SUBSCRIBE >>

Get God out of Government!

“Question with boldness even the existence of a god; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, than that of blindfolded fear.”

– Thomas Jefferson

Jesus H. Christ!! I cannot believe that the Supreme Court is AGAIN about to debate the legitimacy of the spouting of religious BS in governmental settings. WHY have we not got this resolved by now? It’s not as if several prominent Founders weren’t atheists - do you think they would have agreed to a religious state?

Anyway, here were are in 2013 arguing what should have been decided long ago, except that the weight of tradition is very heavy, and religious people, in smug possession of the truth, won’t quit. Inertia, ignorance and stubbornness — bad combination.

It’s bad enough that the Court itself begins sessions with “God save blah, blah, blah…” Or that in the past (Warren Burger), the Court has indeed upheld “opening invocations that call for God’s blessing.” Now it’s down to town councils, which are aggressively Christian. A Jew and an atheist brought legal action, as well they should, but here the logic splits.

O’Connor’s “endorsement” test

Sandra Day O’Connor had it right when she said that the government must not appear, to a reasonable observer, to be “endorsing a religion.” The overtly Christian crap crosses that line. But later courts have allowed religious expression without requiring everyone to participate.

What kind of hair-splitting is that? Non-Christians are allowed to walk out? Or wear ear plugs?

The logic splits between the Jewish and the atheistic protestor. The former’s goal is easy to achieve: allow other religions to take the platform. Slippery slope, though. Christian prayers are benign. What if a Muslim kid gets up and calls for jihad? What if one kid is a Haitian immigrant and believes in voodoo?

Linguistic nits

There are two linguistic nuances in O’Connor’s formulation. One is that “endorse” is vague. There are invocations that call for God’s blessing (supposedly not endorsing a religion), and ones that pray in the name of Jesus (endorsing a religion). I think O’Connor would be OK with the vanilla, God-centered prayer.

This brings us to the second nuance, the indefinite article “a.” Prohibiting “endorsing a religion” does not go far enough. This is a secular country. Unbelievers are at least a sixth - more than Jews or Wicccans.

The state must not endorse religion, period.

So at the very least, a humanist meditation or even an articulate argument against God should be included at the beginning, along with the series of religious messages. You could do it in the same length as — or shorter than — those windy, boring “God grant us…” orations.

So one possibilitby is that the other side could be heard at the beginning of the town meeting (or of the Supreme Court, if they wanted to), to the outrage of many, no doubt. Anger is the only response that many ignorant religious people can muster to the honest questioning of their fantasies.

CFI and the other secular organizations should be all over this, if they aren’t already.

Sometimes even smart Americans are so ignorant I want to scream. The Supremes are like the Flatlanders who can’t comprehend that there’s a third dimension: no religion at all. Yes! The state could appear to be endorsing no religion at all! Just call the damned meeting to order.

Has that not occurred to anyone in the govrnment?

7 Responses to “Get God out of Government!”

  1. on 12 Nov 2013 at 3:32 amRich

    Today, my banker nephew said I was so smart, he’d be intimidated or hostile if I wasn’t his uncle. He’s sure men have hated me for that.

    I’ve heard variations on the theme for a long time. I never believed I was. But men have been overtly hostile to me about it - who knows how many harbored similar ire?

    I say “I just read a few books! That’s all! OK, I may be a Smart Alec occasionally.”

    Allow me to be a Smart Alec (why do leftists constant preen themselves on their Intelligence, anyway?).

    “With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in …” (God is invoked several times)

    Lincoln was as religious as Jefferson. IOW, not at all. For many, God is a soothing balm, a comfort in chaos, a shield and sword (Battle Hymn of The Republic is our only war song).

    More importantly to me, it’s an American Tradition. We’ve been losing them right and left lately.

    To this Agnostic Existentialist, anodyne prayers are harmless and innocuous. You can even find irenic bits in the Koran, amidst calls to kill infidels and others.

    … I know the subject is important to you, and I don’t want to piss you off. What’s your take on my perspective?

  2. on 29 Jan 2014 at 7:45 amLost and Found

    Glad to stumble across your blog again; last time it was “TheJewishAtheist” but its name has changed and I lost track of it for a while.

    Here is something to consider. If the Constitution is founded on ideas inherent in some religion, either implicitly or explicitly, and then goes ahead and says that this same religion cannot be used again in any way in government, doesn’t this seem contradictory.

    For example, if government document says people have inalianable rights, say for life/liberty/pursuit of happiness, bestowed on them not by the government, but by their “creator”, then some lawyer says that because of separation of government and religion, we have no such rights (otherwise we are favoring a religious basis for our government). Then what is to stop the aforementioned lawers/government officials from saying we have no such rights? On what are these rights then based?

    If rights are based on nothing more than consent of the people, then they are not unaliable rights, since consent may change with fasion, political pressure, convenience, lobbying etc. Say the right to life- we got rid of that for abortion. Say the right to liberty- gone due to laws and regualtions that curtail whatever we have left. Right to happiness- what right do you have to look for such things, when the dictator/president/CEO says you must obey and serve only him?

    At least one could say God gave me those rights (even if there was no God) and get some relief from the onslaught of those who are attempting to eliminate them.

    The End (is near) LOL

  3. on 29 Jan 2014 at 7:46 amLost and Found

    Glad to stumble across your blog again; last time it was “TheJewishAtheist” but its name has changed and I lost track of it for a while.

    Here is something to consider. If the Constitution is founded on ideas inherent in some religion, either implicitly or explicitly, and then goes ahead and says that this same religion cannot be used again in any way in government, doesn’t this seem contradictory.

    For example, if government document says people have inalianable rights, say for life/liberty/pursuit of happiness, bestowed on them not by the government, but by their “creator”, then some lawyer says that because of separation of government and religion, we have no such rights (otherwise we are favoring a religious basis for our government). Then what is to stop the aforementioned lawers/government officials from saying we have no such rights? On what are these rights then based?

    If rights are based on nothing more than consent of the people, then they are not unaliable rights, since consent may change with fasion, political pressure, convenience, lobbying etc. Say the right to life- we got rid of that for abortion. Say the right to liberty- gone due to laws and regualtions that curtail whatever we have left. Right to happiness- what right do you have to look for such things, when the dictator/president/CEO says you must obey and serve only him?

    At least one could say God gave me those rights (even if there was no God) and get some relief from the onslaught of those who are attempting to eliminate them.

    The End (is near) LOL x

  4. on 31 Jan 2014 at 2:15 amAlan

    Reply to Rich and L&F (glad to hear from you - I changed the name of the blog to make myself more findable, but it hasn’t helped).

    I regard the mention of ‘God, the Creator and the like by politicians, early and recent, as arising from a variety of motives (this is why they are not to be read too literally), from genuine belief to cultural-linguistic hat-tipping to the sensibilities of the electorate.

    Maybe God as giver of rights was intended to lend extra rhetorical force to the inalienabiliity of those rights, whether Madison, or whoever wrote those lines, really believed in it literally.

    I agree with L&F that govt. is much more often the destroyer of rights than the defender of them.

  5. on 31 Jan 2014 at 2:22 pmNot all who wonder are lost

    Here is a very interesting and inspiring wikepedia link:

    http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Jewish_atheists_and_agnostics

    It speaks for itself!

  6. on 31 Jan 2014 at 2:24 pmNot all who wonder are lost

    That is “wikipedia” lol

  7. on 01 Feb 2014 at 3:25 amAlan

    Thanks for sending! I knew there were many Jewish atheists but didn’t know a lot of names. Show me a list of Orthodox Jews with comparable secular achievements.

Leave a Reply

Best News: Best News:
Site Secured By: Website Guardian