Yesterday, Circuit Court Judge Ashley McKathan showed up in his south Alabama courtroom wearing a robe with the ten commandments embroidered on it. I’m a little intrigued–where does one get a robe with the ten commandments embroidered on it and is there time to order one for my dad, The Reverend?–and more than a little disgusted.
If we are going to talk in broad, general terms about the separation of church and state, clearly this kind of activity runs afoul of that. I had the unpleasant experience last year of explaining this very concept to my mom, who teaches elementary school, and who was all up in arms that they were not allowed to play Christmas music in the classroom that referenced Jesus. Her fellow teacher was playing the music anyway, and they felt like they were making a great victory for Jesus… I guess.
My mom is a public school teacher, just as Judge McKathan is, well, a judge, and whenever they are doing their jobs–paid with taxpayer dollars, as a public servant–they are not just Mom and Mr. McKathan, they are representatives of the State. When they do something, they are not just making an individual stand for what they perceive as right; they are making a public stand about what the Government perceives as right. If a public school teacher plays “Away in a Manger” at Christmas time or a Judge wears the ten commandments on his robe, they, as representatives of the Government (their employer) are singling out Christianity for special recognition.
And that clearly violates the spirit of the first amendment. Even if Congress hasn’t passed any particular law, the Government–embodied in public school teachers and crazy judges–is acting as if Christianity is the state religion.
Eh, fuck it. You know, maybe strict interpretation is the way to go. As long as Congress hasn’t passed any “law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,” maybe we shouldn’t bother to complain.
Instead, I’m going to insist on my second amendment rights. The second amendment, for those of you who don’t have it memorized, because you aren’t either Ted Nugent or a member of the NRA, says:
“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”
In other words, in case we ever have to rise up to protect our freedoms, we need to have adequate weaponry.
Well, folks, I’ve taken a look around the world and a rifle isn’t going to cut it. Even a Tennessee full of citizens armed with machine guns is no match for most armies. I demand the right to bear nuclear arms. Just one, a small one that will fit next to the washing machine, but one that makes me a real threat to anyone trying to encroach on my rights.