July 4, 2004
Blasphemy! Republicans are Kicking God Out of Virginia!
by The Angry Liberal
For those of you who read my column on a regular basis, you may recall my use of the term, "Pretend Christian." I don't sling this insult around lightly. A Pretend Christian is a religious nut who purports to believe every single word in the Bible, but ignores entire sections of it. They cluck their tongues at people who refuse to disengage their brains when contemplating God. They love their neighbor, as long as that neighbor isn't gay, an atheist, or a commie. Yet they have no trouble simultaneously supporting and opposing similar positions. They oppose aborting microscopic blobs of human cells from unwilling or unable mothers, but support their states in the murder of fully developed human beings who can't afford a Johnny Cochran defense. They love George W. Bush, who ordered the needless slaughter of around 12,000 innocent Iraqi civilians, lied about the necessity to go to war, the Abu Ghraib prison scandal, WMD, the Iraq-al Qaeda connection . . . Well, you get the idea. This guy has never met a Biblical commandment he didn't break, and the Pretend Christians are lining up to vote for him. Well, my friends, you are about to witness the final unmasking of the hypocrites I call the Pretend Christians.
Come with me, if you will, to the state of Virginia. It seems that State Senator Frederick Quayle recently authored a law that repealed several old "blue laws," which banned Sunday work. But this Republican rocket scientist repealed one law too many. It turns out that one of the repealed laws was itself responsible for repealing a very strict Sabbath law that dates back to the 1600s. After passage by the Republican-controlled state legislature and a signature by Governor Mark Warner (a self-proclaimed Democrat, but how liberal can somebody possibly be who lists his religion above his party affiliation on his web page?), a very surprised God once again had a say in Virginia law.
And what a law it is. It seems that these knuckleheads have unintentionally made it illegal for any employer to force an employee to work on any day that he or she identifies as the Sabbath. In addition, every employee is allowed to take a second day off, either immediately before or after the designated Sabbath day. That's right, America, the state of Virginia inadvertently voted to restore the Fourth Commandment to state law.
So, where is the big celebration by the religious right? After all, adding the Bible to U.S. law has been a long-held goal of the Pat Robertson crowd. Why isn't Pat congratulating the Virginia Legislature for a job well done? Why aren't these people demanding that every state in the nation pass such a law? After all, we're not talking about codifying some obscure proverb here. This isn't just biblical fine print, like the stuff conservatives use to oppose gay marriage. This is the text of the world's most important hunks of pottery. This is number four on God's all time Top Ten list. Despite this, the politicians in Virginia are actually embarrassed about their accidental religious victory. And in the upcoming months, the God-fearing Virginia State Legislature and Governor will scramble to keep their own law from taking effect. They will help challenge God's law in court, claiming that it violates the separation of church and state. (When is the last time you heard a Republican make that argument?) Of course, the law isn't any more of a church/state violation than any of other faith-based laws that we are bombarded with. It doesn't support a particular religion; it allows the citizen choose which day he or she wants to designate as the Sabbath. The real problem for the politicians is not that the good people of Virginia can finally obey God's command to honor the Sabbath. It's that they actually get to choose which days of the week they want to take off from work. Ladies and Gentlemen, the true face of the Conservative Christian is about to come into perfect focus: The only real faith Republicans politicians share is capitalism. They worship the false idol of the Almighty Dollar. Sure, they work in just enough talk about God to get the church-goin' dummies on the right to tag along. But make no mistake: When Christianity comes up against capitalism, capitalism will win out every time. And we can all watch it happen in the Republican state of Virginia over the coming weeks. Godless Virginia businesses have already petitioned for and received a 90-day injunction, keeping the new law from taking effect. And before those 90 days pass, you will likely see a special session of the legislature, which will kick God out of the Virginia law books and invite Big Business back in. Once again, the money-changers will resume their rightful place in the temple.
Just as embarrassing will be the response from the Pretend Christians. Bear in mind that these folks helped elect the large Republican majorities in the Virginia House and Senate. But the same people who were crying on the steps of the Alabama Supreme Court, praying their tiny brains out, and generally acting as if the world was ending, all over the removal of a display of the Ten Commandments, will not utter a single peep over the panicked removal of the actual Fourth Commandment from Virginia state law.
Why aren't the Pretend Christians strapping on explosive belts and crawling on their hands and knees toward Richmond? Beats me. Maybe the "thou"s and "shalt"s are so confusing that they don't realize that the Fourth Commandment isn't just a good idea; it's God's law. Maybe it's that the thought of not being able to swing by Wal-Mart after church for a NASCAR beer cozy scares the bejesus out of them. Maybe it's that they never really had the bejesus in them in the first place. Whatever the reason, religious hypocrisy will shine throughout Virginia as secularism scores a major victory over Christianity with no opposition from the Bible nuts. The same folks who send death threats to Michael Newdow for trying to remove the phrase, "under God" from the Pledge of Allegiance aren't lifting a finger to stop their own state government from destroying the freedom of every Virginian to honor the Sabbath. And I'd probably be more upset about this outrageous codification of secular humanism into Virginia law if I weren't laughing so hard.
I swear, if you put your ear up against those people's heads, you can hear the ocean roar.