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Christianity &Politics &Rationals Johnson on 26 Feb 2009 12:26 am

A letter worth broadcasting far and wide

This letter appeared in the Boston Globe and deserves to be spread far and wide:

Enough already with ‘God bless America’

TUESDAY NIGHT, President Obama ended his speech with a familiar refrain, asking God to bless us and bless our country.

Last month, after we had watched the Inauguration, it was one of my church-going students who asked, “Why was there so much religion?” Other students asked, “Why was there a Christian prayer? What about Jews?” Finally, one 11-year-old girl, whose family is not religious, said, in response to the “God bless America” line, “I felt like somebody who’s going to be important to me left me out.”

May those who share religious belief share that gladly, in church or in private gatherings. At public events of the government that belongs to us all, let the blessings invoked be the blessings all of us can bestow: those of our own hearts and minds, our hopes and efforts, the energies Obama has proved so talented at evoking.

Our country needs the energy and thought of all our future citizens. I can’t think of one good thing that comes from drawing a circle and leaving even one of my students outside it.

Polly Brown
Hopkinton

25 Responses to “A letter worth broadcasting far and wide”

  1. on 02 Mar 2009 at 9:17 pm 1.eugene said …

    Personally, I was pretty happy to have nonbelievers called out (positively) in Obama’s inaugurations speech

  2. on 02 Mar 2009 at 9:18 pm 2.eugene said …

    THAT didn’t work as planned.

    Personally, I was pretty to have nonbelievers called out (positively) in Obama’s inauguration speech.

    Small steps. Rationality aside, we’re not being stoned to death. It’s a start.

  3. on 03 May 2009 at 12:29 am 3.Scott said …

    Here is a great lesson for the student. Tolerance

    Yes, tolerance for those who want invoke the name of God in their everyday life. You are free not invoke as you see fit. Obama is free to exercise his freedom of religion as protected by the Constitution. What ridiculous whining.

  4. on 03 May 2009 at 1:54 am 4.Gorgonzola said …

    Here is a great lesson for you. Tolerance.

    Yes, tolerance for those who do not want to invoke the name of god in their everyday life as guaranteed by the First Amendment.

    Seriously, why is it so hard to keep your superstitions to yourself? Nobody cares.(Also, most people complaining about whining are complaining themselves. Lookin’ at you Scott.)

  5. on 03 May 2009 at 10:43 am 5.Scott said …

    “Yes, tolerance for those who do not want to invoke the name of god in their everyday life as guaranteed by the First Amendment.”

    No problem, don’t invoke. The constitution protects that as well. See how tolerance works. You stay silent on the matter, Obama speaks on the matter. We accept each opinion without whining.

    “keep your superstitions to yourself?”

    Assumptions and bias. Unprovable…also freedom of speech circumvents your opinion.

    “Nobody cares.”

    Unsubstantiated, most Americans believe in God.

  6. on 03 May 2009 at 12:54 pm 6.Gorgonzola said …

    Let me make this simple for you. Replace ‘god’ with Ganesha and have Obama invoke that. You would be having problems with that.

  7. on 03 May 2009 at 1:41 pm 7.Gorgonzola said …

    “Assumptions and bias. Unprovable…also freedom of speech circumvents your opinion.”

    It’s impossible to disprove the FSM and your sentiment of having everyone acknowledge god as real violates the First Amendment. And a literal interpretation of the bible is simply wrong and a non-literal interpretation doesn’t have any foundation left to stand on.

    “Unsubstantiated, most Americans believe in God.”

    Is it a numbers game? In that case, globally, two billion people are Christian, but four billion are not. And less Americans are believing in god every year.

    Invoking does nothing anyway, so it’s pointless to do so unless you want to fragment the population further.

  8. on 03 May 2009 at 2:30 pm 8.Anony said …

    For the theists:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=llCm3gLU6tM&eurl=http%3A%2F%2Fwhywontgodhealamputees%2Ecom%2Fforums%2Findex%2Ephp%3Ftopic%3D6179%2Emsg139743%3Btopicseen&feature=player_embedded

  9. on 03 May 2009 at 2:43 pm 9.Scott said …

    Obama could invoke FSM for all I care. If I didn’t believe then I would simply ignore it. He has freedom of religion. Deal with it and stop being a whining bigot.

    Also stop changing the subject about the if Bible is true or not. This is an issue of freedom of religion. You lose and your bigotry is clear.

  10. on 03 May 2009 at 2:45 pm 10.Scott said …

    Oh, forgot one. You claim nobody cares so you started the numbers game. If you don’t want to play it, don’t use the card.

  11. on 03 May 2009 at 3:42 pm 11.Gouda said …

    “Unsubstantiated, most Americans believe in God.”
    This is where you played the game by attempting to appeal to ad populum. And apparently, you don’t want to play now because you lost.

    Why the hell does Obama need to invoke anything? It’s absolutely pointless and shows his intolerance for other beliefs! If he wants to invoke biblegod, he can do it in his private study.

    It’s simply highly inappropriate, scott, because Obama represents the nation and this is not a christian nation.

    “Assumptions and bias. Unprovable…”
    Uh, not changing the subject, yes?

    Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn.

  12. on 03 May 2009 at 4:23 pm 12.Scott said …

    “Why the hell does Obama need to invoke anything? It’s absolutely pointless and shows his intolerance for other beliefs!”

    Because it his right? And yes, you do show intolerance for other beliefs. I haven’t heard Obama trying to shut up other religions.

    “It’s simply highly inappropriate, scott, because Obama represents the nation and this is not a christian nation.”

    Correct, a nation that practices freedom of religion. Follow his lead and practice as you wish. Its not an atheist nation either. Check out the DI.

    You lose and freedom of religion wins. Go and be free and happy and stop your bitterness toward those who don’t believe like you. If you didn’t give a damn you wouldn’t make such an issue.

    Apparently there are some who DO care Gouda.

  13. on 03 May 2009 at 6:39 pm 13.Bleu said …

    This nation is secular. As in, no religion in the government. It’s that simple.

    Invoking god on behalf of the nation is suggesting that we are a christian nation and excludes other faiths and non-faith.

  14. on 03 May 2009 at 6:43 pm 14.Bleu said …

    Inserting random movie quotes into random posts makes win.

  15. on 03 May 2009 at 9:13 pm 15.Steve said …

    Scott, stop being intolerant of non-Christians.

  16. on 03 May 2009 at 11:18 pm 16.Scott said …

    “This nation is secular. As in, no religion in the government.”

    You are wrong as well. You need to read the DI as well. The constitution states that government will not establish a religion. He did not. If you really believe you have a case (yeah sure), you should take it to court. Claim you have been emotionally damaged or some other silly ailment.

    He asked God to bless which is his right as has MANY a president. Once again, freedom of religion. You lose as well. You guys just making up rules is absolutely comical.

  17. on 03 May 2009 at 11:41 pm 17.Anonymous said …

    I would love to see Obama suddenly convert to Islam, to see how tolerant people like Scott really are.

  18. on 04 May 2009 at 12:15 am 18.Cheddar. said …

    I would too.

  19. on 04 May 2009 at 12:47 am 19.Scott said …

    But he’s already a Moslem!

  20. on 04 May 2009 at 1:14 am 20.Mozzarella said …

    Not to mention what would happen if he revealed that he was actually an atheist. Zealots would scream for impeachment. Scott would probably scream the loudest.

  21. on 04 May 2009 at 9:31 am 21.BHO said …

    I am not a uh uh uh Muslim, I would uh not ever uh embrace a er uh faith that uh er um would uh embraces um the terrorism or the use of er um um torture.

  22. on 04 May 2009 at 12:21 pm 22.Lou said …

    Scott,

    You found out just how tolerant the tolerant really are (LOL). When the argument resorts to “well, I’d like see just how tolerant he is IF (insert scenario) you know you have made the point.

    Let get my movie quote it just to make it legitimate.

    “You’ve just won your case.”

  23. on 04 May 2009 at 12:46 pm 23.Gern Blansten said …

    Let me get my movie line in:

    “You’re a scumbag.”

    Oh, wait. That’s not a movie line.

  24. on 04 May 2009 at 1:49 pm 24.Scott said …

    The case was won 200 years ago Lou. Unfortunately we must protect ourselves from the Turks scaling the walls who desire to rewrite the laws. I prefer the movie line “Case Dismissed”

  25. on 04 May 2009 at 2:21 pm 25.Scott said …

    I really don’t know what I’m talking about. I’m fine as long as I don’t admit Obama has no business speaking for this nation and saying we’re all christians. Which is just wrong.

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