Tag Archives: secularism

Secular Coalition hired a Republican as Executive Director? What????

Posted on by
image of Edwina Rogers - new Exec Dir Secular Coalition of America
Edwina Rogers – new Exec Dir Secular Coalition of America

On this National Day of Reason, it was announced that Edwina Rogers, whose previous experience is as a Republican DC lobbyist, who also had worked for President George W Bush and former Senator Trent Lott, was hired as the new Executive Director of Secular Coalition of America. Naturally I was a bit concerned but after reading some of what she had to say about her new job, I think she will be fine as long as she sticks to the SCA agenda.
Continue reading

Church and State Links June 12, 2011

Posted on by

Digest powered by RSS Digest

Church and State Links June 5, 2011

Posted on by

Digest powered by RSS Digest

Wall Street Journal tries to spin Barbary Treaties to support religious right

Posted on by

One item of evidence used to support the separation of church and state is the text of a treaty signed in 1796 that states “As the government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian Religion…”. The Wall Street Journal, in a blog post on Thursday tried to spin that fact to cheerlead for Senate candidate Christine O’Donnell, who got the concept of the separation of church and state wrong in a recent debate. Too bad the WSJ spin doesn’t work.

The text of the treaty in question is:

ARTICLE 11.

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 Musselmen,-and as the said States never have entered into any war or act of hostility against any Mehomitan 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.

Treaty of Peace and Friendship, Signed at Tripoli November 4, 1796

The Journal writes:

The language isn’t in either the original, Arabic-language version of the treaty or the contemporaneous, Italian-language translation. It only appears in the English-language translation made by U.S. consul-general Joel Barlow, a translation so shoddy fellow diplomats at the time described it as “extremely erroneous.”

But then they undercut their spin with:

Nevertheless, that English-language version, complete with the mysterious Article XI, is what the Senate ratified and what President Adams publicly cheered: “And I do hereby enjoin and require all persons bearing office civil or military within the United States, and all others citizens or inhabitants thereof, faithfully to observe and fulfill the said Treaty and every clause and article thereof.”

Obscure Treaty Is Cited in Church-State Separation Debate

There has been a long running campaign by those on the religious right to rewrite history and prescribe values to the founders that just didn’t exist in their time – like the founders didn’t want a separation of church and state.

The paragraph noted above is true, even if the text in Article 11 was added by Joel Barlow, the Senate ratified the treaty unanimously on June 10, 1797 and no one, not even the public, complained about the text.

Why? Because they believed in the words in that treaty and had no problem signing it and ratifying it. They agreed with the text and it became the law of the land.

The Wall Street Journal blog post doesn’t change the facts or change that United States said in public it “is not in any sense founded on the Christian Religion.”

Pope knows Nazis but doesn’t know what atheism is

Posted on by

Pope Benedict XVI is visiting the United Kingdom this week. It is the first state visit of a Pope to the UK since 1982. Not only is there the issue of clerical child abuse to deal with but Benedict stepped in the crap by suggesting that the Nazis and Hitler were atheists. Obviously he knows about Nazis having been in the Hitler Youth but he doesn’t know his history very well.

The Pope said on 9/16 in front of Queen Elizabeth II:

Even in our own lifetime, we can recall how Britain and her leaders stood against a Nazi tyranny that wished to eradicate God from society and denied our common humanity to many, especially the Jews, who were thought unfit to live. I also recall the regime’s attitude to Christian pastors and religious who spoke the truth in love, opposed the Nazis and paid for that opposition with their lives. As we reflect on the sobering lessons of the atheist extremism of the twentieth century, let us never forget how the exclusion of God, religion and virtue from public life leads ultimately to a truncated vision of man and of society and thus to a “reductive vision of the person and his destiny”

Today, the United Kingdom strives to be a modern and multicultural society. In this challenging enterprise, may it always maintain its respect for those traditional values and cultural expressions that more aggressive forms of secularism no longer value or even tolerate.

ADDRESS OF HIS HOLINESS BENEDICT XVI Palace of Holyroodhouse – Edinburgh Thursday, 16 September 2010

Jaw drops on floor….

Even a middle school student of history KNOWS that Hitler and the Nazis were NEVER atheist or anti-theist. NEVER were.

Religious conservatives like Pope Benedict like to rewrite history and attempt to associate Hitler with atheism since it fits their narrative. In fact Hitler was another in a long line of Catholic fascists in history – the same religion that gave us the Spanish Inquisition.

All one has to do is read what Hitler wrote and said during his time:

“I believe today that I am acting in the sense of the Almighty Creator. By warding off the Jews I am fighting for the Lord’s work.”

Adolf Hitler, Speech, Reichstag, 1936

And that is just one of many quotes proving the Pope’s comments were ignorant.

Evan Harris in The Guardian wrote:

Secularism is unfairly characterised and attacked by religious leaders as a way of seeking to protect their privileges.

Secularism is not atheism (lack of belief in God) and nor is it humanism (a nonreligious belief system). It is a political movement seeking specific policy end-points. Many secularists are religious and many religious people – recognising the value of keeping government and religion separate – are secular.

A secularist manifesto

The Catholic Church has been good at collaborating in order to preserve their power and privilege. The Church did that with the Nazis when they signed The Reichskonkordat

This agreement did some of the following:

* Unhindered correspondence between the Holy See and German Catholics. (Article 4)
* The right of the church to collect church taxes. (Article 13)
* The oath of allegiance of the bishops: “Ich schwöre und verspreche, die verfassungsmässig gebildete Regierung zu achten und von meinem Klerus achten zu lassen” (English: I swear and vow to honor the constitutional government and to make my clergy honor it; Article 16)
* State services to the church can be abolished only in mutual agreement. (Article 18)
* Catholic religion is taught in school (article 21) and teachers for Catholic religion can be employed only with the approval of the bishop (article 22).
* Protection of Catholic organizations and freedom of religious practice. (Article 31)
* Clerics may not be members of or be active for political parties. (Article 32)

A secret annex relieved clerics from military duty in the case that mandatory military service should be reinstated.

There is some feeling that the Pope slandered secularism and atheism to distract from the clerical child abuse issue in the media. That could be a reason he made such a stupid statement about Nazi history.