once again, the Supreme Court is taking on the issue of public prayer. this time it's specific to local council meetings, but the ramifications could go well beyond that. however, if you read this piece, i'd be surprised if you come to any other conclusion that the whole issue is a unmitigated mess. frankly, i can't tell based on the various arguments which side which Justice is on. each argument sounded sillier than the last.
the fact is, the easiest, and perhaps only solution, is to eliminate the practice of prayer at public meetings altogether. trying to tweak the rules or come up with a one size fits all guideline is both impractical and impossible. there is simply no way to codify everyone, so the only thing to do is to keep religion - all religions - out of this environment. that's it. full stop.
will that happen? of course not. too many people just need to inject God or Jesus into every situation. that they can't keep it to themselves and pray silently doesn't occur to them. that they are gathering in a secular setting to do the people's work is secondary to the need to remind everyone of how pious they are. that is, of course, before they start grifting, lying, and doing everything they can to stay in power.
yet i'm hoping for a miracle. maybe after tossing around so many silly ideas they'll come to their senses and recognize the folly of the whole debate. then we'll be one step closer to a truly secular government.
That would do it!
I agree with Daniel. It's not really about prayer, it's about public religion. With that idea in mind prayer should not be allowed in the Supreme Court or any government sanctioned meeting. Politicos continue to allow this nonsense because doing so gets them votes and that gets them elected. With this in mind so many of todays "faithful" seem so distressed when prayer is not allowed, and they also think it should be in schools and at sporting events. This seems to give re-enforcement to their stupid beliefs that America is "a christian nation." For those that would argue this, just take the song "America The Beautiful" that we all used to sing many years ago. Get to the line where "god shed his grace on thee." That sums it all up for most fundies, but we are no more special than any other nation.
And what is prayer? "Before we continue here today, gentlemen, we will all bow our heads and close our eyes, then start talking to ourselves."
Thank Dog we have organizations like Freedom From Religion Foundation (to which I'm a lifetime member). With lawyers doing the "threatening", many schools and community meetings (political) have bowed down to the pressure of potential litigation. But FFRF responds to individuals (like the two ladies in the Supreme Court case) that speak up and out. For years, we atheists have gritted our teeth, kept silent, and moved on when forced to listen to "opening prayers" at public events. Finally, this thorny issue is "out there". As an aside, I can't help but be mystified at the inane comments/questions asked by Supreme Court members. It's like they are totally ignorant of the situation. I am not at all optimistic about their decision (5 to 4 to uphold public prayer).
Me too Sentient. Madison is only about an hour and a half North of us. FFRF is getting a beautiful new building, and I promised my Mom, who is a member, to take her to see it in the spring. We just want to go in and meet the awesome people who work there!
The Freedom Party of Ontario, Canada, has the elimination of prayer in the legislature as one of its platform planks. There are other numerous planks outlining how they would separate religion and government. They also introduce steps in the implementation of separation of executive and legislative powers. They would make it impossible for legislators to interfere into negotiations between executives and unions. They would make it illegal for government to contract out responsibilities to private enterprise. I believe their platforms would be of interest to most Atheists.
Their official line on prayer in the is" The government has no authority other than that delegated to it by the people it serves. A Freedom government will eliminate official prayer in the Ontario legislature. Freedom Party, defending democracy." I find Paul McKeever has an ability to articulate the values of Atheists. I have been disappointed by the direction traditional parties have been taking in the last few decades. I believe we have been overdue for a re-emergence of Enlightenment values.
i like the sound of that!
I would support state atheism for Canada.
I wouldn't support state atheism for Canada or anywhere! Doing so would make us no better than the Muslim or fundy christian who wants to force belief on everyone. Politics and government should NEVER involve ideas that seem to suit the deity or people that believe in a deity. This is also why it can never be required to be atheist as well.
Atheism is not a belief it's the rejection of belief in the existence of deities. Religion is nonsense with no evidence God even existed in the first place. The world has to move on from 2,000 year old myths. Religion was made to control. It's a lie, it's condescending, it's viral, it's outdated, it's riddled with moral inconsistencies, it justifies racism, it justifies discrimination, it justifies sexism, justifies intolerance, it justifies slavery, it justifies child abuse, it justifies rape, it justifies murder, it devalues reason, it devalues truth, it devalues humanity, it uses circular logic, it contradicts scientifically proven facts, it restricts free thought, it restricts freedom of choice, it restricts scientific progress, it restricts medical progress, it restricts social progress, it represses sexuality, it restricts sexual freedom, it restricts safe sex, it restricts contraceptive use, it restricts woman's rights, it promotes non-consensual genital mutilation, it encourages complacency, it encourages false information, it encourages ignorance, it teaches to be submissive, it teaches behaviour through authority by means of reward and punishment, it steals time, it steals money, it steals energy, it steals resources, it steals knowledge, it steals lives, it defines human nature, it creates psychological problems, it creates resent, it creates shame, it creates guilt, it creates fear, it creates stress, it creates irreconcilable divisions, it creates violence, it creates terrorism, it creates wars, it destroys relationships, it destroys families, it destroys communities and it does not adapt, yet you think religion should be legal. Furthermore, churches have to go because they are simply criminal organizations. They don't create jobs, they spread lies and thieve from the vulnerable and poor. They are basically a gathering of harlots, murderers and paedophiles. To be successful in life you need your personal ingenuity, not some goddamn divine intervention who steals and lies to you all the time. The world would be better off without religion.
Wow! Now that's a copy, paste and save rant. My hat's off and compliments to you for a wonderfully worded statement.
Dustin you cannot legislate enlightenment. One of the greatest faults of religion has been its reliance on authority. Atheists don't need the authority of legislative sanction. Let truth and freedom be the characteristics that attract an increasing number of free thinkers. Atheists should never be a group of sheep, they should be an association of independent thinkers supporting each others autonomy. It would be enough to have state church separation. Let's leave the heavy handed styles of persuasion to idealists.