Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Atheism Versus The Baptist Governor

I'm beginning to wonder if people are just missing the point. When did our Constitution become "freedom FROM religion" rather than "freedom OF religion?" When did it become OMG-so-horrible-and-offensive for an elected official to publicly pray with others of the same faith? Since when are public officials expected to hide their religious beliefs or practices? Aren't they just as entitled as the rest of us to the very valuable freedom of religion, the freedom to practice as we choose?

For those of you who live in a cave, the Georgia governor, Sonny Perdue, is in the middle of a drought crisis. He is working on solutions for the drought, but he is coming under heavy fire for publicly and openly praying for rain. What's the problem? That he's praying for rain. There's a secular group that is actually going to protest against Governor Perdue for praying. Come on, people. He's Baptist. He's allowed to pray. He's not going onto the Town Hall steps and FORCING others to pray. He is praying WITH other people. He is inviting people to pray with them. He's open about his faith… SO WHAT? How is prayer offensive or harmful? It's not as if he isn't trying to find solutions. Perhaps prayer will inspire him or someone else to come up with a solution. Prayer is healing, prayer gives hope, and prayer works for those who believe.

I have seen this non-issue all over the internet today. It just renews my belief that people are assholes.

It has somehow blown up into a chance for certain atheists to slam Christianity and other people of faith. I've seen religion and God referred to as "myth" by more than one idiot. First of all something is not considered a myth or legend until no one believes it any longer. God isn't myth as long as He's alive in the great majority. The old Roman and Greek gods aren't myths, as long as people believe in them. Allah is not a myth to Muslims. Yahweh is not a myth to Jews.

Do atheists have the right to think that those of us with faith are misguided or wrong? Sure, but what is to be gained by maliciously attacking religion and people of faith? How are trying to tear down faith and putting down religion making validating the secular beliefs or opinions?

I've seen too many people today who think they're somehow enlightened because of their lack of faith in God. I'm sure they're good people, and I don't say that sarcastically or tongue in cheek. I'm sincere. But the attitude I'm seeing, the way that certain people feel the need to insult and belittle people of faith in order to make their own case is just… appalling. If I'm going to try to make a case for Christianity, I'm not going to do it by trying to damage atheists or those of other faiths and belief systems. What's the point in being hateful and spiteful? So you had a bad experience with religion. That doesn't mean that all religion or belief in God is abhorrent and something to denigrate. That doesn't mean that the majority of people of faith aren't intelligent, or that we can't think for ourselves. It simply means that YOU had a bad experience. YOU have foundation for your set of beliefs. YOU have every right to be disillusioned by religion, and to hold the belief that God and other gods don't exist. You have every right to trust that you won't be persecuted for your beliefs. But you also have to turn the other cheek and recognize that the same freedom that protects your right to refrain from practicing religion protects EVERY SINGLE AMERICAN CITIZEN'S RIGHTS TO PRACTICE THEIR RELIGION even if it's a public official, and even if he's praying in public.

As I would say to ANYONE of ANY faith, I will say this to atheists and secularists with a bee up their fanny… GET OVER YOURSELF. Open your mind just a tiny bit, and remember that you're not superior to anyone else.


Allie D. said...

I blogged on this this morning. I completely agree with you.

kharizzmatik said...

Eh, as a non-Christian, I'm torn on this issue. I don't think what the governor did was wrong in any way, he's free to practice his religion if he desires... what he did is no more offensive to me as a non-Christian than Native American spirituality rain dances (which off topic I saw recently, WOW amazing to experience). I do, however, understand the desire for freedom OF religion and I understand why some people do get upset when politicians publicly incorporate religion into things because it's a fine line that quite a few politicians cross that goes from harmless to semi-against non-Christian's constitutional rights. Of course what this governor did didn't cross any lines what-so-ever, but the line has been crossed a few times with our current slew of politicians so I understand why some non-christians feel the way they do...