Not a week goes by when I don’t receive these awful little conservative diatribes by email. The below is a great example; an adaptation of Jeff Foxworthy’s “You Might Be A Redneck” that aims to defend an arbitrary list of traditional conservative values. It represents part of the wider ‘culture war’ in America between those who wish Christianity and traditional norms to remain central to the culture and those who don’t identify with religion much at all (or at least not this kind of religion) and find cultural traditionalism stifling.

Some things that should be obvious:

You might be a redneck if: It never occurred to you to be offended by the phrase, ‘One nation, under God.’

People will naturally be upset when others try to misrepresent them. Not all Americans believe in God. So the phrase is inaccurate at best, and doesn’t represent the way people in this nation live their lives. Neither was it the original national motto (in fact it was only added about 50 years ago). I much prefer the original: E pluribus unum, “Out of Many, One.”

You might be a redneck if: You’ve never protested about seeing the 10 Commandments posted in public places.

Rednecks don’t protest the Ten Commandments on public buildings because the Ten Commandments form a part of their religious observance. But those who do protest it do so for good reasons: first, the Ten Commandments are not the basis of American law and therefore do not belong on court buildings; second, it should be obvious that the population of the United States encompasses a diverse range of religious belief and therefore encompasses those do not necessarily identify with the Ten Commandments; third, the Ten Commandments are a religious text and displaying them on public buildings is inconsistent with the separation of church and state as guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution.

You might be a redneck if: You still say ‘Christmas’ instead of ‘Winter Festival.’

I don’t know anybody who says “Winter Festival.” And I don’t know anybody who has ever been offended by hearing the word “Christmas” used to describe the festive season in December. Christmas is now more of a cultural festival rather than a religious one, and that’s why it isn’t largely controversial. But no ‘redneck’ should get the idea that everyone in America needs to celebrate Christmas; it just so happens that most people do.

You might be a redneck if: You bow your head when someone prays.

You might also simply be conditioned to do so, as Muslims are conditioned to pray five times a day and as Catholics are conditioned to cross themselves and as Pentecostals are conditioned to raise their arms. Bowing shouldn’t be seen as some kind of universal sign of good morals or something.

You might be a redneck if: You stand and place your hand over your heart when they play the National Anthem.

People do it out of national pride, patriotism and respect, and most who do so are not rednecks (or even necessarily conservatives).

You might be a redneck if: You treat our armed forces veterans with great respect, and always have.

Now we’re expected to believe conservatives have a monopoly on respect for those who serve their country in the military? That’s a quaint idea that bears no resemblance to reality. Moreover, respecting the service of military men and women has nothing whatever to do with supporting the decisions of those who send them. In other words, one can support the military while objecting on the strongest terms to going to war in the first place.

You might be a redneck if: You’ve never burned an American flag, nor intend to.

Huh? What planet are these people on? They think everyone but conservatives are going around burning American flags? The cultural paranoia is tangible.

You might be a redneck if: You respect your elders and raised your kids to do the same.

This arbitrary appendage amounts to the view that people deserve the impulsive respect of their juniors for having managed to live a certain length of time, rather than because they actually did something worthy of such respect.

What utter garbage. No wonder they want to conserve the past: it’s clear they’re incapable of thinking about things deeply enough to shape a meritorious future.