What would happen if all the agnostics, skeptics, and atheists out there were open and vocal about their secular lives? Would would happen if the vast majority of people admitted that their sense of morality came from internal and communal reasoning rather than from a religious text?
My best guess is that we’d recognize the United States as not very different from parts of the Middle East. A religious war would break out.
We saw what people did to America’s #1 sport just because players wouldn’t kneel to a flag and song. Imagine people no longer pretending to kneel to others’ made-up god.
I think most of our politicians pretend to have religious beliefs because of this fear. It means that many of us participate in a great ruse because we are scared of a minority of heavily armed theists who have a history of promoting and celebrating violence against minorities and women. We’re scared of what they might do if we stopped giving fealty to their deities.
Imagine if we taxed their houses of worship. Or if we demanded that they follow the Constitution by getting religion out of politics (no more mention of gods by elected officials, and no more national religious holidays). Imagine if we started treating all religions as equals in this country. Again, I think we’d see massive outbreaks of violence. These are people who lose their minds over Starbucks cup designs and the harmless words “Happy Holidays.”
If it’s true that violence would erupt if we pushed Christianity to the side, then it means we are living among an ISIS-like group of crazy people who only remain calm because we go along with their fantasies. We are in thrall to this minority of hardcore true believers. We are their intellectual captors.
It’s something to think about as demographic trends point toward a more secular future. Kids aren’t as religiously affiliated as their parents, who weren’t as religiously motivated as their parents. We lag behind Europe in our secularization, but it’s still happening. [Continue reading] about El Dorado and the Meaning of Life