Posts Tagged: religion



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.”


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

(via helvetebrann-deactivated2014092)


Oklahoma judge bars trans people from changing names





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.


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

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-deactivated2014092)


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-deactivated2014092)

Source: CNN

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?”


(via helvetebrann-deactivated2014092)

Source: Yahoo!


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?

(via helvetebrann-deactivated2014092)



“I think we are inviting God’s judgment on our nation when we shake our fist at him and say ‘we know better than you as to what constitutes a marriage’…”

- Chick-Fil-A CEO Dan Cathy

This notion is fascinating to me. The idea that God will punish the nation for allowing same-sex marriage is completely oblivious nonsense, I don’t care how religious you are.

Our nation was constructed on slavery, rape, and genocide. Even today, our nation is a global symbol of selfishness, racism, sexism, war, and imperialism. If God is going judge us for something as harmless as same-sex marriage, but has no problem with our entire history, he’s doing a shitty job as God. Gain some perspective.


Source: jo-robsbanks

"Let’s put aside the scientific evidence that we can’t really choose between good and evil; what we do is totally determined by physical events in our brain and environment. Since most of us seem to be determinists of that stripe (or accept a soupçon of quantum indeterminacy), we reject that notion outright as incompatible with the scientific facts. But even if one could choose freely—and some theologians counter that God could have given us a kind of free will that doesn’t permit our choices to produce evil—this doesn’t explain any of the evils that don’t result from human choice. Those include every disease that is painful, debilitating, or fatal (e.g., childhood leukemia), and all the natural evils that kill millions (tsunamis, earthquakes, etc.). Theologian Alvin Plantinga argues that the latter are part of the natural order of the earth, but an omnipotent God could let the tectonic plates slide smoothly, eliminating earthquakes and tsunamis, and obviate all the needless suffering of animals. As John Loftus notes, a good God would have made all animals vegetarians."



Or why god and science (i.e. reality) cannot mix.


Source: friendlyatheist