Saturday, June 11, 2011

The politics of exclusion

"Lord, I know that I always said that I'd never involve you in a baseball game. It always seemed silly. I mean, You got enough to do." -- Billy Chapel, For Love of the Game
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"And more importantly, we're going to have to pray. We're going to have to do this prayerfully so that it's not by might nor by strength but by His power that this country will be turned back to Him. That's what we're going to do."  -- Ralph Reed, founder of the Faith and Freedom Coalition
We all know that the wingnuts think God is a rock-ribbed, card-carrying conservative. I would think that, if such a being exists, that it has more important things to worry about than who wins a freaking election. I also find it quite arrogant (or maybe ignorant) for one group to proclaim that God is their God and no one else's.

Who's to say Ralph's crew of bible-thumping believers is right? Is Mr. Reed implying that anyone who doesn't support his agenda is not a true Christian? Is he implying that anyone who doesn't support his agenda doesn't believe in, or worship, God (in whatever name or form)?

What about Catholics and Jews and Muslims and Buddhists?

What about anyone who believes differently?

And what about Jesus's warning that it isn't our place to judge others?

And where does Mr. Reed place compassion, understanding and tolerance in the great pantheon of virtues?

Or does religion have nothing to do with this at all? Are Mr. Reed and his fellow travelers just using religion as a cover to organize a political movement? Karl Marx referred to religion as the opiate of the masses. Religion has long been used to quell the masses by promising them a brighter tomorrow once this miserable life is over.

This is a nation founded on religious freedom. The dour Pilgrims left England because they didn't want the King and Queen telling them how to worship. This nation was built on the backs of immigrants who brought their religions and their beliefs with them to America. The current nativist movement conveniently forgets that few of us were born here. We all came from somewhere else.

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