Sunday, October 25, 2009

Is Atheism becoming the state religion

My wife proably hears this so much from me that it makes her throw up a little bit in the back of her throat every time I say it. Yet, I still say it probably once a week...."Where's the happy medium?" The pendulum on any spectrum seems to sway back and forth between too much and too little. My life experience has shown me that I am usually in agreement with things when they are near that happy medium spot. Listening to something recently where religion belongs in the public sphere I had the following thoughts...

Some argue that because of the separation of church and state, that there should not be any religious tie-ins to anything in the government.

It doesn't take a genius to understand the history and conditions of the constitutional writing era to know that the founding fathers at least intended for there not to be an official state religion. Furthermore, it is obvious that the foundation was built on Judeo-chrisitian principles. The majority of Americans are still Judeo-christian in their personal belief system. With all of the above being true, I submit that by removing all references to religion from the governmental sphere, we would indeed be declaring a state religion...the religion of no religion, also known as atheism. If that were the case, the pendulum would have swung too far in that direction.

10 comments:

Loyd said...

Well it certainly isn't true that all references to religion have been taken out of government, but I would agree that instances that give preference to one religion over another have (and ought to have) been removed.

My question for you is what kind of references to religion would you like to see in government? And would those references give a privileged position or endorsement to any particular religion?

Carson Calderwood said...

They haven't yet, but the modus operandi of those who think they should, is INCRIMENTALISM.

what kind of references to religion would you like to see in government?

How about the ones the founding fathers put in there?

would those references give a privileged position or endorsement to any particular religion?

In this instance there are two definitions of the world religion 1) Christianity vs Judaism 2)Mormons vs Catholics. According to definition 1, yes all religions that believe in God, should be given preference, with out doubt! According to definition 1, Christianity should be given a slight privileged position so long as it doesn't give any privileged position to any religion according to definition 2.

That is how I feel. People should not take offense if this Christian nation has Christmas as one of its 6 national holidays. People should not have been offended when Seattle put up Hanuka decorations. There is a line that should not be crossed. Nevertheless, people focus on not crossing that line of 'their rights' (which doesn't get crossed too often on this issue) too much and not enough on what is my responsibility to my neighbor.

Loyd said...

They haven't yet, but the modus operandi of those who think they should, is INCRIMENTALISM.

1. Who is 'They'?
2. Who is 'those'?
3. INCRIMENTALISM is a logical fallacy. By your same reasoning, references to be religion should be removed because allowing any would lead to a stat religion. By the same logic, no alcohol laws should be loosened because that would lead to no prohibition at all. No possibly adult art should be legal because that would lead to the legalization of child pornography. etc. etc.

How about the ones the founding fathers put in there?

Which ones? And have any serious measures been made to remove them?

In this instance there are two definitions of the world religion 1) Christianity vs Judaism 2)Mormons vs Catholic

I've been doing religious studies for several years now and I have no idea what you are talking about.

People should not take offense if this Christian nation has Christmas as one of its 6 national holidays.

This isn't a Christian nation though. We don't have a state religion. While nearly 80% of our citizens are Christians, nearly one out of six citizens claim to be atheist or agnostic. To characterize the state itself as Christian is simply false.

People should not have been offended when Seattle put up Hanuka decorations

The problem arises when the state is officially recognizing one (or more) religions and not others. For the state to give recognition to one religion over another is for the state to implicitly endorse one religion over another. If the state endorses a religion over another it is claiming that that religion has a preferential claim of authenticity by the state, which would be akin to an establishment of a state religion. It is for this very reason why we do not base laws in this country on particular religious beliefs, and specifically why abortion laws cannot be passed based on the religious belief that personal life begins at conception.

Nevertheless, people focus on not crossing that line of 'their rights' (which doesn't get crossed too often on this issue) too much and not enough on what is my responsibility to my neighbor.

I'm not sure what you mean here.

Marisa said...

I think in the 3rd pp first sentence you meant "official state religion. :)

Carson Calderwood said...

Thanks Risa.

Loyd, sorry, but I don't have the time or desire to explain all those things you don't understand.

Loyd said...

Can you please then point me to somebody who understood what you were trying to say?

Please don't try to pass this on me not understanding, I'm not sure if you were clear enough or articulate enough for anyone to understand what you meant.

the crustybastard said...

Other things it doesn't take a genius to understand:

*The absence of religion is NOT A RELIGION.*

Likewise, anarchy is not a form of government, bald is not a hair color, and not collecting stamps is not a hobby.

Not content with a single logical fallacy, you also include this doozy: "it is obvious that the foundation was built on Judeo-chrisitian [sic] principles."

Yeah, that's called "begging the question." By all means, Google it.

PROTIP: If you're attempting to make a logical argument, do try to avoid predicating it entirely on logical fallacies.

Carson Calderwood said...

Crusty,
Thanks for polite comment < /sarcasm>.

Atheism is most definitely a religion. Don't narrow your definition of the word to "A set of beliefs and practices relative to a respect for deity." I'm not naive in stating what I did.

I think if you were to slow down a second in your criticism of my post you would see an error in your fallacy finger pointing. My argument was that the 'separation of church and state' pendulum has swung too far to one side. [BTW, when did my blog become a logical argument construction workshop?] Stating the fairly ubiquitous notion that the country was founded on Judeo-christian (pardon the extra "i"), principles was done for two reasons. 1-this isn't a debate exercise so I can make some assumptions, 2-for those whom my blog is intended, this point is a given.

Feel free to comment some more, but understand where I am coming from and don't be such a hater bro!

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