Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Patricia P.

My name is Patricia Puzzo and I'm a Christian who attends church
regularly and tries to live my life according to Jesus's teachings. I'm
currently a registered Democrat and my political leanings are to the
left, but I've been belonged to other political parties in the past. I
love Jesus and believe if everyone followed his path, the world would be
an incredible place filled with love and charity and devoid of wars and
hatred. But I also believe that Christianity isn't the only way to be
loving and charitable towards others. There are so many wonderful things
we can learn from all religions and spiritual paths, most of which are
far older than Christianity and from which Christianity has taken a
great deal.

I have many wonderful friends of various spiritual beliefs. Among them
are Christians, Jews, Wiccans, Pagans, Buddhists, Humanists, and people
who practice a mix of beliefs or none at all. And yet, each are caring,
loving, generous people who wouldn't hesitate to help me in times of
need as I would help them. I love all my friends dearly and respect
their spiritual decisions, as they are the only ones qualified to choose
the spiritual path that is best for them.

It's with deep sadness and anger that I hear and read the inflammatory
rhetoric of the fundamentalist Christian right that Democrats, and
actually anyone whose beliefs differ from those of the fundamentalists,
are anti-Christian. How dare they say such a thing! We Dems are in no
way, shape, or form anti-Christian. We *are*, however, firmly against
shoving our religion down other people's throats and trying to make our
country over into a Christian theocracy. This country was not founded on
any particular religion, but rather on religious freedom for all. One
need only read the Declaration of Independence and Constitution to see
there is no mention of Jesus Christ anywhere, and even God is referred
to by several ambiguous terms that could apply to many religions. This
country has always been, and must remain, a place of religious freedom
for all as guaranteed by the First Amendment.

My moral values tell me that every person in the world has worth and
that I should treat others with tolerance and respect, and that includes
not making a judgment about their beliefs, forcing my beliefs on them,
or discriminating against them because they don't believe the way I do.
However, the religious right obviously disagrees, and to them I simply
say, "Don't call yourselves Christians when you aren't willing to act
with true Christian intent." The God I was brought up believing in loves
every living thing, and we owe it to God to do the same.

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