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Freethought Today · Vol. 27 No. 6 August 2010

Published by the Freedom From Religion Foundation, Inc.

Overheard

There is a fundamental difference between religion, which is based on authority, [and] science, which is based on observation and reason. Science will win because it works.
Physicist Stephen Hawking
ABC News, 6-7-10

Freedom and rights are given to man by God, they are His, we are the guardians.
Fox News’ Glenn Beck, accepting an honorary doctor of humanities degree at Liberty University
Liberty.edu, 5-15-10

I’ve been there, and being a minority, you get that little pit in your stomach. We don’t have the right to pick the winners and losers. We take an oath to everyone. We really dishonor ourselves and the intent of the Constitution when we insist on prayers.
Eric Resnick, Canton City Schools board member, who is Jewish
Canton [Ohio] Repository, 6-9-10

Followers of Jesus Christ are not to sit in the lotus pose in an altered state of consciousness seeking the “God within” like pagans do. The bible teaches that when Christians meditate, our minds are to be fully engaged. We are never to go into a trance state.
Columnist Marsha West
News with Views, 6-13-1

I was baptized Catholic. I don’t remember any of it. According to my mother, I screamed like a banshee, and those are her words. So you can see that even as a young child, I didn’t want to be baptized. It’s not fair. I was born atheist and they were forcing me to become Catholic.
Cambridge Boxterman, 24, Cincinnati, at her debaptism
ABC News, 7-16-1

As a citizen who thinks the world of the United States and does not subscribe to any belief system, I was shocked at the behavior of religious people along the parade route. One gentleman, sitting with his wife, clearly stated, “I will put you in a foxhole and kill you.”
Matt Juba, U.S. Army veteran and Pennsylvania Nonbeliever, on marching in the Annville [Pa.] Memorial Day parade
Harrisburg Patriot-News, 6-17-10

It’s very worrisome to hear words like “God’s war” or “the devil’s project,” things that recall the times of the Inquisition.
Argentine President Cristina Fernandez, on opponents of the law allowing gay marriage, the first such law in Latin America
Associated Press, 7-14-10

Last Easter, the churches and atheists had a good old stoush [argument] on whether or not there is a God. Whatever the intellectual argument, it’s clear most Australians couldn’t care less about God.
Rob Chalmers, the longest serving member of the Canberra press gallery and editor of Inside Canberra
crikey.com.au, 6-30-10

When looking at churches, give extra points to the one with the most tortured and bloody Christ display.
Wedding planning tips
The Onion, 7-14-10

Kryptonite never truly had any ability over Superman. Sin never truly had any ability over Jesus. Yet they both died. For Humanity.
Blogger Flurb, “What Superman means to this fanboy”
Comic Book Movie Fan Sites, 6-9-1

If they want to sell bikinis, then fine, put a girl in a bikini. But what does that have to do with vodka?
Rabbi Shea Hecht, backing a ban on public buses with Georgi vodka ads in Hasidic neighborhoods in Brooklyn, N.Y.
Fox News, 6-30-10

I think our kids need to know about the founding fathers and they need to understand the connection between God and the founding fathers. They don’t need to hear the revisionists’ stories of history.
Pastor Wayne Lipscomb, on Gano Baptist’s Vacation Liberty School, Georgetown, Ky.
Associated Press, 7-15-10

I didn’t know faith, hope and charity were parts of the Constitution. I thought they made it as laws, nothing to do with church.
Matthew Porter, 13,  Vacation Liberty School participant
Associated Press, 7-15-1

Charles Darwin.
“Golden Girl” Betty White, 88, answering “Who are your heroes in real life?”
Vanity Fair, August 2010

Science lessons should equip students with critical thinking skills, the most important of which is to ask for evidence for claims about “truth.” If we’ve succeeded in teaching these skills, it’s inevitable that some of our religious students will ask, “What is the proof for the existence of a god?” And it’s inevitable that some of these students will not be happy with the stock religious answers to this question.
Physics teacher Alom Shaha, London
The [U.K.] Guardian, 7-20-10

When people hear this they’re going to say, “It’s Atheist!”
Band member Kelly Shaefer, on Atheist’s first album in 17 years, titled “Jupiter” and set for release in November
Metal Underground, 7-11-10

A New York minute, as once defined by Johnny Carson, is the gap between a Manhattan traffic light turning green and the guy behind honking his horn. It’s considerably shorter than a nanosecond, a more formal measurement of extreme brevity, and it’s probably the only available unit we have for calibrating the time that elapsed between the announcement that Christopher Hitchens has esophageal cancer and the first appearance of online interpretations of the religious significance of that fact.
Columnist Tom Sutcliffe, on knee-jerk Christian reactions to Hitchens’ cancer
The [U.K.] Independent, 7-8-10

We do not live in a society where all the people share uniform religious beliefs. The precepts of any one religion — any belief system — cannot, by force of their religious origins, sound any louder in the general law than the precepts of any other. If they did, those out in the cold would be less than citizens and our constitution would be on the way to a theocracy, which is of necessity autocratic.
Sir John Laws, a British judge ruling against a Christian counselor fired for refusing to offer therapy to homosexual couples
The [U.K.] Guardian, 4-29-10

I respect your right to be an atheist even though you evidently do not respect my right to believe in God. May God bless your miserable soul. Thanks, Commissioner Gibson.
McLennan County Commissioner Lester Gibson, Waco, Texas, responding to a complaint about praying at commission meetings
E-mail to atheist complainant, 6-22-10

[laughing} No-o-o-o-o. No no no no no.
Actor Morgan Freeman, when asked by co-host Kiran Chetry if he’s “a man of God”
CNN “American Morning,” 6-2-10

This is the beginning of the end of our freedoms! Lord help us. In Jesus, Trudy.
Rev. Trudy Levo, St. Louis, Mo., on a U.S. Supreme Court ruling unfavorable to the Christian Legal Society, which bars gays
Charisma News, 6-29-1

I end How Pleasure Works by talking about religious ritual and belief, and I point out — and I’m an atheist myself — but I point out that I’d have to be blind and deaf not to realize the pleasure it causes many people, the satisfaction it gives them. And I think this is an important part of why we have it.
Paul Bloom, Yale University professor of psychology
Open Source, 6-17-10

The church isn’t perfect. Priests are men. Among priests there are those who will become saints, there are good priests and there are criminals as well. So it happens.
Fr. Fernando Cerero, Diocese di Coatzacoalcos in Mexico
Associated Press, 6-11-10

While there are some religions which are devoid of reason, there are others, such as Roman Catholicism, which have long assigned it a special place.
Bill Donahue, Catholic League president
catholicleague.org, 6-8-10

Sure, science arose out of Catholicism — in the same sense that plumbing, sanitation systems and public health policies arose out of sewage.
Biologist PZ Myers
Pharyngula, 6-9-10

Essentially, the panel reasoned much of the course content was outside the realm of science and lacked potential to help students understand the nature of science and the history and nature of the natural world.
U.S. District Judge Sam Sparks, upholding a Texas board’s refusal to accredit master’s degrees in science education from the Institute for Creation Research
Washington Post, 6-24-10

High School Biology: King James Version
Book on student’s desk in cartoon by Clay Bennett
Christian Science Monitor, undated

My neighbor in Abbot, Texas, was a lady named Mrs. Pressler. My grandmother and Mrs. Pressler were great friends, and they talked over the fence every day. I had always heard from Mrs. Pressler and my grandmother that if you drank a beer or smoked a cigarette, you’re going to hell. And so I thought, if that were the case, I was already on my way. Might as well lay back and enjoy it!
Singer-songwriter Willie Nelson, on living life with no regrets
Parade magazine, 6-24-10

I don’t think you should recognize an individual where most of the monies donated to her went to the Vatican.  It was a big cover-up her whole life.
Ken Bronstein, New York Atheists president, defending a decision not to light up the Empire State Building, which is owned by Anthony Malkin (who is Jewish) on Mother Teresa’s 100th birthday
Fox News, 6-11-10

I said, “Amen.” This was like a prayer answered. If they want to come in and help, who am I to say no?
Principal Steve Comparato of Combee Elementary, which had a 33% cut in public funding for school supplies
Wall Street Journal, 6-14-10

We have inroads into public schools that we had not had before. By befriending the students, we have the opportunity to visit homes to talk to parents about Jesus Christ. . . . The purpose is to show them the church cares, and that there is hope, and hope is found in Jesus Christ.
Pastor Dave McKenna, First Baptist Church at the Mall, Lakeland, Fla., which “adopted” Combee Elementary School with $5,000 worth of supplies
Wall Street Journal, 6-14-10

God is with me, and I am confident I will be successful in killing [Osama bin Laden].
Gary Faulkner, 52, a California man detained in Pakistan while possessing a book of Christian teachings, a 40-inch sword, a pistol and some hashish
Associated Press, 6-15-10

Club Ped: Missouri’s retreat for pedophile priests
Headline on a story about the Vianney Renewal Center, Dittmer, Mo., a treatment center for Catholic clergy nationwide
KSDK NewsChannel 5, St. Louis, 5-5-10

I prayed multiple times a day, sang hymns with emotion and tears, felt each time that it wouldn’t happen again, read the bible every morning. So how in the world did I have a torrid many-year affair? How could I compartmentalize it so much?
Former Indiana Rep. Mark Souder, on his affair with a female aide who made a video with him on sexual abstinence
World magazine, 6-19-10

I made them all Buddhists. They’re all Buddhists now.
Said with a smile by Zhaxi Zhuoma, a Tibetan lama, rescuing overturned horseshoe crabs at Pickering Beach, Delaware
Wilmington News Journal, 6-13-10

The identical processes that have given us the remarkable camouflage of the stick insect and the magnificent plumage of the bird of paradise have, it would seem, also given us a man who cannot scramble an egg.
Front-page story, “Eons of Darwinian Evolution Somehow Produce Mitch”
The Onion, 6-24-10

The dresses look innocent enough, but experts on American polygamy say women are trapped by them. Not only do the heavy impractical costumes evoke a bygone time; they deliberately shroud a woman’s sexual charms, and they stifle individuality.
Columnist Michael Scott Moore, “A Modest Proposal: Outlaw Retrograde Mormon Dress”
Miller-McCune.com, 5-26-10
A lot of science fiction is filled with humanism. You usually don’t run across an archbishop of Alpha Centauri.
Susan Sackett, longtime executive assistant to “Star Trek” creator Gene Roddenberry
Worcester [Mass.] Telegram & Gazette, 6-22-10

Remember, cleanliness is next to godlessness.
August Brunsman, Camp Quest director, Clarksville, Ohio
Columbus Dispatch, 6-25-10

I’m not really anything right now. I’m still deciding.
Lizzie Fox, 12, Camp Quest participant with an atheist dad and a lapsed Catholic mom
Columbus Dispatch, 6-25-10

Protect children from mental, physical, emotional and sexual abuse by secular humanists in a  socialist society or governmental system.
Christian Home Educators of Kentucky, “Our Continued Objectives”
chek.org, 6-29-10
 

Most of all, his is a memoir that should be given to high school and college students of a literary bent. In the age of the Internet and the academy, it will open up different models for how to be a thoughtful person, how to engage in political life and what sort of things one should know in order to be truly educated.
Columnist David Brooks, on Christopher Hitchens’ memoir Hitch-22
New York Times, 7-1-10

Humanism is the new unholy yeast that has infected the Body of Christ. Humanism says, “It’s up to us to save us, our planet, the poor,” instead of “It’s up to God and His power through us.” Humanism says man is inherently good . . . instead of man is inherently sinful, responsible for his own choice to sin, and in need of a Savior.
Statement from WORQ-FM, De Pere, Wis., withdrawing from Lifest 2010 because  liberal evangelical Jim Wallis was invited to speak
Q90fm.com, 7-1-10
My followers will meet each Saturday morning at my place until my new deck is finished. Each week, one lucky follower will be chosen at random to wash my car.
Columnist Rich Tosches, announcing formation of a church to compete with Ted Haggard
Colorado Springs Independent, 6-10-10

There was a promise of God that God would bless the seed of Abraham. God’s people must stand up.
Pastor Bob Rodgers, Evangel World Prayer Center, Louisville, Ky., at a “Stand with Israel” rally
Louisville Courier-Journal, 6-13-10

[The event is] a scam basically to deceive some of those religious fanatics of the Christian faith to believe it is essential for them to get behind the state of Israel.
Ibrahim Imam, Louisville Committee for Peace in the Middle East
Louisville Courier-Journal, 6-13-10

 

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