The story just broke recently where it turns out congressman Pete Stark doesn’t believe in god.

It’s about time. The majority of presidents lately have been christian, and the last Unitarian president I can recall is President Taft. I don’t think there has been a high ranking “infidel” (agnostic/atheist) since President Abraham Lincoln.

I hope this helps push more non-believing congressmen to feel comfortable coming forward and announcing their true beliefs. Statistically Atheists are 14% of the population (29.4 million as of 2001 by the American Religious Identification Survey), so it would make sense that proportionately there may be as many as 74-75 agnostic/atheists in congress (534 seats -house and senate- multiplied by 0.14)…

I think this sort of reveal could go a long way towards helping change the current American views on Atheism… Yes, atheists are the most hated and distrusted minority in the country, and we are considered by many to be a greater threat to America than terrorists.

Every study ever conducted on the subject has demonstrated that atheists/agnostics are actually among the most moral, upstanding people in a society (by far the lowest rates of crime/murder/rape, violence, teen pregnancy, abortion, stds, divorce, and other social problems).

This blog may be a bit rushed, but the point is that this may finally help push religious people to become more tolerant of the non-religious. Maybe then the non-believers won’t be so openly discriminated against.

And maybe, just maybe, we can follow the founding father’s ideals of keeping a high wall of separation between church and state.

Mike

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Well, as if the wiretapping wasn’t bad enough… Evidently President Bush quietly added a signing statement to a recent postal reform bill which grants him the authority to open American mail without a judge issued search warrant. This naturally flies in the face of every existing law and judicial precedent on the matter and contradicts the very bill itself which specifically reinforces the protections against unwarranted search and seizures.

Now this is an extension of presidential power that gives him leverage to violate some of our rights prescribed by the constitution. That he used “exigent circumstances” troubles me a bit, that’s a broad and vague requirement and open to any manner of interpretation. Basically it’s like saying he can look at our mail whenever the situation demands it… He can construe this to basically mean “anytime” seeing as the threat of terrorism is ever-present and we are locked in an unwinnable war against a concept.

Why does this bug me? Because I know my history, and I know this exact pattern has been seen before. The threat of terrorism and attack has been used before to justify the invasion of privacy and rights, and the often seen “If you have nothing to fear then you have nothing to hide” defense (which is actually a fallacy of the false dichotomy by the way) has been used before… Few people are alive who remember it, but it was a very common defense in 1938 Nazi Germany… Yes, it’s important to remember that Hitler was elected to power and he slowly dismantled the democracy in the interest of national security by doing many of the same political maneuvering that the US is doing now. The Nazis began giving themselves more power and invading the privacy and infringing on the rights of the citizens more and more wielding the defense of protection and security.

I’m not necessarily likening Bush to Hitler, but I am using the example to illustrate how important it is that we are aware of the possible dangers with granting the president power to void our rights or break the law in the interest of “national security.”

In any case, I hope nobody takes their rights for granted and will actively defend them against those who’d like to take them away.

Mike

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