Dear Chuck Norris: Christianity is not Bigotry

We want to tear down America by following the constitution and keeping your religion out of our lives. Riiiight.

You have an odd idea of what it means to be a Christian, Chuck (via Autumn):

Though the majority of Americans continue to claim to be Christians, a Gallup poll discovered 45 percent of us would support an atheist for president, 55 percent would support a homosexual candidate and 72 percent would support a Mormon candidate.

Such a survey is a clear indication that most Americans are simply confused about what it means to be Christian. It also shows that the secularization of society is alive and well, especially when almost half would endorse an atheist president.

I don’t think you understand what it means to be an American. Apparently you think being a Christian means only voting for straight “acceptable” Christians.

You certainly aren’t up to snuff on the constitution (Jesus’s General):

I am a little worried, however, that you didn’t make a stronger argument in favor of a religious test being applied to those seeking office or employment by the government. While the letter from John Jay to Jedidiah Morse you cite makes a compelling case for requiring government officials to be Christian, I don’t think it carries quite as much weight as Article VI, Section III of the Constitution which states in part: “…but no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.”

I’m afraid you’re going to have to do a lot better than a letter to overcome a Constitutional clause. I know that’s not easy for you. Logic and reasoned argument aren’t your strong suits.

No, they certainly aren’t. For example, in siding with the Rev Henry Jackson on hate crime legislation, you said:

I agree with Rev. Henry Jackson, who said the [“The Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act”] would “mandate unequal protection under the law and will pave the way for criminalization of thoughts and religious beliefs contrary to politically correct ideas.”

Hate-crime laws are not only a violation of our First Amendment rights to freedom of speech and religion, but a violation of the 10th Amendment’s limitations on the power of federal government.

The hate crime legislation you disagree with explicitly protects first amendment rights. What is so damn alluring about being able to commit hate crimes? And why is it an integral part of your identity as a Christian?

You title your article “How to outlaw Christianity (part 1)”. Why is your idea of Christianity one which requires others to acknowledge and bow to your faith and beliefs? Why must Christianity be enshrined within our political system, rather than a personal path towards God?

You call something as insignificant as removing the words “In God We Trust” from some coins “a flagrant defiance against theism”. Did you mean to say against theocracy? Because any act against the unification of church and state does nothing to harm theism, and much to help protect one’s religious beliefs from being infringed upon.

I urge you to write the president and your representatives today to encourage the overturning of this ungodly, religiously restricting and unconstitutional piece of legislation, erroneously titled by the misnomer, “Hate Crimes Prevention Act.”

The ignorance in your closing deserves sharp comment. There is nothing unconstitutional about a bill with this clause:

If any provision of this Act, an amendment made by this Act, or the application of such provision or amendment to any person or circumstance is held to be unconstitutional, the remainder of this Act, the amendments made by this Act, and the application of the provisions of such to any person or circumstance shall not be affected thereby.

What is ungodly about stopping hate and violence?

Chuck Norris, Christianity is not Bigotry. It is one of many paths towards God, towards love and understanding. It will not be hurt by the hate crime legislation. It will be strengthened by it. So will we.

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One Issue Voters and Weak Candidates

I was thinking about politicians who seem to set their stance based on the preferences of a few bigots, and started wondering how many of these “desirable” voters are actually out there.  I’m talking about voters who care so much about gay marriage they will disregard every other issue out there to ensure it is never legal.  Voters who find homophobia infinitely more compelling than national security, health care, the economy, or education.  How many of those jackasses are out there, and why do any candidates shift and tailor their positions to cater to them?

Is Marriage Sacred?

One of the arguments against gay marriage is that it threatens the sanctity of marriage.  Is marriage a sacred or a legal bond?

If it is a sacred bond, then government cannot play a role in its regulation without violating the separation of church and state.

If government regulated marriage is simply a legal state between individuals, sanctity doesn’t enter into the discussion at all.

So when an anti-gay rights proponent starts talking about protecting the sanctity of marriage, they are attempting to blur the distinction between church and state.  Don’t let them.

The Pope Digs Colonization

The Pope thinks the natives of the Americas were “silently longing” for their own conquest. Via Amanda of Pandagon:

From Tapped, it appears that the Pope is making it very clear that the Church under his watch will be honoring the ugliest elements of its history.

In a speech to Latin American and Caribbean bishops at the end of a visit to Brazil, the Pope said the Church had not imposed itself on the indigenous peoples of the Americas.

They had welcomed the arrival of European priests at the time of the conquest as they were “silently longing” for Christianity, he said.

Silently longing for that lovely choice: “Bible or sword sir? Very good, a wise choice sir…”. Colonization was simply a delectable period in history when indigenous peoples threw themselves at the feet of European settlers hoping for religion and/or violence. Getting your hands thoroughly pierced was very much in vogue:

Columbus also imposed a tribute system similar to that of the Aztec on the mainland. The natives in Cicao on Haiti all those above 14 years of age were required to find a certain quota of gold, to be signified by a token placed around their necks. Those who failed to reach their quota would have their hands chopped off.

You see, everyone secretly wants to be Christian, regardless of what they say:

Yep, the Pope said that people’s mouths might be saying “no” to forced conversion, but their eyes were saying “yes”. Thank god for the white man to show those brown people the way.

Plus they dressed culturally slutty.

Thankfully the Pope’s words  are not being greeted with roses (Reuters):

Pope Benedict not only upset many Indians but also Catholic priests who have joined their struggle, said Sandro Tuxa, who heads the movement of northeastern tribes.

“We repudiate the Pope’s comments,” Tuxa said. “To say the cultural decimation of our people represents a purification is offensive, and frankly, frightening.

Very frightening.  To gloss over the deaths and suffering of millions and frame one religion forcing itself on a people as being in any way desirable only extends suffering and cast a dark pallor over those who continue to die for their beliefs today.  It reveals a single-mindedness that really doesn’t consider earthly loss as important as perceived heavenly gain.  That ignorant view of human value lead directly to many deaths at the hands of the Church.

Even the Catholic Church’s own Indian advocacy group in Brazil, known as Cimi, distanced itself from the Pope.

“The Pope doesn’t understand the reality of the Indians here, his statement was wrong and indefensible,” Cimi advisor Father Paulo Suess told Reuters. “I too was upset.”

The Pope has disgraced his own religious tradition and the nobility and love that has come out of it.  Members of the Church who have agitated on behalf of the poor and the weak, who have stood up for peace and religious freedom.  Christians are killed for their beliefs in this day and age, and to endorse the blood of the conquests for the mind share of conversion insults their memory.  The Catholics standing up to the Pope’s statements honors the memory of Catholics past who have stood for what is right in this world.

Conversion by the sword is never anything other than tyranny.  It is to be condemned with all one’s might.

Grief, Loss, and War

Mirth has written a short and moving call to mourn alongside the families of the war dead.

We often hear about the cost of war, but I think it is better understood in terms of loss.  The “human cost” of war feels like a price we pay, an expected life fee payed to allow us to fight.  But to lose our friends and family to a war, any war, is to know a pain that extends far beyond the cost, and lingers past the debt.

Our government officials do not attend their funerals; our news media hides their caskets; our Congress gives them useless actions; our political figures speak empty words on their behalf.  Unless we are directly affected, we have little more than obscene numbers to mark their service, to understand the far reaches of their needless sacrifice.

We just see the numbers, and if we are unlucky, see the loss itself in the faces and hear it in the voices of friends and loved ones.  This has a direct impact on how we view the war, and even on how we view the soldiers fighting in it.  To send others off to war involves a callousness to consequence few of us would face if we found it lurking within our own hearts.   To send soldiers to a needless war, a war of choice, reaches a deeper depravity still.

There is little public evidence of the sorrow and waste and ruin caused by the criminal, murderous, morally bankrupt, goddamned Bush administration.

Imagine being confronted with the cost and the loss of this war.  Daily.  Imagine understanding that every poorly conceived surge, every plot and contrivance to ensure an even greater regional war, leads directly to our own suffering.  More people would look that suffering in the eye, and be moved.

So today, for a just few minutes, for just this alone and nothing else, these funerals, let your eyes see and let your hearts feel. Today, share a tiny portion of the weight these families carry, these lied to, burying their lied to. It is the least we can do.

The more we share this burden, the closer we come to bringing our troops home safely.