If there’s anything I can personally do to help speed up this process, please let me know.
If Jesus came back today, he’d slap these people right in their smug, self-righteous faces. And all this so they can put religious pamphlets in with the meals. Why the hell does charity have to have so many strings attached? Isn’t it enough to help others without having to preach to them too? I think we all know the answer to that one. These are the same type of scumbags who bring Bibles into starving African villages instead of food.
A rescue mission in Kansas City has barred atheists from helping to feed the homeless for Thanksgiving this year, even though the group has volunteered the past two years.
The Kansas City Atheist Coalition announced the bad news on their website on Saturday that the Kansas City Rescue Mission had turned down an offer to assist with this year’s Thanksgiving event.
“Kansas City Rescue Mission has decided to use the meals they deliver as a chance to proselytize to its recipients by inserting religious literature into the meals,” the coalition noted. “They informed us that we ‘would not be a good fit’ emphasis theirs for volunteering with them, and declined to respond to any further inquiries.”
This is the kind of thing that makes me support secular charities. Fuck the discriminatory Salvation Army, and fuck these church-associated “charities” who only pretend to help the needy while they serve their larger agendas. Give to secular and humanist organizations who help others for no other reason than because it’s the right thing to do.
Because nothing says fun, amusement and good times for all the family like bible studies, there was Holy Land USA, a Christian tourist attraction filled with religious exhibits in Waterbury, Connecticut between 1958 and 1984. At its height, Holy Land attracted up to 40,000 visitors a year to the park.
Fascinating photos! The ruins of this incredibly tacky Christian theme park sort of resemble the religion itself, don’t you think? Of course the religion is still going pretty strong, but huge cracks have formed and the number of people turning or backing away from it has risen sharply in the past decade or so. If Christianity can’t adapt to modern culture and civilization, it’s going to end up like this theme park: a crumbling and broken relic of humanity’s past.
OK, I don’t know what prompted that little speech but whatever. Just look at the photos, will ya?
Can’t you just imagine the explosion of anger and moral outrage this is causing, simply because the school is being made to uphold the law of the land?
TALLAPOOSA, GA CBS ATLANTA -For more than 50 years the Haralson County High School Rebels have been praying before football games over their public announcement system. For the first time since the prayers began all those years ago, the loud speaker was silenced. In their first home game against Bowdon things were a lot different. The changes came after a letter from the Freedom From Religion Foundation was sent to Haralson County Schools Superintendent Brett Stanton.
The letter, dated Sept. 19, 2011 asked the district to stop praying over the loud speaker because it was violating the constitution. According to the letter, signed by, Stephanie A. Schmitt, a lawyer for the foundation, it read; “First and foremost, it is illegal for a public school to organize, sponsor and lead prayers at public high school athletic events.”
Under the constitution, via separation of church and state, Stanton agreed that from a professional position, it was in the schools best interest to replace the prayer with a moment of silence instead. “We are going to follow the guidelines of the Constitution,” Stanton said. “I think it is a huge adjustment for this community, something they are having to adapt to. And something that has really brought them together.”
Don’t worry, you’ll get used to it. This is my favorite quote, though:
“I am upset because I think our God-given rights are being taken away as well. We are a God-believing community and we have our rights too. This is needed in our community. If you don’t want to support the prayer then allow us to have our say.”
Oh for fuck’s sake! Nobody is making you stop praying altogether, as if such a thing were even possible. Go home and pray. Get into your car and pray. Hey, sit on the toilet and pray for all anyone cares (they don’t). But don’t make prayer part of a public school activity. You people who complain about the sanctity of your American rights sure are quick to ignore the things about our country’s church & state separation when it’s convenient for you.
According to the latest Pew report, almost 1 in 5 Americans identify themselves as “spiritual but not religious.” In other words, they have some feeling, some intuition of something greater, but feel allergic to institutions. Yet as we approach Passover and Easter, it’s important to remember that it is institutions and not abstract feelings that tie a community together and lead to meaningful change.
You know what?
Organized religion can provide the structure that many need for their spiritual pursuits, but it’s not for everyone and can’t possibly fulfill the spiritual needs of everyone. Not to mention the tiny fact that it has also been the greatest source of human-inflicted death and suffering the world has ever known. For example do I really need to mention the Catholic institution and the countless lives it has destroyed? Whoops, I just did. I think organized religion has enough power, thank you.
To claim that non-religious or “spiritual” people have no moral compass or can have no impact in the world is more than a bit elitist. If someone wants to just be “spiritual” and they’re happy without churches and dogma, and their beliefs do no harm to others, why should that bother those entrenched in the institutions?
Prominent atheist Sam Harris is being attacked by the secular left for daring to criticize Islam and the violent actions of some of its practitioners. They’re saying he makes atheists look bad, but he’s he’s actually one of the “celebrity” atheists who makes atheists look better because he doesn’t have the elitism of Dawkins or the assholery of Hitchens. It’s not that I don’t appreciate those things — Hitchens’ brutal way of stating his case was brilliant — but I feel they tend to shut most believers down instead of opening them up to their ideas. Sam knows how to make a topic like this conversational instead of confrontational, and for someone to call him a “racist” for his views (which are well-stated and clearly written) is beyond ridiculous.
Anyway, I have to agree with the final sentence below quite a lot, as I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about my own anti-religious sentiments and why they are stronger for one religion vs. another. The more I read and explore certain ideas, the harder I’m finding it to condemn all religions as equally crazy.
My criticism of faith-based religion focuses on what I consider to be bad ideas, held for bad reasons, leading to bad behavior. Because I am concerned about the logical and behavioral consequences of specific beliefs, I do not treat all religions the same. Not all religious doctrines are mistaken to the same degree, intellectually or ethically, and it would be dishonest and ultimately dangerous to pretend otherwise. People in every tradition can be seen making the same errors, of course—e.g. relying on faith instead of evidence in matters of great personal and public concern—but the doctrines and authorities in which they place their faith run the gamut from the quaint to the psychopathic. For instance, a dogmatic belief in the spiritual and ethical necessity of complete nonviolence lies at the very core of Jainism, whereas an equally dogmatic commitment to using violence to defend one’s faith, both from within and without, is similarly central to the doctrine of Islam. These beliefs, though held for identical reasons (faith) and in varying degrees by individual practitioners of these religions, could not be more different. And this difference has consequences in the real world. (Let that be the first barrier to entry into this conversation: If you will not concede this point, you will not understand anything I say about Islam. Unfortunately, many of my most voluble critics cannot clear this bar—and no amount of quotation from the Koran, the hadith, the ravings of modern Islamists, or from the plaints of their victims, makes a bit of difference.)
Facts of this kind demand that we make distinctions among faiths that many confused or dishonest people will interpret as a sign of bigotry. For instance, I have said on more than one occasion that Mormonism is objectively less credible than Christianity, because Mormons are committed to believing nearly all the implausible things that Christians believe plus many additional implausible things. It is mathematically true to say that whatever probability one assigns to Jesus’ returning to earth to judge the living and the dead, one must assign a lesser probability to his doing so from Jackson County, Missouri. The glare of history is likewise unkind to Mormonism, for we simply know much more about Joseph Smith than we do about the twelve Apostles, and we have very good reasons to believe that he was a gifted con man. It is not a sign of bigotry against Mormons as people to honestly discuss these things. And I believe that atheists, secularists, and humanists do the world no favors by insisting that all religions be criticized in precisely the same terms and to the same degree.
Here’s a snippet of a very well-worded and thoughtful answer to the question “How do you find happiness in life as an atheist?” It’s a common perception that people who don’t believe in a supreme being must be living a life of hopelessness and without purpose, and while that’s likely true for a few, it’s not for all. It’s just a matter of how you view your place in the world and the universe. Click the link to read the full response, it’s quite good.
Here is the question: “I’m not judging any of you for believing differently than I do. But I’m just curious, and these are questions I’ve always wanted to ask atheists. Do you have any kind of hope for anything in this life as an atheist? If so, then what? Also, how do you find happiness in life as an atheist? Once again, not judging, and not trying to start a religious argument here. Just curious.”
Here is my response to that query: Imagine for a moment you find yourself on the top of a high mountain somewhere in a remote wilderness and you come upon a breathtaking vista at sunrise. Picture in your mind the clouds gently rolling up steep cliffs as light filters down into awe-inspiring views below and the glistening of distant streams winding their way through the expanse sparkle off in the distance. In that moment, there needs be no purpose behind what your eyes behold; it is simply beautiful, wondrous, and inspiring.
Now let’s take that concept and apply to a much grander scale of the universe. If one mountain on one part of one very tiny planet could create such rapture within your mind, just contemplate what else is out their waiting to be discovered.