"Christian nation' not free

Yes, Hobby Lobby, we know America was founded by Christians – bigoted, white, slave-owning, Protestant Christians. But they planted a seed of freedom that was intended to prevent just such a tyranny as the national arts and crafts retailer proposes in its envisioned “Christian nation.”

From the early 1800s to the 1960s, the Catholics and Baptists fought hard for separation of church and state because schools were teaching Anglican Protestant doctrine. How can our fellow citizens – Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Sikhs, Hindus and the rising number of nonbelievers – take what Hobby Lobby proposes as anything but a demotion to second-class citizenship? Morality is the breadth and degree of the compassion, fairness, justice, love and understanding we extend to others.

I choose to embrace all Americans and share this country with everyone, be they Christian, Jew, Muslim, agnostic, gay or straight, male or female, black or white, red or blue. Mixing religion and government makes for both bad religion and bad government.

America is not going to hell in a hand-basket. It is getting better, especially since judicial consolidation in the ’60s of equal rights, women’s rights, and separation of church and state. We value individual freedoms over imposing our beliefs upon others. Minorities can now participate in politics. We don’t lynch people anymore, or beat them up or deny them voting rights because they are different. We expose the abuses of our government, and we speak out against the tyranny of the self-proclaimed righteous, even those who have the money to place full-page ads in newspapers.

 

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Wed, 01/18/2017 - 23:56

Rick McKee editorial cartoon