaration of Independence. I especially like some of the initial wording in this document, because it clearly states why this country was formed.

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness..."

It does not say that God, or the Bible, will dictate the Rights of men, but that all men are created equal! It goes on to say that we formed this country because we believed that everyone had the right to Life, Liberty (this being freedom folks), and the pursuit of Happiness. Notice it does not say you have the Right to be happy, because many people are clearly not. You just have the Right to try for Happiness.

People who want same-sex marriage should have the freedom to do just that. They are exercising their Right to freedom, and to pursue Happiness in the manner they choose.

The Declaration of Independence does not say you have the Right to pursue Happiness, but only within the confines of the Bible!

The Declaration of independence does not state that you have the Right to Liberty, but only within the confines of Christianity!

You want to know why those words aren't in there? Because it would not then be Liberty!

I've said it before, and I'll say it again until you understand this.

The same things that give you the freedom to practice your religion the way you want, are the same things that protect these folks who want to marry those of the same sex. I'm not saying you have to agree with their views, but by God you had better support them.

The word hypocrite gets thrown around a lot when referring to those in religious circles. And people become oh so offended when the term is tossed in their direction.

Take two giant steps back, clear you mind and listen to this.

If you fight these folks who want same-sex marriages, you are being hypocritical.

You want the freedom to marry within your church, but you refuse to grant that right to someone else. Again, you do not have to agree with it, but you cannot, with a clear conscious, work to prevent it.

What else do we have...

Ah yes, the beloved Pledge of Allegiance. This is another sore spot, but we won't get into the, "under God" business here. Skipping to the last line in the pledge of allegiance we find, "...with liberty, and justice for all."

There's that word again, Liberty. Freedom!

We are pledging to allow everyone, including non-Christians, freedom and justice. Where is the freedom and justice for the gay community? Think about it. Seems to me like their freedoms are getting squashed by a majority religious cult. How does it look from your angle?

Now we have our current sitting President wanting to amend our Constitution. I'm still not certain that this isn't an attempt to rally some votes his way. I know he believes this based on his religious affiliations, but to go so far as to want to alienate people within our country is overstepping his bounds.

Read the Constitution, it's amendments are all about freeing oppressed people, and making certain that other freedoms are not taken away from us.

Now here comes the "Burning Bush" and he wants to use the Constitution to remove freedom from a certain group of folks because he does not believe how they do.

Shame on him for even contemplating such an idea. I hope the people of this country never succumb to amending the Constitution to try and take away our freedoms, or we will be in some serious trouble.

In fact, the 1st Amendment of the Bill of Rights states that,

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof..."

I do believe that an attempt to amend the Constitution to include the belief system of one religion as law, goes against the 1st Amendment. It's an attempt to make a law establishing a Christian belief, and this will prevent another group of people from exercising their freedom of religion.

Can I continue? Probably, but I think you all get the point. If not, please tell me where I have made an error. I would love to here your thoughts on this, and if you truly want to stop the same-sex marriages, I'd also like to read your well thought out reasons why.

My stand on this is still the same. I don't understand the gay lifestyle, but it is not my place to deny them their freedom to live how they choose. I also don't understand the need for people to have the variety of beliefs that they do, but again, it is not my place to prevent whatever type of worship you choose.

I am an American. Many people have died to keep this country free. Many people have fought and served to protect the Rights we hold to be self-evident. Just as Jesus died on the cross for your sins, people have died in the military throughout the history of this country for our freedoms. Don't dishonor them by jumping on the very large bandwagon to suppress the Rights of others.

America is not a Christian country, it is a country where Christians live in freedom along with many other different cultures. You would all be served better to remember how you arrived at this freedom, and think twice before you deny that freedom to others.

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