Friday, April 08, 2005

Random Thoughts

You know what really bugs me? Crosses draped with American flags. Let me tell you why.
But first let me say that I have nothing against the Christian faith. Sure, I got some issues with the various churches. Afterall, their track record isn't exactly spotless (subjgation of women, tolerance of the slave trade, the Inquisitions, their marriage to monarchies, their role in the Native American Holocaust, etc...). But the faith itself and the people that believe?... I really have very little negative feelings for them. Each man must seek his own spiritual truth and if your path has led you to organized religion and the Cross in particular, may you feel content and spread love into the world.
But it is with this idea that I find the mix of nationalism with religion so repulsive. Certainly your beliefs are going to effect your politics but that doesn't mean that your beliefs should be the beliefs of all. In fact, history shows when religious zealotry meets rabid nationalism some very wicked things happen. I hate bringing up the pre-WWII German experience but it is a shining example of why religion and politics shouldn't mix. Of course you can look at the Roman Empire and feudal Europe too. There are plenty of examples of what happens when the state and a religious idealogy become fused. And in light of this our founding fathers, Christians mind you, made it very clear that there must be a seperation between church and state.
Our laws may have their roots in the Commandments but to blur the line invites trouble. First, what do these flag waving, Jesus worshipping people have to say about all the non-Christians who have fought and often died for this country? Jews, Natives, Africans, and Muslims have all marched under the red, white, and blue without believing in Jesus "the Christ". To marry the flag with the cross ignores and insults the sacrifices those men and women made. Secondly, the very ideology they fought to defend was that thing the Christian right invokes so often, "freedom". "Freedom" also includes "freedom of religion". What is freedom worth if you must conform to the dominant religion? Which gets me to the third point: Christianity is the dominant religion. For Christians to feel like victims, preyed upon by the non-believers, loosing their lands and thier values, is absolutely proposterous. Has there ever been a non-Christian president for example? NO! Fact is, way over half of Americans call themselves "Christians", by in large the majority. The victimization card the right pulls out is fraudulent. Fourth, America did not start Christian. It subjagated the Native peoples and forced them to become Christian. Conquest in the name of Christ, again. And finally, it is these very same rabid Bible thumpers who are the most un-American and un-Christian. Who wants to rid our country of dissent and of free speech? Who wants to kill the "others" and force people into Americas way of thinking, robbing them of their own self-determination? Who supports war and torture, domination and exploitation of the weak? Not this non-Christian. For those of you Christians who truly are pro-life (anti-war, anti-capital punishment), pro-peace, pro-love please help reveal the Christian right for what it is: a dangerous, political machine based on lies, half-truths, and fear. It's pedalled by racist, ethnocentric, pig-eyed, red-faced bigots who disguise their own greed and a contempt for God's diversity by invoking Jesus's name and draping themselves in the flag. May the the light of Truth reveal their hypocracy.


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