Separation of Church and State (was Re: brain sizes: Einstein's and women's)

Shadow Dancer insomniac at
Fri Jul 19 22:45:44 EST 2002

Here is something for you Bible-thumpers to chew on - and I'm posting the
text just for the likes of Jd, who refuse to lift a finger, and put it on
their mouse to click a link they know will embarrass them in the
end...especially when it does NOT support their "white men are superior to
everyone else" agenda.

The text comes from: for those of you who
aren't afraid to look at the source ;P
Gawd Isn't A Registered Voter
by W. David Jenkins    July 18, 2002

"Fra-yunds, we aw gatha'd hee-yah . . . ta-dayyyy, to celebrate . . . and
condemn! We celebrate the realization and reality. . . that Gawd . . . is an
Amurican! And it is our du-tay. . . to conday-em those evil judges that
would try to take He-im outta our Play-edge! May the good Lawd have MER-see
on the souls . . . of those heathen, liberal judges who would commit . . .
such a travesty! . . . We aw . . . and we shall ALWAYS be . . . One Nay-shun
. . . UNDER GAWD!"

Alright, alright. So I got a little carried away. Maybe it's the influence
of the Reverend Jack Miller of the West Ripley Baptist Church who made
similar statements -- and then offered a prayer to the crowd in West
Virginia on that bright sunny Independence Day. He complained that "we have
ridiculed the absolute truth of Your word in the name of multiculturalism"
and that "we have been forced to honor sexual deviance in the name of
freedom of expression."

Oh, knock it the hell off, Rev. Nobody's forcing you to do anything, and I'm
still trying to figure out how "multiculturalism" ridicules Christian
doctrine. Of course, your preaching of intolerance does go against much of
what I've read in the New Testament. But you did have Little George up there
with you when you said all that drivel and he did have his usual dopey smirk
across his face while he clapped like a circus seal, so I can't blame you
when you said all that crap and actually thought you were right. Right-wing,
maybe, but certainly not right.

Enough has been said about the recent court ruling concerning the pledge.
Most of us know it wasn't a "liberal" judge who questioned "under God" as
being unconstitutional, but a judge appointed by Nixon. And most of us know,
from a purely legal point of view, that that judge was right. Not
right-wing. Just right. And in the grand scheme of things it was no big
deal, but the conservatives just couldn't help themselves.

On the day the decision was handed down, predictably, all the little
right-wing conservative penguins waddled out to the front of the Capitol
steps. They were very careful not to include too many Democrats in their
exercise because all good "patriots" know Dems hate Gawd, capital punishment
for "hostile combatants" and other family values. Then they proceeded to
recite the Pledge-once the cameras were rolling-and made good and darn sure
that everybody heard their defiance of the court. Heck, I wouldn't be
surprised if more than a few "made a mess" in their Fruit of the Looms for
screaming "UNDER GAWD" when they finally got to that part. I mean, these
waddlers were serious. So what if they were wrong? It was their right to put
on a silly and purely flatulent demonstration in defense of Gawd. After that
we were entertained, once again, by commentators who are absolutely sure
that Gawd is not only an American, but He's also a Republican.

I've gone over this subject before and I don't know what it's going to take
to get people to realize that Gawd isn't a registered voter. He/She also
doesn't decide who gets a Grammy or an Emmy or an Oscar and They sure as
hell don't care who wins the Super Bowl or the World Series or the Olympics.
Gawd is not angry with the ACLU, Planned Parenthood or liberals and
conservatives as a whole. Gawd may be disappointed as all get out, but
nobody has the right to say they "own" Gawd in order to perpetuate some
ridiculous ideology. But that doesn't stop the Bushies and the rest of the
right-wing nuts from trying to claim that the only original membership cards
to the "Gawd Club" belong to them.

Then, of course, we were entertained by folks screaming on television about
how this country was founded by Christians and how the "Christian" Founding
Fathers must be rolling over in their graves. One erroneous statement
followed another in defense of Gawd and the Founding Fathers and the Pledge.
Y'know, if we had never taken Gawd and praying out of the classroom, none of
this horror ever would have taken place. Oh, give me a break.

Around the time that the Senate was playing patty-cake with John Ashcroft
during his confirmation hearing, I did a piece called "Christian
Conservatives." I was then, as I am now, fed up with certain conservatives,
who have no idea what Christianity is about, wearing Jesus on their arm. One
of the topics I touched on was how the Founding Fathers were not as gung-ho
over Christianity as some might think. In fact, they were disgusted by the
hypocritical Puritan influence that had taken over the religion. Here's just
a bit of what the "Christian" Founding Fathers and others had to say in
regards to religion.

"The founders of our nation were nearly all Infidels, and that of the
presidents who had thus far been elected [Washington; Adams; Jefferson;
Madison; Monroe; Adams; Jackson] not a one had professed a belief in

"Among all our presidents from Washington downward, not one was a professor
of religion, at least not of more than Unitarianism."

The Reverend Doctor Bird Wilson, an Episcopal minister in Albany, New York,
in a sermon preached in October, 1831, first sentence quoted in John E.
Remsberg, "Six Historic Americans," second sentence quoted in Paul F.
Boller, George Washington & Religion, pp. 14-15

As I understand the Christian religion, it was, and is, a revelation. But
how has it happened that millions of fables, tales, legends, have been
blended with both Jewish and Christian revelation that have made them the
most bloody religion that ever existed?

John Adams, letter to F.A. Van der Kamp, December 27, 1816

God is an essence that we know nothing of. Until this awful blasphemy is got
rid of, there never will be any liberal science in the world.

John Adams, "this awful blasphemy" that he refers to is the myth of the
Incarnation of Christ, from Ira D. Cardiff, What Great Men Think of
Religion, quoted from James A. Haught, ed., 2000 Years of Disbelief

I have found Christian dogma unintelligible. Early in life I absented myself
from Christian assemblies. -- Benjamin Franklin, quoted from Victor J.
Stenger, Has Science Found God? (2001)

When a religion is good, I conceive it will support itself; and when it does
not support itself, and God does not take care to support it so that its
professors are obliged to call for help of the civil power, 'tis a sign, I
apprehend, of its being a bad one.

Benjamin Franklin, letter to Richard Price, October 9, 1780, quoted from
Adrienne Koch, ed., The American Enlightenment: The Shaping of the American
Experiment and a Free Society, New York: George Braziller, 1965, p. 93.

And I have no doubt that every new example will succeed, as every past one
has done, in showing that religion & Govt will both exist in greater purity,
the less they are mixed together.
-- James Madison, letter to Edward Livingston, July 10, 1822, in Saul K.
Padover, ed., The Complete Madison: His Basic Writings (1953), also; from
Jack N. Rakove, ed., James Madison: Writings, (1999), p. 789, quoted from Ed
and Michael Buckner, "Quotations that Support the Separation of State and

The civil government ... functions with complete success ... by the total
separation of the Church from the State. James Madison, 1819, Writings,
8:432, quoted from Gene Garman, "Essays In Addition to America's Real

"The government of the United States is not in any sense founded on the
Christian Religion."
- Article XI of The Treaty of Peace and Friendship, Authored by American
diplomat Joel Barlow in 1796, the following treaty was sent to the floor of
the Senate, June 7, 1797, where it was read aloud in its entirety and
unanimously approved. John Adams, haven (sic) seen the treaty, signed it and
proudly proclaimed it to the Nation.

The list of quotes goes on and on. The Fathers recognized the dangers of
religious fundamentalism becoming involved in the process of governing a
democracy, which is the one fact that gets lost in all this modern
conservative ideology. The Founding Fathers, although they believed in a
"Creator," did not approve of what had become of Christianity even back
then! Obviously, they were on to something because little has changed in
centuries. The fact that they wanted to be sure that government would not
only ever endorse any religion; they also wanted to be sure that no religion
would ever interfere with the workings of government. Their wisdom made
sense then and it sure makes sense now. The rules concerning the separation
of church and state which they set down should still be the rules today.
Yet, in the words of the late John Belushi, "But nooooooooo!"

There is nothing wrong with Christianity. Nor is there anything wrong with
Islam, Judaism, wicca, Buddhism, atheism or anything anybody chooses to
believe or not believe. That is not and should never be the issue. Religion
can be just as much a source for good as it can be for evil and we've all
seen examples of both. On the one hand you have Gandhi, Mother Teresa and
Martin Luther King. On the other hand you have bin Laden, Ashcroft and
Falwell. See, it's not so much that religion is wrong as it is what folks do
in the name of their religion. We see the effects in 9/11. We see the
effects in the Middle East. We see the effects right here when an abortion
clinic gets bombed or when a doctor is assassinated.

Religion can be a positive influence in society when it is left to itself
but it has no business in politics or government on any level. That's what
the Founding Fathers wanted when they stated that there should be a
separation of church and state. And they were right.

Not right-wing. Just right.

More information about the Neur-sci mailing list