The 2010 Midterm elections are a few days away, November 2. Everybody knows what they are about, what the major issues are: abortion (the #1 Republican issue), the federal deficit (and in a broader sense the economy), and, of course, the balance of power in both houses of Congress. This means not only are we voting for what Obama might be able to accomplish in the future, but for what he has already done. We are, in effect, being asked to vote for President again. Because the Republicans have made clear that they will repeal every bit of the Obama administration’s legislation, obstruct further legislation, and appoint committees to investigate Obama and administration officials for any and every reason.
A Republican victory in the 2010 Midterms is designed to bring the United States government to a screeching halt, or to be more accurate, destroy it outright.
We stopped them in 2008. But thanks to the Supreme Court, thanks to the ruinous state our economy as a result of Republican maladministration, they get a second chance to finish the job.
But even this is not the end result. No, the true end result of all this is laying the country low enough to accept the return of the legitimate ruling dynasty, the Republicans, ordained by God to be the rightful rulers of His United States.
Few people probably realize that we are voting on the Constitution, and in particular, the First Amendments rights of freedom of choice in matters of religion.
So don’t panic, but there is a lot at stake here, and you had better recognize exactly what it is you are going to your voting places to vote for. You had better have these issues clear in your mind before you enter your ballot, because in a very real sense, there is no going back.
The Republicans intend to take us to a place from which there is no return.
You see, their fantasy America, the mythic America that was founded as a Christian nation in their re-written text books, is about to come to fruition. They are that close.
Church State separation doesn’t exist in the Republican mindset. There is no place for it in the Constitution or even in discussion of the Constitution. They simply say it isn’t there. Why? Because the words don’t appear there. And if it nowhere says “separation of church and state” then it can’t possibly be there, can it?
But it can. And it is. The First Amendment is very clear: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…”
Then there is the little matter of Article 6, Section 3, which prohibits religious tests for office:
The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.
This is very clear. There can be no mistaking what is meant. Yet the Republicans keep insisting it is a myth. They do not offer any actual evidence for all their claims and what quotes they throw our way are invented quotes supposedly made by Washington. Bruce Wilson, of Talk to Action, points out that the “’George Washington’s Prayer’ even served as the printed invocation prayer for the 2001 National Prayer Breakfast…[which] Historians have known it to be fraudulent for, literally, decades.” This fraudulent prayer is held out as proof of what the Founding Father’s intended. But they like to claim that the phrase “separation of church and state” appears only in a letter to the Baptist Association of Danbury, Connecticut, and is therefore inadmissible.
It is interesting that Washington’s extra-constitutional prayer (which was never invoked by Washington) is evidence of the Founder’s intent to establish a Christian nation (Washington was present at the Constitutional Convention but did not contribute to the debates) while Jefferson’s words (he was not present at the Constitutional Convention but was a close confidante of Madison, who was) are not evidence of the Founder’s intent to establish a secular nation. The First Amendment is in the Bill of Rights, and if it is inaccurate to call Madison the Father of the Constitution, the Bill of Rights was his entirely.
But the Religious Right does not want to talk about Madison, who, significantly, was a Christian who believed in the separation of church and state, and who fought for it tenaciously. And of what Washington actually said? They don’t want to talk about that either.
When in 1789 some New England ministers took up the issue of the lack of mention of “the true only God, and Jesus Christ whom he has sent” in the Constitution, Washington answered, “the path of true piety is so plain as to require but little political direction.” This was the answer of a politician and before the Religious Right can attempt to subvert this genuine quote as well, they will need to be reminded that Washington corresponded with 22 major religious groups and attended various services: Lutheran, Congregational, Dutch Reform, and even the despised Roman Catholic. He said he was tolerant of all religions (echoing Jefferson), including Muslims and Jews.
And Washington never became a member of any church; that is, he never took communion, saying he was “no bigot…to any mode of worship.” He did not, as far as we know, even own a Bible.
This is the man the Religious Right would make their poster boy for Christian theocracy. They would use the main upholder of the Constitution to bring it down.
When Alexander Hamilton was asked why the Constitutional Convention had not recognized God in that document, he is said to have answered glibly, “We forgot.” During the convention, he dismissed Franklin’s suggestion of a daily invocation as “foreign aid” that was unneeded.
The facts are all there and in plain view. That the Republicans continue to express unsupported and unsubstantiated claims and insist that they are right in absence of all proof should send out the requisite warning bells to all voters. Voters, it is proven, do not always carefully study the issues at stake, do not want to be troubled with trying to understand them and their complexities. But this is a very simple one, because we are voting on the Constitution and its foremost principle, that the United States is a nation of true religious liberty, alien to the idea of state-sponsored religion, and to the idea that one denomination’s holy book can be legislated into law for all.
This was one of the things which we threw off when we declared our liberty from Great Britain. It is one of the things our Nation has always stood for, and which has made us strong. A Republican vote is an anti-Constitutional vote, a vote against the very fabric of our Founding document, and I hope people will keep this in mind when they go to the polls on November 2. Because we won’t get a second chance.
Hrafnkell Haraldsson, a social liberal with leanings toward centrist politics has degrees in history and philosophy. His interests include, besides history and philosophy, human rights issues, freedom of choice, religion, and the precarious dichotomy of freedom of speech and intolerance. He brings a slightly different perspective to his writing, being that he is neither a follower of an Abrahamic faith nor an atheist but a polytheist, a modern-day Heathen who follows the customs and traditions of his Norse ancestors. He maintains his own blog, A Heathen’s Day, which deals with Heathen and Pagan matters, and Mos Maiorum Foundation www.mosmaiorum.org, dedicated to ethnic religion. He has also contributed to NewsJunkiePost, GodsOwnParty and Pagan+Politics.