Brewer Must Explain Her Beliefs to the Publicby jason on Dec. 16, 2011, under Arizona Families, AZ Politics, Biblical Inerrancy, Campaign 2012, Christian Self-Righteous Arrogance, Christianity, Clarity, Conservatism vs. Liberalism, Critical Thinking, Ethics, Faith, Fundamentalism, God & Bible, Government, History, Logic, Lying G.O.P., Power of Prayer, Reason, Religion, Responsible Government, Sanity, Science, Separation of Church & State, Willful Ignorance
This comes to us from Gil Shapiro:
As reported in the Arizona Daily Star, Governor Brewer has stated to fellow church members that we live in a Christian country; that God chose her to govern Arizona; and that it is only by asking for divine help that we can get through these “critical times.”
Gov. Jan Brewer also said that “there are times when, during a meeting with staffers, one will suggest praying about an issue. And we stop, and we take that time, and we pray about it. And it does make a difference.”
FreeThought Arizona, a voice for local nonbelievers, is outraged and justifiably fearful that Brewer and her staff are relying on private scriptural beliefs rather than on reason, experience and science to influence public policies. It is our position that all ideas, especially those that are considered “matters of conscience” (ethics, morality and values), must withstand the test of rationality, not religion.
Her statements imply that her administration is more answerable to a specific God and to this entity’s dogma than it is to the citizens they represent. If true, we view this as an unacceptable conflict of interest.
Additionally, our position is that misguided, arrogant and provocative comments, religious or otherwise, should never be protected or immune from public scrutiny, examination or criticism because they are considered “private matters.”
Brewer and her staff should have no expectation that their selective religious viewpoints are off-limits or quarantined from analysis and investigation by those they serve.
We therefore respectfully request that Brewer and members of her staff justify their viewpoints to their fellow Arizonans. We would expect them to be honest and forthcoming about the degree to which their religion justifies being commingled with public service in our pluralistic, democratic and free society.
At the very least, Ms. Brewer needs to explain and be prepared to:
• Defend her claim that “we are a country of Christianity.”
We are a country of U.S. citizens, a majority of whom happen to be Christians. That doesn’t mean we are a country of Christianity.
• Defend her claim that a supernatural reality exists.
No realm of existence other than our “natural” realm has ever been verified.
• Defend her implied denial that reason, experience and science are insufficient pillars for state governance.
Secular humanists base our ideas on scientific evidence and common sense approaches to ethics and morality.
• Cite the mechanism within her belief system that would inform her that her ideas may be wrong.
Secular humanists subject our positions to peer review at conferences and in publications. But our conclusions are always provisional since they will change with new knowledge.
FreeThought Arizona seeks to abolish the influence that religion and pseudoscience have on our state’s public policies.
More broadly, we want to end the unmerited privileged and shielded position that religion continues to enjoy in our society. It is also our hope that through proper education Americans will no longer stigmatize nonbelievers.
Please join us in asking Brewer and her staff to participate in a public forum where their ideas can be discussed and debated.