The Founding Fathers are tired of your bullshit.

Comment by no2ndhandgod on April 6, 2011 at 10:53pm
************************** It's OK not to believe ******************
James Madison says so


"America is a deeply religious country." Yeah. So we get told over and over. We're a god fearing bunch of folks with an attendant set of values derived from a so-called xian cultural matrix.

We've prided ourselves on our religiosity ever since the first Puritan bigot stepped ashore. America even spawned an important worldwide religion -- The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Mormonism.

Mormonism arose in a time of chiliastic ferment. The end of days, foretold in Revelation, would at last come to pass. The U.S. has coursed through one wave of faith finding after another. As it is doing today.

An Age of Anxiety has returned. What could the mindless mantra 'religious country' mean? Depending on who utters it, the phrase can take on any number of meanings. It's a cliche with cachet. Among many fill in the blanks: "America is . . .

1. a christian state
2. a christian country
3. a nation which adds christian prejudices to race and ethnic ones as 'means tests'
4. a secular state most of whose citizens are nominally christian
5. a secular state most of whose citizens nominally believe in a supreme being
6. a nation in which christian precepts are practiced by a great majority

Some of these are clearly false, others true, others neither. Generally, the word 'religious' covers up the no longer PC precision of 'christian.' But everybody understands the code. (Jews and Muslims need not apply.)

OK. Numbers 1 and 6 are false. Numbers 4 and 5 are true. In practice, number 3 is true.
Number 2 is ambiguous. Country can mean 'territory' or 'state' or 'nation'.

1. America is a secular state -- not a christian state.

Fundamentalists are fond of using 'religious country' since 'country' is a weasel word. It's shifty in meaning, perfect for weaseling out of logical difficulty.

The United State of America is a *secular* state. Search on the text of the U.S. Constitution. You will find that the word 'God' does not occur. The word 'religion' occurs only once in the so-called Establishment Clause, in Amendment I.

Freedom *from* religion is the right protected first by the Bill of Rights, before freedom of religion, freedom of speech, or freedoms of the press, assembly, and petition.

James Madison, primary author of the Constitution, explained the two religion clauses to Congress ". . . Congress should not establish a religion, and enforce the legal observation of it by law, nor compel men to worship God in any Manner contrary to their conscience." (1 Annals of Congress 730. August 15, 1789). (Well into the 19th century, the code words for the right not to believe were 'freedom of conscience'.)

Fundamentalists and other religious zealots look rather to the Declaration of Independence to claim that God (really some deistic proxy) is the source of "inalienable rights". The Declaration did not establish the United States of America -- the Constitution did, as its Preamble states.

Rights arise because free agents cede them to each other within a structured polity governed by rules (The Constitution) which maximize individual freedom, subject to defined restraints.

God, as Laplace said to Napoleon, is "an unnecessary hypothesis" in cosmology. The U.S. Constitution avers the same -- God is an unnecessary hypothesis to the foundation of a well-functioning, secular polity.*

The Constitution makes freedom of conscience a necessary condition for unfeigned religious belief to be possible. Without the free choice not to believe, religionists could impose their limitations on all other rights enumerated in Amendment I. Exactly the course endorsed by Barack Obama, Clarence Thomas, and notoriously, Anthony Scalia.

Millions of Americans, including Supreme Court Justices, can not accept how radically free they are. Nor will they accept anyone else's rig
Comment by no2ndhandgod on April 6, 2011 at 11:01pm
part 2/2

Nor will they accept anyone else's right to be free from religion.

5. Why doesn't 'In God we trust.' violate the Establishment Clause?

The Supreme Court held that 'God' referred to is a deistic divinity, belonging to no one faith. Of course, agnostics and atheists' objections had no standing.

The 'God' of deism refers to a one-size-fits-all Being. A god, according to coinage and script, we trust. God is cosmic governor. An aloof vaguely disinterested agent. One if not beneficent at least benign.

This Power certainly is not the god of christianity. It is a philosophers' abstraction, another amusing attempt to make sure that the state-religious police don't haul you off to prison for being a materialist atheist. (Given enough leeway, christian thugs would do just that. As their Moslem alter egos do today.)

In America, if you value your reputation or by some sick mischance want to run for elective office, there's no percentage in a public disavowal of religious belief. Rather, the opposite is demanded.

The number of openly gay members of Congress surely exceeds the number of those openly atheistic. Unbelief will crucify a public figure even 50 years after House Unamerican Activites Committee show trials ended.

Hypocrisy as an American art form really should have its Emmys. When surveyed, 84% of Americans are ready at the very least with an obligatory, hypocritical profession of a belief in some divine power.

What's being measured is not faith, but fear.
Comment by lloydleroimiller on April 7, 2011 at 1:37am
America and it's hypocrisy has become nearly an embarrassment to any thinking person. There are many reasons why, this is an example. The more information I get, the more it disgusted I have become with it. Revolution! The time has come
Comment by Patrick Carr on April 7, 2011 at 6:51pm
Important quotes.
Comment by Sarah Emmaly Burgett on April 8, 2011 at 2:08pm

"I have examined all of the known superstitions of the world and i do not find our superstitions of Christianity one redeeming feature.  They are all founded on fables and mythology.  Christianity has made one-half of the world fools and the other half Hypocrites" Thomas Jefferson

I love these quotes!

Comment by Brother Gabe Rodriguez on April 11, 2011 at 10:10pm
This was on Stumbleupon lol I thought that was cool!
Comment by Ryan Pullen on April 11, 2011 at 10:41pm
I'm an atheist, and I'm pretty far right, so don't think it's everyone.
Comment by Zombie Atheist on April 12, 2011 at 7:58am
I was unfriended by someone on facebook for correcting him on this. It was a real shock and sting to me...
Comment by Tina on April 29, 2011 at 1:24pm
Comment by James Cox on June 21, 2012 at 11:23pm

Dear Folks:

Does anyone here remember the 'Moral Majority'?

Fun times early 80's. I expect that the 'moral majority', as a concept, merged or became synomous with the 'Religious Right'. Their attempt to create the 'big lie= America as a Christian Nation' as a way to normalize an extream right political, moral, and educational position is still with us. I remember a statement 'people are more likely to believe a lie they hear a thousand times, than the truth they hear but once'. Sadly, we must continue with our message, else the conditioned lie will prevail.

I expect that the 'we are the 99%', a common chant from the Occupy movement, could have a similar effect, but atleast Occupy seems to have its heart in the right place, on the left..;-).

James     

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