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Brainstormy

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Member since: Tue Jun 1, 2010, 11:14 AM
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Being 'Openly Secular' Is the First Step To Eliminating the Stigma

It took the threat of a lawsuit before the Air Force agreed on Wednesday to allow an airman to omit the phrase "So help me God" as part of a required oath. They claimed the airman, stationed at Creech Air Force Base in Nevada, was ineligible to reenlist because he crossed out the phrase on his reenlistment form.

For many people of good will, the controversy will rile them up. "Why make a big deal out of words that the majority of Americans believe in?" Just cross your fingers if you must, and say the words. Why rock the boat?

Here's why: The incident betrays a subtext of intolerance and hostility toward secular people embedded in American culture and public institutions. The Air Force was ready to end a man's military career because he would not submit to its religious demands.

To secular Americans, requiring an oath to God is like asking a Jewish airman to swear, "So help me Jesus" or a Christian to say, "So help me Allah." The objection to forcing the oath on nonbelievers should be obvious. It's not.

But a new campaign is hoping to change all that.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/richard-dawkins/being-openly-secular-is-t_b_5853120.html


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