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Thursday, October 8, 2009

Atheists say prayer makes them physically sick

I found this article while surfing the net today. It made me wonder exactly what percentage of the atheists I encounter regularly via the worldwide web would agree with the following article...
"Atheists recruited to be part of a lawsuit that is trying to rid government ceremonies such as the inauguration of a president of any invocation or other prayer have claimed they are made physically ill by prayer. "As I watched the inauguration, my stomach did a somersault with disgust for how much our country was violating the constitution (sic), the most important document in our country," wrote a 15-year-old in testimony being given to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Colombia. The lawsuit was filed before President Obama's inauguration and subsequently was dismissed at the district court level. Briefs now are being submitted to the appeals court in plaintiffs' hopes the case will be reopened. "I felt a temporary state of disconnection when these religious statements and prayers were made during the inauguration," wrote another, according to an appendix of information submitted with the plaintiffs' recent arguments in the case. "
So how about it atheists? Are these particular co-religionists of yours taking it just a little too far? I can't stand frivilous lawsuits as a rule. These invocations have been going on as long as we've been a country and I think these folks just have to suck it up and "man up" for a couple of minutes. "A temporary state of disconnect", puh-leez, give me a break.

11 comments:

Tracy said...

I hope some of your atheist friends do answer this question because I'd be very interested in their take on this.

JD Curtis said...

Me too Tracy. This entire "temporary state of disconnect' and then filing a lawsuit over it is ludicrous IMO.

SmartLX said...

What if Christians were a minority in the US, and the inauguration featured a Muslim call to prayer or a Shinto ritual instead? Might that make you feel uneasy, or at least angry or irritated?

The status quo suggests that the "winning" religion, be it the one with the most followers or the religion that got in on the ground floor (Christianity in both cases), gets the "prize" of implicit government endorsement and a national audience whenever a president is newly elected. Is there any other reason why Christianity gets this privilege where no other religion does? Perhaps it's the personal religion of the president-elect; if Obama really had been a Muslim, what would have happened then?

There are American Buddhists and American Hindus out there who see no more reason to defer to Christians than to defer to Caucasians (the majority in both religions in the US are not white). Unless they get a turn at the same platform, the tradition of the inaugural prayer is not only unfair but unconstitutional no matter how long it's lasted.

That's not even taking the non-religious into account.

JD Curtis said...

Oh for crying out loud LX. Perhaps years ago when this country had cahones, there might have been an actual "Christian" reference. These days, they are typically filled with nothing more than wishy-washy, middle of the road, ecumenical, vanilla, generic, non-threatening, non-denominational monotheism as to not upset anyone.

Pointed question. Would you ever consider filing a federal lawsuit over such "temporary state of disconnect" nonsense? Really.

SmartLX said...

You mean filled with nothing more than wishy-washy, middle of the road, ecumenical, vanilla, generic, non-threatening, non-denominational monotheism so as not to upset monotheists. That leaves out three of the four other religions I mentioned.

Would you still be content if Warren had delivered exactly the same prayer, but substituted "God or Gods" for "God"? (Notwithstanding the fact that it would have sounded terrible aesthetically.) Or if exactly the same prayer had been delivered, but by a local rabbi or cleric? (Perhaps they'd just leave Our Father off the end.)

I'm not personally offended, because I'm not American and I'm not overly patriotic anyway. I'm still unhappy about it.

Having seen Michael Newdow hit brick walls during his lawsuits over the Pledge and the currency, I wouldn't think a federal lawsuit is currently the most effective way to address this issue even if I considered filing one. However I do think even a vanilla Abrahamic prayer is unconstitutional, and as an American having decided this, I would not have waited until I was offended to work to change it.

JD Curtis said...

Would you still be content if Warren had delivered exactly the same prayer, but substituted "God or Gods" for "God"?

Content? Not really, but this is Rick Warren we are talking about and I don't know if I'd be suprised.

I'm not personally offended, because I'm not American and I'm not overly patriotic anyway. I'm still unhappy about it.

Unhappy? Ok. Not personally offended? Ok. This doesnt seem to cause THAT much personal discomfort with you.

I wouldn't think a federal lawsuit is currently the most effective way to address this issue even if I considered filing one.

Me neither and I'll tell you why. It just makes the atheist position look bitchy and overly sensitive. Sorry but there it is.

I do think even a vanilla Abrahamic prayer is unconstitutional, and as an American having decided this, I would not have waited until I was offended to work to change it.

I believe the above article was in response to reactions from listening to the presidential inaugeration. The workplace is a whole different ballgame with distinct regulations. At least here anyway.

SmartLX said...

I did mean a vanilla prayer at the inauguration, JD. Prayers themselves are protected by the constitution, just not government endorsement of religion through a sanctioned prayer.

JD Curtis said...

It isnt really a "government endorsment of religion" if you think about it. Unless you mean a really raw theism. It's not like they're hyping the Methodists or anything. Would you be bothered by a Unitarian/Universalist sort of prayer? I doubt they they would invoke God at all.

SmartLX said...

I wouldn't be bothered by it, but I wouldn't see the point of it either. Neither would you, I think.

That's the thing: by the time it's watered down enough to keep it from being sectarian, it doesn't say anything of substance and it might as well be left out altogether. Judging by your opinion of Warren's prayer, it may already be at that stage.

JD Curtis said...

Right. I've know of one writer who has described Unitarianism as "a religion without God". Unfortunately, due to political correctness, I believe that's the way we are heading.

Ross said...

I get a bit tired of this spurious separation of church and state argument. It's customary for sittings of Australian Parliament to open with prayer. Certain parliamentarians want to replace this with a time allocated for quiet reflection instead.