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June 04, 2011



Good post, as usual. It strikes me that many of my evangelical friends have a real ass for a God. If they don't sing meaningless and repetitious songs telling him how great he is, he gets angry. If they don't ask for what he allegedly already knows they want or need, he won't give it to them. And if they can't get enough people to pray for someone sick, he will refuse to heal them.

Michael Laprarie

I'm just struck by the sheer stupidity of a family portraying themselves as victims of some kind of unimaginable PTSD if they have to listen to an 18 year old girl read a prayer, that will probably last less than 30 seconds.

That's really worth lawyering up, and filing a continuous series of motions and appeals, all the way to a Federal appeals court?

Some people really do have way too much time and/or money on their hands.

Greg Horton

Some people presume too much about what drivel the rest of us ought to have to endure because of the hegemony's persistent belief in mythical creatures. 

Sent from my iPhone

Jay Kelly

You wrote: 'The nationalist impulse seeks power and conformity and is never satisfied, and it's driven by less philanthropic assumptions. Faith will be made to serve nationalism, but the faithful will seldom notice they've exchanged their "faith once delivered" for a syncretism based on propping up a set of assumptions related to maintaining the status quo.'

Thomas Hobbes was one of the most articulate proponents of his time *for* the marriage of church and state. His reason? When you marry church and state, the state benefits by using church to keep the polis in line.

The state gets stability, and the church becomes the state's bitch.

If you have political power, you like that arrangement very much. And if you're the church, you don't notice because the state keeps telling you you're a great lover because you do such a good job of maintaining eye contact from your knees.

Judicial decisions like this don't take away religious rights as much as they reveal the true status of religion vis a vis the state in our country.

Good rule of thumb: When you hear politicians talk about faith, pretend you're hearing a mechanic tell you all the things that need to be fixed on your car. S/he *may* be sincere, but more than likely, s/he's just trying to screw you over.


Back in the day Oregon was represented by Mark Hatfield. He was a believer, but the old fashioned kind that didn't believe he had anything to prove to anybody about his faith.

Anyway he was confronted one fine day by a mother who was indignant that the honorable senator wouldn't get on board with the whole prayer in school thing. He talked to her and finally asked her something like:

Senator: Do you believe it's important for your children to pray?

Mom: Yes of course.

Senator: Do you pray with them before they go to school in the morning?


End of conversation.

Any prayer that everybody can agree on is pretty much meaningless. And yes it is about control and who is "in" and who is "out."


Great post Greg. I can see some Zizek in it (can you tell I'm reading Fitch's book as well?).

Also, why is it that these same people will be the first to argue against a mosque in their neighborhood? Religion in the public square is acceptable, but it has to be MY religion, no one else's.

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