Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Replacing secularism with atheism?

Domenick Maglio wrote a piece for Hernando Today that claims that atheism is replacing secularism as the 'state' religion'. This sounds like an absurd claim to me, but lets take a look at his case anyway...
Our founders were God-fearing men. They convened all their political functions with a prayer. References to God are in full view inside and outside our historical government buildings. The personal and official authors spoke openly concerning the Supreme Being.
What the founders believed in isn't really important. It's what the law says that matters. But I find it funny that some believers like to hang on to the statement that the founders talked of God, since many of them were Deists and not Christians. Newsflash, nothing that the founders did mention in any documents was inherently Christian. In fact, the first treaty ratified by the United States clearly stated that the US is not a nation founded on the Christian religion.
The First Amendment to the Constitution states that all people have the freedom to practice religion equally and openly under the law. There is no wall of separation between church and the federal government mentioned in the Constitution, nor is there any disallowing the freedom to discuss or practice Christianity or any other religion. There is a direct prohibition against establishing a national religion.
Yes, the first amendment does provide the freedom of worshiping or not worshiping the religion of your choice.  But the prohibition against establishing a national religion is the separation of church and state that he claims isn't included. When questioned in a letter, Thomas Jefferson had this to say about the phrase "prohibits the making of any law respecting an establishment of religion".
Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between man & his god, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, and not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, thus building a wall of separation between church and state.
While the phrase 'separation of church and state' is not in the Constitution, the principle itself very much is.
In our post 1960 progressive, secular revolution a frontal attack has been unleashed on Christianity.
Secular revolution? The United States was founded as a secular nation to start with! Part of 'secular' means having no religious bias. And that is the principle I just mentioned prior. As far as an attack on Christianity... Please provide one legitimate example. I'm sure that what Domenick is perceiving as an attack will actually be no more than the proper application of the law.
Recently in the United States we have seen a spectacular rise in atheism and a repression of anything Christian.
True, atheism is becoming more common, but how is the religion that is held by 78% of Americans and dominates the airwaves and other medium being repressed?
Public prayer has practically become an illegal act.
That's simply not true. Prayer is still perfectly legal and will remain that way. The only prayer that has ever been stopped was illegal prayer. When public officials lead a prayer (and not all other types of prayer) as an official or required act they are violating the establishment clause.
A prayer no longer introduces most government meetings.
What with all the challenges to either stop those invocations or also allow other religions to take part, it sure seems pretty common to me. If it was rare, we would hardly be hearing about it at all, not all the time.
Mentioning God in a commencement ceremony has become shockingly controversial national news.
It depends who says it. If the principle wants to recite the Lords Prayer, that's going to be a problem. But if a student wants to thank God in a speech, that's their right and perfectly fine.
Ministers and pastors are being intimidated by the IRS as to what they can say.
No they aren't! The IRS is simply promising to follow the law. Any non-profit is forbidden to campaign for a candidate or issue and remain tax free. So the only churches in danger are those that break a law that has been in place forever. Doesn't seem unreasonable to me.
The military has removed references to God from their training manuals.
Well, they've removed some. But that isn't due to oppression, but because they were there illegally to begin with.
Military chaplains are not allowed to counsel using Biblical references. Atheist “chaplains” have been established and given the same rights by our military as those religiously trained. 
From what I've found, it looks like Domenick is talking about one of two things. Either he's foolishly believing a fully falsified chain email that's been going around for years, or he's confused about the case of Klender and Firtko. They are two VA program trainees that sued over alleged religious discrimination. But the problem wasn't their Christianity, but their attitude and actions. Until chaplains of every flavor are instituted, their job is to be a spiritual presence to believers of all stripes. But when faced with beliefs that differed from theirs they tried to force their beliefs on them. It is not a chaplains job to try to convert someone or plainly dismiss their beliefs. They can believe whatever they want, but if they can't do the job they applied for, they had every right to be dropped.
“Freedom from religion” is really repression of Christianity. Some are calling atheism the new secular religion. The federal government’s promoting of atheism and significantly limiting Christianity is approaching the violation of our First Amendment rights.
No, the government not taking sides does not equate to repression of Christianity. Christianity is not being limited in any way. The only Christian acts being limited are those that have been illegal since the United States was founded. This is not a limiting of Christianity, but the government finally righting the wrongs of the illegal an unfair advantage that Christianity has enjoyed for years and years. The government no longer openly favoring Christianity over all other creeds is not an attack on Christianity, it is a respecting of the first amendment.

And please tell me how the government is promoting atheism... They certainly aren't broadcasting propaganda stating 'there is no God'. The common Christian persecution complex is making the illogical jump that the government no longer favoring Christianity equates to the promotion of atheism. That isn't the case though. The law says that the government not take sides on the issue, and that's very different from endorsing atheism. Imagine that Domenick wants to watch FOX and I want to watch BBC. If the government decides to just turn off the TV, they are not taking sides in either my or his favor. Yet Domenick seems to believe that the switching off of the TV means that they side with my wanting to watch BBC...
The belief in no God signals that government alone thinks it has the power to create a plentiful, peaceful and just world. This is promoting allegiance and reverence for an all-powerful government, which has been an essential element in all communist and fascist dictatorships.
Sigh... All! Really? What about Nazi Germany? A catholic nation, ruled by the Catholic Hitler, who claimed he was doing God's work, and had every soldier wear belt buckles that read 'God with us' was atheistic?  How!? Also, the horrors of the communist regimes pretty much replaced traditional religion with the worship of the state and ruler. Something else that is not secular at all.
Antonio Gramsci, a prominent Italian communist intellectual, noted in the 1920s that Christian moral values had to be undermined and eliminated for communism to take root with the people. It is for this reason; communist nations eventually deny citizens the opportunity to practice Christianity openly. Christianity had to be repressed for the state to replace it as the ultimate force of what is good and bad for the people.
It wasn't just Christianity, it was all religions that had to be repressed. But not to institute an intellectual atheism, but the blind obedience and worship of the state and ruler.
Currently, the freedom to express and practice Christianity worldwide is under attack.
Is Domenick having a laugh?
Atheists are targeting the symbol of Christianity, the cross, across the nation. Crosses that have been present for decades in national parks are being forcefully removed. Even crosses in cemeteries and roadside shrines are being called discriminatory against non-believers. Christmas and Easter have been significantly undermined as religious national holidays. They are currently being referred to as “happy holidays” and the “spring holiday.” Even Christ has been removed from Xmas. The nativity displays have been prohibited in public space by often just a single request.
 I feel as though he's being deliberately obtuse... The only displays being challenged are illegal ones. The Ten Commandments at a church or in you front lawn are fine. But at a public school it is illegal. Same with crosses. Why is he so concerned about Easter and Christmas though? Both are Pagan holidays stolen by Christianity. It's also comical that 'Xmas' bothers him since that and Xianity are no more than the abbreviations that were used by early Christians.
The Affordable Care Act is a nationally imposed health program. It is requiring Christian organizations and businesses with strong Christian convictions to buy services although they oppose them on religious grounds. These services include abortion on demand, contraceptive device distribution and progressive sexual education. It is an obvious ignoring of their First Amendment rights.
 I'm guessing that he's oblivious to the fact that religious organizations are exempt. And it shouldn't matter what the owner of a business believes. They are free to practice what they wish. But they are not free to force what they believe on their employees. And this is exactly what they are asking to do when wanting out of the ACA. No one is telling the owners they have to get an abortion after-all...
Non-spiritual men did not found the U.S. They did not seek a society based on a belief in no God. All religions were welcome to lawfully practice the beliefs of their choice, including atheism. The concept of religious freedom was inclusive, not exclusive. The founders were wise men that often called upon God for guidance.
And that is exactly what atheists want a return to. Pay attention!
Our progressive national government has no Constitutional right to inhibit Christianity. Neither does it have the right to sanction and facilitate the establishment of the belief in “no God”— atheism — or promote science as a quasi religion.
Which is probably why none of these things are happening...
Albert Einstein, one of the most revered scientists in history, and many other prominent scientists, have noted the hand of God in their sophisticated investigations of the inspirationally beautiful interconnections of the universe. 
Yes, there are religious scientists, but that doesn't really matter. But since he mentions Einstein specifically, I feel this quote is appropriate.
It was, of course, a lie what you read about my religious convictions, a lie which is being systematically repeated. I do not believe in a personal God and I have never denied this but have expressed it clearly. If something is in me which can be called religious then it is the unbounded admiration for the structure of the world so far as our science can reveal it.
Sounds pretty clear to me...
A so-called “secular society” whose national government suppresses Christianity or imposes any one religion on its people, is not secular. It is either a theocracy or a totalitarian government.
Correct, but the government isn't forcing or even supporting atheism. But ask me this, why then do so many politicians  call for the forming of a Christian theocracy? Would Domenick oppose that as well?


-Brain Hulk

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