The U.S. Constitution guarantees religious freedom. But through our history, the vast majority of people in the U.S. believed in an Abrahamic God – the God initially recognized by Jews, then by Christians, and then by Moslems. Each of these religions traces to the same roots and the same belief that one God created the universe and is still out there, somewhere, paying attention to how people act.
In our history, there have been many variations on this Abrahamic God, and many strong feelings about how worshippers of the one God should behave. Puritans hung Quakers who preached a different view of the Bible from the Puritan’s official view. Puritans tortured and hung witches and banished Anabaptists to the wilderness (where they were expected to die).
Some Christians believed that the Bible taught that slavery was impermissible and against God’s law. Others preached that race-based slavery was mandated by the Bible. Until five anti-Pope, self-proclaimed “catholics” were appointed to the Supreme Court, Southern Baptists used to preach that Catholics were not Christians and that the Pope was the anti-christ. But even with their differences, all of these groups believed in the fundamental concept that there was one God who was responsible for the creation and operation of the world.
But no more. This year, the Republican Party, representing tens of millions of U.S. citizens, has completely abandoned Christian monotheism to embrace the polytheistic faith of the Mormon Church. The Mormon Church preaches that every man who marries enough wives, and has sex with enough women, whether his is married to them or not, will become a God. (Mormon Doctrine & Covenants, #132;20.) In Mormon theology, a man has an easier time becoming a God if he has sex that generates children, whether or not he is married to the children’s mother. (Mormon Doctrine & Covenants, #132.37.)
Republican presidential candidate Willard M. Romney is a devout Mormon. He believes that Joseph Smith, the inventor of Mormonism, became a God. He believes that Mormon leader Brigham Young, who founded the Mormon state of Utah, became a God. He believes that every devout Mormon man in history, who has had enough sex and fathered enough children, becomes a God.
Watching as he talks down to people and dismisses the concerns of mere workers, unemployed people and inferior races, one must wonder whether Romney believes that he has already become a God.
As their empire fell apart, Roman emperors had themselves declared gods. They demanded that the people worship them as the Republicans demand that people worship Romney. We know a little of what the rule of such emperor-gods was like. Rome burned as Nero played his fiddle. Caligula collected trophies, seaside mansions and slave laborers while he built a reputation for sexual excess. We don’t know if any of his wives or concubines owned dressage horses.
After the collapse of the empire, and the end of the emperor-gods, even the greatest Christian kings, like Charlemagne or Henry II, never imagined themselves to be Gods – they believed in the Judeo-Christian belief in one true God and the Commandment that people have no other gods.
But now we are told that Romney, with his commitment to an anti-Christian, polytheistic religion, will bring us salvation. We are told that by letting Romney bring back the Cheney/Bush policies that had more than 700,000 people losing their jobs, every month, our nation will be great once more. We will become great once again just by giving our presidency to a man who is destined to (or has already) become a god.
Rome burned while god-Nero played his fiddle. Will the U.S. burn while god-Romney plays his outsourcing and market hedging games? While god-Romney remodels his seaside mansion, will America suffer as Rome suffered under god-Caligula?
When Republicans say “In God we trust,” in which god are they trusting? Are they trusting in god-Romney and his Mormon faith? Are they trusting in the Wahabi god of the Saudi Arabians who own and dictate policy at Fox News? Are they trusting in goddess Ayn Rand, who preached that Christianity was stupid, that Christian virtues were evil, and that greed was the only moral value?
Romney economic advisor, Michael C. Master, recently posted on the internet that “Lying is OK, if the purpose is to seize control of the government.” This is in the Mormon tradition that lying is religiously justified. It is also consistent with the belief of the 9-11 hijackers, who said that they were justified in ignoring Islamic teachings so long as they were acting in pursuit of their jihadi goals. And it appears to be at the heart of whatever faith has gripped the Republican Party’s leadership.
It is not consistent with America’s traditional Abrahamic, monotheistic values. When the Pilgrims and Puritans settled Massachusetts, every member of their communities was legally and religiously obligated to perform work for the common benefit. When Church of England colonists settled Virginia, every member of the community was legally and religiously required to perform work for the common benefit.
When Willard M. Romney was “saving” the Salt Lake Olympics, Republicans everywhere agreed that it was necessary and important for taxpayers in every other state to commit $1.3 billion to ensure that the Olympic movement made a profit. Now those same Republicans say that they no longer believe in Christ’s command that we look after the most helpless in our midst.
There is no profit in helping the poor, they say, and profit is their only religion. Instead of helping the poor, they want to guarantee the profit of the Olympics. Instead of helping the disabled and oppressed, they want to spend trillions bailing out Wall Street banks and corporations. Instead of providing for American workers, they want to provide subsidies to ship U.S. jobs to slave labor states. Instead of developing new energy sources for the future, they want to keep underwriting the Wahabi Islamic dictatorship of the Saudi royal family, and providing billions in taxpayer subsidies to Wall Street agri-businesses that raise corn for ethanol production.
Is the Republican god of profit the god in which we want to put our trust? Do we want the Wahabi god blessing us with more wars, including the one that god-Romney promises with Iran?
The Pilgrims and Puritans came to Massachusetts Bay in revulsion at corruption that they saw in the Church of England. They saw the Church of England as having been corrupted for the benefit of the few royals and nobles at the top of society – the 1% of their time. The Quakers settled Pennsylvania similarly seeking the opportunity to form a better society – a society based not on pandering to society’s elite but on providing for all members of the community.
When we say “God bless America” are we seeking God’s blessing for the same elites that the Pilgrims, Puritans and Quakers rebelled against? When we say “In God we trust” are we putting our trust in the Abrahamic God who helps those who help themselves, or in the Mormon gods who helps those who help themselves to the work and wealth of others?
Posted: Friday, 10 August 2012