The Establishment Clause Jefferson Vs The Religious — страница 3

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necessary prophylactic demanded not only proper wording but also strategic positioning in our legal hierarchy to allow freedom of speech, conscience, and the right to hold public office its legitimate, essential role, even for the disingenuous religious usurpers, who hopefully would be uncovered and dealt with using subordinate legal, political, or social tools. The agenda of the Christian right is infested with fundamentalism that invariably yields intolerance, bigotry, and divisiveness. One demand, public school sanctioned prayer, will not be a moment of silence, or a “generic” prayer, supposing such were possible. They will ultimately, insidiously, require that Jesus Christ be invoked, (again, their words) ignoring Christ’s declaration: “And when you pray, be not like

the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners, but when you pray go into your room, close the door and pray in secret…” (Matt 6:5-6) Such obvious violation of “divine law” immediately raises concern about their approach to positive law, to say nothing of the constitutional violation. Such coercion concerns them not at all because “they are right”; a dangerous, unprovable position adopted by most fundamentalists, whatever the faith. The Christian “instruction manual” clearly implies Christ never coerced, but always allowed free will and reason – skepticism — its necessary and proper place, first place, happily the same basic premise on which our nation rests. This is a natural, not theological, law. Interestingly,

Christ reserved his harshest criticism for the political-religious elite, declared his “kingdom not of this world,” and never endorsed or encouraged the amalgamation of church-state as it then existed, or implied such should be among his disciples. Furthermore, he encouraged his followers to recognize the corruption of the system, abandon it, and concentrate on “God’s work”, as did his two most prolific disciples, Paul and Peter. Consider: “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s and to God the things that are God’s.” These and other convenient violations or omissions by the RR in their interpretations and positions are interesting indeed. Perhaps religious fundamentalists need first to examine closely the historical path of various religions. None are

born of whole cloth, as they are wont to believe, but are the amalgamation of centuries of tribalism, philosophy, legend, myth, politics, commerce, culture, geography, patriarchy and more, resulting in a rich, complicated religious tapestry. The complexity is baffling for most, especially for those demanding a simplistic, safe harbor in an impossibly complex world. This is why religion, especially fundamentalism, becomes problematic when mixed with civil government. Invariably, this demand to be “represented”, carried forward politically, results at least in serious error, both civilly and ecclesiastically, and more often in tyranny. The Scriptures, reverentially held by so many, if impartially (properly?) read, support this notion. Such a view enhances, rather than

threatens, the utility and appeal of this religious material, even helping explain this conflicted, frequently convoluted, literary artifact. An interesting observation is the undemocratic nature of most fundamentalist churches. These are structured essentially as autocracies where legitimate doctrinal questions or concerns are oftentimes treated as “rebellion” and reasonable dissent is determined to be treasonous, fear being a very effective tool. Knowledge and information may be closely held and conveniently rationed. The leadership jealously protects this rigid authoritarian political structure, the worst of which degenerate into a cult of personality. It must be remembered that these powerful qualities are oftentimes subtle, effected by very polished, artful

practitioners. In their defense, they may have begun with better methods and intentions, but if “absolute power corrupts absolutely” as Lord Acton declared and experience witnessed, so too does much power, especially too long held, corrupt much. How is this germane to the Establishment argument? They were and are the most vocal about the issue. Their religious paradigm and viewpoint has been narrowly circumscribed by their system, truncated, in such a manner that they will effortlessly carry this organizational experience, which is more important to the controversy at hand then their religious view, into their political activity and societal view — a decidedly undemocratic standard. Simply stated, a narrow theological view, learned in and sustained by a dogmatic system,