Friday, February 22, 2013

Official State Religions List: Episode II: Attack of the Clones!

As you can see, after proposing the original Official State Religions list (that changed America forever!),  S.Z. opened the floor to public comment, assimilated the suggestions of various readers (IvanMark Hoback!  Me!) and made some adjustments to the Master Plan...

(Originally published October 2, 2003)

Constitutionality, Religion, Interstate Holy Wars: This Plan Has Them All! 

Okay, I did some more research on the Constitutionality of this new Official State Church thing, and learned that it really is what our Founding Fathers wanted.  First, here's David Limbaugh himself (The myth of church-state separation):
There is nothing in the Constitution mandating a separation of church and state. (The phrase originated in a letter from Thomas Jefferson.) When you hear people talking about the supposed "separation of church and state," what they usually mean is "The Establishment Clause of the First Amendment requires a separation." But it doesn't. Aside from the fact that the Establishment Clause has been erroneously extended to apply to the states as well as Congress, let's look how far the scope of "establishment" has been stretched on both the state and federal levels.
Now seriously, just how far do we have to suspend our disbelief to conclude that the Framers intended to prohibit such an election merely facilitated -- not initiated -- by a public school? Well, first we have to ignore that the First Amendment restricted the federal Congress only. Second, we have to disregard that it also prohibited Congress from intruding on the states' right to establish religion if they so chose.  
Thus, as fellow scholar Alan Keyes said, the Constitution just prohibits the Federal Government from establishing a state-religion, leaving this power to the states. 

And here's Ann Coulter asking the question Must Christian conservatives be fascists? (her answer is YES, 'cause the Constitution says so).  In this article, she states that the the Federal Goverment shouldn't make ANY laws about important stuff, like religion, gay marriage,  or abortion, because these things should be left up to the individual states, towns, or co-op boards.  (Besides it being the only Constitutional thing to do, she says that Conservatives have power in the heartland, but always lose on the national level --  thus, they could reinstate those Jim Crow laws, if it weren't for those meddling feds.) 

Anyway, here's where she points out your remedy if you don't like your local laws or theocracy :
Moreover, the states and towns would create a perpetual marketplace of laws, regulations and ideas. If you don't like porno being sold at the corner market, you could move. If you don't like porno not being sold at the corner market, you could move. (And then at the end of the year, we'll tabulate which town has more crime, venereal disease, rape and unwanted pregnancies.) States and localities would be free to sculpt themselves into whatever kind of place the denizens prefer. If an individual feels unduly oppressed by those laws, he can move. And it's a lot easier to move to the town next door, or even the state next door, than to move to Canada. That's how federalism creates the maximum freedom possible.
So, now that it's established by two of our nation's finest legal scholars that the States CAN (and should) establish their own official religions, and that these states can (and should) base their laws on their official religions, I will now address some comments which came in response to the first draft of the Official State Religion List.

First, Ivan said,
I hate to nitpick, but as a resident of Georgia I must protest the choice of Lutheran. Here's why: Many years ago, a woman asked my comedy idol Jack Benny why so many Jews were comedians in show business. Benny's response: "Madam...have you ever met a funny Lutheran?"This should not be interpreted as a slam at Lutherans, by the way, who are probably decent people who live in sedate neighborhoods and pay their taxes and sleep with each other's wives. I consider myself an Agnostifarian, but I don't think I want to subject the people of the Peach State to that.
Ivan, I have to stress that this assignment of state religons wasn't done willy-nilly.  No, it was done by demographics, which is a SCIENCE (I think).  Georgia, being the 10th most populous state, got Lutherans, the 10th most populous religious demographic.  That said, when I looked at the list again, I noted that the Lutherans and the Evangelical Lutheran church each had a state, which didn't seem right, since they seem like they should be pretty similar.  Same for the Methodists and the United Methodists.  So, since I was already changing things around, I decided "What the heck?" and assigned the Jews to Georgia, since they're known for their humor, and are used to moving around.  Hope this meets with your approval.
Now, here's Pete:
Actually, the state religion of Texas is football. This is according to my highly scientific analysis contrasting the number of football bumper stickers to those metal fish thingies on area pickups. 
Kellie concurred, so I guess this is indeed the case.  But the point of this assignment wasn't to identify the pre-eminent religion of each state, it was to assign each state a religion, based on science!  Texas, being the second most populous state, got Protestantism, the second-most populous religion.  The fine people of Texas should either convert to Protestantism, or move. 

But then I thought about it, and realized that the Texans, loving football the way they do, probably have satellite dishes in place, and they wouldn't like having to move them.  And Texans have guns.  So, I decided that we could forego the scientific method this once, and make Football the Official State Religion of Texas.  I talked to the Protestants, and they were okay with going to New York instead.  (In fact, they were quite happy about it).  But in return, Texas has to take Bush back (consider it a 50-yard penalty.)
Kellie had a bunch more excellent points to bring up:
I see that you've put Unitarians in Arkansas and Mennonites right next door in Oklahoma. That can work since Unitarians like nice hand crafted items. You put the Gay/Lesbian religion in Tennessee- which is also fine since Unitarians, gays and lesbians get along fine and are sometimes the same people.
I wish you'd put atheists, non-religionists and agnostics in a cluster near some beautiful mountains or an ocean or something instead of spread all out in Mississippi, Oregon and Pennsylvania. (The Gulf coast of Mississippi doesn't count as an ocean view.)
And why do the Deists get Hawaii??? That is so no fair.
I really think the French Speakers should be in Louisiana, but Louisiana is also Catholic, so you'll have to make a decision... perhaps another dual religion state.
And the Libertarians ... well, hey... I guess they do need their own state. That sounds right. Nebraska is a fine place for them.
I have a question. Why is there a state religion called Weight Watchers, but none for Amway? I'm all for WW... we can go to Rhode Island every year after Thanksgiving and trim down, but you should put some Gold's Gyms there, too.
1.  I'm hadn't realized it until you pointed it out, but I'm glad that America will now have an Arts 'n Crafts Belt.  I suggest you all attend their Fall Festival this weekend. 

2.  Re your request for a nonreligious/atheist/agnostic bloc, remember: demographics, scientific, no-refunds, etc.  But since you guys already had Oregon, and since I'd already moved somebody out of Washington State (I think it was the one of the Methodists), you can have that one.  And Idaho, so you'll have a monopoly and can build hotels; the Ba'ahi, a peace-loving people, were easy to kick out.  (Hey, in return I gave them a more populous state with temperate winters--they will thank me.)  So, you know have the Pacific Northwest, known for its mountains, seacoast, rain, and mega-billionaire Microsoft owners.  If only you believed in tithing, your religion could be the richest in the land!

3.  The Deists get Hawaii to honor the Founding Fathers, who could use a little sun.  However, if your nonreligious bloc wants to move in on them, you could probably easily crush them, since they're a pretty small religion these days. 

And that brings up another point: states like California, which got all the  Christians (I mean, the ones, when asked what religion they were, said "Christian," either meaning that they identify more with that description that with a demoninational label, or else they're basically non-religious but too ashamed to say so), may find things a little cramped.  So, there's always a Holy War with neighboring Nevada (in fact, you Christians SHOULD invade those neo-pagans and Wiccans).  This Official State Religion plan not only allows for Manifest Destiny, but also invading other lands, killing leaders, and forcible conversions.  That's why Ann Coulter recommends it so highly.

4.  Yes, the French speakers would feel more home in Lousiana, but I think it will be good for the people of Alabama to learn to speak French, whether they want to or not.  And yes, some people will belong to more than one demographic group (for example, you can be a Libertarian party member AND Satanist), but you just have to choose which is more important to you.

5.  The Libertarians DO deserve a state, an untamed, out-of-the-way one.  One where they can roam wild and free, as nature intended.

6.  You're right--fair is fair, and if Weight Watchers get a state, so should Amway.  More about this later.

7.  About the Gold Gym's Religion: I think Weight Watchers will just have to be ecumenical about this, and tell its followers that working out is also a way to salvation. 
Now, let's hear some more comments.  This one is from Mark.
You lost me when i saw I'd have to live in Mississippi. mark h. 
Mark, you're now going to Idaho.  Sure, it's the same as Mississippi in many ways, but it does have nice mountains, good fishing, and world-famous potatoes.  If you don't like it, convert to nonreligion and you can live in Washington State, which has the Space Needle.
And here are a couple more comments, both addressing Amway:
I hate to admit it, but the Amway HQ is here in Michigan, so maybe they should be dual-religion too. With that said, I'm packing my bags for Pennsylvania. -- Jennifer 
Actually, since we've already got Evangelicals, having Amway would be redundant. However, so far as proselytizing faiths based on multi-tiered marketing schemes go, I think America could make room for the persecuted congregants of Herbalife. They are much like the Pilgrims, willing to endure scorn and privation so that their descendants will be free to worship the powdered weight loss product of their choice. I say we let them split Guam with the Hare Krishnas.  -- Scott
Jennifer and Scott, I gave the Amway matter much thought, and decided that they (and the plucky Herbalifers) should get a state to share.  But since there is currently much concern about the laid-off telemarketeers, done out of honest work by the "No Call" list, these unfortunates will be assimiliated into the Amway and Herbalife flocks, and together they will form a mighty pyramid scheme that will sell, sell, sell! to all the celebrities with summer homes in Montana.  (I'm counting on the nonreligious block to keep an eye on them, and keep them from spreading).   
But Scott has more excellent Constitutional points:
As for New Hampshire, they already have a state religion: a rock-worshipping faith similar to Roy Moore's, in which they venerate that granite face on the mountain. However, since their god recently fell down, the state is probably a pretty hospitable environment for atheism at the moment. Also, I think lapsed Catholics should get Vegas. -- Scott •  
1.  Scott, the atheists have been relocated to Idaho, and I'm not moving them again.  But you're right about the Royites deserving a Homeland, where they can worhip Rocks in peace.  I'm giving them South Dakota, home of Mount Rushmore. 

2.  Lapsed Catholics ARE a substantial demographic group, much more significant than, say, Libertarian party members.  But Vegas, being part of Nevada, is awfully hot, and since most of them have deep-seated fears of burning in hell, caused by years of Catholic school, I don't think this would be a good place for them.  Plus, the Christians in CA would surely invade them, after they they were done conquering the neo-pagans and Wiccans.  So, I gave the lapsed Catholics someplace far away from the onward march of the Christian soldiers, and somewhere cool.
And last but not least, here's Tony:
Given that the Free State Project voted to move enmass to New Hampshire, perhaps the state religion should be Libertarian party members. Tony 
Yes, I think you're right.  They can run plenty wild and free in New Hampshire (and drive the pollsters crazy).  Consider it done.
Okay, with these changes made, and a few others that seemed appropriate, I give you:

The New Official State Religion List
1.  California:                    Christian 
2.  Texas:                          Football, Bushites
3.  New York:                    Protestant
4.  Florida:                        Catholic
5.  Illinois:                        Baptist
6. Pennsylvania:                "Born again" or "evangelical"
7. Ohio:                            Evangelical (theologically)
8. Michigan:                      Methodist  and United Methodist Church
9. New Jersey:                  Southern Baptist
10. Georgia:                      Judaism
11. North Carolina:          Sikhism, Mimes
12. Virginia:                     Presbyterian
13. Massachusetts:         Pentecostal
14. Indiana:                    Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons)
15. Washington:              Non-religious
16. Tennessee:                gay/lesbian
17. Missouri:                    Episcopalian
18. Wisconsin:                 Lutheran, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
19. Maryland:                  Eastern Orthodox
20. Arizona                      Satanism (or Juche--they can have their pick)

21. Minnesota:                Buddhist
22. Louisiana:                 Non-denominational
23. Alabama:                   French speakers
24. Colorado:                  Megachurch attendance, Sports (non-football denomination)
25. Kentucky:                  Jehovah's Witnesses
26. South Carolina          United Church of Christ
27. Oklahoma:                Mennonite Church USA
28. Oregon:                    agnostic
29. Connecticut               Churches of Christ
30. Iowa:                        Hindu
31. Mississippi:               Baha'i
32. Kansas:                    Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
33. Arkansas:                 Unitarian Universalist
34. Utah:                        Seventh-day Adventists
35. Nevada:                   Neo-pagan (incl. Wiccans)
36. New Mexico              Church of the Nazarene
37. West Virginia            Reformed Church in America (RCA)
38. Nebraska:                Zoroastrianism
39. Idaho:                      Atheists
40. Maine:                      Native American Religionists
41. New Hampshire:       Libertarian party members
42. Hawaii:                     Deism
43. Rhode Island:           Weight Watchers
44. Montana:                  Amway, Herbal Life, Telemarketers
45. Delaware:                Jedi
46. South Dakota:          Royites, Moonies.
47. North Dakota:          Zombies, Excommunicated Royites
48. Alaska:                     Lapsed Catholics
49. Vermont:                  Ba'al
50. District of Columbia: Primal-indigenous
51. Wyoming:                 Rastafarianism, Dittoheads
Guam:                           Up for Grabs: Best new religion takes it.

You have until January 1, 2004 to either convert to your current state's official religion, or to move to a state that suits you better.  And remember, since this plan was approved by David Limbaugh and Ann Coulter, you know it's Constitutional.  And good!


Carl said...


I'm Lutheran and I'M funny!

Damn you, crazy Ivan!

mcn42 said...

I expect Scientology will attempt hostile takeovers overs of Florida and/or California.

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

Everybody knows there is no God.

It was just the Vorlons, messing with our evolution.

zombie rotten mcdonald said...

I ain't moving to goddam North Dakota. That's it, we'll just zombify all the states. Admittedly, we were going to do that anyway...

zombie rotten mcdonald said...

Not before enjoying some entertaining border skirmishes between the Wisconsin ELCA and the Illinois Babtists, however.

Anonymous said... the end of the year, we'll tabulate which town has more crime, venereal disease, rape and unwanted pregnancies.

But Ann, we already know which town will have the most VD and unwanted pregnancies: the one with abstinence-only education.

--Sour Kraut