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Julie Barrett is a freelance writer and photographer based in Plano, TX.

Preaching to the Choir? Or Pissing People Off?

Fresh (almost) daily from Julie Barrett


I'm either preaching to the choir or I'm gonna piss a lot of people off with this post. Let's see what happens. 

Every time I see a story about Roy Moore in our local paper (or sometimes shared out here on FB) there's a group of usual suspects who start yammering on about Bill Clinton. You know what? When Bill Clinton runs for office again or if someone else steps forward to accuse him of new sexual improprieties, then let's talk about it. I'm all for it. But in the context of Roy Moore, discussing Bill Clinton (or Al Franken or Joe Barton) is distraction. Neither Clinton, Franken, or Barton is running for the Senate in Alabama right now. You know what? Even talking about Donald Trump's "p*ssy grabbing" is moving the spotlight away from Roy Moore and the election in Alabama.  

And that's the deal. The spotlight needs to be on that election. Further, if I lived in Alabama and could vote in this race, the latest allegations wouldn't have made any difference. Roy Moore has been removed from the bench twice. Some people say he was just standing up for the Constitution, but I ask those same people if someone had posted a quote from the Quran in front of a judicial building, what would their reaction be? What would their reaction be if a judge directed public officials not to perform interracial marriages? Or marriages between people of two different religions? Funny, when I ask those questions I get crickets. Or sputtering. Or more talk about Bill Clinton.  

There are reasons that we don't have a state-sponsored religion. These people say that "Christian" is our religion, as if some vague label did the job. No, go read a damn history book or two. England practically tore itself apart more than once in conflicts over the one true version of Christianity. Our founders wisely realized that religion is personal business, and not the business of the state. 

Many Americans are morally guided by their religion, and that's not a bad thing. But do you want lawmakers to demand your circumcision, gentlemen? Or to impose rules on what you must eat and drink? Of course, you don't. And there's the slippery slope. There are many interpretations of the Bible. If you don't believe me, do what I did and get a job at a Christian radio station listening to "preaching and teaching" programs all day. Or just spend some time listening. There was little agreement on anything from the steps to salvation to diet, to the Rapture, to who was qualified to teach and preach. And they all got their guidance from the same book. 

I'm not putting down sincerely held religious beliefs. I'm just saying that there are many interpretations of the Bible, and why should one rule our system of laws over another? Our founders understood this. Why can't we?

Filed under: Politics            
11/27/2017 9:53:37 AM
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