9 years ago: Under God-related program activities

April 5, 2004, on this blog: Under God-related program activities

I do not believe in or worship a generic “kind of very comprehensive supreme being, Seeger-type thing” either. And I do not see how the First Amendment can be interpreted to allow the government to compel me to worship this squishy deity. That amendment contains no exception allowing for the establishment of a state religion if that religion is a flaccid and flimsy thing.

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  • MaryKaye

    I don’t usually care for the use of “slippery slope” as a counterargument to something but I think in this case the slippery slope is rather clear. First, cull out open practice of polytheistic religions (Wicca, Hinduism, Shinto, some forms of Buddhism, etc.) Then, get a generic version of Jesus in and cull out public practice of Judaism and Islam. Then, tighten it a bit more and get rid of LDS and perhaps Catholicism. After all, if it enrages you to have people of different beliefs around you, why should you permit any stopping point short of your own sect, or perhaps a few highly compatible sects?

    It’s not as if the history of American Protestantism is a picture of harmonious cooperation and concord. Even among sects that an outsider can hardly distinguish, there are vigorous and sometimes reprehensible fights.

  • It doesn’t typically end there. The next step is for the “winning” sect to fragment. Which is unsurprising, since lots of people have joined it in the course of its rise to power who are more closely aligned with its secular authority than with its sectarian principles.

  • stardreamer42

    Or as I am fond of saying, “Being Christian will not protect you.”

    The nastiest fights are often about the smallest bits of trivia. See also, fan-feud.

  • Oh those Pagan worshipers of their Pagan Christ of the Pagan Trinity who read from Pagan Luke…

    (I really have to thank the LCMS thread for that one. XD)

  • Jenora Feuer

    Back in University, between academics (I was the EngSoc representative on the academic committee for a while) and various fandoms (did you know that Toronto had two separate Star Trek fan clubs for a while in the late 80s/early 90s because of irreconcilable disagreements between the people running the two clubs?), I independently re-stated what I would later find out is Sayre’s Law:

    In any dispute the intensity of feeling is inversely proportional to the value of the issues at stake.


    That is why academic politics are so bitter.

  • P J Evans

    Look at the infallible-Bible churches: every difference of interpretation splits a church.

  • aunursa

    It’s even worse when the debate is regarding a cross on public land. In those cases Evangelical Christian lawyers insist that the cross is not a religious symbol. On the other side of the aisle the Jews, Muslims, and atheists scream, “YES IT IS!”

  • It’s also rather irritatingly annoying when Christian fundamentalists (in particular) try to claim all the benefits of a religious faith (property tax exemptions on churches, 501(c) exemptions, the whole gamut) and then when they want to avoid the negative effects of being considered an actual religious faith, haul out the “it’s a purely individual personal relationship with Jesus!” one-liner?

    If that’s so, why do you guys have pastors and church buildings and actual administrative hierarchies? That sure makes it more than just a truly one-on-one thing with Jesus.

  • Contrarywise, that is why Respectable Men in expensive suits can stand on the floor of the most august and deliberative legislative body and calmly and dispassionately explain why we should use the full force of law to enforce that certain people don’t count as fully human.

  • Christianity isn’t a religion though!