Why the government should not say your god is true
I called in to a national radio talk show. The host is a Jewish conservative but a supporter of the government promoting religion (or at least theism) by keeping the mentioning of a god in the Pledge of Allegiance, on our currency, among other things. I stated, as I have before, that the idea of a god should be debated in the free marketplace of ideas. Ideas should be supported not by the government, but by private individuals.
Even my belief that there probably isn't a god, shouldn't be supported by the government, such as "in no God we trust" hypothetically on our money. Well, he made a couple of points. One is that we have a Christian or religious heritage. Actually, our nation's heritage is a humanist heritage.
Humanism, principles such as that the government and institutions should be based on reason and for the needs of people and not the supposed dictates of a god, deeply influenced the Founding Fathers. Principles of self determation, that the people are sovereign and not a god along with freedom of speech, press, due process are humanist beliefs and have little if anything to do with religion.
But, it is true that some of the Founders were Christians, to various degrees, and most early Americans (as now) were Christians. I could also say the same thing about the nation of Turkey in post WW1 Europe. Turkey has, and still has, a history and heritage of Islam. For many hundreds of years, before America was even founded, Turkey was an Islamic state. Religion and the state were one, without distinction.
But, the founder of modern Turkey, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, changed the government (and to some extent the culture of Turkey) from Islamic to secular. Unfortunately, there has been backtracking on that in recent years by the election of Islamists. So, just because the heritage of a nation has been of one certain religion, does not mean it cannot and should not change. Italy (before it was even Italty) at one time had the religious heritage of believing in gods like Jupiter or Egypt, Ra. Egypt of course is now Islamic.
This host believed that religion being promoted by the government is a good thing for society. He also believes that keeping prohibitions on same sex marriage is a good thing. Would he want the government putting on our courthouse lawns, "no two men or two women should ever be abled to marry."
Since he is not on the far religious rightwing, I think he would oppose it. So he picks and chooses what messages he wants the government to support. I don't want the government taking sides, either saying a more humanist nation would be better or that gays should have the same marriage equality as everyone else.
All I want is the government to be neutral when it comes to religion and respect the rights of gays to marry their partners. Not advocate for it. A distinction that would be lost on quite a few of course.