Reading the editorial in the National Post, July 16, 2002, more or less defending the right of State, NOT to ignore religion, is in my opinion very wrong.
I am a 52 year old Jewish Atheist, who happened to attend private Jewish school and a Yeshiva during my youth. I enjoy practicing the “tradition” of my religion. But far more than that, I enjoy the freedom that secularism guarantees.
Surprisingly, being an Atheist makes me feel no less Jewish, since I am completely comfortable separating religious belief from religious tradition. However; conversely, I am completely uncomfortable when any part of our government makes reference to God.
I will not attempt to argue the debate between Creationism and Evolution. For this issue, it is not important. What is important, is the violent and unquestionable history of religious strife throughout the ages. Virtually every major world horror outside of communism, was carried out in one way or another in the name of someone’s God.
I can think of no significant benefit any country has ever received from harboring God as part of their nationality. But to the contrary, I sure can think of the evil.
It is easy to criticize the USA for many things, since the USA is so transparent about virtually everything, including their aversion to any reference of God in their government. But; whether we want to admit it or not, the USA has cobbled together the most open and pluralistic society ever. And undeniably, the lack of religion within its government has played a major role.
In America, everyone’s religion is equal, or more to the point, should be equal; even for people such as myself, who identify with being a member of a certain religion, but an Atheist as well. By not including a reference to God does not exclude people like me. Or to people whose belief in God is quite different from the mainstream.
To really believe in God, does not make it necessary to have God, or the concept of God play a role in government. After-all, if God is omnipotent, it is irrelevant to feel obliged to portray his/her name and image everywhere. Especially in government.
I would absolutely hate to live in a country where God is part of our government, such as it is in every Moslem state other than Turkey, where religious and government separation are even more extreme than it is in the USA.
And funny thing about Turkey and its secularism: it is the only Islamic society where democracy prevails. And the only Islamic society that is modern and successful according to our western values. If this is in itself not a significant message. Nothing is.
Just remember Mark Twain….. ““Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on, or by imbeciles who really mean it”.
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