Dear Everyone (Part 2)

Whether black, white, yellow, red, or fuckin’ polka dot,

discriminating or stereotyping based on someone’s skin color is wrong.

Whether straight, homosexual, bisexual, or asexual,

discriminating or stereotyping based on someone’s sexuality is wrong.

Whether Christian, Muslim, or atheist,

discriminating or stereotyping based on someone’s beliefs (or lack of) is wrong.

Whether man, woman, or some other gender,

discriminating or stereotyping based on someone’s gender identity is wrong.

Whether Democrat, Republican, or Independent,

discriminating or stereotyping based on someone’s political views is wrong.

“Angry Atheism”?

Angry atheism. Let’s chat about it. Would you like to know why vocal atheists might seem so angry? Because religious leaders can be (though they tend to be somewhere in the middle of this) either wonderful human-beings, or individuals who believe that their beliefs enable them to deprive the rights of their fellows based off of whatever book they happen to follow.

Atheists are angry because religious fundamentalists kill, even when they aren’t violent. Children of these fundamentalists live without vaccines, and more directly they live without receiving life-saving treatments if they have conditions which are easily curable and preventable.

Atheists are angry because we live in a world where believing in a book that claims to know the origin and purpose of all life in the universe, written before the people who wrote it knew about the Americas, is the norm and true, and somehow not believing in the “evidence” makes you seem “arrogant”.

Atheists are angry because in most churches women cannot be priests, but men can decide what women can do with their bodies, using the same religion which says that if a woman is unfaithful her husband can test her and if she fails she’s getting an abortion, but apparently she cannot decide it for herself (yeah, yeah, yeah, “Numbers is Old Testament Luciano! Christians have a new convent with God! Some of the Old Laws were changed”, the POINT is that in the book of Numbers, Moses says it’s cool to go and force your wife into getting an abortion but somehow if it’s her choice that’s the end of the world).

Atheists are mildly annoyed that the man who claims “Tides go in, Tides go out, you can’t explain that!” Is more liked and respected than the head of American Atheists, (P.S.: Yes Bill O'Reilly did actually say that.) despite the fact that David Silverman is a mild mannered man and activist, and O'Reilly is literally a known and documented liar.

Atheists are mad because a Christian pastor can literally call Obama, Hitler, and a Muslim kid gets arrested for making and showing off a clock, but somehow no one mentions that the pastor compared mothers who willing get abortions to the holocaust (nor does anyone talk about the fact that abortions have been legal for decades AND THAT WE’VE BEEN FUNDING PP SINCE 1970.), while the kid faces scrutiny from the right wingers, and only one of these two is on the news.

Atheists are mad because if we are unlucky enough to be atheists AND children at the same time we can be made fun by TEACHERS.

Atheists are mad because people don’t understand the difference between secularism and atheism. And because in this country some Christians want their worldview to be made into law but somehow fear a “theocracy”.

I’m personally mad because we live in a world where somehow it’s okay to risk not offending an entity that has never proven itself definitely, and objectively, even if it means offending REAL PEOPLE. It isn’t okay to use your religion as an excuse to be a jerk.

If you ever chide an atheist for being angry, you need to realize that we as a group have plenty of stuff to get angry about. I can assure you we don’t WALK AROUND fuming about the separation of church and state, but when you ask us questions about our take on the world, we can get angry and be entirely justified in our anger. We’re not saying everything that’s wrong with the world is because of religion, but we are saying that some people definitely conflate religion and world events. We’ve got plenty of fuel for our anger. And frankly we’ll continue being angry until EVERYONE lives in a world where religion is a truly personal matter.

I’ll stay mad until someone else’s religion doesn’t impact law. Until the law reflects the idea that religion isn’t a proper justification for depriving OTHERS of their natural rights. Until the law shows that everyone and all ideologies are equal in the face of justice, and that being a religion, or another one, will not grant you special favor, while you live in a secular nation.

I’m an “angry atheist”. And that’s okay.

Trump’s Anti-Science Campaign

By Lawrence M. Krauss

Over the past few months, we’ve seen Donald Trump lower, again and again, the bar for political discourse. All the while, though, he’s been lowering the scientific bar, too. In May, for instance, while speaking to an audience of West Virginia coal miners, Trump complained that regulations designed to protect the ozone layer had compromised the quality of his hair spray. Those regulations, he continued, were misguided, because hair spray is used mainly indoors, and so can have no effect on the atmosphere outside. No wonder Hillary Clinton felt the need to include, in her nomination speech, the phrase “I believe in science.”

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I have frequently seen many people when they come upon genuine criticism of the religion of Islam, associate it with bigotry and prejudice against Muslim individuals.  This association is a major misconception.  Muslims are the followers of the religion of Islam, while Islam itself is a set of doctrines and beliefs that govern the lifestyles of its followers.  

While genuine bigotry against Muslims because of their religion and identity exists, criticism of a people’s set of beliefs and prejudice against said people are entirely different. 

Criticizing Islam is examining the core values, ideals and beliefs of the religion, critiquing the religion’s scripture, and examining the doctrines that inspire various cultural practices.  

Promoting bigotry against Muslims on the other hand, is judging every single Muslim worldwide to be terrorists, encouraging violence against Muslims solely because of religion, believing that all Muslims should be expelled from a country, believing Muslims should be barred from entering a country solely because of identity, excluding Muslims from positions because of identity, believing that they should be constantly monitored on the slight suspicion that they might be associated with terrorists without concrete evidence, and generally encouraging discrimination against Muslims. 

The religion of Islam itself has various questionable verses in its scripture and questionable doctrines.  From the way various verses are phrased, they can be interpreted as being misogynistic, endorsing violence against disbelievers, encouraging homophobia, and promoting slavery.   Islam is no immune to criticism and scrutiny like any other set of beliefs.  Generally, this in itself can also be applied to any religion whenever religious scripture is used to justify barbaric cultural practices, and atrocities, it does warrant scrutiny into the religion’s doctrines.  In spite of certain questionable doctrines, not every Muslim fully observes every one of these verses and Islamic traditions can vary from country to country. 

A religion’s followers and a religion’s doctrines and teachings are not entirely synonymous.  A religion’s followers, like Christians, Muslims, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, Sikhs, etc. are individual people who observe and follow a religion’s doctrines while a religion itself is an system of beliefs, ceremonies, and rules used to worship an deity.

No matter how seemingly peaceful or altruistic a religion can profess to be, such as Jainism or Buddhism, there always is some flaws within the beliefs of the religion.  There is no religion, ideology, or any set of beliefs that is ever immune or exempt to criticism.

“Here’s something that flew under the radar of the press last week at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia. The above resolution, making quite a statement about religion and politics while recognizing the value and importance of the nonreligious demographic, was passed at the DNC by the LGBT Caucus of the Democratic Party.

This is a real milestone for the growing secular demographic and movement, to be formally recognized in a major political setting (rather than shunned, as has typically been the case for seculars in politics).”

-David Noise (http://davidniose.com/landmark-secular-resolution-passed-at-dnc/)

Community Minus Dogma: Sunday Assembly

The Sunday Assembly was started by Sanderson Jones and Pippa Evans, two comedians who were on the way to a gig in Bath when they discovered they both wanted to do something that was like church but totally secular and inclusive of all—no matter what they believed.


Debate: Arab Secularists v Islamists