THORSDAY THUNDERBOLT: In Defense of the Rainbow Wall Between Asgard and State

Mjolnir_the_Mighty_Hammer_of_ThorSo here we sit again good mortals, Thorsday has come once again, and Surly Thor is ready to dispense some wisdom. This week Odinson would like to talk to all of thee about the separation of Asgard and State or, in your mortal equivalent, of Church and State. Verily Asgard hath brought things like an alien race wanting to subjugate humanity to its whims, but will thou e’er see Odinson attempting to force Midgardians to change mortal laws to conform with the Book of Thormon? Nay? Why? Because Surly Thor understands not e’ery mortal subscribes to the same book he doth. Stark despite meeting a few doth not believe in gods, Rogers is a fan of the carpenter, and well no one knows what Banner believes out of fear of asking the question. No one is pushing their ethos on the others and in that small microcosm is where the whole of Midgard could stand to learn a thing or two.
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The phrase separation of Church and State did not come from the Constitution no matter how many falsely claim it doth. It comes a bit later down the road in 1802 in a letter from Jefferson to the Danbury Baptists. “Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between Man & his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, & not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should “make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,” thus building a wall of separation between Church & State.”
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Tis a beautiful thing, religion being a matter between a mortal and his God(s), and government minding its own business about whose god wins the 30 deity over-the-top battle royal. Now let’s look at how the ball hath been dropped.
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In last week’s column Surly Thor made mention of the word that sends a shiver down e’ery conservative’s spine: Muslim. Now let The Prince of Asgard introduce you to another phrase that will also inspire terror to the same group: Sharia Law. Assuming they don’t flee in terror on the spot once the screaming goes down they will tell thee that Sharia Law tis the most dangerous thing on the planet, and it must be stopped at all cost. Now here is where thou can have some fun. Ask that person to define Sharia Law and they will most likely come up with the right definition which is that political law in Muslim countries follows the laws set forth in their holy books. Now ask them if they support same-sex marriage and if they doth not why not? Most likely they will say “Because the Bible says it’s a sin.” At this point put on thy protective poncho, because things art about to get messy, and go ahead and ask the final nail question “So how is you using the Bible to tell people what they can do any different from someone using the Quran?” At this point one of two things will happen. One, their head will indeed explode (thou art welcome for the poncho idea), or thou will get what Surly Thor calls the ass stutter: but, but, but, but…
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Yes folks, the same set of people so terrified of Sharia Law creeping into the States United art willing to embrace the same style of laws as long as the God handing down the laws is theirs. Look at what Rick Santorum said when running for President last year: “We have civil laws, but our civil laws have to comport with the higher law.” The only differences between Ol’ Frothy and an Iranian Cleric is the god in charge and a beard. To expound on the earlier concept, there hath yet to be one solid secular argument against gay marriage (sorry conservatives, “it’s icky” doesn’t count as a secular argument), and e’ery argument pushes back to Leviticus at which point e’eryone should rebuke the push by mentioning both the First Amendment and the concept that their beloved ‘Merika is a Constitution Republic, and the duty of such a Republic is to defend the minority from the tyranny or the majority.
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On the flip side of the coin—and Surly Thor tis looking at some of you atheists out there—understand what the First Amendment doth and doth not cover. A small town putting up a nativity scene is neither establishing a religion nor prohibiting the free exercise there of, unless of course they round all of thee up and make thou pray in front of it—then thou might have a case. Running to the town council and proclaiming it doth offend thy delicate sensibilities tis no better than the evangelicals crying o’er gay marriage. Dost thou know what Odinson does when one of Jesus’ followers says to him God Bless You? He smiles, and he thanks them. While I’m not a follower I understand that tis one of the highest ways they know to give thanks, a thumbs up from not only them but their big man upstairs. Tis not a chance to rail on them for holding different opinions than Surly Thor; Thor may be surly but that borders on just plain being a dick.
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Both sides need to go back to the understanding as it was put in 1802 that government reaches actions and not opinions. The evangelicals don’t get to have a Christian version of Sharia as much as the atheists don’t get to have a perfectly secular society with not a cross in sight.  The separation tis not about total exclusion, nay, quite the opposite; tis about the balance so that one sect doesn’t get to supersede another’s. At the end of the day the question one must ask oneself tis if thy stance on the issue is the interest of liberty and justice for all or because a book tells you thou hast to feel that way?
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As always, stay true warriors.
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Surly Thor
sockpuppethor
  • Religious displays only become an issue when the town refuses to allow other religions to put up a display as well. Then, they are actually promoting one religion over all others. I see no need to push for a secular display though, I couldn’t care less about holiday decorations. I’m more concerned with religious displays in public schools or govt. buildings that are up all year long.