Following the frenzied week of the elections in the U.S., The Indian Roller caught up with Itinerantl L'l Leprechaun Erin, aka ILLE, who returned to Los Angeles from a whirlwind trip of North Carolina, where the state voted in favour of a Democratic presidential candidate for the first time since 1976.
ILLE was in West Los Angeles to grant the Indian Roller a short interview on the political aftermath of this week's election:
Indian Roller (IR): Were you able to vote in this election?
ILLE: No, Leprechauns and other mythical creatures are barred from the voting process. But, not being able to vote allows me to observe this election as a neutral, non-partisan representative of the American people.
IR: Could you share some of your observations?
ILLE: Well, it's hard to put in words anything that the media hasn't already said. But I should like to add that the election of an African-American is the absolute denouement of the history of civil rights in this country and a direct salute to diversity of the American people...Obama's father is African and his mother, an American...so, he deserves the moniker, African-American.
IR: Let's talk about California...Many political pundits claim that it is the harbinger of controversial issues in U.S. politics? Do you agree?
ILLE: As far as the issues in California go, Prop. 4 and Prop. 8 were the two Bible-thumping issues and it was interesting to note that the same Latino and African-American demographics that voted for Obama might have voted Yes on Prop. 8 to deny the right of marriage to same-sex couples. Prop 4 was an anti-abortion measure couched as a family-friendly proposition with strong Bible-inspired verbiage.
IR: So, are you opposed to Bible-inspired propositions?
ILLE: If you look at the chequered history of religion and affairs of the state in the U.S., you will find that the Bible was used to justify slavery...the Bible was quoted to ban inter-racial marriages until California overturned the ban in 1948...and the Bible was often used to justify subjugation of women and deny them suffrage. During various times, for various causes, the Bible has been used by various religious groups as a Weapon of Mass Discrimination...the Bible is a WMD.
IR: Are you saying that the Bible is being used to deny civil rights to U.S. citizens?
ILLE: It's interesting to note that a large proportion of the African-American community in California voted to create a historic milestone in the struggle for civil rights by electing Obama to the Presidency. The Rev. Martin Luther King lived and died fighting for the rights of every dis-enfranchised American citizen. He fought the religious and social bigotry and the biblical justification of slavery. I'm not certain, then, that I understand why some African-Americans voted to ban same-sex marriage based on their faith in the Bible. A "No" vote on same-sex marriage is an attack against civil rights...there's no denying that.
IR: So what do you recommend?
ILLE: Well I see a two-part, long-term solution to the malaise of the mixing of church and state. First, the Government should withhold the tax-exempt status of all churches that choose to engage in the political affairs of the state. Second, I propose an Education programme to empower people to think for themselves and not be waylaid by wanton interpretations of social laws that are derived from ancient dogmas, ideologies, books, and fairy tales that have little relevance to our modern-day lives. If people could think for themselves and engage in their own spiritual quests, we wouldn't need these religious institutions that thrive by controlling your mind and by telling you where to donate your money... and how to vote. It's because people have allowed themselves to become the sheep and have become addicted to rote passages that give them simple fables of hate and love --
IR: Any final words?
ILLE: I think it was Mark Twain, one of America's foremost writers, who said: "A man is accepted into a church for what he believes and he is turned out for what he knows. "