Monday, January 14, 2008

help me understand something

The first amendment of our constitution establishes the concept we know as "separation of church and state" -- which basically means that the government will not establish a state religion. This has been interpreted by the courts to mean that no government entity may take any action that appears to endorse or promote a particular religion, which means schools can't have prayers before football games, courthouses can't host christmas time manger-scenes, and federal buildings can't display the ten commandments (ignore for a moment that all these things continue to happen all over the country).

Under these circumstances, somebody please explain to me WHY it's ok that the people running for public office, specifically, the highest public office, are allowed -- are practically REQUIRED -- to flaunt their christian credentials in order to get themselves elected??? Why is that not categorically banned, in the same way I am categorically banned from talking about my own religious beliefs at work? Why doesn't that violate the constitution? How much closer to establishing a state religion can you get than having the people vying for the office of president crying to the rooftops that they're good christians and that their good christian beliefs will help them run the country even better than their opponents??? It hurts the brain...

Meanwhile, YAY, this is my thousandth blog post!!! I wish I could have some balloons or something, and some confetti...

5 Comments:

Blogger south carolina girl said...

i was gauna try to leave you a glitter comment sort of like confetti like myspace but blogger says to me, "back off bitch!!! I am not myspace!!!"

i agree completely about the christian campaigning. i don't get it at all. much pain in the world has already been caused from christians having more rights than non-christians. it looks bad. it makes the candidates look like they don't care equally about americans, um, which is a bad thing when you are trying to convince a majority of americans to vote for you. i suppose they guess that christians can decide who is more christian, and non-christians, well, won't have a choice but to either pick one or stay home. sad they are flaunting it anyway when jesus even said to pray in your closet, not on the temple steps where everyone can see...

6:02 PM  
Blogger Zoe said...

I can't help because I don't freaking get it either.

6:36 PM  
Blogger not drowning waving said...

now that i have some distance from the USA, and the experience that there is life elsewhere and it looks very different, it does look odd from a distance - and folks over here do remark on it too.

i wonder if it is something to do with the lack of political education, i mean, REAL education over there. that more people base their morality on what was written in an ancient book than by what is actually going on in their and the larger world/s... perhaps that is what symbolically at least this 'I am christian' means.

It has to be symbolic. It must be... and the two party system really supports it, the duality of EVERYTHING, the right/wrong, Dem/Rep duality of everything fits so well with the fundamentalist interpretations of the christian dogma......

3:09 AM  
Blogger reasonably prudent poet said...

thanks for all your theorizing, folks. mahavira made a point last week, on an unrelated topic, that keeps coming back to me. we were talking about secular humanism and i asked, sadly, "whatever happened to secular humanism?" and she reminded me that it's a concept so bound up with socialism and communism, nobody in america can stomach it.

now, thinking about the election stuff and the christian morality that gets flaunted, i'm reminded of mahavira's assessment of secular humanism. in this country, we've never had socialism, we've never had (as far as i know) any kind of large scale morality that wasn't based on religion. so, even though the average voter wouldn't necessarily even know what secular humanism IS at this point... well... that's just the point. it's not even on the table. the only way we seem to be able to understand and articulate the concept of morality is through religion, and the only religion anyone seems comfortable with is christianity. so there you go. we seem to be stuck with it.

because ultimately, many of the candidates aren't really saying "i love the baby jesus, he died for my sins," when they say they're christian. saying they're christian is just code for saying "i'm a good person with good morals. i have values that you will recognize and approve of." i just wish we had a different language for it all.

9:28 AM  
Blogger Joolie B said...

Balloons!

Confetti!

9:15 PM  

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