Whenever I see a story like this, I usually think to myself, “this has to be either Alabama, Mississippi or Louisiana. Please, please, please don’t let it be Louisiana.” While I am originally from Virginia which is a bastion of progressive politics in comparison to these three states, it still bothers me whenever these stories pop up.
Why? because you’d think we’d moved past the 1950s Red Scare where everything (including the Pledge of Allegiance) had to have God added to it in order to protect the United States from the creeping threat of godless Communism. In case you didn’t know, “under God” wasn’t originally in the Pledge of Allegiance and Sen. Joseph McCarthy (the 1950s version of Michele Bachmann) believed that every nook and cranny of American life had been infested with Communists who had to be ferreted out.
Sound familiar? It should, and with every nonsensical rant from right-wing evangelicals and the politicians who cater to them, we are reminded once again that we are in the 21st century’s version of a Red Scare. In order to get low IQ, superstitious and insecure people to vote for them while they rob them blind, right-wing pundits and politicians have repeated the lie that religious freedom is under attack in America – even while they try to erode and erase the religious freedoms of people who don’t worship White Jesus.
While this is a problem throughout the United States, it’s virulent in the Bible Belt and especially in the three states I mentioned. So it’s no surprise that this comes from the state of Alabama, home of Judge Roy Moore. Remember him? He was the guy who insisted on putting the Ten Commandments in his courthouse, believes that the First Amendment doesn’t apply to religions other than Christianity or Judaism, oh and did we mention he’s now the Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court?
So when this story popped up on the internet, I really wasn’t surprised, at all. Seriously, just look at the picture of the town council – look at all the diversity there. They have a woman and even one guy who isn’t wearing a tie, along with a spiffy Members Only wind jacket. If that doesn’t speak to the diverse culture that is Winfield, Alabama, I don’t know what would.
Seriously though, Winfield, Alabama is a small city northwest of Birmingham and is the only city in the United States known to be owned by a religious deity of any kind, according to their current Wikipedia entry and confirmed by AL.com.
In December, as its last act of 2014, the government of this Marion County town of about 4,700 residents declared Winfield to be a “City under God” by unanimously passing a resolution.
The act was met with little immediate fanfare, other than a supportive editorial in the local newspaper, the Marion County Journal Record – until Monday night, said Mayor Randy Price. (Source)
Here’s what the resolution says:
Whereas we acknowledge God is the owner of the City of Winfield and that it is a City under God. We acknowledge that at all times, He is in control.
Whereas, we acknowledge that through His leadership, the Mayor and City Council will seek his wisdom and knowledge to be good stewards of the city.
Whereas, we acknowledge that though prayer, with His guidance and presence, that we will be able to trust that no problem will be too large or too small to overcome.
Whereas, we acknowledge that the City of Winfield is where it is today because of God’s grace and mercy.
Whereas, we acknowledge that at all times and in all circumstances, His will shall be done.
Whereas, we acknowledge that to God be the glory.
Is this in violation of the Constitution? I’d say so, but this is just another part of the new Red Scare sweeping through the Bible Belt. The fever tends to rise and fall, depending on which party controls the White House. Sometimes it’s scary (think right-wing militias and forced ultrasounds) and sometimes you just have to look at them, shake your head and say, “Awwww. Bless their heart.”
If you have the time, click here to send an email to Mayor Price. Keep it professional and if you are so inclined, I’d suggest multiple copies of the Constitution – especially that First Amendment part.
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