Over $32,000 was raised by the Pagan community for Doctors Without Borders relief efforts in Japan and donations are still trickling in. That’s amazing. It’s proof-positive that despite our differences, Pagans can work together to create positive change in the world.
Which is why I have no doubt that we can accomplish another worthwhile goal: getting Jason Pitzl-Waters of The Wild Hunt on The Daily Show to provide a different perspective on David Barton and the challenges facing minority religions in this country.
What’s up with Barton? Well, he was just on The Daily Show where he broke the Christian commandment regarding false witness enough that I expected lightning to fall from the sky upon him. Instead of giving straight answers he would spin until at points it was difficult to follow his intentionally obfuscating logic.
Why the oratorical gymnastics? Because he’s following rule #7 on the Evil Overlord List, in which you never explain your plan to your enemy, and his enemy is anyone who might vote against the candidates he supports. He made it clear on The Daily Show his influence in politics is both pervasive and secretive, and one potential 2012 presidential candidate thinks we should be forced to listen to Barton at gunpoint.
So what does he have to say that’s so bad? Well, he believes that despite what the Constitution and other official documents say, this is an explicitly Christian nation and was founded to be so. He gets this information from all the letters, notes, debates and ideas the Founding Fathers had and then rejected in favor of the Constitution. It’s like saying that you should judge a novelist not by the novels they write, but by the ideas they goof around with on Twitter.
He also thinks that if the Founding Fathers didn’t envision it, it’s not Constitutionally protected! The most shocking claim lay in an amicus brief Barton filed in the fight against creating a two-tier class system of religious rights in CA:
“The true historic meaning of “religion” excludes paganism and witchcraft, and thus, does not compel a conclusion that McCollum has state taxpayer standing … paganism and witchcraft were never intended to receive the protections of the Religion Clauses. Thus, in the present case there can be no violation of those clauses … Should this Court conclude that McCollum has taxpayer standing … this Court should at least acknowledge that its conclusion is compelled by Supreme Court precedent, not by history or the intent of the Framers.”
There are two problems with this argument:
1. He is defining religion as “being like Christianity” which is a false position considering the relative newness of monotheism to civilization. It’s like saying coffee is a beverage and if your beverage isn’t like coffee it has no business being in a cup.
2. He is saying that anything the Founding Father’s couldn’t specifically foresee and intend is unconstitutional, which means Mormons, Christian Scientists, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Emergent Christianity, Ba’hai, Hare Krishnas, the Internet, NASA, RuPaul and automaker bailouts are completely without any protections under US law. I’m pretty sure Jefferson and Washington didn’t envision a Black President, so that’s probably un-Constitutional too.
Why Jason? Well, The Wild Hunt is the “CNN of Paganism” you know! Because Jason has not only been covering Barton for a long time, but he’s also very aware of all the myriad issues and court cases various minority religions are involved in around the country. He’s good at speaking about Paganism and Pagan religions from a broad inclusive perspective, and as someone who’s been to his talks I can assure you he’s very personable, eloquent and funny. He can hold his own with Jon and isn’t likely to show up in pink hair and gypsy skirts like this one blogger I know…
Jason as a journalist specializing in minority religions is the perfect person to say “This is BS, because I’ve been reporting on Barton and this is what he is actually up to.”
What can we do to help? Well the goods news is that accomplishing this goal only takes a bit of your time. Tell your friends about the campaign, Facebook it and Tweet it, Like the Facebook campaign page and write The Daily Show. Be persistent. Devote a couple minutes each day to getting the word out. Comment on the FB page for The Daily Show and send them tweets.
If we can send tens of thousands of dollars to aid people ravaged by natural disaster, we can get Jason on The Daily Show. If we can get Jason on The Daily Show, then there’s really nothing we can’t do when we work together.