Freethought Today · November 2012

Published by the Freedom From Religion Foundation, Inc.


Do the atheists in Wisconsin realize they’re going to hell?

Bill O’Reilly’s comment on FFRF’s legal victory in getting a nativity scene removed from public property in Ellwood City, Pa.

“The O’Reilly Factor,” 11-13-12


Under Orders should be in every rucksack for those moments when Soldiers need spiritual energy.

Endorsement by Gen. David Petraeus of a chaplain’s anti-atheist book subtitled  A Spiritual Handbook for Military Personnel

Huffington Post, 8-17-12

OkCupid is the only free service that assists nonbelievers with specific advice, statistics and tests. Last December, self-identified atheist users were sent “12 Days of Atheist Matches,” and current members can take an “atheist test” to find those with similar levels of nonbelief. The site’s “Darwin Test” looks to match those with similar attitudes about evolution (sample question: Are most people a) good? b) evil?).

News story, “At OKcupid, being an atheist is a date-maker, not a deal-breaker”

Religion News Service, 11-13-12


Rabbis launch war on self-locking doors.

Headline on news story about an Orthodox “Yichud” prohibition meant to limit occasions of sin by men and women not married to each other, 11-13-12


I’m moving to Australia, because their president is a Christian and actually supports what he says.

Post-election Tweet by Kristen Neel, 18, a Georgia Republican, apparently unaware that Julia Gillard, Australia’s prime minister (not president), is a female atheist who is politically progressive

Sydney Morning Herald, 11-8-12


One in 20 is a minimum. It might be one in 15, perhaps not as high as one in 10.

Des Cahill, Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology professor, on the number of Catholic priests in Melbourne he estimates from court records are child sex offenders

The Age,  10-24-12


Australians know, from the revelations that they’ve read in recent weeks, that too many children have suffered child abuse but have also seen other adults let them down. They’ve not only had their trust betrayed by the abuser, but other adults who could have acted to assist them have failed to do so.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard, ordering a federal inquiry into cover-ups of sexual abuse by persons associated with religious and state institutions, schools and community groups 

Associated Press, 11-12-12


The Rev. Bill Effinger, pastor of Holy Name Parish from 1972 to 1992, took Adam under his wing in 1987 to help the boy consider a possible future in the priesthood. After two overnight trips, Adam stopped talking about wanting to be a priest.

News story, “Sheboygan [Wis.] family shares its story of priest abuse to help others come forward”

Wausau Daily Herald, 10-29-12


The ads that come up from the Republican campaigns sound like the letter.

State Sen. Tim Mathern, D-Fargo, on a letter by Bismarck Bishop David Kagan to be read in all North Dakota parishes that says abortion, euthanasia, embryonic stem cell research and same-sex marriage “are never acceptable” 

Fargo Forum, 10-25-12


[C]ourts have held, and Texans believe, that cheerleaders are a special subset of students, and not just for the reasons dramatized in John Hughes movies and Taylor Swift songs. They’re not people who happen to be standing on the football field, exercising their right to free speech. They’re deputies of the school administration; they speak for the school, not themselves.

Op-ed, “Consider the cheerleaders,” on the controversy caused by FFRF’s complaint against stadium banners with bible verses

The Economist, 10-24-12


I thought, “Wow, there’s not someone watching me all the time? That’s a wonderful freedom!” So I shed that.

Rapper and foxhole atheist Greydon Square, on losing his religion as a student at Arizona State University

LA Weekly, 11-14-12


No matter what the title is, what the subject is, I’m using it as an excuse to tell stories.

Atheist entertainer Penn Jillette, on the release of his new book Every Day Is an Atheist Holiday!

Washington Examiner, 11-13-12

In her Oct. 3 letter (“Defend our monument”) on the Ten Commandments plaque at Valley High School, Helen Snyder writes that “Anyone who follows the good morals listed in the Ten Commandments is a good citizen. I wonder if our atheist friends have ever read them.” Her position is the exact opposite of the Founders’, who would find abhorrent any religious test for “good citizenship.” Religious freedom does not include the right to use the instruments of government to promulgate religion. This step-by-step intrusion of religion into official government activities, which include public schools, is paving the way for a Christian religious dictatorship in which atheists would be deemed “bad citizens.”

Amesh Adalja, Butler, Pa., letter to the editor on a case in which FFRF has filed a lawsuit

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, 10-27-12


I read a lot of books about science and the history of religion. One of my heroes is Christopher Hitchens, who was a game-changing anti-religious writer — showing it up for what it is. I don’t understand why someone can spout their God stuff, but atheists have always had to keep quiet. Just because you have an opinion, it doesn’t mean it has to be respected unless it is supported by evidence. We live in the most exciting time in the history of the sciences. Reading about that is far more exciting than reading about a burning bush or a guy who builds an Ark.

Ryan Walkinshaw, executive chairman of the U.K. Gloucester pro rugby team

Daily Mail, 10-29-12


Nude Woman Who Was Shot Described as Religious, Caring, Modest

Headline on a story about a Florida woman, 42, shot to death when she showed up uninvited and naked with a gun at a private party and confronted off-duty police officers

Tampa Bay Times, 10-31-12


A high-quality person who has passion for football and cares about faith, family and football.

Interim head coach Bruce Arians, on what type of player the Indianapolis Colts are looking for to join the NFL team

NBC Sports, 10-31-12


It’s not wrong to have strong faith in whatever you believe in. I’m like George Carlin, I pray to the sun and Joe Pecsi because the odds of getting my prayers answered are still 50/50 but I can see my Gods. But seeing and believing have historically been two different things, and that’s fine. Just don’t bring it into the workplace where discrimination can occur.

Writer Josh Hill, “Colts may be discriminating against atheists in hiring practices”

The FanSided Network, 11-2-12


Lack of visibility for atheists and prevalence of deference to religious authorities has contributed to a generally passive and docile attitude that is too often mistaken for humility and for a virtue. This false humility, and the false arrogance that atheists are often accused of, reveal a system of values that has little respect for empirical and scientific evidence and too much undeserved respect for religions that are ostentatious about a moral superiority that they sorely lack.

Contributing writer Hiram Crespo, “Revising views on atheism”

Northeastern Illinois University Independent, 10-31-12

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