One Nation, Under God

Posted on June 8, 2011

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Secular Coalition for America Action Alert System.

Declaring that “some problems are beyond our power to solve,” Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) is asking his 49 fellow governors to join him at an evangelical Christian prayer meeting in Houston to “call upon Jesus to guide us” and ask for “God’s forgiveness, wisdom and provision.”  

Please help stop such theocratic grandstanding by joining your fellow citizens in contacting your governor and demanding that he or she reject Perry’s invitation to this divisive and counterproductive August 6 event, “The Response: A Call to Prayer for a Nation.”  Ask your governor to stand up for all citizens regardless of religion or worldview and focus on finding substantive solutions to real-world problems, instead of taking part in an event that proclaims the only possible solution is Jesus Christ.

Perry’s prayer meeting does nothing to offer actual solutions to our country’s problems but rather urges other governors to take the same hands-off approach to governing and problem-solving.  Perry states, “There is hope for America, and we will find it on our knees … [a]s a nation, we must come together, and call upon Jesus to guide us.”  The Secular Coalition for America believes there is hope for America, but this hope is rooted in science, reason, and critical thinking. A government official should not be pushing any religion on his constituency or our elected leaders.

There’s definitely no hope to be found by treating each other with respect even though disagreements, working collaboratively with those who share different ideologies, or being more concerned with what’s best for most people instead of pushing our own personal agendas.  Hope cannot be found in critical thinking, or reasoning, right?

It’s incredibly disconcerting that elected officials who are supposed to represent all their constituents can be so bold.  What would happen if a politician said something along these lines, except said we needed to pray to Mother Earth, to Gaia, to Krishna, or gods and goddesses forbid, Allah? It just wouldn’t fly.

I’ve recently joined a facebook group for secular individuals in Hawaii.  Obviously I am a deeply spiritual person but I think the way these groups focus on separation of religion and government/social norms is needed.  There’s always the debate about “In God We Trust”, it’s been going on since I was a child and I’m sure way before that. Probably ever since people of various faiths realized their beliefs were not as valid as others.  I found this post, from the Facebook group, particularly well said:

I feel that “In God We Trust” and “One Nation under God” are official endorsements of a religion (specifically the Christian religion or at least the Abrahamic religions) by a supposed secular government. My civil rights are granted and protected by the government and I believe that the motto demonstrates our government’s lack of impartiality in matters of religion. George Bush (senior) said “I don’t know that atheists should be regarded as citizens, nor should they be regarded as patriotic. This is one nation under God.”

So obvious. Yet not.  When we are passing laws that criminalize actions based off of religious beliefs and when we are submitting our political issues to a higher power, there is a definite problem.  And yet these examples would not be possible at all if we didnt’ endorse Abrahamic traditions as a society the way we do…  but people think “don’t sweat the small stuff”.. which is a great motto to live by personally, but not in regards to our communities.. not when it comes to oppression.  The small issues like “in god we trust” on our monies is laying a foundation for larger, bolder actions to be taken.  In a nation where we are made up of so many different kinds of people, from various backgrounds, religions, spiritualities, from all over the world, it is absolutely ridiculous that our government, which is supposed to be representative of it’s people, pushes one tradition onto us all.  Do I have an understanding of why things are the way they are right now? yeah, of course.  Am I offended still? Yeah, of course.

PS: I love jesus. I think he was a revolutionary.  I wish more people would actually be like him instead of using his teachings (or his name in reference to other biblical messages.. even from the old testament) as biblical soundbites to oppress everyone who is not a white heterosexual christian male.  I wish these christians who love their christ would act more like him.. wankers.

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