For anyone familiar with the mantra of fundamentalist Christians, what I'm about to share will not surprise you. What might surprise you, though, is how doggedly Sharron Angle pursued the question of a high school football team wearing black jerseys for one homecoming game.
Back in 1992, Sharron Angle waged her very first public campaign -- against black football jerseys. After the local favorites had been defeated by an upstart team of newbies from a neighboring county in 1991, the coach came up with this for the following year:
Springing ahead, Jones came up with an innovative idea to fire up his charges for their 1992 homecoming game against Laughlin. Utilizing the “darkest day” theme, he suggested the Muckers could wear black jerseys to remember the previous year’s debacle.
All politics is local, and nothing ratchets up the heat faster than high school sports, schools, and religious zealots. There were two factions opposing the coach's idea. Those who objected to any color but school colors on the field, and Sharron Angle's group, who objected on these grounds:
Also opposing the black jerseys was another group including Angle, a member, if not its leader.
They argued against our charges wearing black on religious grounds.
I cannot quote scripture as they did to justify their point but the gist of their argument was that black as a color was thoroughly evil, invoking the supernatural and especially the devil my take from dictionary definitions and not from scripture .
Angle's weird and extreme position comes from the theology of light and dark articulated throughout the Bible. It's based on a literal reading of Scriptural passages invoking metaphorical applications of light and dark, culminating in Jesus' proclamation that he is the "light of the world".
But folks, this is a football team, not a theological minefield. The controversy was over the color of a jersey for a homecoming game, not the souls of young high school students throughout the land.
And in the end, they didn't wear the black jerseys, the school administration kept them, and the students were not reimbursed for their own out-of-pocket costs to buy them.
It matters. It matters, because...
Nevada voters who did not know so before now are learning that religion is a big part of any Angle campaign, just as it was so many years ago.
But in a Las Vegas R-J story last week, an Angle campaign spokesman insisted the candidate is tolerant of others’ views. That was not the case 18 years ago when her religious preference was displayed during a campaign for the county school board.
If you want a taste of vintage 1992 Sharron Angle, read her rant letter to Harry Reid. This is the intensity with which she stormed the school board over black jerseys. Holy jihad, Batman.
Sharron Angle is on the record as recently as June, 2010 claiming that there is no constitutional requirement for separation of church and state. That squares with her theological views to a "T", shaped by her long, enduring association with fundamentalist, and even activist, churches.
Angle is a member of Fellowship Community Church now, a fairly mainstream Southern Baptist church. However, she was a member of Word of Light Fellowship around the same time that she would have been waging this campaign against black football jerseys. Word of Light is an Assemblies of God church, similar to Sarah Palin's home church.
And that, my friends, puts her squarely into the dominionist/Christian Reconstructionist camp, right alongside Jim Demint, and top Republican presidential hopeful, Mike Huckabee. Oh, and Sarah Palin, of course.
Angle isn't just crazy. She is a soldier in her own holy war. It began with football jerseys, but now the stakes are much, much higher.