Tuesday, June 22, 2004

A Christian Nation?


"Jewish Groups Protest Texas GOP Platform
LAST UPDATE: 6/21/2004 7:25:24 PM
Posted By: Jim Forsyth

Just two weeks after adopting a hard line platform at its convention in San Antonio, the Texas Republican Party is under fire from Jewish groups.

The convention, which was dominated by religious conservatives, approved platform language that calls the United States a 'Christian Nation,' and calls the separation of church and state 'a myth.'

Linda Berger of Houston, a spokeswoman for the American Jewish Committee, says the language is 'hurtful' to non Christians.

'We are being looked to as an example of a nation where all people can live and be respected,' she told 1200 WOAI news. 'It's very important that both political parties reflect that.'

Berger said America is currently at war against intolerance abroad, and it's important that political parties here not adopt language that is 'hurtful' to U.S. citizens.

Berger asked the Texas Republican Party to 'revise' its platform.

'All that we're trying to do as the American Jewish Committee is to make them realize that language like that leaves other groups out,' she said.

The majority of Texas Jews consider themselves Republicans, and the GOP is also well represented among Buddhists and Muslims in Texas"

Things like this really bother me. While I understand--and agree--that this nation was founded on many Christian principlas, I think calling it a "Christian Nation" steps over a line. I know there is much debate as to how much separation there should be between Church (or Synagogue, Mosq, et al.) and State, but I really don't see how this sort of thing is defensable. America should be a country for everyone. A country where we are all free to be whoever we wish to be. Yes, many of our founders were Christians, but I don't believe they intended this to be a "Christian State." If nothing else rhetoric such as this serves to alienate the non-Christian citizens. And this is in no way meant as a slam against Christianity, I would say the same thing if they'd declared it a "Jewish State" or a "Hindu State." America should be inclusive, not exclusive.

But thats just my opinion, I could be wrong.

"The Government of the United States is not in any sense founded on the Christian religion." — The Treaty of Tripoli, signed by John Adams

"Religion and government will both exist in greater purity, the less they are mixed together." — James Madison

Thanks to Mobius at JewSchool for pointing out this article and the Adams and Madison quotes.


The background image on this page is a Hebrew translation of the verse from Bob Dylan's song  It's Alright, Ma (I'm Only Bleeding), from which the title of this blog is taken. Translation courtesy of Yoram Aharon of Hod-HaSharon's page--found via YudelLine-- which has many Dylan lyrics in Hebrew.