My daily update from the National Jewish Democratic Council tells me that Texas Republicans don't think I am a full fledged American. According to their platform: America is a Christian nation, founded on Judeo-Christian principles.
Here's what NJDC has to say:
This rhetoric is shameful - it is the worst sort of cynical gamesmanship our politicians can employ. It is divisive rhetoric that turns our nation's greatest strength - diversity - into a weakness.
The Texas Republican Party - the party of many Bushes (George W, Laura, George HW), recent congressional giants (DeLay, Armey, Hutchinson, Cornyn), and even henchman par excellence Karl Rove - should be ASHAMED of itself.
America is currently at war -- we are trying to stitch together a country, Iraq, where religious differences have led it to the brink of civil war.
How can Texas Republicans urge Iraqis to overcome centuries of animus between Shiites and Sunnis while demeaning the many millions of loyal Americans who are not Christian?
Jews, Hindus, Muslims, atheists, etc... -- there are patriotic Americans from each of these groups who are sacrificing themselves over in Iraq in the name of a unity and tolerance that Texas Republicans would deny them back in the United States.
All good points, but more troubling to me is the very idea of a "Christian nation." What on earth does that mean?
The U.S. Constitution is a secular document. It begins, "We the people," and contains no mention of "God" or "Christianity." If we are a Christian nation, why doesn't our Constitution say so?
What the constitution does say [Article VI, Sect.2] is that "all treaties made... shall be the supreme law of the land" And in 1797, America made a treaty with Tripoli, declaring that "the government of the United States is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion." This reassurance to Islam was written under Washington's presidency, and approved by the Senate under John Adams.
This is a clear admission by the United States itself that we are not a Christian nation, and because it appears in a treaty it has the force of law.