After much deliberation, I officially joined Americans United for Separation of Church and State
this year. (In an enlightened attempt to eschew excess verbiage, they often call the organization 'Americans United' or 'AU' for short).
As a theological world leader from the future I must say that I had my qualms about joining such an organization, but after careful consideration I have decided that the separation of church and state is indeed a very important consideration in modern American politics.
My initial qualms about the organization were alleviated after I received my first issue of their awesome magazine, Church & State.
(As much as I enjoy the saucy and provocative fold-out centerfold section, I mostly enjoy this fine periodical for the interesting and thoughtful articles. Really
This is not one of those stuffy magazines that you might find at the dentist's office sandwiched between old issues of Reader's Digest and Sports Illustrated. This magazine can be quite racy! One of the magazines recent articles, "Behind The Green Door: Sex, Sects and the Secrecy On Capitol Hill",
was about the halfway house at at 133 C St. for Republican politicians who are having extramarital affairs. Ooo-La-La!
One might instantly assume that Americans United for Separation of Church and State
is one of those annoying anti-religion "Amazing" Randi/PSICOP organizations, but that is not what they are about at all. They are a nonpartisan organization dedicated to "preserving the constitutional principle of church-state separation as the only way to ensure religious freedom for all Americans," and have been doing so since 1947.
After seeing the harm that has been done to this country by the Bush administration over the last eight years, one would hope that Barack Obama would put an end to the many errors of the last president.
Although we can hope that President Obama will do things like appoint federal judges who support church and state separation and support public policy based on science, he has thus far failed to fulfill some of his campaign promises - including ending government-funded religious discrimination and putting an end to "faith-based" initiatives. "Faith-based" initiatives are merely a euphemism for taxpayer-supported religion. Americans United for Separation of Church and State
is one of the few organizations that will hold the present administration to task on these matters.
A new political era has begun and we can all hope for real change, but we need organizations like Americans United for Separation of Church and State
to lead the way. As Thomas Jefferson said, "I am for freedom of religion, and against all maneuvers to bring about a legal ascendancy of one sect over another."
And it is for these reasons (and the fact that they fed me chocolate cake) that I joined the AU
for the princley sum of $97.52 (I love to contribute in silly amounts so as to confuse the accountants), and I would like you to join as well.
You can give any amount you wish of course, but membership begins at $25 a year, and entitles you to receive 11 issues of their periodical Church & State magazine
which includes the interesting and thoughtful articles, a saucy and provocative fold-out centerfold section, and other information on local and national church-state issues. (I am currently trying to get then to include a crossword puzzle and a secret decoder ring, but I have not heard back from the publisher as of yet.)
Your total annual contribution, which is tax-deductible beyond the $18 annual subscription fee (and the value of any premium gifts received), will provide AU with the critical resources we need to continue the struggle to protect our constitutionally-guaranteed freedom.
By contributing, you will also help support the Americans United for Separation of Church and State Annual Blogger Meet-Up, of which I was honored to be invited to! If you contribute for no other reason, please contribute because it furthers my ability to eat chocolate cake. You can sleep soundly in the knowledge that you are furthering an important part of my dessert-laden lifestyle.
Here are pictures of some of my fellow bloggers that I was lucky enough to meet. Say hello to BAC
who organized this year's awesome Americans United for Separation of Church and State Annual Blogger Meet-Up.
(Last year's pictures are here
.) Seated to her left is FranIAm
of There Will Be Bread
and to her right is Ed Brayton
of Dispatches from the Culture Wars.
Seated from left to right, Sue J
of Nailing Jello to the Wall
and Alicia Morgan Last Left Turn Before Hooterville.
I used to joking call Lisa Golden
[ 1, 2, 3, 4 5, 6, 7
] a schizophrenic for having so many different blogs, but I think that Alicia Morgan's
impressive blog list [ 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8
] has her beat. (And that's not counting Second Life!
of Last Left Turn Before Hooterville
showed me all about Second Life
on her socialist Mac laptop. She is a very accomplished musician and plays music there and has quite a following. It was very interesting! Alicia said that it would not be difficult to make a 3D Dr. Zaius, and I may take her up on her kind offer. I just hope that I don't get sucked into a nightmarish video game world like that guy in Tron!
FranIAm of There Will Be Bread
was teaching me human "gang" signs. I think that this is supposed to mean "look both way when you cross the street."
Rev. Barry Lynn gave a great speech about the importance of staying vigilant regarding the separation of church and state under the current administration, as well as where all of the really important celebrities go to buy second-hand clothes. (A handy fashion tip!)
I think that BAC
did the awesome artwork for this great award.
A wonderful time was had by all! Afterwords, we were served these tiny little dessert cakes that I was forced to eat in great quantity. I would like to personally thank BAC
for stealing the delicious desserts from the other side of the table as well, as I might have otherwise wasted away from malnutrition!
Here is the wonderful room that I stayed in! I would like to give a special thank you to FranIAm, who once again reminded me that the little soaps were not candy.
The Liason Hotel is located right next door to the headquarters of the local sports team. (Football or baseball, I think.) Go, Teamsters!
You can see the capitol of Pelosiland from the hotel!
I walked over in the morning to see the capitol, but I am afraid that I missed the Tea Party
] that happened at the capitol later because I went on an afternoon bus tour.
Inside the Capitol's Visitor Center they had a huge statue of Nancy Pelosi dressed up for Christmas. It was very festive!
They also had a statue of President Obama that depicted him from the old days when he was still the king of the foreign country of Hawaii.
Pelosiland is full of celebrities. In the lobby of the Liason Hotel we ran into Representative Kucinich and his wife! (At least I think it was his wife.) This link
is for Sue J of Nailing Jello to the Wall
because she was gracious enough to pretend to find my story of the Kucinich Zombies interesting.
A quick note about the city: Don't be fooled. The fleet of taxis run by the Yellow Cab Company are in fact orange.
This is the painting on the wall right outside my room. It is a picture of a politician escorting a young lady into the Caucus Room. (A den of inequity, no doubt.)
The television in my hotel was enormous! I watched the documentary film, "Ferris Bueller's Day Off", before I had breakfast with BAC
and I were served brain bread to go with our breakfast. It was doughy and delightful! And not nearly as chewy as real brains. We all had a wonderful time!
We all missed Blue Gal, Distributorcap, Lisa Golden,
who were all unable to make it this year. Also, I was disapointed that Oliver Willis
didn't come. Oh, well. There's always next year!