Secularism will destroy us all (and other political links)

This look at the Becket Fund, a legal group that works on religious freedom cases, is quite interesting. I know them mostly from their right wing work (they’re advocating for Hobby Lobby in the current court case) so it’s interesting they’ve championed Muslims and others not so popular with the religious right.
What really leapt out at me was a statement late in the article that while the group’s founder believes in freedom of religion that doesn’t include non-religion: “The fight is now between people who believe in something and people who believe in precisely nothing. They are nihilists, and this is a threat that is simply unprecedented.”
The equation of secularists with people who believe in nothing is an old one, and complete bullshit. Not believing in God is not the same as believing in nothing or having no moral precepts. Rather than take time for a logical deconstruction, I’ll just throw in the words of Robert Ingersoll, the “great agnostic” of the 19th century: “Secularism teaches us to be good here and now. I know nothing better than goodness. Secularism teaches us to be just here and now. It is impossible to be juster than just. Secularism has no ‘castles in Spain.’ It has no glorified fog. It depends upon realities, upon demonstrations; and its end is to make this world better every day — to do away with poverty and crime, and to cover the world with happy and contented homes.
And frankly I’d opt for a secularist any day over a man who equates the fight against gay marriage to the fight against slavery. Not that he’s the first to do it, but it’s still repulsive and illogical. Particularly coming from the guy who thinks Biblical injunctions on slaves obeying their masters apply to employees.
•And then we have this gentleman, who thinks God is against beards. If beards weren’t wrong, why would men of honor object to them?—which seems the same as saying “The fact I oppose beards proves they must be sinful!” (Discussion at Slacktivist)
•A pagan temple in Beebe, Ark. discovers that no matter what they do, they can’t get the permits to open.
•Echidne looks at a recent survey finding more mothers are staying home and not working.
•Some Republicans says Obama has lost everything we gained in Iraq. A veteran responds that we gained absolutely zero.
•A new study indicates that people self-segregate into communities with similar politics. Roy Edroso looks at some libertarians who suggest this is all the more reason for shrinking the federal government, so that we don’t have to live under federal laws we don’t like.
Edroso’s commenters point out the flaws in this (like one of the primary historical reasons for segregation has been racial), but I’ll add one more: Who are these people who are perfectly happy to let the rest of the country run freely on its own way as long as their community does its own thing? I’m not: If some town enforces racial segregation or refuses to sell houses to Jews, I don’t think everyone in the community agreeing (assuming they do) justifies it, or that it should be up to local levels. And there’s no sign that conservatives who proclaim their belief in federalism really support it when it works against them. Rick Santorum, for instance, has no problem with saying that yes, he wants smaller government, but no, of course that doesn’t mean letting states decide their own gay marriage policies (because it’s wrong! Just like slavery!)
•On the merits of owning guns for self defense
•Dick Cheney says Obama’s been more wrong about Iraq than any president in history. A Fox News host points out Cheney is hardly in a position to claim that: “Time and time again, history has proven that you got it wrong as well in Iraq, sir. You said there was no doubt Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. You said we would be greeted as liberators. You said the insurgency was in its last throes back in 2005, and you said that after our intervention, extremists would have to ‘rethink their strategy of jihad.’ Now, with almost a trillion dollars spent there, with almost 4,500 American lives lost there, what do you say to those who say you were so wrong about so much at the expense of so many?”

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