Thursday, April 22, 2010

Religious Wars in the US...

On the one side, we have people trying to institute a Christian Taliban in the United States, starting with Amarillo, Texas:

Perhaps the most insidious tactic Repent uses is trying to destroy the reputation of the swingers. In Amarillo, people can be ostracized over a whiff of impropriety. On one tape, Grisham directs followers to get the license-plate numbers in the Route 66 parking lot. “A new couple can be here three or four hours,” says Mac. “Whenever they leave, the Repent Amarillo group will call them by first and last name, know where they live, know where they work, just within a very few hours.”

. . .

They're also going after churches they believe to be insufficiently Christian (Episcopalians, Christian Scientists, Unitarians), palm readers, people who practice witchcraft, and anything and everything that might create a "demonic stronghold" in Amarillo. And they're not just threatening to pray for people: Repent Amarillo's "actions" include prayer, according to Repent Amarillo's website, "but [also] may involve more aggressive use of soldiers and prayer warriors." Check out the group's locked-and-loaded website.

Of course, these tactics would not work if not for the vast majority of citizens of Amarillo enabling these people. Tolerance is entirely lost on one whole side of the political spectrum...

... and don't look for help from the other side of the aisle.

The Department of Justice filed a notice with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit that it intends to appeal a federal court decision that found the National Day of Prayer unconstitutional.

A federal judge in Wisconsin ruled last week that the National Day of Prayer, instituted by Congress in 1952, violates the separation of church and state.

. . .

“The Justice Department today made the right decision to defend the constitutional right of Congress to establish a National Day of Prayer,” Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas) said. “Setting aside a day to honor a religious practice of many Americans throughout history is in no way unconstitutional. Every American is free to either enjoy it or ignore it.”

Note: applying regulations to interstate insurance companies or international financial institutions is unconstitutional (despite Congress power to regulate both interstate and international commerce), but setting aside a day for all Americans to pray is NOT (despite the First Amendment and the total lack of any enumerated Congressional power to advocate or promote religion).

And by his actions, Obama apparently demonstrates his belief that government should promote religion.

So, one side wants government to promote religion; the other side wants government to ENFORCE religion. Neither side is willing to leave matters of personal conscience to the individual.

Whichever side wins, we all lose.

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