Is This Not Also My Country?!

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Published on: 5February2014

Let me start by saying that I was born here – in Baltimore, Maryland.  I am proud of my Jewish heritage, as well.  But, I have – for a long time, now – described myself as “humbly Agnostic and realistically Atheist.”  That means that I really don’t believe there is a God, but I cannot prove or disprove it, so I just choose not to choose and just live my life treating other people as I would like to be treated.

That being said, let me follow by saying that I have zero issues with anyone who believes in God.  I have seen a lot of good come from someone having faith, especially in times of death & tragedy.

So, what am I here to rail about today?

Well, let’s start with a basic & quick history lesson.  This country was founded by a large group of people who left England because they no longer wanted to be forced to live by the religion chosen by King James:

The pilgrims left England in 1609 so that they could practice the religion they chose. An English law, the 1559 Act of Uniformity, demanded that all British citizens attend services and follow the traditions of the Church of England. A group of dissenters known as the Puritains had strong disagreements with some Church practices. Under King James, the practice of executing Puritans for disobeying the Act of Uniformity ended, but the Puritans still found themselves hated by society.

http://www.life123.com/holidays/thanksgiving/pilgrims/why-did-the-pilgrims-leave-england.shtml

This country’s forefathers ensured, in The United States Constitution, that religious freedoms would be one of the laws of the land.  It is clearly stated in the First Amendment:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; …

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_Amendment_to_the_United_States_Constitution

Now that we have those two details clarified, here is my grievance:

I feel horribly outcast in my own country, by some of my fellow citizens, when I hear or read someone say that “this is a Christian nation.”

This is a diverse nation that has become what she has due to said diversity.  This country is far different, and often times far better, than other countries because of the progress made on the ideas from many with varying perspectives & backgrounds.

Look, I really like the story of Jesus.  And, I appreciate some of the moral teachings of the Bible.  But, I am as much an American as anyone else born here (except Native Americans – on whom none of us have anything) and I would like to stop feeling like I don’t belong or that I am not welcomed here.

And, I don’t like when people imply that unless you have God in your life, you lack morals.  I have plenty of morals, thank you very much, and sometimes I can point out supposed faithfuls who have very little (just read the news everyday).

So, when I post things on Facebook about science v. God, or pro-choice v. anti-choice, etc., I’m doing so as a pushback to those who do or say or post extreme things from the other side.

I am pro-choice for two reasons, in this order:

    1. Unless & until you have a uterus, you have no say in the matter, and
    2. If you believe that this is against God’s wishes, then YOU don’t have an abortion and let others think & pray (or not) as they wish. But, reign your own damn flock in, first, and stop trying to convert everyone to your religious beliefs when your own fellow subscribers don’t even follow your God’s supposed wishes:

Women identifying themselves as Protestants obtain 37.4% of all abortions in the U.S.; Catholic women account for 31.3%, Jewish women account for 1.3%, and women with no religious affiliation obtain 23.7% of all abortions. 18% of all abortions are performed on women who identify themselves as “Born-again/Evangelical”.

http://www.antiochian.org/node/16950

As for where I stand on “God”:

I am a hands-on, show me, logical kind of guy.  I am not against religion, so long as it’s peaceful. And, I am not out to convert anyone to be a non-believer, at all.  I cannot prove there is not a God, but it cannot be proven that there is a God, either.  So, I choose not to choose.  I will deal with the consequences, if there are any … not you.

So, for all those out there complaining that there’s too much government in our lives … there are some of us who don’t want religion in ours, just the same.

Does that make us less American? Does that make us less intelligent? Does that make us less contributors?

If it doesn’t make me more American, smarter or a bigger contributor … then it doesn’t make me less, either.

You want your country back?!  Well, so do I — the one where we welcomed others to come here and share in our freedom and contribute to our prosperity.  I am sick of living in the land of labels, where someone always seems to be trying to find another way to classify Americans into yet another bucket to further segregate and separate and divide us.

GROW UP!

 

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