America is an exceptional country because our founders wisely established a secular nation whose authority rests with "We the people," not "Thou the deity."
A July 8 article reports that Sen. Larry Grooms, R-Charleston, sent a letter signed by 50 legislators to Berkeley County School Board members, saying the board should be allowed to continue reciting the Lord's Prayer at public meetings. One board member referred to a suggested alternative moment of silence as "a moment of censorship."
There is no such censorship. Our First Amendment guarantees the right of individuals to pray to whomever whenever they please, but our government must not endorse or favor one religion over another, or religion over non-religion.
As an atheist, some people assume I must be anti-religion. Not so. By one measure, I might be the most religious person in America. You see, I have not one, not two, but three different religions: I'm a member of the American Ethical Union, with Ethical Culture Societies; I'm a member of the Society for Humanistic Judaism, with atheist rabbis; and I'm a member of the UU Humanists. All three religions are nontheistic and are active participants in the Secular Coalition for America.
Donald Trump would undoubtedly like a running mate whose views and personality are similar to his. I can't think of a better mate for him than Newt Gingrich, who at times seems Trumpier than Trump.
I was pleased when I heard last year that the President of the Boy Scouts of America, former Defense Secretary Robert Gates, called for an end to the ban on gay leaders. But my brief satisfaction turned to disappointment when I learned his reason...
In "The Last Taboo: Why America Needs Atheism," published in the New Republic in 1996, Wendy Kaminer wrote, "Atheists generate about as much sympathy as pedophiles.
I grew up hearing that it was impolite to discuss in public the three most interesting topics-politics, sex, and religion.
The Civil War started in my hometown of Charleston, South Carolina. At the time, the South called it the "War Between the Confederate States of America and the United States of America," now shortened to the "War Between the States."
Israel became America's favorite Middle East country in part because of common interests and shared democratic ideals, but I'm disturbed that Saudi Arabia is our second-favorite.
I recently wrote about the professed religious views of presidential candidates. I asked my favorite candidate, Bernie Sanders, at a public forum in South Carolina, if he would acknowledge being an atheist. Sanders, who almost always gives direct answers to questions, said, "Not gonna happen." At least he didn't lie about his religious beliefs, as many candidates do.
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