Wednesday, December 22, 2004

"Christmas War" Round-up

Steve M, at No More Mr. Nice Blog, gives a nice summary of the "Christmas Wars," concluding that they are being waged mostly in the imaginations of the wingnuts. That's about right, and that applies to most of the squawking from the religionists about the "persecution" of Christians in this country and the efforts by liberals to drive them from the public square.

The most egregious example of what's going on was the Republican leaflet handed out in Arkansas before the election claiming that Kerry would ban the Bible if elected. Of course there was no factual basis for such a claim, but it resonated with a religious and ignorant chunk of the electorate that has been conditioned over the years to believe that liberals and other secularists want to eliminate Christianity and other religions from American life. I'm not going to say that nobody has this as an aim, because we have our own wingnuts, but nobody I know and nobody I've read of has either stated this is an aim or has taken action to produce this effect. I know of no burning of religious buildings or artifacts aside from crosses, black Christian churches, and synagogues being burned by white Christians.

What I and people like me want is for government to remain separate from religion. The First Amendment says "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof..." There's two parts to that folks; Congress won't make any laws establishing religion and it won't pass any laws prohibiting it. How hard is that? You can have all the churches you want, you can write all the religious novels and religious songs and have religious parades and festivals and you can kneel on the sidewalk and pray if you want. Just don't ask the government to make these things compulsory. Don't have required prayers or "moments of silence" in school, don't stick "God" in the Pledge of Allegiance just 'cause you can. Celebrate your religion as you wish, on your time, and leave me to celebrate mine, or not, as I see fit. It's that simple. Why don't these people get it?

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