I am writing in response to Tim Waddingham's article, and additionally, in response to the letters to the editor from Thursday's Collegian regarding the same article.
First of all, Waddingham had to have known that his article would anger people. And I agree that it was a very hateful and close-minded statement to make. I'm not a journalism major, but I know enough to acknowledge that consistent use of the word "stupid" is going to hurt a journalist's credibility, especially when referring to a considerable chunk of his readership (i.e. the "Christian conservatives").
Now, in response to the arguments of those "Christian conservatives": how can you possibly argue that our nation was founded by conservatives? Yes, they were Christians. But if you'll recall, the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which these Christians authored, exists solely to provide the citizens with individual freedoms – freedoms that cannot be infringed on by the government.
This represents a basic part of the liberal ideology. By the way, the right to religious freedom is also included.
Furthermore, any legislation passed on the basis of religious beliefs is, in fact, a violation of church and state separation. The examples of abortion and gay marriage were used.
I don't want to get into a debate of those topics, but to deny an individual rights based on religious ideals, which that individual may not even share, is extremely unconstitutional. The separation of church and state must continue to exist as our nation's diversity continues to grow.
Christians are not going to stop voting conservatively, but they should at least acknowledge the flaws of their thinking. It is true; nowhere is there a law that states an individual cannot vote based on her or his religious background. However, there is a much higher law, which prohibits the government officials from regulating American citizens based on religious background.
And I continue to be appalled by the claims that the victims of Hurricane Katrina were in the wrong. Many of those people may have had warning that the storm was coming, but few had a means of escape. When the tsunami devastated countries in Asia and East Africa last year, the argument was that those people died because there was not a sufficient warning system in place. However, the majority of those victims would have been considered impoverished by our standards. Therefore, it's safe to assume that their governments would have been responsible for evacuations. It is hypocritical to suggest that the U.S. Government is not at least partially responsible for the deaths caused by Katrina.
Finally, I am still not sure where religion comes into the Iraq debate. Sadly, "thou shall not kill" is and always has been completely irrelevant in international relations. The commandment is equally inapplicable to religions in general, considering more people have been killed "in the name of God" than by any other cause historically. Rather, it is an ethical standard that we as individuals must live by. It is very unfortunate that members of both sides are so ignorantly warped in their perceptions of reality on such important issues.