Christians are persecuted in this country. The government is coming to get your guns. Obama is a Muslim. Global Warming is a hoax. The president is forcing open homosexuality on the military. Schools push a left-wing agenda. Social Security is an entitlement, no different from welfare. Obama hates white people. The life on earth is 10,000 years old and so is the universe. The safety net contributes to poverty. The government is taking money from you and giving it to sex-crazed college women to pay for their birth control.One could easily list many more such commonplace delusions believed by Americans. They are kept in circulation by hundreds of right-wing political and religious media outlets whose function is to fabricate an alternate reality for their viewers and their listeners. “Stupidity is sometimes the greatest of historical forces,” Sidney Hook said once. No doubt. What we have in this country is the rebellion of dull minds against the intellect. That’s why they love politicians who rail against teachers indoctrinating children against their parents’ values and resent the ones who show ability to think seriously and independently. Despite their bravado, these fools can always be counted on to vote against their self-interest. And that, as far as I’m concerned, is why millions are being spent to keep my fellow citizens ignorant." --Charles Simic (NYR Blog)
"Every new & successful example therefore of a perfect separation between ecclesiastical and civil matters, is of importance. And I have no doubt that every new example, will succeed, as every past one has done, in showing that religion & Govt. will both exist in greater purity, the less they are mixed together...source)Regardless, the painting is interesting in that it shows the burden the memory of previous presidents makes on the current president. However, I feel dirty linking to a painter that is extremely misguided. We are teaching the world the great truth that Govts. do better without Kings & Nobles than with them. The merit will be doubled by the other lesson that Religion flourishes in greater purity, without than with the aid of Govt." - letter to Edward Livingston, July 10, 1822 by James Madison ( proceed to the gallery.
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I'm very happy to have read this book. It has helped me formulate my own opinion on the holiday and it was entertaining enough to have me laughing out loud.
It is a very easygoing book that both someone labeled an atheist and someone considered religious (but innocently curious about non-believers) would enjoy.
Thank God Borders closed down and only had this book on the shelves when they had a going-out-of-business-sale. you can get a copy for $6 at Amazon.
... moving randomly through space, like dust motes in a sunbeam, colliding, hooking together, forming complex structures, breaking apart again, in a ceaseless process of creation and destruction. There is no escape from this process. ... There is no master plan, no divine architect, no intelligent design.His work barely survived Christian oppression, but it soon had a revival in the Renaissance and became a favorite of Machiavelli, Montaigne, Sir Thomas More and Thomas Jefferson. Thomas Jefferson had 5 copies! Even the quote from above makes one wonder if Charles Darwin borrowed the bulk of his theory of Evolution and Natural Selection from Lucretius. What is even more spectacular is how Lucretius dismissed fantasy, mythology, and Gods (also known as the Nietzsche-ian "God is dead" proclamation) but went on to state it is not terrible or painful living without deceiving oneself. He simply says, "look around, what is here is more than good. It's amazing and it's beautiful." The lack of meaning does not mean what you sense is any less amazing or awe inspiring. If anything it is quite the contrary. Read the story on NPR.orgMake sure you read the transcript or listen to the program. I'm going to look into buying Lucretius' The Nature of Things.
All things, including the species to which you belong, have evolved over vast stretches of time. The evolution is random, though in the case of living organisms, it involves a principle of natural selection. That is, species that are suited to survive and to reproduce successfully, endure, at least for a time; those that are not so well suited, die off quickly. But nothing — from our own species, to the planet on which we live, to the sun that lights our day — lasts forever. Only the atoms are immortal ...
"The notion of a rigid separation between church and state has no basis in either the text of the Constitution or the writings of our Founding Fathers. On the contrary, our Founders' political views were strongly informed by their religious beliefs. Certainly the drafters of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, both replete with references to God, would be aghast at the federal government's hostility to religion."The War on ReligionIt shows his lack of historical education and his lack of understanding of the founding fathers. For my explanation of why this is so, see the --Ron Paul, 2003 - Treaty of Tripoli or read an email I wrote to a relative on what I will teach my children. That being said, I would vote for Ron Paul over Rick Perry any day. This comes from someone whom hasn't voted Republican for President ever and someone who was born and raised in Texas. Update (8/27/2011): One more reason why Ron Paul isn't a good candidate: Ron Paul doesn't believe in evolution.
I'm not going to convince you of anything. You're going to hold to whatever beliefs you want. You're unshakable; solid, like a stone.http://avalon.law.yale.edu/18th_century/bar1796t.asp) I will also teach my kids how to get along in a society of intolerance and how to deal with situations where money and the pledge of allegiance have references to religion. They won't think it's fair, but I'll explain that with prosperity and education the nation will eventually remove these old and unnecessary references to mythology. I'll also explain how other nations are mostly non-religious and are very prosperous. Japan is something like 12% religous and Europe is also very secular. Religion is not needed in government. It is quite the contrary. Religion in government is actually bad for nations. I'll explain how fundamentalist countries never prosper and are never successful. I'm not sure where I'll explain this to my children. I may be in a different country. I'm getting tired of people shitting on my country and throwing slop in the law books just to get a bonus point with some bullshit god. This country is getting stupid very quickly and it's not because of communism.I'm just going to teach my children the following: The country, when founded, was primarily Christian. The founding fathers that drafted and wrote the foundation of our country were philosophers and deists (popular back then). They understood that to have a free country there will be no establishment of religion by the government. Sure; you can say that it is because the people that came to the continent 100 years before to escape religious prosecution (by the government and majority of people). This is probably the best argument for a separation of church and state. Just because the people back in the day were mostly Christian, it doesn't mean the government was. I will also provide my kids with this quote from Jefferson from the Treaty of Tripoli (Muslim nation): "As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion; as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquility, of Mussulmen; and, as the said States never entered into any war, or act of hostility against any Mahometan nation, it is declared by the parties, that no pretext arising from religious opinions, shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries." (