Monday, February 27, 2012

Open Letter to Rick Santorum regarding the First Amendment

Dear Mr. Santorum,

So, you've gone and said it.

"I don't believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute.  The idea that the church can have no influence or no involvement in the operation of the state is absolutely antithetical to the objectives and vision of our country."
And this is where you stand.  You said JFK's speech about religion and its role in the presidency made you want to throw up.

Throw up.

Let me get this out of the way.  That's just an immature--and frankly, base--way to communicate your displeasure with someone else and their opinions.  I tell my kids not to speak that way, and you want to be President?  So that's how you speak about a respected speech on a Sunday news show.  Seriously, Mr. Santorum, grow up.

Moving right along...how would you feel if one of your children attended public school (I know, I know, just work with me here) and was told he could not study a particular science topic with his enrichment teacher.  Outside of the classroom.

That the topic (fossils, incidentally) would tread upon the religious sensibilities of a few students in your child's class whose upbringing includes the belief that our planet is a mere six-thousand-odd years old.

Now remember, those students weren't going to be participating in the project with your child.  The issue was that your child might expose his classmates to beliefs that counter their own and they would find that upsetting. So your child is banned from the project.

Now imagine that you request to move your child out of that classroom.  Not just because of the fossil project, but also because part of his reading curriculum includes a book with a twelve line prayer from a religion that is different from his own, when no other religious perspectives have been offered, nor will be offered, over the course of the curriculum.

How would you feel when you were told that, No, your child wouldn't be moved to a different classroom where he could explore more advanced topics without fear of upsetting fellow students.  He must stay with the teacher and the classmates whose religion chooses to ignore long-established facts about earth science, and he is restricted to only discussing science as he in knows it in the context of a religion that is not his own. But he must be subject to the dogma of others' religions.

That boy was a kindergartener--my son.  And I'm sure that you would agree with me that no child of that age should be indoctrinated in any religious direction other than that which his parents have chosen to expose him.  And certainly not by a publicly funded institution.

But it sounds to me as if you espouse the view that all of that's OK.  So long as it holds with your beliefs, religion can be part of the government--indeed it should be part of our government. 

As an American citizen that completely disgusts me.  (If I were to use your vernacular, I'm sure you know what I'd say about it...)  Our country was founded on the belief that our citizens should not be subject to a state-run religion.  That in fact, ALL of us are created equal, not just those who believe in your brand of Christianity.

In fact, when I consult my pocket constitution it doesn't say anywhere in there that one needs to be a Christian to enjoy life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. So a big part of me hopes that you really do become the GOP nominee.  Because I do have faith.

Faith that the majority of my fellow voters, when in the privacy of the voting booth, will recognize that your brand of bat-shit-crazy zealotry is exactly what our country doesn't need right now. 

Sincerely,
Margaret Barney
Registered Voter

2 comments:

wizzyswandrings said...

Rick Santorum makes ME want to throw up. I can't believe he is this far in the race.

Just Margaret said...

It boggles the mind, doesn't it Wizzy?