“Now I have to say I'm a complete atheist. I have no religious views myself and no spiritual views, except very watered down humanistic spiritual views. And consciousness is just a fact of life. It's a natural fact of life.”
Nuala O’Faolain: I have done that for years, looked up at it (the stars) and given it a wink and thought 'I don't know what's going on' and I still don't know what's going on, but I can't be consoled by mention of god. I can't.
Marian Finucane: Would you like it?
NO'F: No. Oh no I wouldn't. If I start doing that something really bad is happening to my brain . . . And though I respect and adore the art that arises from the love of god and though nearly everybody I love and respect themselves believe in god, it is meaningless to me, really meaningless.
MF: The reason I asked you is because it is a source of comfort for many people?
NO'F: Well, I wish them every comfort, but it is not even bothering me. I don't even think about it. I have never believed in the Christian version of the individual creator . . .
Keira Knightley: If only I wasn't an atheist, I could get away with anything. You'd just ask for forgiveness and then you'd be forgiven. It sounds much better than having to live with guilt.
David Cronenberg: Yeah, but you could always lie about being an atheist. I don't think an atheist could get elected in America right now.
Keira Knightley: No, I don't think they could either.
“My object in presenting the case against Christianity is theoretical, not practical. I am not so naïve as to suppose that the arguments set forth here will induce many people to give up their Christian beliefs. My claim is simply that in light of my discussion rational people should give up these beliefs.”
“I am an atheist, I have no religious beliefs. And obviously I don’t believe in spirituality of some kind.”
“I don’t believe in god personally, but I have great respect for those people who do. Different people have different religious views in this country. The great thing is that, whether we have faith or not, we are by and large very tolerant of people whatever their view.”
“I'm so associated with being Jewish — and I do it myself — but I have no religion. . . . I wasn't raised with any religion, I have no religion. . . . ”
The Freedom From Religion Foundation's Winter Solstice banner is back up and will hang in the Wilkes-Barre Public Square for six more days — provided that it is not vandalized again.
"We are very pleased to hear that the city has rehung the banner and will be charging the vandal. We hope that his actions speak loudly to the type of discrimination nonbelievers tend to face in their communities," said FFRF Senior Staff Attorney Rebecca Markert.
FFRF's banner had been dangling from the public square sculpture for three weeks, ever since it was vandalized on Dec. 20 — one day after it was installed by city officials.
The vandal, who was identified as Joe McDonald, was caught by a local news station climbing 30 feet up the sculpture and cutting the cord to FFRF's banner. McDonald then placed an American flag next to the damaged banner.
Local FFRF member Justin Vacula immediately filed a police report and was told by an officer that McDonald will be charged with disorderly conduct and criminal mischief.
The 7½-by-3-foot banner states: “At this Season of the Winter Solstice, LET REASON PREVAIL. There are not gods, no devils, no angels, no heaven or hell. There is only our natural world. Religion is but myth & superstition that hardens hearts and enslaves minds.”
FFRF thanks Justin for all his help, including filing a police report and keeping FFRF well-informed.
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