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Oklahoma, Vatican Take Opposite Tacks On Evolution 1161

Posted by kdawson
from the little-communicating-across-the-divide dept.
nizcolas writes "Notable evolutionary biologist, author, and speaker Richard Dawkins was recently invited to speak on the campus of the University of Oklahoma as part of the school's celebration of Charles Darwin. However, Oklahoma lawmakers are working to silence Dawkins with the passage of House Bill 1015 (RTF), which reads in part: '... the University of Oklahoma ... has invited as a public speaker on campus, Richard Dawkins of Oxford University, whose published opinions, as represented in his 2006 book "The God Delusion," and public statements on the theory of evolution demonstrate an intolerance for cultural diversity and diversity of thinking and are views that are not shared and are not representative of the thinking of a majority of the citizens of Oklahoma ...'" Pending legal action, Dawkins is set to speak tonight at 7 pm. (Luckily, we no longer live in the era of Bertrand Russell's court-ordered dismissal on moral grounds from the College of the City of New York.) And reader thms sends word of the Vatican's Darwin conference (program): "The conference, marking the 150th anniversary of the publication of "The Origin of Species," has been criticized by advocates of Creationism or Intelligent Design for not inviting them. The Muslim creationist Harun Yahya, most famous for his Atlas of Creation, also complained about not being invited."
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Oklahoma, Vatican Take Opposite Tacks On Evolution

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  • Dumb Summary (Score:4, Informative)

    by Liselle (684663) <slashdot&liselle,net> on Friday March 06, 2009 @01:11PM (#27093893) Journal

    Summary is stupid. The reading of this resolution just looks like it "condemns" Dawkins, it's not going to "silence" him or boot him out of the state or any other such nonsense.

  • Re:Dumb Summary (Score:5, Informative)

    by jonnythan (79727) on Friday March 06, 2009 @01:14PM (#27093947) Homepage

    "NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE 1ST SESSION OF THE 52ND OKLAHOMA LEGISLATURE:

    THAT the Oklahoma House of Representative strongly opposes the invitation to speak on the campus of the University of Oklahoma to Richard Dawkins of Oxford University, whose published statements on the theory of evolution and opinion about those who do not believe in the theory are contrary and offensive to the views and opinions of most citizens of Oklahoma.
    THAT the Oklahoma House of Representatives encourages the University of Oklahoma to engage in an open, dignified, and fair discussion of the Darwinian theory of evolution and all other scientific theories which is the approach that a public institution should be engaged in and which represents the desire and interest of the citizens of Oklahoma."

    The OK House is clearly encouraging the University not to allow him to speak. Quite strongly.

  • Re:Dumb Summary (Score:5, Informative)

    by JoshuaZ (1134087) on Friday March 06, 2009 @01:20PM (#27094085) Homepage
    The full resolution asked for Dawkins invitation be rescinded. Moreover, Note that they are unhappy because Dawkins views are "offensive". Furthermore, this is the watered down resolution. The original draft included language attacking the the university's "one-sided indoctrination of an unproven and unpopular theory" among other fun statements. See http://scienceblogs.com/erv/2009/03/the_first_draft_of_ok_legislat.php [scienceblogs.com] To me the most disturbing thing is the repeated emphasis in both the original draft and the passed version on the lack of popular support for evolution. These people really don't understand how either science or government should work.
  • Dawkins supports the idea of creationism, so long as lifeforms myseriously grew on the back of a fucking crystal, or an intergalactic bukkake fertilized the planet.

    Um... no.

    Toward the end of his interview with me, Stein asked whether I could think of any circumstances whatsoever under which intelligent design might have occurred. It's the kind of challenge I relish, and I set myself the task of imagining the most plausible scenario I could. I wanted to give ID its best shot, however poor that best shot might be. I must have been feeling magnanimous that day, because I was aware that the leading advocates of Intelligent Design are very fond of protesting that they are not talking about God as the designer, but about some unnamed and unspecified intelligence, which might even be an alien from another planet. Indeed, this is the only way they differentiate themselves from fundamentalist creationists, and they do it only when they need to, in order to weasel their way around church/state separation laws. So, bending over backwards to accommodate the IDiots ("oh NOOOOO, of course we aren't talking about God, this is SCIENCE") and bending over backwards to make the best case I could for intelligent design, I constructed a science fiction scenario. Like Michael Ruse (as I surmise) I still hadn't rumbled Stein, and I was charitable enough to think he was an honestly stupid man, sincerely seeking enlightenment from a scientist. I patiently explained to him that life could conceivably have been seeded on Earth by an alien intelligence from another planet (Francis Crick and Leslie Orgel suggested something similar -- semi tongue-in-cheek). The conclusion I was heading towards was that, even in the highly unlikely event that some such 'Directed Panspermia' was responsible for designing life on this planet, the alien beings would THEMSELVES have to have evolved, if not by Darwinian selection, by some equivalent 'crane' (to quote Dan Dennett). My point here was that design can never be an ULTIMATE explanation for organized complexity. Even if life on Earth was seeded by intelligent designers on another planet, and even if the alien life form was itself seeded four billion years earlier, the regress must ultimately be terminated (and we have only some 13 billion years to play with because of the finite age of the universe). Organized complexity cannot just spontaneously happen. That, for goodness sake, is the creationists' whole point, when they bang on about eyes and bacterial flagella! Evolution by natural selection is the only known process whereby organized complexity can ultimately come into being. Organized complexity -- and that includes everything capable of designing anything intelligently -- comes LATE into the universe. It cannot exist at the beginning, as I have explained again and again in my writings. [richarddawkins.net]

  • Re:Oklahoma? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Obfuscant (592200) on Friday March 06, 2009 @01:33PM (#27094297)
    would be it okay for them to pass legislation to squash the free speech rights of someone ...

    You know, if you actually read the bill under discussion, you'd notice that it doesn't squash anything, much less anyone's "free speech rights". All it says is that the legislature opposes his appearance. They didn't ban him, and they don't order anything to be done about it. Oh, yes, they will "order" that their opposition message be sent to the University leaders.

  • Re:Awesome (Score:5, Informative)

    by geekoid (135745) <`moc.oohay' `ta' `dnaltropnidad'> on Friday March 06, 2009 @01:41PM (#27094455) Homepage Journal

    "His science has become his religion, ..."
    That makes no damn sense.

  • Re:Dumb Summary (Score:4, Informative)

    by moosesocks (264553) on Friday March 06, 2009 @01:50PM (#27094645) Homepage

    We had something vaguely similar happen over in Virginia last year. The college president refused to censor a controversial event, and also refused to allow religious icons to be displayed in public rooms that weren't being used for religious services.

    The budget didn't get cut*, though a few administrators lost their jobs shortly afterward for "undisclosed reasons."

    (*Actually, the budget did get cut, and by a substantial amount. However, this was because the state's currently broke)

    Hasn't sopped them from floating ass-backward legislation again. There's a bill currently before the senate to cap out-of-state enrollment at 20%, which would either drive most of the state's universities into insolvency, or raise tuition to absurd ($60k+) levels.

    Fun times all around! I can't wait to graduate, and move the hell away from here.

  • Re:Oklahoma? (Score:2, Informative)

    by PenguinX (18932) on Friday March 06, 2009 @01:53PM (#27094701) Homepage

    I am not surprised at this turn of events because Dawkins' comments in the God delusion are widely considered to be hateful in nature. Consider that, in the United states, some 93-96 percent of people believe in God and some 40% of people believe in evolution. The intersection of these two is still significant, but the symmetric difference of these axioms is not. Dawkins holds that to be an intelligent scientific thinker you must hold to both strict naturalism and evolution apriori, which is not so subtly implying that all of the other 53-ish percent of humans living in the United states are basically drooling morons.

  • by couchand (917882) on Friday March 06, 2009 @01:58PM (#27094783)
    A quick search of the Oklahoma state legislature status page (http://www.okhouse.gov/Legislation/Leg_Status.aspx) shows that HR1015 was introduced March 3 and nothing has happened since. In truth it has not been passed.
  • Re:Oklahoma? (Score:3, Informative)

    by ByOhTek (1181381) on Friday March 06, 2009 @02:04PM (#27094907) Journal

    actually, if you consider the people that belive in evolution as existing, but influenced by God (but not no-God evolution), then it jumps to more than that.

    I heard the statistic a couple weeks ago, I just remember that evolution was lower than creationalism in percentage, unless you counted the people who believed in evolution influenced to some extent by God.

    The statistics I remember correctly, were
    1) Evolution*: 35 %
    2) Evolution influenced by God: 15%
    3) Creationalism: 45%
    4) Uncertain/undecided: 5%

    * I usually lump #2 in with #1 (and actually, although it's conjecture, I'm pretty sure a lot of people voted #1 although #2 is a better fit, I know I'd vote #1 if #2 were my view because some ass would try to make a distinction between #1 and #2 so that creationalism** look like it had more support than evolutionary theory.
    ** This breed of creationalism should be called anti-evolutionism, as their big distinguishing feature seems to be that evolution did not happen, and not a belief that God created the universe.

  • What this is about (Score:5, Informative)

    by T.E.D. (34228) on Friday March 06, 2009 @02:18PM (#27095165)
    The real issue here is that, for the first time since possibly statehood, the Republicans have just taken over the Oklahoma state legislature. Since this is pretty much their first time ever to be relevant, they are really anxious to make their mark, and do it now. The fat kids who always had their faces pressed up against the glass at the legislative candy store suddenly have the keys, and they are going hog-wild. To give you further examples, in the last couple of weeks we Okies have also seen bills to: o Outlaw the wearing of Muslim head coverings on driver's licences o Weaken worker's comp o Prevent teacher's unions from engaging in political activity o Make it harder to persue "pain and suffering" claims in court. My personal favorite was the School Prayer bill we barely managed to get killed in committee. It would have allowed for student-led school prayer at mandatory attendence events, but stipulated that the prayer leaders had to be "school leaders". Their definition of school leaders included, I shit you not, head Cheerleaders and the captain of the football team. We were wondering aloud what would happen if a school just happened to have a Wiccan captain of the football team...
  • by mlwmohawk (801821) on Friday March 06, 2009 @02:28PM (#27095349)

    If I say there IS a god and I will not entertain any atheist nonsense, people are irrational. They will say I am intolerant. Your point?

    If you can prove that in which you believe exists, I'll look at the evidence and if it is credible I will accept it. If, however, you offer no evidence or if you do it is not credible, then I won't.

    My position of "not believing" sits with common sense. I will not believe in the easter bunny, santa claus, or other myth without proof and you probably wouldn't either.

    Exactly what special treatment do theists expect?

    That we silently accept the absurd beliefs as something other than delusions.

  • Re:Oklahoma? (Score:3, Informative)

    by Man On Pink Corner (1089867) on Friday March 06, 2009 @02:38PM (#27095549)

    Who's to say that there isn't a god, and he/she/it didn't design evolution?

    William of Ockham, for one. When considering a question, you don't introduce entities ("Gods" in this case) for no good reason.

  • Re:Oklahoma? (Score:4, Informative)

    by Orion Blastar (457579) <orionblastar AT gmail DOT com> on Friday March 06, 2009 @03:09PM (#27096197) Homepage Journal

    It is a fallacy because it is inductive logic, which is not always true.

    Dawkins also uses "Strawmen" to describe religous people and religion, and does personal attacks on them as well. Not worthy of a great scientist.

    Immanuel Kant proved that you cannot prove God exists or does not exist by Science long ago. Anything else is pure logical fallacies like inductive logic, which Dawkins uses as well as circular references and wishful thinking.

  • by Fished (574624) <amphigory@gmail. ... m minus language> on Friday March 06, 2009 @03:22PM (#27096427)
    I once heard an interview with Dawkins (I think it was on NPR's Fresh Air) in which he claimed that virtually no "Theologians" believe in the miraculous anymore. Speaking as someone with a Master's in Theology, I can say this is utter nonsense, and I lost all respect for Dawkins at that point. Dawkins is no longer a scientist, if he ever was, but a theologian and evangelist of atheism. And, from what I can tell from the couple of books of his I've read and miscellaneous interviews and articles, he's far more judgmental and intolerant than most Christians.
  • Re:Vatican. (Score:3, Informative)

    by cowscows (103644) on Friday March 06, 2009 @03:26PM (#27096517) Journal

    I think it's fair to say that there are "truths" that don't boil down to just facts. Simple things like you should treat other people with respect, you shouldn't steal from people, you should try to help the less fortunate, etc. In many ways, large portions of the bible are similar to the sorts of stories that you read to kids, where there's a lesson that you hope they walk away with at the end. Rather than just saying THIS IS HOW YOU SHOULD ACT, you're given an example of someone acting a particular way, and the result teaches you whether their choices/actions were good or not. In the new testament, Jesus often spoke in parables, which is basically the same thing. Rather than just plainly dictating a rule, a story was used to illustrate a point.

    Unfortunately, the parables that Jesus told, as well as other stories in the bible were written to help people who lived at those times understand them. Because today we live in a much different world, most of us have a hard time relating to the stories, they describe a world that's very different than what we experience day to day now. That being the case, those parables take some extra effort in order to parse, and unfortunately many people are unwilling/unable to make that effort. That makes it that much easier for people who claim to understand the bible to impose their interpretation on others.

    I consider myself very fortunate that my family had the resources to send me to a jesuit high school where the time was taken to go through the bulk of the bible in a very analytical and critical way. My experiences there turned the bible from a strangely written book that occasionally seemed to be crammed down my throat by various people into a very interesting and well written bunch of suggestions about how to live a better life. Once you stop looking at it for answers, and more for suggestions and direction, it becomes very useful.

    I could write lots more about this, but I need to get back to work for now. Feel free to ask any follow up questions.

  • Re:Oklahoma? (Score:5, Informative)

    by AliasMarlowe (1042386) on Friday March 06, 2009 @03:37PM (#27096681) Journal

    Dawkins is not making a case of mere ideas, opinions, or the evidence of hypothesis and testing.

    Perhaps you have not actually read his books, or else you have not understood them. Dawkins' arguments on the demonstrable falsehood and general malevolence of religions are based on observable evidence and the testing of hypotheses. He is by no means the first or only such advocate, but at the present time he is the most visible and the most excoriated by his opponents.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 06, 2009 @03:37PM (#27096689)
  • Re:Oklahoma? (Score:5, Informative)

    by FrankDrebin (238464) on Friday March 06, 2009 @03:40PM (#27096763) Homepage

    Wow, you seem like a person who has never even read or heard Dawkins or his colleagues, ever. Dawkins of course says you cannot *prove* the non-existence of God. He then points out the same is true for sasquatch, FSM, Xenu, Apollo, Zeus, Thor, unicorns, fairies, elves, leprechauns...

    The funny thing is that we have about the same level of evidence for sasquatch as God.

  • by mlwmohawk (801821) on Friday March 06, 2009 @03:51PM (#27097005)

    He does not merely not believe in a God. He BELIEVES there is no God.

    Direct citation required.

    he point is that Dawkins certainly advances a religious belief - one which cannot in any way be proven one way or another.

    He certainly does not. Also, one need no disprove religion as it lacks any credible proof in the first place.

    Merely not holding an opinion on the subject of God is not a belief - that is an attitude and not an intellectual position.

    Wrong. I (and most atheists) hold the same position about god that most people hold for other gods and myths.

  • Re:Oklahoma? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Hatta (162192) on Friday March 06, 2009 @03:55PM (#27097083) Journal

    I think it has to do with Dawkin's bashing of religion and religious people in his TV programs and books by using fallacies which some people call it as "Hate Speech".

    I read that article, and I have to say the irony is pretty thick when a theist accuses an atheist of being intellectually lazy. However, I missed the part where Dawkins bashed anyone. In fact, the entire article was someone bashing Dawkins. If you have examples of Dawkins bashing people (not ideas) I'd be interested to read them.

  • Re:Oklahoma? (Score:3, Informative)

    by mcgrew (92797) on Friday March 06, 2009 @03:57PM (#27097115) Homepage Journal

    The GP's statement was not well thought out, I think. Actually you do believe something. You believe that pink unicorns don't exists, and acknowledge that fact.

  • Re:Oklahoma? (Score:5, Informative)

    by DamnStupidElf (649844) <Fingolfin@linuxmail.org> on Friday March 06, 2009 @04:16PM (#27097505)

    He's a scientist using science to claim a "delusion" in God. It's reasonable to assume he's using the scientific term. If he's claiming you can't disprove God, then where is the evidence to the contrary he is implying by the very title of his book?

    Definition of "God" error, basically. The definition that Dawkins presents evidence against is a God that actively changes things in the world today and directly created the world 7000 years ago via special creation. Dawkins cannot present evidence against a deistic god that wound up the universe and let it go, and he does not attempt to argue against such a god (which is not much of a god, really).

    If anything, Dawkins' book can be read as "The (personal, loving, etc.) God Delusion", because he is challenging the concept many people have of a friendly omnipotent guy (or trio of guys) in the sky who loves us but damns some of us to hell after testing everyone with pain and suffering in our earthly life, gave us rational minds that should be able to decide what is actually true and false and what makes sense and what doesn't make sense, yet requires blind faith (yes, a belief that pain and suffering in life can be justified by the afterlife requires, literally, blind faith; faith whose ultimate results cannot be seen during earthly life) in order to obtain infinite bliss.

  • Re:Oklahoma? (Score:3, Informative)

    by ucblockhead (63650) on Friday March 06, 2009 @04:20PM (#27097567) Homepage Journal

    I gather you didn't actually read "The God Delusion", because Dawkins writes extensively about what science can and cannot prove, and very explicitly does *not* state what you claim he states. He says explicitly that "God" is an untestable hypothesis.

  • Re:Oklahoma? (Score:2, Informative)

    by Gregory Arenius (1105327) on Friday March 06, 2009 @04:23PM (#27097603)

    "That science, which is the systematic and empirical study of the natural world, can prove the non-existence of a supernatural entity. ("Supernatural" being, by definition, outside of the purview of science.)"

    And, if you had actually bothered to read his work you would know that he never actually makes that claim. He never says "We have absolute scientific PROOF that god doesn't exist." What he says is that it is so astronomically unlikely that god exists that its stupid and pointless to base your actions on belief in a god. He actually goes out of his way to show that science can't actually disprove the existance of god.

    Cheers,
    Greg

  • The Bible never actually says anything about how long it took to create the world (unless, of course, you take a literal look at the Bible, and then it's 6 days).

    The problem isn't the six days, it's the Adam and Eve mythology. The Bible clearly states that God created man, and all people were descended from Adam and Eve. That directly contradicts evolution, which states that man descended directly from animals.

    Now, I realize that you can mangle the bible into fitting evolution if you accept that the bible is allegory, but unfortunately, too many Christians can't accept that. And truthfully, they *shouldn't* accept that the bible is allegory. It says what it says, right down to killing anyone who works on the Sabbath. Christians should accept ALL of the bible, from advocacy of slavery on down -- or none of it (as would be my preference). Most Christians are total hypocrites when it comes to accepting the word of God.

    is it really such a big deal that people want something to believe in, even if you don't particularly want or need that?

    It wouldn't be a big deal if people would keep their beliefs to themselves. Astrology is relatively harmless, because people don't generally want it taught to students as an "alternative theory" to astronomy. But when you have wackos who want prayer in schools, or who will never vote for an atheist into public office, then religion has very real consequences.

    Of course, I shouldn't have to mention religiously-motivated terrorism.

  • OU Student (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 06, 2009 @04:35PM (#27097849)

    As a student of the University of Oklahoma, I apologize for the government of OK. The students here (for the most part) are interested to see what he has to say. Try not to generalize the state based off of our idiotic leadership.

  • Re:Oklahoma? (Score:3, Informative)

    by Tom (822) on Friday March 06, 2009 @05:02PM (#27098357) Homepage Journal

    It is by far not that easy.

    Science does not answer "who" - its answers show that there is no "who". They also show that there is no need for a "why".

    That's why religious nuts hate science so much - they can deal with people having other answers to those questions. You can assimilate them, burn them, drive them out of your lands or use any of the other time-tested methods. Science doesn't come with a different answer and doesn't join the chorus of different variations of the theme - it tells them that they're all crazies.

  • Re:Oklahoma? (Score:3, Informative)

    by NoOneInParticular (221808) on Friday March 06, 2009 @05:43PM (#27098991)
    I found the following interesting:

    Dawkinsâ(TM)s caricature of Christianity may well carry weight with his increasingly religiously illiterate or religiously alienated audiences, who find in his writings ample confirmation of their prejudices, but merely persuades those familiar with religious traditions to conclude that Dawkins has no interest in understanding what he critiques. . . The classic Christian tradition has always valued rationality and does not hold that faith involves the abandonment of reason or the absence of evidence. Indeed, the Christian tradition is so strong on this matter that it is often difficult to understand where Dawkins got these ideas

    What I see in Christianity is a fully divided set of beliefs, ranging from deranged lunatic (young earth) to invitingly spiritual. There is however not a general consensus about anything. Due to its basis on the belief of a God, people are free to subscribe any belief to this God, and come to any conclusion whatsoever. The Christian tradition is also riddled with questionable assumptions, outright power struggles, and irrevocable dogma (that later got revoked). Where in the Christian tradition can we find this intellectual honesty that the author is talking about, and, more importantly, what are the Christian methods to distinguish between the frauds and the intellectual leaders?

  • Re:Oklahoma? (Score:4, Informative)

    by hkmwbz (531650) on Friday March 06, 2009 @08:05PM (#27100691) Journal

    I suppose they could, but the answers they find are going to be inconclusive.

    Which is why he says "Why There Almost Certainly Is No God". But like all other fundies, you didn't even bother to read his books before spewing out nonsense.

  • by Tom (822) on Saturday March 07, 2009 @06:59AM (#27103679) Homepage Journal

    There are other people groups in history who used facts and solid arguments to justify the seclusion and destruction of entire religions and people groups too.

    Actually, most of these are examples of pseudo-science and pseudo-logic. Just like ID. In most cases (euthanasia, for example), the rational argument can be re-examined and falsified.

    I don't care how logical you think it is, when you get to the point of calling someone's belief system criminal (and he does), then you're off the rails I'm willing to follow.

    Crime is not defined by what you think, but what you do (intentionally). When you use the term in this context, he is quite right. The history of christianity, especially but not exclusively that of the catholic church, is choke full of crimes. In fact, we would call any non-religious organisation with that amount of past and current criminal activity a mafia.

  • by Alsee (515537) on Sunday March 08, 2009 @12:30AM (#27110157) Homepage

    I never actually understood the fight between creationism and evolution. It's not like they have to be polar opposites.

    The reason you find that confusing is a matter of definitions. The definition you are applying for "creationism" is "God created the universe". While that is a reasonable definition, it is not the commonly used definition. The common understanding of "creationism" is the position that God created Man and all the "kinds" of life in essentially their present form. So yes, by the common meaning of creationism, it is in direct conflict with evolution.

    it's quite feasible that evolution was used in the creation of the world.

    Only a small few percent of the population are atheists, and the majority of Christian accept evolution. Nearly all evolutionists are Christian.

    So except for a couple of percent of people, that essentially defines the evolution position.

    whether God is or is not real (and I believe that he is), is it really such a big deal that people want something to believe in, even if you don't particularly want or need that?

    Most atheists don't much care about other people's personal religious beliefs.

    However atheists, and many Christians, do have very serious objections when some overzealous fundamentalists attempt to hijack the force of government in an effort to impose some of their peculiar ideology on others. Atheists, and many Christians, seriously object when fundamentalists start damaging public school science education, attempting to discredit actual science and instead substitute their theology under a fraudulent mask of science. Harming our children's science education and hijacking the government public school system to forcibly impose their fundamentalist theology on our children.

    -

  • Re:Oklahoma? (Score:4, Informative)

    by Alsee (515537) on Sunday March 08, 2009 @02:36AM (#27110573) Homepage

    Religious people, at least in the US, have been ceding power to the secularists since the Salem Witch Trials.

    The rest of your post is clearly anti-secularist, and I find it hysterical that somehow didn't notice that the above comment is incredibly pro-secularist. Unless of course you are of the view that returning to the Salem Witch Trials would be a GOOD thing.

    suing to have christmas and easter displays removed from public grounds

    Part of defending our Constitutional right of religious freedom.

    The Constitution protects our individual freedoms against the force and powers of government. The government cannot oppress any disfavored religion. Nor can the government establish favoritism for any particular religion.

    The First Amendment required that the FORCE and POWER of government remain neutral on religion. The force and powers of government cannot be used to infringe our individual religious freedoms, cannot be used to establish any religion as governmentally favored above any other.

    The Government shouldn't be meddling in religious displays at all, and to the extent it is permissible at all it is only permissible if the government does not establish any religion above any other, like in Washington state had a display equally and non-nondiscriminatorily open to submissions representing any and all religions and religious viewpoints. You might remember some news stories about it - everything was peaceful and quiet until someone submitted an atheist sign for the display. And then of course there was a shitfit over it - a shitfit by Christians.

    public for everyone but christians

    The Constitution requires EQUAL treatment.

    It only takes about 25 IQ points to see why Christianity is almost exclusively the religion involved in such cases - Christianity is the overwhelming majority religion. As such, in our Democratic system, it is generally the only religion in a position to attempt to hijack and abuse the force and powers of government to establish favoritism for itself. Christianity is the only religion in a position to commit constitutional violations, so obviously it is going to be the only religion involved in lawsuits for committing constitutional violations.

    suing to remove moments of silence (cause someone might use the time to pray, ooohh)

    The ACLU wins virtually every School Prayer case because they are defending the "reasonable middle ground" position, defending our Constitutional protection of freedom of religion against the force government.

    The ACLU position is virtually identical to the Supreme Court position. The ACLU explicitly supports the right of students to pray in school. The ACLU position is that government officials cannot abuse their governmental powers to infringe upon students' protected freedom of religion. The government cannot favor nor oppress any religion, cannot promote nor suppress any particular religious beliefs or practice. Each and every case the ACLU has brought strictly targeted government officials attempting to use the force of government for the purpose of meddling in students' religion.

    Students have the right to (non-disruptively) pray in school.
    The force of government cannot be used for the purpose of promoting student prayer,
    nor can force of government cannot be used for the purpose of suppressing student prayer.

    Again again again, there is no problem no problem no problem with students praying in school. The problem is the use of government powers attempting to promote or suppress student prayer.

    Being an atheist is not even scientific. A true scientist would be agnostic

    Only if you apply a ludicrously extreme definition.
    Are you "agnostic" about the existence of unicorns?
    Are you "agnostic" about the existence of faeries?
    You can't prove unicorns and faeries don't exist. If you were being truly rational you have to admit you are "agnostic" about Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny.

    Most self-defined atheists in the US are

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