There is a sacred cow in American politics that needs to be slaughtered and put out of our misery before it gets any more influential or destructive to democracy. On Friday, the White House announced a dozen appointments to its faith advisory council in what is arguably an unconstitutional action. It doesn’t matter what faiths are represented or how open-minded any appointee’s religion is; faith-based councils do not deserve any say in a democracy any more than corporations or banking interests.
Most Americans have some type of religious background and it is not necessarily a bad thing as long as it is kept private and out of the realm of governance. The nature of the Christian religion is the same as Islam in that their dogma says they must make disciples of the entire world; like it or not. Christianity is just as violent as Islam, and history is rife with death and destruction starting with the Israelites in the Hebrew Scriptures. It continued with the Inquisition and Crusades and is currently at work in the U.S. military in 2011 in Iraq and Afghanistan. The new Republican Congress has ignored job creation and economic policy so they can use their bible-based mandate to torture women by attempting to ban abortion and stop funding for Planned Parenthood.
It doesn’t make sense that President Obama continues giving credence to the people who deny global climate change, discriminate against women, lobby against stem cell research, and hate gays as well as many other issues that are harmful to America. It bears repeating that the Constitution bans religious influence in the government. The argument that these groups do good works falls short because they can do good work without government sponsorship. The President has felt the necessity to defend his faith because of accusations that he is a secret Muslim, and on Thursday at the annual National Prayer Breakfast, he told how his faith sustains him and informs his views. Obama explained how his daily prayers deepened during his first two years in office, and elaborated on what his prayers consisted of and where in the bible he draws his inspiration.
The President went on to say in a testimonial that would make any evangelical Christian proud, “I pray that God will show me and all of us the limits of our understanding and open our ears and our hearts to our brothers and sisters with different points of view, that such reminders of our shared hopes and our shared dreams and our shared limitations as children of God will reveal a way forward that we can travel together.” The problem the President is missing is that the Christians he is pandering to do not share the hopes and dreams of most Americans. Yes, there are African American Southern Baptist congregations, but they are segregated and the Southern Baptist Convention is as racist as the KKK. In fact, the Ku Klux Klan is a Christian organization that lays claim to the ultimate savior as their model for hate.
America is not a Christian nation and when the President feels he must defend his faith, it informs Americans that his true feelings are that Christianity is the faith America follows. In the Constitution, it plainly says that there is no test for any political office based on religion. The text is not ambiguous and it cannot be misconstrued except by true believers who think Jesus came and gave the Founding Fathers the Constitution. To be fair to President Obama, he has included most religious groups in the faith based counsel, but there should not be any religious counsel at all. Religious organizations in America already receive entitlements that no citizen receives.
Americans are foolish for allowing the government to give churches tax-exempt status because they claim to be non-profit organizations. It is a travesty that churches rake in obscene profits and build mega-churches on prime real estate but do not even pay property tax because they filled out a form saying they are not making profits. Millions of Americans pay property taxes and do not live in mansions or drive luxury automobiles like most Evangelical preachers. It is a scam that is robbing communities of necessary tax revenue, and to compound the insult, every church enjoys fire department and police protection without contributing anything except an occasional prayer when they are afraid or need more collection plate donations.
It is offensive that churches have any say in American government, and National Prayer Breakfasts or faith based initiatives add insult to injury. President Obama is a Constitutional scholar and should know better, but he too, is afraid of the influence of the religious right on elections. The Constitution would protect any politician if they answered questions about their faith by saying, “It’s none of your business,” but the same fear and loathing that makes Republicans in Congress do the bidding of fundamentalist Christian extremists prevents honest answers concerning religion.
It is time that Americans stand up and reject the influence Christians are gaining in government before it is too late. President Obama is afraid of Christians and it is a weakness that will lead us all down a path to Theocracy in America. Secular Americans must slaughter the sacred cow that is a pariah on our country and the President must either lead the way or stand aside. The very least he can do is stop giving credence to faith based groups, and for Christ’s sake, stop telling us about his daily prayers. Americans need jobs and a secure future; not another preacher in the White House. America suffered though that with George W. Bush and look at the mess he created with the lord’s help.