Wednesday, December 11, 2013

The irony of American politics and religion

Isn't it sad we live in a country that was founded specifically to avoid religious tyrants and ensure freedom and yet every politician running this country would be committing political suicide with their careers if they admitted they were atheists? Statistics prove at least 20 percent of these hypocrites are non-religious and likely agnostic or atheist, yet no one has stepped forward for fear of losing their careers. 

It's easier for a senator or representative to come out as gay than it is for him to admit he doesn't believe in some invisible sky king. Retired politician Barney Frank, who came out of the closet as gay in the late '80s, couldn't admit he was an atheist until he quit his life of politics. He claimed it was because he didn't want people to think he was abandoning his Jewish heritage, and that may be true, but he certainly didn't want to lose the paycheck because he didn't believe in any god.

So many early leaders in America, especially presidents, were less than religious and/or downright non-theists. James Monroe didn't have any religious affiliation or beliefs, nor did Abraham Lincoln. A little while ago, a few of my family members discussed Lincoln on Facebook and claimed he was religious and I kept my mouth shut at the time. His faith, or lack thereof, has long been the root of many a debate. But a recent article on shed some definitive light on the subject.

"After his death, Lincoln’s wife reported, 'Mr. Lincoln had no hope and no faith in the usual acceptance of these words.' His lifelong friend and executor, Judge David Davis, agreed, saying, 'He had no faith in the Christian sense of the term.' This was confirmed by another of Lincoln’s closest friends, Ward Hill Lamon, who knew Lincoln in his early years in Illinois, was with him during the whole Washington period and later wrote his biography. As Lamon put it, 'Never in all that time did he let fall from his lips or his pen an expression which remotely implied the slightest faith in Jesus as the son of God and the Savior of men.' ”

I didn't write this to "claim" any politician for "our" side, like so many believers are so eager/desperate to do with any prominent figure. I think that's a worthless endeavor and is an appeal-to-authority fallacy, meaning if someone who is an authority figure feels the way you do then it must be right. That is complete and utter bollocks.

I wrote this post to show just how sad it is that in the 21st century in America that atheists/agnostics are still shunned despite making up a larger percentage of voters in this country than Jews. Plus the fact that this country was founded on the idea that we shouldn't be persecuted for our beliefs is ironic because now we are being persecuted for our non-beliefs.

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