Over the last couple of weeks, I have been reading Andrew L. Seidel’s excellent book, The Founding Myth: Why Christian Nationalism is UN-AMERICAN. Barely four chapters in, Seidel has already demonstrated a thoroughgoing and detail-oriented approach in his effort to confirm that any allegation that the United States is, either explicitly or implicitly, a Christian nation, is without foundation or any form of proof. Citations and external references are rife throughout the work. It is clear that Andrew was determined to produce a definitive document on the topic and leave any challenger with no leg to stand on.
Certainly, in the little I have read, there have been multiple quotable sections deserving of attention, but this afternoon, I ran onto the following which makes a most powerful statement as regards to the issue of RIGHTS, where rights come from, and why no god should be considered when a discussion of rights is engaged. I thought it worthy of sharing with you here.
The founders understood that human rights are more powerful, absolute, and universal than god-given rights. God-given rights depend on geography, varying drastically for residents of Indiana, India, and Iran. God-given rights depend on those claiming to speak for god, as shown by Mohammad, Martin, Luther, and Martin Luther King Jr.’s interpretations of their respective gods’ will. Women and the LGBTQ have fewer rights in almost every religion because of god’s will. The abolition of slavery, women’s rights, the end of segregation, marriage equality – progress in each was opposed by those claiming to know god’s mind and executing god’s will. Human or natural rights are far less susceptible to the whim of preachers. Simply by virtue of being human, of being born, you have certain inherent, inalienable rights.
-- Andrew L. Seidel, The Founding Myth, p. 85
If one is to look to the bible, preaching, and teaching from religious dogma for attitudes and behaviors, then those who are born with an attribute that theology does not protect, i.e. Women, LGBTQ, slaves, the practice of segregation, marriage equality, and race, the information available from tradition offers unhealthy, irresponsible, prejudiced instructions.
If the teachings of theology do not protect the vulnerable of the community, of what good can it be? To speak of "love" while hating the vulnerable represents the hypocrisy of the worst kind.
You have it precisely, Joan. The bible simply IS NOT EGALITARIAN. It favors men, empowers them, and disempowers virtually everyone else. Its promotion of "love" is superficial and fails to recognize its own thumb on the favoritism scale
The bible is a bad joke, one which I will far sooner fight against than laugh at.
Great quote, thanks!
A comment Joan made some time ago (the link to the AN page is broken) is worth repeating:
Do you have memories of a father or preacher or judge speaking with a voice of Moses spewing out some ridiculous statement? [...] Well, if they can speak with the voice and authority of Moses, I can speak with the voice and authority of Mother Earth. She outranks Moses by a whole shot!