Why we need to reject the Istook Religious Freedom Amendment
There simply is no reason to amend
the Constitution to provide religion with any more protection than it already
has. It is fairly easy for an individual to start up a church if he feels the
need for one.
In spite of the misinformation spread by the Theocratic Right, school kids are
allowed to pray in school. They may conduct prayer and bible study groups, carry
bibles, and wear religious jewelry and t-shirts. Their only limitation is that
they may not force their views on others. Religion can be discussed in public
school classrooms, as long as the information is presented objectively.
The separation of state and church has allowed Americans to live in relative
peace and harmony for over 200 years. In many places around the world, diversity
leads to armed conflict. In America, our diversity has proven to be an
enormous asset both socially and economically. We need to retain laws that protect
religious minorities from the tyranny of the majority.
The Religious Freedom Amendment would nullify the First Amendment:
The RFA would end the protection
of religious minorities. It would allow any one group to overwhelm all others
by sheer numbers. As it is, the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment
protects you from having your kids brainwashed into Christianity at school.
The RFA would allow schools to give religious groups free reign in interfering
with the educational process. For example:
are real. Many of them were resolved because the First Amendment was invoked.
If the Religious Freedom Amendment passes, all of this and more will change.
Without the First Amendment, the majority religion will be unstoppable.The Religious
Freedom Amendment will allow churches and individuals to establish a de facto
Christian theocracy. In theory, this amendment would seem to support any religion.
In practice, it will be evangelical Christianity. Religious schools would be
eligible to receive tax money, without having to meet state requirements for
teacher certification, class sizes and nondiscrimination.
The Santa Claus effect:
- An assembly
is called in which the students hear misleading information about condoms.
They are told that condoms cannot stop the AIDS virus because the holes in
the latex are too big. Then they are told that sex is bad.
- A guest
speaker is asked to visit a suburban high school honors biology class. The
guest speaker is a creationist, and he intends on speaking out against some
of the most important findings in modern science.
- A group
of students is allowed to use the school PA to say prayers during morning
announcements. The prayers are exclusively Christian.
- A student
bible club is allowed to cover the office window with their religious t-shirts.
The effect is to give Christianity an official look.
- A science
teacher tells her students that a soul exists, and that it lives on beyond
the death of an individual.
- A pregnant
teenager considers an abortion. A group of Christian teachers take her
into a small room and pressure her at length to turn to their god.
- A guest
speaker tells a group of kids that abortions are bad, and cause physical damage
to 25% of women having them.
- A science
teacher refuses to teach evolution because it conflicts with her personal
- A teacher
applying for a job is asked about his religion.
I have heard it said by other atheists that allowing the RFA to become law would
make the god concept legitimate. The reasoning is based on the movie
Miracle on 34th Street. Santa Claus was considered real because the
US Post office delivered letters to him, and the Post Office wouldnt lie
about his existence now would they? If this seems like a stretch, think about
the number of times religionists have told you that America must be a Christian
country because it says In God We Trust on our money.Browse all articles.
From the officers:
The ACA Lecture Series continues Sunday, March 8th at 12:15pm at the Austin History Center, 9th and Guadalupe. The building opens at noon. Ryan Bell will talk on "My Year Without God: Now a Permanent Condition."