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Atheists coming out of the closet...
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CHARLESTON, S.C. � Two months after the local atheist organization here put up a billboard saying �Don�t Believe in God? You Are Not Alone,� the group�s 13 board members met in Laura and Alex Kasman�s living room to grapple with the fallout.

Loretta Haskell, a board member of the Secular Humanists of the Lowcountry, is also a church musician. �I am not one of the humanists who feels that religion is a bad thing,� she said.

The problem was not that the group, the Secular Humanists of the Lowcountry, had attracted an outpouring of hostility. It was the opposite. An overflow audience of more than 100 had showed up for their most recent public symposium, and the board members discussed whether it was time to find a larger place.

And now parents were coming out of the woodwork asking for family-oriented programs where they could meet like-minded nonbelievers.

New York Times


Larry
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What? Now atheists are becoming fanatics and placing their messages on billboards? In your face is in your face.


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Mickey, I'm not sure that activities to identify "fellow travelers" makes them fanatics.

EmmaG


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Mick, every other day I pass a huge billboard painted like an American flag with "Thank you Jesus for Saving Me" in foot-high letters. (It also has the obligatory message that Jesus will save the rest of us, too.) It's garish, yes, and strange, but somebody paid for the sign (meaning, they have a right to their message.)

There is no picture of the sign in this article, but it doesn't seem to be an attempt to be persuasive in any way, or challenging, or judgmental. It's an announcement, and a way for non-believers to connect.

"In your face" would, for me, be more akin to "Do you believe in God? That's really stupid" or "Do you believe in God? Join us and we'll explain why you shouldn't."



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On the day that an openly-atheist politician can be elected to the presidency of the United States, I'll believe that we are truly out of the religious dark ages.


Larry
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Emma and Mellow, thanks. I overreacted. Good points.


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Do we measure people by what they think, or what they do?


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Originally Posted by Slipped Mickey
What? Now atheists are becoming fanatics and placing their messages on billboards? In your face is in your face.

When believers (sorry to use the obscene "b" word) make criticisms like this, I always think, "Here we go again! the pot calling the linen napkin black!"

If the religious were not so obsessed with forcing their views on on others, I could find it in my heart to be more tolerant of them.

But history shows that religion is inherently dangerous, and always on the point of doing terrible evil.

The religious personality tends to be gullible, obsessive, and lacking in critical ability. If the committed religious type is convinced that he or she is in sole possession of truth, that it is necessary for "salvation," etc., then all too easily that person will slide into practices which approach ultimate evil. And they are notoriously easy for con men to manipulate.

We atheists must watch the religious types like hawks, or before we know it, we will be back in the era of inquisitions, autos-da-f�, and the horrible abuse of little children.

As much as possible, power must be kept from them. When powerless, they act like sweet, rosy-cheeked cherubs, who wouldn't hurt a fly. But over and over, history shows that as soon as they have power, they turn into monsters which are the closest approach to Satanic evil which has ever appeared on this planet.

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Quote
Do we measure people by what they think, or what they do?

We all measure people by how they made us feel, and don't ever forget that!

That is the key to all human interaction, both positive and negative. It is also the key to being a sucessful conman, politician, preacher, writer, etc. In any situation where you want to elicit certain responses from others, you will be most sucessful if you manipulate their emotions. The lizard-brain never forgets.

Why did G.W. Bush get reelected? Fear
Why did Obama get elected? Hope
In both cases, they and their teams made enough people FEEL a certain way, and then facts became unimportant.

So how does this pertain to any campaign to promote rational thought and bahavior? It tells us that straightforward appeals to logic and reason will probably fail. The best you could do is to show the evil deeds of extremists to generate feelings of disgust in most (sane) people. Of course, religious fanatics will not be moved this way. All you can reasonably hope to acheive is to keep the majority voting against theocratic candidates, etc.

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I did a favor for a neighbor of mine recently.
I shlepped out the big fat HD camera, the lighting gear, the secondary digital audio deck and all the other trimmings, and I helped him shoot his stepdaughter's wedding.
I haven't done weddings on a regular basis in years.
It's a six hour news event with no breaks, oftentimes the conditions are terrible, the guests very drunk (sometimes before the ceremony!) and a pervasive sense of anxiety is sometimes in the air.
Aunt Doris who weighs 400 plus insists on being on camera, then she complains to the bride that the wedding videographer "made her look fat" so she's angry about the finished product.
Uncle Dick is busy getting plastered and groping some bridesmaids and drooling on camera with obscenity laced suggestions for the groom.
And the family doesn't understand why Uncle Dick isn't in the video.
"You want me to include Uncle Dick? Fine..you won't like it but okay."

And these are the "churchy" weddings.
Oh, and did I mention the pastors who more often than not treat videographers as heretical bearers of the bubonic plague?
In the eyes of most pastors, video guys are persona non gratis.

So anyway, after shlepping around all that gear and shooting the wedding, I spent well over a dozen hours doing edits and then re-edits and then re-editing the re-edits, all because the daughter was very insistent on maintaining creative control over everything, down to the smallest niggling detail.
(Did I mention that in every phone call she had something shitty to say about her stepdad?)

So I had finally had enough the other night, and told my neighbor that this was the final edit, and I gave him the DVD to watch. He came over the next night wailing that I had put in enough of the receiving line.
He and his daughter both wanted ALL of it, about eight minutes worth, because they didn't want to leave anyone out.

Never mind that this was eight minutes of people's backs, as shot by my neighbor on his shaky little HD handycam.

But I wouldn't do it. I had included the footage I shot of the receiving line, with the bride and groom hugging Mom and Dad and one relative, and that was that...nice and clean, and it moved the story along properly.
And after nearly two weeks off and on doing it over and over again I decided I had done enough for a freebie.

I was firm in my insistence that this was it.
He stepped back and said

(you were probably wondering what this has to do with the thread)

grin

"You know Jeff, you really ought to be more Christian about this, I wish you'd seriously think about getting saved and giving your life over to Jesus, and then maybe you wouldn't be overreacting like this and in such a bad mood."

I threw him out. grin

I figured that after giving him what amounts to about a thousand dollars worth of "Christian neighborliness" I was entitled.

And no, I am most definitely NOT aetheist.


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