Thursday, August 29, 2013

Atheism violates separation of church and state?

It turns out that an interesting statement was made by David Barton today. Barton is an evangelical Christian minister, that has major issues with allowing non-religious 'chaplains' in the military. His statement was as follows: 
The Supreme Court opened the door to all of this. Back in decisions like U.S. vs Seeger and others, the court, in their dislike for traditional religion, they defined religion as whatever someone believes so sincerely and so strongly that it affects the way they act.

Now, if that's the case, by the court's definition, atheism and humanism would be religious because they affect the way people act. But if that's the case, then why don't we have the separation of church and state with them, if they're a religion?

Darwinism and evolution is a religion. Why don't we say 'hey, we can't teach Darwinism in school. That affects the way people behave. I demand separation of church and state. Get Darwinism out of the classroom.'

Or why don't we say 'hey, I don't see any prayers going at graduation; that's atheism! I demand separation of church and state. Atheism has chaplains, they're a religion. Get atheism out of the schools.'
Wow...  Let's start with U.S. vs Seeger. This case questioned whether personal beliefs against war were equally as valid as the religious exemption from military service. The court concluded that a simple personal moral profession against war was not strong enough to earn the same exemption. But it was concluded that beliefs that are not strictly personal. and could be considered to be filling the same role as traditional religious beliefs would be eligible for the religious service exemption.

So Barton has things a bit mixed up... possibly purposely so that he can make his absurd point. Plainly put, atheism isn't a religion. Actually it's the lack of one! Tell me how not having a rel;igion is supposed to be a religion.

Darwinism and evolution aren't religions either. And they aren't even requirements  to be an atheist. So teaching evolution doesn't violate the separation of church and state one bit. Evolution isn't a theistic claim in the slightest. But it is the evidenced truth, which is why it is taught in schools.

Also, the absence of religion is not atheism.Not praying at graduation is not atheism, it's upholding the Constitution. Not praying is simply, not praying. If school graduations presented a speech asserting that prayer is a pointless waste of time that doesn't work, and that there is no God, THEN the graduation ceremony would be atheistic.

The same is true about the absurd claim that atheism has replaced God in schools, and is itself a violation. This is absurd and untrue. No, schools can't force students to pray at the beginning of each day. Such an institutionalization of religion violates the separation of church and state. But not forcing prayer is not atheism. Students may pray voluntarily, so how is that atheism? Schools aren't teaching that there is no God, so where's the atheism.

This is just another example of a Christian leader crying for not getting everything their own way any longer. No more Christian monopoly in the military. No more using schools as a church. Evolution is taught because it is true, so stop the vain attempts to get it removed from the classroom because it contradicts your beliefs. Sorry if your beliefs don't line up with the truth, but maybe that says something about your beliefs.

Finally, what is his proposed solution? He thinks that not praying = atheism, and that atheism = a religion. This 'reasoning' tells him that this 'atheism' is a violation of the separation of church and state. Similarly, forced Christian prayer is also a violation. So if both prayer and no prayer are violations in his mind, what options are there left exactly?

 -Brain Hulk

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