Friday, June 13, 2008

Damned lies and religion

By Capt. Fogg

The idea that the freedom of Christians to peaceably practice their religion is undermined by the law and by unbelievers and heretics is perhaps the most egregious lie in current circulation in the United States. This lie is the fulcrum for the lever being used to establish a distinctively American and militant Christian variant as not only an official creed, but as the basis for government, law and justice.

"I'm all about freedom of speech," says South Carolina Lt. Governor Andre Bauer.

That's why he helped push legislation allowing automobile license plates to become a platform for advertising the owner's Christianity. A measure to permit "I BELIEVE" license tags with Christian symbols failed recently in Florida, but South Carolina already allows special plates for any cause with a minimum prepaid order of 400 or a $4000 deposit. The legislation was thus largely redundant and the SC Governor passed it without signature, but its purpose was not only to allow government assistance in evangelistic pursuits, but to promote the idea that Christianity is being persecuted.

Bauer states that he is willing to put up the deposit (and be reimbursed of course) so that the oppressed believers of South Carolina could thumb their noses at secular drivers by displaying a cross, a stained glass window and a credo along with their registration number. Sometimes, those little chrome fish aren't enough.

"People who support Judeo-Christian values are ever under fire now," Bauer said to AP News.

"It's like they expect folks who are believers just to roll over because they're scared of the ACLU."

I'm sure Bauer will soon issue an encyclical explaining away the antithetical nature of Christianity and Judaism, but of course nobody is expecting anyone to roll in holy or unholy fashion -- only to stop sticking their beliefs in everyone else's face, trying to impose their taboos and forcing everyone to pay for it. Frankly I don't care whether the guy I'm following on the road is following some higher or lower father -- or whether he's Cuckoo for Cocoa Pops. I do care whether the government I pay for gives him special treatment and privileges in his mission. I do care that there might be more freedom of speech for those who see magic apparitions in their morning toast than there is for me and I don't appreciate having to keep my beliefs secret in that State for fear of being shot and left for dead on some dirt road in South Carolina.

Anyone riding with me on my recent road trip can attest that Indiana drivers whose plates proclaim that "we" trust some unspecified god are just as incompetent and perhaps
more likely to be viciously aggressive than others. They would have had ample experience of being put in danger by people with Jesus fish on their SUV's. They would have been regularly reminded that "HELL IS REAL" by countless billboards and moralized at by endless displays of tendentiously edited versions of Jewish covenants. The coins they dropped into toll booth bins would have a religious message on them. They never would have been out of radio range of at least half a dozen evangelical radio stations and they never have been or will be told by the ACLU what to believe or disbelieve or display on their cars, their homes or as a frontlet between their eyes.

Religious freedom is alive and well in the United States of America but it's the power of the Clergy, the power of Christian leaders to force their doctrines on all of us we need to be afraid of and if this were not true, they wouldn't have to lie -- now would they?

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