Hail King Bushy, Part II

Ah, Shawn, your comments about my "Hail King Bushy" post definitely merit a response, and not only a response, but a very own blog-post of my fiery rhetoric. Haha!

Concerning wiretapping and Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez, I feel that Amanda's comment adequately sums up my opinions. Who is Gonzalez' boss after all? President Bush. Who appointed Gonzales to this position? President Bush. Of course the AG is going to back up the President's actions---that has been his job since their Texas glory days. What is terribly upsetting in my mind is that a Senate hearing had to be held to address Bush's choice to wiretap American citizens, which blatantly breaks the law. As president of the U.S., Bush does indeed have the right to assume certain duties in times of war, but never is he above the law. This is a fundamental principle of democracy. Thus, I find it unsettling when you say that "I'd rather have my civil liberties be infringed upon through wiretapping as opposed to being killed." How many other civil liberties are we willing to give up? Was our country not founded upon the blood of American soldiers who sacrificed their lives for the freedoms we enjoy today? Aren't our civil liberties indeed something we should be fighting for?

And now to address one of our favorite topics of debate---church and state.

To many Americans, President Bush is a wonderful man because he is a religious man. To me, however, I find it frustrating that Bush uses religion to court voters. Personal religious beliefs should not be manipulated for political uses. In my mind, such beliefs are sacred---and we should have enough respect for them that we don't wave them around flippantly. Furthermore, I find that the people who are most devoted to their religion are the ones who want their beliefs to be demonstrated through actions---not through speech. Take for example the story of the Good Samaritan, a moral fable that outlines the importance of practicing our religious tenets, the importance of action.

And so, the president of our country should practice whichever religion he/she chooses, but I would prefer that he demonstrates his religious convictions through action. Mr. President, please prove to me that you are a Christian---don't tell me about it to court my vote.

You also declare in your comments that, "Religion might be a private matter to you, but it is very public to other people." I agree with your statement wholeheartedly. But Shawn, the question is--- should religion be public? Religion is a private matter and thus it needs to remain in the private sphere. The beauty of our democracy lies in our basic inalienable rights, namely the freedom of worship. We can attend any church we want to and we don't have to face any persecution---what a beautiful thing. It is important then to separate church and state. Why? Because once the government begins to favor one religion over another, then such a freedom is jeopardized.

I do strongly believe that certain religious tenets should be adopted by all governments---ideas like charity, selflessness, peace, and patience. These principles should definitely play a role in our government. The line separating church and state though can be very thin at times. I don't have an adequate answer as to when the line is crossed...

With our country becoming increasingly entrenched with hate, violence, and murder, it is perfectly logical that we want national leaders who embrace goodness and morality. Undoubtedly, people should vote as they please and if they want to vote for religious reasons, then they should do so. However, I hope that all Americans are informed voters who seek to gain knowledge of social issues. And I also hope, perhaps naively, that we realize how our religious beliefs are not shared by all. I hope we ask ourselves, "What strategy, or what candidate, is of the greatest benefit to all Americans?" If you truly believe George Bush is the right man for the job, then by all means, vote for him. But please be an informed voter. Do your homework before casting that ballot. Do not vote for a candidate just because he claims to pray to god every night. Check out his voting history and his political background. Let's make sound judgments when choosing our leaders. Acknowledge his words, but look to his actions.

To echo your own phrase, I would also proclaim proudly, "God bless America." Yet I would also have to add, "God bless the Iraqis who must live through this war," "God bless the atheists," "God bless the Democrats," "God bless the Mormons and everyone in between." I wish that all political leaders could feel the love of God in their hearts---perhaps then we could end our ceaseless fighting and extend a hand to those in need. But I also wish that such religious sentiments will remain in the private sector. Let us allow our religions to influence our personal lives to make us better people and better citizens. The effect of such actions will undoubtedly trickle into the public realm.