Arts & Entertainment
What would Woody do?
By Charles Alexander
Originally printed 8/2/2012 (Issue 2031 - Between The Lines News)
Woody Allen - who takes religion, God, get-saved theology with a grain of salt (Epsom, no doubt) - quips , "I don't believe in an afterlife, although I am bringing a change of underwear."
(Woody adds, "I believe that there's somebody out there who watches over us. Unfortunately, it's the government.")
If a poll conducted by the First Amendment Center, a nonpartisan educational group, is indication, there's a possibility that Woody's choice, at age 76, of heavenly, wide-front briefs (assuming he's a wide fronter) might be red, white, blue striped.
According to FAC, Americans by a 55% percent margin have taken it into their collective salvation/sawdust trail heads that our nation's founders -- mostly Deists, agnostics, Masons, or, just as irreverent, High Church Anglicans -- wrote Christianity into the Constitution. They did not.
If you bother to read it (who does?), the United States Constitution is non-theistic: the word God (or Jesus, Christianity, Christ, Bible, or even Creator) does not appear in its wording.
The only mention of religion in its original seven articles is (number VI) to proclaim "no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust in the United States."
As reported by USA Today, Charles Haynes, a senior FAC scholar, says the poll findings are "particularly troubling." And oddly ironic. "Americans are dying to create a secular democracy in Iraq, and simultaneously a growing number of people want to see a Christian state here."
Rick Green, spokesperson for WallBuilders, an advocacy group for government built on biblical principals, er, principles, says the poll doesn't mean that a majority favors a theocracy, but that the Constitution reflects Christian values, including religious freedom.
"I would call it a Christian document," says Green. (How about Mitt's Book of Mormon, which Mark Twain called "printed chloroform"?) Even so, "The scariest thing," says FAC's Haynes, "is that only 56% agree that freedom of religion applies to all groups, regardless of how extreme their beliefs are."
Reports USA Today, "More than one in four say constitutional protection of religion does not apply to 'extreme' groups." (MCC-Detroit? Dignity? Lutherans Concerned? Westboro Baptist?)
One more quote's worth highlighting. From James Madison, our fourth president and time-honored Father of the Constitution: "Who does not see that same authority which can establish Christianity, in exclusion of all other Religions, may establish with the same ease any particular sect of Christians, in exclusion of all other Sects?"
God knows there are a few "in"sects buzzing about. Latter Day Saints. Jehovah's Witnesses. Seventh Day Adventists. Moonies. Biblical Reconstructionists. Christadephians. To mention only a few contenders in America's religious, spiritual turf (and monetary) wars.
Make no mistake! There's a power struggle going on. The fundamentalist/evangelical coalition is out, "gentle as doves, sly as foxes", to make their "fundygelical" beliefs the dominant billy goat on the family farm, with us "lost LGBT sheep" its major scapegoat.
If these right-wing believers are to survive they know gosh darn well that separation of church and state must go. Science, psychiatry, history, philosophy must take a backseat to their ad hoc Jesus. There's no compromise in their Onward Christian Soldiers warmongering.
One last Allenism: "If it turns out that there is a God, I don't think he's evil. I think the worst you can say about him is that basically he's an underachiever." Have a blessed day! (Give a fundygelical a Woody.)