Thursday, February 21, 2013

Politics and Religion

Our political life has always had a cozy relationship with religion, based primarily upon appeasement.  After all, we were founded by a bunch of religious fanatics [Puritans] who found life a little too fast and loose back home in jolly olde England.  They wanted to live someplace where they could strictly control each other, using the KJV to bash each other into submission.  So they came here.  Followed, in short order, by other religious nuts and flim-flam artists, often both the same.

As the nation grew, and post-revolutionary America centered its political life in the Federal District, we found ourselves becoming a behemoth of wealth and power, still shackled to our religious, snake-oil salesman past.  Our laws reflected that alliance with fanaticism, especially our laws pertaining to tax exemption for religious organizations and morality.  We caved to the religious nuts and granted them total exemption from taxation in exchange for which they were "supposed" to keep their mouths shut about politics.  As we all know, that never worked.  We also legislated the hell out of "morality" as defined in that same "bible" upon which the Massachusetts Bay Colony was founded, again simply to appease the radical religious right.

That exemption from taxation was tantamount to a public subsidy of religion.  And the morality laws were little more than enshrinement of old testament zealotry and evangelism in everyday American life.

Politicians, never eager to do the right thing but always eager to be re-elected, had no problem in pandering to the religiosos and happily jumped on the [Irish/Italian/black/Jew/gay] bashing bandwagon whenever it would suit their needs.  When publicly called upon their bigotry they would act astonished, as though things that happen inside the beltway happen in some mysterious vacuum that doesn't have an effect on real life.

Politicians at the Federal level are the worst kinds of human beings.  Ignorant, intolerant, self-centered and self-serving.

It's time to put an end to professional politics and subsidized bigotry.  It's time to tax religious institutions without exemption; and it's time to enact strict term limits to every elected office in the land.

That's what I think.