Thursday, March 24, 2005

Carving out a faith-free zone

I used to live in a secular society where people worried about how to make a living, educate their kids and make family decisions without turning everything into a religious battle. Yet even before the Schiavo case sparked saturation coverage about the role of faith in our society, our newsmagazines have started to look like Guideposts.

Time's cover story last week was Hail, Mary. Then this week, Jon Meacham writes yet another cover story for Newsweek on How Jesus Became Christ. Imagine what the covers will be next week if Terri dies around Easter!

After virtually ignoring religion for years, mainstream media seems heaven-bent on making up for lost time. As a born-again atheist, I hope this orgy of religious indulgence and self-righteousness ends soon. Let the beer-swilling, football-watching guys I grew up with get back to ogling Janet's nipple instead of treating it like the end of life on earth as we know it. Leave decisions about life and death and family disputes to the courts. And let's get back to teaching kids real science. It's now gotten so bad that Imax theaters in the South are refusing to show a documentary on volcanoes because of a reference to evolution.

I want politicians to spend their day thinking up ways to make the life we do have left in us more enjoyable. Spare the next generation the terrifying burden of trying to solve global warming before it's too late. Give people health insurance they can count on. Stop using our tax dollars to torture people as part of the Big Lie about how this keeps us safer. And spare me the self-righteous rhetoric about how you are on the side of the angels.

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