Class Warfare Blog

November 28, 2019

From What Planet. . . ?

Filed under: Reason,Religion — Steve Ruis @ 8:41 am
Tags: , ,

Diane Ravitch’s blog today shared a lecture (often called a sermon) by Rev. Dr. Charles Foster Johnson (J.M. Dawson Lecture on Religious Liberty, “Religious Liberty, the Public School, and the Soul of America,” Baylor University, October 7, 2019).

Everything was perking right along until . . .

The corollary to this God-given religious liberty is the principle of the strict separation of the church from the state. In our work in Pastors for Texas Children, we refer to religious liberty as a gift from God to all people, and note that James Madison did not make it up. God did. Madison took an eternal spiritual truth that God authored and wrote it down in an extraordinary sentence that comprises the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States: ‘Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.’

Hit the brakes! WTF?

Religious freedom is a “gift from god?” This is yet another example of everything we label “good,” being automatically labeled as a gift from their god.

The worship of this particular god resulted in the religions that basically say “believe or be tortured forever; obey or suffer the consequences.” The Israelites were never told “you are free to worship whatever god you choose in what ever way you choose, so sayeth God.” They were told to obey Yahweh or else. The same holds true for Jesus worshipers; believe or suffer everlasting torment.

How the fuck is this “religious freedom”? How is this “the state shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” Israeli was a theocracy at the time. Rulers ruled by warrant from their god, period. If a ruler had a falling out with their god or even their priests, they should pack their bags because they were toast, sometimes literally. This is the polar opposite of what religious freedom means.

The history of the various churches involved show heresy to be a crime, often to be punished by death. The church often captured citizens and tortured them, prosecuted them, and executed them, and the various “states” were fine with that. There certainly was no church-sanctioned “religious freedom,” and the United States was the first nation to be built upon this premise (amongst others). This desire was founded on wanting to avoid the religious wars of Europe, which were promulgated by state-imposed religions. Poor England was whipsawed multiple times as its monarch oscillated between Catholic and Protestant faiths; those in ascendance could be in hiding in a very short time.

Religious freedom labeled as a gift from god, my ass. If one can consider something ripped from desperate grasping hands a gift, then this might be believable.

“Thou shalt fear the LORD thy God, and serve him . . .” (Jesus, KJV)



  1. They demand religious freedom then subscribe to a religion that monitors your every move and though, proving they are the ones that need strict governance.
    Good catch Steve, Yahweh or the highway. Some religious freedom that is…


    Comment by jim- — November 28, 2019 @ 8:47 am | Reply

    • Happy Thanksgiving, Jim! (The “Bah, Humbug” is reserved for bogus religious claims this season!)

      On Thu, Nov 28, 2019 at 8:47 AM Class Warfare Blog wrote:



      Comment by Steve Ruis — November 28, 2019 @ 8:49 am | Reply

      • You too Steve. It’s been a fun ride. Thanks.


        Comment by jim- — November 28, 2019 @ 8:51 am | Reply

  2. Some Texas Baptists do not agree with Rev. Dr. Charles Foster Johnson’s warped concepts of Church and State. This counter-argument is from Larry Taylor the Head Master at Prestonwood Christian Academy in Plano, Texas:

    But more glaringly obvious Steve is the fact that NEITHER of these showmen nor their baptist constituents have the slightest clue that our nation’s Core Founding Fathers NEVER designed/wrote-in our blueprints for this nation to be a Christian nation in the first place! Our federal government (and state governments?) are Constitutionally designed to be NEUTRAL, secular, of no bias to any ONE religion, but legally (passively to degrees) representative of ALL religions.

    But alas, pea-brained religious zealots cannot wrap their simple, crude, Superstitious minds around this pillar of Constitutional democracy and liberties—that really have very, very little to do with ANY religion and a lot, LOT MORE about all human beings no matter their creed. STOP. PERIOD. Go no further!

    But how tolerant are Conservative, Fundy Christians tolerant of all peoples? That’s a rhetorical question btw. 🙄😩 I am so tired of trying to educate religious zealots about our country’s factual, authentic documents and their Secular-tending authors. Pfffffftttt.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Professor Taboo — November 28, 2019 @ 9:56 am | Reply

    • And Happy Thanksgiving to you! I am tired of those claiming that atheists have nothing to give thanks for. What if we were to have a tradition that on Thanksgiving Day, we would write notes to all of those people in our lives we owe thanks to. Doctors who helped us survive. Tow truck drivers who pulled us out of a snowy bank. Bankers who helped us get out from under a dicey loan, Lawyers who defended us in court against false charges. Think of millions of these notes being sent via snail mail, email, and whatnot. I am sure that this “feel good” exercise would be diluted by every fricking commercial vendor thanking each and everyone of their customers, but we could disabuse them of doing that on a mechanized scale.

      On Thu, Nov 28, 2019 at 9:56 AM Class Warfare Blog wrote:


      Liked by 2 people

      Comment by Steve Ruis — November 28, 2019 @ 10:19 am | Reply

      • HEAR HEAR Steve! Agree wholeheartedly! And gobble gobble to you too Sir! 🦃 Though materially and financially I am nowhere near as “wealthy” as most—in fact, should some calamity befall me I would be in horrible shape, completely unprepared—but in all the other more important aspects of life, i.e. relationships, family, friends, memories, and forthcoming relational memories… I am one of the wealthiest on Earth! 😉

        Happy Thanksgiving to you Steve. 🍂👪🍷


        Comment by Professor Taboo — November 28, 2019 @ 10:36 am | Reply

        • My favorite quote was from a colleague who say “I’m wealthy; I just don’t have the money yet.”

          On Thu, Nov 28, 2019 at 10:36 AM Class Warfare Blog wrote:


          Liked by 1 person

          Comment by Steve Ruis — November 29, 2019 @ 7:16 am | Reply

  3. we refer to religious liberty as a gift from God to all people

    Or a human idea first formally implemented in the 6th Century BCE by Cyrus the Great… but let’s not let facts get in the way of a good Christian fabrication.

    Liked by 2 people

    Comment by john zande — November 28, 2019 @ 1:25 pm | Reply

  4. I seem to recall reading of pre-xtian Rome looking at the gods of those they (Romans) just defeated in battle and saying something like, what is this image? The reply was along this; “Oh that is our god of the forest, we call him Bob. The Roman leader replies back, he sure looks very much like our god of the forest. We call him Joe.” Joe, Bob, same forest, who cares what we call him?That is tolerance in my view and no, my view/opinion is not humble. Too damn old and in piss poor enough health to start trying to be humble.
    Oh, lest I forget, happy turkey day to all.

    Liked by 2 people

    Comment by Walter Kronkat — November 28, 2019 @ 11:46 pm | Reply

  5. The idea that the religious freedom is a gift from God makes sense in the context, that I suppose went unstated, that goes something like this: “Constitution gives me freedom to practice my religion as I wish, and all other so-called religions are not real religions (because only my God is real) and therefore freedom of religion shouldn’t really apply to these heathens and heretics.”

    Liked by 2 people

    Comment by List of X — November 29, 2019 @ 8:31 am | Reply

    • So we are free to practice the “One True Religion(tm)”? Can you imagine an American Idol-like program designed to select the one true religion. The first phase would select the OTR main category, say “Christianity” and then the second would be “Protestant, Catholic, or Other” and finally the version of the OTR that we would all them be free to practice! Imagine the ratings!!


      Comment by Steve Ruis — November 29, 2019 @ 8:38 am | Reply

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