Final Thoughts on Religion and the DNC

If you haven’t already read Peter Laarman’s excellent essay on faith and the party conventions, go do so right away. It’s a just a click away here at RD! 

Ronald Lindsay, president and CEO of the Center for Inquiry, a secular group that advocates for reason and science-based policy, had this to say this morning about the conventions:

“Much about these political conventions has been extremely disheartening to secular Americans: Trivial bickering about who mentioned God a sufficient number of times, the fact of our warming planet being used as a punchline for derision, and leaders constantly citing Bronze Age mystical texts as a basis for acting on our very real problems. And at almost no point were nonreligious Americans mentioned or made to feel welcome in either party’s verbose orations.

“Our nation, and our entire planet, face so many great challenges that demand a clear focus on what is true and what is not. Reliance on facts, science, and real data have never been more crucial to the formulation of policy and for helping voters decide which candidates will have the best programs to resolve our pressing crises. Secular, evidence-based reasoning is the only reliable means by which all Americans can evaluate and discuss critical policy questions. A fixation on religion and faith will only serve to obscure the issues and divide us as a people. It is our sincere hope that as the campaign goes on, the candidates and the media will refocus their attentions on debates based on reality and reason rather than myths and faith.”

Over at Salon, I’ve published a piece on Cardinal Timothy Dolan’s benediction at the close of the DNC last night:

The Democrats still have a religion problem. No, not that religion problem. They just can’t seem to get past wanting the blessing of a larger-than-life religious figure — even when that figure has called their policies “un-American” and depicts their core beliefs as antithetical to our most cherished freedoms.

You can read the whole thing here