One of the things that is really pissing me off at the moment is the conflation of church and state in government. Bush, Roberts, Miers (et al) have made no secret of the fact that they are led to make the decisions they make by their spirituality and belief in Christ.
The problem with that, when viewed by an atheist like me, is that I feel like my interests and issues -- as well as the interests and issues of those religious Americans whose religion doesn't happen to be Christianity -- are completely disregarded as irrelevant to The American Way.
I think that the Moral Majority find it easy to disregard us because they have bought into a notion (perhaps generated by their own leaders) that if a person isn't a christian, then they must be a degenerate or reprobate or hedonist (not that it -in many instances- isn't true). I remember growing up in bible-belt Kentucky and thinking that atheist Madaline Murray O'Hair was a satan worshipper. She wasn't, of course, but that's what I was led to believe -- here's the kicker -- IN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL. (It wasn't until years later that I determined that the woman wasn't actually a devil worshipper).
I have to admit that it sometimes feels like we're dropping the ball in actively disproving this notion. It would be great if we could, by word and example, show the Republican Base that just because someone isn't a christian, it doesn't mean that they aren't a GOOD person... but when one of the ten commandments is "Thou shall have no other God before me" there's absolutely NOTHING that the most virtuous, devout Hindu, Buddist, Muslim, or Jew can do that will make them anything other than a sinner in the eyes of a christian fundamentalist. Why would they even contemplate having a debate with 'sinners' over issues of best interests? They wouldn't.... I see the mental leaps going something like this: "If you're not a Christian, you're a sinner. If you're a sinner, you must be either a degenerate or reprobate or hedonist. If you're a degenerate or reprobate or hedonist you certainly shouldn't have any input on how to best tend to societies' needs." ...and that's why we find ourselves so regularly dealing with this attitude of "We know what's best for us AND YOU" from those currently governing.
I've often said (when asked what my religion is) that I'm a Lincolnist, and when pressed to explain what it means I tell the story of when Abraham Lincoln (a republican) was himself asked what his religion was. He replied, "When I do good, I feel good. When I do bad, I feel bad. THAT'S my religion."
I don't know if there are any other self-described Lincolnists out there but if so... I think we should maybe start converting. It would be an attractive offer... no having to get up early on Sunday morning to go to church... no "SIN"... no having to pray before meals. Unfortunately, there'd still be GUILT... so other than not having to go to confession, it would be just like Catholicism. (I'd even be open to keeping the bingo thing... and the wine and bread bit... and since I'm gay you can bet I'd totally be into the pompous ceremonial crap but our musical numbers would have a lot more zip... maybe our hymns would be showstoppers like "Let Me Entertain You" from Gypsy or "Razzle Dazzle" from Chicago.)
Who wouldn't want to convert???
The main thing about Lincolnism is just that it means there's no praising God for the good or blaming God for the bad... It means taking responsibility for your own actions.
Hmmmn.... now that I think about it, judging from the behavior of the Bush Administration, that one is probably a dealbreaker.