"Freedom = The distance between church and state."
That's the bumper sticker I saw recently. Bumper stickers bug me anyway as the almost always reflect a deep lack of understanding of a subject or a trite one liner. This one was no exception.
One could make an argument that the sticker was commenting on ALL religions. It would be a false argument, though. By using the word church, we come directly to the idea of keeping Christianity away from government. In a way, I agree. The "church" can't even agree on things like baptism and sex outside of marriage and they get VERY angry and bitter over it. Do I want the "us four and no more" mentality with the full force of law behind it? Under no circumstances. That is one of the major dangers of "official" religions. Constantine tried it and we got the Catholic Church...pieces of pagan religions thrown in with Christian theology.
The idea here is distinctly anti-religion or, as I said, anti-Christian. The people who sport these sort of bumpoer stickers don't want to be told that you have to be a believer to be in office, and rightly so. They are, however, more than willing to be able to tell you or I that we are unable to serve because we ARE a believer. It also shows a profound lack of knowledge.
First of all, take a step back, Hippie, and look at the world. Big, green and blue, and mostly impoverished and/or oppressed. Most of the world falls under the control of people espousing religions OTHER than the much- feared Christianity. Hinduism, Islam and Atheist Communism rule over at least half of the world's population. Pagan religions and other minor beliefs rule over much of Africa and Asia that isn't Communist. One would be hard pressed to successfully argue that China, India, North Korea, Africa, or any of the Islamic countries are warm and fuzzy places to live.
The Chinese oppress ALL religions, and political dissent. They will shoot you in the head and then bill your family for the bullet. India has had mass removals of Christians and Muslims. This deosn't even touch the fact of the horrid, mind boggling poverty in that country. Burhma is targeting Christians. Try being an atheist in one of the sand box Islamic countries. Even in Post Christian Europe the idea of free speech is being increasingly squashed or dominated by the Muslim immigrants.
The simple fact is that the very religion that these people are railing against is the very reason they have the RIGHT to do so. For the last 2000 years, those nations who consider themselves "Chirstian" nations are the ones who have driven the progress of the human race. Air Conditioners? Yep. Cars. Yep. Flight? Yep. Microwaves, free speech, the printing press, the end of slavery (except in Muslim countries), private property, the single most economically successful country in the history of the world? Yep. Allthese things and more spring from Christianity. It may not be a direct source, but it was the soil in which these things took root and grew. Things which are noticably lacking in those places, like modern day Europe or China, where the more enlightened idea of atheism holds sway.
So, where would you, dear Atheist, prefer to live? Or, as the case may be depending on the country, die?