Editorial: Free to not believe - Coeur d'Alene Press: Local News

Editorial: Free to not believe

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Posted: Wednesday, August 1, 2012 9:38 am

Some parts of the country are hotbeds for proselytizing - trying to induce someone to convert to a particular religion. Examples are the Bible Belt to fundamental Christianity and Utah to Mormonism.

So when seven billboards popped up in our region this week promoting freedom from religion, the Inland Northwest's first known anti-proselytizing campaign was launched. More accurately, perhaps, the campaign is an attempt to convert citizens to a political philosophy: Firmly separating church from state.

The billboard campaign is sponsored by the local affiliate of a national organization, the Freedom From Religion Foundation (ffrf.org). According to a press release, the campaign is introducing "friendly neighborhood atheists" to their neighbors, but it's also doing more than that.

The group of atheistic and agnostic "freethinkers," as they call themselves, has been "working since 1978 to keep religion and government separate." FFRF aligns itself with the First Amendment and has been involved in lawsuits over issues like school prayer and religious symbols on public property.

While the U.S. Constitution does not contain the specific words "separation of church and state," constitutional scholars agree that such separation was deemed essential by the Founding Fathers and is integral to the enduring power of the document. Through ignorance and unabashed religious activism, the walls separating church and state face daily erosion. This becomes alarming to some citizens only when members of a religion they object to are the ones doing the eroding.

Jefferson, Adams and the rest were students of history whose political perspectives were honed to a fine point by the pain of personal experience. They clearly understood that for freedom to flourish, faith must never be legislated. They knew that the ideal role of government is to protect citizens' rights to think independently and to believe whatever they want to believe; to actively exercise that belief system so long as it doesn't impinge upon the rights of others.

If the Freedom From Religion Foundation's billboard campaign is helpful in reminding us that places of worship and of government must never occupy the same space, then we're grateful to our atheist neighbors for providing a valuable public service.

  • Discuss

Welcome to the discussion.

47 comments:

  • inclined posted at 3:39 am on Tue, Aug 7, 2012.

    inclined Posts: 681

    Free to not believe

    1. If I have become as a person a law of selfishness a belief in another is redundant.
    2. If the selfish universally rule. the example to the young is selfishness.
    3. Selfishness in humans as a principle under Darwinian Law is only animalism.
    4. To mask animalism, selfishness does lies, to make it comfortable, palatable.
    5. All becomes a Lie because god(man) is himself redundant and he knows it, if dog eats dog.

     
  • Mahiun posted at 9:11 pm on Fri, Aug 3, 2012.

    Mahiun Posts: 5413

    The Coeur d'Alene Mess strikes again....

    That paragraph should have read:

    But depending on whose front lawn we're talking about, NOT having one could be the law. If it's your front lawn, have at it: feel free to display a Nativity scene, the Travelocity gnome, or plastic flamingoes. But if it's a publicly owned front lawn, no. No nativity scene. (OR plastic flamingoes, one would hope, though I'm not sure the constitution actually addresses that situation....)

     
  • Mahiun posted at 3:35 pm on Fri, Aug 3, 2012.

    Mahiun Posts: 5413

    Is having the Nativity in teh front lawn a law? No.
    But depending on whose front lawn we're talking about, NOT having one could be the law. If it's yourpublicly owned front lawn, no. No nativity scene. (OR plastic flamingoes, one would hope, though I'm not sure the constitution actually addresses that situation....)

    Should the ACLU be able to take it down?
    No. Nor can they take it down, nor would they even attempt to, provided it's on your privately owned front lawn, and not a publicly owned front lawn.

    Same stands with the Ten Commandments. No law broken.
    That depends on where it is.... Just like you can be buck naked in your own bathroom. You can't be naked in the courthouse bathroom.

    The "appeal to history" argument isn't a particularly strong one. Women were denied the right to vote for 140-some-odd years. Did that make it the right thing to do? Child labour was commonplace until the late 1930's. Did its being widespread make it right? Interracial marriage was prohibited across the nation, until less than 50 years ago. Did that justify the prohibition?

    And it's not that no one was ever saying that mixing religion and government was wrong. It just took that long for the powers that be to start listening to them.

     
  • searcher posted at 12:27 pm on Fri, Aug 3, 2012.

    searcher Posts: 365

    Mahium -

    Somehow my quote from JoeIdaho got shoved into my response to JoeIdaho... and your response sounds like you think I said those despicable things...

    Yes, I suggested Joe clink to his guns and religion, and was dredging up a parody of Sharon Angle with the "2nd amendment solution". It seems my sarcasm got misconstrued.

    I guess I should just ignore JoeIdaho and his ilk, but they really make my blood boil with their bigotry and self-rightousness. I just don't know how to get people like him to stop their nonsense.

     
  • Mark on the Park posted at 11:27 am on Fri, Aug 3, 2012.

    Mark on the Park Posts: 471

    It's unfortunate that, too often, self-ascribed "Christians" who speak on behalf of "their religion" are uneducated and bigoted.

    Be a true Christian and love and accept others, even if you don't agree with everything they believe in.

     
  • JesusIsTheLight posted at 11:17 am on Fri, Aug 3, 2012.

    JesusIsTheLight Posts: 667

    You are free not to believe. You are free to believe. What the government is not free to do is force you to pay a tax for a Federal Church. That is the seperation of church and state.

    The phrase "separation of church and state" itself does not appear in the United States Constitution. The First Amendment states that "CONGRESS (FEDERAL GOVERNMENT) shall MAKE NO LAW respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof." Does taht say anything about the individual State? No. Does that say anything about a P Town U.S.A. putting up the ten commandments? No

    Is having the Nativity in teh front lawn a law? No. Should the ACLU be able to take it down? NO there is no law established there. Additionally, there is law, YET, mandating that people have to look at it, bleieve in it, or worship it, or pay taxes to it. No law broken.

    Same stands with the Ten Commandments. No law broken.

    In the end, God knows who is who and who believe and who doesn't. It's just very, very sad that we've allowed 158 years actually history to be trumped by activist judges, lawyers, and Communists.

    For 158 years roughly noooooo one saw the 1st Amendment as a complete and total wall between relgion and government. And then, one activist judge comes along in 1948 and says "You know what? Those Founderst were wrong. I'm changing things right now." Judge Hugo Black appointed by.........appoointed by......anyone, anyone.....FDR. Go figure. An activist judge appointed by FDR who HATED the Constitution because of how much is LIMIITED GOVERNMENT.

     
  • Mahiun posted at 8:39 am on Fri, Aug 3, 2012.

    Mahiun Posts: 5413

    The MAJORITY of "atheists" are liberals.
    The bottom line is SIMPLE; what they bring to the table is lawlessness, no morals, ethics, or decency. That's what being gay is about; FORCING the rest of us to "accept" their lewd & sickening behavior.
    "atheism" isn't just "Godless", it's "ruleless".

    This may be the silliest piece of........well, it's remarkably silly; let's leave it at that.

    On what evidence do you assert that atheism is lawless, amoral, unethical, and indecent? Statistically, it's not just untrue, but exactly the opposite: crime rates, divorce rates, ethics charges -- they're all significantly lower among openly self-identified atheists.

    That's what being gay is about; FORCING the rest of us to "accept" their lewd & sickening behavior.
    "atheism" isn't just "Godless", it's "ruleless".

    Uhhhh, no. Not even close.

    Being gay is "about" being born with a natural, inherent attraction to members of the same sex, for sexual and affectional relationships. That's it.

    Nobody really cares whether or not you find it "lewd and sickening" or "accept" it. The only thing you have to "accept" is that we have a right to exist, a right to live our lives w/o your interference, and a "right to rights" --- the same rights that you have taken for granted, all of your adult life (at least). Beyond that, you're free to find it just as lewd and sickening as you choose to --- but it would seem to have a pretty simple solution: if you don't like gay sex, don't have gay sex; if you don't like same-sex marriages, don't have one.

    Personally, I find Boobarella tv ads for everything from beer to Victoria's Secret to floor cleaner to lonely hearts phone lines to be "lewd and sickening". I don't want any part of the world they're peddling (or trying to peddle, at any rate). But I accept their right to exist; I accept the idea that this appeals to some people, somewhere --- even if I am not part of that demographic. It all prompts a strong visceral reaction of "Eeeeeeeeeeew!!!" in me, but..........to each his own.

    Well, I guess you just better start clinging a little tighter to your guns and religion....
    Yeah, maybe so --- since they appear to be about all you've got....

    ...exercise a little 2nd amendment solution...
    Are you threatening gun violence? That would be a very very unwise thing to do; your IP address is traceable....

     
  • Joseph Jr posted at 8:01 am on Fri, Aug 3, 2012.

    Joseph Jr Posts: 512

    SEARCHER, the Editorial Saff wrote this. That makes it all the more insulting.

    Quote: (From CDA EDITORIAL STAFF) "More accurately, perhaps, the campaign is an attempt to convert citizens to a political philosophy: Firmly separating church from state."

    Anyone else notice this sentence in particular? Wow! Isn't this the most manipulative wording ever? Whoever wrote this, should be a defense attorney.

    This sentence basically states that the "Free Thinkers," are simply attempting to separate church and state, as if that's actually a good thing. I guess the author/editor is unaware that there's a reason our currency states "In God We Trust," and our Pledge of Allegiance states "One nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and freedom for all."

    You see, under God...all have liberty and freedom.

    There is also redemption and salvation which Christianity provides, and for some people that is uncomfortable as it requires admitting to our sins. Much easier to believe there is no judge, that God does not exist, and we are simply leftover molecules deposited from space, that MAGICALLY transformed into human bodies with thinking minds.

    Gee, that theory would require FAITH also. It just wouldn't require being held accountable for our time on earth. Cowardly...but easy.

     
  • Humanist posted at 7:34 pm on Thu, Aug 2, 2012.

    Humanist Posts: 3166

    Quote: " this is why you catechize your children in your beliefs - so they can have the same biases that you have."

    Yuppers. But at least they'll be the right biases. :)

     
  • searcher posted at 7:27 pm on Thu, Aug 2, 2012.

    searcher Posts: 365

    @JoeIdaho- "The MAJORITY of "atheists" are liberals.
    The bottom line is SIMPLE; what they bring to the table is lawlessness, no morals, ethics, or decency. That's what being gay is about; FORCING the rest of us to "accept" their lewd & sickening behavior.

    "atheism" isn't just "Godless", it's "ruleless".

    Well, I guess you just better start clinging a little tighter to your guns and religion, sit out on your front porch and exercise a little 2nd amendment solution to your paranoia. Aah the smell of napalm in the morning...

    ... and I was criticized for misrepresenting "Christians" by pointing out their ignorance and intolerance on this forum?? Give me a break Nebula.

     
  • Why Not posted at 6:34 pm on Thu, Aug 2, 2012.

    Why Not Posts: 5020

    Hat’s off too you JoeIdaho

    A very wise man once said: “it is better to let people think you are stupid than to open your mouth and prove you are stupid.” - Unknown

    “Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe.” – Albert Einstein

     
  • jimr posted at 6:24 pm on Thu, Aug 2, 2012.

    jimr Posts: 24

    Thanks, Humanist, for...uh...engaging me on this. Although the only thing you have really responded to is the swamp scum idea. I have answered your questions, you just refuse to read carefully. Yet you haven't responded to any of my claims as to where your moral relativism has gotten us in the past and you have entered into the typical old worn-out accusation that I would demand everyone believe in MY god. You have also taken the holier-than-thou approach by accusing me of being biased. Hate to break the news to you buddy, but we are ALL biased. It is impossible not to be. And I'll let you in a little secret: this is why you catechize your children in your beliefs - so they can have the same biases that you have.

    Cheers!

     
  • Brent Regan posted at 6:22 pm on Thu, Aug 2, 2012.

    Brent Regan Posts: 677

    “(The Constitution) also requires that religion remain mute on government”

    No, it does not. The Constitution is a contract to set up the Federal Government. It does not require “religion” to remain mute under ANY circumstances.

    “Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;”

    The First Amendment ties the hands of Government, not the people or their religious practices.

     
  • JoeIdaho posted at 5:51 pm on Thu, Aug 2, 2012.

    JoeIdaho Posts: 2841

    The MAJORITY of "atheists" are liberals.
    The bottom line is SIMPLE; what they bring to the table is lawlessness, no morals, ethics, or decency. That's what being gay is about; FORCING the rest of us to "accept" their lewd & sickening behavior.

    "atheism" isn't just "Godless", it's "ruleless".

     
  • Humanist posted at 5:27 pm on Thu, Aug 2, 2012.

    Humanist Posts: 3166

    Gee, thanks for having an open mind and completely dismissing my "dogma". :) You sure have a funny way of answering questions and I am gathering that you would like everyone to live under a theocracy where they must believe in YOUR god.

    Yes, jimr, I believe that we are "a couple of sacks of evolved swamp scum". Which includes are evolved morality. As such, we don't go anywhere when we die - we simply decompose and the molecules that comprise our organic bodies go on to become other organic and inorganic matter on this earth. I accept that as reality and am fine with it. I am sensing that you aren't fine with it when you wrestle with that idea when you lay your head on your pillow at night.

    But, there is meaning in this life for us non-believers even though we think there is nothing beyond it. We believe in living our life to make this world a better place for our fellow humans, for our children, for future generations. We strive to make a positive difference on Earth during our short time here. After-all, it's the only life we have.

     
  • jimr posted at 4:33 pm on Thu, Aug 2, 2012.

    jimr Posts: 24

    I did answer your question...your moral relativism has gotten us Nazi Germany and the Guillotine...among countless other atrocities. I don't need to read your dogma - I was raised by your schools. I understand it well enough. And, you have answered none of my questions. The reason you won't is because their answers lead you, quite obviously, to conclusions you are uncomfortable with. I will ask the same question I asked in another post below: "You and I, according to your beliefs, are just a couple of sacks of evolved swamp scum, frothing at the mouth and spouting a bunch of nothing. And your nothing disagrees with my nothing" - so now what? It is all meaningless drivel - and when you lay your head on your pillow at night, deep down, you know it is.

     
  • Humanist posted at 3:59 pm on Thu, Aug 2, 2012.

    Humanist Posts: 3166

    Your intention to try to logically steer me towards a conclusion of "moral absolute as instilled by God" is fairly obvious. I simply do not believe that is the case. Our morals, ethics, laws, and so on are relative to what our society has decided is the common good and the common bad. Which is why you see societies throughout history or different modern geographies with different morals. Morality is something that has developed over tens of thousands of years of evolution as a necessity to humans as social and cooperative creatures. There are volumes and volumes of information on this topic out there and I suggest you Google it and do some unbiased reading.

    In short, there is no concept of god required for the concept of morality. I also strongly recommend that you read the book "Good Without God" by Greg Epstein, the Humanist Chaplain at Harvard University. It may enlighten you. http://www.amazon.com/Good-Without-God-Billion-Nonreligious/dp/0061670111

     
  • Humanist posted at 3:53 pm on Thu, Aug 2, 2012.

    Humanist Posts: 3166

    JimR: You didn't answer my questions. "So, what is wrong with that approach? What else would you suggest? "

     
  • yourneighbor posted at 3:00 pm on Thu, Aug 2, 2012.

    yourneighbor Posts: 224

    I bet my Grandfather could kick your Grandfathers well you know..

     
  • jimr posted at 2:59 pm on Thu, Aug 2, 2012.

    jimr Posts: 24

    If you read my post carefully, you would have realized that I answered your first question before you asked it. All authority is delegated authority - if it is not delegated, it is tyranny. So, you and "their Mom" are nothing more that tyrannical dictators if you don't recognize that the authority you have over your children is delegated to you and, since it is delegated, you are under authority and will have to give an account. So, the question is: Who has given you this authority and to whom are you accountable? Or, are you merely tyrannical dictators who have either come by this dictatorship using force or by accident? And, if you do not believe that you are under authority and will answer to none, then you must believe the same for your neighbor and what is to keep him from coming in to your little domain and taking over? And in your view of things, if you were to be honest and paint into the corners a bit, there should be absolutely nothing wrong with him doing that.

     
  • yourneighbor posted at 2:39 pm on Thu, Aug 2, 2012.

    yourneighbor Posts: 224

    Humanist, As the artist Dave Mason would say "So let's leave it alone, 'cause we can't see eye to eye.
    There ain't no good guys, there ain't no bad guys.
    There's only you and me and we just disagree..................

     
  • Mahiun posted at 2:38 pm on Thu, Aug 2, 2012.

    Mahiun Posts: 5413

    My Grandfather simply put it " If you live like there is no God, you better be Right"........
    And my grandfather put it even better: "If you live your life for 'god', you better hope you picked the right one!"

     
  • Humanist posted at 1:49 pm on Thu, Aug 2, 2012.

    Humanist Posts: 3166

    By what their Mom and I consider right and wrong. Much of which is determined by our societies (yes, yours too) moral relativism. So, what is wrong with that approach? What else would you suggest?

     
  • jimr posted at 1:25 pm on Thu, Aug 2, 2012.

    jimr Posts: 24

    So, you "instill very strongly in [y]our children what is considered right and wrong." Considered right and wrong by who? If you were raising them in Nazi Germany would those "rights and wrongs" have been different? What about Revolutionary France? Would you have been teaching them to do needlework in the town square while applauding as heads roll? This is the problem that you anti-theists and humanists have - the only thing you can live by is "might makes right". Since you are bigger and stronger than your children, you will impress upon them your "rights and wrongs", and those "rights and wrongs" will be whatever the most people, at any given time, think they are.

     
  • Humanist posted at 1:04 pm on Thu, Aug 2, 2012.

    Humanist Posts: 3166

    Those without god live just like those with god (even better in many cases). So I guess we're all good then. :)

     
  • yourneighbor posted at 12:37 pm on Thu, Aug 2, 2012.

    yourneighbor Posts: 224

    My Grandfather simply put it " If you live like there is no God, you better be Right"........

     
  • jimr posted at 11:31 am on Thu, Aug 2, 2012.

    jimr Posts: 24

    "vitriol:? How can youmake such a judgement? First of all, that's pretty hard to determine in this kind of a forum but, more importantly, by what authority do you make this judgement? And, how do we know that vitriol is bad? Maybe what we need is a bit more vitriol so that we can make the next giant leap in the evolutionary process. We'll all be a bunch of vitriolic evolved swamp scum! Woo-hoo! What fun we'll have then!

     
  • Mahiun posted at 9:57 am on Thu, Aug 2, 2012.

    Mahiun Posts: 5413

    The Constitution requires the Government remain mute on religion.
    It also requires that religion remain mute on government, although that direction seems to be rather routinely ignored...

    Try substituting "Christian" in place of "Atheist" in the billboard text and see if someone doesn't then label it Proselytizing.
    Someone might, but *I* wouldn't. I'd label it "pretty poor marketing, wasting money raising awareness of Christians in what is already an overwhelmingly filled with self-identifed Christian fundamentalists. I might label it "carrying coals to Newcastle" (look it up), but not "proselytizing".

    I wouldn't have a problem with it. Apparently you would?!

    Try creating a group called the National Association for the Advancement of White People and see if it isn't labeled racist.
    That's an entirely different discussion. "Race" is not "religion" --- except for racists. But I'm sure you're not one of those, right?

    ...brave enough to go spew their [atheist] beliefs ...
    Why the vitriol? Why this barely contained hatred? Why do you feel so personally offended and threatened by the mere existence of atheism or atheists? I think you might be doing a little projection here, maybe?

     
  • Humanist posted at 9:52 am on Thu, Aug 2, 2012.

    Humanist Posts: 3166

    If letting people know that there are others like them out there is called proselytizing, then so be it.

     
  • Humanist posted at 9:00 am on Thu, Aug 2, 2012.

    Humanist Posts: 3166

    @Joseph Jr: Did you know that Sam Harris, one of "the four horseman of New Atheism" speaks out vehemently against Muslim extremism? He often rails on the moderate Islamic communities for allowing this aspect of their religion to affect humanity.

    http://www.samharris.org/site/full_text/the-reality-of-islam/

     
  • Humanist posted at 8:56 am on Thu, Aug 2, 2012.

    Humanist Posts: 3166

    Quote Brent Regan: "but efforts to prohibit the free exercise of religion in the public square run counter to the First Amendment as written."

    By "exercise", I assume that you mean "display of a single religion" in the public square? Everyone has a right to exercise in the public square and that right has never been limited and you will not find Atheist groups speaking out against that. We feel strongly that everyone has this individual right and even groups like the ACLU fight for this right.

    The display of a single religions symbology in the public square is another matter altogether and DOES imply government endorsement of a single religion and the courts are deciding over and over that this is the case and having them removed. But that is not causing individuals to have their right to exercise their religion infringed upon.

     
  • Humanist posted at 8:45 am on Thu, Aug 2, 2012.

    Humanist Posts: 3166

    Quote: "We are now encouraging parents to allow children to raise themselves, find their own way, instead of guiding them with morals, ethics and beliefs (religous or not). "Freethinkers?" How about lost souls."

    Let's clarify something here. As a household with Atheist parents (I'm one of them), we raise our children to be freethinkers without telling them that any particular religion is wrong or right. We DO tell them that discriminating against groups of people in the name of religion is wrong, that killing in the name of religion is wrong, and so on, but apply our moral code to other religious based actions. To say that we do not raise them with morals and ethics is grossly inaccurate. We have instilled very strongly in our children what is considered right and wrong. While leaving them free to religiously believe what they decide is best for them as they grow into adults. Just because a person is raised without a religion does not mean they are "lost souls".

     
  • jimr posted at 8:29 am on Thu, Aug 2, 2012.

    jimr Posts: 24

    Ooops! Sorry, that should be "You and I...are just a couple of sacks of swamp scum..." but, then again, I guess it really doesn't much matter, does it?

     
  • will-- posted at 8:22 am on Thu, Aug 2, 2012.

    will-- Posts: 1091

    "Proselytizing? No, not really...."

    A specious argument.

    Try substituting "Christian" in place of "Atheist" in the billboard text and see if someone doesn't then label it Proselytizing.

    Try creating a group called the National Association for the Advancement of White People and see if it isn't labeled racist.

    Plain and simple doubles standards.


     
  • Joseph Jr posted at 7:30 am on Thu, Aug 2, 2012.

    Joseph Jr Posts: 512

    "Freethinkers," ought to be brave enough to go spew their beliefs somewhere other than in safe Christian communities.

    Get on over to Dearborn, Michigan.

    Course, "Freethinkers" are truly cowards who hide behind safe walls built by Christians.

     
  • Brent Regan posted at 7:17 am on Thu, Aug 2, 2012.

    Brent Regan Posts: 677

    ”places of worship and of government must never occupy the same space”
    You mean like they did after the founding of our Nation?

    From the Federal Orrery, Boston, July 2, 1795 “City of Washington, June 19. It is with much pleasure that we discover the rising consequence of our infant city. Public worship is now regularly administered at the Capitol, every Sunday morning, at 11 o'clock by the Reverend Mr. Ralph.”
    Worship services were held in the Nation’s Capitol until the late 1800s. Thomas Jefferson, the guy who wrote about “separation” in a letter, regularly attended services in the Capitol, as did Madison and many others including Lincoln.

    The Constitution requires the Government remain mute on religion. Atheists have a God given right to believe in whatever they want, but efforts to prohibit the free exercise of religion in the public square run counter to the First Amendment as written.

     
  • jimr posted at 7:10 am on Thu, Aug 2, 2012.

    jimr Posts: 24

    Oh, but I disagree...it IS proselytizing. And where do you get of saying something is "rude"...by what standard is something rude. Who gets to decide THAT? You and me, according to your beliefs, are just a couple of sacks of evolved swamp scum, frothing at the mouth and spouting a bunch of nothing. And your nothing disagrees with my nothing and now what? Why do we even involve ourselves in this exercise in nothingness?

     
  • inclined posted at 12:37 am on Thu, Aug 2, 2012.

    inclined Posts: 681

    Editorial Free to not believe

    It is established, by District and Supreme Court rulings, as far as the law, atheism is a religion.

    So, here we have the rubbish of a religion, Atheism, in a campaign against religion. Asserting to be other than a faith system, however, in arrogance, as though without doubt, man himself, is most high.

    Separation of church and state, is as well the rubbish, of bad law as scholars know. “Jefferson, Adams and the rest were students of history whose political perspectives were honed to a fine point by the pain of personal experience. They clearly understood that for freedom to flourish, faith must never be legislated.” If you should believe this you sell your soul out to the same buggery that swells in this country both in the early meaning of the word, and it’s more present understanding.

    There seems to be few, under the sponsorship of this medium, that understand the consequence of such an editorial. I doubt they will print this. It is an assault on minds that have so ready access to the greatest law and historical references in the world within our homes. Yet, they attempt it with contempt. And most of you read this as though it were a match to empirical reality.

     
  • Joseph Jr posted at 9:52 pm on Wed, Aug 1, 2012.

    Joseph Jr Posts: 512

    Is this the editor's idea of bloggling on steroid's?

    This article/story is negatively directed at Christian's.

    QUOTE FROM ARTICLE: "This becomes alarming to some citizens only when members of a religion they object to are the ones doing the eroding."

    A vaguely worded attack on Christian's? Why not be honest, and come out and say what it is you want to say, rather than hide behind clouded words. What kind of person writes about religion, knowing it will insult people? Seems you are attacking those you claim are attacking others. Shame on you!

    Christian's rarely commit crimes in the name of Jesus Christ, unless they are truly mentally ill. Haven't heard of one today. No beheadings, stoning, polygamy, etc., by Christian's. Nope, Christians rarely commit crimes against anyone, regardless of their beliefs. Do not confuse that with me saying, Christians do not commit crimes. Of course they do, just like atheist's, Muslim's, Jew's, etc. Christianity is a religion which actually does not encourage violence or harming others. Christianity is about forgiveness and peace.

    About other religions?

    A simple GOOGLE search using keywords (Dearborn Michigan Muslim), would provide enough results and evidence for anyone, regardless of their beliefs, concerning people who follow a certain religion. A religion we're not suppose to say anything negative about. Write about that Mr. Editor. Go ahead!

    A movie was recently made (about 2007), regarding the Mountain Meadow Massacre in Utah on 9-11-1857. People from another popular religion who claim to be Christian's, but whose church bible has over 1200 changes from the true Bible, made by their so called and proven liar "Prophet." Their "Prophet's" believed in polygamy. Their members attacked and murdered 113 unarmed men, women and children traveling through on a wealthy...wagon train. The members who committed the murders, then denied their actions to the U.S. Army, and shifted the blame to American Indian's. The religious people who did this, finally returned the infants and toddlers to the Army, and even sent a BILL to the U.S. Government for the care of the infants and children. This movie was protested by religous people belonging to this "Church." Can't remember the name of this movie, but another simple GOOGLE search using keywords (Meadow Mountain Massacre Movie), will provide that. This church and it's members did not allow African American's full priesthood until 1978. Course today, love to show African American's in their ad's. I guess the prophet had word from God this was ok.

    Atheism is a religion. Atheism is a belief. Given a few more years, the aspiring wacky leaders seeking followers, will empose rules and belief's. These leader's will seek monetary gain and control of human beings.

    "In God We Trust" was printed on U.S. Currency for a reason.

    We are now encouraging parents to allow children to raise themselves, find their own way, instead of guiding them with morals, ethics and beliefs (religous or not). "Freethinkers?" How about lost souls.

    "As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord."

    I am imperfect.

     
  • Mahiun posted at 8:56 pm on Wed, Aug 1, 2012.

    Mahiun Posts: 5413

    Proselytizing? No, not really....

    Look at the billboard in the article photo. They're not saying anything at all about, "You have to think like we do, join us, and identify with us." It's a picture of a family --- an ordinary, looks-like-your-famly bunch that just happens to be atheist (and willing to publicly admit it). It's awareness-raising: atheists are not scary bogeyman. Anything much beyond that is something you have read in and projected onto material that just isn't there.

    Pro Atheist...
    Joey, not being actively anti-atheist is not the same as being "pro-atheist".

    ...openly MOCK our God...
    That doesn't make sense. Why would anyone bother "mocking" something they didn't even believe to exist? How often do people bother "mocking" unicorns?! What some might mock is the BELIEF in "God", but even that would be rude. What is more likely is that someone asks you to explain, examine, or think about your belief system --- but that is not "mocking", except perhaps in your own mind.

    ..they're justified, and their position needs to be known...
    It's not a matter of "justified". It's a matter of "just as valid", "perfectly acceptable", "equally due respect", and "absolutely entitled to it." And yes, considering how badly and how commonly misunderstood and feared atheism seems to be, their position does need to be known. Not interested? Don't read about it! Turn the page, move on, get over it....

    SAD state of affairs.
    What is a "sad state of affairs" is the fact that you would consider giving other points of view equal time to be a "sad state of affairs."

     
  • Why Not posted at 8:23 pm on Wed, Aug 1, 2012.

    Why Not Posts: 5020

    “This becomes alarming to some citizens only when members of a religion they object to are the ones doing the eroding.” - Oh how true. Nothing riles religionista’s more than public displays or acceptance of anything contrary with their beliefs and interpretation of Bible stories. So Joe Idaho, which God, deity or object of worship are you referring to? It’s your right to worship as you please in America, but not to expect government to tell me I have to accept any specific religious values or rules, that is a Theocracy.

    This Editorial gets two thumbs up! Meet the Atheists grabs your attention, but the real message is thought provoking and gets people to think and talk.

     
  • will-- posted at 8:13 pm on Wed, Aug 1, 2012.

    will-- Posts: 1091

    When has a CDA Press online poll ever been accurate?

     
  • JoeIdaho posted at 6:24 pm on Wed, Aug 1, 2012.

    JoeIdaho Posts: 2841

    Amazing.
    Losing TOTAL faith in our little paper here.
    On the right side of the homepage is a poll, one that says that 85% of the people responding don't believe in God.
    Now, we all KNOW that isn't true.
    But the press just lets it slide along.
    Then, this article.
    Pro Atheist, working diligently to explain how people that openly MOCK our God, well, they're justified, and their position needs to be known, as though none of us have EVER heard of this before.

    SAD state of affairs.

     
  • jimr posted at 3:55 pm on Wed, Aug 1, 2012.

    jimr Posts: 24

    Umm...hello? Anyone home? What, exactly, ARE these billboards if not proselytizing? Why is it that if agnostics and atheists express their beliefs, it is not considered proselytizing? Are they not trying to get me to join their hopeless little group?

     
  • Close Enough posted at 12:09 pm on Wed, Aug 1, 2012.

    Close Enough Posts: 134

    Re-post (since my comment was not carried over):


    "While the U.S. Constitution does not contain the specific words "separation of church and state," constitutional scholars agree that such separation was deemed essential by the Founding Fathers and is integral to the enduring power of the document. Through ignorance and unabashed religious activism, the walls separating church and state face daily erosion. This becomes alarming to some citizens only when members of a religion they object to are the ones doing the eroding."

    I get where you're going with this (Editorial as a whole). However, this assertion re: founders' principle of sep. of c/s misses the mark. In fact, this entire paragraph is quite misleading--- might want to think of hitting the "edit" button, followed by "delete." The assertion that "constitutional scholars agree" is hilariously erroneous. Similar to saying, for example, that all of the Founders agreed.

    In short: your argument(s) would be a lot stronger if you simply relied on 1st Amd. free speech, to assemble, etc... to support your position.

     
  • DeNiles posted at 11:58 am on Wed, Aug 1, 2012.

    DeNiles Posts: 2450

    Jeesh! Talk about your boulder toss fest in glass houses. To 'proselytize' is not only to hawk ones religious concept versus another it also means to try and recruit/alter any particular opinion on any subject. And here sits the CDA Press with one editor deciding the papers position, which guest editorial gets printed, which letters to the editor gets printed and whose wife has her own opinion column...... no influence monopoly there, eh?

    And so how does the CDA Press proselytize? Pro-gay? Pro McEuen? Anti recall? Well any old thing they wants to emphasize gets plowed, and plowed and furrowed and plowed. Add to this the profound dearth of any serious or meaningful investigational effort and this paper is more a platform for community mind management than a genuine news venue.

    Proselytize: Free to not believe............ And who would seriously believe anything written in either local paper? The reporting is not just taken with a grain of salt. It is useless and targeted to the point of being laughable. And you're gonna tell us how we should feel about religion or any subject? Hilariously insane.

     
  • Humanist posted at 9:49 am on Wed, Aug 1, 2012.

    Humanist Posts: 3166

    Great editorial!

     
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