Returns Amidst Fervor
Hello. Could you lend some advice please?
I work for the State of Florida, at the Department of Labor. Since this terrorism in NYC and DC, we have been flooded with e-mails from the Secretary of Labor and various associates, ending their e-mails with stuff like "God Keep us All" and "God Bless Us" and the ever popular "God Bless America."
Now several months ago, we got an order to remove all tag-lines and signatures from e-mail as it could offend people and so forth. I did so.
You know, now they make me feel like a crank for complaining, but I don't want to hear about God at work.
I think, right now, we need science, not God. We need science that created the saws and cranes and torches that are going to save people. Not God.
I also think that if I was, say, a Satanist, they would come down hard on me if I ended my e-mails with, "Hail Almighty Satan! 666 Forever!"
I'm not a Satanist, though, I'm an atheist. And even if I was, I wouldn't do something to make other people feel uncomfortable.
Is this a Civil Rights issue? Can I go to the civil rights office at work and file a complaint? What about retribution? This place drips politics and backstabbing, and cronyism and favoritism.
Do you have any advice?
Hail Satan! (Just kidding).
From: "Positive Atheism" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To: "William Sherman"
Subject: Re: My boss is a theist ...
Date: September 13, 2001 7:21 PM
Who issued the order to end the tag-lines? I would start there.
Then, it's time to step out and commit the ultimate crime of criticizing religion in the face of this tragedy. It's time to point out that religion is what caused this to happen (religion combined with nationalism whipped up into a frenzy that can only be compared to religious fervor), religion is being used to justify it, and religion is fermenting the feelings of revenge that can only escalate this thing into global conflict.
I will start by pointing out that I do not see the connection between this incident and that god-talk which I have thus far heard in response. We are being asked to pray to a god who, from all appearances, was asleep at the wheel on Tuesday. It makes much more sense (that it, it makes me feel much more "complete"), to simply assume that no such thing as God exists.
Yes, this is risky, but I am suggesting that we at least popularize the question regarding the connection between the god-talk and what has really happened. I am also recommending that we point out to our immediate associates that religion is what started this whole thing and religion is what could easily escalate it into a problem that will eventually dwarf what happened on Tuesday into insignificance. That is what religious fervor does, especially when mixed with nationalism that has been whipped up into a frenzy of religious proportions.
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