For America in these troubled times, the primary war for survival usually comes from religious fanatics.
Muslim religious fundamentalists brought down the World Trade Center in 2001 and changed the American way of life.
Religious terrorism within America comes not only from jihad-spouting Middle Easterners from afar, but also via religious extremists here at home and who pound the Bible and spout claims of supremacy of God and Jesus Christ.
In Kentucky, the Rowan County clerk sits in jail for refusing the obey the Constitution while claiming she answers to “a higher power” of fundamentalist Christian religion.
Bible-spouting fanatics claim Armageddon is coming in a fiery Judgement Day where God almighty will strike down the sinners who follow the law of the land. They promote purported claims of advocating religion over all else. She is a threat because she is an elected official who turned her back on the oath she signed to uphold the laws of Kentucky and the Constitution and ignored the people she is supposed to serve.
Hard line fundamentalists scream that “the second day of judgement is coming” and claim gay marriage, legal abortion and everything from premarital sex to a threat of immigration will bring an angry God coming to earth to lay waste on those who don’t heed the call.
Here in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Southwestern Virginia, where we moved after 23 years in Washington, DC, we see and hear the rants of the “born again” types daily with their claims the end is near, which they swear is why we need to prepare for judgement day.
Religious fundamentalism ripples through the mob of Republican Presidential candidates like a nest of vipers ready to attack. Ted Cruz, Mike Huckabee, Rick Santorum and others who preach a claimed need for the “law of God” rather than a real law based on the Constitution and the needs of the country.
Maybe that’s why Donald Trump, a flashy billionaire who chases women, money and self-serving fame, leads the polls for the Republicans. He’s the last thing the fundamentalists want to see and their rabid religious rants have driven many away from the GOP conservative code.
On the Democratic side, Bernie Sanders, a self-styled Socialist, is threatening the once seemingly impossible lead of Hillary Rodham Clinton as the choice of the party of the jackass — oops, we meant to say “donkey.”
As in politics, religious fundamentalism is based on the fallacy of a supremacist philosophy. Religious fanatics from different religious denominations preach the existence of a “supreme being” that they call “the one God” and who, in their minds, should have absolute rule on everyone’s lives.
But the “one God” claim is a fallacy. It is based on differing interpretations of varying religious beliefs. The “one God” promoted by Baptists varies in interpretation from the “one” described by Jews. Muslims view “God” differently than Christians. Even within the “Christian church,” there are differing beliefs and interpretations from Baptists, Methodists, Presbyterians, Mormons and so on.
Fundamentalist Presbyterians, for example, split from churches of the Presbyterian Church USA over the issue of gay marriage. Some Christian faiths welcome and recognize gays. Others call them sinners and bar the doors.
So which God spouts which law? Is there really any “law of God?” It depends on who is interpreting what is nothing more than a belief in a supreme being that many say may or may not exist.
Legal experts appear to agree that a public official must uphold the law and not let personal or religious beliefs get in the way.
Case Western University Jonathan Adler says Kim Davis “asked to be the person who issues marriage licenses. And the state defines who is eligible to marry.”
American Civil Liberties Union legal director said Federal Judge Jim Bunning, who jailed Davis to refusing to marry gays, made it clear that “public officials may not ignore the law. We have reached this point only because Ms. Davis chose to defy the court’s order and place her own personal views ahead of the Constitution.”
All religions are based on beliefs, not actual facts. Congregations of one church buy into one set of “rules” while members of other congregations accept other beliefs down the street.
Albert Einstein said he did not believe in “a personal god.” He considered himself an agnostic. Members of Congress like Rep. Pete Stark of California and Rep. Barney Frank were atheists but Frank kept his non-belief secret until he retired. Former pro wrestler and Minnesota governor Jesse Ventura is also a non-believer.
Various religions are dominated by con artists who play on the gullible who need to accept one belief or another to deal with the realities of life. Many build monuments to their beliefs and live high on the hog from donations who accept their claims as gospel.
Some, like Jim and Tammy Faye Baker, get caught and end up in prison. Others, like Jim Jones, led their flocks to mass suicides. Still others preach their vision of purity while cheating on their wives and raiding the collection boxes. Ministers, like others in their flocks, go to prison for murder, admit fathering children outside of marriage and engage in sexual acts with others of their gender.
Religions quote “the word of God” but the words they speak are just their own interpretations of a God that may or may not exist and — if he, she or it exists — could have a different view of the world. Close reading of the bible reveals a tome of contradictions, hypocrisies and recommendations for murder along with hatred and bigotry.
In the end, the goal of religious fundamentalists is control of the masses and they consider religion as just another tool of political influence.
God, if he or she or it exists, is probably sitting back somewhere laughing his or her ass off at all the lunacy generated in “their” names.
(Revised after initial publication to correct a typo that put the attack on the World Trade Center 10 years later than when it actually happened. Obviously, the author did not have enough coffee. Also cleaned up some language problems. Our thanks to those who pointed out the errors. Our apologies.)
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