Sunday, April 02, 2006

Taking Back America, Part 4b

In the previous two portions of this entry in the Taking Back America series, I explained some of what you can do to control the dialogue. For this final portion, I'm going to talk to you about controlling the religious debate.

Whether you consider yourself Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, some other religion or not religious at all, chances are any Republican you run against in an election is going to pander to the religious folk. He'll pander to the racists, homophobes, anti-feminists, the theocrats and the totalitarians of the religious right. In short, he'll use Christianity as a politcal tool in order to win votes.

Don't let your Republican opponent get away with this. In fact, regardless of religious beliefs or lack thereof, it's time to take back Christianity from those who have usurped it for political gain.

Running for office means you'll have to speak at some point to churchgoers and members of religious organizations. It may be distasteful to you if you're a nonbeliever, but if you want votes you'll have to do this. And you'll want to be armed with knowledge.

So here are a few passages from the bible to throw in the face of any Republican who panders to the nutzoids by playing to their homophobic or racist or sexist, or theocratic, or hypocritical anti-abortion yet pro-war, or stingy anti-tax/anti-social program, or nationalistic tendencies:
Matthew 5:9 - Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the sons of God.

Matthew 5:42 - Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away.

Matthew 7:1 - Judge not, that ye be not judged.

Luke 6:24 - But woe unto ye that are rich! for ye have received thy consolation.

Matthew 22:21 - Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's, and unto God the things that are God's.

Matthew 25: 35-46 (v 40 - And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.)
Even if you consider yourself an atheist, it is good to keep such passages in mind, for whenever you hear your Republican opponent condemn homosexuals, or taxation, or abortion, or anything that is in fact in keeping with the teachings of Jesus, you can use these passages and the ideals behind them to throw his rhetoric right back at him.

For too long, televangelists and other political wannabes have twisted Christ's teachings for their own greed and political agendas--all the while ignoring the actual teachings of Jesus Himself. And for too long, we've let them get away with it.

Try it and see what happens. Don't let your opponent rattle you, but remain calm and demonstrate that not only does he not have a lock on religion but also that there is another, forgotten side to it. One that is universal, and that is the ideals of tolerance, love, understanding and compassion.

And don't be afraid to read the Koran or the Jewish scriptures for when you speak to Muslim or Jewish groups. You don't have to believe what's in them, but you will want to know and understand what it is you're talking about when speaking to people about these universal ideals. Take back religion from those who have poisoned it. SHAME religious people into accepting that the values they are taught to practice and espouse are the ones their government should practice in its policies.

For really, are we as a society not judged by how we treat the least of those among us?

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