Tuesday, February 8, 2011
Defending the Rights of Christians
This post is going to lack any type of narrow topic and is basically going to be stream of consciousness. There isn't going to be any type of argumentative structure nor particular focus (just as a warning). The very, very general topic today is, "Defending the Rights of Christians". I often hear Christians talk about how they are "oppressed" or, more commonly, "persecuted". You are a majority, and, no, you're not persecuted. Just because there are restrictions against you (i.e. prevention of making the United States a "Christian Nation", prohibiting state endorsed prayer in schools, etc.) doesn't mean you are persecuted. Every other religion has to follow the separation of church and state laws; Christians are no exception. I hear the "Atheists/Secularists are taking prayer out of the schools! My child can't pray in school anymore!" banter frequently. First of all, if the state told your child they could not pray in school anymore, I would be actively fighting for your child's right to pray in school. I am not, in any way, shape, or form, opposed to your right to pray whenever you want to (with the exception of someone leading a prayer if they are a governmental representative acting with their official title and not as an ordinary citizen). Prayer is not taken out of schools, but rather school lead prayer is prohibited. If the school (excluding private schools) lead a prayer, being a government organization, they would be endorsing religion which is a violation of the First Amendment of the Bill of Rights of the United States' Constitution. I have no problem with your child praying (so long as they don't interrupt class) or with your child leading other compliant students in a prayer. However, the teachers, administrative personnel, and other government employed persons are not allowed to lead a prayer. I am not saying these people can't pray to themselves during school or conduct religious practices in a public place outside of school grounds, but while they are working they cannot endorse a religion. Although I think the Bible is a horrible book; although I think the cross, being a torture device, is a creepy symbol for Christianity; although Christians hold unfounded, uncritical, unsupported beliefs; I would never advocate banning Christianity or trying to restrict the rights of Christians in any way. I believe this is one of the largest misconceptions about atheists. Most atheists wouldn't advocate banning Christianity, we think you have the right to believe whatever you want to believe. Just extend that courtesy to us atheists as well. Anyway, that's all for my initials thoughts on the matter. Please, please, please e-mail me at email@example.com if you have any questions, comments, disagreements, or suggestions! If you would feel more comfortable, leave a comment below! Have an awesome day!