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Saturday, March 04, 2006

Missouri vs the U.S. Constitution

Never mind what's the matter with Kansas. Its neighbor, Missouri, has gone bonkers. According to this report by John Mills of television station KMOV-TV, a CBS affiliate, the Missouri legislature is considering a bill, House Concurrent Resolution 13, to make Christianity the official religion of Missouri.

In addition to naming Christianity the state's official religion, the bill, sponsored by State Representative David Sater of southwestern Missouri, reads that "a greater power exists and only Chistianity receives justified recognition." The bill also would recognize only "the Christian god" and protect the right of the majority to express itself. It would contain no protection for minority religions.

Wow! First of all, what a monument to both intolerance and theological ignorance. Last I looked, monotheistic religions believe there's only one God. The idea that Muslims and Jews recognize a different God than Christians do is breathtaking stupidity that is not supported by the theology of any major branch of mainline Christianity, including the Roman Catholic Church. Most Christians believe that God is revealed most fully through Jesus Christ. Catholicism also believes that it has received the fullness of faith. And while one can certainly argue with those propositions, they don't suggest that the God of Islam or Judaism is in any sense false.

But theology aside, establishing an official state religion goes against (to be repetitive and obvious) the Establishment clause of the Constitution. This one's so cut and dried that even Harriet Miers would have no trouble ruling against it if she were a Supreme Court justice.

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