Thursday, May 20, 2004

Jesus in a Birchbark Canoe

Via Rivka at Respectful of Otters I learned that, while I was merrily driving for nine hours yesterday, the state of Texas once again proved that reality is for amateurs by deciding that Unitarian-Universalism is not a religion. Now, I've not been shy about my disdain for organized religion on this blog but even this atheist respects the UU, for the simple fact that they are the most inclusive group of spiritual minded folk out there. Heck, they'd even have me. Personally, I think all religious groups should have their tax-exempt status revoked but this isn't simply a tax issue. This is discrimination.

The comptroller's office has not always barred "creedless" religions from tax exemption, said Douglas Laycock, a University of Texas law professor who specializes in religious liberty issues.

That standard first came up in 1997, when then-Comptroller Sharp ruled against the Ethical Culture Fellowship of Austin. In making that decision, Sharp overturned the recommendation of his staff.

[edit]

Strayhorn vows to continue the legal fight to the U.S. Supreme Court, if necessary. "Otherwise, any wannabe cult who dresses up and parades down Sixth Street on Halloween will be applying for an exemption," she said in a April 23 news release.

We really don't have enough people trying to protect us from those wannabe cultists like Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Louisa May Alcott, Christopher Reeve, and that supreme nutcase, Kurt Vonnegut.

Of course, Comptroller Strayhorn has no problem with the spiritual inclinations of Pat Robertson, Billy Grahm and Fred Phelps, all of whom are perfectly respectable bigots promoting hatefull agendas and blatant lunacy masquerading as faith and archaic sadism as traditional values.

But I guess it's hard to back President Kill Again's Holy War when you have the likes of the UU standing there, looking on disapprovingly. Might as well marginalize them now, so when the next wave of invasions start, their voice will be drowned out by the pious exhortations of the faithful hawks in those real "Christian" churches, who don't mind a few thousand dead Arabs, so long as America gets its oil and hegemony.

And Another Thing:

Patrick Nielsen Hayden sums up:

...Meanwhile, to the State of Texas in 2004, a money-making racket founded by a third-rate science fiction writer qualifies as a "religion" and the faith of Ethan Allen and Daniel Webster doesn't. This is what barbarism looks like.

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