Monday, December 15, 2014

This is why atheists are resentful

There are still bans on atheists serving in government in seven states. The U.S. Supreme Court declared such bans to be unconstitutional in 1961. Secularists are looking to remove the language from the states' constitutions.

Not everyone is on board with the effort.

Christopher B. Shank, the Republican minority whip in the Maryland Senate, said that while he believed in pluralism, “I think what they want is an affirmation that the people of the state of Maryland don’t care about the Christian faith, and that is a little offensive.”
There is an enormous blind spot in many people's minds that allows them to equate secularism with hostility to Christianity. Shank has that blind spot in spades. Moreover, he misses the point that the government of Maryland cannot speak for the people of Maryland on the question of whether those people "care about the Christian faith". Do you understand the First Amendment, Mr. Shank? You don't sound like you do.

Removing the patently unConstitutional language from the offending states' constitutions would say nothing about people's attitude toward Christianity (or any other faith, not that Shank appears to have thought about that, either). It would say that faith and government shouldn't be entangled. That's no more — and no less — than we should all expect.

Like the fatuous resistance to removing the ill-considered phrase "under God" from the Pledge of Allegiance, the resistance to cleaning up the unenforceable and discriminatory language from state constitutions is rooted in nothing more than reflexive and thoughtless prejudice against atheists (and secularists generally).

It's disgraceful that the ridiculously easy and necessary cleanup remains undone after more than half a century.

Enough inexcusable excuses. Enough stalling. In fact, just plain enough. Enough.

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