left biblioblography: The Red White And Blue – And Why I’m Glad To Be Under That Flag..

Sunday, July 04, 2010

The Red White And Blue – And Why I’m Glad To Be Under That Flag..

Cross posted @ God Is 4 Suckers!thomas_paine1

“Society in every state is a blessing, but government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil; in its worst state an intolerable one; for when we suffer or are exposed to the same miseries by a government, which we might expect in a country without government, our calamity is heightened by reflecting that we furnish the means by which we suffer.” – Thomas Paine

Well, it’s true: America has some serious reforms. We need more jobs, we need something vaguely resembling universal healthcare, we still need to eliminate poverty and needless suffering, and provide better education. The laundry list goes on, at length, seemingly ad infinitum. But complain as we so often do, it’s an easy thing to forget just how lucky we atheists  are.

For one such item, if I were to post my anti-religious declamations (as I do here and at my own blog) and I were living in a Sharia state, I could very well be punished with anything ranging from a fine to beheading. Whereas here in the US, we can actually argue what constitutes ‘blasphemy’ in court, and whether it’s allowed. And we have a pretty good clue that the ‘free exchange of ideas’ motto doesn’t fly in some communist states.

I’ll not debate the fact that America has in some abstract way let us down that varies according to interpretation, but we should celebrate the right to interpret. Because after all, freedom of religion is impossible without freedom from religion.

And let’s face it: we have the higher standard of living, ergo a higher standard of education, thanks to our glut of resources, that we can actually afford to be atheists. In other countries, it’s difficult (and likely impossible in some) to actually break free of the powerful superstitions that have become entrenched in societies.

Knowledge is power, after all.

Celebrate your freedom. Celebrate the Fourth, and safely. Allow me to top this off with a quote from one of my heroes, Thomas Paine:

We can only reason from what is; we can reason on actualities, but not on possibilities.
Thomas Paine

Till the next post, then.

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