Presumably in recognition of Flag Day, the editors of the metro-west Massachusetts newspaper Sentinel & Enterprise have asked a poll question on their homepage for today, June 14: "Do the words 'under God' belong in the Pledge of Allegiance?".
Just two months ago, Atheist activist Michael Newdow failed to convince a federal court in California that references to God in the Pledge of Allegiance and on US currency are unconstitutional endorsements of religion. Newdow was not discouraged, and continues to develop legal strategies to attack this unconstitutional endorsement of a religious view by the government.
Let's encourage Newdow and others who are working to further and defend the separation of church and state, by making our views known. There are many people for whom the defense of "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance is a reflex -- they're just not thinking about that they're doing. That doesn't stop them, of course, and it doesn't discourage politicians who want to be seen as defenders of traditional values, no matter how prejudicial the status quo is against secular members of the community.
Please go to http://www.sentinelandenterprise.com today, Tuesday June 14th, and share your vote. It's just an online poll in a local newspaper, sure, but we need to make a little noise, push back a little, every time we see someone trying to drum up support for inappropriate church-state entanglement.
As of writing, there are 133 votes for the God clause, and 11 against. One of those is mine. Let's push back a little, please.
I'll be writing a letter to the editor today, to hopefully appear in the paper tomorrow. I'll share what I write on the mailing lists / message boards, and I encourage others to write as well.
At the show page for NH NPR's The Socrates Exchange, you can hear me, BA director Zachary Bos, opine on the meaning of life, from 26:45-31:00. I'm sure the zampolits will tell me if I deviate from Atheist Command's official dogma. (Direct link to audio file here)
Quick answer: yes, life is *ultimately* meaningless, but so what? There are more than enough kinds of subjective, personal, human-sized meaning to keep ourselves busy with.
I had this answer ready where I talk about the impressive ways our Boston Atheists members flaunt the old idea that a life without gods is a life devoid of meaning, but it isn't in the final cut of the show. Too bad -- it would be have good to hear about we've got folks who are raising kids, who volunteer, who work in fields with low pay but high yield of social benevolence, who possess sophisticated views of the universe and their place in it, etc. Long story short: it's real nice to be a part of this crowd.
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