Thank you, Dan.
One other thing I found amusing about the missive is the posturing about why things have come to the point they have. Apparently the Christian "good guys" have been turning the other cheek in such situations. As a result the [special] "rights of Christians" (to force their beliefs on others?) has become jeopardized.
I make no claim regarding the writer, whom I have not met. But generally people active in favor of the U.S. Constitution have not experienced gentle treatment from their opponents. I refer to Jessica Ahlquist, a very brave publicly acknowledged atheist.
As soon as she came out of the closet many of her classmates gasped and an equally brave girl called her "a little witch" under her breath.
Then she protested what was clearly a prayer plaque, including an "Amen" in her public high school auditorium. As her lawsuit progressed she received hate mail and was verbally attacked by her peers, media outlets, and online. She received death threats, and required police escorts to and from classes. This was reminiscent of the Deep South over school integration, by the way, and it happened in Rhode Island. On the day after the ruling, Rhode Island State Representative Peter G. Palumbo, one of the nicest and most reasonable people ever, called Ahlquist as "an evil little thing" on the radio.
"America is fast on its way to becoming a secular, Godless society." This may be the one factually accurate statement in the entire letter. The percentage of our population that are non-believers is about 20% and growing fast. There are at least two reasons this is a good thing:
1. Non-believers generally defend the rights of citizens to worship without letting one denomination impose doctrine or dominate others. This makes the public square neutral ground where all citizens, whether from a majority religion, a minority religion, or no religion at all, can participate equally.
2. In most religious traditions, notions of morality are static with no self-correction mechanism. Thus when certain positions become untenable (slavery for example, which is specifically endorsed in Exodus 21), the correction is difficult and contentious. By de-coupling morality to ancient myths, non-believers are able to rationally and objectively advance our moral understanding.
The fact that more Americans are becoming non-believers definitely has me giving thanks this coming holiday season.
Wow. Seriously? Where to begin? The very fact that writer sneers at people of the opposite view actually underscores the problem. By having *any* public prayers forced upon all attendees at a Town Board meeting every citizen present who is not enslaved by the author's Santa Claus "thinking" is marginalized to a second-class citizen. America actually was established as a "secular" nation in the sense that freedom of religion entails freedom *from* religion. Guess what? You can still have your clearly religious displays on private property, including homes, churches and any land that is not paid for by all taxpayers.
People who are free of dogmatic religion are not joyless "Grinches" just because the writer cannot imagine otherwise. I actually was amused, rather than offended by the classically proud ignorance of the letter. (Thank you!) Speaking of ignorance, I wonder if she has even heard of the pre-Christian origins of every holiday mentioned except Thanksgiving and St. Patrick's Day? I don't expect her to agree with such absurdity, but it would be nice if she were at least exposed to these silly, inconvenient facts.
Have a Happy Winter Solstice!
- Bill Forward
The latest unemployment rate in Atlantic City was 12.6%. The most recent unemployment rate in Las Vegas was 9.2%. The most recent unemployment rate in PA was 7.7% and drum roll please...the unemployment rate in NY was 7.6%.
I mentioned Atlantic City and Las Vegas because of their high profile status as casino gambling meccas. I mentioned Pennsylvania because of the fracking's promise of jobs. These unemployment figures kind of shoot down the lies told about fracking and casinos as job saviors. Yes, of course they create jobs, but many things create jobs.
And have you been to Atlantic City lately? It is still the tale of two worlds...on one side, there is the glitz of the casinos and right across the street are the homeless in extreme poverty.
Fracking and casinos are not solutions, they are problems and threats.
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