I've just begun reading Freethinkers
by Susan Jacoby.
It's a facinating and well written book (so far) about
the history and tradition of secularism in the United
States, dating back to before the founding of our
Throughout our history, there have been ebbs and flows
of secularism and religious revival, and we are
certainly in one of the latter right now. It is by
chance (or maybe not) that we were in a secular phase
when we decided the Constitution would be founded on
"We the People" and not some appeal to God, as was
traditional at that time (see "the devine right of
kings"). Today, polls show roughly half of Americans
say they would not vote for a Presidential candidate
who was an avowed atheist.
As a non-believer, this makes me very, very afraid.
Render unto Caesar what is Caesar's and to God what is
God's. Government is about creating a civil society
through the consent of the governed. When people begin
believing government should be controlled by something
other than the consent of the governed (which is
different from and more than the rule of the
majority), then we are walking down a slippery slope
away from a civil society.