Friday, January 30, 2009

Atheists and their Wannabes

Letter to The Globe and Mail. Unpublished.

Margaret Somerville, McGill University Founding Director of the Centre for Medicine, Ethics, and Law, speaks of the passion, actual or staged, of people like Richard Dawkins (The search for shared ethics, Jan 27, 2009). Atheists define themselves by what they do not believe.

But, Dawkins and his wannabes are anti-theists. They define themselves by what they ardently oppose. And what they oppose is the inclusion in the public forum of the beliefs of the majority, people, those people who acknowledge some form of Higher Power in the grand scope of things. As Professor Somerville points out this attempted exclusion is undemocratic.

The legal concept of separation of church and state originated in a distorted interpretation of the First Amendment of the the U.S. Constitution.  The Amendment was designed to protect churches from state interference, from the government creating a state religion. Somewhere along the line, it got contorted into its present configuration.

The fact that this concept is not in accord with Islamic thought poses a problem for the Western world.

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