By Jeffrey the Barak
In the tale, The Emperor’s New Clothes by Hans Christian Anderson, first published in 1837, the hero of the story is the little boy who screams “He’s naked”. In his innocence and honesty, he sees the truth.
This little boy is sorely needed today. Today we have organizations convincing people of untruths. Terrorists kill because they believe at that moment that it is the right path. And intelligence and reason are constantly suppressed by the world’s religions. Millions believe in the imaginary, and are seemingly quite oblivious of the beauty of truth, reason and intelligence.
And even our great President, arguably the most intelligent we’ve had, right about most things, has endorsed the organization named The Fellowship Foundation, also known as “The Family,” who’s goal it seems is to ignore separation of “Church and State”. When religion and politics kill or oppress millions every day, why do we invite a “National Prayer Breakfast” to occur in Washington and show such disregard for the letter and spirit of our First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States?
Praying should have no place in our government. Religion and God do not belong there. In fact that’s the law of our nation. When omnipotent imaginary characters are invoked (God, son of God, the Devil, Angels etc.,) and these organizations of hate, intolerance and discrimination are given credibility and respect by our leaders, then the dream of fairness for all recedes ever further into the future. Minorities will be victimized, and the tricksters and megalomaniacs of the religion business will continue to amass wealth and power over the weak and gullible.
Today, the modern American fundamentalist Christians are as scary and dangerous as the radical Islamists that our armed forces are sacrificing themselves to protect us from. They may not attack in a deadly fashion with explosives, but they apply pressure en masse and bully the more reasonable people who share residence in their strongholds. If you imagine it is safe for a mixed-race couple or a same-sex couple to go, for example, into a Southern restaurant and hold hands, then you don’t realize how dangerous the American Christians are. The good people of the South are being taught intolerance, dressed up in a cloak called “Family Values”. And of course the most obvious victims are the Americans who were born gay, but it does not end with them.
By legitimizing American religion in the American government we are sowing the seeds for an internal culture war, and reinforcing narrow-mindedness and hatred. Those who do not comply with the predominant philosophy will be the victims.
Human beings, ordinary men and women, are using the God myth to control people for their evil ends, and they have succeeded, because belief in God is legitimized and made to seem correct and normal. If you dare to interrupt a prayer at the start of a sporting event, you are being “disrespectful”, but why is the inclusion of a prayer, when religious affiliation is not required of a person attending, not also disrespectful? After all, we non-believers have the law and the Constitution on our side, don’t we?
Personally I feel disappointment when I see my President endorsing an organization such as The Family. But I put my feeling aside and continue to support him as the least unreasonable man in Washington. Perhaps the outcry should not be directed at the President himself, but we need that innocent and honest little boy from The Emperor’s New Clothes to jump up and shout out the truth, and stop the crazy train before anyone else gets victimized.
Jeffrey the Barak is a non-believer, and is proud to live in a free country, with a reasonable constitution.