As I write this, some kook is arguing before the Supreme Court that the words “under God” should be taken out of the Pledge of Allegiance.

Don’t get me wrong. He’s not a kook because he believes in the separation of church and state. He’s just a kook. And for those of us who agree with him, it’s just not fair. I’ve been offended by that part of the pledge since I was in high school, and that was before I knew it was a relic of the McCarthy era, and back when I still believed in God myself. I couldn’t help feeling like a school where I learned about freedom of religion in fourth period but where I was made to acknowledge God in homeroom was being hypocritical. Now the issue is finally coming before the Supreme Court, and an issue like this, as we all know, only gets one chance in a generation, if that.

And Mike Newdow, the guy who’ll be arguing it before the Court, is hardly the ideal man for the job. He’s a guy who doesn’t have custody of the daughter whose welfare he’s so concerned about. A guy who claims to have his daughter’s best interests at heart, but who’s shown no shame about savaging the girl’s Christian mother in the press. A guy who’s never argued before the Supreme Court, but who insists on arguing the case himself. (The Supreme Court doesn’t usually allow someone so inexperienced to handle a case before them; they made an exception in his case.) Still don’t think he’s nuts? Then buy his CD for $17.89 (get it?) from his official website and hear the folk — and, yes rap — songs he’s recorded about his plight, including “Establi-Rap” and “(Won’t You Play Fair) Bill O’Reilly”.

I don’t believe in God, but I do believe in Hell. Hell is what will break loose if this guy wins, just like it did with the Texas sodomy case and the gay marriage issue and everything else I believe in. And I know that it wouldn’t exactly help the Democrats for the separation of church and state to become an issue in an election year. In many ways, the timing of this issue couldn’t be worse. But we don’t get to choose the timing for these things any more than we get to pick the people who represent us.

Whenever I hear someone expressing embarrassment (or worse) about the decadence of gay pride parades and how it doesn’t send America the best message about gays blah blah blah, I have to remind them that it was drag queens who rioted at Stonewall. Without them and the in-your-face troublemakers of ACT-UP, there wouldn’t be a parade at all. We’re lucky they let us march. No, I don’t think the guys in the assless chaps “represent” me, but until very recently, the only image of homosexuality “respectable” gays like me ever gave America was the front of a closet door, so in a way, I owe those greased-up leather daddies a lot of gratitude.

After all, it’s not like I’ve brought any cases before the Supreme Court lately. I’m sure other people feel the same way about the Pledge as Mike Newdow, but this guy was willing to put everything he has on the line for it. He’s getting death threats, he’s spending tons of his own time and money, and even people like me who agree with him are calling him a kook. And at a time when watching Jesus get the shit beaten out of him on screen is the #1 national pastime, you’d have to be crazy to bring a religious issue before the Supreme Court.

Mike Newdow is clearly crazy. And for that, I salute him.

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