Friday, December 26, 2008

Dateline Ille (Itinerant L'l Leprechaun Erin):

"Am all outta ammo, Sarge...should I go for the shoe throw?"

An ILLE exclusive:

By declining to uphold the dictates of Prop. 8, The Attorney General of the State of California, Jerry Brown, has taken a bold and laudable move to stop the fundamentalists from treading upon our fundamental rights. With every election in the U.S. it becomes more and more apparent that the religious zealots in this country are breaching the "separation of church and state" doctrine that was guaranteed to the citizens of the U.S. by the Founding Fathers of the Constitution. Fundamentalist churches and other evangelical religious institutions, flush with cash from their tax-exempt status, are now focused on wielding political power and becoming the proxy voices of their parishes. California pastor, Rick Warren, one of the strident voices in support of Prop. 8 (the proposition that opposes civil rights through the banning of same-sex marriages) has enough influence in the political arena to be invited to conduct the invocation ceremony of the 44th President of the U.S. -- Barack Obama.

The rise of religious institutions in the political sphere is an alarming development because it erodes the very bedrock of secularism that the U.S. was founded upon. The Founding Fathers of the U.S. Constitution, such as, Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, were well aware of the pernicious effects of religion in the affairs of the state, having experienced the oppression and hegemony of the Church of England in the late eighteenth century in the 13 colonies. In his New York Times bestseller, The God Delusion, author Richard Dawkins includes a remark from Jefferson that might have reflected his frustration with the rigidity of religious systems -- "Christianity is the most perverted system that ever shone on man" (64). Dawkins appends another revealing quip on anti-clericalism by James Madison, the fourth President of the U.S.: "During almost fifteen centuries has the legal establishment of Christianity been on trial. What has been its fruits? More or less, in all places, pride and indolence in the clergy; ignorance and servility in the laity; in both, superstition, bigotry, and persecution" (64).

And starting with Prop. 8 in 2008, a system which at times has perpetuated superstition, bigotry, and persecution is now running roughshod over the civil rights of honest, law-abiding, tax-paying citizens of the U.S.

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