Monday, June 28, 2010

Is it just vandalism?

The North Carolina Secular Association recently launched a billboard campaign that was designed to announce to the nation that everyone deserves a voice in the democratic process. It quoted the text of the Pledge of Allegiance as it was written in 1892. The billboard read, "One nation indivisible" (a quote as it appeared in the original text).

Like their anti-communist, paranoid predecessors, some people decided to change the text by inserting the words "under God" after the word "nation."

At the very least, this is a criminal act of vandalism, demonstrating that, despite all claims to the contrary, being religious doesn't make you a moral, law abiding citizen. In this case, it has turned someone into a petty thug on a par with a member of a hoodlum street gang.

But there is something more sinister at work. There is an element of fascism here that says, "Ours is the only voice we will allow to be heard!"

With the thousands of religious billboards, signs, churches and images on display locally, it is very tempting to respond in kind. But we are bigger than that. We have to be.

To the vandals, I would say only that you have marvelously demonstrated the true face of religion. With its bloody history of violence, hatred and oppression, you have far better represented the true tolerance of religion than a thousand of our billboards could.

I would also tell everyone to read a bit farther down in the pledge. All we are asking is what is promised in its last line.

Liberty and justice for all.


  1. I thought it was just an invitation to throw rocks through church windows. Did I misunderstand?

  2. Sadly, I suspect that many of those who would deface a billboard like this don't consider us "real Americans" at all (whatever that means).

  3. Violence, hatred, and oppression is the history of humankind. Christianity acknowledges this, and Christians seek the Savior for this very reason.

    Do you really think a billboard will matter 14 trillion years from now? Fuss over whether your name is written in the book of life... even for selfish reasons, do fuss!

    "American" nationality? The empire will fall as did Rome and Britain. But our citizenship is in heaven, with our Lord Jesus Christ, and nothing shall take down our kingdom. Christians who pee on your billboard might just be lacking a little faith.

  4. So, Paul, what you're saying is that I should surrender everything that I accept as true and accept blindly that Christ, among all the other deities who have come and gone in the past, is the one true redeemer simply so I can save my bacon from the fires of Hell. Don't you think that God is smart enough to see through this?

    I have to think that if there is, by some outside chance, a god that will judge me after my death, he would value my honest skepticism far more than my hypocritical, blind willingness to go along with the herd simply to hedge my bets.

    Besides, I still can't understand why all these folks make a fuss about living forever when they can't figure out what to do with themselves on a Saturday afternoon.

    "What do you want to do?"
    "I dunno... what do you want to do?"

    Imagine that multiplied by infinity. Gives me the willies.

  5. Well said, as always Will. The only flaw I see is that you're appealing to one's sense of reason, and clearly reason is not what governs the behavior and choices of certain populations. They fail to see that any organization that demands that one abandon thinking and questioning to be a "good" participating member is a mind-controlling, brain-washing cult.

    Perhaps one day, far in the future, there will exist a society that embraces knowledge, one that never suggests that all dissent must be suppressed for fear it will expose the very level of absurdity of the institution that's primary interest is in perpetuating itself. All the money, all the denial, all the efforts for total mind-control, all to perpetuate this very comforting and fanciful myth.

  6. Thanks, Mrs. CR Jr. but Will didn't write the post. I'm flattered that you think I write as well as he does. He's far better than he thinks he is.

    Will has graciously allowed me to act as a contributor to his blog and I very much appreciate it. I hope that we can work as a team to bring a little clarity to what is definitely a muddied pool.

    I have my own blog, Mindset of the Modern Martian, also hosted on Blogspot. Take a look for it. I hope you'll enjoy it.

  7. Sorry about that Jim! Yes, obviously you are a great writer, as well. I'll check out your blog too. :-)