Parting Glances Hands off my Sect, Woody!

BTL Staff
By | 2018-01-16T09:28:44-04:00 September 20th, 2007|Opinions|

Woody Allen – who takes religion, God, get-saved theology – with a grain of salt (no doubt Epsom) once quipped, “I don’t believe in an afterlife, although I am bringing a change of underwear.”
(He also said, “I believe that there’s somebody out there who watches over us. Unfortunately, it’s the government.”)
If a 2007 poll conducted by the First Amendment Center, a nonpartisan educational group, is any indication there’s a possibility that Woody’s choice of heavenly, wide-front briefs (assuming he’s a wide fronter) might be red, white, and 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 (who were mostly Deists, agnostics, Masons, or, just as irreverent, Anglicans) wrote Christianity into the Constitution.
If you bother to read it (who does?), the United States Constitution is non-theistic: the word God (or, for that matter, Jesus, Christ, Christianity, Bible, or even Creator) does not appear anywhere in our fundamental (not Fundamentalist) document. The only mention of religion in its original seven articles is (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 in USA Today (Sept. 12), 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, a spokesperson for WallBuilders, an advocacy group that believes America was built on biblical principals, says the poll doesn’t mean that a majority favors a “theocracy,” but that the Constitution reflects Christian values, including religious freedom. (Sure, Ricko!)
“I would call it a Christian document, just like the Declaration of Independence.” (How about the Book of Mormon?)
Even so, “The scariest thing,” says Haynes, “is that only 56% [of those polled] agree that freedom of religion applies to all groups, regardless of how extreme their beliefs are. That’s down from 72 percent in 2000.” Reports USA Today, “More than one in four say constitutional protection of religion does not apply to ‘extreme’ groups.” (MCC-Detroit? Dignity? Lutherans Concerned?)
One more quote worth sharing. It comes from James Madison, our fourth president – the 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 quite a few “in”-sects buzzing about (none of whom hold “The Truth,” according to right-wing Fundygelicals): Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Seventh Day Adventists, Moonies, Scientologists, Word of Faith adherents, Bible Reconstructionists, 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 beliefs (and you know what they think about us LGBT types) the dominant billy goat on the family farm.
If the Fundygelical religion is to survive in the 21 century they know gosh darn well that separation of church and state must go. Science, psychiatry, history, philosophy must take a backseat to Jesus. There’s no compromise in the cultural warfare.
One last Woody: “If it turns out that there is a God, I don’t think that he’s evil. I think the worst you can say about him is that basically he’s an underachiever.”
That remains to be seen.

Charles@pridesource.com

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BTL Staff
Between The Lines has been publishing LGBTQ-related content in Southeast Michigan since the early '90s. This year marks the publication's 25th anniversary.