Today, fellow Democrats Russ Feingold and Scott Harbach are facing off for their party’s nomination for the U.S. Senate. The odd thing about Harbach is that he does not believe in the separation of church and state. At least that is what he implied in this radio interview yesterday.
Wow. There is so much wrong with Harbach’s statements. First, he calls himself a “missionary” and claims that “across the pond,” people churches are being burnt to the ground. Then he backtracks and says he was talking about Africa, and that the genocide of Christians in Europe is the growing loss of faith. Then he says that woman should go to another pharmacy to get birth control if a pharmacist is morally opposed to contraception. Reminds me of the Trump clan’s suggestion that sexually harassed women should get another job.
But I digress.
I want to bring your attention to Harbach’s religious comments. He is not the first candidate to claim God told them to run for office, but it is refreshing to see that crazy does not have to be partisan. Check out this statement from Harbach’s website:
Somehow God has been pushed out of the Democratic Party and it has become an atheist party. Many Democrat voters believe in God and are discouraged because their voice and values are ignored by the party, yet they want to vote Democrat and have no other option. I am an Independent Democrat giving you the voice and representation that you have lost. I am not owned by wealthy donors or special interest groups that have stolen both parties. I am an Independent Democrat fighting for you and fighting for America, so help me God.
As someone who considers himself an educator, I think this is evidence that we are not doing a good job communicating our message. I’ve written before that it is wrong to use the word secular as a substitute for the word atheist. They are not synonyms. The absence of religion in government is not anti-religion.
This old meme says it all.
This is why we should be educating and encouraging believers to be “openly secular.” There are already many religious people who are secular (i.e., AU’s Barry Lynn). These are individuals who understand that it is because of a secular government that the United States is so religiously diverse. It is the reason believers were free to speak out against slavery, the suppression of women, and stoning homosexuals. And it is by a secular government, that religious extremists are mocked to the fringes of United States religion.
If you would like to understand my position fully, check out this speech I gave at an AAA conference.
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