http://www.salon.com/2013/10/17/no_america_is_not_a_christian_natio...

phenomenal piece!  i really enjoyed her take down of the whole "rights came from God" argument. 

What’s nice about the “rights come from God” theory is that it makes it easier to deny that new rights can be established. Since the 18th century, a lot of rights have been granted that didn’t exist back then: The right not to be enslaved, the right of all adults to vote, the right to have some time off from your job. Conservatives resisted each of these rights and continue on that path today, resisting more recently established rights, such as the right to be free from discrimination based on race, gender, or sexual orientation. By saying that God informed the Founding Fathers what rights there were, conservatives can claim that any rights that have been developed since then are illegitimate. Sure, it’s a lie, but it’s an awfully convenient one.

enjoy!

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Thanks for letting us know about this!

She puts the "where rights come from" argument in its proper perspective:

What are liberals to do? [...] the smarter move is to refocus the conversation. Where rights come from is less important than emphasizing how important rights are for people’s lives. The right to vote, to get an abortion, to have food on the table and access to a doctor, to marry whom you like: These aren’t rights because your version of God whispered it in your ear. We respect these rights because we know that people’s lives are made worse if they don’t have them. At the end of the day, distracting from real people’s lives is what conservatives are trying to do with all this talk about rights coming from God. Liberals shouldn’t allow that to happen.

Jim Huber also rebuts the "Christian nation" fallacy:

The Founding Fathers had no reason to be vague. There was no ACLU, no "Activist judges." If they had wanted a Christian Nation they could have written:

God Almighty, in Order to form a true Christian Nation, establish Divine Justice, insure adherence to His Laws, provide for the defense of His Church, promote His Word, and secure His Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, has led us to ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

i like that Huber quote.  encapsulates the scenario perfectly. 

it's also interesting how she notes that only one side seems to care about this.  i listen to Glen Beck (what can i say, i'm a glutton for punishment) and he cares about this A LOT!  

Matt, seriously, doesn't listening to Glen Beck make your blood-pressure go up?!  I could never! lol.~ Mel

sometimes.  mostly i just laugh.  his kind of mentality fascinates me.  i have a friend (well, a friend of a friend) who thinks like Beck.  huge conspiracy theorist, although he says they aren't conspiracies and that everyone knows them to be true.  he's, surprise surprise, very religious.  and he thinks your television is watching you back!

"and he thinks your television is watching you back!"

It isn't? ;)

What a great quote about the "Christian nation" fallacy.

If an equitable government derives its power from those governed, then the rights of those governed also derive from themselves, by consensus.

I can't help but notice that NOWHERE in the bible does one find god talking about RIGHTS.  There is a considerable amount of talk about the obligations one has to Yahweh and all the things one must do to please either him or his carpenter-turned-rabbi son.  But rights are mentioned nowhere by no one, and this should be no surprise at all.  Absolute monarchies or autocracies are based on the unquestioned power of the monarch or autarch, who may or may not dole out rights as he chooses.  This arrogation of rights at the top is a primary reason why revolutions happen and at least part of the reason why the US took the route it did when it codified its Constitution and laws.

The concept of rights, of fairness, and of justice come from MEN and WOMEN.  I'm not certain they could source from anywhere else.

Thanks Loren. It is posted as written on Facebook Oct 17, 2013.

Loren, there has been one reposting on Facebook by a leader of the Democratic party in Idaho, Cheryl Halverson. This is how it appeared on her post: 

"Used with permission of author Loren Miller: 
"If an equitable government derives its power from those governed, then the rights of those governed also derive from themselves, by consensus.

"I can't help but notice that NOWHERE in the bible does one find god talking about RIGHTS. There is a considerable amount of talk about the obligations one has to Yahweh and all the things one must do to please either him or his carpenter-turned-rabbi son. But rights are mentioned nowhere by no one, and this should be no surprise at all. Absolute monarchies or autocracies are based on the unquestioned power of the monarch or autarch, who may or may not dole out rights as he chooses. This arrogation of rights at the top is a primary reason why revolutions happen and at least part of the reason why the US took the route it did when it codified its Constitution and laws.

"The concept of rights, of fairness, and of justice come from MEN and WOMEN. I'm not certain they could source from anywhere else."

~ Loren Miller

Very interesting.  Makes me wonder if Ms. Halverson is an atheist herself.  It'll be interesting to see if anyone comments on it.

Thanks, Joan, as always!

We write so clearly on this Atheist Nexus site, and say to each other what we see as Absurd Religion. These ideas, these words, should be read by those who still are not sure if god exists, or if god does exist, is he/she/it a healthy thing or terribly deluded. Those who have not made up their minds can hear the blathering idiocy without any difficulty; it is the reasonable, rational, thinking ideas that need to get into the public arena. 

Matthew, Grinning Cat, Jim and Loren, may I repost your comments on Facebook with attribution to each of you?

 

of course you may.  and share this article too, it should really be read.  

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