Tuesday, May 8, 2012

What Would Jesus Think?

I was over at Mad Mike's America rooting around this morning and almost choked on my  coffee when I came across this  info-graphic. Nothing like simple, black and white, fear-based, authoritarian thinking to keep the peasants on the straight and narrow, is there?  Mad Mike made a few comments on it that are worth reading and  I'd like to make a few more.

 Listen up, Bible Thumpers. America was not founded by Bible Believing Christians no matter what you hear in church.  Jefferson, Washington, Adams, Frankllin and the rest of the boys wanted  total separation of church and state, and thank God we still have it (at least officially). They wanted it because they had seen the trouble religion had caused in Europe from the Crusades through the Reformation.   They set up America's government with separation of powers and separation of church and state in part so no one religion could ever become as powerful as the pre-reformation Catholic Church had been in Europe. They wanted no more Spanish Inquisition or burning books and people because of religion. They were not anti-religion. They just wanted all religions to be treated equally under the law.

You can believe what you want.  You can base your beliefs on your interpretation of the bible if you want. Just don't try to impose your narrow  views on the rest of your fellow citizens. Vote for whomever you wish-- just don't try to make your religious views the law of the land. - The rest of us, who live in the real world,  require more objective proof than your interpretation of a few bible verses.

In case you haven't noticed, the science is pretty much in on climate change, evolution and the notion that the world is round not flat.  You can ignore and deny that and call it religious faith. It's your right as an American-- but don't defend your beliefs on the basis of the bible.  Need I remind you that, that poor book has been twisted to justify such evils as slavery , racism, sexism, war, and xenophobia  for  hundreds, if not thousands of years, so most of us are not buying your claims.

Because you live in a free society, you are free to be as narrow-minded as you like. Just don't try to impose your  narrow-mindedness on your fellow citizens and call it Christianity.  I'm fairly sure your version is not what Jesus was thinking-- but never mind. He loves you anyway.


Ahab said...

This post was perfect. Thanks for sharing the circular reasoning graphic!

pinkpackrat said...

Thanks Ahab-- and may I say that yours is the perfect comment as well:-)

lonewulf04 said...

While I generally agree with your sentiment, you are incorrect about indirect quote of the founding fathers.
They wanted "separation of church and state", because they came from a country(s) that had a "state religion" enforcement policy. In other words, if I am the king, and I say protestantism is the religion to be, then you better be a protestant or I will chop off your heads (or consider the French wars of religion).
I don't think anybody was an atheist back then, or if so, were in a very very small minority, which is partially how your statement comes across, contrary to your following statements.

Also, people came here for religious freedom because they wanted to believe in (arguably) STRICTER religious beliefs (if that was their choice (NOT as strict as Roman Catholic, but more particular than Protestantism)). Consider the Puritans and the way the State (the king or queen) stopped them from being involved with laws, NOT because of the crusades (which was chiefly enacted by the Roman Catholics). Puritans, Quakers, Mennonites and the Amish were still Christians (divergent sects of Protestants) though.

Just that no ONE religion was going to hold sway over others.

pinkpackrat said...

@lonewulf04-- You are basically reinforcing my point, which is that everybody is free to practice whatever religion they choose in this country and that religion and government need to remain totally separate.

The founding fathers all came from England-- they were not a multinational crowd. There was freedom of religion here from the beginning, and, as you point out, many people came here to escape religious persecution in Europe. The founding fathers wanted to keep it that way. There was, in fact, a big fight over not letting the Church of England be top dog here which is why it is called the Episcopal Church in America. But I digress:-)

My point is that separation of church and state is not anti religion, it is just anti any official religion. I don't see how my statement about the founding fathers could be taken as seeing them as aetheists. They were not-- although both Washington and Jefferson styled themselves " Deists" rather than Christians. But again, I am geting off topic.

We Americans have maintained a precarious balance between church and state which is now being abused by both Catholics and Protestants alike. Though I am talking in this post mostly about evangelical protestants. The point is that whether you consider the Pope or the Gospels infallible, you have no right to inflict your beliefs on others

You can believe what you want, but injecting that into politics and preaching it from the pulpit is wrong. Churches that do this sort of thing should lose their tax exempt status, They are not religions. They are lobby groups

lonewulf04 said...

By the way, the "science is in" on climate change as much as the science is in on meteorology. Tell me one weatherman who doesn't use a percentage point to predict the weather "with science" to allow for error. As my dad used to say "Figures never lie, but liars always figure." In other words, people find ways to manipulate facts to suit their means.

There are a lot of possibilities of cause and affect for climate change that have NOT been taken into account (nuclear testing (where the heat is equal to the that of the surface of the sun), launching space ships (let's see, rockets use a flame to propel themselves into space. The ozone layer is made of O3 which is three molecules of Oxygen. The earth has somewhere around 15,000 orbiting man-made satellites, which means 15,000 rockets going into orbit. Now what happens when flame and oxygen meet???), or how about "just because"? (Anybody looking at the history of the world from a temperate POV will see that it hasn't ever been a smooth line of progression and regression. It's a cacophony of jagged peaks and valleys with no discernible reason for changes)), Those are just a few.

Maybe you remember the 60's where the hippies argued about Global COOLING that was occurring back then and enforced a political change that effected business to reduce man-made contaminants into the air (however, natural air is supposed to HAVE contaminants).
The process purified the air more than nature could handle and now a global warming is occurring. Hmm, isn't that strange?

What mankind needs to do; is to stop trying to man-handle nature, which seems to be what all the talk about "climate change" seem to be trying to do (i.e. to create a business to "combat" climate change).

We should stop trying to get people to jump on the band wagon which is probably destabilizing the environment more than helping.

I really hate ranting like this, but I hate more when people suggest they know the answer when, it seems, not enough facts are in.

lonewulf04 said...

Well, your post seemed to be more about anti-religion, which your image at the top seems to depict clearly. "Religion is a bunch of rhetoric and therefore isn't logical" seems to be your opening point with that picture.
I believe in the concept of separation of church and state, but I would point out that most people consider separation of "church and state", but forget about the other side of coin; the separation of "state and church".
In other words, the state should not enforce it's views on any church or it's congregation; That a faith, which is made up of like minded citizens, have the right to declare law for the area they reside.
The primary issue when people talk obliquely about this constitutionality seems to be chiefly about marriages and the homosexual community. The problem as I see it, seems to be mainly about the use of the word "marriage".
I think if the homosexual community, were to simply get OFF the campaign of using the word "marriage", then the whole issue would go away.
As an atheist, I, along with the homosexual community and all other pagans, can only get a civil union when/if I ever find a suitable partner and would expect my partner to have full rights as would any "married" couple.
Technically, the founding fathers were NOT from England. Though they came from a "British" colony (what is now the USA). Alexander Hamilton however, came from the West Indies (that, too, was a British colony at the time).
Even then, people in this country did NOT all come from England. Some were Germanic (largely Roman Catholic, Mennonite or Quaker (depending on which province they came from)), Irish (largely roman catholic) and Dutch (Puritan and Quaker). My point is that the founding fathers were trying to represent "a multinational crowd" and thus all religions and peoples in the early US.
It sounds like we are saying the same thing, but I think you are missing a very fine point there. They were trying to allow people to believe as they want in any given community.
The constitution was purposely left in a nebulous state of understanding because they did NOT want to dictate laws about involvement of one religion or another and it's people. That would be the same as declaring a state religion.
My (original) point was the constitutional right of separation of church and state was NOT something that occurred because of the Crusades. It was largely from a Protestant restriction of entitlement to effect laws from a Puritan part of society in England or the country that people came from.
Which contradicts what you are saying in your reply that a religious body should not be able to affect policies of the government.
It's tricky legalese; if, by saying "people of a religious community are NOT allowed to effect law" then you are stating in effect, that there IS a state religion. "Only people of (this) religion may declare law" or it's inverse statement "Only people who are NOT of (this) religion may declare law."
It's a very slippery slope that there is no one perfect answer to.
However. I also agree that churches should lose their tax exempt status if they show political activism (actually I am against ANY org. to be tax exempt).
Likewise, I am against not-for-profit organizations like "Clean Water" which uses people for political activism.
They employed me for a very short while for what I thought to be a humanitarian purpose when later I found out they were simply trying to get me to get obliquely acquired funds for the democratic party.
However, which political affiliation doesn't matter and I think you might agree with me on this; it's the idea that they used a shell organization for political agenda or posturing that seems improper.
However, if you want to start "burning down" such organizations, you better have a healthy supply of matches.