Unintended IronyPosted: December 16, 2008
One of my duties here at the library is dealing with the mail. Today I received a fundraising letter from Paul Kurtz of the Center for Inquiry, which publishes Skeptical Inquirer, which we subscribe to, and Free Inquiry, which we do not. In the letter, Mr. Kurtz says the Center’s “ambitious agenda” is to “defend reason, science, and freedom of inquiry even as we create new secular institutions as alternatives to the ancient religions.”
(In passing, I’d like to point out that the construction of that sentence implies that defending reason, science, and freedom of inquiry is unrelated to creating new secular institutions, and that new religions (Mormonism? Scientology? Dawkins-Hitchensism?) seem to be exempt.)
The deliciously ironic thing about this letter is that it has as an epigraph the phrase “…all things are possible.” As in, “With God, all things are possible.” In the body of the letter, Mr. Kurtz attributes the quotation to President-Elect Obama, apparently not realizing where Obama picked the phrase up, or hoping nobody who got the letter would recognize it.
I am all for reason, science, freedom of inquiry, and freedom from imposition of belief; I just don’t trust secularism to do a better job of defending them than religion, and expect it to do a much worse job, in the end. And I will mock mercilessly anyone who makes so careless a blunder, in print, for all the world to see.