Wednesday, July 05, 2006
I Wish This Was A Joke
While fully respecting the creation of this statue and finding it quite clever, though kitch, it is my sincere wish that the religious right would fully relaize the implications of the first part of the first amendment of our nation's Constitution.
Amendment I: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
The Declaration of Independence was written to remove the colonials from the tax structure and ecumenism of England. There were those who wanted to be Catholics, Lutherans, Puritains, Quakers, Calvinists, Menonites, etcetera. While I cannot speak for their personal views towards Jews or Muslims, or even an awareness of the Far Eastern religions, I'm willing to wager that having been prohibited for so long to worship as they pleased the authors of the Declaration may have seen some value in allowing citizens of the United States of America to practice religion as they saw fit.
The writing in the First Amendment far outweighs any document that might state "in the year of our lord," the significance of A.D. (now replaced by C.E. in the history books). The use of that phrase moreover reflects the religion of the authors of those documents written rather than the religion of the country, even if they were governmental documents. This is the narrow vision of mankind (a word forged before the women's sufrage movement).
Therefore, it is likely that a document such as the Treaty of Tripoli, written under Washington and signed under Adams in 1797, more appropriately reflects the atmopsphere of the United States, less than twenty years after the Declaration was signed. The treaty is notable for Article 11, which states, ""As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion; as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquillity, of Mussulmen..."
The website hosting this statue declares that Jesus will liberate us from things like disease and poverty. And there is nothing wrong with putting faith in Jesus Christ. My uncle Paul once did it after suffering a multiple fracture of his leg. While his prayers to Jesus may have had some part in allowing the bones to settle in appropriate allignment - an allignment the doctor's thought impossible because the bones were so badly shattered aftger his fall down a trap door, ironically in a church - my uncle Paul was certainly wise enough to allow the doctor's to apply a cast to further the aid of medicine upon his wounded limb and not dumb enough to attempt to limp out of there on his desimated drumstick.
The statue, erected by World Overcomers Ministries is certain to raise some eyebrows over the next few days and weeks. It might even stand as a monument for the 2006 and potentially 2008 elections, raising the constituent cries supporting Brownback and Westmoreland. Until it becomes a relic of arcane American monumentality my overarching hope is that the large majority of the populous recognizes the value and meaning of the first amendment, and that the message of Christ is more important than his statements of diety.
Note: Mussulmen was how they refered to Muslims when the treaty of Tripoli was authored.