Sunday, August 23, 2015

American Extremism

First a disclaimer and clarification.  I am not an atheist nor am I an evangelized religious zealot. There are shades of faith in-between and I think most American people practice their faith in that zone.  By whatever definition you wish to use, other than sect specific dogma, I am a believer.  But to engage in a conversation about religion we have to have more than tradition, mythology, blind acceptance and exclusion to back up the Truth.  

Because of my religious belief I am as rabid about separation of Church and State as the NRA is about the right to bear arms.  Here is how I felt back in April. Separation of Church and State.  (If you get past the essay to the comment section you can read the statements of a lady who is the very delusional demographic  that I am afraid is out there.)

In a rally for Ted Cruz over the weekend, Ted stated there is an "assault on religion" in this country and if elected he would "Obey the laws of God over American Law."  He also said he would recruit a preacher in every county and district to rally support in their capacity as religious leader to campaign for him.  To me this is a clear violation of the separation of Church and State.  

If Mr. Cruz were trying to get elected as a Southern Baptist Minister his rhetoric would be radical but at least "subject appropriate". He seems to be rallying a crusade rather than conducting a political campaign.  What Isis and the Taliban are trying to do in the Middle East is exactly what Ted Cruz wants to do if elected. All want to form a "state" that is not dictated by law, but religion.  It will not be a state of freedom, justice and liberty for all, it will be a fascist government of suppression, exclusion and medieval punishments. All couched in the idea that this is Our God's Will.

If you belong to the "right" religion and abide by specific ancient rules, you are welcomed into submission.  Those with different philosophies will be converted or be killed.
There is nothing more empowering nor dangerous than a person who believes he speaks on his God's behalf. From Pharaohs to Kings and Cult Leaders to Zealots, it has been proven that the "self-ordained Righteous leaders" are sometimes the most corrupted.  

Granted, Mr. Cruz has not come out in favor of beheading infidels, but he is standing on the top of that slippery slope.  He is running for President of the United States not Bishop of Jesusland.  If in some way actually elected President, Senator Cruz would have to swear an oath to "support and defend the Constitution of the United States of America".  Only days ago he stated that he would obey "God's law" over Constitutional law. I'm not sure the rules are the same.

His actions as Senator demonstrated that he will not let the needs of the Country stand in the way of his sense of Righteousness.  His filibuster reading of Green Eggs and Ham cost the United States a down-graded credit rating.  The credit rating has not yet gone back to its "Pre Cruz" level.
Religion is not under attack in this country. It is the same conflict in the Middle East. Misguided zealots fearful of losing the power they now have are fighting to keep it. This IS the attack.   The organized belief that there is  only one way to salvation, is under attack.   Religion that hides discrimination in the guise of  "Gods will",  is under attack.  Any group that advocates the suppression of rights in the name of "righteousness",  is under attack.  Killing because God tells you to do so, is under attack.  For me, I think that all out dated dogma, is under attack.
So, if someone has no chance to become the next President, why care what he (or she) says or stands for? Here's why:  We have seen how easy it is to "recruit" people into giving up their liberty and freedom and fly to a distant land, fight, to kill and die for a cause they believe God has ordained.  Today it is Isis cloaked in Islamic radicalism,  tomorrow it could be a new version of the Klan cloaked in the American flag and Christian extremism.  

Of course these are just opinions based on my own observations.  I would expect yours to be different. In my religious philosophy all are unique, individual expressions of that which is immutable omniscient eternal Truth.  God is omnipotent individuality, not  one size fits all.  What matters which path you take if it leads you to the same destination. 
As you were,


P. Grecian said...

Powerful, Jay. Really just bloody powerful. Packed with passion and truth. Thanks so much.

John Glines said...

Right on!