A few years ago, I ran into a lawyer acquaintance who'd heard through the grapevine I'd espoused atheism. I hedged my bets by telling him that was not quite accurate; that I was an agnostic. When I asked "Tom" what he had been up to lately, as he was rumored to have retired from his mostly consumer and commercial practice, he said he was researching a book about law and religion. I did not see Tom again until a few days ago, when the local rag we sometimes call a daily carried over his signature a letter to the editor.

Apparently someone had published an opinion or sent a letter about the founding fathers and their religious beliefs, as Tom had written to observe that Jefferson had invoked "God" at this or that event, so...You know the general drift if, like me, you are a member of Americans United (for Separation of Church and State). There is, locally, a church-based movement afoot to spread the ridiculous rumor that church-state separation is a "myth" and to rewrite American history to support the half-truths and lies that are spreading like prairie fire along the lines of "Abraham Lincoln was guided in his every act by Christian principles" when we know that he told close friends he thought Jesus was bogus and very likely invented to cover up an adulterous or violent impregnation.

I spend a considerable amount of time writing letters and complaining to anyone who will listen that the myth-makers are up to no good. They may admit to dominionist underpinnings of their position, which for all I know they are convinced is grounded in the "strict intepretation" of the Constitution. And as literalists they surely understand that if the First Amendment does not address the issue at hand, then it must be left to Biblical interpretation. As above, so below.

Mind you, the "myth" argument had been going on recently in the Texas Bar Journal as well not six months back. An out-of-state bar member wrote to say that all the founding fathers were Christians and the doctrine of separation of church and state was a myth; it wasn't even in the Constitution itself. Now it just so happens that even as this controversy has been brewing and spreading in Texas, the right wingnut Texas Board of Education was at working removing Jefferson from history texts because the man cared more about freethinking than he did about Christianity.

What I am thinking here is that the evangelicals have declared war on freethinking progressives and it doesn't seem to me a flight of imagination to see in their modus operandi establishment of a theocratic federal government along the lines of Gov. Huckabee's promise to interpret U.S. law according to Christian principles. Justice Holmes once said (in the context of freedom of speech) that if the dominant opinion of the people is to have a communistic form of government in the U.S. then so be it; at least let the villain shout his position in the public market, there to be praised or shouted down. What chance do we think atheists will have in any theocracy? In the Mideast apostates are beheaded.

Still, I am left to wonder, what sort of penal code will we have under the Christian United States (C.U.S.)? I suspect that the Cussers will have us in wooden stocks in the mall in the event we skip church on Sunday. I suspect utterance of anything questioning the Bible as the literal word of God will be a capital crime ("aggravated") and thus punishable by death under some circumstances yet to be decided by the Ministry. I suspect that burglary of a church will be elevated to a 1st degree felony, in my state punishable with a life sentence. I could go on, but I think you get the point.

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Oh! this is getting serious.  With mega-churches preaching "success" and profits trump people, and with all the really wealthy people pouring money into attack ads, supporting think tanks, and putting the fear of unions in the population, what chance has a wage earner to get on the employment ladder or build a small business.  The ugly faces confronting and disgusting language thrown at Occupiers is enough to scare most people away. Even those who agree with Occupiers aren't able to muster up the courage to participate.  When people believe the wealthy are wealthy because they earned it, the poor are poor because they deserve it, we have a mighty hill to climb.   




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