Home > Uncategorized > Seperation of Church and State: Common Fucking Sense Edition

Seperation of Church and State: Common Fucking Sense Edition

It’s that time of year again, when many atheists and religious people become irrational, tyrannical, overbearing, pious to the point of absurdity, narrow sighted, tiresome, and…

You get the picture.

I generally try and avoid writing about it, but ’tis the season, and I have no better ideas for topics at present. Additionally I’m bored with the few comment strings going at the moment, both here and on other blogs.

Every religion is a nation, as are nation states (obviously). They are both human instruments of force and are meant to compel people to adhere to a certain behavioral code through the use, or threat of use, of said force. My friends here, here, and here are all atheists and subject to the code of conduct (the laws), and associated penalties, of whatever country they happen to be standing in at the moment. That much is obvious, what isn’t so obvious is that they are all also subject to the code of conduct of (insert religion here) and their penalties, to exactly the same extent. Don’t think so?

The primary differences between the two are the penalties and their relevancy to the individual. I doubt very much that being condemned to hell, or denied communion, etc. matter very much to the average atheist or to adherents of a different religion. Maybe, but I strongly doubt it. However, being fined or imprisoned by a nation state and the aforementioned religious penalties share the fact that they are undeniably forceful in nature and meant to compel behavior, as I said previously.

Just to touch on some history, the first amendment was written mainly to protect religion from the government, not the other way around, but the road does go both ways. It also did not apply to the states, many of whom had state religions. I imagine that the states were not restricted from having state churches was because, just as you can move from Maine to New Hampshire because you don’t like the laws, you could do the same if you didn’t like Maine’s official state church, the church of the holy moose. Today it applies to them because of the 14th Amendment, and most of the states added language similar to the 1st Amendment to their own constitutions anyway.

For whatever reason, and I really have no idea, some people of the atheistic flavor seem to believe that public property can’t legally be used for religious purposes. Not to be outdone, some of our religious citizens have ideas that are just as stupid. Here is what I think: If public property can’t be used for, a nativity scene lets say, freedom of speech should be just as restricted. Both freedom of religion and of speech are protected by what amounts to the same language.

I believe that the line between establishment, either of speech or religion, comes not when a group is permitted to use public property, but when the power of the government is used to exclude others. I just don’t see why a nativity scene (to stick with my example) should be prohibited in front of a city hall, simply because the city didn’t add a menorah, or an animatronic Richard Dawkins, complete with annoying sissy voice. Allowing political candidates to place signs on public property isn’t a mark of government backing of one candidate, simply because other candidates didn’t come by and put their own signs up, no more is it the establishment of religion when the local rabbi is on vacation in the Poconos and doesn’t set up a giant menorah next to the Virgin Mary in her delivery room.

The most sensible thing to do would be to designate areas for holiday displays and raffle them off. Again, establishment implies favoritism, not merely permitting some activity. Religious speech is still speech.

Last thing, and a bit off topic, but nations, not religion, are the culprits when it comes to violence. It’s one of those, “every ___A_____ is a ____B______, but not every ____B_____ is an ____A_____”, things. Just as much, if not more, evil has been done by states as by religions. No nation is predisposed to violence, but many do and wars simply do not have a single cause. Ever. Period. You can sniff through history and find scores of atrocities/deaths/conflicts that have religion as a possible or probable component, but you would be hard pressed to find one where it was the only major component*.

If you want to lay blame on something for violence, blame nationalism, not religion. Without national identity, war on any scale would be nonexistent today and in the past, not to mention in the future. Religion is no more a force for certain good or evil than black nationalism or any other pride is. Getting rid of religion would change nothing. Those who lust for power and who are content with using violence to gain, expand and secure it will still do so, for all we know, nationalism people now have vested in religion would be shifted elsewhere and have the same or worse results.

*Forget about the holocaust, it is a terrible example. Jews were targeted for certain, but it wasn’t really because of some perceived religious inferiority, but one of racial inferiority, if religion had been the issue, and not race, Jewish ancestry wouldn’t have been very relevant. One cannot test for religion in the same way you can for ethnicity (I’m aware that it’s not a matter of checking for a “jewish nose” or what have you, but there are plenty of ethnic physical traits and no religious ones to fit your calipers around).

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