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Freethought Today · November 2013

Published by the Freedom From Religion Foundation, Inc.

Overheard

I’m not religious in terms of believing in organized religion. If you look at the genocide that happened in the witch hunts and the killing of women, it was about wiping out female power.

Actress Julia Ormond, who plays a witch in Lifetime’s new series “The Witches of East End”

MCT News Service, 10-4-13

 

Secularism and excellence in moral reasoning are what’s necessary for a high standard of human rights. So today at the dinner table, ask your kids where their rights come from. I have rights, you know. Really!? From where? Push them! Teach them a lesson! Because if you don’t push them now, they’ll be pushed, shoved and shot by religious fanatics later.

“Atheist in Wheaton” [Ill.] James Kirk Wall

ChicagoNow, 10-27-13

 

Ghana’s economic productivity is under threat because workers are spending too much time at all-night church services, according to a senior cleric.

News story quoting Rev. Frimpong Manso, head of the Assemblies of God Church in Ghana, where two-thirds of the population is Christian

The Guardian, 10-28-13

 

If you believe that the world is only 6,000 years old, as some of these people do, given that the true age of the Earth is 4.6 billion years, it’s equivalent to believing the width of North America is 8 yards.

Biologist Richard Dawkins

“Real Time With Bill Maher,” 10-25-13

 

I was once Christian. But I sincerely considered the matter and found no evidence to support faith. I then decided to change for a more positive and healthy perspective on life, love and compassion. As I moved away from religion, I found both peace and a lot of good, similarly minded people. So if some think I’m going to hell, I’ll probably be in better company than those who would condemn me for this.

Ricky D. Smith, Danville, Ky., letter to the editor

Advocate-Messenger, 9-16-13

 

[If] I were a coach, even a Christian one, I would not want team prayers at all. That’s because it’s no better for team-building than it is for nation-building, which our founders wisely recognized. And that’s because, obviously, you exclude every player who doesn’t believe in the prayer leader’s god, or doesn’t believe in any god, or is just smart enough to see the folly of praying to a peaceful god when playing a game as violent as football.

Columnist Dan DeWitt, an atheist, on a Florida school superintendent’s memo asking coaches to not lead prayers

Tampa Bay Times, 10-8-13

 

Sing “The Star-Spangled Banner” or do something else to make it a grand occasion. Don’t appropriate religion for that purpose. Keep religion separate and special and have the sphere of government be religion-free so that everyone feels equally included. I think that is the American tradition.

Ann Althouse, University of Wisconsin-Madison law professor, arguing against prayer at events such as graduations

Wisconsin State Journal, 10-6-13

 

I’m suggesting we take holy books out of the process. Instead, people will have to show they understand they could be sent to prison if they don’t tell the truth.

Ian Abrahams, Bristol, UK, on a Magistrates’ Association proposal to stop having witnesses swear on the bible in court

Charisma News, 10-14-13

 

She called me a filthy little liar and gave me a big dose of castor oil. I couldn’t keep it down — threw up.

Witness in the trial of Fr. Finian Egan, alleging a nun disciplined her for reporting Egan molested her when she was 10

Sydney Morning Herald, 10-14-13

 

I can stand at the beach’s edge with the most devout Christian, Jew, Buddhist, go on down the line, and weep with the beauty of this universe and be moved by all of humanity, all the billions of people who lived before us, who have loved and hurt and suffered. To me, my definition of God is humanity and is the love of humanity.

Endurance swimmer Diana Nyad, 64, telling host Oprah Winfrey that she’s an atheist

“Super Soul Sunday,” 10-13-13

 

Doesn’t it just plain suck that the Old Testament isn’t cool anymore? The book’s got everything: genocide, incest, and even talking donkeys! That’s why David Tuchman has taken it upon himself to rehabilitate the text as OMGWTFBIBLE.

From comedian David Tuchman’s “new take on the Old Testament,” recorded live in New York City the third Monday of every month and available by podcast

Tablet Magazine, 10-14-13

I’m quite sure a Christian would not be happy if the town meeting began by everybody announcing how thankful they were we’ve finally learned there is no God. One could say it’s just teaching Christians to be tolerant of atheists, but nobody would or should take that seriously.

Arnold Loewy, Texas Tech University law professor, arguing that government meetings shouldn’t start with prayer

Lubbock Avalanche-Journal, 10-20-13

 

Archbishop Michalik’s words make us feel fear and revulsion.

Ewa Orlowska, victim of a Polish pedophile priest, on Archbishop Jozef Michalik’s comment that a troubled child “seeks closeness with others and may get lost and may get the other person involved, too.”

Associated Press, 10-22-13

 

We’re pretty sure all babies are born atheists and, rather than commit them to some religion before they’re old enough to have a say (let alone control their pooping functions), we’d rather celebrate their undoubted belief in Mummy and Daddy.

Kickstarter promotion for baby shoes by Atheist Shoe Co. in Berlin

boingboing.net, 10-29-13

 

It’s time for the atheist movement to get off the political sidelines. It’s time to truly help this country become a better place to live for all its citizens. The recent Values Voter Summit demonstrated that the likely 2016 GOP frontrunners and its base wish to transform America’s secular state into a tyrannical theocracy — a nirvana absent gays, liberals, immigrants, Muslims and science books. If the atheist movement doesn’t evolve into a politically agitated, unified and mobilized Secular Left, then the Christian Right might just get its way.

CJ Werleman, author of Crucifying America and God Hates You. Hate Him Back.

salon.com, 10-26-13

 

Gay marriage, pot, religion’s the next one to fall.

Entertainer Bill Maher

“Real Time With Bill Maher,” 10-25-13

 

[A Catholic] professor once asked me, “When I talk about God, I mean love and justice and reconciliation, not a man in the sky. You talk about love and justice and reconciliation. Why can’t you just call that God?” I replied, “Why must you call that God? Why not just call it what it is: love and justice and reconciliation?”

Chris Stedman, assistant humanist chaplain at Harvard University

CNN, 10-16-13

 

Sky News reports today that in Britain, increasing numbers of prison inmates are being bullied into converting to Islam. The Prison Officers Association says this is a result of the growing influence of Muslim gangs in British prisons. Some victims have been terrorized by the gangs.  But there is also concern that some of the converts could become radicalized. 13% of Britain’s prison population is Muslim.

Blog synopsis of growing British prison problem

Religion Clause, 10-20-13

 

[Barack Obama] believes government is your God.

Rev. Rafael Cruz, Purifying Fire Ministries pastor and father of Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, speaking at a National Federation Of Republican Assemblies prayer breakfast

youtube.com, 9-15-13

 

In your lifetime, much of your potential, or lack thereof, can be known simply by swabbing the inside of your cheek. Are we prepared to select out the imperfect among us?

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., warning a packed house at the late Rev. Jerry Falwell’s Liberty University in Virginia that scientific advancements will lead to eugenics and more abortions

Associated Press, 10-28-13

 

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