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(via OpinionJournal)   Atheist's response to Fallwel: terrorist attacks the ultimate "Faith-Based Initiative"   ( divider line
    More: PSA  
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2909 clicks; posted to Main » on 14 Sep 2001 at 6:18 PM (16 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»

163 Comments     (+0 »)

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2001-09-14 08:29:08 PM  
Karl Marx said it best...
"Religion is the opiate of the masses."

The Freedom From Religion group is just as fanatical about atheism as Falwell and Robertson are about Christianity and bin Laden and these freaks are about Muslim.
They take their beliefs to twisted extremes and only end up hurting others.

Zealots suck!
2001-09-14 08:29:49 PM  
Well, so much for a united America.
2001-09-14 08:33:31 PM  
The rabidly anti-religious scare me as much as the fanatically religious. Neither has any tolerance for people who are any different than them. That is grossly arrogant, and will not stand.
2001-09-14 08:35:50 PM  
"We should take care not to make the intellect our god.
It has, of course, powerful muscles but no personality."
(Albert Einstein)
2001-09-14 08:49:02 PM  
Hey, if these guys were fanatical terrorists and they were doing this s**t to glorify their god, doesn't their spectacular success perhaps indicate that they might be right? that their god might be the "true" one? or is it the christian god testing your faith?
or is it all down to people, and god/s have nothing to do with it?
I agree with this article. religions have killed many, many people over the years. I will fly my flag at half mast, and observe a period of silence, and I will mourn for the dead and do whatever I can to revenge their deaths. I will endeavour to prevent other attacks however I can. But i will not pray. to me, that would be obscene.
2001-09-14 08:49:36 PM  
I thihk that part of the point is that this is becoming a religious war-- already was, and now it's "Muslims Unite" and "Christians Unite" and both think they have a Supreme Being behind them, which just leads to death and murder. Historically, that's completely true.

The only reason that this country has avoided religious persecution is because of the separation of church and state. Now, with Bush being so open about Christian faith, as if it's the only one, there's this Us v. Them mentality, which is extremely dangerous...
2001-09-14 08:50:27 PM  
And yes, I have religious friends, and I respect that. But personally, I just can't believe. perhaps it is one of my failings, because it sure would make life easier!
2001-09-14 08:52:48 PM  
it is amusing how some of you misuse the concept of tolerance. the anti religious are ALL ABOUT tolerance, as is the ACLU. oh, but I shouldn't confuse things with the facts, huh?
2001-09-14 08:53:38 PM  

2001-09-14 08:53:53 PM  
If most of us are ashamed of shabby clothes and shoddy furniture, let us be more ashamed of shabby ideas and shoddy philosophies. - Albert Einstein
2001-09-14 09:03:02 PM  
just remember, I am asking nothing for myself that I am not willing to extend to others. please point out any contradictions.
2001-09-14 09:04:40 PM  
"We should take care not to make the intellect our God.
It has, of course, powerful muscles, but no personality."
Albert Einstein
2001-09-14 09:10:02 PM  

1) Name one war fought mostly by atheists on either side (good luck!).

2) If you're trying to defend christianity by quoting Einstein, nice try. Einstein grew up in a Jewish family for starters, and while he had a sense of spirituality, he didn't believe in the concept of a personified god. He believed that there was a higher order to the universe, an order that guided the world.

BTW, physicists in general are amongst the lowest % for a belief in god, and a belief in a personal god, of any science. Mathematicians are amongst the highest (there was an article in Time about this a few years ago). In fact, amongst science-related jobs, there was almost a linear correlation between how grounded it was in the real world vs. how theoretical it was, and how much of a belief in god there was.

Oh, and all of the advanced science-related fields surveyed had much higher rates of atheism and agnosticism than the average population.
2001-09-14 09:12:47 PM  
As Bertrand Russell put it: if things are good only because of God's fiat, then God is not Good by nature. If God is good by nature and doesn't create goodness by fiat, then goodness exists independently and prior to God; thus, we don't need God for goodness to exist. I think it goes without saying that we don't need God for evil to exist.
2001-09-14 09:13:59 PM  
My considered response is to respectfully ask you to read "Mere Christianity" by CS Lewis.

I am not Christian. I simply find it inconceivable that WE THE PEOPLE cannot allow each other "a moment of silence" to do with what each sees fit. That was my only point. But rabid anti-religious nuts will attack at any scent.
2001-09-14 09:17:54 PM  
Rei: Do you consider the Soviet Union to be Atheist?
2001-09-14 09:18:31 PM  

in response my needs, etc, I will refer to my original post:

and the prez, in his official capacity, should not show preference to any particular religion. not exactly an establishment of a state religion, but damn sure an endorsement. at a time when our freedom is threatened, we need a leader who will uphold his oath to the constitution - ALL of it.

ppl praying does not offend me at all. illogic, hypocrisy, refusal to be open.. now we're talking offensive. careful - all I have said fosters openness, but there is a price to that openness most aren't willing to pay:

"Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought." - John F. Kennedy
2001-09-14 09:19:52 PM  
If we are to stand UNITED then we all have to realize that we are not the same and we do not think the same. Be glad for the freedoms of America, we're all lucky we were not born in a nation that thinks like the taliban do. Just for one second think, "What if..." I were born in an Islamic world, a Buddhist world, a Communist world,etc... not a free world where you can think like you want to not as your Government sees fit. These people live under the conflict perspective using their power to move those under them.
2001-09-14 09:20:13 PM  
I can see we MUST agree with you . . Master.
2001-09-14 09:29:14 PM  
Rei: 1) Name one war fought mostly by atheists on either side (good luck!).

Um... name one society mostly populated by atheists.
2001-09-14 09:31:22 PM  

"under God" not added to Pledge of Allegiance until 1954

"In God We Trust" added to the money in the 50's

"Religion is a subject on which I have ever been most scrupulously reserved. I have considered it as a matter between every man and his Maker, in which no other, and far less the public, had a right to intermeddle." --Thomas Jefferson , 1813.

"Lethargy is the forerunner of death to the public liberty."
--Thomas Jefferson , 1787.

Now that being said, I must say I am pagan and felt that bringing religion into the issue HOWEVER TANGENTLY, was a most ill advised thing to do. The alliances we need in order to destroy this scourge has NOTHING to do with religion. This is a time when we most be our most tolerant of each other, yet most FIERCELY defend our constitutional freedoms.

"The Constitution only gives people the right to pursue happiness. You have to catch it yourself. " Ben Franklin

I fully support my President because now is the time our unity is most important, but I am keeping a vigilant eye to ensure that the CONSTITUTION is being defended not "safety".. Safety is an illusion, Our founding fathers understood this and now we must learn it as well. You can maximize ones sense of safety, but to do so at the cost of freedom is a scary prospect indeed.

I have no problem with a national day of "pause" or "reflection" or whatever he wants to call it but religion has no place in the preface to a war...

Just one man's opinion

2001-09-14 09:31:51 PM  
Jackal, THATS a keeper. And no one has answered my question, DO I HAVE A NICE BUTT
2001-09-14 09:32:41 PM  
I could quote people, doesn't make it right.
2001-09-14 09:37:07 PM  
Taiketsu, The great thing about America is that we don't have to agree...I'll fight to my last breath for your right to disagree...all I'm saying is that Religious beliefs if involved are going to turn this into World War III when it should be a war against those who do not place a value on life.
2001-09-14 09:46:34 PM  
amen, Rapier :)

do as thou will, may it harm none.

I, too, will defend to the death the right to disagree. klan, sharpton and even TVC. hell, even Fallwell and Bin Laden (the latter of whom crosses the line into action)
2001-09-14 09:56:34 PM  
I resent Bush's calling for a national prayer day.??

Prayer may be all that we have, if it gives on a sense of well being, or eases an emotional be it..!!

GO BUSH... you are the man!!!!
2001-09-14 09:57:57 PM  
"Um... name one society mostly populated by atheists."

2001-09-14 10:07:55 PM  
scary . . .
2001-09-14 10:08:41 PM  
You know, atheism can also be an opiate for the masses. No permanent consequences. Do whatever you want. Oppress others for a buck, even? Die fat, rich and happy and go on to oblivion, no comeuppance for the people who slaved under you for that extra dollar. If that were the case, life would be as Hobbes put it: "Nasty, brutish, and short."
2001-09-14 10:13:12 PM  
oh man .. I can't wait for the Chick Tract on this one
2001-09-14 10:28:44 PM  
Just one other point.. The ACLU... I most certainly dont agree with everything they do..but I sure am glad that they are around. If we don't protect the fringes, the mainstream is the next to fall. I'd rather have them grasping at straws than having to defend flagrant violations of freedom. Any thoughts?
2001-09-14 10:29:38 PM  
Cid - people do that anyways, only in the name of their religion. Humanity is dirty, hopefully atheists aren't kidding themselves about being rotten when they are.
2001-09-14 10:38:24 PM  
Ah, Cid_Highwind. You sound like you've been duped by the religious into thinking morals only spring from believing in a god. Did it occur to you that one might do good deeds and behave because it's the best thing to do if one wants to live in a civilized society? I don't need the fear of getting struck down by some bearded old man in the sky to do what's right.
2001-09-14 10:42:22 PM  
...and let's not forget those who've gotten that "extra dollar" from slaving people via religion: Royalty (divine right of kings, anyone?) televangelists, slave owners, etc.
2001-09-14 10:45:47 PM  
I'll probaly get yelled at for saying this.. but following a God and having a faith is against all logic. Logic thinking and a rock-solid faith in God do not go together. If anybody would like to talk about this, or anything else relating to this, I would love to talk for the next little while.. (I'm at work until midnight)
2001-09-14 10:50:08 PM  
Kukuman: Yes, the Chinese government advocates atheism (being Communist and all) but I would be surprised if the Chinese people stopped being religious because their government told them to.

Taiketsu: Yes. Yes you do. :)

Crowell: Sorry for not replying sooner. I wasn't exactly sure what to make of your comment. You're going to have to spell it all out for me. How is Bush not upholding the Constitution? And when you say "illogic, hypocrisy, refusal to be open.." what exactly are you refering to?
2001-09-14 10:53:13 PM  
Neapoi: That's the whole point. If it were logical, people wouldn't need faith in it.
2001-09-14 10:55:31 PM  
I don't need the fear of getting struck down by some bearded old man in the sky to do what's right

2001-09-14 10:56:59 PM  
MysticJackal -

Very true - I find however that too many people try and apply logic to faith, and if they clash, people cling to logic. (I'm not saying that that is bad or wrong ... I just find faith works for me).

Do I make sense, or have I been up way to long?
2001-09-14 10:57:11 PM  
Neapoi: duh =). You think it makes logical sense to a 15 year old with athiest parents who grew up with evolution?
2001-09-14 11:02:20 PM  
"You can tell these people are fanatics, because they go out and join an organization devoted to not having a religion and being an atheist."

No, they are organized to make sure religion isn't forced onto people. Atleast, that's what I gathered from the group.

"Old Saying: 'There are no Athiests in foxholes'"

My old saying is "There are no George W. Bush's in foxholes". Some food for thought in this world of draft dodgers (I'm quite aware of Bush's time in the Air Force, but I'm paranoid and have formed my own opinions on various articles (both bias for and against him).

"This country was founded on God and the principals of the Bible. If you have such a problem with it then move to a country that supports a religion or lack of one, that matches your beliefs. I do not hear anyone complaining about making or spending that 'religious' American money with 'In God We Trust' written on it."

No, this country was founded on freedom for the masses. A major kick-start to the revolution was because of the crippling taxes the King was forcing the colonists to pay, so you could say that this country was founded on not paying a King's taxes, using such logic. A few other people pointed out that the "under God" statement in the pledge of allegiance, and the "in God we trust" statement on our currency, were added in the early 50's. I thought we all learned that in school....

Love him or hate him, we have to support our President. He is our leader for the next four years, so we might as well get comfitable, to make time pass more swiftly. However, as an American, I still retain my right to form opinions on anyone - including the leader of the country, so long as it is non threatening. My opinion? Tacking on the Psalm passage was a bad move. By quoting one religious source, you support it above others. While that's O.K. for personal use, it's not O.K. for addressing a nation of over "X" Million people all with different views and religions. Our diversity has been a contributing factor to our success, don't let one dominate religion destroy us. Unless you quote from all known religious sources, do not quote from one at all. By using one for reference over another, you display your approval of that book, and convey the message that your religion is the only right one. While that was not Bush's intention, it is the subconcious message he conveyed.
2001-09-14 11:06:31 PM  
For more info, see this link:

Why we are NOT a Christian nation.
2001-09-14 11:13:56 PM  
I think the reactions to this guys article sort of makes his point. Someone comes out against religion and it brings out the zelot in a a lot of those "normal" religeous people. "If you don't like this god fearing country go to Africa" sorts of statements show me that there are still plenty of people out there just itching to impose their belief system on someone else. Has the 'believe like me or go somewhere else' pholosophy replaced the former ideology in this country which was, believe like me or I will kill you or dump you on a reservation, until I find something on that land I want?

For all of the biatching of the evils of the ACLU forcing religeon out of our lives I have found that religeous intolerance is practiced 99% of the time by those of strong religeous beliefs.

Someone here said that religeon was not a crutch and to an extent I aggree with them. Religeon is a crutch for the weak and a club for the stron. The people I know with little faith only turn to it in times like this, when they are in a "foxhole" as it were, but the ones woth a great deal of faith usually use it to attack others. The only people of faith I have been able to stand are those who tread what seems to be a very thin line between zealotry and apathy.

I am not saying that religeon is bad. It has been used to drive people to great acts of courage and generosity, and sustain them through times of terrible strain, but it has also been the justification for the most horrid attrocities. I guess this is a good thing. Seems that as long as religeon is around we will need it. Funny how that works.
2001-09-14 11:16:08 PM  
Okay, what exactly was his quote, and how much did it actually have to do with Christian theology?
2001-09-14 11:21:23 PM  


Wow...That argument is eloquent, well thought out, and excellently portrayed. I'm impressed.
2001-09-14 11:23:31 PM  
Taiketsu - Very good point.

If more Christians started living what the Bible auctaly said, instead of pointing fingers and being little biatches, the world would be a much better place. pointing a finger and being a little biatch includes telling all others who do not believe what they believe "wrong" or "evil". A good portion of CC's need to take a step back, a big breath, and to rearange their priorities...

Again, does this make sence?
2001-09-14 11:24:15 PM  
I mean, sense.. does that (this) make sense?
2001-09-14 11:33:22 PM  
" God may have mercy on you, the United States wont!" John McCain 09/12/01
2001-09-14 11:33:48 PM  
That's not what I said... and anyone who uses religion as an excuse suffers the same consequences as anyone else. I'm not going to say, "If not from God, where do morals come from?" because some people have good morals not based on religion. However, I have found as I go about life that morals based on "Well... that sounds like a kinda-sorta-maybe okay idea" are the most easily compromised.
2001-09-14 11:34:29 PM  
Oh, and I've noticed a lovely Fark tactic: Anyone who doesn't agree with you has been duped.
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