The coming decline of religious pandering in politics

May 25, 2018

By Andrew Seidel

A bill to put “In God We Trust” in public schools. A resolution declaring this the “Year of the Bible.” Another bill declaring that “wildlife found in this state is the property of Almighty God.” A law mandating the placement of a Ten Commandments monument on public land.

These moves are unconstitutional because the government is promoting religion. But often, they are as much a political tool as they are a religious declaration. Fortunately and at long last, we might be seeing the blunting of this political weapon.

Religious pandering is toxic.

These bills, resolutions, laws and others like them pander to religious voters. At FFRF, we’ve always been quick to call out this pandering. So were the Founders. James Madison was fond of explaining that the wall of separation between state and church benefits both sides: “both exist in greater purity, the less they are mixed together.” 

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6 comments on “The coming decline of religious pandering in politics

  • This article gives me a mixed bag of emotions. On the one hand, it is encouraging to see these little rays of light becoming more frequent. On the other hand, I know from experience that the theist swan song is loud and disruptive and even dangerous.

    Just one example: I’ve actually had exchanges with theists who claim school mass shootings are a result of kids growing up without their god in the schools (they are eerily silent when the mass shootings happen in churches). Their claim is the kids who get hold of AR-15s would never commit these atrocious acts of indiscriminate murder if they just had their god’s guidance. Theists seem to overlook two things: the ease of gun accessibility, and the lack of protections from their omnipotent god. And the saddest part is they will never acknowledge those two very obvious facts.

    I am hopeful of the upcoming generation of voters. I strongly believe our current government, both local and national, does not accurately represent the majority.



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  • Vicki #1
    May 27, 2018 at 8:09 am

    This article gives me a mixed bag of emotions. On the one hand, it is encouraging to see these little rays of light becoming more frequent.
    On the other hand, I know from experience that the theist swan song is loud and disruptive and even dangerous.

    I think the one-time Catholic infested and dominated, Republic of Ireland, is setting a shining example of changes which CAN be made!

    Just one example: I’ve actually had exchanges with theists who claim school mass shootings are a result of kids growing up without their god in the schools (they are eerily silent when the mass shootings happen in churches).

    I would say this is the standard No True Scotsman fallacy, with which many theists love to delude themselves!



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  • I think the one-time Catholic infested and dominated, Republic of
    Ireland, is setting a shining example of changes which CAN be made!

    Absolutely! But don’t let’s kid ourselves: the backlash will be swift and sweeping and loud. All of recorded history has demonstrated our tendency to move ever forward, but not without those inevitable two steps back.



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  • God delusions often turn their host sheeples vicious, when their “right to dominate and indoctrinate”, is threatened by secular laws or rival god-delusions!

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-india-44289957

    An Indian police officer hailed as a hero for protecting a Muslim man from being lynched by a mob has begun receiving death threats, police say.

    Gagandeep Singh, an officer in the northern state of Uttarakhand, shot to fame after a video of him saving a Muslim man from a Hindu mob went viral on social media last week.

    The man was visiting a temple with his Hindu girlfriend.

    The mob surrounded the man and tried to attack, accusing him of “love jihad”.

    The term has been popularised by radical Hindu fringe groups who accuse Muslim men of participating in a conspiracy to turn Hindu women from their religion by seducing them.

    When the video was first shared online, many called Mr Singh a “role model” for all Indians, and his story was carried in many mainstream Indian publications.

    “I was just doing my duty. Even if I was not in uniform, I would have done the same thing and every Indian should do the same,” he was quoted as saying by local media.

    However it did not take long for people to criticise Mr Singh’s actions, accusing him of defending “indecent behaviour”.

    Police officials working with him have said that he has received threats to his life, and has been sent on leave.

    Some politicians have also publicly justified the actions of the mob.

    “It’s wrong when these people (Muslim men) bring Hindu girls to our places of worship despite knowing it’s a temple and it’s pious,” Rakesh Nainwal, an MLA of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), told BBC Punjabi’s Sunil Kataria.

    Another BJP MLA Rajkumar Thukral told the ANI News Agency that this was an attempt by the man to hurt the feelings of the Hindu community.

    “We don’t go to mosques because we don’t have the right to go there,” he added.

    “Then why did these men go to our temple with an intention to destroy the Hindu culture?”

    “When a boy and a girl go somewhere together by choice, then how can these right-wing groups call it a case of “love jihad” and attack them?” Ajit Sahni, a resident of Ramnagar, told BBC Punjabi.

    This is just another example of religion poisoning human relationships – and the need for enforced secular laws to restrain the delusion dominated fanatics!



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  • It seems that the decline in pandering, is coming quickly in Spain as well as in Ireland!

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-44340879

    Spanish Socialist Pedro Sánchez has been sworn in as the country’s new prime minister by King Felipe after the ousting of conservative Mariano Rajoy.

    Mr Sánchez, who is an atheist, took the oath to protect the constitution without a bible or crucifix – a first in Spain’s modern history.

    He plans to see out the remaining two years of the parliamentary term.

    The Socialist leader won the support of six other parties to remove Mr Rajoy over a massive corruption scandal.

    As Spain’s new prime minister, whose party only has a quarter of the seats in parliament, he now has to decide who to include in his cabinet and is expected to name them next week.

    In a brief ceremony at the royal residence in Madrid on Saturday,
    Mr Sánchez, 46, promised to “faithfully fulfil” his duties “with conscience and honour, with loyalty to the king, and to guard and have guarded the constitution as a fundamental state rule”.

    Mr Sánchez brought about the downfall of his predecessor Mr Rajoy by filing a no confidence motion in parliament following a scandal centred on a secret campaign fund that the conservative People’s Party (PP) ran from 1999 until 2005.

    Of course in the USA, Trump pardons those right-wing donors convicted of perverting elections with illegal campaign contributions!

    Perhaps Spain is offering a wake-up call to US voters and representatives!



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  • . . . and on the subject of reduced pandering in Ireland, with the Republic of Ireland taking the lead, and the DUPs stuck in antiquity as usual: –

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-44342595

    Thousands of people have taken part in a rally in Belfast calling for the legalisation of same-sex marriage.

    A simultaneous rally took place in Londonderry.

    Among those who attended the Belfast rally were Lord Mayor Nuala McAllister and Northern Ireland-born Labour MP Conor McGinn.

    Last month, a bill brought by Mr McGinn to bring same-sex marriage to NI was blocked from moving to the next stage at Westminster.

    Northern Ireland is the only part of the UK and Ireland where same-sex marriage is still illegal.

    Deadlock over the issue has dogged Stormont for years.

    The last time MLAs debated it a majority voted in favour but the DUP blocked the move using a petition of concern.



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