“I almost shudder at the thought of alluding to the most fatal example of the abuses of grief which the history of mankind has preserved–the Cross. Consider what calamities that engine of grief has produced!” — John Adams, letter to Thomas Jefferson
Despite the fact that many fundamentalists of this country believe that the United States was founded on Christianity, it was not. There are many examples written by the hands of our founding fathers stating as much. The Bill of Rights guarantees freedom of religion in this country. However, more and more often members of the Moral Majority or the Christian Right are attempting to legislate morality based on scriptures they find in the Bible.
Throughout my studies as a political scientist there is only one thing that I’ve found religion and issues of morality to be good for. Their sole purpose in politics is to blindside the population on issues of greater importance. Instead of reporting on the economic stability, international relations or how much money is going into defense spending, hot topic issues now revolve around gun control, abortion, gay marriage and a plethora of other moral issues that have nothing to do with politics in this country. The tactic of most, if not all politicians, is to focus your attention on these moral issues instead of asking questions about your social security and how it won’t exist in a decade or so even though you are still paying into it.
It is a pretty spectacular way to completely blind you on issues of importance. While militant Christian’s are out crusading for the rights of fetuses by shooting doctors who will perform abortions, blowing up abortion clinics and attempting to shut down organizations such as Planned Parenthood, you are completely oblivious to matters that will affect your bank accounts, your mortgage payments, your lines of credit, your ability to travel out of the country and the tax dollars you begrudgingly lose every pay period.
Creeds have been the bane of the Christian church … made of Christendom a slaughter-house.” — Thomas Jefferson to Benjamin Waterhouse, Jun. 26, 1822
The truth is that the Moral Majority, the Christian Right, the Militant Christians – whatever you wish to call them, preach hate and injustice. Why are issues such as abortion or gay marriage even being discussed? Why is stem cell research an abomination? Why is it such a big deal that a person chooses to worship some other God than the Christian one? Are we not given the right to practice our own religions? Do the citizens of this country forget that those English men, women and children who first risked their lives on a deadly trek in a wooden ship across the Atlantic were fleeing almost certain execution because of religious militants? Instead of being drawn and quartered, burned at the stake or hung we have hate crimes, assassinations and bombings. Has nothing changed over the course of two-thousand years?
Separation of Church and State is not a archaic idea. Our founding fathers created this for a reason. Matters of the state and matters of the church are always going to conflict. Our founding fathers attempted to learn from the mistakes of other countries who were owned and controlled by the Church. They realized that ecclesiastical issues should hold no forbearance over the matters of the state. As cliché as it may sounds, history is doomed to repeat itself..
“On the dogmas of religion, as distinguished from moral principles, all mankind, from the beginning of the world to this day, have been quarreling, fighting, burning and torturing one another, for abstractions unintelligible to themselves and to all others, and absolutely beyond the comprehension of the human mind.” — Thomas Jefferson to Carey, 1816