Religion as Second-Class Citizen …

So, Jerry Coyne is all up in arms about Kentucky declaring November “King James Bible” month. According to Coyne:

This is so clearly unconstitutional that it screams for an ACLU lawsuit and an injunction. Let’s hope the relevant lawyers and organizations (FFRF, are you listening?) get on this one.

But note a couple of important facts: the King James version of the Bible was completed in 1611 — making this the 400th anniversary of it — and no one, I think, would deny that it had a major impact on society, both in its secular and religious uses.

Now, with that in mind, riddle me this, Batman: If a state had decided in 2001 to declare a “Hamlet month” in celebration of the writing of the play Hamlet, would anyone suggest that that could possibly be unconstitutional (in the U.S or anywhere else)? Surely not, I can hear the cries; it would be absurd to suggest such a thing. And surely Hamlet has had a significant effect on society, enough that a state could indeed consider making such a month to honour its influence and impact. It would be absurd to suggest otherwise.

So, then, why does that all go out the window when the book just happens to be religious?

Secularists cry that all they want is for religion to be treated like everything else … but when push comes to shove, they are far, far too willing to treat religion specially and refuse to allow it to be treated like everything else. It’s no wonder, then, that secularism gets treated with suspicion by anyone who thinks that freedom of religion is something that it’s important to preserve, and that religion should not be treated as a second-class citizen when compared to all the appropriate secular things that secularists love to go on about.

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