On Wednesday, American Secular Census (ASC) posted an article that focused on secular women. The report didn’t have any new information for me since I am a geezer in the movement but I wanted to address something that has bothered me ever since I identified myself as an atheist and secular humanist. There seems to be a notion that criticizing religion is always wrong and that we stunt the growth of freethought by doing it. I feel this is a false notion and is a wrong point to focus on when trying to build a secular community.
The troubles in the Middle East flared up this past week as Israel went after Hamas in the Gaza strip. First there was air strikes and now with the weekend came a ground invasion. Of course it was all set off by Hamas and their agents firing rockets into Israel. Unfortunately in this situation there won’t be any winners and neither side have a good defense for their actions.
The root causes of these troubles began when people of Jewish heritage began to move into the Palestine area It is their historical and religious homeland. The state of Israel was created in 1948.
The problem is that Arabs also claim the same area as their historical and religious homeland. They don’t care for Israel or Jews since it has meant being displaced from their homes and treated as second class citizens since 1948.
That conflict has seen several wars, terrorism, and protests.
There have been calls for a solution to end the pattern of violence and either the Palestinians reject it or Israel does. Any real solution would reduce the size of Israel and it s power over the Arabs in the area.
A real solution would require Palestinians sharing land with the Jews in a two state plan and to stop the ineffectual terrorism and rocket attacks. These slights might rev up the people in the neighborhood but rockets against one of the more technological advanced militaries in the world is just plain stupid.
Israel is not going anywhere and neither are the Arabs.
What I do know is that allies of these two groups need to stop enabling their fighting and force them to work out a solution.
While out and about today I came across the following sign outside a local church:
In case you can’t read the text, it reads “Free Trips To Heaven Details Inside”
The words could be interpreted more than one way. The first way is you can get to Heaven by going to church (which is probably the intent), the other way is funny to me. You go inside the church and they will kill you for free.