Monday, 10 March 2008

Appeal to Common Practice

It is strange that in the world's first secular republic, it is as necessary to be christian in order to become president as it is for a British royal to be Anglican in order to become our monarch.

While this thought has been on my mind for many years, and more so recently due to the ongoing presidential primaries, what sparked this blog post was a report of an interview that Senator Clinton gave in June of 2007 (full transcript here). The quote that was taken for the article was:

Reporter: Can I ask you theologically, do you believe that the resurrection of Jesus actually happened, that it actually historically did happen?

Clinton: Yes, I do.

Oh dear. Why is it that candidates for high-level political office in the United States of America are expected to answer these questions in this way? It makes as much sense to say "I believe in zombies", but of course someone saying that would do tremendous political damage to themselves and any campaign they might be promoting at the time. Why? Because it's what everyone else believes. This is the only thing separating the stories of the Bible from the stories of a Flying Spaghetti Monster - that millions of people believe in one, whereas only a few thousand (probably) believe in the other. I don't count the argument from history (that the Bible has been around for thousands of years) because this would not make the claims of Pastafarianism valid after the same amount of time. It is simply that it is a popular superstition.

Why do we need people with imaginary friends running our superpowers, just because a lot of other people have the same imaginary friend?

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