RE: "spot on" - I need to look for a different cleaners, I thought they'd gotten that mustard out --
Let's be clear. Anybody can pray at any time anywhere, and short of shooting them dead, using a tranquilizer dart or a taser on them, there's really no way to stop them.
What fundies want is ORGANIZED prayer in schools.
It's for the indoctrination but also the normalization. If you do it 5 out of 7 days a week, it's like any other daily ritual and you expect for it to be a part of your life. Prayer in school makes no prayer in other areas of public life seem to be missing something. Normalize prayer during school, something children experience over and over until graduation, and it encourages them to spread Christianity to other domains.
Further, as anyone who has ever been involved with advertising knows, there's a great advantage to be gained in having an authority figure endorse a product - a basket player, hawking Nike's for example - if schools allow official prayer, it amounts to an endorsement.
I found a site that some of you may want to leave comments on:
You should all read "Crusade Against Ignorance." It's a good collection of Jefferson's essays and letters. Here's an excerpt.
"What, but education, has advanced us beyond the condition of our indigenous neighbors?And what chains them to their present state of barbarism and wretchedness, but a bigottedveneration for the supposed superlative wisdom of their fathers, and the preposterousidea that they are to look backward for better things, and not forward, longing, as it should seem, to return to the days of eating acorns and roots, rather than indulgein the degeneracies of civilization? And how much more encouraging to the achievements ofscience and improvement is this, than the desponding view that the condition of mancannot be ameliorated, that what has been must ever be, and that to secure ourselveswhere we are, we must tread with awful reverence in the footsteps of our fathers. This doctrine is the genuine fruit of the alliance between CHURCH AND STATE; the tenantsof which, finding themselves but too well in their present condition, oppose all advanceswhich might unmask their usurpations, and monopolies of honors, wealth, and power,and fear every change, as endangering comforts they now hold."
"Report of The Commissioners Appointed to Fix The Site ofThe University of Virginia."
In context, Jefferson despised two things: England's union of Church and State and England's monopolies. I'm sure he went to church and believed in a deistic being. However, he also knew that Church and State was a sword in the government's hand; he knew the ideas must stand on their own; he knew religion doesn't care about progress, just power.
In fact, Stephen, religion is about maintaining an unchanging status quo.
I have seen no signs or placards announcing the quality of the Fortune-Cookie Message. However if it says something about General Tzo's Chicken, then that's a decent choice for then night.
Archaeopteryx--How are those ancient wings?
I should comment having attended a Catholic College for my PhD. During my independent work on coercive persuasion (brainwashing). I went through Catholic dioceses seeking information, and eventually found that the Catholic Church had hired a team of psychologists to work with them to develop a system of influencing their parishioners to rally around the church and bring their youngsters in, as well as a method of keeping those who has been influenced. In short, this was a method of brainwashing and it was distributed among the church leaders and carried down to the individual level, in disguise, as a method of assisting people. I didn't see the original work however the intent was clearly a high level of coercive persuasion by inducing fear and guilt.
I was not a Catholic at the time, but an atheist taking advantage of a free education I obtained by my own flavor of working the church with guilt and promise. It's very effective right back at them--until they turn over their cards and display five aces and a flush at the same time. One cannot argue with the Catholic Church at it's higher levels.
What has been mentioned above is a continuation of that same coercive persuasion which has been picked up in the Xian churches. I mention Xian as many Xians feel that the Catholic Church is not a true Xian church. They have forgotten much of history.
As a side note of interest concerning Xians not recognizing the Catholic Church, I recently read in the Christian Ministries Report that there are currently 43,000 churches that do not affiliate themselves with the main Christian Church, but have devised their own form of Xian religion.
Three years ago there were 38,000 independents who refused to be a part of the whole so the numbers of Christian Churches that have dissented and teach whatever they choose are continuing to grow. It seems that the Xian religion is based on so futile a mythology that they have become incapable of agreeing among themselves. As example, is the egregious Fred Phelps of the Westboro Baptist Church.
I was doing my doctorial work in the era of Catholic brainwashing and the infamous MKUltra affair the CIA was conducting (1973) and managed to get information on both. Regretfully I used that in my dissertation and was abruptly arrested soon after graduation by a group in black suits at night when I was sleeping. They had guns and placed a black cover over my head, claiming to be CIA but I more suspect the Catholic Church of faking it.
I was held two weeks to a month (it was a highly onerous affair they put me through) naked in a dark concrete cell without windows a chair or a bed and interrogated daily as well as threatened with immediate death by firing squad if I continued writing for an atheist magazine. I don't think the CIA would do that, so the Church is my primary suspect. My dissertation also disappeared along with any of the university records. There is a much longer story but that is enough.
That is the extent to which the church has dominated and robbed the public. They definitely have the power. It seems much like the Nazi campaign of propaganda against the Jews in Germany, but directed at the earth's population to seize wealth. Recall the billions the Catholic church is known to have.
Thus is one of the major problems with religion. The money and how horribly they might use it if they choose. There is formidable power in the church.
Wow, John - what an incredible story! And that was likely in the days before you could save your dissertation to a flash drive.
Didn't you go to anyone about this? The police, the press, the National Enquirer? SOMEbody?
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