Did you know that President Obama wants to take away your ability to be a Christian?
That’s what Missouri Republican Congressional candidate Ed Martin asserted in a radio interview this week. Martin said his opponent, Rep. Russ Carnahan and the president are working to take away the choice to be a Christian in America:
America is great, not because of our genetics. We’re great because we created a place and space where people can be free. And they can choose Christ, they can choose to be faithful. They can worship, and they find their way to the Lord. And—or some of them don’t. We sure want them all to, but some of them don’t.
And part of that freedom—when you take a government and you impose, and take away all your choices. One of the choices you take away is to find the Lord. And find your savior.
And that’s one of the things that’s most destructive about the growth of government. It’s this taking away that freedom. The freedom—the ultimate freedom, to find your salvation, to get your salvation.
Martin’s quote is almost too mindboggling to fathom. I know the religious right likes to talk about how persecuted they are in this country and how difficult it is to be Christian with all these secular, liberal, heathens running around demanding to be treated just as well as they are. But, it is literally impossible to take away anyone’s “choice” to be a Christian. The Roman Empire learned this centuries ago. In fact, the Christian faith thrived when the government tried to take away the “choice” to be Christian. In our modern day, Christians even thrive in Communist China where they can actually be persecuted for being Christians. So, his argument is ridiculous on its face—no one can take away a “choice” for Christ.
What I find great about America is that we will always have the opportunity to choose whatever religion we wish to follow—since such a decision is between you and your god or gods. No one can stop you from making that choice. America is also great because that you can choose to not subscribe to any religion at all, because that, too, is a personal choice between you and the god or gods you don’t believe in. What’s best about America, though, is that each person, religious or not, has the right to be treated with both equality and equity by their government (though they may have to fight for that right to be recognized).
I find it odd, though, that those who make the best arguments for the separation of church and state are most often those trying to marry the two until death do us all part.