Yesterday, in the parking lot of a small town grocery store in rural southern America, I spotted a bumper sticker that proclaimed "I am Christian and I vote." This seems like a simple enough statement but I ended up pondering the implications of that sentence. What is the underlying meaning of this proclamation? I really am not sure how to interpret it. Is it an attempt to make other Christians feel compelled to vote? Is it a statement that seeks to make others (ie unbelievers) mindful of the power of established religion in our country? It "comes off" to me as an in your face statement of provocation. Maybe I'm wrong. Or does the owner of the bumper sticker feel the grip of their organized religion is waning and that legislation is the best way to correct the secular direction our country seems to be headed upon?
If I had a bumper sticker on my truck that proclaimed "I am atheist and I vote." what message would that project?
Since the planet 'seems' to still be here, there must be a very power 'few' that hold it together? We may never know who they are....
I don't spend much time trying to figure out the cute catch phrases Xians come up with. Let me know if you ever find one that makes sense.
Statements using this formula imply that they are correcting a common misapprehension of a particular group. Ones that make more sense (i.e. speak to more common misconceptions) would be 'I'm a republican and I support taxing corporations' or 'I'm a democrat and pro-life'. I've never seen either of these, but they are trying to set the bearer apart from the set of assumptions that goes with the labels applied to him or her.
What your example reflects, however, is the Fox News-fueled fears that Christianity is somehow under assault in America. Apparently this person sees the removal of Christian references and traditions from everyday life (prayer in schools, monuments of the ten commandments on courthouse lawns, nativity scenes in front of statehouses etc.) not as a more complete implementation of the separation of Church and State but as a 'weakening of this country's Christian foundations' or some such bullshit. Of course, such secularization has none of the implications that right wingers like to give it; there is certainly no danger of Christianity slackening its stranglehold on our rather puritanical culture anytime soon. This person would probably like to tell you about the hoardes of atheists pushing to make Christianity illegal, or about how Shari'a law will soon be coming to a court jurisdiction near you. All utter nonsense.
"this person sees the removal of Christian references and traditions from everyday life (prayer in schools, monuments of the ten commandments on courthouse lawns, nativity scenes in front of statehouses etc.) not as a more complete implementation of the separation of Church and State but as a 'weakening of this country's Christian foundations' "
They have had it there way for so long that when valid objections to the invisible theocracy that rules Amerika are pointed out they react unreasonably. Often times with the "Love it or Leave it" mantra. Change is a good thing from my perspective.
I agree. This stems from the 'persecuted Christian' mentality. It's some powerful koolaid they serve up at some churches.
ooo Thanks Kairan for bringing that up and ruining the rest of my day. I'm sick of that persecuted Xian BS.
I have seen this 'persecuted Christian' mentality, up close.
Sadly the "persecuted" 'x' groups are also around. Pick your group or ideology, then there could be some not- 'x' that could claim marginalization or 'persecution', many times with some degree of honesty.
It's a little depressing that the Christian right is better at getting their base out to vote than atheist millennial. But this person may very well vote blue and their representative will be more secular (my apologies by the way to conservative atheists, you don't have many options) The problem is that politicians in the US cannot afford to lose the religious vote. I'd wager there are at least a few congressmen who are closeted nonbelievers. But even with them, America's politics are largely dominated by the religious. I don't really feel comfortable in a country where prayer is a viable solution to our problems. There are people who actually have the authority to enact change, but think praying will make our problems go away. That's dangerous
President "W" did a lot of praying in the White House right after 9/11. The power of prayer became self evident in the fiasco called "Let's invade Iraq."
From the looks of things the Xian right is going to try to show us exactly what you're talking about Cato. They've mobilized in Houston Texas to force a city-wide referendum on a city ordinance against discrimination towards LGBTs that passed the city council by 11 to 6. To do this churches violated the IRS rules for 501(c)(3) tax exempt status by using church property, resources, money, and services to organize purely political activities in organizing church members for petition drives at churches, during church services, with sermons encouraging people to sign petitions to have the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO) put to a city-wide referendum.
All that the media is reporting is city attorneys supoenaed sermons to supposedly harass *poor*christian*victims* in violation of the the 1st amendment. Bullshit.
Watch what happens with this.
They are already organizing in San Antonio against their equal rights ordinance. If they succeed in pushing HERO to a referendum they'll do it in every other US city with similar ordinances.
Then... when they run out of all other options in this battle they've already lost, they'll give us a replay of their terrorist side that came out in the 1990s over abortion when they ran out of options on that.
I think the IRS should be up their asses with a magnifying glass, and present them with a nice tax bill next year based on this year's income. Nice fantasy, but nothing will ever threaten their tax exempt status. Just like nothing happened in California to churches who campaigned for Prop 8. There was some BS fine for campaign fund disclosure violations, but nothing about 501(c)3.
My first impression was that the owner of the car loves clichés. (Clichés are an enemy of creative thinkers, after all.) (I just made that up... hope it's not a cliché.)