Tag Archive | "atheism"

American pastor wants Atheist registry

American pastor wants Atheist registry

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He likens them to convicted sex offenders, terrorist cells, hate groups, and more.

A comic strip from a Christian fundamentalist publication.

America is fast becoming the Land of Crackpot Christians. Evidence? Check out Michael Stahl, a self-proclaimed Florida ‘pastor’ of an Internet church who recently declared in a blog post that people should create a website that keeps track of atheists like Richard Dawkins.

The website would state the apostate’s name, city, state, along with photos and personal information like place of business. Physical addresses, thankfully, would not be included. Further, Pastor Mike even compared atheists to “convicted sex offenders , ex-convicts, terrorist cells , hate groups like the KKK , skinheads , radical Islamists , etc..” Read the full story

Atheism: The art of not-giving-a-shit

Atheism: The art of not-giving-a-shit

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“Every man born unto this Earth is a sinner!”, the man exclaimed. “If you do not believe in Jesus, then you are a walking corpse!”

By Chin Wei Lien

Atheists gone wild

I WAS called a “walking corpse” by a complete stranger in the winter of 2009 in Buffalo, New York. Granted, I was a sleep deprived communications major at that point of time. But I didn’t think he was referring to my heavy eyebags or my… student attire.

“Every man born unto this Earth is a sinner!”, the man exclaimed. “If you do not believe in Jesus, then you are a walking corpse!”

The man was a pastor from a local community church, and he was directing the insult not personally at me for my lack of religious beliefs, but also to everyone in the vicinity who didn’t subscribe to his, apparently, non-zombie faith.

Like many historical leaders in old photographs and paintings, the man stood taller and spoke louder than the crowd of college students beneath his feet. Silhouette painted black forbodingly outside the Student Union, the man was perched on top of a tiny foldable stool and looked bigger and more authoritative than his booming voice.

As the messenger of God’s words, he clearly looked confident and on most days, he also had an audience.

I was in the mostly muted crowd when a heated debate erupted between the pastor and a group of over-enthusiastic college atheists. One Indian exchange student (thick accent and all) in particular, stood out.

“What about babies? Are babies born sinners? What sins have they committed?” he retorted, backed by cheers from the crowd.

But our man would not be fazed.

One of the many apocalyptic crackpots dotting the streets of New York.

With every rhetorical and hypothetical question thrown at the pastor, he would use the Bible as his own pillar of truth. God had apparently, wrote down the answers to every conceivable question in the universe and the atheists, cynical as they were, would not run out of questions.

As the back-and-forth squabble began to border on the inane, I began to wonder if there was a point for atheists to form small groups and organizations to protest against leaders of religious institutions. After all, atheists trying to preach about atheism is a little too, well, religious for my taste.

The word “religion” has the same root word as “ligament” and “ligature”, which means “to be bound together in one belief”. If the belief of non-belief, or atheism, transforms into an organized institution of believers, then what draws the line between atheism and all the other religions?

Banding together to tell others that there is no God is in the most rudimentary form, the same as banding together and telling others that there is one. Only, the latter marches under the flag of a church while the other marches under none.

In January of 2009, an atheist advertising campaign was launched on buses all across Britain, carrying the slogan “There’s probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life”. Essentially a fund-raising campaign, the advertisement ran on 200 buses and 600 vehicles in England, Scotland and Wales.

A similar incident occurred in February of 2010 when a group of atheists, agnostics and humanists, called the Secular Coalition of America, met up with the Obama administration in the White House to discuss issues of great concern to the secular movement. These issues include the protection of children from neglect and abuse, the ending of military proselytizing as well as the eradication of faith-based initiatives.

Comedian Adam Carolla said it best when he was invited onto an episode of Real Time with Bill Maher in February of 2010, a HBO talk show that features a panel of guests that discuss current events in politics and the media.

Atheism = "not giving a shit!"

“I don’t like it when atheists or atheism becomes a religion. A lot of people are having meetings, organizing and protesting when the whole point of being an atheist is to not give a shit!”

In truth, it doesn’t matter if someone wants to worship Jesus Christ, Buddha, the Sun God of Ra, Cthulhu or a rock – let them be. To say that atheism is the art of “not giving a shit” isn’t so much about celebrating ignorance and giving a shelter to avoid big questions of life, but more about knowing how far your responsibilities lie. We are responsible to ourselves when it comes to our spiritual beliefs, and that is as far as we need to bother ourselves with.

As much as atheists may feel the need to defend themselves from the discrimination and hostility of religious fundamentalists, it is important to note that in reality, we merely have the responsibility to respond to those that attend to shove their beliefs down our throats.

In this day and age, trying to convert religious individuals to atheism is like trying to stab a jelly onto the ceiling with a plastic fork – it’s not going to happen. The slogan for the atheist advertisement campaign, then, really should be this: Don’t give a shit about what others do or do not believe. Stop worrying and enjoy your life!