Governor Walker, the FRFF, & Individual Thought
On March 16, 2014, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker tweeted a simple reference– Philippians 4:13 (“I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength”)– to share a tiny piece of his faith with his Twitter audience. It appears a simple, nice, if not insignificant gesture on the part of the governor. However, the Freedom from Religion Foundation is threatening to sue the governor should they find that the tweet was sent from a government device. They said that the (insert sarcasm here) obviously threatening and malicious tweet “seems more like a threat, or the utterance of a theocratic dictator, than of a duly elected civil servant.”
When did the definition of “theocratic dictator” change to include a man who isn’t ashamed to share his faith by tweeting out the reference to one of the most well-known verses in the Bible?
I fail to see how a tweet with a couple of words in it can force the entire population of a state to read the verse cited and live by its teachings, thus endorsing and enforcing the views found in it. The Freedom from Religion Foundation is enormously threatened by these words on a screen that do not directly affect them in any way.
Aren’t liberals the ones who order us to leave abortion alone because “it doesn’t affect you if someone else has an abortion, so mind your own business”? If Governor Walker’s tweet didn’t affect you directly, I see no problem with it. If the governor holds a view that differs from your own, I see no problem with that. If you are so threatened by differing beliefs that you are willing to sue over a tweet, that issue goes much deeper than politics. It’s a personal beef against some certain religion or the idea of a religion in general, not your concern that the governor is endorsing a particular religion.
You can’t claim to be tolerant if you’re going to be intolerant of views that aren’t your own. That’s the very definition of intolerance.
I don’t feel threatened when people express their belief in Allah, nor do I find it offensive that people believe there is more than one path to heaven. I believe in Jesus Christ and believe He is the only way to heaven, but I don’t threaten to sue Muslims or Christians who disagree with me. I love them as fellow human beings and am able to have civil discussions with insulting them or faking outrage because their views don’t match mine. Governor Walker represents everyone in his state and can do so without forsaking his own faith; none of his actions have indicated a progression toward a state-endorsed religion, and a tweet hardly constitutes that.
Individual thought is a beautiful thing. The Freedom from Religion Foundation should try it sometime.