One of the terrific features of conservatism is its intellectual flexibility. The world may call something ‘truth’ or ‘history’ or ‘steely fact’ but this does not prevent a wingnut from mangling it to his will. In fact the more clever one is, the more driven he will be to turn the situation inside out. To the Values People, only politics is sacred.
These reconstituted arguments usually appear in educational form. Did You Know The KKK Doesn’t Actually Hate Anyone? It’s true. They’re just proud to be white. Cross burning is part of their rich cultural tradition and occasionally it gets done on your lawn, Jack. If this stops you from sticking it to the Nubian princess across town, that’s a civilized bummer.
Ann Coulter loves to play this game. Did You Know Democrats Are America’s Nastiest Racists? It’s true. They marched for civil rights just to make faces at everybody. Republicans, OTOH, will wrap a bro’ up in an ebony soul shake quicker than you can say ‘Rick Santorum.’ Lord only knows why Mitt Romney polled 94% fewer blacks than Barack Obama, plantation master.
Many today, who would quickly proclaim there is an absolute, two-way, impregnable wall between church and state, somehow also assert that for some reason it stops there, and this same impregnable, two-way wall is considered anathema when it comes to other freedoms mentioned in the same amendment. In other words, there is no “separation of speech and state,” no “separation of press and state,” and no “separation of public protests and state.”
You’re saying ‘huh?’ The State can’t tell the press what to do, so this is insane. Did I mention the Ann Coulter? Oh right, of course this is crazy. It gets crazier, man:
Can you imagine someone seriously arguing the government cannot interfere with a free press, while at the same time advocating that neither can the press use its influence to affect matters of state? That would be a violation of the “separation of press and state.”
Oh. I get it. The government should run away from religion but religion should run the government. The restraint should be a one-way deal, like those pig valves in your heart. The government alone deserves the institutional cornholing. We should expect this from the right Rev. Mark H. Creech, preening godbother. Preach, mister:
Nothing in the First Amendment was ever meant to suggest our nation’s Founders were trying to protect the state from the church, the government from the press, etc. The purpose of the first ten amendments to the Constitution was to create a one-way wall to protect the citizenry from the government, not the other way around. They were setting up a barrier to safeguard the public from abuses of power, not to save the state from the church or any other function of the people.
I am plenty sick of this sectarian self-serving. Creech humbly titles his Jeebus dialectic “Freedom from religion leads to no freedom”, and I take that to mean I am something of a human gulag.
The Founding Fathers call bullshit on you, pal. Their hopes for government were that it would recognize and reinforce the freedoms of its citizens. By contrast, religions they held little hope for. That’s why they put church/state separation right in the very first amendment. They knew what they were doing. It doesn’t take much searching the internets to discover that. Thomas Jefferson:
“. . I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their “legislature” should “make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,” thus building a wall of separation between church and State.”
“The Christian god is a three headed monster, cruel, vengeful, and capricious. If one wishes to know more of this raging, three headed beast-like god, one only needs to look at the caliber of people who say they serve him. They are always of two classes: fools and hypocrites.”
Bingo. James Madison:
“. . practical distinction between Religion and Civil Government is essential to the purity of both, and as guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States.”
“What influence, in fact, have ecclesiastical establishments had on society? In some instances they have been seen to erect a spiritual tyranny on the ruins of the civil authority; on many instances they have been seen upholding the thrones of political tyranny; in no instance have they been the guardians of the liberties of the people. Rulers who wish to subvert the public liberty may have found an established clergy convenient auxiliaries. A just government, instituted to secure and perpetuate it, needs them not.”
Needs them not. Meaning you Reverend Creech. And if you want to criticize the government from the pulpit, knock yourself out. Be a man about it, and pay your taxes.