I request the reader to accept that my premise, stated in the sentence above, is not about slavery or racism. It is about each person's urgent need to separate his/her duty (to self) respecting civic morality from his/her duty to self respecting religion. Civic morality addresses what it takes to enjoy both no-harm personal liberty and domestic goodwill instead of domestic alienation. Religious morality is a personal pursuit of personal comfort in the face of personal concerns and is not the public's business; for example, some people want a good afterdeath and are concerned, but I am not concerned about my afterdeath. Separation of church and state by a civic people would unlock dysfunctional governance and empower no-harm religious institutions to flourish in the USA. Neither the church nor the state will effect this separation: Therefore, a civic people must effect separation of state from church.
thousand yearly; of which thirty thousand are supposed to die by barbarous treatment in
the first year; besides all that are slain in the unnatural ways excited to take them. So
much innocent blood have the managers and supporters of this inhuman trade to answer
for to the common Lord of all!
The Bible, held by many to be the words of the gods cited therein, seems to justify the master-servant civic relationship; the bible’s gods seems to support slavery! Bible gods may be held morally responsible for the defeat of a civic people of colonial times, and perhaps they are the source of Abraham Lincoln’s civic confusion. How does one man, who sees that north god is justifiably vying against south god, convince people who are thumping the same Bible to think for themselves and ponder physics-based ethics. Physics-based ethics does not allow a person to think let alone proclaim: "I would be as satisfied as slave rather than master." Thomas Paine's letter could have been to Lincoln like mtDNA's influence on my opinion: everyone alive is kin. Frederick Douglass praised Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation, but stated that Lincoln "was preeminently the white man’s President, entirely devoted to the welfare of white men." It seems self-evident that the Bible cannot be used in negotiation of civic morality. This is not bad news for believers; it means they can join the civic debate about how to live together regardless of their believers' debate about how to save their souls. And believers debate it is: Christian factions constantly war against each other but appeal to non-believers to pay the expenses.
There is no incentive beyond egocentricity for believers to try to impose their religious morals on people who have considered those morals and decided they do not want them. And there are other kinds of non-believers. It is perfectly natural--representative of human excellence--for a person to want to take responsible action respecting their death. One option is to work for achievement according to personal preference---make some friends, help some people, build a building, rear children informed and intent to live a full life, express appreciation.
I am perhaps unusual regarding how much time and effort I spent anticipating death before I decided to focus on my life. However, I would no more want to impose my conclusions on even one person than I would want to commit suicide. There's too much joy in admitting that I don't know: each no-harm person's way could be correct. I see the possibility that whatever controls the unfolding of the future can handle each no-harm person's opinions about her or his self. However, by the same token, I do not want to be asked to reconsider what I have put aside: religion for me, specifically Christianity. But I am anxious to express to people that taking care of their civic governance is necessary in order to preserve their freedom to pursue the no-harm personal liberty they want. Just as earning your money is necessary for personal liberty, tending your civic governance is necessary for personal liberty. Lately, I realize that "governance" is misleading; it's really about mutual self-control. Adam Smith's advice, to let someone else determine civic morality seemed OK two hundred-fifty years ago in a land of 100% sectarian Protestants and love of English common law. However, America in 2015 is wonderfully diverse: Civic morality may be negotiated only beyond Christianity's factious community.
Pontifical proclamations can influence people for millennia, with disastrous consequences, as referenced above. Popes can wait forever for their opinions to be disproved. However, persons who cherish their lifetime need to resolve the civic problems they face for benefits while they are alive. Let me repeat that: I want civic problems solved during my lifetime--not far off in some papal vision. While it is controversial, the earth seems to be in a time of unusual weather--droughts, tornadoes, few hurricanes in these parts, cold winters, etc. The Pope says humankind's contributions are the cause and suggests change. However, controlling the earth's atmosphere with extant global governance is not economically feasible. One civic change that makes sense is legislative action to reduce the pain and misery being delivered to children by their parents and other care-takers--not for population control, but to reduce adult infliction of misery onto children. However, population control is also a practical way to reduce human exposure to atmospheric change. Regardless, I do not want a papal address to a joint session of Congress unless the purpose is apology: a civic people of America has had enough of federal officials teaming with church officials to abuse the people, especially children. On the other hand, the Pope is a man, and if he decides to become civil, for example apologizing and making an act of restitution for the Chapter XI Machiavellianism, particularly the doctrine of discovery, he would be contributing to the reform. Also, Senator John Boehner and other government officials would exhibit reform to not invite church officials into affairs of state. A Civic People of the United States do not elect personal gods or deities to influence the people: they elect persons to fulfill duties of state offices--duties that are specified and disciplined by the people. So far, the people are indolent.
In fact, the Bible, canonized perhaps in the 4th century does not accept the advice of Plato in "Symposium," Agathon's witness, 385 BCE. Interpreting "eros" as appreciation, I paraphrase:
Appreciation is first an intellectual activity. Not every person participates, for where there is inflexibility or egocentrism appreciation departs. Appreciation’s greatest glory is that it can neither impose nor tolerate wrong to or from any person. Appreciation shuns force, for individuals experience appreciation in personal free will. Where there is mutual appreciation, there is justice. Where persons are treated as objects there is harm.
Thus, some ancient Greeks recommended rejecting force in civic relationships, and a civic people of the United States can join that path, still allowing religions to flourish. All it takes is candid negotiation of civic issues, keeping religious issues private. (Civic issues have to do with stopping at red lights and not lying to people rather than pursuing spirits.)
A more urgent change is needed to help establish a civic people: The opening of minds toward evolution. Many people close their minds to evolution because church officials insist that the theory of evolution clashes with church literature. For the first time, I see a possible explanation for biology major Governor Bobby Jindal's incredible support for teaching creationism in biology class: Chapter XI Machiavellianism. Each person who believes Jindal's bad influence accepts a form of voluntary enslavement. Most people take for granted that DNA identifies criminals, without understanding that DNA applications are a product of understanding evolution. From the same studies, but specifically for mitochondrial DNA, we are informed that race is a myth. see, for example, http://newsreel.org/transcripts/race1.htm . Everyone alive is kin, and can learn their mtDNA genealogy--their ancestral path to their present habitat. Those of us who carry on the myth of race do so in either unawareness or evil. This understanding, mtDNA, has existed for nearly five decades. I think there is no excuse for President Obama’s recent assertion that racism is “part of our DNA.” He could have spoken about mtDNA and its evidence that we are kin. But President Obama may be a fervent believer and thus blind to evolution. He knows his motivations.
The needed revolution to collaboration of by and for a civic people can happen. Our generation can establish A Civic People of the United States.