Monday, March 29, 2010

A Week on Facebook

Those of you on Facebook may or may not know about Richard Dawkins' Out Campaign project; and there's a related grassroots campaign to get atheists to show their solidarity by changing their profile picture on Facebook to the Scarlet A this week. So if you're on Facebook, RSVP to the A week on Facebook event and set your picture to the Scarlet A for the week...

The Scarlet Letter represents how atheists are labeled by mainstream society...and now it can also show that we are proud of our label, we are proud to be atheists, we are not ashamed!


Tuesday, January 19, 2010

What Happened to the 1st Amendment?

The 1st Amendment to the United States Constitution reads:

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

Based on how it has been interpreted in the recent past, and how it is interpreted today, it might read:

"The government and/or any extension of it, may not express any favoritism towards one specific religion, or prevent anyone from the exercise of his/her religion [without compelling interest]; the government may not prohibit freedom of speech and/or expression, and press; the government may not prohibit the people from peacefully demonstrating; the government may not prohibit the people from suing to redress a wrong they suffered."


U.S. Military on Christian Crusade?

The U.S. Military uses products from many different contractors, foreign and domestic; but a few products from a Michigan contractor, Trijicon, are raising interest. Trijicon supplies our military with telescopic sights; inscribed with Bible verses! The sights, which use radioactive tritium to allow the shooter to see in the dark, are standard issue to U.S. special operations forces.

The inscriptions are included at the end of the stock number; one model carries the inscription "JN8:12" referencing John Chapter 8, Verse 12

"When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, 'I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.'"

Another model carries the inscription "2COR4:6" (2nd Corinthians Chapter 4, Verse 6)

"For God, who said, 'Let light shine out of darkness,' made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ."


Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Christian Privilege, FCC Style

Kept from the sweet darkness of sleep due to what can only be described as obscene amounts of caffeine, I sit on my couch watching half-hour segments of Comedy Central Presents. As some balding middle-aged man with a microphone failed to maintain my interest, something suddenly jerked me from my pre-sleep thoughts. The thing that caught my attention was the bleep, which, by itself, isn't out of place in the routine of your average stand-up comic (Brian Regan doesn't count). What suddenly piqued my interest was what was being bleeped.
The comedian had said "God damn," and Comedy Central had elected that its viewers would be better off hearing "BLEEP damn." Compared to other words deemed worthy of being bleeped, "God damnit" isn't nearly on par with the other things.


Saturday, December 12, 2009

Know Thine Enemy

Taking inspiration from Atheist Revolution's Idiot of the Week series, I will be posting semi-periodic entries in my series, Know Thine Enemy. This series will highlight people, groups, and legislation that is considered to be an enemy of secularism, free thought, human rights, and religious freedom.

This series is an effort to give the secular community knowledge about the entities that fight against them; and to expose the hatred, intolerance, and backward thinking of these entities themselves.

I have many organizations on my list who will certainly be included in this series...and the list grows as I research more.


Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Atheism; Is it a choice?

I've often wondered whether atheism is a choice or not; certainly one can choose to no longer take part in their parent's religion, or the religion they were in. But was that person predisposed to eventually become an atheist? I think the answer is most likely yes; I'm sure I speak for many of my fellow atheists when I say that the idea and practice of religion just doesn't click with me at all, and it never has.

In the movie Angels and Demons, based on Dan Brown's novel of the same name, Tom Hanks's character tells Ewan McGregor's character this quote:

     "Faith is a gift I have not yet received."

I can entirely relate to his plight; the ability to believe in something like a god would certainly reduce my stress level. My view on faith is bittersweet; I envy the faith of religious people, but I am also glad I don't have it. I find myself unable to believe in something for which there is no evidence; and that I frankly don't believe exists.

I do not regret my atheism. People of faith can pray to their chosen deity, and be filled with hope and the knowledge that their problems are in the hands of their god. Personally, I know prayer doesn't work, and if it appears to, it is only because of coincidences. I believe it's always better in the long run to take responsibility for your problems and work on them yourself, instead of giving them up to God.

In closing, while my life might be easier if I was a person of faith, I regret nothing about my lack of belief. To me, it seems entirely obvious that religion is false; it seems so blatantly untrue, so unbelievable. I can only imagine that this is how faithful people feel about NOT believing in what they do; I empathize with them. Assuming the basic principle that God (any god) is only an element of our psyche, then faith and lack of faith are both just as good for your psychological welfare. Faith allows you to have hope even in the most dire of situations; lack of faith allows you to have faith in yourself.
Personally, I prefer the latter.


First Post

Hello; this is the first post on my newly created blog. As I type this, I'm sitting on my bed wondering why I can't sleep. I'm excited to see how popular this blog can get...and looking forward to talking about my views. Even if no one ends up reading this, it's nice to just hear yourself say what you believe; it allows you to analyze your views and better understand why you think the way you do.