This Space for Rent

There must be something in the water in Washington, DC

Why else would previously-sensible Democratic senators get elected, and within a couple of years start giving speeches that include nuggets like this:

Not every mention of God in public is a breach to the wall of separation - context matters. It is doubtful that children reciting the Pledge of Allegiance feel oppressed or brainwashed as a consequence of muttering the phrase “under God.” I didn’t.

So, Mr. Obama, who appears to be a Christian, didn't feel oppressed or brainwashed by having to recite the Christian propaganda that was wedged into the Pledge of Allegiance by the 1950s version of the Moral Majority. Well, that's awfully Christian of him, to think that if he's not offended, why, nobody else will be.

And it's not true. When I was a kid, I was offended by the promiscuous addition of Christian propaganda into the little loyalty oath that the school tried to make us recite every morning, and, as best as I can recall, I never recited the goddamn pledge from the moment that I realized that it contained that bit of propaganda (the whole business of pledging allegiance to a flag was pretty offensive, too, but not as offensive as coerced into a little bit of extra added g-d worship.) But I'm not a Jew or a follower of one of the popular Jewish heresies (Christianity, Islam), and thus in this tolerant country there's no chance I'll ever be elected to any public office more powerful than dogcatcher, so the tiny detail that I did feel oppressed and I did feel brainwashed by "under G-d" just won't matter to the tolerant public officials who give speeches telling me that I should just shut the fuck up and not rattle the doors in their carefully crafted Potemkin villages.

It's particularly rich, too, that self-admitted Christians should get all indignant about attempts to cut back vainglorious use of their G-d's name, given that a certain Jesus of Nazareth pretty explicitly disapproved of that sort of stunt (Matthew 6: «And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men.» And that was polite; he was a little more intemperate in Luke 11.) It might be true that the entire history of the Christian faith is filled to overflowing with examples of hypocrites twisting the faith to support their selfishness, but that's no reason to pander to those hypocrites.