Certain Republicans and Tea Partiers make claims about others that are patently false. They claim all Democrats are godless, and therefore must be opposed, even reviled. What do you say to people who say stuff like that?
I have a few suggestions.
Let us begin with the fact that it is simply not true that all Democrats are godless, or even non-Christian. Nor is it true that Democrats of any stripe are not moral or spiritual, any more than it is true that all Republicans are not moral or spiritual. You don’t even have to be Christian to be a good person.
Then there’s this about Christians. Christianity is a minority religion. It’s the largest group, but less than a third of the world population considers itself Christian. One would think that would cause Christians to be humble. In fact, humility is part of the Christian religion, a fact that tends to be forgotten, along with some other Christian elementals.
You realize, of course, (you say to your intolerant Christian friend) that you yourself are a non-believer. People in every religious group in the world think that their religion is the best one. Some even claim theirs is the One True Religion. Everyone else, by definition, is an infidel, non-faithful, un-believer. All Christians are therefore, by definition, non-believers to the followers of all other religious faiths, that is, the other two-thirds. If you claim that only your particular religion is the “right” one, you are making the same claim, and the same error, as many believers in every other religion.
One out of four Americans is not Christian. That comes to over 77-million people, which is a greater number than the entire population of any country in Europe except Germany. Of that 25% of American citizens, some are members of other major or minor religions. Some are non-religious or anti-religious. Christians may not, by law, act in any way that violates the political or religious rights of non-Christian Americans. And vice versa.
People believe in their religion not because it makes sense, but because they were born into it. Although the majority stay with the religion of their childhood, some 44% leave it. Some go to another religion. Some become non-observant. Some go to no religion. Most change because as they matured they found faults with the religion they were born into. No Christian can claim superiority over these people. If anything, it’s the opposite, because they have considered the religion they were born into and found it wanting, and not simply taken the easy way of accepting without questioning.
We are not a Christian nation, as some on the radical right claim. America was specifically established in its founding documents with no official religion. No church is allowed to participate in politics. The government is not allowed to control the church.
The most important thing about any religion is not about God, or about going to church, but about living a moral and ethical life. This is what all religions have in common. There are some religious Christians whose behavior is bad; most non-Christians behave well. It is the good we must emulate, not the superficiality of any particular religion.
Many devoutly religious people in the world think that Americans live in a spiritual desert. They see Americans, whether they are Christian or not, as controlled by the pursuit of money and material goods, and completely lacking in spiritual depth. Americans who have never experienced other cultures of the world tend to think of themselves as superior in all things, and have difficulty understanding this.
Listen up, Republican and Tea Party True Believers: You have no corner on the market for moral behavior. To judge others is un-Christian to begin with. To decide others are undeserving and must be opposed because of your judgment is arrogant in the extreme. One might even say ungodly.