An atheist groks the essential

Brent Rasmussen and I have widely divergent opinions about God, life, the universes and everything. What we share, however, is a basic understanding of why it is unwise to embrace government oppression of your political or religious foes:

Dawn Sherman, the 14 year old student in Buffalo Grove High School in Illinois who is fighting a mandatory moment of silence law, is getting hammered by the incredibly intolerant, misinformed, “persecuted” Christians who are willing to throw away their civil rights because they happen to be in the majority at this moment.

From my perspective, it’s even worse than that. Forget “civil rights”, which are held at the whim of the granting authority. They are throwing away their unalienable God-given rights. Now, there is some legitimate room for discussion here, as a school is not Congress and a school policy is not a law. The concept of separation of Church and State has certainly been stretched to encompass absurd applications. But since that’s not the level upon which this debate is normally held, it’s really not relevant here.

Unlike far too many atheists and Christians alike, Brent understands that once government possesses a certain power, the only question that remains is who will be targeted by that power. Use government to oppress today and you may very well be among the oppressed tomorrow. Moreover, you will deserve it.

This is not rocket science. What is merely a mandated moment of silence can easily be transformed into the mandated worship of Caesar’s image.