Using God to Justify Bigotry
By Susan Banner Todd on August 07, 2012
The very First Amendment Establishment Clause is the separation of church and state. Remarkable, isn’t it? Puritans had abandoned the Church of England with all their pomp and universal (as known at that time) practice of rituals. They and others came to this country with their families and friends to embark on a journey so that they, in part, could worship their creator in a way that was perceived as ‘truth’.
Somewhere along the way everything has got all mixed up. I am specifically talking about politics and religion becoming so intertwined and twisted that it is near impossible to sort through all the endless rhetoric.
I want to be perfectly clear that I am not talking about spirituality. As a spiritual person, it is my belief that being in or part of a religion is not necessarily the path to travel. I do embrace those that do choose ‘religion’ and also, those as seen through their eyes, are Atheists and/or Agnostics. This particular blog has nothing to do with questioning or defining the belief systems of humanity. It has everything to do with using God while holding hands with politics to justify bigotry.
I am disgusted that, as part of humanity in this nation, we have sunk down into the deep depths of ‘my way or the highway’. Nasty Facebook posts cleverly using religion, humor and satire to degrade and attack others that hold lifestyles, political beliefs, and spiritual beliefs that differ from their own. Going so far to make radical statements rigidly defining what ‘God’ constitutes as ‘marriage’, as if only a select few are entitled to a life of fulfillment and happiness. A marriage certificate is a legal document. If you disagree, try applying for your pension benefits without one. Yesterday, I received a post from Facebook; It gave me two choices, if I hit ‘share’ then I would be follower of Christ but if I didn’t hit ‘share’ and continued to scroll, I was a follower of the Devil. I don’t think any of us take those too seriously but it does show us the general state of our culture. More serious is that some are using religious organizations as a battering tool to get their own political way.
There is no doubt that we have some work to do in this country. Don’t you think it would more effective if we focused on ‘taxes’, ‘cost of living’, ‘job security’, health care (no matter what side of the fence you are on), and the general schematics of running our country? Why revisit “Roe vs. Wade” and “Planned Parenthood” of years ago? Let’s move on with dignity and grace recognizing that we all have differing opinions, religious beliefs, lifestyles and we can agree to disagree. We are still people and our conflict should be only with the issues.
Believe what you want but don’t make it part of the political platform. It is my belief that the way we choose to believe is our right until we use politics to take away the choices of others. Please let us as a nation and as part of humanity stop using God to justify bigotry.
Susan Banner Todd
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