On the Coming American Religious Civil War

Date: 01 27 2003

Edited by: Edwin F. Kagin
Kentucky State Director, American Atheists

A few years ago, I put forth an essay warning of the coming American
Religious Civil War (ARCw). Well, most folks ignored the warning. Most still
do, even as leave is being unlawfully sought by the temporary
representatives of our government to use the tax money of We the People to
build and repair buildings for churches. And even as churches are given the
blessings of our temporary government to run social programs, together with
their own religious programs, while using our tax money to do so, the
warning goes unheeded. In the ARCW Battle of Kentucky, a federal judge has
said it is okay to hang the Ten Commandments in public schools. I don't
think he let us know if it was the Protestant or Catholic version that
should be hung, and I do think he should be asked about that. After all, if
one is to display the inerrant word of god, one should display the correct
inerrant word of god, shouldn't one?

So, in yet another attempt to warn of the dangers, we herewith reproduce our
earlier warning. Feel free to reproduce it as you will, so long as credit of
authorship is given.

Enjoy, but be afraid. Be very afraid.


Kentucky Colonel
Battle of Kentucky
American Religious Civil War (ARCW)


Edwin F. Kagin is a lawyer-poet. He believes that, through grace and faith,
this will be a regular column and, if events are predestined, that whatever
he believes makes no difference whatsoever. He has a Website at:
He can be reached in care of this publication, or through e€‘mail at:


War is hell. Little understood aphorism.

(ARCW). If so, you should date and preserve this warning. Then your
distant descendants (maybe the "Daughters of the ARCW") can have something
to be smug about--in the unlikely event that they, and this notice, survive
the fires, and anybody can still read.

The ARCW has already been started by the superstitious. They call it a
"civil war of values." The shooting has already started. They call that
"protecting innocent life." The purpose of the war is to overthrow science
and constitutional democracy and to replace them with the Bronze Age myths
and laws of ancient Iraq that became preserved in a collection of writings
known, in translation, as "The Holy Bible." They regard this undertaking as
"bringing America back to God." Loyal Americans should regard it as treason.

The effects of the stated ends of the traitors include: harming children by
not teaching them about human sexuality; harming adults by irrationally
circumscribing consensual sexual and reproductive freedom; harming democracy
by imposing laws enforcing mythological interpretations of a supernatural
being's will; harming civilization by preventing inquiry and suppressing
evidence that disproves the myths; harming human development by teaching
that humans have a duty to live for some superstitious spiritual world
rather than for the world of flesh in which they happen to exist. The
traitors do not view their teachings or methods as harmful, but neither did
their pious ancestors who beat children and burned women alive for their own

The fanatics have declared war on reason and human progress. They have done
this because they suffer from fundamental misunderstandings of the nature of
American democracy and of the Bible.

History tells lies. It is important to understand this to understand the
ARCW. A particularly harmful lie is that the United States of America was
founded as a Christian nation. The traitors truly believe this because it
has been taught them since they colored pilgrims with crayons in church
nursery school while their parents were in the sanctuary learning to be more
judgmental. As the young bigots grew into adultery (sic), they accepted this
teaching uncritically, just as they accepted that everything in the bible is
true, and that science is wrong, if not evil, when it proves that humans
have evolved from non-human life forms. The traitors should, in fairness, be
permitted to prove the intensity of this mental abuse in their defense at
the ARCW war crimes trials.

America was not established as a Christian nation. To the contrary, it was
intentionally set up as a godless nation. That's why no god or religion of
any kind is mentioned in our Constitution. This was so important that it was
memorialized in the first words of the first amendment to our Constitution,
to wit, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion,
or prohibiting the free exercise thereof..." The people who started this
country knew what religious war and holy terror was, and they wanted to be
very clear that America was a democracy set up under human law, not
religious authority or rule. This was made exquisitely clear when, in a
treaty with Tripoli, signed by President John Adams on June 10, 1797, the
United Stated Senate unanimously declared, "...the government of the United
States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian Religion."
That's that, said the grammarian. People who don't like the American way,
and think church and state should not be separated, really ought to move to
Serbia where they can kill and rape non-believers with impunity.

The traitors who push the ARCW think they are doing god's will by trying to
force their sacred texts and prejudices on those who want to dance to other
celestial music or simply stay home Sunday mornings and brush the cat.
Before our Constitution, several states made criminals of people who didn't
attend the right church, or, whisper the thought, did not attend holy
services at all. Some very wise people made us a nation where it is legal to
stay home with the cat. If we want to keep it that way, it is necessary to
win the ARCW.

As the believers, who think the fault is in the stars and not in themselves,
are waging the ARCW on many fronts, thus on many fronts must freedom be
defended. Particularly valuable allies can be found among Christians who
find attempts to force their foot into someone else's shoe offensive. After
all, if the existence and will of any god were clearly known, there would be
no need for faith or debate. No one seriously doubts that objects fall down
if dropped, but there is murderous dispute over beliefs that cannot be
proved as convincingly as gravity.

This is a wake up call. Don't press the snooze alarm. The barbarians are
at the gates, and, because they encourage breeding beyond the ability of the
breeders to house, feed, and educate the breedees, violence and social
disorganization continue. As the most Christian nation on earth watches its
civilization dissolve like a Dove bar fallen off of that ark, attempts to
enforce irrational superstitious solutions will accelerate. That Branch
Davidian thing was a sample. Lots of other messiahs are waiting. Maybe we
can have court ordered Branch Davidian Social Services counseling for people
who won't share their wives with god's anointed. Maybe courts can acquit
murderers if they believe god's finger was on their trigger. Maybe the
barbarians will actually succeed in assuring that books, pictures, ideas,
doctors, judges and military commanders share their vision. Then we will
have a lot of interesting tribal warfare. One useful defense will be
humanistic hermeneutics.

"Hermeneutics" is a fancy word for biblical interpretation. When religious
types want to make something simple sound holy and mysterious, they often
give it an important sounding high falutin' name. This practice contrasts
sharply with the usage of secular humanists, which, in explaining their
views, employ simple words that fall trippingly from the tongue, like

Hermeneutics can be an important weapon to use against religious fanatics in
the coming ARCW. The hard core nut cases-- those who would control every
aspect of our lives by forcing us to accept their understanding of the will
of their god--tend to share certain operational assumptions. These include
the belief that:

1) Every word of the bible is true.

2) The English translation of the bible authorized by King James the First
of England, completed in 1611, Common Era, is the only fully acceptable,
authoritative, and inspired-by-god translation of holy scripture. This
translation is accurate in every respect, including punctuation marks.

3) The bible is the basis of all morality. Without it there can be no

4) The United States of America was established, and should be governed,
according to biblical principles.

5) The bible is without error.

6) No part of the bible is in conflict with, or contradictory to, any other

7) Hermeneutics can be used to clarify and explain those truths of god in
the bible that might appear, to finite minds, to be in conflict. The goal
of hermeneutics is to reconcile all portions of the word of god (the bible)
into a seamless, complete, infallible, and final statement of all past and
future history (the latter is called "prophecy"), of divine law, and of how
humans should behave and understand morality. The bible, properly
interpreted, is the final word on everything.

Ignorance, while regrettable, can lead to some interesting discussions. As
an example of how hermeneutics works, one gospel tells us Judas hanged
himself after betraying Jesus. Another gospel says Judas threw himself off
a cliff. Proper interpretation, guided by the holy spirit, reveals this to
mean Judas hanged himself over a cliff. Then the rope, or branch, broke,
and Judas fell down the cliff. If the author of the "Song of Solomon" in
the bible appears to drool over a woman's breasts, this is not to be
understood in some sexual sense that would keep the bible out of family
friendly libraries, but rather as a poetic metaphor of Christ's love for his
church. See, it's really quite simple.

Fanatics feel that only the godless and the immoral could possibly
understand the bible as a collection of diverse literary myths, sexy
stories, primitive laws, and biased histories, unconnected in their
presentation, and unworthy of belief in their totality. Such true
believers are quite satisfied with the famous refutation of reason of the
early Christian church, "I believe it because it is absurd."

The problem is that they are not content to believe what they want and let
others believe, or not believe, as they choose. The ARCW they have
declared has the avowed purpose of making our democracy one nation under
their idea of god. This is treason in its purest and most virulent form.

America was not founded on biblical principles. There is nothing in the
bible about democracy. Democracy was invented in Greece, some five hundred
years before Jesus. It was overwhelmed for centuries in religious
bloodbaths of kings and emperors, and, with minor exceptions, disappeared
from human affairs until it was rediscovered and memorialized in the
Constitution of the United States of America. To insure that dictators and
priests would be kept forever at bay, after much debate, our Constitution
was consciously created as a godless document that established a wholly
secular state. Love it or leave it.

The religious fanatics who are traitors to our way of life must be stopped
before their un-American attempts to replace our democracy with their
mythology cause the ARCW to become a shooting war. Using their principles
of hermeneutics, their own book can become a powerful weapon against them in
ways reasonable people (including most Christians) can understand.

The bible contains a relatively limited vocabulary when compared with the
great contemporary literary works of Greek and Roman writers. The style is
also awkward by comparison. One might argue that a work dictated by god
should be expected to be better than the writings of heathens, but, alas, it
is not. There are no original ideas or thoughts in the bible. Much of it
is plagiarized from Egyptian and Babylonian sources. There is little that
passes for morality as we understand it. Slavery is condoned, as is the
murder of children of non-believers; a rebellious son should be stoned to
death, and women are to be totally subjugated to men. A man could have
many wives in the Old Testament. If it is argued that the New Testament
created a "new covenant" wherein only one wife is permitted, we might wonder
if the changeless god changed his mind. If so, how can every word of the
Old Testament are taken as the will of god?

From a search of the sacred text itself, using a computerized King James
Bible, available in Christian bookstores, we discover that the following
words do not appear in the bible: cooperate; cooperation; moral;
traditional; values; rational; rights; morals; independence; congress;
compromise; progress; republic; republican; democrat; democracy; insight;
morality; jury; vote; test; due process; consequences; coincidence;
parliament; majority; minority; constitution; achievement; aspire; human;
invention; explore; discovery; humanity; humanism; university; universe;
homosexual; fairness; harmony; treaty; logic; sexuality; abort; abortion;
fetus; poet; poetry; artist; creativity.

If the bible is the foundation of morality and our way of life, we are in
serious trouble indeed. If the ARCW is lost, we will have no need for
those omitted words.

Edwin Kagin
August, 1995

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