Conservative Argument That America Is A “Christian Nation” NOT True!

The right wing loves to say that Americans are a “Christian nation”, but that assertion is NOT true!

It is true that a majority of Americans are born to the Christian faith, whether Catholic or any of the many Protestant sects, or Eastern Orthodox.

But our Founding Fathers, while born Christian, were in many cases skeptics about organized Christianity, and certainly had no mission to promote a church-state combination, a theocracy, as they knew of the turmoil and sufferings of such combinations in European history, including Great Britain, France, the German states, and Czarist Russia, along with the effects of Islam on the Middle East, Asia, and Africa.

Therefore, the Constitution of the United States made clear to keep separation of church and state separate, and there is no statement of America as a “Christian nation” by the Founding Fathers.

There are plenty of statements by many Founding Fathers, including Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, George Washington, John Adams and others that advocated separation of church and state, and a sense of skepticism about organized Christianity being part of government.

We also have evidence that conservative Christian pastors condemned the Constitution after its adoption because of the fact that it was a document which, clearly, was secular in nature, and some called the Constitution an atheistic document, which shows how hard the Founding Fathers had worked to undermine the creation of a theocracy, which would allow persecution of non Christians or non believers in religion itself.

After the Civil War, the right wing Christian pastors tried repeatedly to amend the Constitution to make America a Christian nation and make references to Jesus Christ, but those attempts failed, and the only religious reference that would become normal was to say “In God We Trust” on American coinage.

The deleterious effect of this movement among right wing Christian pastors, however, led to anti Catholic and anti Jewish practices and laws locally, discriminating against the immigration of so called “undesirable” groups.

Additionally, for a long period of time, commerce was limited by “Blue Laws”, which banned economic activities on Sundays, finally overcome about 50 years ago, as if someone does not wish to do shopping or other commerce on the Christian Sabbath, that is their choice, but should not be imposed on others, one of the examples of what happens when theocracy and its narrow mindedness is allowed to take hold.

So America is NOT a “Christian nation”, but rather a nation of a diverse number of religious groups, with a majority of Christian sects, including Catholicism, something the majority Protestants did not wish to acknowledge!

Alarming Police Overreaction Against Blacks Nationwide, As Threat Of International Terrorism Grows Dramatically!

Many people would say that because Barack Obama was elected twice as our first African American President, that racism is gone from American society!

The statement is, of course, preposterous on its face. There are two many people of other racial backgrounds who have shown evidence of discriminatory thoughts, statements, and actions against African Americans and Latinos to be able to assert that racism has dissipated.

If anything, it is the right wing media, and the talk show hosts on radio and Fox News Channel, who are fueling the fires of racism, making whites feel that, somehow, THEY have been discriminated against!

But the recent spate of police officers shooting and killing African American men in St. Louis and Los Angeles, and the choking to death of an African American man by police in New York City, is particularly alarming, as if the law enforcement authorities are perceived as declaring open season on minority men, and even sometimes women, then we are on the road to racial warfare, which hate mongering groups would only be too glad to inspire.

This is a crisis of massive proportions, and no longer can be said to be a “Southern” issue, as it often was depicted even a half century ago, when Northerners wanted to feel good about themselves, and denied that they were part of the problem of racism, prejudice, and discrimination, when they most certainly were part of the problem, although more attention was paid to the Southern states.

This is a very delicate time, with growing inequality of opportunity for the poor and middle class, whether white or minority, and the growing international threat of Islamic terrorism presented by the rise of ISIL, the Islamic State in the Levant. This group controls a large portion of Iraq and Syria, and threatens to slaughter large numbers of non Sunni Arabs, as well as Christians and minority religious groups, and which threatens a world wide war against the Western world and Christianity and Judaism. They already have beheaded children, raped women, and executed large numbers of people in the most brutal fashion, making them seem a threat on the level of the Fascism regimes of Germany and Italy 75 years ago.

We could be entering World War III, at a time when our internal peace and stability is being threatened by both discontented whites, but also by law enforcement elements which show no respect or rational behavior against minority members of society.

There is a sense of foreboding that America is reaching a state of condition the most dangerous since the fall of Adolf Hitler in 1945, and far greater in many ways than the conditions of the Cold War, which seem somehow, by comparison, a time when at least the Soviet enemy was rational, not fanatical, based on religion.

Mix religious extremism in the world at large alongside the racial tensions in a time when one had thought the election of Barack Obama made a post racial world, which now is shown to be a myth!

Religion And Prejudice: Again Evident In Reaction To Boy Scout Decision to Admit Gay Youths

The news that the Boy Scouts Of America will allow gay youths as members is a half step, as it still bans gay youths once they reach 18, and gay scout leaders, and that will have to be adjusted over time.

But it is extremely disturbing to see Religion being utilized to promote prejudice, bias, hate and discrimination against gays, as if they choose to be gay!

So we see the Mormon Church, the Catholic Church, and evangelical Christians employing very “Unchristian” values, and also Orthodox Jews and Orthodox Muslims, refusing to recognize how many of each religious group are gay, including some of the protesting leaders, who are “in the closet”, and are true hypocrites!

And it is disturbing that one family, as an example, with five sons, is removing all of them from scouting, as, supposedly, the children asked to be removed, and if that is so, that means they have been taught to hate and to despise gay people, when they will have to cope with plenty of them over a lifetime!

And who can be sure that some of these kids, or others, are secretly gay, and totally paranoid and fearful of being found out, and might cause them to commit suicide because of their guilt and their burden that they know they will NOT be accepted by their own parents and other family members?

This is all very sick and disturbing, but after all, we all know that elements of organized Christianity were infamous for nativism, racism, sexism, and antisemitism in american history! So what else is new?

Fortunately, the number of young people who accept gays is a clear majority and growing, and organized religion is losing adherents rapidly, so when the more devout and older bigots in society pass from the scene, we will have a much more tolerant and open minded society, free of their prejudice, hatred, and bias!

The Founding Fathers And Religious Intolerance

Having spent the past few days touring Presidential homes of the Founding Fathers in Virginia, it becomes ever more clear how they viewed organized religion.

All of the great Founding Fathers were born of the Christian faith, one sect or another, but all were skeptical of organized religion, being very educated and learned about the history of Christianity, which had included mass murder, bloodshed, violence, and holy wars against Islam, and promotion of antisemitism against Jews.

So George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and James Monroe all were not regular church goers, and in many respects were Deists, having given up on organized religious trappings.

The Adamses, John and John Quincy, also had similar views, as did Benjamin Franklin and Alexander Hamilton.

If they had been here in today’s world, witnessing the bias, prejudice, and hate promoted by SOME Christian groups in the name of Jesus, they would be totally disgusted for sure!

The Mormon Church And Baptism Of Holocaust Jews And Others MUST Be Stopped And Reversed!

The Mormon Church has become involved in a major controversy over their decision to baptize Holocaust Jews and others who have died, without the permission of those people while they were alive, or the permission of their living relatives.

The theory behind this is that this way a person can be “saved” in the afterlife, and meet Jesus Christ, even if they were not believers in Jesus Christ in their lifetime.

This is insulting and disgraceful, as the concept that people must accept Jesus Christ in the after life is precisely what is wrong with organized religions that believe in proselytizing, including Christianity of all varieties and Islam.

It is not the business of anyone to take it upon themselves through their church or religious belief to convert anyone else against their will. There is enough of this pressure in life, but should not be in death.

The idea that Mitt Romney, the former Massachusetts Governor and Republican Presidential candidate, engaged in such conversion practices of the dead in the past, including his own atheist father in law, is obscene to the extreme. One could say what nerve he had to do this to anyone, and the fact that his converted wife Ann Romney expressed no problem with this treatment of her deceased father makes one wonder about whether Ann Romney is a “Stepford Wife”, with no mind of her own, and the sensitivity to say “No” to her husband once, having already agreed upon marriage to Mitt that her parents would be forced to stay outside of the Mormon Temple in Salt Lake City, Utah, for the wedding ceremony, because they were not Mormons. That in itself is mind boggling!

The Mormon Church had earlier agreed in 1999 to stop the baptism of dead Jews and others, but have continued to violate their own word, not promoting any confidence that one can believe anything they say or do!

And the idea that they baptized evil people such as Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin and the September 11 Hijackers alongside Anne Frank and Simon Wiesenthal and others is enough to make one vomit!

Mitt Romney is being called upon by Elie Wiesel to intervene on this matter, and he cannot pass it on to the Mormon Church and ignore it, and if he does, it will rightfully affect his Presidential candidacy! It is time for immediate and final action on this matter with no excuses and no delays!

Newt Gingrich: The Demagogue, The Bully, The Narcissist, Revealed Again!

Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich has been shown to be a full scale demagogue, and Mitt Romney showed Gingrich’s hypocrisy again and again in last night’s debate, leading to the belief that Romney has recovered from his defeat in very conservative South Carolina, and now is more likely than ever to be the GOP nominee.

Gingrich is a demagogue on the level of Joseph McCarthy and Richard Nixon; he is a bully; he is a narcissist par excellence; he is a man without any morals, ethics or scruples, except his own aggrandizement!

Newt Gingrich is willing to victimize the poor; he is willing to behave as a racist; he is willing to lie without any shame; he is willing to stir up anti Islamic hatred; he is willing to stir up trouble in the Middle East by claiming that Palestinians do not exist; he is willing to sacrifice wives as disposables for his own ambitions; and he is willing to use incendiary language against the President of the United States, and in so doing, encourage lack of respect for the person holding the office, in a way that no other President has EVER been treated!

The people he has worked with in the Republican Party and in Congress have turned against him, and the conservative ideologists have mostly abandoned him, with the major exception of Michael Reagan, Ronald Reagan’s adopted son, and conservative talk show host.

It cannot be soon enough for Newt Gingrich to be removed from the attention of the national news media. Maybe Florida will be the place of his “Waterloo”, and if so, NOT soon enough, as he makes the word “politician” a dirty word, which it should not be!

Commemoration Of Two Events On November 9: One Wonderful, One Tragic!

Today, November 9, marks two events, both in Germany, which changed the world–one in a positive way, the other in a very tragic way!

On this day in 1989, the Berlin Wall, which symbolized the horrors of Communism, came down spontaneously in East Germany, leading to the downfall of the Soviet Union two years later, and the end of the Cold War between Russia and the United States led alliance of NATO.

The collapse of the wall gave the world hope for a peaceful future, no one being aware that the Persian Gulf War just over a year later helped to lead to the new age of terrorism, which had already begun, but accelerated after US forces were stationed in Saudi Arabia, the home of the holy cities of Mecca and Medina in the Islamic faith.

Fifty one years earlier, in 1938, in Nazi Germany, we had the tragedy of Kristallnacht, the Night of the Broken Glass, when the Nazis unleashed an attack on Jewish citizens and property, including synagogues ransacked and set on fire, along with businesses, shops, and the destruction of cemeteries, and the arrest of thousands and the death of many Jews in a vicious manner. This is now seen as the beginning of the Holocaust, and sadly, while there was condemnation of the actions on November 9 and 10, the international community did little more than condemn verbally.

So the later date marked the end of Communism in Eastern Europe, while the first marked the growing menace of Nazism and anti Semitism, and the horrors of anti Semitism are still a reality in the world today!

September 11 Ten Years Later: Its Long Range Impact!

Tomorrow will mark ten years since the greatest tragedy in American history–the attack on the World Trade Center in New York City; the Pentagon in suburban Virginia outside Washington, DC; and the heroism of the passengers on United Airlines Flight 93 who prevented that plane’s hijackers from attacking the US Capitol Building or the White House by rebelling, and forcing the plane into a crash in Shanksville, Pennsylvania!

Over 3,000 people died as a result of September 11, most in the Trade Center, but some in the Pentagon, and also on the the four planes involved in the terrorist plot.

Additionally, about 5,000 soldiers have been killed in the wars In Iraq and Afghanistan, and about 45,000 wounded, including a few thousand severely wounded, making more than 50,000 killed or wounded as a result of September 11.

It has been very difficult to conceptualize and cope with the tragedy of that day, and ever since in the never ending involvement in the wars against Al Qaeda and the Taliban. Words cannot describe the torment that most Americans feel about this greatest of all human tragedies in American history, other than the tragic battles of Antietam and Gettysburg in the Civil War, along with the losses of our troops at Pearl Harbor which led us into World War II.

September 11 changed the American Presidency forever, making it that all Presidents in the future will have to be prepared to deal with a terrorist attack that could come at any time, no matter how much preparation and alertness Americans have. This is a never ending war that will cost us plenty in national treasure, and already has put us into economic straits worse than any time since the Great Depression of the 1930s.

Socially, September 11 has made the country fearful of the religion of Islam, and made Americans suspicious of immigrants in general, an ugly revival of religious intolerance and of nativism, which is a massive problem for the long term, and could subject us to more danger because of hate mongers who can incite reactions by people who have no connection to September 11, and yet feel victimized.

September 11 united us briefly, but now it has led to political divisions that endanger the future of the country both domestically and in foreign policy dealings.

September 11 has also made us realize, like at the time of Pearl Harbor but then forgotten, that we are vulnerable to attack, and have been too self assured and cocky about the greatness of our nation, leading to the wrong headed attitude that we are superior and cannot be touched or threatened internally. We have learned the hard way the folly of our self proclaimed “exceptionalism”, a super nationalism which endangers our relations with other nations and makes us feel that we are best in every way, which is far from the truth!

September 11 has also endangered our Bill of Rights and civil liberties, some of it understandable, but much of it dangerous and unacceptable violations in the name of security. It has created an intrusive government which can spy on us with cameras, phones, internet and other forms of technology, and has caused the growth of so many intelligence and spy agencies that the Washington Post has published about secret governments and expenditures that we have no concept of, or ability to gain awareness of in detail!

In many ways, while we have fought the terrorism successfully, we have also become the victims, in the sense of losing our freedoms, security, contentment in being Americans, and sense of well being.

So September 11 has done great harm to us, and its impact will never dissipate, sadly!

The Frightening Conflict Between Science And Religion In The Republican Party: The Threat To America’s Future!

As the Presidential campaign of 2012 evolves, a frightening conflict between science and religion is developing in the Republican competition for President, as it has already in the party in Congress.

On the issue of global warming and climate change, only Jon Huntsman consistently, and Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich in a wavering way, endorse there is a problem. Ron Paul, Rick Perry, Michele Bachmann, Rick Santorum and Herman Cain totally deny it, even with the oncoming Hurricane Irene, on top of drought, floods, tornadoes, tsunamis, and other natural disasters worldwide at a rapidly increasing rate, and the warmest temperatures continuing to set records, along with extremes of winter weather which also indicate the earth is changing rapidly.

Only Jon Huntsman and Mitt Romney accept evolution over creationism, another example of the refusal of Republicans to accept the knowledge offered by scientific evidence. Instead, they accept that the earth is not old, and that mankind walked with dinosaurs only a few thousand years ago, a totally preposterous concept!

The Republican Party is becoming more beholden to evangelical Christianity and its anti science mentality!

We discover now that Rick Perry and Michele Bachmann are connected to a “Dominionism” movement, which claims there are demons affecting the arts and entertainment, business, the family, government, media, religion, and education.

The recent Perry religious rally was led by ministers who believe the above. The aims of these activists is to promote anti gay rights, anti abortion, anti Islamic policies, along with opposition to social safety nets, which take away the domain of Christianity. Also, part of their agenda is to convert Jews as part of the process of the “end times” when Jesus will return to the earth. The same group has been involved in anti gay activism and retribution against gays in Uganda in East Africa!

Face the facts! Christian Dominionism wishes to replace American law with the strictures of the Old Testament, including support for the death penalty for homosexuality, abortion and being a non believer!

It is no different in its extremism than other religious fundamentalist movements, such as Shiite Muslims in Iran or Sunni Wahabis in the Arab world!

The Christian Dominionists have also promoted a justification of slavery in the South, and have distorted history through a Confederate view of the Civil War and race relations!

Under the name New Apostolic Reformation, the movement is on to elect Perry or Bachmann to promote a theocratic state!

This attack on science and promotion of an extreme strain of Christian fundamentalism is an assault on all of the tenets of the Bill of Rights and the meaning of the Constitution. Instead of separation of church and state, instead, we could be facing a future of a theocratic fanaticism led by a reckless, dangerous leader such as Rick Perry or Michele Bachmann!

And don’t think for a minute that Rick Santorum, Herman Cain, Ron Paul, or Newt Gingrich are any better choices, as they also are promoters of theocracy in different ways!

It is ironic that only the two Mormons in the race–Jon Huntsman and Mitt Romney–considered not to be Christians by these theocratic zealots, actually believe in science and separation of church and state!

What a crazy, whacko situation this nation faces in this clash between science and religion for the hearts and minds of the American people, in the midst of an economic crisis not seen since the Great Depression!

National Public Radio Wrong To Fire Juan Williams Over Fears Of Muslim Garb On Airplanes! :(

Political commentator Juan Williams, who has long been involved in the civil rights community with his writings and work on African American history, has just been fired by National Public Radio for expressing his views about Islamic clothing.

Williams said on the Bill O’Reilly show on Fox News Channel that he is not prejudiced against the Islamic faith, but that it strikes fear in his heart when he sees people in full Islamic clothing on airplanes, as it brings back memories of September 11, 2001.

Such a statement is purely freedom of speech; it is not expressing anti Islamic hatred, as many others have done.

It is a common thought of many Americans because of the events of September 11, as it makes many Americans uncomfortable.

It is not stating that Muslims should not be free to wear such garb. It is just an opinion and expression of a fear which is quite common.

Juan Williams is a quality journalist, and firing him is unjustified! It does not make NPR look very good, as it is stifling freedom of speech!

This is not the same as Rick Sanchez being fired by CNN for his anti Semitic comments about Jews in the media, and perceived discrimination against Hispanics in the media, including himself!

If one is a journalist, and cannot express his thoughts in a non hateful way on a cable or television or radio channel without fear of losing his job, then we have really become a nation where civil liberties itself is under attack!

And since NPR has a reputation as a “liberal” or “progressive” channel, it is especially reprehensible to be seen as intolerant, and lacking an open mind to allow a diversity of opinion!

NPR has done the wrong thing, and it should reverse itself and rehire Juan Williams, and recognize what he is: a quality journalist who deserves respect for his non hateful opinions!