Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Oh Kentucky!

Welcome to the Bluegrass State, where we are ranked 37th in education, 38th in unemployment, 42nd in rate of heart disease, 44th in rate of teen pregnancy, and 51st in cancer death rate. As we approach elections, our republican candidate for governor is making a big deal about our incumbent governor, a democrat, participating in a Hindu blessing at a ground-breaking ceremony for a new Indian-owned business in the state. Keep in mind that this same current governor offered huge tax breaks for a Noah's Ark Theme Park last year.


Can we please talk about some of the actual issues and stop bickering about whose made up gods are better?


  1. I think you missed a chance to recognize the Governor (about whom I know little, so I'm addressing only this one event) for being open enough to set aside his own religious inhibitions to take part in a ritual foreign to him. It's a mark of an enlightened person to be able to embrace other's beliefs rather than bicker over them. Take Martin Luther King Jr., who nominated a Buddhist monk for the Nobel Peace Prize and was directly influenced by a Hindu. That very same Hindu, who's affect on the entire world is immeasurable boldly stated "I am a Christian, a Muslim, a Hindu." It is by accepting all beliefs, not degrading them, that humanity is most able to learn become a compassionate race.

  2. Reverend King was a remarkable man, that I don't question. That all faiths have more in common than they do different is essentially what I argue for as well. Of course as a secular humanist, I don't believe any of them are necessary for compassion or morality, thus the frustration over seeing people of faith bicker about the differences.

    In my ideal world, faith would truly be personal and not influencing our political system. I have no problem with people believing what they want to believe, but would like the public political forum left for discussions of real issues and solutions. Just last week our Congress passed a law to uphold "In God We Trust" as our national motto, when they could have spent time helping our unemployment rate, addressing the economy, fixing our broken healthcare system, etc. I much prefer the original secular motto, E pluribus unum, "out of many, one."

  3. This morning I read about the Hindu American Foundation's response to this incident and commend what their representative Suhag Shukla had to say: “Hindus hold the view that there exist multiple, valid paths to relate to God, whereas the Senator believes that the only true path lies in his. While I may disagree, so long as such beliefs are not imposed upon or used to harass, intimidate, or curtail the rights and freedoms of others through mechanisms of the state, provocation, hate speech, fraud, duress, or coercion, he is free to hold them in our great democracy.” If you took out the word "God" and replaced it with "the world," his words would echo my opinions.

    However, he also points out that this Hindu worldview is "completely irreconcilable" with the Christian worldview that Jesus is the only path to god. Similarly, I find my secular worldview constantly under attack by Christianity because the following two statements cannot both be true: "Jesus is necessary for morality" and "Humanism can provide morality."

  4. Whoops... I forgot to include the link to the HAF response.

  5. I agree that government should try to keep religion out of politics. The debate on who is right and who is not is a huge waste of time. Our elected officials should all agree that right belief is subjective. It is in how you live, not what you believe that we can know someone's character. Secular Humanism is one more valid path to peace.