Tag: freedom of religion

Weird Scenes #109: Constitution Much?

Weird Scenes #109: Constitution Much?

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. – The Constitution of the United States of America, Amendment 1, enacted 1791, up for virtual repeal, Fall 2020.

Our Constitution is supposed to be the supreme law of our land, yet the above paragraph has never carried the full weight of law, certainly not as written. That’s a shame, as these 45 words are very specific, clear-cut, and quite elegant. They mean we can’t pass laws that favor individual religious philosophies, no matter how unpopular they may be, or laws that obstruct other religious philosophies, no matter how popular.

Freedom of religion always means freedom from somebody else’s religion: your right to exercise your religious beliefs ends where the next person’s religious rights begin, and so on to all 332,000,000 Americans. It does not say “except for Mormons, Santerians, Scientologists, Muslims, Jews, and whomever else offends the beliefs of those who run things.” Marginalizing them as “cults” is bigotry.

Therefore, Supreme Court designate Amy Coney Barrett is, arguably, the most unAmerican and most dangerous person in the nation today.

This is not because Ms. Barrett is conservative. Some of my best friends, as they say, are conservative. It is because she is fully committed to ramming her specific religious predilections down everybody else’s throats. According to the New York Times, she is a member of the People of Praise group and is accountable to a personal adviser, called a “head” if male and a “handmaid” if female. Husbands are the heads of their wives and therefore run the family. Current and former members say that these advisers direct all important decisions, including who its followers can date or marry, where they can live, whether to take a job, and how to raise their children. Continue reading “Weird Scenes #109: Constitution Much?”

Weird Scenes #087: Reason? This Is The Day!

Weird Scenes #087: Reason? This Is The Day!

“I got some groceries, some peanut butter, / To last a couple of days / But I ain’t got no speakers, ain’t got no / Headphones, ain’t got no records to play” — Life During Wartime, written by David Byrne, Chris Frantz, Jerry Harrison, and Tina Weymouth, 1979.

If you have any media coming into your safe-house, you’ve probably heard all sorts of stuff about this outbreak that’s plaguing the world right now. “I see the disinfectant where it knocks it out in a minute. One minute. And is there a way we can do something like that, by injection inside or almost a cleaning?” “Take hydroxychloroquine, what have you got to lose?” “Coronavirus would weaken when we get into April.” “Anybody who needs a test gets a test.” “There’s only 15 cases and next week that’ll be down to zero.” “Health insurance companies agreed to waive all co-payments for coronavirus treatments, extend insurance coverage to these treatments, and to prevent surprise medical billing.” “Protesters (who) oppose social distancing were doing social distancing themselves and were all six feet apart.”

Those statements, slightly edited for space, all came out of the mouth of one single man, a profoundly orange idiot whose every word appears to be held as sacrosanct by upwards of 60,000,000 of his fellow Americans. Oy, vey ist mir!

What we need right now is the voice of reason. Coincidentally, today — May 7th — is the day for it.

Four very optimistic members of the House Freethought Caucus introduced House Bill H.R. 947, which, according to the Freedom From Religion Foundation (yes, if you read it you may burn in hell next to Ron Reagan) would designate today, May 7, as a “National Day of Reason” and recognize the “central importance of reason in the betterment of humanity.”

Now, before you go apeshit because you find it impossible to believe that freedom OF religion requires freedom FROM religion, here’s what the bill says, in total:

Whereas the application of reason has been the essential precondition for humanity’s extraordinary scientific, medical, technological, and social progress since the modern Enlightenment;

Whereas reason provides vital hope today for confronting the environmental crises of our day, including the civilizational emergency of climate change, and for cultivating the rule of law, democratic institutions, justice, and peace among nations;

Whereas irrationality, magical thinking, and superstition have undermined the national effort to combat the COVID–19 pandemic, and reason is fundamental to creating an effective coordinated response to beat the virus involving the Federal Government, the States, and the scientific and medical communities;

Whereas America’s Founders insisted upon the primacy of reason and knowledge in public life, and drafted the Constitution to prevent official establishment of religion and to protect freedom of thought, speech, and inquiry in civil society;

Whereas James Madison, author of the First Amendment and fourth President of the United States, stated that “The advancement and diffusion of knowledge is the only guardian of true liberty”, and “Knowledge will forever govern ignorance, and a people who mean to be their own governors, must arm themselves with the power knowledge gives”; and

Whereas, May 7, 2020, would be an appropriate date to designate as a “National Day of Reason”: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That the House of Representatives —

(1) supports the designation of a “National Day of Reason”; and

(2) encourages all citizens, residents, and visitors to join in observing this day and focusing on the central importance of reason, critical thought, the scientific method, and free inquiry to resolving social problems and promoting the welfare of humankind.

Yup. You’re got it. A national day of reason. What the hell is wrong with that? Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith?

I’ll bet the guy who said that will be remembered long after that moron who should be buried in a jar of Orange Tang.