This should be revisited

In Richard Dawkin's book "The God Delusion", I was reading (well listening - I have it on audible) of an inspiring quote from one the conservative movement's founding father. Barry Goldwater.

I am sick and tired of people today saying we are a Christian nation. If Obama is an atheist it should not matter. It shouldn't have to be political suicide to come out as an atheist It shouldn't be a smear as evidenced in the Elizabeth Dole special bag of dirty tricks.

Many of the rabid right wing try to emulate Goldwater.

They continue to excavate the poor tired bones of Ronald Reagan. The Republican party has been hijacked by the religious radicals.

With that I bring you the quote of the day.

However, on religious issues there can be little or no compromise. There is no position on which people are so immovable as their religious beliefs. There is no more powerful ally one can claim in a debate than Jesus Christ, or God, or Allah, or whatever one calls this supreme being. But like any powerful weapon, the use of God's name on one's behalf should be used sparingly. The religious factions that are growing throughout our land are not using their religious clout with wisdom. They are trying to force government leaders into following their position 100 percent. If you disagree with these religious groups on a particular moral issue, they complain, they threaten you with a loss of money or votes or both.

I'm frankly sick and tired of the political preachers across this country telling me as a citizen that if I want to be a moral person, I must believe in A, B, C, and D. Just who do they think they are? And from where do they presume to claim the right to dictate their moral beliefs to me? And I am even more angry as a legislator who must endure the threats of every religious group who thinks it has some God-granted right to control my vote on every roll call in the Senate. I am warning them today: I will fight them every step of the way if they try to dictate their moral convictions to all Americans in the name of conservatism.

bgSenator Barry Goldwater
Congressional Record, September 16, 1981


So what do we get in they year 2008? Sarah Palin and her "Be gone ye witchcraft" whackos.


You get people banging on five gallon water bottles who are horny for the end of the world and the "rapture".


Reflect on this, and then vote your conscience. I will never stop saying it because I love my country - a country that was founded in secularism and freedom. Not theocratic bullies, fascism, and jingoism.

Ignorance is preferable to error; and he is less remote from the truth who believes nothing, than he who believes what is wrong.

And let us reflect that, having banished from our land that religious intolerance under which mankind so long bled and suffered, we have yet gained little if we countenance a political intolerance as despotic, as wicked, and capable of as bitter and bloody persecutions.

Millions of innocent men, women, and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined, and imprisoned; yet we have not advanced one inch toward uniformity. What has been the effect of coercion? To make one-half the world fools and the other half hypocrites. To support roguery and error all over the earth.

And placing greatest emphasis on this last one:

Because religious belief, or non-belief, is such an important part of every person's life, freedom of religion affects every individual. Religious institutions that use government power in support of themselves and force their views on persons of other faiths, or of no faith, undermine all our civil rights. Moreover, state support of an established religion tends to make the clergy unresponsive to their own people, and leads to corruption within religion itself. Erecting the "wall of separation between church and state," therefore, is absolutely essential in a free society.
We have solved, by fair experiment, the great and interesting question whether freedom of religion is compatible with order in government and obedience to the laws. And we have experienced the quiet as well as the comfort which results from leaving every one to profess freely and openly those principles of religion which are the inductions of his own reason and the serious convictions of his own inquiries.

-All from Thomas Jefferson

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