Logic and The Separation of Church and State
it doesn't seem to add my description:
As an Atheist, I find it upsetting that all of a sudden we have people complaining about "church and state" for things that have, really, nothing to do with the First Amendment's protection of religious freedom and prohibition of any state religion.
Many Secularists would argue that separation of church and state would mean that even people who work in the public sector can not practice their beliefs if they are visible rituals (wearing a cross or a burka) and some even like to argue about "prayer in school", for instance, if a child does the sign of the cross, many secularists would think that that child could be disciplined. If a child says "god bless you", some will say that even THAT must be banned. But that is a smaller issue, because teachers, workers for the public sector, are being argued, by secularists, that they shouldn't even be allowed to wear a cross, say god bless you, or put up a poster that says "in god we trust".
Now, I've argued against most aspects of the Public Sector in general, but I feel that just makes me a cop-out in this whole thing in general. After all, the public school system and many other institutions of the government are there to stay for a while, and while they are there, issues of "separation of church and state" are going to continue.
So how have I decided to look at it? Well, the logicstics of the Secularists. For those of you who know me, I'm a very rigid logic type person. I became Atheist because it merely made no sense. There was no emotion involved (why do bad things happen, religion is evil, etc), it was merely out of me realizing that just because someone tells me something over and over again doesn't necessarily make it true. This is why I've become quite into individualism and such, but that's not even the issue right now.
Separation of Church and State entitles that the government can not impose a state religion. As well, it can not prohibit any practice of religion.
Now, Secularists would argue that Atheism is not a religion, so it's okay to force everyone to seem Atheist if they work for the public sector. That, unfortunately, is their first logical doodoo stepping. If Atheism (as they umbrella it, secularism) is not a religion, legally, we could assume that it's okay for the government to prohibit Atheist practice, as well. This would mean that every worker in the public sector would HAVE to display something religious. Of course, that just leads to a conundrum. So even though I personally believe that Atheism is not a religion, it would make logical sense to say that in regard to the First Amendment, Atheism is a legal religion.
A similar argument is that Secularism is NOT Atheism, but just absence of any kind of religious practice or display in government. Well, there are two kinds of Secularists, but I'll get into that later. This is the first kind. This means that forcing those who work or possibly even partake in the public sector (depending on the extremism of the beliefs, doesn't matter either way, both are flawed, i'll show you how) to not show any display of their faith or religious beliefs isn't FORCING them to be Atheist, but just forcing them to keep their beliefs to themselves. Nice wording, but according to the First Amendment, that is NOT what you are doing. If a uniform dresscode was a shirt that said "Jesus Rocks", and the employer argued that it had nothing to do with Christianity, according to Secular logic, that shirt would be appropriate for whatever public sector job that is. Sure, it may LOOK like it's forcing Christianity unto others, but technically, it's not. 1. Jesus could be anyone, and rocks could mean anything. 2. You can be Atheist and wear a shirt that says Jesus. In fact, I'm sure you can find many novelty shirts that have to do with Jesus that Atheists like to wear.
As well, an employer could also say "no displays of Atheism", which means a lack of display of any other religious belief.
Secularists, I know that it may be hard to deal with the fact that most other people do not believe in the same shit that we do, but using faulty logic to force others to be Atheist while in the public sector is just anti-first amendment.
I am a Secularist of the second kind. I merely do not want government to have a religion and to create NO legislation based on religion. I do not want government to tell its employees what is and isn't appropriate based on religion. If someone wears a cross or a pentagram, it should be fine. Separation of Church and State does not mean "stop believing while you work here".
Side: No State Religion
Your taking a small, small, small group of atheists, then conflating them to some kind of majority. While this is the natural reaction of the religious, to find a story about a teacher who says not to say "god bless you" then treat it as some sort of atheist plot to destroy their religion or something.
The vast majority feel as you do, and stating an argument as if you are one of the few who use this specific logic is misrepresenting the argument I think.
I, and I'm pretty sure the huge majority of atheists don't care about things like "god bless you" after someone sneezes,
we care schools in the south are actually starting to teach intelligent design as a viable theory next to evolution, and that our small 5-15% of the U.S. population which makes up this atheist minority is represented by exactly 0 representatives to my knowledge. You won't find a minority group so under-represented. Also that a Christian faith of one sort or another has become some sort of litmus test as to whether one is fit to run for any position of authority in government.
I've never heard of a single piece of legislation or rule stating a teacher cannot wear, say a crucifix, perhaps it is out there though somewhere, but certainly not a common thing. There are endless cases of say, gay teachers being fired for being bad influences, teachers being told not to wear their burka, etc.
It is a part of a double standard whereby when it is the incredibly rare case a christian is in some circumstance told not to wear a cross or not to teach kids about Jesus in history, you have this huge population of the religious up in arms. When the far, far more common sorts of discriminations occure however, you hear nothing from this majority of the religious - and if you do it is some cleverly stated argument such as yours which somehow twists the reality into one where it is the religious who are "being picked on."
Side: No State Religion
Oh please, this isn't just about teachers, I brought them up as an example.
But sure, use that all you want because yes, you, yourself, do not care if a teacher wears a crucifix while working.
However, it was a debate on this very site brought up by someone about people in the public sector wearing a burka or crucifix. A large amount of people were totally cool with jumping on board to say that they shouldn't be allowed to. Now that all I have to do is mention the case in where a student gets in trouble for saying God Bless You and you reduce my entire argument to just that.
And to make things even worse, you point to other injustices to somehow suggest that I don't care about those things. This is why I want to dismantle the Public School system, because of very injustices that you have mentioned.
But go ahead, reduce my argument to bullshit that you like to nit-pick.
Side: No State Religion
Public schools, like it or not, are about the business of indoctrination. Just like in a church school, the administrators determine what repetitive teachings will best serve what they determine to be the greatest good.
States, like it or not, are about the business of promoting certain belief systems over others. I haven't yet read a logical distinction between a state and a religion. Offer one up and I'll happily dismantle it, or thank you for helping me refine my thoughts on the matter. The separation of church and state is as unachievable a goal as doing away with religion or governments, or for that matter habits in general. Obviously no state can tolerate a religion whose teachings are not in line with what the elect determine to be national priorities.
Come on now....enlighten me of my folly if you are up for the challenge.
Side: An unrealistic goal
You're just saying that it's pointless to try and Separate Church and State.
It's true, that's what I'm saying. It's as unachievable a goal as unbiased journalism.
Pessimism is already a bad argument
I am not a pessimist, I am a realist.
but that's like me saying it's pointless to try and cure AIDS.
No it's not. The difference between our analogies is that AIDS is an addressable or targetable problem. When trying to address a governmental problem, we have to first establish which government we are talking about, then what specific activities of that government need to be tackled. To say that since within government there are myriad problems, we ought to aim to do away with government itself, displays great naiveté . It would be just as idiotic to say that since there are so many horrible diseases, we ought to just focus on doing away with disease itself.
Side: An unrealistic goal
If public tax dollars go towards promoting a religious or theological view, then it is a church/state violation.
The easiest route to avoiding public tax dollars promoting religious views is have no state, so all the complaining and bitching like yourself would end. "Not with my taxes."
Side: No State Religion