Nonbelievers are uncomfortable as the U.S. turns more to religion.
10/17/2003 01:37:36 PM
Just a quick comment. I just want to emphasize the fact that it isn't just Atheists and Agnostics that are discriminated against when the G-d word is used in politics. The Buddhists, Hindus, Pagans, Heathens, Muslims, Jews, Taoists, and others are discriminated against by using this word as carelessly as President W. Bush uses it. Take in to account all those people and that makes a large porportion of the population. And if you want to get really technical even catholics should be offended since it is obvious that President W. Bush does not include them (since JFK was the only non-Protestant president (which I don't actually agree with because as been shown some were only by name)). So, actually the Atheists and Agnostics are fighting for more than just their rights they are also fighting for my rights and I am very thankful that they are doing so.
09/16/2003 10:58:24 PM
I mean "be aware OF any president " and "only one president wasn't Protestant."
09/16/2003 10:55:06 PM
I think that people tend to overlook Athiests. People always assume you believe in God right off the bat. I for one always tend to be mindful of the fact that I don't know where a person's stance is at religion, so I don't offend anybody. As for those God Bless America posters and Bush calling for a minute of prayer, I think they are proof of what my history teacher ment that American overnment and society is influenced mostly by White Anglo Saxon Protestants or WASP as he calls it and I see his point. I have yet to be aware any president that wasn't Christian and only one president wasn't Protestants.
08/29/2003 07:57:37 PM
As far as I'm concerned, there is only one God. There are names from different faiths all referring to God. As for the Atheists, great if they don't want to see or hear "God Bless America"... that is their choice. I agree that these posters should not be hung all over the city. However, President Bush is still in office and as long as he calls the nation to prayer they don't have to listen or partake in it. So why cause a BIG STINK ABOUT IT? C'mon people quit bitchin. He has a RIGHT to feel the way he feels, just like atheists feel the way they feel. And you gladly impose your non-beliefs loudly and proudly!! When someone of a different belief does it you (atheists) say they are bigoted and start your protesting. Sheesh. Let's just get a grip please and try to get along here because life is short.
02/02/2003 02:28:03 PM
Article XI of the Treaty of Tripoli (8 Stat 154, Treaty Series 358): Article 11 As the government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian Religion, -- as it has in itself no character or enmity against the laws, religion or tranquility of Musselmen, -- and as the said States never have entered into any war or act of hostility against any Mehomitan nation, it is declared by the parties that no pretext arising from religious opinions shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries.
02/02/2003 02:25:36 PM
"History I believe furnishes no example of a priest-ridden people maintaining a free civil government. This marks the lowest grade of ignorance, of which their political as well as religious leaders will always avail themselves for their own purpose." [Thomas Jefferson to Baron von Humboldt, 1813.] "I cannot conceive otherwise than that He, the Infinite Father, expects or requires no worship or praise from us, but that He is even infinitely above it." [Benjamin Franklin, from "Articles of Belief and Acts of Religion", Nov. 20, 1728.]
02/02/2003 02:25:21 PM
"What influence, in fact, have ecclesiastical establishments had on society? In some instances they have been seen to erect a spiritual tyranny on the ruins of the civil authority; on many instances they have been seen upholding the thrones of political tyranny; in no instance have they been the guardians of the liberties of the people. Rulers who wish to subvert the public liberty may have found an established clergy convenient auxiliaries. A just government, instituted to secure and perpetuate it, needs them not." [James Madison, "A Memorial and Remonstrance", 1785.] "I almost shudder at the thought of alluding to the most fatal example of the abuses of grief which the history of mankind has preserved -- the Cross. Consider what calamities that engine of grief has produced!" [John Adams, in a letter to Thomas Jefferson.]
10/06/2002 01:42:07 PM
The United States of America was founded upon the fundamentals of Christian belief. Perhaps the 9/11 attacks have awakened a spiritual vigor in Americans -- particularly in the political arena. Atrocities such as the 9/11 attack remind us of our human futility and finity. Some will turn to God -- as they believe God is ultimately in control while others will naturally see this reaction in light of "Christianity, the Divine Crutch" for the weak to lean upon. Whether Atheist, Christian, or other, we can all see how we as humans have little control over the realm of our lives. Perchance, some will recognize there is no God -- for if there was, how could there be such evil; while others will cling to God by their very fingertips in faith of deliverance -- as for me, I will cling.
10/03/2002 10:46:19 PM
As an atheist myself, I believe most atheists I know are a little too sensitive about this subject. Do I like that what is supposed to be my SECULAR government sessions open with a prayer to an illusory deity? NO, of course not. Do I intend waste my time bemoaning such a fact in a country that overwhelmingly theist? NO, of course not. I have a life to live, and most of the time, Christians (and other theists) do not impede my goals or prevent me from holding the convictions I do. I would tell all the atheists who are out there whining about this to LIGHTEN UP!
08/23/2002 02:53:34 AM
actually the "In God We Trust" on money and "Under God" in the pledge were in the 50s, but yes. It was not there originally. If God was in the Constitution, Jefferson would've opposed it.
08/15/2002 07:45:29 PM
Regarding the Oath or Affirmation for the president of the U.S., I encourage everyone to look it up in the Constitution. You'll see that the words "so help me god" are NOT in there. There's also the prohibition against any religious test for any position of public trust in America. Thus, no one can be required to swear in the name of any imaginary gods. That's what IS in the Constitution. The Constitution is totally devoid of any references or pleadings to any supernatural forces. Religious liberty is paramount. That's why America is the most religiously diverse and active nation in the industrialized world.
06/03/2002 06:27:53 PM
Personally, I can't believe that there still isn't a true seperation between church and state. The word "God" wasn't even added to the Pledge of Alligence until the 60s...that should be removed...The word should be removed from the President's induction... There's nothing wrong with in school prayer, but when students are served detentions for not even standing for the Pledge of Alligence on religious grounds... that's crazy... And when a person is given a warning for reading a book on Earth-based Religions while another student can read the Bible and not even get looked at heatedly...that's pathetic... And most of us Atheists are in public schools, remind you...
04/21/2002 02:06:53 PM
Where does this "5% of all people who are atheists" come from? in this country, atheist/agnostics/all non believers, make up well over 29,000,000 people, that's nearly 15% of the american public, and atheists already make up almost 20% of the international communnity, in the united states, of all the religious sects and denominations, nonbelieve is the third highest held believe, slightly below baptists, and fairly far below the cathlics who are the largest
04/09/2002 07:15:04 PM
ANGELDOVE9: It should be pointed out that the founding fathers of the United States were not Christians at all in the modern sense. Rather, like most enlightenment thinkers, they distanced themselves from organized religion and believed something like Deism, where God exists, or at least had existed, but did not necessarily interfere with the world or have a personal relationship with anyone - although they supported freedom of private worship. Men like George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Ben Franklin and James Madison were not Christians, and some like Thomas Paine and John Adams actually spoke out against it. Pain wrote I do not believe in the creed professed by the Jewish church, by the Roman church, by the Greek church, by the Turkish church, by the Protestant church, nor by any church that I know of...Each of those churches accuse the other of unbelief; and for my own part, I disbelieve them all." Adams wrote "This would be the best of all possible worlds, if there were no religion in it!"
02/11/2002 09:59:45 PM
I read a quote some time back in the newspaper from some govenment offical that claimed the reason that they don't cater to athiests is because they need to help out the majority, not the minority. To this I say bullsh*t. What of people in wheelchairs? They are certainly a minority, yet not only DO businesses have special facilities just for them, they are REQUIRED to have them by US LAW. If that's not "catering to the minority" I don't know what is. Athiests have a right to their thoughts and philosophies just as much as anyone else. Please, Angledove9. Our forefathers were thinking of freedom from oppression, and you are contradicting their motives by forcing your beliefs on other people. I don't understand your reasoning. If you could explain it to me, I'd be happy to listen.
02/03/2002 12:21:57 AM
DEAR FREEDOMFYGHTER: YOU SEEM TO HAVE FORGOTTEN THAT IF, IT HAD NOT BEEN FOR " BELIEVING FORFATHERS"; YOU WOULDNT HAVE A COUNTRY TO DEFEND UNLESS ONE WHERE YOU COULD PUBLICLY FEEL FREE SAY I AM AN ATHEISTS. I WILL PRAYER FOR YOU. GOD BLESS IN YOUR JOURNEY IN LIFE. WHETHER YOU BELIEVE IT OR NOT; YOU ALSO HAVE A GUARDIAN ANGEL WHO WATCHES OVER YOU.
01/22/2002 01:56:30 AM
kaveh500: We can allow public prayer and alienate the 5% of all people who are Atheists. Or we can abolish prayer and alienate the 95% of people who believe. This is classic mob-rule mentality. If you want the largest group to run the country and everyone else has to kowtow to them, you might want to move to China. America is supposed to be a place where everyone is an equal, where everyone has rights ~ and those rights extend ONLY UNTIL THEY INFRINGE ON SOMEONE ELSE'S RIGHTS. Read that again. It's important. My rights are infringed upon when the swearing in of the President involves the phrase "so help me god". My rights are infringed upon every time I'm forced to listen to a public song of prayer to a god I don't believe in. The United States was never intended to be a haven for christians. It was intended to be a haven for people who want to choose what they believe. No one chooses religion. People don't intentionally choose shackles over freedom. ~~FreedomFyghter~~
01/07/2002 04:12:45 AM
hehe KHZ thats laughable. Everyone who actually knows what their talking about knows that the church were the ones that premoted geocentrism over heliocentrism and actually censored scientists who said otherwise. Face it, your religion is controlling how you think and your own psychi motivates you to defend it.
12/28/2001 01:49:11 PM
We are already cloned. What modern science is doing, is rediscovering how it was done over 10,000 years ago. The first "Adama" came from a test tube.
12/14/2001 12:40:30 AM
We believe the atheists should sue the US government for failure to maintain within the political system the separation of church and state. The state should be free of religious propaganda. A citizen should be free to believe what he/she wishes to believe, but it should be illegal to bring that belief into the political arena. As far as 911 is concerned, we were not offended by all the religious fevour. We do object to the president spewing his religious rhetoric or for that matter any other politician. Religious belief is a matter between the individual and their god, and that is where it should stay. As an agnostic, we have read nothing thus far that establishes the existence or non existence of god. What impresses us is not whether or not one beieves in god, rather the content of ones character, which so far, we find to be extremely low amongst "religous" people. If they are the majority, how do they account for so much evil in the nation? In the world?
12/13/2001 01:10:22 PM
The recent push towards religion also seems to be a push towards Christian religion. All followers of religions other than Christianity also feel left out.
11/27/2001 08:12:01 PM
Just goes to show you...some people cover the stink of their own BS, with more BS. Hence, KHZ's insighful knowledge of history.
11/18/2001 03:42:52 AM
KHZ- your references to the bible are terribly misinterpreted. You said that the book of Isaiah says that the Earth is a sphere. It actually says a circle, and in Job 28:24 it refers to the ends of the Earth. So tell me, do you still believe that the Earth is a sphere? In 28:25 it talks about the force of wind, not the weight of air, and the ancients never denied that wind had force. And what modern scientest ever claimed that the Earth sat on a large animal?
11/09/2001 05:21:35 PM
We are not threatened by displays of religion in public, but rather by the notion that in order to grieve or mourn one needs a belief in a god.
11/07/2001 02:07:31 AM
Why are atheists so threatened by displays of religion in public?
11/04/2001 02:41:48 AM
scottgriz asked, "I have one question for you, as an atheist, do you have proof that God does not exist? Why is it that you can accept the non existance of God as a truth, but not accept others belief in the existance of God." I know the question wasn't asked to me, but I feel like answering anyway. Proof that God does not exist. I'm curious what that would look like. People generally show why a person can't 'prove the non-existence' of something, by asking the person to prove that elves don't exist. Because people who say, "God exists..." are making a statement that they want others to accept, the burden of proof is on them exclusively. My general outlook on things like this, is that if people make extraordinary claims, they better have extraordinary evidence to back themselves up.
11/04/2001 02:35:30 AM
ElGabilon, you wrote, "We think that Atheists would be far better off if they reverted to Agnostics." Who's we? As an Atheist, I don't agree with what you think I 'believe.' I do not say, "God does not exist." I consider myself an "a-theist" because I am not a "theist". I would consider a theist a person who worships God, gods, some 'higher power'... something along those lines. So, whether or not some god exists, it doesn't matter to me, because I'm only saying that I do not worship any god or higher power. If someone defines their God as, "everything that exists" I would feel silly saying, nope, that God doesn't exist. Or as Pharoh's of Egypt long ago were considered gods, they obviously existed, but I don't worship them either.
11/02/2001 11:47:01 AM
Lazrfloyd, I have one question for you, as an atheist, do you have proof that God does not exist? Why is it that you can accept the non existance of God as a truth, but not accept others belief in the existance of God. Our own truths are subjective. Again, the problem begins when we stop searching. If you are an atheist, but willing to search out God or religious and willing to accept the possibility that God may not exist, then you are being open minded.
11/02/2001 11:06:59 AM
ElGabilon, I agree with what you are saying, but wouldn't we then end up with Agnostic former Atheists who are unsure, but trying to prove Gods non-existance and Agnostic former Religious who are still searching for proof that God does exist? We wouldn't get any further because all the energy would be wasted on proving something once again. Basically if you have an agenda of any kind it will ultimately lead to a power struggle. Also, is it that the Agnostic doesn't "know" if God exists or the Agnostic just doesn't pose the question at all.
11/01/2001 10:30:16 PM
We think that Atheists would be far better off if they reverted to Agnostics. The Agnostic simply says that he/she does not know whether a God exists or not. The Atheists say that God does not exist. The religious say that God does exist. It is our opinion that both the Atheist and the Religious are insane. There is not a single shred of evidence, scientific, or religous that shows that God exists, or does not exist. The most logical position to take then is Agnostic. As Agnostics, former Atheists could then put into action (love, caring etc.) what the religious have been rejecting in place of "getting their message across". Atheists could then forget attempting to "convert" the religous to Atheists and use the energy saved more wisely.
11/01/2001 03:17:16 PM
SCIENCE CONFIRMS THE BIBLE Bible: Earth is a sphere (Isa40:22) Science then: Earth is flat Science now: Earth is a sphere Bible: Air has weight (Job 28:25) Science then: Air has no weight Science now: Air has weight Bible: Free float of earth in space (Job 26:7) Science then: Earth sat on large animal Science now: free float of earth in space Bible: Creation made of invisible elements (Heb 11:3) Science then: Science was ignorant on this subject Science now: Creation made of invisible elements (atoms) Bible: Light moves (Job 38:19,20) Science then: Light was fixed in place Science now: Light moves Bible: Winds blow in cyclones (Eccl 1:6) Science then: Winds blow straight Science now: Winds blow in cyclones And many more if you care to investigate, read the Word of God found in the Bible.
11/01/2001 02:03:55 PM
I was raised catholic. I have since moved away from holding to any particular belief because I can't believe that everyone else is wrong. I find truth in many beliefs and grant everyone the right to theirs. The problem I have is with extremism. Leaving no room in your life for the possibility you may be wrong. Personally I like to believe that we are all wrong in some way, because we are all evolving and learning. Just as any creature that does not evolve physically will die, so will a creature that does not allow spiritual evolution. In the case of the human race, it will be at our own hands. We fight and kill to be right because we fear death and what it will bring. But isn't our very behavior to prove our righteousness self defeating? Atheists often get a bad rap, but I personally believe that if there is a God judging anyone, the atheist who treats his fellow man with respect will be far higher on his list than the fundamentalist who kills thousands of innocents in the "Name of GOD".
10/31/2001 05:55:37 PM
god bless america, though the atheists dont believe in god, isnt necesarily meant literally, but rather as way of saying lets hope everything turns out all right. When bush says pray, it could mean hope or remember or contemplate. As for psalm 23, thats just a good poem. but dont take it to much to heart, you atheists arent as alienated as muslims are nowadays, chew on that.
10/29/2001 05:54:46 PM
jwilhere - you wrote: The only problem I have when invoking a "god" in schools and public places...it usually means the Christian god. It might mean that to you, and I'm sorry you feel shunned. But Christians can't help it when Buddhists feel shunned, just like Buddhists can't help it when Christians feel shunned. It would seem that you are not free from an averse "attachment" (also known as aversion) to the Christian God. Or Christians for that matter. Quit your whining and "WAKE UP!" Buddha
10/29/2001 01:35:10 AM
The only problem I have when invoking a "god" in schools and public places...it usually means the Christian god. As a Buddhist, I don't believe in a creator and do feel shunned when government functions use slogans such as "In God We Trust" which wasn't our motto until the 1950's...I think "E Pluribus Unum" should be our motto again...Because it doesn't exclude anyone. May All Beings Be Happy!
10/27/2001 01:37:58 PM
Kaveh500 you wrote: " You people are complete clowns. You whine about moments of silence and prayer as though people were walking up and down the aisles of classrooms caning children who failed to clasp their hands together" Well said!
10/26/2001 11:17:18 AM
You people are complete clowns. You whine about moments of silence and prayer as though people were walking up and down the aisles of classrooms caning children who failed to clasp their hands together. As I see it, there are two choices: we can allow pubic prayer and contemplation and thus alienate the 5% of all people who are self-reported atheists. Or we can abolish prayer and alienate the 95% of people who believe. Unless you want to completely disregard majority politics, that would be stupid.
10/26/2001 08:41:34 AM
After reading these posts, I am utterly disppointed in the impotence of each of these arguements. If you are not a theist (that's what atheism means after all- no theism), then stop acting like one! A- theism is not against theism, it is without Theism. If other people believing in their God bothers you, see a therapist. And if your atheism bothers them, then they ought to see a shrink as well. Sheesh! Spare me the sadism of secular humanists and militant believers alike!
10/25/2001 11:32:58 PM
I'm with you. When I was in school (graduated in '96) I had similar experiences. It was uncomfortable when the class was led in a moment of silence. A lot of teachers and students wanted to be able to have some sort of organized prayer, luckily nothing came of it while I was there. I was particularly concerned because I'm in Utah, Mormon capital of the world. Just about every high school here has a seminary building and the majority of students attend seminary instead of another class. The only good thing about it is they don't get credit for attending. Most of the time attending high school here I felt like an outcast because I didn't fit in with the religious norm. I'm afraid that if the majority wins in the school prayer issue we're done for.
10/25/2001 10:19:20 PM
I had to do a major project on a topic of my choice, so I chose religious tolerance, something sure to enrage my teacher, a militant christian in charge of the school christian club. Sure, my project wasn't perfect (Some spelling, grammer errors slipped through), but it was well over all of the minimum requirements, and very well done, in my opinion. I barely passed with a 75. Another girl did a project on angels, using only one source, the Bible, over and over. The minimum requirement for sources was 5, and I used 7. She wrote about a hundred words less than the min. requirements, and had no facts at all to back up her essay. She got an A. Why is this?
10/25/2001 10:19:04 PM
Being one of those lucky, lucky athiests living in Texas who goes to a public school, I've observed the open prejudice people have been getting since September 11th. Wow. The "moment of silence" is obviously a time for prayer at school, and I can't choose not to do it. I have to at least pretend. My teacher won't let me leave class, or do something else. Everyone's gotta bow their heads, pray to God, find Jesus. Religious favoritism is already evident enough, legalizing it is a major step backwards, i think.
10/25/2001 07:48:21 PM
"Everything has always existed and will continue to exist, it just changes." -me
10/25/2001 07:47:57 PM
Why do you choose to believe one religious text over another? Could it be because that is what you have been exposed to and indoctrinated in? Because you can't read any religious text in it's original language, excepting modern texts such as the Book of Mormon, (i.e. Koran, Bible, Torah, etc.)? Have you ever read these texts in their original language as was intended? How can you denounce something you have never investigated? That seems like a narrow viewpoint. It seems like you accept the path you've been lead down and don't even look at the other ones. Everyone needs to take their own path. That is the only belief that should be shared without solicitation. I'd love to hear comments. :)
10/25/2001 07:47:44 PM
Why are discoveries like the existence of creatures (i.e. dinosaurs, sea life and such) which existed millions of years ago absent from religious texts? How can any religious text be the ultimate truth if it can't take into account new discoveries? Was truth invented a few thousand years ago? How can it be ultimate truth when it does not include all things even known to man, let alone EVERYTHING. Would ultimate truth not, by neccessity, require the answer to everything known and not known?
10/25/2001 07:47:32 PM
What happens when someone clones a human? Where does the spirit come from? Isn't it playing god, hence evil? Will searching for and possibly finding evidence of other intelligent life in the universe weaken our feeling of being "god's children"? Is creating artificial intelligence evil, and will it destroy us? If the Earth was formed billions of years ago by a bunch of matter coming together in space, then how could people thousands of years ago have any relevant perspective about the creation of the Earth when they didn't know this?
10/25/2001 07:46:57 PM
Religious beliefs are based on ancient mysticism and misunderstanding about the world around us. Gradually science has opened the doors to understanding why the sun travels accross the sky and why volcanoes explode. The last great mystery is creation. Why are we here? How are we here? These will never be answered to the satisfaction of everyone and it willl never be possible to provide evidence either way. Religion has made it entirely perfect to dispute anything that contradicts it's teachings. Every question can be answered by simply claiming ignorance. "I don't know why that is, (insert deity(s)) has willed it and it is not my place to question". What a classic line of thinking. Why do you think it took us so long to get out of the "Dark Ages"? Religion oppresses free thinking because it is inevitable for free thinkers to question religion. This threatens the very foundation so many people have built they're existence on. Science today brings up so many difficult subjects.
10/25/2001 07:45:42 PM
It's funny, your comment about all "atheists" being "agnostic". These are generally misunderstood terms and used interchangeably. I am an atheist, I see no reason for the existence of a higher being. It sounds to me like the "Great Dungeon Master in the Sky" or something else entirely rediculous. An agnostic just doesn't know either way and chooses not to take a stand on the existence or lack thereof of a higher power.
10/25/2001 07:45:31 PM
The universe as we understand it (read not at all) is too vast to understand with our limited cognizence. How can one person or even a large majority decide what is true and what isn't? Do you believe in Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, Big Foot, the Boogey Man and alien visitors? All of these are either creations of man or simply not proven. People who believe in these entities accept it without proof or take what they experience and convert it into truth when convenient. Why is religion and the belief in a higher power any different? Why should we be persecuted for not believing in something that is as absurd (to us anyway) as Santa Claus? Do you persecute the precocious child who denies the existence of jolly Saint Nick, because he never sees him?
10/25/2001 07:45:18 PM
Whatever happened to "loving thy neighbor" and tolerance? Why is religious furvor used as a hammer to beat down the non-believer? Is there no acceptance in religious belief? You accept things you cannot see yet you do not accept your fellow man and respect his beliefs or lack thereof, THAT is beyond ignorance and foolishness. Do you say the same about anyone who has a belief in something (i.e. a god, deity, spirit, what have you) that doesn't happen to coincide with your beliefs? Or do you just ridicule anyone who does not require belief in creation ,purpose and a higher conciousness, who doesn't need to create a reason for existence?
10/25/2001 07:45:03 PM
ring....why are "religious people" so angry and defensive whenever confronted by someone who threatens they're belief? And how can you say you are right and tell us, atheists, non-believers, etc. that we are wrong because we refuse to accept your view point. Are you not doing the exact same thing? Should we not damn you for believing? Further, it strikes me as going against the belief in "good" and "right" to tell someone he is ignorant because he doesn't believe as you do for lack of evidence.
10/25/2001 02:29:10 PM
I'm happy I found this web-site, although it means that I'll be wasting ever more time online...Interesting responses so far. I think that religion, beliefs that people know what God wants...etc., have caused many unfortunate tragedies. Being an atheist, I hoped that the most recent tragedy would be a wake-up call...alas, the response of turning to religion was to be expected.
10/24/2001 05:19:03 PM
The fool hath said in his heart, there is no God. And another hath said in his heart, there is a God. And the skeptic hath thought in his head - how can these people speak in their hearts?
10/24/2001 04:03:29 PM
As I read through a few of the posts, I saw a couple of people saying something about our Founding Fathers not wanting freedom FROM religion, just OF...Well: "As to religion, I hold it to be the indispensable duty of government to protect all conscientious protesters thereof, and I know of no other business government has to do therewith." - Thomas Paine (Common Sense, 1776.)
10/24/2001 02:38:34 PM
>It would follow that if there is >nothing higher than man then we all >must be geniuses, and the smartest >things alive. We must all know all >things, which of course we don't. Even if humanity is the highest intelligent life on the planet, that doesn't mean that we're all geniuses, or omniscient. It merely means that we, as limited as we are, are the best it gets. Not that I believe that... but merely being an atheist doesn't imply that you think humans are omniscient.
10/24/2001 02:35:45 PM
I think it's fine if people want to sing "God Bless America" so long as they don't criticize me for not doing so. But they DO! If Falwell, Robertson, and their minions have their way with our seriously right-wing government, our tax dollars will flow directly into their coffers, and more than ever, they will be dictating national policy. Christians and Muslims follow scriptures that command the faithful to convert others, saying those who don't follow their faiths are SATAN, INFIDEL, doomed to hell, blah blah blah. I've heard just as vile things said by "Christians" as Muslims with regard to those who decline to share their views. The Christians snivel about being "attacked for their beliefs" when their frankly un-Christ-like behavior is pointed out. Leave me alone to call the shots in my own life. Don't proselytize me, save me, or compromise me for my point of view. I'm probably much happier than you - and I promise not to push how I got that way down YOUR throat.
10/24/2001 12:41:14 PM
>Besides, if you don't think there >is a God you don't know about, >then you must be the smartest >person alive. Uh, my_ring, I fail to follow your line of argument. I don't think I've seen any atheist make that claim. tenzo's got it right - it's not just a question of God vs No-God. There's plenty of other religious view out there.
10/24/2001 11:56:04 AM
Please everyone do not forget that this country (and the world) is made up of more than just Monotheists and Atheists. Taoists, Buddhists, Confucianists and Shintoists do not believe in a benevolent creator deity. Wiccans, Animists and Hindus believe in several different incarnations of divine forces. For adherents to several of those faiths, saying "God Bless" anything is meaningless. We have our own expressions of faith, and we keep them private and do not force others to listen to them constantly or request that the entire country repeat them after us. So it isn't just God vs No-God. There are whole spectrums of beliefs out there and saying that this country is Christian or should sanction monotheistic religions over others is offensive to others of different faiths.
10/24/2001 11:45:11 AM
I believe that the fact that many among us still chant "God is on our side" during times of conflict is UNBELIEVABLE. And the fact that many of us still seem to believe that God blesses America, but does not bless all other creatures similarly, illuminates the fact that we do not remember who God is. In other words, "God Bless America" is not only an affront to atheists, it is an affront to God. Have we learned nothing? It is very disappointing.
10/24/2001 11:43:42 AM
To IanPF: 1. I never said the U.S. is or was a Christian nation. It seems that you are getting your posts mixed up. 2.My post was very clear: I would like to see some evidence for the claim that more people have been killed in the name of God than by any other cause. You have presented no evidence. Please try to stay on subject. 3. Hitler was raised a Catholic, but he left the church after World War I. This coincides with the beginning of his political activity. He did not attend services or maintain connections to any Catholic parish after his disillusionment with religion. And, as your quotes from "Mein Kampf" show, he was always willing to use whatever statements he thought would advance his cause among the ignorant, the antisemitic, and those who thought their 'Christian duty" was to cleanse the German state.
10/24/2001 11:30:37 AM
Furthermore, if you can admit there might be a God you don't know about, then you're not atheist anymore! Besides, if you don't think there is a God you don't know about, then you must be the smartest person alive. So then you could quote to me without looking it up the thirteenth page of the tenth volume of the eight edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica. Well...? We're waiting...and we'll be waiting forever, because no one alive could ever do that. So don't be so pompous as to say there isn't a God. At the least, all so-called atheists are really agnostics, who refuse to believe in the God they know is there. One way or another they are still clueless.
10/24/2001 11:26:29 AM
First off, there is a verse in the Bible which states: The fool has said in his heart, there is no God. What greater fool you are to publicly say this, which you will, for as a man thinks in his heart, so is he. Next, it is the Judeo-Christian God that folks generally talk about, the ONE true GOD. For those who take classes on atheism and lose the faith, they were never in it to begin with, they were always on the line. A little bit swayed them the wrong way. And then there are those stupid enough to say they will believe it when they see it. That misses the entire point of faith being the substance of things hoped for, and the evidence of things not seen. Can any atheist out there admit there might be a God they don't know about? If not, then they must think they are God, and we ought all to worship them. That is folly, and gross ignorance to the highest degree.
10/24/2001 10:07:11 AM
nancysguy- Puleeeeeeeeeeeze I'D like to see some DOCUMENTED stats to back up the statement that "This is a Christian nation" I'd also like to see some historical documentation on virtually ANY claim made by ANY holy book. I'd also like to see how those numbers stack up vs. the population at the time. Remember, while violence in God's name has been one of the leading causes of death thru history, so has been inspired ignorance. Add deaths due to medical neglect and resistance to progress. BTW-Hitler was a Catholic. I guess you'd better be hitting those books now. "The broad masses of a population are more amenable to the appeal of rhetoric than to any other force." -"Mein Kampf," vol. 1, ch. 3, 1925 "What luck for rulers that men do not think. - Adolf Hitler" - In "The speaker's Electronic Reference Collection," AApex Software, 1994.
10/24/2001 08:35:03 AM
In all wars God/good has been hijacked by leaders on each side to give justification to their actions. This helps keep the majority of people on each side from questioning the human suffering that each is causing. This is nothing new - just an ancient political tactic. Osama-bomb-laden invokes God to enthuse his followers, just as Bush-the-blesser invokes God to rally mainstream USA. Thus are the rational tools of diplomacy, international law and due process conveniently side-stepped. Why does the US readily assume the backing of God, when it has continually refused to recognise the key principles of 'United Nations'?
10/24/2001 07:06:01 AM
Saying "God bless America" is probably more a statement of patriotism than it is a belief in God. It is like saying "God bless you" when someone sneezes. BTW. What does an atheist say when someone sneezes?
10/24/2001 01:12:44 AM
I find it difficult to comprehend how someone snarling that atheists find no meaning beyond their 'shallow existence' could call anyone else mean spirited. I'm an atheist. Pray away if it makes you feel better.
10/23/2001 11:05:37 PM
Why should a non-believer care if others invoke the blessing of their god? Why can't atheists simply humor the vast percentage of the population that does believe in a god? Perhaps atheists are angry because they find no meaning beyond their own shallow existence. The whining atheists are much like the mean spirited child that tells younger children that there is no Santa. Let believers so stupid as to believe in a god have their blissful ignorance. As long as the God in "God Bless America" is not expressly defined as the Christian God no specific god is invoked and no believer in any god is discriminated against. It is sad that minority groups holding the most outlandish social views demand that others not holding those views accept them as a universal truth while at the same time they fight the rights of others to publicly invoke the name of their god.
10/23/2001 10:45:54 PM
Jimbob10- Have you ever heard of "hubris?" How can you say that it is sad that atheists do not acknowledge "their" savior? How do you know which savior the athiests have, or even if they have one? I believe in the Deity (Higher Power) but I do not presume to dictate my beliefs to others, nor do I demand others believe as I do. Remember, both Christianity and Islam claim to have the "fulfillment of Revelation," and both proclaim themselves to be the totality of revealed religion. Both cannot be correct, so who is to judge between the two? Remember, Christianity had it's Crusades, Inquisition (Taliban), and "Wars of Religion" also.
10/23/2001 07:08:49 PM
I feel sad for the atheists, as they do not accept their Lord And savior. Totally sad.
10/23/2001 06:35:33 PM
The old bromide about more people being killed in God's name than any other is popular with atheists, but in the 20th century, the atheistic regimes of Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, etc. oppressed billions and murdered well over a hundred million people. The problem is not religion. The answer is not atheism. The problem is dogmatic absolutism which can infect any belief or non-belief system and turn it into a killing machine. The answer is humility and lovingkindness.
10/23/2001 06:31:22 PM
It is often stated that more people have died in the name of religion than for any other cause. I would like to see some statistics on that. In this century alone, we have seen more than 20,000,000 killed by Mao, 10,000,000 to 15,000,000 killed by Stalin, and at least 12,000,000 murdered by Hitler. Those numbers do not even include soldiers killed in their wars. Add to these the slaughters under Pol Pot, the casualties of the Napoleonic era, and the butcheries of Genghis Khan. I would really like to see some DOCUMENTED statistics to back up the claim that more people have died in the name of God. The Crusades, Inquisition, and Thirty Years War do not come close to totaling what has happened in the last two hundred years in the name of socialism and statism. How about it? I have the resources in my history department to check your claims, so please cite your information. Thanks.
10/23/2001 05:09:05 PM
more people have died in the name of God, Allah, Buddah etc than any other single subject. It could be that God, Allah and Buddah are worth dying for more than anything else. However, images of the Crusades, the Spanish Inquisition, terrorist fanatics and Andrea Yates come to mind. More over, You never hear of an Athiest going door to door, trying to convince people to disbelieve in God. What strikes me as *funny* is that people that go on and on and want you to hear about their religion seldomly want to hear about yours. True freedom of religion is the freedom to meet at the flag pole and pray, and the fredom of not having to be pressured or feel singled out if you don't do it. Why does the school have to teach our kids religion? Are parents afraid (or too lazy) to be parents?
10/23/2001 05:09:02 PM
The President is not speaking in behalf of the countruy when he makes personal speeches and comments. I personally will not be offended until he submits a bill to Congress with the word "god" or the words "Higher Power", or whatever, in it.
10/23/2001 04:55:47 PM
The christians that Jesus wanted us to be: Blessed are the poor in spirit, those who mourn, the meek, those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, the merciful, the pure in heart, the peacemakers, and those persecuted for righteousness sake.Matt 5:3-10 summarized Love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; Matt. 5:44 You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: You shall love your neighbour as yourself.Matt. 22:37-39 So, we are not all the same! If God does decide to bless America, I hope it is with a new spirit of humility and servitude so that this old world can begin to acheive equality among its peoples. I am refering to how American/Western greed and consumerism forces most of the world into poverty and disease.
10/23/2001 04:34:56 PM
A couple of posters have said there is no freedom from religion. The First Amendment says in part: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof..." Thus, there is both freedom of religion and freedom from (government sponsored) religion. Personally, I wish Bush would be more thoughtful when speaking about religious issues. "No, I don't know that Atheists should be considered as citizens, nor should they be considered as patriots. This is one nation under God." George W. Bush (1987)
10/23/2001 03:53:51 PM
There's one more thing me and most atheists can possibly agree on. All people, believers and nonbelievers, need to do what they can to help make this world a better place. A necessary step in that direction is to help uproot the seeds of hatred towards America that seem to exist in many Muslim countries.
10/23/2001 03:05:18 PM
What disturbs me is the automatic equation of patriotism with Christianity. Just as Muslims (and, by the ignorant, Sikhs) are being stigmatized as potentially disloyal on purely religious grounds, so too is any declaration of support for the United States taken to be an endorsement of Christianity; and conversely, any rejection of Christianity is seen as a statement of political disloyalty. If we cannot distinguish between religious belief and national loyalty, we run the very real risk of becoming as deluded as bin Laden's supporters who automatically equate any American policy with Zionism. We had the same essential problem in the Vietnam War era, when it took years for most people to realize that it was possible to be a loyal American and still oppose our government's actions. Some people never understood that; more have forgotten it.
10/23/2001 02:47:41 PM
Msspurlock: Freedom of religion *is* freedom from religion. The Founders of this country realized that in order to not place one religion above another, all religions must be excluded from official government endorsement. This means no "God Bless America" signs in public schools (for example.) Also, as an agnostic, I feel that I must side with the atheists here. They have not even come close to the damage caused in this country by the Christian Right. Liberals have done no worse than conservatives. I like my civil liberties, thank you very much.
10/23/2001 02:47:26 PM
BigRaff:My question is doesn't the president have the right to freedom of religion as much as any other citizen? The president has this right in his personal life. When he represents America and speaks for all Americans, he is in no place to bring into account his personal religious beliefs. He has the right to freedom of speech, but when he speaks for America, he needs to keep in mind that he is speaking for all Americans. To generalize his views to one religion is unacceptable.
10/23/2001 02:28:53 PM
I'm not particularly religious but considering the damage that atheists, and their fellow travelers the liberals, have done to our country I don't give a hang what they feel. They certainly don't consider the feelings of the religious when they embark on their lawyering. The Founders wanted freedom of religion, NOT freedom FROM religion. The religious have just as much right to talk about God as they do to talk about social engineering. They're hypocrites.
10/23/2001 02:28:46 PM
I believe in nothing. I don't believe in anything. The glass if half full or is half empty: you decide. We are free, free, free to believe or not believe.
10/23/2001 02:18:46 PM
Now for the atheists. If atheists and myself cannot agree on whether or not God exists, I think we can at least agree on the following: -If people believe in God, we shouldn't hold it against them. If people don't believe in God, we shouldn't hold it against them. -In this country we have freedom of religion and freedom FROM religion. People should not have to adhere to certain religious practices in public schools and everyone should realize that atheists have the same rights as believers do. That's why I agree with the quote of Reginald Finley in the last paragraph. -People should not express their religious beliefs in a way that is insulting to others. That's why I agree with Ed Buckner's quote in the second paragraph and it's why nobody sees me with posters and bumper stickers that say "God bless America."
10/23/2001 02:11:56 PM
Azureorb: Does the President have the right to freedom of speech?
10/23/2001 02:00:15 PM
In these times, I also believe one should have faith in God. And when I say faith in God, I don't mean believing the Bible is literally true, or believing that the supernatural theistic God of yesterday will protect this nation. When I say "faith in God," I mean trust in God hear and now and letting Him (or It) guide one into doing what is right, towards compassion, towards kindness, towards helping others as best as one can. A verse in 1 John said that "God is love." Indeed love can guide us all in the right direction.
10/23/2001 01:56:58 PM
BigRaff, The president and other govt. officials have the right to freedom of religion. HOWEVER, a govt. official, cannot speak for all Americans, etc. Bush could say something like, "I believe in Jesus, I am a Christian, I am going to pray..." But he cannot say, "God is on our side", or "God Bless us All" There's a big difference. One is personal sentiments ("I") which falls in the realm of freedom of religion on a personal level. The GOVERNMENT DOES NOT HAVE FREEDOM OF RELIGION. They cannot be religious in any way, period. The employees are obviously people, and must keep their personal beliefs to themselves or express them in a clear, personal-only way.
10/23/2001 01:54:10 PM
This essay reminds me of the essays Jack Spong and T.D. Jakes wrote in response to what happened on 9/11. Spong argued that the God concepts of yesterday were dead and how we can conceive of and worship God today and tomorrow. He also said that this is a good time to realize this. Jakes said that we shouldn't lose our faith in God because of these attacks, but rather that our faith should be stronger. I also remember him saying in a sermon that the reason why these terrorist attacks happened was b/c these terrorists followed the will of Satan and implied that God did not want this to happen. This website portrayed the two articles as if they disagreed, but in reality they didn't. Both agree that we should have faith in God during these times. The difference is that Spong went into discussing relevent and irrelevent concepts of God. to be continued...
10/23/2001 01:36:19 PM
My question is doesn't the president have the right to freedom of religion as much as any other citizen?
10/23/2001 11:54:13 AM
I don't mind the Atheists because believe it or not we are all here and in the same situation. I think if God exists like the Christians believe that God is really for the Humans. We have difficult odds coming up in our lives all the time. Some of them being very destructive. The way out of all of this hatefulness God has just given us the keys to getting us out of this maddness and we need to not be afraid to start using them. I am talking about DNA, genetic altering, Fetal tissues.
10/23/2001 10:53:49 AM
I'm not an atheist, but what makes me cringe is government sponsored religious rhetoric. I cringe when prominent clerics pray for victory. This bothers me because in my opinion, God isn't fighting war, we are. He's not on our side, he is on the side of his creation and that is all things, and all people including "them". That's why I cringe.
10/23/2001 12:44:59 AM
Most people, including the members on this website, don't understand the difference between the government posting "God Bless America" or one's local Burger King. The government can find non-religious ways to promote patriotism, and playing the game of "Our God is better than your God" is superstitious, and silly. Even among Christians, there is that same bickering. The government shall make no law [or expression] respecting the establishment of religion. That's the 1st ammendment. It doesn't mean that the government can sponsor general forms of religion -- but NO RELIGION. Let the people express their religious views, not the government. Relatively harmless expressions like "God Bless America" is just opening the door to a possible 1950's-like theocratic era, which many of us do not want -- moderatley religious or non-religious.
10/23/2001 12:29:17 AM
I'm not an atheist, more like a humanist or buddhist, but I've felt 'out in cold' since the election. 9/11 just makes it scarier. I'm more worried about loosing freedom to Christians than I am about terrorists.
10/22/2001 09:17:30 PM
I'm not suprized about this... As it was said, there is freedom OF religion in our society, not freedom FROM religion. If atheists feel no compulsion to turn to a higher power in these times of tragedy and uncertainty, that is fine. More power to them. However, it is obscene of them to begrudge those who do, even if they are public officials. If a senator feels the need to sing "God Bless America" on governmental property, then she has every right to.
10/22/2001 08:20:35 PM
As a christian, I understand what some beleiving people are going through, and I understand their need for prayer at this time. But, I don't think that gives ANYONE the right to try to usurp religious freedoms and declare that there should be loud-speakered prayer in classrooms, or the 10 commandments posted in the classroom, or any of that. That's just opportunism, and a direct violation of the constitution. Most christians would be EXTREMELY unhappy if the Wiccan Rede was suddenly posted in the classroom, or if we suddenly started making the kids pray to Allah 5 times a day, or avow that there was no god. Why don't they see that *that* is what they are doing to non-christians, when they press forth with these ideas of pushing religion back into the public arena?
10/22/2001 07:51:36 PM
Actually, all the prayer has not bothered me nearly as much as the attack. I think like a lot of people I am still quite stunned that such a thing happened. We all have our ways to deal with disastors and no one should be criticized. However, what I am concerned about is the effect of 9/11 and the aftermath and church/state separation. The Texas Governor announced, today, that because of recent events he is planning on making an election issue of school prayer. Of course this is easy to say if one is a member of the majority religion. The law be damned, lets go out there and coerce someone. What bothers me is that some of our leaders want to tear down The thin that I look at is what will happen to church/state separation in the next few years.
10/22/2001 07:37:23 PM
Simple answer yes we are but that is what I expect from Bush and other blanking blankers in the US government. But like I always say, "It don't mean nothing." So who cares? Not me!
10/22/2001 07:27:41 PM
NadjaOfNewark, Good Point. If you are an Athiest and you have something to display that helps you cope with what has happened I encourage you to dispay it. Belief in the essence of God is what is importent. Anyone care to discuss?
10/22/2001 07:02:40 PM
I think the Atheists should make their own posters, and see about having those put up on public buildings, too.