Imagine the right wing dream government, where our leaders have nothing to do with anybody who does not accept Jesus as the their savior. That is the recent actions of the mayor of Vero Beach, Fla., writ large.
“I refuse to support any organization that does not believe in Jesus Christ,” said Mayor Craig Fletcher in response to a proposal before the city council to make the week just past, June 16-23, Humanist Recognition Week.
“It’s a proclamation for Humanists. They do not recognize Jesus Christ as their savior,” Fletcher thundered. “I’ll have nothing to do with it. If you want to out vote me, that’s fine. Go ahead, make a motion and get it done.”
Oh boy, a chance to be martyred! Fletcher must have been delirious with joy.
And at the hands of atheists, no less! (there’s a lot of that going around). Speaking of persecution, Sarah Palin is even writing a book from a perspective she knows nothing about, about something that isn’t even happening!
Alas, Fletcher took it all back. Turns out when you lambaste those who do not have Christ that you’re lambasting not only atheists but Jews. Fletcher had taken the Jew out of Judeo-Christian.
As Rabbi Michael Birnholz reminded him: “When the statement of the mayor specifically talks about believing in Jesus Christ, as a faith tradition that doesn’t have Jesus as the messiah, that would not include us in the business of the city, which is very problematic and very distressing.”
Problematic is an understatement.
Yes, the kid gloves were off. America, like heaven, is for Christians only. Don’t listen to the pope. The Church hierarchy insists atheists are going to hell, no matter what the kindly new Pope said in a lamentable excess of love and inclusion.
What? Our elected officials are now subject to the mandate of the Catholic Church? I think we’re seeing now whey so many Americans both in colonial days and before Kennedy feared the prospect of a Catholic president.
Indirect rule by the Catholic Church, anyone?
Clearly it is not just conservative Catholics who have trouble grasping the concept of America as outlined by the god-free United States Constitution.
If not Father Pavone, then Mayor Fletcher, at least, realized his mistake and issued a two-paragraph apology: “It was a horrific statement and on reflection was way out of place for an elected official to take such a stance. I hope everyone will find it in their heart to forgive me.”
It is typical that World Net Daily chose to portray this incident as the mayor apologizing “for [his] pro-Jesus remark.”
That wasn’t pro-Jesus, folks. That was anti-everybody else, as twenty-five faith-based leaders recognized when they met to draft a letter to the city council. Rev. Casey Baggott said, “We’re concerned because we work very hard as a community of faith leaders to be inclusive, to be tolerant of one another, and we are concerned that that meeting may not have demonstrated that.”
Can we have a “Testify!”?
But of course, it is the liberals who are really the judgmental extremists, not those who wish to exclude all non-Christians from the business of government. I mean, what’s extreme about theocracy?
C’mon, who doesn’t want a 24/7 inquisition? It worked so well for Kabul….
Okay, try this: Tony Perkins recently proclaimed that the evil leftist Obama is in collusion with the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) using fundamentalist Christianity’s own weapons against them: intimidation, fear-mongering, and spreading lies.
You can feel Perkins’ outrage, can’t you? How dare they! Those are our weapons!
Perkins warned that Obama is trying to remake America into a socialist state ruled by a totalitarian government bureaucracy. I guess that’s worse somehow than a totalitarian government theocracy.
Nasty old Obama, said Perkins, is trying to “steamroll the American people and implement his radical vision for America.”
It was okay, remember, for George W. Bush to steamroll the American people and implement his radical Christian vision for America. The United States came perilously close to theocracy during Bush’s presidency.
Perhaps Mayor Fletcher lost track of time. Or perhaps he accidentally let the extremist theocracy plans for America out of the bag. You can almost hear the gleeful snickering: “Har! Those silly Jews think they’re going to heaven!”
Perkins claimed that “The majority of Americans do not agree with the President’s leftist agenda” but I don’t know where he’s getting his numbers. Polls show exactly the opposite. More and more people – half or more – now accept and support equal rights for gays and lesbians, for example and folks actually like having the government in its corner when it comes to emergency relief, as that Obamaniac Gov. Chris Christie had the temerity to admit.
No fundie loves the prospect of a safe martyrdom more than cowards like Tony Perkins. It’s real easy to liken yourself to some of the mythical martyrs of old when your chestnuts do not face the prospect of roasting on an open fire. You know your martyrdom will be metaphorical and a product of your own imagination.
The outrage that Americans are actually expecting to be able to enjoy their own beliefs! Perkins was upset that the military can’t bully its servicemen and women into submission on issues of Christ’s lordship over not only the nuclear football but our tanks and planes, or rape its uppity servicewomen into submission in Jesus’ name.
He sure didn’t mention how much of our tax dollars go to shoring up the Church. That would be inconvenient to say the least, so he goes instead after money supposedly spent to legalize same-sex ‘marriage’ (his quotation marks) and using tax dollars to persecute Christians!
Oh dear. Tony really has fallen in love with the myth of a persecuted Christianity: “We must stand boldly, yet in love (?), against hate-filled anti-Christian groups who incite hatred and violence to intimidate us into silence.”
Love? Yes, that’s my question mark. Is he serious? This hate-filled spew followed by a claim to love? Where is the love in saying of those you oppose, “this pernicious evil against the people of faith in America”?
That’s some love, Tony, I gotta say. I strongly suspect that if heaven exists, Tony and Mayor Fletcher and the rest of their kind are in for a whole lake-full of disappointment when they get there – the same disappointment they will get in 2016.
Though I also suspect they will be protected from both traumas by protective, teflon-like layers of cognitive dissonance.
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.