Monday, June 8, 2009

I Am Lead To Wonder

If the evangelical wing of the Republican Party were in power today (Imagine that we were now in a Huckabee Administration that had broad Congressional support), would they would launch the effort to repeal, or at least modify, the first Amendment to the Constitution - given the understanding of the Evangelopatriots that, in effect, to be a True American is to be at least Christian, if not Evangelical. To wit:

Amendment I
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
If, as Newt Gingrich says, American citizenship starts with the "creator" (I find it interesting, and perhaps telling, that he didn't just say "God"), or as Huckabee contends, America's very existence is owed directly to divine intervention, it seems such a move would be perfectly reasonable. Yet it's never mentioned. During the Bush administration, people bandied about the idea of amending the constitution simply to effectively prohibit same-sex marriages, presumably on the grounds that it's so morally reprehensible that a central document of the nation must be modified to help stamp it out.

But somehow, the idea that the part of the Constitution that prevents the government from openly preferring a belief system that supporters say is central to the nation's very existence should be changed never comes up. Even from prominent people who preach to Evangelical audiences that their beliefs are objectively right, and that they should be more engaged in politics for the express purpose of codifying their beliefs into United States law.

You could make the point that everyone realizes that it's an effort doomed to failure, but it wouldn't be the most quixotic thing ever attempted in American politics. It seems the very definition of throwing red meat to the base, and if no-one else takes it seriously, there's little change of arousing the opposition. So I wonder what the hang-up is?

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