The US is not a Christian nation by official founding proclamation, and religious freedom was wisely important to the founders of the country. In this sense, the US is unlike many countries in the Middle East whose constitutions proclaim them to be Islamic nations bound by strict religious (Sharia’h) law.
Nevertheless, there are countless US Supreme Court rulings that note in dicta that the US is “a Christian nation” and formulations to similar effect; these go back to the earliest court opinions. To this day, the Supreme Court opens with the supplication “God save the United States and this honorable Court.” Continue reading
Two aspects of this article about former NY mayor Bloomberg struck me: First, he asserts (and the news media blithely accepts) that you build a “grassroots movement” by spending tens of millions of dollars to finance it. Second, his relationship with God is discussed. (There’s a nice write-up of the article at The Truth About Guns.)
In Citizen Tom’s blog, he wrote a post entitled “Three Things You Probably Don’t Know about Islam.” In the discussion that followed, Citizen Tom wrote:
What makes the Bible different is that it promotes freedom of religion. Jesus told us to render unto Caesar what Caesar’s and God what is God’s. The Bible says that what we each believe about God is a personal responsibility. Those on a quest for power hate that, of course. That’s why Christianity is so unpopular with power-hungry politicians. Continue reading
The estimable and devout Catholic Biltrix has a post up discussing abortion. It’s worth a look. I replied there:
As a lifelong non-theist, I don’t have the “moment of conception” notion with regard to the beginning of life. For me, life is continuous for the past roughly 4 billion years, and that moment business is complicated because it can be tinkered with or even triggered artificially.
But death is not continuous. And at some point, a few weeks after conception, a human fetus has an impulse-sensing brain and a beating heart. Since we use brain death as an end-of-life measure, it seems reasonable to me to argue for brain-birth/formation/first signals as a beginning-of-life measure.
Thus, I am on your side when it comes to late-term abortions; these are indeed killing humans.
You voiced a rhetorical question: “How many women were killed by botched abortion procedures last year?” But there’s another aspect to this question, since about half of the <i>successful</i> abortions kill women, too. They’re just younger than the others.
I don’t think this should be decided at the federal level, as we don’t in general decide murder and self-defense at that level. But states can and should make these decisions, and in my state I would vote against late-term abortions, with “late” being defined as post-brain-formation.
(After my comment, another commenter put up a link to a non-theist who does argue that life begins at the moment of conception. Here is that link.)
===|==============/ Keith DeHavelle
A decade ago, the ACLU threatened suit against the county of Los Angeles because they had a tiny crucifix visible on the county’s official seal. That had to go. The county caved in, despite thousands in the street protesting the rewriting of this bit of history. (By odd circumstance, I was briefly part of that crowd.) Continue reading
It’s Christmas time! A holiday, and holy day for many
Others faiths have different days, but atheists haven’t any
But certainly that doesn’t mean we cannot share the spirit
Someone calls “Merry Christmas!” I, for one, am glad to hear it.
For people, when they say this, aren’t “forcing their belief”
Or proselytizing, traumatizing, causing pain or grief
It’s just a greeting, woven in with larger, warmer feeling
Accept it! Smile! Return it! All the different faiths need healing.
The same with “Happy Hanukkah” or other well-meant greeting
I bounce them back as best I can, take pleasure at the meeting
I’d even answer back if I should hear “Happy Agnostica!”
(But I’ll decline and pass on celebrations with a swastika.)
The most important thing is: Let your soul be thus uplifted
By friends, and by your loved ones, for it’s by those we are gifted
To every island, every continent and every isthmus
I wish you all the best, and to you each a Merry Christmas!
===|==============/ Keith DeHavelle
A brief note on a telling dichotomy:
When the left describes something they don’t like about Christianity or Judaism, they are not shy about it. They’ll even pin bombings or shootings on “Christian terrorists” or “Tea party” people ( which to many on the left seems synonymous), before any evidence is in hand at all. But they are often strangely gently and circumspect when it comes to handling Islam: Continue reading
(Hat tip to Marmoe who alerted me to the Congressional report.)
The Obama administration has pushed its intelligence agencies into purging their training materials of “anything that might be offensive to anyone, particularly anyone of Islamic faith” (a quote from the purge order).
So what, exactly, would that amount to? Apparently, any reference to Islam at all in connection with terrorists. Even calling jihadists “terrorists is” offensive to them. Continue reading
I mentioned a purge of material relating to jihadism yesterday, undertaken by the US defense and intelligence agencies in response to complaints from terrorist-linked organizations. Here is a piece of it. Continue reading