Religion Corner

The Pope’s Visit *

Judging by the non-stop media coverage, I must be the only person in the entire country who was not captivated by the pope’s visit. 

People turned out by the hundreds of thousands to see Pope Francis. New York and Washington DC were virtually closed down for security and crowd control for several days last week. 

Pope Francis is a “man of the people.” He likes to be out there with the masses. His message of compassion is much needed in our divided country. I wonder, though, if his messages about climate change and eradicating poverty aren’t contradicted by the church’s decree about abortion and birth control. How many people are kept in abject poverty because of large families they can not support? 

Another concern is bringing a religious leader to address the United States Congress, regardless of how gentle the message may be. What a platform we gave him. John Boehner  and Joe Biden, both Catholics, were ecstatic about the pope’s visit. 

By the way, what did all this uproar cost the tax payers? Security alone in Washington and New York cost around $100,000 million. If the American catholic hierarchy wants to pick up the cost of the pope’s visit, fine. But tax payers should not. 

World leaders addressing congress? Absolutely. Margaret Thatcher, Benjamin Netanyahu, Nelson Mandela, Boris Yeltsin have addressed congress – all appropriate. Religious leaders, not appropriate. Let’s keep religion and government separate. 

 

Ben Carson Says: No Muslim President

At the risk of deeply, deeply pissing off my liberal, PC friends, I agree with Carson that we should not have a Muslim president… but not for the reason Carson espouses. Stay with me here.

Can you imagine a seriously Muslim president stopping in the middle of meetings five times a day to pray and kneel down facing Mecca? Or, how about a female secretary of state in a full burqa covered from head to toe? It is not illegal. It is not outlawed by the constitution. It is just preposterous. 

But wait, there’s more. Could we have an Amish president? Of course. The constitution has no religious litmus test for the highest office in the land. So our Amish president would not use electricity, or ride in cars because those things are not in the Bible. “Oh wait, here he comes down Pennsylvania Avenue in his horse-drawn buggy.” 

How about an “observant Jew?” Consider Joe Lieberman who ran for vice president in  2000.  According to his religion, he would not be able to touch light switches on Saturday. Really?

How about a fundamentalist Christian in the White House (think Mike Huckabee). Suddenly we’d have creationism taught in the schools. We’d be doing even less for global warming because, after all, “It is in God’s hands.” Women would have zero access to abortion, and Planned Parenthood would be a distant memory. 

It would be OK for state and local bureaucrats to refuse service to people because of their “deeply held religion beliefs” (think Kim Davis in Kentucky refusing a marriage license for a gay couple.) “Faith based” would be the rule of the day. 

How about a Jehovah’s Witness president? If parents had a child who needed a transfusion, they would be allowed to let the child die. 

Perhaps a Christian Scientist president would not seek medical attention for his ruptured appendix. He would pray instead. He would die in office.

The list goes on and on. My point here is that the Ben Carson dustup highlighted the sensible dictate in the Constitution that there be – no, zero, none – litmus test for religious preferences for someone to hold public office. Apparently we must continue to fight for the separation of church and state. 

Bottom line, how about an atheist for president? Yes, I understand this is “a Christian nation, ” but let’s keep people’s “deeply held religious beliefs” completely out of government. 

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* See the moving story of how five-year-old Sophia Cruz broke through the lines to meet the pope and give him a letter about immigration. Don’t miss the video. I’ll make you cry:

How 5-Year Old Sophia Cruz Changed The National Discourse On Immigration With Note To Pope

2 thoughts on “Religion Corner

  1. Well Rick we kinda agree on something…but burkas do have their place—Janet Reno, Mad Halfbright and especially hilliery come to mind—especially if they are soundproofed!!
    Carson is a follower of our constitution and as such is pointing out the fact that a Muslim cannot uphold their religion AND swear to uphold the U.S. Constitution. Now if the Muslims have a reformation as the Christians did so they can accept non Muslims, and let them have a right to their beliefs, maybe.
    I was raised Episcopalian (Catholic without nuns and celibate priests) but when I was 18, I toured Western Europe and visited small villages in Portugal and Spain where the poor were so poor they barely had clothes but in the center of town there was always a church with wonderful tapestries, silver chalices and all the trappings of wealth. Then we visited the Vatican. Such a display that I lost what little organized religion I had. The Catholic church is very wealthy but little it seems goes to the masses. The Pope talks about open borders and immigration but has massive walls around the Vatican and impossible immigration policies. Sorry, but organized religion is run by a bunch of hypocrites and I believe organized religion is a crutch for non thinking sheeple. If we all just lived by the golden rule, we all would be better off.
    Boner as I refer to him, in my opinion, should be impeached (he resigned first?). We do have separation of church and state, what is the pope doing addressing congress? What next? Will we have to give equal time to a parade of Bishops, Rabbi’s and Grand Imams? I do not deny the possible existence of God and perhaps non denominational prayers asking for guidance from a person’s God are in order but no government should dictate WHICH God that is. Nor should a Government tell us where we should live, how much sugar we should eat, how much gasoline we should burn, or regulate any of our personal choices as long as the individual is responsible for their choices.

    Was this short enuf?

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