I've heard talk today about how we are a Christian nation, or a nation under God, and felt the need to respond with what I think really makes this country great.
For all that we talk about freedom today, the fact is that every tyrant, pope and despot has had their freedom, as have the loyal followers who supported them- often at the expense of those who did not. America's great triumph is not freedom, but equal protection under the law- the radical notion that ALL men should have equal claim to freedom and justice- not just the wealthy or powerful.
To claim that we are a Christian nation demeans this most important principle. When Roy Moore plants a ten commandments monument outside of his courthouse, it tells me that I, as a Pagan, have no hope for a fair trial before his bench. When my city council opens their session with only Judeo-Christian prayers, it tells me that my participation in the process of my government, my very existance as a voter, a taxpayer, a patriot- is of less intrinsic value than my neighbor. When I hear that we are a Christian nation, a nation under God, I hear a denial that law, justice, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness are the greatest values our founding fathers bestowed upon the world.
I LOVE THIS COUNTRY. I do not love it because I was born here, as every man loves his own, but because I have read the founding documents, and I honestly believe that the ideals within- especially the bill of rights- are the greatest decalarations of freedom in human history. I cannot imagine that the five generations of my family who served our nation did so with the intention that I should be considered less deserving of these rights than any other. I despise those nations such as our enemies, where the citizens are only free so long as they agree with the majority, or at best, are permitted to believe otherwise, as long as they keep quiet and don't cause trouble. This is not the ideal we should aspire to.
I urge you to imagine if our positions were reversed- if pundits on tellevision regularly declared us to be a Pagan nation, and celebrity priests warned their flocks of the dangers of Christian influence ursurping our heathen values. Where the building of a new church was met by angry protesters, and veterans had to fight for 15 years to be allowed a cross on their tombstone. Where a federal judge sits before a mural of Christians being fed to lions, and you must constantly defend your patriotism- because your beliefs are considered antitheitical to what the country stands for. Then I urge you to do as your messiah commanded, and treat others as you would be treated yourself- as an equal.