In other parts of the world (Europe, Scando-Europe, the National Academies of Science, Portlandia, BrightWorlds) monotheistic religion has waned, and is now on the level of phrenology, harsupicy, or the cars of the Soviet Union. In the United States, however, there was a mass hysteria during the 50s that accompanied the Eisenhower administration’s anti-communist Cold War, and that history still pervades our parlous culture.
The history of that forgettable time would bore even the most maniacal monk, but Leigh Eric Schmidt does yeoman’s work describing how awful the times had become for America’s remaining sane people in an excerpt from his new Book Village Atheists: How America’s Unbelievers Made Their Way in a Godly Nation published in the humanist periodical Free inquiry March/June 2017. Schmidt unearths a brilliant quote from an early 50’s sociologist, Will Herberg, who noted the horror of that 50s time:
Religion has become part of the ethos of American life to such a degree that overt anti-religion is all but inconceivable.
Flash forward to our time: in this land of unimaginable wealth and stolen privilege, an NGO springs forth to advance the eminently rational and unassailable right of humans to receive medical assistance in ending terminal suffering. Getting the blue juice when life is nought but pain. OK and all right – six-seven states, 4o-something to go. Yet here, in a blue state, this org, Compassion & Choices, sends out a flyer. There’s an “interfaith gathering” promulgated:
I’m writing to invite you to an exciting event here at the New York State Capitol. Compassion & Choices New York will hold our first-ever Interfaith Gathering on Valentine’s Day. We’ll hear leaders from different faith traditions speak about medical aid in dying; and we’ll join in prayers of love and compassion for those we’ve lost, and those who are living with terminal illness.
“Different faith traditions” are precisely the infested homes of the anti-human morons who are fighting this right, the Catholics, evangels, and assorted other Stone Age bigots. Yet we are to have this Big Tent, where the allegedly “moderate wing” of the cultists gets to parade as if they own the joint, brainwashing flocks with bizarre “prayers of love and compassion.” Is that what is going to get this fundamental right done – rubbing frog legs, intoning meaningless placebos to the sky, injecting the virus of religious fraud into our most important social arena? Let the fascist priests say a prayer for dear old Aunt Edna, dying a horrible death because of the that selfsame church?
End-of-life decisions are the sole province of secular humanists. Religious people are invited to this movement to the extent that never intrude their private delusions into this right of others to have a means to end the harmful, pointless suffering that might come their way. Yet this kind of “militant atheism” horrifies the accommodationists, who know that nothing political will get accomplished in this religion-haunted land, where even the most explicitly secular movement has to get invaded and operated by afflicted faithiests.
Write a letter of grump to the allegedly non-religious leaders of Compassion & Choices, stating that if “inter-faith” is ever mentioned in conjunction with its mission, it should be accompanied by mandated recognition of “non-faith” members of this organization, and watch the planned ignoring and dismissals transpire.