Hartley: How to make sure you’re buying a Christian potato | AspenTimes.com

Hartley: How to make sure you’re buying a Christian potato

I don’t know if you heard, but earlier this week in Idaho, the Kootenai County Republican Central Committee voted on a proposal to have Idaho declared a Christian state. I don’t know what that means in terms of such a thing ever happening, but being that the opening words of the First Amendment are “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,” I don’t think that particular idea’s going to make it very far.

If the committee’s proposal somehow becomes state law, however, I think it will be interesting to see what measures Idaho will be forced to take to show its Christianity.

Some of it, of course, would be no-brainers. I mean, obviously all of Idaho’s Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, atheists and other wackos would have to get the hell out, but that shouldn’t put too big a dent in the population.

Idaho’s got a lot of Mormons, though, and I know they’re technically Christians, but come on — can real Christians honestly be expected to put up with people who believe Jesus went gallivanting about the New World after he died? I say “no.” Sooner or later, those weirdos are going to have to haul their asses back to Utah.

I imagine that in the name of security, Idaho will have to build a fence and set up border crossings to keep out all the undesirables. I wonder how that will affect me if I should want to ski Sun Valley. I was born Presbyterian and baptized as a toddler, but I’ve basically never gone to church since then. Will I be allowed to visit Idaho? I sure hope so. It sounds like such a welcoming, tolerant place.

One of the main reasons behind the committee’s proposal, apparently, is that the Christian faith, in the committee’s opinion, is under “strident attack.” As evidence, backers of the measure cite the absence of Christian traditions and symbols in places such as public schools and government offices. Does that mean that all other religions are under strident attack, as well, given that their traditions and symbols are also absent from public venues?

I can’t help but wonder what the proposal’s backers would think if, say, Jews wanted to put up menorahs outside the Kootenai County Courthouse or force everyone in the county’s public schools to observe Yom Kippur. I’m taking a wild guess here, but I bet they wouldn’t care for it one bit.

Don’t be fooled by the committee’s plaintive cries; Christianity is not under any sort of strident attack in Idaho or anywhere else. What the supporters of such a ridiculous proposal are really upset about is that Christianity is no longer being singled out for special treatment and privileges over all other religions the way it once was. And to that I say, “Boo-freakin’-hoo. Cry me a damn river.” It’s about time all religions got equal footing in this country the way they’re supposed to.

I find it wonderfully ironic that supporters of Christian statehood in Idaho supposedly say the measure echoes the Christian principles of early U.S. presidents such as Thomas Jefferson and James Madison when we have the written, signed, notarized words of those very men saying that they believe in exactly the opposite thing. In fact — and I’m guessing the Kootenai County Republican Central Committee doesn’t realize this — it’s the first thing they added to the Constitution.

I’m not sure what “Christian principles” the committee are referring to, but when it comes to the collected works and thoughts of Madison and Jefferson, I move that we go with the Bill of Rights over some nebulous assumed principles. But that’s just me.

Absurd as the committee’s proposal is, however, it nevertheless troubles me as a symptom of our growing cultural divide in these here United States. I mentioned to a friend the other day that it seems as if we’re all at war with ourselves. There’s Republicans versus Democrats, black versus white, pro-choice versus pro-life, pro-gun versus pro-fewer-killing-sprees, Christians versus everybody else. It never ends.

I don’t know how much of our internal feuding is real and how much of it is just the media playing it up for ratings, but it really bothers me, and it needs to stop. We’ve got enough problems as it is. The last thing we need in this country is a Cold Civil War. So cut the crap, Kootenai County, and feel free to join the rest of us in the 21st century.

Todd Hartley reminds you that freedom fries actually taste better when they come from Zoroastrian soil. To read more or leave a comment, please visit http://zerobudget.net.

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