Mind and Destiny

“I make no pretension to patriotism. So long as my voice can be heard ... I will hold up America to the lightning scorn of moral indignation. In doing this, I shall feel myself discharging the duty of a true patriot; for he is a lover of his country who rebukes and does not excuse its sins. It is righteousness that exalteth a nation while sin is a reproach to any people.”- Frederick Douglass

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Location: Delhi, N.Y., United States

The author and his webmaster, summer of 1965.

Wednesday, June 08, 2016

Agnostic Secularist


Regarding yesterday’s post, I want to make it clear that I don’t consider myself an atheist, but I do consider myself an agnostic and a secularist.  Belief and knowledge aren’t the same.  Atheism connotes what a person does or does not believe, agnosticism connotes what a person does or does not know.

I “know” that there isn’t a logical reason to oppose same sex marriage.  Faith is the antithesis of skepticism, distrust, objective truth, and knowledge.  Most religions stifle freedom of thought, and blind the faithful to the role faith plays in perpetuating human conflict.

The Pledge of Allegiance was written by Francis Bellamy a Baptist minister in 1892.  Rev. Bellamy structured it for public school programs and had considered placing the word “equality” in his Pledge, but knew some state superintendents on his committee were against equality for women and African Americans.

There was a time in public schools, that we recited the original pledge which didn't include the seemingly innocuous words “under God.”  In 1954, Congress added those words after a vigorous campaign by the Knights of Columbus.  Thus, the pledge became both a patriotic oath and a public prayer.

Undermining the separation of church and state doctrine reached a peak in the 1950's, when Republican President Eisenhower inaugurated the prayer breakfast.  Congress created a prayer room in the Capital and added the words "In God we Trust" to all paper money.

E Pluribus Unum (Out of Many One) was considered the motto of the United States, until 1956 when Congress passed an act adopting “In God we trust” as the official motto.

The historic roots of the deep division we’re now facing in our nation began when Congress added “under god” to the Pledge.  Today, Republican politicians weave piety with patriotism, and pander to religious zealots. 

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