I’m annoyed when I read flagrantly inflammatory antagonistic headlines like this:
Atheists annoyed by inaugural oath
The article discusses how, quite rightly, some people want the words “So help me God’’ removed from Barak Obama’s inauguration oath. As anyone with an ounce of intelligence (and a bit of time to do some research) will know, America was not founded on ‘God’ and the initial declaration of independence had nothing in it about ‘God’. The ‘founding fathers’ aim was to make America a country that had a separation of church and state, that had freedom of religion and freedom from religion.
Somewhere along the way this all went to shit (in the 1950s – do you own research) since then the Presidential Inauguration has had the pledge “so help me god”. And money has also got it, don’t believe me it wasn’t always like this? Then check this picture of a 1950s dollar note.
Well knock me down with a feather but some people have woken up and respectfully requested that the American government be impartial when it comes to religion. Thus, after initial polite requests, a step has been taken to challenge the ‘god bits’ as being unconstitutional (which based on the original constitution they are) in the courts.
As the article states “the lawsuit has been described by some commentators as a publicity stunt.” this may be partly true, but everyone really needs to start considering all religions and non-religions when it comes to who runs their country. If you want to live in a theocratic state fine, else get rid of ALL religious panderings from all forms of government (and this should go for ALL countries!).
Some of the supporters have tried to justify the “So help me god” by saying “it’s only the person saying it, not the office”. Don’t know about you, but I think that is a seriously deluded ideology. When the top person in any job says something; no matter what they, or others, might try to say to distance that persons ideas/opinions from the job, it still reflects what that persons ideologies are and how they may run that position. Anyway why say anything that infers you will only apply yourself properly to the job on the whim of some quite possibly non-existent being?
What some/most/all of the “Christian” religious people don’t understand is that getting rid of the Judeo/Christian specific articles in any government system may turn out to be in their own best interests in the long term. Islam is the fastest growing religion in Australia and several other countries (go do your own research before you even consider criticising this assumption!) how long do you think it’s going to be before they go to court demanding Allah and Mohammed are put in the inauguration speech?
Anyway, back to the blog and what started me on this post.
Well it was all the comments from some of the most pig-ignorant morons I’ve had the misfortune to read. I suddenly remembered why I’d stopped reading this blog.
So here we go:
You have to wonder what these atheist groups are so afraid of. Cazza
Well there may be all sorts of things atheists are afraid of, but having a president say “so help me god” is not one of them. We just want fairness, not everyone on this planet believes in the Judeo/Christian God, so why should any government official say this?
This resurfaced in several guises, Non-Believer questioned whether Jews and Muslims would be represented at the swearing in ceremony. It was pointed out to him they will be. NB then questioned whether atheists will be represented. Then I read this and nearly wet myself laughing in utter disbelief:
Obama is a Democrat. I don’t think you have to worry too much about Atheists not being represented. If anything they’ll be over represented. TonyP
Oh really? Tony, where the fuck do you get that idea from, go check some recent surveys and find out how many Senators have ever declared themselves as being atheists. If you find more than the 3 I found I’d be happy to see your research.
Of course the religious throw in the usual ‘atheistic states mass murder’ routine (I think you missed this one vjack). I honestly couldn’t be bothered denouncing this one, but it may be another one for vjack’s list. lol
Then Saved Sinner throws their 2 cents in (haven’t seen you here for quite a while SS) with two completely off topic sentiments:
… they insist on making statements regarding the myth of evolution.
… the atheists do not have a particular day of the year to celebrate their beliefs.
Evolution is NOT, repeat NOT, a myth. It is as good a scientific theory as most other scientific theories (check Sean’s post and the comments on this one for some further guidance. I’ve even put a few links there for you to start your research). I guess these twits think gravity is only a theory? For Christ’s sake even the Catholic church and most of the Anglican church have declared evolution as being a valid scientific theory.
One other thing on the evolution discussion, stop being so lazy anti-evolutionists/creationists/IDers. There is an absolute bucket load of information available on the internet, libraries, book shops and elsewhere. When someone like myself makes a claim about evolution, or for instance when tenebrous states
… the claims are based on the fossil records and genetic evidence showing common ancestry.
is it absolutely necessary that you demand an example? Here are some reasons why we don’t:
- Providing just one example never seems to satisfy the incredulous.
- Research time – why should we waste out time doing your research?
- Most of you should have seen at least one example by now. If that one didn’t convince you how the heck are we supposed to know which one will?
So here’s a link to a nice litle booklet that explains a lot about evolution. Download it, read it, think about it, do you own research on anything you don’t understand or believe; then come back and question us. Remember we are not all experts on evolution, but we do understand it is a valid theory (as is gravitational theory, the theory of relativity and various other “theories”).
[as an aside here, one of the funniest, most bizarre, moments in my life happened late 2007. At an Anglican dinner (don’t ask what I was doing there) some woman piped up that evolution was not valid (or something similar) and before I could get a word out, an Anglican Minister (!!) shot her down faster and better than I could ever have done. He basically told her evolution was true, you should have seen the look on this woman’s face, priceless.]
So on to SS’s second ‘claim’
Atheists don’t have beliefs, so why would we need a day to celebrate them? We appreciate brilliant scientific discoveries so perhaps we could replace the Easter holidays with a Darwin long weekend? Christmas with Madame Curie day, an Einstein holiday in winter perhaps? I’m sure there must be thousands of brilliant men and women from all forms of scientific and humanist backgrounds that we could replace all the ‘religious’ holidays with. Epic Fail SS.
One topic of discussion was interesting, but I’m not going to cover it here as it will need some research done before I am prepared to make a decision one way or the other.
The discussion was about whether society improves as religion diminshes.
Patrick brought up the studies done by Zuckerman and Paul which supposedly showed society does improve. But TonyP then came up with some very good evidence to show those studies weren’t very good. So obviously more research needs to be done on this topic.
alexie said this on the topic:
It is obvious as countries such as the USA and Australia leave their Christian heritage behind the further we go into higher suicide rates, crime rates, drug use, depression, teenage pregnancy etc.
To me this seems rather an assumption on alexie’s part, and recent studies, as mentioned here, have shown higher teenage pregnancy rates in the more religious states in America. I tend to think that if the figures are higher it is a lot more complicated than just because the number of religious people is dropping. However, the drop in the number of religious people is up for debate anyway, as I have discussed several times before (search for census), part of the so called drop is just better and more accurate census reporting of non-believers. But this is another complete topic on it’s own.
I could go on for another thousand words on the comments in this blog, and every time I check it there are even more comments to discuss and/or debunk. So I think I’ll end it here, but with one final WTF?, the comment which ends as follows (at or near the bottom of the comments):
From The Washington Times.
Fri 09 Jan 09 (11:22am)
is taken from an online newspaper. Read it if you dare. Then let me know what you think.
Finally, if any fellow bloggers wish to take up the topics I did not cover “atheistic states mass murder” and “whether society improves as religion diminishes”, feel free.