How Many Secularists and Non-Secularists Can Dance on the Head of a Pin?

Poobah Self Disclosure: I'm an atheist. You may be a Christian...not that there's anything wrong with that.

America is an unhappy place these days. Opposing forces not only bludgeon each other bloody, but as Mitch McConnell recently announced, they make it a political priority to wipe out their opposition like Genghis Kahn scorching the earth of the steppes. Nowhere is this fighting as pointless and picayunish as in the Secular v. Non Secular Death Cage Match.

As a rule of thumb Republicans are the logical home of the stupidly religiously zealous. Folks like the Family Research Council, Glenn Beck, and loopy Michele Bachmann trumpet vuvuzela the superiority of the God-ed while practicing the most shockingly unchristian behavior against the ungod-ed. Even their captive audience of soft-headed, opportunistic political drones have trouble with them - especially when they stop donating money and votes.

The religious zealots have a huge David and Goliath thing going on. "Dear God, give me a slingshot and guide mine rock into the eye of my Godless oppressors, the libruls."

But fundamentalists have no lock on the asshat zealot market. Stop by a Jesus Freakery and read the comments. Go to a Atheisterie and the words seem plagiarized from the same source, "You're a know-nothing asshole who's a traitor intent on wiping out what crumbs of democracy we still have left."

And one more similarity. Almost all the over the top bloviation mentions how much anyone who disagrees is some sort of hate-filled, brainless zot - as though we're all Little Georgie Shrubs.

Most Christians are reasonably sane and the same goes for the secular crowd. All the reasonable ask is a bit of wiggle room because they're entitled to it. They want to go to church (or not), put up the occasional Christmas Holiday tree (or not), and be safe from the incessant yawping of people who would staple the 10 commandments to everyone's forehead or consign religious gatherings to a dank cellar with the lights turned out - sort of an ecumenical Gitmo.

But out there on the dark edge of Firebase Freedom lurk nuts to the left of us and nuts to the right of us, as unreasonably pissed about the, "In God We Trust" motto as they are by the, "Christians über alles and the hell with anyone else" brigade.

The balance between freedom of religion and freedom from religion is delicate and a very narrow gap. One person's "absolute" freedom is another's horrible shackle.

As with all Constitutional rights, we don't get to vote on them or change them at will to suit our fancy. However, there's nothing wrong with a legitimate argument about where the line lays. But, meanness for the sake of meanness is meaningless, rude, and counter-productive.

So everyone, let's kiss and make up so we can go back to something important, like hating Congress and the President.

You know, something useful.

Cross posted at The Omnipotent Poobah Speaks!

Views: 6

Tags: Bachmann, Beck, Christian, Council, David, Family, Glenn, God, Goliath, In, More…McConnell, Michele, Mitch, Politics, Religion, Research, Secularism, Trust, We, and, atheist, freedom, non-secular, of, religion, secular

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Comment by Omnipotent Poobah on December 31, 2010 at 1:13pm

John,

Far be it from me to tell you who to hate as long as you don't accept my freedom not to hate. You're as entitled to that as non-secularists are and I would never argue otherwise. I personally choose to try and not hate anyone, but like any human I'm not perfect about it. I just think some arguments don't get anyplace in the end and ask others to consider a similar position. That doesn't mean I'm right nor that you should accept them.

 

I agree about POTUS too, it's a relief from an unbroken stream of prayer breakfasts where the topic of non-believers being scum and should be irradicated. I don't believe the argument that the Bible is historical, although I suspect some of the characters existed and the Bible is a good piece of literature. It has some good general lessons to teach about morality too, but I believe that's a personal thing and not something I can control, so take it with a grain of salt.

But, I also believe there are parts that are complete hogwash, counter-productive and dangerous to a well-ordered and free society. As for the "moral" parts, morality means different things to different people and that's OK with me too provided I'm not expected to live by the ones I don't agree with. I also get flack from both sides about taking a centerist approach, so that's probably not bad either. It means people are at least thinking about it whether they agree or not.

So I grant your wish (because I am, of course, omnipotent). I wish you more fights on the principle that all fights have some value, there are quite a few to make, and I hope WE win. I accept your request too, because, frankly, kisses on the ass feel good.

I hope you do fight on. I'll also do it when I think it's useful. And Happy New Year to you...and I really mean that. Thaks for your perspective.

 

 

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