Cognitive Dissonance: The 4th of July, celebrating the birth of a SECULAR nation.

Cognitive Dissonance

Cognitive Dissonance: a discomfort caused by holding conflicting ideas simultaneously The theory of cognitive dissonance proposes that people have a motivational drive to reduce dissonance. They do this by changing their attitudes, beliefs and actions. Dissonance is also reduced by justifying, blaming and denying.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

The 4th of July, celebrating the birth of a SECULAR nation.

Dan Barker and his life partner Laurie Gaylor joined (started?) the FFRF (Freedom From Religion Foundation) after they left "the church". Dan Barker was an evangelical pastor, missionary and musician. He worked full time as a pastor for years, and was quite successful writing music and musical theater programs for children. Over time, Dan began to recognize the lies and propaganda that he was sold/told, and was now propagating to the members of his church, and the folks who bought/heard his music. After a long struggle he reached a point where he had no choice but to reject Christianity based solely on the fact that the premises were not true. This is a conclusion that anyone brave enough and honest enough will reach if they take the time to investigate the claims of any/all organized religions. Anyway, I'm way off topic, Dan wrote a book titled, "Godless" about his journey from faith to reason. There are a couple other books by Dan I would recommend as well. "Losing Faith in Faith" and "The Christian Delusion - Why Faith Fails" which he wrote with another friend of mine, John W. Loftus, also a former evangelical Christian.

This past 4th of July, the FFRF put a full page ad in newspapers around the country. In the ad, they quoted many of our founding fathers, framers of the Constitution and other great men who helped shape the United States as a nation. Contrary to the popular myth put forth by the Christian church, the US is not and was not a "Christian nation" in any way, shape or form. The United States exists because of religious persecution and poor government by religious bodies/institutions. The United States has and always has had a secular Constitution. There was a purposeful separation of Church and State by the framers of the Constitution, and again, contrary to popular myth, the framers were not "Christians" for the most part. The few that were religious, or that did claim association with the Christian church did NOT subscribe to any of the ridiculous tenets/notions that we find at the core of evangelical Christian churches today. A few were Anglican, a few were Quakers, a few admitted to being "deists", which means they had a loosely held belief in a god, but didn't claim to know much beyond that about god... I didn't know any of this before my apostasy, and I find it striking how many American citizens aren't aware of these facts either. It reminds me of what Joseph Goebbels, the head of the Nazi propaganda department once said - “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State."

Often, when I bring this up in conversation with "believers" I get a lot of excuses, or vaguely veiled insults. So let me give you one last example that should put this issue to rest. Assuming you're a reasonable person, who is influenced by facts/truth. In article 11 of the Treaty of Tripoli it states - "As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion; as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquility, of Musselmen; and as the said States never have entered into any war or act of hostility against any Mehomitan nation, it is declared by the parties that no pretext arising from religious opinions shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries." The preliminary treaty began with a signing on 4 November, 1796 (the end of George Washington's last term as president). Joel Barlow, the American diplomat served as counsel to Algiers and held responsibility for the treaty negotiations. Barlow had once served under Washington as a chaplain in the revolutionary army. He became good friends with Paine, Jefferson, and read Enlightenment literature. Later he abandoned Christian orthodoxy for rationalism and became an advocate of secular government. Joel Barlow wrote the original English version of the treaty, including Amendment 11. Barlow forwarded the treaty to U.S. legislators for approval in 1797. Timothy Pickering, the secretary of state, endorsed it and John Adams concurred (now during his presidency), sending the document on to the Senate. The Senate approved the treaty on June 7, 1797, and officially ratified UNANIMOUSLY by the Senate with John Adams signature on 10 June, 1797. Many of our founding fathers and the framers of the Constitution had a hand in wording this document. There should be little or no doubt whatsoever that the US is not, in any sense, a "Christian nation."

All that to get to the point, the reason I am sharing this is because I want people to see the reaction these ads got from Christians. The backlash is laced with fear! This is what cognitive dissonance looks like. This is what happens when you confront lies with the truth. It's painful for the individual experiencing it, and it's equally painful to watch from the outside looking in, especially since I was once EXACTLY like the people who responded to these ads. Lastly, I'm sure I don't have to point this out, but the responses from these "Christian" folks are ANYTHING but "Christian" and they're certainly not patriotic. I hope, for the sake of our children and our country we can dispel these myths and eradicate the irrational thought and behavior that's elicited by adherence to lies as a core belief system.

Take a moment to read the responses from the followers of Jesus and his religion of love...

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