Would you support a religious state?
I live in one. It's a multi-ethnic, multi-religious country, but the Constitution makes special mention of, and commits the State to a mutually
supportive relationship with, one particular religion (this effectively means one particular ethnic group, too).
The results are, as you may imagine, hellish.
Originally posted by xpert11
Would you support the creation of an Atheist state ?
One hundred percent.
I don't mean a state for atheists only. That's as bad as any theocracy. What I mean is that every
state should be atheist in its
Not only must a 'separation of church and state' be guaranteed as in the US Constitution, but there should be strong constitional and legal
safeguards against the harm that religion does to individuals, families, institutions and society as a whole. Once we recognize religion for the
disease that it is, and recognize that its wildfire contagion spreads like any other plague, how can we not do our best to protect ourselves -- and
especially our children -- from it?
Of course, we have no wish to be oppressors. The state I am proposing would be a liberal democracy.
Those who insist on, or simply cannot hold themselves back from, indulging themselves in the disgraceful and debilitating vice of religion shall be at
liberty to do so in private at home, or at purpose-built facilities (I believe these are known as 'temples', 'churches' or 'mosques'). Even
outdoor events will be allowed in special cases provided no inconvenience and hindrance to the general public results from them.
However, the State shall at all times ensure that religious speech and expression is regulated to at least
the same degree that other forms of
indecency such as public profanity or indecent exposure (both far less harmful than religion) are restricted. Human beings have the right to free
expression, and shall continue to have it even if they misuse it to utter 'faith speech'; but even the right to free expression should not be
allowed to impinge upon the liberty and welfare of others. Since religious speech and expression are known to be socially inflammatory in addition to
being obvious and flagrant lies, it behooves us regulate them very carefully indeed.
The State shall also ensure, in particular, that children are not subjected to religious abuse, particularly by their parents. It shall be an offence
to attempt religious instruction on a child under, say, eleven years of age, to induct and involve such a child in any type of religious rite or
practice, to compel it to wear or carry religious insignia or costumes, etc.
In addition to such constitutional and legal sanctions and regulations, the State would also see it as its duty to discourage religious behaviour as
much as possible. This would be done in a number of ways.
All religious institutions would be taxed on the donations and tithes they receive. The rate would be fairly high, around 80 percent.
Tithes and donations would be tax deductible as far as the giver was concerned, but only, say, 30 cents in the dollar could be reclaimed. The rest
would be a 'sin' tax, like the excise duties on alcohol and tobacco.
Sacerdotal objects, such as as crucifixes, menorahs, statues of Guan Yin the Goddess of Infinite Compassion, Elvis relics, extra wives, etc., would be
suject to an excise duty of 500 percent. The sale of such objects to minors would be strictly prohibited.
Only religious practitioners ('priests', 'mullahs', 'lamas', etc.) licensed by the State shall be permitted to practise. Licence fees would be
stiff and testing procedures rigorous. Licences may be renewed annually following testing; fees shall again be payable. Applicants shall be put
through a battery of psychological tests to ascertain their fitness and lack of charisma (no-one with any force of personality whatever shall be
allowed near a pulpit). Rites, practices and forms of 'worship' would be carefully scrutinized to ensure that they meet the standards of the
community. Holy texts, if any, would be carefully inspected for material that contravened, or promoted the contravention of, those rights and
liberties listed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
If this seems rather close to a proposal for censorship, unbecoming a liberal such as I claim to be, remember that we are dealing here with the moral
equivalent of plutonium; the vilest, most toxic offal it has even been humanity's misfortune to produce. Worse, as we have seen, the stuff has a
half-life of thousands of years. It's poison, and should be handled with extreme care.
Public Health & Education
The social costs of religious faith have been shown, time and time again, to be both exorbitant and devastating. It is the State that must, in great
measure, meet them. Therefore it is in the interest of the State, as well as of its members, to reduce these costs as much as possible.
Thus children shall be taught, at a suitable age, the dangers of religious belief. History is largely a record of crimes of faith, and school history
curriculums should reflect this. Civics and social-studies curriculums would reinforce the lesson, contrasting the evils of reliosity with the
benefits of secularism. The intent would be to provide children with a strong, lifelong immunity against religious subornation.
In addition, public-education campaigns would be used to educate the public against the dangers of religion, as has so successfully been done for the
case against smoking. A strong effort would be made to mobilize decent atheists against irresponsible faith-heads who insist on putting others at risk
-- through campaigns showing, for example, how passive inhalation of religious doctrine can be toxic in its own right, and how secondhand prayer
stunts children's growth.
[edit on 30-7-2007 by Astyanax]