La Separacion entre la Iglesia y el Estado

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The Left is bloated with hypocrisy.

In particular, the movement to divorce public life from all things theological, religious and spiritual has neglected a greatly faith-infused part of American history, i.e. our Spanish heritage.

Americans United for Separation of Church and State, and like-minded persons, would have us remove all references to God, divinity, spirit, what have you, from money, buildings, and for that matter textbooks in their quest to sterilize the tender young minds of our children.

You may think that these brave crusaders for atheism have gone too far. In truth, they have not gone far enough.

Consider, for a moment, the Spanish names of several American cities, and their English translations:

  • Corpus Christi — Body of Christ (can’t get more theological than that)
  • Sacramento — sacrament (a religious ceremony)
  • San Diego — Saint James (battle cry of the Conquistadors, so genocidal as well) (see also: Santiago)
  • San Francisco — Saint Francis (well, he served poor people, so maybe that can stay).

Cities are not the only things in need of new names. There are also geographic features, such as the San Andreas fault — Saint Andrew (sexist and homophobic as well: Andrew means "manly" in Greek).

These glaring omissions in the crusade against religion may be merely another result of the failure to teach foreign languages in American schools, which I have lately lamented. They may also explain the Left’s visceral hatred of Texas: so many places named after saints.

Then again, it may be the case that Americans United for Separation of Church and State just has a blind spot for municipal names. The search function on the AUSCS web site is currently broken, but I have not yet heard of any campaigns to rename Saint Augustine, Florida, or St. Paul, Minnesota. Would Notre Dame, Indiana, also have to go? Perhaps they could rename it Karl-Marx-Stadt.

Finally, it may be the case that the shrewd separationists, whose chief allies are Democrats, do not wish to alienate two large (and growing) Democratic voter bases: Spanish-speaking citizens and illegal aliens that vote.

If the Democrats enjoy large support among Hispanic voters, it is nearly a sure thing that that support would evaporate once Ted Kennedy and Hillary Clinton came out for a bill renaming San Francisco after the only saints allowed in American public life — dead Democratic politicians.

So San Fran would be "Kennedy," or maybe Juan Francisco Kennedy, to stay traditional (ignore for the moment that the F is for Fitzgerald). Sacramento might be Lincoln (need a few Republicans in there to get bipartisan support), San Diego might be Brady (another Jim, and a hero of the anti-gun crowd). Corpus Christi is another matter, but maybe, given Walt Whitman’s love for Abe Lincoln, it could be renamed Walt Whitman. This would keep the alliteration, and would serve formal notice of the fact that Uncle Sam and the Church of the Total State will brook no competition — from faith or otherwise.

Mr. Dieteman is an attorney in Erie, Pennsylvania, and a PhD candidate in philosophy at The Catholic University of America.

© 2001 David Dieteman

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