Thursday, October 18, 2012

Religious Freedom?? Here? In America??

Okay, so I believe in religious freedom, right?? I have friends and family from different countries, different religions, NO religion, different races, ethnicities and I am doubly-blessed and grateful to have them. I have a broader view of the world and of life in general because of my friends and family, and because of the honest and real relationships with them. But here, in America… do we really have religious “freedom?” If you are not a cookie cutter version of someone that would “plug and play” in the 700 Club, PTL, or AFA… are you free? Are you accepted? Are you a “real” Christian?

Everybody that is an American citizen has the civil right of religious freedom. It’s in the very 1st Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America. We, as citizens in the 1700’s noted and then VOTED to allow people to practice their belief structure, personally and privately, without persecution, without recrimination. So, then why is religion such a big deal? Why is it a big deal in America, in general? It’s not as great of an issue in Europe, or in other parts of the world. But here, it is. It’s a big deal in politics, in entertainment, in friendships, in love… It became a big deal because of religious and political extremists. The founding fathers of our nation were actually quite sick and tired of being told how and when to worship, and how and when to believe and (in my own Christian, humble opinion) might have gone too far left in separating the church and the state aspects of our nation. But, they did. It was ratified. It was accepted. It was amended. It is IN our Constitution.

Now, truthfully, and quite bluntly, I don’t care, personally, that Mitt Romney is a Mormon. If he wants to believe and practice Santeria or Voodoo, I don’t care. If he wants to be a Scientologist, I don’t care. However, I care that he says he’ll govern and religion will play a part in his decision making. I care because I am NOT Mormon. I don’t want ANY leader to use THEIR personal belief structure in making legislation for me or mine. I care that he wants to have it BOTH ways – he will use Christianity as the foundation for his own religion’s influence on his decision making. Yet, he wants that off of the table of discussion. I DO care that he wouldn’t discuss it – for almost 5 years. I care that he won’t allow questions about his family, finance, or faith in press conferences or interviews. THEN, he complete flip flops and does controlled and very contrived PR opportunities about his faith to quell the press and publics outcry. It’s very weird, to me, how the entire thing was produced.

I care that our highest office and the transparency that goes with the campaign and political process are being both circumvented and subjugated for this particular (well to do, white) man, by a group of (well to do, white) men for the purpose of… Well, that’s where I have the problem. WHY are the very people that only want a white, well to do, homogenous Protestant Fundamental Christian nation in America supporting Mitt Romney? Until very, very recently (this week) the Billy Graham website had Mitt Romney’s religion listed as a cult. After a meeting with Mr. Romney, that part of his site was “cleaned up”. I find that pretty odd.

I DO care that so many conservative fundamentalist Protestant Christians are supporting Mitt Romney openly. I care because most of their websites and internal monologues in churches for decades have been that Mormonism is a cult. They are only now embracing one Mormon despite their beliefs and Christianity because the alternative is a Protestant Christian (openly stated and declared) that also happens to be black. And, yes… Barack and Michelle Obama have already stated and self-identified as Christian. Barack Obama also answered questions regarding his personal choice to go from his father’s religion of Muslim-turned-Atheist to his mother’s Christianity with: “It’s not my job to convince others of my conversion.” Uh, dear President Obama, I mean NO disrespect when I say, “Amen, hunty… amen.”

So, what’s the big deal, you ask? Why am I even raising this point? Because I have seen friends and family have discussions that are inaccurate. They are just INACCURATE. And I don’t care what “god” you worship, or what book you claim is “holy” as long as you are informed and making your own choice. But when your pastor is changing the nature of his beliefs… and when even Billy Graham is changing his own websites old view of a sect and cult within the (very large, very loose interpretation) umbrella of “Christianity”, then it’s getting weird. It’s getting sad. It’s getting serious. When your pastor is telling you Mitt Romney is your choice, based on the simple fact that President Obama is a Democrat, Christian, Black American that embraces ideas and ideologies that are more liberal or progressive than past sitting Presidents… that’s wrong. Wrong because then that tax-free, religious, supportive place becomes a lobbying firm paying speakers, musicians, teachers, and staff while they tell you and lobby you (the attendee, the lay person) to vote their way and their belief and what the conservatives want. Then it becomes a legal issue and their tax status should be stripped and they should have to file the appropriate paperwork LIKE ANY OTHER LOBBYIST. Also, it’s wrong to change and support a man that goes against your basic belief structure, because…UM… IT GOES AGAINST YOUR BASIC BELIEF STRUCTURE. Also, let’s not forget that during the Republican Primaries… Mitt’s religious status WAS discussed and he WAS dissed and “Christians” didn’t want a “Mormon” in office. The other candidates, the other GOP primary candidates, the people, and the constituents and “leftovers” from his previous “work” didn’t like him - didn’t care for him - didn’t want him. The people that hated him in the primaries actually stated, “I am voting AGAINST Obama, rather than FOR Romney”. I guess if your only other choice is a nigger, then even a Mormon is better than staying true to your beliefs and ideals. It’s racism. It’s control. It’s fear. And it’s wrong.

We, as citizens have a right to religious freedom. A very small and powerful section of our population has made it seem that if you don’t fit their ideal of “Christianity,” then you are not welcome here in the United States. That’s not true. And, personally, as one that identifies my personal beliefs as a Christian, I am reminded and thoughtful on a verse from OUR holy scriptures. It applies to Christians, and it is about our belief that our God will judge us if we are evil and not living and proclaiming the Christ. Not, 700 Club, not James Dobson, not AFA, not any televised and Billy Graham-esque portion of what they “think” today’s Christians look like – but God will judge us, and judge us harshly if we don’t follow our Christ’s teachings and example. I think that those Christians that misquote, misrepresent, change and revise their stance on our scriptures and our beliefs, specifically to fit a political or social agenda, ought to think on
Revelation 3:16: And you are lukewarm and neither cold nor hot, I am going to vomit you from my mouth.
I seriously pray for this country. God help us and bless us all.

#JustBeingMichael ツ


  1. Always a tough topic to tackle. Way to be brave as always, MK :)

    Speaking as a Jewish person who is also a proud (or ... wants to be proud ... ) American, anytime the separation of church and state is threatened I start to itch. And when someone's very credibility is called into question on the basis of "they're not Christian" or "not the RIGHT KIND of Christian" - that's not patriotism, folks. It's a small-minded, self-righteous attack, and what's more, it's irrelevant. Being Christian does not make you any more or less American. Faith can shape your personal identity, but it shouldn't dictate what rights and privileges you have. At least, not in this country. There are plenty of countries with NO separation of church and state. Do you want us to be more like one of those? (Even before you go Google 'em, let me tell you - no. No, you don't want us to be more like a religiously-ruled country.)

    1. Exactly, Beth Kander. Ex.Act.Ly.

      I FULLY support the separation of Church and State as expressly presented in the 1st Ammendment to the Constitution.

      As a Christian, I support that as well and do NOT want government leaders infringing on MY rights of freedom of religion, NOR my friends' or family's rights of freedom of religion.

      What I find hypocritical and racist is the typically conservative religious right's "about-face" on Mormonism and Mitt Romney because they are so (wrongly and hypocritically) filled with hate towards a black, liberal Democrat that is actually Christian.

      Love you, Poodle!