The best example of attempts by the Religious Right to marginalize minorities is anti-sharia legislation. In 2010, Oklahoma passed the so-called “Save Our State Amendment,” which bars enforcement of Islamic law. It received 70 percent of the vote.
Church-state experts note that the U.S. Constitution already bars government support for religion in most cases, so such legislation is unnecessary.
The law has been challenged in court on the grounds that it singles out Muslims for discrimination. Americans United filed a friend-of-the-court brief in the case in May, and it is now before the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
Down with Sharia law, Up with Christian law.
Yes let’s have laws in accordance with the bible. Enforcement of the 7 deadly sins, death to homosexuals, death to fornicators.
We’ll get it just right when we institute Biblical laws.
Next the supreme court will rule that the church (House of God) is a person, just like a corporation.
Have I gone mad, or is this just a nightmare from which I will wake, happy that we still have a secular democracy?
How about the anti-religious community pushing for a gigantic statue of atheist Thomas Paine to be place on the Mall near the Washington monument for a starter? The fundie aggression in the public school system has been an ongoing fight for over 30 years. Groups such as “see you around the pole” where local church sponsored teen groups meet to pray and have bible readings have been imbedded in school systems throught the country and neocon governors are pushing vouchers that the fundies and Catholics are eagerly lapping up. Same shit, different day.
Indeed, what both infuriates and frightens me most about the proponents of “anti-sharia” in America is that what they are actually trying to put in place is “biblical” codes which are effectively the same thing. (The old, “my religion is the only legitimate religion” stand.) The fact that there is a name for it in Islam is the only difference.
I hate to mention it, but most churches I know of ARE, for legal purposes, corporations….
I like the Thomas Paine idea—but how about a sculpture that incorporates both men and women? (I’m tired of battling to overcome the male-dominated images that we have inherited because our culture was controlled for so long by men—let’s be different than the christians-muslims-jews and give our next generations a different image to build on right from the start!) Besides, if freethinkers come out of the closet and want an alternative to the pole gatherings it could turn into “rally round the Paine” and that seems like a bit of a bummer.
I like the Thomas Paine idea—but how about a sculpture that incorporates both men and women?
That’s actually a great idea; people don’t have a mental picture of a woman atheist and they need one. Any candidates you like? Margret Sanger, Emily Dickinson, etc? There’s plenty, but many people aren’t taught that women are just as capable of free thoght as men! I mentioned the Paine statue because he is the only founding father without a monument in D.C. The diests got the best spots. It might remind Americans that our laws were founded on secular, and not religious tenents as the presidential hopefuls are screaming about from their bully pulpits. And “rally around the Paine” could become a play on words! :)
IMO a lot of confusion could be avoided if someone would explain in layman’s terms the difference in the application of the word Freedom.
One has freedom OF relgion, i.e freedom to practice your religion. But others have the freedom FROM religion, i.e. the freedom FROM being subjected to the practice of religion.
The courts understand these differences, but it appears to me that many people do not understand this at all. They take the term freedom Of religion to mean the freedom to practice it everywhere.
IMO this is an important social issue that should be discussed in clear and understandable terms, with examples which clearly show the difference in the appropriate meanings and application of these terms.
I don’t fetter my mind, and would smack my dog on the nose with a newspaper if he caused you undue stress!
Freedom of religion is a principle that supports the freedom of an individual or community, in public or private, to manifest religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship, and observance; the concept is generally recognized also to include the freedom to change religion or not to follow any religion. From Wiki and just about any other source you find! Woof Woof! ;-)
sorry if this is a bit off topic. I’m embarrassed to admit i never really knew much about Thomas Paine, but when Capt Jack mentioned him in his post above i decided to check out the wikipedia entry on him. Its sad really to read about his life. He was a true free thinker and a champion of human rights but when his opinions and writings put him at odds with popular opinion and Christianity in particular, his friends abandoned him.
This description of his funeral by Robert G. Ingersoll is sad and moving.
“Thomas Paine had passed the legendary limit of life. One by one most of his old friends and acquaintances had deserted him. Maligned on every side, execrated, shunned and abhorred – his virtues denounced as vices – his services forgotten – his character blackened, he preserved the poise and balance of his soul. He was a victim of the people, but his convictions remained unshaken. He was still a soldier in the army of freedom, and still tried to enlighten and civilize those who were impatiently waiting for his death. Even those who loved their enemies hated him, their friend – the friend of the whole world – with all their hearts. On the 8th of June, 1809, death came – Death, almost his only friend. At his funeral no pomp, no pageantry, no civic procession, no military display. In a carriage, a woman and her son who had lived on the bounty of the dead – on horseback, a Quaker, the humanity of whose heart dominated the creed of his head – and, following on foot, two negroes filled with gratitude – constituted the funeral cortege of Thomas Paine.”
It makes you realize that some of societies greatest heroes are the one’s who gave up everything.. even their reputation.. to help enlighten a society that did not appreciation them or even despised them.