The Evil Atheist Conspiracy
Memorandum for the Record
From: James Still
To: Fellow Conspirators
Re: The Evil Atheist Conspiracy
Dated: January 30, 2001
My Nefarious Brothers and Sisters,
As you all know our abominable plan to dismantle organized religion in the United States had been a total failure. During the nineties more people than ever were attending weekly worship services. Our opponents discovered our plot to introduce queer values via Teletubbies, teens stopped listening to our backward-masked Satanic rock music, and Alan Greenspan thwarted our attempt to control the world's money supply. Nondenominational churches were popping up across America at an alarming rate. (True most looked like gaudy big-box Walmarts and were about as spiritual as a suburban shopping mall but that's not the point.) The point is we were losing the battle, and thus we were forced to postpone implementation of Phase I of our evil atheist conspiracy.
In 1995, at the urging of "Alberto" a Jesuit priest and our inside operative, we decided to reexamine our plan to see what went wrong. In so doing we had arrived at an important conclusion. The more we tried to separate church and state and to banish God from the classroom the more popular religion became. We tried to keep God off of the football fields but his followers continued to pray before each and every game. Christian rock music sales, helped by the corporatization and domestication of what was once really good music, increased dramatically in the early nineties. Creationism enjoyed a bold resurgence as gullible folk too lazy to learn about science sought easy answers. The more we pushed, the more they resisted. It got so bad that some people began to take Jerry Falwell seriously again.
Taking a tip from Jujitsu philosophy, we changed the plan that year. Rather than pushing against organized religion we began to embrace it. Our efforts saw fruition almost immediately in "Charitable Choice," which became law under the Clinton Administration's 1996 welfare reform bill. Under this law, faith-based charities that took funds from the state could not accept or reject participants on the basis of their religion nor compel anyone to attend worship services. But we all know how that will go. With the state's social safety net all but gone, religious charities will soon realize that they're the only game in town. It's only a matter of time before those in the soup line will be forced to attend worship services. Nothing takes the wind out of organized religion's sails so fast as compulsory attendance.
And of course we all remember what happened to Jamie Dodge right? Dodge pulled a fast one on the Salvation Army by telling them she was a Catholic. They hired her and later when she revealed that she was really a Wiccan witch, they promptly fired her. Dodge sued and in Dodge v. Salvation Army (1989), the circuit court ruled in her favor saying that so long as the Salvation Army accepted government money they could not discriminate against someone's religion. Also that same year, the Salvation Army lost its litigation against New Jersey, which had just passed a law in which religious charities accepting government funds could no longer tell residents of its shelters what they could do after hours or whom they could have as visitors in their rooms. Before you know it Brothers and Sisters the U.S. will be just like our cousins across the pond where fewer and fewer people attend the state-endorsed Church of England.
Our plans are working so well that we've now pushed ahead with "compassionate conservatism," an oxymoron if there ever was one but it's working so who cares? President Bush has now expanded the federal government by appointing University of Pennsylvania professor John DiIulio Jr. to head a new federal office called (get this) the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives. With this government expansion comes new money for faith-based charities. "We will not fund the religious activities of any group," President Bush recently declared, however we all know how easily money for one thing gets diverted into something else. Sooner or later federal dollars will be helping to build a parking lot for a synagogue in California or going toward the purchase of a new car for a tanned televangelist in Louisiana. After a couple of well-publicized abuses the state will start to attach strings, requiring long paper trails to account for how their money is spent. Soon church and state will become so entangled that the two will be inseparable! And so long as organized religions receive state funds the state will dictate how they are to run their churches and synagogues.
If history is any guide, that will be the moment when organized religion becomes domesticated as the state slowly whittles away at politically incorrect mandates thus making religion safe and harmless. Voila! The state does our job for us while we call the shots from behind the scenes! But I'm getting ahead of myself, that is part of the Phase II implementation. Until then continue with the plan and remember: keep it a secret and tell no one.