Taliban, United States | Courthouse News Service
Let’s talk about belief or, as some call it, faith. I will use the simplest language possible, to address issues of immense scope.
Belief, or faith, is something inherently unprovable. We do not believe that 2+2=4. We know it.
We do not know — we cannot — know that a god, or gods, exist; or that god, or the gods, act a certain way, or would have us act a certain way.
Believe it or not, believe it or not.
Now if a believe and know that something – for example, driving at 90 mph in a school zone in the presence of children – is dangerous, it is reasonable to demand that neighbors and strangers refrain from doing so. And it is reasonable to expect the police and judges to punish them if they do.
However, in matters of belief or faith — religion — it is not reasonable to believe that a person, or a group of people, should be able to force others to believe the same thing as them — on pain of sanctions. legal — and people who don’t believe he should be punished for it.
This is where today’s right-wing Republicans, and most members of the United States Supreme Court, cross the line between creed or faith and tyranny, much like the Taliban.
Now, right-wing Republicans may believe that the United States of America was founded as a “Christian nation” – whatever that might mean – but that’s a belief, not a fact.
Our most brilliant founding father, Thomas Jefferson, was a deist. He wrote in the Declaration of Independence: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and The pursuit of happiness. .”
Jefferson spoke of a “Creator”, not of a Christian god.
Deism is generally defined as the belief in a supreme being who does not interfere in the affairs of mankind. It is a belief, without claiming a fact.
Every religion, in fact, is a belief, or a combination of beliefs.
Certain beliefs – religious or not – can, after a while, become demonstrable facts: for example, that the Earth is a sphere and not the center of the universe.
People have been burned at the stake for saying this and believing it – including, damn near, Galileo.
Some beliefs, however, will never become demonstrable facts: for example, that there is a god — only one god — and that this god has certain attributes, and wants, in fact, to order, that everyone must act, and think, in a certain way; and that this god wants, in fact, orders, that everyone in a certain country on Earth, and all over the Earth, should act in a certain way and believe in the things that believers of this god do.
Prudence indeed dictates that in a world in which billions of people hold differing beliefs about a Supreme Being, it is good for them to act on the notions they believe their god dictates to them.
But to claim that these people’s particular beliefs – no matter how many weapons they possess – allow them to force their neighbors and strangers to act and believe the things believers do, is a recipe for endless strife. . It is a recipe for war, for pogroms, for holocaust and catastrophe.
To act in this manner, to enlist the forces of government to impose one’s beliefs on others, is to be a Taliban, or a right-wing Republican, or a member of the current majority of the Supreme Court of the United States.
Voltaire wrote: “I don’t agree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”
But today’s right-wing Republicans, especially the governors of Florida and Texas, say, “I don’t agree with what you say, and you won’t have the right to say it,” especially if the subject concerns human biology, the history of the United States, and concepts such as fairness, freedom, a just society, and a moral and dignified life.
Many right-wing Republicans today, exemplified by Blake Masters, a neo-fascist candidate for the US Senate from Arizona, have argued that the Democratic Party is “actively trying to destroy families.”
For all their talk of “family values,” right-wing Republican attacks on public schools, exemplified by Ron DeSantis of Florida, are telling us all how we should raise our children: don’t suggest it, demand it – and if a teacher disagrees, or a librarian disagrees, they should be fired, and many have already been forced out of their profession.
Fact: Women are not mentioned in the US Constitution. Nor are blacks, apart from the determination that they should be counted as three-fifths of a human being, for counting purposes only, but are not granted any rights as human beings .
Fact: Republican lawmakers in 36 states have introduced bills banning public schools from teaching students about our country’s history of institutionalized racism, which began with the Constitution, continued through Reconstruction and continues today, under the banning rubric of “critical race theory” – Whatever.
A cold look at history shows that a country that forbids public education on certain topics that affect everyone’s daily life is a hallmark of fascist regimes.
Governors DeSantis, Greg Abbott, and others have passed laws that muzzle our public school teachers, from kindergarten through college, from teaching or even hinting at facts of our country’s history, at the risk of losing their job. Their livelihoods. Their paychecks. the well-being of their children.
Like in Putin’s Russia. And the Iran of the Ayatollahs. And Xi’s China. And the India of Narendra Modi. And Hitler’s Germany.
Ignorance is not bliss, my friends. It’s a recipe for inflicting endless pain on most of the world today, especially on women and their children – who were brought up to believe they had no choice but to suffer the pain inflicted by their distant lords.
War is not peace. Freedom is not slavery. Ignorance is not strength.
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