Thursday, September 03, 2009
There is a wall between church and state for a reason. The passions of unhinged religion lead to suicide bombers. Religion has done more to drive people apart than bring them together.
With everyone claiming they have the one true religion it becomes anarchy and an unholy test of wills that leads to violence in direct contradiction to the tenants of all religions when they all try to impose their views on each other. I feel so sorry for the faithful when they get caught up in this. Forgetting the ten commandments and loosing that sense of enlightenment over to violence and hate. It is a huge step backwards in their personal journey their personal growth and fulfillment. It is antithetical to what religion is supposed to do for the individual, and the opportunity is lost for those engaged in hate, and violence.
The privilege of practicing your religion freely in this country comes with a caveat. You must respect those who don't believe in your particular brand. No matter how convinced you are personally that your set of beliefs are the one true set of beliefs - they are still your own personal beliefs and not others maybe not even of those sitting next to you in your pew.
Forcing people to believe as you do at gun point or through legislation or shouting at them is counterproductive in affect trying to take another persons liberty and freedom away. When you start telling other people what to do, what to believe, what to say, what to eat, when to pray, what to pray, what to read, what to write, what to study, and what to say - bloodshed will ensue.
There is no cause greater than freedom and liberty. Freedom and liberty are the moral high ground. A religion or sect or cult of a belief system to be imposed on others through force invalidates the very religion it is trying to promote. Violence invalidates religion.
The Founding Fathers had already experienced this with the Church of England. Why some people have to relearn this well documented experience is beyond me. They do themselves an injustice, their religion an injustice and drive others and themselves off the sacred path.
Open a history book.
"I do not believe in the creed professed by the Jewish church, by the Roman church, by the Greek church, by the Protestant church, nor by any church that I know of. My own mind is my church. "
"Almost all Europe, for many centuries, was inundated with blood, which was shed at the direct instigation or with the full approval of the ecclesiastical authorities."
William E. H. Lecky, Irish Historian 1838-1903
"If we look back into history for the character of the present sects in Christianity, we shall find few that have not in their turns been persecutors, and complainers of persecution. The primitive Christians thought persecution extremely wrong in the Pagans, but practiced it on one another. The first Protestants of the Church of England blamed persecution in the Romish church, but practiced it upon the Puritans. These found it wrong in the Bishops, but fell into the same practice themselves both here [England] and in New England."
"They all attributed the peaceful dominion of religion in their country mainly to the separation of church and state. I do not hesitate to affirm that during my stay in America I did not meet a single individual, of the clergy or the laity, who was not of the same opinion on this point"
-Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America, 1835