Of The Many, One
Mr. PC

After some side discussions about e-list etiquette and the like, Mr. PC returns to the subject at hand. I feel it is appropriate to start afresh, so I created a new file for what I now consider to be a new dialogue. At least it is on new footing.
     -- Cliff Walker, September 15, 2001 12:48 AM (PDT)

Graphic Rule

From: "Positive Atheism Magazine" <editor@positiveatheism.org>
To: "Mr. PC"
Subject: Re: There are those who would willingly ally themselves with known International Terrorists!
Date: September 15, 2001 7:22 AM

Some us who love the United States of America so much that we would denounce even a President who would violate her most precious laws. We are the Patriots who are today being called divisive -- rather than the President, who is violating those laws. In addition, he is creating a two-tier society by turning this into a nation of, by, and for Christians, where the rest of us are daily reminded to stay in our place.

All day long I fielded letters from atheists and others who felt exploited by President Bush's posturing on this National Day of Prayer, which should have been simply a National Day of Remembrance so that all of us could join in and still consider ourselves to be honest people and patriotic citizens.

What do you suggest? that I abandon my love for the United States Constitution -- for the sake of unity? that I start to describe things to be true that I know are not true -- for the sake of unity?

No. If America becomes that, I would not find her worth defending -- not against the Arabs and not against George Bush. The America I find worth defending is the America that was set up by the Founding Fathers to be free of religious alliances, the America that inspired Thomas Jefferson to refuse to proclaim a National Day of Prayer because, he said, "Every religious society has a right to determine for itself the times for these exercises, & the objects proper for them, according to their own particular tenets; and this right can never be safer than in their own hands, where the constitution has deposited it." This is the America that I love and this is why I love her. And this is why I will defend her even against George Bush.

Cliff Walker
Positive Atheism Magazine
Six years of service to
     people with no reason to believe

Graphic Rule
Added: September 16, 2001

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From: "Positive Atheism" <editor@positiveatheism.org>
To: "Mr. PC"
Subject: Re: There are those who would willingly ally themselves with known International Terrorists!
Date: September 15, 2001 9:33 AM

Yes, but I was not allowed to participate in the "service" because it was ecumenical. Were I an ex-President, I would have had to compromise my very religious values in order to participate. Why did they hold a service that left out between ten and twenty percent of the population? Why did my government violate the Constitution by establishing religion today? establishing religion over nonreligion. It would have been just as easy to allow people to pray in the privacy of their own congregations.

Even many Christians were left out, Christians who take seriously the stern command of Jesus not to pray in the streets or before men, but to pray from the heart and in private. When I was a Christian, I belonged to a sect that was very adamant about that: we prayed in private, not in public. We included the meetings of our congregation in our definition of privacy, but did not, for example, pray at the table when our guests were not Christian or had differing views about the Christian faith. Many of us also forfeited our tax deduction because to keep track of our tithe would have meant disclosing our gift-giving.

What is so wrong with what Thomas Jefferson said? What is so wrong with what Thomas Jefferson did? Why was it so important to him that the times and ways of religious ritual, such as prayer, be deposited into the hands of the sects, and not dictated by the government?

Cliff Walker
Positive Atheism Magazine
Six years of service to
     people with no reason to believe

Graphic Rule

Graphic Rule

From: "Positive Atheism" <editor@positiveatheism.org>
To: "Mr. PC"
Subject: Re: There are those who would willingly ally themselves with known International Terrorists!
Date: September 15, 2001 9:32 AM

Both George W's violated the First Amendment because both George W's ordered a National Day of Prayer. Thomas Jefferson shunned this practice, as have several others. Jimmy Carter did not do it. If I remember correctly, John F. Kennedy did not do it either. Neither has Jesse Ventura been willing to go along with such traditions as National Bible Week or National Day of Prayer. To do so is to tell the citizens to practice religion, and this is not only morally wrong, it is against the law. To do so is to imply that religion is superior to no religion, and this is unfair to those of us who have either discovered human reason to be superior to revelation or have discovered religion to be (potentially) a great evil -- especially when established by government.

Cliff Walker
Positive Atheism Magazine
Six years of service to
     people with no reason to believe

Graphic Rule

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