Rosie O’Donnell is amazing. In less than three full weeks as co-yenta on The View, she has succeeded in offending almost eighty percent of the U.S.; and shown, beyond any reasonable doubt, she is confounded by high school civics. She believes that Christianity is as dangerous to America as Islam. That her churlish comment was greeted by applause from the studio audience goes a long way to explaining the popularity of programs like The View, and professional twitters like Ms. O’Donnell. It also defends the thesis that democracy is not a good thing. For those of you who missed it, here is Ms. O’Donnell waxing nescient:
“Radical Christianity is just as threatening as radical Islam in a country like America where we have a separation of church and state. We’re a democracy here.”
That statement is so fundamentally wrong, it hurts to think about it. First off, the U.S does not have a ‘separation of church and state’. The phrase “separation of church and state” is nonexistent in the Constitution. Look it up if you don’t believe me, I’ll wait. What the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment does offer is the freedom to practice religion without government interference. In other words, religion is protected from politicians’ meddling in it, not the other way around. Any citizen, religious or otherwise, has the right, nay the duty, to meddle, redress, or otherwise participate in government. When politicians meddle in religion you end up with theocracies in the Middle East or seventy-four dead in Waco.
Secondly, the U.S. is a Republic, NOT a democracy. The words are not interchangeable. Democracy means mob rule and the founders were vehement that the U.S. not become a democracy.
According to founding father James Madison:
“Democracy is the most vile form of government. Democracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention: have ever been found incompatible with personal security or the rights of property: and have in general been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their deaths.”
In a democracy, if 50.1% think something is a good idea, that’s the idea that carries-sort of like The Emmys, except in this case the results impact your daily life. The minority have only the privileges afforded to them by the majority. A majority whim can take those privileges away. Sometimes, the results are harmless: the minority cheers a mindless comment by a talk show host who was once fired by Kmart. Other times the minority are sent to work farms, prisons, and death chambers. Democracy can lead to the popularity of Paris Hilton or the genocide of a race.
Again, feel free to look this up if you don’t believe me but, nowhere in the Constitution or the Declaration of Independence does the word ‘democracy’ appear. If Ms. O’Donnell would refer back to her copy of the Constitution, Article IV, Section 4, she will see that the Constitution guarantees “to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government.” The U.S. is a representative Republic. In mob rule, the majority rules. In a representative Republic, we get a group of politicians together, listen to their ideas, and select the least offensive of the pack to represent what we believe.
As expected, Christians were offended and are demanding an apology from Ms. O’Donnell. However, the number of Christians, radical or otherwise, threatening to burn, or actually burning ABC affiliates remains at zero. It’s unlikely that Ms. O’Donnell has had to increase her personal security measures by any significant number because of death threats from radical Christians. Finally, no Christian leaders have suggested that Ms. O’Donnell’s words could lead to war between Christians and whatever Ms. O’Donnell believes. However, as current events show, adherents to Islam are not quite so forgiving about someone making negative statements towards their religion.
I am not speaking from a devout faith; I am speaking from commonsense. To equate Christianity with Islam not only defies logic, it also flies in the face of about 9 centuries of history. As annoying as Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell and that ilk are, none of them have participated in kidnapping and beheading. My Baptist neighbors are not teaching their children that strapping on explosives and killing themselves and others is the way in to heaven. Christians are also quick to condemn killing in Jesus’s name.
Radical Islam condones and endorses the burning of churches, and killing non-believers. Ms. O’Donnell would do well to remember that while Mr. Robertson and Mr. Falwell do not approve of her lifestyle, they are not calling for her execution. Under Islam, Ms. O’Donnell and other homosexuals would be put to death without a trial; not given a talk show to insult the dominant belief systems of a nation.
In the future, Ms. O’Donnell should stick to topics more suited to her skills; discussing the pointless and irrelevant.