Freethought Today ·

Vol. 22 No. 1

January/February 2005

Published by the Freedom From Religion Foundation, Inc.

Overheard

As he [Bush] said at his press conference on Monday, the enemies of freedom" know that "a democratic Iraq will be a decisive blow to their ambitions because free people will never choose to live in tyranny."
They may choose to live in a theocracy, though. Americans did.
Columnist Maureen Dowd
New York Times, Dec. 23, 2004

When Attorney General John Ashcroft repeatedly invokes religion, the Founders must be picketing in their graves. They were a mix of freethinkers, atheists, Christians, agnostics, Freemasons and Deists. . .
. . . the Founders were, after all, revolutionaries. Their passion--especially regarding secularism--glows in the documents they forged and in their personal words.
Robin Morgan
"Fighting Words for a Secular America"

Ms., Fall 2004

I call my outlook indifferent agnosticism: I don't know if God exists and I don't care. God's will and design for this temporal and spatial vastness, if any, is so patently, deliberately impenetrable that I doubt any mortal has a grasp on it. The very inexplicability of sad events like the tsunami, like the AIDS crisis . . . are, to me, reminders to focus on our obligations to one another, not to the infinite; to honor the creator, if any, by honoring creation itself and hoping that's good enough.
Columnist Eric Zorn
Chicago Tribune, Jan. 4, 2005

In the wake of the tsunami disaster, it's time for believers to take a more proactive role in world events. It's time to boycott God.
Centuries of uncritical worship have clearly produced a monster. God knows that he can sit passively by while human life is wantonly mowed down, and the next day churches, synagogues, and mosques will be filled with believers thanking him for allowing the survivors to survive. . .
Where is God's incentive to behave? He gets credit for the good things and no blame for the bad.
Heather MacDonald
"Send a Message to God"

Slate.com, Jan. 10, 2005

Some people recognized the moral perils of mixing religion and politics [in pre-War Germany], but many more were seduced by it. It was the pseudo-religious transfiguration of politics that largely ensured his [Hitler's] success, notably in Protestant areas.
Author and scholar Fritz Stern
November speech
New York Times, Jan. 6, 2005

Shiite Cleric's Representative Killed in Iraq After Prayers
Headline
New York Times, Jan. 14, 2005
(Thanks to Madison Arnold)

The comparison between the propagandistic manipulation and uses of Christianity, then [in Nazi Germany] and now, is hidden in plain sight. No one will talk about it. No one wants to look at it.
Author John R. MacArthur
New York Times, Jan. 6, 2005

This history [a church's refusal to help my mother, a battered wife] is the reason I choke when people tell me that government programs aren't necessary to help people, . . . Or, if they're really in need, they should just turn to local churches.
This is why I turn beet red when they tell me that all our society needs to do is get back to those glory days and put prayer back in the schools, post the Ten Commandments in public spaces, and make sure we keep saying our nation is "under God."
Editorial columnist Sherri Bryand
"The Good Old Days?"

Sheboygan Press
Reprinted Capital Times, Dec. 8, 2004

Paul Krugman says Democrats need to make it clear they value faith. Is everyone caving in to this religious nonsense? What is faith but believing in something without any evidence? Why should Democrats value that?
Formidable as the task may seem at present, the long-term need is to persuade Americans that having evidence for your beliefs is a good idea.
Peter Singer
Letter to the Editor

New York Times, Nov. 8, 2004

That so many Christians are firmly persuaded that the Bible condemns abortion suggests that God's politics tend to be the politics of the people who claim to speak for him. Since these men, and now women, have been arguing for centuries without reaching agreement on even the simplest matters, the rest of us are entitled to wonder if perhaps they are reading the wrong book.
Katha Pollitt
"Jesus to the Rescue"

The Nation, Feb. 7, 2005

They would tell the patients things like, "Listen to the Christian radio, pray to Jesus, read the Bible." We would translate it as, "Get lots of exercise, be a good person and be friendly to others."
Afghan translator
Evangelical Christian clinic
Kabul University
Dallas Morning News, Dec. 11, 2004

This is a unit of government, not a Sunday school. Every month the invocation is right in my face. The narrow range [of clergy] doesn't reflect the makeup of the county. Lots of other government bodies don't do it.
County Sup. Sharon Hampson
La Crosse (Wis.) County Board

La Crosse Tribune, Jan. 21, 2005

The mayor referred to this as a hollow victory. We agree. The monument would have been better served on a church lawn along a more heavily trafficked street--without the fences and signs that obscure it from view.
Editorial
"Ten Commandments Ruling a Very Narrow 'Victory' "

La Crosse Tribune, Jan. 7, 2005


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