Atheists Erect Billboard In Oklahoma City, Critic Says It’s ‘Like They’re Poking A Finger In Your Eye’
The billboard is no different from any billboard inviting someone to visit a church. To protest this and not the other is to declare yourself opposed to true freedom of religion.
What concerns me most is the relentless march toward theocracy. Theocracy is based on blind faith in religious dogma. Democracy is based on reasoned policy and informed consent. The two are incompatible at best, and antithetical at worst.
The question becomes: Do we fight for government of the people, by the people, for the people – or do we submit to the religious doctrines of fundamentalist Christians?
This billboard is a signal that those of us who believe in true freedom of religion – freedom for all – are not prepared to go quietly into the night and render up one of the greatest ideals of the “Great Experiment” that is the United States to the whims of Christian fundamentalism – knowing that doing so would signal the end of the “last, best hope of Earth.”
“The kings of the Gentiles exercise leadership over them,” said our Saviour to his disciples, “but ye shall not be so.” The business of true religion is quite another thing. It is not instituted in order to the erecting of an external pomp, nor to the obtaining of ecclesiastical dominion, nor to the exercising of compulsive force, but to the regulating of men’s lives, according to the rules of virtue and piety.
John Locke, A Letter Concerning Toleration.
- Atheist Activists’ Biggest Billboard Campaign Targets Atlanta (businessweek.com)
Contrary to impassioned theocratic urban legend, the country was NOT founded on belief in a God. It was founded on the belief in the people to govern themselves through a government that derives it’s authority THROUGH THE CONSENT OF THE GOVERNED.
The political philosophy of the Declaration was not new; its ideals of individual liberty had already been expressed by John Locke and the Continental philosophers. What Jefferson did was to summarize this philosophy in “self-evident truths”
Religious zealots like to quote the Declaration of Independence: “they are endowed by their Creator” but they take it out of context in pursuit of their own agenda.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,
The Declaration of Independence
Instituted among Men (not the church), deriving their powers from the consent of the governed (not God). Continue reading