I was a little peeved by the benediction during today's Inauguration Ceremony for Barack Obama. Private prayer (though still unhelpful) is fine; but government-organized prayer is just wrong. I hope that in my lifetime this goes away as a standard for these types of events.
"One nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."
The Supreme Court argument is absurd. It does not satisfactorily address, imo, "Congress shall make NO law respecting the establishment of religion." "In god we trust" clearly establishes government preference/endorsement of monotheism over polytheism and non-theism. The national motto is not "in gods we trust" and it is not "in no gods we trust." To me, "in god we trust" is not only unconstitutional, it is embarrasing - it translates to "we trust in an imaginary being." "E pluribus unum" was far better.
Be careful about reading our preferred meaning into the word "respecting".
It has the dated, or formal, meaning "with reference or regard to."
Join that with the fact that before the post-Civil War 14th Amendment, the Constitution applied to the Federal government only.
The originalists on the Court read the establishment clause as saying the national legislature shall make make no law interfering with, or trying to disestablish, churches established by state and local governments.
See Akhil Reed Amar's 1998 The Bill of Rights, page 32. Amar was then a law professor at Yale.
So then why recognize a deity that 'created the universe, then walked away, taking a permanent vacation'?
So does this give the federal government a secular 'pope' like position, speaking for 'God', with no direct authorization given by the invisiable guy in the sky? I get the feeling of a childish pretend type of ceremonial process, that keeps the true-believers happy, and the more practical folks with a tool for social control.
a...pretend type of ceremonial process, that keeps the true-believers happy, and the more practical folks with a tool for social control.
Bingo! How many neoconservatives do you think are "true believers" and how many do you think truly believe that religion is a great political tool? They don't care about God, gays, or abortion so much as they care about getting enough of the poor and the middle class fired up on 'culture wars' issues so that those voters will elect a representative whose fiscal policy actually harms them. It's pretty ruthless and it's worked for a long time. You have to give them that.
I have more than once thought, that if I play the game really well, I could have people give me money just for 'believing their crap'. As a contractor, I noticed a tendency for customers to talk about their politics or religious positions during my job. If I were to challendge them on some of the more odd positions, it was clear that the knife edge of acceptance with kick in, and they would cut me off.
Over time I found ways to appear to either agree or fail to show interest. My worst experiences were during jobs where we needed to work together. Hyper-theists can be some really ugly work partners when it comes to ideas, ways of doing things, sources of knowledge, and power gaming.
One Muslum I worked with for a while would not allow me to whisle at the job site or listen to music. I finally told him to mind is own business, if he wanted me to work for him, he needed to not forget what country he is in! His country of origin Tunisia, has recently had a cultural revolution, maybe they have lossened up a little?
Hah. Because the phrase no longer has significance it can be left alone.
Of course it clearly does have significance to the millions of fucktards who scream bloody murder if you talk about removing it.
He swears to uphold our secular, godless Constitution by swearing an oath on a Bible and a "so help me god?" They use our taxpayer money to promote their particular versions of monotheism/Judeo-Christianity? The inauguration was more like a church service. As such, I found it very disappointing.
It really bothers me how many references there were to an imaginary being. I wish there were some FSM banners flying and displayed on national television. I wish just one announcer/reporter asked, "I wonder to which god he is referring?" And followed it with, "because that character in the Bible sure is horrific, as is most of the book itself."
Imagine yourself at the bank....
"Do you swear to uphold your duties to pay down this mortgage, so help you God"
I am 100% in agreement with your opinion, Arianne. While I was exhilarated by President Obama’s progressive compassion, I had to cringe whenever another member of the clergy or a craven politician got up and attributed America’s greatness (such as it is) - past, present, and future - to some phantasmagorical magic white man in the sky. At one point, I was moved to speculate what it would be like if one of these hypocrites decided, instead of thanking God for all His blessings, decided instead to curse Him ( or Her, or It) for all the misery He (or She or It) visits upon humanity.
I wondered why this didn't occur during the Great Recession or any number of natural disasters. Perhaps social stigma keeps these thoughts private.
I remember asking God, "why" several times. That was near enough to blasphemy, questioning God's plan. But never did I have the hutspa to curse at him while a Christian.
When the benediction started I pressed the mute button. I didn't time it but it seemed long. I survived by reminding myself that xians must debase themselves. Often at length.
We evolved from pond scum and some of us have come but a short way. Because politicians need votes, I find it helpful to think of "panderingpolitician" as one word.
And this: One nation, easily divisible by dogma....
Wipe, flush, and consider the task finished.
I doubt any prayers were intended to placate a god, as much as they were to placate this country's Religious Right, who, though they took a severe beating in the election, are still a force not to be underestimated.