Whether they be died in the wool "I will never vote for a Republican because they want dirty air and polluted water" Democrats or "Liberals are evil Socialists bent on destroying America" Republican types, I really have no time for individuals who simply spew what their particular party tells them to spew.
- Obama didn't take oath of office while holding a copy of the Koran and he was born in Hawaii, not Kenya.
- The EPA was created by a Republican...Richard Nixon to be precise (don't believe me?).
Religious Extremists (and non-religious extremists)
Along with political believers, I have a hard time with religious believers when they take their views to an extreme and try to ram them down everyone else's collective throats. Note that I'm going to include atheism as simply another belief system...more precisely one that doesn't have any supernatural beliefs.
Yes, I get it that some folks believe that they have an obligation to spread their belief systems to others, but can we all agree that everyone has a right to simply say "I disagree" and not be demonized for the effort? I am sometimes shocked at how much in common the extreme fringes of religion...be they Christian or Muslim (for example)...have in common when it comes to their histories and methods. Yes I get it that, for example, it was Muslim extremists that flew planes into the World Trade Center buildings. But I also get it that entire wars throughout history have been fought...wars that killed far more than the number of victims of 9/11...out of misconstrued Christian values. This isn't just historical stuff, as to this very day there is still sectarian violence in Northern Ireland (see some of the data HERE).
Not to be outdone, there are some who are intent on taking any and every mention of religion and belief out of our culture. The simple fact of the matter is this: this nation was founded in part by people who sought religious freedom. Religious expression was and is an important part of the American experience. Some point the the first amendment of the Constitution as a indication that the founding fathers sought to exclude religion from society. I take a different tact: this is the FIST amendment. Securing the right of individuals to worship as they please without interference was so important to the founding of our nation that it was listed first in the Bill of Rights.
"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;"
Read these words! They don't mean that we have a secular society. They mean that we have a society where everyone can worship (or not worship) as they please. If the intent of our founders was to have a society devoid of religious references, they would have said so in this first phrase of the first amendment.
Finally, to those "America is a Christian nation" types I say again: read the amendment. If the intent of our founders was to have a Christian nation they would have said as much. The First Amendment would have been written as...
"As a Christian nation, Congress shall make no law respecting..."
But this isn't what was written. In fact, you will not find the word "Christian" anywhere in the United States Constitution.
In the end, I firmly believe that few things are as they seem, and what I consider to be a truth you may consider to be a falsehood. So be it. It isn't the fact that we have differences though that should matter, it's that we learn to respect those differences that really matters in the grand scheme of it all. Tolerance isn't a bad word.