I take special note of all the responses that come in after writing any column, even if they are highly critical. While I cannot respond to all, they do not go unnoticed. But, once in a while an email response comes to me that truly humbles me and makes me sit up and pay particular notice to how they reacted.
In reaction to my Bush V. Gore “Day of Infamy” article a man from Tennessee wrote me a response that made me feel for him. It is when he said, “I am a Christian and a Southern Baptist and I was very much offended when my Sunday school teacher stated that no one who called themselves a Christian could ever vote for a Democrat. I have made my opinions public when ever there was a discussion and instead of having a sensible conversation it has always turned into a personal attack upon myself. So, I no longer attend church.” No one should be turned away or made to feel uncomfortable in going to a place of worship because of their beliefs. After all, God created man in my belief as well as the beliefs of others with free will. That means we get to think freely. Obviously the environment within that church was an affront to God and churches should be a spiritual place to heal one’s soul and body.
In the beginning of the email he said, “Your essay was no doubt the best I have read about this tragedy that began the worst two Presidential terms in our country's history.” That compliment coming from such a spiritual man truly humbled me, but this is not about me, but what is going on in this country when religion mixes with politics. While I have a faith in a just and loving God, I am not one that is religious and I am quick to anger how Evangelicals and others that are highly religious seem to feel they have the right to push their religious beliefs on all of us. Well they don’t and we have every right to push back! This country belongs to all of us, instead of just some.
Recently, former Governor Mitt Romney felt the need to proselytize himself in order to gain support from Evangelical Christians when he should be showing how he could govern all of us secularly. I have seen some reaction coming from that speech such as this one coming from Lawrence O’Donnell as he blasted the racist history of Mormonism. While I do not know the full history of Mormonism, I say leave the religion aside and address that issue in humanistic terms. I have even read on certain lists where Mormons belief Jesus and Satan were brothers. Again, not knowing anything really of that religion, it has all the capabilities of being the story itself where we should be focusing in on the problems that face this nation.
Then we have preacher turned politician, Mike Huckabee wanting to isolate AIDS victims from the rest of the population. In that article it stated that he “opposed increased federal funding in the search for a cure” How Christian of him to oppose curing people. I wonder what God would say of that as his only son looked to cure many while here on Earth. After all, Jesus cured the blind and those suffering from leprosy. During his short life here on Earth, Jesus chose to surround himself with those who were labeled social outcasts. I have admired Huckabee’s stance on being pro-life since I am of that belief, but to oppose funding to find a cure for that disease, it is inconsistent with a pro-life stance. Does he want these AIDS patients dying off? It sure seems that way. Sorry, Mike, I was beginning to like you, but when I read this, you showed your true colors and not to my liking.
Also within that same article, it states that “homosexuality could "pose a dangerous public health risk." What he fails to understand is that AIDS is also spread by needle sharing, transfusions, transplants and not only by homosexuality. Again, he is labeling homosexuals as social outcasts and in my belief God would want us to surround all of these people with love and compassion.
As Huckabee stated he wanted to isolate AIDS victims, I was reminded of this passage: “When they came for the gypsies, I did not speak, for I am not a gypsy. When they came for the Jews, I did not speak, because I wasn't a Jew. When they came for the Catholics, I did not speak, for I am not a Catholic. And when they came for me, there was no one left to speak." You can read this on the Wall at the Holocaust Museum in Washington. There is a lesson there for not only Huckabee but for the rest of us.
In his letter the man of Tennessee wrote of the Constitutional rights that have been “taken away from us” and it should be the Constitution which these politicians should be looking to uphold period and not any religious doctrine. You cannot impose your own religious beliefs on others who do not believe as you do. We have seen one Evangelical president all but destroy this country in the past seven years and we do need to heal by coming together as one and the man from Tennessee even reminded me of it through this statement, “The divisiveness that has been created in our nation is another thing that has affected many American lives. I know of friends and family members who are not speaking to each other because they disagree so strongly. This has come about mainly because of the Churches that have so vehemently supported everything Republican, right or wrong.” Let that be part of the Bush legacy as well as the blood spilt during his two terms in office.
Bush once claimed to be the uniter, but he did everything but divide us all. At this point in time we are a polarized nation and too must be part of his legacy. Normally nations come together in war, but this one has left us feeling divided. Bush had the power after 9/11 to bring us together, but he blew it big time by launching an attack upon a guiltless people. He broke so many of the Ten Commandments and one wonders how he will be judged. I have already stated my opinion in my Bush V. Gore piece and I will stick with it.
A person commented on OpEdNews.com that I was demonizing Bush, but when I see that one million Iraqis have been killed you tell me if he is deserving of being demonized. That commenter also remarked that I took those statistics from the Lancet and have used them in the past, but I have also used the L.A. Times as one of my sources as one reads this OpEdNews.com column written by me where I wrote, “Just the other day, the mainstream media caught up with the alternative media in reporting this number. I speak of the LA Times article, Poll: Civilian toll in Iraq may top 1M. According to their report, “a new survey suggested that the civilian death toll from the war could be more than 1 million.”
While another reader reminded me that our country is not dead yet and where I could be shot for any form of dissention, the man from Tennessee had this to add, “I save every article I come across about these things I have talked about. I save them to a folder on my computer entitled "Democracy." I am 68 years old and I don't really know why I save them or who I save them for, but I have this awful fear in my heart that someday, I will not be allowed to read this kind of material or that no one will be allowed to write articles such as yours. I hope I am wrong about both.”
Let that be a lesson to all politicians who are seeking religious support that fear has been used on us all to cower us into complicity. Again, where exactly is the free will that God gave all mankind in doing that? Also the man from Tennessee did remind me of one more thing of those that surround Bush, “I served my country proudly in the US Navy for 11 years from 1956 to 1967, and it is particularly galling to me that most of the people surrounding Bush have never served a day.”
As our men and women continue to come home in coffins, being maimed for life where some probably wished they had died, those that sent them to that Hell-hole of a battlefield are to be condemned for doing so. If one places their hand on the Bible taking any oath of office; how could they have voted to support this war of lies knowing full well it too broke some of the Ten Commandments?
We can use faith to guide us morally and if one does not have any faith that there is a God that must be respected. I have come to know some who question if there is a God as being highly moral people who also have love and compassion within them. In essence what we need is elected leaders guided by the Constitution and not religious doctrine. We should remind them all, “It’s the Constitution, stupid.”
Author’s email address, firstname.lastname@example.org