Counter-culture Journals (文革)

Counter-culture Journals (文革)

Saturday, September 17, 2005

The courts are beginning to protect non-believers

According to
"SAN FRANCISCO, California (AP) – A federal judge declared Wednesday that the reciting of the Pledge of Allegiance in public schools is unconstitutional, a decision that could potentially put the divisive issue back before the U.S. Supreme Court. The case was brought by the same atheist whose previous battle against the words “under God” was rejected last year by the Supreme Court on procedural grounds. U.S. District Judge Lawrence Karlton ruled that the pledge’s reference to one nation “under God” violates school children’s right to be “free from a coercive requirement to affirm God.” Karlton said he was bound by precedent of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which in 2002 ruled in favor of Sacramento atheist Michael Newdow that the pledge is unconstitutional when recited in public schools. The Supreme Court dismissed the case last year, saying Newdow lacked standing because he did not have custody of his elementary school daughter he sued on behalf of. Newdow, an attorney and a medical doctor, filed an identical case on behalf of three unnamed parents and their children. Karlton said those families have the right to sue.
“Imagine every morning if the teachers had the children stand up, place their hands over their hearts, and say, ‘We are one nation that denies God exists,”’ Newdow said in an interview with AP Radio after the ruling. “I think that everybody would not be sitting here saying, ‘Oh, what harm is that.’ They’d be furious. And that’s exactly what goes on against atheists. And it shouldn’t.”

History is full of people who have rejected religious belief in certain religious ideals.
As the Roman writer Titus Lucretius Carus said, about 2,000 years ago:
“One thing I fear now is that you may think
There’s something impious in philosophy
And that you are entering on a path of sin.
Not so. More often has religion itself
Given birth to deeds both impious and criminal:”[1]
And he recounts a story of a human sacrifice:
“At the very age of wedlock, sorrowing,
She should be slaughtered by a father’s blade,
So that a fleet might gain a favoring wind.”[2]

[1] T. Lucretius Carus, On the Nature of the Universe, translated by Ronald Melville, (Oxford University Press, 1997) p. 5.
[2] Lucretius, p. 6.

In more recent times we have rock musicians who have challenged the status of religion.
One such group is Christian Death.
To learn about the rock group Christian Death click here.


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