Recently I had an exchange with a conservative where I simply told them that as long as Republicans continue to try to interject religion into our government, they can never claim to stand for “Constitutional values.”
Our First Amendment makes it pretty clear that our government cannot pass laws based on religion. It’s like I’ve said before, for the words “Christian,” “Christianity,” and “God” to be completely omitted from our Constitution wasn’t done so by accident, but by design.
But even though our First Amendment guarantees every American freedom from religious rule, Republicans constantly try to use the Bible as a reference for crafting our laws.
Take for instance Rep. Steven Palazzo (R-MS) who apparently believes that every member of Congress, even those who aren’t Christians, should use the Bible as a “guide” for decision-making.
“On a daily basis, we contemplate policy decisions that impact America’s future. Our staffs provide us with policy memos, statistics, and recommendations that help us make informed decisions. However, I find that the best advice comes through meditating on God’s Word.
Please find a copy of the Holy Bible to help guide you in your decision-making.”
Was this just a “kind gesture”? Possibly. The letter he wrote isn’t an “in your face” kind of declaration of faith like it could have been. But I still find it a bit strange that he would send a copy of the Bible to every single member of Congress. Because while his letter didn’t contain anything overtly offensive, it still seems like there’s an underlying message of “these are the principle on which we should base our government.”
Which is clearly in direct violation of our First Amendment.
When it comes to religion, I always go back to my belief that it should just be kept private. I’ve never quite understood this desire by some to want to force their views on others. If you want to believe in a particular religion, then by all means go right ahead. Just don’t try to force others to believe in the same things you do.
So while Palazzo’s intentions might have not been malicious, I still think there’s a clear underlying message he’s sending to members of Congress that he believes we should be basing our government on biblical principles.
Which, thankfully, is unconstitutional.