Why we aren't a god based nation but an Enlightenment based one
There is a religious conservative talk show host who I listen to every now and then, maybe with the intention of driving myself crazy. He is of the opinion for some reason, that atheists and humanists such as myself wish to basically persecute the devoutly religious, in particular evangelical/ fundamentalist Christian types.
That is because we want a more secular and religious state and society (this is true) so we must want to use the power of the government to do so.
Of course, we don't. I have no desire to persecute those who believe that gay men should burn in an eternal lake of fire (how much is the fuel cost there) because they happen to love people of the same sex.
I don't wish to persecute people who believe that atheists like me also deserve eternal torment for not bowing down to their supposed god. No gods, no masters by the way.
If someone wants America to be a theocracy, and there are millions of people who meet that definition (including some who ran for president on the Republican side) then that is their choice.
I will though, along with millions of other people, oppose them through my free speech/press rights (such as right here) or contributing to humanist and church/state separation groups such as American Humanist Association and Americans United for the Separation of Church and State.
Why this man, at least a generation older then myself, can't see the distinction between oppression and democratic opposition to his side, I have no idea. Paranoria?
This host thinks that America was set up as a god based society. Well, the Puritans might have thought so, but again, the Puritans didn't found our nation. Secularists and rationalists such as Thomas Paine, Thomas Jefferson, Ben Franklin and James Madison, did.
While some founders were devout Christians, what we have is an Enlightenment based secular republic. While none of these men would qualify as atheists today, their religious beliefs were based on reason and not faith or religious dogma.
This talk show host believed that as a god based nation (which we are not) we must continue continue tradition and remain a god based nation, which again, we are not. This is a logical fallacy, of appealing to tradition.
Tradition is often wrong, it endorsed monarchies and stated that women and racial minorities were to be denied the right to vote. Today, it endorses gays not having the right to marry in most parts of the nation.
Tradition is a worthless argument, if a tradition is good (and some are) then one doesn't need to appeal to tradition, just the arguments and principles on why that particular tradition is in fact, good.