Somehow, even though it is strictly prohibited by the No Religious Test Clause of our own Consitutuion, religion has become a litmus test for the office of President of the United States.
Quite frankly, given the pontificating of certain Republican candidates, it has become THE litmus test.
Rick Santorum, who is running as much for the Papacy as the Presidency, injects his religious beliefs into every word he utters, every threat he makes, every grandstanding moment he is at the pulpit, er sorry, the podium.
And Mitt? Well, we all know Mitt can't come too close to his religious roots (being Mormon and all <----said in shameful, hushed tones). But even he, too, manages to work that good ol' time religy into his stump speeches, making sure everyone knows he is a man of faith.
It's amazing to me that this is where we have arrived in 2012. From JFK having to assure the American electorate that his Catholicism wasn't some insidious evil that would infect the White House and his decision making, to Rick Santorum assuring the American electorate that his Catholicism is some insidious evil that will infect the White House and his decision making.
And President Obama is still subject to the "He's A Muslim" rumor mill. Despite that same intellectully famined group of people who will still point at Reverend Wright. (Psst, you can't have it both ways. Is he a Muslim or a Christian who sat in Wright's pews for "years and years"?)
Even if he were, the whole Muslim thing (insert scary music and imagery of planes hitting tall buildings) never should have been an issue - again based on that whole inconvenient truth contained in the Constitution these people profess to love so very much.
They never could prove it, but they got that email forwarded from their cousin Bubba four years ago. They heard it on Fox. Some equally witless turd at the watercooler said it so it must be true.
Look, I can't prove Rick Santorum paints his body in multicolored latex and belongs to a Kimodo Dragon fucking club either, but then again, I cannot prove he doesn't...
What I can prove is that he pals around with terrorists. (All credit to Wasilla's poet laureate.)
Religious terrorists intent on killing my right to not buy into what they have bought into.
THAT I can prove.
Greenwell Springs Baptist Church pastor Rev. Dennis Terry, in introducing Rick Santorum to an assembled throng in Baton Rouge, spewed his fire and brimstone and flew his verbal plane into the tower of facts and liberties on which this country was founded, "I don't care what the liberals say, I don't care what the naysayers say, this nation was founded as a Christian nation...There is only one God and his name is Jesus. I'm tired of people telling me that I can't say those words.. Listen to me, If you don't love America, If you don't like the way we do things I have one thing to say - GET OUT. We don't worship Buddha, we don't worship Mohammad, we don't worship Allah, we worship God, we worship God's son Jesus Christ."
And there was Ricky, in all his sweater vesty glory, clapping like Paula Abdul in the background.
I have another inconvenient, provable truth for the Reverend - this country was NOT founded on Christianity. It was founded by people who were well versed in persecution, discrimination, and the dangers of having governance dictate a state religion.
Another inconvenient truth? No matter how much Dennis and Ricky like to cry that they are somehow not being allowed to say words like "God" and "Jesus" in the public square, every speech Rick makes flies in the face of that. No one is saying you cannot believe, and believe fervently. What we are saying is keep it in your church. They are YOUR beliefs. Not everyone's, and NOT the only ones.
And here's the line people should pay close attention to because it speaks volumes about intent, about respect for any opinion other than their own: Listen to me, If you don't love America, If you don't like the way we do things I have one thing to say - GET OUT.
If I don't like the way YOU do things? Who the fuck died and made you King of my country? And don't you dare say Jesus because, while I may not go to church anymore, I do know enough of the backstory to tell you He most certainly did not die in order for you to sit on some holier than thou throne and tell me what I can and cannot do, believe, think, feel.
I am a citizen of this melting pot we call the United States of America. And it is not, nor has it ever been, solely comprised of fearful, fact disdaining, Christian bible bangers. It is a glorious stew of colors, backgrounds, dialects, personal histories, struggles, and yes religions - thousands of them.
Reverend, your tax exempt status has no place in dictating, planning, or influencing the laws of my country. And the more your ilk try to blur those lines? Well, if that's how you want to play, get ready to start passing that offering basket out the door and to the IRS.
There are many countries in this world of ours that operate the way Rick, the Reverend, and their supporters would like to see the USA be run. They are called theocracies - or theocrazies, depending on who's in charge. You know, places in the Middle East where those dirty brown bastards live? The ones you like to point your fingers at and pass judgement upon?
Come on, you know the ones - like the place where the young girl just killed herself because she was made to marry her rapist who continued to brutalize her?
How is that any different than Rick telling us a rape victim should make the best of it if she gets pregnant?
It doesn't matter if that shit is spewed by a mullah in a turban or an asshole in a sweater vest, it is wrong. And it is dangerous.
But that's the kind of place you guys want to live? And that's not the kind of place we were conceived as, built up as, ARE? Cool. To borrow from the Reverend, Listen to me, If you don't love America, If you don't like the way we do things I have one thing to say - GET OUT.