New Rebels on Campus

Young nonbelievers carve out a niche for themselves at universities across the country.

trenobar

09/25/2002 11:42:51 AM

How can they smile?...if there's no Hell, there's no Heaven either........ :( Only in a fundamentalist paradigm :-)

cerewa

08/11/2002 03:37:12 AM

The thing I find so funny about this discussion is how nobody seems to realize that "atheist" and "believer" are just words. Many people who "believe in god" just think it's really cool that the universe exists and can't explain how. They figure "god" is as good a name as any for the mystery of existence. On the other hand, many atheists thing it's really cool that the universe exists and can't explain how. They figure "god" _isn't_ a good name for the mystery of existence. But who the h*ll cares? Arguments over the "right" meaning of a word are usually stupid and boring. The fact that the word is "god" doesn't change that. pause, you have the right idea. :)

gsduf03

05/30/2002 12:57:52 PM

How can they smile?...if there's no Hell, there's no Heaven either........ :(

pause

01/02/2002 10:59:08 AM

IanPF believes that all God-faring people sound alike. mikeduhle believes that all atheists sound alike. I believe they both sound alike.

RenaissanceManX

12/31/2001 12:40:08 AM

Great article! I'm in the process of starting a similar group at my university, as part of the Campus Freethought Alliance. The group will be called the Campus Association of Freethought. Feel free to let me know what you think. The url is http://www.geocities.com/caforg/AAPageMain.html

cameronMVillad

12/27/2001 04:17:39 AM

lol what a mess of messages. I am an atheist, and my group of friends is made of of everyone from atheists, agnostics, pagans, christians, catholics, a buddhist and even an satanist(lavey kind). I try to be pragmatic about it. I as a person don't want to see religions destroyed or removed even if I find certain movements and groups of a religion repugnant in the extreme. Maybe the declarations like "smile there's no hell" are a little ostentaticious. But so what, it's young people in college speaking out not nuclear war. There are times in life when you should stand up, shout your lungs out and be in people's faces. Personaly I'd love to organize something similiar to what is presented in the article. I don't know how organized or successfull it would be but hey it would be fun. Speaking both as a former Marine and an atheist. I've never been persecuted. I don't consider someone trying to yell at me and say I'm going to hell, need jesus, etc persecution, just talk.

Jasmine4361

09/12/2001 07:41:49 PM

What on earth are you talking about? The NEA does not say anything about religious issues. Perhaps that is a statement in itself, but I assure you that I have no idea of the religious beliefs of many of my colleagues. Teachers, at least those who are conscientious ones, do not use their classrooms as a forum from which to pontificate. The NEA has never directed us about religious beliefs.

sypress

09/10/2001 09:53:52 PM

OK, xmohan... You really got my goat. Sorry to stray from the topic, but as a public school teacher, NEA member and a religious person I just have to speak up here! First of all, the article makes it very clear that atheists are a minority. So if it is the NEA's goal to promote atheism, they're not doing a very good job! It really upsets me when people accuse the public schools of undermining religion. Most teachers (like 95% of Americans) believe in God. Many are Christian. Many have children in public schools. Why would they seek to undermine the things that they believe? We do not seek to undermine religion, but neither do good school teachers seek to teach any kind of religious doctrine. That is not our job. Students of all faiths (and none) deserve to learn in an environment where their beliefs are respected.

IanPF

09/10/2001 04:39:43 PM

mikeduhle: If you and I worked together, you would have no idea what I believe unless you were to ask me. You're right about atheism being boring, though-none of those fantasticly outlandish stories tied in with it. joemama- You're right-we LOVE finding like-minded individuals. We're not connected by anything but the rejection of religion. The Internet is providing a means for us to network and organize. Where else are we going to do this-church? "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence." -Carl Sagan

joemama

09/10/2001 12:22:53 PM

The funny thing is, strict aetheism is just as much an intellectual leap of faith as any of the religions I've been exposed to. People like the ones mentioned in the article are probably just looking for other like-minded folk to hang out with. IMHO, there's no point in criticizing anyone for their faith (or lack there-of). Like addictions, there appears to be fundamentalists of all types...

mikeduhle

09/09/2001 09:54:37 AM

I do agree with purpleku69 up to a point, for atheist are treated unfairly by many for their beliefs. I just get tired of the shotgun approach they take towards those who do not think or believe the way they do. In many ways they are like "hard fundementlist". In fact I think that all of us get the flake because of the way they (hard Funie'ss) treat atheist.

xmohan

09/09/2001 06:59:43 AM

There is nothing rebelious about what these individuals say and their thoughts are hardly "free". The NEA must be proudly patting their own backs for having succeeded in drilling Godless evolutionary theories into our brains for so long that it has finally produced the kind of atheistic student body they have always dreamed of.

purpleku69

09/09/2001 01:20:00 AM

Although I do believe in the Divine, I thoroughly understand and support the people profiled in this article. It is hard to only hear one side of things, the "Christian" side. And, yes, in Kansas, that is what you get. I have a lot more respect for the athiests standing up for themselves than I do for "Christians" standing up, in that there are so few athiests, and they catch so much flack. Besides, there isn't a Hell, so why not smile?

mikeduhle

09/08/2001 05:19:23 PM

Very good LOL. >>> The system does not dismiss his beliefs, just some of the teachers. Many who teach college are devout believers in God, education has nothing to do with it. I know atheist who did not finish highschool. Athiest seem to have the need to look down on anyone who thinks or believes differently than they do, that is why they are so boring. You all sound alike, sort of like clones, that is why people groan when they see the token atheist coming into the room. The two atheist that work with me are narrow minded jerks who try to push their beliefs onto others, or they try(with no luck) to make others feel inferior to them. I don't care what they believe or don't, just leave me in peace. Hmmmmmm maybe you are one of those who work with me you sound just like both of them. .

IanPF

09/08/2001 12:10:09 PM

mikeduhle- Sorry- Boring people bore easily. There are many forms of addiction-I'll leave it at that Oversoul: I'll give you another chance since you say that you are a student, the implication being that you are just beginning your studies and your entry into adulthood. You don't HAVE to spend your years at University AT ALL. However, since you are there, why not use the opportunity to learn WHY the system dismisses your beliefs out of hand? "In your pomp and all your glory, you're a poorer man than me-as you lick ther boots of death born out of fear" -I. Anderson

mikeduhle

09/07/2001 07:07:11 PM

Wrong, they are addicted, their lives are a mess so please don't bore me with your nonsense.

IanPF

09/07/2001 11:46:56 AM

mikeduhle- Perhaps they are simply enjoying the recreational fruits that this only life we ever get offers-without the myth-based constraints which you needlessly impose upon yourself. Drugs, drink and sex are at least tangible. I do not have to compromise my intellectual integrity to recognize that they exist. In order to believe one sentence of the holy babble or other publications of its ilk, I must take the word of 2000-yr-old Middle Eastern savages. I stand my ground. Religion is a classic example of herd mentality-us vs. them. BTW-I have the stones to state my position in my profile-do you? -Only sheep need a shepherd-

mikeduhle

09/07/2001 06:29:14 AM

Most of the atheist I have known with a few exceptions are pretty messed up. They say we lean on God, but most of them (in my experience) need other supports to lean on. Drugs, drink and sex are problems for most of my atheist friends, it is a replacement for God perhaps. The also all sound alike, they are the sheep not us.

IanPF

09/06/2001 04:40:32 PM

robin_edgar- yep-we're very prejudiced against relgious people-think you need to grow up, holding the rest of the human race back, etc Gnort- i used to tolerate you people-until you became more than just a mild annoyance revgcp3- you're judged by the company that you keep. so, what DO you believe, anyway? Foust77- get a spine first, THEN i'll give you a second's thought -Only sheep need a shepherd-

Foust77

09/05/2001 02:15:42 PM

*rolls eyes* It's always amusing to hear atheists whine about being persecuted. Then I go to another website, and see Christians whining about persecution. Then I go to another website, and read a rant about homophobia. Can't anyone you understand the very simple idea that we're ALL persecuted to some degree or another? I mean, in the first 3 chapters of my new Psychology text book, humanistic & evolutionary ideas are dominant. As a Christian, I have to spend all my years at University wading through an entire system that discounts out of hand my beliefs; but do I say "Christians are persecuted!" No, of course not. I just let it slide. And oh yeah. These atheist guys have some serious issues. SANE? Come on.

Windsinger

09/05/2001 11:16:29 AM

With the treatment of "non-believers" at the hands of a minority of believers, who is surprised by this? As long as religion (specifically, Christianity) is shoved upon us, it will be rebelled against. Non-Christians who watch these Ex-Christians get so mad at their brethren (as only an Ex can be!) can stand back, and be amused. But the deaths of people like Tempest Smith tell the real story of who is being cast out and injured in our schools-the non-Christians. Affecting Carrie Fisher's attempt at a british accent from Star Wars:"The more you tighten your grip, the more (people) with slip through your fingahhs"

revgcp3

09/04/2001 07:14:22 PM

Seems to me that what these folks are rebelling against is right-wing Christianity, and lumping all religious believers into the same cateogory. It's not really free thought if you can't or won't consider the possible validity of your opponents' points of view by way of their most challenging arguments, not a straw horse. Besides -- I'm a Christian who happens to think that Bush's faith-based initiative is a crock, I don't think the 10 commandments should be posted in courtrooms, and I can live comfortably with the theory of evolution. There are quite a lot of Christians who do live in the 21st century, believe it or not . . . .

Gnort

09/04/2001 06:30:12 PM

"Smile, there is no hell," is a very arrogant message for people who advocate tolerance. Of course, these people were only whining about prejudice against secularists. And those attitudes presented were very selfish and arrogant. It's good these individuals are seeking to form a community, but they could do it in a more productive way. I did not like the way this article presented non- believers. Here they were only trying to make life easier for themselves.

robin_edgar

08/31/2001 09:46:57 PM

These "New Rebels" are doing nothing particularly new or original. They talk about prejudice against atheists and "humanists" but are themselves quite evidently prejudiced towards religious people. Its not just a coincidence that the acronym for Students for a Nonreligious Ethos is SANE. The flip side of this acronym of course is INSANE and that is exactly what many of these "humanists" think religious people are. That is why they refer to their beliefs as "superstitions"... Of course I got a chuckle out of the fact that the acronym of Secular Student Alliance is not inappropriately ASS backwards. I have no problem with atheists and agnostics who treat God believing people with a reasonable amount of civility and respect but reading between the lines of this report leads me to believe that some of these not so new rebels probably don't and are likely to be outspoken in their antireligious rhetoric.

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