I was confused about the Catholic bishops association and right wingers spraying spit about infringement on their religious freedom last week over birth control coverage; it looked to me like the religionists were seeking to impose their beliefs on everyone else. After all, the government wasn't saying anyone had to use birth control, and of course the Catholic businesses didn't have to offer coverage for birth control if they chose not to take advantage of the tax breaks. So I decided to see what the founding fathers had to say about us being a Christian Nation.
My first web searches returned great results! Man, what crazy, incendiary, positively atheistic quotes I found on many, many websites! Those founding fathers were some tough sonsabitches! I wrote up a neat little script for this week's cartoon, with all these badass quotes. I drew up 6 founding fathers and started animating them. I was all charged up!
But then Barry suggested I better triple check the quotes, that some poor atheist out in California had put up a billboard quoting Jefferson, and the quote was spurious and made the guy look like a doof. Looking like a doof goes against my religion, so I did some more checking.
Oy. Everything I had were misquotes, or so taken-out-of-context as to make them equivalent to misquotes. But you know what? I found plenty of material that was perfectly legit and also perfectly supportive of my contention from the start that this is not a Christian nation and the founding fathers specifically and categorically intended it not to be a Christian nation. They were quite deliberate in separating church from state; they'd seen the horror that melding the two always wreaks, in the countries from which they came.
I'm not disputing that any of the founding fathers were raised Christians or were personally Christian. Personal religious beliefs are not the issue. What's important and worth repeating (as often and as long as radical religionists continue their spread of lies) is that the founders laid out a country wherein religion and public policy are separate.
The cartoon is up on Mother Jones and on YouTube, above.