Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be godless



I saw this over on Kevin Drum's blog. Apparently, atheists are the most unpopular minority in America.

There's a longer entry in me about how much I loathe organized religion, and when I do it, I'll probably tie it to the current meme going around the lefty blogs about how important it is for the Democratic Party to let the voters know that they're all deeply religious too -- a sentiment that, frankly, fills me with revulsion and makes me wish I could pull up stakes for a more sensible, rational planet where the native race has long since conquered the need to use disciplined superstitious terror as a tool for the maintenance of socially acceptable behavior among the masses.

Having said that, I want to note that I myself am not an atheist; in fact, I regard atheism as being no less a religion than Islam or Catholicism. Implicit and inarguable belief in a negative presumption that cannot be proven like the non-existence of God is as much an article of faith as the holiness of Ramadan or the omnipresence of the Holy Spirit, and atheists are also pretty organized. And while they're people I'd be much more comfortable eating lunch with than, you know, the average Baptist, still, I suspect they'd stop being comfortable for me once they found out I had a few articles of faith of my own -- like my nebulous but firm belief in Intelligent Design (I think the reality we see around us is an artifact; I just don't claim any insight or knowledge at all as to Who, What, Why, When, or How it was created), my equally vague but firm belief in an immortal soul and life after death, and my insistence that there is some greater meaning to and reason for human existence. The atheists of my experience insist with fanatical vehemence that we're all just complex chemicals, the world is just a lot of crap thrown together at random, that there is nothing beyond materialism, there is no rhyme and no reason, that life, even self aware, sentient life, is the result of a random coincidence of physics, and worse, most of them seem to think (just like all their co-religionists) that anyone who disagrees with any of their articles of faith is a deluded child.

So I'm not an atheist myself. I'm not sure what I am; sort of a half assed agnostic with a few very personal beliefs I myself cannot support with logic or reason.

I'm rambling all over the place. I suppose, if I have a point to make, it's just how tired I get of living in a world that is one big hostile environment to anyone who doesn't believe in Jebus. And that very much includes the tireseome requirement of trying to discern which candidate is being more hypocritical about his or her mandatory profession of faith in Jebus, so I can vote for the bigger liar.

Which may, I'm realizing, be one big reason I responded with such hostility to Julia's very reasonable suggestion that I should work on someone's political campaign. I honestly don't think I could stomach working for someone who went to church every Sunday... and I'm pretty sure anyone who isn't in a Christian church every Sunday has no shot at getting elected anywhere in America.

Regardless of what many believe, there is no actual separation of Church and State in the Constitution. The Constitution's sum total on the subject of religion is found in the First Amendment -- "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof". While I sincerely and avidly wish there was more, something that would actually force a legal separation of religious belief from civic duty, there really isn't.

This is typical of our Constitution, which was written for the express purpose of limiting governmental intrusion into the private sphere. In this case, however, I wish the founders had paid a bit more attention to protecting government from the intrusions of various sources of corruption and undue influence, like organized religion. I'm not sure how I'd specifically word that clause, but I might tack on the phrase "Religious faith shall be considered an entirely private matter, which government shall not intrude on, and which no government official or United States authority may profess or demonstrate a bias against or towards while executing the duties of their office, or seeking to attain such office".

I know, I know. What have I been smoking, and do I have any left over to share? Still, everybody has a dream.

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