Friday, 1 August 2008

Dictionary to Aisle Six Please

Somebody doesn't seem to know the difference between the words "atheism" and "secularism." In addition, Soumaya Gannoushi has also borrowed the current pet-phrase of America's Most Stupid: "militant secularism."
Just what exactly is this militant secularism and even if it existed, would it be something to fear? I imagine that a confrontation with a militant secularist would sound something like:
"You there, with the religion on!"
"Who, me?"
"Yeah you. Just you make sure you practice your religion, or lack thereof, freely without interfering with the human rights of other people, or I'll blow your head off, OK?"
"You heard. And if I, or the state, tries to interfere with those rights of yours you'd better tell me so I can blow them up with some C4 or something."
It doesn't make any sense. People are always going on about how we should fight oppression and the erosion of human rights as if it's a good thing to do. It certainly sounds like a good thing to do. Of course, it's being bigoted and militant if the oppressor happens to be a religious organisation or individual.

Once again, religion responds as the classic school-yard bully. It's happy to interfere with the freedoms of others but cries foul and goes running to teacher if anyone fights back.

It seems to me that some religionists are making a concerted effort to conflate atheism, which they are free to dislike privately if they wish, with secularism, which they should support if they have even two brain cells to rub together on a cold day. By making secularism the enemy they fight the one movement that aims to protect true freedom of religion. Of course, religions seem to love being painted as the persecuted underdog. Just look at how the Catholics respond any time they are even remotely challenged on something. In this case, the willful destruction of a small piece of bread.

1 comment:

Laurie said...

Militant secularism sounds like a Ray Comfortism.

I think PZ should have just given that cracker to a parrot.