Monday, January 23, 2012

More Religious Bias in the U.S.

In an earlier post I wrote about Mayor Bloomberg’s apparent religious bias in rescinding the right for churches and religious organizations to meet in public schools despite the Supreme Court approving such arrangements. These groups meet when the buildings are unused, and they pay fair market rent. Sadly, this is not an isolated incident of prejudice against religious groups or religion.

The number of anti-Semitic incidents has increased all over the country. Just recently somebody painted swastikas on buildings and synagogues in a neighborhood in New York City.

Militant atheists continue to bring lawsuits against Christian groups or activities they see as “establishing religion.” Sympathetic courts and judges, who have rejected the original meaning and intent of the First Amendment, often rule in favor of the atheists to “protect” the population from religion. How we have gone astray!

Mormons are also suffering from bias, especially since Mitt Romney could possibly be the Republican nominee for President. Some rather hateful things have appeared in the media concerning Mormons, including in the New York Times. We must realize that Mormons are not orthodox Christian, because their theology and especially their eschatology are far from mainline. Moreover, they have The Book of Mormon in addition to the Bible as their sacred scripture.

However, not being Christian doesn’t mean they should be mistreated and suffer from bias. I remember when John F. Kennedy was running for president in 1960. The anti-Catholic rhetoric was astounding. Given what I hear about Romney and his Mormonism today, it seems we haven’t made much progress since 1960.

If you are religious, let me suggest that you follow your holy scriptures and love your neighbor. You may not agree with your neighbor, but the Bible says we are to love him or her. Let’s not just give lip service to what the Bible says, but do it (“be doers of the word, and not just hearers”).

If you aren’t religious, let me suggest that you actually practice the tolerance you so self-righteously preach. Maybe then we can make the world a better place to live.

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