Atheist discrimination in the United States.


atheism

When Thomas Jefferson was establishing the University of Virginia, he fought hard to ensure that no religious books were included in its library. According to Professor Leonard Levy of Southern Oregon State University:

“No part of the regular school day was set aside for religious worship….Jefferson did not permit the room belonging to the university to be used for religious purposes.”

– Similarly, according to Dr. Daryl Cornett of Mid-America Theological Seminary:

“Jefferson also founded the first intentionally secularized university in America. His vision for the University of Virginia was for education finally free from traditional Christian dogma. He had a disdain for the influence that institutional Christianity had on education. At the University of Virginia there was no Christian curriculum and the school had no chaplain.”

– It is with this in mind, that one must note the anti-secular, anti-American treatment by which Damon Fowler, an atheist student at Bastrop High School in Louisiana, was subjected to when he objected to Christian prayer at graduation. He was threatened, thrown out of his own home by his parents, and his own teacher told a news outlet that he wasn’t respecting the ‘majority’ of students, and felt the need to demean him by saying he’d not contributed much to class. Essentially, the constitution doesn’t matter, if the majority of students are Christian. The very reason schools get away with promoting Christianity in an obvious abuse of the constitution, is because speaking out leads to the hideous treatment that Fowler faced; public abuse, and the loss of his family. On the night of the graduation at Bastrop High, students gleefully prayed anyway, as if abusing a kid standing up for the constitution of the United States, was some sort of great victory. The video of their sickening joy can be viewed here. I wonder how they would have reacted, had the speaker pulled out a prayer mat to lead an Islamic prayer. Or a massive banner above the stage with “There is no God. Jesus didn’t die for your sins” written across it. I’m almost certain it’d make national news, with parents and students registering their disgust and claiming a war on Christianity. And yet, for consistency’s sake, If they don’t support this, they’re simply advocating a public institution recognise an inherent privilege of one faith. Unjustifiable and completely un-American.

A graduation is not a Christian ceremony any more than it is a Poseidon ceremony. It is a secular event. There is no excuse for imposing Christian ritual upon it.

Those kids are not born with discriminatory attitudes. It is enshrined through years of being taught that their faith, is true and that those who question or criticise, are agents of the devil. This is ideology, taught as truth and it is the foundation of discrimination. The poison grows more potent and the sense of religious privilege those kids are imbued with, necessarily transfers from public school, to public office.

Three weeks ago, Uganda enacted its anti-gay law entirely motivated by religion (the exact same grotesque reasons for Governor Bryant signing off on Mississippi’s anti-gay bill, though I’m guessing Bryant is still perfectly happy to have part of his pay packet funded by the LGBT community in his state). This week, Saudi Arabia – home to 18 of the 19 suicide bombers from September 11th – declared all atheists to be terrorists. In fact, Atheists face death execution in thirteen countries across the World – all Islamic. The challenges to religious supremacy and privilege almost always result in oppressive outbursts. A sense of supremacy and privilege – whether based on religion, sexuality, gender, or ethnicity – is a learned behaviour, and completely illegitimate. Indeed, there is no such thing as a ‘Christian country’ or a ‘Muslim country’, only a country whose leaders violently impose a single ideology and privilege, upon a diverse group of curious, and critical human beings. They are exclusive barriers, they are not defining features of an entire population.

The exclusive religious barriers that necessarily leads to discrimination, including atheist discrimination isn’t unique to the Theocratic world. Indeed, as seen with the treatment of Damon Fowler, the US have a recent history of abandoning secularism, for the sake of atheist discrimination. Whilst atheist discrimination does not reach the same horrific heights of racial discrimination, nor homophobic discrimination, it is still prevalent and still causes a lot of difficulty and harm for those not professing deep religious sentiment in the US. Often non-believers will not speak out, through fear that questioning Christian privilege, leads to social exclusion, and family trouble. This is not to be taken lightly.

One has to wonder how Thomas Jefferson and James Madison would have reacted – having worked so hard to ensure a secular birth for the new nation – had they been around to hear President Bush Sr allegedly say:

“No, I don’t know that atheists should be regarded as citizens, nor should they be regarded as patriotic. This is one nation under God.”

– Apparently the atheists (of which there would have been a few) sent to the Persian Gulf to put their lives on the line and fight for a President whose own son had dodged the draft years earlier, can not be regarded as citizens, or patriotic. Such is the absurd and insulting nature of the mix of religion and state. No single belief system has a fundamental right to claim the privilege of the standard by which everyone else is measured. A country belongs to those who live in it, regardless of sexuality, gender, belief, or ethnicity. It does not belong to a single religion or ideology.

When Asheville City Councilman Cecil Bothwell declared that he does not believe in a God, the Christian Right of North Carolina took great offence. H.K. Edgerton, a board member for the Southern Legal Resource Center – an organisation that apparently stands to protect the rights of all, threatened to file a law suit against Bothwell, claiming he is unfit to serve, and that his appointment violates North Carolina’s anti-Atheist Constitutional provision. Indeed, the provision in the constitution of North Carolina reads:

“No person who denies the existence of a Supreme Being shall hold any office under this Constitution.”

– This provision is overruled by Paragraph 3, of Article VI of the Constitution which insists that no religious test shall be required for public office. And so whilst barring an Atheist from public office would certainly be struck down by the Supreme Court as a violation of the Federal Constitution; it didn’t stop the Christian Right from trying to impose their beliefs only, which often leads to long battles for an Atheist to serve publicly. For example, Herb Silverman ran for the post of Governor of South Carolina in 1992, but was discarded from the race for refusing to swear an oath to God. A whole five years later, the courts ruled in his favour.

In 2001, Carletta Sims – the Tennessee director of American Atheists Inc – worked for Associates Commerce Solutions. Two of her colleagues discovered she was atheist, and requested to be moved away from her desk. After the company obliged, the two colleagues left a sketched picture of Jesus stuck to Sims’ computer. Sims complained of the incident, and was fired for disruption. So, when the Christians complained they were moved desk. When the atheist complained, she was fired. She sued ACS and Citigroup for discrimination, and eventually settled for an undisclosed sum. The judge said:

“The court has reconsidered the facts and does believe that an inference of discriminatory intent could be drawn from the facts now before it.”

In 1991, Professor William Zelner was the victim of discrimination after a student wrote to her local newspaper, and said:

“I don’t take Dr. Zellner’s classes because he is an atheist.”

– What followed, were threatening phone calls to Zellner’s home, his car was keyed on an almost nightly basis, a fellow lecturer wrote that he was in league with Satan, a local church group created buttons for people to wear reading:

“I am praying for Dr. Zellner.”

– His two children – aged 6 and 9 – were shunned, and beaten up. Zellner said:

“He [his son] couldn’t understand why they wanted to hurt him. Explaining bigotry to children is difficult.”

– This is what happens when you teach a single ideology – with its moral anchor somewhere in 1st century Palestine – as truth to children, excluding those who don’t fit its narrow confines. These children are not ‘Christian’ children. They are impressionable minds that absorb the prejudices of parents. It is abuse. The Boy Scouts of America, which exists through a Congressional Charter, currently does not allow Atheists to be a part of it and abuses the naivety and curiosity of children through its institutional Christian dogma. It states:

“The Boy Scouts of America maintains that no member can grow into the best kind of citizen without recognizing an obligation to God. In the first part of the Scout Oath or Promise the member declares, ‘On my honor I will do my best to do my duty to God and my country and to obey the Scout Law.’ The recognition of God as the ruling and leading power in the universe and the grateful acknowledgment of His favors and blessings are necessary to the best type of citizenship and are wholesome precepts in the education of the growing members.”

– This dangerously theocratic passage doesn’t go on to provide a reason as to why a belief in a ‘ruling and leading power’ and ‘grateful acknowledgement of his favours and blessings’ are required for good citizenship. The implication being that non-religious folk, are not good citizens. There is of course no analysis to back up this implication, just words, by Christians, who consider themselves the best kind of citizenship. Such is the nature of unjustifiable discrimination, and it is this that leads to the hideous bullying by fellow students, of those who don’t share the exact beliefs of the parents and teachers. It is institutional discrimination aimed at dehumanising those who don’t fit a specific set of criteria set by those privileged few in a position of power, and according to their beliefs only. It is also vastly anti-American, and anti-secular and it is this that eventually leads to situations like that at Bastrop High; where anti-secular bullying and discrimination was so loudly celebrated as a victory.

A recent study found that those surveyed favoured medical treatment for Christians, over atheists. Most placing ‘atheist’ down the list of priorities for a Kidney transplant, simply for professing a lack of belief in a God.

Similarly, according to a Gallup poll from 2007, 48% of those surveyed would not vote for an Atheist running for President.

According to a a poll by the University of Minnesota, parents would not be happy for their child to marry an atheist. A parent would look at me as unworthy of marrying their daughter, simply because I don’t believe the Bible to be the ultimate truth.

State judges for some odd reason, give lectures on how to be good parents, through religious teaching. When challenged on the constitutionality of that lecture, they then try to defend it in the most ridiculous way, as was the case with Anita McLemore v. Carl McLemore. Originally, the chancellor had insisted that both parents should take their children to church on Sunday. This was challenged, and so this bizarre response was penned:

“Anita misinterprets the court’s order. She was not ordered to attend church. The court’s order pertained
only to the children, stating that “[b]oth parties shall assume responsibility for the attendance of the
children in church each Sunday while in their respective custody.” (emphasis added). Anita asserts that this
court order violates the First Amendment establishment and free exercise clauses of the U.S. Constitution
as well as the Fourteenth Amendment, arguing that the court order constitutes government establishment of
the Christian religion. She alleges that the word “church” used in conjunction with a specific day, Sunday,
implicates a particular religion, Christianity. THE AMERICAN HERITAGE DICTIONARY OF THE
ENGLISH LANGUAGE (1981) defines “church” as “place of worship, a congregation”. It is not a
foregone conclusion that such could only refer to a particular religion, sect, or denomination. The chancellor
did not specify a particular faith. There was no discrimination or preference shown. The chancellor’s order
that the children attend church inherently provided for choice. One need only glance through the yellow
pages for the vicinity in which Anita and Carl live to appreciate the diverse meaning of the word “church”.
This is simply a succinct term employed by the chancellor to describe a benefit that he determined to be in
the best interest of the children.”

Anita asserts that the court order violates her constitutional right not to practice organized religion. While the order for the children to attend “church” might somehow inhibit her ability to be completely free from
any effect that “church” might have on her, the order was reasonably based upon serving the best interests
of the children. The chancellor, familiar with the churches in the community, was doubtless aware of the
myriad of programs offered for enrichment of children’s lives. The range is great. Churches are traditionally
places of calm and concern. At virtually no expense to parents, churches offer children the opportunity for
interaction with groups of other children as well as adults, in an environment conducive to character-building.

– They have answered the criticism, with the reason they were criticised in the first place, and added a ridiculous clause; that by “church” and “on Sunday” they didn’t actually mean specifically Christianity. Does anyone buy that? And even if they genuinely had Taoism or Buddhism in mind as well as Christianity when suggesting “church” on “Sunday”, it is irrelevant. The court has ordered someone to force their child to receive a religious education every Sunday. Christians have decided they know what’s best for children. And whether Christians believe this to be true or not, the courts should not be endorsing – let alone forcing – any religious practice or teaching.

In 2006, Judge James Punch of Orleans County stripped Rachel Bevilacqua of custody of her son, because of her involvement in the ‘Church of Subgenius’; a parody religion. The Judge called her a “pervert” and “mentally ill”. After the case, she finally regained custody in 2007 (after spending $140,000 in legal costs; the cost of overturning the discriminatory attitudes of Christian supremacist Judges), but was told by Judge Adams that she must keep all ‘Subgenius’ literature away from where her child might see and become corrupted by it. Obviously, the child is allowed to see and become corrupted by Christian literature, that leads to homophobia, and bullying those who object to schools promoting Christian prayer at graduation.

In 2012, the San Antonio Independent School District firewall provider, Fortinet blocked school access to atheist websites, categorising them as ‘occult’, whilst allowing access to Christian and creationist websites. It took a threat of court action on the basis of 1st Amendment discrimination, for the District’s Chief Information Officer provider to back down.

According to “The Global Index of Religiosity and Atheism” conducted by WIN-Gallup International, 5% of the US population now identify as Atheist. There are no Atheists in the US Senate. By contrast, Lutherans account for 4.6% of the population, and are represented by 5% of the Senate. Episcopalians make up 1.8% of the population, and enjoy 4% representation in the Senate. Most astonishingly, Presbyterians make up just 2.8% of the population, whilst enjoying 13% of the US Senate. The Senate is dominated by religion.

One must conclude that there is no ‘war on Christianity’ but a war on Christian supremacy. The courts offer preferential treatment to the religious, public schools constantly preach Christianity. For years, religious privilege and supremacy ensured vital stem cell research was withheld. The US political system is loaded with Christian supremacists. It is all but impossible for an Atheist to become President. An ongoing battle since the dawn of the enlightenment – the cause of Jefferson and Madison – to slowly roll back the illegitimate power and privilege of religion over the lives of others and the misery it inflicts on those that don’t adhere to its dictates; this is secular goal the US was founded upon and it is a war that must be won.

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30 Responses to Atheist discrimination in the United States.

  1. tildeb says:

    It is very difficult to get christians to see the bias and discrimination and harm privileged in the public domain in the name of ‘respecting’ their general brand of religion. It is very difficult for religious folk to appreciate why this matters when they currently enjoy feeling victimized by verbal criticism and the imposition of a neutral government… only in matters that have come before a court. What would be easy for christians to see is if a different religion that vilified christians were privileged in the public domain that caused them equivalent harm. Only then would the majority of people suddenly wake from their religious stupor and grasp just how insidious has been their religious indoctrination. Even the suffering and death of children fails to move the majority of christians to restricting religious privilege so vital do they feel is their imposition of privilege that one must be ‘militant’ to even question this obvious causal harm.

    The solution is time and effort to convince the connected generation not to fall for the old lies. The internet is where religions come to die and our efforts to communicate why we can celebrate this death is played out in every religious discussion we undertake and offer our criticisms for evaluation in comparison to the pious lines rolled out time and again. Young people want to be fair and just and these New Atheist criticisms are fatal to fairness exercised by the kind of religious allegiances we find today. Uganda, for example, horrifies most teenagers who know nice and caring people who identify as LGBT and the recent evangelical response to World Vision drives home the point that fairness in religion is a lost cause. The more stories like the ones you’ve posted become available to the next generation, the less likely they will align themselves with them.

    A very good and enlightening post. Thanks for your efforts in fighting the good fight.

  2. The Declaration of Independence cites God four times.

    That is because only God has the power to rule over men, and thus the ruling power of God to rule over men was divided and separated into its constituent parts by the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

    Here is part of the first sentence of George Washington’s first Thanksgiving Proclamation:

    “Whereas it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor;”

    Yes, that’s right.

    “It is the duty of all nations to acknowledge…God Almighty.

    And here from Article III of the Northwest Ordinance of 1787:

    “Religion, morality, and knowledge, being necessary to good government and the happiness of mankind, schools and the means of education shall forever be encouraged.”

    Yes, that’s right.

    Religion and morality are necessary for good government and good education, according Colonial political philosophy.

    The atheist attempt to re-write history and make the American Founders look like atheists does not stand up to the facts of the American founding.

  3. “That is because only God has the power to rule over men, and thus the ruling power of God to rule over men was divided and separated into its constituent parts by the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.”

    – The first part is your opinion. The Constitution and the Bill of Rights specifically ensure a wall of separation. Your belief in a “ruling power of God” does not get to impose itself upon others. You’re going to have to learn to deal with that.

    “Religion and morality are necessary for good government and good education, according Colonial political philosophy.”

    – I would suggest the last 2000 years of history proves the opposite. The fact secularism is a thing at all, speaks volumes about the oppressive nature of religion tied to the state in years past. And morality is no more dependent on religion, as the sea is dependent on Poseidon. And as Jefferson said:
    “Our civil rights have no dependence upon our religious opinions more than our opinions in physics or geometry.”

    “The atheist attempt to re-write history and make the American Founders look like atheists does not stand up to the facts of the American founding.”

    – Who said they were atheist? They were mostly deist. But that’s irrelevant. They created a secular constitution. They specifically fought to keep state constitutions like North Carolina’s – with its religious test for public office – away from influencing the national constitution. They argued to keep the name “Jesus” out of the constitution. They were secularists. Which again, means your belief in a “ruling God” is irrelevant. It’s your belief only, you do not get to inflict it upon the rest of society, and you certainly don’t get to force it on children.

  4. Futile,

    There is nothing in my comment that is opinion.

    I gave you a small portion of basic American civics that hasn’t been taught in public schools for decades.

  5. I’m not sure you understand the difference between a fact and your opinion.
    Try again.

  6. Futile,

    The Declaration of Independence declared that “all men are created equal and that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights.”

    Because all men are created equal, no man, group of men or institution created by men can rule over men.

    That leaves only God with the power to rule.

    But since God is not physically present among men, we are left to rule over ourselves.

    To do that, the power of God to rule (government) was split into its constituent parts and separated.

    That is why America has separate executive, legislative and judicial branches of government.

    As long as the power to rule over men is divided and separated, man can be free of tyranny by government.

  7. Reblogged this on Dropping all Pretense and commented:
    Pretty amazing how far we’ve fallen.

  8. joe everyone says:

    If you could reason with religious people, there would be no religious people…

  9. Joe,

    All the great civilizations grew up around religion.

    Without religion there can be no great civilizations.

    The greatest mass murders in human history were committed by atheists.

    “If one could reason with atheists, there would be no atheism.”

  10. Ironic Handle says:

    The Declaration of Independence is not the supreme law of the land, it does not define the separation of powers, laws are not influenced by it in any way. The document which does establish all those things is the Constitution, which mentions religion three times — two of which instances are commanding the exclusion of religion from governing considerations.

    In short, the Declaration of Independence has no relevance regarding the US system of government.

  11. euinsumi says:

    @silence of mind

    All the great civilizations grew up around slavery

    Without slavery there can be no great civilizations.

    The greatest mass murders in human history were committed by religious people(hitler mentioned god in mein khamph and the communist dictators thought they had superpowers.

    “If one could reason with religious people, there would be no atheism.”

  12. Michael says:

    That’s some solid logic there. All great civilizations grew up around birds. Without birds there would be no great civilizations. See how that works? As to the greatest mass murders in history, care to source that remark and back it up before it gets shot full of holes?

  13. Michael,

    If you can’t tell the difference between birds and religion then all is lost.

    Religion is a critically important cultural element.

    It’s influence on politics and economics is well known to people who understand both history and current events.

    Stalin and Mao are famous for being the greatest mass murderers in human history.

    They made Adolf Hitler look like a wannabe.

  14. Ironic,

    The Declaration of Independence states the political philosophy upon which the US Constitution and the Bill of Rights are based.

    The Declaration of Independence, the US Constitution and the Bill of Rights are hand and clove.

  15. Jacob Damkjaer says:

    So by your logic, my country (Denmark), is one of the most failed and failing countries in the world. You see our government is ENTIRELY atheist, as well is most of our society…we don’t really like to talk about religion in Denmark and those who are religious, keep it very much to themselves. We would also be the most murderous, most intolerant, most uneducated and most aggressive country in the world – all in accordance with your reasoning..I invite you to go and prove all of that about my country, please, I will wait right here..

  16. Jacob,

    Denmark is part of Europe which is the seat of Christian Western Civilization.

    But if it wasn’t for the Christian United States, Europe would have been swallowed up and destroyed by the Soviet Union.

    Denmark would have become a Soviet satellite ghetto just like all of Eastern Europe had become before the Christian United States destroyed the Soviet Union.

  17. Jacob Damkjaer says:

    You’re not addressing the challenge. Denmark is governed by secular values. It is run, primarily, by people who are atheist. The majority of danish people are atheist. I’m an atheist and have been so all my life..I was never religious. Everything about Denmark is, according to you, the worst state of affairs for death, destruction, corruption, immorality, theft, abuse and so on..So I will invite you again, to stand by what you have said and prove what you’re saying holds up to scrutiny.

    Either prove what you are saying is true, or concede that you spoke before knowing all the facts.

  18. Jacob,

    I have addressed the challenge.

    The atheist regime, any atheist regime is a parasite.

    Atheists don’t have any values except what they absorb from the surrounding culture.

    Without God, all there is, is nature.

    And nature has no morality.

    The consequence of no morality (the key teaching of any religion) is the eventual disintegration of society.

    Without the protection of the United States, Denmark would be a slave state whose master is Russia.

  19. Jacob Damkjaer says:

    You’re STILL not addressing the challenge..you’re just chest beating and touting your own horn.

    Denmark is a secular regime, it is COMPLETELY AND UTTERLY ATHEIST..do you finally understand that? There is NOTHING religious about our government. Denmark is the arche-type of what you are describing as horrid, decedent, immoral and abusive…so would you care to explain why it isn’t, in fact, any such thing? Why is Denmark one of the most highly educated countries in the world? Why is Denmark one of the happiest people in the world, why is Denmark home of one the more high standards of living compared even to the US? Why is social equality doing so well in Denmark? ..Because everything you’re saying, says that this should be impossible.

    I have always been atheist, most people I know are atheist, most people in danish society is atheist..by all counts, this should be the most war-torn, most decedent, most abusive and most corrupt and immoral people in the world…but they’re not. They’re are in fact, topping the lists in many area, as the most well functioning society in the world..Care to explain?

    Saying “If it wasn’t for America, Denmark would be a russian slave!” is not an answer to those questions. It doesn’t explain anything…

  20. Jacob,

    Denmark and most of Europe is run by powerless regimes who are propped up by powerful regimes like the US and Russia.

    Eastern Europe was enslaved by the atheist Soviets and their regimes became blood thirsty and oppressive.

    Without US protection the same would become true for all of Western Europe.

    We have seen European regimes go bad before when they were conquered by the Nazis.

    It was only the US waging war against and eventually destroying the Nazis that allowed resistance against the lawless puppet regimes installed by the Nazis.

    Without the Americans the underground resistance would have been crushed just like it was in Poland, Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia and Austria.

    Denmark is only civilized because of US protection.

    As an atheist you must believe that everything happens all by itself.

    That’s why you think you’re still civilized.

    Atheism is in fact utter barbarism.

  21. Jacob Damkjaer says:

    In other words, you can’t answer my question..you keep going back to “The US saved you all” ..You didn’t save us as it happens, you’re full of hubris and self-aggrandizing nonsense.

    The Nazis were not atheist..and it still doesn’t answer my questions about Denmark.

    You’re producing bewildered statements that don’t mean anything coherent. You say “As an atheist you must believe that everything happens all by itself”..what are you talking about? There is nothing I *MUST* believe…All being an atheist means, is that I don’t believe what you believe..it doesn’t come with a set of alternate beliefs, or anything like that.

    “Atheism is in fact utter barbarism” – What are you talking about ? What is your evidence for this?

    You are, as I’m sure is evident to everyone who reads this, completely and utterly incapable of giving a straight answer and addressing a challenge…you keep avoiding, evading and making stuff up as you go.

  22. Jacob,

    I have answered your question.

    Atheism renders its disciples unable to understand simple reason and basic facts.

    Left alone and unattenuated by Christianity, the atheist regime always devolves into brutality, oppression and lawlessness.

    That’s Denmark’s future soon after the US goes down the drain (which is where the atheist left is taking America).

  23. Jacob Damkjaer says:

    No you haven’t answered my question..you just keep spewing out psycho-babble.

    Your latest being “Atheism renders its disciples” – what? disciples? Are you mad? Atheism is not a religion, it isn’t even a belief..It just means that you’re not religious.

    Christianity has no influence at all on Denmark, therefor it should be brutal, oppressive and lawless..it isn’t, which means you’re wrong. It’s that simple.

    You are not NEARLY as important as you think you are…you have a very self-centered and fantasy-laden view of yourself and your country. Have you thought perhaps this is part of the problem?..of course you haven’t..

    Thank you for your time..I’m done with you now.

  24. Jacob,

    My comments are based in the study of history and political philosophy, not psychology.

    Apparently the postmodern can’t tell the difference and therein lies the problem.

  25. T says:

    What scienceofmind is talking about is my biggest problem with the religious right in the US. They cannot see the forest for the trees. Historic US barbarism is justified or forgotten while ridiculous idealised versions of a past Christian nation are promoted. They cannot see that we have any problems “other than Obama” as that would violate their view that the US is god’s nation. They blend thier religion with nationalism to force out any opposition labelling any dissenters as un-American or morally bankrupt.

    Nationalism is its own brand of crazy. When mixed with religion the results can be disgusting. Example: Islamic regimes that punish rape victims. Nationalism and religion have been the two most destructive forces in recorded history. Either together or individually they justify ridiculous atrocities. To be fair they have both been benificial in building many of the nations of the world. Anything that can organize a population into a common goal can be used to build as well as destroy. My fear is when they swing toward destroy. The term “tyranny of the majority” comes to mind. Example: every genocide in history.

    Comments such as mine would lable me anti-American and remove me from a larger debate. However, it is better to see the truth of the matter than a bs idealisation. Why can I not love my country without being blinded by the lies.

  26. Rob McClain says:

    Let me apologize to the board for silenceofmind’s intransigence and blather.I live in a town of 35,000 in the central US, and it might as well be called Jesusland. 30+ churches and thanks to US law, no property tax is due from any of them. Yet if a church were to catch fire, that congregation would be outraged if the secular government decided to let the church burn. Religion gets to have it both ways in the US; exempt from taxation on income and property, and all donations are tax deductible…and free city services!

    I heard another atheist joke that if God were real, omnipresent and omniscient, churches would have no need of lightning rods.

    Reading the belligerence, the self-important tone and the anti-atheist rage from silence’s post merely points up what I fear most in the US; the wacko religious right is a dangerous and horrible movement that will destroy free thought, free association and freedom to teach the truths of science in our schools.

  27. jessepriest93 says:

    Reblogged this on Jesse Max Priest.

  28. RS says:

    So there is a war against Christian supremacy… in favour of Secular (Human) Supremacy. Well, enlist me in the fight against secularism. I do not want an atheist’s human “rights” agenda imposed upon me. Surely the essayist here does not object to Christians being exclusionary? When he evinces the exact same predilection from a Godless perspective? Way to go, H.K.Edgerton!

    Mr. Futile, I cannot imagine that you would want to marry anyone’s daughter. You do know that a daughter refer to a female, right?

  29. RS says:

    I am quite happy to be considered anti-American. At least since 1860.

  30. RS,

    Here is a quote from a primary source, not an atheist liar concerning religion in school.

    This quote comes from Article III of the Northwest Ordinance of 1787 and reflects the Founding Father’s view of religion in public schools:

    “Religion, morality, and knowledge, being necessary to good government and the happiness of mankind, schools and the means of education shall forever be encouraged.”

    Yes, RS. You read it right. Religion is necessary for good government and the happiness of mankind.

    You people need to read actual, primary sources instead of being told what to think by others.

    In other words, get a brain of your own and start using it to think for yourself.

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