Posts Tagged: atheist

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helvetebrann:

Today, more than 1,000 religious leaders all across the country are acting in defiance of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and endorsing political candidates from the pulpit.  In 1954 the tax code was amended to say that tax-exempt organizations– like churches– are prohibited from making political endorsements, but many are apparently done being silent.

The issue has people torn for several reasons.  Even if they don’t appreciate the IRS controlling religious speech, many are grateful for the break from politics that church provides.  Some say, depending on their political views, that they’re simply uninterested in hearing a politically-charged sermon on universal healthcare, or that they don’t want their religious leaders telling them how to vote.  Others say it’s a violation of our religious liberties for pastors not to be able to speak on the pressing matters of the day.

So what do the participating religious leaders hope to accomplish?

According to reports, they plan on recording their sermons and sending them to the IRS with the hope the IRS will actually take the matter to court.  In the past, the IRS has apparently issued threats and notices, but typically stops short of legal action. 

But some of the movement’s strongest detractors, like gay rights activist Rev. Susan Russell, claim it is all an excuse to “jam theocracy down throats.”  Others call this particular fight for religious freedom “bogus.”

Thoughts?

Tax churches and let them say whatever the hell they want. Problem solved.

Source: theblaze.com
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Oklahoma judge bars trans people from changing names

goodreasonnews:

socialistexan:

trlr:

fuzzyhorns:

Oh cool I’m a fraudster in Oklahoma. “Citing the Bible, Judge Bill Graves says transgender men and women are changing their names for ‘fraudulent purposes’”

This only has 6 notes because… Why? This is important people.

Yeah, when people bitch about how backward-ass Texas is, I always point them to one state north. Because shit like this.

So…

Oklahoma County district judge Bill Graves, a former state legislator, cited the Bible in disallowing the name changes

‘It is notable Genesis 1:27-28 states: “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female he them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, be fruitful and multiply and replenish the earth.”

‘The DNA code shows God meant for them to stay male and female.’

Tell me again why groups like Freedom From Religion are unnecessary. Please, remind me about how all this church-state separation stuff was solved years ago and that we should all drop it now, please. Now is the fucking time to speak up.

time for another installment of “that’s fucking ridiculous”

Source: fuzzyhorns
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Recent campaign rhetoric and social issues have brought about a resurgence of extreme religious groups advocating for harsh implementation of laws that blatantly violate the separation of church and state. For anyone who thinks that the First Amendment is exercised properly throughout the United States, it’s simply not true. Several cases have stirred controversy and called this separation into question, including discounting evolution from some school curriculums, advocating taxpayer funding for religious institutions and ignoring individual basic First Amendment rights.

For example, Amendment 8, a measure on the ballot in Florida in November, would allow churches and religious schools to receive taxpayer funding. Moreover, the amendment would allow any organization that any religious group puts together to be eligible for taxpayer funding.

Richard Yoakley, a Lenoir City High School teacher, was asked to resign from his position as the yearbook and newspaper supervisor after granting his students the ability to publish “controversial” articles that touched on atheism and being gay. Shortly after the articles ran, the high school’s principal asked Yoakley to resign.

Not only are these topics protected under the First Amendment with regard to freedom of the press, but furthermore, Lenoir City is a public high school. The administration refused to run student Krystal Myers’ article about atheism because, as Myers pointed out, the administration was biased. “Why does atheism have such a bad reputation? Why do we not have the same rights as Christians?” she wrote.

Another San Antonio man, Jordan Clipston, was forced to wage a custody battle with his daughter’s mother because of his lack of religious beliefs. Clipston created a Facebook page to help offset court costs. He was pitted against his ex-girlfriend’s family, her father a strict military man and evangelical Christian who was convinced his granddaughter would grow up in a house with “no morals” because of Clipston’s atheism. Many court cases have mimicked this result, such as agnostic Craig Scarberry, who initially lost custody of his children due to a court ruling that explicitly stated his religious doubts were a factor. This precedent is ludicrous. Someone’s lack of religion has absolutely no bearing on his or her ability to be a successful parent.

Freedom of religion includes freedom from religion. Anyone who truly thinks that the establishment clause and the free exercise clause of the First Amendment are truly being implemented is sadly mistaken. Furthermore, that idea is naive. Although still oppressed, there are four openly gay members of Congress in the United States, compared to just one openly atheist representative. Both are pathetic misrepresentations of these populations that the U.S. comprises. Furthermore, the argument that our nation is a Christian nation that was founded on these principles is simply incorrect. Very few of the founding fathers could explicitly be labeled as Christian, yet it plagues our currency, our court houses are littered with plaques boasting the Ten Commandments and children in our public schools are forced to pledge allegiance “under God.” One God: the Christian one. This is not what the framers had in mind when they drafted the First Amendment.

(via helvetebrann)

Source: centralfloridafuture.com
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This convention season has not been good for atheists.

The word “God” was reinserted in the Democratic platform after it had been removed. A plan to raise atheist billboards in the convention cities was stymied by opponents. And though there were preachers and rabbis and other religious leaders opening and closing each day of each convention, there wasn’t an avowed atheist talking up unbelief on either convention’s speaking list.

The political lockout has left many nonbelievers asking, “What political party represents me?”

“We are deeply saddened by the exclusion of a large number of Americans by both parties,” said Teresa MacBain, a spokeswoman for the group American Atheists, in an interview on Thursday. “It amazes me that in modern-day America, so much prejudice still exists.”

In an awkward session that required three voice votes on the convention floor, the Democrats opted to add “God” back to the platform. For atheists, the Democrats were seen to be taking away a hard-fought victory. “We had 24 hours of joy as we felt (that) finally our government values all people,” said MacBain. “But that was short-lived. The vote last night angered many atheists and left them feeling excluded once again.”

“I guess a tiny step was too much to ask for,” David Silverman, president of the American Atheists, told CNN. “This was a clear message to the 16% of the voting population we don’t count. Well, guess what, Dems we do. And we vote.”

Perhaps because of the Republican Party’s ties to conservative Christianity, atheists tend to be Democrats. According to a 2012 Pew study, 71% of Americans who identified as atheist were Democrats.

“The Republicans who spoke at the RNC seemed more like televangelists than politicians,” MacBain said. “The message was clear from the RNC: Get God, or get out.”

People who think Christians are hated more than Atheists in America do not live in reality.

(via helvetebrann)

Source: CNN
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The former archbishop of Milan and papal candidate Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini said the Catholic Church was “200 years out of date” in his final interview before his death, published on Saturday.

Martini, once favoured by Vatican progressives to succeed Pope John Paul II and a prominent voice in the church until his death at the age of 85 on Friday, gave a scathing portrayal of a pompous and bureaucratic church failing to move with the times.

“Our culture has aged, our churches are big and empty and the church bureaucracy rises up, our rituals and our cassocks are pompous,” Martini said in the interview published in Italian daily Corriere della Sera.

“The Church must admit its mistakes and begin a radical change, starting from the pope and the bishops. The paedophilia scandals oblige us to take a journey of transformation,” he said in the interview.

Martini, famous for comments that the use of condoms could be acceptable in some cases, told interviewers the Church should open up to new kinds of families or risk losing its flock.

“A woman is abandoned by her husband and finds a new companion to look after her and her children. A second love succeeds. If this family is discriminated against, not just the mother will be cut off but also her children.”

“The church is 200 years out of date. Why don’t we rouse ourselves? Are we afraid?”

RESURRECT THIS MAN FROM THE DEAD AND MAKE HIM POPE

(via helvetebrann)

Source: Yahoo!
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helvetebrann:

Parents who trust in divine intervention, even after doctors say there is no hope of survival, are putting their children through aggressive but futile treatments, they said.

In an article published in the Journal of Medical Ethics they warned that families with deeply held hopes for a “miraculous” recovery were increasingly being allowed to “stonewall” medical opinion.

The doctors, from Great Ormond Street Hospital, called for an overhaul of the legal system to reduce the weight given to parents’ religious beliefs in such cases.

“While it is vital to support families in such difficult times, we are increasingly concerned that deeply held belief in religion can lead to children being potentially subjected to burdensome care in expectation of ‘miraculous’ intervention,” the authors warned. “In many cases, the children about whom the decisions are being made are too young to subscribe to the religious beliefs held by their parents, yet we continue to respect the parents’ beliefs.”

Instead they want the process of doctors seeking court permission to withdraw treatment to be sped up and for the law to make clear that parents’ beliefs should not be a “determining factor” in such decisions.

The fact that there is even others arguing that it is ok to intentionally cause children pain instead of allowing them to pass peacefully is rather disgusting.  Where are the rights of the children?

Source: telegraph.co.uk
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helvetebrann:

Next week, North Dakota voters will decide whether to add an amendment to the state’s constitution that supporters say will guarantee religious freedom. But the ballot measure has prompted debate over precisely what it safeguards; opponents argue that it’s a solution in search of a problem and worry about its consequences.

Measure 3 is worded this way: “Government may not burden a person’s or religious organization’s religious liberty.” Its supporters call it the Religious Liberty Restoration amendment; they say it’s needed because of a 22-year-old U.S. Supreme Court decision they believe has put limits on religious freedom.

But the measure’s opponents worry about unintended consequences. They say it could allow parents who abuse children to hide behind the curtain of religious liberty. One opponent is Tim Hathaway, executive director of Prevent Child Abuse North Dakota.

“We are urging a ‘no’ vote on Measure 3,” he says, “because it will seriously undercut protection for children in our state by opening the door for people to claim religious freedom as a justification for maltreatment.”

Renee Stromme of the North Dakota Women’s Network agrees, saying if it passes, Measure 3 could also lead to discrimination.

“An employer could use religious beliefs to fire a pregnant woman because she is unmarried,” Stromme says. “So let’s think that through: We now have a single mother, unemployed, struggling to make ends meet, to care for the welfare of her family — and her employer would have a protected defense for his action. And a judge would have to determine otherwise.”

Opponents argue the measure is both unnecessary and potentially dangerous — and could raise new ways for people to define their own extreme religious views.

Not to mention the contention that could be raised if the State had to intervene to decide whose religious rights are more important than a separate religion, when the liberty of one religion interferes with the liberty of another religion.

In no way is this country suffering from a lack of religious liberty.  This measure is absurd and extremely dangerous.

North Carolina all over again. So very glad politicians are committed to focusing on such bullshit issues.

Source: NPR
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helvetebrann:

The Catholic Church’s leaders think America’s nuns have gone rogue and must be reined in.

The Vatican on Monday censured Sister Margaret A. Farley, who teaches at Yale Divinity School, over a 2006 book she wrote that the church said is out of step with official church teaching on human sexuality.

Just weeks before, the Vatican issued a major report condemning the groups that represent most American nuns, saying those organizations had promoted “radical feminism” while neglecting teachings against homosexuality and abortion.

In its reprimand of Farley, the church focused on her book “Just Love: A Framework for Christian Sexual Ethics,” which it said condones masturbation and homosexuality.

“Masturbation is an intrinsically and gravely disordered action,” the church said in a statement Monday that characterized “homosexual acts” as “acts of grave depravity.”

The reprimand warned church officials not to use Farley’s book, raising eyebrows in Catholic circles because she is one of the country’s most respected female Catholic theologians.

The censure came days after the leadership that represents most American nuns concluded a meeting in Washington to devise a response to an April Vatican assessment that accused the nuns of hosting speakers who preached “radical feminism” at an annual gathering of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious. The group represents about 80% of American nuns.

The report also said the nuns were too focused on social justice and not enough on opposing abortion, euthanasia and same-sex marriage.


Holy fuck the Vatican is out of touch with reality.

I vote these nuns for pope. Kick out the old bastards. Is that how Catholicism works? No? Ok well why don’t they splinter off and take all the sane Catholics with them. 

Source: CNN
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"The Bible is a book that has been read more and examined less than any book that ever existed."

- Thomas Paine - English-born American author and revolutionary leader.  Theodore Roosevelt called him a “filthy little atheist.”  Actually a deist; wrote the definitive text of deism, The Age of Reason, which used reason to establish a belief in Nature’s Designer, but attacked Christianity as a system of superstition that “produces fanatics” and “serves the purposes of despotism.”  In England, sellers of the book were jailed for blasphemy.  In dating his letters, instead of “A.D.,” wrote “since the fable of Christ.” (via helvetebrann)
Source: helvetebrann