Today is a day that I find myself, once again, thanking our founding fathers for their immeasurably wise foresight in penning the First Amendment, particularly in regard to religion in this country. I shudder to think what we would look like if religion had free reign.
From The Phoenix NewTimes Blog–
If a handful of Republican state legislators have their way, high school students in Arizona would not be allowed to graduate until taking an oath to defend the U.S. Constitution.
According to House Bill 2467, sponsered by Republican Arizona state Representative Bob Thorpe, Sonny Borrelli, Carl Seel, T.J. Shope, and Steve Smith, high school students would be required to take an oath before graduating and receiving their diploma. The Oath states,
“I, _________, do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic, that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge these duties; so help me God.”
Then there’s the story posted on CCN’s iReport blog entitled, “Why I Raise My Children Without God”. The author, a mother to two teenagers living in Texas, outlines her reasons for non-belief and why she is not teaching her kids about God. There was an overwhelming response to her post which led many readers to flag the article as inappropriate. So many, in fact, that CNN requested that people stop.
And then there’s this guy who somehow got himself appointed to the United States House Committee on Science, Space and Technology.
Yes, there is a multitude of examples of people who call themselves Christians who are attempting to infringe on the rights of others, those that cling to the belief that the Bible is the greatest moral authority.
I’ve heard it stated from the Moderate Christian that “those guys are giving the rest of us a bad name” (or something along that line) or “they are not true Christians”.
But the fact of the matter is, they do have their Bible to support them in their intolerance. I also find it difficult to understand how Moderate Christians can ignore the Hell concept found in their bible and what it requires to avoid it.
Member Clayton recently sent DSA members a podcast from Point of Inquiry which discussed the need for atheists/secularists to join forces with moderates to facilitate passage of social policies that we all agree upon. This, I think, is mostly a good idea. But I can’t help but have that nagging feeling about the book moderate Christians adhere to. The parts they’ve cherry-picked, at least.
Which leads me to my next question for the Moderates: If there is so much of the Bible you cannot get behind and have already tossed out, why not just go ahead and toss out the whole thing? One can still follow the philosophies of Jesus (or Buddha or Confucius, etc for that matter) without calling themselves Christian. You can still be a good person and help others without binding yourself to a book which also has supposedly God-proclaimed texts about how to treat slaves, when to stone children, misogynistic tendencies, and, of course, rules on how to get into Heaven and how to end up burning in a Lake of Fire. Most Moderates have already dismissed these parts of the Bible they cannot stomach.
Why not the rest?
It seems some have indeed recognized this incongruity and have turned from organized religion to classify themselves as “non-affiliated”. According to a recent Pew study, the “nones” have risen to 19.6 percent here in the US.
This is great news. Yet, still we have the Paul Brouns, the Rick Santorums, the Rick Warrens- all of which consider themselves Christians. And they are speaking out in the name of their religion.
This is why Christianity worries me.
- Atheist? Not If You Want To Finish High School in Arizona (addictinginfo.org)
- Why Arizona HB 2467 is Wrong (reneland.wordpress.com)
- Arizona bill AZ HB2467 requires graduating high school students to take an oath (usahitman.com)
- Arizona Bill to Force Students to Take Loyalty Oath (alternet.org)