March 04, 2006

A Christian State?



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It's almost certain that it won't get passed, but the Missouri legislature is considering a bill that would make Christianity as the state's "official 'majority' religion":

The resolution would recognize "a Christian god," and it would not protect minority religions, but "protect the majority's right to express their religious beliefs.

The resolution also recognizes that, "a greater power exists," and only Christianity receives what the resolution calls, "justified recognition."
[link to main story (which is just a few lines longer) requires registration]
Of course, it is immediately being challenged, and some even think that it's not serious, but just a ploy to make out liberals as being anti-Christian.

Of course, it's not the first time that this kind of thing has happened. There was a widespread outbreak of Christian fanaticism nearly a century and a half ago in the 1860's, when a band of Protestant denominations submitted an amendment to the U.S. constitution that would change the preamble to read as thus (proposed additions marked in bold text):

We, the people of the United States, humbly acknowledging almighty God as the source of all authority and power in civil government, the Lord Jesus Christ as the ruler among nations, his revealed will as the supreme law of the land, in order to constitute a Christian government, and in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the inalienable rights and the blessings of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness to ourselves, our posterity, and all the people, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
This amendment was again forwarded in the 1870's. It failed both times, which is what I expect the Missouri legislation to do. But the movement of the 19th century eventually resulted in several incursions of religion into government, one of note being the use of the motto "In God We Trust" on our money--which is now being pushed as a precedent to tear down the wall between church and state (see page 5 of Scalia's dissent in McCreary v. ACLU, noted here). This one piece of legislation will probably not pass, being far more radical than the recent South Dakota ban on abortion, but it does show an unleashing of unabashed right-wing religious glee at a Supreme Court majority being on their side, and a growing confidence, a willingness to try out the kind of theocratic fascism that they would love to establish.

Posted by Luis at March 4, 2006 10:24 AM
Comments

Perhaps in some regions, politicians are rewarded for talking this kind of talk. And if that is the case, I'm not sure how one can tamp down that talk. Perhaps they know it will not pass muster w/ the constitution and are just looking to kick up some dust to get some fame and some points w/ select voters.

Posted by: ykw at March 5, 2006 07:53 AM

A nation of idiots, I say.

The irony is that Christ commanded his followers to separate Church from state.

This is one of the core tennants of fascist politics: Feed the flame of "persecuted majority" - in this case Christians. (The is fear mongering - oh, how they love to combine the two).


Not surprising that they pull this card, considering they are tanking in the polls. But it too has limited milage. Once they bleed this tool dry they will be squirming in the dirt.

Posted by: Tim Kane at March 6, 2006 03:21 AM