In the following piece on Patheos you can read the story of an elected official ejecting a citizen from a public meeting for that person’s failure to participate in prayer and the Pledge of Allegiance.
The quoted exchange (partial) gives you a feel for the nature of the event, and provides sufficient basis for my concern. Religion cannot exist without control, and that control inevitably leads to abuse. This story described but one form.
Religion cannot coexist with rational, humanitarian processes. At some point religion’s requirement for power and control surfaces to ill effect. In particular, religion and government are incompatible.
At yesterday’s meeting of the Winter Garden City Commissioners (in Florida), Mayor John Rees announced that they would begin with an invocation and the Pledge of Allegiance, as many government meetings do, and asked everyone to stand up.
John Thoreau, an atheist, remained seated. Normally, that would be irrelevant since he has every right to do that, but Rees had other ideas.
As the first syllable of the invocation was uttered, Rees told everyone to hold up because Thoreau was still sitting down…