American values ​​or Christian beliefs

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Sixty-two percent Republicans believe that America should be declared a Christian country, even though they also understand that such a declaration would be unconstitutional. Christian nationalists do not believe in the separation of church and state.

The Conservative National Manifesto, published by the Edmund Burke Foundation and signed by Mark Meadows, Ken Cuccinelli, Jim DeMint and other Republican leaders is concerning. He states, “No nation can endure long without humility and gratitude before God and fear of his judgment which is found in genuine religious tradition…”.

It is remarkable that the citizens of the United States wrote this, for America, their nation, is a constitutionally secular government, and in its 250 years it has not only “lasted long”, it has flourished , to become in many ways the most prosperous nation. in history.

The notion of America as a Christian nation is ironic. Core American values ​​- freedom, equality and democracy – are not shared by Christianity as practiced by some.

America theoretically guarantees freedom of belief, but Christianity frequently denies this freedom. Christians are required to believe in such revelation as “…those who do not know God, and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. They will be punished with eternal destruction…” 2 Thessalonians 1:8-9. In short, if you “do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus,” you are free to suffer forever.

To disagree with church dogma invites the label of heretic, subject to excommunication, which is, of course, the province of a church, but in our America the key distinction is that it has no civic duty.

In America, religious freedom, the right to hold and celebrate personal beliefs, is unlimited. Churches, mosques and synagogues all exist in our country. But what happens when conservatives get their wish and the United States is a Christian nation? Let’s go back to “No Jews allowed» policies in certain social organizations? Will we see signs in community centers, “No Muslims allowed“? After all, it’s the kind of thing that was prevalent when Americans often said, We are a Christian nation.

After decades of dedicated nonviolent struggle, entire groups of people who have won civil and human rights in our democracy and our secular civil society risk losing those rights if the wall that separates church and state comes down like the wish the Christian nationalists. Gays, lesbians, trans – they can expect harsh prejudicial treatment and legal exclusions when we are a Christian nation again. Loving same-sex families can easily foresee the sudden termination of their marital status and all that that entails. Doctors can go back to the days of denying medical care to some they deemed undeserving because of an identity that didn’t fit their idea of ​​a Christian nation.

Religious freedom cannot be a right to religious prejudice. If we become a Christian nation, the stratification sought by Christian nationalists will recreate a much less egalitarian form of democracy, a democracy that has taken 246 years of hard struggle to improve.

The Conservative Manifesto confirms this elitism. Barely a testimony of equality, he states: “Where a Christian majority exists, public life should be rooted in Christianity and its moral outlook, which should be honored by the state and other institutions, public and private. . At the same time, Jews and other religious minorities must be protected…” Really? Even the Supreme Court of the United States, very recently, recognized that Jews were discriminated against by places like Harvard University when we were a Christian nation.

Christians are the first-class citizens who set the rules. This one-sided thinking has already manifested itself in Mississippi with the Dobbs decision where the Supreme Court Christian majority view on abortion has been imposed on everyone. The religious beliefs of minorities simply do not matter. The Jews, for example, believe that personality begins at birth. Prior to birth, the physical and mental health of the mother comes first…but not in Mississippi or other states that have recently enacted strict bans on abortion.

Moreover, Christianity does not respect the equality of the sexes. Consider this biblical passage, “But I will not allow a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over a man, but be silent” (1 Timothy 2:12). Wives are not equal but subordinate to their husbands. And women have yet to achieve parity in modern ministry. Even today, the male heads of the clergy outnumber the women of wide margins. In evangelical churches, the ratio is 97% men to 3% women. Catholicism prohibits women from the priesthood.

Christianity’s record on racial equality is equally troublesome. The Bible advises slaves to be faithful to their masters. And during the Civil War, passages from the Bible were offered as evidence of white superiority and justification for slavery. Racial prejudice persists. On January 6, Christian nationalists and white supremacists marched together carrying the holy cross and waving the Confederate flag.

With regard to democracy, Christians have, since the first pope, accepted authoritarian rule as a legitimate form of governance. While the college of cardinals now elects popes, all other positions of authority within the Catholic Church are filled by decree. Evangelicals are also undemocratic. The shameless participation of Christians in the January 6th effort to overthrow democracy and nullify the elections is not so surprising.

Simply put: we are a democracy, not a theocracy, and the suppression of science is an essential feature of a theocracy, depriving citizens of logical thought and choice. Our climate emergency is just one example.

Not only do theocracies discourage reflection and hinder progress, but they can also be very unfair. Look at modern theocratic countries. In general, their citizens have a low standard of living and are deprived of basic human rights. Women are treated shamefully, deprived of education and repressed. Masha Amini, a young Iranian woman was recently beaten and murdered by the vice squad for not wearing a hajib. Do you think that could ever happen here? Unlikely, but the Texas law rewarding citizens who sue women and doctors for abortions is definitely a form of morality enforcement.

The Spanish Inquisition was finally abolished in 1834, sixty years after the American Revolution. So the Founders knew firsthand that Christianity could bring great injustice, and they understood that a theocratic government would never provide the freedoms they envisioned for America. That is why they created a secular nation and drafted a secular constitution that guarantees freedom, equality and democracy. These founding principles are what made America a great nation. Patriotic Americans understand this and will reject the Conservative Manifesto and other misguided efforts by the religious right to undermine America’s foundation.

Forcing Christianity on non-believers will not reverse the steep decline in Christian church membership. A better strategy might be to follow the essential teaching of Christ – love your neighbour. Live and let live.

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