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Pure Dobsonian ignorance

On April 15th, a district court in Wisconsin ruled that the National Day of Prayer was unconstitutional. It’s a decision that was a long time coming.

From the article:

Crabb wrote that her ruling was not a judgment on the value of prayer. She noted government involvement in prayer may be constitutional if the conduct serves a “significant secular purpose” and doesn’t amount to a call for religious action. But the National Day of Prayer crosses that line, she wrote.

“It goes beyond mere ‘acknowledgment’ of religion because its sole purpose is to encourage all citizens to engage in prayer, an inherently religious exercise that serves no secular function in this context,” she wrote. “In this instance, the government has taken sides on a matter that must be left to individual conscience.”

No doubt the decision will be appealed because it seems the religious right can’t stand to lose an opportunity to have the government endorse their religion. They’ll claim, over and over, that religion belief and practice is a personal thing and that it’s an issue of freedom, but they don’t really seem to grasp the concept that the freedom should apply to everyone. They seem to feel that it only applies to those who share their faith.

Shirley Dobson, wife of Focus on the Family founder James Dobson, seems to take her ignorance a step further. She is quoted as saying (emphasis mine)…

“Since the days of our Founding Fathers, the government has protected and encouraged public prayer and other expressions of dependence on the Almighty,” Dobson said. “This is a concerted effort by a small but determined number of people who have tried to prohibit all references to the Creator in the public square, whether it be the Ten Commandments, the Pledge of Allegiance, or the simple act of corporate prayer – this is unconscionable for a free society.”

The highlighted statement is blatantly and unequivocally false. The people who oppose government-sponsored religious displays are not trying to prohibit religious references in the public square. In truth, most of them (if not all) would fully support the rights of anyone to display their religious beliefs in the public square. That is evidenced by the sheer numbers of churches found all across the country. It’s not uncommon to see three or four churches in a two-block radius of some towns. Religious billboards abound. “Jesus fishes” adorn cars. Crosses hang around necks and decorate roadsides. …and nobody is trying to stop it. It’s freedom.

What they are trying to stop is the promotion of religion by government institutions, including nativity scenes on government property, prayer during government meetings and publicly funded schools, government funding for religious organizations that discriminate based on religion, and any other government support, promotion, or favoritism of any type of religious practices.

So Shirley Dobson has it all wrong, but the sad thing is, the religious right will believe her and they will shake their fists in fury over their perceived persecution… because little by little, their ability to use government to push their superstitious beliefs on the rest of the country is being whittled away. They can’t understand that they are not the ones who are being persecuted. They are the persecutors.

Why do they need to display their nativity scenes on government steps when their are literally thousands of churches where the display would be far more relevant. Why do they need to force all children to pray in schools when children can pray at home, in school, on the playground, and anywhere and any time they want already? Why do they need to demand preferential treatment by the government in support of their religion when their god is supposedly all-powerful?

Their outrage and anger is absurd. It’s ignorant. It’s overbearing. It’s self-righteous and arrogant. It’s hypocritical. It’s intellectually crippling.

…all because of their grandiose superstitions.

2 Comments

  1. Bob Carlson says:

    Just after I saw PZ Myers’ announcement of the ruling that the National Day of Prayer is unconstitutional, I got a shotgun email that was comprised of text from this web page with everything centered and bolded in a variety of colors that I guess appeal to bleeding heart evangelicals.

    The web page, however, lacks the URL that was inserted in the email after the following following, so I am providing the URL below the text because I wouldn’t want anyone to misunderstand how CHILLING this issue really is. 🙂

    This is not a
    rumor – Go to the website
    to confirm this info:

    http://www.islamoncapitolhill.com/

  2. Bob Carlson says:

    I neglected to mention that the senders shotgun email of subject “THIS IS CHILLING!” were not yet aware of the court ruling, so they must be all the more concerned by now. With regard to the message on the web site http://www.islamoncapootolhill.com, it seems so much more noble than any of the verbiage on the “chilling” web page. Not only that, but it looks like the Muslim women in the USA are also better educated on average and more likely to be politically moderate or liberal than those of American evangelicals:

    http://tinyurl.com/y44atd2

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