The thoughts that were thunk and the goings on of my life.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Why You Need a Separation of Church and State

"…the bill goes against...the constitution of Pakistan, which state respectively that "Islam will be the state religion" and "No laws will be passed which are repugnant to the Koran and sunnah."

-BBC News Report, Kirachi

Sometimes the things we do in America scare me. Up until the last year or so I saw the whole US headed towards becoming just the Christian version of all those messed up countries in the Middle East. Time after time there were outrages that America were abandoning God, forcing people to forget their religious roots, and that we needed a return to Jesus. While on a personal level I’m all for that, a lot of people failed to realize that there are distinct separations between church and state for a very good reason. Because it keeps you from deciding that I need to die.

Religions themselves tend to be rather peaceful, religious viewpoints on the other hand are usually formulated around taking abstract portions of text and applying them against those that you like the least. Take for examples gays. The Bible clearly states in many places that gay sex is an abomination of God. Because of that statement gays are hated in the US, chastised, told that they cannot live their life in the manner they choose, have lies made up about them, and even keep Ellen Degeneres from becoming a late-night replacement for Jay Leno (that’s my theory at least). However, these same people clearly ignore all of the other abominations surrounding those same verses with which they so blithely use to instantly condemn those they don’t like.

Such forgotten abominations as:
Fortunately though we have at least one "kitty-litter rathold of a country"* that gives us shining examples of why we should never, never, NEVER let a religion run a country.

Under the controversial Hudood Ordinance, brought in under Gen Zia-ul-Haq from 1979, a rape victim had every chance of being convicted of adultery unless she could produce four male eyewitnesses to the crime.
The punishment for adultery is lashings and stoning according to traditional Islamic law.

The big hoorah over there is that instead of just killing women who get raped because the women are adulterers, they now might need to (omg /oma, close your eyes, this might be a bit astonishing) investigate the allegations! Such heathens! Such infidels! Such obvious extortion by the secular conspiracists!

Sad thing is, those exactly the cries that are being heard.

*as said by Andrew


Anonymous said...

Dear Mr. "O":
Please do not confuse secular worldly wisdom with Godly Wisdom...
Gays are not "hated" by Christians; True Christians hate the SIN, not the SINNER, as does The Most High God. The act is just one of many types of repugnant forms of failing to meet The Lord's moral standards that His Son Jesus came down to give His Life to atone for, that in order to live in Heaven in His presence ought be confessed to obtain His forgiveness to bridge the gulf between our unworthiness and His righteousness. Those who scoff at God are to be most pitied and prayed for, certainly not "hated" or reviled. For The Lord is saddened greatly by anyone who rejects Him, and rejoices greatly for those that eventually come to him and are "found" again!
(Re: Please read Luke 15 for His perspective on this...)
-As for Ellen D.---trust me, it's only a matter of ratings & money and/or contractual obligations that would keep her from being the next Jay L. (She did a fine voice over in "Finding Nemo", but generally does not draw much of an audience, as her own talk show on cable TV shows, hence not a profit-making probability for NBC; they think Conan is-??)...
As far as your examples of "religious intolerance", have you ever noticed that these examples are nearly always from the "peaceful and loving religion of Islam" - NOT Christianity!! I sure don't have the foggiest notion of what you mean by the U.S.A. nearly coming to this point recently. If you are mistaking certain Christians for taking what they believe to be moral stands on certain issues for this, are you advocating that only secular humanists are allowed to voice their views publicly about national policies or laws, and those misanthropes of Judeo-Christian principles must sit and shut-up about their positions??? Surely Not!! One of the leading proponents of the gay lifestyle and the advocacy thereof, Sir Elton John has some similar ideas to that (and a bit more) that it would do you good to read and mull over - refer to - Michael Medved's column dated 11-15-06 entitled, "The 'tolerant' Sir Elton wants to ban religion."
-Lastly, there is at the very least (besides the fact that few real Christians would even want a religious state) a little thing in the U.S.A. called a constitution, that specifically prohibits state religion; may I refer you to the Bill of Rights, First Amendment, which begins (and I quote), "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;..." Which, incidently also says pretty plainly that citizens of this country can practice their religion as they may see fit within reason*; they don't have to stay bound and gagged about political issues - as a little "Freedom of Speech" thing later on in that same First Amendment states (which mainly refers to political speech as explained in the Federalist Papers, written by several of our Founding Fathers to help explain & elaborate upon the Rights of the People as established by the Constitution).... What you seem concerned about is "Sharia Law" as promoted in heavily Islamic areas of the world. This is a big part of the reason for Western Civilisation's current War against Terror/Islamic Fascism, and the dire crucial necessity to prevail in this conflict; otherwise, if we fail, Talliban-like totalitarian societies will be the norm - in your lifetime, God forbid, if the zealous Moslem scoundrels don't kill us all first (which is their avowed intention if we all don't convert or pay them tribute and become their "slaves" in effect).

* (Human/Animal sacrifices are not considered resonable in this here country, as well as other vile practices that some cults wish to engage in...sorry about that all you Aztecs, Rosicrucians, Polygamists, Voo-Doo-ers, etc.)

Be wise in your comings and goings... See also, Proverbs 6:20-23...and Proverbs 4: 1-3, 10-13.

Sometimes I worry about you...
Please forgive me my concerns.

Otis said...

Wise Owl,

I think you completely missed the point of this post. The point of the post is how ridiculous things are when a religion is allowed to control a government and how glad I am that I don't live in a backwards society where a woman is considered an adulterer when she is raped, and therefore stoned to death (meanwhile the raper is let off the hook).

Unfortunately as much as you'd like to say only 'real' Christians believe certain things and love gay people etc. The truth remains that those 'real' Christians remain the minority. Many people live under the guise of being Christian, but in reality just search thru the Bible looking for texts to prove why their hatred of Group A is justified.

The whole point of this message is to make sure that we check ourselves and don't become the backwards people racing to condemn others, like that which happens in countries dominated by people with power who use religion as their excuse for cruelty (think Pilgrims in England, Spanish Inquisitions, Salem Witch Hunts...).

While on certain points we may have to agree to disagree, I think we both understand that people in general all too often use religion as an excuse for their reprehensible actions. This refers to Christians and Muslims and any other random religion you'd like to throw in the list.

Unknown said...

I think that anyone that is worrying about Matt (presumably because of viewpoints) would have a field day with me. I don't know who you are, but bring it on.

It's clear to me that for the last 6+ or so years, the Christian "right" has been the aggressor in this country, rather than the persecuted as they try to portray themselves. That being said, there has also been a rise in the athiest movement that believes that anyone who believes in any religion is basically a moron. Elton John's recent comments reflect this. It's a bell curve of crazy views. Woohoo.

The fact of the matter is the perception of Christians is that of the most vocal and extreme, and the perception of athiests is of the most vocal and extreme, and the perception of muslims is of the the most vocal and extreme. The vocal and extreme muslims, however, are in charge of several countries. Which was Matt's point, I believe. Radical Christians, if put in charge of the US, would be just as awful as living in Iran, for the same reasons. Our president has in the past pandered to radical christians, and it has been feared by many, christian and not, that he would work to increase the influence of radical christians in this country, destroying the 1st amendment much like he's destroyed the 4th.

Fortunately, with the recent election, we have a solid balance of power again. It also appears that Bush's pandering was really just pandering, and he has no intention of listening to the religious right if they're not useful for votes. I am hoping that in the future that more attention will be paid to the christian left, or the christian moderates, or the christian libertarians.

I have a very good book that I haven't read all the way through (I really need to work on it on my next flight) about the separation of church and state called "Divided by God". I saw the author speak at the Texas Book Festival last year - his point was that it all comes down to money. If we stay away from funding religion with public dollars, we are both satifying the founding fathers and those of different religions than those being paid. Unfortunately, the US has gone the opposite route - banning public expressions of religion which just upsets the religious, while funding the religious views of extreme christians. And that ain't cool.

Anonymous said...

no idea how I ended up here, but whatev...

the original post cites other archaic laws, but these are not the same types of laws as laws banning same sex acts, also upheld in romans 1 and 1 corinthians 16. its proper to ignore those other laws, as jesus fufilled the non-moral laws per matt. 5, making them obselete.

much beef is made of christians trying to change the culture. we're always "radical." please. on gay marriage, what started the issue? a court deciding the definition of marriage included same-sex. so christians (and many nonchristians responded in kind. i'm constantly surprised that christians are branded as "divisive" and "intolerant" for believing that marriage should be between a man and a woman. why is this so radical again?

but...your overall point is so important, and right on.

it reminds me anew that christianity is a religion of God, and islam is a religion of man. grace rules, and offers a way out of the problem of sin. our religion treats women the best, cares for the poor and downtrodden. we did not spread with the sword, but with love. and despite some vocal folks in this country, following jesus is about loving others...which does not mean always letting people live however they see fit (this would be tragic for alcoholics!)...but loving others and sometimes making decisions for the long-term health of their soul, rather than their gratification with sin.

a great quote i heard recently: "God is not committed to fulfilling our happiness in whatever way we choose to define it."

amen. i look forward to your future posts about this stuff.