An occasional reader of my blogs habitually emails to me his most recently discovered saccharine sweet sentimental example of America’s Christian use of military might. He does this to establish for me the basis of our moral strength. When I did not positively react to his most recent example [the specific battle that supposedly inspired Francis Scott Key to write our national anthem] he returned to me a particularly vicious written response, faulting me for my “negativity.”
My response to him had been that if the alleged military victory served as muse to Mr. Key, I did not appreciate [as my reader obviously did] the image of our soldiers winning their battle through the power of Christian prayer. My reader again attacked me with an emotionally charged justification for his combining religious conviction with military pride. I again answered him. Upon rereading my answer, I would like to provide it to you following this Blog.
I do this to clarify my views for several other readers, who have also taken offense at my expressing my views about mixing religion and patriotism and politics. The reason why we are supposed to keep a barrier between religion and politics is well founded in American policy. We do so because we are entitled to and supported by our American political tradition. We are guaranteed our right Not to Believe equally as any one else is guaranteed her or his right To Believe.
Anyone who disagrees with my opinion may indeed debate it with her or his own argument in refutation. But in no case does the Constitution sanction mixing religion and politics. Rather, the separation of church and state is a fundamental foundation of the American form of government.
Here’s the answer I sent my critic:
Let me explain what I dislike about ChristianAmericans:
1. It is primarily their maudlin sentimental infatuation with military might. They will sit back and silently allow our leaders to create a two trillion dollar intelligence and military system, while they spend ½ of 1% of that amount on international diplomacy [that is, attempting to do unto others as we would be done unto] – in the name of Christ.
2. They repeatedly support $100 billion dollar chunks of money for new wars, but leave thousands of veterans unemployed and homeless.
3. They equate their much desired financial success often upon their belief in a Christ who would abhor their militancy and personal greed were he again here.
4. They glorify war, as in the recent Star Spangled Banner piece you sent me, again without giving a damn that American military might has in its history repeatedly stolen land from other countries [Mexico, for one], and its Christian business interests have finagled resources from many Latin American countries by supporting dictators.
5. Their Catholic leaders are leaders in the rape of endless numbers of children over the years while protesting celibacy.
6. They always ally themselves with political leaders and feather their nests with as much money and property as they possibly can.
7. They repeatedly profess love for their fellow man while demanding that he believe what they believe, or be damned.
More damage has been done to the human race by religious believers in the name of an invisible god than practically any other organized group in the history of mankind.
If you would like more details, read some of Christopher Hitchens’ books on the subject of gods, and – if you have any real intellectual curiosity of what some of the finest human minds have had to say in opposition about Christianity and other religions – closely study the 30 or so essays in the book, “Atheism, A Reader,” edited by S. T. Joshi.
Since I am nearly 100% sure that you would have emotional difficulty following the non sentimental writing of the essayists of the preceding, I don’t really expect you to take the time to study the cogent reasons why these essayists have concluded that is most certainly a most hardy and likely fact that no invisible god has ever existed, or ever will.
Please let me know if and when you ever do take the time to read the lucid perspectives of the above book by its writers [Thomas Huxley, Emma Goldman, Carl van Doren, Percy Shelley, Bertrand Russell, John Stuart Mill, David Hume, George Eliot, Charles Darwin, Friedrich Nietzsche, H. L. Mencken, Carl Sagan, Thomas Paine, Walter Kaufman, Clarence Darrow].
Because after you have read them, I think you will finally have something challenging to say on the subject of invisible gods. Please remember: You may criticize me, and you may attempt to refute my arguments with your own, but you may not deny me the right to my opinion on any subject. That is what Democracy is about.