People come up with any excuse they can grasp at in order to keep from accepting that the ideas they love are absurd. Show them why those excuses don’t hold up, and they’ll throw out ever more excuses in desperation.
You should have seen the excuses, equivocations, and denial. It was pathetic.
But no matter how much it hurt their feelings, it is objectively true.
One of the dodges they employed was to claim that, even if statism has religion-like qualities, it can’t really be a religion because none of them consider government to be a god.
Even if that’s true, you don’t necessarily need a god at the center of your religion.
AronRa, a popular outspoken atelatheist, whose work (in general) I love, defines a religion as “a faith-based belief system, including the notion that some element of self, be it memories or consciousness …a soul, perhaps… continues beyond the death of the physical body; transcends and survives that…”. I see no mention of belief in a god being a requirement for something to be a religion.
But, do they really not believe in a god?
AronRa also gives the best definition of a god I’ve ever read. He says a god, reduced down to the lowest common denominator, is a “magic, anthropomorphic immortal”.
Let’s see how this definition applies where The State, which is what most people mean when they use the word “government“, is concerned.
Magic- doing things which go against the natural laws of reality. Or, as Dictionary.com defines it: “the art of producing a desired effect or result through the use of incantation or various other techniques that presumably assure human control of supernatural agencies or the forces of nature.”
Those who believe in government believe that incantations (“laws”) can change the act of taking property from the rightful owner, against his will, by threat of force, from “theft” to not theft by calling it “taxation“. Magic.
Those who believe in government believe that even though no one individual has the right to go to their neighbor’s house, kidnap him and put him in a cage for growing a certain plant, they can nevertheless join together with other people (who also lack this right) and hire someone (who doesn’t have this right) to go do the same, and in this way magically create this right out of thin air, imbuing their hired gun with this right and making the act something other than a kidnapping. Magic.
Or, if they don’t want to create a right to do that, they’ll still believe they can create a right to prohibit guns or sex they don’t like, or to tell people they aren’t allowed to add a room to their house or paint it a particular way, or… well, the list is endless. Magic.
Anthropomorphic- having human traits or qualities. Or, as Dictionary.com says: “ascribing human form or attributes to a being or thing not human, especially to a deity.”
Such as believing that government builds roads and libraries. The belief that government “cares” about the poor and sick. Believing that government can have rights. Yeah, there is no question that those who believe in government ascribe human attributes to it. Sometimes they even draw pictures of it in human form (“Uncle Sam” or “John Bull“, anyone?).
Immortal- something which is alive and can’t die. Dictionary.com: “not mortal; not liable or subject to death; undying: remembered or celebrated through all time: not liable to perish or decay: imperishable; everlasting. perpetual; lasting; constant”
Just try to find some way this doesn’t apply. Even if government “dies”, they expect it to rise again, perhaps in a better form. But, just look at the “Forever stamp“- they believe government to be “forever”. Immortal.
So, by AronRa’s own reasoning, atelatheists believe government to be a god. Sure, they’ll never say those words or admit it. Doing so would expose their hypocrisy.
Statism is a religion, and government– The State– is the god of Statism. Any “atheist” who is a statist has a god. He is an atelatheist. Atelatheists are lying when they say otherwise, but I don’t blame them. It is a shameful belief system.