24th August 2009

“If people want to believe in God, the Great Pumpkin, or a Jesus who lives in Missouri, that's up to them. But religion has no place in the public life of a democracy. None.”

Ted Rall

5 Responses to “24th August 2009”

  1. Oxymoronic Christhinker Says:

    Of course it does. As do all ideas, good and bad.

    The separation of Church and State absolutely should be maintained. I believe a secular state is a necessity if a democracy expects to survive (Interesting that those western governments that continue to support “official” state religions are often the most secular. How to kill religion? Make it official! Islam maybe not so much . . . but give it time.). But to remove religion from a place in public life is to remove most people from a place in public life. Which wouldn’t be a democracy – does he mean “constitutional republic?” – at all. Rall isn’t suggesting some secular version of a “final solution” is he?

    Those who want religion /secularism removed from public life are just lazy and unwilling to do the hard work of understanding and perhaps persuading those with whom they disagree.

    In any case, I seriously doubt that those who believe in the Great Pumpkin have had or will have much of an effect on the political realities of any democracy. On the other hand, the followers of FSM (pbuh) have, I suspect, made great progress towards a place in the halls of power . . . (cue ominous music . . .)

  2. The Heretic Says:

    Actually, I agree with him. Religion should not be in the public venue; it should be kept private and celebrated that way among like-thinkers. Faith should not be a way to extol yourself publicly, it should a spiritual thing. And kept private, along with all of one’s other nasty habits.

  3. Tony Provenzano Says:

    I wouldn’t want to take away a persons right to do or believe what they want.
    We already have religion doing that for us.

    Education is the key. The more educated you become, the less believeable everything lacking evidence becomes.
    Of course the religious can laugh at Santa or the Tooth Fairy; but most can thank an education for them figuring out that palmistry, astrology, a dowsing rod, etc. are not the answers to their problems.

    What we should not allow, is a ‘TAX FREE’ system that takes advantage of the young and ignorant, the poor and needy, manipulating and coercing with blatant lies that cannot be backed by any vestige of evidence.

    If I want to play the lottery, I take my chances knowing the odds, and I know I’ll most likely lose.
    Religion should be relegated to the ‘entertainment industry’ at best. Religion is the only business that we allow to promise everlasting happiness and threaten us with everlasting torture.
    Business people (like priests) should be thrown in jail for their empty threats and promises.

  4. Chris Says:

    Since I missed the big Hitchens debate yesterday I’d like to offer a paraphrase of another line of attack Hitchens has used: What’s more likely – That Jesus was a divine or that Mary was a Jewish minx that lied to her husband?

    Whether Hitchens has his facts straight I don’t know but this much seems clear: If the bible were divinely inspired, wouldn’t there NOT be centuries of debate about what the damnable thing says? And wouldn’t it contain useful bits of insight that COULD ONLY have come from a God’s perspective? Instead it tells us the appropriate punishments for slaves etc.

    If a God wanted to be clear, it would have no trouble whatsoever being so.

    With apologies for straying off topic.

  5. Chris Says:

    P.S. props to you Tony for mentioning the deplorable tax exempt status of “religion.”