Freethought Today · April 2014

Published by the Freedom From Religion Foundation, Inc.

Overheard

Extending free exercise rights to corporations would undercut the rights of actual living, breathing Americans. At stake in this lawsuit is whether corporate chief executives are entitled to impose their religious beliefs on their employees and deny important federal rights to those employees. Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood hire workers of all religious faiths and persuasions, but refuse to respect that many of their employees may have a different set of religious views and want and need access to the full range of contraceptives.

David Gans, Constitutional Accountability Center, op-ed, “These claims shouldn’t have a prayer”

Los Angeles Times, 3-18-14

 

These companies are not religious organizations, nor are they affiliated with religious organizations. But the owners say they are victims of an assault on religious liberty because they personally disapprove of certain contraceptives. They are wrong, and the Supreme Court’s task is to issue a decisive ruling saying so. The real threat to religious liberty comes from the owners trying to impose their religious beliefs on thousands of employees.

Editorial board, “Crying Wolf on Religious Liberty”

New York Times, 3-22-14

 

It’s past the point of wanting the pictures. I just want them to look at what’s happening. We’re praying that Walgreens learns that the bible doesn’t belong to anyone, it belongs to everyone.

Kelly Taylor, 46, Gulfport, Miss., after Walgreens relented after refusing to process two prints of bible verses due to concerns about copyright violation

Fox News, 2-26-14

 

Christ’s burial is followed by what may be the least necessary title card in cinema history: “Three days later.” Surely the resurrection comes as no consolation to the movie’s Pilate, who scoffs, “He’ll be forgotten in a week.”

Ben Kenigsberg, movie review, “History Channel’s ‘The Bible’ is cut into an equally chintzy film, ‘Son Of God’ ”

avclub.com, 2-27-14

 

The board of trustees is requiring professors and staff to sign a statement saying that they believe Adam and Eve were created in an instant by God and that humans share no ancestry with other life forms.

News story on Bryan College’s new policy in Dayton, Tenn., home of the 1925 Scopes “monkey” trial

Chattanooga Times Free-Press, 3-2-14

 

Your religion is yours; it’s not a code that the rest of us must live by. If you have an issue with abortion, don’t have one. If you have an issue with gay marriage, don’t have one.

Steven Lopez, Sterling, Ill., letter to the editor responding to one headlined “Abortion still heinous, godless”

Sterling Daily Gazette, 2-22-14

 

Today, Michelle and I join our fellow Christians in the United States and around the world in marking Ash Wednesday. Lent is a season of reflection, repentance, and renewal — a chance to recommit to loving and serving one another, and to deepen our faith in preparation for the Easter celebration to come.

President Barack Obama, White House statement

USA Today, 3-5-14

 

The weather may have been a factor in not many people being out and about at lunchtime.

Linda McVay, St. John’s Episcopal Church pastoral care team member, on why only a dozen people in two hours availed themselves of “Ashes to Go” on Ash Wednesday in downtown Portsmouth, Maine

Portsmouth Herald, 3-6-14

 

For most of my life, I’ve been, “Hey, I’m not into it, but I respect your right to believe whatever you want.” But as time goes on, weirdly, I’m growing less liberal. I’m more like, “No, religion is ruining the world, you need to stop!”

Irish actor Chris O’Dowd, magazine interview

British GQ, April 2014

 

This is an excessive lifestyle.

Beth Maguire, Cathedral of Christ the King parishioner, Atlanta, on the Catholic archdiocese spending $4.4 million on two residences for clergy from a $15 million bequest from Joseph Mitchell, nephew of “Gone With the Wind” author Margaret Mitchell

Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 3-22-14

 

We’re not anti-religious. We just think a public school should be inclusive for all kids. If they want to have a religious prayer, it should be said in scripture or prayer groups, but not during a core school activity like assemblies.

Kersten Tuckey, who withdrew her daughter from Kororo Public School in New South Wales after parents voted to retain school prayer

Sydney Morning Herald, 3-23-14

 

According to a survey conducted by the Israeli Science Ministry, the profession of rabbi or any other clergyman is the least well-thought-of by the Israeli public.

News story in which the medical profession was “most admired” in the poll

The Algemeiner, 3-25-14

 

What to give up for Lent: Religion.

Hulda Pelzl, Texas FFRF member

Letter, 3-24-14

 

Science is not there for you to cherry-pick. You know, I said this once and it’s gotten a lot of Internet play, I said the good thing about science is that it’s true whether or not you believe in it. All right? I guess you can decide whether or not to believe in it, but that doesn’t change the reality of an emergent scientific truth.

Neil DeGrasse Tyson, host of “Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey” and Hayden Planetarium director, on why media shouldn’t give equal time to creationists and “flat-earthers”

“Reliable Sources,” CNN, 3-9-14

 

As a creationist, I find Neil deGrasse Tyson’s presumption to educate America on the meaning of science as host of “Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey” repulsive and sad. I am repulsed by Tyson’s transparent attempt to promote atheism and discredit the Word of God, and saddened that so many cannot recognize the Dark Age a priori pseudo-science animating his slick words.

Robert Bowie Johnson Jr., op-ed

Canada Free Press, 3-19-14

 

Whatever one might hear on the right about a war on religion, in this country we still care more about catering to religious sensibilities, even in liberal Hollywood, than we do about encouraging the open questioning of the claims of the faithful.

Lawrence Krauss, physicist and subject with Richard Dawkins of the film documentary “The Unbelievers,” op-ed titled “Why Hollywood Thinks Atheism Is Bad for Business”

The New Yorker, 3-5-14

 

Dead “Snake Salvation” Pastor Jamie Coots Had No Life Insurance

Headline about a snake-bitten Kentucky pastor who’s survived by his wife, father, two children and a grandchild

Christian Post, 2-17-14

The second goal is that particularly unchurched servers would understand that not all Christians are rude, impatient, lousy tippers.

Lead Pastor Chad Roberts, Preaching Christ Church, Kingsport, Tenn., on the website he set up named “Sundays Are the Worst” for restaurant workers to vent on

Kingsport Times News, 3-3-14

 

All of a sudden he just snaps. [It] just clicked like that and then he said he hopes I rot in hell.

Skyler Joly, 15, accusing his parish priest, Fr. Roman Manchester of Our Lady of Good Help in Burrillville, R.I., of inappropriate behavior during religion class

WJAR-TV, 3-12-14

 

In my own parish, several longstanding parishioners have ceased all financial contributions to the parish because they do not want a cent of their gift to go to the diocese.

Catholic parishioner John Veal, supporting a petition to remove Robert Finn as bishop of the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph for alleged cover-up of clergy sex abuse

Kansas City Star, 3-13-14

 

While most invocations are traditional and uneventful, the Rev. Joe Nelms of Lebanon, Tenn., garnered national attention in 2011, when he thanked God for several series sponsors by name and his “smokin’ hot wife” prior to a Nationwide Series race at Nashville Superspeedway.

News story, “NASCAR only pro sport to televise weekly prayer”

Bristol Herald Courier, 3-15-14

 

Shakespeare is my religion. Shakespeare has more wisdom and insight about our lives, about how to live and how not to live, how to forgive and how to understand our fellow creatures, than any religious tract. One hundred times more than the bible.

Sir Trevor Nunn, British theater director

The Telegraph, 3-17-14

 

The thing that’s really disturbing about Noah isn’t “the silly,” it’s that it’s immoral. It’s about a psychotic mass murderer who gets away with it and his name is God. Genesis says God was so angry with himself for screwing up when he made mankind so flawed that he sent the flood to kill everyone — men, women, children, babies. What kind of tyrant punishes everyone just to get back at the few he’s mad at? I mean besides Chris Christie.

Entertainer Bill Maher, on the movie “Noah” that debuted March 28

“Real Time With Bill Maher,” 3-14-14

 

And on the 12th day of his murder trial, Oscar Pistorius broke out what appeared to be a bible study guide.

News story on the South African Olympian accused of shooting his girlfriend  to death on Valentine’s Day 2013

New York Daily News, 3-19-14

 

Reason has been under siege and been slapped around. Believing things on the basis of something other than evidence and reason causes people to misconstrue what’s good for them.

Peter Boghossian, author and philosophy instructor at Portland State University, speaking to the Freethinking Frogs student group at Texas Christian University

TCU 360, 3-20-14

 

Unfortunately, Fred’s ideas have not died with him, but live on. Not just among the members of Westboro Baptist Church, but among the many communities and small minds that refuse to recognize the equality and humanity of our brothers and sisters on this small planet we share. . . . [N]or will this be the last we hear of his words, which are echoed from pulpits as close as other churches in Topeka, Kansas, where WBC headquarters remain, and as far away as Uganda. 

Nate Phelps, atheist son of Pastor Fred Phelps, on his father’s death March 19

Recovering From Religion, 3-24-14

 

HORRIFYING ALERT!!! IF YOU ARE A CHRISTIAN, AS I AM, WAKE UP!!! Much to my surprise last night, I found out that my opponent is not a Christian. She does not have faith in God and feels there is no heaven.

Facebook post by Marilyn Ustler McQueen, Apopka [Fla.] City Council incumbent, adding that someone should bring challenger Diane Velazquez to Christ. [Velazquez, a former New York police detective, won 55% to 45%.]

Orlando Sentinel, 2-26-14

 

OBAMA HAS RELEASED THE HOMO DEMONS ON THE BLACK MAN. LOOK OUT BLACK WOMEN. A WHITE HOMO MAY TAKE YOUR MAN.

Sign outside Pastor James David Manning’s ATLAH World Missionary Church in Harlem

New York Daily News, 2-27-14

 

Am I too WHITE to be your pastor?

Sign held by Patrick Kelley, pastor at River Pointe Church, suburban Houston, for a promotion to get black people to attend his Sunday service honoring Martin Luther King Jr.

Houston Chronicle, 3-1-14

 

There are [all-night] prayer vigils all over Ukraine. They are praying for peace and for aggression to stop. God is in ultimate control. We trust him. We never expected Russia to move in so swiftly.

Vitaly Sorukun, pastor of New Hope Church in Kharkov, an hour from the Russian border

Christianity Today, 3-3-14

 

Let’s skip the Oscars and take our families to see Son of God this weekend. #SonofGod #JesusoverOscar

Tweet on the day of the Academy Awards by Pastor Matthew Hagee, Cornerstone Church, San Antonio

Christian Post, 3-4-14

 

More bothersome than the replacement of biblical characters with birds who, for example, gorily get their heads cut off, is the deliberate portrayal of the Christian parents as plastic, phony, mean and indifferent, predictably simple-minded and against imagination. This negative portrayal of believing Christians is part of the left’s ongoing attempt to demonize Christians.

Rabbi Aryeh Spero, author of [Push Back: Reclaiming Our American Judeo-Christian Spirit, panning “The Bird Bible” skit on “Saturday Night Live”

theblaze.com, 3-4-14

 

Regardless of what some people believe, we were not founded to be secular.

Baptist Pastor Chris McCombs, speaking in favor of prayers “in Jesus’ name” at Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, city council meetings, to which FFRF has objected

Akron Beacon Journal, 3-5-14

 

We want to tell lots of people about Jesus by every means available.

Mars Hill Church spokesman Justin Dean, Seattle, justifying spending at least $210,000 to get Pastor Mark Driscoll’s book Real Marriage on The New York Times best-seller list

World Magazine, 3-5-14

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