Monday, October 05, 2009

About Beck's anti atheist/secularist bigotry

In my previous post about Glenn Beck having blamed atheists and church/state separation for a gang related murder of a Chicago teen, I was remiss in leaving out a couple of points.

1. Beck's completely inverted claim that the Constitution "recognize[s] God's authority" reflects the influence that Cleon Skousen's quasi-theocratic, Liars for Jesus type revisionist propaganda has had on him.

2. While Beck decries the separation of chuch and state as somehow leading to a decline of religion in America, in reality it is that separation which has allowed religion in America to thrive and proliferate.

3. Beck acts as if supporting the separation of church and state makes one anti-religion or irreligious. The larger point that Beck generally implies is that either you share his right-wing populist, conspiratorial beliefs or you're not really a Christian; what's more, that you're un-American. This is a bigotry that applies not just to atheistic humanists like myself, but to religious believers who do not share Beck's worldview. See my review of Jimmy Carter's Our Endangerd Values for more on this topic.

4. Blaming the removal of compulsory prayer for a brutal murder of a teen is akin to blaming it on the end of school segregation. This is plain and simple bigotry. Likewise, arguing that "under God" should be in the Pledge is hardly better than saying it should read "one nation, white."

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