All creeds urge humans to respect each other Jan. 16, the Register Star carried an article penned by Bernard Reese in which he categorized America as a Christian countryand demanded that in their dealings, our politicians embrace the Christian ‘God.” He warned that if they don’t, relativity and, I presume in his eyes, chaos would prevail. On that subject, Mr. Reese and I strongly disagree, but on another issue, our accord is certain-that the U.S. Constitution guarantees each of us the right to believe what we choose and to express our ideas freely without fear of recrimination.
Change is the only constant in life as I see it. Everything IS relative!!! Beliefs in deities or other mystical forms help people cope with the “dreadful unknown” and the sometimes obvious unfairness of our existence here on this lonely planet hidden away in a corner of the infinite universe. But Mr. Reese would seemingly want us all to believe the way he does. Though we are a nation of immense religious and cultural diversity, he would have our leaders (thank goodness, we have leaders now) insert his god into their governance. What about the gods and beliefs of Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, Taoism, Buddhism, Humanism, Paganism, and others? Are they to be shunned just because so many Americans profess to be Christian? It appears to me that, without exception, all creeds espouse the fundamental principle which urges human beings to respect each other. That is the ONLY moral law. Just think, if we truly practiced that, there would be no war and no crimeópolitics, wealth and power would be used for the betterment of all, not just a few. In support of his premises, Mr. Reese cited presidents and politicians. My support comes from an eminent religious scholar, the Reverend Charles Kimball, a Baptist minister and devout Christian who teaches World Religions at Wake Forest University. In his book, When Religion Becomes Evil (Harper-Collins, 2002), Professor Kimball, among other issues, discusses Christian reconstructionism, the mixing of God and country sought by The Christian Coalition, Pat Robertson, Bernard Reese, and many others. Dr. Kimball warns as follows, “Christian reconstructionists in America are only one step removed from their counterparts with a concrete, divinely ordained plan for an Islamic state or the reconstituted, expanded biblical state of Israel… It is not too surprising to hear some detractors of leaders like Falwell and Robertson, refer to them sarcastically as American ayatollahs…” Let’s allow our leaders to do their best in a world full of treachery and greed. Their jobs are difficult enough without being bound by shackles of rigid religious moralism.
From the Feb. 10-16, 2010 issue