Opinion Politics

Dear John Kasich: We Thought You Were the Sane One

Marc Nozell, flickr
Written by Ethan M. Long

In response to the multiple attacks by ISIS, former Ohio Governor John Kasich on Tuesday proposed a new government agency: the Agency on Judeo-Christian Values.

Before we go any further, keep in mind this statement from the Treaty of Tripoli, signed by the founding fathers as an official government document in 1797:

…the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion….

America doesn’t have any ties to the Christian religion other than the fact that multiple members of the founding of the country subscribed to the Christian religion. The country has always been a land where its citizens are free to practice any religion they please. The “melting pot” metaphor is frequently used to describe America’s diversity. The fact that a country can have so many people from different backgrounds practicing their beliefs in multiple ways, well, that’s something special.

Unfortunately, Kasich’s intention, which he announced on Tuesday at the National Press Club in Washington D.C., would be to unify government and religion in an attempt to tell (i.e. alienate) anyone whose beliefs didn’t fit in with his. Kasich told the crowd his idea to form “a new agency that has a clear mandate to promote the core, Judeo-Christian Western values that we and our friends and allies share: the values of human rights, the values of democracy, freedom of speech, freedom of religion and freedom of association.”

So how does “freedom of religion” fit into this idea? Isn’t the sole purpose of such an agency to promote one form of religion, effectively telling all others that they’re wrong? Perhaps Kasich still has an this “us vs. them” mentality that prevents him from realizing that those whose religions differ from his are, in fact, quite civilized.

What would the agency do?

Kasich told NBC News later in the day that “Its job would be fundamentally to revive what we used to do when we beamed messages into the former Soviet Union. We need to beam messages around the world about what it means to have a Western ethic, to be part of a Judeo-Christian society: it means freedom, it means opportunity, it means respect for women, it means freedom to gather, it means so many things.”

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But, his next statement is contradictory of his own religion. When speaking about the middle east, he noted that “Young radicals are constantly fed ideas that lead to more radicalization.”

Take a look at your own country, Kasich.

There are radicals in middle America who subscribe to the ideals of groups like the KKK. For example, what about Dylann Roof? While he wasn’t religiously motivated, he was still radicalized in our own country.

“I think it’s essential we begin to spread who we are and why we are who we are, and what we represent. It’s essential, by the way, that those in the west begin to embrace again, our Jewish and Christian tradition, rather than running from it, hiding from it,” Kasich said, though there are multiple groups in this country who haven’t “forgot” their religious traditions. Instead, they’ve used them as a defense for their own horrible actions.

So, Kasich, would you like to say anything to those who hurt others in the name of their Judeo-Christian values?

What about radical religious groups such as Army of God, whose website quotes the Christian bible? Followers of that group have killed at least seven people and injured at least 111, mostly due to the bombing of Centennial Olympic Park in 1996.

And the Phineas Priesthood, who have bombed abortion clinics and robbed banks? In 2014, one of their members decided to open fire on all of his surroundings, firing 100+ rounds, in Austin, Texas. How would you impose your Judeo-Christian values in them?

By the way, why use the term Judeo-Christian instead of Abrahamic? The former allows for the exclusion of an entire religion, while the latter is really more appropriate.

Do you really want a government agency alienating hundreds of thousands just because you want to separate your beliefs from those of a relatively similar religion? You must think you’re somehow better than them.

You do realize that Jesus, who your religion claims was a holy prophet, is actually a figure in Islam?

As has been pointed out numerous times online, the overwhelming majority of Muslims not only are not terrorists, but oppose the interpretation of Islam presented by terrorist organizations like ISIS. “Moderate Muslims” isn’t even a sensible way of describing them, any more than “Moderate Christian” is an appropriate label for everyone who isn’t a member of the WBC. Around the world, Muslims are speaking out against violence, against the twisted interpretation of their faith that feeds the hearts of the people destroying Syria and Iraq. They speak out in favor of democracy, in favor of free speech and freedom of association, in favor of freedom of religion.

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So, again: why the Judeo-Christian distinction?

You told NBC News that “to support the Jewish and Christian tradition also involves the ability to have tolerance,” but one must question your contradictory rhetoric.

Source: NBC

About the author

Ethan M. Long

Ethan Long is a journalist based out of Boston, MA.

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Dear John Kasich: We Thought You Were the Sane One

by Ethan M. Long
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