The air we breathe, the water we drink, and the land we inhabit are not only critical elements in the quality of life we enjoy – they are a reflection of the majesty of our Creator.
Where to begin with this guy. People think we’re in an unprecedented era of politics mixing with religion. I disagree. I don’t think religion is mixing with politics. I think politicians are using religion to gain power. This is a tried and true method, thousands of years old. The world was built on the power of religion. Deny it, argue it, but learn to accept it.
Religion decided who lived, religion decided what the cities looked like, religion decided who had the power. When power became centralized in the government, religion still carried weight. Kings and emperors of all stripes bowed to the religious authority or they found themselves pushed out. Caesar was assassinated for many reasons. Most of them legitimate. One big reason was his interference in religious hierarchy. Usurping the power of the gods. Most rulers eventually found a way around this by declaring their throne a divine judgement. Bribe the religious authority, get a recommendation, and you’re a god-king. Of course, in Egypt and the Far East, this was already common practice.
But things rarely went smoothly. Once the king or appointed ruler took power it was almost a given that they would quickly ignore whatever religious force brought them to the throne. Many of the great “Christian rulers” we know from history – Constantine, Richard the Lion Heart, Charlemagne – all barely believed in a GOD let alone practiced Christianity. It only mattered that the people believed and that this led to a belief in you. You didn’t need to be religious, simply earn their endorsement. This shared power continued for centuries until they took The Church’s armies away.
They couldn’t take away their influence though. Hell, Henry VIII got so tired of it that he completely severed he Church of England from Roman authority. The ongoing Protestant Reformation was dividing the empire and propping up many a temporary leader looking to cash in on religious fervor. Religious groups didn’t have to lobby for power. It came to them seeking help. It is government that corrupted religion, not the other way around. It was world leaders whom offered The Church a place at the table that corrupted them. Eventually The Church achieved absolute power. And we all know what that does.
But along came America and the rules changed significantly. The Founders could have easily adopted Christianity as the state religion. It would have received little push back. Even among the Founders. But that’s not what they wanted and why we are so lucky that these are the rich, white, slave owners who got tired of paying taxes and not some other group. More than anything , they wanted a republic that would last. What was causing all the problems back home? Lack of choice. Or lack of a reasonable choice. Not only would they make a law that calls for no religion to be favored, but they had the foresight to give us freedom of speech and allow us to challenge our own government.
The founders were never worried about a Christian theocracy dominating the country. They were worried about the country destroying a particular kind of Christianity. Whatever it may be. Protestant, Catholic, whatever. They knew there was no way to keep religion out of politics. No society had ever pulled it off. Even the ones that banned religion. It’s always there. What they did do for us though is give us power over our own destiny. They left us with a living document that allows us to decide what is right and what is wrong. Not the government. Jefferson was the most outspoken founder on religion. The concept of “Church and State” first appears in his personal letters. Jefferson did not hate religion. He did not fear it. he called himself a Christian and wasa very spiritual person. He never denounced the sections he cut out of his personal “Jefferson Bible”, he just felt they distracted from the real message.
His concern was the one you would have for any organization left unchecked. He did not want England’s last 100 years of religious history to repeat in America. Nor did he want to stifle the very real importance religion has to so many including himself. He spoke of a “wall” between church and state. You can’t straddle it. You must fall on one side or the other. But even he knew this was unrealistic. His point was that people need to play down their faith while in office. He pointed to Jesus and his condemnation of the Pharisees who cried out their religion to anyone who would listen. The temples that had become tax havens.
A man of faith can and should be part of our great democracy but he should also realize that it is indeed a democracy. And this brings me back ’round to Rick Perry. The most unchristian Christian I have seen in quite some time. He is a typical Christian politician though. See, Rick is a fake. Like they all are. He was a Democrat. Born and raised. Won his first office a s Democrat. Supported Al Gore of all people in the 1988 Democratic primaries. He was a Texan during the Reagan years and he still remained a Democrat. But one year after the Gore campaign , he switched sides. Why? Well, a Republican will have more luck in Texas than a Democrat. Rick Perry was not LBJ. And it was much easier to play religious groups. Also, let’s face it, once you make some money, you go Republican. They love the rich folks.
For years Perry learned from another fake, George W. Bush. As Lt. Governor he got an up close view of how to be a two faced troll. How to attend church and sleep, go to prayer rallies and give long speeches your writers worked up for you, and most importantly how to suck up to the religious elite. As a Republican your biggest voting block is the religious right. If you don’t play ball you’ll be left twisting in the wind. When Perry became governor he received another gift from George Bush. George showed him how easy it was to ride the faithful to office and then walk away from everything you ever promised them. To pay lip service to their issues while pushing your own agenda.
Rick Perry isn’t a Christian. I doubt he even believes half of what he says. What’s he going on about now? Obama is a foreigner and people who support him may be guilty of treason? Yeah, that’s original. Rick Perry has religious connections. He isn’t their friend. It’s so blatantly obvious. Evangelicals JUST saw this dog and pony show a decade ago and they’re STILL going for it? But I guess that’s faith. A blind preacher for the pin-eyed congregation.