Saturday, September 5, 2009

Response to Pat Boone

I detest the viral emails that spread like wild fire eating away at truth. The latest one to hit my inbox is Pat Boone's "The President without a Country." One good thing is that it does provide a way to respond to half truths and fear instilling distortions. Here are two replies, starting with mine:

Dear [Friend],

I believe you send this out with good intentions, believing it to be true, but it is truly painful for me to read. I don't have time to address it line by line right now, but basically I do believe that America has been arrogant. We acted horribly after 9-11 - passing laws that took away the rights of our citizens and the rights of our prisoners of war, and blurred the lines of torture so that we could use ever more horrendous ways of getting information from those we feared. And that is the base line of this problem!

Pat Boone's words are playing on the fears of many Americans. Quoting Obama's words in a way that makes it seem that he doesn't care about the Christians in our country when all he was trying to do was to reach out to the Muslim community that also includes many patriotic American citizens! Do you remember [our Afgani friends that moved into the area after I moved back?] They are like family, sweet, loving, caring LEGAL immigrants to our country from Afganistan. Should we fear them? NO! Should we allow them to be discriminated against? NO!

I cannot go along with the fear that is spread by so many in the name of Christ these days! Jesus did not preach hatred or fear! Please be careful of who you listen to. I believe there are many who are using the name of Christ to rob our nation of the Freedom of Religion that it was founded with and to drive a wedge between us through fear! Please evaluate statements like this through the lens of LOVE! God IS love! Are these statements loving?

I love and miss you!
Heather


And then a response from someone who used the "reply all" button. They share the Adventist background I grew up in:

I read this June 8 piece by Pat Boone. I'm guessing you shared it because it rang true to you.

It must be that I've read too much history, too much Bible (especially Revelation 13), too much Great Controversy, too much "Liberty Magazine" to buy into it myself. Why? Because all that I read tells me it is citizens and leaders (like Pat Boone) who claim the USA is a "Christian Nation" who will be sucked in by the Devil's temptation to recreate a church/state "image to the beast".

Pat Boone had and probably still has a lovely voice for singing. But I've followed his political voice as well, and Pat seems to have swallowed the "Conservative Christians Should Be In Charge of America" bait, hook, line and sinker.

Pat has been critical of those who call for restraining ourselves within the boundaries of the American Constitution - especially when it comes to torture. You can visit http://www.alternet.org/blogs/rights/141690/pat_boone_gets_all_misty_about_waterboarding/ to read a negative commentary of the original that you can find at http://www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=104951.

It is just such popular demand to throw away the restraints of the US Constitution that has been predicted to bring about the opposite of freedom of conscience:

"The dignitaries of church and state will unite to bribe, persuade, or compel all classes to honor the Sunday. The lack of divine authority will be supplied by oppressive enactments. Political corruption is destroying love of justice and regard for truth; and even in free America, rulers and legislators, in order to secure public favor, will yield to the popular demand for a law enforcing Sunday observance. Liberty of conscience, which has cost so great a sacrifice, will no longer be respected. In the soon-coming conflict we shall see exemplified the prophet's words: 'The dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.'" Revelation 12:17. {Great Controversy 592.3}


By the way, it doesn't have to be Sunday. It can be any religious law that people want enforced!

Have no doubt that Obama is subject to the same temptations - but nothing on his visible agenda indicates he would be in favor of taking away liberty of conscience or enforcing religious laws.

On the other hand, Pat Boone appears to me to be eager to have a Conservative Christian takeover of the White House, the legislature, and the Supreme Court. While he can cite some voices from the 18th century that call for nominating and electing only Christians to office, our Constitution expressly FORBIDS using a religious test for federal office.

Nothing in the Constitution defines the USA as a "Christian Nation". Obama, the Constitutional lawyer, knows that.

Yet Pat Boone feels free to write:
America is emphatically a Christian nation, and has been from its inception! Seventy percent of her citizens identify themselves as Christian. The Declaration of Independence and our Constitution were framed, written and ratified by Christians.


What Pat fails to acknowledge is that these same "Founding Father" Christians debated and threw out any reference to a "Christian Nation" in our Constitution. A majority recognized how dangerous it could be to call ourselves that and expressly made certain it was not there. These American Christians were celebrating and securing their independence from a nation, the United Kingdom under George III, that WAS a Christian Nation; where the king was the head of the Anglican Church! They wanted no more of being an officially religious nation. They wanted liberty of conscience for all. They wanted citizens to be religious because they were free to follow the dictates of their conscience, not because it would help them gain political office!!!

Because of our Constitution, this nation is coveted ground for people of faith from all over the world, whether they be Christian, Muslim, Jew, Hindu, etc. It would be, it will be a sad day when one strain of one of those religions, whether Christian, Muslim, Jew or Hindu (but most likely Christian since we're the majority) decides that everyone must comply with their interpretation of God's will.

Celebrate liberty of conscience. Defend our Constitution. As a Christian, you, too can apologize for our mistakes. Welcome those of other faiths. Tell them this country is their country as much as it is that of the majority Christians. Keep the dream of freedom alive!


AMEN!

1 comment:

Kansas Bob said...

Sad.. Pat Boone should know better.