Here is my initial reaction to the forward; all gut feelings and thoughts:
As a Christian and as an US citizen this really upsets me. The reality is that while about 75% of people in the US identify as Christian only about 30% go to church or take part in Christian groups regularly. Since it is Church (universal) that creates holidays and traditions, and our Christian faith says that we need the help and support of other Christians to even consider succeeding on our journey, what are the other 45% of people doing to ensure their salvation? HOw are they choosing to live their Christianity? Our country was founded on the concepts of FREEDOM FOR ALL. our declaration of independence declares independent from a tyrant country dictating taxes, religions, and ideas from an ocean away. People came to the United States to escape religious persecution. Our constitution proclaims that the government will protect the rights of minorities as well as follow the majority (obviously a contradictory statement). If there is 25% of our country that is NOT Christian, then maybe they are feeling religious persecution? (for example, the Patriot Act essentially created legitimate means to spy on all our MUSLIM citizens).
My faith is not a faith that needs to be crammed down people’s throats. My faith is not political. It is about love. And I try to remember some of the important adages when I consider my faith
St Francis of Assisi said preach the gospel always and when necessary use words
Mother Teresa said do little things with great love
Jesus Christ said the first commandment is to love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, all your mind, and all your soul, and the second is like it: love your neighbor as yourself.
My faith does not tell me that God has to be on the one dollar bill. It does not say that my God is a political entity. It does tell me that everything I do should be guided by the Holy Spirit.
People are upset that we are taking God out of schools and out of government, but why? If we wanted a true spiritual revelation it would be bigger than the government anyway. We would love our neighbors: we would take care of the sick, we would help prisoners (really help them, especially after they got out of prison), we would turn the other cheek. There are so many ways that I fail every day as a Christian. Every time I walk past a homeless man on the street I see Christ, but I keep on walking. In the Gospels Jesus says: Whatever you did for the least of them you did for me. I fail so much. But, when I do fail, I don’t look to the government to lift me up and help me become a better person– I turn to the cross.
So, this offends me. Not only is it inconsiderate of other faiths represented in our country, but it is inconsiderate of my faith. The government does not dictate my faith. It does not stop me from practicing or prevent me from taking off work for religious holidays. It does not stop students from praying in schools, but it does protect students from having other faiths and ideologies preached at them from a government worker– the government does not need to teach about God in schools.
If this is what Christians choose to be riled by, it’s no wonder we are living in a culture of death where not all life is given the same worth and not all people are given the dignity and honor due to them.
Care about something bigger than dollar bills.