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← The Dangerous Fallacy of Ceremonial Deism

The Dangerous Fallacy of Ceremonial Deism - Comments

Peter Grant's Avatar Comment 1 by Peter Grant

Deists, rejecting the idea of an intervening God with whom one can have a personal relationship, would find the notion of "trusting" in God to be rather puzzling.

Pretty much sums it up, "ceremonial deism" is another one of those oxymorons.

Mon, 04 Jun 2012 19:44:55 UTC | #945544

Neodarwinian's Avatar Comment 2 by Neodarwinian

" it is harmless because it is understood as having no religious meaning. "

Really? Then why not just say " One Nation Under The Atmosphere? " Or," In Titanium We Trust! "

Mon, 04 Jun 2012 20:24:35 UTC | #945561

Greyman's Avatar Comment 3 by Greyman

Justice William Brennan, who in 1984 was the first high court justice to refer to “ceremonial deism” in a written opinion, explained that the term covers religious references that "have lost through rote repetition any significant religious content."

Sheesh!  How could anyone miss that rote repetition of catch phrases is one way to reinforce content?

Mon, 04 Jun 2012 20:33:01 UTC | #945563

Carl Sai Baba's Avatar Comment 4 by Carl Sai Baba

Same flip-flop every time...

ATHEIST: We shouldn't have 'in god we trust' on our money.
CHRISTIAN: It's just a slogan, not an official doctrine.
ATHEIST: We shouldn't give government money to religious groups.
CHRISTIAN: But it says God right on our money!

Mon, 04 Jun 2012 20:57:05 UTC | #945567

Carl Sai Baba's Avatar Comment 5 by Carl Sai Baba

I should note that I only oppose government support of FALSE religions. As the one true incarnation of God on Earth, I could accept federal funding and praise without hesitation. Everyone bow down and bend over for me while I perform amateur parlor tricks.

Mon, 04 Jun 2012 21:01:22 UTC | #945570

Roedy's Avatar Comment 6 by Roedy

The term covers religious references that "have lost through rote repetition any significant religious content."

Clearly this is not so or people would not be at each other's throats. What's really going on is Christians trying to force their religion on others by the back door. The constitution is a reasonable compromise in this dispute. Those that deliberately misinterpret it, like Brennan, deserve impeachment.

Mon, 04 Jun 2012 21:42:36 UTC | #945578

TeraBrat's Avatar Comment 7 by TeraBrat

Excellent article.

Mon, 04 Jun 2012 22:28:41 UTC | #945589

78rpm's Avatar Comment 8 by 78rpm

I am old enough to have learned the Pledge before the "Under God" part was added and the teacher had to remind us to say it the new way. But even before then, as a child, I thought rote reciting of such a pledge was jingoistic (although I didn't know to call it that). I had seen newsreels of German children, arms upraised in solidarity with the Nazi movement, saying pledges. Sure, the American Pledge of Allegiance wasn't warlike, but there were similarities that I sensed even then. I didn't then, and I don't now, like the idea of having children in a group being required to recite a daily pledge to a flag, with or without God, Too much like reciting a pledge to Der Fuhrer. I would like to see the whole damn Pledge disappear.

Mon, 04 Jun 2012 23:21:05 UTC | #945599

mordacious1's Avatar Comment 9 by mordacious1

I clicked on the " then shouted 'under God!' at her." link in the article. It took me to "The Blaze", Glenn Beck's website (which I didn't notice until I started reading the comments). Now I just want to gauge my eyes out after seeing those stupid, ignorant comments. So many morons in one place.

Mon, 04 Jun 2012 23:59:32 UTC | #945607

AULhall's Avatar Comment 10 by AULhall

Beautifully written article. I will be saving it for future citations as well as checking out the author's forthcoming book.

Tue, 05 Jun 2012 00:11:11 UTC | #945613

All About Meme's Avatar Comment 11 by All About Meme

Justice William Brennan, who in 1984 was the first high court justice to refer to “ceremonial deism” in a written opinion, explained that the term covers religious references that "have lost through rote repetition any significant religious content." In other words, although the expression may appear religious, it is harmless because it is understood as having no religious meaning.

That opinion is just incoherent.

Religion is the only idea that can make an intelligent Supreme Court Justice look like a friggin' eejit, as Ignorant Amos might say.

Are you listening, Antonin Scalia?

But that doesn’t mean there isn’t a place for a Catholic law school education, said Scalia. The beliefs and morals of a Catholic education are important in the writing of laws and formulating legislation.

Scalia said that while he can be a judge and be a Catholic, his beliefs as a Catholic are still of upmost importance.

Referring to protestors against the death penalty that he encountered on his way to the presentation, Scalia said, “If I thought that the Catholic doctrine held that the death penalty to be immoral, I would resign.”

Scalia explained that while he doesn’t make his judicial decisions based on his religion, he wouldn’t work with a judicial system that was counter to the laws of Catholicism.

Tue, 05 Jun 2012 03:56:03 UTC | #945635

Premiseless's Avatar Comment 12 by Premiseless

"God" inserted for reasons beyond (likelier beneath) what can be called sense, is ALL that can be concluded.

"God", the most tenuous, drowned out, use of language: in a common word that is impossible to mean the same thing for virtually anyone chanting this in unison.

"God" the pretender of like mindedness, at war with like minds to reason, as if reason were the enemy of human dignity. How utterly revealing about the human mind we all share?

"God" the imposter upon human dignity and what can be arrived at through sensible discourse.

My decades tormented by this oxymoron, to which no common language could be sought and shared, is more straightforward than I ever dared let myself decide. We are responsive to intellectual corruption, by inheritance and continued, unreasonable demand! This really is the perpetual request, nay dominance, of who we always have been, to who it seems, we always will be. I cannot be true to my own mind and respect this. I am ensnared with what I am, absent all choices: my rank of reject; beneath the eyes and minds of ceremonial deism.

At last I can make sense of my sense of rejection, due my loyalty to search reason!

"Know thyself", is at last accessible to me!

Tue, 05 Jun 2012 04:41:03 UTC | #945637

susanlatimer's Avatar Comment 13 by susanlatimer

Comment 11 by All About Meme

Religion is the only idea that can make an intelligent Supreme Court Justice look like a friggin' eejit, as Ignorant Amos might say.

I'm no expert and Ignorant Amos can clear it up for both of us.

I think it's *feckin' eejit". That's the opinion of one Canadian whose only claim to knowledge on the subject is that she has some Irish relatives (and a few friends).

Tue, 05 Jun 2012 04:51:29 UTC | #945638

Mee Peestevone's Avatar Comment 14 by Mee Peestevone

That pledge thing has always given me the creeps. I often wondered if it instills some subconscious guilt in Americans whom later in life gave up their citizenship to become citizens elsewhere.

s

Comment 8 by 78rpm :

I am old enough to have learned the Pledge before the "Under God" part was added and the teacher had to remind us to say it the new way. But even before then, as a child, I thought rote reciting of such a pledge was jingoistic (although I didn't know to call it that). I had seen newsreels of German children, arms upraised in solidarity with the Nazi movement, saying pledges. Sure, the American Pledge of Allegiance wasn't warlike, but there were similarities that I sensed even then. I didn't then, and I don't now, like the idea of having children in a group being required to recite a daily pledge to a flag, with or without God, Too much like reciting a pledge to Der Fuhrer. I would like to see the whole damn Pledge disappear.

Tue, 05 Jun 2012 05:41:22 UTC | #945644

strangebrew's Avatar Comment 15 by strangebrew

Comment 11 by All About Meme

“If I thought that the Catholic doctrine held that the death penalty to be immoral, I would resign.”

And there you have it! The Katolik' church has never had a problem with murder, in fact they promote it!

From the Crusades to the Albigensian debacle from the Inquisition to Hitler, they are not shy about bloodshed.

It should not be such a shock...Catholics embrace death and dead saints as they live and breath.

Problem is they fully expect everyone else to...and get very prissy and pouty, then scream intolerance when they don't.

Tue, 05 Jun 2012 09:23:42 UTC | #945657

drumdaddy's Avatar Comment 16 by drumdaddy

god's blessings come with many a sneeze. insidious.

Tue, 05 Jun 2012 11:39:06 UTC | #945669

Rich Wiltshir's Avatar Comment 17 by Rich Wiltshir

If 'ceremonial deism' is used by the religious to support, sponsor, assert credibility for their claims it has abandoned the ceremonial component: so it's deism in a cloak. That deception, misrepresentations and obscurantism are sharp impliments of in the religous' tool box is no surprise. Let us expose the carbarundum stone of rhetoric and blunt them even more.

Tue, 05 Jun 2012 13:05:37 UTC | #945685

aquilacane's Avatar Comment 18 by aquilacane

In other words, although the expression may appear religious, it is harmless because it is understood as having no religious meaning.

So why say it? That would be as dumb as a doctor swearing an oath by Apollo. How stupid would that be?

Tue, 05 Jun 2012 13:42:08 UTC | #945688

All About Meme's Avatar Comment 19 by All About Meme

Comment 13 by susanlatimer

I think it's *feckin' eejit".

How do your Irish friends pronounce the asterisk in front of feckin' ?

I'm guessing with a large gulp of Guinness, so that the entire phrase can be uttered in one, smooth, cynical belch.

Tue, 05 Jun 2012 14:32:35 UTC | #945694

Ignorant Amos's Avatar Comment 20 by Ignorant Amos

Comment 13 by susanlatimer

I think it's *feckin' eejit". That's the opinion of one Canadian whose only claim to knowledge on the subject is that she has some Irish relatives (and a few friends).

Both terms work and are used. 'Feckin' eejit' is more a southern term...#AskMrsBrown: Your Questions Answered!...1 min. 54 sec.

'Friggin' eejit' is more a northern term.....so in an effort of cross community...mix'n'match.

The predicate verb or adjectve is less important than the noun in this case. Big, wee, bloody, stupid, etc., etc.,...in this case, friggin' and feckin' both mean the same thing.

Colloquial slang lesson over }80)~

Tue, 05 Jun 2012 15:29:27 UTC | #945702

susanlatimer's Avatar Comment 21 by susanlatimer

Comment 20 by Ignorant Amos

Thanks for the clarification. I knew I could count on you. :-)

Tue, 05 Jun 2012 19:46:54 UTC | #945745