I have no belief in (or desire for) any post-mortem existence, other than in the memories of friends and the hope that some of my books may still “speak” to people after my death.
Oliver Sacks, M.D., FFRF Honorary Director, “The Joy of Old Age (No Kidding),” op-ed about turning 80 on July 9
New York Times, 7-9-13
Where 99.3% of women report having been sexually harassed and rape is epidemic — Egypt — it’s natural to inquire: What’s the predominant religion? “Rape culture” has no relationship to any “religious culture” — how can this be? Religion has no effect on behavior at all?
Writer Carol Joyce Oates, “Joyce Carol Oates Tweets on Egypt, Rape and Religion Spark Furor”
Wall Street Journal, 7-5-13
I don’t have a sense that there are sacred institutions. To me, all religions and all churches are created by human beings. If you thought that women were being mistreated 50 miles from where you are, you might want to go help them. But if you were told it was a religious commune or something, you’d think, “Uh-oh, that’s their religion, maybe I shouldn’t help them.” It’s like religion is under a dome. It gives an imprimatur to behavior that shouldn’t be tolerated.
Carol Joyce Oates, on the “furor” her tweets caused
New York Times, 7-15-13
I did have one person who asked me if I was an atheist, and when I told him I was an atheist, he actually told me that he wouldn’t have any animal sacrificing on his land and hung up on me.
Lindsay Burns, on the trouble she had finding a site for a secular Camp Quest in Kansas City
Contrary to the majority opinion, a corporation like Hobby Lobby is plainly not a “person” covered by the [1993 federal Religious Freedom] Restoration Act. In any case, the contraceptive rule still leaves the company’s owners free to rail about the different forms of birth control to which they object and to try to convince employees not to use them. As the Justice Department cogently argued, the burden imposed on any religion is trivial in allowing employees to make their own independent decisions to obtain free contraceptives.
Editorial, “The Contraception Battle”
New York Times, 7-2-13
In her opening remarks, Julia Lonergan, counsel assisting the commission, said the inquiry will hear evidence that a boy abused by [Fr. Dennis] McAlinden between the ages of 5 and 9 told his parish priest about it during his first confession. “This boy was given penance apparently for his sin in being abused by that priest,” she said.
News story on a New South Wales inquiry into child sexual abuse by Catholic clergy
Australian Broadcasting Corp., 7-1-13
I believe what they wanted to do is make an example of me and say, “See, this is what is going to happen to you if you come after the Catholic Church.”
Monica Barrett, 52, a paralegal who sued the Archdiocese of Milwaukee for her alleged rape in church at age 8 by Fr. William Effinger and then was countersued for the church’s $14,000 legal costs
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 7-5-13
Southern Baptists have little by little abandoned public schools and civic organizations. They are too sanctimonious to participate in Easter egg hunts and trick-or-treating. Santa and the Easter bunny are simply the devil in disguise, and cable television and the Internet are his playground. The Boy Scouts are his evil minions.
Newspaper columnist Angela Thomas, whose Baptist pastor husband was asked to resign because of her comments in Madisonville, Ky.
Kentucky Forward, 7-1-13
I agreed with what she said, and I don’t censor what my wife does.
Pastor Bill Thomas, whose 10-year anniversary celebration scheduled for July 7 at the church was canceled
Kentucky Forward, 7-1-13
We did it, and we did it right, and we did it without those [religious] things. It’s kind of like a win. It was still lovely, and it was still special.
Atheist Alisha Hunt, 32, Columbus, Ohio, on her secular marriage ceremony to atheist Jake Winslow, 33, a former Mormon
Columbus Dispatch, 7-6-13
A lot of people insert God whenever they don’t understand something. Anytime there’s a gap in scientific knowledge, people insert God. I’m not going to do that.
Red McCall, an electrical engineer and president of Oklahoma Atheists
The Oklahoman, 7-6-13