To survive the Trump presidency, a person must either develop a sense of humor or go mad. I’ll say this for atheists, they have a sense of humor. Since Trump’s inauguration, members of Freedom From Religion, (FFR) have contributed $100,000 on behalf of Mike Pence to their organization. Apparently, they wish to honor the backward thinking of the nation’s Vice President and his efforts to destroy Planned Parenthood, oppress the rights of LGBTQ citizens and to promote a federal law that would grant personhood to a fertilize egg. “I am a Christian, a conservative and a Republican, in that order,” says Pence. (FreeThought Today, May 2017, pg. 15.)
Nor is Pence alone in his upright narrow-mindedness. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito, ignoring centuries of jurisprudence that separates Church and State, is on a mission. “…the most important fight is for the hearts and minds of our fellow Americans. It is up to all of us to evangelize our fellow Americans about the issues of religious freedom.” (Ibid pg. 16.)
Given the holy fervor stalking the land, I wonder that my fellow atheists can be so sanguine. As I write, our president, schooled in the ideas of Norman Vincent Peale, (Click) threatens to do away with the Johnson Amendment — legislation that prohibits non-profit organizations from endorsing or opposing political candidates. Perhaps my “brethren” foresee, better than I, how churches would be affected: congregations subjected to political harangues from the pulpit; preachers lobbying in Congress instead of proselytizing in their communities; money flowing from church coffers into a political slush funds… And who knows? Church property might be delivered unto the tax rolls. Yes, I can see why atheists might smile.
Still, if our president wants a wall, I’d prefer it to be the one between church and state. Humor is good. But in the case of religious freedom, a little vigilance wouldn’t hurt. I don’t recall the Inquisition being much of a laugh.