Would monsieur and madame like a little religion with their pollyticks? Tres bien! The chef has some delightful trifles especially for you.
You remember South Carolina's obnoxious "I Believe" license plates? Americans United for Separation of Church and State surely does. And they're bringing suit on some excellent grounds:
According to the suit, the AUSCS contends license plate specialization is more restricted in other instances, and that the legislator circumvented the usual practices for the approval of license plates. By law, organizational plates can only display a name of a sponsoring organization and its logo. Personalized vanity plates can only contain seven characters, with no symbols or emblems permitted. The legislature, rather than private entities, introduced and passed the measure for the ‘I Believe’ plates.
It's bad enough that the legislature pushed this through, but it gets worse. How deeply has South Carolina's government been dabbling its fingers into the whole promoting Christian plates effort? Very deeply indeed:
Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer said he would spend $4,000 of his own money to meet the state’s requirement of at least 400 prepaid orders for a plate or a $4,000 up-front payment in order to create such a plate. Bauer said he expected to be reimbursed by the state for his expenditure to ensure the plate’s passage.
Something extremely wrong with that, methinks. It's one thing to want to spend $4,000 of your very own dollars to promote a religious plate. It's quite another to expect the good state of South Carolina to reimburse you for it.
And that's only the beginning of the lunacy:
[Rep. Bill] Sandifer said that while the legislature was simply granting the opportunity for South Carolinians to demonstrate their faith, that did not mean he would afford practitioners of other religions the same opportunity. When asked whether or not he would support a legislative action sponsoring another religion like Islam on specialty plates, he responded directly.
“Absolutely and positively no,” Sandifer said.
I believe that's what we like to call an Establishment Clause violation, ladies and gentlemen. I trust the court will rule accordingly. If not, I'll know we've officially become a theocracy.
Over at Submitted to a Candid World, Ames has a brilliant piece pointing out an intolerable double-standard:
Even our rhetoric is still geared towards the acceptance of fundamentalist and militant non-Islamic religion. Take, for example, Campus Crusade for Christ. No, please, take it. Not even the temporal
distance we have from the malignant and bellicose origins of the word "crusade” can excuse its use by an evangelizing organization to define its plans for the nonbelievers - “turning lost students into Christ-centered laborers,” indeed. That “Cru” is “appropriating,” “subverting,” “redeeming,” or “detoxifying” the word is no defense to the tactlessness of its use. We ought to be as offended by the implication of a “Crusade for Christ” as we would be by a “Campus Jihad for Allah.”
Ames, darling, you're too right. Christianity, for all its love of screaming "Persecution!" at the least little criticism, gets far too many passes on this kind of crap. Time for the double-standard to go the way of the coconut-munching T-Rex.
We've got our work cut out for us if the clueless Christian in his comments section is any indication. Amazing how blind rabid Christians are, innit? That's how good but unthinking people end up getting led 'round by the nose by the likes of Monkey Boy George.
I'm happy to report that none of my Christian friends are so blind. Then again, some of them are the kind of people who would encourage a "Campus Jihad for Allah" group just so they could sit back and watch the fun. All in the spirit of equal treatment and toleration, of course! ;-)
We come now to possibly the funniest post written about the Great Cracker Controversy of 2008. Atheist Chaplain had me doubled over many, many times. I'll leave it to you to discover the joys of PZ as a man holding a magnifying glass over an anthill, and the sneaky ways one can get consecrated Host unstuck from the roof of your mouth. You'll also get the most eye-opening description of what the wine-transmuted-to-Blood-of-Christ should actually taste like. Those gems should be left to you, dear readers, to discover. I'll just share this last bit, which is the best idea in the universe for what PZ should do with a purloined cracker:
I humbly suggest that he do something with it that the Catholics would absolutely wet their pants over, auction it off to the highest bidder and donate the proceedings to the No To Pope Coalition or maybe one of the many organisations around the world that is fighting for justice from the Catholic church over its deliberate and organised denial of justice against its sexually promiscuous priests and pedophiles. You could see the Catholics reaching for their cheque books now, hoping to bring the cracker back home, but the pain of signing on the dotted line, knowing that the money would be funding one of their many detractors would bring Schadenfreude to those who have long suffered at the hands and other bodily organs of the Catholic priesthood.
This would be a phenominal solution, don't you think? PZ gets to make his point, the hostage Host is returned safely, and the fuckwits who ruin it for the sane Catholics get to support a good cause against their will. Perfecto!