by Shlomoh Sherman
Wed, Nov 1, 2023 at 12:14 PM

Response to Stephen Ballard who states that the agenda of certain politicians is racial and religious

Motivation! Religious - Racial. Somehow these two merge.

Americans have never been completely comfortable with certain aspects of the Constitution but will use it when it serves their religious-nationalistic purposes.The Founders were intellectuals, versed in the latest ideas of liberty and freedom of opinion. The average American of the late 18th and early 19th centuries was far from that ideal.

The Founders knew how religion brought tragedy to Europeans and didn't want the ill will of European religion duplicated in the US. Ben Franklin argued against establishing a national Thanksgiving Day that the other Founders favored.

What happened? The Great Awakening of the 1820s was essentially a revolt of the people against the Constitution. The Founders did not want America to become a "Christian" country. Many Americans did.

Christmas and Easter became American national holidays. Institutions closed on Sundays. The sale of alcohol became illegal. Abortion was and now is again barely legal.

But religion can take on a certain unhealthy concretization when it becomes wedded to fascistic ideas as the Germans of the 20th century showed the world. Worship of God can become worship of blood and soil.

The Founders expected and welcomed a country of ethnic diversity. Many Americans felt threatened by that concept. They were worried about non-white, non-Christian "takeovers". Their nightmares are realized.

Sometime during this century, the white race will become a minority here. Non-Jewish and non-Christian religious groups have become a part of daily life and of political life.

Donald Trump, last week, announced that the US should only allow immigrants who love "our religion". I'm not sure what that means. Is that supposed to be Christianity or Judeo-Christianity [whatever THAT is]?

I am amazed at the non-sophistication of so-called educated Americans. Some liberals are calling the Republican Party and Republicans "nazis". What a great word to toss around against people you don't like. But then, you have some conservatives using the words "commie-pinko" towards liberals. I ask you, after all this, Have you no decency? I didn't know that there are still "pinkos" around. Fellow Travelers, yeah! But "commies"? I doubt the average person today knows what a Communist is - or a Nazi.

I digress. It's got nothing to do with "Republicans". Some of my best friends are Republicans as are Democrats as well. It's about people who feel threatened, ignored, left behind. I worry about angry people but I understand them.

In 1966, a man named Harvey Cox wrote a book called THE SECULAR CITY. In it, he posited the end of "the Age of Constantine". He wrote that religion would disappear in Western societies. And it has, IN EUROPE - but not here. Here, it increased. In the early years of this century, Cox wrote a retraction of this idea, and he converted to Judaism.

Religion is here, for better or worse, whether you like it or not. I am a religious person but I try to distance myself from religion's negative aspects. If religion can only make us Americans love our neighbors as we do ourselves, there may be hope. So far, I don't see that. I don't even see Americans respecting their neighbors as themselves.

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