Tuesday, May 6, 2014

SCOTUS Allows State-sponsored Religion. . .?

History, as some see it.
As an atheist, I have often been irritated by situations in which I basically have to go to church. I don't mean weddings, funerals, or being nice to my mother-in-law at Christmas. I mean non-church settings where there is prayer, or other invocations of God/Jesus. Mostly I roll with it (while doing a lot of eye-rolling). Occasionally, I'll grumble about it under my breath. I'm not offended by such displays, I'm just alternatively bored, embarrassed or just in an utter state of disbelief (pun intended). I just find them at best, silly. Silly like praying to The Great Gazoo.

But the silliness is worse when it is promoted by the government. Pretty clearly, the founding fathers intended a wall of separation between church and state. They did not want state sponsored religion. Still, mostly, I roll with it. Though I believe "In God We Trust," "God Bless America," and "One Nation, Under God" to be utterly pointless and meaningless, I also know that these things are drenched in tradition and emotion for a lot of people. I can endure it, even though I believe them to be unconstitutional when inserted on money, or in laws.

Others take this stuff more seriously, and literally make a federal case of it. And I kind of wish they wouldn't, at least as long as we have a conservative court. Because with the current SCOTUS, I knew they'd find a way to somehow twist logic to make overt Christian prayers led by elected officials to be okay, even though they're clearly not. Just like "God" on the money is somehow not religious (but also for some reason is demanded by the religious to be there), I knew they'd pull this. So, it would have been better just to leave it alone, rather than having it enshrined in law.

But, Christians, I wouldn't be partying too heartily. You are not the only religion. And one of these days, you might find yourself in a situation where you--like me--are bowing your head to the prayers of others. Muslims or Hindus or Scientologists or Satanists or Wiccans or Pastafarians. Just wait. Then, maybe you'll get a taste of what it feels like.


The Supreme Court Just Blew A Gaping Hole In The Wall Of Separation Between Church And State

Town of Greece v. Galloway is the case that proponents of the separation of church and state have feared every since Justice Sandra Day O’Connor left the Supreme Court in 2006. It strikes at the heart of the constitutional prohibition on government endorsement of religious doctrine or belief. And it brings religious conservatives within inches of a victory they have sought for more than two decades. For the sort of people who believe America should be a “Christian nation,” today is a today to celebrate. . .

Read more at: Think Progress

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