Saturday, March 05, 2005

So…

So, I put in my obligatory weekly call to my mother, who is doing well. I wonder if I should cut my call frequency back to biweekly or monthly. She doesn’t have much human contact (nor me either, for that matter), but we have had nothing to discuss since, well, ever. She’s currently a lifetime devout non-denominational xtian, meaning she doesn’t go to church, and the bible says whatever backs her opinion of the moment, whatever that may be. Some actual previous opinions: people should love their neighbors, anyone remotely associated with an abortion clinic (e.g. doctors, nurses, their friends and relatives, people who restock the vending machines) should be killed in the name of Jesus, the pope is evil (I’m kind of with her on that one), and Americans really don’t want them gays getting married. Side note – I’ve noticed that when they are referred to as “them gays,” whatever follows usually isn’t complimentary.

So, naturally I cringed when the topic turned to the Supreme Court’s latest challenge of deciding whether or not the ten commandments should be on display outside of our nation’s courthouses. This will be a lengthy and onerous task, requiring much time and debate and takeout Chinese food to finally arrive at the right answer (no). Or maybe they will arrive at the wrong answer (yes). Either way, their work is cut out for them. As always, my mother supports any action which benefits her current stance (Southern baptist). Side note – she also believes everyone should be forced by law to convert to her current religion since she thinks the founding fathers were also Southern baptist. Other side note – she started that belief in my teen years. She didn’t seem so militant when she was a mormon, although she was quite vocal during her atheist years.

So, I defended my position until I grew tired of talking, but as my mother doesn’t do logic or reasoning I decided to rant out my responses to common arguments (hers and others) here. They are, in no particular order:

This country was made for people like me.

I have to take a big, fat issue with that statement. Yes, I acknowledge that all the founding fathers openly claimed to belong to some denomination of xtianity, but so what? They didn’t flee England because they wanted to create a repressive society where religion was mandated and regulated by the government. They left because Great Britain had kidney pie and kippers, the latter of which I’ve heard they sometimes serve for breakfast. Yuck! Also, there was that bit about religious oppression.

The very first freedom listed in the Bill of Rights is freedom of religion, specifically that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…” * I think this country was founded so people could be free to worship however they wanted or not at all.

So, this country was actually made for people like me. Deal with it or start packing.

The laws of our country are based upon the ten commandments.

If you have a passing familiarity with either, you should know that only two of the commandments are consistently represented in our nation’s laws (don’t steal from people, or kill them except in cases of self defense, or defense of others, or in the line of duty, or when they are convicted of certain crimes, or…you get the idea). Adultery is frequently there, but not often enforced, and lying only comes into play in cases dealing with perjury or breach of contract. The other six are non-enforceable morals, and the number one commandment (Thou shalt have no other god before me) can’t be legally enforced due to the first item listed in the first article of the Bill of Rights.

So, other than both being sets of rules, the ten commandments and the nation’s judicial system have very little to do with one another, but I have a solution: courts displaying the ten commandments should only be allowed to prosecute xtians.

What can it hurt?

Not much. Posting scriptures outside of government buildings has all the conversion power of a jesus fish glued to the trunk of a car. I just don’t want my tax dollars wasted on a display of your religion.

Besides, I still say they first need to answer the question “Why is that needed?” Will posting the ten commandments in courtrooms around the country cut crime, or make jury selection less tedious, or judges more sensible and consistent in their decisions? Did putting “In god we trust” on the dollar bill raise the value of a buck? Does having people swear oaths to god on the witness stand prevent them from lying? I think it would encourage me.

So, that’s how I feel. By way of apology to any xtians I may have inadvertently offended, allow me to please encourage you to soak your head in lighter fluid and take up smoking. One final note to all the xtians that say their religion should be endorsed by the government because of majority rule, and that they are also being persecuted – pick one. You can’t be large and in charge and outcast at the same time.

One more final note – the lack of a display of scripture is not an endorsement for atheism. A huge sign stating “One nation under no god whatsoever…” would be a vote for us heathens. If you look around and view everything not bearing the ten commandments as support for godlessness, then you’re much more cynical than me.

So, out

P.S. You can’t spell Grant without rant. Like that means anything.

* "Constitution of the United States," Microsoft® Encarta® Encyclopedia 2000. © 1993-1999 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.

6 comments:

Weary Hag said...

Perfect.

Sask 1 said...

I enjoyed that.Your mother sounds that shes quite some lady.
June

VomitGod said...

Oh, but Grant – without God there can be no law!

Grant said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Grant said...

Good point, VomitGod. Another reason to hate the so-called allmighty. Anarchy rules!

Grant said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.