Pretending Religion Is Secular
(Or Not Knowing The Difference!)
There have been a lot of very annoying instances of government institutions (like schools, courts, etc.) violating the first amendment with things like a display of one version of the Ten Commandments or prayer in military academies and then, when they are taken to court, claiming that it is not a promotion of any religion, it is "secular" or "educational". One recent instance of this was reported in the Washington Post, in a case where Virginia Military Institute was ordered in court to stop their practice of saying grace in a big standing-at-attention group. They apparently thought that the prayer was religion-neutral because it only invoked the name of God, with no mention of Jesus, and they announced that they would appeal the decision because they were reciting these prayers in an attempt to groom "citizen-soldiers" and the prayers were, by their laughable definition, "Non-Religious".
Another incident was in Nebraska, where there was a Ten Commandments display in a courtroom. That seems to me to be far too close to confusing "Divine Law" with the actual law, but fortunately it was ruled unconstitutional. One of the highlights of this was someone saying that "This is secular."
It seems like people don't even bother to think about people who don't believe in their particularly annoying religion. They seem to think that if they just spread the Love of God, all the world's problems will be cured -- and to hell with atheists. If people can't even tell what the difference is between their religion and secular stuff, what chance do atheists have of getting fair treatment?
By the way, PAM is great. I read it very often, and I always get something out of it. Thanks!
They seem to think that if they just spread the Love of God, all the world's problems will be cured -- and to hell with atheists.
I am reminded of a particularly plesant, very early tune by Frank Zappa's Mothers of Invention, "Oh No," which, although it first appeared as an instrumental segment on Lumpy Gravy, nevertheless had some interesting lyrics when they finally added vocals and released it on the "loose ends" compilation called Weasels Ripped My Flesh. Methinks this is a direct reply to George Harrison's "Within You Without You," on the Sgt. Pepper album.
All your love
And in your dreams
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