"Some time ago, Ronald Reagan pointed out that one couldn't trust the Soviet government because the Soviets didn't believe in God or in an afterlife and therefore had no reason to behave honorably, but would be willing to lie and cheat and do all sorts of wicked things to aid their cause.A great read on the matter of "Why you can't trust Theists" I mean "Atheists".
Yet there are puzzles. Consider Iran. The Iranians are a god-fearing people and believe in an afterlife, and this is certainly true of the mullahs and ayatollahs who comprise their government. And yet we are reluctant to trust them for some reason. President Reagan himself has referred to the Iranian leaders as "barbarians.""
Isaac Asimov, The Austin American-Statesman, May 10, 1981
Sunday, April 29, 2007
[Classic] "The Reagan Doctrine" by Isaac Asimov
[Study] Knowledge of any sort is damaging to fundamentalism
Bob Altemeyer is a researcher from the University of Manitoba, and he’s done a lot of work studying right wing authoritarians.
"Christian fundamentalism has three great enemies in the struggle to retain its children, judging by the stories its apostates tell: weaknesses in its own teachings, science, and hypocrisy."
"For the first problem: when the Bible is actually read, the actual text causes problems for the discerning reader. “The Bible was, they said, too often inconsistent, petty, boring, appalling, self-serving, or unbelievable.” Altemeyer found that although many fundamentalist Christians profess allegiance to an inerrant Bible, very few have actually read it completely for themselves and some who do find the inconsistencies too great."
Pandagon.net April 16th, 2007
This is good news for Atheist bible thumpers! Thump 'em hard! (Notice the PDF)
[Stats] U.S. divorce rates for various faith groups, age groups, & geographic areas
Variation in divorce rates by religion:
Jews - 30%
Born-again Christians - 27%
Other Christians - 24%
Atheists, Agnostics - 21%
See also "Conservative Christianity is Bad for your Marriage"
[Arguments] God is Imaginary - 50 simple proofs
"It is easy to prove to yourself that God is imaginary. The evidence is all around you. Here are 50 simple proofs."A good summary! Worth reading for the unsure, and also referring to.
[History] The myth of an atheist Hitler
"One of the main arguments that religious people throw up is that the great genocides of recent times were committed by atheists. They tend to focus on both Hitler and Stalin, ignoring the fact that both were brought up in religious circumstances and held religious beliefs. Hitler especially saw the Christian faith (well his ideo of the faith) as essential to an aryan Europe. Here are some quotes
"Secular schools can never be tolerated because such schools have no religious instruction, and a general moral instruction without a religious foundation is built on air; consequently, all character training and religion must be derived from faith . . . we need believing people." [Adolf Hitler, April 26, 1933, from a speech made during negotiations leading to the Nazi-Vatican Concordant of 1933]"
Profnewport.blogspot.com, 25 April 2007
A good list of quotes! Well worth checking out!
Is Karl Rove an Atheist? What Does George W. Bush Believe?
"Although some might find this unbelievable, there are reasons to think it plausible that Karl Rove could be an atheist. Rove and other neoconservatives seem to use the political philosophy of Leo Strauss who taught, in part, that religion was necessary to control people.
First: Strauss believed that a leader had to perpetually deceive the citizens he ruled.
Secondly: Those who lead must understand there is no morality, there is only the right of the superior to rule the inferior.
Thirdly: According to Drury, Religion "is the glue that holds society together." It is a handle by which the ruler can manipulate the masses. Any religion will do. Strauss is indifferent to them all.
Fourthly: "Secular society…is the worst possible thing," because it leads to individualism, liberalism, and relativism, all of which encourage dissent and rebellion. As Drury sums it up: "You want a crowd that you can manipulate like putty."
Fifthly: "Strauss thinks that a political order can be stable only if it is united by an external threat; and following Machiavelli, he maintains that if no external threat exists, then one has to be manufactured."
Sixthly: "In Strauss's view, the trouble with liberal society is that it dispenses with noble lies and pious frauds. It tries to found society on secular rational foundations."
About Atheism April 28, 2007
[Islam] Anger at Iran dress restrictions
"Two thousand young men in Iran have protested against new clothing curbs, reports say, amid growing discontent about a crackdown on un-Islamic dress."
BBC 23 April 2007
Those where the days. See more pics here.
[Christopher Hitchens] God Is Not Great (excerpts)
"This week Slate is publishing three excerpts from Christopher Hitchens' new book, God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything."
Slate.com April 27, 2007
[Philosophy] What Atheism Isn't, Part 1: Atheism and Religion
"Ultimately, atheism is about arguments, about justifying what one believes – whereas faith is belief without regard to justification."
Thenewhumanist.com, April 2007
Evolution Booklet (PDF)
"Explore the topic of evolution with the latest from the Big Picture series, plus the chance for pupils to submit a piece of their own writing into a competition being run by the Wellcome Trust in partnership with 'New Scientist'."See more here.
Wellcome.ac.uk, January 2007
Saturday, April 28, 2007
The Religious Right Has Had Its Day? Fat Chance
"A provocative essay in Time magazine raised more than a few eyebrows in mid-February with a headline that made a startling claim: "The Religious Right's Era Is Over," it blared. Moderate evangelical minister Jim Wallis, the author of the piece, confidently asserted that the Religious Right's day has passed.
It's a stunning claim that might have sold more than a few magazines. But is it true?
"Where I stand on abortion is, I oppose it," Giuliani said during the Feb. 6 broadcast. "I don't like it. I hate it. I think abortion is something that, as a personal matter, I would advise somebody against."
Alternet.org, April 16, 2007
Wednesday, April 25, 2007
[Saudi Arabia] How a British jihadi saw the light
"Ed Hussain, once a proponent of radical Islam in London, tells how his time as a teacher in Saudi Arabia led him to turn against extremism
At work the British Council introduced free internet access for educational purposes. Within days the students had downloaded the most obscene pornography from sites banned in Saudi Arabia, but easily accessed via the British Council’s satellite connection. Segregation of the sexes, made worse by the veil, had spawned a culture of pent-up sexual frustration that expressed itself in the unhealthiest ways.
In my Islamist days we relished stating that Aids and other sexually transmitted diseases were the result of the moral degeneracy of the West. Large numbers of Islamists in Britain hounded prostitutes in Brick Lane and flippantly quoted divorce and abortion rates in Britain. The implication was that Muslim morality was superior. Now, more than ever, I was convinced that this too was Islamist propaganda, designed to undermine the West and inject false confidence in Muslim minds.
I worried whether my observations were idiosyncratic, the musings of a wandering mind. I discussed my troubles with other British Muslims working at the British Council. Jamal, who was of a Wahhabi bent, fully agreed with what I observed and went further. “Ed, my wife wore the veil back home in Britain and even there she did not get as many stares as she gets when we go out here.” Another British Muslim had gone as far as tinting his car windows black in order to prevent young Saudis gaping at his wife."
The Sunday Times, April 21, 2007 (Extracted from "The Islamist", to be published by Penguin on May 3.)
A harrowing read.
Tuesday, April 24, 2007
[Opinion] Shout your doubt out loud, my fellow unbelievers
"I hate ending up in scraps with nice Anglicans and thoughtful Catholics because the Church of England and intelligent Catholicism are not the problem. They are the best kind of Christians, but the best lack all conviction. It is the worst who are full of passionate intensity. Look at the evangelical movement in America, and to some extent, now, here. Look at the Religious Right in Israel. Look at fundamentalist Islam. What they share, what drives them, the tiger in their tanks, is an absolute, unshakeable belief in an ever-present divinity, with plans for nations that He communicates to the leaders, or would-be leaders, of nations. They are the very devil, these people, they could wreck our world, and their central belief in God’s plan has to be confronted. Confronted with passion. Confronted because, and on the ground that, it is not true."
The Times, April 21, 2007
Matthew Parris, a former Conservative MP writes.
[Chris Hedges] Jesus ‘Love-Bombs’ You
"I attended a five-day seminar at Coral Ridge in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., where I was taught, often by D. James Kennedy, the techniques of conversion. The callousness of these techniques—targeting the vulnerable, building false friendships with the lonely or troubled, promising to relieve people of the most fundamental dreads of human existence from the fear of mortality to the numbing pain of grief—gave to the process an awful cruelty and dishonesty. I attended the seminar as part of the research for my book “American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America.” Kennedy openly called converts “recruits” and spoke about them joining a new political force sweeping across the country to reshape and reform America into a Christian state."
Some good insights into their techniques!
Saturday, April 21, 2007
[Philosophy] The 10 Reasons Why Christianity is Wrong
A good ten reasons!
10. It is Absurd
9. Jesus Has Not Returned
8. God Doesn’t Care
7. Other Religions
6. There is No Soul
4. The Bible is Not Consistent
3. Christianity Cannot be the Religion that Jesus Preached
2. The Gospels are not Historically Reliable
1. The Gospels are not History
October 30th, 2006
[Creationism] Seeing the light -- of science
"Ronald Numbers -- a former Seventh-day Adventist and author of the definitive history of creationism -- discusses his break with the church, whether creationists are less intelligent and why Galileo wasn't really a martyr."
Salon.com Jan. 2, 2007
[Vatican, paedophiles] An Open Letter to Amnesty International from Trevor Blake
"This letter demonstrates that Vatican City, by way of the Roman Catholic Church, has systematically sheltered child abusers for decades."It's from 2005, and not exactly news, but well worth reading!
[Stats] Religious Decline in U.S. Follows Europe
"Is the U.S. following Europe in becoming less religious and more humanist? This is the tantalizing prospect held out by some recent surveys."Humaniststudies.org, Jan. 24, 2007
[Stats] Number of Americans Wanting Religion to Have Less Influence in Public Life Increases
"For the third consecutive year, the number of Americans calling for less religious influence in public life exceeded the number of Americans who want more, according to a new Gallup poll.[...]Nearly 40 percent of Americans say religion's level of influence "in the nation" should not change, 32 percent would like it to have less influence and 27 percent would like it to have more, according to the survey."Humaniststudies.org, Feb. 7, 2007
[Sam Harris, philosophy] The Empty Wager
"As many readers will remember, Pascal suggested that religious believers are simply taking the wiser of two bets: if a believer is wrong about God, there is not much harm to him or to anyone else, and if he is right, he wins eternal happiness; if an atheist is wrong, however, he is destined for hell. Put this way, atheism seems the very picture of reckless stupidity.But there are many questionable assumptions built into this famous wager. One is the notion that people do not pay a terrible price for religious faith."Newsweek, April 18, 2007
Friday, April 20, 2007
[Stats] Religion does more harm than good - poll
"82% say faith causes tension in country where two thirds are not religious
The poll also reveals that non-believers outnumber believers in Britain by almost two to one. It paints a picture of a sceptical nation with massive doubts about the effect religion has on society: 82% of those questioned say they see religion as a cause of division and tension between people. Only 16% disagree."
The Guardian, December 23, 2006
[Science] Prayer Study Author Charged With Plagiarism
"A controversial study claiming that anonymous prayers from people in the United States, Canada, and Australia doubled the success rate of in vitro fertilization treatments performed on patients in Korea is making international news again. Once again, the news is not good.
In summary, the man who designed and supposedly conducted the prayer study resides in federal prison, and the man originally listed as lead author admits he knows nothing about the alleged research. The only remaining author has now been charged with plagiarism.
This may be the first time in history that all three authors of a randomized, controlled study have been found guilty of fraud, deception, and/or plagiarism."
ObGynNews.com, 15 March 2007
[Opinion, slander] Conservative Christians: Atheists, Atheism Responsible for Virginia Tech Killings
"Given the magnitude of the tragedy, it's only to be expected that the killings at Virginia Tech have become the subject of so many conversations and so many extended news reports. At the same time, though, I think that some people should have chosen to just hold their tongues because they are using the tragedy to prop up whatever pet political agenda they have been pushing."
atheism.about.com April 19, 2007
[Human rights] Do women and girls have human rights?
"at the 1995 conference in Beijing there were already signs of backlash, among them an evident increase in coordination efforts by the religious conservative opposition. An alliance of Muslim and Christian (mainly Catholic) delegations made sexuality - sexual orientation, women's control of their bodies and abortion - a topic of major debate, and strongly objected to the term "women's and girls' sexual rights". Yet the bulk of the progress on sexual rights had come - contrary to assertions in the press and by opposition delegations - not from northern feminists, but from women of the south"Opendemocracy.net 26 / 2 / 2007
Pope is warned of a green Antichrist
"An arch-conservative cardinal chosen by the Pope to deliver this year's Lenten meditations to the Vatican hierarchy has caused consternation by giving warning of an Antichrist who is "a pacifist, ecologist and ecumenist". "The Times, March 2, 2007
[Stats] What Happens When a Country Gives Up Religion: as Spain Shows, Nothing Much
"During Franco´s dictatorship Spain was a very Catholic country. After three decades of democracy, as the Catholic Church likes to say, Spain is not a Catholic country anymore.[...]If anything, Spain proves that societies do not fall apart when they give up religion and almost everything that was illegal for religious reasons, becomes legal. Moreover I believe that if Spain had not given up on religion it would not have been the success that it is now, as the Catholic Church in Spain was deeply involved in most state activities and acted as a deterrent for progress. For those, mostly in America, who believe that religion somehow makes countries more ethical Spain proves just the opposite."
[History] Easter: leave us in peace
"Easter is an ancient festival celebrating sexual intercourse, pregnancy and birth, new life, the return of light and flowers, the promiscuity of the rabbit, the iconic significance of the egg, and randiness in general."
Guardian, 09 April 2007
[Opinion] Against the grain: Religion should be kept out of politics
"Religion can distort people's moral sensibilities as much as it can inform them. The unimportant becomes important, the important becomes unimportant, as we're seeing with gay adoption and gay bishops."Independent.co.uk, 05 April 2007
[Stats] More Hispanics in U.S. Abandon Religion
"A wave of research shows that increasing percentages of Hispanics are abandoning church, suggesting that along with assimilation comes a measure of secularization."theledger.com April 15, 2007
[Science] Medical 'Miracles' Not Supported by Evidence
"The phrase "medical miracle" is a newsroom cliche. It means a situation in which a person makes an unexpected recovery despite great odds or a pessimistic prognosis. Yet often the phrase is used much more broadly to describe a seemingly supernatural or paranormal healing or curing event such as faith healing. While to many people it may seem obvious that a miracle has occurred, in reality such miracles are rarely as impressive as they seem."Livescience.com, 29 July 2006
Thursday, April 19, 2007
[Stats] Women, Politics, Religion: A Correlation?
"Women are gaining increasing power in state legislatures in the United States, according to a study reported in the Feb. 15 New York Times. Although 24 percent of members of state legislatures nationwide are women, the percentages in the individual states vary widely. But the important difference is between the two major political parties."
Humaniststudies.org, Feb. 21, 2007
[Stats] Nearly Half of Europeans Don't Rate Religion
"A survey of 30,000 people in 27 European Union member countries found that nearly half of them -- 46 percent -- attach no importance at all to religion. The report came from the statistical agency of the EU, Eurostat (Luxembourg).
[...]When asked what values they "cherish above all", respondents overwhelmingly chose "peace" (52 percent) and "respect for human life" came second (43 percent). Democracy got 24 percent. Way down at the bottom -- 11th out of 11 -- was "religion" with a meager seven percent."Humaniststudies.org Mar. 7, 2007
So much for morality's dependance on religion!
[Science] Scriptural Violence Can Foster Aggression, Especially in Believers
"Psychologists studying religion have tended, until recently, to focus on its role in psychological healing. But no longer: now they are beginning to investigate some of its less benign aspects.
A study published in this month's Psychological Science looks at the relation between aggression and recent exposure to accounts of Biblical violence.
Higher levels of aggression were measured in two groups of students: in those who were told that the passage was from the Bible and in those who had read that the violence was sanctioned by God."
Humaniststudies.org, Mar. 14, 2007
[Science] Power of prayer flunks an unusual test
"In the largest study of its kind, researchers found that having people pray for heart bypass surgery patients had no effect on their recovery. In fact, patients who knew they were being prayed for had a slightly higher rate of complications."msnbc.msn.com, March 30, 2006
A year old, but worth to read and to keep. When I read the headline, I tend to read it as "Power of prayer flunks as usual".
Sweet Reason: Promoting Humanism Among Religious Conservatives
"In February, Sweet Reason published a letter from Yalcyn Bican, a student who wanted advice on how to promote humanism in Turkey. His question was so important and complex that I invited two guest columnists to add their advice to mine."Humaniststudies.org, Apr. 4, 2007
""It is a profound truth," declared the British Socialist Party in a 1911 manifesto, "that Socialism is the natural enemy of religion." Not the least of the oddities in the subsequent history of progressive politics is that today it has become the principal vehicle in the West for Islamist goals and policies."
The Wall Street Journal, Mar. 18, 2007
[Opinion] Praying for the Apocalypse
"The radical Christian right has no religious legitimacy. It is a mass political movement. It is interchangeable, in many ways, with other traditional political movements ranging from fascism to communism to the ethnic nationalist parties in the former Yugoslavia. It shares with these movements an inability to cope with ambiguity, doubt and uncertainty. It also embraces a world of miracles and signs and makes war on rational, reality-based thought."
Chris Hedges, Truthdig.com Apr 9, 2007
Wednesday, April 18, 2007
[Opinion] Krugman: There really is a vast (religious) conspiracy
"In 1981, Gary North, a leader of the Christian Reconstructionist movement - the openly theocratic wing of the Christian right - suggested that the movement could achieve power by stealth. "Christians must begin to organize politically within the present party structure," he wrote, "and they must begin to infiltrate the existing institutional order."
Today, Regent University, founded by the televangelist Pat Robertson to provide "Christian leadership to change the world," boasts that it has 150 graduates working in the Bush administration.
You see, Regent isn't a religious university the way Loyola or Yeshiva are religious universities. It's run by someone whose first reaction to Sept. 11 was to brand it God's punishment for America's sins.
Next week Rudy Giuliani will be speaking at Regent's Executive Leadership Series."
The Mercury News, 04/16/2007
[Opinion] Old-fashioned crime of "blasphemy" back with a vengeance
"In the wake of global protests over publication of the Prophet Mohammed caricatures, the archaic crime of blasphemy has re-emerged as a modern day form of insult law, says the World Press Freedom Committee (WPFC)."
IFEX, 17 April 2007
[Legal] Britain limits EU religious hatred ban
"Britain has narrowed the scope of a European Union-wide ban on incitement to religious hatred in a proposed anti-racism law, diplomats said on Tuesday."
Scotsman, Tue 17 Apr 2007
[Legal] No discrimination in ban on veil in classroom
"A Muslim teaching assistant who had been suspended for disobeying an instruction not to wear a veil when assisting a male teacher was not discriminated against directly or indirectly on the ground of religion or belief."
Times, April 17, 2007
Irish poll shows parents no longer want to force religion on to children
"A new poll in Ireland shows that eighty two per cent of parents intend to let their children choose their own religion rather than force them to join the Catholic Church. Thirty years ago only 7% of parents felt the same way."
National Secular Society, Fri, 13 Apr 2007
This is what the clash of civilisations is really about
"Relativism has made liberal openness appear weak, empty and repugnant compared with the clarity of dogma
[...]that in the everyday world we can and must distinguish truth and falsity, right and wrong, even if on close examination these terms do not mean what we thought they did. Science may not be God-like in its objectivity, but it is not just another myth. Moral values must be questioned, but if discrimination against women, homosexuals or ethnic minorities is wrong here, then it is wrong anywhere else in the world. Truth may not be the simple phenomenon we assume it to be, but falsehoods must be challenged."
Julian Baggini, The Guardian, Saturday April 14, 2007
Islamists Turn UN Human Rights Body into a Laughing Stock
"Last week the United Nations' Human Rights Council condemned "defamation" of religion, and called upon member states to ban literature and other materials containing "racist or xenophobic ideas" that might lead to hostility against religious groups, although Islam is the only religion mentioned in the resolution.
None of the representatives took a position aggressively defending the virtues of free expression and secularism. The nearest we got to this came from Birgitta Siefker-Eberle of Germany who said that an "on-going dialogue" was the best way of resolving differences, and that it was problematic to reconcile "defamation" with discrimination."
Humaniststudies.org, Apr. 11, 2006
Poll: Why Americans Attend, Skip Church
"More than half of Americans attend church at least once a month. As churches prepare to celebrate Easter on Sunday, one of the two times a year that pews are filled to capacity in many churches, a Gallup poll asked attendants just why they attend or do not attend church.
The poll split Catholics and non-Catholic Protestants – the largest two groups of churchgoers – and found that while Protestants mainly go to church for spiritual growth and guidance, Catholics are more likely to say they attend because it keeps the grounded/inspired. Catholics are also more likely to say they attend because it's their faith. For Protestants, fellowship of other members and the community plays a big part in drawing attendants regularly with 17 percent saying they attend because of fellowship. Only 3 percent of Catholics, however, go to church because of fellowship."
Christian Post, Sat, Apr. 07 2007
Study: U.S. Unchurched Population Nears 100 Million
"Over the past decade, the unchurched population has remained stable at one third of the American population, the latest Barna Group survey showed.
The Barna study found that 33 percent of adults are classified as unchurched – people who have not attended a religious service of any type during the past six months. The statistic has remained relatively the same since 1994 when 36 percent were reported to be unchurched.
Some people groups are notorious church avoiders, the study found."
Christian Post, Tue, Mar. 20 2007
Crucifixion 'makes God into a psychopath'
"The conventional explanation of the Crucifixion is illogical, insane and makes God sound like a psychopath, according to one of the country’s most controversial clergymen.
The Very Rev Jeffrey John, the Dean of St Albans, attacked the doctrine of penal substitution — the idea that God sent Jesus to earth to suffer for our sins — during a Lent talk on BBC Radio 4 last night."The Times, April 5, 2007
[Science] Link to Egyptian mummy shows Joan of Arc holy relics are fake
"Relics thought to be of Joan of Arc are forgeries made from the remains of an Egyptian mummy, according to scientists. After a battery of tests on the remains, rumoured to have survived the fire that killed the French saint, experts said they were astonished with the results."
The Guardian Thursday April 5, 2007
Muslims Condemn Violence
"Muslims in the UK are more likely to unequivocally condemn the use of violence to further a "noble cause" than the general public.
A survey of London Muslims found 81% believed such violence was "completely unjustified" compared to 72% of the UK general public."
Sky News, Tuesday April 17, 2007
Vatican boycotts Holocaust remembrance
"· Shock as envoy rejects invite to Jerusalem service
· Row grows over reference to pope's wartime role
The Vatican ambassador to Israel has sparked a row after refusing to attend tomorrow's annual Holocaust memorial service in Jerusalem in protest at a description of the wartime role of Pope Pius XII.
The text notes that Pius XII's reaction to the Holocaust is controversial and states: "When he was elected pope in 1939, he shelved a letter against racism and anti-semitism that his predecessor had prepared. Even when reports about the murder of Jews reached the Vatican the Pope did not protest either verbally or in writing." The description also says Pius XII chose not to sign a December 1942 Allied declaration condemning the extermination of Jews and did not intervene when Jews were deported from Rome to Auschwitz."
The Guardian, Saturday April 14, 2007
Tuesday, April 17, 2007
[Opinion] Atheism, like any other belief, deserves Americans' respect
"According to the 2001 American Religious Identification Survey conducted by the U.S. Census, 15 percent of the adult population is atheistic, agnostic or otherwise non-religious. In comparison, Jews and Mormons each constitute 1.4 percent of the population, 0.6 percent of Americans are Muslims, and 0.05 percent are Buddhists.(But of course Atheism is not a belief. ;) )
Yet in the U.S. Congress and Senate, the religious demographics do not match up with those of the population. Among the 535 members, only one representative - Pete Stark, D-Calif. - is publicly non-religious. This comes to roughly 0.2 percent of the whole membership of Congress, compared to 15 percent of the public."
Linsen Li, The Kentucky Kernel, Apr 2, 2007
Equating atheism with morality
"It seems many theists are certain that because they claim their own morality comes from their faith alone, then those without faith must inevitably be immoral. The facts, however, show faith is not required for humans to lead moral lives, and sometimes hinder it entirely.
If you examine Americans for the "fruit" of their morality, what you see is striking. As an example, Christians make up about 75 percent of the overall U.S. population and, as expected, about 75 percent of the prison population. Atheists make up between 5 - 12 percent of the population, but only 0.2 percent of the prison population.[...]
If atheism led to a less moral lifestyle, then surely there would be some evidence of it in our country with some 30 million atheists. Or perhaps in the least religious nations in the world, which happen to have the lowest crime rates and happiest citizens."
Hattiesburg American, MS - Apr 3, 2007
Pope Slams EU for Excluding God
Pope Benedict has come down hard on the EU for excluding any reference to God and the Christian heritage of Europe in a declaration to mark the 50th anniversary of its founding treaty on Sunday.Some nerve to say that the enlightment was thanks to Christianity when in fact the enlightment was the first step of secularism?
"Does not this unique form of apostasy of itself, even before God, lead it (Europe) to doubt its very identity?"
“Europe's Judeo-Christian roots and common cultural heritage, as well as the classic and humanist history of Europe and the achievements of the period of enlightenment, are the foundation of our political family," said the statement.
Christianity Today, March 25, 2007
"Pope Benedict XVI: European Secularism is a Form of Apostasy
The Catholic Church continues to have trouble with the increasing secularism and secularization of Europe. People just don't have as much use or need for religion and traditional churches like they used to, and this has been difficult for ecclesiastical leaders to accept. Recently, an anniversary declaration about the EU failed to mention Christianity and this caused Pope Benedict XVI to throw a fit."
Editorial by Terry Sanderson: Fundamentalist secularists and the religion of atheism
"As a means of undermining the threat that secularism (and atheism) pose to religious power, church propagandists find that labelling their critics as “extremists” is proving very effective. Nowadays if you have the temerity to even question religion you immediately become a “fundamentalist atheist”. This has happened to Richard Dawkins and Sam Harris, who simply wrote books giving their opinion that there is no evidence for supernatural beings, that belief in such beings undermines science and that organised religion can in some circumstances justify anti-social behaviour."
National Secular Society, UK - Apr 6, 2007
Good health and Atheism
"Creeds have always claimed that those who believe in God will live longer and healthier. However, the statistics say something very different. The fact is that the faithful tend to suffer more from diseases and they also tend to die sooner. To that it has to be added that they have lower incomes than the atheists."
Charles Sabillon, American Chronicle 10. Apr. 2007
“All Women Should Wear A Veil”
"According to Mostafa Chendid of the Danish Islamic Society (Islamisk Trossamfund), not only Muslim women but other women too should wear a veil. Why? Because five up to ten percent of all men cannot control themselves when they see a woman without a veil."
Marcion of Sinope (ca. 110-160): God of the Hebrew Bible was evil
"Marcion declared that Christianity was distinct from and in opposition to Judaism. He rejected the entire Hebrew Bible, and declared that the God of the Hebrew Bible was a lesser demiurge, who had created the earth, but was (de facto) the source of evil. [...] Marcionites hold maltheistic views of the god of the Hebrew Bible (mockingly known to them as Yaltabaoth), that he was inconsistent, jealous, wrathful and genocidal, and that the material world he created is defective, a place of suffering; the god who made such a world is a bungling or malicious demiurge. "In the god of the [Old Testament] he saw a being whose character was stern justice, and therefore anger, contentiousness and unmercifulness."A fairly interesting Wikipedia article!
[History] The Nazis didn't like blasphemy
"According to the principles governing the compilation of this list, the following publications must be removed from public and commercial lending libraries:
c) All writings that ridicule, belittle or besmirch the Christian religion and its institution, faith in God, or other things that are holy to the healthy sentiments of the Volk."
USA: one in four expects Jesus back in 2007
The question is: will they admit their folly when it doesn't happen?
"One in four Americans anticipates the second coming of Christ in 2007. This is one several predictions made by Americans in a recent poll for the new year.
A poll by Ipsos, an international polling firm, found that 11 percent of respondents said it is "very likely" that Jesus will return to Earth this year and 14 percent said it was "somewhat likely.""
Christian Post, Jan. 03 2007
[Logics] Answering believers