That’s a purposely ambiguous title up there. Is this post about deletions of the word “God”? Or is it about deletions by “God” or — given the quotation marks — people who claim to represent some supernatural character whom they call “God”?
Well, it’s about both.
Deletions OF “God”
If I had my way, which is not really my way but, rather, the way of the framers of the Constitution, the word “God” would be removed from all enterprises sponsored, directly or indirectly, by the American government. Article VI and The First Amendment are quite clear on that point: “God” has no official business here. Let’s take that silly, but loaded, word off our money and out of our pledge. Let’s banish it from our courts, from our legislative chambers, and from the mouths of our elected representatives. And, since, according to the third clause of Article VI, religion can’t be used as a test for official office or “public trust,” let’s keep those fucking spiritual advisers away from the president. The views of religious leaders who counsel our elected officials are selected, weighed, vetted for conformity to America’s alleged Christianity. That’s a religious test, folks.
There’s nothing more unAmerican, more anti-patriotic, than elected and appointed governmental office-holders intoning the word “God.” Why? Because the wise men who drew up our Constitution and its Bill of Rights consciously and purposefully chose to leave that word out of their formula, and to take steps to make sure it would never be included in any future activities done specifically under the auspices of the government they created.
Perhaps the writers of the Constitution didn’t foresee the loopholes. They mistakenly thought that all our laws would be passed by the legislature, instead of many “laws” being enacted by the executive branch and by governmental agencies. With that erroneous thought in mind, they voted to include the First Amendment, which specifically banned our legislature from pandering to the superstitious: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion. Notice that they didn’t write “an establishment of a religion,” which would argue against elevating a specific belief system over others. No, what they said was “an establishment of religion,” with no article, no qualifier. Religion, itself, cannot be established by the legislature. The spirit, if not the letter, of their ideas should be extended to the Oval Office and the Supreme Court, and, therefore, to every executive office and courtroom under the titular jurisdiction of either.
Stop forcing “God” on me, you tyrants.
Deletions BY “God”
OK, let’s start by admitting the obvious: There are many reasons for blogging. Not everyone is interested in sharing ideas, discussing their own and opposing views, or debating with passion and at least some degree of coherence.
In this neck of the Atheosphere, though, we all seem to enjoy doing those things. If you check out my list of frequent commenters, you’ll see the names of lots of people with whom I’ve engaged in intellectual smack-downs, people who have eagerly and effectively jabbed me back. Almost everyone on that list has argued with others in that “honor” roll, although many of us consider one another to be friends. We may get nasty, satirical, or just plain silly. Sometimes, we even piss each other off. A lot. Yet, when we cool down, we can acknowledge that the attacks aren’t personal, they’re back-and-forth thrusts about ideas. To me, taking part in a vehement verbal dispute is a way of showing that I respect another person, although not necessarily his or her opinions about a particular subject. You’ll never see me (and most of us, I think) whining — as one commenter did here: “Obviously you don’t like me.” How stupid and irrelevant is that?
One thing most of us don’t do is delete comments. We may refuse to engage in debate with some people who do write ridiculous remarks, even urge our readers to avoid feeding the “trolls.” But we don’t ban anybody’s ideas from our premises. Most faithfreeists champion Freedom of Speech. In our opinion, it may well be the most valuable right we possess.
But go take a look at some religious blogs. I’m not giving you any links; just pick a few sites at random. What you’ll find, for the most part, are “moderated” threads. If the blog-owner doesn’t care for what someone says, if it offends “God,” then, bam!, it’s gone. Back to the ether. Deleted. The attitude seems to be:
Hey, I have an idea. Let’s have a debate. Only I’ll remove most of the things you say because they’re offensive and they’re aimed at me personally.Whether you agree or disagree with anything I've written here, feel free to leave a comment. I promise: I will not delete it.
I win!!!!!!! YAY!!!!!!