Letter: Religion shouldn’t influence politics by Barrie Johnson
The Catholic Church is bringing suit against the Obama administration over its requirements to include birth control in their health insurance policies, claiming they are infringing on their religious freedoms. How very odd! The Constitution reads “We, the People,” not we the corporation or, we the organization. It means that we can believe what we choose, not what some group attempts to force on us.
As an extreme example, we do not have to believe that a woman need follow the dictates of any male, at the risk of being stoned to death if her actions displeases them. That is part of Sharia Law, an extreme version of Islamic belief. Unacceptable in any society? Of course, as is demanding there be no sex acts that does not include reproductive intent, which eliminating birth control implies.
A poorly understood fact is that churches are not “The House of God,” as they would have you believe. They are commercial enterprises that offer a product for sale; a body of beliefs that one can buy by attending that church and tithing every Sunday. You would challenge that statement? Explain why only 35 percent of the human race follows Christianity, and why there are so many denominations, each with a set of beliefs that vary somewhat from the others, with none having a majority of followers.
These are completely fallible human beliefs, with no church having a “Hot Line to God.” Choose one churches’ set of beliefs, or none at all, as you wish. That is freedom of religion. That is OUR freedoms, not some commercial organizations’ freedoms.
Inherent in that understanding of commercialism is the realization that the employees of those organizations must be held to the high standards they claim for themselves, but seldom attain. I refer to the sexual crimes of the priesthood as one example, and religions’ infringement upon the political process for another. Republicans use religion to whip up your emotions and cause you to vote against your own best interests. Religion cannot be allowed to influence political decisions, but that is exactly what the Catholics’ lawsuit is all about.
Organized religion has become blatantly supportive of Republican policies, many of which are diametrically opposed to the teachings of Jesus. We need an I.R.S. review of the tax exempt status of many of our churches.
Barrie Johnson, Exeland