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Christian Untermenschen

By tekHedd ~

It's not a new word for me, but you don't hear it very often unless you're talking about the Nazis: Untermensch.

So here I was in a nice friendly discussion on a web forum, and unfortunately the original discussion had something to do with religion. Well, it's not really unfortunate until someone decides they need to try their latest political talking point. (Or everyone does.) And of course things got a bit heated but mostly fairly reasonable. I am personally in favor of keeping god out of government so that it won't start telling us all how and when to pray, and to whom, but... well... I mean I'm open to rational arguments to the contrary. The way I see it, if you don't trust your government to manage your health care, how can you trust them with your soul?

But hey whatever. I avoided the entire religion-in-government part of the discussion, because it was off topic. Same old boring talking points.

And then there was this post, which (seemingly) represents the thinking of a lot of American conservatives:

I think you'd have trouble convincing many constitutional and legal scholars, as well as lawyers and politicians here in the U.S., besides the majority of we Americans, that the First Amendment and it's separations regarding matters of church and state, means that people of faith must become a sort of second class citizen, an American Untermensch if you will, with their freedom of speech rights suppressed, along with all public expressions of religious thought and beliefs removed from public discourse and view, by a federal government that has somehow established atheism as the official belief system of the United States government.

I'm sick of people implying that "not having a state religion" is the same as "having atheism as a state religion." You could poll a thousand atheists, and not one would want to see an official state religion of any kind. That's the whole point! If you think about it, this post is really saying that not having Christianity as the official state religion is a form of oppression. When I state it that way, I realize that the poster will backpedal and say "no that's not what I mean," but it's what he said, and I think it's what a lot of people really believe. They refuse to openly admit that they want a Christian theocracy, but they still vote and talk that way.

But, OK, so this guy wants to remove religious freedom from the state and make the state itself an organ of the Church. Does that make me mad? No. It's stupid, but hey if he want to (in my opinion) destroy what makes this country great, he has a right to work for that. It's his country too.

What really makes me mad is the victim mentality.

Wouldn't it be horrible to hear the president quoted as saying things like "Christians should not be considered true patriots or true citizens. This is a godless country?" This passage implies that by removing "Under God" from our government, by removing a forced acknowledgment of God as the one true deity, we turn Christians into an "American Untermensch?" Are you serious? Government neutrality puts us on equal footing; if that is a form of oppression, then the Bill of Rights with its "created equal" talk is just an oppressive document that should be destroyed. Again, that's not what he would claim that he really meant, no, it is just what he said.

I have to ask a question. Are you Christians afraid you will find yourselves in a country where open believers in God are publicly vilified? Where a Christian could never, ever be elected to public office, and if one is it is a media event? Wouldn't it be horrible to hear the president quoted as saying things like "Christians should not be considered true patriots or true citizens. This is a godless country?" Are you afraid you will live in a country where the Pledge of Allegiance includes the phrase "without God," and every dollar bill, every coin says "There Is No God" on it? How would a Christian feel living in this country?

Sounds familiar, doesn't it? This is the country I live in. I am an atheist, and we are gently but firmly excluded from government and full citizenship. Do I go around claiming to be a victim? Well, I haven't, but maybe it's about time I did. Hey, Christians do it all the time.

So, my Christian friend, the next time you are victimized because nonbelievers have a vote in how the country is being run, let me teach you the word for that: Equality .