And so Republicans revert to the only tactic they have left: fear. The fight down in Alabama has shown that they will do whatever they have to in order to prevent Democrats from claiming a piece of the religious mantle, even if it means taking what could be portrayed as the “anti-religion” stance themselves. On the same day that Alabama Republicans launched their filibuster of the Bible literacy bill, state GOP chairwoman Twinkle Cavanaugh published an op-ed that charged the Bible curriculum was written by “ultra-liberal groups like the American Civil Liberties Union, the Council for Islamic Education, and the People for the American Way.” (It was not.) Randy Brinson chuckled as he reported this to me, saying, “This is smokin’ them out. Now we see what they really care about. It’s not religion; they care about power.” He may have the last laugh. According to convoluted state law, Democrats can revive the Bible literacy bill after the Alabama legislature approves all of its budget bills this spring—and they have the votes to pass it.
I happened upon this post at Majikthise, Sunday Sermonette: Religious freedom
Elsewhere in the freethinking blogosphere, Revere discusses another sad case of religious discrimination, this time against a deceased decorated U.S. veteran who was also a Wiccan:
Stewart died when his helicopter was shot down in Afghanistan. His appointed place on the Northern Nevada Veterans Memorial cemetery remains blank because the Department of Veteran’s Affairs won’t let Stewart’s widow include a pentangle, the symbol of Stewart’s Wiccan creed.
The Department of Veterans Affairs does not authorize pagan symbols in its cemetaries. Their stance is at odds with that of the military itself where Wiccans and other pagans serve openly.
Both of these stories reveal much about how mature we are as a nation about religion. There seems to be some subtle and some not too subtle boundaries that one cannot cross. The people setting those boundaries are not the ACLU or the “secular humanists”, but people that care more about dogma then spirituality, that care too much about enforcing a hurtful social agenda, and as Brinson said, more about power then religion. A few years back Jerry Falwell said that he’d like to see the history of religion in America taught in school. Then the People for the American Way, a progressive group, said that was fine it would be something they could work on in a bipartisan way. Jerry backed off. He backed off because you’d have to teach the good and the bad; people of faith in America have feed the hungary and argued for the merits of slavery, the faithful have joined together to help teach the illiterate to read and they’ve burned “witches” at the stake. Jerry and his like minded followers want to teach a faire tale, not history. The reality of history is just too complicated for some.