Rather than inserting this in 'Delusion' Comment String….I felt it a better idea to offer a more directed follow up to the range of posts – some deeply thoughtful whether or not I personally agree – while others, well, were far less connected.
My original post certainly does not at all even infer that I 'hate' Christians - I've grown extremely tired of that crass and largely self serving inaccuracy, as a matter of fact - since as a religious minority myself; I have lived with, loved and worked among Christian majorities for a very long time.
As all who have been reading my posts have likely hypothesized, I am clearly not a proponent of organized religion. At the same time, being a devout member of an organized religion should not be presumed the same as having deep 'faith.'
The many I've known who are otherwise often called and derided as 'atheists' or 'agnostics' includes a very large number of folks of the deepest honest belief, social responsibility and faith that I've ever experienced. I prefer the term ‘secularist’ and refer to myself in this way.
While having 'religion' and having 'faith' can and does occur simultaneously in the same individual, these are definitely not the same and persons of deep faith can just as easily strongly deny organized religion and its respective, more often than not self-aggrandizing, interpretations.
Not believing in your 'god' does not, in the least, infer any lack of faith and belief; just that it is framed differently.
One poster on the original ‘Delusion’ string had the temerity to group race, sexual orientation and being 'Christian' as equivalents with regards to experiencing discrimination because he was asked not to use 'Merry Christmas' at his place of work.
If he needs to do so, he may offer me and I will return, his 'Merry Christmas.' At the same time, those who do not welcome this salutation should have their preferences respected and acknowledged.
Being asked to respect diversity and the preferences of others is hardly 'discriminatory.' I'd also figure that this poster's employer likely has many non-Christian and/or those are not responsive to the Christmas holidays who also should be shown, at the least, courtesy and individual respect.
I agree with Stone’s last post on my ‘Delusion’ string but with the one exception being his inference that there is a dramatic difference in the way a large number of Americans as compared to a large number of 'foreigners' view and need the supernatural nature of religion for their strength.
As an aside, Thomas Jefferson - definitely a 'Christian' person - actively wrote of his strong contempt for the 'controls' and sense of misplaced authority routinely applied by clergy. Jefferson also most vehemently opposed all of the supernatural aspects of the Christian belief structure.
To that end, Jefferson rewrote the New Testament in order to identify Jesus as just another human being though a uniquely and deeply revered mortal teacher; no 'son of god;' no 'virgin birth;' no 'wine into water;' walking on water or resurrections...none of that. Jefferson got rid of it all.
Almost all of what the Christian Revisionist’s have written about Jefferson is incorrect and easily so demonstrated.
While I forget the exact stats right now, America has, in fact, cycled back to a louder, larger and more active religious 'sector' than other countries particularly in Europe and the respective neighborhood. As it has in the past, however, the cycle will mute again though this one has been longer and far more intrusive than other similar points in American history.
Of course, when asked for religious affiliation and degree of practice (among other things), we know that self-report mechanisms can be remarkably unreliable. People will document how they see themselves/what they think they should be doing rather than the more humdrum and, sometimes, conflicted realities.
For instance, an absurd percentage of Americans accept 'creationism' and reject foundational evolutionary science; an absurd percentage of Americans deny basic scientific realities; an absurd number of Americans have been convinced - have been nothing but conned - into the America as a 'Christian Nation' historical revisionism.
And many of these numbers don't understand that Fox News’ annual coverage of the 'War on Christmas' is only and all about ratings and increased advertising dollars. Too many Americans are easily manipulated as part of their own conflicted realities.
And an absurd within group number of these Americans apparently believe being asked not to say 'Merry Christmas' in diverse professional settings is 'Christian discrimination' in the same way far too many believe it is OK to deny other Americans their basic freedoms and rights if they happen to be their employees; or the employees of a self-professed ‘devout’ Christian.
An absurd number of Americans have also been shaped to believe that if the rest of us don't care; that if the rest of us (a majority of us, actually) do not accept their particular Christian interpretation to the point of using it as a foundation for law and national legislation; even new amendments to the Constitution, it somehow interferes with their sense of 'religious freedom.'
This is the exact absurdity that motivated my original post. It only becomes ‘anti-Christian,’ really, when the reader either him or herself falls into what is actually an even smaller subset of these identified numbers of Americans.
My original ‘Delusion’ post was also not intended as directly 'religious' but was intended to identify what I consider significant systemic and structural deficits combined with substantial inaccuracies based on unabashed revisionist practices surrounding America’s foundation and history while writing more about what America is and who Americans REALLY are...
I wish those who prefer; a Merry (and peace filled) Christmas. To the rest of us, I extend a wish for peace and comfort in your own belief and faith.