Wednesday, July 6, 2011

So Help Me God

Religion has a sneaky way of penetrating even the most patriotic of ceremonies.  Every year, a large group of new citizens take an "Oath of Citizenship" or something to that affect.  For many years, this ceremony takes place on the 4th of July at Monticello, home of Thomas Jefferson.  This oath, as written, ends with the words "so help me God."  Think about that.  Every new citizen of the United States is expected to say "so help me God."  Fortunately, a provision is provided in the rules of the oath that the "so help me God" part can be simply omitted by anyone who simply has to state that they object to it for whatever reason.  Phew.  After all, the Constitution of the United States, explicitly states that there shall be no religious test for elected office, it follows that there should be no religious test for citizenship as well.

However, even today, there are still laws in some states that explicitly forbid an atheist from holding public office.  Fortunately, in some states, this law is simply ignored.  In a few cases where it has been challenged, it has been ruled unconstitutional.

Then you get people like Texas Gov. Rick Perry who is holding a prayer vigil and a day of fasting and has invited all the Governors to join him. 
This is Governor Rick Perry and I'm inviting you to join your fellow Americans for a day of prayer and fasting on behalf of our nation. As an elected leader, I am all too aware of government's limitations when it comes to fixing things that are spiritual in nature. That's where prayer comes in, and we need it more than ever. With the economy in trouble, communities in crisis and people adrift in a sea of moral relativism, we need God's help. That's why I'm calling on Americans to pray and fast like Jesus did and as God called the Israelite to do in the Book of Joel. I sincerely hope you will join me in Houston on August the sixth and take your place in Reliant Stadium with praying people asking God's forgiveness, his wisdom and provision for our state and nation. To learn more, visit then makes plans to be part of something even bigger than Texas.
When Perry has been approached by the media to discuss this and the obvious conflicts involving church/state separation, Perry has declined to discuss it.  Here is what a spokesperson said on the Governor's behalf.
"He never talks about his faith," Perry spokesman Mark Miner said.
Yeah, right.  Only every other word out of his mouth.  Do you really want a political leader that is going to rely on prayer for answers to our nation's most difficult problems.  Has God ever created a job, or balanced budget?  Remember, Perry also called for prayer to put out the fires in his state back in March.  Never mind all the men and women who were working tirelessly to fight those fires.  Why even bother if God will provide.

Then you have people like Michelle Bachmann, Herman Cain, and Rick Santorum.  All three of which were called to run for POTUS because God spoke to them.  Sounds like God is a three-timing whore if you ask me.

Then you have the Mayor of Harrisburg, PA, Linda Thompson, organized a "prayer and fasting" program because, "Things that are above and beyond my control; I need God."  I bet the people of Harrisburg and feeling really good about that right about now.

Guess what?  God didn't call you to run for office, God won't fix your budget, and God won't decrease the unemployment rate.  That takes hard work and tough choices by those who we have elected to make those choices.  Leave your prayers and wishful thinking for church where it won't do you any good there either.

1 comment:

  1. Rick Perry is a piece of work. I want to say "only in Texas" but I fear it's not just there.