Tuesday, May 6, 2014

'If you don't believe God exists, how could you be mad at Him?'

'If you don't believe God exists, how could you be mad at Him?' (snicker)

Many theists of various sorts enjoy deriding atheism by asking 'if you don't believe in God, how can you be mad at Him?' or 'are you also mad at Bigfoot?'  Though there may be a few who are actually angry at a specific god, the retort to atheism with such dismissive questions overlooks a crucial point for the issue at hand is greater than any level of animosity at a specific entity/deity. 

Most atheists are as equally mad at God as they are at Bigfoot, Loch Ness Monster and the like - meaning atheists are not angry at God for there is no actual object for scorn.  Similarly, most atheists are not angry with anyone's belief in their chosen god.  The issue of anger comes forward not from anyone's belief in God, but from the basis of that belief in God going beyond personal belief and into aspects that affect public life meaning politics and government.

Some examples are needed to show the concern; this is not a left/right wing issue, for both sides have the commingling of religion and State.

"Go back to what our founders and our founding documents meant - they're quite clear - that we would create law based on the God of the Bible and the Ten Commandments" - former governor Sarah Palin


"There is no contradiction between support for faith-based initiatives and upholding our constitutional principles." - former senator Hillary Clinton

Following Palin's desire here would include violating the first Amendment for the obvious fact of endorsing a religious system; this is a glaringly obvious conflict with individual liberty when all but two of the 10 Commandments have nothing to do with protecting individual rights, but are proscriptions upon human behavior based upon the Biblical God's wants.

Faith-based initiatives, a repeated calling from ex-president George W. Bush, are also against the first Amendment.  It's deemed okay when the faith presented matches one's own, but when the faith doesn't match there are problems.  An example of 'my faith' is good, but yours is not can be seen in Oklahoma where to match a 10 Commandments monument, Satanists have a design for a statue to be paired with the commandment monument.  Additionally, Hindus have a statue proposal for their religion, and Atheists have erected a monument to no God next to the commandment monument.

"I don't know that atheists should be considered citizens, nor should they be considered patriots.  This is one nation under God." - former president George H. W. Bush

"Those who are quick to feel disrespected often have a spiritual vacuum in their lives, because they feel disconnected to the love of their Father in Heaven." - Presidential nominee Al Gore.

"If we are practicing Muslims, we are above the law of the land." - CAIR director Herman Mustafa Carroll

"I believe marriage is between a man and a woman.  I am not in favor of gay marriage." - then senator Barak Obama

Each of the aforementioned comments emphasizes a legal distinction between how different people are to be treated.  No legislation (in America) has been passed that states atheists are lesser citizens, and there has not been any legislation stating that Muslims are super-citizens.  There have been laws advanced that repeated Obama's (and numerous other politicians) stance that marriage should be between a man and a woman.  Obama, like most other politicians, has an 'evolving' (politically expedient) stance that changes throughout the years from 1996 to 2013. 

Law, however, doesn't change as easily as one can change one's mind.  Law stays in effect until a new law/amendment is passed that nullifies the original.  What will be the result if the same number, or even more people who pushed for the marriage=one-man-one-woman legislation, advance that Muslims are to be super-citizens or atheists are less-than-citizens?  The precedent has already been set for taxation in who gets taxed what with respect to socoi-economic status, and distinctions are being made outside of taxation.  With precedent, new forms of applying it will come.

"I am a firm believer in intelligent design as a matter of faith and intellect, and I believe it should be presented in schools alongside the theories of evolution... call for the examination of all sides of a scientific theory..." - governor Rick Perry

Former senator Hillary Clinton stated that Jesus' resurrection was a historic event.

Any religious text has examples in it that if taken literally are morally repugnant or physically impossible.  Moral issues are related to the ways people can be treated differently for being not of one's group: women, infidels, apostates or just pagans/barbarians.  Regarding the return of the 'Son of Man' in Mark 13:24-25: But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun will be darkened and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will be falling from heaven, and those powers that are in the heavens will be shaken.  As Neil deGrasse Tyson quipped, that one says the stars will fall from the skies shows that who wrote that had no idea about what they were writing about.

"Doing the Lord's work is a thread that runs through our politics since the very beginning.  And it puts the lie to the notion that separation of church and state in American means somehow that faith should have no role in public life." - current president Barak Obama

As any politician, Obama does speak well regarding not implementing his religious beliefs in legislation - in some areas.  Freedom of/from religion isn't a piecemeal aspect of humanity where it's okay to force some of one's religious preference on others; it is to be an absolute division, leaving individual liberty and self-direction to choose one's course in embracing or rejecting religious systems.  Individual rights transcend any religious law; Nature transcends any religious tenet.  Just because men and women are different, or that another has a different belief system doesn't mean that one has the authority to morally treat them differently based upon that distinction. 

Let us combine some thoughts of those in government with some verses from religious texts and see if the combination thereof is a good one.

"We are a nation called to defend freedom - a tradition that is not a grant of any government or document, but is an endowment from God." - former attorney general John Ashcroft

"God told me to strike at al Qaeda and I struck them, and then He instructed me to strike at Saddam, which I did, and now I am determined to solve the problem in the Middle East.  If you help me I will act, and if not, the elections will come and I will have to focus on them." - president (at the time) George W. Bush.

"The Constitution promises freedom of religion, not freedom from religion.  We are, after all not just another nation but 'one nation under God.'" - former senator Joseph Lieberman

All of the aforementioned examples given are made by those in government, or trying to influence government.  That means they are working with the system that has a legal use of force.  Legal use of force against its own citizenry and abroad.  Segregation, prohibition, eminent domain were each advanced based upon varying degrees of a religious belief; spreading democracy, like sharia, has many who advance religious understanding as the basis for legal/political/police actions.  How closely religion and politics commingle.

When a moral/legal differentiation amongst people is accepted as a base for how to see people outside of moral/legal issues (not based upon how they act, but on something else), the dominant power can exercise force against those deemed not worthy of self-direction.  This isn't just referring to America's distant past with slavery.  Stoke enough fear and groups can be marginalized.  This can be an immediate concern as though they were all conspiring to attack (Japanese and German citizens being interred during WWII), or by association with 'evil' such as being 'witches and sodomites'. 

When one takes to heart as part of their sacred tomes such verses as:

Leviticus 18:22 Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is an abomination. (20:13 follows with 'they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them').

Surat Al-Baqarah (The Cow) 2:191 And kill them wherever you overtake them and expel them from wherever they have expelled you, and fitnah is worse than killing.  And do not fight them at al-Masjid al-Haram until they fight you there, But if they fight you, then kill them.  Such is the recompense of the disbelievers.

...even if the those who follow those books outwardly differentiates between their political and religious lives, what level of that moral proscription/prescription of actions upon others carry over into other parts of their lives?  If there is part of their religious base that has a literal God that is to be obeyed, instead of a spiritual image that had books written about it to try and explain/review life based upon the temporal/spatial limitations of those who wrote the original books, then there is a part of their beliefs that is to transcend the political goals they are supposedly trying to achieve.  John McCain, Mitt Romney, Barak Obama and Hillary Clinton each were not for the recognition of same-sex marriage.  Homosexuality used to be considered a mental disease. 

The enlightened can regress if allowing irrationality to smolder.  Afghanistan had a more open society for women during the 1970s.  The additions of 'In God We Trust' and 'one nation under God' were both not originally on US money or in the pledge of allegiance.  The change from openness to closed is rarely quick; the most sweeping and lasting is through an extended time.  The issue is not so much (though not wholly excluding) any specific policy advanced that has religious strings attached: it is the principle that those religious strings may be attached at all that is to be addressed.  Any specific politician at any given moment may not be calling for sweeping changes, but as a foot in the door keeps the door open so too does that first principle-setting policy that gets passed allowing the religious/political commingling.  A different politician, or the same one at a different time, after seeing how much more that door can be opened gradually, will eventually swing it wide open and at that point it will be too late. 

All of this will be based upon a philosophical base holding religious convictions prepotent over individual rights.  The end result is one who sees his religious cause to be achieved regardless of the methods - of who is sacrificed (i.e. murdered or enslaved), it is irrelevant for there is a 'greater good' and that is God's will.  So atheists do not hate God; they do hate the belief and the attempt to bring one's individual literal interpretation of a God into political life.  It has its own precedent and natural consequence.

"Remind yourself that in this night you will face many challenges.  But you have to face them and understand it 100 percent... Obey God, his messenger, and don't fight among yourself where you become weak, and stand fast. God will stand with those who stood fast." & "Keep a very open mind, keep a very open heart of what you are to face.  You will be entering paradise.  You will be entering the happiest life, everlasting life." - Mohamed Atta