Posted by: brian | November 20, 2008

"Reason’s Greetings"

Can irreligion (in its various guises – agnosticism, atheism, humanism, secularism, and skepticism, to name a few), go mainstream in America in my lifetime? Maybe. This article makes one interesting observation:

[Some atheists] note that in a big speech on faith last summer, Mr. Obama called for “Christian and Jew, Hindu and Muslim, believer and nonbeliever alike” to work together. It isn’t often that politicians specifically mention nonbelievers, they say.

So, what does this mean for us? What I hope it means is that we are nearing a point where those who don’t follow religion are treated as equals in public discourse. On the other hand, it’s simultaneously discouraging and amusing to read that

In rural Chambersburg, Pa., one Christian group responded to an “Imagine No Religion” billboard with a giant sign of their own, asking: “Why Do Atheists Hate America?”

Is this really their argument? Why is it that anyone who disagrees with the religious right “hates America”? Given that the Constitution is designed to offer not only freedom of religion, but also freedom from religion, one could just as easily argue that the group that posted the billboard hates America. It’s ludicrous, but just as valid an assertion.

For what it’s worth, this chart gives a sense of how religious the populations of various nations are.

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