Not that long ago, I watched a somewhat entertaining movie entitled The Contender. Said movie posits the death of the currently seated Vice President of the United States and proposes a bold replacement: a well-qualified woman who is also an atheist. Said woman is one Laine Hanson, played credibly by Joan Allen. Her character is made purposefully controversial and while I do not agree with all her positions, I find her attitude about the relationship or lack thereof between religion and government and indeed, her view of her own "religion" to be both provocative and worthy of note. That said, I am pleased to quote the closing statement she gave as a part of her testimony to the nominating committee.

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I stand for the separation of Church and State, and the reason that I stand for that is the same reason that I believe our forefathers did. It is not there to protect religion from the grasp of government but to protect our government from the grasp of religious fanaticism. Now, I may be an atheist, but that does not mean I do not go to church. I do go to church. The church I go to is the one that emancipated the slaves, that gave women the right to vote, that gave us every freedom that we hold dear. My church is this very Chapel of Democracy that we sit in together, and I do not need God to tell me what are my moral absolutes. I need my heart, my brain, and this church.

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Tags: Joan Allen, movie, separation of church and state

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Comment by Howard S. Dunn on January 4, 2010 at 5:10pm
I saw this too.

Nevertheless, Jefferson and Madison DID have to employ the concerns of their contemporary Evangelistas to get the First Amendment passed. Yes, they were worried that the government would pick the wrong religion. Lol. One of the very flaws in the 'logic' of faith is the fact that you can't now which is the 'right' religion.

But the point is well taken. I clicked and stopped at a talking head on my TV explaining that the separation was put in place to prevent the wrong religion from being sanctioned. But, of course, this was followed as some weird christo-ecumenical call for unity behind an non-sectarian Christian theocracy because ... wait for it ... 'That's what the Founders intended!'

AAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHH!

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