Mitt Romney is a Mormon, Rick Santorum follows the Catholic faith and President Obama says he’s a Christian. Then there’s candidate Newt Gingrich who started as a Lutheran, then became a Baptist and now says he also follows the Roman Catholic faith—candidate Ron Paul is also a Baptist.
Quite the plethora of religious views to choose from in a presidential candidate but should religion matter or should values matter? They are different you know—totally different.
I was raised by a Protestant Mother and a Catholic Father and while I call myself a “fallen Catholic” because I don’t practice the faith as I should, I guess if I were on my death bed, I’d want the last rights offered by a priest—just so I’d skip purgatory and head straight to heaven!
As a “fallen Catholic” I know my values haven’t changed much over the years. You know the ones, respect your elders, the golden rule, help the needy, raise your kids the best you can, be involved in your community and offer a kind word when you can, donate cash to the poor, help out the homeless, etc. Those things are not religious items in my mind, they are my values and how I treat my fellow man (or woman). Heck, I am so dog nutty, I’d say I my religion should be Canineness—a new religion where if I see you abusing a dog, you’ll know it, because I’ll take the dog away from you or report you. Hmm? Canineness? It could catch on right? But again, I digress.
Religion is a choice but every religion is weird and full of mystery, weird rituals and funny clothes and traditions.
I forget where I heard this but what if an Alien came to Earth and your job was to explain your religion—whatever it is—even if you have no religious beliefs and are an Atheist. It would be hard.
Alien: What are you doing?
Me: I’m thinking of some possible sins I could report to the priest in that little box over there with the curtain on it.
Alien: What are sins?
Me: Things you do that are bad and you must be forgiven for your sins and then go say prayers.
Alien: What are prayers?
Me: Words sort of like poems you say over and over again depending on how many sins you have and how bad of a sinner the priest thinks you are.
Alien: What if the priest sins?
Me: Well he too must confess and say prayers in order to be forgiven.
Alien: What about his confessor, what if they sin?
Me: Same deal.
Alien: Why are you eating that little white round disk?
Me: It’s the body of Christ
Alien: Who is Christ?
Me: He was a man, the son of God who died on the cross for all of us sinners. God gave us his son.
Alien: Didn’t he want his son?
Me: Yes—absolutely, his son was a gift to all of us.
Alien: Can a human being be a gift you can give away?
Me: Well, God can do that because he did it with his only son.
Alien: What about Christ’s mother, didn’t she have a say?
Me: You know what Mr. Alien, let’s skip all this and just do lunch. Thursday okay for you at IHOP?
Alien: What’s IHOP?
Me: Never mind.
No religion can be explained without sounding weird, silly or bizarre. In the example conversation above, nowhere are my “values” mentioned.
If they were, the conversation might be:
Alien: Why did you just spit on the church steps?
Me: Oh, well everyone spits.
Alien: Is this not a house of worship for many?
Alien: Then you should respect that and not spit.
Me: Fine Mr. Alien, I’ll clean it up okay? I should not have done that in the first place!
See the difference? If you don’t, I feel sorry for you.
I don’t think the religion of any president should matter—no matter what they practice, even if the religion is not so popular such as being a Buddhist or Muslim and then you throw your hat in the ring as a candidate for President of the USofA!
But people do confuse the two—values and religion and that my friends is just plain stupid. In fact, I dare you to challenge me! Does a President or a Presidential Candidate’s religion really mean they won’t be a good President? You tell me.
Oh and by the by, try having an imaginary conversation with your own Alien about your religion—see how far you get—I’d like to know that too.