Sunday, August 7, 2011

Religon and Politics: Controversial Topics and a Dangerous Mixture

Texas Governor Rick Perry’s Day of Prayer, The Response, was held at 70,000-seat Reliant Stadium in Houston.  The event included speeches and prayers from a number of Evangelical leaders, or as Tony Perkins, President of the Family Research Council, described a real diverse group.  Tony, that’s like saying Baskin Robbins has diversity because it has 31 flavors.  True, but it’s still ice cream.  Only Kansas Governor Sam “I don’t believe in evolution” Brownback took up Perry’s invitation that was sent to all 50 governors.  I suppose that was a good sign, that, and the fact that less than 20,000 people attended.  We don’t need days of prayer for our fiscal malaise, we need employment and demand.
Then there’s ex Godafther’s Pizza and GOP Presidential hopeful Herman Cain who claims to want to return our nation to the fundamentals of the Constitution but doesn’t seem to understand the concept of the establishment clause or freedom to practice religion.  Here is an exchange with Fox News’ Chris Wallace.
“Our Constitution guarantees separation of church and state,” Cain explained. “Islam combines church and state. They are using the church part of our First Amendment to infuse their mosque in that community and people in the community do not like it, they disagree with it. Sharia law is what they are trying to infuse… What I am saying is American laws in American courts.”
“Couldn’t any community then say we don’t want a mosque in our community?” Wallace asked.
“They could say that,” Cain admitted. “They are objecting to the fact that Islam is both a religion and set of laws, Sharia law. That is the difference between any one of our other traditional religions where it’s just about religious purposes. The people in the community know best. I happen to side with the people in the community.”
Well obviously Mr. Cain is unABEL to understand Constitution and the Bible.  Could have sworn there are laws in the Bible as well.  But apparently Cain would prefer to deny AMERICANS their Constitutional rights.
Next up is American Atheists, a group that describes its mission as protecting civil rights for non-believers, and its leader Dave Silverman claim the government installation of the religious symbol is an unconstitutional "mingling of church and state”.
Silverman insists no religious symbols should be included in the memorial of the 9/11 terror attacks at Ground Zero if the Christian cross is the only symbol being represented.
"As a public accommodation, the memorial must allow us (and all other religious philosophies) to include our own display of equal size inside the museum, or not include the cross. Equality is an all-or-nothing deal," Silverman said. 
So if you include on religious symbol, you should include them all?  Are all religions or non-religions to have an equal place; not sure if the Wickens would insist on being included and what they would want for a symbol?  The thing is, the cross in question was a mangled remnant of twisted melted steel from the attack that took the shape of the cross. 
Ultimately is someone being harmed by the inclusion of the cross?  If so, let the courts decide if harm has taken place. 
I guess what I am saying is I appreciate and honor a person’s individual religious beliefs, opinions, and faith.  What I will never appreciate or honor is a religious or non-religious group or individual imposing their opinion, beliefs, or faith.  And when that crosses the line into our government and rule of law, then it’s time for all of us to stand up and say NO.

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