Tuesday, August 17, 2010

"I've never knowingly listened to or face [sic] a atheist, I want you to know you make me sick to my stomach,"-Commissioner J.W. Rix, Marion, IL (about which there's no noteworthy link to be found other than this story after 2 years of being in office, hint *cough* publicity stunt* hint.)

"What right do they have to prevent my Ten Commandments of the United States of America which I served in the marine corps to defend the right to put it there?"-Rabbi Moshe Laurie of Congregation Adat Ariel.


But we're the hateful and intolerant ones? Uh-huh.

Ok Moshe ... let me tromp through this shit one more time for you.

There is no "ten commandments of the United States of America". And if there is, it's the Bill of Rights. If you want to put a Bill of Rights on a chunk of public property ... well that's great. I'm all for it.

Let me back track and give you some premise. This guy, Rob Sherman (Atheist and Patriot), of Illinois, went to Marion to explain to them why putting the ten commandments in a town square is a bad idea according to the constitution. He was right.

Here's the thing. The debate has been going on for a long time between whether we're a secular nation (which we are, by the way) or a "christian nation" (which we're not). Let's just hash this out right now.

A secular government is NOT a society in which everyone is an atheist. That's not what any atheist who believes in freedom of thought is saying (and that, I assure you, is a fair representation of most of us).

However, if our government is going to allow for a religious plurality (as in, was Jesus the son of god [christian]. or wasn't he [jewish], or is there no god at all [atheists]) then the only objective stance the government can take is one of skeptical agnosticism at best. I'm not allowed to stop you from praying in public, you're not allowed to stop me from "blaspheming" in public. Fair is fair.

Here's a hypothetical though:
I would suspect that those of the judeo-christian faith would take offense to desecration of a religious symbol. Right? But we live in a country that says all religions are equal, and that all public property is collectively owned by the people of this country. So ... if a city installs a monument to the ten commandments ... does that mean that, as a citizen, I have equal right to go up to it with a can of spray paint and cross out the commandments I don't agree with?

Obviously you would balk, "destruction of public property" ... but that property is just as much mine as theirs, isn't it?

The problem is that public property is different than private property. We all own public property together, it's a common bond. That's what being a country of the people, by the people and for the people means. This gets confused with atheism because our position is that there is no god, whereas the government MUST ACT as if there is no god so long as any Citizen so much as doubts the existence of one. That's where the will of the majority butts heads with the rights of the minority in this great country.

Ironically enough, the first one is fine " you shall have no other gods before me." ... kind of a moot point when you put them all on equal footing as nonsensical. No atheist puts any god before any other god. Further, no government should ... which is the point.

But the religious certainly try to with no evidence other than faith, which is no evidence at all.