That appears to be the motto of Americans United for Separation of Church and State in this electoral season. With large Republican gains in the House and Senate yesterday, it seems we are on the verge of a new Dark Ages, and the only way to avoid that fate is Eternal Vigilance. According to today’s AU press release:
“Voters sent a strong message that they want Congress to focus on fixing the economy,” said the Rev. Barry W. Lynn, Americans United executive director, “but the election results may inflict collateral damage on the Constitution. I think the Religious Right will seize this opportunity to advance its agenda in Congress.”
Lynn said he expects the Religious Right to push for religious school vouchers, publicly funded “faith-based” hiring bias, creationism in the public schools, laws allowing electioneering by churches, “Christian nation” resolutions and other measures that undercut church-state separation.
Lynn noted that likely House Speaker John Boehner and Majority Leader Eric Cantor have long records of working with the Religious Right on a wide variety of social issues.
“Americans did not vote to stoke the fires of the culture war,” said Lynn, “but they may have done so inadvertently.”
I’m surprised that he didn’t mention the plans that are even now being hatched in the Vatican to institutionalize the Inquisition complete with space in the Speaker’s office, the designs Focus on the Family has to have Health and Human Services distribute chastity belts to all high school and college students, and the Family Research Council plot to pass a House rule requiring that all members be either Southern or Independent Baptists. Oh, and he forgot one other thing: the Democrats still control the Senate and the White House. That means that even if the looniest of right-wing theocrats in the House was able to convince his colleagues to commit electoral suicide by mandating that public schools teach six-day creationism or resolving that America is a Christian nation, it seems, well, unlikely that the Democrats in the Senate would go along or that the president would sign such legislation. That being the case, Rev. Lynn can quite confidently go back to finding another fund-raising strategy for AU, secure in the knowledge that The End of the World As We Know It is not around the corner.
Of course, even if it were, would that really be such a bad thing?