It’s not a religion, it’s a personal relationship with Jesus Christ!
Ever heard that line? I did and ended up snorting milk out my nose at the sheer ridiculousness of the notion that Christianity isn’t a religion.
The major reason for this argument is to shimmy Christianity around the establishment clause. Why? Let’s just have a look at North Carolina.
North Carolina legislators tried to introduce a resolution declaring the right to an official state religion. I assume this was part of Obama’s establishment of Sharia Law.
Oh a one off? Well? Tennessee legislators actually withdrew a school voucher bill that would have allowed parents to use tax payer money to private Christian institutions. The reason they withdrew it was not due to it breaching the establishment clause but because the people pushing the bill realised that the voucher could be used to give money to Islamic Schools.
North Carolina’s specific assault on the separation of Religion and State is new because it was one of the biggest attempts so far to change the constitutional landscape and utilise a long term conservative argument that the First Amendment doesn’t apply to individual states. So while the USA may be secular, individual states can fall victim to Obama’s hidden Sharia Agenda.
North Carolina’s “Defence of Religion Act of 2013″ is a response to the dreaded ACLU. Rowan County was charged with violating the First Amendment by opening the majority of it’s meetings with Christian Prayers. This bill would have defended against that suit and set a precedence for preventing the state from establishing such a religion. In specific it would have asserted that the federal courts had no rights to tell states what is and what is not constitutional.
This is a major item on a fair few conservatives and “Tea Partiers” agenda. A lot of evangelical fundies have wet dreams about such a law. But the landmark ruling is clear. In 1947 the Supreme Court declared that the Establishment Clause applies to states all well.
There are sufficient religious, legal and conservative talking heads who share such a view. And a sizeable proportion of the population (1/3 Americans) would LIKE (or not mind) a Christian State Religion. There are a lot of people who like the idea of creating theocracies that use taxpayer money and public employees to flog a particular religion and everything that it entails from religious hiring, views on science, GLBT and women’s health.
Tennessee though? State Sen. Jim Tracy came out with an explicit statement that the issue of tax payer money going to Muslim schools is one that needs addressing and he didn’t know whether he could amend the bill in such a way to “fix” the issue. Which is daft since his choices are to either kill the bill or allow Muslim schools get taxpayer money.
To say that there isn’t a role for atheist activism in the USA is daft since if anything the attacks on a secular society have gotten bigger and more sophisticated. Where religious rules are applied via stealth legislation.