[quote author=“HolyAvenger”]Yeah, but I think we all would have to admit that we’re uncomfortable on some level with our kids singing “Christ the savior is born” over and over again in school… Traditional as it may be, it just doesn’t fly with my conception of separation of church and state and the role of public education.
Sure. But on the one hand, it could be made a bit less sectarian by including songs and beliefs from other religions. And on the other hand, politically we have bigger fish to fry ... give ‘em carols at Christmas as long as we can have Darwin in the biology class.
[quote author=“HolyAvenger”]I made up my mind about tradition a long time ago, and I still maintain: “If tradition made any sense, it wouldn’t have to be called tradition.”
Again, yes, but there are traditions and traditions ... some are harmless and we shouldn’t make ourselves look like humorless prigs by opposing everything. To take one example, I do enjoy Thanksgiving ... perhaps not a traditionally ‘religious’ holiday, but a “tradition” which some will give religious significance to (by thanking god). I as an atheist can thank other things, and meanwhile can enjoy good food and company. Nothing wrong with that.
[quote author=“HolyAvenger”]We’re trying to create a world in which religion is the “other,” viewed as fanciful and unrealistic, as opposed to the “default,” in the sense that most agree on it and it seems essential to our society and government. So, I’m a bit torn on the subject of what’s worthwhile to deal with. Obviously global warming and major political problems ought to take precedence. Maybe one day we’ll be so happy and peaceful politically that taking God off of money will be our biggest problem! :D
Let’s hope so! :wink:
But I think that generally our best bet is to be political realists about our prospects, and aim for those targets which are (1) achievable and (2) would make a real beneficial difference if achieved. So, for instance, we must push very hard for competent teaching of biology in all accredited schools. We must clearly push to keep religious indoctrination out of the classroom. But we must be politically flexible enough to distinguish the harmful teaching of religion as fact from the harmless singing of songs during celebrations. (Again, they can be made more harmless if done in the context of other world religions and even non-religious practices).