Elliot: War on Christianity


So I see that Christianity is under attack. Who knew?

Well, apparently Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal knows. He was recently in Iowa, railing against the war on Christianity here in the United States (though often we have to wonder about the “United” part).


Weren’t Christians out in force (so to speak) on Easter, pursuing the ancient Christian tradition of coloring eggs to celebrate Jesus’ escaping from the tomb and thumbing his nose at Pontius Pilate’s washing his hands for the first time in a month?

Well, OK, that’s not quite fair, and we strive to be fair in this country (See Ferguson, Missouri, and Staten Island, New York, for pointers). Easter is also about, in the tradition of Jesus, of collecting metric tons of chocolate to feed to the poor so that for one day they, too, can have a dopamine rush.

But apparently, there is a war on religion in this country, and it’s not just Jindal who says so. He should know; he’s the governor of a very colorful state, so colorful that (not to besmirch Jindal in any way) some previous governors of Louisiana seemed to have declared a war on legality. Not to dabble in history or anything.

The people of Indiana and Arkansas seem to think there’s a war on Christianity — or at least their lawmakers do. That’s why they passed laws protecting “religious freedom” last week.

Yes, I know — the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution seems to protect religious freedom, but those are just words on parchment. Old parchment at that. ISIS over in Iraq and Syria can tell you a thing or two about protecting religious freedom with words alone. They can probably tell you a thing or two about protecting freedom in general, though not in a way you might like.

The curious thing about religious-freedom laws is that there are many of them, all over the country, including a federal one, though none seem to embrace discrimination quite like the Indiana and Arkansas laws (which, seemingly, have been rolled back a bit).

As Gail Collins of the New York Times has pointed out, the federal religious-freedom law was passed in 1993 to protect the religious rights of Native Americans in Oregon. OK, fine. The religious rights of said Native Americans involved smoking peyote in rituals.

Wait a minute, you say. Peyote?

Yep. Peyote. I’m not a religious person, but. Maybe I could find some religion.

And I’m reasonably sure that Collins isn’t lying or taking freedom (there’s that word again) with words. I mean, she nailed that Mitt Romney thing with the dog on the roof of the car. Nailed it several times, as I recall. (Was that a religious thing, too? I get confused sometimes.)

Well, in any case, there’s a war on Christianity going on, and we should do something about it. Call the Pentagon? Have Easter every Sunday? Proclaim more religious holidays? (I’ve lived in Germany; Germans seem to have a religious holiday every week or so.)

Maybe we could just pray. So long as that doesn’t mean prey.

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