Today’s rant.

[This has been reposted from Facebook: FB friends, you can skip this.  Of course, you can skip anything I write, but in this case you won’t miss anything.)

Here’s the deal:

The First Amendment protects EVERYONE. Christians, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Wiccans, disciples of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, worshippers of many gods or none. A hijab or a burqa or a yarmulke is an expression of a religion, the same way that a cross is, or the dresses Mennonite women wear. You may not like the religion or what it stands for or how it treats women but you don’t get to determine what are “acceptable” expressions of faith. 

Article VI of the Constitution of the United States specifically prohibits religious tests as a condition of public office. ANY public office. So, no, we do NOT need to only elect Christians as legislators or senators or president or even dogcatcher. And any person who thinks that the founding fathers were only concerned with favoring one brand of Christianity over another knows nothing about history. We were not specifically founded as a Christian country. Me? I will vote for whichever candidate stands for taking care of ordinary people, and social justice, regardless of religious affiliation. (Also, “by their works shall you know them.” Christians who are highly critical of Pope Francis’s call for taking care of the poor might well reread their New Testament in its entirety, not merely whatever snippets are read aloud in church on Sunday.)

Contrary to what one might think by watching the news, we are NOT a monolithic culture. The culture of California is different from the culture of Mississippi which is different from the culture of Massachusetts. Hell, the culture of San Francisco is different from the culture of L.A. In the long run, we are made RICHER by diversity, and acceptance of that diversity, than by demanding that everyone conform to white middle-class standards of dress and behavior.

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