You guys know that I very rarely wander over into the political arena.
However, (you knew that was coming, right?) this morning I read an article that just pushed all my buttons at once.
I linked to it on Facebook and Google+, mentioned that I didn't agree with it; and was asked with what – exactly – did I disagree.
It took me all day, but I was finally able to get my thoughts into a logical order. I am sharing them here, simply for those who may not know me on Facebook.
This is the article: Texas Gov. Rick Perry's Misguided Day of Prayer.
Here is my response:
I do not claim to know what limitations are placed on Governor Perry by his office in Texas, nor do I claim to condone the wisdom of his leading this prayer meeting. I do, however, disagree with several statement made by Mr. Krauss.
First, I object to the use of inflammatory language in his piece. He uses words like “noxious”, “religious zealots”, “mantle of righteousness” and “hijacked” to describe Governor Perry and the group of citizens who are organizing this meeting. These words convey prejudice, fear and bias on his part.
The 21% of the adult U.S. population that Mr. Krauss claims are “excluded” from the event are only excluded due to personal choice. They personally choose to be nonbelievers, unaffiliated with any faith or non-Christian.
If they choose to disagree with the beliefs of Christians, they should not be bothered or offended by said beliefs. If they do not believe in “eternal damnation”, why would they be concerned about it being “proclaimed”?
If Governor Perry were a Muslim, he would have every right to convene a day of prayer to Allah, which would, of necessity, include all of their beliefs, including the “guarantee” of eternal damnation for Christians and Jews.
Mr. Krauss seems to think that the election to a governorship removes the protection of Mr. Perry’s First Amendment rights.
The author’s assumption that it would be an “unlikely” scenario that an atheist would call for “a day of secular discussion of solutions to the many challenges we face as a nation” is laughable. This “scenario” is played out daily on radio, television, college campuses and on Capitol Hill.
He further states that it would be unlikely that there would be a “notion that the faithful should not play a role in the discussion.” Does he not realize that it is a rare thing indeed for any one of “faith” to be allowed to use that faith in their discussions of solutions for our country?
Mr. Krauss also states that when “those empowered….to govern” (by this, I’m assuming he’s referencing Governor Perry) “suggest that governance should be based…on a…premise of one religion in particular, to the exclusion and derision of those whose spiritual inclinations may differ, we must be on guard.” (Emphasis mine)
I’ve read the web site for the Response gathering. In no place on the site did I read anything that was in any way derisive toward those of other religions or beliefs or to those who had no beliefs.
The author further states that we should want our government to address the challenges facing our country head on, “and not with fairy tales – religious or otherwise”. Now who’s being derisive???
I believe the author comes closest to stating his true motivation in the following statement: “…we should not cede the debate on public affairs or the solutions to the challenges that face us to one group that asserts any specific divine support for its cause.”
He sounds as if he believes this single Christian event will override and subjugate the entire nation’s desires and solutions for our country’s present difficulties. I think that scenario is highly unlikely.
The author’s comment that if the founders of our country had believed the Bible was sufficient to govern the affairs of men and women they would have not felt it necessary to draft the Constitution is ludicrous.
Our Constitution is filled with detailed instructions for the administration of our country. The Bible does not give instructions for the length of a Senator’s seat or for the percentage necessary for the passing of an amendment. These were details necessary to our country’s establishment, but are not contradictory to Scripture.
As to Mr. Krauss’ assertion that public policy cannot be successful if it is based on doctrines that were “established before we knew the Earth orbited the sun”, I don’t know which I disagree with more: the fact that he is not aware that the Bible speaks to the orbit of the earth (Isaiah 40:22) and of the central importance of the position of the sun (Psalm 19:4-5); or that he feels policies must be fluid and ever changing in order to be successful.
Finally, I disagree with the author’s assumption that Christians have nothing more to offer by way of solutions for our country’s problems except that we claim to have God on our side.
On the contrary, the opinions of Christians vary widely on what is best for our country. You will find numerous suggestions and solutions that have been well thought out and logically offered by politicians around the country who claim the name “Christian”.
Again, I state that I cannot claim to judge the wisdom of Governor Perry’s calling this meeting. I for one will not be attending the meeting. I find that I do my best praying, and specifically only participate in fasting, in the privacy of my own home. I do not need to be in Houston, nor do I need to wait until August 6 to begin petitioning my God to intervene in the challenges facing my country.
Also, despite what Mr. Krauss might think, I am not foolish enough to vote for a presidential candidate simply because he can organize a prayer meeting.