PZ regularly posts some of the crazy email he gets to his blog. I’d love to be able to say I get the same shit, but I don’t. Oh, occasionally some whack job Christian shows up here, and leaves really odd comments (I’m looking at you, Gideon), but they usually do it right on the blog, rarely by email. I’ve gotten a few over the years, but never anything to get worked up about.
But, to make up for that, I know enough Christians that send me email anyway, and don’t even know I write this blog. Today I got the following:
This is by a daughter of a murdered couple in Raytown , MO , Who had a Bible and Bookstore on 63rd street ..
When I had to testify at the murder trial of my parents a week ago, I was asked to raise my right hand… The bailiff started out “Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth?”
I stood there and waited but she said nothing. She said “Do you?”
I was so stunned I blurted out “What happened to “so help me God’?”
She came back with “Do you?” I replied yes, but I was perplexed.
Then the judge said .. “You can say that if you want to.”
I stopped, raised my right hand, and finished with “So help me God!”
I told my son and daughter that when it came time for them to testify, they should do the same.
I don’t know what can be done about it, but it’s time for us to step up and DO something.
NBC this morning had a poll on this question.. They had the highest number
of responses that they have ever had for one of their polls, and the percentage was the same as this:
86% to keep the words, 14% against.. That is a pretty ‘commanding’ public response.
I was asked to send this on if I agreed or delete if I didn’t.
Now it is your turn. It is said that 86% of Americans believe in God.
Therefore, I have a very hard time understanding why there is such a mess
about having “In God We Trust” on our money and having God in the Pledge of Allegiance.
Why is the world catering to this 14%?
If you agree, pass this on, if not, simply delete….
IN GOD WE TRUST (emphasis in original)
I wish I could figure out how PZ adds that Comic Sans Font. And how did Pharyngula miss that NBC poll?
Anyway, even though the email was titled, “Agree or Delete” (because he knows how I feel about this stuff), I had to respond, as follows.
I know it says delete if I don’t agree, but I feel compelled to disagree.
What are we 14%? Chopped liver? If 86% want to believe in something for which there is no evidence, not a shred, no one stops them. They can say “so help me god” whenever they want. They can pray in schools whenever they want. They can go to church and sing “hallelujah” and shake and shimmy to gospel music whenever they want. That’s implicit in the freedoms they have as Americans. But why does the other 14% have to say or do it if they don’t want to, or they don’t believe it? That’s what this writer is arguing.
Ask yourself. If the court made you say “so help me Allah”, would you do it?
This writer clearly has no idea or understanding of the underlying presumptions in our system of government. Our Constitution is set up to ensure that the majority does not impose its will on the minority. It’s why we have both freedom OF religion and freedom FROM religion. If we do what the majority says, then we’ve lost both of the two sides of that freedom, because the majority will dictate to the minority. It doesn’t work that way in America.
Remember, freedom, like truth, is not something you put to the vote. Just because a majority is in favor of something doesn’t mean we have to believe it, or that it’s true.
The majority of all the people in the world once believed the world was flat. They were dead wrong.
Feel free to agree or delete.
I guess I’m going to hell.