My Twitter feed sent me a video of Sen. Marco Rubio giving a speech at a conference of Christians. I was shocked.
During the address, he referred to America as a Christian nation. He also said God said marriage was between men and women, and he disagrees with gay marriage in our nation. Rubio is not alone in thinking that America is a Christian nation and that gays shouldn't have the same rights as the rest of us.
John Labriola is running for City Council in Inverness. His Facebook page says he is running for Inverness City Council because "our conservative values are under attack by liberal elites who are working to undermine our community's Christian character." He is as homophobic as they come. As for religion, Labriola and Rubio are cut from the same cloth. Both are wrong.
While the Founding Fathers were Christian, they made it clear that religion had no place in the American government. When they framed the Constitution, the First Amendment to the Bill Of Rights was: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof." This amendment protects the fundamental rights of conscience - the freedom to believe and express different ideas - in various ways.
Many Citrus citizens may not want to hear this, but America is a secular nation. The American version of the Treaty of Tripoli (1796) states that "the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion." Two hundred years later, Ronald Reagan said, "We establish no religion in this country, command no worship, mandate no belief. Nor will we ever. Church and state are, and must remain, separate.”
Citrus County is a tossed salad of beliefs. My dentist is Muslim. My doctor is Hindu. My pulmonologist is Catholic, and my neighbor is Baptist. Most of my friends are straight, and some are gay. We don't have room in this county and country for intolerance, narrow-minded bigots like Labriola and Rubio. Labriola is trying to inflame behavior that does not represent our county and citizens. He tried to do it in Miami and was chased out. He tried to influence our library system and lost. Now he is going for a more prominent pulpit. He should fail.