8/21/2009—I have run into a problem I did not expect: secularists accepting religious fundamentalism’s definition of God.
My constitutional law proposal is that government may use certain religious images, such as the word God in the Pledge of Allegiance, when that religious image has nonreligious and broad meaning. For example, “One Nation, Under God” can mean we recognize that there are objective and enduring standards of right and wrong that are binding on this country.
To this proposal, in addition to other criticisms, Frederick Clarkson responded in the Pittsburgh City Paper, “It’s preposterous, God means God. It doesn’t mean ‘universal values’”.
This objection is now being repeated in blog postings discussing the netroots nation panel, for example the Friendly Atheist : “God is a deity”.
But put this way, the objection is childish. Have people never heard of the Protestant theologian Paul Tillich and his references to God as the ground of being, our ultimate concern and the God above the God of theism?
And what about the Catholic theologian Karl Rahner, who wrote
that God really does not exist who operates and functions as an individual existent alongside of other existents, and who would thus as it were be a member of a larger household of all reality.
Instead, says Rahner, God is “the most radical, the most original, and in a certain sense the most self-evident reality.”
Frederick Clarkson even quoted Chris Hedges in his own book denying that God means a supernatural being: “God is a human concept. God is the name we give to our belief that life has meaning, one that transcends the world’s chaos, randomness and cruelty. …The question is not whether God exists. The question is whether we concern ourselves with, or are utterly indifferent to, the sanctity and ultimate transcendence of human existence.”
Why accept definitions of God propounded by people you don’t agree with? Maybe to kill any possibility of rational religion