A student in Louisiana is fighting for her First Amendment right to be free from government indoctrination into religion.
Webster Parish, Louisiana (CNN) – Kaylee Cole walks into school each morning and has breakfast with friends.
Every day starts the same: Announcements, birthdays and school events are broadcast over the public address system. What comes next is what she dreads.
“They say, ‘Please stand for the Prayer and the Pledge.’ And then we move right into it. And it’s the Lord’s Prayer,” Cole says.
Really? We’re still fighting over the issue of school prayer in 2018?
One of the maddening things about Christians is their failure to understand one simple thing about America.
It is your religion. It is not our religion.
We were not founded on “In God We Trust.” That didn’t show up on our money until 1956, as a way for red-baiting demagogues to distinguish God-Fearing Americans from the Dirty Atheist Commies.
We were founded on “E Pluribus Unum” – out of many, one – which has been on the Great Seal of the United States since 1782.
Just 15 years later in 1797, the US Senate, chock full of Christians, unanimously passed the Treaty of Tripoli, which states, “the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion.”
That treaty was signed by President John Adams, a descendant of Puritans, who argued that “The Christian religion is, above all the religions that ever prevailed or existed in ancient or modern times, the religion of wisdom, virtue, equity and humanity…”
I’m willing to bet that the United States was a greater-majority Christian country in 1797 than it is today. (Well, if I’m not counting the religious affiliations of the indigenous people and the enslaved Africans in the country.) Yet those devout Christian men proactively declared that we are not a Christian nation.
“Out of many, one” is the foundational ethic of America, despite what the current occupant of the White House and about 35 percent of the country believes. We are a nation of immigrants with different cultures, different languages, and different religions. In order to form a more perfect union, we must operate as a secular society, offering no benefit and exacting no detriment to the practice of religion.
The Founders knew that, even if the diversity they were encoding into our nation’s DNA was a way to respect the rights of land-owning white Episcopalian men, land-owning white Presbyterian men, land-owning white Congregationalist men, and even those wacky fringe white male Quakers, Lutherans, and (gasp!) Catholics who owned land.
But We’re All Christians Here!
Now the ACLU is taking this poor God-Fearing Louisiana town down the road to Hell by suing to stop the government from forcing Christian religion into the minds of youngsters. Reading the comments about it from the locals reminds me again that our Constitution’s greatest flaw is its lack of a lawful method of state secession.
People like this have always struck me as having a great inferiority complex. If, indeed, you had the secret to eternal immortality, why in the world would you feel the need to remake the whole world to share your secret and act according to its rules? You’ve won immortal life, man! How many of the rest of us assholes do you really want to be stuck with for eternity?
I’d think with the omniscient, omnipresent creator of the timespace continuum of your side, whether or not your little Jedediah and Esther pledge fealty to it through rote memorization and autonomic recitation of an ancient verse before digging into multiplication tables is somewhat inconsequential, no?
Like, are they going to get to the Pearly Gates as adults, only to have St. Peter shake his head and say, “Well, Jed, Esther, you both led altruistic lives. You fed the hungry, housed the homeless, and lived according to the Ten Commandments and Beatitudes. The Kingdom of Heaven is… wait, hold on. Says here you didn’t recite the Lord’s Prayer in Mrs. Bowers’ seventh-grade homeroom before algebra. Sorry, it’s Hell for you. Well, your parents should’ve formed a mass movement to introduce a School Prayer Amendment to the US Constitution now, shouldn’t they? Off you go!”
“Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just…”
No, it’s really about signalling to the world that they are special, because they belong to the biggest, bestest God Club. If their God Club isn’t recognized at all times everywhere as the biggest and the bestest, why, then, they’re not so special anymore.
It’s their inferiority-driven need to be special that fucks us in so many ways beyond the obvious school prayer and abortion issues. The immigration issue is woven into it, because some of those people worship a whole different God! Climate change denial specifically and anti-intellectualism generally are efforts to maintain the supremacy of Christianity in our culture.
This “Christian nation” nonsense would be a bit more palatable if it were actually true. But any passing glance at an urban homeless camp, a Native American reservation, or a rural Appalachian town will prove that we’re anything but what that fictional character Christ had in mind.
Unless you recognize that “Christian nation” is but a tool to maintain a capitalist empire fueled by wage slaves. People in desperation, given junk food to fill their bellies, reality TV to occupy their minds, and the promise of eternal life to comfort their souls, rarely start decapitating the ruling elite.
Those national mottos I told you about give it away.
“E Pluribus Unum” is emblazoned on our Great Seal, the icon that represents our democracy. It was inspired by the thirteen colonies banding together to form a new nation.
“In God We Trust” is emblazoned on our money, the icon that represents our economy. It was inspired by “And this be our motto: ‘In God is our trust,” from the fourth stanza of “The Star-Spangled Banner,” shortly after the third verse proclaims, “No refuge could save the hireling and slave / From the terror of flight, or the gloom of the grave.”