Coping With Christians

cope: deal effectively or contend with. The New Little Oxford Dictionary

There are Christians who will kill you if you don’t agree with their understanding of the will of god. There is nothing new about this. Other Christians think these Christians are nuts who do not understand the Christian religion. The kill your neighbor Christians are more dangerous than the love your neighbor Christians. There are hundreds of groups, with wildly different beliefs and ends, all calling themselves Christians. The disagreements among these heterogeneous believers over correct interpretations of the supernatural makes coping with them confusing.

In general, Christians share a superstition, believed on faith not evidence (if it could be proved, there would be no need for faith), that human life will continue after death, with rewards from the deity for believers who believe that some twenty centuries ago the son of god (the Christ) came back to life after dying for their sins. The Christ went to heaven to be with god. People who die accepting this get to join him. The bible is the sacred text, the word of god.

A growing number of Christians treasonably want to establish their version of Christianity as the law of the United States, replacing the Constitution and the Bill of Rights that guarantee Americans freedom from having to follow somebody else’s religion. These fanatics think the bible infallibly prohibits abortion, disproves evolution, regulates sexuality, and gives them the authority from god to tell everyone else what they can do, see, read or think.

Government by bible is a scary idea. A literal belief in the bible mandates that people be stoned to death if they don’t follow the religious rules, including rules prohibiting criticizing anything about the religion.
The bible also approves of slavery, and encourages the beating of children and the subjugating of women. It presents a violent, vain, bloodthirsty god who continually changes the rules, punishes people for the sins of their ancestors, and has never heard of computers or democracy. Christians who believe the bible teaches a god of love, mercy and tolerance and who understand that religion can only flourish when there is no official religion are baffled by the fanatics.

They had better be afraid–very afraid–they might be stoned for blasphemy along with those atheists. The coming civil war over religious freedom will make strange bedfellows indeed. The fundangelicals are at one with that Pope, Islamic fanatics, and the teachings of Hitler on prohibiting reproductive freedom. More reasonable Christians may join nonbelievers in defending the wall of separation between church and state that gives democracy its vitality.

Christians whose religious addiction has not become terminal can be shown that democracy and fundamentalist Christianity are incompatible. They must choose, in the coming civil war, if they are going to be patriotic Americans and support the cause of constitutional democracy that gives religious freedom to all, or if they will permit themselves to be controlled by a world view that rejects evolution and progress for the beliefs of prescientific Bronze Age nomadic tribes.

Neurotics build castles in the air–psychotics move in. Even paranoids can have real enemies, and it is not unreasonable to observe that Christians who take the bible as an absolute guide to faith and practice and believe it is god’s will that America be made into their idea of a Christian nation are capable of starting a civil war to further these ends.

They are already organizing a “militia” to defend their beliefs against godless humanism in schools, hospitals, libraries, and government. Believers are taught what firearms and ammunition are best suited for winning America for Christ.

These people are serious and will not stop. Proof of their intent is readily available in their literature and in their ranting on your local fundamentalist radio talk show. Further proof is seen on the national news as religious crazies commit acts of terrorism–bombing clinics, killing doctors, burning books and generally threatening and intimidating anyone who doesn’t consent to being governed by their superstitions. And their leaders urge them on, preaching encouragement to those who know god wants them to kill those who dare follow a different drummer.

Coping with Christians demands different techniques depending on the degree of progression of the individual believer’s addiction.

Coping with the lunatics may be a matter of pure survival and armed resistance if the rule of law fails to contain them. This would be pure civil war, a repeat of the dark histories of religious wars that the United States was established to avoid. Coping with more rational Christians involves understanding that while they do not want to hurt you, they do believe that they are going to heaven and that you are going to hell. This may limit dialogue.

The majority of Christians (you’d better hope) are decent caring folk of the live let live variety. They want what nonbelievers want: peace, happiness, meaningful relationships, expansion of knowledge, freedom from fear and hunger and the right to do their thing while permitting their neighbors to do theirs.

These Christians generally have only a limited knowledge of the bible (the feel good parts) and would be horrified at some of the brutalities it advocates and the absurd contradictions they would have to accept if they were to become true bible believing Christians. These cafeteria Christians take what they like and ignore the rest.

Nor do they fully understand what is at stake when fanatics want our country to have an official religion. These folks have accepted the faith of their fathers without critical inquiry; they see it as the basis of morality, community, and social order. Some spend their lives in a childlike faith (recommended by the Christ) and mythical fantasy world that prevents them from becoming self actualizing adults. This is why some Christians grow old without growing up.

So coping with Christians requires strategies ranging from tolerant acceptance and cooperation to self defense. The human race is constantly evolving and may eventually learn we can get along without a need for belief in the supernatural. But for many people that time is not now and should never come.

Religion is not the answer–it is the problem. Everything considered, we would be better off without it.


Edwin Kagin © 2012

Satan Wants the Ten Commandments Publicly Posted

“It is as I have said: every statute in the Bible and in the law books is an attempt to defeat a law of God–in other words an unalterable and indestructible law of nature. These peoples’s God has shown them by a million acts that he respects none of the Bible’s statutes. He breaks every one of them himself, adultery and all.” Mark Twain, Letters From the Earth.

As everyone knows, the United States of America was perfect until the 1950’s. Things started falling apart in the 1960’s, just after “In God We Trust” was stuck on our money, and “under God” was added to our Pledge of Allegiance.

We had gone through a Revolutionary War, a Civil War, two World Wars, the Great Depression, and various other dramatic, but easily solved, national problems, like slavery and women wanting to vote, without any need for a statement of reliance on a deity being placed on the cash or an unnamed god being added to our secular expression of loyalty to flag and country.

And Satan rejoiced. He saw the insecurity and the fear. He knew that people’s need for public religiosity and for revealed rules meant private personal ethics had been replaced by public show and by dictated declarations of forced faith of the sort condemned in the Sermon on the Mount. The U.S. of A. had fallen into Satan’s hands, and he has been pretty much in control ever since. The worse things have gotten, the more his maniacal merciless minions, wrapped in reeking robes of hypocritical righteousness, have caused the unsuspecting faithful to fall into the waiting clutches of that fallen angel.

Lucifer, that Great Serpent, deceiver of Eve, author of evil, nightmare enemy of all that is right and good, remains tirelessly at work in other ways, deceiving even the faithful, verily as he deceived our first parents. He has, for example, in his attempt to destroy our democratic freedoms and bring about our ruin as a free nation, laid it falsely upon the hearts of some, who are weak of faith and easily misled, that abortion is a sin prohibited by Holy Writ. It is not, of course. Satan knows full well that little souls not yet tempted to sin go straight unto their Heavenly Father, who in his greater wisdom and for his own purpose and pleasure, hath predestined them from all eternity to come early home and be in communion with him forever (it should be here noted that the Roman Catholic Church, a self-styled infallible only true church, had for centuries said that these wee souls went to Limbo–but now they have announced that there is no such place). Satan can’t stand it, for he wants to create chaos and destroy our hard won liberties and take away the personal choices that are only available to free people. He wants these children to be born unto sin, and to commit crimes, and to grow unto profane vice, and to fall from their innocent state of grace, so they can be his, so they can be denied the beatific vision and the heaven of the sinless that was planned for them. Satan has raised up “pro life” a.k.a. “right to life” groups, composed of persons misled and misguided, so innocent souls can be profaned by sin and required, under the very laws of god that are flaunted, to burn in hell for all eternity (for a more complete analysis of this particular line of blasphemy, please consult Kagin’s Column On the Mythology of Abortion, possibly available from this publication, or available for sure at on the Internet, if you can secure the assistance of an eight year old to help you work a computer–a device negligently not mentioned in the bible).

Satan has also successfully inspired support for forbidden-by-god public prayer in public places. This has helped the Prince of Darkness to hasten the establishment of an unholy profane theocracy and to further damage and diminish personal freedoms so that democracy can be more easily eliminated. Misguided demonically influenced school officials and elected law makers have actually wanted people to risk their immortal souls by engaging in public praying–when the son of god has specifically forbidden such activity (Matthew 6: 6, Holy Bible), and said that those who disobeyed would be as imperiled as fools who build their houses upon sand. (See Kagin’s Column On Public Prayer–obtained same way as above). What are children to think or do when they read in their school required bible readings that their school required public prayers are in direct violation of the word of god? Fortunately, this particular slippery slide to perdition has not been implemented in all that many places. In those venues where public prayer is actually regularly and heretically practiced, like in the Congress of the United States, the deleterious consequences are so obvious that reasonable persons cannot dispute the dire truth of the Savior’s warnings.

Then there is the Satanist plot called “creation science.” This movement oxymoronically trys to replace scientific fact and proof with the pre-scientific biblical mythology of origins. If he can get us to accept this stuff and repudiate evidence, Satan will have made much progress in destroying what our society has achieved with science and democracy.

But that ancient terror is even more clever than previously understood. We note with horror that there is emerging a far greater Satanic threat–an attempted direct fatal blow aimed at the very heart of democracy. He wants the gullible faithful, those who should know better but don’t, to make laws requiring that the so called Ten Commandments be posted in public places–places like public schools, courtrooms, and government buildings. Imagine! Satan has gotten public servants to actually give official endorsement to a set of primitive rules written in Hebrew for a Bronze Age community of nomadic Jews. He knows that the fighting and the bloodletting certain to result over the meaning, the enforcement, and even the correct translation, of these Hebrew rules will put democracy on the ropes for sure.

He has laid it upon certain of our elected elect the fanciful fear that without these dictated declarations of forced fealty, the faint of faith must needs wallow in sin. He has persuaded some uncertain souls that we all need certainty and a fixed moral law that should be interpreted for us by those in power over us. And since the rules are unclear and impossible, like not coveting (there goes capitalism, the stock market, achievement awards, financial rewards, aspirations to succeed and acquire–in short, the American Dream that we had until god got put on the mammon), citizens are expected to constantly reaffirm their belief in the deity and his rules. Like quoting the Nicene Creed for example. This is not required if something is clearly so. We do not chant together, “I believe in gravity; I believe if I drop a thing it will fall down; it will not fall up as the unbelievers say.” A ritual for facts is so unnecessary it seems foolish. Religious ritual is so foolish it seems necessary. Try believing in the Holy Trinity without faith. If a thing can be shown to be so, one does not need a religion in order to believe in that thing, and believing in a thing does not make it so.

Now it would indeed be nice if there existed on our earth ten rules, precepts, laws, or anything for that matter, that everyone agreed were absolute rules of law and life that were so clear and so correct in their expression, application, and understanding that all people at all times would unanimously agree those rules should be followed as presented. Then we could post them in public places. And not a person would object, because everyone would agree with them and follow them as a matter of course. Sort of like the rule requiring breathing. Everyone follows it, and no one objects to the requirement that they breathe. Of course, in such circumstances, posting the ten commandments would be quite superfluous. We don’t really need publicly posted signs commanding unto breathing people, “Thou shalt breathe” (some religious types command “Thou shalt breed,” but that’s a different type of thing, and is another generally unnecessary directive).

Most people who think there is nothing wrong with displaying the Big 10 in public forums really don’t know just what they are. So here are the ten commandments–in unnumbered Edwinian paraphrase:

I am the same god who brought you out of bondage in Egypt. There are many other gods, but you are not to prefer any of them over me, for I am a jealous god. You are not to make images of anything, worship any images, nor take my name in vain or I will punish your descendents unto the fourth generation. Because I created everything in six days, and rested on the seventh day, you are not to work on Saturday, nor is anyone in your house to work on Saturday, not even your slaves. If you want to live long in the land I have given you, you must honor your father and mother. You are not to steal, kill, commit adultery, lie about your neighbor, nor covet anything your neighbor owns, like his wife, his livestock, or his slaves.

As a public service, and in the interests of promoting greater biblical literacy, especially among those satanically inspired to, and treasonably intent on, imposing the bible into all aspects of public life, your narrator additionally and thoughtfully now provides our readers with the actual words (King James Version, of course) of the so called Ten Commandments. The sacred text says:

EX 20:1 And God spake all these words, saying, [2] I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. [3] Thou shalt have no other gods before me. [4] Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: [5] Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; [6] And showing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments. [7] Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain. [8] Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. [9] Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: [10] But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: [11] For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.

EX 20:12 Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee. [13] Thou shalt not kill. [14] Thou shalt not commit adultery. [15] Thou shalt not steal. [16] Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour. [17] Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour’s.

That’s them. The rules the pro posters say underpin our civilization and laws. Note there is nothing in them about democracy, due process of law, compassion, or being kind to your children so they just might honor you without a direct order from god.

God seems kinda insecure too. Why need a god command worship if he is so clearly the better god? Why should he care? Does it bother you if an ant doesn’t believe in you?

Despite current claims that they have nothing to do with religion, the first four commandments are religious rules (the secular basis for our culture indeed!), and the remaining six prohibit behavior that most societies address in laws that are usually much clearer about informing citizens of just what is in fact prohibited. Those who say the commandments they want to publicly post are not religious should note that the first four have over twice as many words as the six that follow.

The commandments are subject to all kinds of interpretations and exceptions that can lead, and have led, to unpleasantness and even bloodshed. This is why Satan wants us to do away with the notion of keeping church and state separate. Forcing religion into public life is the very best way to destroy democracy. What priesthood shall prevail?

Who is to say what the law of god means? For example, “Thou shalt not kill” sounds reasonably clear. One might naively think this law of god prohibits killing. Not so. It is okay to kill animals, and okay to kill humans in war, in self defense, and in capital punishment. God endorses these (depending on who you ask), and other killings, but one learns this in Sunday School, not from the simple statement of the commandment itself.

People don’t agree on how, or whether, to follow the ten commandments with anything like the unanimity with which they agree on the not needed law requiring breathing. Roman Catholics, for example, don’t have the second commandment as listed by the Jews and Protestants. That’s the one about not making any graven images or worshipping any images. That’s what it says, and it still says it even if one don’t like it. The Catholics don’t like it, so they leave it out, and get their version of the ten commandments by making two commandments out of the last one. The practice of accepting as holy only those rules of god one likes and ignoring the rest is so common among different religious groups that they may be understood collectively as cafeteria christians. That’s why various christians have public prayer, while others handle snakes, have women preachers, let kids die by withholding medical attention, think god really created the world in six days, believe the earth is flat, and so forth.

The fourth commandment (all references hereinafter are to the Jewish / Protestant Decalogue–that’s the one the public posting promoters are talking about–certainly not the other set of ten commandments in the Old Testament that prohibits, inter alia, the boiling of a kid in its mother’s milk) says to worship on the seventh day of the week, Saturday, as the Jews, Seventh Day Adventists and others do. It doesn’t say to worship on the first day of the week, Sunday–as most Christians do, with no biblical authority whatsoever for so doing.

There is not a single commandment that is not subject to wildly different interpretations. And therein lies the problem. In matters of faith, whose understanding should control? How do we know they are right? Shall we, as in the past, have religious wars to decide?

But these matters are minor. Satan’s true evil genius in selecting this issue to destroy democracy is seen when those who are both Theists and Satanists (if you believe there is a god, you are a Theist; if you believe there is a Satan, you are a Satanist) cannot even agree on which translation of the bible to use, much less on the meaning of the disputed text. Catholics use a different bible than do those Protestants they denounce as heretics. Jews read it in Hebrew, and they read it backwards.

If we really want to destroy American democracy by declaring that the ten commandments are really secular, and that the rules contained therein regarding which god to believe in, and how to worship this god, and when to go to church, and so on, are not religious, then we should take care that we use the right translation of the Bible when posting these non religious principles to use for controlling the lives of others, for those who want them posted in public tend not to read Hebrew, and those who do read Hebrew tend to understand all too well how religious doctrines can be called something else when employed to harm others.

Since it’s translation into English in 1611, the King James Version has been the bible of choice of Protestants. It was the bible brought to our shores by our Puritan forefathers. It is the bible people know and quote. It is the bible that, for well over three hundred years, has been to many the only divinely inspired true translation. It is the bible most quoted when the ten commandments are posted. It is the bible quoted above.

Yet other fundamentalists have recently condemned it, and denounced it as unfit for Christians to read. This is because they have finally discovered that King James I of England, who authorized the translation, was a homosexual–a fact historian have known for all those years the King James Bible has been the inerrant word of God. This fundamentalist attack on the fundamentalist’s bible has been led, say the reports, by the Christian Coalition, the Americans for Truth about Homosexuality, and the Family Research Council (FRC). Gary Bauer, of the FRC, is said (falsely, by the way—the quote was satire—but it does seem the right tune) to have said “Anything that has been commissioned by a homosexual has been tainted in some way.” And Christian Coalition leader, Pat Robertson is quoted as saying, “It’s very important that we stand up to the homosexual wherever and whenever he appears” (for an analysis of homophobic thought, see Kagin’s Column On Homosexuality). Satan must be happy indeed.

How can this possibly be resolved to satisfy everyone? Maybe we should just keep church and state separate and keep our democracy. Maybe we should make public display of our American Bill of Rights. There are ten of them after all, and they were written in English.

Unless, of course, we don’t really believe in them.


Edwin Kagin (c2012)

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Edwin Kagin (c)

Baby Jesus Meets the Three Reindeer Rule

It is not a bit too early to start thinking about what will no doubt again be called the atheists’ “War on Christman.”

The forces of tyranny neither slumber nor sleep, and even now, at this season, are working on imposing their mythology on the conspirators of the irreligious, on those aided by godless activist judges who, the fanatics feel, are intent on forcing upon a free people the radical doctrine of “Separation of State and Church.” They tell us that such judges have ordered that the idols of the local god not be displayed on public property unless the sacred be modulated and debased by myths of the secular.

And thus we arrive at the story of “Baby Jesus Meets the Three Reindeer Rule.”

What is a Baby Jesus? It is a fable. A precious little story set out in the bible about the imaginary son of god whose father god conceived him in the body of an unwed underage teenager, the goddess Virgin Mary. God made the Baby Jesus so he could grow up and be killed as a child sacrifice to his god father for your sins. B.J.’s birthday is celebrated by Christians as “Christ’s Mass,” or Christmas, an odd holiday that is at once both completely Christian and completely secular, and the only religious celebration officially recognized by the U. S. Government as a legal holiday.

Pious Christians think we have always celebrated Christmas. Not so. Those cute Pilgrims little kids color in Sunday School, while their parents are in the sanctuary learning to be more judgmental, banned Christmas. Congress met on December 25th. It was a regular business day. Until Queen Victoria hauled a tree into her palace, Charles Dickens wrote about Scrooge and delicate little Tiny Tim whining “God bless us every one,” Reverent Clement Moore wrote “A Visit From St. Nicholas,” incorrectly called “The Night Before Christmas,” and Frank Church lying to a child in his letter “Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Clause.” Add Thomas Nash’s drawings in “Harper’s Weekly,” and a few more things, and the modern Christmas, made to look ancient, was up and snorting.

Among the new fake ancient symbols of a Christmas heritage that never was is the beloved “creche,” or “manger scene.” This is a manufact of three dimensional living, or fake, figures representing the Baby Jesus in a feed trough, surrounded by his mother the teenage goddess Virgin Mary, his cuckolded wanna be father, Joseph, sheep, shepherds, lambs, sheep crooks in the shape of candy canes, a star, angels, a cow, a jackass, some straw, and three terrorists with camels bearing gifts to the “Christ Child.” Point of grammar. The terrorists are bearing the gifts. The camels are bearing the terrorists. A creationist version of the sacred scene includes a stegosaurus. This godly diorama is often offered on public property in open violation of the First Amendment.

The problems, legal, historical, and theological, with such displays are many and varied, and beyond the ken of many believers. “Traditional” manger scenes are not correct even from the text of the holy mythology. The Second Commandment prohibits the making or worshiping of graven images or likenesses of living things. Roman Catholics, who like to worship graven images, are exempt because they simply delete the Second Commandment, thereby sidestepping that little problem. Others ignore it, as well as the contradictory images presented in the display that impossibly merge the biblical gospels of Luke and Matthew.

In the book of Luke, the pregnant teenager and the cuckold travel from their home in Nazareth, in Galilee, to Bethlehem, in Judah, where the child of the god is born and laid in a food trough, and angles appear to sheep herders who go to the food trough to worship the god child. After this, the “Holy Family” goes back home to Nazareth and we hear nothing more about B.J. for the next twelve years or so.

In the book of Matthew, the teenager and the cuckold and the Baby Jesus live in Bethlehem all along, and the terrorists get to their house when B.J. is no longer a baby but a child about two years old. The terrorists have been following a star that comes to rest above the B.J.’s house, apparently visible to everyone but King Herod who asks the terrorists where the kid is, and when they don’t tell him evil King Herod kills all the two year old little boys in Bethlehem, except B.J., who has fled in the company of the teenager and the cuckold to Egypt until Herod is dead and then they relocate in Nazareth, where we hear nothing more about B.J. for the next twelve years or so. That’s what the bible says. And it doesn’t say there were three terrorists, just that there were terrorists “from the East.”

Moving right along in this educational adventure, a Christmas reindeer is a phantasmagorical volitant ungulate. Sort of a Pegasus with a rack and no wings. Eight of them, excluding the pretender “Rudolph,” pull the flying sleigh of one “Santa,” an anagram for “Satan,” around the world to provide reward and gifts to proper children, and shame and ashes to evil ones, before the dawn of Christmas morn. We should note that according to Rev. Clement Moore, Santa is a smoker. This pagan myth is set out more fully in my monograph “On Christmas, or, No, Virginia, There Is No Santa Clause,” contained in my book “Baubles of Blasphemy,” available at a most reasonable price from American Atheists and

But I digress. It is just plain not lawful for the state to display religious symbols, like a creche, no matter what the fundangelicals think and what they would like to change our history to reflect. But it is lawful to display secular symbols like Santa and reindeer, which have nothing whatsoever to do with the Baby Jesus. So, for a number of years, city officials, desiring to unlawfully promote the Christian religion on public property with public funds, have put a plaster or plastic Baby Jesus and other Christmas religious images on public squares and have gotten sued by humorless outfits like American Atheists.

This occurred in Cincinnati, Ohio. The city put up a display of Baby Jesus and company on Fountain Square in the middle of downtown. Some Jews then put got city permission put up a menorah. The Ku Klux Klan then wanted to put up a KKK cross, got denied the right to do so by the city, sued, and won. They put up a cross. The cross got trashed. There was a lot of ugliness, and so the Free Inquiry Group put up a “Wall of Separation,” with that quote from Thomas Jefferson. To settle the squabble, the constitutional methodology developed that public forums have to either keep it all out or let it all in.

Rather than save much time and money by the most reasonable solution of keeping it all out of the public square, and letting people do whatever they were big enough to do on their own property, most communities decided to waste the little money they had on lawyers to try to continue to promote religion in public with public funds.

There then came to be developed the compromise in the law, created by those activist judges, that has come to be known as “The Three Reindeer Rule.” Basically put, this means that if there are enough secular images of Christmas in public displays at Christmas time, like three plastic reindeer, then you can add the Baby Jesus without doing violence to the Constitution or running afoul of the law. Put another way, Baby Jesus is religious but reindeer are not.

For the intellectually curious or compulsive, the U.S. Supreme Court case that created the rule is Lynch v. Donnelley, 465 U.S. 668 (1984). The legal term for the test, known informally as “the three reindeer rule,” is the “endorsement” test. In a concurring opinion, and as the controlling swing vote, Justice O’Conner stated that, as she saw it, the “central issue” in the Lynch case was whether the city “endorsed Christianity by its display of the creche.” This legal reasoning is in line with the earlier three-pong Lemon test, of Lemon v. Kurtzman, 42 U.S. 602 (1971). Mr. Lemon has spoken to American Atheists. Under the Lemon test, courts should determine “whether the challenged law or conduct has a secular purpose, whether its principal or primary effect is to advance or inhibit religion, and whether it creates an excessive entanglement of government with religion.”

In Lynch, Justice O’Connor found that the creche, set up by the city, was placed among enough other objects that were secular in nature, like a Santa Claus House, reindeer, a Christmas tree, colored lights, etc. to get around the obvious fact that the city was trying to establish a religion. Baby Jesus a secular display indeed! And thus doth the Baby Jesus meet the Three Reindeer Rule. And that, beloved, is how your city government can legally put Christ back into Christmas. After all, the law has to kinda act like it is trying to be fair, doesn’t it?

A real test of whether some city is trying to establish a religion or not, by their public property displays of Baby Jesus and company around the Winter Solstice, would be to see if the city would be willing to put up everything but the Jesus part. Suggest that to your preacher and watch him ring them bells.

If you think this explanation of current controlling law does not make sense, you are of course correct. It does not make sense, any more than the twin rulings of the Supreme Court that you can’t put up the Ten Commandments in public places in Kentucky but you can display them publicly on a monument in Texas make sense. Yes, there are distinctions. But these may well be distinctions without differences.

At least the legal rule is easier to understand than the doctrine of the Trinity.


Edwin Kagin © 2012

Should You Save 147 Frozen Embryos Or One Living Baby?

Rationality is taking some hits. There is actually a movement afoot to pass legislation in lots of states that will declare that a human life starts at conception, not at birth like our stupid ancestors
thought. These folks want to amend state constitutions to fix it so that such a law could not be found to be un-constitutional because it would be right there in their constitutions. Sneaky, huh?

This movement is sponsored by the Roman Catholic Church and the Fundangelicals to whom they have sold their agenda. These religious groups defend their unconstitutional schemes by denouncing the idea of separation of religion and government. What the Church says must of course win. That’s how god wants it.

How shall we fix the birth date, and hence the birthday, of those persons who will be conceived after the amendment is passed? There will be a bunch of them, in that many contraceptives will simultaneously be banned. And how will we correct the birth dates and birthdays of those born before the corrective change got passed? In that the number of days between conception and birth can vary widely, there must be some way we can make things as accurate as they were under the old system of saying a child was born after it was out of the mother’s birth canal, the cord had been cut, and the baby took its first breath. Far too simplistic for the new morality.

Birth certificates and tombstones must all be altered to reflect the new reality. But should nine months worth of additional days of life be added, or should it not more correctly be that the actual number of days to be added are the number of days since the person became a person by becoming a fertilized egg?

To be sure, there may be minor problems. Clever lawyers might argue, if a person is charged with drinking, or for driving a car while a year under the legal age for such, that the defendant is actually nine months older than their stated age as mandated by the new amendment to their state’s constitution. Surly this must be a valid defense for anyone whose live birth birthday is after March 31st under the old system.

How many lecherous dirty old men can escape justice by arguing in court that the girl was actually not seventeen but eighteen, after the days of gestation that preceded her live birth are added to her pre-constitutional amendment birth date to produce her true age?

The same will of course apply to the voting age, the draft age, and lots of other things the religiofanatics have not thought about. Like retirement age, the age for Social Security eligibility, and so forth. And of course application of the death penalty.

Readers are encouraged to suggest their own realizations of other effects the change will have.

Here is a little test to see just how much anyone actually believes this nonsensical idea of the onset of personhood. For the purpose of this exercise, please assume all of the following to be true:
1) You are a visitor in a hospital for some lawful reason;
2) A fire breaks out in the hospital;
3) You have these options, and no others:
a) You can do nothing and leave;
b) You can save 147 frozen human embryos.
c) You can save one living human baby.
Those are the facts for this inquiry into your morality and mental health.

Assuming you do not cowardly flee, which do you save—the 145 embryos or the baby?

Edwin Kagin
© 2012.

Cycle of Spring

Today I walk through autumn leaves
Holding the five year girl child’s hand
Who, without warning, stops and thrusts
Questions at me I once asked
Questions that were satisfied
By maiden aunts and Sunday saints
Whose answers that I soon forgot
They still believe and can recall.

Questions that were asked again
When thoughts ran like young stallions run
Over hurdles that can’t be crossed
And spring back strong like new bent bows
Eager to feel the morning wind
Smooth and stroke their strong hot sides
As they rip holes with their hard hoofs
Into the soft turf of the mind.

But scholars pull the English grass
That plugs the cracks in Roman roads
Pompeii’s relics are admired
By cuff linked men who softly ask
Why such a culture had to fall
Beaks and claws of mocking birds
Can pluck the eyes from a dead king
And so pubescent moderns scorn
Ancestral portraits in the hall
For what good can the dead past bring.

Questions that will still invade
Twilight thoughts before sleep draws
Unconscious mind to other things
Where logic seldom pushes hard
Whisper softer every year
And tinny answers echo down
The catacombs where childhood lies
So soft the sound had grown by now
It might have vanished in a while
But now it screams at me again
In the smiling questions of a child.

Whatever I might tell her now
Will never do when snow is cold
And summer seems too hot to run
When girl skin sags and breasts break down
As years forget the nipple’s thrust
And flesh looks like a bombed out town.

Last winter’s dead
And springtime myths can be retold
The tiny hand tugs at my sleeve
It’s good to know there’s nothing old.

Edwin Kagin (c) 2012

Insane Hussein Obama Wants Your Children to be Born Naked.

America First Widget Company
666 Downhill Trace
New Sperm Bank, China

My dear friends and fellow patriotic saved:

Barack Hussein Obama is an illegal alien who atheists got elected President of our United States.

Hussein is the follower of the false religion of Mohammedism, just like our good Christian President George W. Bush told us. Worse yet, he is also probably an atheist.

B. Hussein was not born in the USA but in some African country or worse. His father was a Negro who, like many men of his kind, wanted a white woman. He got one, copulated with her, and produced B. Hussein in some wild non-American briar patch.

Hussein faked his birth papers to fool people into thinking he is a good and proper American. Well, let me tell you. He ain’t.

He is so bad that he has rigged this year, when he is running to get re-elected, for our American calendar to have one more day than it should. He hopes good Christian people will miss Election Day, but the enemies of God, the Nothing Worshippers, will all be there you can be dog tooten certain.

He wants to sell out our country by forcing all of us to have health insurance. Damn Socialist! Good Americans can pay for their own heart transplants and brain surgery.

And he supports birth control and abortions. Unbelievable. He is even opposed to the rights of the unconceived! Baby killer! His motto is “Wrap that pecker before you deck her.” Wish his daddy had.

BHO thinks illegal aliens are just fine. Well, I reckon so since he are one.

And now he has come out supporting the rights of perverts of the same sex to get married to one another. AIDS is God’s punishment visited upon them. We must not interfere with God’s divine justice by even thinking “rubber.” And we need rubber for other things. Do you think rubber grows on trees?

This foreign born heathen also wants to stop our efforts to get smut out of the Internet and to hamstring our resolve to monitor our citizens to be sure they are not practicing unlawful birth control, or engaging in immoral activities like oral sex while their sins are being protected from official scrutiny by liberal ideas of privacy.

If he keeps this up, all of our children will be born naked.

We want to get government off our backs! And to stop the atheist notion that the government and the laws of God should be separate. Where the hell do they think we got our ideas for good government in the first place?

Why should loyal Americans oppose those things???

As that soon-to-be Saint, Mother Teresa, taught us, suffering is good for us. God wants us to suffer. And God wants us to “subdue the Earth.” Every inch of it. Damn tree huggers. And to pump oil where God put it, “Drill baby, drill.”

Hussein wants to prevent our obedience to God’s will.

President Negro wants to teach the lies of science in schools instead of God’s truths of the Bible. He wants us to think humans came from non-humans.

He wants to kick God out of our schools and out of our Military.

And that is our so-called President.

We need to fix this!

How much more of it can you stand?

He needs to be put out of the White House and to be put out picking cotton.

Americans can’t find jobs, and it is all his fault. He says he wants people to “Buy American.”

Communist bastard.

Well, at least we know what we did was a good American thing.

We moved our business to China.

Yours in Christ,

Adolphus Weltschmerz

America First Widget Company
A division of Widgets International

© 2012 by Edwin Kagin.

Just Say “NO”

“May I have your zip code?”


The adolescent at the checkout counter stopped in mid gum chew. She probably thought I had not heard her or had not understood her.

“May I have your zip code, please.” she said louder.

“No,” I said.

She seemingly had never heard that word used in this context before.

There was a period of silence. Faint stirrings and murmurings arose from the sheep in the line behind me. “He said No” was whispered.

Incredulous at the answer, the female adolescent nearly stopped breathing as she stared at me, her world forever changed.

“We have to have your zip code,” she said.

“No you don’t I said.”

She seemed unable to speak further, so I compassionately explained that neither she nor her employer needed my zip code in order to sell me the widget that had an advertised price on the shelf of $6.66. I had it in hand with me at the counter and, after showing it to her, had tendered a $10.00 bill. This I explained was a completed contract, all of the lawful elements, of offer, acceptance, and consideration having been fulfilled in textbook fashion. The sign on the widget was the offer; my bringing it to the counter was the acceptance; my tender of the $10.00 was the consideration. All that remained was for the adolescent to give me my change, after subtracting the offered price and any applicable sales tax. I could, I told her, then lawfully leave with my widget.

Someone in the line said in a loud stage voice that I was holding up the line.

“No,” I said, “The store is holding up the line by trying to enforce this absurd policy.”

The store manager was called. A similar dialogue followed with him. His show stopper was, “We have to have your zip code to sell you the widget.”

I produced a pad of paper and pencil and asked him his name. “Why do you want that?” he asked.

To put on the lawsuit I will be filing tomorrow morning against you and your company for breach of contract.

They let me leave with the contracted for widget and with my change.

Without obtaining my zip code.

I guess my daddy the preacher was right when he opined that I am just a natural born troublemaker.


Edwin Kagin © 2012.

To Student Worried Because God Wrote That God Has Been Kicked Out Of School

Dear Concerned Student,

Your correspondent is not god. God could not be kicked out of schools or anywhere else. Like an 800 pound gorilla, god can stay anywhere he/she wants.

The real problem is because our nation has put god’s name on the money and in the pledge in violation of the Third Commandment (Second, if you are Roman Catholic). Don’t know what that is? Look it up. And tell us please why you want the Ten Commandments posted everywhere if you don’t know what they are.

Also, maybe because we go to church on the first day of the week instead of on the seventh day of the week as god ordered in the Fourth Commandment (Third, if you are Roman Catholic).

Or, maybe because we make and worship graven images as god condemned in the Second Command (deleted if you are Roman Catholic and like to make and worship graven images).

Or maybe it is because we pray in public after Jesus condemned such practices in Matthew 6: 6.

Jesus warned that anyone who ignored his teachings would be like one who built their house upon the sand.

Or maybe it is because people have been taken in by Satan who wants to make sure every product of conception is born, as unwanted unloved children will grow up to commit crimes and do violent things and thereby help get more people to Satan’s place.

And maybe it is also because we do not want children or anyone else to understand how the world really works and therefore we teach and support myths and ignorant beliefs instead of teaching such things as have been learned and then trying as hard as we can to find out information about things we do not know.

All of this, and more, is set forth in the book, “Baubles of Blasphemy,” by

Edwin Kagin

Pity Little Jack and Jill

Pity little Jack and Jill

And their lives so very tragic

For everything—both good and ill

These two ascribed to magic.

If times were good, if things went bad

If the kids were well or sick

On their knees they fell to pray

And god’s great boots to lick.

For they only lived to seek

Reward on Judgment Day

They thought it was God’s plan you see

That things were all that way.

Obedience was their only goal

Service their only aim

Whatever God might will to be

Their faith remained the same.

They lived in groveling platitudes

In whining faith they died

Not knowing that in living life

They hadn’t even tried

To touch the magic life contains

When minds are free to see

That what there is is all there is

That now is eternity.

Edwin Kagin