Friday, February 10, 2012

Well, That's Embarrassing

After giving Pat Condell's website a recommendation in my last post, I went back to it and played what seems to be his latest video commentary.  I found, much to my horror, that this video features Pat repeating one of the strawman type arguments made by theocrats in the U.S. as if it were the truth--and worse, mimicking their outrage over this lie that they claim American atheists say but that we don't actually say (except perhaps a few confused atheists who have been in the bible belt too long--so long that they have begun to parrot the bullies who beset them). 

This ridiculous strawman argument is that atheists want religious symbols removed from government building in the U.S. because the symbols hurt our feelings or otherwise offend us.  Frankly, this is so wrong that it is shocking to hear it coming from Pat.  He has always been very insightful in the past.  I can only assume that his comfortable position in a country where secularism is widespread has rendered him ignorant of what it is like to live in the U.S. where almost the entire country is in the grip of religion and where atheists have to fear for their jobs and their physical safety.

First, such displays of religious symbols on government property are permissible under the U.S. Constitution only if the forum is open to displays of all religious viewpoints.  There would be no basis for complaint unless the government officials in charge of the particular property had excluded other religious viewpoints.  So, NO, Pat, this isn't about our feelings being hurt.  It is about enforcing our laws, specifically our Constitution.

Second, the reason our Constitution forbids government endorsement of religion (or the appearance thereof) is that it gives those who are already intolerant and theocratic an excuse and encouragement to be actively bigoted and engage in discrimination or outright attacks against those who don't believe.  This has actually happened to me more than once, Pat, so don't think that I am making this up.  If you doubt me, research it yourself.  I am not the only one who has had such experiences.

Imagine if those intolerant Muslims in England who so frequently cause you to fog up your glasses with heated rhetoric had actually reached such numbers that they were effectively in control of your government.  Imagine some of the things they would do.  Well, that is the situation here in the U.S., Pat, except that the lunatics are "christians".  The only thing we non-believers can do to fight them is insist on strict adherence to the separation of church and state, as provided in our Constitution.

No comments:

Post a Comment