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Aug 20, 2012

Dear White Christian Lawmaker: How Are You Getting Away With It?

Dear White Christian Lawmaker,

I just don't understand how you're getting away with it. Has the nation gone so numb at this point that no one is willing to stop you? Have people forgotten that as state leaders you are not endowed with any sort of divine status? Put simply, you aren't actually allowed to legislate based on your personal religious beliefs, signing bills into law based on nothing but scripture. Not any more.

I see you, simultaneously lording over your political stage whilst brandishing your Bible, righteously condemning we citizens who choose to live free of that old book's more cumbersome tenets, and I think of Socrates. I think of how, had Socrates lived today, he would have a column in the Huff Post and a nightly newscast that airs between The Daily Show and The Colbert Report.

I only bring him up because Socrates was put to death by the Greek state. Not church, but state, whose leaders were in fact given the kind of divine status that you seem to think you currently wield. You see, there was no separation of church and state in 400 BC, and so those state leaders executed Socrates for the crime of disrespecting the gods. Not the law. The gods. The way Socrates disrespected the gods was to incite the Athens citizenry to question the laws set forth by the state. And the method Socrates suggested that this questioning occur was presented in such a way that common sense and proven facts, when used to answer successive questions, would guide the thinking individual to the most sensible and most "right" conclusion.

You see, Socrates' philosophical teachings on ethics, virtue and knowledge created a foundation for pure thought and reasoning. Socrates invented what we call today the scientific method. Logic, and let me tell you, logic is dead useful.

It's too bad that your version of "religion" hates it so darn much. I mean, I don't want to tell you how to be a good Christian, but I'm pretty sure you're doing it wrong.

Since you bring Him up at every possible moment in your so called "governing," let's talk about this God guy.

Most logical thinkers agree that Jesus Christ of Nazareth lived several thousand years ago, and that he was a philosopher and prophet and overall nice fellow who'd been raised by equally nice, loving parents who thought quite highly of their smart boy, and raised him by example that we all treat each other with respect and love for a change. The basic fundamentals of these teachings are good, whether or not you subscribe to the supernatural portions of the story. Without the supernatural bits such as the virgin birth, the loaves and the fishes, the raising of Lazarus, the teachings of Jesus Christ are simply good ideas.

You could do worse than have your moral code be guided by the teachings in the bible. If that's what you were doing, I'd say yes, I'm all for it, please, be a super nice guy all your life and help those less fortunate and give thanks for your own daily bread. By all means, do that.

Unfortunately, that is not what you are doing.

Unfortunately, you have massively missed the fact that there is no place in that bible that calls out for stomping all over the basic human rights of everyone but you.

Unfortunately, if you pluck from that sacred bible of yours only those selected choice bits that you feel will push your private agenda, then you absolutely and unequivocally suck at being a Christian.

Your grandstanding stance on women's issues, health care, education and aid for the needy is abhorrent. You have no right to claim membership to Christianity. But you do, and without apology! It's time that you go back and take another look at the stories in that big bible whose authors you so vehemently insist have laid out the only way to live.

Let's look at the one about the loaves and the fishes. What is more likely, that a crowd gathered, and that everyone who'd brought along plenty of food shared what they had at the urging of Jesus, and so everyone with plenty helped to feed the people who had nothing to eat at all? Or do you think that Jesus waved his hand and lots of fish and bread popped into existence on the table in front of him. 

Isn't the real lesson of the loaves and the fishes about sharing? That, having been raised by nice people, young Jesus carried forward the family values, and that includes cheerfully sharing all the extra that you have with those less fortunate, so that no one goes hungry? If that isn't the lesson, then please, tell me what you take from the story. I'm eager to hear it.

How about the raising of Lazarus. What is more likely, that Jesus' sick friend had actually died? Or that thousands of years ago there was no knowledge of taking a sick person's pulse, and that Jesus went visiting to see if he could help, and through his hands-on ministrations Lazarus was by happenstance resuscitated.

Now how about the virgin birth? Mary is estimated to be perhaps thirteen years old when she became pregnant. She and Joseph weren't yet married. Don't we all globally agree that Mary was a nice, gentle girl living in Nazareth with her family, her cousin married a priest and Mary was engaged to Joseph? It is not hard to imagine that this sweet kid woke up and greeted each day with a pure heart and grateful soul, and did charity work for the less fortunate in her village, and was kind to everyone. All of this no doubt put her in very high regard, and no one wanted to believe that Mary could possibly act immoral, lewd or shame her family in any way.

Now what is more likely, that these two young people who were basically good, charitable and honest, got really terrified about what would happen when it was discovered that they'd had sex before the wedding, and so they concocted a cover story? It needed to be good enough to save Mary from being put to death. Because that's what would have happened. Her crime would be inexcusable and she would have been stoned to death.

Or, do you think that an angel flew down from the clouds and landed in her virginal bedroom bearing the divine message that she was carrying the Son of God.

Whether or not this view is in line with your point of view is irrelevant. It is your choice whether or not you want to stand up and declare that an invisible bearded man that lives in the sky sent down a dude with wings two thousand years ago to visit an unsullied teenager and tell her He had put a magic fetus inside her, who would grow up one day to perform charity and miracles and at age 33 would be brutally murdered for saying nice things.

I support your right to believe all of that. It is your right, under the law. You may take it literally, including the supernatural bits, and live your private life accordingly.

Alternatively, you could regard the bible as moral allegory written up as teachings on how to live, lesson-oriented storytelling to show children that we all have a responsibility to each other. Feed the hungry, heal the sick. Learn the way of Christ and live your life accordingly.

But when you make politics your life's work, when you hold any office where it is your job to set policy and budget, and to create, amend or uphold a bill of rights for a constituency, then you have no right substituting your personal beliefs for the tenets of greater governance meant to benefit the entire society, every person who calls America home regardless of race, gender, creed or sexual orientation. None of their personal choices are any business of yours. You need to let them all live their lives accordingly.

You are not a medical professional, so you have no right making medical decisions for anyone. ANYONE. You do not have the right to say who should live and who should die. Jesus is not going to show up and resuscitate a dead person who did not have the funds to pay for medical care.

You are not a geologist, so you lack the education to speak authoritatively about the effects of offshore drilling on the earth's crust, so take your "drill baby drill" platform and go back to your bible to see what it says about mankind's responsibility to the animals and the earth.

You are not a scientist, you do not know anything about atmospheric chemistry, global climate modeling or the terrestrial ecosystem. "I don't believe it" is not a valid argument against global warming.

You do not live paycheck to paycheck trying to make rent, car payment, health insurance, buy groceries and raise children. You have secured the best health benefits possible for yourself and your family, and yet you turn your back on the rest of the nation, banging your bible and calling out "entitlements" and "handouts."

Your children don't know what it's like to go hungry.

You are not a woman -- most of you -- and you have no right whatsoever to make any demands concerning women's personal, private health issues. God isn't sending an angel flying into Congress to inform you that it's okay that women decide on their own how to manage their bodies.

But this isn't even about Christianity; this is about advancing any theology ahead of constitutional law. This is America. We don't do that here. Seriously, how are you getting away with it?

Your actions and your words show the nation that you have no regard for the global environmental condition, and you truly seem to believe that Americans with great wealth are the only Americans worth your consideration.

Your actions and your words show the nation that you want to criminalize women for being women, for having breasts and uteri, to bring back the crime of "lewdness" that your bible touts.

Had you been a ruler in Athens 400 years before the birth of Christ, you would have held the hemlock to Socrates' lips. Had you been a ruler in Galilee two thousand years ago when Mary was unmarried and pregnant, you would have put her to death.

You don't want to offer salvation to mankind, you want a lot of money in your pockets.

You don't want to take care of the planet earth, you want to destroy it for profit.

You don't want to take care of all our nation's citizens, you want to let the poor ones, the sick ones die and reward the wealthy ones who keep you in your job, so that you can continue to allow free reign to systematically dismantle this great nation.

What you're doing, under the guise of Christianity, is the opposite of Christianity, and that makes you loathsome. You're sickening and, even worse, you're a blight on the original, pure idea of "faith" and you're doing a gross disservice to all of the true, devout Christians living quietly and doing good works for mankind and the planet.

Now there's another scenario to consider. You see, you are so incredibly awful, and you leave such a destructive trail of hate, hurt and harm everywhere that you go, maybe you've been right all along about the bible, only you're doing the work of the other guy.

You see, I can quote the bible too. 'Cuz I read the thing cover to cover. Have YOU?
"Jesus turned and said to Peter, 'Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men. ' " Matthew 16:2

The things of men. Money? Power? That's what you are showing as your guiding values, not the teachings of Christ. There's nothing in your resume to show that you are charitable, loving, honest, law abiding or kind. You're hateful, hurtful, greedy, you lie and you slither through the system like the proverbial snake in the grass. So maybe all of you White Christian Lawmakers are in fact the greatest trick the devil ever pulled: you're doing great evil out there every day, and you've tricked millions into following you because you claim to be doing the work of Christ.
"He seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil, or Satan, and bound him for a thousand years. He threw him into the Abyss, and locked and sealed it over him, to keep him from deceiving the nations any more until the thousand years were ended. After that he must be set free for a short time." Revelation 20:2, 3
Your time is up. You're outdated and outnumbered. Our once-great country needs you gone. Let the impartial lawmakers uphold the constitution, let the scientists guide advancement, let the true, real Christians spread the real word of God. It's high time for a separation of church and hate.




On a lighter note, dear readers, one of my favorite humans, Mr. Oswalt on the insanity of faith. Patton, you have the blog. (Thanks to Soundboy6 and Youtube for the clip)