Thursday, December 1, 2011

Cling to the Constitution Because We Fought to Have It

Another letter to the editor entitled, "Cling to prayer because we fought to save it."
Another rage.
Another petulant but, hopefully, poignant response.

The Supreme Court, Congress and federal judges are oppressing one religion, Christianity.

Sir, please exit the mothership and return to Earth. Can you please give me one, just ONE, example where a court, a police officer, or a politician has prevented you from going to church or praying privately? Can you show me just one time in the past century when American Christians (except for Mormons and Jehovah's Witnesses - who you probably don't consider "real Christians") have been rounded up by their government and imprisoned for their beliefs?

Of course you can't because you're dead wrong.

Christians do not force others to be a Christian, neither do they kill one who decides to leave their ranks, as many religions do.

Sir, have you not heard of ecclesiastical imprisonment and the Inquisitions? Do you not know that the Catholic Church has spent most of existence torturing pagans, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, and Protestant Christians until they converted, died, or agreed to stop observing their religious rites? Do you not know that Protestants and Catholics have been killing each other for ages in Europe? Do you not know that the Puritans ruthlessly persecuted the Quakers?

It may be that Christians are not supposed to coerce or kill non-Christians but the sad fact is that they have done so for many centuries and some still do.

Other religions can express their religion anywhere in the U.S., but Christians are deprived of free speech.

Sir, again, can you please show me one instance where a Christian was deprived of free speech and another religion was not. Please give me evidence of any single case where Christianity was mistreated in America. You can't because the persecution you describe simply does not exist.

My school teachers taught me about the Founding Fathers of this great nation. These were brave, God-fearing men.

Some of them were but not in the way you think. Do you know that George Washington was an Anglican and usually left before communion without participating? Do you know that Dr. Ben Franklin was born to Puritan parents but became a deist and then later blended his deist and Christian beliefs together, rejecting many of the Bible's claims including Jesus's divinity? Do you not know that Thomas Jefferson was an Episcopalian but his beliefs were far more deistic? Do you know that he accepted the morality of Jesus but not the divine attributions? Do you know that Jefferson made his own Bible by cutting out all the parts he thought were ridiculously untrue or harmful? Do you know that he couldn't stand priests and advocated for a full separation of church and state? Do you know that John Adams and his son John Q. Adams were both Unitarians and did not accept the divinity of Jesus? 

By today's mainstream Christian standards, that means that Franklin, Jefferson, and the Adamses are all in hell.

My teachers taught me about Christianity. The main reason people came to America was religious freedom.

If that's the case, your teachers taught you wrong. Just one more reason why public school teachers should NOT teach religion. There were some people who came to America for religious freedom but most people who came here did so for another reason: wealth. People fled debts and poverty in Europe by coming over here and claiming land. Some groups (like the Puritans) came over here to set up their own little theocracies so they could be free to persecute anyone they didn't like. Greed was the biggest motivator for coming to the New World - not religion.

For my country's freedom, I served almost three years in the U.S. Navy, about half of that in the Pacific on the USS Manila Bay. Then it took another three years to get my health back enough so I could hold a public job. That all was minor compared to what thousands of others serving our country have gone through.

And this is where it gets difficult for me. It would be incorrect for me to say that I'm not grateful for the sacrifices of those who did serve to protect our values and way of life. So many of my family made those sacrifices for the freedom I have that I cannot be ungrateful. But I must be honest here: if you went to war and fought so that you could set up a Christian theocracy here and take away my right to dissent, then I cannot be grateful for that. And while you have not said that you wish to take away my religious freedom, I have to wonder what your intent is when you repeat lies designed to make people like me look like persecutors of the faith.

When the tornado destroyed Smithville, almost everyone heard talking was saying, "I was praying to God and He saved my life."

Again, this is difficult because I had friends in Smithville but I must be honest. Nobody survived because of prayer. If you believe that your god saved those people then you must believe that those who died either did not pray or their prayers were not heard, or they just didn't deserve mercy. Do you have the balls to say that about those people?

A few months later we were ordered not to pray at ballgames. So we tucked our tail between our legs and lay down.

No, the government-operated school was ordered not to pray. It's that "freedom" thing you fought for - the First Amendment. Read it and please get a clue what you were fighting for. And I seriously doubt there was any tail-tucking going on. I expect you were all madder than ole wet hens and probably screamed the Lord's Prayer as loudly as you could. After all, Jesus didn't mean any of that stuff he said in Matthew 6 about not praying in public like a bunch of hypocrites, right?

We are in the process of building our churches back in Smithville. Are we building them back so we can hide in them or are we building them back so we can worship God in them and prepare ourselves so we can carry His message outside the building?

That's very much your business, sir, but I've got to tell you: if you don't offer us a message any better than the lies you've repeated here, we aren't going to listen to you.

The commentary in the Daily Journal on Nov. 13 was sad. Since a prayer by a person that was not an elegant speaker embarrassed Sonny Scott, he should not write about prayer, because he doesn't even know what prayer is about.

No, what's really sad and pathetic, what's really downright embarrassing here, is that you just said that Sonny Scott doesn't know what prayer is about when the very model for prayer he quoted is JESUS CHRIST.  My stars, man, do you not even know which god you, as a Christian, are supposed to pay attention to? Or do you think that maybe Jesus just didn't know what he was talking about when he gave out those instructions? Maybe Jesus was wrong about praying privately to the Father. Maybe he should have been holding up some gaudy sign and screaming like a banshee at the local arena during the gladiator games.

I don't know what you went to war and fought for but I hope you'll review our history and our law and understand that the thing that binds us Americans together is supposed to be freedom. And I've got to tell you, sir, I can't find any sign in your letter that you understand freedom or support it. I hope you'll take the time reflect on this; otherwise, everything you went through was in vain.