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God & The Government – Trying To Understand

March 25th, 2013 . by Tim Babb (TANcast's #1 Host/Editor Fan)

Alright this is a blog I’ve been tinkering with on and off since December. It’s probably not gonna be that funny…just a warning.


“Oh crap…Tim’s going to get ‘political’ again.” (Closes window)

It started shortly after the Sandy Hook shooting when I saw a posting from one of my Facebook “friends.” It was a video of Mike Huckabee saying that taking God out of our schools was the reason things like Sandy Hook happen. To be fair, that is an oversimplification of his point. It wasn’t as simple as “A” caused “B.” It was more about the effect of taking God out of schools on the overall culture, but the message was clear, “we need to put God into our classrooms.”

That prompted me to write this comment:

Ok, explain this to me…and I mean this not with malice but genuine bewilderment. How does the political party that wants to privatize everything want to put God in the hands of our government? God means so many different things to so many different people…who gets to choose which God is the official God of the USA? Why would we give our relationship with God over to the state?

I honestly am confounded by this. If you or your friends have an answer for me, you will not be shouted down, mocked or belittled by me. I really am trying to understand this dichotomy.

I thought that was a fair question. I still do. The conversation that followed certainly did enlighten me…but without answering my question at all.

Tim, it’s not a comedy routine, There is but ONE God, God of Love, kindness and forgiveness. Period! Through Him all things (of GOOD) are possible. Without him, the devil takes over ones body and destroys it. It has NOTHING to do with states or politics, it only has to do with Love! Don’t put something into it that’s not there. If you have further questions please ask a Pastor or Rabbi!

First off, I’m a little insulted that the person immediately thought that because I’m a comedian that I was making a joke. There were no jokes in my comment. It was a straight up question. Oh but because I’m a comic I can’t have an actual question about something? You suck. (I know I said the person wouldn’t be belittled by me but A) I meant on their Facebook page and this is my blog and B) I’m not belittling their opinion about religion and government, I’m belittling their opinion of me…totally fair game. Right?) Anyway, I put my ego in check and just continued on with the discussion…

[Person's name], you misunderstand my point. I am not making a joke. But you understand that this country is made up of Jews, Muslims, atheists, and other people who believe just as you do that the God they believe in is the one true God, right? Not only that, Christians do not all agree on who God is or what he wants…Catholics, Baptists, Lutherans, Presbyterians, Mormans…there is no one size fits all for all faiths. And I assure you everyone who has a relationship with God knows their faith is the one true faith. I don’t want the government to tell me my God is not the true God…but more than that, I don’t want the government telling YOU that your God is not the true God.
So my question remains…how can you be for a limited government, but then want to hand the government the power to dictate the terms of your relationship with God?

Then a misguided person tried to join my “side.”

Tim. Well said!!! They will have no answers, only ones that support their beliefs, not others.
Sad

As much as this feels like the way it is, I just can’t believe it is. I don’t think people in this country are twisting their mustaches while hatching a scheme to turn us all into their particular faith. I feel like there MUST be something I’m missing. And so I tried to get the conversation back on the course I had intended…

Well, [Other Person's name], I’m not interested in judging anyone. I’m not trying to be “right.” I’m trying to understand. We all live here. We have to find a way to work though these types of issues. Dismissing those who disagree doesn’t work. Just because I don’t share someone’s opinion, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have value.

Then the original poster had more to say…

Tim I know your an atheist, But after all the people that posted this, why put your question on mine, why? My [spouse is terminally ill], I’m sick with the flu and no family living near, do you honestly think I really want to get into this right now. There is ONE GOD! Go ask a Priest or Rabbi. There is ONE LOVING GOD, NOT MANY, man has takin it upon himself to change the believes, but not thy God! When the belief is transformed into their own believes and twists and turns HIM into many God’s that is the devil’s work. God IS LOVE, period! It’s as simple as that! “LOVE”

For the second time, the person suggests I “ask a Priest or Rabbi.” As if those two things are A) interchangeable and would give me identical answers or B) the only two authorities on God. (Notice “ask an Imam” wasn’t in there). And I bet if I did ask a Rabbi, I’d get a very concerned answer to government mandated prayer in schools. Because odds are, it’s not going to be a Jewish prayer that’s mandated.

If I sound overly snarky, I have to admit…this comment made me very angry. This person posted a video that they had to know would bother some people. Then when I engage in discussion about it…VERY civil discussion I might add, the person pulls out the “I don’t want to argue about this because my spouse is on death’s door card.” I was hot under the collar (is that a phrase people still use? …I’m so old). It just felt like a cop out. But at some point, I remembered I am in fact a human being and so was this person. The stress of dealing with losing a spouse is more important than my little philosophical debate. So I kept my thoughts about the Priest/Rabbi fallacy to myself and I attempted to wish the original poster well…

First off, I am truly, TRULY sorry to hear about your [spouse].

I only posted the question on this post because your post made me ask myself the question. I’ll seek my answers elsewhere if you wish.

Point if fact, before I leave…I am not an atheist.

As I said my point was not to insult, or diminish you or your faith. Just trying to understand.

God bless you and your family

I assumed that would be the end of it and I started writing this blog. But the original poster couldn’t let it go…

I am sorry, I thought you were Tim, so very sorry! I understand, just very very stressed out here, just not a good time! Thank You! Just remember all this blown out of proportion crap about many God’s, is just that, people making up excuses to justify their own thoughts. (that’s deep) There is no justifying anything, Life’s too short! Beatles said it best! “All You Need Is Love” Afterall St Peter’s going to say yes or no when we get there, not excuses, no justifying, just yes or no, good or evil. :o)

Ok…”I don’t want to debate about this now, but here’s another paragraph about why I’m right.”

Ugh…again I had to remind my self that the person was having a rough time and if winning this debate helped them feel better then I should just let it go. In fact, I thought maybe the reason they didn’t want to look too hard at the question is because their spouse was so near death. Who wants to question their faith in the afterlife right as someone you love is about to enter it? So I pulled my head out of my own *** and decided to just let this sit in the back of my mind. FYI-From what I can tell, the person’s spouse is still with us and I believe I saw a post not too long ago that the spouse was doing better. (I tried to get an update for this blog, but the person’s Facebook feed is so full of random links and pictures that after 15 minutes of scrolling, I gave up. Here’s hoping they are both doing better.)

But my original question has still not been answered. Why would anyone want the government telling them how to pray and when? Much less telling our CHILDREN? I thought those were the kind of religious restrictions that this country was fighting against at it’s founding. My fear is that people envision THEIR religion being the one brought into schools, and so they’re fine with that. But odds are, with so many different faiths in this country, it won’t be yours taught in the classroom…at least not your particular denomination. Is that still ok? Am I missing something?

I honestly want to know. The party that DOESN’T want the government to decide who should and shouldn’t have a gun apparently DOES want the government to decide who we should pray to? How can that be? Any thoughts in the comments will be appreciated. Any name-calling, put downs, belittling or “trolling” will be deleted. Thanks for your time.

4 Responses to “God & The Government – Trying To Understand”

  1. Mady Says:

    Hello Tim,
    I guess let me start by saying I am Catholic and Conservative… odd that we even have to start by “stating” that, but I guess just to give you a background as to my beliefs and where I am coming from. I do NOT believe it is the governments job/obligation/right to teach my child about God, HOWEVER I ALSO do not believe they have the “right” to teach my child about contraception, abortion, and any other moral decision BUT if they are going to teach Darwinism, Contraception, and the like it should be a fair and balanced discuss about ALL views. If you teach Darwinism you should teach Creation, if you are going to teach about Contraception/Abortion then also teach Abstinence. Fair and Balanced or stay out of teaching my child any of these issues and leave it to the person that should be teaching my child about these things… ME! Sadly, many parents don’t, can’t or won’t do this for the children that they bring into this world and government think that they need to step in and take over the role for the parent. Make the parent accountable, not government.
    As for gun control, that is a constitutional right… again what this country was founded on along with religious freedom.
    Thanks… not sure this answers your question… but just another “voice”!

  2. Jenn Says:

    Tim, I appreciate your efforts. I’m glad that people are out there, having rational discussions about religion. Myself, I have little tolerance for people’s religious beliefs, and generally stay out of the discussion. Your Facebook friend’s inability to even understand what you were trying to ask would have had me screaming in frustration.

    Now I’m going to break my own rule:
    Mady, schools teach evolution because it is scientific fact, with evidence from DNA and bone specimens. Creationism can be taught in a religion or folklore class, along with creation stories from many other religions — there is no scientific basis for the creation story in the Bible. Please recognize that the Bible is not the only religious text out there. If your children are exposed to other ideas, maybe they, too, will reject evolution, but instead choose to believe that the earth is carried on he back of a giant tortoise.

  3. Dean Says:

    Jodo Shinshu Buddhist, checking in…

    Even as a kid, I remember saying the Pledge of Allegiance every morning, just not saying “under God”

    Huckabee and similar certain ly want a Christian God in schools because they want what’s best for children and the country at large. They believe their spirituality is what’s best.

    I guess what the other person was getting at was “love your neighbor as thyself” or “compassion for all sentient beings” or similar feelings. I doubt there’s any religion that advocates kicking puppies in the face. Everybody has their own version of love and compassion so we’ve all got that going for us. It’s only when we’re deciding what we can eat, how to handle things when people die and how women should dress that things get ugly.

  4. Jesus (LoboMaloArte) Says:

    Brace yourself, this’ll be a long one. I agree with you Tim, nobody has the right to tell us what to believe and whom to believe in, let alone telling children, with exception of parents. And even then, it should stop at a certain age so that the child can decide on their own what their religious views will be. Ironically, in history and Christian worldview classes, those same people who left England due to religious persecution began to push their views onto others, especially those that were here first. I don’t know what your religious views are Tim, but I guess you can call me a lapsed Catholic. Yes I still believe in God or a Higher Power, I believe if you ask for forgiveness you will be truly forgiven, and I especially believe in the Golden Rule and the Commandments, to an extent. Meaning, if I say a woman is attractive and leave it at that, in other words, I leaver her alone and don’t try to persue her, don’t tell me I’m coveting and I’m going to hell. If that’s the case, would that not also count towards celebrity crushes? Do you see the irony? Bottom line, while I still have my faith, I hate it when people use their religion to push their own values on the rest of society. While I respect everyone’s religious views, that does not warrant an invitation to try and convert me. Yes, I listen to music by people like Tech N9ne, Nightwish, Korpiklanni, Ludacris, etc. I watch violent cartoons and anime, read comic books with sex, sensuality, vulgar language, and women who can twist their bodies into impossible positions for a cover shot, and I have all seven Harry Potter books on my shelf, and guess what, on that same shelf, the Bible. And please, don’t tell me that I’m going to hell because of it. And finally, I hate it when those same people who want to push their own religious views have representatives who are so against same sex couples/marriage end up being caught in an airport toilet asking for a blow job.

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