Tennessee Lt. Gov.: No Religious Freedom For Muslims. This, plus some pretty bald-faced religious bigotry elsewhere in the state, should be cause for concern for everyone—not just those who follow Islam. Let us not forget that the United States is not, and has never been, a “Christian” nation and that freedom to practice one’s faith (or lack thereof) is a fundamental part of the Constitution—no matter how strenuously bigots and muckrakers try to deny it.
Earth religions get worship area at AF Academy – Yahoo! News. Good! Now let’s start working on tolerance for those of us who do not have religious beliefs at all…
Steve Doocy On U.S. Military Bible Rifles: The Terrorists ‘Started It’. Yet another story on the coded biblical phrases that have been stamped on American-made rifle sights and sent to battlefields such as in Afghanistan and Iraq, where the U.S. has repeatedly tried to claim that the conflicts are not motivated by religion. In this instance, one of Faux News’ show co-hosts tries that conservative stand-by, blaming the victim, to claim that it’s perfectly alright for a military contractor to break the law because the other people use religious justification for their actions.
Hold The Hallelujah: The Perils Of Rifles And Religion is another look at the foolish idea of stamping American weapons of war with coded religious references—this time from the perspective of one of the soldiers who uses them.
In his opinion piece in The Washington Post online, Tom Shales writes about Fox News’ Brit Hume’s religious faux pas: Brit Hume’s off message: Have faith, Tiger Woods, as long as its Christianity.
Shales’ naïve belief that Fox News lacks an institutionally strident political leaning notwithstanding, there’s plenty to agree with in his editorial. Hume’s off-the-cuff and off-color remarks to Tiger Woods were both unsurprising and uncalled-for. One might debate whether Hume really intended to insult billions of non-Christians (I suspect not), but the fact is that he has. “Forgiveness” is hardly a process unique to those who worship; and redemption, if even possible, isn’t something anyone outside of the realm of the gods has any right to talk about with authority.
Recovering from a mistake and becoming an example to others is, again, not something solely within the realm of the religious—or Hume’s particular edition of Christianity—and his comments should have been kept to himself. I’m fairly certain that if (for example) an Imam were to say, “My message to Tiger would be: Tiger, turn to Islam and you can make a total recovery and be a great example to the world,” the folks at Fox News would be all over it faster than they can fabricate socialist leanings in the Obama Administration.
It’ll be interesting to see what fallout (if any) will come from Hume’s assumption of divine right—I’m guessing any follow-up will be squelched as quickly as possible.
UPDATE (2010-01-05, 20:30): I guess he’s soldiering on, little Christian, and making an even bigger ass of himself—and the conservative fringe is piling on with him.
Aweism – Atheist Nexus—an interesting take on how to present one’s atheism to a world filled with people who have a tough time understanding how it’s possible to be happy, live a morally and ethically good life, and not believe in gods (or monsters). I’m not sure I’d necessarily take this tack with my own life and approach, but I think there’s a lot of positive aspects to it that make it worthy of consideration.