Militant Atheism
#1
What are your views on forceful state atheism? I for one, do not support it as it has failed to work in China and Russia, and forget about ever applying it in India. But, there was an organization in the early years of the USSR before WWII called "The League of Militant Godless" who spread propaganda against religion and were even involved, I think, in the destruction of churches. Now, I don't support this. It's antithetical to the notion of liberty, and above all, I cherish the value of freedom. Religious freedom included. But, secularism in India which is based upon separation between religion and state but interpreted as "equal respect to all religions" falls headfirst into a problem-public sensibilities. Unlike in America, where the 1st Amendment to the Constitution prevents the state from abridging the right to free speech in all forms which is used as a strong bargain point when speech is curtailed, India sadly has no such thing. The constitution as envisaged and penned down by Ambedkar, promised free speech, but it ran into some troubles during the Nehruvian years and since. The 1st Amendment to our constitution gives the state power over free speech in the name of "maintaining public order." Now, since religion has such a colossal force over the country, this clause has time and again easily been used to validate religious outrage and sensibilities so that it can treacherously curtail freedom of expression and make inroads past the wall and become an "inseparable" wing of the state. This "protection of sensibilities" is evident when Rushdie was barred from Jaipur Lit. Festival and has been shown in countless of cases in everyday life. Words such as "pseudo-secularism" have been flying about by the right and left. Now what is "pseudo-secularism." You're either secular or you aren't. Such phrases are obviously used to malign the very concept of secularism as being synonymous with Indira Gandhi's emergency and what not. For this instant, there must be a radical and controversial plan laid out in India, to strengthen secularism and create an iron wall. Allow absolute freedom of speech. Actively oppose the desecularisation of public spaces. Tax the temples, mosques, churches, etc. Nationalize assets of religious donations. Place a progressive tax on priests, mullahs, etc.. Establish uniform civil code. Make people gain citizenship by acknowledging the supremacy of the SECULAR REPUBLIC over their religion. And bar any public disturbances caused by excessive religious ceremonies. Ban polygamy. Give swift capital punishment to religious rabble rousing fanatics. And children shall be identified as children and not belonging to any religion until they say so when they turn 18. Of course, political parties based on religious ideologies can come to power but they will not be allowed to carry out religious services and propaganda through the state machinery. However, religion is still permitted. People can go to worship, make donations, have religious ceremonies in private and all the usual rigmarole. They can continue their religious trusts and what not, but with taxation as I mentioned earlier. Govt. and community parks, buildings, etc., cannot open with a bursting of a naryal and what not. The state should renovate religious sites of heritage, teach religious texts as part of literature, and have logic classes teaching the methodology of scientific discovery. The glories of ancient India shall be promoted, but separate from astrology and spirituality. So nobody can have a legitimate reason to say we're specifically anti-Hindu. To worship is one's right, but a strong forceful secularism must persist. Also replace the religious calendar with a republican calendar celebrating the birthdays of various freedom fighters from Savarkar to Aurobindo Ghos, from Periyar to Bhagat Singh. Anyone who says the present calendar is right and must stay for it respects the religious sentiments of the masses can be countered with the fact that they place religion above the patriots who shed blood and sweat and tears for the republic. Any suggestions?
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#2
Though the following has nothing to do with the previous post in this thread, it is related to militant atheism.

A very interesting post by Jerry Coyne on the value of militant atheism and how his book and blog converted a creationist to science and atheism.

http://whyevolutionistrue.wordpress.com/...biologist/
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