HuffPo blogger: vote for Jesus!

January 12, 2014 • 5:57 am

I have mixed feelings (though mostly negative) about a new piece at HuffPo by William B. Bradshaw, “Religion and politics do mix.” Bradshaw, by the way, is religious; he’s described at his site as “a graduate of the University of Missouri majoring in English and Yale Divinity School studying for the pastoral ministry, earned a PhD degree at the University of St. Andrews, Scotland.” He’s also written a book on grammatical mistakes.

The piece is, by and large, lame: it’s unworthy of a high-school essay much less a HuffPo piece (in fact, the two have many similarities). But there are two things I like about it. The first is Bradshaw’s claim that, given religion’s importance in the life of believers, they should he discussing it constantly:

No two subjects are more important for one’s total well-being than religion and politics. Politics is all about one’s well-being when living in this life, and religion is all about one’s well-being in the life to come. What could possibly be more important than these two subjects? So why shouldn’t we be discussing religion and politics with our friends, neighbors, family members, significant others, and in the wider community?

By all means! But that holds for nonbelievers, too. So when the faithful bring up their religion, Bradshaw must surely agree that we should be free to criticize it. After all, that’s “discussion,” isn’t it? And, of course, when you realize the importance of religion, and its claims about reality (i.e., about your “life to come”), then surely you must take great care in assessing which religion, if any, to embrace. To those like Karen Armstrong and Terry Eagleton, who dismiss claims about heaven and afterlives as false assumptions by New Atheists about what people really believe, note that Bradshaw is not talking about a Ground of Being here!

I also like Bradshaw’s frank admission that, for many Americans, the separation between church and state is regularly abrogated when it comes to the ballot box, for many Americans do vote according to the tenets of their faith. In fact, many Americans would like a theocracy.

Although our politicians contend that there should be separation of church and state, how many times do we see religious convictions and political issues intersect in such a way that religion cannot possibly be separated from the state? I speak, for example, of such basic religious and political issues as: school prayer, sex education in public schools, abortion, legalized marijuana, euthanasia, same-sex marriage, tax abatements for not-for profit organizations, war, torture of prisoners, religious symbols and statues on public property, and opening public meetings with prayer. It is absolutely ridiculous to suggest that religious convictions don’t influence political decisions! By how much is a bigger question.

Bradshaw, however, buttresses his argument with the familiar but specious claim that this country was founded on religious principles:

Early European history teaches us that religion played a major role in the political development of Europe. In turning to early United States history, “God” and the “Creator” are clearly mentioned in the Declaration of Independence, but God is not mentioned in the United States Constitution or the Bill of Rights (the first ten amendments to the Constitution). Yet if one reads the papers and speeches of the founding fathers of our country and the framers of the Constitution, there is absolutely no question that their belief in God and divine providence played a consequential role in the early history of the United States and the framing of the Constitution.

After a comprehensive tour of the White House, the Capital [sic], the United States Supreme Court Building, the Library of Congress, the Washington Monument, the Thomas Jefferson Memorial, the Lincoln Memorial, Arlington National Cemetery, Union Station, and statues throughout Washington, one cannot help being greatly impressed by the number of times “God” is engraved in marble or stone. And let us not forget our country’s motto: “in God we trust”; the fact that our country’s motto is included on all coins and paper money; that there are chaplains for both houses of the U. S. Congress; and that “under God” is in the Pledge of Allegiance. Yet, God is not mentioned in our national anthem, The Star Spangled Banner. The First Amendment of the Constitution makes it clear that no religion shall be established by any branch of the United States Government–hence, separation of church and state. But that same amendment guarantees freedom of religion.

Bradshaw doesn’t mention that “in God we trust” has been the country’s “official” motto only since 1956, that it first appeared on coins only in 1864, and, as members of the Freedom from Religion foundation know well, was printed on paper money beginning as late as 1957 (at the FFRF’s annual meeting, they raffle off “clean” money—bills made before 1957 that lack the offending slogan).

And what about that “consequential” role of religion in the framing of the Constitution? What exactly would that be? The only consequential role I know of is the insistence by our founders that church and state be kept separate. People like Franklin, Jefferson, and Madison were at best deists, but more likely were agnostics or atheists who couldn’t confess unbelief because of the social climate of 18th century America. Bradshaw, of course, gives no example of the importance of “belief in God and divine providence” in our early history and framing of the Constitution. I’ll grant that many people came to America for religious freedom, but that’s precisely why we’ve kept religion out of government.

What I don’t like about the piece is Bradshaw’s claim that people should vote according to their religious scruples:

Every year is important for religion, as we need the continued influence of religious convictions for all those making decisions in our various houses of government. Your religious convictions speak as you go to political rallies, visit with office holders, write letters to the editor, and step into the ballot box. Furthermore, we never know when accidents or illness will take us or our loved ones from this life. What you believe about life after death–about heaven, hell, purgatory, or nothing at all–should always be a high priority in your religious life. You owe it to yourself, your family and friends, and to your country to be well-informed about, and committed to, your spiritual convictions.

Yes, of course people are going to vote according to their religious convictions and morality. What else could they do? If your faith tells you that homosexuality is a sin, you’re certainly not going to vote for a politician who supports gay marriage. If you think a zygote is a person, you won’t support a pro-choice candidate. But voting on the basis of religious conviction is about the worst thing you can do, for religious ethics are far inferior to secular ethics. Religious ethics are absorbed without reflection or rationale; secular ethics require—or should require—not only reflection, but justification.

And reflexive voting based on what your church teaches often means voting in favor of retrograde values that are impervious to social change. It’s no accident that it is religious voters who, by and large, are against gay rights, women’s rights, equality for ethnic minorities, assisted dying, and, indeed, abrogation of the First Amendment itself. It’s the faithful who want to dismantle the very strictures inserted into our Constitution by our founders: a strict separation between government and religion. If Rick Warren were President, we’d see copies of the Ten Commandments in every courthouse and government office in the land.

No, we don’t need “the continued influence of religious convictions” in our government. What we need are the influence of secular and reasoned convictions: those free from ancient superstition and unthinking adherence to dogma.

Shame on HuffPo for publishing this—except that they are not capable of shame. Their guiding principle is to publish anything that’s even halfway literate, and to enrich themselves by exploiting writers, like Bradshaw, who couldn’t place such essays in places that would pay for them.

h/t: Steve

39 thoughts on “HuffPo blogger: vote for Jesus!

  1. “You owe it to yourself, your family and friends, and to your country to be well-informed about (see Note), and committed to, your spiritual convictions.”

    Secular version:


    (Note: a pair of adjectives are not hyphenated when one is an adverb, in this case well–are there any editors at Flufflo?)

      1. Even when the first of the modifiers modifies the second? To me, it makes sense that in that case, there should be no hyphen, hyphens being reserved for cases in which the two modifiers both modify a third and separate term: “socio-economic factors”, “red-orange color”, etc. Just yesterday I made a comment on this site about the unctuously presumptuous behavior of church officials. I don’t think anyone would recommend hyphenation in that case: “untuously-presumptuous behavior”.

        True, I’ve always seen “well-informed” with a hyphen, but I think Michelle has a point.

        1. Although after some thought, I suppose “well-informed”, “ill-conceived”, and the like could be construed as an adjective construct, instead of adverb-plus-adjective. In “she was very well-informed” “well-informed is the modified term.

          There’s a rule in here somewhere.

  2. Do these people look back to the Dark ages of Europe with nostalgia and towards the middle east with jealousy? Can they not see, from modern and historical examples, of how bad life gets when we allow religions to rule? It has never been a good thing.

    1. My guess is that religious theocrats look at both modern and historic examples of religious rule and feel frustrated that the power has been given in those cases to the WRONG religion. It’s either a false god or a false interpretation of the REAL God. Thus, it’s not a fair test.

      Nobody has ever really tried letting God take over completely. Human beings keep messing it up. But, if allowed their way, they would ensure that God is allowed His way.

      1. Indeed. Just like communists say “No, communism is really great, it’s just never been done properly” and “libertarians” say “No, leaving everything to the market is really great, it’s just never been done properly”.

        1. Actually, communism has been done properly, but only in intentional communities – they’re called cloistered monasteries.

            1. I’d define a kibbutz as a type of intentional community. It seems that communism can work when it is not the driving ideology of the community but a support mechanism for the intent.

              It also seems to work better on a small scale rather than a national one.

              1. Yeah I was thinking the same thing. There is probably a threshold where it falls a part. It probably works in small groups because those people share similar motivations that communism addresses. I suspect these are not indicative of the larger population.

  3. I would like to see a lot more honesty coming from religious people about what they really want, instead of the constant weasel of trying to insinuate their beliefs into the lives of other people who don’t share them, without ever being straight about their goals.

    If they really don’t want separation of church and state, let them introduce a Constitutional amendment and try to get it passed. When they fail, they should then STFU about it and realize that it won’t fly with the vast majority of people in this county.

    They should be honest about their hatred of women. They should be upfront about the fact that they believe that Catholic hospitals have the right not only to deny life-saving abortions to women, but also the right to deny those women accurate information about their health crises. When a pregnant woman enters a Catholic hospital ER with malignant hypertension, a detaching placenta, an infection, or anoother life-threatening condition, they need to be straight that they will not tell her or her family about any of this, but instead tell her to “go home and rest”.

    They should be honest about their hatred of children. They should be straight that they believe in physical and mental abuse as means of control.

    And, most particularly, instead of talking about “religion”, Christers should be honest that what they REALLY mean is keeping privilege for Christianity.

    And finally, they should have to be straight about whose particular brand should become the official one. Let them kill each other in the process of deciding. L

    1. The reason they are not honest about such things is they’ve deceived even themselves into believing they are not true even when it is so blatantly obvious that they are. The reason they need to deceive themselves at all is because Enlightenment values built into their secular society tell them that their biblical, Bronze Age values are bad ones.

      If it weren’t for secular reasoning, we’d all be living the hell that these people think is so heavenly.

  4. I note the comment that the pilgrim fathers came to America to escape persecution. I remember a Stephen Fry Q. I. quiz (a UK production)in which it was asserted that the pilgrim fathers actually came to America to persecut. It being the case that they were particularly ardent in their beliefs and wished for a society that brooked no dissention. Just Google “The pilgrims went to America to persecute) and see what comes up.

    1. The Pilgrims, a splinter – and separatist – faction of the Church of England, came to America to found a “purer” church. Persecution was (and still is) the handmaiden of such purity.

    2. In 6th grade of public elementary school (!) I was taught that the real reason the Pilgrims came to America was that they’d escaped to the Netherlands and were no longer persecuted — but their children were becoming Dutch. They were mingling with the children of Catholics and speaking the language. So, to keep their ‘purity,’ they wanted their own land and their own country, lest their children fall victim to diversity.

      I think this was more or less the case.

  5. “You owe it to yourself, your family and friends, and to your country to be well-informed…”

    I totally agree if the sentence ended there. But how many people have a decent understanding of their religion? Most people haven’t read the entire Bible.

    Combine that with most people believing some breathless reporter and never researching deeper into the story, or never thinking critically about what the story was about.

    It’s a bad combination.

  6. Most people see the establishment clause of the US Constitution’s first amendment as a statement in favor of religious liberty and equal treatment for all faiths. In his book Founding Faith: How Our Founding Fathers Forged A Radical New Approach To Religious Liberty, Steven Waldman painted rather different picture.

    The groups who came to the American colonies for religious reasons were more on the order of separatists – it was easier to create a new order on the other side of the world than revolt at home. Most of them were mor interested in creating their own pocket theocracies where they fostered intolerance, frequently on a scale far greater than the oppression they were supposedly fleeing.

    With independence, the question arose as to just which cult…er…sect…e…denomination would get the not as the official state religion. This caused quite a dilemma. The Methodists hated the Congregationalists, the Congregationalists hated the Baptists (for a Baptist to preach in Virginia carries jail time), everybody hated the Quakers, to say nothing of the minions of the papist Whore of Babylon, and the Anglicans (soon to become the Episcopalians) were suspected of having lingering royalist sympathies. Who then to get the official nod? Well, the compromise was not to have an official state religion. Better the possibility that a Jew, Mahometan, heathen or even a Catholic hold public office rather than let the Presbyterians or Lutherans have the blessing of official status. And so a “secular” state was born, in mistrust and despite.

  7. “… she shall not be allowed to cohabitate in the President’s residence with any person with whom she has a romantic relation.”’

    What!? Wouldn’t they have more problem if the President lives with one or more persons who she has only sexual relations with?

    And if such a case would be taken to court, WWJD? [What Would a Jury Do?]

  8. Every year is important for religion, as we need the continued influence of religious convictions for all those making decisions in our various houses of government.

    That’s rather like insisting that every year is important for influenza, as we need the continued influence of influenza for all those making vaccines in our various pharmaceutical corporations.

    Or we could…you know? Just stop breaking windows?



  9. After nearly two millennia of rule in Europe by kings and queens according to so called divine right, the Declaration of Independence specifically repudiates this idea. “Governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.” In addition it goes on to say that the people have the right to alter or abolish governments not effecting their safety and happiness; even a government ruling by divine right, such as Great Britain.

  10. William B. Bradshaw perpetuates a classical distortion of the facts of European history. He repeats the blatant lie that “Early European history teaches us that religion played a major role in the political development of Europe.”

    The reality was the reverse: It is the political powers established in Europe that played a major role in the development of the Christian religion in Europe.

    Bradshaw wants to propagate the popular misconception repeatedly hammered by writers influenced by Christian orthodoxy that “Christianity took over the Roman empire and later went on to control the governments of European nations.”

    Christianity never “took over” the Roman Empire. It is the reverse: the Roman Emperors first endorsed what had been the banned and persecuted Christian “superstitio”, to give it the legal status of “religio” with the Edict of Milan of Constantine (313). Then Emperor Theodosius annexed the Christian religion with the Edict of Thessalonika (380).

    And not the full package. Theodosius selected Christians who had adopted the Nicean creed “professed” by the Archbishop of Alexandria and the “pontiff” of Rome, and made it into the “Catholic Church”.
    All other Christians and followers of Christ were pursued by the judicial power, persecuted and annihilated.
    What the Emperors wanted to stamp out was the never-ending fights and quarrels between Christian sects that undermined the stability of certain areas. The combating Christians were never even able to build their famous “Church”. It is the Emperors who stepped in and forced the timorous and Greek-deficient bishops to find a common ground, or else… exile or death.

    The Catholic Church, created and fostered by the Roman Emperors, became an agent of the Roman administration in the area of culture and religion. But the Emperor always controlled the affairs of the Church, internally and externally.

    Christians were forced by the Emperors Constantine and Theodosius to adopt a central doctrine and put an end to their ferocious internecine quarrels where important bishops were competing for power and prestige.

    But the bishops remained always subjected to the absolute power of the Emperors, and were exiled or deprived of their privileges as soon as they became nuisances. The Emperor controlled the Empire with his army and his civil administration. The Catholic Church was just an additional agency of the Roman Emperor.

    No, there’s no way to substantiate the popular claim again loudly asserted by Bradshaw that “religion” (i.e. “Christianity”, but which branch?) “played a major role” (i.e “took over”, in what form exactly?) “in the political development of Europe (i.e., initially the Empire.) This is a popular misconception about Early Christianity, a travesty which does not jibe with the real history of the period up to the 5th and 6th centuries.

    It is the classical rewrite of history by orthodox historians since Eusebius of Caesarea for self-justification. He wrote the first Ecclesiastical History glorifying the role of Emperor Constantine (in the direction reverse of the one alleged by Bradshaw)

    If you wished to go deeper in this subject, you could review the key historical details in three great books by historian Charles Freeman:

    – The Closing of the Western Mind: The Rise of Faith and the Fall of Reason (Vintage, Feb. 2005)
    – A.D. 381: Heretics, Pagans, and the Dawn of the Monotheistic State (Overlook TP, Jan. 2010)
    – A New History of Early Christianity (Yale Un. Press, 2011)

    In particular, “A.D. 381” focuses on the remarkable years of the Emperor Theodosius (reigned 379-395) who created and established the Catholic Church as the only legal form of Christianity in the Roman Empire; and who initiated the persecution of all other Christians as “heretics”, subject to the threat of execution.
    He later embarked on the suppression and persecution of “pagans” in the Roman Empire, which turned into a raging mania of destruction over the next few centuries that culminated in the annihilation of the ancient Greco-Roman civilization, its monuments, its buildings, its libraries and books, its art, its science, philosophy and its knowledge.

    This is a fundamental period when the Emperors created a military Catholic Church as an additional agent of their control of the Empire, alongside the imperial administration and the army.
    The Catholic Church survived as an institution created by the Roman Emperors. The Church became a rich secular power as well, and it adopted their imperial style – splendid palaces, rich garments, grand displays of pomp and protocol – incredibly removed from the humble figure of Jesus Christ.

    The only role that the Catholic priests could play was to use psychological influence to gain advantages, concessions, gifts, and privileges, by brandishing their crosses as the tools of a new, superior magic, and the constant mumbo-jumbo of retaliation from the “Holy Spirit” on uneducated, superstitious chieftains, kings, and emperors.

    But those kings and emperors were first of all and above all military men who never abdicated their effective power and control of their lands to the priests. The power structure was theirs, the best the priests could do was to beg for privileges through their religious theater of rites, baptism, and masses.

    The only place where the Christian Church gained effective political power was in the Papal States, which resulted from gifts granted by the kings of Europe.
    The irritations caused by the Christian Church did become a factor in political decisions, but never gave it the “major role in the political development of Europe” falsely claimed by Bradshaw.
    The major role was always the fight for power, control of territories, and resources played between the military kings and emperors. The priests grabbed whatever crumbs they could get in the general chaos.

  11. What could possibly be more important than these two subjects? So why shouldn’t we be discussing religion and politics with our friends, neighbors, family members, significant others, and in the wider community?

    Exactly — and we need to discuss religion in the same way we discuss politics. This means that all the immunizing strategies which have built up around religious claims in order to protect them from fair scrutiny (faith; identity; metaphysics; privacy; “tolerance;” “freedom”) get ripped away. Stand on common ground now with skeptics and defend Assertion #1 –the existence of God — using reason alone, in such a way that these skeptics can be rationally persuaded.

    Try .. and come to recognize the futility. There’s a reason they’ve been treated to a double standard. It’s time we stopped doing so. Bradshaw is going to regret his initial enthusiasm.

    I’d like to recommend again philosopher Austin Dacey’s excellent book The Secular Conscience: Why Belief Belongs in Public Life. He points out that the insistence that religious beliefs are “private matters” ends up privileging religion in our culture because if you look at the size and scope of the claims there is no realistic way that they CAN be — or be maintained — as “private matters.” They are objective claims and they are supposed to guider one’s life.

    Insisting that they can magically stay out of politics is naive at best and disastrous at worst, because the basis of their influence — their truth — can’t be debated in the public square in the name of “tolerance” and “religious freedom.” So the best option is outspoken atheists pushing again and again at the fact that the religions are not true. Nor are they wise, nor are they a wonderful moral guide, nor is faith a great virtue.

    Religion is really only a private matter when it’s seen by even the believers themselves as a form of play, in that neither God nor the supernatural is important, nor is belief significant. But as long as the conviction is that they are and it is, then we need to drag it kicking and screaming into the public square.

    1. Exactly and we need to discuss religion in the same way we discuss politics. This means that all the immunizing strategies which have built up around religious claims in order to protect them from fair scrutiny (faith; identity; metaphysics; privacy; tolerance; freedom) get ripped away. Stand on common ground now with skeptics and defend Assertion #1 the existence of God using reason alone, in such a way that these skeptics can be rationally persuaded.

      As much as I’d like to share your enthusiasm on this one, I’m afraid I can’t.

      You see, politics is every bit as immune from rational analysis as religion. Just look at how popular trickle-down economics, deregulation, and prohibition remain despite the overwhelming evidence of the harms of those policies.

      And those’re all experiments that’ve been repeatedly performed, too, and at scales large and small.

      To be fair, they each tend to produce significant gains for a small parasite class at the expense of the rest of the population, which explains why we’re stuck with them. But a look at poll numbers is all you need to see that people cheerfully and in huge numbers vote against their own best interests and in favor of the parasites — something they’d not do if your hope in “fair scrutiny” were justified.



      1. This is why these subjects are prohibited in polite conversation. They do not admit of rational discussion, no one is going to change their mind but everyone will get upset. It can do no good.

  12. for many Americans, the separation between church and state is regularly abrogated when it comes to the ballot box, for many Americans do vote according to the tenets of their faith.

    I must disagree that this is an abrogation of the separation of church and state. The 1st Amendment limits what the state can do, saying that the state cannot take sides on religion. This doesn’t prevent any individual from taking sides or from voting on whatever grounds they wish.

  13. In fact, many Americans would like a theocracy.

    They think they would like a Theocracy, until they quickly realize their loss of both individual and religious freedom if their wish were granted.

  14. Religious belief, by design, divides people. It declares, promotes and condones irrational, offensive, hurtful, misogynistic and bigoted ideologies and speech as truthful claims from a superior, supernatural power that no one is capable to prove or know. Religious ideologies are the soul source of hate because these ideologies reinforce bigotry and condition the value of life on deplorable morals that justify damnation for those that question, offend, or refuse to accept this superior, supernatural power or entity.

    One of the real damaging and measurable results of the vile The Gospel of Fox News spews is stupidity. This conservative political commentary is not journalism and the blind followers it creates and/or reinforces 24/7 are our voting public.

    Religious charlatans are financial frauds, but political charlatans are very dangerous and harmful financial frauds. These charlatans clearly joined forces. When supernatural nonsense becomes the norm for our media and government, reason and evidenced based science is tossed into the garbage as untrustworthy or the work of the devil. We argue back, calmly or militantly explain, mock, show more evidence, and fight to implore reason but it all to often falls on deaf ears and blind eyes.

    Facts show that religious and political moderates lean to The Gospel of Fox News because they claim that “both sides of the controversy” need to be examined. What are “both sides” to scientific, evidenced based facts? Why are the equal distribution and allocation of basic human rights debated in a nation founded on freedom? While we are free to subscribe to religious beliefs, those beliefs are not required to be citizens nor should those beliefs determine or undermine equality of law.

    How are we ever going to gain a majority of citizens to trust reason, demonstrable evidence, and critical thinking let alone climate science, when we are unable to educate our citizens that human life evolved? Carl Sagan warned about the dangers of technology in an uneducated nation yet our public fails to understand basic human biology. As a result women will suffer and be left with very few reproductive health options, unless, of course, they have plenty of money. The grip on reason in an unreasonable nation is spiraling out of control. The damage unreasonable ideologies based on religious dogma or the God of money is global.

    The all to well oiled machine that produces hateful, hurtful, lethal and greedy conservative politicians, preaching about our souls on The Gospel of Fox News, holds the lion share of our world at risk. Just examine any sovereign or divine statement your politician claims with fevered scrutiny. What is at the heart of the conservative politician’s agenda: his or a major corporation’s bottom line in this life, or your soul in the next?

    As long as humanity has a brain and a heart beat, those that critically examine evidence and fight to provide real solutions that equally help one another in this life, as well as protect our precious planet, will continue to garner the strength required to combat nonsense.

    We have a lot of nonsense to combat in 2014.

  15. “Yet, God is not mentioned in our national anthem, The Star Spangled Banner.”

    I’m sorry but I have to tell you you’re wrong about that. Most Americans are only familiar with the first stanza of the national anthem, the part that gets sung at sporting events. There are four stanzas overall, and the deity (along with the justification for In God We Trust) is in the fourth:

    O say can you see by the dawn’s early light,
    What so proudly we hailed at the twilight’s last gleaming,
    Whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight,
    O’er the ramparts we watched, were so gallantly streaming?
    And the rockets’ red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
    Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there;
    O say does that star-spangled banner yet wave,
    O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

    On the shore dimly seen through the mists of the deep,
    Where the foe’s haughty host in dread silence reposes,
    What is that which the breeze, o’er the towering steep,
    As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?
    Now it catches the gleam of the morning’s first beam,
    In full glory reflected now shines in the stream:
    ‘Tis the star-spangled banner, O! long may it wave
    O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

    And where is that band who so vauntingly swore
    That the havoc of war and the battle’s confusion,
    A home and a country, should leave us no more?
    Their blood has washed out their foul footsteps’ pollution.
    No refuge could save the hireling and slave
    From the terror of flight, or the gloom of the grave:
    And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave,
    O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

    O thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
    Between their loved home and the war’s desolation.
    Blest with vict’ry and peace, may the Heav’n rescued land
    Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation!
    Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
    And this be our motto: “In God is our trust.”
    And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
    O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

    We may not like it, but it’s there. Perhaps we can take some comfort in the fact that the tune is from a somewhat off-color drinking song.

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