Monday, 7 June 2010
What's God got to do, got to so with it? Who needs a God when a God can be Broken?
My dear brother-in-law got me great book some time ago, that turned me on to the genius of Robert G. Ingersoll. A man truly ahead of his time with his musings upon the place of religion in American society and more crucially, government. With the awful rise of the Tea Party in America, this acute and powerful voice of atheism is as relevant now as he was during the 19th century.
Ingersoll made the crucial distinction that there is no God in the constitution, the founding fathers of America retired him from politics because human's can govern themselves without the assistance of a supernatural power. And if God is ever allowed into the constitution, humankind must abdicate as there is no room for both. Government is and should be of, by and for the people.
Ingersoll was rightly proud that the United States was the first secular government in the world, all men were created equal, not just Christians...
Ingersoll argued that if a government is united by religion, it is a pointless one, as any religion that has to be supported by law is without value, a fraud and a curse. A religious argument that is supported with a gun isn't one worth making and a prayer that must be supported with a cannon is best never uttered; forgiveness has no partnership with shot and shell.
One of his greatest points is the hypocrisy of a constitution with no God, paired with the need to swear on a Bible and to take oaths. The fact you have to swear on a bible re-inserts God into the equation and, if you're atheist, forces you to lie. Also, an evil man can take solace in the oath and has God as a partner and the jury have the brand of God to cover the man but anyone who refuses to swear, because he does not believe, is deemed to be something lesser.
I'll leave you with some grand quotes from the legend that is Robert G. Ingersoll:
"If humans actions can displease or please an omnipotent being, then the being is not at all omnipotent, he is a slave and victim of man."
"Why should a God get angry over a little piece of bacon?"
"The more a man knows the more willing he is to learn, the less a man knows, the more positive he is that he knows everything."
"No man of humour ever founded a religion, ever."