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Freethought Today · December 2013

Published by the Freedom From Religion Foundation, Inc.

Overheard

Article (2): Islam is the state religion, and Arabic is its official language, and the principles of Islamic Sharia are the main source of legislation.

Section of proposed new Egyptian Constitution

Religion Clause, 12-8-13

 

So if there is enough evidence to warrant belief in the Quran or the works of L. Ron Hubbard or that Moses parted the Red Sea, we ought to believe those things. There isn’t sufficient evidence, and that’s why people invoke faith. You would not need to invoke faith if you have sufficient evidence.

Peter Boghossian, philosophy instructor and author of “A Manual for Creating Atheists”

Religion News Service, 11-19-13

God don’t make no junk.

Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, speaking to the Iowa Faith & Freedom Coalition in Des Moines

Des Moines Register, 11-10-13

 

Every day is a day that we’re full of life. We’re with our families, we see sunrises, sunsets. We eat, we breathe, we have art. It’s a total, total celebration of every single day. Calling someone who loves every day of their life “angry” seems a little bit odd.

Author Penn Jillette, rebutting a Chicago radio host who asked if Every Day Is An Atheist Holiday was an “angry” title

chicagoist.com, 11-9-13

 

In his book Profiles in Courage, John F. Kennedy talked about how important it is for public officials to educate public opinion rather than pander to public opinion that has not been informed by the facts. In this situation, the school board chose to pander to a boisterous crowd instead of educate them concerning the requirements of the U.S. Constitution. And now they have to pay a price — albeit with taxpayers’ dollars — for their foolish, cowardly, and illegal decision. (Taxpayers pay the district’s insurance premiums, which likely will go up at least in part because of the stupidity that the district has displayed in this matter.) The ACLU and the Freedom From Religion Foundation should be commended for upholding the law and the rights of religious minorities in this case. All blame should go to the school board and those who egged them on in their unlawful, intolerant, and hopeless course. 

Online comment by J.C. Sommer on the successful suit to remove a Jesus portrait in a school in Jackson, Ohio

Columbus Dispatch, 11-30-13

 

First her pastor convinced her to quit her job to do full-time ministry at the church. Now the pastor is pressuring my wife to sow a financial seed into the ministry, which would mean tapping heavily into our savings.

Comment by “Sick of These Preachers” to “Ask Tamara: Pastor is Ruining My Marriage!”

Lee Bailey’s Electronic Urban Report, 11-4-13

 

It depends on your luck. You can be an atheist and tell people and nothing can happen to you. Or you can be fired from work, your life can be destroyed, acts of violence can be taken against you. It depends where you are, the circle of people around you. For me, the people at work don’t know. The people at school didn’t know. You have to keep your opinions to yourself. It’s a stressful situation.

Ayman Emam, 28, Cairo, who started the Egyptian Atheists Community on Facebook, on how atheists are threated

Al Jazeera, 11-18-13

During the service, attendees stomped their feet, clapped their hands and cheered as Jones and Evans led the group through rousing renditions of “Lean on Me,” “Here Comes the Sun” and other hits that took the place of gospel songs. Congregants dissolved into laughter at a get-to-know-you game that involved clapping and slapping the hands of the person next to them and applauded as members of the audience spoke about community service projects they had started in L.A.

News story on the Sunday Assembly, which envisions “a godless congregation in every town, city and village that wants one”

Associated Press, 11-11-13

 

You’re a good Catholic fellow as I am. That’s not the way Catholic people — that’s not the way anybody with morals — should do anything.

Statement at sentencing by Florida Judge Russell Healey which resulted in the appeals court ordering the defendant to be resentenced by a different judge

Florida Times-Union, 11-7-13

 

We were disappointed to learn that former President George W. Bush has decided to move ahead with his plan to speak at a fundraising event for an evangelical proselytizing group whose stated goal is to convert Jews to Christianity.

Abraham Foxman, Anti-Defamation League national director, on Bush’s speech to the Messianic Jewish Bible Institute in Dallas

Politico, 11-11-13

 

The bible does not specifically speak about sequester cuts, or any other fiscal proposal or funding law enacted by the U.S. Specific directions for tax policy are never spelled out in scripture.

Rob Schwarzwalder, Family Research Council vice president, “God and the IRS: What the bible can teach us about tax policy”

Washington Post, 11-11-13

 

God is still there. The Filipino soul is stronger than any typhoon.

Fr. Lito Capeding, pastor of Shrine of the Holy Cross, Daphne, Ala., on Typhoon Haiyan

Mobile Press-Register, 11-12-13

 

All politicians now have the moral obligation to work for the repeal of this sinful and objectionable legislation. We must pray for deliverance from this evil which has penetrated our state and our church.

Thomas Paprocki, bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Springfield, Ill., announcing he’ll offer “prayers of supplication and exorcism”  Nov. 20, the day when Gov. Pat Quinn was scheduled to sign a same-sex marriage bill into law

State Journal-Register, 11-14-13

 

Paprocki might consider directing that exorcism toward his own heart. He might be surprised at what demons fly out.

Columnist Neil Steinberg, noting that 47% of Catholics attended Mass once a week in 1974 compared to 24% now

Chicago Sun-Times, 11-17-13

 

If I won the lottery and could afford to live in Manhattan, no one would care, but here, I can have an effect. Not to create more atheists, but to simply create a place that the secular can call home. I would never say that I am the answer for DeRidder [La.], but for this community I know I am the question.

Jerry DeWitt, former evangelical pastor who stayed in DeRidder to “minister” to atheists and the secular community 

The Daily Beast, 11-17-13

 

I looked up the verse Jeff put on the bag [Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”] and had to laugh. How can someone so smart be so gullible? The idea of trusting or believing that someone has control over your future is the definition of insanity. I will continue to trust people I’ve actually met to help chart my course.

Virginia businessman Brian McMahon, an atheist, canceling his sponsorship of aspiring pro golfer Jeff Cochran

theblaze.com, 11-25-13

 

One sign that caught the attention of the local newspaper was the message I put up after Michael Jackson died last year. It read: THE KING OF POP IS DEAD. THE KING OF KINGS STILL LIVES.

Darrel Brandon, pastor at Clay City [Ill.] Christian Church, “How I devise my church sign messages”

CNN, 5-20-10

 

If you want to do something about the climate, you want to do something about the weather, there is only one thing that we can do to affect climate or affect weather and that is to pray to Yahweh.

Bryan Fischer, American Family Association

“Focal Point With Bryan Fischer,” 9-13-13

 

[Los Angeles Cardinal Roger] Mahony and his aides insisted on secrecy even when lives were at risk. In one case, the archdiocese was informed that a man dying of AIDS had been having sex with a parish priest, who in turn was abusing high school students. At the time, the average life expectancy after an AIDS diagnosis was 18 months. Yet church officials did nothing to alert the priest or the students.

Newspaper story on cover-ups of sex abuse by clergy

Los Angeles Times, 12-1-13

 

I want to wish everyone a really, really merry Christmas, happy Hanukkah, all the holidays —all you infidel atheists out there, I want to wish you the very best also. I don’t know what you celebrate during the holiday season, I myself celebrate the birth of Christ, but it’s your choice, and I respect your choice. If you want to celebrate nothing, and just get together with friends, that’s good, too. All the best.

Brian Pallister, Conservative Party of Canada member, speaking in the Legislative Building

Winnipeg Free Press, 12-2-13

 

I’m sure that right-wing advocacy groups raise of a lot of money this time of year by hyping a fake war on Christmas. But the truth is that the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution already protects schoolchildren’s religious freedom — whether they are Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Hindu or none of the above — and nothing that the Texas Legislature passes is going to improve on what the Founders gave us.

Terri Burke, executive director, American Civil Liberties Union of Texas, on the new Texas “Merry Christmas” law

Fort Worth Star-Telegram, 12-7-13

 

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