Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Shouldn't EVERY Day Be a Day of Reason?

Source: CNSNews.com - Atheist Group Calls on Obama to Endorse ‘National Day of Reason' Instead of 'National Day of Prayer'

You have to shake your head with the antics of certain so-called "New Atheists."  In calling for a "National Day of Reason," it is of course designed to be a slap in the face of religious believers by implying they are not reasonable.  Unfortunately they really ought to have thought this through.

As a believer, who was inspired by Sts. Augustine and Thomas Aquinas, and the philosophers they found reasonable (Socrates and Aristotle) and by modern philosophers such as Peter Kreeft, I find that every day one has to use reason in considering the attacks of the faith.

Unfortunately, I think Roy Speckhardt of the American Humanist Association does not come across as reasonable as he thinks he is.

He objects to a National Day of Prayer, saying:

With the religious right's influence in Congress, and with the threat to our Judiciary looming large, there has never been as important a moment in which to affirm our commitment to the Constitutional separation of religion and government, and to celebrate Reason as the guiding principle of our secular democracy.

During the past year we have witnessed the intrusion of religious ideology into all spheres of or government with such assaults on the wall separating church and state as:

  • Faith-based initiatives in federal agencies that give preferential treatment to religious organizations which proselytize and employ discriminatory hiring practices;
  • Restrictions on important scientific research on the basis of religious objections;
  • Attempts to introduce biblical creationism and its alter-ego "Intelligent Design" into our public school science curricula;
  • The appointment of judges who willingly place their religious beliefs above our laws;
  • Battles over the display of the Ten Commandments and other overtly religious icons in schools and on courthouses;
  • Religiously motivated restrictions on access to reproductive services and information

The irony is that he goes on to say (emphasis added):

What can you do to demonstrate your support for a Day of Reason?

Plan a special event to commemorate the NDR, such as a protest demonstration, special lecture, or social gathering;

  • Work to have a Day of Reason proclaimed by your state or local government;
  • Hold a press conference for your local media to promote respect for the separation of religion and government, and to draw attention to the many breaches of that principle during recent months;
  • Organize a letter-writing campaign urging your elected officials to support the separation of religion and government;
  • Visit the National Day of Reason web site to sign-up as an endorser, to view planned events, or to read some of the media coverage from previous years.

It seems to be unreasonable to object to special privileges to religion and imposing of values on one hand, while insisting on what is effectively the same thing.  If it is a breach to have the government declare a National Day of Prayer, it logically follows that to insist on a day which is effectively a rejection of religion is also a breach.

If Speckhardt wishes to argue that secularism and atheism is true, and that such a day reflects reality, then let him build a reasoned case and present it to be reviewed instead of engaging in a Bulverism by declaring that it is already established that religion is false.  Let him demonstrate as true that religion and reason are separate.  Without doing so, Speckhardt is Begging the Question, which is not logical… logic of course being a part of reason.

If government is not to endorse any sort of faith based view, then let us see the AHA demonstrate why we should consider their views to be based on Reason and not a sort of faith or ideology in itself.

We don't need A National Day of Reason… we need 365 (366 in Leap Years) Days of Reason, independent of whether it is personal or national or global.

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