The First Amendment: Christians Only

Ed Brayton calls this quote by Bryan Fischer, the notoriously vicious Director of Issue Analysis at the American Family Association, “The Dumbest Thing Ever Said.” I don’t know if I quite go for that: it’s got some pretty stiff competition. The Reagan Administration alone provides piles and piles of political bullshit, and that only takes us up to 1988. Then you have to sift through another eight years of the George H.W. Bush years (starring Dan Quayle!), the crazed, drooling anti-Clinton paranoia of the eight years after that, and then finally the Shrub years, which may have triggered some tonic-clonic seizures as a result of all the facepalming I did in that time. Yes, the last thirty years of political culture have been heavy on the stupid, not to mention the sheer horrific. Fischer’s essay, in which he argues that Muslims—and by extension all non-Christian—have no First Amendment rights really falls more properly into that second category. The really horrifying thing is how used to hearing this sort of thing I’ve become.

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Jesus loves you…

but He absolutely adores atheists. Why? Because they're the only people who don't ask Him to take sides in a war, particularly a war based on religious beliefs. Do you want to know who is His favorite atheist? Sam Harris, author of The End of Faith: Religion, Terror and the Future of Reason. Too tired at the end of your 12-hour day as a corporate lackey to read anything more than a catalog? Then go to the website of The Sun Magazine to read an excerpt from Bethany Saltman's interview with Harris. If you're too tired to click on the link, allow me to give you an example of why you should read this interview. In answer to Saltman's question, Isn't religion a natural outgrowth of human nature? Harris gives this reply:

It almost certainly is. But everything we do is a natural outgrowth of human nature. Genocide is. Rape is. No one would ever think that this makes genocide or rape a necessary feature of a civilized society. Even if you had a detailed story about the essential purpose religion has served for the past fifty thousand years, even if you could prove that humanity would not have survived without believing in a creator God, that would not mean that it's a good idea to believe in a creator God now, in the twenty-first-century world that has been shattered into separate moral communities on the basis of religious ideas.

Sy Safransky, editor of The Sun Magazine will even allow you to get a free trial copy of the magazine, just in case you feel as though you cannot give up those Grande Mocha Frappucino's to pay for the subscription. (Maybe next week?) Or, while getting that daily dose of caffeine and sugar, you can visit Sam Harris at his website www.samharris.org.