Op-Ed on Tom DeLay, Christian Conservatives and the Separation of Church and State
Okay, people! Huddle up! I don’t know how to say this, but it’s time for us to pack it in. This American experiment involving the separation of church and state is over. The same goes for the separation of powers. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay and his Christian conservative supporters have convinced me: The out-of-control judiciary needs to be reeled in and the American government must be recast to more accurately reflect Christian values.
There’s no question that Tom DeLay is right: The separation of church and state is not mentioned in the Constitution. Aside from the first sentence of the First Amendment, of course, which begins, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion.” But besides that, the idea of keeping religion out of American democracy is never mentioned in the Constitution. On the contrary, the separation of church and state is merely an underlying bedrock principle about which the Founding Fathers wrote at length. It's not as if the Founding Fathers were descended from people who fled persecution at the hands of a religious majority. So there's no point in carrying on this perversion of the founders' intentions any longer. It’s time for the United States of Jesus Christ.
Listen. I know that, in casting my lot with Tom DeLay, I’m aligning myself with a man who is far from perfect. In Washington D.C., a city defined by moral relativism, DeLay has taken quid-pro-quo self-aggrandizement to a new place. And, sure, when he got busted for ethical violations, he did the next-best thing to holding himself accountable: He changed the rules that would have held him accountable. But we’re all sinners, like the Bible tells us, and I for one am confident that DeLay’s transgressions are behind him and he will now fully redeem himself.
And, okay, I freely admit it’s a bit odd that, for someone who models his moral universe on the teachings of Jesus Christ, Tom DeLay really seems to like rich people. It is just imperative that they remain as rich as possible. As for poor people, they’re more likely to pass through the eye of a needle than convince DeLay that the losers in the capitalist game deserve any help. And, sure, his environmental policies are kind of a head-scratcher, from a Christian point of view, seeing as how he wants to do away with the kinds of regulatory agencies, like the EPA, that make sure the rich and powerful don’t get away with dumping their waste where poor people live. It’s even more befuddling to ponder that, in the U.S. of J.C., where the government will intervene in almost every aspect of Americans’ lives, just about the only thing the government won’t do is assist the poor. But, look. No system is perfect, and our new, improved government will be much closer to perfection than this pagan monstrosity we’re saddled with now.
The Christian fundamentalists are right. The judicial branch is completely out of control. Critics might say it’s not activist judges that Christian groups can’t abide but rather judges who make decisions with which they disagree. But those critics are out-of-control, activist critics, and the time will come when they’ll pay for their deeds. In other words:
A) They’ll be removed from their posts as critics or have their funding depleted, leaving them bereft of books, pens and computers.
B) When they die and ascend to heaven, they’ll get bounced at the gates and be cast down into eternal hellfire. or C) Someone might just pick up a .22 and take a shot at ‘em.
What has this conservative-leaning Supreme Court ever done for Christian fundamentalists, other than deliver the presidency to the most ardent fundamentalist ever to sit in the Oval Office?
Listen, the majority of Americans identify themselves as Christians. Therefore, this is a Christian nation, whose laws should reflect Christian beliefs. Tom DeLay and the Christian conservatives have made such a compelling case for stepping into the unknown, for radically transforming the oldest democracy in the world -- not to increase their own power, mind you, but for the benefit of all Americans, except gays -- that my entire Weltanschauung has been overturned. I never thought I’d say this, but America as we know it has got to go. A new era is dawning, and it’s an era of … Wait. Hold on a second. You know what? On second thought, forget that I wrote any of this. I just sobered up.