Monday, November 30, 2009

The Pete Morin News Service--Issue #24

Politics & Religion

Want to create consternation, discomfort and downright bitterness in mixed company? Talk about politics or religion and you're sure to feel unloved, unwanted, ostracized and banned from polite society. So here it goes for all those who savor the hunt and kill of political/religious game.

I've read much of the following people and must say that I agree with a lot that they espouse. The list includes Christopher Hitchens, Daniel Dennett, Michael Shermer, Richard Dawkins and Victor Stenger. Other podcasts include the FFRF(Freedom from Religion Foundation), Atheist Experience, American Freethought and The Humanist News. Publications include Skeptical Inquirer, Free Inquiry, The Humanist, Skeptic and The National Center for Science Education. As you can guess by now, these are decidedly secular media outlets that call for a strict separation of church and state. Much of what they propose concerning the origins of life and man's station within the universe makes sense. I used to wholeheartedly accept their view of a world without religion.

Lately, however, I've come to realize an underlying current of acceptance on their part of something more sinister and damaging to our society that must be reconciled. These groups and the individuals within them all, without fail, call for more centralized, strong government as a means to better our human condition. This is where we part company. Their unabashed love affair with secular humanism has, for them, made a religion of their new found beliefs. The belief that government can solve our problems leaves me more than just a little cold, it allows me to see a basic flaw in their thinking. When has government made better the human condition? Rarely, if ever, has it done so. There are those who use it as a crutch or a lever to gain power and control over people's lives. I fear these individuals and organizations have not yet learned this fact.

Paul Kurtz, who founded the Center for Inquiry in Amherst, New York, seemed to be a reasonable and rational person with respect to improving man and his condition, but an article he wrote recently proved that, despite the many accolades that he has received from the secular humanist community, he understands very little about the proper role of government. In this article he called for the passage of a healthcare reform bill because, as he saw it, it was a basic human right. Imagine that coming from an educated individual--healthcare is a human right? No, Dr. Kurtz, no such right exists. Anything that must be legislated, or forced to be given from one person or group to another, is not a human right. Our natural rights don't come from any edicts that man may propose, but only from nature, or as the founders articulated, from nature's God. I've learned that it isn't necessary to believe in a specific God, or religion, to understand this fact. No matter what you think concerning the origins of man, life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness do not come from our fellow men; they emanate from our common humanity.

So, for those who believe in government force to produce a desired result, I suggest you read the Constitution and understand the proper role of government. The brilliant men who designed this document knew the limitations that were imposed upon them from 'Nature's God' and accepted those limits. Your life, liberty and pursuit of happiness will be seen in a whole new light.

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