Friday, September 24, 2010

Religions, Anti-Choice, Adoption and Other Oppressions/ Personal Opinions

It has annoyed me, personally, to no end, to see how the religious establishment has involved itself in matters of law, influence of lawmakers and the reproductive rights of all citizens. I am sick of hearing that we live in a nation founded upon "Christian values." I am sick of those seeking election to office who woo the fanatics, the dogmatic and the arrogant in order to be elected and who seek, then, to sneak some fundie's interpretation of Biblical law into the law of the land.

An avowed atheist, agnostic, deist or pagan, no matter how morally upright, no matter how qualified, could never be elected in this nation. As long as this kind of tyranny persists, adoption, denial of abortion rights and the raiding of other nations for infants and toddlers to fill the cribs of the faithful will continue. When you put religion (superstition) together with capitalism (greed), you have a witch's brew of the vilest nature.

Those who praise the assumed Christian faith of our founding fathers have obviously not read their history. So I pulled up a bit of information about who these people really were and then skipped to my favorite pundit on the world of today.

"All persons shall have full and free liberty of religious opinion; nor shall any be compelled to frequent or maintain any religious institution": freedom for religion, but also freedom from religion. (Edwin S. Gaustad, Faith of Our Fathers: Religion and the New Nation, San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1987, p. 38. Jefferson proposed his language in 1776.)

I may grow rich by an art I am compelled to follow; I may recover health by medicines I am compelled to take against my own judgment; but I cannot be saved by a worship I disbelieve and abhor. (Thomas Jefferson, notes for a speech, c. 1776. From Gorton Carruth and Eugene Ehrlich, eds., The Harper Book of American Quotations, New York: Harper & Row, 1988, p. 498.)

But a short time elapsed after the death of the great reformer [Jesus] of the Jewish religion, before his principles were departed from by those who professed to be his special servants, and perverted into an engine for enslaving mankind, and aggrandizing their oppressors in Church and State. (Thomas Jefferson, in a letter to Samuel Kercheval, 1810; from George Seldes, ed., The Great Quotations, Secaucus, New Jersey: Citadel Press, 1983, p. 370)

The most detestable wickedness, the most horrid cruelties, and the greatest miseries that have afflicted the human race have had their origin in this thing called revelation, or revealed religion. It has been the most dishonorable belief against the character of the Divinity, the most destructive to morality and the peace and happiness of man, that ever was propagated since man began to exist. (Thomas Paine, The Age of Reason, 1794-1795. From Gorton Carruth and Eugene Ehrlich, eds., The Harper Book of American Quotations, New York: Harper & Row, 1988, p. 494.)

George Washington's practice of Christianity was limited and superficial because he was not himself a Christian. In the enlightened tradition of his day, he was a devout Deist--just as many of the clergymen who knew him suspected. (Barry Schwartz, George Washington: The Making of an American Symbol, New York: The Free Press, 1987, pp. 174-175.)

Washington's religious belief was that of the enlightenment: deism. He practically never used the word "God," preferring the more impersonal word "Providence." How little he visualized Providence in personal form is shown by the fact that he interchangeably applied to that force all three possible pronouns: he, she, and it. (James Thomas Flexner, George Washington: Anguish and Farewell [1793-1799], Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1972, p. 490.)

And I have no doubt that every new example will succeed, as every past one has done, in shewing that religion & Govt will both exist in greater purity, the less they are mixed together. (James Madison, letter to Edward Livingston, July 10, 1822; published in The Complete Madison: His Basic Writings, ed. by Saul K. Padover, New York: Harper & Bros., 1953.)

Religious bondage shackles and debilitates the mind and unfits it for every noble enterprize [sic], every expanded prospect. (James Madison, in a letter to William Bradford, April 1, 1774, as quoted by Edwin S. Gaustad, Faith of Our Fathers: Religion and the New Nation, San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1987, p. 37.)

"Persecution is not an original feature in any religion; but is always the strongly marked feature of all law-religion, or religions established by law." Thomas Paine

(Historian Craig Nelson:) "When Alexander Hamilton was asked why the U.S. Constitution made no mention of God, he said the country did not require 'foreign aid'; when his mother insisted on a serious reply, he explained, 'We forgot.'"

Why am I so intent on this ideal? I have watched, in my lifetime, as the influence of the church continues to spread throughout this nation. I have observed the formation of Christian Political Action Committees and heard the hate-mongering of the judgmental pundits that push this un-American agenda. And I have witnessed the pain of many, many mothers and children separated and poured into the adoption cauldron because of the influence of the Christian church in the US. These folks are more concerned about who had sex than in who lied in order to start a war. They want to control us down to our very most intimate acts, including procreation.

From Thomas Jefferson to Thomas Paine, from George Washington to George Carlin, people have tried to practice and present common sense on this issue. Had they prevailed, I doubt there would be any problems with single motherhood and birth control and a social conscience that would allow us to care for those who need care. So the last word is from the latter George. Same song, present day.

"I'm completely in favor of the separation of Church and State. My idea is that these two institutions screw us up enough on their own, so both of them together is certain death." George Carlin


Sandy Young said...

Very simply, thank you. This is excellent and says it all.

Chris said...

That which we decry as a nation, we are now practicing.
The media whores (and their owners), the fanatical population of supposed "Christians", demonize Eastern religions..mainly the Muslim religion. As a nation we decry the practices of the Taliban, yet I see much likeness of same in the rhetoric of the pompous and self-righteous Christian fanatics here in the good Ole U.S of A. I fear for this country, I fear for my children and grandchildren, their future in this country, if the brakes are not employed full-stop before this religious fanaticism of a train-wreck destroys our nation. It will not be our demise as a nation from without, it will come from, within. The hatred and fear-mongering from the religious fanatics, is spreading across our nation, like a deadly pandemic disease. But much like other crisis in this country or even in families..those who are in control will ignore, in the hopes the fanatical/the problem/the white elephant in the room, will just magically disappear. It won't. It will spread (it is) like a wild-fire. And the fire will only die out after the combustible fuel has been exhausted/spent. We then will be left with the outward and internal scarring of terrible burns, that will take decades to heal itself over. The wounds will heal someday, but the burn scars will always be visible. Sometimes even the best plastic surgery, can never totally erase the 'scars'(nor the memory of the painful 'burns) and there will be many.
I am not 'fear-mongering', this truly is my very own gut feeling. I so trust my 'gut', but this time I will pray, that my 'gut' is so very, very wrong.

Excellent blog, Robin..thank you!