No, seriously. He isn’t. But what if he was? Or Catholic, Mormon, Hindu, Pagan, Atheist or Buddhist? I ask this question not because I don’t think he is Christian. He was baptized Christian. He has attended Christian churches for most of his adult life. He professes to be Christian. In the absence of evidence to the contrary — and no, Tea Party taken out of context video clips are not evidence — I choose to take him at his word. But what if I am wrong? What if he really is secretly a follower of Islam?
I run into people all the time that really, truly believe that he is. Or at the very least don’t believe he is Christian. They have been thoroughly and roundly propagandized by people that use xenophobia to convince others that if someone isn’t like you — if they don’t believe exactly the way you do — that they have no business being elected to office (although the cognitive dissonance inherent in supporting a Mormon had to be rough for them). The thought I have each and every time this argument is thrown up to me?
He’s not. But even if he was? So what?
Why am I *gasp* so apathetic about such a possibility? Because anyone who thinks that someone’s religious beliefs or doctrines is a valid thing to base your vote on? Does not understand the Constitution nor do they quite grok the binding principle the country was founded on. And this isn’t open for debate, interpretation or argument. It is very plainly stated in the documents that we use to govern with and the people who governed wrote. Here are a few examples:
Article VI of the Constitution: “no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust in the United States.”
John Tyler: “The United States have adventured upon a great and noble experiment, which is believed to have been hazarded in the absence of all previous precedent — that of total separation of Church and State. No religious establishment by law exists among us. The conscience is left free from all restraint and each is permitted to worship his Maker after his own judgment. The offices of the Government are open alike to all. No tithes are levied to support an established Hierarchy, nor is the fallible judgment of man set up as the sure and infallible creed of faith. The Mohammedan, if he will to come among us would have the privilege guaranteed to him by the constitution to worship according to the Koran; and the East Indian might erect a shrine to Brahma, if it so pleased him. Such is the spirit of toleration inculcated by our political Institutions.”
Thomas Jefferson (He has a bunch): “But it does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods or no God. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.”
“Where the preamble declares, that coercion is a departure from the plan of the holy author of our religion, an amendment was proposed by inserting “Jesus Christ,” so that it would read “A departure from the plan of Jesus Christ, the holy author of our religion;” the insertion was rejected by the great majority, in proof that they meant to comprehend, within the mantle of its protection, the Jew and the Gentile, the Christian and Mohammedan, the Hindoo and Infidel of every denomination.”
“Christianity neither is, nor ever was a part of the common law.”
“In every country and in every age, the priest has been hostile to liberty. He is always in alliance with the despot, abetting his abuses in return for protection to his own.”
Treaty of Tripoli — George Washington signed this initially and John Adams and the Senate ratified it: “As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion; as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquillity, of Musselmen; and as the said States never have entered into any war or act of hostility against any Mehomitan nation, it is declared by the parties that no pretext arising from religious opinions shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries.”
Are you beginning to notice a pattern here boys and girls? Yeah, me too. I’ve blogged about this from various angles before. And I will probably do it again. Because it is so, so important that people remember this; that if they never knew it they learn it. These things were written about because the people who created the foundation of our country were trying to avoid some things. The first being Theocracy.
If you vote based on whether someone is Christian enough for you? You are coming down on the side of Theocracy and ultimately tyranny. Would you as the individual ever deliberately withhold someone’s natural rights? Probably not. Unless they are gay, but that is another post for another time. But you know what? Those with power when given such powerful tools? Will oppress. Will deny freedom. Will sift the people into groups of the deserving and the undeserving. Heck, they have been trying to do it for years.
You think I get mean when people start spouting this kind of thinking in my presence? You are lucky Jefferson isn’t around. He would have flat out ridiculed you. He did quite a bit of that to the point that the wannabe Theocrats of his day made up nasty little propaganda pamphlets not at all unlike the ads the Koch brothers want you to believe. You know what he said about that?
They [the clergy] believe that any portion of power confided to me, will be exerted in opposition to their schemes. And they believe rightly; for I have sworn upon the altar of god, eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man. But this is all they have to fear from me: and enough, too, in their opinion.
History, I believe, furnishes no example of a priest-ridden people maintaining a free civil government. This marks the lowest grade of ignorance of which their civil as well as religious leaders will always avail themselves for their own purposes.
You can vote based on your similarity of belief if you want to. No one can stop you. But when you do? When you reject out of hand solely based on how someone chooses to worship? Do not tell me it is because that is what was intended by the people that made your freedom possible. Because it was not. And when you decide based on that rather than on the truth of their abilities? You are abusing the freedoms you were given.
So, no, it doesn’t matter if Obama is a Muslim. Or if our next President worships the flying spaghetti monster. If you are going to be critical of your elected officials? Be critical about what they have actually done. And do your own research. Do not just link to some video or text because it sounds right to you; because you agree with it. Actually put the time in to verify and research the claims being made. You should base your judgements on your proofs; not your proofs on your judgements.
For those of you that choose to believe that which validates? Know that I always do my research. And I will always be here, waiting, and never keeping quiet about what is true.