There’s a minor uproar going on among secularists about Illinois state representative Monique Davis scolding an atheist activist, saying
What you have to spew and spread is extremely dangerous . . . it’s dangerous for our children to even know that your philosophy exists!
Certainly an obnoxious outburst. But I also have a sneaky suspicion Davis stands out for being honest as well as perhaps bigoted.
I would guess that Davis really, seriously believes in the whole package: God and the Devil, heaven and hell. Nonbelief is a terrible sin that consigns you to hell. Faith is the basis of morality. Etc., etc. And so, yes, atheism might seem like an extremely dangerous view, if you really took all that completely seriously. If children get to know about such a philosophy, they may be tempted and a few may even fall. That means an eternity in hell—what could possibly be more disastrous than that?
The more common practice of not questioning anyone’s religious stance in public certainly is better in order to keep the peace. But that’s going to be a lot easier for people who primarily believe in a vague supernatural something rather than a fire-breathing religion. Even easier for people who believe in believing in God, rather than those who go around thumping bibles.
More fundamentalist believers might see all this indignation over Davis’s remarks as another attempt by “the culture” to marginalize them. They wouldn’t be entirely mistaken.
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