I’m Going To Hell

(10 am. – promoted by ek hornbeck)

cross posted from The Dream Antilles

Pardon me.  I’m not a Christian.  Never was, never will be.  I don’t believe that Jesus was the messiah, that he died for my sins.  I don’t have a personal relationship with him.  I haven’t been saved.  Or redeemed.  I haven’t been re-born.  I don’t believe the Bible is the literal word of God.  And I was simply and utterly infuriated that both the presumptive presidential nominees decided to attend Rev. Rick Warren’s forum so they could show him and his many co-religionists that they were, well, just like them.  That they were all good, moral Christians, and they all believed very much in a particular kind of Christianity, and that they were willing to prove it.  I was outraged that they decided to make a spectacle of their “faith.”  But I was even more outraged that they would seek to prove they had the right kind of faith to this particular audience.

That’s right, prove it.  They weren’t going to refuse the invitation.  They weren’t going to say, “I’m sorry, but what I believe is private.  It’s between me and my God.  I am not willing publicly to discuss theology.”  They weren’t going to say, “I’m sorry, I believe in the separation of church and state, and, therefore, I consider this mega church to be an inappropriate setting for a political discussion about secular, political matters.”  They weren’t going to say, “I’m sorry, I’m a very good person, but I don’t believe the same things you say I should believe.  I’m nevertheless scrupulously honest and moral.”  They weren’t going to say, “You’re free to think about these issues any way you wish, but I don’t want to discuss how my religious beliefs might be related to my policy positions.  My policy positions stand on their own merit.”  No.  No chance.  The candidates decided to show up, and they blatantly pandered to these right wing evangelicals.  To gain their approval, to gain their votes.

Join me below.

Unlike Rev. Warren, I don’t believe that life begins at conception.  I don’t believe that homosexuality is a sin.  I don’t believe that Jews and Muslims and Buddhists and Hindus and atheists will all go to hell.  source.

I don’t agree with those positions, I think they’re dead wrong, but I will defend his Constitutional right to believe anything he wishes to believe.  His receiving a federal income tax exemption might be a different matter.

The spectacle of the presumptive nominees agreeing to this kind of forum, however, completely disgusts me.  I don’t agree that the US is a Christian nation, whatever that means.  I don’t agree that religious belief equates with morality.  I don’t agree that personal “character” correlates to a person’s religious preference or his/her “faith.”

So today, after thinking about the forum, and after reading about the questions, and after pondering the distractions offered by the “cross in the dirt” and the “cone of silence,” I realized that I was simply outraged that, in addition to all of the other parts of the Constitution that have been trashed in the last 8 years, the part of the First Amendment forbidding state establishments of religion, has now also been unceremoniously scrapped.

How else can you explain the candidates showing up at a mega church to discuss with an evangelical pastor the way their faith influences their politics?

And don’t tell me that it’s all about getting the votes of these religious people and that after the election the bright line between church and state will somehow miraculously be restored.  It won’t be.  It’s too late.

And don’t tell me how Obama’s views were more acceptable, more moderate than McCain’s.  That’s not the point.  Neither of the candidates should have been at Rick Warren’s forum.  Neither of them should be permitting this kind of encroachment of religion into the resolution of civil, political issues.

50 comments

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  1. Today is one of those days.

    Thanks for reading.

    • Edger on August 18, 2008 at 9:41 pm

    should have been at Rick Warren’s forum.

    I guess they don’t want to be “Left Behind”.

  2. wonderful bumper sticker.

    Born right the first time.

    This easy pandering to religious celebrities distresses me, too.

    I’m old enough to remember a time when it wasn’t acceptable to didn’t pray in public school, or before a football game, or at a public political gathering, because we understood that in America it wasn’t right to make people who didn’t believe as you might believe that they were somehow outsiders. I guess back then we still thought that making people feel like outsiders was divisive, and we relied on our belief in the Constitution and Bill of Rights to protect all of us, no matter what religion or creed was believed in privately.

    Nice rant. I agree.

  3. This kind of thing should not be going on at all period!

  4. in A Choice of Destinies (an absolutly wonderful alternative history where Alexander turns from going to India and ends up defeating Rome and sacking Carthage!).  It’s ‘the many faces of God.’  In her version, as a side-bar, a form of Christianity does arise, but it has been moulded even more by Greek and Eastern religions than it already has been, and the other religions are equally respected.

    You can’t buy it direct from Amazon, but you can buy through their network of resellers.  It’s quite a read for the Alexandrophile!

  5. I will join you. Hopefully Hell has a good selection of wine and cheese and the cable is free.

  6. they would follow up this forum with one at the ACLU.

    I’m not holding my breath.

  7. We know that “The church” historically stepped up to the plate to serve as a people controlling mechanism left by the void after the fall of the Roman empire.

    We are all supposed to have the very same “powers” the “son of God” had but we don’t actually know how to use them.  Blame it on aspartame, MSG, floride in the water, vaccinations or birth control medications making fish sterile, you are not going to hell you are in hell.

    That being said you have the capacity to evaluate crap for what it is.  That in itself makes you a Knight amongst ordinary men.  Yeah, I am on my third beer!  Sounds kind of cool though don’t it.

    • feline on August 19, 2008 at 5:09 pm

    I heard the first bit of it and had to turn it off.  You’re right, davidseth, it’s very disturbing that the candidates would be at that forum.  The response to the question (that I had the patience to listen to) was also disturbing – they are redeemed and forgiven for their sins – not to treat others as they would want to be treated, or help the poor and the sick, or to look honestly at hypocrisy – their answers were about them and their personal redemption, not their relationships with others.

    If they’re going to show up at such a forum (which violates the religious test laws, IMO), they should at least read the words of Jesus before they get there, instead of recycling the worn out misinterpretations they think a small block of voters wants to hear.

    Thanks for the rant – it needed to be said.

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