Trump World Grab-Bag--A Collection

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Rick Santorum Does Not Understand that Words Mean Things

I held this particular gem in blogular reserve, because the sense of what my former senator was saying was rare and illogical to the kind of degree that that one needs time and sensitivity to broach.

But here is the thesis:

During the discussion, Santorum said that Christians have allowed their faith to be removed from the public square and need to start fighting back, arguing that removing the Bible from public school classrooms is not neutrality but rather the promotion of the secular worldview. He suggested that conservative Christians should respond by "calling secularism a religion because if we did, then we could ban that too."

Now, some people of faith are altogether comfortable enough calling us atheists and agnostics religious: we're accused of being pagans, of being Satan-worshippers--this isn't new. But the actual, basic definition of secularism is the separation of religion from government business. Just because some confused people decided to call secularism a religion, would not make it a religion. There is no particular way that secularism imposes other religions upon people of any particular faith. It only happens that attending public schools might make a child reared in a certain faith aware that people of other faiths exist--and living on our planet would eventually reveal that special information.

Secularism is kind of a protection against religious discrimination in that no particular faith is imposed--or critiqued. I've often wondered what a genuine course of study of the Christian Bible--a no holds barred study, might accomplish--but it would genuinely provide a distraction from the reading, writing, and 'rithmetic curriculum that any student might find more useful in the long run, so I've never thought it to be a curricular necessity as, oh, critical thinking might be.

Certain religionists, however, explicitly reject even the value of critical thinking. I find that appalling. If our capacity to act as moral creatures relies in part on our ability to reason--how is deriding reasoning in any way a valid start to a moral education?

I'm not shocked in any way that possible 2016 GOP Presidential Candidate Rick Santorum thinks this way--he has for a long time been skeptical of the value of education and practically equates information with sin. I'm not even not clued-in that numerous other Bible-bangers are trying to rewrite history to make things appear more amenable to a moral narrative that never previously existed.

I suspect that might be considered "bearing false witness", but I am not pretending to be expert in such things. I'm just being critical--as any secularist might well be.

1 comment:

Yastreblyansky said...

I was trying to imagine an atheist invocation that could be imposed on a school classroom. (There's Hemingway of course in "A Clean Well-Lighted Place", "Our nada who art in nada...")

Or a biology teacher insisting that the concept of god is incompatible with the evidence and putting it on the exam. Whatever, I'd hope policy would exclude it just as much as it excludes Christian prayer and creationism, even though I agree with the sentiment.

It's important to note that plenty of religious people accept secularism. Americans United for Separation of Church and State is run by a UCC minister. It's just reactionaries like Santorum and ISIS that reject it.