I’m sure I’m going to open myself up to charges of religious bigotry here, but I think this adds up to legitimate cause for concern. It can’t be a coincidence that a state whose governor recently declared war on birth control would have legislators seeking to establish christianity as the state’s official religion.
The resolution would recognize “a Christian god,” and it would not protect minority religions, but “protect the majority’s right to express their religious beliefs.
The resolution also recognizes that, “a greater power exists,” and only Christianity receives what the resolution calls, “justified recognition.”
State representative David Sater of Cassville in southwestern Missouri, sponsored the resolution, but he has refused to talk about it on camera or over the phone.
KMOV also contacted Gov. Matt Blunt’s office to see where he stands on the resolution, but he has yet to respond.
Yeah. I just bet they don’t want to talk about it. One wonders just what they would say and how they would say it. Part of me thinks they’d like to have it both ways, i.e. get enough press to send a clear signal to their base but not enough to alert people who might balk at the idea of “an official state religion.” In a way, I hope this gets more press and that maybe one or two more states follow suit, enough to get a decent amount of press, because it would almost certainly turn a great many Americans —and many of them christians themselves — right off.
Of course, the troublesome question is: what if it passes? Exactly whose version or interpretation of christianity becomes the “official state religion”? What exactly does it mean for a state to officially and legislatively “recognize a christian god”? How does it affect non-christian citizens of the state, who don’t belong to the “official state religion”? For example, can they really expect impartial hearing if they come before the court on matters related to religion or that tend to stir up religious passions? (Like the legal recognition same-sex relationship, rights and protection of same-sex couples, or gay adoptions.)
And before I get any conservatives gleefully reminding me, I know that the first amendment only prohibits the federal government from making a law “respecting an establishment of religion.” Missouri may be well within its constitutional rights on this one, but it still ought worry just about anyone who doesn’t belong to the religious majority in that or any other state.