They Still Deliver My Mail on Yom Kippur

Christianity is destroying America. George Bush sealed his presidential bid when, in an early debate, he told the United States that his favorite philosopher was Jesus Christ. From there it has been a brouhaha (with increasingly less ha-ha) of war, divisiveness, mysticism, prayer, paranoia, and a sense that the worse things get, the closer Christians are to their rapture.

Mike Huckabee is the heir apparent to the millions of evangelical votes that re-elected Bush in 2004. If the most "Christian" is elected, fundamentalists believe we are keeping God on America's side. To underestimate their voting power is an invitation to spend another election night nauseated in front of a red map of the USA.

The framers of our Constitution knew that religion within government is wrong. So dangerous, in fact, that they specifically earmarked its detachment from the process: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof..." Thomas Jefferson called it "a wall of separation between church and state." Layered with the Iraq War, our unconstitutional alignment with Christianity sends a powerful message that we will be intolerant of anyone hedonistic enough to not believe that Jesus Christ died on a cross to save us from our sins.

Evangelical influence is all over the election of 2008. The debates are laden with questions about candidates' favorite Bible verses or how often and heartily they pray. The thought that a grown person -- the leader of the free world -- would actually sit down and hear voices to guide him in major decisions is blood-curdling mad. Listen to John Edwards, Hillary Clinton, John McCain, or any of the other candidates and you'll hear a group of seemingly intelligent people sounding silly in order to placate lunacy. I'd like to hear a debate where the candidates are asked how quickly they are going to eliminate Bush's trash legislation called "the faith-based initiative."

On December 11th the Congress passed "House Resolution 847: Recognizing the importance of Christmas and the Christian faith." It passed 372 to 9. Only nine members of Congress -- all Democrats -- had the guts to stand up and say "nay" to this waste of their time and our money. The legislation resolved:

"That the House of Representatives --

(1) recognizes the Christian faith as one of the great religions of the world;

(2) expresses continued support for Christians in the United States and worldwide;

(3) acknowledges the international religious and historical importance of Christmas and the Christian faith;

(4) acknowledges and supports the role played by Christians and Christianity in the founding of the United States and in the formation of the western civilization;

(5) rejects bigotry and persecution directed against Christians, both in the United States and worldwide; and

(6) expresses its deepest respect to American Christians and Christians throughout the world."

America needs to be a progressive country that reasons rather than prays, looks to science rather than God, and listens to the Constitution rather than crackpots. We need a country that doesn't just respect Christmas by law, but where believers unite with the majority and honor peace by demanding an end to America's wasteful occupation of Iraq. "Good will towards men" must extend to all, no matter what their race, religion, or sexual preference.

Alzheimer's disease, AIDS, cancer, and overpopulation must be dealt with scientifically, so that American citizens are not forced to look towards the heavens for an answer that will never come. Think of all the suffering that could have been relived had the pope called for condom use during the AIDS crisis, or if George Bush in his quest for a better tomorrow, had embraced science rather than the Holy Ghost.

H. Res. 847 is vile. It is petty, FOX-News based political posturing, wrapping hatred and prejudice under the cloak of religion. What are we who are represented by the nine dissenters to do?

Our Democratic Congress has dropped the ball not only on ending war, but on stopping America's isolating religious policies. To imagine the suffering in Darfur, in Iraq, or across America and put this piece of legislation forward is making a mockery of the lives being lost, and the needless suffering strangling the world.

In America we are free to honor Christmas, Yom Kippur, Ramadan, or any of the scores of holidays that grace the calendar. Like every sunrise, Christmas is just another day. 24 hours. Generally it's cold and there's nothing to do. Merriment is a celebration for every waking second of our lives every day of the year. Christmas is a joyous day simply because we are alive. America must embrace science along with peace and tolerance, or the entire human race -- not just Christmas legislation -- is pointless.