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Monday, December 10, 2007
posted by Anne | 8:57 AM | permalink
Steve Chapman makes much ado about Mitt's exclusion of non-believers. I think Romney gave them a nod, as I explained in my earlier post.

But when JFK made his speech, he didn't go in front of the Society for Secular Humanists, or a Young Communist League meeting, he gave it in front of Protestant ministers, mostly Southern Baptists. In his audience at the time were those who were persuaded that Catholicism was a cult. And today, many of the same people who think Mormonism is a cult still think Catholicism is a cult. Romney spoke to persuade them that his religion does not define his campaign, and emphasized common moral values.

But atheists and agnostics despise all religions as cults. So why should Romney, a man of faith, try to appeal to them explicitly in a speech on faith?

This time all the presidential candidates describe their faiths as Christian.

But if we had one who declared themselves an atheist or agnostic, would anyone expect them to give a speech that they would respect the sensibilities of religious people?

How many Christians have sued to prevent secular humanists from putting up their signs on the village square or lamp-posts, or vehicle license stickers-- variations of people-cutouts holding hands?

Romney himself made Chapman's point about radical Islam--that religion must go hand-in-hand with freedom. And Chapman is willfully blind in suggesting this:
The former Massachusetts governor makes equally imaginative claims about those who champion church-state separation. He believes they "are intent on establishing a new religion in America -- the religion of secularism." Oh? You would look long and hard to find any secularist or civil libertarian who thinks the government should officially espouse atheism or encourage Americans to abandon religion.

Believers insist on keeping "In God We Trust" on our currency. Where are the nonbelievers who want to replace it with "There Is No God"? Secularists don't expect the government to take their side -- only to practice neutrality. They think 1) all Americans should be free to practice the religion they choose and 2) none should have the active assistance of the government.

Oh? How sanctimonious for a presumed secular humanist. Puh-leaze. What about the ACLU's constant harassment? They can't even stand the pledge of allegiance, and they actively seek to enlist the courts in their efforts. What about secular-humanist indoctrination in our public schools, if not outright religious bigotry? Any parent of faith knows this to be true. What about Hitchens' book, God is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything, on the NY Times best-seller list? And recent books by Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, and Daniel Dennett.

How about The Golden Compass this Christmas? Remember the anti-religious bigotry of the Dems on judges? And John Ashcroft?

There are many secular humanists, atheists and agnostics who don't practice religious neutrality, and don't want the government to practice it either.

My test is this--if we have a (declared) atheist or agnostic presidential candidate, we'll see if they give a speech to Southern Baptists.

P.S. And we'll see if Mr. Chapman applauds this idea.

---crossposted at BackyardConservative
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There is an obvious difference between wanting a government neutral to theism (not one that writes "In God We Trust" on its money nor one that says "There Is No God") and criticizing religion in your personal life. I don't know a single atheist who doesn't support freedom and tolerance of religion. However, the constitutional separation of church and state also entails freedom from religion. Christian prayer in school, for example, is unconstitutional. If the religious majority should get its way, how on earth can you support a Mormon presidential candidate?

Have you actually read God is Not Great, The End of Faith, Letter to a Christian Nation, The God Delusion, or Breaking the Spell?

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