A few weeks ago, a former colleague phoned me. He retired a few years ago and decided to move from Connecticut to Texas, where no income tax is paid.
When we worked together, we didn't
speak much about politics or religion. I
suspected that he and I didn't see eye to eye in those arenas and, while we
worked together, I merely assumed we respected the fact that those subjects
could interfere with our amiable working relationship.
Even though I picked up on our potential different world views, it seems that he did not. When he phoned me, after we hadn't spoken for about four or five years, he informed me that he had joined the Tea Party. I wasn't shocked that he joined one of the Tea Party organizations. However, I was shocked that he hadn't picked up on the fact that I would not be a person for whom that information would be "good news" or even impressive. I just thought that there was an obvious undertone that, although we each loved our jobs and gave 110%, as they say in sports, we realized we didn't agree on politics, at the very least. I guess he didn't know much about my "faith" because I really never talked about it.
When he said he'd joined the Tea Party, I said, "Well, I guess we're going to have to agree to disagree. You see, I'm a member of the Socialist Party of the United States." He mentioned something about this being America and how we're entitled to support whatever political ideology we choose to support.
He then said, "This country is losing its faith in god. If this country completely turns away from god, we'll be in a lot of trouble."
I told him that I am an atheist and, again, he spoke about America being the land of the free. I do, however, believe that my responses to his two announcements came as somewhat of a shock to him. He said those things in such a tone as to lead me to believe he expected supportive answers.
I told him that I sometimes write for OpEdNews and that I have a mailing list. I asked him if he'd want to join the list and he said, "Sure. It's good to hear both sides of the story."
Since he's joined the list, I've only written two articles and have sent them to my mailing list. One is entitled "Teabaggers; Children of the Sixties" and the other, "Here's Tea in Your Eye" . I suspect that the articles led him to do some introspection. Maybe the introspection brought him to the conclusion that I wasn't really born in The FUSA or that I am possibly a secret Muslim. Although he never commented on my articles, I'm sure he harbored some thoughts.
The fact that he's a Tea Party member - I'll be respectful to him because he's been nothing but respectful to me - isn't what bothers me the most about what he said. It's when he said that Americans were losing their faith in god that I almost said something disrespectful. However, I thought about it and decided to answer him and anyone else who thinks our problems stem from our turning our backs on god. Ultimately, I'm afraid that he doesn't realize that this secular nation has actually ratcheted up its promotion of religion and it's done nothing but divide us. This is just one reason I refer to this nation as The Formerly United States of America. We aren't united anymore. In fact, with the exception of when several states actually seceded from the Union, we may be more divided today than at any other time in our history and I believe that the misguided idea that we are a Christian nation has exacerbated the division.
It's true that there were many debates before the final draft of The Constitution was ratified and there were delegates to that convention who believed that we should have said more in The Constitution about god and even mention the mythical Jesus. I don't know how close we came to being a theocracy, as is Iran and several other "model nations", but I feel fortunate that people like Jefferson, Madison and Paine won out.
It's true that about 75% of Americans identify themselves as Christians . This is obviously a large majority of Americans. However, 75% does not equal 100%. Everyone who is a citizen of The FUSA is not a Christian.
So, my answer to my ex-colleague would have been, "About which god is it that you're referring? On which god have Americans turned their backs? Is it the god of the Jewish Torah, the god of the Judeo/Christian Bible, the god of Islam? Which god are we disrespecting?"
I believe my colleague is Catholic. Consequently, he probably would have pointed out that there's only one true god and that's the god that sent part and parcel of himself in the incarnation of what he calls his son to this planet to be brutalized because human beings the world over had been sinning. How would our fellow Americans of the Jewish faith feel about that? How would Muslims feel about that? All three religions sprung from the same Abrahamic myth. If you've forgotten, that myth has it that the particular god in which my colleague believes asked a man to kill his son as proof that he was faithful to, well, to the god who requested the execution. Abraham did all of the prep work to burn his only son because he heard voices telling him to do so.
Imagine the pain, suffering and anguish this man had to endure in preparing to sacrifice his son to god. This, of course, doesn't even touch upon the fear the son must have felt when he saw what was up. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder wasn't talked about much at that time, but I bet dollars to burnt flesh that this test of Abraham's fear of god hung around both Abe's and Isaac's minds for the rest of their lives. For centuries, free thinkers have asked what kind of being would go that far to find out if a human being was really afraid of it. I think they call that being a psychopath today. If it's this god that we are turning away from, then we're doing the right thing.
Infanticide not only done in the name of god or at the behest of god, but by god itself, is written into the "good books". Here's one of many instances of that sick ritual. Maybe sociopath fits better, I don't know.