To my Jewish friends, Good Passover.
To my Christian friends, I wish you well during your holiday week.
To my secular humanist, skeptic, and atheist friends, April Fool’s Day is behind us and Be A Pirate Day is not until September 19, what are we to do? May be it is time to take a serious look at ourselves and ask ourselves an important question:
What have we done for our nation lately? What have we done for our local schools? What have we done to maintain the sanctity of the Constitution of the United States by fighting against the overt inclusion of religious studies in our public schools, the overt inclusion of religion into our government and court proceedings, and the overt inclusion of religion into the American propaganda systems?
This is not to say that as non-theists we must fight religion itself. It is my conviction that we cannot force reason and logic on those who do not wish to open their eyes to see the truth. We will never convince those of religious fervor, the orthodox, that science’s goal is not to “prove that God exists,” or that the various holy books are not infallible, or that one faith is greater than all others are.
No, that should not be our primary purpose as American atheists.
It has always been my position that religion and government have their own thrones in our society. Even Jesus recognized this very fact, as related to us in Mark 12:17 and Luke 20:25, is reported that he said, “Render therefore unto Caesar the things which be Caesar’s, and unto God the things which be God’s.” (KJV)
Nevertheless, the throne of religion and the throne of government do not overlap, at least under our constitutional laws.
As Secular Humanists, skeptics and atheists, we accept that much of that equation. Now we must look at what we can change, challenge, and clearly oppose as a collective front.
We must look towards those outside of our own ilk to create collaborations with those of religion who agree with our stance – Liberal religions like the Unitarians Universalists, and many of individual churches of the united Methodists and the American Baptists.
We must actively support the ACLU and Americans United for the Separation of Church and State, and other organizations in their defense of the First Amendment.
We must actively fight current and proposed legislation, such as in Tennessee, to see that Church and State remain in their own castles.
If non-believers in fact make up between 9 and 16 percent of our nation’s population, we are no longer second-class citizens just because we do not believe the Christian, Jewish or Islamic God myths. Or any myths.
We must actively educate and challenge those who seek to impose their myth-based laws on all – whether the reason is to control politically, psychologically or physically.
As non-theistic Americans, we do believe that all men and women are equal. We do believe that it is our unalienable right to “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.” We do believe that our government was established to secure a “more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity.”
Now we must stand united and voice our position as one.
I cannot think of a better time, a better week, to demand that those who have sworn to protect United States Constitution, the First Amendment, and the citizens it governs to uphold its provisions and purpose.
To start locally and work to the national stage, taking religion out of our government proceedings, but not out of churches.
To teach that, yes, many of the signers of that great document were pious men, but in 1789 there were no arguments of note concerning the first sentence of the First Amendment, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…”
To teach that sentence’s logical antithesis, that religion shall make no canon respecting the establishment or control of government or the free exercise thereof.
To honor the doctrine of our Founders, that the United States was not to become a mirror image of the theocratic governing powers of England and Europe, but truly be the land of the free and the home of those brave enough to say religion is religion and government is government and never the twain shall meet.
To say aloud and with pride that we are non-theists, Secular Humanists, skeptics, freethinkers, and atheists and we are patriotic Americans.
David Rosman’s newest book, A Christian Nation? An examination of Christian nation theories and proofs is now available through Amazon.com in paperback or eBook versions.
You can invite David to speak to your group or organization. For more information, please contact him at Speaker@InkandVoice.com