Archive | April 2013

Constitutional Blasphemy

Pledge

I suppose I’ll get some shit for posting this on my Facebook page, maybe lose some friends. Oh well. I hope somebody asks me why I feel the need to constantly post about my non-belief. My family believes I do it just to piss people off, but that really isn’t the reason. I love my country, and I feel like the addition of God to the original pledge is constitutional blasphemy. America is a secular nation to ensure religious freedom. Why is that so hard to understand?

Living as an open liberal atheist in the Bible Belt is not easy. Everyone assumes everyone is a Christian; sending emails praising God and condemning those who want to “remove God from everything”. I usually correct anyone making that assumption about me. For some reason, people find any mention of my beliefs offensive, but never consider their own declarations offensive. I am willing to keep my beliefs personal – as they should be – when I am no longer expected to accept public displays of other’s beliefs or have to be subjected to public prayers or being singled out for not participating.

The purpose of the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause is to guarantee an individual’s right to live by her own beliefs. If our government favors any one set of religious beliefs, then we no longer have religious freedom. Our founders realized the importance of religious freedom because they remembered a government sanctioned religion and its ability to oppress – and oppress it does. While we are far from having a government sanctioned religion, it would be untrue to say our government doesn’t favor Christianity.

As you can see from the Pledge of Allegiance, our money, and our motto, God has entered our government despite the egregious constitutional violation of the Establishment Clause. Our government is making the assumption that all of America’s citizens trust in a “God”. Even if you are a believer, this should be offensive as an American. Imagine the words “There is no god” printed on your money, or a world where no churches were allowed, and all religious texts were banned. That is not religious freedom and that is why our government should not favor any one set of beliefs.

While I am vocal about my non-belief knowing some will be offended, that is my constitutional right. To inject one’s religious beliefs into public life and force others to either participate or be singled out is unconstitutional and unpatriotic. So I will continue to be vocal and public with my beliefs until I am no longer subjected to the beliefs of others.

American First

I am so proud to be an American. Today, and every day – especially in the face of tragedy – before we are republican/democrat, conservative/liberal, religious/non-religious or any other thing that divides us, we are Americans and united we stand.

The USA definitely can improve, and we’re not 1st in every category of measure. Americans bicker and argue over politics and religion and a long list of other things, but one thing most of us share is compassion for each other and love of country. When you hurt Americans, you hurt our country and threaten our way of life, and we will literally stop our lives to find you.

What unfolded in Massachusetts after the Boston Marathon bombing showed America at her greatest. Law enforcement agencies and citizens came together to show the world that while we are all individuals with individual ideals that sometimes divided us within, we are united as Americans always. When you mess with one of us, you mess with all of us.

So today, and every day, let us look at each other as Americans first, knowing that while we may disagree on many things, we love the USA and united we stand.

 

 

Which side of the fence?

I received this email a few years ago from a former friend of mine. While reading this, keep in mind my friend was a single working mother receiving food stamps, state-funded health insurance and disability benefits for her daughter. In no way do I fault her for receiving the benefits. She did not abuse her benefits, she did not drink or use drugs. Her daughter was severely mentally disabled and was a handful. The mother worked hard, had an associate’s degree in drafting and made $9.00 per hour. This demographic, along with veterans and seniors are the majority, not the minority, of government benefit recipients. At the time, I also was a single working mother, although I only had 2 children to her 4. I never received any state benefits and provided insurance for me and my children through my job – because I was able to, just as she would have if she had been able. Imagine my shock and surprise, as a registered Democrat, to receive this from her.

Which side of the fence?If you ever wondered which side of the fence you sit on, this is a great test!

If a Republican doesn’t like guns, he doesn’t buy one.
If a Democrat doesn’t like guns, he wants all guns outlawed.

If a Republican is a vegetarian, he doesn’t eat meat.
If a Democrat is a vegetarian, he wants all meat products banned for everyone.

If a Republican is homosexual, he quietly leads his life.
If a Democrat is homosexual, he demands legislated respect.

If a Republican is down-and-out, he thinks about how to better his situation.
A Democrat wonders who is going to take care of him.

If a Republican doesn’t like a talk show host, he switches channels.
Democrats demand that those they don’t like be shut down.

If a Republican is a non-believer, he doesn’t go to church.
A Democrat non-believer wants any mention of God and religion silenced.

If a Republican decides he needs health care, he goes about shopping for it, or may choose a job that provides it.
A Democrat demands that the rest of us pay for his.

If a Republican reads this, he’ll forward it so his friends can have a good laugh.
A Democrat will delete it because he’s “offended”.

Well, I forwarded it.

I didn’t respond to her, but I wrote something to get it off my chest. Well, guess what? Today I received this email from another “friend”. So today, I’m posting it…to get it off my chest.

Which side of the fence?

I never wonder, because I’m too informed to vote for the current group called Republicans.

If a Republican doesn’t like guns, he doesn’t buy one. The main reason so many gun owners are Republican is because they believe this lie below.
If a Democrat doesn’t like guns, he wants all guns outlawed. Reasonable gun control is not outlawing guns, and it does work. Another Fox News lie (just one of a million)

If a Republican is a vegetarian, he doesn’t eat meat.
If a Democrat is a vegetarian, he wants all meat products banned for everyone. Only a Republican would believe this.

If a Republican is homosexual, he demands legislated respect. If a Republican is not a homosexual, he demands a law to make it illegal.
If a Democrat is homosexual, he demands equal protections and benefits under the law as guaranteed in the US Constitution.

If a Republican is down-and-out, he points fingers because it is NEVER his fault.
A Democrat wonders how to better not only his situation, but the situation of others.

If a Republican doesn’t like a talk show host, he demands that they be shut down.
Democrats just switch channels.

If a Republican is a non-believer, he doesn’t go to church, and he remains very quiet about his religious status, and when asked, usually pretends to be a Christian.
A Democrat non-believer wants any mention of God and religion kept out of our SECULAR government, as instructed in the Constitution.

If a Republican decides he needs health care, he just lowers his employee wages or cheats someone to cover the cost, thereby making everyone else pay his way.
A Democrat works and pays for his.

If a Republican reads this, he’ll forward it because his friends are also uninformed.
A Democrat will revise it… because it is so inaccurate.

Well, I revised it.

Support Marriage Equality -Support Freedom

gay-american-flag-749601Marriage equality as it applies to being an American is a matter of respecting the freedoms guaranteed by the US Constitution. Our founders – remembering the power of religion to oppress, and recognizing the value of individual freedom – made a great effort to guarantee that laws were not passed respecting an establishment of religion or impeding the free exercise of religion. Unfortunately, there are those who either do not understand this effort or do not respect it.

Most opponents of same-gender marriage believe homosexuality and opposite-gender identity are wrong for religious reasons. The Constitution guarantees these Americans the right to live according to those beliefs. Some people believe – and science confirms – homosexuality and opposite-gender identity are a biological reality. The Constitution guarantees these Americans the right to live according to those beliefs. Unfortunately, this group is being denied that right by being denied equal marriage rights.

Vocal supporters of marriage equality – like myself – are often accused of forcing their opinions on those who believe differently. Nobody is forcing opponents of marriage equality to enter into same-gender marriage. Vocal support of marriage equality is a constitutional right, while supporting laws denying marriage equality supports a violation of the US Constitution by forcing the beliefs of some on all.

The serious consequence that opponents don’t understand is that these laws pave the way to forcing everyone to live by the beliefs others, including them. Something our founders understood to be a threat to all of our individual freedoms. All Americans should agree that each individual has the right to one’s own beliefs and the right to live according to those beliefs with equal protections and benefits under the law.

Supporting marriage equality is supporting freedom – yours and mine. As George Washington once said, “As mankind become more liberal they will be more apt to allow that all those who conduct themselves as worthy members of the community are equally entitled to the protection of civil government. I hope ever to see America among the foremost nations in examples of justice and liberality.” At this point, that is not the reality.

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