Monday, May 10, 2010

The "Christian Nation" Fallacy and the National Day of Prayer

Sometimes a subject comes along that really didn't interest me at first, but got me some momentum to write, starting on a Saturday night, because a side that I might generally agree with is wrong as gay porn starring Jesus and Muhammad.

(pic included of their Prophet to piss off raghead terrorists sons of bitches)

It started when I was prodded over to read Satyavati's latest post entitled National Day of Prayer.  Offline, she's been pestering me about the Christian Dominionist threat.  Naturally, as I assume there are counter movements to every cabal out there and some conspiracy theorist looking for the conspiracy, I don't worry too damn much about any one group getting control of everything (except maybe the government, because we are collectively dumb enough to let them in exchange for "free" stuff).

Here's the gist of her post:
It's an ongoing trend, this. Any advance in freedoms: for gay folk, for minorities (read Jerry Falwell's old sermons from the civil rights days), for atheists, for non-Christian religious folk; anything that even smells of inclusiveness is 'an attack on Christianity'.
She also indirectly defended the asshat judge that determined the National Day of Prayer was unconstitutional.  In my brilliant comment, I did point out that President Obama signed the proclamation and is appealing the ruling of the idiot judge.  And to support that, I came to this link here.  But it was the first two comments that really set me off.  Dolt One spake thus:
This is a Christian nation. Anyone who can not accept that should leave this country.
Followed by Dolt Two:
I agree with [Dolt One]. This nation was founded by our Christian founders using 3 things: An axe, a torch, and a BIBLE. If you don’t like it, leave.
It set me off enough that I added my own comment (which took a day to post due to moderation).  In there, I posit: "Can you actually define what you mean by a "Christian Nation?" Because I thought there was an Amendment or something that strictly forbid the government from establishing a religion."

Oh, let's look at that Amendment:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;
In other words, to be a "Christian Nation" (similar to an Islamic Republic), you'd have to chuck that part of the Amendment.And since these are God-given rights, aren't you pissing on Him by doing so?

So yeah, I have to agree with *gag* President Obama on this:  WE ARE NOT A CHRISTIAN NATION!

(damn, agreeing with Barry sucks)

Now let me clarify.  The faith of the Founding Fathers, as well as the faith of the American people over all of our history, has helped to shape the morality that has defined us, led to the elimination of prejudices and inequalities that have stained parts of our history, and has, in return, led us to leadership in the world.  The overwhelming majority of that faith was founded in the various flavors of Christianity.  But those same Founding Fathers who regularly looked to their God for guidance and wisdom also knew enough to not trust those who would use their religion, with the police power of government, to enforce their narrow worldview.

Because while faith is a powerful motivator, a guide to bettering yourself, and a way to examine things which are beyond the conceptual reach of mortal men, it is when you try to legislate your faith (just like your morality) that it is doomed to fail, and worse, rob others of their freedom.

For those of you who'd like to listen to some more debate on the idea that America is not a Christian nation, here's an hour and a half (1) (2) of radio on the subject (since their embed code sucks ass).

Which brings me back to the Christian Dominionists, who I have known informally in years past as the faith fascists.

I really don't know why I didn't make this link earlier.  The faith fascists are essentially people who see no distinction between their faith, their religion, and their politics, and have no problem legislating all of them.  The Dominionists are the Christian bunch of the faith fascists.  In Islam, we call them raghead terrorists sons-of-bitches (well, I call them that).  But the mindset is the same.  But these are people for whom the government is a tool to gather more people and to strike down the heathen enemy.

To give you my personal history on this, it began when I was dating a girl who was drawn toward some of the Pentecostal stuff.  It was in associating with them and hearing the shit they said about my Catholic church (I was already surfing the Lake of Fire according to them) that I decided that if these were the types of people that defined themselves as Christians, I sure as shit wasn't.  And yet I was still Catholic at the time (I know it's a leap in logic, but work with me here.)  In fact, it was the vehemence and ludicrousity of the faith fascists (along with that examination of my faith) that led to my continuing disillusionment with organized religion and Christianity.

Which means that, according to Dolt One and Dolt Two, I'm now not welcome (as I cannot subscribe to any form of Christianity now).  Nor are any of these guys (or the blogger that posted them), many of whom are well-respected in various ways (Mark Twain, Voltaire, George Bernard Shaw, James Madison, Thomas Edison, Susan B. Anthony, Sigmund Freud, Mike Fuhrman, Isaac Asimov, Douglas Adams, Gene Roddenberry (yeah, I'm still a Trekkie)).  And shall we go with the thoughts of Founding Father Thomas Jefferson when he was asked to call for a national day of fasting and prayer?  
But it is only proposed that I should recommend, not prescribe a day of fasting & prayer. That is, that I should indirectly assume to the US an authority over religious exercises which the Constitution has directly precluded them from.... I do not believe it is for the interest of religion to invite the civil magistrate to direct it's exercises, it's discipline, or it's doctrines; nor of the religious societies that the general government should be invested with the power of effecting any uniformity of time or matter among them. Fasting & prayer are religious exercises. The enjoining them an act of discipline. Every religious society has a right to determine for itself the times for these exercises, & the objects proper for them, according to their own particular tenets; and this right can never be safer than in their own hands, where the constitution has deposited it.
Boy, the CHRISTIANS!!! can't like him.  After all, he was against proclaiming a "National Day of... Prayer" in a "Christian Nation."

Have you gotten the point yet?  I absolutely believe in the value of theism in daily life.  And how you practice it (as well as how well) will determine in many ways, how your will comport yourself and succeed in the richness of America that is defined and shaped by a free and diverse religious landscape.  But when you can't see past your own narrow ass interpretation of a book that you seek to enslave others to your dogma, then perhaps it would be just as well to strap a bomb to your dumb ass and try blowing up the infidels.  At least then we die free.  And we know you are the false prophets we've been warned of.  And no better that the raghead terrorist sons of bitches in your black, unfeeling hearts.


Toad734 said...

Yes the faith of our forefathers has shaped the values of this nations...We used the bible to defend slavery, we used the Bible to defend what we did to the non-Christian Indian (especially the SPanish in Latin America.

But what these "America is a Christian Nation" people don't get is where do they claim America started and why? They are of the opinion that our country started with the Mayflower and the Pilgrims in New England but we all know that isn't true. St. Augustine, FL was the first successful European settlement in the US followed by Jamestown and neither of these were founded upon religion, freedom of religion or anything but wealth and conquest and they both predate Plymouth.

SO for all the Protestants (who are usually the ones talking about US as a Christian Nation) we can easily point out that yes, the first Europeans to settle the US were Christians and if you want to follow in their footsteps then you need to convert to Catholicism.

In other words, they are full of shit and it is very obvious and the founding fathers were very specific about this not being a Christian nation...George Washington wouldn't even step inside the Church and would wait outside for his wife to be done with services...for instance.

However, I don't see how a National Prayer day, as dumb and pointless as it is, is an endorsement of any religion...Sure, it is an endorsement of religion but I don't think the government is forcing that on anyone, just giving a nod to the some 85% or so of Americans who subscribe to some sort of faith...Jews and Muslims both pray for instance.

Glad to see you are coming around.

dmarks said...

Toad: ".We used the bible to defend slavery"

How selective your memory/history are. It was a Christian-led movement that fought for the abolition of slavery. And again in the 1960s it was great Christian leaders who led the civil rights fight.