Friday, April 15, 2005

A comment I posted on prying1's blog

I wanted to reproduce for my own readers:

Read the quote at the top of your page. The people you laud are men of zeal. I'm an independent, I have voted for men of both parties. I voted for my own Republican rep, Joe Knollenberg, and supported GOP candidate Andrew Raczkowski over Carl Levin in the 2002 Senate race, for example. However, I believe my faith and the faith of others is not compatible with government. Just because I am Catholic does not mean that my beliefs are shared by those I might govern. This country comprises of Christians of several denominations, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, agnostics, atheists, and the like.
I don't agree with the tenets of some of those faiths, and I'm sure they disagree with some of mine. I cannot, though, in good conscience, impose my Catholic beliefs on them. The problem with some of these judges is that they wish to use their Christian beliefs as the basis for legal decisions. The Constitution of the United States does not preach religion, it guarantees freedom of religion for all. Every religion has different beliefs, so why should Frist, DeLay, et al. legislate against their beliefs because they have the power? Are their beliefs somehow superior?
I do not believe Catholicism is in any way superior to another faith. I lead my life based on my conscience, which St. Augustine said is a sovereign force. If I were to legislate, though, I would err on the side of minority rights. If I were a judge, I would rule based on the law, not on my own personal beliefs. The law is impartial and unbiased. Bringing our religious beliefs to the law or the bench is un-American. Just imagine: could an atheist get a truly fair hearing in front of a judge who has publicly made their faith an issue? Jesus warned against those who broadcast their faith publicly. I believe in works, not words, and a group of people who have done little to help the poor, the disabled, the sick while broadcasting they believe in Jesus makes me sick.
Medicaid has helped loved ones who fell on hard times. Social Security saved my family when my father died. These people wish to destroy both. They are the modern-day Pharisees, and anyone of either party who stands up and says "No" is doing the right thing. I'd believe these people if they were more concerned about the less fortunate. I'd believe these people if they didn't line their pockets with contributions from the companies that are shipping our jobs to China and India. I'd believe these people if they worked for the good of all. I'd believe these people if they hadn't just waived the estate tax, which does not help the family farmer, but helps Paris Hilton and Bill Gates' kids. I don't give a damn whether they say (D) or (R) in front of their name. I just want them to follow the Constitution they swore to uphold, and do more to help all Americans, not just those who give them money.


Blogger prying1 said...

Hi Thad, Thought I'd bring my reply over here too. I know how it is when so much time is spent on typing out ideas and opinions that it is a shame to have them buried in the comments on someone else's blog/post. Below is my reply to your comments brought over from my blog. Hopfully we may find others interested in adding to the dialog. one thing I would like to add to my comments is a reply to your statement - The law is impartial and unbiased. Bringing our religious beliefs to the law or the bench is un-American. -

The Dred Scott decision show that statement is not always true.
It was through the work of many Christian people that slavery was ultimately abolished. Had these people not exercised their religious beliefs slavery may very well have lasted longer than it did. Look around. How many 'EVIL' Christians do you personally know? When have you heard of them really demanding to enter peoples bedrooms to make sure everything is according to 'their standards? You have heard them accused of it but never heard them demand it. Accusations against this 'group' are mostly smoke and mirrors. Dust thrown in our eyes to fill people with hate for something that does not exist. makes us look the other way while our pockets are being picked. -
Ok, My reply from the other board:
Perhaps you are missing the point. You claim to want them to follow the constitution. It is the Democrats that are calling for a SUPER MAJORITY vote for these nmominees. That is extra constitutional. Never been done that way and they want to change the rules.

Most of your diatribe shows that you pay too much attention to the mainstream media. Which group or denomination of Christians wants or demands a Theocracy? Certainly none of the mainstream ones.

It is the Democrats that are making an issue of the nominees religions. They have set up an unconstitutional set of guidelines that disallows these candidates and refuse to attend the meetings that would allow these qualified candidates to go forward in the process. The Democrats have made an issue of the Catholicism not the Republicans.

Should a 'religion disallow him from the up or down vote? Is that constitutional. Freedom of religion not freedom from religion!
...end quote...

2:26 AM  
Blogger Thad said...

Well, in terms of the in the bedroom laws, the laws against contraception, finally and fully reversed in Griswold v. Connecticut, those were Catholics, I believe, that helped write that law. It is one of the things that the Church should change its stance on.
But getting to your Dred Scott comment, there were many Christian people who fought for slavery as well as against it. The victory over slavery was not a Christian victory, because most Southerners were Christians too. How many times did someone find a way to use the Bible to justify slavery and racism?
I am not one who says expressing faith is a bad idea. I think Christian groups do many wonderful things in this world, and I have worked with them before for certain projects.
I simply believe that in governing a nation that is full of many non-Christians, using Christian ideology as a guide to supersede legal precedent or the Constitution is wrong. To most people, faith is a personal act, and they don't like politicians pushing their faith on them or judges using their faith as their main guideline. The judges in the Schiavo case were mainly conservative Christians, and they deplored Congress' actions. Greer was a devout Baptist, and he took a ton of heat undeservedly in that case.
The reason it seems people want faith in all aspects of public life is that the loudest voices are the choruses clamoring for this very thing. The people who want faith to stay personal don't tend to vote. Only 1/5 of voters cited moral values as their priority, yet the media played it as if it were a new trend. It's not. Being loudest doesn't make you a majority, it just means people hear you.
As I stated before, I want a just government and fair court system that puts their personal beliefs above the law. It does happen, by the way. A man chose a rehab program here in Michigan over jail time for a minor drug charge. The man was Catholic, and the rehab program in that area was run by Pentecostals. It was the only program available. They tried to convert the man, asking every day why he didn't renounce his Catholicism, so he went before the judge and asked for a new program. The judge refused and sent him to jail. Tell me, was that good law? And why was the only program available run by a Pentecostal church? Furthermore, is it right for that group, while doing county work (because they received funding for the program) to try and convert someone to their faith?
This is why faith must remain personal. It can be used for good, and it can be used for some form of evil...just like those Southern Baptists who all believed in slavery.

6:28 PM  
Blogger jj said...

After reading your post and the replies I have to agree with Thad. I want to give my thoughts on religion and government. It seems that over the years religion has become more prevalent in politics. From the pledge and “Under God” to our motto IN GOD WE TRUST these are things that have happened fairly recently(last 60 years) compared to the history of the country. For some Christians they think we have lost something and God is being removed from public. This is simply not true. The country was NOT founded on Christian principles or even by Christians. Most people seem surprised and do not believe it but most of our founding fathers were Deist’s and not Christians. I have written about this subject at Truth Be Told and the most recent post TBT talks about how religion has increased over the years and is not simply historical in nature. Most religious people think we need more religion to make our country stronger and are not trying to bring the country down or change it (not intentionally anyway). They are for the most part good people trying to do the right thing. I think the problem comes when elected officials who should know better and have sworn to uphold the constitution either do not know the history of the country or are trying to change it. (From a Previous Post) People are so emotional over their religious veiws that the country be damned. They have no idea the road they are trying to take the country down will take the country down. By removing a system of checks and balances the "court haters" while most have good intentions they do not realize where the road they are paving leads.
Here are some links to for my assertions.
Documents, Law History and Diplomacy All the documents since the countries founding. Very good site must see.

Theology Click on QH Journal of Theology and scroll down to sect. 2 about religion & founding fathers

6:53 PM  
Blogger jj said...

Thad I would like to put a link up for your blog on mine Truth Be Told if you would like to exchange links just let me know. Thanks

9:06 PM  

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