The religious zealots are at it once again. They are a very loud minority and are quickly becoming odious to many here. They have a peculiar theology in service of which they wish to claim everything in the name of their peculiar and narrow bibilical idolatry, currently dubbed Dominionism. (The link is to Wickipedia but the article is well cited and more information can be found from those cites). Sociologist Sara Diamond writes that the Dominionists in essence believe that "Christians alone are bibilically mandated to occupy all secular institutions until [their messiah] returns."
Thus the land of the free would become a land of Christian masters and the rest of us would be dhimmis.
Thus on Saturday afternoon we were treated to a half-an-hour of Dominionist propaganda from the
"This meant that congress would not impose any Christian denomination as a state religion, such as Baptist, Presbyterian, etc. And that everyone would have the freedom to worship God and Jesus as they saw fit. It was not intended to include religions with other gods. Almost everyone of the founding fathers had a personal relationship through faith in Christ with God. We too have the freedom to worship the God of the Bible in our own way, but no member of that first congress would have allowed for the worship of any other God than the God of the Bible. To them that would have invited failure."
Essentially, this person (who shall remain nameless) is saying that the first amendment does not protect the first amendment rights of non- Christians, and was written only to prevent religious warfare among the Christian sects. And it appears that they need that prevention, although that is NOT what the First Amendment says in plain English. Rather it says:
"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."
Today, as the Continental Congress was presented with a Compact to work on, the zealots made a motion to replace the reference to "the Creator" (language from the Declaration of Independence) with what they called "more specific language." They once more sought to divide the delegations and dominate the group with their restrictive belief system.
I have been sitting in silence all week. There was so much religious yelling and arm-waving at the Saturday session that I hesitated to speak. And felt like a coward at that. So today I rose to speak my mind.
These late nights and early mornings, these five days without once seeing the sunrise or sunset, had taken their toll, and I was not eloquent.
I began by quoting Danny Perl, z"l: "I am a Jew and the son of a Jew." To the everlasting shame of the Continental Congress, when I pointed out that Jews do not use the Eternal Name, intending to continue that religion is a private matter, I was subjected to catcalls.
In shutting them down, I lost my train of thought and merely said that if the restrictive language was used, I would be unable to sign the document that I and others had worked so hard to produce thus far. And that not being able to sign would break my heart. And then I said that I have had enough of their religious bully pulpit, thanked the President of Continental Congress, yielded the floor and left the room.
I was tired, tired, tired. And thus I was not eloquent.
And you know how you always think of the right words later?
Here, if I had the chance at that mike again is what I would say:
"I am a Jew and the son of a Jew." These are the words of Danny Perl, z"l, uttered just before he was ritually slaughtered by Islamic religious zealots in 2002. Danny is one of millions of Jews who have died al-kiddush ha-Shem--for the sanctification of the Name at the hands of religious bigots who desire to claim the Eternal for themselves.
In the United States, our government is charged with protecting the religious Liberty of all Americans. The United States is not a Christian country. There is, thank Providence, no established religion in the United States. On these shores all of us have, by right, freedom of conscience, and may choose to express any religion or none at all.
I say to the small minority of the delegates who have been mounting the evangelical bully pulpit that you are unfriendly to the cause of Liberty in this respect. Your god is too small. And in insisting that all of us here and in our respective States bow to your narrow views, you are paving the way for tyranny. There is no such thing as having a little bit of freedom. One is either completely free or one is not free at all.
I cannot take a document back to New Mexico and ask friends and neighbors to sign it, when it excludes those who do not subscribe to these narrow views. If this Body wants to gain the support of 8 to 10 million people, then we must be able to appeal to Americans of all religious persuasions and walks of life.
Further I cannot sign any document that contains such restrictive religious language. If this motion carries, I will not sign. And that would break my heart.
I do not want to die al-kiddush ha-Shem at the hands of any religious zealots. Nor will I remain silent any more to the thousands of little martyrdoms inflicted by Christian religious zealots. You see, I, too, have the freedom of expression granted to ALL by nature and nature's G-d. Thus I say: "I am a Jew and a daughter of Israel."
There. I said it here even if I could not say it there.