This is an excerpt of Nicholas von Hoffman's column, Calling All Pagans: It's Time to Fight Back!" originally appearing in the New York Observer, May 9, 2005:
A piece of treacherous language has made its way into our public discourse. Where once words such as "religion," "Christianity" and "Judaism" were heard, public figures now speak of "persons of faith" or "people of faith," "the faith community" and "faith-based." Moreover, anything "faith-based" is axiomatically good, and anyone who questions the presumption is axiomatically bad.
These expressions divide us into believers and nonbelievers, with the believers or persons of faith enjoying not only an alleged numerical majority but a moral superiority as well.
Can you think of a single person of stature in public life who dares to challenge the people of faith?
Somebody or something has got to start battling religion itself. God is the enemy--meaning the God locked up by organized religions and guarded by ministers, priests, rabbis, popes and mullahs.
Religionists are crawling in everywhere, swarming the schools, movies, medicine and research labs. Their intent is to install a faith commissar to oversee every major social institution. We don't need lawyers here; we need fumigators.
Show me a true believer and I'll show you a bigot. . . .
The absolutism that underlies religious faith closes the door marked "Reason" and opens the door labeled "Holy War."
. . . social peace didn't prevail until religion was booted out of the marketplace, driven out of the halls of power and sealed up in private homes and places of worship. Religion in private may be a good thing; religion in public is a menace.