We could end bigotry and oppression over night

If people cared and put more thought into the quality of their lives and quality of their person – and lived as they claim they believe – in freedom, love, the right to make choices; we could end bigotry and oppression over night.

but that can’t happen until people can understand that you have a right to your beliefs – and so do other people.

And no one’s beliefs belong in law or government policy  – the separation of church and state is partly about separating the spheres of influence.

It is the role of government to provide for all people as a matter of citizenship and be blind to whatever characteristics a person has that would put them in one subculture or another.

The public square has to operate on that same principle, or there is no equality or freedom in any meaningful sense.

The government’s job is to ensure that the lives that we lead right now are protected and that we are all able to participate in society within the limits of the actual laws (not what we’d like or think that the laws are – because religion’s rules are not secular law – and freedom is measured by the distance between the two kinds) and to our individual interest levels and capacity.

There should be no ongoing social battles by various groups over the decades to add laws to be inclusive, when they were originally set out as everyone who’s a citizen, without exception, was deemed equal.

Women should have been able to vote, own property and not be property, same for black people – and now marriage equality for gays and lesbians.

Christianity has the potential for being a force of love in society, but it’s not – it’s small and mean and vicious, limiting itself to be inclusive only of people who conform and is hateful to anyone who doesn’t.

People need to be reminded that what sexual things that other people do, are none of their business if they weren’t invited to participate in some way.

We don’t have to know each others business, but we do have to treat each other as equals – and as long as religious believers feel entitled to deny other people rights that they get to enjoy – Christians aren’t working and playing well with others.

Christians are not the morality police – as Elvis sang:

 

7 thoughts on “We could end bigotry and oppression over night

  1. “Christianity has the potential for being a force of love in society, but it’s not – it’s small and mean and vicious, limiting itself to be inclusive only of people who conform and is hateful to anyone who doesn’t”
    This quote from your blog resonated in a blog I wrote about Melvin Thompson. Unfortunately, It did not occur to me to add an Elvis song. That was brilliant!

    • Elvis was really ahead of his time and I don’t think that the generation who was lucky enough to experience him first hand could understand how revolutionary he was – that’s to the successive generations who saw what he meant, what his social effect was and were inspired to run with it.

      Elvis treated everyone he met like an equal person to him, because he’d gone from the lowest to the highest levels of society and was the same decent person througout and he assumed others were too and this naivete, the lack of sophistaction about what crap weasels that people could be – that was his undoing – because he had no mental or psycological prepartion to deal with people who weren’t going to look at how hardworking and decent he was and instead of treating him as an artist to recon with, he was treated like an ATM machine that had to pump out the dollars while they could be pumped.

      So, no wonder that he lost heart and gave up – nothing he did was ever going to be good enough to make people treat him like a feeling human – the sensualist that he was.

      Elvis was a visionary who basically had the Star Trek concept of living to your potential and treating everyone as equals down pat. We haven’t caught up enough to him yet to understand just what a revolutionary he was.

  2. I would, in this instance, agree with you. I believe Christians have moved too far from the origional spirit of Danburry Baptists and the call for seperation of Church and state. The reason our Christian forefathers sought such seperation is that they did not want Government interfereing in the way it had back in England, Germany, France, etc. The origional Christian advocates of this were the Ana-baptists; quakers and baptists, as well as some independent churches, and unitarians, as these denominations were not accepted by the reformed and puritan denominations of most of the collonies. In Pensylvania and Rhode Island Christians largely stayed out of policy making, and policy making stayed out of religion.
    It is interesting that many Christians complain when government restricts their rights, wondering why the government felt invited to do so, when in the same breath they ask the government to act on thier behalf against the freedoms of others.
    The debate in America about the Ground Zero Masque is a good example. If Christians expect the government to intervene on this issue, why would they not then feel more free to restrict the right to build a Church of Christians. (If I am not mistaken I heard this happened with a greek Orthodox church in the same area, not sure of the source of this, so do not take this as truth without researching it further).
    THe problem exists today when christian groups or individuals are now being sued over thier beliefs, or thier right to act on those beliefs (http://www.catholic.org/national/national_story.php?id=25762). I wonder, if Christians had not reached out for the hand of the Government, inviting them in to thier business, if these kind of things would happen.
    I would say that our zealousness against sin, has made us look biggoted, and many have indeed been biggoted. Folks like Fred Phelps say that anyone who is not of his family and fold is retrobate and will inevatible not change their ways. This being said I am unsure of why Mr. Phelps bothers to protest. We want people to know God as he is according to 1 John which states “God is love, if you don’t know love you dont know God.”
    We desire that people come to knowledge and trust in Christ because they see their need for him and recognize the love in what he has done. But this must be done by Choice. We know all to well the corruption that comes with forced religion. As with the Catholic churches, Anglican Churches, and Calvinist Churches of history, the believers will not be guided by Jesus Christ as Lord of the Conscience (sorry for the Theological Speak this is from the Westminster Confession), but by the rule of law. This is contrary to the free will provided for in the Gospels.
    In saying this, I think that Christians should focus less time on getting in cohoots with the goverment on the marriage debate, and focus more time on showing people, through love and teaching, how to be “a new Creation” in Jesus Christ.
    If Christians expect the government to decide for the nation what marriage is and is not, then they should expect that, when the table have turned, they will be forced to agree to that definition.
    While if the church stays out of policy making, then it “should” follow that the church would also be free to mary whomever they choose.
    If the church expects to limit the free speech of other religions or non religions via the government then it should not be surprised when the government works to limit the free speech of Christians (as they have already begun to do). Instead of trying to force the mouths of others shut through the government, perhaps we shoudl allow the love of Christ to speak above all others. But that is not done through our protests and our relationship with the government, but by God, who has done this, has been a light of reason, throughout history. (The ending of the bloodsports of the Romans, the reformation, the abolition of slavery in England {and America}, the firm stance of Deiterich Bonhoffer and the Confessional Chruches of Germany, the Civil Rights movement of MLK Jr.) All from Christians, who realized that the Love of Christ, speaks louder and with more reason, than the fallen hatred of Christians!
    So I would ask that you not paint us with such a broad stroke. We are not all Fred Phelps!!!
    Thanks again, its always a good conversation with you.

    • Yes, that’s what’s different – in Canada – one vote means one vote – in the USA – the Elector College – that’s inhibiting the social development – the true marketplace test – one person one vote – not voting blocks and interest groups.
      Informed participation.
      in other words, effort – vigilance and intention

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