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Christians, You've Been Punked!! 

Musings on the marriage of church and state

The emergence of the Foley scandal has uncovered the hypocrisy and self-loathing homophobia of many of our elected officials on both sides of the aisle. Throughout this conflict lies an unlikely group of victims who must be completely confused at their buddies in Washington.

Our American houses of worship have to really look at the way politicians have manipulated their concept of spirituality and the inherent fear of gays and Muslims into voting slam dunks.

Being a registered and practicing Independent, I have often laughed at the childlike allegiances adults form for the sake of some arbitrary religious team building. "Jesus would vote this way" is the intimation coming from my pastor one Sunday in 2004; I witnessed at my church how aversion to gays and Muslim domination was the end-all-be-all of political issues and we should vote accordingly.

All the while, my church sat in an impoverished community where prescription drug prices and the ability for young people to read or matriculate out of the school system are more important issues. We didn't talk about the economy or the fact that politicians can't seem to understand that a majority of Americans are working members of the middle class and therefore college education, transportation costs and unemployment rates are as important as fighting an ill-conceived war or trying to stop two dudes from kissing. None of this was seemingly an issue for Jesus, but keeping gays from walking down the aisle is the definition of the faith-based initiatives we were fed in 2000.

Inherent in this problem is the conservative Protestantism that has sprung up in our country, which turned God and religion into a game of tag on the playground. All one party has to do is co-opt the righteousness of Jesus and they have a voting block sold.

There is a reason for the separation of church and state, and it's not because of any anti-Christian sentiment by the ACLU or the Leftists among us. It is chiefly because, in our thirst for power and influence, we can't help but make blasphemy law. We seek to judge good and evil in the name of God when as a Christian, I understand I am no more qualified to judge another lest I judge myself.

The furor and noise created in 2000 and 2004 is all but a whisper now; where are the religious pundits telling me to vote with my Bible? Are they using that Bible to hide their homosexuality or their extramarital affairs? You see the boomerang of judgment is swift; the GOP has long taken advantage of Christianity and the judgment has turned on them. The blatant corruption of the GOP controlled Congress, the numerous accounts of sexual impropriety and the inability to enact even a small amount of substance during their tenure has not fallen on deaf ears. What can our preachers and evangelists and GOP members say now? Worshippers of all races voted under their direction to bring some answers to the seeming moral decline of our world. Yet today, six years after they solicited and America heeded, we sit mired in an abyss of corruption, destruction and moral hogwash. Children are killing children, the middle class still can't afford college, and to their obvious chagrin, gay people are still around.

Decker Ngongang, a native of Charlotte, is a financial professional and committed citizen.

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