Broadcast the Good News! America is getting with the program, reality!
All religious denominations are loosing ground. American Religious Identification Survey, 2008.
Once again, let’s all try to imagine no religion!
First ever acknowledgement of “unbelievers” by a president…in the innaugural, no less!
Oops! Apparently he said non- not un-. Great either way. I’m an UNbeliever!
We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus, and nonbelievers.
A president whose father wouldn’t have been served in a local restaurant sixty years ago…Amen to that!
A fine speech!!
The date, the site, and the event brought Martin Luther King to mind for millions, no doubt, but in my mind, on this innauguration, the spirit of another president was close. Lyndon B. Johnson, who could have gone down in history as one of America’s greatest, who did more for the cause of civil rights in the USA than any other president after Lincoln, and who destroyed his presidency and historical reputation with the folly and horror of Vietnam.
LBJ shows off his scar from an appendix removal to reporters – brilliantly caricatured by Levine, the scar is a map of Vietnam.
And we are “free at last” of George W. Bush (and his family, I hope!). Into the dustbin of history with him!!
Some choice words from Sarah Palin, chief theological spokes-person for the Republican ticket:
She expressed support for a Constitutional amendment to define marriage as between a man and a woman. “I wish on a federal level that that’s where we would go because I don’t support gay marriage,” she said.
For those who claim there is no separation of church and state in the Constitution, I guess this is fine. We might as well have amendments stipulating appropriate sexual practices, theologically acceptable rates of interest on loans, and dietary rules to be observed in all public places as well. Maybe, just maybe, the government should back out of defining marriage entirely, even at the state level. We could all be on a level playing field – with civil unions – and then we can get married by whatever priest, rabbi, mullah, brahmin, or witch doctor we select.
Notice, also, how the usual “conservative” stance on states’ rights is dropped in favor of morality to be legislated from the Center when the issue is of such earth-shaking importance.
In the interview she also discussed her personal religious beliefs and said that “faith and God in general has been mocked through this campaign.”
Getting a little grandiose in her complaints here, I think. She has certainly been mocked, but I don’t recall hearing much “God shall be mocked…” stuff at all. Perhaps she thinks she is G-d?
I like the “God in general” part too. Well, at least the mockers aren’t focusing on God-trivia, like his hairdo in the Sistine frescoes, and stuff like that!
She’s a disgrace to our country.
The religious right in our country has been busy for some time trying to get over the falsehood that the United States was founded as a Christian nation. Yes, the founders were raised as Christians. Yes, only a few were atheists, although many were Deists of the Jeffersonian-Voltairean sort. Yes, the words “separation of church and state” do not appear in the Constitution, but then, neither do the words “separation of powers.” Those two ideas, however, are clearly central to the meaning of the document.
Perhaps no better evidence for the non-Christian, secular nature of the state our Founders bequeathed to us (aside from the fact that God isn’t mentioned in the Constitution, the Declaration of Independence only mentions the Creator, and the only mention of religion in the Constitution is negative, i.e., there shall be no religious test for office) is the testimony of the contemporary evangelists who did not like the point of view of the Founders. Here we have a quotation from the emminent Timothy Dwight, a prominent evangelical of the time who later headed Yale College:
“The nation has offended Providence. We formed our constitution without any acknowledgment of God; without any recognition his mercies to us as a people, of his government or even of his existence. The [constitutional] convention by which it was formed, never asked, even once, his direction, or his blessings, upon their labors. Thus we commenced our national existence under the present system without God.”
Amen to that, Tim!
This quotation can be found in the article linked here.
In a nation that is preoccupied with God-talk, in which the separation of church and state is being eroded and denied, a nation in which our “conservative” politicians constantly invoke the Judaeo-Christian tradition, you’d think that a holiday in honor of a preacher-activist-humanitarian would merit a national holiday, i.e., a holiday that is universally observed the way Presidents’ Day is. Even a secular humanist atheist like me would support it.
Well, nice to hear from an atheist these days, especially in the NY Times. Eduardo Porter, in a column today discusses the tiresome God-talk of the candidates and mulls over Pascal’s wager.
As far as I’m concerned, the U.S. Constitution said it all for politics and religion in our country. It does not use the word “God,” and it says of religion only that there shall be no theological test for officeholders and that the government shall establish no official religion. End of discussion – candidates can believe in whatever cult they choose to. Even, as Gore Vidal calls it, the cult of the Bronze Age Sky Gods. (That’s you Jews and Christians, oh, Muslims too.)
Pascal is a strange figure in intellectual history. A brilliant scientist and mathematician, and a religious mystic. His wager is summarized here:
If there is a God, He is infinitely incomprehensible, since, having neither parts nor limits, He has no affinity to us. We are then incapable of knowing either what He is or if He is….
…”God is, or He is not.” But to which side shall we incline? Reason can decide nothing here. There is an infinite chaos which separated us. A game is being played at the extremity of this infinite distance where heads or tails will turn up. What will you wager? According to reason, you can do neither the one thing nor the other; according to reason, you can defend neither of the propositions.
… Which will you choose then? Let us see. … Let us weigh the gain and the loss in wagering that God is. Let us estimate these two chances. If you gain, you gain all; if you lose, you lose nothing. Wager, then, without hesitation that He is.
He tries to use game theory and probability – which he practically invented – to prove that only belief in God is rational. He has loaded the dice in so many ways – I’m not going to go into it here, but any atheist who has given half an hour of thought to it will find multiple objections to the rules of his game, that it is not a tenable argument at all. Yet, it continues to be debated! Why? Only because so many cannot abandon their belief in a “creator”.