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On Church and State
Wednesday, 2005 March 9 - 8:56 pm
What is your priority?

Last week, the Supreme Court began hearing arguments on two cases involving the Ten Commandments. The cases boil down to deciding under what circumstances it's okay to display the Commandments on government property.

I have somewhat mixed feelings on this case. I mean, I am an ardent advocate of church-state separation, and I believe our government should be expressly secular. But the Ten Commandments do have historical significance as well, and we can't overlook that. My problem here is that I question people's motivations. Would people be so arguing so passionately to defend something from, say, the Talmud? Are people really defending the document's historical significance, or is this yet another attempt to weasel Christianity into government?

I have to suspect weaseling.

One thing I would like to ask American politicians is this: in your political life, is it more important for you to be a Christian or to be an American? (And no, you can't say BOTH things are equally important, because that's like watching a football game and saying you want BOTH teams to win. In other words, if you say that, you're a cop-out doofus.) As an elected official, would you uphold your oath to defend the Constitution even if it meant going against your religious beliefs? Because, you see, the First Amendment is there to prevent the establishment of religion by the government, but as an evangelical Christian your duty would be to spread the Gospel. So what's your priority?

If your priority is not to be an American and a patriot first when it comes to matters of policy, then I don't believe you should be in politics. I'm not talking about what your priorities are in your private life. I'm talking about government policy. So it's fine that you believe in the Ten Commandments and that you want to share them with everyone. You just shouldn't use government to do it. You swore an oath on the Bible to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States. Isn't it ironic that part of that oath means keeping religion out of government?

A lot of people don't think this issue is a big deal, and that's because it's not their particular brand of religion that's being threatened. That bugs the crap out of me, because to me that's a selfish and short-sighted attitude. Try to step into someone else's shoes for just a minute, okay? What if your Muslim public school teacher led a prayer to Mecca five times a day during class? Would you be okay with that? In that case, maybe we should elect the Taliban into office. Or, would you be okay with having our government under the influence of the Church of England? If so, you might as well say there was no point in having the American Revolution at all. One of the reasons we founded this country was to escape the weight of government-instituted religion, remember? Do you want to go back to that now? Long live King George?

One more thing. If you're going to say you believe in the Ten Commandments, you should say you believe in all of them. No fair ignoring the one about working on the Sabbath, no fair supporting the death penalty, no fair thinking it's okay to ogle your neighbor's wife, no fair worshipping the American flag.

I won't even go into Exodus 34 and the other Ten Commandments. That may be a lesson for another day.
Permalink  1 Comment   Bookmark and Share
Posted by Ken in: politics

Comments

Comment #1 from Ken (realkato)
2005 Mar 9 - 9:17 pm : #
By the way, sorry to get all weighty on you; I warned you I would feel the need to talk about politics and technology every now and then.

The pooping stories will resume shortly.

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