Sunday, November 28, 2010

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Sunday religion report--FFRF doesn't mind sharing the Christmas season with believers!

The Freedom from Religion Foundation (FFRF), an organization apparently formed to confirm Bill O'Reilly's worst suspicions about the left vs. religion, has told the press, “We nonbelievers don’t mind sharing the season with Christians." That is so very, very big of them. I'd even say "very Christian," but we won't go there.

Granted, they (the FFRF) said this back in December of 2008, but I'm assuming their generous season-sharing offer still stands. Can we take this to mean that, once every year at Line-Material-mas, these fearless activists--all of them way smarter and way better versed in logic and reason than we average morons--take a temporary break from filing lawsuits against public religious displays, carols in public schools, nursing home residents being forced to sing Amazing Grace during lobby and lunch hall meetings, and similar atrocities? No, probably not. It likely merely means they have no intention of ever suing the holiday itself. Astonishing, really, given the group's sheer, robotic hatred of religion, memorably expressed in stilted secularist English on a well-known FFRF sign: "Religion is but myth and superstition that hardens hearts and enslaves minds."

Our founders obviously agreed. Why else would they have gone to such trouble to nurture the growth of this mind- and heart-hardening institution within our democracy? The FFRF, again: "Our Constitution was very purposefully written to be a godless document, whose only references to religion are exclusionary." Ah, yes. Nothing excludes religion from a democracy more effectively than promoting its plurality.

Of course, we can expect such brilliance from a group whose list of broadly-grinning honorary officers includes intellectual heavyweights like Ron Reagan, Julia Sweeney, and celebrity atheist Richard Dawkins.

Freedom from religion is typically described by cyber-secularists as the flip side of freedom of religion, and this may be my favorite disconnect of the lot. Think about it--we're talking a freedom guaranteed by the First Amendment (plus the no-religious-test clause) in addition to four other freedoms, including f. of speech and the press. What is the opposite/flip side of a guaranteed freedom? The absence of that freedom, of course--as any smart fourth-grader should be able to deduce. Maybe the FFRF should hire some of those.

And if freedom from religion is somehow implied by freedom of..., then does our Constitution also guarantee freedom from the press? And freedom from speech?

Now, I don't know that the FFRF or similar outfits ultimately have the power to do much harm to religion--after all, Americans aren't going to chuck their faith because a cadre of media-bright, lawsuit-happy blowhards insist on misreading the establishment clause as a gag order on faith. And our democracy, while virtually defenseless against greed, isn't nearly as easily taken down by stupidity. (Otherwise, it would have expired ages ago.) But such slow learners shouldn't be allowed to present themselves as the voice of reason, liberalism, and so on, and a smarter media would be lampooning such individuals, not shilling for their cause. The FFRF members are entitled to see themselves as keepers of our Constitution, but no one else is required to tip-toe around that delusion.

Saturday, November 6, 2010