Saturday, January 05, 2008

The "H" is for "House," not "Huckabee"

If you've missed the news about H. Res. 888, you probably haven't been cruising the Atheosphere today. The resolution's alleged purpose is:

Affirming the rich spiritual and religious history of our Nation's founding and subsequent history and expressing support for designation of the first week in May as `American Religious History Week' for the appreciation of and education on America's history of religious faith.
Now aside from the grammatical observations that (1) for clarity, a comma should have been added after the words "subsequent history" (yes, I know each comma costs American taxpayers $7 million), and (2) the final preposition "on" should have been "in," I've got nothing to say that hasn't already been said. Chris Rodda, who is far more knowledgeable than I am, has commented in great detail about the resolution's many historical lies.

The full text of the proposed resolution can be found both here and here.

So much for those faith-based atheists who fail to see this kind of clear evidence of a very dangerous national trend. Mike Huckabee's win in the Iowa Republican caucuses is not merely one state's aberration. Even Obama's victory in the Democratic caucuses there could reasonably be interpreted as a cry for "more religion." (Obama scores 9 out of a possible 10 on BeliefNet's God-o-Meter.)

If this resolution actually makes it to the floor, I urge all atheists NOT to spout lame excuses for any Democrats who vote "yea." Some freethinkers, including a few of my regular readers, did that previously concerning H. Res. 847. (If you've already forgotten that one — and shame on you if you have — see my discussion of it, and the follow-up comments, here.)


I'll now turn you over to Philly's post, in which he includes various links, including one that facilitates writing to your congressperson.

(H/T to commenter NaturalVision)


John Evo said...

Am I hyper-sensitive, or do I rightfully feel duly chastised?

I can only speak for John and not for anyone else this might be directed at. I fully acknowledge that the battle is far from won. In fact, I make an easy prediction that it won't be won in my lifetime.

50 short years ago, a resolution like this would not only pass, but there would have been virtual silence (even had there been a "blogoshere" available). Things have changed. Not enough by a LONG SHOT.

Obama rates a 9 out of 10 on some atheometer, huh? Well, personally, I am able to live in a world of theism precisely because it is no longer over-run with people who will put me to death for what I say regarding the absence of god. I have to wonder what Pope Sixtus IV would have rated...

This doesn't mean I don't think religion is still extremely dangerous. But a guy like Obama is not where I see the biggest problems. I see him as a theist who can be reasoned with about his religion. Huckabee, on the other hand (or Bush), has made it clear that he is not such a human being.

The Exterminator said...

Actually, Polly-Evo, I did not have you specifically in mind. If the shoe fits, however, take your foot out of your mouth.

And I'm not sure that I don't see even bigger problems for atheists coming from liberal god-insinuators (who lull us) than from rightwing bullies (who keep us on the alert).

So I guess I just want to act as the atheist Paul Revere. One if by Democrats, two if by Republicans, but either way: The Brutish are coming. The Brutish are coming.

Babs Gladhand said...

I would rather think of this as a national fad, rather than trend. Of course, that may just be wishful thinking. But, I also think that since atheists are more outspoken now, it scares the Evangelical sector and they have to scream louder than ever.

I, for one, will never make an excuse for any politician who passes a resolution that has to do with America's "religious history".

I say we start a revolution.

Anonymous said...

Like Babs, I think that evangelicals and fundies are yelling louder than ever because their supremacist prerogative is being challenged firmly and relentlessly. Nevertheless, stupid resolutions like this make me uneasy because they can set a precedent for future resolutions, laws, etc., that will erode religious freedoms in the USA. Instead of doing meaningful work, Congress is wasting time fiddling with crap like this, which it has no business fiddling with in the first place.

I, personally, would not mind seeing all religions go the way of the dinosaurs. Still, I support people's rights to believe whatever BS they want to believe, as long as they don't expect everyone else to believe it too.

And that gets to the heart of the issue with fundamentalist and evangelical forms of Christianity and Islam. Believers in those camps believe it is their divinely commanded duty to proselytize others into their religions. As long as they persist in believing that and pushing themselves on others, we will have to resist and push back. Unfortunately, the battles will get ugly sometimes.

The Exterminator said...

I would fight to the limits of my ability to protect every American's First Amendment freedom to believe whatever claptrap he or she chooses. But, that freedom includes my right not to believe. This is not only a constitutional issue; it's a moral one, too.

However, dating back in our history all the way to the Puritans, those Christians who have screamed the loudest about their right to practice their specific religion were often only too happy to curtail the equivalent rights of others.

PhillyChief said...

A decade ago or so I worked with this rather spirited girl who spoke of "when the revolution happens...". It was cute and I'd tell her there'd never be another civil war. Now I don't know anymore.

the blogger formerly known as yinyang said...

Do you think it would be worth my time to send a letter, considering that the representative for my district is one of the co-sponsors?


Anonymous said...

Yinyang - the fact that your rep is a co-sponsor makes it imperative for you to send a letter. That's the only way you can let the person know that he or she has failed to represent you on this issue.