Overheard (Oct. 2022)
Let’s be honest: These lawmakers aren’t sponsoring education with this $1.5 million. They’re sponsoring Christianity. With little state oversight of private schools, there’s no way to ensure the curriculum will teach these kids anything.
David Travis Bland, in an op-ed, regarding how South Carolina lawmakers have sent $1.5 million in a state budget earmark to Christian Learning Centers of Greenville.
Yahoo News, 8-23-22
Alito has warned that, as Americans become more secular, the U.S. may become less attuned to the constitutional rights of religious citizens. But when he makes this argument, a curious elision sometimes occurs, and he seems to be saying that the growing percentage of secular people is in itself a form of religious persecution.
Margaret Talbot, in her column, “Justice Alito’s crusade against a secular America isn’t over.”
The New Yorker, 9-5-22
I don’t care that you’re a Christian. I don’t care what the bible says. . . . I don’t believe in Christianity, which means that you do not get to dictate the way I live my life based on your religion. I don’t care what the bible says. I’m so tired about having nonstop conversations about what the bible says.
Ana Kasparian, political commentator, media host, university instructor and journalist, during her online political news show.
“The Young Turks,” 9-11-22
I don’t believe in God anymore because of the way my children and my family have treated me. There is nothing to believe anymore. I’m an atheist y’all.
Britney Spears, speaking out about how her religious beliefs have been impacted by her experience of her conservatorship.
CBS News, 9-5-22
Proponents of religious exemptions portray them as a shield to protect religious people from an increasingly secular United States. In reality, they’ve become a sword wielded to impose religious beliefs on others.
Louise Melling, deputy legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union, in an op-ed.
Washington Post, 9-8-22
The idea that religion should be protected from disagreement — that’s the problem. Why should the holdings of any faith be beyond critique, satire, even mockery? Religion is not a hereditary trait. It’s a set of ideas and behaviors and social practices. Those can be changed, and have been repeatedly throughout history. Blasphemy is part of that process, because it encourages questioning and independence of spirit and resistance to obscurantism and unjust authority. We progressives are supposed to take a side. Galileo or the Inquisition? Rushdie or the ayatollahs?
Katha Pollitt, in her column, “The left has a responsibility to side with Salman Rushdie.”
The Nation, 8-17-22
Much of what considers itself Christian America has assumed the symbols and identity of white authoritarian populism — an alliance that is a serious, unfolding threat to liberal democracy.
Michael Gerson, in his column, “Trump’s populism should enrage Christians. How come it doesn’t?”
Washington Post, 9-1-22
As time goes on, America will become even more culturally and ethnically diverse. Will religious diversity be part of that mix? Will it be home to nonbelievers and secularists? Or would they have to be closeted for their own safety?
Akhil Ramesh, in his column, “Religious persecution is closer to home than most Americans realize.”
The Hill, 8-28-22