Sunday, July 15, 2007

Sunday in America

History, I believe, furnishes no example of a priest-ridden people maintaining a free civil government. This marks the lowest grade of ignorance of which their civil as well as religious leaders will always avail themselves for their own purposes.

-Thomas Jefferson to Alexander von Humboldt, Dec. 6, 1813.
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If I thought the national urge to get George W. Bush and his politics out of the White House included a desire to put religion back in the homes and churches and take it out of government, I was probably wrong. A Time Magazine poll published along with the article How the Democrats Got Religion in the July 23rd edition shows that the majority of voters affirmed the statement:
"We are a religious nation and religious values should serve as a guide to what our political leaders do in office."
Interesting, but not enlightening, was the breakdown showing that 74% of Republicans agreed as opposed to 38% of Democrats. A minority of those making over $75,000 per year agreed but a majority of those making under $35,000 said yes. All in all, the more religious one is, and the less affluent, the more one wants leaders who believe in the values derived from mythos and priestly authority so resoundingly condemned by the creators of the United States government.

Although 98% claimed they had never voted against a candidate mainly because of his religion, having no religion was the one single biggest negative stimulus out of the religious categories and the only category of belief in which a majority of respondents would reject the candidate was atheist.

The poll of course was not able to address the question that has been surveyed elsewhere ; the question of how intelligence relates to religiosity. The answer to that question seems to be that amongst the very intelligent, belief in a personal God is very rare and that belief, to a strong degree is inversely proportional to IQ. I won't argue that point, but I will argue the fact that the men who founded our government were not at all religious or receptive to the idea of a personal God or the validity of the Bible or the people who make a living interpreting it.

Does this mean that America has lost faith with its foundations? Does this mean that America prefers the nebulous mandate of invisible forces to a government of and by the people? Do we see our national mission as submission?

I can't answer that, but I can point out an article in the same issue of Time asking Will Georgia kill an innocent man? I can point out that procedures championed by the godbother Newt Gingrich allows that religiously boisterous and former slave owning State of Georgia to kill a man without really being sure of his guilt. That killing him at all is supported by "religious values" is enough condemnation of such values and the ability of human beings to justify absolutely anything with them.

I can point out that it is long past time for us to stop sucking our thumbs and put away the teddy bear and stop inventing reasons to avoid responsibility for what we do. I can point out that the American Revolution was in itself a violation of Christian principles. I can point out that we can never be a free country unless we affirm our constitution's declaration of independence from religion, but no one would listen who didn't already agree.

8 comments:

Reign of Reason said...

So true.

Religious faith is blinding... it blinds the intellects of those who subscribe.

Americans are a lazy people: that's why intelligence and subscription to religious belief are inversely correlated. The intellectually lazy like the idea of having all the answers handed to them by a priest-caste. Just say the magic words (god, jesus, etc) and you have truth -- de facto.

These people need to be openly ridiculed instead of respected.

Intellectual Insurgent said...

RoR,

It's funny that you are devoutly religious about America's so-called democracy and alleged 2-party system, yet mock others who subscribe to similar jibberish.

expatbrian said...

Whew, never been so glad to be an athiest! I guess what people don't understand is a government can maintain values of compassion, belief in equality, justice and other positive behaviors that are associated with religion, without bringing religion itself into the process. In other words, the values can be separate from the theology.

I don't have to believe in the Christian god to believe that it is right to treat my fellow man with respect and not rip off his wallet or his wife. To me, thats just common sense, not spiritually inspired from heaven.
And it is no surprise that there is a correlation between IQ and religious belief.

Capt. Fogg said...

I can't figure out why people see religion as the prime source of morals when it's constitutionally unable to resist being used to support every evil under the sun. I'm even more confused by the notion that we should trust the man who acts out of fear and according to a code imposed by representatives of an invisible man, more than the guy who acts out of altruism or compassion or respect for human values.

But I guess it wouldn't be superstition if it made sense.

d nova said...

yeah, the believers stopped reading by the 3rd paragraph at most. preaching to the choir...how's that for an inappropriate metaphor?

but seriously, it depends what u mean by "god", n i've got a personal god even an atheist can accept: conscience.

Reign of Reason said...

II - "Faith" has nothing to do with my belief in the system. The system, as specified, can work -- it is based on the will of the people.

Special interest welds power not because of its inherent authority to do so, but because the people allow it to... The apathetic american public is to blame for our predicament.

Contrarily, your comments simply rail against the "machine" and offer no viable solution... Technocracy -- or whatever its called -- is even more infeasible given the current state of our society.

Intellectual Insurgent said...

No, I am just not under the religious delusion that a utopia of any kind, whether it be a Christian kingdom or perfect socialist democracy, is possible.

Intellectual Insurgent said...

The system, as specified, can work -- it is based on the will of the people.

Really, when has it ever worked?

This is a tenet of your religion just like Jesus being the son of God is a tenet of someone else's religion.