Wednesday, January 19, 2005

One-post Wednesday (Update and Rant)

As opposed to the five posts yesterday. (Did you read my movie review? mm-hmm.) So let's make this one count.

Tomorrow, expect Thursday Fiction. Chapter Three of the blog-novel. Louis reads the letter. What does it say? (Damned if I know.) How will the Taylor children react? And what's under the black velvet cover in Papa Taylor's library? Hmmmm. Lots of questions. Intrigue and mystery abounds. Or not.

Other less-notable events tomorrow include President Bush's inauguration. I'll be listening via my little office radio, as I'm sure someone will be broadcasting the festivities. (Yeah, yeah, you're upset, you think it's rigged, you want a recount, the country's going to hell. I know, I know.)

But today, I wanted to mini-rant for a bit.


The Secret Service has included large crosses on the list of banned items at the Inauguration. The Secret Service has also banned "coffins and papier-mache puppets" for the same reason: too much of a risk of concealed weapons. This, of course, has sent reactionary Christian groups into a frenzy, decrying this decision (and the singling out of the Christian icon) as a direct attack upon their freedom of religious expression.

Some of you might wonder where I stand on this issue. This may shock some of you, but hopefully not those who know me well:

Dave rules in favor of... the Secret Service.

I mean, come on, folks. Think reasonably. Allowing people to carry around large objects made of wood/plastic/metal opens up the dangerous possibility that one of these may be hollowed out and filled with C4 or something. An extremist (of any stripe) can take one of these hollowed out symbols (or, as I've decided to call them, "chocolate bunnies"), detonate it, and the vocal Christian far-right will be blamed. Radical right-wingers (and eventually the rest of us) will be forever associated with exploding "chocolate bunnies," as Islamofascists (and eventually all Muslims--at least in the eyes of some) are associated with... well, crashing planes and car-bombs. Something like this would do more harm to the cause of Christ than doing nothing at all. (And I'm not even talking about what these types of protesters are doing to that cause themselves.)

The Secret Service has reaffirmed that people may (of course) wear crosses, hold rosaries, and have cross images on banners and signs. But the groups protesting aren't talking about small displays.

These days, the populace should try respond to the added security measures taken by the government, especially during high-profile events, with an added measure of patience. Too bad that overly sensitive religious groups such as this one seem "hell-bent" (pardon the pun) on trying to use it as some sort of attention-grab. I never thought I'd agree with the AUSCS on anything, but I have to say that I, too, smell a publicity stunt.

But I think this is symptomatic of a larger issue.

What is becoming more and more prevalent in certain segments of the American church (and I will admit, I've been guilty of this, too) is the kind of hypersensitivity that we've sneeringly painted "the left" as having.

Take, for example, this comment (from WorldNetDaily, so, a grain of salt added) from Rev. Mahoney (of the "Christian Defense Coalition"):
"Simply put, it is religious bigotry and censorship," he said. "It is even more troubling when one realizes that it is only Christian symbols that have been
excluded from the inauguration parade."

Okay. So let's break this down. Religious bigotry at an event where Christian ministers will be offering prayers and where the President will place his hand on the Bible to swear his oath. Censorship of Christian symbols, when the Secret Service has already said that in the proper physical format these symbols are welcomed.

Rev. Mahoney, take a seat. Your bombast is giving me a headache.

The fact that crosses were mentioned in the memo, along with a list of other bulky items potentially brought to a demonstration, only proves that Christian expression is not under attack, because the assumption of potential crosses means it's happened many times before. Right? See that, Rev? Religious expression lives!

NewsMax (add two grains of salt, please) is now reporting that the Secret Service has apologized for any unintended offense, but will not lift the ban.

Unfazed, the Christian Defense Coalition is (according to some reports) planning on bringing crosses anyway, and fully intends on filing a speech-infringement lawsuit if they are confiscated.

Way to go, Rev. Break the law and then sue when you're punished. Sounds like the tactics you've accused those crazy Leftists of doing.

Sidenote: Is anyone else a bit puzzled by the name "Christian Defense Coalition"? I mean, Christianity survived for two thousand years, despite oppression and countless martyrdoms under Roman rule, watering-down and irrelevance under Roman acceptance, holy wars both started and received, a Reformation that split the global Church, and the splintering off of countless denominations, groups, and fickle flavors--yet now, we need a "Defense Coalition" in America because they won't let us lug around twelve-foot crosses?

Whew. I bet God's relieved to have you guys around. You know, to watch His back.

In case there's anything He can't, you know, handle Himself.


So there it is. Reactionary Christians who live by the old verse: "They will know you are My disciples by your picket signs and lawsuits." Sweet.


Anyways, have yourselves a merry little Wednesday.

And watch out for chocolate bunnies.


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