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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.