Archive for atheism

Extreme Christianity is Guided by Faux Fear

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Extreme Christianity has been hoofing right round with disseminating Faux Fear for centuries. You tithe, sing, genuflect endlessly, and are load-ded.

Between that, guilt, and greed for the gelt … Nero, tune your instrument.

Enjoy Neil deGrasse Tyson's opinion: Ken Ham’s beliefs are even crazy for Christians, Salon video below.

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Russell Brand, not a Republican fan, had some perspective on the lighter side of things. And the horrific siege in Ferguson, Missouri. As it winds down as a militarized and traumatizing police state.

Day after day after day.

From Salon.

"That’s outrageous,” Brand said. “Of course there’s an economic aspect to the argument. Of course there’s a social aspect. You can’t just bring out the author of the book ‘We Deserve to Be Shot’ to bring out arguments just so Fox News can keep being as they are.”

He continued: “People don’t just spontaneously have an attitude toward the criminal justice system …Like the same way you might not have an attitude to your dishwasher. If your dishwasher doesn’t do anything except wash the dishes, you won’t just suddenly wonder one day, ‘You know, it’s really unjust the way that dishwasher keeps shooting unarmed black men!’”

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St. Paul's atheists are coming out of the closet

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Image: http://spinterfaith.org/

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - Do atheists get a seat at God's table? In St. Paul, they do now, the St. Paul Pioneer Press (http://bit.ly/1miiOmQ ) reported. The Interfaith Conversation Cafe in St. Paul, which gathers people of many religions for a monthly discussion, is now open to nonreligions. The organizers have removed "faith" from the…

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Atheist Receives Death Threats from Loving 'Christians' for Pushing Plaque Honoring Freethought in Alabama

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Condemned Death Atheism

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"I'm praying that my negative prayers thwart religious right's quest to browbeat nonbelievers"

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I'm an atheist, so I don't really do prayers. I hope a lot, I take action to create change, I vote, and I use what modest powers of persuasion I can muster up to convince others that there is more than one way to approach any given situation or policy. But prayers? Not so much.

I can't accept that the Invisible Man in the Sky (who apparently has a blonde, blue-eyed Middle Eastern son who came into this world via a virgin) exists. I can't fathom how anyone feels that their particular prayers take priority over someone else's rights, positions, or beliefs, someone who is supposed to be a fellow "child of god."

When an athlete offers thanks to his or her god for a victory, does that mean that their god deemed their opponents unworthy? Less special? Aren't we all supposed to be equally loved by their benevolent god? If the almighty one's got so much power, then why doesn't he/she... [fill in the blank]?

And why does the Christian majority feel compelled to convince the rest of us that their religion is The Best One of All? Because there are more of them than there are of us? So what? Why, as they try to get us to have faith in their faith (key word: faith), do they continue to exclude so many of us as they simultaneously try to entice us to "believe" their beliefs (key word: beliefs) ?

Why discriminate against those who are different than you? Or shame? Or aggressively proselytize? What happened to "live and let live" and "do unto others"?

I could go on forever. I say none of this to offend, and I hope my words are not taken that way. I understand why people embrace religion. I just can't relate to or make sense of believing in a magical being. And it stops being okay when others insist I do what's right for them, but not for me.

Which brings me to today's Los Angeles Times letters to the editor, because our voices matter:

Negative prayer may be just the remedy for those of us who blanch at religious zealots' pious public displays of prayer to their chosen deities. It's worth a try: I'll beseech my deity to use her divine powers to hinder those who feel their notion of "god" is superior to all other deities that humans have ever worshiped. ("They're praying for the worst. Is that wrong?," Op-Ed, June 24)

If my incantation prevails, government-sanctioned prayers at public meetings will cease. That way I no longer will have to betray my religious proclivities by leaving when prayers start, per the disingenuous suggestion floated by the U.S. Supreme Court's conservative majority in the recent decision involving the town of Greece, N.Y.

Verily, I'm praying that my negative prayers thwart the religious right's quest to browbeat nonbelievers.

Dennis Alston, Atwater, Calif.

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Tuesday Links

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#YesAllWomen hashtag campaign gives voice to victims of misogynistic violence in wake of UCSB shooting

Shooting victim’s father rips ‘rudderless idiots’ in Congress: ‘I can’t tell you how angry I am’

LulzSec hacker helps FBI stop over 300 cyber attacks

Ukraine crisis: Battle to control Donetsk airport

Billionaire involved in $2.6 billion bank scam executed in Iran

Nebraska mayor challenges atheists over faith-based event: ‘Take me to f-cking court — I don’t care’

Ukraine’s leader-elect talks of peace, but the fighting goes on in Donetsk

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Atheist wins lawsuit over being sent back to prison for refusing religious-based drug rehab program

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Friendly memo to those of faith: Please stop telling atheists to participate in religious meetings and/or activities, and atheists won't insist that you stop believing in your god.

In today's Los Angeles Times there is an article about an atheist parolee in California who was sent back to prison after Just Saying No to being forced to undergo drug rehab at a religious-based treatment center. The court decision was unanimous:

A three-judge panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals said a jury should award Barry A. Hazle Jr., a drug offender, compensatory damages for his loss of freedom and could consider possible punitive and emotional distress damages as well.

The appeals court also ordered a district judge in Sacramento to reconsider whether to issue an injunction to prevent California officials from requiring parolees to attend treatment programs that emphasize God or a “higher power.”

Hazle had served time, but then California ordered him to spend 90 days in a 12-step program. He requested a secular program instead, but he was told such a thing didn't exist, and he resisted the religious version.

The treatment center said that Hazle was disruptive “in a congenial way.” See? He was a nice disrupter. A friendly disrupter. As his reward for being Mr. Congeniality, his parole was revoked and he was sent back to the pokey for 100 more days.

What's an affable disrupter to do? Sue, of course. And a federal court ruled in his favor saying that his constitutional rights were violated. The judge ordered a jury to come up with monetary damages, and they awarded him-- wait for it-- zero. Zilch. Nada.

So now another jury will be convened to determine Hazle’s compensation.

Amen.

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The Week in Upchucks: "Please, justices, no blank check for public prayer"

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Recently I wrote a post called "Somebody talk me down" in which I expressed my frustration and angst over a Los Angeles Times piece, White House takes GOP side on church-state case, buttressed by an article from back in May, Atheist Invocation Sparks Inevitable Demagoguery.

Here are excerpts from the Times article:

In a potentially far-reaching case on separation of church and state, the Obama administration and Republican lawmakers tell the Supreme Court they support easing limits on prayers at meetings.

The Obama administration and congressional Republicans have found something to agree on: Town councils should be allowed to open their meetings with a Christian prayer.

Lawyers for the administration and two groups of lawmakers from the House and Senate, nearly all Republicans, separately made that argument in briefs to the Supreme Court this week. The high court should relax the constitutional limits on religious invocations at government meetings, they argued.

The case could lead to a major change in the law on religion that would go well beyond prayers at council meetings.

Government meetings that include religious prayer, specifically favoring Christianity, don't exactly heed-- What's it called again? Oh yeah-- separation of church and state. Today's L.A. Times has a follow-up editorial aptly titled, "Please, justices, no blank check for public prayer":

The court should reject that position, which would give governments a blank check to pray in a whole community's name with language drawn from a particular faith. If the 1st Amendment's ban on the "establishment of religion" by government means anything, it means that a Jew, Muslim or atheist shouldn't have to endure routine official prayers "in the name of Jesus" as the price of participating in local government. [...]

[T]hen-Chief Justice Warren Burger noted approvingly that the chaplain in Nebraska had removed all references to Jesus from his prayers after a complaint from a Jewish legislator. [...]

[I]f a government insists on sponsoring prayers, it should either keep them nonsectarian or make sure that it offers equal time to a range of voices, so as not to endorse one religious tradition over another. That's what the 2nd Circuit required, and the Supreme Court should affirm its holding.

With that, please welcome back guest blogger K.C. Boyd. You might remember her from her earlier posts. You can link over to her site here for the entire post. It’s well worth a look, because I left out a lot of great upchuckable stuff, including a link back to the L.A. Times piece that I referenced, and so much more:

Another Upchuckable Week - the place where religion meets your rights – by K. C. Boyd

The Weekly Upchuck

Abortion

  • Buckeye-Chuck I : Ohio Abortion Clinic Closes Amid Legislative Debate on Transfer Agreement Restrictions bit.ly/13TN8yy

Climate Change

  • When the Last Tree Dies – Chuck:  Virginia Foxx (NC-R) lamented that some environmentalists “think that we, human beings, have more impact on the climate and the world than God does.” http://huff.to/19fSi92

Education – Or Its Antithesis 

  • Lions and Tigers and Bears, Oh Chuck!  Governor Brown Signs Co-Ed Bathroom Bill — California Students Lose Their Right to Privacy http://bit.ly/18s7pem

Evolution

  • Darwin Sucks-Chuck: “We have solid proof in our hands that evolution is a lie: the Bible,” Right. Solid proof. Whatever. bit.ly/16QzyL6

Gay Rights

  • Thou Shalt Murder-Chuck: Lively is accused of violating international law by inspiring the notorious anti-LGBT legislation known as the “Kill the Gays” bill in Uganda. http://bit.ly/16moVTP

Legislators and Their Legislation

  • Shoot “Em Up-Upchuck: Huckabee asks Nugent to turn his hunting dog ‘loose on some Democrats’ Rather a hideous ask for a Christian like The Huckster to propose. . ‪http://bit.ly/13krRj6  

Military

  • No Atheists In A FOX-Hole-Chuck: Demeaning Atheists who serve. After taking down the article at the urging of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation once, it’s back up. http://bit.ly/1cCLqr3
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