The United States of America may not exist today if the Anglican Church had believed in religious freedom. Our founding fathers left England because the country of their birth declared that the Anglican Church was the only religion of the nation. Few those who immigrated to America were Christians. The majority of those who signed the Declaration of Independence were ‘deists;’ they believed that some entity had created the universe, but that he was not involved with the daily lives of humans, and did not directly communicate with them. They found God in nature. Although they respected the teachings of Jesus Christ, they denied his divinity. Many historians believe that if the writings of Darwin would have existed during their time they might have been atheists. What they did believe in was religious freedom, and insured that right in the Bill of Rights of the Constitution. Today some Americans want to destroy our nation’s primary reason for its existence.
Religious fanaticism is not limited to a relatively small number of Muslims. A recent poll displays a frightening fact that Christian religious extremists favor eliminating sections of the Bill of Rights and instituting Christianity as the national religion.
Public Policy Polling reports that 57 percent of Republicans believe that Christianity should be established as our national religion. Among men and women, 49 percent of the men polled and 66 percent of women were in favor of abolishing the first amendment.
The first amendment reads; “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” Although Republicans are the largest number of flag wavers and consistently speak of the Constitution, they are the ones who wish to change it to satisfy their own beliefs. These men and women are not true Americans. I wonder if Rudy Giuliani believes that they love their country.
Abraham Lincoln once said that no outside force could ever destroy the United States; he said that destruction would come from within. The GOP has become a party of extremists thanks to the influence of the TEA Party. Following such TEA Party’s beliefs that the theory of evolution is not a fact, and that there should be no separation of church and state, have led the party away from its former principles and returned it to the dark ages. Republicans don’t want the original United States of America to exist; they want their own ‘designer America,’ which follows their own personal beliefs. Theirs is truly a ‘white power’ movement.
In the same survey Republicans were asked if they believed in climate change; 57 percent of those who support the GOP said that it was a ‘made-up hoax.’
Right wing voters are the first to shout at Hispanics or Muslims, telling them to ‘go home.’ We should be telling them to find a new nation to reside in if they don’t like the one founded in 1776.
The truth is that if our founding fathers had been devout Christians, there would have been no American Revolution. The bible condemns rebellion, instructing Christians to obey all authority from emperors to church leaders. It tells the faithful that all authority comes from God and must be respected.
My fellow Americans; you can fear terrorism, criminals, even your government, but the immediate dangers to the ideal that is America are some of your fellow ‘Americans.’ The fourth amendment has already been removed from the Bill of Rights; will the first follow its demise?
Commentary by James Turnage