Frog Against Theocracy
So here's the deal: The reason we have an establishment clause in the first place is because the early Christian founders were just as afraid, just a suspicious, of each other as modern evangelicals are of Catholics, Mormons, Jews, and well...everybody that's not them. The founders didn't want to see any of their religions pushed to the margins by the establishment of a national faith.
So those of you who argue that, as a Christian nation, we should ignore the 1st Amendment to put religion (aka Christian religion) back in our schools, our public places, and our government--to the detriment of Muslims, Jews, Hindus, atheists, agnostics, and grumpy frogs--better get-the-f*ck over yourselves. You want things your own way? Then amend the Constitution and freakin' leave me in peace until you've managed it!
At the very least it should be recognized that religion can be misused as an accumulation point for power or money. As I recall, Jesus admonished his disciples to rid themselves of all burdening worldly goods - not even allowing for a second cloak. Nowadays Christ's putative representatives on Earth build Crystal Palaces, and own fleets of limousines, even private jets. I say treat them as the commercial enterprises so many have overtly become, and tax. the. hell. out. of. them.
SadButTrue... I think that founders couldn't conceive of freedom-from-religion, and so it wasn't explicitly included. Though, I fervently believe that the modern interpretation supports exactly that notion. As for taxing religious organizations...one step beyond the line--say into political advocacy--and I'm all over it.
You're not in as foul a mood as I? :-\
Just kidding. I had really intended to write something deep, but I just couldn't come up with anything.
Gracie... Thanks. I often wonder how many people feel about the establishment clause the way I do. I'm one of those cranks who, if they removed religion from our daily lives completely, wouldn't shed a tear.
Lew... Damn man! Now there's an idea. Probably help with global climate change as well.
Robert, PT... Thanks, I guess(?) You guys trying to be funny? ;-)
...there won't be a reason to have to worry about any of that.
Betmo... Well, we can hope, but probably not in my lifetime. I'm skeptical that we'll ever see an admitted agnostic or atheist as president.
The trouble is, they have been amending the Constitution, at least in practice, with laws like the USA PATRIOT Act and the Military Commissions Act. Then the Republican-appointed Supreme Court simply refuses to consider any cases where a test of constitutionality applies. It is a dirty rotten trick, it stinks to high heaven - and so far it's working perfectly for them.
Supreme Court Jesters.. and Obscene Court Gestures
"I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ." --ain't that the friggin truth!
This "our country was founded as a Christian nation" bullshit is, well, blatant bullshit. People who beat that tired old horse need to do some research, although most of them are probably the types who don't accept evidence that contradicts their non-reality-based belief systems.
Our forefathers were either mostly deists or they didn't like religion. Hell, ya oughta see some of the negative quotes from Thomas Jefferson and John Adams about religion...
How about these from Jefferson: "I have examined all the known superstitions of the world, and I do not find in our particular superstition of Christianity one redeeming feature. They are all alike founded on fables and mythology." Or this one: "Question with boldness even the existence of God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason than that of blindfolded fear." Or even this one: "It is always better to have no ideas than false ones; to believe nothing, than to believe what is wrong."
Here are a couple from John Adams for the evangelical doofii to put in their pipes and smoke: "The Government of the United States is in no sense founded on the Christian religion." And "This would be the best of all possible worlds, if there were no religions in it."
And that old bastard hippie Ben Franklin! Can you imagine he would say this: "The way to see by faith is to shut the eye of reason." Or this: "Lighthouses are more helpful than churches."
Wait! Even James Madison? "What have been [Christianity’s] fruits? More or less in all places, pride and indolence in the Clergy, ignorance and servility in the laity; in both, superstition, bigotry and persecution." He also said "What influence in fact have Christian ecclesiastical establishments had on civil society? In many instances they have been upholding the thrones of political tyranny. In no instance have they been seen as the guardians of the liberties of the people Rulers who wished to subvert the public liberty have found in the clergy convenient auxiliaries. A just government, instituted to secure and perpetuate liberty, does not need the clergy." "Rulers who wished to subvert the public liberty have found in the clergy convenient auxiliaries. A just government, instituted to secure and perpetuate liberty, does not need the clergy."
The people who put our country together knew what they were doing. Our Constitution is the way it is for good reason. People who want to dick around with it need to, as you so well put it, get over themselves. Or maybe if they are not willing to uphold the Constitution, as Bush has vowed to do but has not done, they should all leave. Maybe they will all be the ones who get "raptured", and then the rest of us hellbound types can live out our days without their nagging, odious puritanism.
So what does Bush think about these issues?
"The United States is a Christian nation founded upon Christian principles and beliefs."
He also has said "I don't know that Atheists should be considered as citizens, nor should they be considered patriots. This is one nation under God."
What an asshole.
Here is a quote I love from Emo Phillips: "When I was a kid I used to pray every night for a new bicycle. Then I realised that the Lord doesn't work that way so I stole one and asked Him to forgive me."
And finally, a couple from the immortal and dearly-missed Frank Zappa: "Children are naïve -- they trust everyone. School is bad enough, but, if you put a child anywhere in the vicinity of a church, you're asking for trouble." And, "If you wind up with a boring, miserable life because you listened to your mom, your dad, your teacher, your priest or some guy on TV telling you how to do your shit, then YOU DESERVE IT."
There are a lot of great quotes to be found at http://www.chrisbeach.co.uk/core/scripts/viewQuotes.php
Sorry this was so long-winded. I may end up posting it on my blog. Hell, I'll go right ahead and do that! Heh...
Dusty... No truer words!
The people who put our country together knew what they were doing. Our Constitution is the way it is for good reason.
Well said. I think that this is why the Consitution has endured with relatively few changes. Though I think that the quote about atheists and citizenship is Bush Sr., not shrub. I'll be by presently to read what's on Various Miseries.
Diva... Oh to be around for that!