Today In Church v State

So, this caught my eye: three days after a plaque proclaiming “In God We Trust” was placed over the doors to the Anderson County, TN courthouse (not the 10 Commandments? Give them points for creativity), a Native American criminal defendant has filed a motion to have all charges against him dismissed. His grounds? The courthouse is now a “temple of fundamentalist Christianity.”

Well, well, nobody saw that coming! /sarcasm

Here’s the low-down:

The day after Tuesday’s dedication of the placement of the motto over one doorway that featured remarks by Baptist pastors, a criminal defendant filed a motion in Anderson County Criminal Court seeking to have his attempted first-degree murder charge dismissed.

Kenneth Darrin Fisher argues that the dedication ceremony effectively converted the courthouse into a “temple of fundamentalist Christianity.” He contends his constitutional right to freedom of worship has been violated, and the government has endorsed a “fundamentalist view of Christianity.”

Fisher is of Cherokee descent and follows the “Red Road” path of American Indian spirituality, according to the motion.

Shortly before the dedication ceremony, Anderson County Law Director Jay Yeager warned in a memo to commissioners that any dedication event that offered only Christian prayers could “produce unwarranted legal challenges at the expense of our taxpayers.”

Woopsies, someone forgot to be “interfaith”! Looks like it was on purpose, too.

Now, I kind of remember this story from back in the spring, and at the time I found it strange that they chose “In God We Trust” not the 10 Commandments. The 10 Commandments have passed judicial muster, as long as other religious beliefs are allowed, too. I know that sticks in the Fundies’ craw, seeing as how they don’t recognize any other religion — even other Christian religions — as having validity. And then there’s that courthouse down in Florida which had to accept a monument to atheism.

Quelle horreur!

So yes, of course this was a way of getting around having to “share,” and then I remembered this 2011 vote in the House of Representatives reaffirming the national motto and encouraging its public display.

So, y’know, don’t ever say House Republicans haven’t accomplished anything. They got you this neat plaque that says “In God We Trust” over the county courthouse door, y’all! While that might not make up for the gridlock on every other issue of national importance, you can get the warm fuzzies when you go to your bankruptcy hearing. Of course, you could have just pulled a nickel out of your pocket and read the motto there, but maybe you don’t have one of those — nickel, not pocket, I mean.

What’s funny is the “I told you so’s” coming from certain quarters on the commission who had said the In God We Trust thing was just asking for lawsuits they can’t really afford to tackle.

And yes, it seems pretty clear this was all about religion:

Creasey said he backed a compromise to put the national motto over one courthouse doorway and other familiar sayings over the other three entrances.

Iwanski suggested that bid to find a middle ground by placing the state’s motto, “Agriculture and Commerce,” along with “E pluribus unum” (Out of Many, One), and “Liberty and Justice for All” over the other three doorways.

Iwanski’s compromise suggestion was defeated in March in an 8-7 vote. A nine-vote majority was needed for passage.

See, they just really really do not want to share. (Um, Jesus wasn’t into sharing?) I mean, my goodness: what the hell are you people afraid of? That someone will see “Agriculture and Commerce” and decide they don’t need this religion stuff, they’re gonna be pagan farmers or something? So, so stupid.

This is the kind of stuff which is driving people away from fundiegelical religion. These battles have nothing to do with the message of Jesus or Christianity. They have everything to do with certain groups’ deep-seated insecurity and weak faith. If they had any faith at all they wouldn’t be so intimidated by other ideas. But, change is scary. Instead of relying on the faith they profess to have, they try to cling to the past. That, too, is not what Jesus was about. But, whatever.

Anyway, this case might be worth watching. I find it interesting that the guy complaining is of Cherokee heritage, which kind of chucks all of those “this nation was founded on Christian principles” stuff out the window. The Cherokee were here long before the Christians arrived.


Filed under Christian Right, church and state, Tennessee

12 responses to “Today In Church v State

  1. GregH

    Silly Beale! EVERYONE knows the Mormons were here first! Haven’t you seen the “evidence” – pictures of ancient crosses & stuff “found” in Central America in the preface to that Book of Mormon in the doctor’s office?

  2. ThresherK

    I predict the next long-awaited fight between the GOP and their “pet” Libertarians will be about the religious “freedom” of putting IGWT on our fiat money.

    • Most Libertarians are really just garden-variety Republicans, near as I can tell. The few true Libertarians will just tell everyone to use Bitcoin or some such alternative currency. Free hand of the market!

      • ya, they’re TOTALLY not RonPaulBuxxXx!!!…

        BitCoin is the worst of both worlds – no intrinsic value like fiat currency, and a limited monetary pool like the gold standard. just the ticket for libertarian howlers…

  3. Ariando

    Do, or do not. There is no try.
    Yoda (George Lucas)

  4. J R in WV

    Maybe it should read “In Allah we trust”? Or is that redundant…

      • …I believe he’s referring to this

      • democommie

        The Mad Kansan (I’m a ‘Sker’s fan, btw–so I hate you and your kind with an antipathy usually reserved for, well, TRULY EVIL PEPULS(tm)! {;>)) Has it right.

        I will admit that considering the breadth and depth of your interests that you weren’t already aware of that one. Cabbage Patch Kids, for instance, are a product whose intrinsic value has nothing to do with their stratospheric pricing during the cyclical feeding frenzies that they have been the object of for also, too.

      • …Don’t forget Garbage Pail Kids!
        (btw: KornShuckerz suck 😛 😀 )

  5. democommie

    Now, now; my beloved and, like, totally honorable, amateur student athletes from Nebraska’s “second city” (Memorial Stadium on Gameday) are mostly Rhodes Scholars who only took up the game of foo’ball so’s they could decompress from the weighty burden of being 4.0 academicians! And if St. Thomas of Osborne hadn’t give up his position so’s Frankie Solich could have a shot at redemption, he’d prolly STILL be winnin’! Well, that and some guys that could play fucking corner.