Minister of Science and Chief Protector of the Faith

Monday, November 09, 2009

The Americans United for Separation of Church and State Annual Blogger Meet-Up

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 of Yikes! 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, Heliotrope77 of No Blood For Hubris is all but completely obscuring the head of Lambert of Corrente, then Vastleft of Corrente, Alicia Morgan of Last Left Turn Before Hooterville, Gen. JC Christian of Jesus' General, and Farnsworth68 of One Pissed Off Veteran. (I am afraid that I didn't get pictures of everybody.)

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!)

Alicia Morgan 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."

Sue J of Nailing Jello to the Wall show the gang sign for how many pieces of chocolate cake I am supposed to get.

This is a picture of Farnsworth68 of One Pissed Off Veteran and Gen. JC Christian of Jesus' General.

This is the only picture that I have of myself at the event, seated next to the awesome Sue J of Nailing Jello to the Wall.

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 of Yikes! 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 of Yikes! for stealing the delicious desserts from the other side of the table as well, as I might have otherwise wasted away from malnutrition!

This year we stayed at the Liason Hotel...Ooo-La-La!

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 [ 2 ] 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 of Yikes!

BAC of Yikes! 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, and Tengrain 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!

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At Mon Nov 09, 11:29:00 AM, Blogger Übermilf said...


I hate joining things, but I like parties.

I want to meet people and eat desserts and brain bread, too!


At Mon Nov 09, 11:33:00 AM, Blogger Sue J said...

It was so wonderful to see you again this year, Dr Zaius! You have done such a wonderful summary of the event, I am just going to link here. (!)

And I promise I'm going to finish reading about the Kucinich zombies. As soon as I get a chance. Really.

At Mon Nov 09, 01:38:00 PM, Blogger sunshine said...

I think that would be SO cool to actually go and spend some time with other bloggers! I've never met anyone off here. :) That's neat that you are REALLY friends with some of us.

Hmmm... I clicked on "Sex sects and the Secrecy on Capitol Hill". Although there was no descriptive porn as I was hoping, I did see the word "hobnob". It will have to do I suppose...

Baby Dr.Zed in the cart is sooo cute!

Nice sweater! That is my favourite shade of blue. :)

Those cakes were very small! I can't believe they expected a grown Ape such as yourself to somehow fill yourself up on child size cake portions! Sheesh!

Yes, I do think you should move to Canada. No need to sleep on the couch, I have an extra bed. :) AND I know how to make "Brain Bread"!!!


At Mon Nov 09, 04:37:00 PM, Blogger Tengrain said...

Dr. Z -

Thanks for the recap, it was just like being there again (except without the sugar buzz).

Next year, my good ape, next year!



At Mon Nov 09, 04:52:00 PM, Blogger CDP said...

I wish I'd had time to stop in and meet you! I got to have lunch with my girl Fran, and I dropped her off at the hotel, too, but I had to get home so my husband could get to work. Next year, maybe.

At Mon Nov 09, 07:55:00 PM, Blogger Teresita said...

Doc Z, it's interesting that you would come down for the separation of Church and State (not a bad cause mind you), because in the films you condemn Cornelius' work as heresy and threaten criminal action! Imagine if you went to Xena's blog and she started talking about what a great guy Ghandi was.

At Mon Nov 09, 08:34:00 PM, Blogger Fran said...

Oh now that was fun. And you are so onto what I was doing with that whole "gang sign" thing!!!

At Tue Nov 10, 03:18:00 PM, Blogger Seeing Eye Chick said...

I loved the tribal statue of our current president as the King of Hawaii. Very cool. It looks like you had a great time. Wish I could have been there.

At Tue Nov 10, 03:57:00 PM, Blogger BAC said...

Dr. Zaius, thank you so much for being here. You really made my weekend special!! xoxo


At Tue Nov 10, 03:58:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"...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."

I am confused. When did Obama plan to end Faith Based initiatives? Were we watching the same election? That was one of the things I remember hating about his campaign very early on, despite being a rabid supporter of his.

At Tue Nov 10, 10:06:00 PM, Blogger Gen. JC Christian, Patriot said...

It was great seeing you all! Can I steal your pic of me?

At Tue Nov 10, 10:21:00 PM, Blogger susan said...

That was a delightful recap of the whole event and I can't think of a better group to hang out with in Washing-tossing-tonia. By this time next year I expect to be on the east coast again (albeit a few miles on the safe side of the border) but if they let me back into the country I may just be able to afford a bus ticket and a hotel room. Somebody will have to front me the price of the brain bread though.

At Thu Nov 12, 01:28:00 AM, Blogger Dr. Zaius said...

Übermilf: I would love to eat desserts and brain bread with you! Maybe next year! :o)

Sue J: It was great to see you as well! :o)

Sunshine: The cakes were indeed very small! I was forced to eat them in great quantities to simply stave off becoming completely famished. Luckily, BAC stole the little cakes from the people at the other end of the table as well! She was indeed a godsend. ;o)

You know how to make Brain Bread? I shall consider moving to Canada at once! :o)

Tengrain: You had better come next year! By the way, Tengrain, if you haven't figured it out already - the whole story about seeing Dennis Kucinich was a fib to make you jealous. ;o)

CDP: That would have been great to have met you! We could have reminisced about the great Necco Candy Rebellion! ;o)

Teresita: The separation of Church and State is necessary for humans because they don't understand the complexity of the true religion as handed down by the Great Lawgiver. ;o)

Fran: I knew that I understood your whole socialist "gang" signs lingo! ;o)

Seeing Eye Chick: There is no reason to worry about President Obama. As King of Hawaii, Obama brought American tourism to the islands. Se how well that worked out! Maybe you can come next year! ;o)

BAC: It was great to see you again, BAC! I especially like the little desserts and the brain bread as well. You saved the day when you stole the little cakes from the people at the other end of the table! ;o)

parrotlover77: The point that Rev. Barry Lynn was making was the importance of staying vigilant regarding the separation of church and state under the current administration, "...including ending government-funded religious discrimination and putting an end to 'faith-based' initiatives." Not that Obama had ever promised anything different. ;o)

Gen. JC Christian, Patriot: But of course, General! It was great to see you at this awesome Islamo-fascist, anti-Christian event! ;o)

Susan: You are moving to Canada? Jeepers! That's where Laura lives! I am sure that you would be welcome next year. Brain Bread all around! ;o)

At Thu Nov 12, 10:31:00 AM, Blogger Randal Graves said...

I always knew Fran was a closet devil worshiper.

At Thu Nov 12, 11:38:00 AM, Blogger Alicia Morgan said...

My good Doctor, it was wonderful to get to see you again! Can't wait to see you on Second Life, and next year we have to make sure that our missing friends join us for this most fabulous of blogger meet-ups.

I have found (in my own experience, anyway - YMMV) that the blog friends I've met in person are just as likable and interesting (if not more so!) as they are on line - I guess personalities do tend to translate fairly accurately if one writes enough.

At Thu Nov 12, 05:02:00 PM, Blogger Farnsworth68 said...

Doctor Z -- terrific seeing you (and everyone else) again this year. Keep up the good work and I hope to see you again next year.
And Alicia: You go, girlfriend!

At Thu Nov 12, 06:09:00 PM, Blogger Batocchio said...


At Mon Nov 16, 10:12:00 PM, Blogger Distributorcap said...

awww - next year in Pelosiland

At Mon Jan 04, 08:56:00 PM, Blogger Cheyanne (Shy Ann) said...

I feel a little awkward commenting here 2 months after the event, but I enjoy seeing your photos of people I've never met but have conversed with on their blogs.

Thanks for posting this.

I am just a little fringe on the fringe of the big bloggers suede hippy vests, but always participate in the annual Blog Against Theocracy Day. Blue Gal and Battchio know of me and Tengrain.

A Barry Lynn goggle search (whom I admire) brought me here to your site. I'm adding you to my blogroll. Maybe you'll read my stuff and do the same.

Thanks again for posting the pics.


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