Subject: 'America, a Godless State' and 'Barbaric Theists' merged. Date: 7 Oct 90 01:09:37

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From: xanthian@zorch.SF-Bay.ORG (Kent Paul Dolan) Subject: 'America, a Godless State' and 'Barbaric Theists' merged. Date: 7 Oct 90 01:09:37 GMT bbs@bluemoon.UUCP (BBS login) writes: >s64421@zeus.usq.edu.au (house ron) writes: >> morgan@csc32.dec.com (Mike Morgan in Colorado Springs) writes: [If the indents are right here, then the attribution was screwed up!] >> Now let me get this straight: You, as nationals of a country with the >> motto "In God we trust", which is the most affluent in the world, having >> just seen the economic and philosophical collapse of the largest >> atheistic system ever known on the planet, are blandly assuming >> that religion reduces the economic and other successes of a society. >> >> Do I have it right? >Yes you do, though you have an inaccurate idea of the role of religion in >america. In america religion is 'housebroken'. It is allowed so long as >it does not interfere with more productive activities. Business, >science,technology and other useful enterprises operate quite >independently of religion and are not beholden to it, unlike the >poverty-strcken and ignorant middle ages (or middle east). Also the >assumption that Marxism isn't a religion is, in my opinion, wrong. Supreme Court Justice William Brennan quotes former Chief Justice of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Jeremiah S. Black, from a 1856 speech on religious liberty, in "School District of Abington Township, Pennsylvania, v. Schempp," a 1963 decision forbidding the reading of Bible verses in elementary classrooms: "The manifest object of the men who framed the institutions of this country, was to have a _State without religion_, and a _Church without politics_ -- that is to say, they meant that one should never be used as an engine for any purpose of the other, and that no man's rights in one should be tested by his opinions about the other. As the Church takes no note of men's political differences, so the State looks with equal eye on all the modes of religious faith. ... Our fathers seem to have been perfectly sincere in their belief that the members of the Church would be more patriotic, and the citizens of the State more religious, by keeping their respective functions entirely separate." -- New Yorker, 12 March 1990, page 62. Quoted without permission. If only the populace of today could recapture that wisdom, so that the various Churches would stop trying to get their religious dogmas cast into law, and the State would stop trying to straitjacket the definition of an acceptable religion. If street vendors want to sell the Satanic Verses to Moslem children with a yen for the forbidden, or an artist wants to portray a Crucifex in a jar of urine, what business has religion trying to forbid that by law? If the Christian Scientists would rather watch their children fail and die than seek medical aid, what business is that of the State? Bad art and low reproductive success are both self limiting problems. Kent, the man from xanth. -- Tally for me the living Shakers, or the famous oil-on-velvet painters. You will need less than a hand for either.

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