Question from Willard:
I grew up in Iowa until a freshman in high school when we moved to Fayette, Mo.in 1956 where the school was integrated. In 1955 there were no separate water fountains or restroons marked white and colored, but everything else was Jim Crowed where blacks were not allowed to use the big city park with baseball,tennis,swimming pool, sat in the balcony at the theater, not allowed to eat in the restaurants, pool hall, not one decent job in the town of 2500. It was a college town also.
My observation as a lifetime athest activist, a history major and long time political activist is why doesn’t the atheist movement ever refer to the Christian claim of being moral by pointing out specifically the history of vicious racism and slavery? Extremely undemocratic in the extreme. On top of that they are serial law breakers. Again in the extreme. I do not see any punishment when they break the law. Oh yes FFRF and others sue but threaten to sue and once in a while win some damages suits. Seems like a soft glove approach and we lose when we do not use the tactic that would also help to educate.
There is not just propaganda value for “our” side but educational value that they are breaking the law and say so. Especially in the South their history of “morality” has been criminal in highly unfair treatment of all “nonwhites” with injustice rather than justice.
Answer by SmartLX:
Some outspoken atheists regularly refer to the religious rationales people have applied to institutionalised racism and slavery in recent history. The problem is that modern Christians are free to denounce whatever theology contradicts theirs, and claim that the perpetrators of these evils were “not true Christians”. Exposure to Christianity’s dark past leads people to distance themselves from previous Christians more often than Christianity itself.
You raise a good legal question: is there actually a prescribed punishment for violating church-state separation, besides being ordered to stop? If a list of the Ten Commandments or a crucifix is removed from a classroom or a courthouse, what damages are due for the time it spent there? I doubt I’d know that even if I were an American. Where it crosses the line into serious criminal conduct, such as electoral fraud or physical violence, it is usually well-concealed. If you’ve got some examples of specific activities that could be targeted for lawsuits and arrests, I’d love to hear them.
Question from Willard: