The official blog of University of Missouri Skeptics, Atheists, Secular Humanists, & Agnostics
During the Boston Marathon, everyone in our city cheers for each other. We help each other across the finish line. When terror struck, we acted as a family. Throughout the chaos, courageous people ran toward danger to help strangers in need.
Now we cry together. We pray together. We help each other.
No one can replace what we’ve lost here in Boston. But today, and in the weeks and months ahead, we’ll get through it together — through sorrow and anger, rehabilitation and recovery. That’s what families do.
Where do you think this excerpt came from? It sounds like part of an editorial, or maybe a church-sponsored ad, right? Not quite. This is part of a message I received this evening from the barackobama.com email server, promoting the rather honorable cause of donating to The One Fund Boston.
Now that’s all well and good, but it got me thinking.
We pray together.
Do we? Is this phrase really appropriate to include in an email to people who signed up to be part of a political campaign? But this kind of attitude toward our *wink wink nudge nudge* “secular” government is quite prevalent. A speech from a politician without “God bless America” at the end is often criticized for being unpatriotic.
At this point it may sound like I’ve just got my atheist panties in a twist over something so small, but hear me out. These examples are part of the overall American mindset toward religion, and it’s overwhelming; from the general assumption that someone is Christian until you find out otherwise, to the defense of churches’ tax-exempt status despite activities that disqualify them, the bias toward religion can be found in just about every corner of the country.
To truly have our separation of church and state, and even to simply be a place of equality, we have to stop looking at everything with Jesus-tinted glasses. Take God out of the schools, the government, the politics, and especially my damn emails. Put him back in the churches where he belongs, and let’s work on ways to actually make progress without falling into the rut of religion.