Robert Boston has worked for Americans United for Separation of Church and State for over a quarter of a century. He recently released his book: Taking Liberties. I picked it up yesterday morning and couldn't put it down till I had finished it. I believe it is an extremely important piece of work to understand why the Religious Right is where it is today.
Here is a link that will give you a taste of his writing style and message. The article quotes from his book.
He paints a very vivid picture of the history of religion in the United States and it's continued intrusion over the general population in an attempt to kidnap the nation and make it a theocracy. He covers the beach front by discussing religion's influence on sex, education, politics and culture.
I thought you might be interested.
A good piece there, Gene, solid and to the point. Most of the "persecution" believers are suffering under lately is the product of their not getting their way as they used to or having to deal with people like us having the unmitigated nerve to question their beliefs or the bible or mocking either or both. They're not quite as bad as the muslims who want to kill people who draw pictures of Mohammed, but the relationship is too close to ignore.
If we threatened to throw christians to the lions, it would be one thing, and as amusing as the idea is, no, I won't endorse it. I do endorse continued scrutiny, criticism and mockery, however. If they want to call that persecution, remind 'em about those lions of old ... and that THEY are the ones currently in the majority.
Loren, I agree with your comment about Gene's post. It is far past time that we should have refused to be bullied and manipulated by the religious right. They have every right to be foolish, but not the right to get their way or feel offended when I questions their beliefs or mock them.
In the minds of the religious, there exists a “PRESUMPTUOUSNESS OF PRIVILEGE” that results in the attitude that any criticism or questioning of their belief is tantamount to persecution.
Their unquestioning belief extends into the public at large as a "given". They can not fathom that anybody believes otherwise. That there is the reality of people who are truly nonbelievers never enters their minds . . . until the unthinkable is encountered. At that point they are confronted with a real, observable, contradiction to their unquestioned faith which they must either consider, or dismiss.
The dismissal takes the form of the nonbeliever being a “lesser” human being, as they have not ascended to the beliefs that makes them “good” persons, as has the believer. Not believing in god is, of course, a SIN. And we all know that sinners are evil malevolent people who “hate god” . . . otherwise they wouldn’t be sinners.
This presumption of their privileged status as “godly” and, therefore “good”, and “right” is as deep an unquestioned presumption as breathing itself, and is a profound characteristic. . . one which we had just as well get used to living with.
I have no intention of getting used to it, Asa. What we have here is a textbook example of the tyranny of the majority presuming to lesson and discriminate against a minority. But there's a problem: their numbers are dropping while ours are growing, both at rates which are not trivial. The time may not be long in coming when there is at least a plurality of "nones," of apatheists, non-believers, agnostics and atheists, reducing those who remain committed to religious belief to a smaller minority for the first time in American history. I would hope that, when put in that position, we would treat them better than they treated us.
Meantime, any believer who want to look down their nose at me will discover their mistake and quickly.
Right on, Loren!
Gene, I am posting this on Twitter. May I attribute it to you or would you rather I not?
News Flash to Christian Right: Religious Freedom Doesn't Give You the Right to Control Other People
Gene, great post!
Taking Liberties: Why Religious Freedom Doesn't Give You the Right to Tell Other People What to Do