[Editor's note: Two articles by William Edelen under the title of "God's Protectors," which were previously published separately in the Secular Web Library, have been here combined into one.]
If I hear one I more phony politician make the statement that "we need to return God to the classroom" .. I'll gag. The quackery of God and Jesus talk is a stink that is rising clear to the Ozone layer. Republican George W Bush says "you must believe in Jesus Christ to enter heaven." And he wants to be the President of Buddhists, Jews, Taoists, Agnostics, Atheists and all of those who are not in the Jesus jazzing agenda. Bush again: "Christ is my favorite philosopher." This was so embarrassing that even grade school children blushed, referring to Jesus as a 'philosopher.'
Al Gore has sunk equally low in cant with his statement on 60 Minutes that he was a "born again Christian, who always asks 'what would Jesus do?'". Well, I can tell him what Jesus said about hypocrites in the 23rd chapter of Matthew.
To think that the 'God' behind billions of galaxies needs to be 'protected' and 'praised' by politicians, state legislatures and clergy is so comical that you wonder about the mental stability of those believing this nonsense. Laws to make people 'worship' God, or 'believe' in God, or 'acknowledge' God or Jesus are born of the same spirit that built the dungeons of the Inquisition and kindled the fires for witches and heretics.
Anyone who suggests to me that God will not stand up unless sheltered from inquiry and non-believers, I look upon with pity.
I think that the God behind the Cosmos (he, she or it) needs no protectors on this little speck of dust in the universe called Earth. I have often wondered why so many are so nervous about something we call 'God', and seem to feel that this God must in every way be protected. They must be continually reminded that "In God We Trust" or presumably they might relax and stop trusting, or even trust something else.
The 'true believer' congratulating himself/herself on keeping the faith must feel he is saving God from extinction. You would think that in their more rational moments, assuming they have some, they might come to the realization that if the God of their faith needed this much protection they have a very impotent and weak God indeed, who needed Senator Featherhead or the Rev. Mr. Dimwit for his protection.
Imagine a God who could create a universe and yet needed, on this little cosmic grain of sand called Earth, politicians and clergy to save him from extinction. It will be a sad day for America if we reward hypocrisy and sham at the polls. Bush and Gore have told us they "follow Jesus". It that is so, may I suggest they read what Jesus said about hypocrites who pray and talk religion on the street corners so that they may "be seen by men."
What a blessing it would be for us all in these remaining nine months before the election if the phony "protectors of God" and "Jesus jazzers" would grow up and recover something called.... integrity.
Gawd, how I miss Barry Goldwater! What he would say about all of this God revival talk coming from our four candidates would peel the paint off the walls. Goldwater was such a straight, no B.S., talker that a national Republican leader said "he was so straight forward, it just took your breath away."
On the "60 Minutes" program, Al Gore said that he was a born-again Christian who always asks, "What would Jesus do?" And his running-mate, Joseph Lieberman, when introduced on national television, made us all squirm at his conspicuous piety in constantly talking about God, even reading from the Old Testament. Lieberman is getting rave reviews as the Democrat who condemned President Clinton. And yet, not a peep, not a word, from Lieberman about the multiple adulteries of Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu's admitted confessions.
Republican George W. Bush says at a press conference that "you must believe in Jesus Christ to go to heaven," and he recently declared an official "Jesus Day" in Texas. And he wants to be President of Buddhists, Taoists, Humanists, Deists, Agnostics, Atheists, and all of the other millions of United States citizens who are not in the Jesus jazzing agenda. His buddy, Dick Cheney, wants God back in schools with mandatory prayer. No wonder Cheney loves God, who just blessed him with a 20 million dollar pay-off from his company.
Barry Goldwater would leave these four gasping. He would tell them again, clearly, "anyone who tries to make politics out of God ought to go to hell." "Religious lunatics," he called them. Goldwater never mealy-mouthed around in hypocrisy. A bigot was a bigot and a homophobic was a homophobic, and a religious quack was a quack, whether Democrat or Republican. He said: "Gays and Lesbians are now a part of every American family. This is not a liberal cause. It is democracy, and they should not be shortchanged."
These "true believers" keep congratulating themselves on saving God from extinction. You would think they might come to the realization that if the God of their faith needed this much protection they have a very weak and impotent God indeed. Imagine a God who could create a universe and yet needed, on this little cosmic grain of sand called Earth, politicians and clergy to save him from being extinct!
It will be a sad day for America when we reward religious sham at the polls.
Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, Harry Truman, and Barry Goldwater, where are you now that we need you?
As the Republican official said about Goldwater: "God...he was so straight forward he just took your breath away."
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