Brother Richard's speech: "Thank God America is a Secular Nation "

Hey everyone, first I want to thank you for you comments on this speech that was posted here: http://www.atheistnexus.org/forum/topics/meet-brother-richard. It was six years ago, and a lot has changed around Nexus since then.

Because it is so old, I thought it would be fun to post a more recent speech that presented at the Atheist Alliance of America’s 2013 National Convention. It is based on an argument I often use when speaking with Christians. It is a warning that they, above all others, should “Thank God America is a Secular Nation.” My time was limited, but I believe my argument is understandable. 

I am working on another project that is related to this talk, so I would really appreciate some feedback (especially from any of you historians).

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...Robert Anton Wilson's point that Belief is the death of intelligence.

Bert, Wilson is free to describe his experience that way but I ask if belief and intelligence are sufficiently analogous to generalize his conclusion.

Decades ago I considered graduate school to study analogy closely. Other stuff intervened but I suggest to Wilson that belief is the death of thought.

Most Big Bangers are intelligent enough to study physics (and perhaps author good sci-fi) but they endlessly demonstrate that beliefs can follow a taxpayer-subsidized dogma.

I regularly challenge them to stop believing and start thinking.

It's amazing how people can live their entire lives in a hermetically sealed bubble.

Having recuperated from twelve years in Catholic schools, I'm amazed at how successfully such indoctrination can keep people in a bubble.

I sometimes joke that they gave me two years of dogma and sealed it in place with ten years of fear, guilt and shame.

Occasionally I'm not joking.

IMHO...to believe shows the human mind is  easily impressionable.

Many of my opinions are not very humble, ergo IMNVHO.

Some people's bubbles are more amenable to shifting data than others'.

Not as many as it should be...

Got that right!

Eric, there's more for scouts to know and it's from a higher authority than any god(s)

A federal appellate court (the Sixth in the southeast states as I recall) recently ruled that school children may omit, and remain seated during, the entire Pledge.

The US Supreme Court ruled in 1943 that no one may be compelled to recite the Pledge.

Well, I will never remain seated while reciting the POA...I respect  the POA and the National Anthem very much....but I will never say "under god".

Sylvia, the US Supreme Court said the POA's purpose is to bring children into the political culture. I used that and Paul's words (in a letter to the Corinthians) about putting away childish things to persuade my Toastmasters club to stop using the POA to open meetings. Patriotism? I'm a Korean War combat veteran.

I am from another country...and the respect for the national symbols there is big...nothing to do with the political arena.

I'm ex-military and don't care much for the pledge, the national anthem, or the words "under god." Many have decided in my family that I'm no longer "patriotic." Those days left when I got out of the military and watched over the years how everything gets twisted. Apparently this is an effort by the religious right that has come forward since religion thought it had regained a place in politics. Religion fights again for a place in public schools. Wake up. It isn't 1950 any longer. Telling everybody "love it or leave it" does not solve religious or immigration problems in America. Evangelicals, Baptists, and Pentecostals do not have the high ground. They never did.

I saw a car just yesterday that had an American flag on a small pole attached to the door. That's nice. What would the flag be if we all lived in another country? Two blocks from me a family flies the American flag outside on a flagpole daily while my now dead neighbor used to fly a Confederate flag. Did he want my wife to be a slave? While these overly patriotic people are free to do as they will, do they really want to go back to 1864? I doubt it. I'm just not really sure what their statement is.

Many things are behind these actions but we should all be thankful that we remain a secular nation. The right continues to pander for the votes of the religious but we are not founded on religion or religious principals.

About the confederate flag flyer. "...do they really want to go back to 1864? I doubt it. I'm just not really sure what their statement is."

Michael, were you able to ask them what their statement was, or were they the kind of people you didn't want to talk with?

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