Wonderful World of Wanzie: By all means – LET’S GO TO WAR!

By : Michael Wanzie
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Much of what I have to say here I’ve said before, from many podiums and in many written diatribes.It bears repeating. Especially with all that is happening presently, including the recent unseemly situation where the Christian right was willing to send Roy Moore—a probable pedophile—to Washington. Why? Because he insisted he would put God above country and Christianity back into government while exposing his hatred of homosexuals and his fervent goal to reverse our advances and disenfranchise us by every possible means. Yes, my “viewpoint” has to do with a “war” for which I have become an advocate.

It is an egregious waste of the people’s time and money when elected officials engage in arguing matters of law and government policy by referencing the Bible and invoking the name of Jesus or God. Heed the words of our founding fathers and the cherished documents that established this nation, which so clearly set forth the framework for how our government is meant to function: “…shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion.” That is crystal clear. There is no room for argument or debate. An absolute mandate for every legislative body in this county is that they “shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion.” Period!

Enactment of recent, sane, reasonable and constitutionally grounded laws, which allow people who believe and live differently than the Christian majority to do so without sacrificing liberties, have enraged the Christian right.

Left with no other defenses for their antiquated thinking—which is rooted in bigotry, hatred and ignorance—and in the wake of decisions which ushered LGBTQ persons further into full and equal citizenship, the ultra-conservative Republicans and the Christian right have invented and are peddling their latest scare tactic: the false charge that there is an organized “War on Christianity” in this country. Even more absurd is the notion that American Christians are being persecuted.

Here in what is quite possibly the most religiously tolerant county in the world, the Christian right have the gall to suggest they are being persecuted. That mindset and that out-and-out lie is a slap in the face to all those who are in fact physically persecuted, even to the point of death in more than 50 countries where it is illegal to carry a Bible or even speak of Christianity.

Christians in this county are pathetically claiming they are being persecuted for no other reason than the times and laws are changing to tolerate belief systems other than Christianity. This is not an assault on Christianity. This is simply the inclusion of those who are not Christian and those Christians who are not intolerant themselves,meaning those who embrace their religion but don’t seek to disenfranchise those who believe differently. This includes Christians—gay and straight—who don’t believe homosexuality to be a sin.

Since the extreme and vocal Christian right and most Republican leaders seem hell bent and determined to convince their sheep that this ridiculous claim of persecution of Christians in America is true, I say let’s give them a healthy dose of their own lie. If they wish to claim that there is an organized assault on Christianity, then let’s give them an assault.

I call for:

-The removal of all religious icons, verbiage and texts from all government buildings other than libraries and museums. An American citizen who is not Christian should not be faced with the Ten Commandments posted on the wall of a courthouse where they are seeking fair and equal treatment under the law of the land, which by design is mandated to be no respecter of any one religious doctrine. We have no state religion in this country; therefore, it is patently wrong that in many jurisdictions the bailiff still presents people the Bible upon which to swear before giving testimony. Why not the Koran? For the same reasons good Christians would not wish to have the Koran be part and parcelof the America judicial system, the Bible should not play a role in it either. We should be swearing our oath placing our hands on the Constitution of the United States of America, not the Bible.

-Remove the words “In God We Trust” from our money.

-Remove the words “under God” from our Pledge of Allegiance to the flag.

-Halt the practice of opening legislative sessions with prayer.

-Require all religious orders to open their books and adhere to complete transparency with regards to financial accounting so that all may scrutinize precisely how every last red cent of the money donated by the faithful is allocated.This is especially important when money is supposedly being collected to fund a specific humanitarian cause orwhen clergy attempt to insinuate themselves into politics by swaying their followers to vote one way or another under the guise of pastoring.

-Put an immediate end to the absurdity that clergy cannot be called upon to testify against a rapist, a pedophile, a spouse abuser or a murderer if that person confessed to said priest. I fully understand and appreciate all the arguments to the contrary, but there is a well-established history, especially in the Catholic and the Mormon religions, of priests and bishops systematically protecting other clergy memberswho have committed heinous, often sexually abusive, crimes. They simply invoke the sanctity of the confessional and use their “deeply held religious beliefs” in order to keep them from cooperating with police, thereby facilitating escape from prosecution. Many of these cases involve repeat offenses by truly reprehensible and dangerous criminals. How is this possibly acceptable?

-Tax all church-owned property. Doing so would eradicate our national debt with enough money remaining to totally shore up this country’s disintegrating infrastructure.

-If a Christian refuses someone a pizza or a wedding cake simply because they are gay, then their fucked-up holier-than-thou ass goes to jail for discrimination in the market place. Christians don’t get to wield religious beliefs as a free pass to discriminate. Go to jail! Discrimination in this county is illegal, even for poor persecuted Christians.

If we collectively called for all the above to be adopted as national policy, then at least the right-wing Christian conservatives and Fox News would have something reality-based at which to point to substantiate their claim of a “War on Christianity.” The funny thing about that, however, is that none of the initiatives I listed above would actually constitute an assault on religion at all, but rather a call to simply honor, respect and abide by that all important concept that our legislators “…shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion.” A concept, and indeed a cornerstone of our very system of government, that is not faithfully adhered to at present in this county.

I want religion out of my government and out of the business of attempting to shape public policy to the detriment of the LGBTQ community once and for all!

That is as it should be.

That would be as our system of government was envisioned, drafted and adopted by our Founding Fathers.

If calling for adherence to the First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America is to be vilified by Republican leaders and Christian fanatics as a “War on Christianity,” then so be it.

For the first time in my life, I am in favor of WAR!

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