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Civic religion

Here's a pretty old legacy post from the blog archives of Geekery Today; it was written about 20 years ago, in 2004, on the World Wide Web.

(Link thanks to bean at Alas, a Blog 2004/10/15)

I don’t care about winning same-sex marriage privileges (for feminist reasons that I’ve laid out in comments and in my essay, The Cake is Rotten). But that doesn’t mean that I’m indifferent to electoral fights such as Oregon’s Measure 36, one of the latest rounds in the Religious Right campaign to write homophobia into federal and state constitutions. So I’m pleased as punch to have found (thanks to Alas, a Blog) the four arguments that M. Dennis Moore has managed to get published in the official Oregon voters’ pamphlet–in favor of the measure to ban same-sex marriage.

Yeah, you heard me. In favor. All of them are great, but my favorite by far is his fourth argument, Let’s Vote:


The recent OCA signature drive for the Divine Sovereignty Life Amendment, if successful, would have given Oregonians the extraordinary opportunity to vote on the existence of God, yes or no. Religious dogma would have been decided democratically by popular vote — essentially creating an official state religion with GOD ALMIGHTY enshrined in the Constitution as

Oregon State Deity!

Although this initiative drive failed, the Christian Coalition has now created a Commandment Amendment to the Constitution! Measure 36 ordains us to


of whether churches, synagogues, and temples shalt not be permitted to marry gays and lesbians.

And this election thus establishes the glorious precedent for democratic electioneering on ALL of the

Official Oregon State Dogma!


  • Shall churches, synagogues, and temples be permitted to marry divorced persons (Luke 16:18)? Let’s vote!
  • Shall baptism be by sprinkling, pouring, or dipping? Let’s vote!
  • Shall the Lord’s Prayer be translated forgive us our debts or forgive us our trespasses? Let’s vote!
  • Shall adulterers be stoned to death(Leviticus 20:10)? Let’s vote!
  • Shall obnoxious religious-right hypocrites be allowed to marry? Hell no! Let’s vote!
  • How many angels can dance on the head of a pin? Hey, let’s just vote!

This is democracy! Religious beliefs belong on the ballot, and winning beliefs become public policy in the Constitutional Catechism! Minority adherents, straight and gay, should have the statesmanship to accept that religious freedom does not protect losing beliefs in a theological election.

Your special right to practice your moral beliefs (including marriage) is subject to the whims of popular vote!

It’s not discrimination, it’s electoral theology.

In Oregon, democratic dogma is inspired by initiative and referendum — in the

Holy Marriage
of the
One Official Oregon Church and State!

State beaches, the bottle bill, land-use planning, and now

(This information furnished by M. Dennis Moore, God for Oregon Deity-PAC [GOD-PAC], Family Alliance of God.)

Yes, that really will be going out on state letterhead to every voter in Oregon; you can confirm it at the Secretary of State’s website (the arguments he submitted are the first three arguments in favor and the next to last).

Electoral theology! Mmm, sacrelicious.

Further reading:

2 replies to Civic religion Use a feed to Follow replies to this article

  1. Laura J.

    Random note – I just noticed that in the seventh line of section IV of “The Cake is Rotten” that there’s a typo in which “marital” was rendered “martial”. All sorts of interesting metaphors possible there, but I’m assuming it’s not what you intended in that particular sentence.

· November 2004 ·

  1. Clancy

    Sacrelicious! I love it.

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