Not Eudora   By Harry Welty
Published April 12, 2005

Church of the Republican God


Two hundred years ago North Carolina passed a law forbidding cohabitation between unmarried men and women. One of the state’s sheriffs recently forced a dispatcher to quit her job because she was breaking that law. She was not alone. 100,000 North Carolinians cohabit.


With so many laws to choose from police are notorious for picking and choosing the laws they enforce. They hate ticketing jaywalkers or people who don't wear seat belts. Back when I was in college so many white kids smoked marijuana that police all but gave up arresting them. But, if a law is on the books it can be enforced and so that North Carolina Sheriff was fully justified in calling his employee to account - the ACLU be damned!


This should cheer the politically active evangelicals who want God’s laws enforced across America by their own activist judges. They must consider North Carolina something of a Mecca these days.


Another recent story from that state concerns the Church of the Republican God in Waynesboro , which recently excommunicated nine of its members for voting for John Kerry. I am not among the whiney liberals who are clucking their tongues about this. I think the First Amendment guarantees the Church the right to weed out Democrats and other dissenters. But, there is one important caveat to this which is spelled out in the 13th Chapter of Romans by the Apostle Paul. Paul tells Christians that the laws of the Governing authorities must be obeyed. Under US laws the Church of the Republican God must give up its tax status in order to act like a Political Action Committee.


Paul of course is quoting Jesus who was telling the Pharisees to render unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s and unto God that which is God’s. I know that this makes Jesus sound like a modern liberal arguing for the separation of church and state. That doesn’t mean that today’s evangelicals should pay Jesus any heed. Jesus was a man after all, although a sinless one, and therefore just as prone to mistakes as any other human.


I’ve been struck with several of his mistakes. For instance, there’s that time Jesus told people that the end of the world would take place during the lifetimes of some of the people in his presence. Well, it’s been 2,000 years and the Apocalypse hasn’t happened yet. So, maybe his injunction to keep church and state separate is wrong too.


I think that the evangelical community ought to take advantage of some of these mistakes as they work to restore the Nation’s sacred honor. Like all other Americans, evangelicals are among the richest people in the World’s history. They want to keep it that way as evidenced by Alabama . When Alabama ’s Governor campaigned for a statewide referendum to raise taxes for poor schools his chief opponents were conservative churches.  The churches won. The poor schools lost. This is pretty typical of evangelicals today. An interesting report on evangelical Christians can be found on the web at: http://www.christianitytoday.com/bc/2005/001/3.8.html . It reports, among other things, that as of 2002 “only 6 percent of born-again adults tithed—a 50 percent decline from 2000, when 12 percent did.”


Jesus warned people that it would be easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to get into heaven. Since the “Left Behind” series is so popular it seems odd that so many evangelicals are living by the: “he who dies with the most toys wins” credo. Unless, of course, Jesus is wrong again. Evangelicals seem to be mimicking WC Fields, a noted infidel, who was found paging through the Bible shortly before his death. Asked why, Fields explained that he was “looking for loopholes.” Frankly, I take my hat off to the Church of the Republican God. They are sacrificing some of their treasure (their no-tax status) in order to pass through the needle’s eye.


I think all the liberal hand-wringing over evangelical conservatives is a little hysterical. The web page I referenced earlier also reports that evangelical Christians not only have a higher divorce rate than other Americans but they are almost as likely to engage in adulterous affairs and cohabitation. If they took over America who would notice the difference?


I think I've come to understand why so many evangelical churches practice full immersion baptism. Its probably because so many of them really need to cool off.


Welty is a small time politician who lets it all hang out at: www.snowbizz.com