Monday, February 26, 2007

Who Said This?

I've been reading Richard Dawkins' "The God Delusion" and it is every bit as good if not better than I expected. It's bursting with his infamous scalpel-sharp wit and his relentless defense of rationality against the ever-increasing onslaught of the patently absurd. It's an easy and amusing read, unless of course you believe in the supernatural and are frightened by anything that challenges those beliefs.

Early on in the book, he quotes the following:

"However, on religious issues there can be little or no compromise.
There is no position on which people are so immovable as their religious
beliefs. There is no more powerful ally one can claim in a debate than
Jesus Christ, or God, or Allah, or whatever one calls this supreme
being. But like any powerful weapon, the use of God's name on one's
behalf should be used sparingly. The religious factions that are
growing throughout our land are not using their religious clout with
wisdom. They are trying to force government leaders into following
their position 100 percent. If you disagree with these religious groups
on a particular moral issue, they complain, they threaten you with a
loss of money or votes or both. I'm frankly sick and tired of the
political preachers across this country telling me as a citizen that if
I want to be a moral person, I must believe in 'A,' 'B,' 'C,' and 'D.'
Just who do they think they are? And from where do they presume to
claim the right to dictate their moral beliefs to me? And I am even
more angry as a legislator who must endure the threats of every
religious group who thinks it has some God-granted right to control my
vote on every roll call in the Senate. I am warning them today:
I will fight them every step of the way if they try to dictate their
moral convictions to all Americans in the name of 'conservatism.' "

- Barry Goldwater, 1981

Hard to believe just 25 or so years later that a republican conservative actually entered those words into the congressional record.

What the hell happened?

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