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And we’re the intolerant ones?

Al Bedrosian is the Republican (of course) candidate for the Roanoke County supervisor, and he certainly makes his position clear in a 2007 op-ed to the local paper.

As a Christian, I think it’s time to rid ourselves of this notion of freedom of religion in America.

Now that I have your attention, let me take a moment to make my case. Freedom of religion has become the biggest hoax placed upon the Christian people and on our Christian nation.

When reading the writings of our Founding Founders, there was never any reference to freedom of religion referring to a choice between Islam, Hindu, Satanism, Wicca and whatever other religions or cults you would like to dream up. It was very clear that freedom to worship meant the freedom to worship the God of the Bible in the way you wanted, and not to have a government church denomination dictate how you would worship.

Christianity, by its own definition, does not allow freedom of religion. A Christian is defined as a follower of Jesus Christ.

He is forthright, I’ll give him that — he comes right out and says exactly what a lot of American fundagelicals think: they are intolerant radicals. They’re also guilty of magical thinking.

Beware, Christians, we are being fed lies that a Christian nation needs to be open to other religions. America is a great nation — not because of its freedom, great economic system, or even its military power. It is a great nation because the God of the Bible has blessed us in our freedom, our wealth and our military power.

Once we remove ourselves from worshiping the one true God, all the wonderful qualities of America will vanish.

If Al Bedrosian is an example of the wonderful qualities of America, please do vanish.

Comments

  1. says

    “God of the Bible has blessed us ”
    I wonder where in the Bubble it says that God blessed America? I always thought that was the Jews (and a fat lot of good that did them).

  2. Beatrice (looking for a happy thought) says

    It is a great nation because the God of the Bible has blessed us in our freedom, our wealth and our military power.

    Freedom, wealth and military power.
    I see he’s got his priorities straight. Not even pretending God has blessed them with goodness or justness… I guess even he can realize that it would be a bit much to buy as truth.

  3. says

    Christianity, by its own definition, does not allow freedom of religion. A Christian is defined as a follower of Jesus Christ.

    Really, so all the other millions and millions of Christians who say otherwise have been lying to us all this time? Fascinating.

  4. kemist, Dark Lord of the Sith says

    Well, I for one am quite satisfied to be part of the less, ahem, “great” nation of Canada, even though it would be even better to be rid of the pox that is the Harper government.

  5. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    When reading the writings of our Founding Founders, there was never any reference to freedom of religion referring to a choice between Islam, Hindu, Satanism, Wicca and whatever other religions or cults you would like to dream up.

    About that…

    The bill for establishing religious freedom, the principles of which had, to a certain degree, been enacted before, I had drawn in all the latitude of reason and right. It still met with opposition; but, with some mutilations in the preamble, it was finally passed; and a singular proposition proved that its protection of opinion was meant to be universal. Where the preamble declares, that coercion is a departure from the plan of the holy author of our religion, an amendment was proposed, by inserting the word “Jesus Christ,” so that it should read, “a departure from the plan of Jesus Christ, the holy author of our religion;” the insertion was rejected by a great majority, in proof that they meant to comprehend, within the mantle of its protection, the Jew and the Gentile, the Christian and Mahometan, the Hindoo, and Infidel of every denomination.

    Source

  6. raven says

    It is a great nation because the God of the Bible has blessed us in our freedom, our wealth and our military power.

    His whole statement is just assertions without proof or data strung together. Hitchen’s rule applies. It’s all just wrong.

    To take one example. God has nothing to do with our military power. I paid for it with my taxes. Along with 200 million other taxpayers, of course.

    It also is a direct product of science. We have a powerful military because of our lead in science which translates into the latest and best weapons. The Pentagon is well aware of this which is why their R&D budget is ca. 80 billion a year.

  7. Alverant says

    @SallyStrange
    They probably have been. Well either lying or deluding themselves. The first commandmant, according to the bible, is to worship God and no one else. That’s pretty much the definition of anti-religious freedom. Then you have over a thousand years of christian history where enforcement of that commandmant was law and people were killed for doubting it.

    The guy is right, christianity does not allow freedom of religion just as it doesn’t allow for freedom of speech or freedom of expression or non-establisment of religion or voting for your leaders or liberty. Nope, christianity is fundamentally anti-USA.

  8. DaveL says

    Once we remove ourselves from worshiping the one true God

    Hold on, Mr. Bedrosian. First, give us a little time to set up the fight cage and send out the appropriate invitations, so that you and your “fellow believers” can fight it out over the identity and attributes of this one true God.

  9. says

    Once we remove ourselves from worshiping the one true God, all the wonderful qualities of America will vanish.

    I’m convinced!!
    Ia! Ia! Cthulhu fhtagn! Allahu akbar ph’nglui mglw’nafh Cthulhu R’lyeh wgah’nagl fhtagn!!!

  10. busterggi says

    But which Christianity should it be???

    Each of the 20,000+ sects says it is the only REAL Christianity – pray, Mr. Bedrosian, which adherents of the other 19,999+ sects should be declared heretics and not able to be Americans?

  11. unclefrogy says

    well one thing for sure he is not one of the elites who thinks he knows more stuff the us ordinary good (ignorant) patriotic real americans!

    uncle frogy

  12. says

    you and your “fellow believers” can fight it out

    The church cage-match reality TV MMA show could be a huge hit. I mean, it rocked in the dark ages, I think it’d rock again in the new TV dark age we’ve got going on. But somehow I bet, like most believers, his faith is so strong he wants someone else to do his fighting for him.

  13. Anthony K says

    About that…

    Founding Fathers, Jesus…it’s about the freedom to worship the them in the way you want, and not to have the actual things they said and did dictate how you would worship.

    My favourite part of the constitution is where it says you can lob flaming bags of dogshit at conservatives with no fear of legal recrimination. It’s the amendment next to the one about NASCAR and processed cheese.

  14. Zeppelin says

    “The guy is right, christianity does not allow freedom of religion just as it doesn’t allow for freedom of speech or freedom of expression or non-establisment of religion or voting for your leaders or liberty. Nope, christianity is fundamentally anti-USA.”

    Except religious fanaticism, censorship, authoritarianism and oppression are as American as apple pie and genocide. American christianity is a great match for US culture and politics, which is why it’s so influential there.

    Sorry, but I get bitey when people say “anti-USA” like it’s a bad thing.

  15. Gregory Greenwood says

    Well, You’ve got to hand it to Al Bedrosian – he is at least honest about his agenda. None of this pretending that xianity is the wellspring of any inclusivist society, or forms the underpinnings of all social and political freedoms as many so called ‘moderate’ christians are wont to claim*. Bedrosian comes right out and states, without qualification, that his religion is 100% behind the tyrant and the oppressor and stands as the enemy of freedom of conscience.

    It is almost refreshing in an odd sort of way. Or rather it would be if it wasn’t the case that xian fundamentalists are all becoming so emboldened now that most of them don’t even bother to hide their bigotry, extremism or megalomania any more. In a choice between openly power hungry religious extremists and grossly hypocritical moderate believers, the moderates are better, but it is not much of a choice to begin with.

    ———————————————————————————————————————-

    * That they manage to do so with a straight face, for the most part, is the closest thing to a miracle I have yet seen

  16. says

    My favourite part of the constitution is where it says you can lob flaming bags of dogshit at conservatives with no fear of legal recrimination. It’s the amendment next to the one about NASCAR and processed cheese.

    Aaaaaaaand Anthony K. wins the Internetz today.

  17. evilDoug says

    I thought I’d have a boo at the interwebs to see what I could find about him. I had a peek at his FucksBook page (I don’t “do” FB, so I couldn’t access any details):

    “Support Ken Cuccinelli in upholding state law, Michele Bachmann, VA Social Conservative, Rush Limbaugh and the EIB Network, Rush Limbaugh, Ken Cuccinelli, FraZier HughesitorLoseit Hughes”
    which is no great surprise.

    “Others With a Similar Name”
    Shaimaa Al-Ali
    Abdulla Al Jazaf
    Fadhel Al-ghasham
    Shaikha Al-Kabbi

    Ha! et cetera.

  18. Gregory Greenwood says

    Of course, we are all forgeting that, to the xians, only they are deserving of freedoms. That is one of the reasons why they get so angry when people suggest that the freedom to marry should be available to everyone, including gay people. Or that freedom of religious observance should apply to all faiths and should also guarantee the freedoms of those who have left the whole rotten edifice of religiosity behind – in their eyes these are cases of the ‘undeserving’ subverting the freedoms that only good, honest xians are ‘responsible’ enough to wield. It states that there is a legal and social parity between them and those who don’t share their beliefs. It implies that society does not accept their claim to be special and superior by virtue of belief in a sociopathic Sky Fairy.

    It reminds them that not everyone shares their arrogant assumption that they are the inheritors of the world, and we all know how xians like to claim that anything short of a totalitarian theocracy (run according to the strictures of their particular subcult of christianity, naturally) amounts to the oppression of christians…

    It is just more of the same – the usual self-obsessed xian pity-party.

  19. says

    Aaaaaaaand Anthony K. wins the Internetz today.

    Yeah, really. (yells over his shoulder) Rack up another internets for Anthony. I know, I know. Same as the last internets. I dunno what the fuck he does with all of ‘em. Prolly got a garage full of ‘em…

  20. says

    But which Christianity should it be???

    Each of the 20,000+ sects says it is the only REAL Christianity – pray, Mr. Bedrosian, which adherents of the other 19,999+ sects should be declared heretics and not able to be Americans?

    One thing I often wonder about these sorts of fundies: Do they look at history and current events, see all the nations that splinter and war among themselves over religious minutiae, see the war-torn hellholes, mass graves, inquisitions, corruption, divisiveness, savagery, madness, bloodlust, terrorism, confused, unstable mixes of authoritarianism and anarchy, and then shed a tear because America isn’t quite like that “paradise,” yet?

  21. drxym says

    I think he’ll have a point – once he’s proven conclusively why Christianity is the One True Faith and all others involve the worshiping of false idols.

  22. sigurd jorsalfar says

    And this is precisely why atheists care so much about the question of whether or not gods exist, and not so much about the question of whether unicorns exist.

  23. david23 says

    Why stop with religion. Not being from the US but is there not some part of the American constitution that goes something like “All men being created equal”. Or how about “the right to bear arms” you should be only allowed to carry muskets and swords.

  24. Doug Little says

    Bible has blessed us in our freedom, our wealth and our military power.

    Yes it’s what Jesus would have wanted. He cared so much about wealth and military power.

  25. Doug Little says

    Bronze Dog @22

    One thing I often wonder about these sorts of fundies: Do they look at history and current events,

    Let me stop you right there.

  26. Ulysses says

    drxym @24

    I think he’ll have a point – once he’s proven conclusively why Christianity is the One True Faith and all others involve the worshiping of false idols.

    Silly drxym, of course Christianity is the One True Faith. Bedrosian thinks it is and that’s all that matters to him.

  27. grumpypathdoc says

    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)@ #5

    Thanks for that link to the Jefferson quote.

  28. moarscienceplz says

    But which Christianity should it be???

    Emo Philips knows:

    Once I saw this guy on a bridge about to jump. I said, “Don’t do it!”
    He said, “Nobody loves me.”
    I said, “God loves you. Do you believe in God?”
    He said, “Yes.”
    I said, “Are you a Christian or a Jew?”
    He said, “A Christian.”
    I said, “Me, too! Protestant or Catholic?”
    He said, “Protestant.”
    I said, “Me, too! What franchise?”
    He said, “Baptist.”
    I said, “Me, too! Northern Baptist or Southern Baptist?”
    He said, “Northern Baptist.”
    I said, “Me, too! Northern Conservative Baptist or Northern Liberal Baptist?”
    He said, “Northern Conservative Baptist.”
    I said, “Me, too! Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region, or Northern Conservative Baptist Eastern Region?” He said, “Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region.”
    I said, “Me, too! Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region Council of 1879, or Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region Council of 1912?”
    He said, “Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region Council of 1912.”
    I said, “Die, heretic!” And I pushed him over.

  29. Ray, rude-ass yankee says

    I live in the county this ass-clown wants to be supervisor of, guess I know which candidate I WON’T be voting for. Of course, as a general guide, the “R” pretty much rules him out anyway.

  30. What a Maroon, el papa ateo says

    Not being from the US but is there not some part of the American constitution that goes something like “All men being created equal”.

    No, that’s the Declaration of Independence. The Constitution’s the one that said it’s ok for some people to own others as slaves (and not only that, but you get to count them as 3/5ths human when you’re figuring out how big a representation you get in Congress).

  31. moarscienceplz says

    @ #34

    Shhhh! Don’t go airing our dirty laundry in public. People might think we’re not being completely honest when we tell them (over and over again) that we’re the greatest country in the world.

  32. Moggie says

    It is a great nation because the God of the Bible has blessed us in our freedom, our wealth and our military power.

    Shorter Bedrosian: Gott mit uns.

  33. Jonathan, der Ewige Noobe says

    Radicals are left-wing extremists.
    Right-wing extremists are called reactionaries.
    Just for future reference.

  34. says

    Oh wait. He conveeeeniently left Judaism off his list of specific religious that aren’t afforded freedom.

    I think a lot of fundies really do believe Judaism and Christianity are “the same thing” in a way other religions aren’t. Or at least that Jews are on the right track in a way adherents of other religions aren’t — the same deity even if they don’t acknowledge his kid, the same holy book even if they leave bits out, etc.

    (Unless you’re trying to say he didn’t want the international bankers to ruin him or something like that.)

  35. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    I wonder how fast he’ll backpedal when he realizes that there are an awful lot of Jewish people with fingers in some very important and expensive pies.

    With his little “Gott Mit Uns” thing, what makes you think he’ll backpedal?

  36. yazikus says

    A part of me is glad every time people say their outrageous belief out loud. It keeps away the pretense that they are harmless. Recently a WA St. senator’s aid got caught on the phone saying “The gays can grow their own food” after being questioned about the bill being drafted that would legalize discrimination as long as it was because of a “sincerely held religious belief”. Because that is what those people really think. And it is dangerous. (on a side note, I totally want to be on the panel that decides the the belief is sincerely held).

  37. klatu says

    Jesus: “Well, when Johnny was first starting out, he was a registered member of the Church of Scientology. Before long though, he wanted to get out of it. But his church leader wouldn’t let him. Now, Johnny is my father’s beloved child, as are all people. So my father went to see this church leader and offered him $10,000 to let Johnny go so he could be forced to join a Christian church instead, but the church leader said no. So the next day, my father went back, only this time with Al Bedrosian. Within an hour, he had a signed release for a certified check of $1000.”

    Buddha: “How did he do that? ”

    Jesus: “My father made him an offer he couldn’t refuse.”

    Buddha: “What was that? ”

    Jesus: “Al Bedrosian held a gun to his head, and my father assured him that either his brains or his signature would be on the contract. “

    Buddha: “…”

    Jesus:” …That’s a true story.”

    Jesus: “That’s my family Buddha, that’s not me.”

  38. mikeyb says

    I always find it funny when people use the term “God of the Bible,” since no such entity exists even in the Bible. In actuality the Bible contains multiple contradictory versions of god stitched together by multiple authors over long periods of time, as scholars have known for a long time. Historically, there are multiple versions of god in the multiple Protestant, Catholic, Orthodox versions who currently and have existed historically, each one all to eager to “anathematize,” excommunicate or kill rival versions. The only gods that exist are the fuzzy conceptual entities conjured in individual believers heads which contradict rival versions in other believers heads, which unfortunately have consequences like determining elections and causing unnecessary wars. There never has been a god that all believers can agree upon say like general relativity. We should properly refer to the gods of the Bible, and the variant gods of believers.

  39. says

    mikeyb @44

    I always find it funny when people use the term “God of the Bible,” since no such entity exists even in the Bible.

    And the above quoted says:

    Once we remove ourselves from worshiping the one true God, all the wonderful qualities of America will vanish.

    I wish. I just wish the Abrahamics would give us a definition of the ONE TRUE GOD.

  40. thisisaturingtest says

    @#23, Naked Bunny with a Whip:

    Oh wait. He conveeeeniently left Judaism off his list of specific religious that aren’t afforded freedom.

    Actually, he pretty much put Judaism on that list with this:

    Christianity, by its own definition, does not allow freedom of religion. A Christian is defined as a follower of Jesus Christ.

  41. mpachis says

    It is amusing how they try to appropriate the Founding Fathers for their version of religious freedom.

    Thomas Jefferson in his only book “Notes on the State of Virginia” states “It does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods or no god. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg”.

    If you really want to see his head explode he should read Thomas Paine’s “Age of Reason”. Where he states “All national institutions of churches, whether Jewish, Christian or Turkish, appear to me no other than human inventions, set up to terrify and enslave mankind, and monopolize power and profit.”

    Does not sound like advocating for a Christian nation. There is a reason they called it the “enlightenment”.

  42. thomwatson says

    Bedrosian is best known in the Roanoke area for being sued for assault and battery in 1999 (he was acquitted, unfortunately; the judge agreed the evidence was sufficient for a conviction but that “it would serve no purpose”) when he spanked someone else’s 2-year-old child in a hospital waiting room, and later said that given the same circumstances he’d do it again.

  43. thumper1990 says

    Seriously, any politician belonging to a mainstream party here in the UK who espoused such views would be dropped by their party faster than a hot rock. How the fuck do US politicians get away with this shit?

  44. Anri says

    thumper1990:

    Seriously, any politician belonging to a mainstream party here in the UK who espoused such views would be dropped by their party faster than a hot rock. How the fuck do US politicians get away with this shit?

    See, in the US, any politician belonging to one mainstream party and not espousing such views is in danger of being hot-rock-dropped.

    …with the other party, it’s only semi-mandatory.

  45. Aaron says

    Ray, rude-ass yankee @33:

    I live in the county this ass-clown wants to be supervisor of…

    I grew up and lived less than an hour away from Roanoke for a long time, and visited it constantly. Reading Roanoke Times op-eds was a fast way to get annoyed when I worked at a diner. It’s pretty tough to be an atheist in that area, but that’s pretty true a lot of places.

  46. wanstronian says

    ” Freedom of religion has become the biggest hoax placed upon the Christian people and on our Christian nation.

    Surely as an elected representative, he is breaking the law by making this statement which breaches the First Amendment?

    Well… it would be nice, anyway.

  47. thomwatson says

    @51 Aaron: Where did you grow up? I grew up near Covington, a little less than an hour north of Roanoke, and all of my family still are there. As an out queer atheist, though, I no longer consider the Roanoke Valley or the Alleghany Highlands comfortable places to spend much time; I do it when I must for the sake of my family, but given that my California domestic partner of ten years and I are complete legal strangers to each other back in Virginia, even the most innocuous family visits include an undertone of stress and concern should something happen to either of us.

  48. David Marjanović says

    I’m convinced!!

    Those who cannot spell Iä! shall be eaten next to last.

    The Constitution’s the one that said it’s ok for some people to own others as slaves (and not only that, but you get to count them as 3/5ths human when you’re figuring out how big a representation you get in Congress).

    To be fair, that part has been amended. It is no longer part of the Constitution.

    I always find it funny when people use the term “God of the Bible,” since no such entity exists even in the Bible

    The best part is Psalm 82 (Protestant numbering), where – apparently – Yahwe tells all the other gods that, although they’re all gods and children of El Elyon, they “shall die like men, and fall like one of the princes”, if they don’t do less evil and more good in the world. Also contains a nice flat-Earth reference.

    See also “Yahwe my god” and “Chemosh thy god” described as equals in Judges 11:23–24.

    he spanked someone else’s 2-year-old child in a hospital waiting room

    Whoa. He and the judge should be locked in the same cell for the next 10 years.

  49. Aaron says

    @53 thomwatson: Also Covington! A lot of my immediate family is still there, and I even lived there post-college for a couple of years before moving out West. Gorgeous area, but not very welcoming to people who are different. There’s a marital aids place that opened not too long ago, and I don’t know if you were around, but it was a biig stink for something as harmless as a store that sells dildos and lube.

  50. michaelpowers says

    “But it does me no injury for my neighbour to say there are twenty gods, or no god. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.”

    Thomas Jefferson