Christ Honored
In U.S. Constitution?
David Brown

 

Because this writer puts on such a scholarly pretense, we've kept the spelling, punctuation, etc., precisely as we received it.

 

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From: "Positive Atheism Magazine" <editor@positiveatheism.org>
To: David Brown
Subject: Re: Would like your comment please..
Date: Friday, January 26, 2001 7:55 PM

I have never heard of this having happened. Where did you get your information?

If Christ and his "work" on the cross was this important to the framers of the Constitution, then why is Christ not mentioned in that Constitution?

Cliff Walker
"Positive Atheism" Magazine
Five years of service to
     people with no reason to believe

Graphic Rule

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From: "Positive Atheism Magazine" <editor@positiveatheism.org>
To: David Brown
Subject: Re: Would like your comment please..
Date: Saturday, January 27, 2001 10:39 AM
 

How come the only people who think this Supreme Court case holds any weight are the Christian Nation res visionists -- the very same people who are desperately trying to overthrow or otherwise thwart the powerfully influential Supreme Court decision of 1973 known as Roe v. Wade? Why is the one Supreme Court case authoritative and the other a case to be disobeyed and even overthrown? How can this be?
 

Where? You mean the date!? "In the year of our Lord ..." Ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha!!

You are really grasping at straws if you respond to my obj ection by pointing out that Article 7 contains the date it was signed!!

Again: If this had been founded as a Christian nation, the n why is not Christ granted supremacy in the United States Constitution?
 

The founding fathers believed in a god, but not the Christian god. They were not Christians. Most of them believed in the god of Deism, which was the prevailing view among post-Enlightenment intellectuals until Darwin came along.

If this had been founded as a Christian nation, then why is not Christ granted supremacy in the United States Constitution?

Washington and Adams gave Thanksgiving Proclamations and Days of Prayer because they firmly believed that the masses needed religion to keep them in line. Washington was clear on this, as was Adams, when in 1817 he made his widely misquoted remark to Jefferson that "this would be the best of worlds if there were no religion in it." He quickly moderates this passionately unreasoned ejaculation by expressing the view that religion is effective at contoling the masses: "Without religion this world would be something not fit to be mentioned in polite company, I mean hell." Adams was equally clear in his rejection of the biblical Christianity, the divinity of Christ, and other uniquely Christian tenets -- as was Jefferson.

Meanwhile, what are you getting at? that I, as a non-Christian, am not a proper citizen?
 

The Pilgrims did not found the United States of America. This says nothing about the United States of America being founded as a Christian Nation. The colonies were a Christian nation, being part of Britain, but the Revolution shook off that leadership and installed a new Constitution, which omits the name of Christ and places "We The People" squarely upon the seat of authority.

I doubt that Governor Brandford, whoever he was, would misspell the word their.
 

Do you think that Franklin or his stenographers wrote their personal pronouns with the lowercase "I"? Which book did you copy this out of? And do you base your entire opinion of something after reading a single book or a single article or even a single author?

Franklin was a Deist, he said so in his Autobiography. I would trust an autobiography to determine something personal as religious beliefs over a political speech any day. As a Deist, Franklin believed that a god created the Universe.

But this says nothing about Christ and says nothing about the United States of America being founded as a Christian nation.
 

Washington was a Deist and as such believed in the existence of a god, but he is not known to have ever prayed.

He also firmly and vehemently believed that the masses needed religion to keep them in line (though he did not follow his own advice for himself), so he felt it was his duty to go along with what he thought was the public's religiosity when issuing these proclamations to the public. This proclamation was at the behest of Congress. Jefferson later sternly repudiated this act of Washington's and similar acts by Adams. Nevertheless, there is nothing in this proclamation about Christ or about this being a Christian nation.
 

I have a copy of this: they are notes answering the questions of a foreigner that he eventually copied and gave to a few of his friends, Query XVIII being the rough draft of a proposed impassioned plea to end slavery, designed perhaps to change people's minds about slavery.

And Jefferson did not use the lowercase "i" for a personal pronoun, here. You also placed a comma where a colon exists in the original, thereby changing its meaning (to suit your needs? because you don't really know what you're talking about? because you're not really the scholar you pretend to be?).

This says nothing about Christ.

It says nothing about the United States being founded as a Christian nation.

Jefferson abhorred the Bible and thought that Christ was merely a man, who did not die for anybody's sins and who did not perform supernatural feats. Jefferson said of the Christian god and His followers:

 

That sect had presented for the object of their worship, a being of terrific character, cruel, vindictive, capricious and unjust.
-- Thomas Jefferson, referring to the god of the Jews under Moses, in his letter to William Short (August 4, 1822)

It is too late in the day for men of sincerity to pretend they believe in the Platonic mysticism that three are one and one is three, and yet, that the one is not three, and the three not one.... But this constitutes the craft, the power, and profits of the priests. Sweep away their gossamer fabrics of fictitious religion, and they would catch no more flies.
-- Thomas Jefferson, letter to John Adams (August 22, 1813), Works, Vol. IV, p. 205, Randolph's edition

The hocus-pocus phantasm of a god like another Cerberus, with one body and three heads, had its birth and growth in the blood of thousands and thousands of martyrs.
-- Thomas Jefferson, letter to James Smith, December 8, 1822 Jefferson's Works, Vol. IV, 360, Randolph's ed.

 

Jefferson, like Washington and Adams and most Deists of his day, firmly believed that the populace needed religion in order to keep them in line.

So, the context of this whole passage (one of several in this page of his notebook where Jefferson waxes poetic and provides liberal use of metaphor: did Jefferson believe in a literal "wheel of fortune?) is stated several sentences before the one from which you built your "quotation":

 

And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are of the gift of God?

 

In other words, Jefferson thought that if the masses believed that their liberties were from a god, then they would be less likely to abuse those liberties, and thus less likely to lose those liberties through abusing their freedom. But the institution of slavery (which remained instituted solely because of pressure from the Christian clergy and for no other reason) thwarts and confounds and blatantly contradicts this notion that Liberty always involves responsibility and accountability. So, Jefferson continues, using several metaphors, including the wheel of fortune, nature, God, and even the supernatural (a concept which Jefferson, in many other writings, roundly repudiated in no uncertain terms).

 

Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just: and that his justice cannot sleep forever: that considering numbers, nature and natural means only, a revolution of the wheel of fortune, an exchange of situation, is among possible events: that it may become probable by supernatural interference!

 

You also misquoted Jefferson in placing a period where it does not exist in the original, making it appear to be a complete sentence, where it is just the introduction of a thought that continues, explaining what the non-Christian (the viciously anti-Christian) Jefferson means when he uses the metaphor "God is just, and his justice cannot sleep forever." This is poetry because justice is a concept and concepts do not sleep. Jefferson, I think, is using poetic exaggeration, here, to bring emphasis to his point. How else can one explain a man mentioning "supernatural interference" who repeatedly repudiated the notion of the supernatural, cloaking, in a passage describing the convictions "in the minds of the people," and including the (patently occult) metaphor about the wheel of fortune?
 

I cannot find this quotation or anything like it anywhere except on several lists of alleged quotations of the founding fathers. All of these lists are "Christian Nation" propaganda, and the quotations listed are designed to entice people to believe that the United States is a Christian nation. Nowhere did I find this quotation on a secular source, and nowhere did I find this quotation in any documents, speeches, etc., that I was able to view. It is not included on any John Q. Adams websites or any secular Early American History websites.

Many of these Christian lists obviously share the same master source simply because they contain the same formatting quirks, the same comments, and the quotations are listed in the same order. Others that contain this quotation actually show it to have different wording than you give to it, and than the other pages give to it. Many of these lists include alleged quotations that are known to be phony. None of these lists -- not a one of them -- bothers to provide primary source citations, and none of them describe the context (a political speech? a letter to a close friend? testimony given under duress?).

Please provide a primary source citation and a context.
 

Again, this only appears on "Christian Nation" lists, which do not give source citations (primary or otherwise). These lists also contain very questionable quotations, and many real ones that I know sing a much different tune in their original context than the message being conveyed by the "Christian Nation" revisionists.
 

Again, only to be found on a handful of lists of quotations on "Christian Nation" propaganda websites. I cannot find it anywhere else. It is not on any of the pages celebrating the life and work of Woodrow Wilson. Only the "Christian Nation" revisionists allege that he said this.

Even if he said it, it says nothing about America being a Christian nation.

But it sure doesn't sound like the same man who wrote:

 

May it not suffice for me to say ... that of course like every other man of intelligence and education I do believe inorganic evolution. It surprises me that at this late date such questions should be raised.
     -- Woodrow Wilson, letter to an academic, August 29, 1922, over one year after leaving the office of President, quoted in James A. Haught, 2000 Years of Disbelief

 

Finally, you introduced this list of quotations as being from an 1892 Supreme Court case. Woodrow Wilson was President from 1913 to 1921. In 1892, Wilson was in his 30s. No matter how infallible one might think this Supreme Court session may have been regarding the Holy Trinity case, it is highly unlikely that the Supreme Court would cite a quotation from "President Woodrow Wilson" a full 21 years before he was even elected!

You liar!
 

Aha! So which 1892 Supreme Court decision is quoting which 1892 Supreme Court decision?

And if the Supreme Court is so infallible, then why do all who place so much weight on this extremely insignificant case work so hard to overthrow Roe v. Wade?
 

Practically everyone believed that a god existed until Charles Darwin came along.

But, the United States Constitution places "We The People" squarely in the seat of authority. Although almost all of them believed in a god (most of them, the god of Deism -- not the gods of Christianity), they never pretended that this was anything other than a secular government -- of the people, by the people, and for the people.

John Adams said:

 

The United States of America have exhibited, perhaps, the first example of governments erected on the simple principles of nature; and if men are now sufficiently enlightened to disabuse themselves of artifice, imposture, hypocrisy, and superstition, they will consider this event as an era in their history. Although the detail of the formation of the American governments is at present little known or regarded either in Europe or in America, it may hereafter become an object of curiosity. It will never be pretended that any persons employed in that service had interviews with the gods, or were in any degree under the influence of Heaven, more than those at work upon ships or houses, or laboring in merchandise or agriculture; it will forever be acknowledged that these governments were contrived merely by the use of reason and the senses.
     -- John Adams, "A Defence of the Constitutions of Government of the United States of America" (1787-88), quoted from Adrienne Koch, ed., The American Enlightenment: The Shaping of the American Experiment and a Free Society (1965) p. 258
 
 

 

To this I respond with a sample of the Bible's version of wholesome behavior:

 

"He that is wounded in the stones, or hath his privy member cut off, shall not enter into the congregation of the Lord."
     -- Moses in Deuteronomy 23:1

"If any man come unto me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple."
     -- Jesus in Luke 14:26

"Happy shall he be that taketh and dasheth thy little ones against the stones."
     - Psalm 137:9

"Let as many servants as are under the yoke count their own masters worthy of all honour, that the name of God and his doctrine be not blasphemed. And they that have believing masters, let them not despise them, because they are brethren; but rather do them service, because they are faithful and beloved, partakers of the benefit. These things teach and exhort. If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness; He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself."
     -- Paul, endorsing human slavery, and repudiating anyone who would disagree with him on this matter

"If a man have a stubborn and rebellious son ... Then shall his father and his mother lay hold on him, and bring him out unto the elders of his city ... And all the men of his city shall stone him with stone s, that he die..."
     -- Moses in Deuteronomy 21:18-21

"He that curseth father or mother, let him die the death."
     -- Jesus in Matthew 15:4, reiterating Deuteronomy 21:18-21. Jesus then denounces the Pharisees for taking the venom out of the commandment that a rebellious child must be put to death.

"And it shall be, when thou wilt ease thyself abroad, thou shalt dig therewith, and shalt turn back and cover that which cometh from thee: For the LORD thy God walketh in the midst of thy camp."
     -- Moses, explaining why we must bury our fecal matter, in Deuteronomy 23:13-14

"If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned."
     -- Jesus in John 15:6. This passage was used for centuries to justify burning our predecessors at the stake as punishment for refusing to believe the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

"Now therefore kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman that hath known man by lying with him. But all the women children, that have not known a man by lying with him, keep alive for yourselves."
     -- Moses makes arrangements for sex slaves, in Numbers 31:1-18

"And the persons were sixteen thousand; of which the LORD'S tribute was thirty and two persons."
     -- Numbers 31:40, describing how 32 of the above-mentioned women escaped the degradation of becoming sex slaves by being ritually sacrificed as an offering to Yahweh The Volcano God

"For she doted upon their paramours, whose flesh is as the flesh of asses, and whose issue is like the issue of horses."
     -- Ezekiel, waxing blatantly lewd with his metaphors about donkey cocks and horse cum, in 23:20 (this one cannot be chalked up to a mere description of lewd activities: this is a biblical metaphor -- a metaphor that amounts to nothing less than gratuitous usage of extremely base pornographic imagery)

"Behold, I will corrupt your seed, and spread dung upon your faces."
     -- God, in Malachi 2:3
 
 

 

I cannot find the quotation anywhere. I cannot even find a book called Antichrist having been written by Bertrand Russell. I could be wrong about the book, but I've been buying, selling, and collecting books since I was about nine years old.

Russell did say something similar to this in his essay, "Why I Am Not A Christian," wherein he denounced the Christian religion and then mentioned that some people equate Christianity with good behavior. This may be why (at least according to your alleged quotation of him) the word Christian is enclosed in quotation marks: perhaps whoever wrote this intended a sense of irony (not unlike Russell) or perhaps this person meant to use the word Christian in a sense other than its normal meaning. The proper use of quotation marks, either way they can be taken (and I have described both, because the third option would be that Russell was a lousy writer) completely demolishes the sense which you obviously intend when including it in a set of three antiatheist quotations as the signature to your e-mails.
 

Voltaire was not an atheist.

I heard Josh McDowell (and others) talk about the house, but lots of what McDowell has said is shown to be patent falsehood, so I'd need more than just the two of you verify this claim's truthfulness (especially considering that you here falsely called Voltaire an atheist).

Meanwhile, so what?

Also, most freethinkers during the Age of Enlightenment (Jefferson, Madison, Adams, Paine, Voltaire, etc.,) had very good reason to think that Christianity was dead meat. The vast majority of intellectuals back then had rejected Christianity in favor of Deism, Unitarianism, or Universalism. In the the American Colonies, in 1776, only 17 percent of Americans went to church regularly. In Europe, it is still this way. It was only the moves toward liquor prohibition that re-popularized Christianity in the United States. Then, later, the anti-Communist hysteria of the McCarthy era during the 1950s forced many people to claim to be Christians or be put out of a job. Another surge in the popularity of Christianity coincided with the Reagan Era, and it looks like we're in the middle of yet another one for the Bush Era.

It won't last, though, because when fundamentalist Christianity gains control, a society stagnates and dies because fundamentalist Christianity is diametrically opposed to the Liberal Scientific Method. Fundamentalist Christianity squashes any science that shows the Christian religion to be false (and the core values of science do just that). Meanwhile, Europe is making great cultural advances. Europe seems the place to be these days, not America.

Cliff Walker
"Positive Atheism" Magazine
Five years of service to
     people with no reason to believe

Graphic Rule

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From: "Positive Atheism Magazine" <editor@positiveatheism.org>
To: David Brown
Subject: Re: Fwd
Date: Wednesday, February 07, 2001 3:49 AM
 

As I told you privately, when I asked you to rewrite your letter to conform to Positive Atheism's standard of e-mail ethics (but you refuse to hear me on this), it is very tacky of you to ask me to respond to what someone else has written, when the whole point of this Forum is to respond to what readers have written. Also, it is illegal for you to distribute copyrighted material without the author's permission (the very first line of the piece you attached is the author's copyright statement), and it would be illegal for me to post it without permission. True, I would be willing to fight a Fair-Use case for important material which I though was useful or made an important point, but will not take this risk to address revisionist clap-trap when a basic education in American history is all that's needed detect the sloppy and dishonest "scholarship" that you keep sending me.

Thus, I will completely ignore the piece you sent me. I won't even read it.

Nevertheless, to expose the fraud that you so earnestly seek to perpetrate, I will indulge your privately made request to edit your letter -- not by editing it, but rather by showing why your later request is unreasonable and unorthodox, and by suggesting that this request serves only to discredit both yourself and the opinion to which you seek to bring credibility.
 

That you never bothered to get much of an education is suggested by the way you write, but is made very clear by the way that you uncritically accept some of the most transparent lies currently being foisted on a gullible Christian public. That you refuse even to acknowledge -- much less address -- my systematic and carefully researched response to your previous list of claims shows only that you are not interested in scholarship, that is, in seeking the truth and following her wherever she may lead, but that you are interested only in disseminating propaganda for which you admittedly lack the skills and the experience to verify.

My only question is why -- if an education in the basics of American history is so readily available that a ten-year-old can log on and quickly learn to critically assess all sides of this issue (I wish such an opportunity was that available when I began studying American history as a hobby at that age) -- why do you insist on believing the drivel which spews forth from these dishonest political opportunists -- control freaks to a man -- who disguise themselves as benevolent spokesmen for God and concerned shepherds of His unwary and undiscerning flock?

More importantly, why is it so important to you that the rest of us join you in your admitted imbecility?
 

I'd prefer that you tackle this with your own mind, rather than looking it up and telling me what somebody else thinks. I'll give you one that I came up with myself, that, when I wrote it, I had not read in any of the published attacks on the Bible: I call it The Fig Tree Enigma, and it is summarized on our National Bible Week Poster:

 

The Fig Tree Enigma
Mark 11:12-14, 20-21

    The next day..., Jesus was hungry. Seeing in the distance a fig tree in leaf, he went to find out if it had any fruit. When he reached it, he found nothing but leaves, because it was not the season for figs. Then he said to the tree, "May no one ever eat fruit from you again." ... In the morning..., they saw the fig tree withered from the roots. Peter ... said to Jesus, "Rabbi, look! The fig tree ... has withered!" (NIV)

Points to remember

  • Jesus was hungry.
  • He looked for figs on a tree.
  • But it was not fig season.

Questions to ponder

  • If it wasn't fig season, why would even a moron look for figs?
     
  • Is killing a tree for not bearing fruit out of season a reasonable response by any standard?
     
  • Matthew 21:18-21 (written after and based upon Mark) says it withered at once. Mark says they saw it the next day and then marveled. Something's terribly wrong, here. Was Matthew possibly dissatisfied with a Jesus who'd take an entire day to wither a damned fig tree?
 

I began The Fig Tree Enigma as a post to an America Online forum in 1995. Later I expanded it (distilled it, actually) in a dialogue with Mike Boston called "Atheism: A Position Of Convenience?," answering all the objections he could find in his collection of apologetics books (although Boston conveniently fails even to consider my objections -- as evidenced by the fact that he quickly changes the subject and forgets that we ever discussed the subject of the fig tree: he never once puts his own mind in gear by trying to address the objections I and others have raised to the notion of Divine Revelation).

Nevertheless, I have accommodated your request without addressing the real question as to why I think the entire notion of Divine Revelation is fundamentally and thoroughly flawed. Quibbling over this or that alleged discrepancy in the Bible is a waste of time compared to the objections I have over the basic idea of supernatural inspiration, which itself pales before my objections to the claim that a god even exists.

Meanwhile, I have considered all the material in Dr. Geisler's book. When I was a Christian I discovered that in order to keep my innately human tendency to want things to make sense from demolishing my faith (which I felt, at the time, was essential to my very existence), I had to spend much of my spare time exposing myself to the fact that others claim not to see the problems I'd see while studying the Bible. So I bought every book of that nature that I could find. I had all of Josh McDowell's material, Geisler's books and many others, and even consulted such sources as Herbert Armstrong's material and the Watchtower literature (which better explains the "three days and three nights" problem than any material from orthodoxy, because the orthodox Christians need to protect the integrity of the timing of the Passion feast -- which is entirely pagan in origin).

Geisler is quick to show every single instance of dishonesty and slipshod scholarship that has ever been used in building a case against biblical inerrancy; this makes up the bulk of his work. However, I have always maintained that such dishonesty is unnecessary, that a world of solid and legitimate criticism of the Bible exist -- criticism which most Protestant denominations have taken to heart.

Fortunately, just like young-earth creationism, Holocaust revisionism, Christian-Nation revisionism, and flat-earth-ism, faith healing (and to a lesser extent, the Virgin Birth, the healings and exorcisms, the apparent violation of natural laws, the doctrine of exclusivism, the doctrine of predestination, and the Resurrection), only biblical fundamentalists, easy prey of such opportunists as Geisler and McDowell, still consider this even to be an issue. The rest of us have either noticed a few of the many clear and unanswerable flaws, any one of which demolishes the claim that the Bible is "The Infallible, Uncha-a-a-angeable Wor-or-or-or-or-ord Of The Living Go-o-od," or we have applied ourselves and have diligently sought to get to the bottom of the claim that the Bible is infallible (perhaps because we used to be caught up in that trap ourselves; perhaps we have fallen victim to the anti-intellectualism and sheer bigotry fostered by the Bible and practiced by its more fundamentalistic adherents).

Geisler has a captive audience in people who suspect that the Bible's wild and unlikely claims trigger a human's natural tendency toward skepticism -- that innately human desire for things to make sense -- but who also feel a compulsion to adhere faithfully to the Christian religion (who are coerced or enticed toward the superficially realistic position that fundamentalism is the form of Christianity with the most integrity). By providing shallow arguments and banking on the fact that his audience consists mostly of anti-intellectual, uncritical people who strongly desire to believe despite what their innate human reason suspects to the contrary, he has carved out a niche for himself, and can command quite a respectable price for both is books and his lectures.
 

I don't care what Voltaire was or was not: he raised some serious objections to the dominant religion of his day, and thereby unleashed a whirlwind of social change, and this is the extent of my interest in Voltaire. Voltaire denounced what he called atheism, and in a quest toward moderation, says, "Atheism is the vice of a few intelligent persons, and superstition is the vice of fools."

But upon examination of his definition (in his Dictionaire Philosophique), I find his understanding of the word to differ immensely from how it is used by most of those who have written about atheism from an atheistic perspective.

1. Some people think an atheist is someone who is not an orthodox Christian (as their particular sect sees orthodoxy), and some of them further consider an atheist those who may express an orthodox creed but who are disobedient. This is based on the notion that there is only One True God, and if you don't believe in Him and describe him with the accepted level of precision, then you don't believe in Him and are therefore an atheist. If this is what you mean by atheist, then Voltaire was an atheist, joining in his atheism the likes of Gandhi, Mohammed, Joseph Smith, Charles Taze Russell, Sun Myung Moon, David Koresh, (for some) Martin Luther King, (for some) Pope John Paul II, (for some) Billy Graham, (for some) Dr. Norman Geisler, and (for at least a few of our readers, I'm sure) yourself. I do not recognize this as a valid definition for the word atheism.

2. Some people think an atheist is only someone who adamantly asserts that no gods exist. Since Voltaire did speak of a god (and, like almost all freethinkers who preceded Charles Darwin) was a creationist, he was no more an atheist than was Thomas Jefferson. I do not recognize the limitations of this definition as valid, though my definition includes those who assert that no gods exist.

3. Some people think an atheist is someone who does not use the word God and that anyone who uses theistic terminology to describe their outlook is de facto a theist though their viewpoint be otherwise indistinguishable from atheism. This is not Voltaire by a long shot. I have been known to advocate this position, but am not devout or fundamentalistic about it by any stretch -- considering it one of several elements needed for a conscientious and honest appraisal of another's religiosity or lack thereof.
 

I am no such thing!

1. I am an atheist in that I lack a god belief: nobody claiming that a god exists has bothered to provide me with any compelling reason to believe that they're telling me the truth.

2. I have, for much of my life, been the victim of vicious, widespread, and systematic bigotry for failing to go along with the dominant religion, and even for not going along with some of the more obscure viewpoints. I am tired of this treatment, and ten years ago decided to work toward ending this situation. Since then, I have made this struggle a full-time endeavor. Part of what I do is post letters from bigots in the hopes that we can all learn to recognize this bigotry for what it is and learn how to oppose it whenever we encounter it.

3. Since atheism is my view and my heritage, I choose to study the history of that heritage and to write about not only her history, but also the philosophy of atheism and her related philosophical movements, as well the threads which led to modern atheism.
 

No. I think the question of whether or not gods exist is one of the stupidest reasons for getting into a heated argument.

I don't care what you believe, but I will counter your lies and I will expose your bigotry. You could have avoided this by keeping your religion private, but now that you have entered the forum of public discussion by trying to convince me that yours is a religion of truthfulness, you are fair game for my challenges. I totally disagree with the notion that religious opinions should be respected simply because they are considered sacred by some, or because they are part of some cultural tradition.
 

This is not the question: Since atheism is the absence of theism, the default state of humanity (although some humans later learn religion and add to that default state), the question is, "What does religion offer that cannot be obtained apart from religion?" I will be willing to consider any responses you might have to that question.

But to ask for the comparative merits of atheism is akin to asking me to describe the merits of not wearing earrings. To conduct a cost-benefit analysis of earrings is seek out the merits and disadvantages of earrings, not the default state of not wearing earrings.

Meanwhile, since you seem to think atheism to be some peculiar condition, I'd be interested in hearing what you think atheism has done that is detrimental to society.

I can expound on the many things that religion has done to retard human progress, and I can make a strong case that the Christian religion is the single most devastating force ever known. But since it is religion that is the added attraction, so to speak, we need to discuss the comparative merits and demerits of religion.

I have listed some of the contributions of various atheists and non-fundamentalists, and this can be found in the letter called "Let's Go To The Atheist Page Just For Laughs." But as for your question as to what atheism itself has done, I cannot even tell you what atheism did for the noble people I have described in "Let's Go To The Atheism Page" except (assuming that any of these individuals were ever theists to begin with) to free them from the bondage of religious dogma and to unfetter their minds to think more clearly and in a manner unbiased by religious dogma. I'm not even saying here that these people were free from bias or unfettered by other mental "gotchas," I am saying only that these individuals had no religion to pull them down -- whatever that's worth.

Cliff Walker
"Positive Atheism" Magazine
Five years of service to
     people with no reason to believe

Graphic Rule

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