Category Archives: Religion

The God Wars

Ads proclaiming, “Why believe in a god?  Just be good for goodness’ sake” will appear on Washington D.C., buses starting this week and running through December.  The American Humanist Association recently announced the controversial $40,000 holiday campaign.

Fred Edwords, spokesman for the humanist group told the Associated Press: “Our reason for doing it during the holidays is there are an awful lot of agnostics, atheists and other types of non-theists who feel a little alone during the holidays because of its association with traditional religion.”

No matter what side of the Christmas and God wars you may be on, that is one lame excuse for challenging the majority of people in the United States who are “believers” (92% according a poll by the Pew Research Center).

 I am Jewish and have never felt “alone” because the end-of-the-year holiday event of the country was “Christian”; Christmas is a lovely spectacle no matter what your beliefs, and for those who are seriously Christian, it is additionally a sacred time.

Last month, the British Humanist Association upped the ante with their bus sign campaign, which said:  “There’s probably no God.  Now stop worrying and enjoy your life.”  At least the American version still holds to the idea of doing good, while the British version is like letting kids go wild in a candy store claiming there are no such things as cavities or obesity.
    
American Family Association president, Tim Wildmon, calls the American Humanist’s ad, “…stupid.  How do we define ‘good’ if we don’t believe in God?  God in his word, the Bible, tells us what’s good and bad and right and wrong.  If we are each ourselves defining what’s good, it’s going to be a crazy world.”

Don Feder, editor of the “Boycott The New York Times” website, demanded equal space in the New York Times for the display of religious symbols as he perceives the paper to have a “relentless drive to secularize society.”

Feder writes: “The New York Times gives the game away when it insists that public property ‘must be open to all religions on an equal basis – or open to none at all.’  In other words, a town that chooses to display the Ten Commandments – which are sacred to 90% of the American people and an integral part of our nation’s heritage – has to give equal space to every other faith and New Age sect that’s out there.  In reality, the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment was intended to prohibit a state church, like the Church of England.
 
“If the Founders thought giving one religion preference was odious, why was Congress’s first official act to hire a Christian chaplain?  And why did the first Congress appropriate sums of money for Christian missionaries to the Indian tribes?  What about ‘In God We Trust’ on our currency and ‘One Nation under God’ in the Pledge of Allegiance – which clearly give preference to Judeo- Christian tradition over Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam and Summunism?”

To read more from Don Feder’s point of view: www.boycottnyt.com and www.aim.org.

Bill Maher’s “Religulous”

Newark, New Jersey’s Roman Catholic archbishop, John Myers,  is upset that part of Bill Maher’s movie, Religulous (a combination of the words “religion” and “ridiculous”), was filmed at a Bergen County parish under false pretenses.  Maher told the parish’s Very Reverend Charles Grandstrand that he wanted to film his Jewish mother there, because the church was such a big part of her life.  His father was a Catholic.  Maher told the parish folks that the movie he was making would be called A Spiritual Journey.

Recently, during his appearance on Larry King’s CNN program to promote his activities, Maher said: “This is funny.  Religion accusing me of deception.   Religion, the greatest scam in the history of the world…selling the invisible product for thousands of years, accusing us of deception?  [he laughs]  We don’t lie to people.   What we didn’t tell people [i.e., when he was producing the movie] was that it was me doing the interview.  They didn’t ask, and we didn’t feel an obligation to tell them.”

This is such hypocrisy that I can hardly type.  Hypocrisy, for those who use it as a daily epithet towards somebody whose point of view they simply don’t like, is a behavior of espousing and living in counterpoint.  He accuses religious folks of lying about the divine and about faith, while he lies to people to use and embarrass them.  And this, my friends, gets you a television show, after losing another one for calling the September 11 terrorists braver than Americans.