…the idea is that we are accountable to our fellow man under civil law and that we’re accountable to our own God under whatever religious code we believe.
I had this to say to a right-wing friend of mine who asked “When did it become a bad thing to believe in God?” during a political discussion on Facebook. I felt, perhaps, it’d be good to share here as well.
It’s not a bad thing to believe in God. And you know, I don’t know anyone who believes it is. But sometimes the people who don’t believe are so protective of their rights and sometimes the people who do believe are so protective at theirs that we end up feeling like we’re enemies. People make stupid decisions, file stupid lawsuits, do stupid stuff all the time, and it doesn’t really matter whether they’re Christian or not. Most of the Christians and Jews and Muslims and Buddhists and atheists I know are open, friendly, good people who don’t really care who you pray to or even if you pray. We’re all people, and individually, you know, it’s hard to point at a single person we know and say they’re all bad. We all have our reasons, our fears, the things we want to protect.
You have your right to worship your God. I have my right not to be held accountable to Christian or Muslim or whomever’s religious law (and that’s where we fight church and state the most; do you as a Christian want to be subject to Sharia law, for example?) – the idea is that we are accountable to our fellow man under civil law and that we’re accountable to our own God under whatever religious code we believe. That’s it. Simple. Belief is a personal thing, a relationship between the divine and self. I’m assuming you’re Protestant; I was raised that way too, and the forebears of Protestantism fought for this religious freedom because they were once persecuted by Catholics and the Church of England for their ‘liberal’ beliefs; religious freedom played a major role in the colonization and creation of America.
I hate that we come to so much anger and venom over something as simple as that, when it could be simply said, “we each practice what we believe, and we live according to the code of our beliefs, and we don’t use our government to force others to follow our beliefs.”
And sure, there are tougher questions: abortion, for example. That’s one I don’t know if we’ll ever sort out, because the passion is so great on each side. But we can at least try to find a way that we can live with each other.