Internet connection is still iffy. I receive email just fine, but web-surfing is not so good — which makes me think the trouble is on my end, not with Adelphia.
Meanwhile, caught Jeralyn Merritt on Linda Vester’s Fox show about an hour ago. The issue was the Pledge of Allegiance. While I don’t fully agree with Meralyn’s ACLU take (click on the link above), her counterpart was a frightening man.
I didn’t catch his name, but he was a wild-eyed talk radio host of the uber-Christian variety. “This is a Christian nation,” and all that. Well, yes, the vast majority of the country is Christian — some more so than others — but our Constitution is pretty dang agnostic. And on the issue of religion, the First Amendment is pretty dang clear. What part of “Congress shall make no law” don’t these jokers understand?
What irked me most, was the man’s willful ignorance of history when he claims the Founding Fathers were all staunch Christians, and meant for our laws to be Christian ones. By and large, the Founders were deists and Unitarians, which is about as close to agnostic as one can get while still claiming to be Christian.
Are our laws founded on Christian morality? Lots of them, sure — Christianity got lots of stuff right. But then we come back to that nasty old First Amendment, which makes plain that as a religion (although not as a private moral force), Christianity has no more legal standing than Judaism, Islam, Wicca, hopscotch, or banjo-worship.
Is their speech and writing peppered with Biblical language? You bet. Part of that was simply the way educated people communicated. And the other part just doesn’t matter, as we come back, once again, to the First Amendment.
The First Amendment doesn’t exist to protect the majority from softcore atheists like myself — the majority already has, well, the majority of the votes to do just that. Rather, the Founders wrote it to protect the minority from the “tyranny of the majority,” in all matters of conscience.
On any given Sunday, I’m willing to let slide “controversies” like the Pledge or posting the Ten Commandments in courtrooms, etc. I recognize that the vast majority are religious, and I’m strong-minded enough not to let my weettle feelings get hurt because not everyone thinks as I do. I’m also appreciative that I have the right, both legal and moral, not to take any of it seriously.
But at this point, I’m damn-near willing to reverse myself and take up Meralyn’s cause, if only to make certain people froth at the mouth.
UPDATE: For a better take on a similar issue, read this.
ANOTHER UPDATE: Even more here.