Paul Revere by Cyrus Dallin, North End, Boston



Monday, September 26, 2022

To those who wish churches to direct government: Be careful what you wish for.

US Representative from Colorado, Lauren Boebert,  told congregation she’s “tired of this separation of church and state junk” 

 "Just days after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the constitutional right to abortion, Colorado’s Western Slope Rep. Lauren Boebert said churches should direct the government, not the other way around."

It's not just Boebert who would like to see "The Church" (which one, they never say) direct the government. The Trumpublicans and far-right bloggers complain that religion in America (and Europe) is losing adherents: They blame that loss on all manner of troubles we face and rail against America becoming more secular.

What they never report is what happens when governments are run by religion.

This is what happens:

"This week marked the 330th anniversary of the execution of eight people in Salem, Massachusetts, on charges of witchcraft. 

Eventually, all eight were exonerated. The last of them, a woman named Elizabeth Johnson, was cleared only last August 3. Johnson was reprieved by Gov. William Phips and lived to be 77." 

"Iranian women are burning their hijabs and cutting their hair short in protests over the death of Mahsa Amini, a young woman who died after being arrested in Tehran by Iran's notorious "morality police," who enforce the country's rules on hijabs and other conservative Islamic modes of dress and behavior."

These male politicians are pushing for women who receive abortions to be punished with prison time 

 "A businessman turned state representative from rural Oil City, Louisiana, and a Baptist pastor banded together earlier this year on a radical mission. They were adamant that a woman who receives an abortion should receive the same criminal consequences as one who drowns her baby. Under a bill they promoted, pregnant people could face murder charges even if they were raped or doctors determined the procedure was needed to save their own life. 

Doctors who attempted to help patients conceive through in-vitro fertilization, a fertility treatment used by millions of Americans, could also be locked up for destroying embryos, and certain contraception such as Plan B would be banned."

N. Carolina Bill Proposing Women Who Get Abortions Be Executed Sparks Fury 

‘We Are Seeing Them Emboldened’ 

Political candidates on the fringe mix religious fervor with conspiracy theories, even calling for the end of the separation of church and state.

"Three weeks before he won the Republican nomination for Pennsylvania governor, Doug Mastriano stood beside a three-foot-tall painted eagle statue and declared the power of God. “Any free people in the house here? Did Jesus set you free?” he asked, revving up the dozens before him on a Saturday afternoon at a Gettysburg roadside hotel. 

 Mr. Mastriano, a state senator, retired Army colonel and prominent figure in former President Donald J. Trump’s futile efforts to overturn the state’s 2020 election results, was addressing a far-right conference that mixed Christian beliefs with conspiracy theories, called Patriots Arise. Instead of focusing on issues like taxes, gas prices or abortion policy, he wove a story about what he saw as the true Christian identity of the nation, and how it was time, together, for Christians to reclaim political power."


 The separation of church and state was a “myth,” he said. “In November we are going to take our state back, my God will make it so.”

The Trumpublican Party and the far-right bloggers who bemoan the loss of religion in America never talk about what their fanatical religious compatriots wish to inflict on our secular nation.

Religious fervor and all that encompasses is a danger to our country. We are a nation of many religions and NO religion.

Vote to keep it that way.

Keep religion out of government. Look at countries like Iran and Afghanistan to see how it destroys individual freedoms.


Les Carpenter said...

Well, it worked in Tibet. Until China laid claim to that Budhist country and the Dalai Lama, rather than see his people suffer war went into exile. Now THAT is a man and a philosophy of life and a spirituality with integrity. Unlike many leaders and spiritual paths.

Grey One talks sass said...

For those of us "others" this phenomenon isn't new. Christian Nationalist, no matter the denomination, all believe their specific flavor will be in charge. And they may well be, at least until the purity tests start.

I've posted this before and it fits perfectly here:

From Emo Philips -

Once I saw this guy on a bridge about to jump. I said, "Don't do it!" He said, "Nobody loves me." I said, "God loves you. Do you believe in God?"

He said, "Yes." I said, "Are you a Christian or a Jew?" He said, "A Christian." I said, "Me, too! Protestant or Catholic?" He said, "Protestant." I said, "Me, too! What franchise?"

He said, "Baptist." I said, "Me, too! Northern Baptist or Southern Baptist?" He said, "Northern Baptist." I said, "Me, too! Northern Conservative Baptist or Northern Liberal Baptist?"

He said, "Northern Conservative Baptist." I said, "Me, too! Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region, or Northern Conservative Baptist Eastern Region?" He said, "Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region." I said, "Me, too!"

Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region Council of 1879, or Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region Council of 1912?" He said, "Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region Council of 1912." I said, "Die, heretic!" And I pushed him over.

skudrunner said...

There has never been a division between church and state. Until or unless churches and charities are required to pay taxes there will not be division.

Shaw Kenawe said...

Les I understood that Buddhism is more of a philosophy than a religion. I also understood that the Buddha did not want followers to "worship" him. But humans have a need to follow someone who they think has answers to ineffable questions, hence some portion of Buddhism that worships the Buddha.

You know more than I do about this, so I may be quite wrong.

Shaw Kenawe said...

skudrunner said...
"There has never been a division between church and state. Until or unless churches and charities are required to pay taxes there will not be division."

You don't believe there's any division between church and state? Then how was prayer, led by teachers in public schools, stopped? If there were no division between church and state, that would never have happened. The state would enforce prayer in public schools -- CHRISTIAN prayer. And THAT is unconstitutional.

I remember growing up in the '50s and having morning exercises -- pledge of allegiance to the flag, a reading from the CHRISTIAN Bible, OT, and then the recitation of the Lord's Prayer -- all Christian. No one took into account the Jewish children that were present in those classrooms, and that was wrong! It was wrong because taxpayer funded public schools ESTABLISHED Christianity as the preferred religion in school in those prayers.

Today anyone can pray in public school, so long as the school does not lead or require those prayers. Children can pray to themselves at the beginning of each school day, and no one has ever stopped them.

I was raised Catholic, and I remember praying before taking math tests, but those prayers were said silently. I've never understood why people who belong to certain religions insist on prayers in public school to be said aloud. Do they actually think their god cannot hear schoolchildren's silent prayers?

Or is there some other motive?

Shaw Kenawe said...

Grey One talks sass

History is replete with examples of religions fighting among themselves over technicalities and Biblical or Koranic meanings: Protestants and Catholics, both Christian sects, have a shameful history of killing each other. The Shiites and Sunnis. Even within Protestant sects there have been murderous histories.

The Emo Philips story is all too real and sadly, still present in world religions.

Today's Christian Nationalists are nothing more than an iteration of mankind's ancient lust for power. I don't see it having to do with following any Christian precept.

Les Carpenter said...

Shaw, You speak of Buddhist spirituality. And yes, rituals in Buddhism are like rituals in all spiritual paths. However, Budhist do not see the historic Buddha, or any Buddha as a god. Buddhist follow the path, which has many lineages in the major branches. And, the Dharma continues to expand while retaining the core principles in a lineages.

Buddhism will continue to grow in the non Christian nation known as the USA. It will be an improvement to our egocentric, attachment/aversion driven, greedy predatory capitalist nation.

For me Bhutan is quite interesting and attractive. It is a happy, peaceful, complety carbon free country if 700,000 enlightened people. This violent ignorant country could learn much from them.

Shaw Kenawe said...


Years ago, before the internet, I used to listen to Alan Watts on NPR every Saturday -- I think it was Saturdays.

Perhaps you've heard of him? Anyway, he was my introduction to Eastern philosophies. I really enjoyed him.

Alan Watts

Shaw Kenawe said...

More on Alan Watts:

"Though known for his discourses on Zen, he was also influenced by ancient Hindu scriptures, especially Vedanta and Yoga. He spoke extensively about the nature of the divine reality which Man misses: how the contradiction of opposites is the method of life and the means of cosmic and human evolution, how our fundamental Ignorance is rooted in the exclusive nature of mind and ego, how to come in touch with the Field of Consciousness and Light, and other cosmic principles.

Watts sought to resolve his feelings of alienation from the institutions of marriage and the values of American society, as revealed in his comments on love relationships in "Divine Madness" and on perception of the organism-environment in "The Philosophy of Nature". In looking at social issues he was concerned with the necessity for international peace, for tolerance, and understanding among disparate cultures.

Watts also came to feel acutely conscious of a growing ecological predicament. Writing, for example, in the early 1960s: "Can any melting or burning imaginable get rid of these ever-rising mountains of ruin—especially when the things we make and build are beginning to look more and more like rubbish even before they are thrown away?" These concerns were later expressed in a television pilot made for NET (National Educational Television) filmed at his mountain retreat in 1971 in which he noted that the single track of conscious attention was wholly inadequate for interactions with a multi-tracked world."

Les Carpenter said...

Egocentric monotheistic societies seem to have a very long history of persecuting the "others" that happen to find their way into the society where they are not wanted. Unless of course they can be manipulated and exploited to the benefit of the predatory capitalists that wish to lord over them. Today's American Christian Nationalists differ little from the predatory slave owners of the pre and post Civil War era.

Truth scorches the guilty and today's Fascist Christian Nationalist are guilty of soooo very much.

Les Carpenter said...

I've heard of Watts. However right now I am concentrating on Tibetan Mahayanna Buddihism. Also known as the Great Vehicle. Although as noted all Buddhist practices recognize the core principals of Buddhism as taught by the historical Buddha.

The human ignorance refered to in Buddhist texts refers to our ignorance of our basic innate nature. IE: own Buddhanature. All sentient beings are capable of acheiving liberation and enlightment once ego clinging, defilements, and obscurations are eliminated.

Perhaps one of the best known Zen Master of our era is Thich Nhat Hahn who recently passed out of this life. He was 95.

With planning and a bit of good fortune the Mrs and I will hopefully be visiting the Kingdom of Bhutan for 12 days in 2024 or 2025. Unfortunately I will have to return to the ego driven insanity in the USA.

Anonymous said...

It seems Les is worshiping his cult as Christians worship Jesus and God. To believe any one group, or philosophy has THE answer(s) is a fallacy in itself.
I agree that religious institutions should pay taxes. What they don't pay, I have to, and I protest that situation.
Religion should be completely out of government. The abortion fight is a perfect example why.

Shaw Kenawe said...

Sorry, Anonymous, Buddhists don't "worship" Buddha, they try to follow "the way." Buddhism is more of a philosophy than a religion like Christianity and Islam.

Dave Dubya said...

A poll shows some 60% of Republicans want the US to be designated a Christian nation.

Yes, these are same ignorant fools who have as much grasp of the Constitution as their Bible.

Most Christians ignore their Savior's commandment to love their neighbor, as they demand everyone conform to their brand of belief.

Buddhism is a path of discovery, awareness and growth of conscience over ego, not a book of rules, deities and mythology. No wonder Americans fear it.

Can I get an Amen?

Dave Miller said...

It true believers such as those highlighted in Shaw's post get their way, here's a fair characterization of the types of views we can expect to see. Especially since candidate Mastriano said it... women who get abortions should be charged with murder.

This at least is consistent.

Because if you believe abortion is murder, as many conservatives do, how can you not also believe a criminal complaint is warranted? And of course you'd have to believe the normal state penalty, which in PA is death for murder of an unborn child, would be appropriate.

This is the type of stuff that happens in a theocracy, as opposed to a pluralistic democracy.

Anonymous said...

Power... Control... Judgement...

A bunch of old folks, and mostly male, using a big black book written by men approximately 6,000 - 2,000 years ago for their justification, wish to pass judgement and death on women for something they themselves can never experience or or truly understand what or why a women may make the difficult decision to have an abortion.

The decision for this procedure ultimately MUST rest with the woman. Anything short of that is simply illogical and wrongheaded IMO.

Abortions should be safe and legal. And women who oppose abortion for religious or any other reason can simply exercise their right NOT to have one.

And for those who think god has a problem with a women having an abortion? Well, then simply let it be and allow god to make that judgment when her end comes.

Simple. But just another example of complex people making a simple issue complex so they can "do something" and then feel a sense of empowerment and worth. All based on a book from antiquity.

BTW, what pray tell is gained by killing a second person. Especially since the person is no threat to the state of to society at large by her decision to get an abortion?

Power... Control... Judgement... pure and simple. Is this really what the MAJORITY of our people want? I think not. VOTING in numbers large enough to shut down the fascist authoritarian Evangelical/Trumpublican minority is how this absurdity dies.

Anonymous said...

All religions are a path of discovery. You are not the final word on what Buddhism is. Many scholars would disagree with you. If you make a pilgrimage half way around the world, you are a worshiper.

Les Carpenter said...

And you Anonare quire ignorant of truth. Or perhaps I should say reality. Oh, thats right, they're one and the same really.

Go seeking Anon. And best of luck.

Anonymous said...

You don't have the answer to all truth, you can't even spell correctly.

Dave Dubya said...

It's abundantly evident why Anonymous (Sounds like Jerry) is afraid to put a name to his inane remarks.

The guy has issues. I think he's just looking for attention.

And "all truth" is NOT a question that has "the answer". One truth is it is now October. It will not be true next month.

Here's a truth for Anonymous Jerry to ponder. The only constant is change.

Anonymous said...

My name is Craig.
I wasn't the one trying to separate Buddhism from a description of a right path and not a religion, or cult. Religion, cult, philosophy, it's all the same dishonest garbage when they claim they are the better way.
Thanks for proving your arrogance, Dave. I don't expect you to apologize to whoever Jerry is.

Dave Dubya said...

Thanks for identifying yourself. Dialogue can be difficult with more than one anonymous commenter .

I apologize for saying you sound like Jerry. Your tone is similar, but Jerry outright accused me of a lie, and then he got angry and refused to cite it.

Am I correct these are your words?

”All religions are a path of discovery.

Religion, cult, philosophy, it's all the same dishonest garbage when they claim they are the better way.”

OK. I stand corrected and humbled, and welcome your enlightened philosophy, as the better way.

”Thanks for proving your arrogance, Dave.”

You’re welcome, but I thought it was sarcasm.

Glad to make your acquaintance, Craig.