Thursday, January 15, 2009

An Atheist Rung too High.

“I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of president of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

I don't believe in a god, gods, spirits, angels, chatty dead folk, or the healing hands of the wooful. However, lots of folk do and that's just a fact of life. (In fact it is staggering to this agnostic/atheist fatcat that so many people are prepared to over look a god or two while dribbling on about mystical powers. 'I don't believe in God, per se,' the gobsmackers will witter, 'but I do believe in a higher power.'
A higher power huh? Whose higher power? Where? Higher than what? Whither the evidence. Aw forget about it.)
Anyhoo, by and large a lot of religious folk are good folk and it would be shameful for anyone to be mean or cunty to good folk because they hold a belief and live their lives as close to their beliefs as humanely possible. I reserve the right to be supremely cunty to folk who use religion to steal, or who think everyone else ought to abide by their rules just BECAUSE they happen to believe in a supernatural deity or two, but that's a whole other set of circumstances.
This shit ought to cut both ways, so it was with a mildly raised eye brow that I spooned granola into my maw and read the following article in the Examiner.
Now far be it from me to stick my beak into the American political business, but ain't Obama a self reclaimed Christian? Is he not a a god fearing dude? Does he not have Rick bloody Warren praying over his signing in? Why wouldn't he say 'so help me god'? Whose underwear gets into a bunch over such an expression. My pappy in law says 'God bless' whenever we leave his home, I don't stop in my tracks and berate him for his expression.
This kind of thing is what gets the back up of even the most moderate believer. If Obama self identifies as a Christian then let him say what has been said by so many presidents before him. Pick your battles wisely. Keep creationism out of schools, but allow people their faith, even if you think it is a wasted one.
There is a need for vocal atheists, too long have the religious held sway over laws, rights and communities, but to that end there must be a measure of accomadation followed. Atheists should understand that stamping your foot and demanding your way or the high way does nothing more than fuel the anger of those who might, with a bit of leeway, stand by your side some day.

If you'll excuse me, I have to go poxy swimming now. 20 lengths. Bah.



Anonymous sheepworrier said...

Well, for a nation that claims to seperate church and state, I think its a fair request.
There is a world of difference between an expression used by your pappy in law FMC, and one of the world's most powerful men taking instruction from the voices in his head, as the current president has so willfully proved. Yes, of course allow people their faith, but it doesn't need to be enshrined in american politics.

"I'm driven with a mission from God. God would tell me, "George, go and fight those terrorists in Afghanistan." And I did, and then God would tell me, "George, go and end the tyranny in Iraq …" And I did. And now, again, I feel God's words coming to me, "Go get the Palestinians their state and get the Israelis their security, and get peace in the Middle East." And by God I'm gonna do it."

10:46 a.m.  
Blogger Conan Drumm said...

I'm with Sheepo. I think you're conflating the secularisation of political office with atheism, or you're accepting the argument of someone who does.

20 lengths, eh? All crawl or mixing the strokes?

11:04 a.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

I could be conflating rings round me all right, I just don't see it as that much of an issue. But there again I'm not American and I dont have the religious right breathing down my neck at every turn.
Bush hearing voices however is an entirely different matter.

20 lengths, 18 crawl, two breast stroke/please dont let me drown.
It's exhausting.

12:33 p.m.  
Blogger Andraste said...

Yep, I'm with Sheepie and Conan here. I've been reading a LOT about this lately, from Free Enquiry to Hitchens to Harris to the Chapman book about the Kitzmiller/Dover case. STarting Susan Jacoby's book about the history of secularism in the US. The US is the only country in the world that has separation of church and state in its constitution, and we don't appreciate it, or defend it nearly enough. While I appreciate that Obama is a christian, and wants to live by those principles, he's also indicated that he appreciates the separation of church and state, and the need the preserve it. This choice of Rick bloody Warren at the inauguration is puzzling and frightening, and the atheists bringing the suit, whether they get their way or not, are making a very sound point, that SHOULD be raised.

Having said that, they'll probably lose, and I won't lose any sleep over it, but attention must be put on these issues.

12:34 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Do you think he picked Rick Bloody Warren as an appeasement? Must say the man's opinions/retractions/down right lies makes him a distrubing choice.

12:36 p.m.  
Blogger Andraste said...

I think Obama's trying to ease the religious right's concerns. Warren is a scumbag, but he's just the type of ignorant religious nut who speaks for the bible-thumping, gay-hating, science-fearing creationists who before the election were calling Obama a muslim. I think he's trying to quiet them down. And I think it's dishonest.

1:17 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

I watched him (Bloody Rick)on some show the other day, talking out of one side his mouth while a different clip showed him talking out the other. He seems like an attention loving fraud, but one that has a hell of a big audience.

1:23 p.m.  
Blogger Conan Drumm said...

"It's exhausting"

And you're fit.

Try butterfly and backstroke.

1:26 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

I tell ya Conan, it's hard going. So complicated trying to keep everything correct. When to breath, when to turn, are my legs kicking hard enough, are my arms slicing or slapping. Honestly running is so much easier. But I shall persevere.
I don't like back stroke as I cannot do butterfly. I don't know how people do it.

1:31 p.m.  
Blogger Conan Drumm said...

It's all in the technique.

When you're crawling your legs shouldn't be kicking hard, just straight and steady with your ankles loose so that your feet move freely. Leg movement should keep you stable in the water but most of the propulsion should come from your arms.

1:51 p.m.  
Blogger gimme a minute said...

I'm for the ban. And I dearly hope the O man is faking all this woo believing so that he can do his change bit.

But more pressingly, is somebody hereabouts thinking triathlon?

1:57 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

I have tired shoulders, so I must have done more arm work than leg.
Gimmie, I'm pondering many a thing. I'd like some kind of challenge to work towards this year. My swimming though is pretty awful. However I forsee improvments, dammit, there ahd better be. Have you heard of that gym Raw in Portobello?

2:16 p.m.  
Blogger gimme a minute said...

I have not. Unless it's a new pay as you go, that I've heard talk off?

2:18 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

This place, it has ropes for Christ's sake. I'm going to go take a gander in a short while.

2:20 p.m.  
Blogger gimme a minute said...

Ooh, looks good. And they tell me they have spin. Let us know what it's like.

2:40 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Will do.

2:52 p.m.  
Blogger Medbh said...

The left needs to chill about Rick Warren. Yes, he's a turd, but he speaks for a large group of Americans. There's been enough alienation and factionalism. Let the guy and his followers join in. Who knows?
Maybe they can be converted to reason.

3:57 p.m.  
Anonymous ahaley74 said...

The United States was founded by people who wanted religious freedom. They said they did not want people telling them how to worship, blah blah blah and then shortly after arriving on the shores of America they started hunting "witches" for having different practices. Seems to me that from day one, there has been some serious hypocrisy in this country.
I don't give a rats red ass if the President Obama says it or not. If it's how he believes, saying it or not saying it is not going to change him or how he would handle things in any way, shape or form.
If the goof-ass that's throwing a fit about this had won the presidency, I doubt Barrack Obama would be screaming about the man NOT saying it in his speech.

4:41 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

What do they say? No such thing as freedonm, somone has always got to pay the piper down the line.
I am in pain. My shoulders are acahing and even two panadol are not really helping. Only 59 minutes left of work. Oh huzzah.

8:01 p.m.  
Blogger Manuel said...

"chatty dead folk"

cant stop giggling at that.......carry on

12:20 a.m.  
Anonymous Bonnie B. said...

@ahaley74, Obama himself might not pitch a hissy fit over someone not saying "So help me God" but every single right wing Christian nut in these United States would!

And that "goof ass" (Dr. Michael Newdow) could never win the presidency in this country, as he is an athiest and this country will NEVER have the balls to elect an atheist.

The VERY interesting thing is that we recently had a new one dollar coin issued by the US Mint and guess which words are missing from the coin? "In God We Trust" It's one small step, but I'll take it.

12:28 a.m.  
Blogger The Hangar Queen said...

The oath of office is quite plainly laid out in the constitution and the words "So help me God" do.not.appear.

These were added on at some point.

There are some incredible draft copies of the constitution in the National Archives where you can see the Woo references scratched out and other amendments by George Mason and James Madison.

Especially interesting (to me) is the one that replaces "in my judgement" with "the best of my abilities".That effectively turns the President from potential dictator to civil servant.

5:52 a.m.  
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