The United States of America is a secular nation. Our democracy was set up in reaction to the abuses of religious governments in Europe and colonial America. The Constitution never mentions the name of any religion, including Christianity. Neither does the Constitution ever mention any holy book, including the Bible. The only times that Constitution mentions religion is in measures that prevent the infiltration of religious power into the government, in a clause that forbids any religious test for public office, and in the First Amendment, which forbids the government from taking any action to support religion. America’s founders knew that government involvement in religion corrupts both religion and government.
Sadly, American politicians have been tempted for generations to use religion as a tool to divide Americans, and to gain personal power in the process. Presidents and members of Congress have ignored the Constitution, and given special government privileges to the most popular religion, Christianity, while denying those privileges to members of other religions, as well as to the growing number Americans who choose not to follow religion at all. The sizeable minority of non-Christian Americans have been placed into an unequal status by their own government, which promotes religion in a way that almost exclusively benefits Christianity.
This sort of discrimination is embodied in the Office of the Chaplain of the United States Senate. Many people point out that the mere existence of an official, government-paid priest who conducts formally-recognized and endorsed religious rituals every morning in the House of Representatives is an form of theocracy – the use of government to establish religious power, and the use of religious power as a foundation for governmental power.
The hard discrimination exercised by the Senate Chaplain goes far beyond the simple theocratic use of government power to promote religion in general, while denying equal access to secular voices. The office of the Senate Chaplain has been made an exclusively Christian government position. There have been 62 Senate Chaplains, and every single one has been Christian. Not once as a non-Christian been allowed to hold the office. As a result, the office of Senate Chaplain has become a tool for the promotion of Christianity above other religions.
What’s more, the Senate Chaplain has become a center of agitation against democracy, within the U.S. government itself. American citizens pay the salary of this official government priest, providing financial support for efforts to undermine the freedom of religion and the separation of church and state.
In the place of our constitutional democracy, the Senate Chaplain has urged United States senators a Christian theocracy. The Chaplain uses his government funding to create exclusively Christian Bible study groups, guiding U.S. senators in how to interpret the Christian Bible and encode Christian beliefs in American law.
The Senate Chaplain has also, like an ayatollah in Iran, used his government power to deliver anti-secular, pro-theocracy speeches before gatherings of the Senate. Those speeches, delivered in ritual form of prayers to God that are nonetheless clearly intended to be heard and obeyed by the senators who listen in obedient silence, denounce the principles of freedom of religion contained within the Constitution of the United States of America.
Just last week, in a speech before the House of Representatives, the current Senate Chaplain, Barry C. Black, proclaimed, “Almighty God, by whose providence our forebears brought forth a Nation… May this quest for justice motivate them [members of Congress] to eliminate those things that obstruct the coming of Your kingdom. Each day, may they give primacy to prayer, seeking Your guidance as they strive to make decisions that honor You. Guide them by Your higher wisdom so that they will not give in to disappointment, doubt, or despair.”
In this speech, Chaplain Black declared that the United States is not a constitutional democracy at all, but a religious nation that was created under the direction of the Christian God. The Chaplain pushed Congress to pass laws that are specifically intended to eliminate anything that gets in the way of Christianity. He directed U.S. Representatives to engage in acts of Christian worship, and to warp the activities of Congress into a kind government religious ritual, seeking to placate the demands of theocratic Christianity rather than the will of the American people.
Chaplain Black has consistently pushed an agenda that seeks the transformation of the United States of America into a Christian theocracy. The official web site describing the work of the Senate Chaplain, proclaims “God as Sovereign Lord of our Nation…” and declares that the Senate not honor what Black refers to as “the separation of God and State”.
These theocratic speeches are acts of open rebellion against the U.S. Constitution. Yet, they are tolerated, and even encouraged, by members of the U.S. Senate, because senator either hope to use Christian animosity toward other religions to their political advantage, or are afraid to take a public stand against their colleagues who engage in this kind of faith-bating politics of religious discrimination.