To those who say that people's religion is their business

Peggy’s sister, Pam, is a morbidly obese diabetic who eats what she pleases and as much as she pleases. She won’t take insulin, check her glucose levels, or see a doctor. Pam can put away more food at one meal than I eat all day. If she dies suddenly, her death won’t be of much consequence to the taxpayer, but if she has a debilitating stroke, her care could cost millions.

Pam thinks that what she eats is her business. People who do drugs or drink too much think that is their business too. New York State has asked the federal government to prohibit people who are on the dole from buying soft drinks with food stamps, but food stamp recipients are up in arms. "What we drink is our business," they say.

Most states now require people in cars to wear seatbelts and people on motorcycles to wear helmets, partly because it is unfair to the taxpayer for them to take unnecessary risks on public roads. Many people say that such laws are unfair. They say that their safety is nobody’s business but their own.

How restrictive the government should be is not a simple question. For instance, should it ban cigarettes and junk foods? Should it outlaw skydiving and rock climbing? Should it send overweight people to fitness camps? Most of us would say no to such extremes, yet people’s risky behavior does harm the rest of society.

Government can’t successfully outlaw religion any more than it has been able to successfully outlaw certain drugs. Yet, those who hold that religion is a private matter overlook its public cost. They say that they don’t like proselytizing atheists anymore than they like proselytizing Christians, but I have the same right to criticize religion that I have to criticize Pam’s overeating. You might not want to hear it, and if ours was a one-on-one relationship, I would honor your request just as I have honored Pam’s request. But my blog is a public forum where I write about what is important to me, and opposing what I consider to be an irrational and destructive worldview is important to me.

But why do you single out Christianity?

Because I see it as the primary enemy of my own place and time. It is also the religion that has caused the most harm to me personally, and the one that I know the most about.

You mentioned the harm caused by smoking and overeating, so why not criticize them?

Everyone who smokes or overeats knows it is harmful because they’ve been warned by people who have a lot more expertise in these fields than I do. I usually avoid writing about politics for a similar reason. For example, I don’t think President Obama has done a good job, but I would be reluctant to debate the matter with someone who has studied the Obama presidency because I would look like an ignoramus. Only one reader ever said that I’m an ignoramus in regard to religion, but since he offered no evidence to support his assertion, I couldn’t agree with it.

I dislike religion even more than I dislike fascism or Communism simply because I know more about it. It was no accident that atheists who took the Pew Religious Knowledge Survey knew more about religion than Christians because the more you learn about religion, the less likely you are to be religious. Ironically, the more I am told that I shouldn’t write about religion, the more inclined I am to write about religion simply because I hope that I can eventually express myself well enough that at least a people who are now clueless will understand.

I sometimes see a bumper sticker that reads, “If you’re not outraged, you’re not paying attention.” I remember that sticker every time someone tells me that religion is a private matter, and that I shouldn’t criticize it. Oddly, these are often the same people who have told me—based upon a spiritual insight they claim to have had—that all life is connected.

I agree with their “insight,” because it seems to me that there are few if any private matters. The only question is whether we use force or reason to oppose those who endanger the public. Both have their place, which is why we have policemen and prisons, but I wouldn’t prohibit anyone’s private observance of religion even if I could. If I weren’t discriminated against by Christians, compelled by my government to publicly support religion, and made to bow to the repressive laws that Christians have put on the books, I would have no reason to criticize Christianity. After all, the world is full of irrational beliefs that I consider unworthy of mention. You can avoid black cats, walk around ladders, throw salt over your shoulder, read your horoscope, swing crystals over your boo-boos, believe in little green men, or play with Tarot cards, and I will but pity you. As long as you don’t try to force me to support your beliefs, we can even be friends. After all, no two people are without their differences.


The Blog Fodder said...

Well written. We have studied the effects of alcohol and gambling on society, on families, on individuals but we have no data on how harmful religion is, or how many lives it has ruined.

The question about how much government should prevent us from harming ourselves is going to take a little more thought.

The Bipolar Diva said...

Excellent points, especially your last two sentences. Love you Snow and we are friends.

The Tusk said...

What no comments, what kind of witcraftery is this. You've blinded me to everyones own opinion.

I'm going to wash my face and hands and when I come back someone better speak up in this dark and cavernous cave. See for the real thing about cavernous caves.

Snow, I'm with your argument on this one, I have not been hurt by the catholic church and yes it has been a cruel and unusual fate for all the pedophile priest out there who have gotten away with the worst of crimes against humanity, tearing the soul and life from childrens futures.

Even this past week a Saint was recognized, (nun) who was excommunicated over 100 years ago because she outed a pedophile priest. Then ahe made sainthood sometime later. But not to raise your Ire by bringing in catholic and christian ritual like sainting someone, I'll drop the subject, other than to say we live our lives and emulate those we love and those we want to be like. If all we show and shine is Love, than something is right with what we are doing. And I think in defense of the practice of Sainthood, this is what being christian for a small sect of people is all about. My chuch has 2800 members. We ran a deficit for the last 10 years, this year the September fiscal year ended and for the first time we showed a surplus of roughly 6000 dollars. Last September we were minus 92,000 dollars, we turned around operating expenses and assets of98,000 dollars in one year. We give money to the needy and the poor, for this I am grateful to say I have a chuch in my hometown.

I personally on the other hand am not a big giver of the dollars. This is the first year I gave a hefty sum to MS, and The Police Athletic League, and I am planning on giving to Leukemia Society, if I can only find that damn envelope. I'm just like everyone else.

This week the small plasma we recieved from my wifes sister last year broke and we had to retrieve an old TV we kept, The Waher broke in the same week, and we have no Oil yet for the winter. Don't think I'm stacking wood, this house don't have no fireplace.

Talk to you soon again.

Your Windy friend,

Snowbrush said...

The Blog Fodder said: "we have no data on how harmful religion is..."

It might be hard to get funding. Also, the study would have to be massive if it were even to take in a fraction of all the different religious groups and people groups (by which I mean age, gender, location, etc.) I've observed that the people who have the worst scars are usually the ones who grew up in the most authoritarian and/or literalistic churches. It's really hard to imagine liberal churches being even a tiny fraction as bad.

Diva said: "Excellent points..."

Thank you, Diva. I spent hours yesterday writing and editing it. When I re-read it last night, I thought it was crap, but when I re-read it this morning, I thought it sounded pretty good. I am a poor judge of my own writing, at least in the short term. This is why I have only recently come--on occasion--to publish a piece fairly soon after it is written.

The Tusk said: "If all we show and shine is Love, than something is right..."

Would you not consider this an unrealistic standard? I think that part of what is harmful about Christianity is that it makes people feel down on themselves regardless of how hard they try. Just listen to the hymns. For example, take everyone's favorite (based upon how often it is played--usually on bagpipes) "Amazing Grace," and note such phrases as "a wretch like me," and "such a worm as I." Can you imagine by any stretch of the imagination that such self-loathing is healthy?

I'm sorry about your broken TV and furnace. I don't remember if I ever knew where you live, but I hope it doesn't get too cold there anytime soon.

As for giving, I do very little of that myself. I donate to Oregon Public Broadcasting, Jefferson Public Radio, and, off and on, to the Sierra Club and the University of Oregon Natural History Museum. I also got carried away last week and gave $100 to the Evergreen Aviation Museum. Mostly though, I'm planning on becoming a benefactor after I'm dead as I'm sure that charities will need the money then as much as they do now, whereas I most certainly won't. As my very religious father-in-law told me just last week, "They don't make asbestos suitcases." Now, why on earth, do you think, he would tell ME that?

All Consuming said...

“If you’re not outraged, you’re not paying attention.” Great quote. Ignorance really is bliss for some people; waking up to smell the coffee might be unpleasant but it is in my opinion a necessity for progressive thinking.

Angela said...

Dear Snow, I have been reading your rants against religion, Christianity really, and I can well understand your anger. You say you know a lot about it, and I`m sure you do, based on your own experience. But do you know, this is a very "American" point of view. When I spent my American year in PA, I was "invited" to attend a Fundamental Bible church, and I learned a lot about the Bible there, and also about human narrow-mindedness. And the subtle ways to make you "believe" what the preacher says. I was brought up differently and enjoyed my own freedom of thought, and still do.
Am I religious? Not in a believing what anybody else tells me, no. Am I a spiritual being? Certainly yes.
What I think is you damn totalitarian behaviour (which some of this brain-washing is), but you surely know that this is not limited to religion! Here in the former DDR where I know live, the brain-washing towards socialism was just as harmful, and HERE the churches were a great help to give people a shelter from indoctrination. It has really all only to do with intimidating people and not allowing them to think for themselves. Can you agree?

Angela said...

And I am sending you a Good Fairy to watch over you!

Marion said...

I disagree. Spirituality is a part of our soul that is as vital as food.

Snowbrush said...

All Consuming, are bumper stickers as popular in England as they are in America?

Angela, I just read a book that was partly about life in Communist controlled East Germany, and I've also read a great deal about Nazi Germany and, of late, I'm studying neo-Nazis. My point is that I'm well aware that totalitarianism is not limited to religion. I'm also aware that not all forms of Christianity are the same even in this country. In addition, I know very little about Christianity in other countries. However, Christianity everywhere has one common element: it holds blind faith as the gateway to metaphysical truth. Once you elevate blind faith in such a manner, you must necessarily rely on "authorities" who presumably have a direct line to god to tell you what truth is. I know of no church that doesn't demand, at minimum, a belief in Christ, yet his very existence can't even be proved, much less all the things he supposedly said and did. Hence, one must rely upon blind faith based upon the authority of the Bible and the church.

Angela said: "I have been reading your rants against religion..."

I would define a rant as a emotional outpouring as opposed to a evidence based rational argument, so I don't accept that I have been ranting. Perhaps, you define the word differently though.

Angela said: "Am I a spiritual being? Certainly yes."

I'm sorry, but I really have no idea what this means. If it means that you have an existence beyond the physical, I would welcome any evidence that you might offer. Please read my response to Marion.

Marion said: "Spirituality is a part of our soul that is as vital as food."

Marion, please see what I just wrote to Angela. I would add to that an additional question to you--what part of yourself do you define as your soul, and do you have any evidence to support its existence? You--and Angela--might say that the existence of spirit and soul is apparent to you and requires no additional evidence. However, that makes dialogue with someone like me--someone who demands evidence--impossible. When I write about religion/spirituality, I make a great effort to either present my evidence in full, or, where this would make a blog entry into a book, at least know that I have the evidence. What I get in return are pronouncements that such and such (the existence of a spirit or soul, for example) is true. Would you simply have me take your word for it?

Jessie said...


I feel weird saying this in light of all that you have written, but your writing is inspired. Maybe not divinely, but you have a gift. I enjoyed this and everyone one of your previous posts that I have read. You are truly wise.

I have received many of the same criticisms you mention why do I criticize religion when there are bigger problems out there, why do I think I "know" so much, etc. You have a lot of awesome comebacks.

Your blog is my bible, dude. :) Ok, maybe not THAT extreme, but I really, really like it.

Snowbrush said...

Jessie said: "your writing is have a gift."

Oh, Jesse, thank you so very much. As you and a few others can understand, I spend a great deal of time feeling that, despite my efforts to express myself as simply and fully, yet succinctly, as I can, I am unable to get believers to seriously consider my most basic points. I am, of course, aware that it is entirely possible that people could consider them with great care without necessarily agreeing with them (and I actually wouldn't mind that), but I almost never feel that they subjected my writing to any but the most cursory reading. I could be wrong, of course, but in any event, it is deliciously rewarding to sometimes feel that I have actually connected with someone. Most of the time, it is with someone who reached the same conclusions I did long before they came across my blog, but it is still a wonderfully touching and encouraging experience.

Angela said...

Oh, I have read your words, Snow, and tried to understand what was behind them. It is really not easy to convey thoughts with only words, not looking at the person. I always look into a person`s eyes to find out how his words are meant. And with us, me not speaking proper English, it may be even more difficult.
I believe in your honesty and your intelligence, Snow, and yet I am missing something. You know, we are of the same age, have made a long life`s experience. Your youth was certainly bad, not preparing you to believe in good things on earth. But mine was not only sugar either, can you imagine, in after-war Germany, with the returned soldiers as fathers, ruins everywhere, not much food or simple clothing... Anyway, I have decided early in my life to ENJOY it, and to expect good things from it, and from the people I met. Yes, I was sometimes disappointed, but on the whole I got what I expected!
I wonder if that is the secret. Somehow I feel you first build up demons (only a metaphor, don`t shout!) which you can then challenge and tear down. But to me these demons do not even exist. I don`t let them have power over me, not even in my phantasy. It is my freedom to decide if I accept what people tell me (like moral or religious doctrins), or if I think for myself.
You say you want to be convinced of something like spirituality, or you won`t believe it. That is fine. But how can I convince you of radio waves? Or energy? You can`t see it but it is there. Have you never had such moments where you wondered? When after ten years you thought of a friend, and a minute later she calls you? Or you meet a person, and at first sight you feel their good rays (or their bad) and you decide you can trust him or her? It works with animals, too!There is certainly some kind of "anima" or spirit in everyone. But can I prove it?
I wish you a happy life, Snow, with no pain. Can`t you let go of your anger?

Zuzana said...

Your writing is always very powerful and thought provoking. You have an incredible passion for certain subjects and are not afraid of speaking up.;)
Thank you for your recent visit and kind words of encouragement, yes indeed, comments like yours help me get through the Scandinavian winter.;)
Have a lovely weekend,

Snowbrush said...

I've got to break this into two parts to get it to publish.

Angela, do you know of the writings of Ingo Hasselbach? I just read "Furher-Ex," and was astounded by how little I knew of the turmoil in Germany among the various violent groups. Now, I learn that Russia has the world's largest population of neo-Nazis--Russia! That's a little like black people joining the KKK. And it might have been you who referred me to "Born to Witness." Was it? If not, you would surely enjoy it. It's about a black German male who came to age in Nazi Germany.

Your limited English is not the least obvious. You are aware of your struggles with language; I am not.

Angela said: "I feel you first build up demons...which you can then challenge and tear down. But to me these demons do not even exist."

The English term for creating imaginary enemies would be creating straw-men. Still, the question of whether that which I experience exists in reality is not settled by whether or not you experience it. As you mentioned, we live in different cultures and have been exposed to different influences.

No, Angela, I can't see radio waves, but I can listen to a radio or watch the movements on an oscilloscope; neither can I see energy, but I can see its effects just as I can see the effects of air, gravity, and temperature. I never meant to say that I only believe in things that I can visually see. My point was that I only believe in things for which I can find evidence. As for your two examples, they are both verifiable phenomena that are universally accepted by science. I see no comparison between them and spirit.

Angela said: "after ten years you thought of a friend, and a minute later she calls you?"

I would see this as a coincidence. If I dream of two cats fighting, and the next day I see two cats fighting, I don't conclude that my dream and the fight was connected because I might just as well have dreamed of something else improbable and then seen two cats fighting. I'll try to illustrate what I mean in another way that might make it clearer. Let's say that someone prays for a sign that god wants him to enter the ministry. He then feels "led" to draw ten cards from a deck of cards. Lo and behold, all ten are in numerical order. He then thinks wow, god answered my prayer. However, the odds of drawing ANY ten given cards (say a 3, a jack, a 7, two 5s, an ace, a 2, and another 3) would have been EXACTLY THE SAME as drawing ten cards that are in numerical order. It's just that our minds recognize familiar patterns, and it's these patterns that impress us despite the fact that they are no more or less unusual than some other outcome.

Snowbrush said...

Angela said: "you meet a person, and at first sight you feel their good rays (or their bad) and you decide you can trust him or her?"

Horrors! I never trust my ability to judge people who I have just met. Naturally, I form certain impressions of them, but I've been wrong too many times to take these impressions too seriously. Likewise, I don't trust my premonitions because they have proved so inaccurate. Such things are similar to prayer. People can pray for 50 things and get one of them, and then say, "Thank you, Jesus." The thing is, they forget all the times that prayer failed, or else they rationalize them away as being times when Jesus said no, and then they hang onto those rare occasions when they got what they prayed for. I've had a great many people pray for my recovery from chronic pain. Well, it has been one hell of a long time since they started praying, and I'm still in pain. It's somewhat better though so maybe they will take that as evidence that their prayers worked.

So, to sum up, I have zero confidence in any spiritual or psyche beings or phenomena whatsoever. Of course, I could be wrong, but I find that my life goes much better if I live it on a rational basis than if I seek security in the unverifiable belief that the universe is a friendly place that sends out messages to guide us, angels to guard over us, and so forth.

Well, Angela, I'm only up at 3:40 in the morning because I'm waiting for some pills to kick in and knock me on my butt, which I think they are about to do, so please pardon any unclarity in what I have written. Oh, one final thing.

Angela said: "Can`t you let go of your anger?"

I don't see anger as inherently bad and therefore a problem to be rid of. It's how anger is used and the extent to which it occupies a person's life that sometimes becomes a problem.

Thank you so much for your thoughtful letter. I can but hope that, in my drugged out state that I have answered you clearly.

Snowbrush said...

Zuzana said: "Your writing is always very powerful and thought provoking."

Thank you dear. You and I both dread winter. Here the sky is gray, which is at least better that it being black like where you are. I can easily understand why the alcoholism rate is higher in the far latitudes.

rhymeswithplague said...

Wow, Snow, this post has prompted some great stuff in the comments section, from you and from your readers. I want to weigh in in just one area...

You asked Marion, "What part of yourself do you define as your soul, and do you have any evidence to support its existence?" I have come to believe, along with St. Paul, that human beings are composed of body, soul, and spirit (a sort of miniature Trinity, perhaps? Or a reflection -- some would even say image -- of it?). Many people think soul and spirit are the same thing, but I disagree (and so does the writer of the Book of Hebrews, chap 4, verse 12: "The word of God is living and powerful and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.").

Through the body we are conscious of the world around us, through the soul we are conscious of ourselves, and through the spirit we are conscious of God.

The spirit is the part that died in Eden at "the Fall" and needs to be re-born to have awareness of God.

The soul (according to a Chinese Christian named Watchman Nee of a former generation) consists of the mind, the intellect, the emotions, and the will. Through it we have the ability to think, to respond, to feel, and to choose.

Can you prove the existence of the mind, the intellect, the emotions, and the will? Proof is everywhere. Just look around you. Just look within you.

You make a lot of good points. That doesn't change a thing. I quote your own words to Angela: "The question of whether that which I experience exists in reality is not settled by whether you experience it."

Exactly. And that road runs in both directions.

If I may also quote another person of a former generation (of whom you also say there is no proof of existence), I think (even though it probably horrifies you) that "you are not far from the kingdom of God."

Of course, that is just my opinion and may have no resemblance to reality.

You have a first-rate mind, and mine isn't too bad either. Mine is just predisposed in a certain direction that you find incredible.

But even if you ain't gonna change my mind and I ain't gonna change yours, still we can be cyberspace friends. Of that I am convinced.

rhymeswithplague said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Teresa said...

Hi Snow,
I doubt that anything a Christian may say to you would change your mind about it. I assume you are just plain bitter...why don't you tell us why?

(((HUGS))) T

Snowbrush said...

Teresa said: " I assume you are just plain bitter...why don't you tell us why?"

Teresa, I went into that in this very post when I listed three problems that religion causes in my society. The following link also gets into why atheists are so passionate and sometimes bitter. Rhymes, you might want to watch it too. It's a fully packed five minutes or so.

Rhymes, your post didn't get lost. That "Message Too Large" thingie comes up all the time, and if it looks one way, it is right, but it it looks another way, it is wrong. When it's wrong, the font is large and the color of the font is blue. So, do you want me to allow the second post in which you recreated the first post? I didn't because the first one was more thorough.

I didn't see anything in your Biblical quotes to prove the existence of a soul (or even to define what it is) to someone who doesn't accept the authority of the Bible.

Rhymes said: "The soul consists of the mind, the intellect, the emotions, and the will."

If that's all the soul consists of, then I accept its existence. But I daresay that the common definition goes further than this.

Rhymes said, quoting me: "The question of whether that which I experience exists in reality is not settled by whether you experience it."

Rhymes said: "Exactly. And that road runs in both directions."

Of course. If I say I've experienced seeing a bear, and you say that bears don't exist, your doubt doesn't disprove my assertion. EVIDENCE proves my assertion. So, where is the evidence of an aspect of our humanity that is disconnected from our physical existence--which is how I've always seen the word soul defined?

Of course, we are friends, Rhymes. Very much so.

Snowbrush said...

Rhymes, I'm writing hurriedly this morning, and don't feel that I made my final point clear. What I meant to illustrate was that the burden of proof logically rests upon the person who affirms a thing to be true. If I say that invisible Martians inhabit the trunk of my car, you could never in a million years prove that they don't. You could only show that the presence of Martians in the trunk of my car is so unlikely as to appear absurd to the rational mind. It would be up to me to prove that they exist.

Robert the Skeptic said...

Just this week we held another "Ask and Atheist" public forum, this topic was the role of religion in politics. Like our last one, we seemed to have attracted mostly other non-believers, there were only two people who identified themselves as christians in the audience. One came up to me later and was surprised I did not seem "angry". [heaving big sigh] No, Atheists are not angry at god... there is NOTHING there to be angry about.

There is a great blog you should know about, Debunking Christianity. New stuff every day and WELL WRITTEN. I highly recommend it.

Snowbrush said...

Robert, in regard to atheist anger, please see this film because it gets into that near the end:

Roger, Robert, on not being angry at non-existent deities. However, if any atheist can truly say he is SO mellow that he ain't mad at no religious people for their unrelenting persecution of him and others like him, he's a different cat than I, and I can't even say that I envy him. People sometimes tell me in response to my posts on religion that I should get over my anger. In response, I would say, "NO, THANK YOU."

kylie said...

i just want to say hello and how are you, apart from gray inside, although i guess that pretty much covers it...
i cant comment on your post, see.
we've done the religion thing and you know my logical side rebels against it while my romantic side (if i can describe it that way) has no other answer.
i respect your views and i like you but i cant discuss religion.
i wish religious people were less brain dead than most of them seem to be.

Angela said...

Hi Snow, me again. Do you mind? I just read your last sentence. You enjoy your anger? Funny. I wonder if you know our German word Übermut. It means something like high spirits, playfulness. Do you ever have that? Can you laugh till you fall on the floor? I enjoy THAT, never my anger.
Oh, and would you perhaps have the time to read an old blog post of mine? I called it Wishful Thinking, from Sept.29,08. It is something that happens to me quite often (see another post of Nov.12, 09). I would like to send this wish to you: Snow is without pain. NOW. But I guess you have to say it, and believe it, and allow it. But it has happened before (you wrote about it).
Instead of feding your anger, why not be a little übermütig and play along?

Snowbrush said...

Angela, do I "mind" if you comment again? Surely you jest. I am honored that you want to. Besides, I asked you a question about a book when you last wrote, but you must have missed it. Yes, dear, I laugh easily, and i laugh a lot. I laugh until I cry, and I even laugh at the excellence of comedians when it is they who elicit that response. I laugh until people look at me like I've lost my mind. However, there is more to life that laughter as you very well know, and I regard anger as an inspiration. If I weren't angry, I probably wouldn't say (i.e. write) some of the things I do, yet I think those things need to be said. It is not the emotion of anger that is bad but what we do with that emotion, and, believe me, anger doesn't control my life. You read but a snapshot of my thought-life, and conclude that that snapshot is the whole of it.

Angela said: "I would like to send this wish to you: Snow is without pain. NOW. But I guess you have to say it, and believe it, and allow it."

I assume that you are drawing a connection between physical pain and mental states, and implying that all I have to do to be free of physical pain is to assume the right mental state. I think you exaggerate the power of thought. Of course our emotions matter to our health, but then food matters too, yet food can't cure every ailment. If you believe that I can be free of physical pain just by thinking correctly, do you also believe that people can cure diseases like cancer by thinking correctly? Many people do, yet they are less optimistic about curing broken bones or growing new limbs, things that the severity of which can be seen by the eye.

I will read the posts you referred me to, if not today then soon.

Snowbrush said...

Angela, I read and responded to your posts, which were about using one's thoughts to get what he or she wants through what I will call a psychic process since I don't know what word you would use. I know that some atheists do believe in a great many things that, in my mind, qualify as superstitions. However, I'm not one of them. As Marcello Truzzi said: ""Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence," and any claim that one's mind can bring about physical changes in matter, the behavior of other people, etc. is indeed an extraordinary claim.

Joe Todd said...

Snow I always enjoy your posts. I sometimes agree and sometimes don't but I have always found them well written and thoughtful. I don't have a lot to say about "organized religion" but I am a believer in spirituality. I do say "Don't worry Be happy" LOL Hope you are having a great weekend. Were you able to get your tools out of the tree?

Christy said...

I prefer to go with Thomas Jefferson on this. He was a Deist and I do believe that was the intention from the start.

Because of the persecution they had been subjected to, their ancestors came over here to worship the way they chose and not to be told how to worship. By the time Jefferson and his contemporaries wrote our Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, they had evolved to the point of not wanting to be subjected to any of England's rules including their religious rule.

I do think they meant for us to be able to choose our opinions and beliefs not to have it forced upon us. When others force their feelings and opinions upon us, they violate our rights. That's my opinion, as insignificant as it is.

Snowbrush said...

Christy said: "Because of the persecution they had been subjected to, their ancestors came over here to worship the way they chose..."

Which makes it ironic that all of them but the Quakers were enthusiastic oppressors of those who held different views.