I’m not ashamed to admit that I’m a Christian, but you don’t need to be in the pew every Sunday to know there’s something wrong in this country when gays can serve openly in the military but our kids can’t openly celebrate Christmas or pray in school. As President, I’ll end Obama’s war on religion. And I’ll fight against liberal attacks on our religious heritage. Faith made America strong. It can make her strong again. I’m Rick Perry and I approve this message.
The 106,000+ dislikes on YouTube have put out a pretty strong message, but I’m stressed and exhausted and really pissed off, so I’m going to rant about Rick Perry.
I don’t even know where to start. I could go after his anachronistic views on gays in the military, I could ask him if he’s ever met anyone who’s “ashamed to admit” he or she is a Christian, I could read him Constitutional passages that support separation of church and state.
But as I’m finishing up my American religious history paper, I’m going to deconstruct the term Perry uses: “religious heritage.” Yes, this is a country founded by Puritans. Yes, we have a strong tradition of Protestantism and Christianity. But it has no place in our government. Don’t you dare claim that this country — as a political body — was founded on Christianity or any other faith-based doctrine. Our government operates as it was intended: as a political system, not a church.
Anyone who’s ever taken a U.S. history class can tell you that the founding fathers were about as opposed to religion in the government as can be imagined. Here are some direct quotes, Mr. Perry:
“Religious bondage shackles and debilitates the mind and unfits it for every noble enterprise.” – James Madison
“The purpose of separation of church and state is to keep forever from these shores the ceaseless strife that has soaked the soil of Europe in blood for centuries.” - James Madison
“History, I believe, furnishes no example of a priest-ridden people maintaining a free civil government. This marks the lowest grade of ignorance, of which their political as well as religious leaders will always avail themselves for their own purpose.” – Thomas Jefferson
“We discover in the gospels a groundwork of vulgar ignorance, of things impossible, of superstition, fanaticism and fabrication.” - Thomas Jefferson
“No man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship, place or ministry whatsoever.” - Thomas Jefferson
“This would be the best of all possible worlds, if there were no religion in it.” - John Adams
“Religious controversies are always productive of more acrimony and irreconcilable hatreds than those which spring from any other cause. Of all the animosities which have existed among mankind, those which are caused by the difference of sentiments in religion appear to be the most inveterate and distressing, and ought most to be depreciated.” - George Washington
“In the affairs of the world, men are saved not by faith, but by the lack of it.” - Benjamin Franklin
“What is it the New Testament teaches us? To believe that the Almighty committed debauchery with a woman engaged to be married; and the belief of this debauchery is called faith.” - Thomas Paine
But my definite favorite?
“Christianity neither is, nor ever was, a part of the Common Law.” - Thomas Jefferson