This is why we can’t have nice things

Ok, first, here’s the FFRF ad:

Video © Freedom from Religion Foundation

As far as I am concerned, this ad is somewhat less upsetting than pretty much any TV ad for the ASPCA that shows abused animals. It is also little different than ads that I’ve seen for the Mormon Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints or the United Methodist Church

According to Patheos.com the ad was submitted to pretty much all of the TV networks, but was rejected by everybody but CNN (and Comedy Central, last year), which I have no significant issue with, though I think it’s pandering to the Christian Right Wing, but whatever. They’re perfectly within their right to air (or not) pretty much anything they want.

Anyway, I tagged a friend with this on Facebook, and got a comment back, which I started to reply to, then thought better of it. My extended response to the comment is behind the jump.Ok, I get it. You’re an angry agnostic. I don’t grasp why you have such animosity for other non/un-believers. But you brought it up, so let me address a couple of points that you might not “get” about the separation of church and state.

First, let me refer you back to the video. Ron Reagan is concerned about the fact that religion (probably especially hard Right Wing Christianity, just look at the Hobby Lobby decision) is making such major headway into the secular life of the American people. YMMV, but as a non-Christian, and a member of a minority religion (Buddhist, with a history of Wicca and Paganism), I am particularly keen on the granting or taking of religious preference to a nominal majority religion. With all of the shrieking about “No Sharia Law in the USA” there seem to be a Hell of a lot of Christian-centric laws being put forth by the Republican Party at the State and Federal levels. One can draw direct parallels between the Taliban, IS(IS/IL), and Al Qaieda’s central themes, like, for example, the stance on premarital sex, subjugation of women, hate of other cultures, anti-homosexual agenda, laws based on religious text, etc.

Your first point, not “giv[ing] a rat’s ass about the government want[ing] to use god on anything” is at odds with the First Amendment of the Constitution, particularly the Establishment Clause. Why do I say this? Because the Supreme Court has ruled that, for the purposes of the Establishment Clause, atheism and agnosticism meet the definition of a religion. See U.S. Supreme Court
Wallace v. Jaffree, 472 U.S. 38 (1985), Page 472 U. S. 53
: “[the] Court has unambiguously concluded that the individual freedom of conscience protected by the First Amendment embraces the right to select any religious faith or none at all. [Footnote 37]” (emphasis added). Though I’m no Constitutional scholar, by that reasoning, it appears that the use of any reference to god or God in any manner is at least a technical violation of the First Amendment.

Your comment regarding Ron and “People that believe in nothing then do nothing but sit back and laugh” is not much different from the Christian people who think that I’m going to Hell and that I’m a fool for not being worried about it. To someone who doesn’t believe in the concept of Christian Hell (eternal fire and brimstone, etc), the belief in Hell can seem more than a little ludicrous.

So, to sum up, there is a rational, legal reason that I disagree with your statement on “god” and government, one with more than a little precedent. I would be happy do continue this discussion in the comments section below.

CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 This is why we can’t have nice things by Geordon VanTassle is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.


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