Saturday, April 16, 2005

Christie S.

My name is Christie. I'm a 42 year old married woman with one child. My husband, Larry, received the grace of Christ about five years ago. And what a wonderful, amazing thing THAT was! We are raising our child in the love of Christ. We are members of the same church, Disciples of Christ, where my family has worshipped for 30 years. We are also Democrats.

My husband cleans boats for a living as a commercial diver. I am a bookkeeper. We're not pretentious people. We live our lives the best we can; trying to keep the precepts of Jesus' love and tolerance in the forefront at all times. We're not rich, we work hard to provide our child and ourselves with everything we need and some of the things we want. We struggle and juggle to pay the bills on time. We stress over paying for childcare. We worry over the cost of healthcare. We wonder if our tax money is being spent on the right priorities. We hope our jobs are going to be there next week. In short, we're just like almost everyone else in America.

I am no theologian, but I just don't understand what part of Love is the Law the (un)Religious Right doesn't get. In the few forms of the Bibles that I have here in the house, (KJ2, NVA, St Joseph's Catholic, Living Bible, Dead Sea Scrolls, Lamsa's translation from the Aramaic of the Peshitta, NAS Ryrie Study) I haven't found ANYWHERE in them where Jesus advocates intolerance towards anyone to the point of calling out religious warfare. In my understanding, Jesus came right out and said that intolerance is not to be accepted from, nor given by, any goodly person. This following passage sums up my personal belief:

Matt 22:37-40
Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.
I read this to mean that these two are the supermajority commandments. They supercede the Ten. Jesus said that these laws overrode any other that had come before.

My political beliefs are consistent with my personal faith. I respect my fellow man, regardless of what his faith may be. The only thing I have ever requested is that my fellow man not try to force his belief on me. I don't want to interfere with any other person's right to worship. It's none of my business how a person finds God. I don't hate anyone because they believe differently than me. I don't believe in telling someone they're going to hell if they don't follow my personal path. I much prefer the Beatitudes as a life path rather than the Ten Commandments. In order for me to fulfill my beliefs, I have to try to alleviate suffering rather than inflict it.

I strongly resent the accusations from some overly agitated groups that I am trying to destroy their religion and their right to worship. I am not. I don't care what you believe in. I also don't try to take over the country using these false assumptions that someone is out to "take away my right to worship".

I am firmly of the opinion that neither my religious beliefs, nor anyone else's, should form the law of the land of ANY nation; much less the United States of America. I don't believe that ANY religion has the "god-given" right to set the laws of my country. How can we possibly live up to the faith of our founding fathers if we let this happen?

This country was founded and settled by people of many different cultures and walks of life. Our founding fathers themselves were an amazing hodgepodge of faiths. How can we, as modern Americans, show any less respect for another's religion than they did themselves? America is not now, nor has it ever been, a Theocratic State. God willing, it will never be. Let your beliefs form your religion. Let your spirituality guide your actions. But keep your religious tenets out of my laws. They don't belong there.

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