Monday, March 9, 2009

Interesting article from CNN

Here's an interesting article from CNN.

Or you can copy and paste this

The first thing I like about this survey is that is was done by a religious institution. They must have been disappointed by the results but they put the numbers out there anyway.

In 1990 86% of Americans identified themselves as christians. Their current survey has that number at 75%. For me this is a move in the right direction. For me this means that we are getting closer to the day when I, or anyone can say to anyone else "I don't believe in god," and not be judged as a bad person.

A scary statistic, 200,000 people belonged to "mega-churches" in 1990. Today that number is 8 million. Now I'm not sure what qualifies a church as a "mega-church," But I have attended what I thought was a really large church and for me the experience was frightening. I left feeling that this particular church was all about money. There were large TVs and speakers so the people in the rear could see and hear the "preacher." There was a huge gymnasium (larger and nicer than any of the local schools), in the Sunday "school" rooms there were flat screen TVs and video game systems. The whole thing gave me the creeps. Granted, when I attended this church I didn't know what I was looking for. I was just trying to see what was out there and this place filled the (very large) parking lot for every service. I must say when I revisit this, in my head I hear "cult."

"The rise in evangelical Christianity is contributing to the rejection of religion altogether by some Americans, said Mark Silk of Trinity College."

This isn't the case for me. My rejection of the existence of a god has nothing to do with what other people are doing. I can see where people would be turned off by extreme christians but I don't think that people who believe in god would stop because of radicals (its a hopeful thought but...nah). For me it comes down logic.

The study found that the percentage of catholics has remained the same the percentage of christians has "plummeted" (their word) from 60% to 50%. Hmm, perhaps this is because catholics are shamed into not using birth control. I can say this because I was raised catholic (forced to attend mass until I turned 18) and I have eight brothers and sisters. (Of the nine of us only one still attends mass identifies as a catholic.) (The church didn't get it's exponential value out of us.)

Overall I find the results of this study to be good news and not because it found that there are less christians out there but because I think this is going to lead to more tolerance of people who don't believe.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Hopefully one Day

Hopefully one day...

There will be true religious freedom.

There will be no religious references on money.

There will be no references to god in the government.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Why don't christians have to defend themselves?

Tell some one that you don't believe in god and chances are you will be asked to defend your point of view. I will bet my left lung that if jehovah's witnesses come to your door and you tell them you don't believe in god they will demand to know why you think the way you do. This is when I demand to know why they think they can come to MY door and questions MY beliefs. Then I tell them they should be thankful that I'm not a Satanist. While they're trying to come up with some biblical quote to show me how wrong I am, I ask them how fast they think can back their car down the driveway.

Unlike these rude, presumptuous people, an atheist will never show up uninvited at your door to try to make you believe what they believe. We know that in order to "make" someone believe something you have to start at birth, and brainwash them daily (or at least once a week) using fear and wild tales with no factual basis. That's just not how we roll.

It is only when people are allowed to think and question and search for the logical truth that an atheist is born.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Disturbing Email

Have you gotten this email? I really hope you haven't. This might shock you but I have a lot of very religious friends. One of them sent me this email. I usually let the religious stuff slide but this one made me go ballistic.

Read it.

Think about it.

Then feel free to go ballistic.


Death is certain but the Bible speaks about untimely death! Make a personal reflection about this. Very interesting, read until the end.

It is written in the Bible (Galatians 6:7): "Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap."

Here are some men and women who mocked God:

JOHN LENNON: Some years before, during his interview with an American Magazine, he said: "Christianity will end, it will disappear. Jesus was ok, but his subjects were too simple, today we are more famous than Him" (1966). Lennon, after saying that the Beatles were more famous than Jesus Christ, was shot six times.

TANCREDO NEVES (President of Brazil): During the Presidential campaign, he said if he got 500,000 votes from his party, not even God would remove him from Presidency. Sure he got the votes, but he got sick a day before being made President, then he died.

CAZUZA (Bi-sexual Brazilian composer, singer and poet): During a show in Canecï, Rio de Janeiro, whilst smoking his cigarette, he puffed out some smoke into the air and said: "God, that's for you." He died at the age of 32 of AIDS in a horrible manner.

THE MAN WHO BUILT THE TITANIC: After the construction of the Titanic, a reporter asked him how safe the Titanic would be. With an ironic tone he said: "Not even God can sink it" The result: I think you all know what happened to the Titanic.

MARILYN MONROE: She was visited by Billy Graham during a presentation of a show. He said the Spirit of God had sent him to preach to her. After hearing what the Preacher had to say, she said: "I don't need your Jesus". A week later, she was found dead in her apartment.

BON SCOTT: The ex-vocalist of the AC/DC. On one of his 1979 songs he sang: "Don't stop me, I'm going down all the way, down the highway to hell". On the 19th of February 1980, Bon Scott was found dead, he had been choked by his own vomit.

CAMPINAS/SP 2005: In Campinas, Brazil a group of friends, drunk, went to pick up a friend. The mother accompanied her to the car and was so worried about the drunkenness of her friends and she said to the daughter -- holding her hand, who was already seated in the car: "MY DAUGHTER, GO WITH GOD AND MAY HE PROTECT YOU."

She responded: "ONLY IF HE (GOD) TRAVELS IN THE TRUNK, CAUSE INSIDE HERE IT'S ALREADY FULL". Hours later, news came by that they had been involved in a fatal accident, everyone had died, the car could not be recognized what type of car it had been, but surprisingly, the trunk was intact. The police said there was no way the trunk could have remained intact. To their surprise, inside the trunk was a crate of eggs, none were broken.

Christine Hewitt: A Jamaican Journalist and entertainer, said the Bible was the worst book ever written, in June 2006 she was found burnt beyond recognition in her motor vehicle.

Many more important people have forgotten that there is no other name that was given so much authority as the name of Jesus. Many have died, but only Jesus died and rose again, and he is still alive.

P.S: If it was a joke, you would have sent it to everyone. So are you going to have courage to send this? I have done my part, Jesus said "If you are embarrassed about me, I will also be embarrassed about you before my father."

Sunday, February 15, 2009

My reasoning

I can remember being in school and standing to say the Pledge of Allegiance every morning. As early as first grade I can remember not wanting to say the words "under god" in the pledge. I remember the first time I didn't say the words I moved my lips but didn't make the sound. I can't remember the first time I didn't move my lips to the words. I was always very careful to end the pledge along with the rest of the class.

When I think about this now I wish I had had the guts to be defiant skip those two words and finish before the rest of the class.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

The Pledge of Allegiance and why we need to take god out of it

The original Pledge of Allegiance did not have any reference to god in it. I hope one day we can get it back to the way it was meant to be.

The Pledge of Allegiance was written in 1892 by Francis Bellamy (it is interesting to note that Bellamy was a Baptist minister).

Bellamy's original Pledge read, "I Pledge Allegiance to my Flag and the Republic for which it stands, one nation indivisible with liberty and justice for all."

The pledge was designed to be stated in 15 seconds. It was supposed to be quick and to the point.

The Pledge was first used in public schools in 1892 during Columbus Day observances. This was after a proclamation by President Harrison. There was no reference to god

In 1923 the National Flag Conference called for the words my Flag to be changed to the Flag of the United States. The reason given was to ensure that immigrants knew to which flag reference was being made. In 1924 the words "of America" were added to the pledge. The U.S. Congress officially recognized the Pledge as the official national pledge on June 22, 1942.

The Pledge of Allegiance was ruined by the Knights of Columbus (of New York City) in 1951. For some reason they felt that the pledge was "incomplete" without a reference to god. They claim that since Abraham Lincoln used the words "under god" in the Gettysburg Address it would be appropriate to add these words the The Pledge of Allegiance. I've got to say that I don't think Lincoln would have backed this idea. The Knights of Columbus of NYC changed the way the said the pledge at the opening of their meetings adding the words "under god" after the words "one nation." It wasn't long before the idea spread to other Knights of Columbus across the United States. In 1952 the Knights decided that they wanted the whole country to say the pledge their way. They campaigned Congress to adopt their version of the pledge. Their first attempts failed. If only Congress could have stuck to their gut instinct.

In 1952 President Truman received a letter from Holger Christian Langmack suggesting the words "under god" be added to the Pledge of Allegiance. Holger Christian Langmack was a teacher and philosopher who came to the United States from Denmark in 1911. Langmack was also one of the instigators of the prayer breakfast as a religious leader in Washington. Truman met with Langmack and other religious leaders to discuss changes to the pledge. They also wanted to add the word "love" before "Liberty and Justice."

So we have the Knights of Columbus, Langmack and other religious leaders trying to alter the original Pledge of Allegiance. For several years the United States government stands strong and does not allow religion to worm its way into the pledge.

Unfortunately a presbyterian minister named George MacPherson Docherty preached a sermon about Abraham Lincoln Gettsburg Address in 1954 while President Eisenhower was sitting in the "Lincoln Pew" at the New York Avenue Presbyterian Church in Washington D.C. Eisenhower was raised a jehovah's witness but had been baptized a presbyterian the previous year. Docherty preached that the power of the United States did not come from the newly developed atomic bomb but that the power of the United States was in the spirit of "the American way of life". Docherty claimed that what made the United States unique and strong was as in Lincoln's Gettysburg Address being a nation "under god". In Docherty's way of thinking with out a reference to god the Pledge of Allegiance could apply to any nation.

At the end of the service Docherty spoke with President Eisenhower and it seems that Eisenhower liked the sermon so much that the next day he started a process with Congress to alter the pledge.

On February 8th 1954 a republican from Michigan named Charles Oakman introduced the bill with the following quote that I got from wikipedia:

"These words [“under God”] will remind Americans that despite our great physical strength we must remain humble. They will help us to keep constantly in our minds and hearts the spiritual and moral principles which alone give dignity to man, and upon which our way of life is founded."

There's no real reason to add any reference to god in a pledge to a country that was founded on religious freedom. It is just another example of a few select people trying to force their will on others.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Thank you Barack Obama

In what I can only imagine was a first for a US president, Barack Obama acknowledged that there are Americans who do not believe in god. It is probably the last prejudice that no one talks about.

I googled "Obama non-believers" and before I clicked on any of the links a thought ran through my head that I am not proud of. I wondered if anyone was going to be able to track my actions and link my name to the search. It's not like I was off looking for ways to kill someone and get away with it. I just wanted to see what the talk was out there about this. Did anyone pick up on this little inclusion during what had to be the most watched event in history? I was actually fearful to be "caught" searching this.

But my search (because I did suck it up and click on many links) lead me to find some very thought provoking sites. This video below is my current favorite.