Episode 73 - The State of Church and State, Part 1
Posted: 05 May 2011 11:22 AM   [ Ignore ]
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Part one of a three-part presentation on the separation of church and state featuring Free Inquiry columnist Shadia Drury, Americans United executive director Barry Lynn, humanist activist Gordon Gamm, and attorney/activist/atheist debater Eddie Tabash. The event is chaired by Tom Flynn, co-host of CenterStage and editor of Free Inquiry.

On October 9, 2010, the Council for Secular Humanism presented its 30th anniversary conference at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles. This episode includes the presentations by Shadia Drury and Barry Lynn.


Posted: 06 May 2011 09:18 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Is it just me, or does most of Shadia Drury’s talk (I’m 25 minutes in) sound precisely like the sort of christian nation stuff we routinely hear denounced as utter nonsense?  At the very least, she’s certainly “framing” American history in an extremely religious light.

As a benign example, the book Liars for Jesus (recently offered online for free, see http://scienceblogs.com/dispatches/2011/05/do_well_by_doing_good.php ) put the great seal story in a different light (page 495).  Though Jefferson did suggest Moses on the front, he wanted anglo-saxon mythological law-givers on the back.  Adams, apparently the most religious of the three, wanted only pagan (greek) gods on there.  That sounds to me like the idea was to generally mythologize, not christian-ize.  Also, it looks like Franklin was keen on including the motto “rebellion to tyrants is obedience to god.”  If that was his focus, then the Moses thing becomes once again a popular mythological example of the idea (rebellion to tyrants), no?

I’m having a ton of trouble buying most of her talk, and would be interested to know what even the other speakers (and CFI bigwigs in general) thought/think about her positions.  They don’t pass the smell test for me, but I’m not an expert in this by any means.