There were a bunch of tornadoes in Texas yesterday, proving yet again that God hates rednecks. It is hilariously ironic, since people in the south are generally the ones who think “prayer” is an effective defense against twisters, cancer, homosexuality, a hangnail – pretty much anything!

I’ve gotten to the point where cliche religious gestures are met with a level of annoyance. For example, when a loved one is sick you are supposed to say, “Oh, I’ll make sure to pray for them.” All I hear when somebody says that is, “Oh, I’m going to do nothing.” When somebody dies, you are supposed to say, “If there is anything that I can do to help, please do not hesitate to ask.” Of course, nobody ever means that, and nobody ever calls them on it.

“Really? You want to be here for me in my time of need? I was going to paint my house on Saturday, but now I have all of these thank you cards to write for people who came to the funeral. Looks like you can help after all! See you around 10am, and thank you.”

And then... Sand the floor.... in loving memory.

I don’t mind religion. One of the great founding principles of America is that everyone here has the freedom to practice their religion however they see fit. In fact I believe that religion (faith, more specifically) is vital to a vast majority of the people. Some might even say it is a drug – an opiate of sorts.

The 2012 presidential election has called religion to the forefront of the political debate. This is where I get off the train – right when religion stops right at the state station. It shouldn’t stop there… ever.

… But it does. A lot. You can believe what you want, but when it starts affecting legislation (aka it starts affecting ME) your God and I are going to rumble.

Let me try to break it down in a simple manner. Say you want to be president, and you happen to believe that the world is flat. I know, it sounds crazy – but no more crazy than people who believe the Earth is only 6,000 years old – so we’ll use that example. You being an ignorant hillbilly doesn’t bother me at all – Actually it kind of makes me feel good about the fact that I learned how to read. Now, if you want to pass a law based on YOUR factually inaccurate worldview, that is a major issue.

Make sense? If you don’t believe in science that’s fine. When you want to cut education funding, stop teaching evolution, and generally live in some uninformed bubble (and take our children with you) then we have a MAJOR problem.

If you don’t believe in medicine that’s fine. When you want to prevent others from getting health care, birth control, cancer screenings, and generally want people to rely on the “power of prayer” to be healed – again, we’ve got us a MAJOR problem.

If you don’t believe in climate change that’s fine. When you want to slash funding to the National Weather Service, the Environmental Protection Agency, and think that the crazy weather is just some weird random coincidence despite what 99% of scientists say – we have a MAJOR problem.

I’m not trying to make this political: I want this to be about FACTS versus BELIEFS. I believe in God (at least the existence of some form of “higher power”) – but I don’t believe that God gives a shit about women getting cheap birth control. God doesn’t care about gay people getting married because marriage is a function of the STATE, not the church. God should be way too big of a deal to be used as a political pawn.

If religious groups want to get involved in politics, influence policy, lobby members of Congress that is completely their right as a citizen. However, citizens pay taxes. You want to play? You pay.

How quickly do you think we could separate church and state when the church has to start paying to visit?