Through the years, and during the duration of this blog, I have been called an atheist, communist, socialist, Jew, Moslem, ad infinitum. So, it is fair to directly deal with it. What belief system do I adhere to? None, but I take from most of them. I am not out to save my own skin for eternity. I do not believe in man-made religions, which major religions are. The three major religions of the Western World all have much of their foundation in the patriarch, Abraham. I like him. In Genesis he confronts God about God's vengeance and over-reaction and brutality, and the God depicted in the Bible certainly needs that confrontation. But none of those 3 major religions follow the "good" parts of the Bible. They claim they do, but simply look at the actions of the people who wear their religion on their sleeve.
Far too many Americans think the group of early leaders in the founding of the United States of America were devout Christians. And the same Americans who believe this place all kinds of denominational or specific Christian interpretations on these guys. While they each held to the various flavors of religion, many were very bigoted and judgmental of others as they are today. It is impossible to make statements about their all being Christians and coming anything close to the truth. At best, regarding religion, many were Deists. Some were atheists. Some were Quakers. And just as today, the silly list of beliefs goes on. Here are some quotes from the early American leaders; judge for yourself...
To those who want to focus the life of Edward Kennedy on one incident in his life for which he should forever have been ashamed, I ask you to simply notice the avalanche of accoldades coming from the conservative leaders, past and present. Note what is being stated clearly by Nancy Reagan, by politicians of the right-wing with names like Hatch, Romney, etc. And from more moderate Republicans like John McCain. Note especially how Teddy was able to work with those across the aisle to pass over 300 bills that bear his name and are now law. Note how he was able to work with President George W. Bush to pass educational legislation.
Hundreds of years ago, Jews began to migrate into Europe. They found prejudice and bigotry everywhere. To survive, they found a kink in the armor of all these "proper" Christian Europeans. Their Christian puritanical streak would not allow them to loan money at a profit or interest. Christian principles had nothing to do with it, it was a way for the rich to remain with their riches and for the poor to stay poor. The Jews, who had no such double-standards and hypocrisy in the matter, found that they could make a living by giving out loans at a rate of interest. Thus evolved the Jewish businessman. The hypocritical Christians never fully forgave them for "taking advantage" of the hypocrisy, and bigotry fluorished through pogroms and other atrocities aimed at Jews. The Holocaust was the culmination of "Christian" retribution against the Jews for being less hypocritical and making a profit from it.
Faced with a horrendous legacy of the George W. Bush years, President Barack Obama has done a remarkable job of righting the ship in many ways. He appears to have turned around the financial abyss that Bush left him. He is hastening the exit from our illegal war in Iraq. He is trying to overcome the myriad mistakes that Bush made early in the war in Afghanistan when defeating the terrorists was a real possibility, as was capturing bin Laden in Torah Borah. And he certainly has regained respect for the U.S. and re-built trust among the world's nations.