Friday, September 07, 2012

Christian Persecution

I have heard so many people talking about the persecution of Christians in the United States. Funny, I didn’t think it was possible to persecute a whole segment of a society where the victims represent at least 75% of the population and have the backing of the politicians in the government at all levels; but what do I know.

Persecution is about the systematic mistreatment of individuals or groups often involving harassment, imprisonment, torture, and denial of basic human rights. This was happening in America? To Christians? I was shocked to hear that such horrendous acts were occurring right under my very nose and yet, I was oblivious to them.

I sat in my car facing the “In God We Trust” motto on the license plate of virtually every car in front of me, with a Jesus fish on their trunk lids, or the “No Jesus, No Peace; Know Jesus, Know Peace” bumper sticker, and the crucifix dangling from rearview mirror, while I waited at the stop light at the intersection of Catholic and Methodist churches watching the guy in the mega-church parking lot with his “Real Men Love Jesus” tee-shirt load a box of NIVs in the trunk, as I fiddled with the radio past several evangelical preachers talking on AM stations and overheard the teller at the nearby bank tell the couple in the minivan to “have a blessed day”; I couldn’t understand how religious persecution of Christians could be happening in America.

We daily wade through rivers of religious information, imagery, and institutions; we cannot drive down any street in any town without being inundated with the claptrap of Christianity. We have “under God” in the pledge and trust in God is proclaimed on our currency. Based on nothing of substance, we have granted tax-exempt status for churches and politicians are unendingly vying for a Guinness Book entry on who can say “God Bless America” the most in one speech. There is a continuous drone of meaningless platitudes from the pulpit, prayers from their pious parishioners, and pathetic pablum from pontificating preachers on public access. We have all of this religious inertia in our society and yet…

Oh, wait a minute, what’s that? No torture, no denial of human rights, no imprisonment? What then? The application of Church-State separation in public school science classes, expansion of civil rights to non-traditional couples, intervention in child healthcare issues, and inclusion of other religious and non-religious groups in department store greetings and inaugural addresses. Seriously?

Not being able to enact or interpret laws that impose your religious views on others is apparently the new definition of persecution. This new definition denigrates those in the world who truly are persecuted, including Christians in other parts of the world. I guess I missed that revision to Webster’s.

Trying to live up to the ideals of “religious freedom for all” that our forefathers saw fit to establish in our Constitution is frowned upon these days. Equality, justice, and reason are out; science is a lie; prayer takes precedence over action; and the purveyors of salvation are surveying the road to theocracy. Conspiratorial Christian consorts of those that are buying the reigns of power are bullying the dissenters and clawing their way through courts, classrooms, and Congressmen to strangle rights and to defile education while attempting to erect legal barriers to any opposition.

Welcome to the new persecution of Christians…I hope the rest of us can survive the onslaught.

Sunday, September 02, 2012

Reason, not Faith

If you arrange the education of your child (i.e., home school or private school) in such a way to ensure that they are taught that the Earth is 6,000 years old and that evolution is a lie, you are destroying your child’s mind and you are contributing to the intellectual destruction of America.

You are teaching them that science is false and denying them the joy and amazement of investigating the universe and understanding its true grandeur. You are tossing aside centuries of progress in geology, cosmology, biology, chemistry, and physics that we rely on everyday for survival. Even worse, you are teaching them that they cannot rely on logic or reason or evidence – that their investigation of the universe is not only flawed, but meaningless – that no answers are worth discovering on their own, because, by God, we already have all the answers in this one cobbled-together, ancient text.

You are teaching them that blind faith – believing on no evidence or contrary evidence – is better than investigation, application of critical thinking, collaboration, and actual evidence of your claim. You are teaching them to cling to fairy tales and to abandon truth. You have forced them to intellectual slavery where thinking for one’s self is met with disdain and rebuke, but being a sheep is applauded and admired.

You are teaching them to be gullible, to become prey for every charlatan out there that relies on the lack of critical thinking skills to capture, financially or emotionally rape, and dispose of their victims. Where critical thinking is not nurtured and praised, but instead denigrated, they become evermore credulous and unable to make wise choices.

You are teaching them to place allegiance to interpretations of out-dated, Bronze-Age myths above compassion for their fellow human beings and the reality of how the world really works. As a result, they support laws that support their religious goals rather than the well-being of society and the individual rights of others.

You are teaching them to stop thinking, period. You are stunting their intellectual growth, their sense of curiosity, and their ability to eventually contribute to the intellectual growth of society, all by providing God as the non-answer to every question. You are figuratively decapitating them, but literally poisoning the stream of American scientific progress.

You are intellectually abusing your children and willing plunging the United States into an abyss of scientific ignorance and illiteracy. You are responsible for the decline of America’s dominance in science and technology and its rapid decline into a third world country, intellectually. Cures for diseases, improvements in food production, and overall quality of life are heavily reliant upon critical thinking and science; but progress will come to a screeching halt, if we no longer have new generations to carry if forward. Instead of having progress, humanity will be huddled in a corner praying to a non-existent deity for assistance that will never come…and eventually the prayers will change to prayers for an end…any end…to the suffering.

You who claim peace and compassion are causing grave harm….STOP IT. NOW! Or your children and your children’s children will pay the price for many generations to come.