Think Freely Media presents Common Sense with Paul Jacob

Politics is dominated by pious, politic lies and half-truths. Every nation has them, and Turkey’s are most impressive.

Turkey has been a vanguard, in the Muslim world, of “Westernizing” and “modernizing” tendencies. But it still has one foot in the deep past. One of its great pious half-truths is that Turkey is “99 percent Muslim” yet possesses a “secular state” where “all religions are equal.”

With some religions more equal than others.

An Alevi spokesman, Izzettin Dogan, charges that the country “is actually a Sunni Islamic state.” There are 30 million Alevis in Turkey, according to the New York Times, and they are not alone in getting the short end of the stick in “secular Turkey”:

“The state collects taxes from all of us and spends billions on Sunni Islam alone, while millions of Alevis as well as Christians, Jews and other faiths don’t receive a penny,” Mr. Dogan said, referring to the $1.5 billion budget of the Religious Affairs Department. “What kind of secularism is that?”

Good question.

And it gets to the heart of one of the reasons I’m so happy to live in America. Our government may be a mess, but we still have some basic freedoms. We’ve long gotten over the ancient fixation on the union of religion and state.

In ancient empires, kings styled themselves as gods.

We know better.

And we know better than to subsidize religion — or use it as a branch of the government.

This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.

By: Redactor


  1. James says:

    America’s founding fathers considered religion a critical support undergirding liberty. While they objected to the establishment of a state religion, they by no means “knew better than to subsidize it.”

    The printing of “In God We Trust” on our money subsidizes religion, as do our Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays, our National Day of Prayer, our Pledge of Allegiance, and so forth. The Christian religion being so fundamental to the preservation and prosperity of this nation and of our freedom, it is wise and prudent that the government subsidize it.

    Read George Washington’s Farewell Address and argue the point with him if you think you’re up to the challenge. Or perhaps with John Adams, who said, “This Constitution is written for a moral and religious people; it is inadequate for the governing of any other.”

  2. Brian says:

    James had a very good comment. My comment is on your statement: In ancient empires, kings styled themselves as gods.

    I think we now have a president that likes that idea. We know better but does he?

  3. Matthew says:

    It is impossible to have a government of no religion. Contrary to Paul’s statement: “We’ve long gotten over the ancient fixation on the union of religion and state.” Our present many decades of government is indoctrinating generations of American’s into the vacuum of the religion of no religion leaving our future most likely to suffer the fate that every other society that attempted this concept… doom. Something always comes in to fill the void.

  4. Pat says:

    Our government is indeed subsidizing religion. States have taken it upon themselves to offer young children courses in Islam. The same people who would faint at the sight of a crucifix are willing to finance a religion that sees itself as a ruling entity. Islam’s goal is the oneness of church and state.

  5. Drik says:

    We don’t have to worry about the subsidizing of religion because our government is a religion unto itself and busy subsidizing the same. Unlike where Turkey collects money from all the minority groups and distributes to its cherished majority, our current adminsitration continually bleeds the majority group and distributes to all of it’s voting minorities.

    We are saddled with a “sort of a god” who styles himself as a king.

    Too bad it won’t last.

  6. Ten years ago I spent 2 semesters as a visiting professor at Marmara University school of Engineering in Istanbul. Although Turkey is officially secular, many of the major holidays are Islamic holidays. I was able to attend Mass every Sunday, but I noticed that each of the Catholic churches nearby, including the Cathedral, were well hidden behind high walls. You had to know they were there, or you’d never find them. Culturally, the country is Islamic, even if the government (then, anyway) was officially secular. From what I’ve read since returning, it’s becoming more and more Islamic.

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