"Politics, divorced of religion, have absolutely no meaning."- Speech on 'Ashram Vows' at the YMCA, Madras, Indian Review, February 1916, The Hindu, 16 Feb. 1916 (from The Essential Writings of Mahatma Gandhi edited by Raghavan Iyer)
By nature, I am not a political animal. The arcane and convoluted workings of my government, even my local city government, much less the national government, seem contradictory, hypocritical, self-serving, and tedious, not to mention ineffective, if not outright damaging, and meaningless.
My country has never lived up to its ideals and often is engaged in action that is directly and demonstrably against what we say we believe and this has been true since our founding. Genocide, slavery, persecution, and theft mark my nation's heritage, mocking the pretty words of our Declaration of Independence and our Constitution.
As I read Gandhi's words and consider my country's history of the 'separation of church and state' and the recent struggles in my country and around the world with conservative/fundamentalist religious radicals, I find myself frustrated. The elements in America that wish to bring 'religion' back into politics are largely intolerant and would love to impose a form of Christian 'Sharia Law.' The separation of church and state is one of the bulwarks against this.
But the immorality, the unethical behavior, the evil that my government and its representatives, secular or religious, conservative or liberal, Republican or Democrat, perpetrate on their own people and the people of the world is wrong.
Too many people like me, see the problems and we tsk-tsk or we sit on our hands or we turn our heads away.
It's easier than screaming in rage or crying.
Got to be a better way.
Title from a quote by Will Rogers