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.

Tuesday, June 07, 2016

Secular Values


On 6/4/16, thousands of atheists took part in "Reason Rally," dedicated to boosting the political power of the growing number of non-religious Americans.  Signs bearing atheist slogans such as: "I think therefore I'm Atheist," proliferated the National Mall.  A small group of protesters stood nearby, holding signs that said: "God Doesn't Believe in Atheists."

Among the high-profile lineup at the Lincoln Memorial, was Bill Nye, the "Science Guy."  

Lawrence Krauss said: "I have dream that some day children are encouraged to reach their full potential by providing them with the tools they need to learn and encouraging them to question everything."

Other participants called for a non-religious approach to politics amid a hotly contested presidential campaign.  They also hoped to flex the political muscles of the religious unaffiliated, turning one of the fastest-growing groups in the country into a powerful voting bloc.

Lyz Liddell noted: “We want to see reason taking precedence over religious-driven ideology.”

The rally's major political issues are climate change, reproductive rights and LGBT equality, which are all hotly contested political topics whose opposing voices often come from the religious right.

The Secular Coalition for Americas scheduled meetings with more than two thirds of the members of Congress, whom they hope to lobby on behalf of secular values.  They expect to soften some of the social stigma of being labeled an "atheist."

Democratic Representative Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii was one of our first female combat veterans and the only American Hindu elected to Congress.  In 2012, her opponent argued that she shouldn't be allowed to serve because her religion doesn't "align" with the Constitution.  She insists: "A pluralistic, secular government is the only way to ensure that all individuals have the freedom to follow the religious path of their choice."

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