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  1. #121
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    Some anthropologists might speculate that the origins of religious type beliefs may have arisen out practices of Animism.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Animism

    I like the idea of animals, trees, rocks, thunder, etc.... all having spirits.

    Their was a documentary I saw once about an amazonian tribe building a dugout canoe, and they had to preform a ceremony to the tree spirt before they cut the tree down to use it.

    I think it's interesting just how respectful these tribes who have these beliefs are of nature and the natural world.

    Perhaps before monotheism (belief in only one god) came along, these early belief systems played an important role for those peoples who were so very dependent upon their relationship with nature for their survival.

    I'd imagine that it wasn't until agrarian culture began to develop, that religious ideas had a chance to shift towards monotheism. I think this because agriculture possibly gave early people a greater sense of control over their world, and with that control came the beginnings of ideas of people standing apart from animals and nature, rather then being apart of it. This may have logically led to the premise of gods who also stand apart from nature, god's who's concerns are more with the affairs of people.

    In other words I think maybe spiritual belief evolved to mirror how humans perceive their own purpose/place within in the world.

    My example might be, people starting out virtually as a part of nature, viewing their gods as they view themselves; as a part of the natural world.

    Once people begin to feel they are divided from nature and more powerful then nature, their gods reflect this by becoming more humanistic and more omnipotent.

    In the last couple of thousand years as humanity developed more technology, and thus more power over nature. One god came into belief who represented the wants and needs of humanity apart from nature. Gods influence over nature became viewed as to benefit humanity, or to punish humanity. But I think the logic remains valid in that the modern god is primarily a god that raises humanity above nature, and I see this as a reflection of humanities steady rise in capacity over controlling nature.

    It may seem that the function of god is to provide control over whatever exists in nature that humanity itself has not yet attained control over.

    This is just some speculative thinking on my part, and if anyone has any counterpoints, I'd like to hear them, and consider how they might effect this idea.


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  2. #122
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    I'd like to see a survey of world religions in all public schools (religious ones too...it's probably more important there) as part of the core curriculum. It will never happen though.
    "We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals." ~Immanuel Kant



  3. #123
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    Quote Originally Posted by MMorgan View Post
    It sounds like she traded one addiction for another. Some people are extremists by nature and for them, it's all or nothing. I admit that the few in-your-face religious people I've met (in my lifetime) have had that born-again bent, but I wouldn't want to assume the entirety of born-agains are that way.

    Actually, my ex's family were Southern Baptist (he was not) and around the time that his niece began college (Meredith) she started getting really into quoting the Bible, with a huge increase in religious talk; one Thanksgiving she and her family came to visit and she was driving me a bit nuts. She asked me if I was saved and when I gave her my "queer" look, she went on to say, "do you take Jesus Christ as your Lord and personal savior?" I admit I was totally snotty by this point and said something like, "Uh, I'm Catholic. You know, we made it up?" in a Duh? tone.

    It wasn't nice of me, and I would have never said a word had she not been proselytizing the entire weekend. I'm sure anyone observing that one moment in time could use what I said as proof that each of the denominations has a superiority complex if they wanted to, but there was a broader context.

    But to the original point about Bluey's experience: she makes it sound like the "Christians" come out of the woodwork at every turn, in the grocery store, tack store, gas station, post office, assaulting her everyday, everywhere, like the zombies in the Night of the Living Dead. I was responding to that.
    No, not really "like zombies in the Night of the Living Dead", whatever that means.
    My point was, don't you think that just a few are a few to many, if it happens once or twenty times a year, when it comes to accost others about their religion?
    Guess it is ok to come on to someone strongly with an attitude about it, as asking if they "have accepted Jesus yet" and such?

    Then when I mention that, some here saying it must be "my" problem, not that of those proselytizing?

    Defending pushy religious people to that extent, that seems very much an absurd situation, all the way around.


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  4. #124
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    If you're talking about them accosting you with their faith, I think one is one too many, for what it's worth. But in my experience, one snappy comment and they leave you alone. And then you go about your merry way.

    I get the same way with my cousin-in-law now that she's gluten-free and can't be quiet about it. Leave me alone, I want my bread, dammit.
    "I was walking through the woods, thinking about Christ. If He was a carpenter, I wondered what He charged for bookshelves."


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  5. #125
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    HAve to say this whole thread has made me very sad.
    "you can only ride the drama llama so hard before it decides to spit in your face." ?Caffeinated.


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  6. #126
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    Once again, I am so thankful that I am episcopalian. We don't care what others think! We don't go out and try to change people's minds about their religious beliefs or lack thereof. Ditto my 2 Lutheran horses: They don't care about converting others to their religion either! Believe whatever you want to believe. And don't force religion or atheism on anyone.

    It has never bothered me when people show up at work or at home to try to talk about religion to me. I simply tell them my religion and that we think everyone needs to live and let live. Of course this sometimes means that "they" think that I don't believe, but I really don't care what they think! Last incident was 2 nice ladies who showed up at the barn. I explained my religion, my horses' religion, and they accepted that and left. Wait till they mark "Lutheran" by my 2 horses' names. (Plus, well, both my horses have that muslim background.)


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  7. #127
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bluey View Post
    No, not really "like zombies in the Night of the Living Dead", whatever that means.
    My point was, don't you think that just a few are a few to many, if it happens once or twenty times a year, when it comes to accost others about their religion?
    Guess it is ok to come on to someone strongly with an attitude about it, as asking if they "have accepted Jesus yet" and such?

    Then when I mention that, some here saying it must be "my" problem, not that of those proselytizing?

    Defending pushy religious people to that extent, that seems very much an absurd situation, all the way around.
    It does not bother me any more than one of my Atheist friends or family members preaching that Atheism is better than any religion. When my facebook page is suddenly inundated with Atheist propaganda, or my friend tells me Atheists are better people than Religious ones, I smile and nod the same way I smile and nod and say 'no thank you' when someone starts talking to me about being saved.

    So, yes, getting worked up about people sharing their opinion and asking questions is your problem. Yes, some people are more adamant than others, but that does not make them bad people or wrong, just more passionate on the subject.



  8. #128
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    Quote Originally Posted by houndsRus View Post
    Ok here's a liberal, or better progressive, Christian who has to leave for church. But, here's a A “taxonomy” of religions major Christian religions equates to an overview of the history of the Church. (Perhaps many type-os as I've got to getr dressed)


    Since Jesus died Christians have been try to sort out among themselves exactly how he wanted them to live and believe. Among this first followers, even Paul and Peter couldn’t agree on what Jesus wanted. Splits in the Church and divisions among believers are couched in terms of “right belief,” the fancy word, orthodoxy. However, they are seldom about belief alone. The Church is the expression of the risen Body of Christ in the world of women and men. As such, those folks can only think about God and Jesus as people of their own time and place. Churches always govern themselves in a way that reflects their beliefs, so the way believers relate to themselves and relate to others reflects that. So, when Christians fight, it’s always about more than belief, it’s about power, fear and anxiety, lack of resources… . There’s always a load of human stuff just behind the curtain.

    That said, briefly:
    All Christians were Jews in the earliest days after Jesus’ death.
    312 CE—Constantine becomes Emperor of Rome and legitimizes Christianity, before that the followers of the faith of the man crucified for sedition were persecuted b y the government which executed him. You might say everyone was what we would call Roman Catholic after this.

    325—Council of Nicaea: the church is trying o define and organize what it means to be Christina. The first great Ecumenical Creed (statement of belief held by all Christians) was the result.

    390—Apsotles Creed: the second great Ecumenical Creed, more of the church sorting itself out. Council of Milan.

    451—Council of Chalcedon: the power of the church is split between Rome and Eastern Rite Churches (Greek Orthodox and the rest), mostly over beliefs about the person of Jesus and the nature of power and decision making in the church.

    1500 – 1599—Reformation era, the beginnings of Christians who are not Roman Catholic Christians in the west—Protestants:
    Lutherans: Martin Luther a German Catholic Monk felt called by God to confront some of the abuses of the church. He didn’t ever want to not be Catholic, however, after much great drama and politic-ing, he was asked to leave.

    Presbyterians and Baptists: Meanwhile, in other parts of Europe, in Switzerland, John Calvin (a former French Lawyer) and John Knox, in Scotland, were working to change the church—today their heirs are Presbyterians (I’m one of ‘em).

    In England, there was Henry and all his struggles with the wives playing itself out in the consciousness of reform among the people, hence, as the Roman Catholic church forbid divorce and he needed one (in his mind anyway) and by law he was head of the Roman Church in England, he simply split with the church. It was certainly mush more complicated and filled with drama over years, but the result was the Church of England. With the American Revolution it split to become in the US the Episcopal Church.

    Methodists: In England in the 1700’s John, Samuel and Suzanna Wesley felt the need to enliven the practices of the Church of England. They were dismissed by those in power as “methodists.” They were savvy enough to turn a negative into a positive and “rebranded” themselves—Methodists. Again the American Revolution split Methodism and every one else.

    Baptists, Congregationalists and United Church of Christ, Unitarians, and the non-denominational churches (Willow Creek types), large and small, are heirs of the Puritans in England. They do not have a hierarchical relationship to a regional, nationals and world expression of the church. They are often self-governing by vote of the congregation.

    Unitarians, though they govern themselves in a similar manner are by definition liberal. Not al believe in Jesus or God, though many do. Louisa May Alcott, Clara Barton, and Ray Bradbury were famous Unitarians.
    This is a very good synopsis. Just missing the Jews for Christ or Jews for Jesus. They are considered under the umbrella of Christianity because they believe Jesus is the son of God/God on Earth. It was founded in 1973 and the basic premise is that just because the New Testament has been written, does not mean that the Jewish beliefs and practices should be abolished. In other words, they celebrate Hanukkah as well as Christmas. They also practice some Evangelism.

    There are also smaller demonitations that are recognized to varying degrees - such as those who worship Virgin Mary or those that hold different saints preeminent.



  9. #129
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ajierene View Post
    It does not bother me any more than one of my Atheist friends or family members preaching that Atheism is better than any religion. When my facebook page is suddenly inundated with Atheist propaganda, or my friend tells me Atheists are better people than Religious ones, I smile and nod the same way I smile and nod and say 'no thank you' when someone starts talking to me about being saved.

    So, yes, getting worked up about people sharing their opinion and asking questions is your problem. Yes, some people are more adamant than others, but that does not make them bad people or wrong, just more passionate on the subject.
    I think that is a strange post.

    I have never heard anyone discussing religion with people of faith and telling them anything of that sort.
    In my experience, some religious people are the ones that are proselytizing, not the other way at all.

    I have never talked with any religious people in person about their religion or told them what I think.
    It is not my place to tell others if they should or not be believers of any one out there.

    What I have talked about here is clearly, thru my whole life, a one way street of religious people, out of the blue, start a conversation demanding to know if I "have meet Jesus".

    Now, in a philosophical discussion or like here, yes, I will express my opinions, as I have done.

    What you consider "atheists" are not all cut of the same cloth or generally trying to tell others to believe or not anything, you got that backwards.
    It is some to many of the believers that want to "convert" others and make the world follow what their religions demands.

    Just think about all the religious push for their followers to vote for or against all those issues religious followers make their own, like abortion, gay marriage, dry county laws, against racing because of the betting, some stores closed on Sundays and such.

    I think we should keep government and all our lives separated by law from religious demands on how the faithful are asked to live.


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  10. #130
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bluey View Post
    What you consider "atheists" are not all cut of the same cloth or generally trying to tell others to believe or not anything, you got that backwards.
    It is some to many of the believers that want to "convert" others and make the world follow what their religions demands.

    Just think about all the religious push for their followers to vote for or against all those issues religious followers make their own, like abortion, gay marriage, dry county laws, against racing because of the betting, some stores closed on Sundays and such.

    I think we should keep government and all our lives separated by law from religious demands on how the faithful are asked to live.
    Your experiences and mine are different. This has a lot to do with where we live. I live in an area with a higher Atheist population, hence more likely to run into an Atheist and have experienced unsolicited Atheist comments when a religious shirt is noticed or squeezing the "greatness of Atheism" into a conversation.

    They are also trying to push laws regardin their beliefs, such as gay marriage and abortion laws. They are just on the other side of the coin.

    I am not sure I understand your statement about "atheist" not being cut from the same cloth. Same cloth as each other or religious people in general or radical religious people? Personnally, I think there is room for radical people in all walks of life and do consider some of the Atheists that I have met in my life radical. Random spewing of propaganda in a small restaurant is radical to me.

    All I am saying is that if you think a few religious people you meet are wrong for their unsolicited questions and comments about religion, then the few Atheists that I meet are wrong for their unsolicited questions and comments about religion. Since I do not think one party is really wrong, I do not think the other is really wrong and hence neither bother me.


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  11. #131
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    I have a close friend who is atheist and, yes, I have seen many FB posts regarding atheism. I also have a very good friend who is a Baptist preacher's wife. She very rarely posts anything religious, but she does have symbols of Christianity on her own page and under her 'likes'. I don't censor anyone. Freedom of religion, and all. (I think of atheism as just another variety of religion because it does have a system of beliefs, or non-beliefs).

    Come to think of it, I think I have almost all religions covered among my friends. That's funny...I never thought about it before.
    Is chasing cattle considered playing with your food?.

    War veteran


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  12. #132
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ajierene View Post
    Your experiences and mine are different. This has a lot to do with where we live. I live in an area with a higher Atheist population, hence more likely to run into an Atheist and have experienced unsolicited Atheist comments when a religious shirt is noticed or squeezing the "greatness of Atheism" into a conversation.

    They are also trying to push laws regardin their beliefs, such as gay marriage and abortion laws. They are just on the other side of the coin.

    I am not sure I understand your statement about "atheist" not being cut from the same cloth. Same cloth as each other or religious people in general or radical religious people? Personnally, I think there is room for radical people in all walks of life and do consider some of the Atheists that I have met in my life radical. Random spewing of propaganda in a small restaurant is radical to me.

    All I am saying is that if you think a few religious people you meet are wrong for their unsolicited questions and comments about religion, then the few Atheists that I meet are wrong for their unsolicited questions and comments about religion. Since I do not think one party is really wrong, I do not think the other is really wrong and hence neither bother me.
    You really don't see the difference in people being able to live their lives as they choose, ALL of them, one example you gave, gay people?
    Are you really demanding gay people follow the rules YOUR particular brand of religion, just because you say so and take offense when others don't agree and say so?

    Some still doesn't make sense to me here.

    My comment about who atheist are or not is that they are not, like a believer of any one faith, all one with one set of beliefs and goals.
    "Atheist" or just those that don't believe we should make the world run according to some faith tenets are people of all other kinds of interests trying to live their lives without having any one religious belief directing their lives, as that doesn't make sense to them, just as following your belief makes sense to you.


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  13. #133
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bluey View Post
    I think that is a strange post.

    I have never heard anyone discussing religion with people of faith and telling them anything of that sort.
    In my experience, some religious people are the ones that are proselytizing, not the other way at all.

    I have never talked with any religious people in person about their religion or told them what I think.
    It is not my place to tell others if they should or not be believers of any one out there.

    What I have talked about here is clearly, thru my whole life, a one way street of religious people, out of the blue, start a conversation demanding to know if I "have meet Jesus".

    Now, in a philosophical discussion or like here, yes, I will express my opinions, as I have done.

    What you consider "atheists" are not all cut of the same cloth or generally trying to tell others to believe or not anything, you got that backwards.
    It is some to many of the believers that want to "convert" others and make the world follow what their religions demands.

    Just think about all the religious push for their followers to vote for or against all those issues religious followers make their own, like abortion, gay marriage, dry county laws, against racing because of the betting, some stores closed on Sundays and such.

    I think we should keep government and all our lives separated by law from religious demands on how the faithful are asked to live.
    There really are some evangelical atheists...but they are pretty few and far between. I think sometimes "proselytizing" by atheists is confused with trying to adhere to separation of church and state...like administration led prayer in school, the 10 commandments in public places, abortion rights, etc.

    If you post on facebook that "God" has been taken out of the schools or that creationism should be part of the science curriculum and an atheist corrects you, that's not aggressive atheism...they're just trying to rein you back in from trying to impose your religious beliefs on everyone.
    "We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals." ~Immanuel Kant


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  14. #134
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bluey View Post
    You really don't see the difference in people being able to live their lives as they choose, ALL of them, one example you gave, gay people?
    Are you really demanding gay people follow the rules YOUR particular brand of religion, just because you say so and take offense when others don't agree and say so?

    Some still doesn't make sense to me here.

    My comment about who atheist are or not is that they are not, like a believer of any one faith, all one with one set of beliefs and goals.
    "Atheist" or just those that don't believe we should make the world run according to some faith tenets are people of all other kinds of interests trying to live their lives without having any one religious belief directing their lives, as that doesn't make sense to them, just as following your belief makes sense to you.
    My personal beliefs have not been expressed. I expressed that there are people both religious and non-religious on both sides of the debate over such 'moral laws' as abortion rights and gay marriage. I did not bring those two topics up, you did in your previous post.

    I feel that you are generalizing everyone who believes in freedom of choice as Atheist. Your last statement leads me to believe you feel that all, or at least the vast majority, of religious people are hell bent on making everyone believe what they believe. Personnally, not only have I never had that experience, but I find Atheist people willing to make unsolicited statements like "the world would be a better place withour religion" than I have found religious people making a similar statement.

    My only point is that radicalism comes in all walks of life and freedom of speech is protected under the Constitution so I don't worry about talk.


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  15. #135
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bluey View Post
    You really don't see the difference in people being able to live their lives as they choose, ALL of them, one example you gave, gay people?
    Are you really demanding gay people follow the rules YOUR particular brand of religion, just because you say so and take offense when others don't agree and say so?

    Some still doesn't make sense to me here.

    My comment about who atheist are or not is that they are not, like a believer of any one faith, all one with one set of beliefs and goals.
    "Atheist" or just those that don't believe we should make the world run according to some faith tenets are people of all other kinds of interests trying to live their lives without having any one religious belief directing their lives, as that doesn't make sense to them, just as following your belief makes sense to you.
    Well Bluey, there is agnostic, which is basically there might be a God, then again, there might not be, atheist...no belief in a higher power and then lastly, deist who do believe in God, believe that the natural world is proof of a higher powers existence, but do not believe in miracles or organized religion.

    Thomas Jefferson was a pretty famous deist. His Jefferson bible was made by literally cutting and pasting the parts of the bible that contained miracles and supernatural phenomenon and removing them.

    It's quite a controversy, but many believe that quite of few of the founding fathers were deists.
    "We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals." ~Immanuel Kant



  16. #136
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    Quote Originally Posted by LauraKY View Post
    There really are some evangelical atheists...but they are pretty few and far between. I think sometimes "proselytizing" by atheists is confused with trying to adhere to separation of church and state...like administration led prayer in school, the 10 commandments in public places, abortion rights, etc.

    If you post on facebook that "God" has been taken out of the schools or that creationism should be part of the science curriculum and an atheist corrects you, that's not aggressive atheism...they're just trying to rein you back in from trying to impose your religious beliefs on everyone.
    What I noticed most are two unsolicited statements - "The world would be better without religion" and "look at this guy, he was atheist and look how great he was". Neither statement is true, but when wrapped correctly, makes good propaganda.


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    I admit that I haven't read most of this thread. But I think that MsM was on the right track with the description of "tribalism."

    My beliefs on the subject are informed by the works of Ernest Becker whose book "Denial of Death" won the Pulitzer in the late 1970s. Becker, who was an anthropology professor, postulated that virtually all of man's personal and sociological constructs, especially religion, serve the purpose of coping with man's consciousness of death. It is not a subject that people like to talk about and is not widely discussed outside Beckerian circles.

    For the uninitiated, the film documentary "Flight from Death: The Quest for Immortality" is a good introduction.

    http://www.youtube.com/movie?v=RH768...has_verified=1
    "Against stupidity the gods themselves contend in vain" ~Friedrich Schiller


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  18. #138
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ajierene View Post
    My personal beliefs have not been expressed. I expressed that there are people both religious and non-religious on both sides of the debate over such 'moral laws' as abortion rights and gay marriage. I did not bring those two topics up, you did in your previous post.

    I feel that you are generalizing everyone who believes in freedom of choice as Atheist. Your last statement leads me to believe you feel that all, or at least the vast majority, of religious people are hell bent on making everyone believe what they believe. Personnally, not only have I never had that experience, but I find Atheist people willing to make unsolicited statements like "the world would be a better place withour religion" than I have found religious people making a similar statement.

    My only point is that radicalism comes in all walks of life and freedom of speech is protected under the Constitution so I don't worry about talk.
    I'm curious, do you have any examples of non religious people who are against gay marriage or who are not pro choice? I ask, because I have never seen an example.
    "We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals." ~Immanuel Kant



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    Quote Originally Posted by Ajierene View Post
    What I noticed most are two unsolicited statements - "The world would be better without religion" and "look at this guy, he was atheist and look how great he was". Neither statement is true, but when wrapped correctly, makes good propaganda.
    Considering that atheists are the most reviled group (actually, they've been overtaken by the Tea Party lately) I'm sure many have their defenses at the ready.

    Really, I don't see how "the world would be better without religion" even compares to "this guy was an atheist and he was great." The last statement just shows, to me, the insidiousness of discrimination against atheists in this country.

    It's not something I talk about. I'm more likely to tell someone my political affiliation and around here that's like the kiss of death. Tell someone I'm an atheist...I would be ostracized. So it just doesn't come up.

    Everyone has stopped inviting me to church though...I just laugh and say I'm a heathen. They can take from that whatever they choose.
    "We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals." ~Immanuel Kant


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    Quote Originally Posted by LauraKY View Post
    Considering that atheists are the most reviled group (actually, they've been overtaken by the Tea Party lately) I'm sure many have their defenses at the ready.

    Really, I don't see how "the world would be better without religion" even compares to "this guy was an atheist and he was great." The last statement just shows, to me, the insidiousness of discrimination against atheists in this country.

    It's not something I talk about. I'm more likely to tell someone my political affiliation and around here that's like the kiss of death. Tell someone I'm an atheist...I would be ostracized. So it just doesn't come up.

    Everyone has stopped inviting me to church though...I just laugh and say I'm a heathen. They can take from that whatever they choose.
    I don't say anything, because I think those questions trying to pin anyone down on their religious beliefs, when that is what frames so much of our local culture and determines so much of who will even talk to you, to try to pigeonhole anyone is rude, especially when they are not wanting to commit themselves.

    Living in a very small town, everyone of course knows I don't go to church, but many assume I am maybe a non-practicing catholic, because I have catholic friends and in our part of the county, those are not that well accepted.

    Here is an interesting article, for those that don't know who the Founding Fathers were and what they stood for and why they fought so hard to keep religion out of government:

    http://www.theatlantic.com/national/...-state/240481/


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    By Petstorejunkie in forum Off Topic
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    Last Post: Dec. 26, 2010, 12:20 AM

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