Secular Ethos

Episode #5 Syria, Gorsuch, and introduction of new show segments

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 Posted on Sunday, April 16th, 2017

Correction I say 5013c charity it is 501 c3.
Episode 5: Syria, Gorsuch

Syrian missile strikes: Was it a good move by Trump? Did his remarks about god give ISIS another recruitment boost?

The inaction on Syria may have been a bad move by Obama, but did the immediate escalation to missile strikes by Trump accomplish anything better. The real answers here is that there may not be a correct coarse of action. Syria is it’s own nation with their own leadership, albeit contentious leadership. If there was some agreement between all nations involved in this as to what the proper coarse of action should be, we may have a better answer here. It feels like we are being goaded into military action here for some other end. However, there is no direct evidence of this being the case. Other than the strategy of ISIS which is to force us to spend billions, and thus further weakening our country in further failed attempts to stop them.
Could their efforts to topple the United States, and weaken our influence on the world stage be working. Obama made us look weak and indecisive and Trump makes us look irrational and infantile. Is there a solution that America could actually use to gain some ground in this issue? The coalition idea seemed to be the best solution, but that requires patience and leadership. We just don’t have those things. A coalition with the United States in a decisive leadership position could be more effective. Rather than forming an alliance and just hoping someone else decides the actions we could lead and tell our partners that they must act. If other nations close to this conflict are complacent with the actions of ISIS and of Assad it must be made clear that they are on the wrong side. In fact between the two, ISIS and Assad, one can not say that there is a good guy or bad guy here. You have to groups fighting each of them with a corrupted sense of ethics.
Sun Tzu Quote: “Ultimate excellence lies not in winning every battle, but in defeating the enemy without ever fighting.”

The Syrian situation has put us into a position to where either action or inaction hurts our interests. I don’t know what the correct coarse is, and it is clear that our leaders don’t either.

Whatever the strategy is here, the god rhetoric when giving a speech to justify action here is a serious problem if we wish to stop radical religious ideologues.

Some say this is a way for Trump to deflect from the other things he is doing, and that this does appear true based on his past strategies. However, I think it is more a reflection of his inexperience in political matters. Further, it shows Trumps inability to cope with hard political realities of the position he is in. It is possible when confronted with this some part of his decision to act may have been a deflection strategies, but as far as it being a prime motivation point there is little evidence to point to this.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/trumps-critics-cant-write-off-the-syria-strike-as-a-distraction-history-shows-why/2017/04/09/51954cde-1bcb-11e7-bcc2-7d1a0973e7b2_story.html?utm_term=.c799dfa81b5a

Snopes.com Headline:

“White House Admits Syria Missile Attack Was a Publicity Stunt to Make Trump Look Good?
Unreliable web sites spread the false claim that senior White House officials openly admitted that the missile strike against Syria had no actual purpose.”

Snopes.com rates this as FALSE. At the end of the article about this, Snopes states, “On the question of whether or not President Trump’s military action against Syria was an ‘empty gesture’ or a ‘publicity stunt’ we take no position, but we find nothing in Jim Acosta’s tweets to support these judgments.”

http://www.snopes.com/white-house-syria-publicity/

NBC Headline: “New Justice Neil Gorsuch to Have Immediate Impact on Supreme Court”
Thanks to the Senate Republicans changing the rules every time they lose Neil Gorsuch was confirmed just in time to hear cases of extreme church/state importance. Cases such as: Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia v. Pauley. This case involves the States No-aid clause which prohibits tax payer dollars to go to churches. They are arguing that the No-aid clause is unconstitutional.

Americans United for Separation of Church and State filed an amicus brief in the case.

http://www.nbcnews.com/news/crime-courts/new-justice-neil-gorsuch-have-immediate-impact-supreme-court-n744386

https://www.au.org/our-work/legal/lawsuits/trinity-lutheran-church-of-columbia-v-pauley

Aside::

-Not included in the podcast just a side issue to consider.
–Knoxville News Sentinel Headline: “Knoxville Bar association to host free clinic”

Just want to briefly touch on this subject. The Knoxville Bar Association along with the Faith and Justice alliance are hosting a free legal workshop. The Faith and justice alliance is a just as it sounds an organization offering legal help to churches and church members.

For the secular Americans there is only organizations that offer help in situations of church/state violations. There is not any organizations that offer legal aid for other matters that specifically cater to the religiously unaffiliated. This is not necessarily a problem as the average atheist is thought of as upper middle class, and able to afford legal help. I don’t really have a point here other than that this entanglement of religions and law is a little scary. It may be an irrational fear. But as someone who could not afford an attorney, seeing that there are programs specifically for the religious to get legal help is a little demoralizing. For example, if you are in a situation where you need to defend yourself from a religious person who decides to take you to court for something not specifically church/state related. In this situation the religious person has a free legal aid clinic that caters specifically to them, and the atheist has to come up with cash.

Don’t get me wrong here. I know there are organizations such as the Freedom From Religion foundations, but they are there for people who have church/state issues. In this arena they are wonderful. What if you are being sued, going through a divorce, or have other family legal matters that are not specifically church/state violations related? Or what if you are in a situation where your non-belief has severed ties to your family and they come after your children, but don’t specifically mention it is related to your non-belief? The reality is that the religious have yet another privilege in this world that needs to be countered. Now I know that just mentioning problems without proposing a solution is not helpful. I guess that I am doing this as a plea to anyone out there who has the resources, connections, or expertise to address this issue. It is not a huge issue as far as the broader atheist movement is concerned. I just wanted to mention it as something that bugs me.

http://www.knoxnews.com/story/news/2017/04/09/knoxville-bar-association-host-free-clinic/100255010/

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