Re: Church and State

From: bivalve <>
Date: Thu May 13 2004 - 12:36:06 EDT

> Even "local atheists" are entitled to free speech of course. As are
> gov't officials, religious or not. That debate needs to be joined on that
> basis. Replying to the "local atheists" that "this is a Christian nation"
> is p-poor tactics, IMHO.

I agree; however, I find it highly hypocritical that these particular individuals are using their free speech to protest the freedom of speech of others. (I don't know what, if any, reply was given to said individuals; I suspect there were too few to make much of an impression, despite public radio reporters thinking them newsworthy.)
> "forced participation is a doubtful way to promote faith."
> Doubtful? I would say absolutely counter-productive.

Doubtful is too weak, absolutely is too strong. One might argue that children, spouses, friends, etc. who attend a service just to go along with someone have a degree of forced participation, but they might get something out of it. Beyond that, God is capable of working good even out of unambiguously coercive efforts purportedly intended to promote faith, but it is much more despite than because of such efforts.

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

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 Thu May 13 12:36:31 2004

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