Fred (an excellent writer - check out his stuff) wrote a post about his impression that God - well, religion - well, specifically the Christian religion - is under attack in America.
I am not the most religious of men. I don't remember the last time I was in a place of worship, other than as a tourist or a wedding guest. But I recognize that religion is under attack in this country. And, it's not all religion, just Christianity. Because, I don't believe for a minute that the same sort of message would be allowed on Metro buses and trains about Allah. (link)
Yeah, you know I couldn't resist.
I posted a couple of comments on that entry, but my most recent reply became quite involved, so, as is my wont, I turned it into a blog post of my own. Also, I like commas.
You should pop over there to catch up on the conversation so far, then come on back here and read my response.
Here's what I wrote:
As I said in my most recent comment on your blog entry about religion, your views on atheism, secularism, and science are somewhat misguided. Don't feel bad. You are being lied to every day by the religious right about what the secularist message actually is. They lie about what the US constitution really says, and they lie about the history of your nation. They lie, bald-faced and unashamed, because it is the only effective tool they have in the fight to protect their "Truth." Funny, that.
Below, I have selected several points you made in your last comment to me, and attempted to explain where your understanding of the topic is erroneous.
1) "The percentage of people who regularly attend church, the people who ARE battling the atheist, is only a little more than 25%. The rest don't care enough one way or the other to even notice unless there's something in the news about religion."
-Wrong. In a February, 2007 Gallup poll , 53% percent of respondents said they would not vote for a "generally well qualified" presidential candidate if that candidate were an atheist. So, significantly more than just 25% of religious people are discriminatory towards non-believers. Over half of the population of the United States believes that a lack of belief in God should disqualify someone from holding high public office. No other minority group is reviled as strongly in America as atheists. The moderates are as intolerant as the fundies.
2) Evolution is an atheistic view.
-Wrong. Evolution is a scientific view. It does not claim that God does not exist. It simply demonstrates that there are perfectly rational and natural ways to explain our existence. God might be out there, or not, but whether he is, or isn't, is impossible to determine by looking at our world. There is nothing in our observable reality for which, "God diddit," is the only possible explanation. Science does not preclude the explanation, "God diddit," but it does not find any evidence to support it either. Science is agnostic on the topic of God.
3) "...atheists [are] fighting to keep creationsm from being taught."
-Wrong. Atheists are not fighting to keep creationism out of the classroom. Secularists are fighting to keep creationism out of the science classroom. To you, the disctinction may be a fine one, but it is a very important one. Creationism, or Intelligent Design if you like, does not use science, or the scientific method as a basis for investigation of the world. The Discovery Institute standing up and saying, "it is so science," doesn't make it so. In order to be science, they have to do science. They don't. Reading the Bible and saying, "there, that's how it is," is not science. If creationists want to teach their views in a comparative religion, or philosophy course, I have no problem with that. But teaching it in the science classroom is like teaching kids flower arranging in auto shop class - just plain wrong.
4) "But the attacks aren't aimed at those vague psychological teachings, they are aimed at the church."
-Wrong. Putting aside the topic of whether or not the word 'attack' is appropriate here, the problem is that those "vague psychological teachings" aren't telling people that they are the be-all and end-all of reality. Freud's ideas are pretty much dismissed today, but he is still taught as a historical reference to the science. But every psych student alive will tell you that, "sometimes a stairway is just a stairway." Psychology is taught as a theoretical science. Religion is taught as the only one truth. You cannot compare the two. No scientist will tell you you're going to burn in a lake of fire for all eternity if you disagree with him.
5) "While they concentrate on keeping their children out of church, they don't see them heading for the mosque."
-Wrong. That's just silly, and the fact you make that statement at all shows how poorly you understand the secular movement. I don't fear the church, or the mosque. I am raising my son to think for himself. If he tells me one day he wants to attend a church, I won't stop him. And the reason we aren't focussing on the Moslem (or any other) religion goes to our goals, which are not destruction of the church. They are freedom for all, not just freedom for all who agree with me. As I said in an earlier comment, black people don't want to kill all whiteys - they just want all the same rights and freedoms as we enjoy. And gay people don't want to tear apart all existing heterosexual marriages - they just want to be able to enjoy the same legal protections we already have. Atheists have no interest in making all religion go away. We just want equal treatment for all - including Moslems, and every other religion. The reason we don't "pick on" other religions is because the other religions don't exercise undue political power in our society the way the Christian church does.
Of course, if you feel that black people should still be on the plantation, and that gays deserve to be stoned to death, and that women exist solely for the gratification of men, then you won't understand any of these arguments anyway.