There is no position on which people are so immovable as their religious beliefs. There is no more powerful ally one can claim in a debate than Jesus Christ, or God, or Allah, or whatever one calls this supreme being. But like any powerful weapon, the use of God's name on one's behalf should be used sparingly. The religious factions that are growing throughout our land are not using their religious clout with wisdom. They are trying to force government leaders into following their position 100 percent. If you disagree with these religious groups on a particular moral issue, they complain, they threaten you with a loss of money or votes or both. I'm frankly sick and tired of the political preachers across this country telling me as a citizen that if I want to be a moral person, I must believe in A, B, C, and D. Just who do they think they are? And from where do they presume to claim the right to dictate their moral beliefs to me? And I am even more angry as a legislator who must endure the threats of every religious group who thinks it has some God-granted right to control my vote on every roll call in the Senate. I am warning them today: I will fight them every step of the way if they try to dictate their moral convictions to all Americans in the name of conservatism.
Giving thanks for a secular ceremony
The Atheist Nexus asks atheists and freethinkers to thank New York Mayor Bloomberg for a secular, clergy-free ceremony commemorating the 10 years since the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
In that post, you'll see handy link directly to an online form for sending a message to the Mayor. Why not do so right now? You're limited to only 300 words, so it'll only take a moment. Here's the simple message I sent:
America's very roots lie in separation of church and state, in no government sanctioning of religion, and in the freedom to follow any religion or none at all.
A secular 9/11 ceremony with no promotion of specific religions carries forward those ideals beautifully. Thank you, Mayor Bloomberg, for having the determination to make this a truly American ceremony.
Make no doubt about; the Mayor did make a courageous decision. Trucking in pious Christian and Jewish clergymen would have not only been easy, it'd have been poltically expedient. As it is, the Mayor is taking a tremendous beating from Americans for his decision to hold a ceremony on behalf of the American people, and not on behalf of magic gods and Middle Eastern religions. (Witness the inidgnation of the zealots, like those here, bleating words like "disrespectful", "slap in the face", "tyranny", and – yes, it had to be there – "traitor". What, no "Bloomberg is Hitler" yet?)
Send the mayor your support. He deserves it.