Ben Stein's "martyr complex"

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PZ Myers takes on Ben Stein here, based on Stein's diatribe about Christmas trees from a CBS interview nearly two years ago. Sadly, the points Myers makes are still relevant in the face of a seemingly intractable religious persecution complex. Here are two passages from Stein, followed by Myers' rebuttals:

I don't like getting pushed around for being a Jew, and I don't think Christians like getting pushed around for being Christians. I think people who believe in God are sick and tired of getting pushed around, period. I have no idea where the concept came from that America is an explicitly atheist country. I can't find it in the Constitution, and I don't like it being shoved down my throat.

Atheists don't claim America an atheist country: it's a secular nation, a whole different beast altogether. It's one where we're expected to tolerate a whole range of different views, including atheism, and where religion does not have a say in how government is run. You also can't find Christianity in the Constitution; it's a secular document, just like my driver's license and my birth certificate and the rules for baseball are secular.

Christians are the majority in this country, and they're the ones doing the pushing. I'm getting a little fed up with the martyr complex of an 80% majority that whines about not being able to force their silly beliefs on the other 20%.

Or maybe I can put it another way: where did the idea come from that we should worship Nick and Jessica, but we aren't allowed to worship God as we understand Him? I guess that's a sign that I'm getting old, too. But there are a lot of us who are wondering where Nick and Jessica came from and where the America we knew went to.

I don't know who Nick and Jessica are either, so I certainly haven't felt any compulsion to worship them...and I'd be very surprised if our government were pushing oaths to Nick&Jessica in our classrooms, was establishing special Nick&Jessica-based charities, or if our president tried to justify his insane wars with the claim that Nick&Jessica wanted them.

Even us atheists are happy to allow you to worship your god however you want. We do object to the fact that the right-wing fruitcakes think we should also worship your god however you want.

Bravo!

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This page contains a single entry by cognitivedissident published on October 19, 2007 1:57 PM.

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