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Freethought Today · September 2013

Published by the Freedom From Religion Foundation, Inc.

Overheard

If my sister dressed like that, I would kill her.

Male student overheard after a woman in blazer and slacks passed by, “Afghan youths cling to traditional ways” 

New York Times, 8-1-13

 

We’re not motivated by the bottom dollar at all. We’re motivated by providing a quality education and sharing Christ with the community, too.

Principal Hank Hobnecke, Westside Christian School, Madison, Wis., on applying to receive public funding to operate a Lutheran voucher school

Wisconsin State Journal, 8-1-13

 

There’s no progress. All you see is more and more churches and mosques. All the effort and ingenuity of the people goes into religious activities. It’s holding us back.

Clive Aruede, London Black Atheists member, on the situation in his native Nigeria, which has a Christian majority

New Statesman, 8-7-13

 

Before the revolution, people didn’t see Islam as the problem, but after the revolution, they saw what political Islam was, and what Islam is.

Fadwa, an 18-year-old Tunisian who said the Arab Spring turned her from detached agnostic to atheist

Associated Press, 8-7-13

 

We mujahedeen are imperfect soldiers trying to form a perfect religion. I apologize for any mistakes I made in this endeavor.

U.S. Army Maj. Nidal Hasan, opening statement in his trial for murdering 13 people and wounding 30 in 2009 at Fort Hood, Texas

ABC News, 7-6-13

 

All the world’s Muslims have fewer Nobel Prizes than Trinity College, Cambridge. They did great things in the Middle Ages, though.

Evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins’ tweet, criticized by some, which Dawkins called “a storm in a teacup”

richarddawkins.net, 8-9-13

 

All that diversity is fine, but that’s not the point. I haven’t gotten a note inviting me to do a secular invocation.

George Gold, Coalition of Reason coordinator and FFRF member, speaking to the city council about prayers in Chico, Calif.

Chico Enterprise-Record, 8-11-13

 

The word Messiah is a title, and it’s a title that has only been earned by one person and that one person is Jesus Christ.

Lu Ann Ballew, child support magistrate in Cocke County, Tenn., ordering a 7-month-old boy’s first name be changed to Martin and FFRF protested, a decision the mother is appealing

WBIR, 8-11-13

 

Pope Francis, please, on a regular, ongoing basis sit with the victim-survivors of clergy sexual abuse. Ongoing, not just one or two meetings. Ongoing. Come to know and understand.

James Connell, retired vice chancellor of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee and longtime critic of his own church, speaking to the Milwaukee Press Club

Associated Press, 8-13-13

 

There’s no place for official public prayer in government-sponsored venues. Christians should not take special advantage of situations where they are able to force their own prayers on others.

Steve Cates, a retired teacher and member of First Baptist Church in Murfreesboro, Tenn., objecting to a county commissioner’s prayer at the dedication of a new public high school

The Tennessean, 8-14-13

 

It’s my view that it’s very wrong for faith leaders to actively encourage their congregations to stop taking their medication.

British pediatrician Dr. Toni Tan, quoted in “HIV patients told by Pentecostal pastors ‘to rely on God’ “

BBC News, 8-16-13

 

I just don’t know what I did to make him do this.

David Nickell, 45, Riverside, Calif., still blaming himself for being molested by a Catholic priest in San Bernadino when he was 11 and 12 years old

Riverside Press-Enterprise, 8-20-13

 

Investigators are doing a better job, and more people are cooperating with law enforcement. There is an understanding now that Catholic priests can and do abuse children.

Patrick Wall, former priest and current canon lawyer in St. Paul, Minn., on “credible accusations” of sexual abuse against more than 6,000 priests between 1950 and 2011

Fresno Bee, 8-17-13

 

Religions are great at forming communities and providing support for members who are going through various life events such as the birth of a child, unexpected injury or illness, marriages and deaths. On the other hand, religions are also great at breeding ignorance, intolerance and despair. Consider the Christian theological doctrine of original sin that says every baby is stained by the sin of Adam. Not only is this based on spurious mythology, it violates common sense. Newborns are not in any way capable of making moral decisions, and to even mythologically hold them culpable for the sins of a man who never existed is inane. So I oppose religious doctrine that I see as hindering human well-being, but my dedication to freedom of conscience also means that people have a right to deceive themselves if they want to.

Steve Ahlquist, Humanists of Rhode Island president and uncle of teen activist Jessica Ahlquist

The Providence Phoenix, 8-7-13

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