"He that believeth not is damned." No, I am not "quoting scripture"--at least not directgly. I am quoting a fictional minister from the movvie "Life with Fahter" (William Powell, with my rating of 76 on my scale off 100, where 60 is worth seeing). I can't cite you to the Biblical verse cited, if it is real. It sounded real in the movie, but it was supposed to. The "belief", of coure, is in a Christian God. Whehter I have quoted scripture right or not, that is my understanding of CHRISTIAN DOCTRINE: Non-believers go to Hell, and that includes non-believers in Jesus Christ (like Jews). Now even I--who knows almost everything--am confused by the question of whether most Christian chuuches officially believe that OTHER CHRISTIANS (not of the same chruch) go to Hell. Very definitely,, most churches imply--for obvious reasons--taht their chruch is the BEST way to salvation. If you, as a church, don't believe thaqt, why claim to be a separate church at all? What is your rationale for existing?But I am confident that almost EVERY Christian chruch has the OFFICIAL positoin that "non-believers" go to Hell.
Thus, a secretary of mine (in my former life as a lawyer) once said: "You are gong to Hell." She had just found out (from me) that I am an agnostic. She was--probably still is--a Caholic. No, she was laughing as she said it, and did not really "mean" it as an assault/insult. Around 1970-71, I had a letter published in the El Paso Times in which I said I was an "anti-religious agnostic". I was in the United States Army at the time, stationed at Ft. Bliss. A year or so thereafter, i told a law school class at The University of Texas School of Law that I could not accept that a woman had the "right" to PLAY GOD on a matter of life and death (abortion). I mentioned that I don't even believe in God. Why should I think it right to give a woman the power of God, just because she is pregnant with a genetically distinct life withoin her. And I have often said that I don't understand how ANY "Christian" can accept the pro-abortion "argument" that we con't know when a soul comes into existence as an argument FOR abortion. You mean you Christians0-some of you--are willing to accept the POSSIBILITY that yoiu are murdering a human being with a soul? This has always struck me as an especailly absurd ro-abortion aargument, although almsot all pro-abortion arguments are absurd (generally equally applicable to obvius infanticide, as this one is: exactly HOW do you know taht a human infant has a soul?).
What is the point of the above paragraph? No, the pont is not that I go around annuncing that I am an agnostic, just as I don't see any reason for omosexuals to announce that. Howwever, I have never HIDDEN it, when it was relevant to soemthing. I don't thhik I bothered to mention it when I wrote a published letter to the Denver Post DEFENDING the right of right wing CHRISTIAN radio broadcasters not to have their license taken away for broadcasting according to their beliefs. (by the FCC, because of that ridiculous "Fairness Doctrine"). i did say that I did NOT endorse the views of those broadcasters, but that I actually believe in fre speech. Leftists, as lyou know, do not. Again, the point is taht, over a peeirod of some 50 years (I am notw 64), I have never pretended to believe in any religon. Yet, never--in all of that time--has someone who believes like Rick Santourm, or any BELIEVING Christian, called me names or said ANYTHING (the jokig reference to me gong to Hell does not count) insulting to me because of my beliefs. That is NOT true of myu CONSERVATIVE beliefs. I have referred this week to my brother remembering how VILLIFIED I was on the campus of The University of Texas, druing the days of teh Vietnam War and George McGovern, because of my conservative letters/articles in The Daily Texan. That was also true as I posted material on AOL and Newsvine (MSNBC site) in recent years. No, I got NO grief in the army for calling myself an "anti-religious agnostic", even though my sergeant did mentin it (sort of approvingly--certainly not in condemnation), although I think he was probably a Christian.
If the OFFICIAL position of Rick Santorum, Ron Paul, Barack Obama, Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich is that I am going to Hell, which I thik it MUST be if they claim to be real Christians, then why shuld I CARE whether they are truly "religous" or not. And why should THEY care about what I think ON RELIGION, so long as I don't interfere with their beliefs and their right to express and practice them? Really, they can't say anything worse than what the Christian religion tells me: taht I am gong to Hell. Now I appreciate that some Christians may feel a DUTY to "save" me. But time will tell, won't it (which is what is wrong with the Catholic Inquisitin and the present views of most Muslms on PERSECUTING otehr religions). If your opponents are going to Hell, exactly what is it that you can do to them that is WORSE than that? That is why POLITICAL arguments on the DETAILS of religon are insane and EVIL. Yep, I jsut called the people of CNN--Wolf Blitzer and all of teh rest--INSANE and EVIL. The headline should give you an idea of the kind of POLITICAL campaigns people like those on CNN are creating for us--much MORE than any believing Christian out there tha I know about. Elections should be about POLICY, and not religious beliefs 9including you opiion on whether "mainline" Christian chruches are truly "Christian" or not. Nope. You, as a voer, should not CARE about any of that. It is a RELIGIOIUS argument, as ts the argument of whether the Mromon religioin is really Christian (as is the argument of whether peole who do not belong to your religiion are really going to hell). What should matter to you, as a voter, is POLICY (including policy as to allowng people freedomm to practice their relgion without being hasssled by government). No, it is NOT a "hassle" from government to have the President talk about having a different religion than you. That is leftist INTOLERANCE at work. In this countgry, you shuld be PREPARED to encounger different religions than yours, and IT SHOULD NOT BOTHER YOU. No, it should not even bother you if shcools, or government officials, seem to prefer another religoin over yours, so long as they don't try to limmit your right to pracitece YOURS. Nope. It NEVER bothered me to say "unde God" in the Pledge of Allegiance, or hear an "invocation" at a graducation. Why should it? The words oare smply meaningless to me. Why should I deny other peole the COMFORT of the meaing that THEY get from such words?
That is why I wuld NEVER use the term "anti-religious" today to describe my agnosticism. that is the term that has been coopted by Bill Maher and CNN as a inadequate way to describe their ANTI-CHRISTIAN postioins. I think it is also a term you can apply to Barack Obam. Wht I meant by the term--probably not the term I should have used even then--was that I doon't believe in the CONCEPT of faith and religon. Even if God exists, in other words, I don't concede Him the "right' to demand worship, or tell me how to think. Now I am a SKEPTIC, and so I am fully prepared to admit I amy be WRONG about that. Mabye the failure to see the value of "faith" is due to a LACK in me that makes it impossible for God to "communicate" with me. I accept the possibiity. If there is a Christian God, however, I dearly hope there is also a HELL. Think of the SACRIFICE I am willng to make!!!! I am willng to HOPE there is a HELL jsut to have the pleasrue of MEETING Wolf Bitzer, Anderson Coopr, ALL of Planned Parenthood and the ACLU, and all of the rest of those "journalists" there. No, i am not "iwshing" them to Hell. I am just totally confident that is where they will end up, if Hell exists.
Yes, this OBSESSION of CNN, and the rest of the mainstream media, with religion (the religuos aspects of religon) is turly an EVIL thing, and it is maknig our political campaigns a nightmare. No, it is NOT ture that "religious canddiates--meaning candidates like Rick Santorum, who make it ovius they really believe in their religion--are CAMPAIGNING on relgion. Barack Obama DOES want to "impose" his religion (leftist ideology) on us all. NO "religgious" canddiate (in the Untied Staes) has ever given me the im mpression that he or seh wants to imose his or her RELIGION one me. No, this is a dliberate LIE on the left. It is NOT 'imposing your religoin" on me to make abortin illegal, or imposing that religion on a woamn who does not agree with you. Infanticide is a SEcuLAR CRIME. Agian ,the OFFICIAL DOCTRINE of the Christina Chruhc (essentiall all Christian chruches) is that ALL MORALITY originates with God--the source of al goodness in the universe. This means that, technicaly, the Christian postioni against outright adult MURDER is a RELIGIUS position. But that is absurd. There is nothin gwrong with a RELKIGIOUS person trying to have his society reflect his or her religious VALUES on SECULAR policy questions. Whether abortion is right or wrong is a SECULAR questin, even if a person's religious beliefs may affect how she or he feels about the question. Homosexual conduct, and whether socieyt APPROVES it on the same basis as heterosexual cnduct, including marriage, is a SEcULAR questin--not a religous question. The left DELIBERATELY confuses this matter to make opponents SHUT UP. Did I tell you that the left does not believe i either free speech or democracty for peole who disgaree with them? I know I have--repeatedly.
It is religion as religon that should not be part of political campaigns, and that is exaclty what media people like those of CNN are trying to do: to make RELIGION , and especailly a person's religious views, a baiss for SMEARS in political campaigns. Thus, it makes NO DIFFERENCE whether Rick Santorum thinks homosexuality is a "sin" (as the eVIL piers Morgan asked him) . The relevant POLITICAL questin, and the ONLY relevant political question, is whether Rick Santorum faovros same sex marriage, an t things like open homosexuals in the military. If you don't liek Santorum's POLICY psotions on thsoe thigs, fine. Wheteher he has a religous basis for those PLICY positions is irreelevatn, unless he makes the RELIGON ITSELF an issue. But it is NOT Santorum who wants to do that. It is CN, and the rest of the mainstream media, who want to SMER Santourm as totally a "religous" candidate, no matter what he says about Iran, energy, the economy, and all of the other issues we fac.e Does Rick Santroum personally believe in the Caholic Church's positon on contraception? So what. Rick Santourm is NOT tring to say that insurance companies cnnot provide health policies that cover contraception. It is OBAMA who wants to FORCE emplyers, and insurance companies, to provide FREE contraception and abortion pills (which offends MY conscience, and I am an agnostic). No I don't have any problem with pre-conception contraceptin. But I have a problem with "morning after" abrotin inducing pills, and I ahve a BIG problem with Obama attacking FFEEDOM. Waht buiness is if of Obama to ORDER emlyers and insurance comanies--Cahtolic or not--to prefer contraception to, ay, CANCER TREATMENT? the clueless GOP, as usual makes a MISTAKE to make this all about religon. It is, as Rush Limbaugh corrrectly stated and this blog correctly stated, a mater of FREEDOM. The "religious conscience" aspect is ony a subset of the bigger issue--a subseet that does illustreate that Obama has NO CLUE as to what a "religious conscience" is.
You know that paragraph above where I basically say that I am too ARROGANT to let God dictate to me what to do and what to believe? You think that is too "extreme"? Well, Nancy Pelosi made it clear in an interview that such is EXACLTY her position. "God gave me free will, and he must have expected me to use it.". I sumit that is is also the position of Braack Obama, and every leftist I know antything about (whether they claim to be a member of a religion or not) . I KNOW my own positin when I seen and hear it. yep. I DO think it is really the ositin of most "mainline" Protestant religions, who have long agon sort of keyed their relgions to "modern thought" rather than to the Bible. You might also remember, when you consider really apying any attentin to CNN trying to make an issue out of RELIGIN (and comments on religino), that the REFORAMTION was all about the Catholic Chruch no longer being "really" Christian--hainvg lsot its way from the original Christian religin. These are RELIGIUS questons that mean NOTHING--or shouuld mean nothng--in a POLITICAL campaign. The left does not want Barack Obama to be saddle d with reverend Wright's religous veiws, but those are the ONLY SPECIFIC religioius views that we can say Brack Obama ever gve any evidence of having. Yes, I understand that SOME conservatives wanted to make an "issue" of the RELIGIOUS THEOLOGY of REverend Wright's church. I correclty called this WrONG. We jsut, again, cant havepolitical campaigns on that baseis. Yet, that THOLOGY in which Obama suposedly believed is MORE OUTSIDE MAINSTEREAM CHRISTIANITY than any thing in the religons of Sarah Palinn, Rick Santourm, Herman Cain, or even Mitt Romney. It turned out, of course, that the "chruch" of REverend Wright was more of a cruseade agaisnt "white, European America" than abut a true Christian religion. Now Obama does nto even have a SPECIFIC religion, and the media is actually trying to make that a VIRTUE. Theese truly are the most dishonest hypocrites to ever walk the Earth.
You don't want our political campaings to be about the kind of questin s I raise above, and in recent articles posted on this blog? then you msut rEJECT the attempt by CNN, and the rest of the mainstream media to make the Santourm campaign all about RELIGION and "social issues", rahter than abut the full sepctrum of what Santourm is saying. Message to Karl Rove: BITE ME, you dishonest, sanctimonius, political hack. Oh, and you are stupid as well. Rove is jsut unable to say a single honest thing, or a single intelligetn thing. Sortty, this is my personal war with Karl Rove, but I heard a little of Rove on Santourm, and it was jsut as bad as anything CNN is saing. the man is a piece of work (and I mwnt that in the WORST possible way). Again, if you don't want our political campaigns to be turned into the kind of stupid arugments over religin like are indicartted by my articles, then you need to IGNORE these SMEARS of Santrum. Nope. It does NOT matter if Rick Santurm thinks you are gong to Hell. What difference does it make to you or to me (and I KNOW he thinks that about me, as does Barakc Obama,if he is really a Christian). I am not worried abut Rick Stantourm helpng me into Heaven, or condemning me to Hell. I don't think he has that power. What I am worried aobut is the POLICIES of the person who will be the next President of the United States, and Rick Santourm is the BEST of the current candidates (including Obama) on his overall policies. No, he is NOT "perfect". I don't agree with this "manufacturing" complication to the tax code. dBut I have confidence Santroum has actual PRIINCIPLES on Iran, energy, the economy, taes, adn al of the rest (yes, including "social issues") that make him the best overall candidate running. I say that even if Richk Santorum does think I am going to Hell!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I actually prefer peole who think I am going to Hell to people without principles.
P.S No proofreading or spell checkng (bad eyesight). Now you may think the above is not that coherent. It is difficult to craft this knd of article, basically touching on the entire philosphy of both religoin and politics, "on the fly", wthout even the ability to proofread it. I did so anyway, knowing this problem The reason is that I wanted to try to give you a GUT geeling of how BAD it wil be for this country if CNN has its way, and our political campaigns become all about these kinds of quesiotns. I actually heard the absolutely DESPICABLE Karl Rove suggest taht CNN will ASK Rick Santoruum about all of this stuff, including his passing comments that maybe mainline Protestnat churches are no longe truly Chistian (something this blog said YEARS AGO to expalin why churches hwo really BELIEVE are gainging people, while mainline Protestatn churches are generally dying out. As staed, it was the osition of the REFORMATINO taht the Catholic Chruch was no longer really, truly "Christian" (with its saints, relics, etc.). You might say I was RAISED with a distrust of the Catholic Chruch, because I was raised Presbyterian (before "evangelical churches really existed on any large scale). Thus, yo might say a distrust of teh Caholic Church was virtually brainwashed into me, which is why I fully nderstand the criticism of Sir Walter Scott of the Catholic Chruch (evident in his novels). Nevertheless, I have NO problem voting for Satorum, because RELIGON IS RELIGON, and pretty much irrelevant (as religon) on political issues. If only our EvIL mainstream media, such as the antiChristian CNN, ageed with me. For them, ATTAcKING the GOP on religion is the way to aovid confronting actual issues. And it is insane to take the Karl Rove viewt hat you just need to "keep a ow profile". That is like appeasing Iran. Santourm needs to STAND UP to these peole, Gingrich style by saying tat THEY are the ones talikng religin. He should make clear he wants to talk ISSUES.