"The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting;
it has been found difficult and left untried. - GK Chesterton
"I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians.
Your Christians are so unlike your Christ."- Mahatma Gandhi
Despite all evidence to the contrary it appears that Barack Obama is not really a Christian. He is not a Muslim, but he is not a "real Christian" in "real America". As part of the McCain campaign's effort to "move voters away" from Barack Obama by any means necessary they have begun to employ a familiar refrain made popular by a Democrat. Senator John Edwards coined the phrase that there were "two Americas" to highlight the disparity between the wealthy and the middle-class and poor. Somehow I don't think he envisioned it being used like the Republicans are using it. You see according to them there are two Americas all right, one that is real and one that is "not real"? The real America is patriotic, hard-working, God-fearing, and lives in the rural areas of our country. They haven't quite defined what values that the "other" America has but one could imagine that they would be the opposite of their values.
Yeah, To hell with you Barack...at least that's what I would say if I wasn't an atheist. I'd tell you to go to hell for further eroding our constitution by giving MY FREAKIN tax dollars to CHURCHES!!! Goddammit you have made me so mad........but more than that, sad. Really sad.
This dairy may be out of line with the progressive community, but I have been giving the subject of Tax Exempt Status for Churches a lot of thought in the wake of Sen. Obama's campaign. Currently a Church, that is a Church Body or Pastor on stage, cannot endorse a political candidate or ballot proposal without loosing their tax-exempt status. Many in the progressive community our quite pleased with the 501C rules in the wake of George Bush's religious voter outreach. However, this was not always the case.
Mitt Romney is going to make his "Kennedy Speech" today to offset the question his Mormon Religion has brought up. Unlike Kennedy, however, who made a clear distinction between church and state, Romney apparently is of the new political thinking that religion is important as part of the candidacy.
This is upsetting for more than a small number of reasons.
I listened to an analyst on C-Span this morning discussing the situation... how, in the 50s and 60s Protestants hated Catholics, and it was Kennedy's need to disable this position. By stressing that church was indeed completely separated from state, Kennedy accomplished his purposes. Now, 47 years later, Protestants and Catholics have come to a detente... but they seem to hate Mormons... and even worse, they hate Secularists and Non-Believers.
This says to me, as I have thought for some time, that "hate" and "religion" go hand in hand. You can't have one without the other.
Church and state have lost a lot of their separation. Candidacies are pushed in the pulpit like never before (and yet religions still maintain their tax-free status... think about it). Candidates go out of their way to push their religions. Obama has been accused, falsely, of being a Muslim, and so he goes out on a campaign crusade with an anti-gay preacher. I'll have to hand it to Kucinich who doesn't even list a religious affiliation, but he's the only one.
I would give almost anything to get back to an America where church and state were as far apart as the Founding Fathers wanted. It doesn't seem likely.