Monday, June 20, 2005

Christian Tug-of-War

Through Tsykoduk's blog, The Roost, I was sent over to read an article that was published in The New York Times called, “Onward, Moderate Christian Soldiers”. This article was written by John C. Danforth, "an Episcopal minister and former Republican senator from Missouri.” and is an interesting read. Not for what it says, but for what it only hints at.

Mr. Danforth attempts to shine the light on the Republicans for their stance of being the consummate Christian party in the political battle to run the United States of America. It's obvious that his goal in doing so is to try and take the Republican party down a notch or two by pointing out that Democrats are Christian as well, and even feel they are the more Christian of the two political parties.

The problem I have with this article is that John C. Danforth illuminates a point that I try to make on a constant basis. This country is not about having the more true Christian lead us, but to have someone in power that will defend and protect all of us from the government becoming too religious oriented.

I don't want to hear that Republicans are pushing Christian beliefs in their running of this country, nor do I want to hear Democrats doing the same from their perspective. They just don't get it do they? The United States of America is the foundation of freedom, and as such, should have a government that is neutral when it comes to religion.

When I vote I want a candidate who says that they will fight for the freedom of all the people, not just for the Christian people. I want a government who will protect the Buddhist as well as the Atheist and the Wiccan believers. If a candidate or party starts spewing how they are the true Christians, and will run this country in a Christian manner, I start to cringe.

Some of you will now switch into defensive mode and think I am anti-Christian. That's OK, it happens a lot in my articles. There is nothing further from the truth. Christianity is a wonderful religion filled with loving and caring folks who are doing fantastic things around the world. I would not dream of talking bad about Christians or their faith.

Many Christians, however, do not attempt to force themselves and their beliefs on everyone they meet. This, to me, is a good Christian. The example of a Christians life is what should drive their method for showing Christianity in a positive light.

If you want people to follow your belief, then show them how great your life is because of that belief, don't attempt to ram it down their throat or to control the country with your religion. This is not a Christian act, this is the act of people who want to dominate others.

The path of freedom to everyone includes the freedom for all Christians of every version of Christianity that are among us. By protecting the freedom for Earth-based religions, Asian-based religions, and even the people without a religious bone in their body, we are protecting the right for all Christians everywhere as well. Once one religion steps up and attempts to conquer everyone else, the time has come for a slapping of the folks that are attempting to hijack our country for their belief system.

You can be a great leader with a strong Christian background, but you can also be a great leader with a background in other religious beliefs too. If it scares you to think that a Buddhist or Atheist may one day lead this country, then you need to examine why this terrifies you so much.

Regardless of what you hear, or what you think you know, many of the founding fathers of the United States were not hard-core Christians. In fact, in that moment in history, religion was a huge reason why the settlers came to North America, and why we eventually broke from England. This infiltration of religion into the government is why America was not founded on any specific religious belief, and why in our Constitution our religious rights and freedoms are protected.

The founding fathers did not want religion controlling the government in any way. All of this discussion and claims that this country was founded on Christianity is misinformation spewed forth from the shear large quantities of Christians because they want so bad to believe that it is so. Many of you have heard these lies for so long that you honestly believe this is the truth as well.

If you wander through my articles on this website you can find things out about the pledge of allegiance that you did not know, or how the founding fathers felt about religion, or maybe even how some religious organizations are striving to impose their will on you.

As this New York Times article points out, one Christian group is not like the other, so backing the move for a strong religious presence to rule this country can be a bad move even if you're a Christian.

If you fight for our right to have the freedom to choose whatever religious belief we want, as the founding fathers intended, then we all win in the end.

6 comments:

  1. Here is the pivotal portion of the article in my mind

    By contrast, moderate Christians see ourselves, literally, as moderators. Far from claiming to possess God's truth, we claim only to be imperfect seekers of the truth. We reject the notion that religion should present a series of wedge issues useful at election time for energizing a political base. We believe it is God's work to practice humility, to wear tolerance on our sleeves, to reach out to those with whom we disagree, and to overcome the meanness we see in today's politics.

    I see this as exactly what you are talking about. I do not think that he is saying that only Christians should be allowed to lead this fine country, but rather that the 'moderate' Christians should 'reach out to those with whom we disagree'.

    I guess that I feel the article was more positive then you feel it was.

    :)

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  2. I have some disagreements with both your post here and the article linked to by Tsykoduk.

    While I certainly agree that being sure you are on the side of angels leads to a breakdown in public discourse, and I will grant that there are some Christians who fit this mold, I don't believe that they are the side that has the most fault in this.

    There can be true believers, filled with hubris, who are also secular. For example, one party has effectively stiffled internal dissent on the abortion issue and pretty much expelled any heretics. This party is not the party that contains the Religious Right.

    People will, and should, bring their values into politics. One can argue about which values are appropriate for a political discussion, and I do think Religious people make mistakes there sometimes, but lets be honest, no one of signifigance is trying to force you to 'be Christian' or attend a certain church or anything like that.

    Certainly Evangelical Christians try and persuade others to adopt their beliefs. I don't know of any, although a small minority may exist, that advocates 'forcing' others to convert. Conversion by the sword is not a part of any mainstream Christian belief system.

    Certainly certain people believe that their values demand public action. Once again, abortion is a good example of this. There are secular opponants of abortion who feel exactly the same way.

    I think it can also be argued that this statement is only partially true: "The founding fathers did not want religion controlling the government in any way." The founding fathers were more concerned with government controlling religion than with religion controlling government.

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  3. Tsykoduk said...

    I do not think that he is saying that only Christians should be allowed to lead this fine country,

    True, and that is not my position either. What I abject to is the thought that these two parties are trying to elevate it to a “who are the better Christians” issue.

    I guess that I feel the article was more positive then you feel it was.

    The article was positive, and he did a great job explaining his view on the differences between the parties, I just looked beyond the purpose of the article and wondered why politics even has to come down to the level of Christianity you follow. I would like the politics to have good strong moral people, which Christians of all walks of life fit nicely into, but not tout religion as the deciding factor in a political party or an election.

    Dave Justus said...

    The founding fathers were more concerned with government controlling religion than with religion controlling government.

    Wasn't that what I said, just worded differently? :)

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  4. I would like the politics to have good strong moral people, which Christians of all walks of life fit nicely into

    Umm.. I guess that I think the far right Christians are not as moral as the moderates. Well, if not moral, then possibly not as sane? Certianlly not tolerant.

    My great fear is the far right will start to get a lot of power, and we will have their views legistated into law. "Thou shalt not have fun, dance, play cards or do anything that we do not agree with!"

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  5. I think we should always be vigilant for fanatics and zealots to not gain the upper hand regardless of their cause.

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