“The American Humanist Association (AHA) was dissatisfied with [Conservative Alabama] Governor Bentley’s apology this morning for the comments made dismissing non-Christians as not part of his “family.” Governor Bentley said to reporters Wednesday, “If anyone from other religions felt disenfranchised by the language, I want to say I am sorry. I am sorry if I offended anyone in any way.”
Most people governed by unreason (such as Governor Bentley) tend aim their hostility at non believers ("heathens") because of a deep rooted fear - fear that secular humanists make much more sense then they do (secular arguments tend to be based on empirical facts vs. the blind ignorance of faith). Bentley deserves your pity much more then your anger.
If fear of punishment is the only thing holding humans back from acting heinously, then we truly are a sorry lot indeed. I believe this is complete non-sense however. Where's the faith??? I find it ironic that the people who have the least faith in humanity tend to be the most religious. I also find it completely ironic (if not completely predictable) that non-believers tend to be MORE ethical and moral many dogmatically indoctrinated faithfuls. If one has any doubt of this fact, one merely has to ask oneself, when the last time there was ever a war ever fought over a LACK of belief?
Understanding is the true basis of compassion. Laws written in stone can only lead to an inflexible belief system that inevitably lead to unchecked arrogance and and cause a great deal of suffering for humanity. Despite what the credulous will have you believe, ethics and morality are EVOLVED traits of humanity (naturally selected) and can be studied scientifically.* Science is apt at answering BOTH "how" AND "why" questions. From this perspective, (along with the empirical reality that a higher power is completely unnecessary for evolutionary processes to function), one can truly see how a high power is rendered almost completely meaningless.
The primitive instinct towards tribal loyalties. Some people have yet to evolve.