Bloody religion 9

Some of our readers (who may have spoken for many) have let us know that they disagree with Pat Condell – and so with us too – on what he says in the video we posted yesterday.

Contra Condell, they think a nativity scene on state property is a serious violation of the Constitution and should be protested against.

They insist that the Founding Fathers intended there to be “total separation of Church and State” although the phrase is not used in the Constitution.

One reader, Frank, sent us these quotations:

“I do not believe in the creed professed by the Jewish church, by the Roman church, by the Greek church, by the Turkish church, by the Protestant church, nor by any church that I know of. My own mind is my own church.” ~ Thomas Paine

“All national institutions of churches, whether Jewish, Christian or Turkish, appear to me no other than human inventions, set up to terrify and enslave mankind, and monopolize power and profit.” ~ Thomas Paine

I have found Christian dogma unintelligible. Early in life I absented myself from Christian assemblies.” ~ Benjamin Franklin

“The civil government … functions with complete success … by the total separation of the Church from the State.” ~ James Madison

“Religious bondage shackles and debilitates the mind and unfits it for every noble enterprize, every expanded prospect.” ~ James Madison

“The question before the human race is, whether the God of nature shall govern the world by his own laws, or whether priests and kings shall rule it by fictitious miracles?” ~ John Adams

By “the God of nature” we understand John Adams to have meant the laws of nature. (That was the only “god” that Spinoza and Einstein believed in.)

“As I understand the Christian religion, it was, and is, a revelation. But how has it happened that millions of fables, tales, legends, have been blended with both Jewish and Christian revelation that have made them the most bloody religion that ever existed?” ~ John Adams

With this last one we have some disagreement. We don’t believe in revelation. And we think Islam has shown itself to be at least as bloody as Christianity.

But all the quotations are treasures worth remembering.

(Our thanks to Frank)

  • I think religion is most important of our life.

  • My main trouble with Condell’s argument is that it should permit any sort of religious display on public grounds. Get ready for armies of self-flagellating Shiites to come out and whip themselves on the White House grounds next Ashura. Watch the Scientologists build a monument of Boeing 747 knockoffs to remind us of our servility to Xenu (but not if you have your thetan levels read!). Shudder in horror as the Satanists erect flaming pentagrams for their wicked winter ceremonies.

    The only solution I see around the complete desecration of sacred secular ground while maintaining Condell’s wishes is to admit the obvious. Christmas is no longer a Christian holiday, probably never was anyway, and so constitutes no violation of any perceived state-church barrier.

    • Revhank

      How can the nativity scene not be Christian?

  • Revhank

    It will take the Muslim religion a long time to catch up with the Christians. The Christian Religion is more than 600 years older than the Muslim Religion. Look at the evil done by the Christian God in his first 1400 years and the Muslim Religion during its existence. Muslims learned their tactics from the Christians.

    • Don L

      First, this is an atheist site so describing the atrocities of those who believe in religion is a wasted effort.  That said, it is only the muslim idiots who follow teachings of a psychopathic murderous degenerate they call mohameat…or something like that. 

      It is one thing to look backward umpteen thousand years as to what one religion did or didn’t do.  It is another to view a religion here now in the 2nd decade of the 21st century and find the foul smell of feces emanating from what is called the muslim faith. 

      So, look at the muslim religion of today…trash begetts trash.  A murderous and violent religion followed by unthinking zombies. 
      Enough…I waste my virtual ink communicating with religious fanatics…especially muslim garbage!

  • Don L

    The ‘Wall of Separation’:

    Believing that religion is a matter which lies solely between man and 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. — Thomas Jefferson, to Danbury Baptists, 1802

    The ‘Wall of Separation,’ Again:

    Because religious belief, or non-belief, is such an important part of every person’s life, freedom of religion affects every individual. Religious institutions that use government power in support of themselves and force their views on persons of other faiths, or of no faith, undermine all our civil rights. Moreover, state support of an established religion tends to make the clergy unresponsive to their own people, and leads to corruption within religion itself. Erecting the “wall of separation between church and state,” therefore, is absolutely essential in a free society.

    We have solved, by fair experiment, the great and interesting question whether freedom of religion is compatible with order in government and obedience to the laws. And we have experienced the quiet as well as the comfort which results from leaving every one to profess freely and openly those principles of religion which are the inductions of his own reason and the serious convictions of his own inquiries. — Thomas Jefferson, to the Virginia Baptists, 1808

    • Liz

      Thanks for the quotes.  Pertinent here is “Religious institutions that use government power in support of themselves and force their views on persons of other faiths, or of no faith, undermine all our civil rights….state support of and established religion…”  This would apply even more to the case of “faith based initiatives”, but even religious displays on public property are technically using government power in support of themselves.  A display is not exactly “forcing” thier views on others, but it is getting it out there in view of others, and using public property to do it. 
      The principle was definitely intended by the Founders.  Your right that it’s been by “inches” that this line has been blurred by religion.  We tolerate them because it seems harmless, but next thing we know they are claiming that we are a “Christian Nation”, push “intelligent design” in the schools, and ban the teaching of evolution. 

  • Liz

    I still agree with Pat as far as things like nativity scenes go.  They may be annoying, but they are nothing to claim “offense” over.  However, that also means we have to tolerate displays of, say, Muslim depictions of who knows what – Muhammed beheading the infidels?  – in order to be consistent.  In that case, I would be offended.  Then what?     

    • Don L

      Whether it be statism, collectivism, religion, socialism or altruism…there can be no compomise.  To compromise something good with something bad is to elevate the bad and diminish the good.  Overtime, the bad wins…as in the USA now being broke because politicians (like a Huckabee) believe to govern means compromise.
       
      There are plenty of private places and religious places where these icons can be erected…or where they can pray, kneel or whatever stupidity they choose to perform.

      It’s to accept talibanism by inches.  Like at an auction…it’s just another $100….$2K later it isn’t.