Thursday, June 21, 2007

A Christian Nation?


dan.chaney said...

That's great! Where did the clip originate?


Grant LaFleche said...

It is from a PBS documentary called "A Christian Nation". There is a weblink in the info on the original Youtube page.

Anonymous said...

I find it odd that someone who is so anti-fundamentalism is becoming so fundamental about atheism. I am just saying.

Grant LaFleche said...

dan- I made a mistake before. The documentary is actually called "A Rough history of disbelief."

Grant LaFleche said...

"Anonymous said...

I find it odd that someone who is so anti-fundamentalism is becoming so fundamental about atheism. I am just saying. "

From your comments you appear to know me, so how about next time you use your name, ok? I post all comments made on this blog, critical of my point of view or not. There is no need to skulk behind an anonymous handle. I welcome all points of view here.

As for your general comment, you are rather incorrect.

The religious fundamentalist is driven by an unwavering belief that they have all the answers. They believe their interpretation of whatever holy book they follow is the only possible correct one - so other believers who do not share their particular sectarian view are apostates. Moreover, they strive to try and make everyone like them - violently in the most extreme cases. Fundamentalism cannot brook other religions.

Is that atheism in general or my point of view in particular? It is not.

Atheism generally has no dogmatic belief system at all. "Fundamentalism" in the manner in which you use it - that is to say that my atheism is a religious dogma - is simply not correct.

All an atheist is saying is 'I will not believe in that for which there is no evidence." Period. There is no dogma, not claim on absolute truth and certainly no desire to make everyone else an atheist - to the point of blowing up skyscrapers in the most extreme cases.

Perhaps you refer to my often negative response to religious dogma? Even then I am not "fundamentalist". What I am trying to point out is that our public institutions are secular, and secular for a very good reason. It is only through a secular government that the rights of all people can be protected. This includes, by the way, the right of the religious fundamentalist to be a religious fundamentalist. And I would not have it any other way.

I am arguing in defense of the principles of a free and democratic society. One that was not founded on, despite rhetorical flourish, on any religious book or principles at all.

We came very close in Ontario to having Muslim religious courts as binding legal alternatives or our civil justice system. This is something that those with concern for democratic rights should argue against.

I am arguing that we cannot allow religious doctrine to undermine science and education because in the view of the fundamentalist, it is blasphemous. If you follow the headlines in this regard you'll see the assault on scientific and educational institutions by religious groups.

Above all I am arguing against the point of view that demonize, shun, attack, and try to deny the rights of those who are not of their particular faith. I am arguing against those who think that democracy should favour their religion over all others.

If I believe in anything, it is in the importance of democracy and freedom of the individual to not be controlled by religious authority.

Oh one last point: There is one massive difference between myself and a religious fundamentalist: I remain always open to new evidence and I am willing to change my views accordingly. No fundamentalist will ever say that.

July 3, 2007 10:34 PM