Re: Church and State

From: bivalve <bivalve@mail.davidson.alumlink.com>
Date: Wed May 12 2004 - 13:22:56 EDT

> RELIGION
> In discussions with citizens of Iran, a columnist gained knowledge he
> thinks would be appropriate for both President George W. Bush and the
> ayatollahs in Iran to hear: "When a religion is imposed on people, when a
> government tries too ostentatiously to put itself 'under God,' the effect
> is often not to prop up religious faith but to undermine it."
> http://www.nytimes.com/2004/05/12/opinion/12KRIS.html

I'm dubious of the equating of Bush's and the ayatollahs' views. Some local atheists evidently regard public participation in religious activities by government officials as too ostentatious, based on the protest on the National Day of Prayer. Such efforts to exclude faith from the public sphere are attacks on the free speech and free assembly of religious people. Certainly state churches are often empty churches, and forced participation is a doubtful way to promote faith. However, to take a current issue, both mandating and banning the Pledge of Allegiance are impositions of a particular view.

Dr. David Campbell
    Old Seashells
    University of Alabama
    Biodiversity & Systematics
    Dept. Biological Sciences
    Box 870345
    Tuscaloosa, AL 35487-0345 USA
    bivalve@mail.davidson.alumlink.com

That is Uncle Joe, taken in the masonic regalia of a Grand Exalted Periwinkle of the Mystic Order of Whelks-P.G. Wodehouse, Romance at Droitgate Spa
Received on Wed May 12 13:22:57 2004

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