Wednesday, November 30, 2005

One nation under god

I agree with all the people that say that we atheists are too sensitive to the word "god." However, the pledge of allegiance really bugs me. It's not so much the mere use of the word, it's the arrogance of using the word "one" before it. On a different point, I don't see at all why we should be taught to promise loyalty to our country at the age of 5 or 6, when we don't really know what we're saying. Now, we could go on and on about it, but this country has more pressing problems than the word "god."

Apologies for this terrible, incoherent post that I wrote at midnight last night. It would be great if someone could write a post right after this one so it doesn't take up room at the top of the page for too long.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Thin Red Line

Where is the boundary when somebody stops being agnostic and starts being an atheist?

I'm sure that everybody has had their doubts about God and religion, and everything related, but how much doubt do you have to have to be an agnostic, as opposed to an atheist?

Somewhere there's got to be that thin, red line.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

God: The Word

Note: any reference to "we" or "us" is a collective term for atheists

Our recent posts & discussions have evolved around the topic of God in our government. This made me wonder: Well, if we [the atheists] don't believe in God, then why do we care so much that the word "God" is on the dollar bill? It's an interesting question, since if atheists don't believe that God exists, God is just a word. A word by which we attempt to pin down as an abstract concept in which atheists by definition have no faith in.

If we don't believe in God, why are we so upset about the word being on the dollar bill? Sure, it's a word that has caused people to kill each other and have huge wars, but in the grand scheme of things. The word is just a label, but isn't necessarily the concept it's attempting to decribe. Personally, if we get frustrated by having the word "God" on our currency, then we are letting the definition of the word become more generalized and accepted. Basically, if you try to treat it as though it's a word more special or taboo than other words, it will become more special and revered. If we don't believe in the concept the word represents, the word shouldn't really bother us should it? It's the meaning behind the word which holds so much power.

By giving "God" so much attention, we are letting the whole situation bother us much more than it has to. And again, we have to draw the line somewhere between atheist and a-religion because as much as some of us may want to group them together, they are innately different concepts and must be treated as such. Finally we're getting somewhere.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Silly Catholics, God is for Protestants!

But seriously.

A Catholic school teacher was recently fired for being pregnant and unmarried. At a news conference announcing a lawsuit Michelle McCusker is filing against the school, she said, "I don't understand how a religion that prides itself on forgiving and on valuing life could terminate me because I'm pregnant and choosing to have this baby."

And I don't understand how a woman professing to be of that faith could not follow its laws. If she was a good Catholic, she would follow the rules outlined in the Bible and allow her community to stone her (KJV Deuteronomy 22:21). Geez.

No, really. I've said it time after time: You cannot claim to follow a religion because of the morals it teaches, because it also teaches ones that most people would regard as bad. When people mention the morals of a religion, they mean the morals that they agree with.

And that's all for today, folks. Have a great holiday.

Monday, November 21, 2005

A Dollar For Your Thoughts?

A while ago I posted about this very subject, since then I have actually begun to participate in it, and today I am once again bringing it to your attention. The activity is what I call Godoffing - or the removal of "God" from the "In God We Trust" printed on all of our dollar bills. I feel strongly about this, so strongly that, for the next two sentences, I will type in all capitals. IT IS STUPID TO HAVE A "GOD" ON THE NATIONAL CURRENCY OF A SOCIETY WHICH CLAIMS TO HAVE DIVIDED ITSELF FROM THE CHURCH. IT'S IDIOT, WRONG, AND MUST BE STOPPED.

To borrow a comment made on Skeptic Rant, this is bringing the battle to the home ground. It's infinitely easier to ignore an atheist wacko you see on the news than it is to disregard the message clearly labeled on the bill clutched in your hand.

Yes, technically this is illegal. But the law against it only marginally applies to this and really means not to write cusses etc. on your bills. And besides, this is an unenforceable law that is utterly victimless and for a good cause.

So here's the simple "how to" for those of you that don't already know. There are two ways to do this:
1. Buy a stamp. The specified selling of these stamps is illegal, however, you can buy a stamp custom made from places like or
2. If your like me and don't have the fund or the want to purchase a professional God-offer, you can just use a sharpie and black out the "God" part.

To show your support of this movement you can visit the official website God Off Money. Com and learn more about it. You can even get a site badge to publicly show your support.

Every bill you fix is just one more bill that will be carried by thousands of people in its lifetime. It takes almost no time to whip out a sharpie or a stamp and correct the mistake made on bills. Think about it.

Thank you for your time.

P.S. apologies for the length of time between posts. I don't know about the other contributors, but Seth and I were both involved in our school's variety show, which has taken up most of the day for the past two weeks.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Divine Intervention

It's high time there's another post.

A major turning point for my atheism was when I started to think about a concept I'll call "divine intervention." For our purposes, divine intervention is the possibility that God intervenes in human life. This can be in either a micro-managing parent view or just as a salesperson/encouraging guide type.

I personally, refuse to accept the fact that there is any sort of intervention from any supernatural being. To me, this intervention would cause a contortion of free will.

In Biblical times, God played a pretty active role. Like after Cain's fratricide, God comes down and asks Cain about the whereabouts of his brother. Now to me, God allowed Cain the opportunity to own up to what he had done, but by coming down to Cain while he was in a crazed state warped Cain's sense of choice. Given the opportunity to think clearly, Cain may have been able to properly atest to his crime.

So if you're the type of theist who believes that by praying to God, God takes an active role in your life and the lives of every human being, answer this: When God solves your problem, or grants you wish, is God somehow denying the right of free will to another person? If you think about it, if every religion considers themselves the "chosen people," we're all on an equal plane. Since the pure contradiction of having all religiously affiliated peoples be "chosen" is obvious. If we're all equal, than how can God play a neutral role in the lives of people. People hate, kill and hurt each other, that's what they do. So at some point, God takes sides.

I would love to start a dialogue on this.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Al-Qaeda is winning

Advocate of the Browns, who until very recently was a contributor to this group blog, wrote an article on his blog As it concerns a topic that KoH focuses on, AotB asked me to put it in here. This won't be a regular thing, so enjoy it while it lasts.

In late October, there was a Globe article talking about Ramadan. It was discussing how Ramadan influences media. Many TV networks only broadcast during Ramadan to give the believers some entertainment while they wait for the nightly feast, and after the feasts. Al-Qaeda is using their internet connections to proclaim themselves Caliphs, by giving Wahabist viewpoints on Islamic news and making them seem right. And they are gaining followers. Considering that the sites used change every two days, and the sites are only slightly Wahabist enclined, people are a bit more likely to agree then if it were Al-Qaeda websites or Wahabist extremist websites. But Al-Qaeda is gaingin much more political influence. Saudi Arabia changed its flag, because one of the two scimitars on the flag stood for Wahabism, which, until recently, Saudi Arabia was proud of being. If Al-Qaeda can get the most influential Islamic country to change their flag because of a chance association, it means they are gaining fear. When terrorists gain fear, it means they are gaining power from the fearful. It also means that Al-Qaeda is getting power from those who still support Wahabism in Saudi Arabia. If people see the government changing a national symbol as to remove association with a terrorist group that they still want, they might feel inclined to support the terrorists.

Now take all this new support and add it to the Al-Qaeda and Iraq sympathizers, and you have an army of jihadists and politicals to support you. Face it. We're screwed. Al-Qaeda is winning, unless we can do something about its followers. We tried cutting off the head. Now let's try the rest of the body.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Sexism in Religion

Considering that I'm the only female contributor to the blog, I think I've got the right to bring up the issue. Sexism certainly has distinguishable roots in religion. Example: Garden of Eden, Adam isn't punished for eating the fruit, he's punished for listening to his wife. Since obviously, it's her fault that he decided to eat the fruit, we women are just so incredibly tempting.

Another example: Think about any older movie you've seen where two people get married. What does the presiding clergyman say? "I now pronounce you man and wife." The implications of the statement are that the man owns the woman. The woman is just another one of his possessions like a chair or a dog. Not everbody today realizes why this is so offensive, but it is, and people still say it and may even believe that women are the property of men.

And people today when they refer to original sin, often take the prerogative to refer to women as original sin. It's sinful to be with a woman because she has no sense of right or wrong. I guess my question is, why aren't more men fighting against sexism?

My theory is, there are plenty of people that are alienated by biases and prejudice. They'll always fight back, but in reality, they shouldn't have to. White people should fight against racism; Christians should fight against anti-semitism; and Men should fight against sexism. It's pretty simple, once guys start realizing that sexism is so prominent in our society due to its use in a more religious context.

So even if you never would look at the Bible or the Torah as serious historical documents, you can see that they have cultural and moral effects regardless of their historical accuracy. That is, and always will be, the danger of a religious text.

Friday, November 04, 2005

A very long and complex post about a very simple thing

For quite some time now I have been reading the Bible. I do this because I think that amidst all of the hooey there are a few gems of moral value, or perhaps they are more like Quartz, or maybe just fools gold, well the point is that there's something there. I also have been writing down humorous texts (and yes, just so he doesn't internally combust, I will say that Seth was doing this before me and gave me the idea).

Now this week I went off for 4 days to Natures Classroom, a school trip. This camp happened to take place on Christian fundy land and there were many many crosses as well as mucho posters about "Meeting Jesus: You will never be the same again." But that's just a side note.

The real subject of this post is a certain conversation that took place between me, Seth, and a certain Christian cabin mate who was getting annoyed at my atheism.

As I recall, the conversation started when I entered the room, after hearing my other cabin compadres talking about the joys of red wine or some such thing, and said something about red wine being the blood of Christ and how he must have been wasted 24/7. Perhaps not the best way to start off a conversation with a certain Christian cabin mate who was getting annoyed at my atheism, but I had had a bit too much of the blood of Christ on that particular day anyway, and besides, what's done is done.

Soon a rather heated debate ensued between me and the aforementioned Christian about the existence of God, God's plan for us all, and how after this certain kid had an encounter with Jesus "He was never the same again." Eventually we got to that inevitable point in any cross religion debate where the one, losing the power to his argument, starts questioning the other's proof. And then I took out the proof, my Bible.

Before I go on, I'd just like to clarify: this kid is a wonderful person, and great to be around. Normally, we would have been best of friends. That night, we were both jerks.

But I wander. Here's the meat of this post:

During this argument this boy accused me of "doing nothing but make fun of the bible." (and yes, this is a direct quote, I had a notebook with me at the time). His statement made me pause because, though I do have the highest respect for all people and their rights to practice what they believe in (along with the normal "as long as it doesn't hurt anyone" speech), I knew right then that I was right, and that he was wrong, and that he knew that he was right, and that I was wrong, and that I could never convince him or myself otherwise. I told him that I wasn't making fun of the Bible, that I respected the life he chose. And of course he didn't believe me. He was most likely praying for my forgiveness or some such thing.

One of the greatest obstacles this world faces is difference of opinion, and the greatest difference of opinion in the world today is religion. The only way we can accomplish anything for the betterment of the human race is if we understand the human race we are attempting to better. I got no where with my argument because no matter what either me or my opponent said, neither of us was willing to accept the possibility that we were wrong. A most recent post on the Evangelical Atheist talks about a solution, education. I agree fully. We must educate kids about ALL religions, as well as life before them. Then, and only then, will we have a world that can accept itself in all its differences, and work towards its own betterment.

Thank you for your time.

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