Writing on the Patheos website, Michael Stone, a self-proclaimed Progressive Secular Humanist, played the theocracy card against William Barr, Pres. Trump’s Attorney General choice to replace Jeff Sessions.
Here’s how Stone opens his screed against Barr:
Theocracy alert: Trump’s Attorney General Pick William Barr is a Catholic conservative who rejects the separation of church and state, calls secularists “fanatics,” and blames secularism for “moral decline.”
Stone wrote that “in a 2011 address to ‘The Governor’s Conference on Juvenile Crime, Drugs and Gangs,’ Barr condemned church/state separation in public schools.” This is typical fake news. Barr did not condemn church/state separation. Here’s what Barr said. Can you spot the keyword?:
This moral lobotomy of public schools has been based on extremist notions of separation of church and state or on theories of moral relativism which reject the notion that there are standards of rights or wrong to which the community can demand adherence.
It’s the “extremist notions of separation of church and state” that Barr condemned. And he’s right. The First Amendment is very clear: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” Church/State separation was not the issue. There has always been a jurisdictional separation between Church and State in the United States.
Today, any mention of God or morality is said to be a violation of Church/State separation. A teacher prohibited children from passing out candy canes because they are shaped like a J, and since Jesus begins with the letter J, and Jesus is about Christmas, it’s a clear violation of the First Amendment. Schools have banned religious songs related to Christmas. These are “extremist notions of separation of church and state.”
The year 2018 is about Jesus since it refers to 2018 years since the birth of Jesus. The Constitution of the United States acknowledges this with its statement that the signing of the document took place “in the Year of our Lord” 1787.
A three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that a “school district did not violate the First Amendment rights of a high school calculus teacher when it ordered him to remove classroom banners that referred to God.” (San Diego Union Tribune)
[The teacher] had for many years displayed large banners — about 7 feet wide and 2 feet high — with various phrases on them.
One, with all the words in uppercase, reads: “In God We Trust,” “One Nation Under God,” “God Bless America” and “God Sheds [sic] his Grace On Thee.” Another says: “All Men Are Created Equal, They Are Endowed By Their Creator,” with the last word all written in uppercase.
Three of the above slogans and quotations are part of our nation’s official historical heritage:
- “In God We Trust” is the official motto of the United States of America and the state of Florida.
- “One Nation Under God” was added to the Pledge of Allegiance and comes from Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address.
- “God Bless America” was the official campaign song for President Franklin Delano Roosevelt in 1940.
- “God shed His Grace on Thee” is from the song “America the Beautiful” that was sung by Ray Charles at America’s bicentennial in 1976.
- “All Men Are Created Equal, They Are Endowed By Their Creator” is from the Declaration of Independence.
Two Democratic state senators from Minnesota – Scott Dibble and John Marty – opposed a bill asking schools to display a poster with the words “In God We Trust.”
Dibble and Marty were afraid that some students might be offended. In fact, Marty said on the State Senate floor, “The money in my wallet has to say, ‘In God We Trust.’ I think that’s offensive.’”
Like clockwork, an atheist group “claim[ed] the posters would violate the separation of church and state…. ‘It’s not the state’s business, and it’s not the school’s business, to be taking sides in this very personal decision,’ August Berkshire of Minnesota Atheists said.”
There’s no such constitutional prohibition. In fact, the Minnesota Constitution mentions God:
We, the people of the state of Minnesota, grateful to God for our civil and religious liberty, and desiring to perpetuate its blessings and secure the same to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution.
Why not make posters of the Preamble to the Minnesota constitution and place them in all the classrooms? Would this violate the First Amendment?
Stone attacked Barr’s views on same-sex sexuality:
In the article Barr uses the example of equal rights for LGBT people as an indication of the breakdown of traditional morality, claiming that equal treatment for LGBT rights groups at Georgetown University was actually an attack on morality.
The problem with people like Barr is that they don’t have a basis for what is moral or immoral. Secular Humanists can’t account for morality. They are materialists. Life on earth evolved from lifeless chemicals to sentient beings. How did morality enter the picture?
The fictional chemical soups in primordial ponds knew nothing of morality. The supposed evolutionary process had no regard for morality as the struggle for life was, in Tennyson’s poem In Memoriam A. H. H. (1850), “Nature, red in tooth and claw.” It’s the basis for the “science” of evolution. “On into the 20th century, the enthusiastic Darwinist Richard Dawkins used ‘red in tooth and claw’ in The Selfish Gene, to summarize the behaviour of all living things which arises out of the survival of the fittest doctrine.” (Phrase Finder)
Naturally, Stone supports the right of women to kill their unborn babies. If animals can kill other animals, then there shouldn’t be any laws against human animals killing their little animals.
Stone has no objective, rational, logical, or scientific moral standard to criticize Barr. Morality is now based on the force of the mob. It’s a new form of “survival of the fittest.” Whoever has the biggest and most effect tooth or claw wins the morality debate, and anyone who does not comply with the mob’s view of morality will be fined, fired, or denied employment.