Hot on the heals of yesterday's post, in which I questioned the government's right to declare that atheism is unpatriotic, we have an example of a political candidate using the government's teachings in charging a political rival with supporting atheist (read: "unAmerican") activities.
Albuquerque City Councilor Don Harris sent out a campaign mailing that "[Barbour] is a donor to Atheist organizations and speaker at Atheist events…" prominently featured, with the word "Atheist" capitalized and in italics to indicate that this is the horrible thing he wants the reader to focus on.
(See: The New Mexico Independent: ABQ City Councilor Harris responds to NMI on “atheist” attack on challenger)
We can well imagine what the reaction would have been if Harris had made the accusation that his opponent donated to Jewish causes and spoke at Jewish events. We would know right away what types of attitudes that Harris was appealing to - and even promoting - with such an advertisement.
The moral bankruptcy of such a statement would have ended Harris' political career immediately. Even his own party would have abandoned him for making such a bigoted claim, and for the hate-mongering inherent in such a statement.
Of course, Jews are smart enough to rise in absolute (and well justified) anger whenever somebody in political office - or aspiring to political office - expresses those kinds of sentiments. They have history to teach them how foolish it is to let those types of statements go unchallenged.
While many atheists arrogantly assert that they are mentally superior to those who hold any type of religious belief, here is the case in which atheists act as fools, where the Jews would respond to such a political ploy with far greater wisdom.
(Though the Jewish population should recognize that if it is viewed as politically legitimate to make this type of involvement in atheist organizations a political campaign one year, there is less to block the use of the same type of political message targeting Jews a few years down the road.)
Of course, we are then invited to ask the question of where people get the idea that "atheist" is equivalent to "being unfit for public office." We find the answer in the Pledge of Allegiance and the national motto. The former puts atheism in with rebellion, tyranny, and injustice as the four great unAmericanisms. The latter says that all patriotic Americans (We) trust in God.
This is a part of the cost - the special burden - placed on atheists because their government has adopted the policy of writing into its pledge, printing on its money, in posting in public buildings, the message, "Those who do not believe in God are not fit for public office."
As a consequence, candidates can put in their political mailings, "My opponent speaks at atheist events and donates to atheist causes." When this is combined with the government's hate-mongering, we have an effective filter that is 99.9% effective at keeping elected offices out of the reach of those who do not trust in God, or support a nation under God.
At the same time, we are told that the Pledge and the Motto are not to be understood as violating a prohibition on government against promoting or establishing religion.