The myth of the “religion” of nontheistic beliefs.

Looks like the supporters of Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore have filed a lawsuit to try and keep Roy’s Rock where it is by arguing that its removal would violate the First Amendment’s anti-establishment clause.

al.com: Supreme Court ‘coup’ feared by Moore allies

McGinley and Dorley asked Steele to issue a temporary restraining order barring anyone from moving the 2-ton granite block from the Judicial Building rotunda. In essence, the plaintiffs want Steele to contradict the directive U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson gave Moore.

The associate justices on Alabama’s high court, who by law can band together to override administrative decisions by the chief justice, have announced their intention to relocate the monument.

“But in doing so as ordered, the defendants, either knowingly or not, are, in fact, establishing a religion in violation of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution—the religion of nontheistic beliefs,” McGinley and Dorley allege in their lawsuit.

In asking for the restraining order, they claimed Thompson erred “by forcing out the Ten Commandments and replacing it with nothing (but in reality the nothing is the false god of nontheistic religion),” a notion opponents promptly mocked.

“There’s a technical, legal term to describe this lawsuit—it’s nutty,” said Richard Cohen, general counsel for the Southern Poverty Law Center. The Montgomery-based center represents one plaintiff in the case seeking the monument’s removal.

Nutty indeed. Would someone please explain to me what a “religion of nontheistic beliefs” is? What churches would such practitioners attend? What riturals would they engage in? Which non-God would they pray to? I’m always amused at how quickly religious fundamentalists will try to claim atheism as a “religion” when it serves their purpose. If that’s true then where the hell are my religious tax exemptions? Does this mean that non-religious charities can win grants under Bush’s Faith-Based Initiatives?

8 thoughts on “The myth of the “religion” of nontheistic beliefs.

  1. Since theism is the belief in god or gods then, a non-theistic belief would be, no religion.  That is he idea behind the whole moving of the monument, NO religion should be espoused by the state.  They are just trying to make non-theistic sound like a religion so that they can get away with forcing Christianity down our throats.

    the

  2. Religion can be defined many ways, depending on who is doing the defining. The etymology suggests a literal meaning of “one who reads a book over and over” or “one who considers things carefully”. Other derivations suggest “to reconnect”, or “to adhere”…presumably to a set of common beliefs.

    One could easily say that watching X-Files every time it airs is a religious adherence to the show. There doesn’t have to be a belief or non-belief in divinity or of a god(dess). One can believe in a god, yet not be religious about any particular set of theistic laws or definitions of what that god is or what that god wants from us.

    The whole political recognition of one particular organized set of beliefs over another is a violation of the documents which founded this country and our government. It basically gives validity to certain beliefs and groups, while spitting in the eye of anyone else who differs in opinion.

    All beliefs—religious or not; organized or not; popular or not—should be respected equally. As long as no criminal activity is promoted by ones beliefs or affiliations, who is the government to say they aren’t worthy of a tax break while another group is?

  3. All beliefs—religious or not; organized or not; popular or not—should be respected equally

    Why?  ALL- even the plain wrong ones – the world is going to end xxx?  Flat Earthers? Geo-centric universe? Lakmanism?

  4. Why?  ALL- even the plain wrong ones – the world is going to end xxx?  Flat Earthers? Geo-centric universe? Lakmanism?

    Yes. All. Even the ones who are blatantly stupid deserve to exist as much as the ones who have been around 13,000 years or more. If we’re going to give official recognition of one, we HAVE to give official recognition of ALL. It’s the very basis of why this government was founded. To deny or ridicule any one group over another (regardless of how ludicrous their beliefs sound) in an official capacity is an infringement upon their rights to freedom of religion. Why should Christians be allowed to benefit from tax breaks while the Agnostics pay out? Why should we say that it’s okay to believe there is an invisible man who created the earth 6,000 years ago (which is proven incorrect by geologists and astronomers) but it isn’t okay to believe in a collective unconscious?

    Personal beliefs and religion do NOT belong in politics and government. If there is to be ANY recognition of one religion—such as placing the Ten Commandments in a courthouse—there must be equal recognition given for ALL religions without discrimination.

  5. Yes. All. Even the ones who are blatantly stupid deserve to exist as much as the ones who have been around 13,000 years or more.

    Why? Nazism? Stalinism?
    Also that wasn’t the point.

    All beliefs…should be respected equally

    The point is respected.  Why should I respect any point of view that is obviously wrong in fact?  You can believe that the Royal Family are actually space reptiles, I won’t stop you, but I certainly won’t respect that belief.

  6. Since theism is the belief in god or gods then, a non-theistic belief would be, no religion……  They are just trying to make non-theistic sound like a religion so that they can get away with forcing Christianity down our throats

    The fact is, many religions are non theistic.  Buddhism would be one example, and it makes up 6% of the world population. 

    Would someone please explain to me what a “religion of nontheistic beliefs” is? What churches would such practitioners attend? What riturals would they engage in? Which non-God would they pray to?

    Agnosticism
    Buddhism
    Secular Humanism
    Jainism
    Universalism

    The church we go to obviously depends on where we live, and some religions don’t have churches. Rituals depend on what religion we are.  We either don’t pray, or pray to, basically, the universe

    Just because we don’t have a god, or a church, or someone to pray to, doesn’t mean we don’t have a religion.

  7. The point is respected.  Why should I respect any point of view that is obviously wrong in fact?

    I think you are misunderstanding my use of the word “respect”. I’m not referring to “admiration” or “honor” from a personal point of view.

    I’m referring to the legal “respect” one gives to another to merely exist without molestation. I don’t like my neighbor because he’s a slob, but I respect his right to live across the street from me. That doesn’t mean I admire his lifestyle choices.

    Same applies to religions. I don’t have to admire someone’s beliefs in order to respect their right to believe in their own fashion.

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