If Alexis de Tocqueville didn’t say this, he should have.
There are a lot of churches in America.
That is obvious of course: there are myriad buildings, paltry to grand that are the places where Americans go to express their religious faith, beliefs etc.
But the meaning I intend for the word “church” here is the more ethereal one.
I mean it to mean “aggregation of humans of similar beliefs who have agreed to such beliefs in such a manner that their aggregation can be given a name”: Roman Catholic jumps to mind, as does Southern Baptist, or Presbyterian or Church of the Inner Fire.
And there are more every day.
What hasn’t been often noticed, however, is that most or all of these churches really fall under an umbrella church.
That umbrella is the organization that represents all of its little people – its members – in all things political or all things that might have anything to do with how the rest of us are governed.
The power of that umbrella and its influence on the three branches of our federal government are probably grotesque violations of our Constitution, but we are way beyond the point of being able to recall that dog from the woods.
So I won’t try.
I will just point out something about the umbrella that I find amusing.
First I must name it (the umbrella).
It is the Universal Church of Social Bigotry.
And it hefts its power as a church in the following manner.
It says, “my bigotry is my religion and I can discriminate against anything, anybody anytime anyhow”.
“I am, after all, a religion; and I have my rights to religious freedom.”
Indiana is the home of that church.
It is headquartered right in downtown Indianapolis.
Indianapolis is sort of the Rome of bigotry.
And its pope – pictured above – is a really colorful piece of work.
He’s not satisfied with being pope of the UCSB, he wants to be President.