March 20, 2002
More on religion

Gary Farber, who's been quite prolific of late, adds on to Peter Beinart's piece about freedom of religion, Bush and Ashcroft style. They both attack the underlying theme that one must be religious in order to be moral, and the unstated idea that only certain religions seem to meet the standards of acceptability:

Conservatives seemed genuinely puzzled by the outcry over Ashcroft's words. "I think General Ashcroft was quite inclusive," said Ken Connor, president of the Family Research Council. "He made reference to Christians, Jews, and Muslims all recognizing the Creator as the origin of freedom."

I don't know about you, but this quote reminds me of that exchange in The Blues Brothers where the lady at the kicker bar tells Jake and Elwood "We have both kinds of music, country *and* western."

Anyway, Farber's had a lot of good stuff lately, like this post about why we should always be suspicious of government officials who want to display religious symbols like the Ten Commandments in public places. I've often thought that the best way to combat people who want to pray at graduations and football games and whatnot is to volunteer for it, then lead everyone in a pagan prayer. Maybe that will drive home the point that there is no such thing as a prayer which is acceptable and inoffensive to everyone.

Just so we're all clear here, I'm perfectly happy for you to practice your religion. I only ask that you leave me out of it. I don't think that's so much to ask.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on March 20, 2002 to Society and cultcha