Essays

Warning
Another Warning
Statement of Principle
Atheists Among Us
Mutual Respect
Coming Out
Atheism 101
Assertive Atheism
Ten Commandments
Atheist in America
Christian Nation
The Other Christian God
God Endorses Cloning
Everyone Is An Atheist
Evolution
Faithcraft
Full Realization Atheism
Jesus Was A Horse Thief
Jesus Was A Human
Public Prayer
Size Counts
Islam
A Secular Pledge
Judgment Cometh
The Slocum Tirade
Pascal's Wager
Dover Decision Abbreviated
The Brilliance of Jefferson
The Brilliance of Madison
Barker Tears A New One
Gastrich Responds

Affirmations of Humanism
Frequently Asked
Glossary

Statement of Principles


Disestablishment
Herman Krieger

I do not believe in "god." I am an American and that is my right.
It should be obvious to any adult with a working brain that gods - all gods - are obvious mythology, invented by ignorant and superstitious men in a time before the dawn of knowledge.

Almost everyone I know still claims to believe in "god".
However, most retain only a vague deism - satisfying the de facto minimum requirement - and could not really be called religious. Most of them are just nice folks who don't think or talk about religion very much, let alone try to shove it down anyone's throat. Essentially, they are functional atheists. I do not begrudge them their vestigial beliefs - it is understandable how they got 'em and why they still have 'em. I think they represent the majority who would never cause anyone pain over privately held beliefs. Mostly it never comes up because, in the common, secular affairs of regular folks, religion is not only inappropriate, it is unwelcome, and it is an entirely unnecessary source of friction and ill will. Things just run smoother without having to constantly accommodate some believer's prayer ritual. Few people really enjoy or appreciate public proselytizing.

Privately held beliefs of individuals are of no consequence to me.
However, true to form, the worst elements of organized superstition continually try to impose their religion in inappropriate venues; they continually try to supplant the science of biological evolution with the ridiculous biblical creationism fairy tale; they continually attempt to insinuate ritual prayer into public secular events despite legal prohibitions; they insist that this is a "xian nation" and strive in many ways towards theocracy; they even insist that non-believers should not even be considered as citizens; they insist that biblical commandments be posted in secular courts of law and in government buildings; they insist that women should be servile spouses and captive breeders. I could go on, but let it suffice to say that somewhere in there their beliefs ceased to be privately held opinion and became of some concern to everyone.

I strongly support the Constitution of the United States.
The Constitution does not, in any way, endorse theocracy. The Constitution is a firewall against theocracy.
I think the Constitution is the most important document ever created by Humans. And I think the Establishment Clause of the first Amendment is the smartest thing the Founding Fathers wrote into that document. Everyone is free to believe any dumbass thing that they want as long as they agree not to force it upon others. In return, they enjoy protection from the government and from any other religions overpowering them. What could possibly be fairer than that? Throw in a completely free ride on our tax dollars and an utter lack of courage by anyone in government to reign in their brazen charlatanry and their flagrantly illegal political entanglements and It is WAY beyond fair. However, given the violent and privileged past of established religion, and the golden days when they controlled power and wealth, fair is a serious demotion for them. And they don't like it. Given that past, religion is poorly served by the Constitution's prohibition against Establishment. It doesn't appear to me that they consider the matter settled.

I consider religion to be a cancer on humanity.
It is a malignancy that not only causes great harm, but acts to defeat the possibility of rational solutions. It is the antithesis of reason and acts as a catalyst which brings out the worst in humans. It serves as a framework which allows, even sanctions, horrible abuses of fellow humans. While posing falsely as the source of all morality, religion provides justifications for murder, mayhem, hatred and intolerance. While posing falsely as the source of life, love and compassion, religion diminishes human worth and promotes the imagined desires and proclamations of clearly mythological beings above the welfare of fellow humans, rendering any rational and coherent morality impossible.

Religion is always Opt In, never Opt Out
Religion is widely and erroneously regarded as the default position for humans. It is tacitly assumed that any variation from that position is a form of rebellion against authority and is treated with intolerance and derision. But the fact is that we are all born without those beliefs only to have them brainwashed into us at an early age when we are defenseless against such abuse. Beyond that, we are confronted with an astounding array of religious insanity, all of it irrational, contradictory, exclusionary, frequently corrupt and violent, and always destructive to knowledge and harmful to human dignity and freedom. Fortunately, for Americans, our Founders made religion entirely optional. The Constitution is a secular framework for the administration of government regardless of religion. Religious requirements are prohibited by our Constitution and the government. Any notion that religious belief deserves special treatment or gets special rights is counter to the letter and the spirit of the Constitution and contrary to basic human decency.

Religion is both the result of, and a large contributor to, a dark and violent history.
The reason that xianity holds so much sway over all our lives is simple: for the greater part of the last 2000 years it has been highly lethal to be in disagreement with the xian cult. If I had a blank check to oppress, kill, and torture anyone I wanted, I'll bet I could get grown men to tearfully expound at length about their undying love for the fucking tooth fairy. Take a continent full of miserable, illiterate, ignorant and superstitious peasants, living in the worst kind of squalor, hopelessness, and despair, living in constant fear of painful death, and completely unacquainted with joy for a couple of thousand years, and you have a lot of people for whom the concepts of a "savior " and "heaven" might hold a certain amount of attraction. Ignorance and superstition, along with fear and oppression, are the fertile ground in which religion flourishes. They are also religion's legacy. That and a shitload of dead people.