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Sat Feb 16, 2013, 02:55 PM

Non-believers taking college campuses by storm


from Salon.com:


Non-believers taking college campuses by storm
In the past few years, the number of affiliated student secular organizations has increased more than threefold

By Katherine Don


This article originally appeared on Religion Dispatches.


This month at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, a select group of students will show their humanitarian spirit by participating in the Bleedin’ Heathens Blood Drive. On February 12, they will eat cake to celebrate Darwin Day, and earlier this year, they performed “de-baptism” ceremonies to celebrate Blasphemy Day, attended a War on Christmas Party, and set up Hug An Atheist and Ask An Atheist booths in the campus quad.

These activities and more are organized by the Illini Secular Student Alliance (ISSA), one of 394 student groups that are affiliated with the national Secular Student Alliance (SSA). “We brand ourselves as a safe place and community for students who are not religious,” says Derek Miller, a junior at Illini and president of the ISSA.

Secular groups on college campuses are proliferating. The Ohio-based Secular Student Alliance, which a USA Today writer once called a “Godless Campus Crusade for Christ,” incorporated as a nonprofit in 2001. By 2007, 80 campus groups had affiliated with them, 100 by 2008, 174 by 2009, and today there are 394 SSA student groups on campuses across the country. “We have been seeing rapid growth in the past couple of years, and it shows no sign of slowing down,” says Jesse Galef, communications director at SSA. “It used to be that we would go to campuses and encourage students to pass out flyers. Now, the students are coming to us almost faster than we can keep up with.”

The Secular Student Alliance provides its affiliate groups with support and materials, including banners, pins, and informational materials with titles like What Is An Atheist?, a brochure with cheerful graphics and information about the identities of secularists, including “non-theist,” “freethinker,” and “humanist.” ...............(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.salon.com/2013/02/16/non_believers_taking_college_campuses_by_storm_partner/



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Reply Non-believers taking college campuses by storm (Original post)
marmar Feb 2013 OP
Scuba Feb 2013 #1
SidDithers Feb 2013 #3
Duer 157099 Feb 2013 #2
ZombieHorde Feb 2013 #4
SharonAnn Feb 2013 #5
cbayer Feb 2013 #6
CAG Feb 2013 #14
skepticscott Feb 2013 #15
CAG Feb 2013 #19
cbayer Feb 2013 #16
loyalsister Feb 2013 #25
cbayer Feb 2013 #26
Zoeisright Feb 2013 #30
smirkymonkey Feb 2013 #50
Hassin Bin Sober Feb 2013 #66
CoffeeCat Feb 2013 #7
AverageJoe90 Feb 2013 #17
calimary Feb 2013 #23
Laelth Feb 2013 #52
shcrane71 Feb 2013 #62
avebury Feb 2013 #24
Blanks Feb 2013 #33
Ikonoklast Feb 2013 #8
Tierra_y_Libertad Feb 2013 #9
Demo_Chris Feb 2013 #10
valerief Feb 2013 #11
liberal_at_heart Feb 2013 #12
Moonwalk Feb 2013 #13
truegrit44 Feb 2013 #18
kestrel91316 Feb 2013 #20
skepticscott Feb 2013 #22
ReRe Feb 2013 #21
Moonwalk Feb 2013 #28
ReRe Feb 2013 #31
Moonwalk Feb 2013 #36
ReRe Feb 2013 #39
PasadenaTrudy Feb 2013 #59
ReRe Feb 2013 #70
OldDem2012 Feb 2013 #27
duffyduff Feb 2013 #69
Zoeisright Feb 2013 #29
penndragon69 Feb 2013 #32
kwassa Feb 2013 #40
Moonwalk Feb 2013 #41
kwassa Feb 2013 #45
Moonwalk Feb 2013 #47
kwassa Feb 2013 #49
LAGC Feb 2013 #54
Moonwalk Feb 2013 #67
kwassa Feb 2013 #73
Warpy Feb 2013 #34
shcrane71 Feb 2013 #60
Warpy Feb 2013 #72
Overseas Feb 2013 #35
Ligyron Feb 2013 #37
GoneOffShore Feb 2013 #38
Tom Ripley Feb 2013 #48
napoleon_in_rags Feb 2013 #51
Ligyron Feb 2013 #71
La Lioness Priyanka Feb 2013 #65
logosoco Feb 2013 #42
RagAss Feb 2013 #43
Manifestor_of_Light Feb 2013 #44
Union Scribe Feb 2013 #46
SecularMotion Feb 2013 #56
LineLineLineReply .
Iggo Feb 2013 #63
Agony Feb 2013 #53
Nye Bevan Feb 2013 #55
ck4829 Feb 2013 #57
PasadenaTrudy Feb 2013 #58
Iggo Feb 2013 #61
Apophis Feb 2013 #64
duffyduff Feb 2013 #68

Response to marmar (Original post)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 03:00 PM

1. Perhaps there's hope.

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Response to Scuba (Reply #1)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 03:03 PM

3. Well said...



Sid

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 03:01 PM

2. Excellent!! Colleges are notorious hunting grounds

for the young, naive, lonely, frightened kids that are on their own for the first times in their lives, and religious groups know this and take advantage of it.

Give them options! Let them know that there are other groups out there where they can find humane, loving, moral, charitable people, aside from the religious ones!

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 03:10 PM

4. Most college campuses already have an atheist group.

It's called "Anime Club."

I'm half joking. I'm glad more options are being made on campuses.

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 03:23 PM

5. Well, as a college student I always enjoyed rebelling against th "prevailing beliefs", whatever

Well, as a college student I always enjoyed rebelling against th "prevailing beliefs", whatever they were.

I would've loved "de-Baptism" day!

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 03:28 PM

6. One of the best things about this is the alliances being built

between believer and non-believer groups. Not only does it lead to greater acceptance and understanding, it allows them to form coalitions for shared causes.

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Response to cbayer (Reply #6)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 04:14 PM

14. wish I could see more of that on DU. nt

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Response to CAG (Reply #14)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 04:17 PM

15. There's more to life

than using the word "coalition" in a sentence at least 10 times a day.

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Response to skepticscott (Reply #15)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 04:27 PM

19. guess I'm slow on the uptake...what's this referring to?

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Response to CAG (Reply #14)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 04:18 PM

16. It's happening. You just have to ignore the divisiveness and engage with those that

are truly invested in building alliances.

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Response to cbayer (Reply #6)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 04:43 PM

25. Exactly

One step to respecting a different religion is discovering that a person with NO religion can have a moral compass.

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Response to loyalsister (Reply #25)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 04:46 PM

26. Agree.

The article talks about some early fights between the atheist group and the Muslim group. Instead of letting it escalate, they turned it into an opportunity to learn more about each other.

While probably not the best term, they talk about *interfaith* groups that include both secular and religious arms.

It's hard to hate or dismiss a group of people once you get to know them and find out that you have more in common than you do differences.

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Response to loyalsister (Reply #25)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 05:13 PM

30. The people I know with no religion have a MUCH better

moral compass than any devoutly religious person I have ever known. In fact, to a person, the highly religious people I have known have been mean, cruel, bullies, selfish, judgmental, and deliberately ignorant. They think if they sit in church once a week they can be as horrible as they want the rest of the time.

Since I went to a parochial school from 6th grade through college, I know what I'm talking about.

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Response to Zoeisright (Reply #30)

Sun Feb 17, 2013, 06:21 AM

50. I have found the same. I discovered that truth at a very young age which was when

I started to question religion. I now consider myself agnostic.

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Response to Zoeisright (Reply #30)

Sun Feb 17, 2013, 11:51 AM

66. I've benn thinking a lot about this lately.

I've spent the last week couped up with my super Jesus freeper sister-in-law (actually my partner's sister) on death watch for my partner's stepdad dying of pancreatic cancer.

I'm beginning to wonder if this Jesus freakness goes hand-in-hand with their extreme selfishness. They want their reward and they are determined to get it.

For the past week, I've had to listen to Jesus this and Jesus that, and i dont want my money going to "welfare queens" between this one is getting a bigger share of inheritance or that one is stealing my piece of the pie.

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 03:37 PM

7. There's something happenin' here...

A recent poll showed that 30 percent of young adults have no religious affiliation. This is unprecedented.

I think the wheels are beginning to come off of organized religion. People see the hypocrisy. They say that if
you want to create an atheist, have that person read the Bible. The Bible condones hitting your children, it also
positions slavery as a good thing, and suggesting stoning and death for minor infractions--such as wearing
mixed fibers and adultery.

I think people are waking up. Much of organized religion has become corrupt and cruel. Zealots use it to
justify hating gay people and denying basic science.

I have a feeling that this "30 percent" will become 50 percent within ten years. Look at what has happened to
the Catholic Church. It's in tatters. People are not buying the snake-oil any longer.

You don't need religion to be a good and decent person. In fact, you can be a spiritual person, without joining
organized religion. I think we are in a major paradigm shift.

I couldn't be happier.

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Response to CoffeeCat (Reply #7)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 04:20 PM

17. Your last sentence struck a chord with me personally.



You don't need religion to be a good and decent person. In fact, you can be a spiritual person, without joining
organized religion. I think we are in a major paradigm shift.


Indeed, very much so. And thank you.

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Response to CoffeeCat (Reply #7)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 04:35 PM

23. As a lapsed Catholic, I regretfully agree, with indignation!!!!! =(

My church is in tatters.

I mean - what are we to make of the following reality, based on anecdotal evidence I've gathered from talking with other Catholic friends:

The pope announces he's resigning. The immediate reaction and the questions and comments veer directly to the molestation scandal, and whether that's part (or all) of the pope's motivation for leaving.

What are we to make of a situation like that? Since when are we faced with a Church that does THIS shit? Pardon the pun but Jesus, Mary, and Joseph! The faith, much of it instilled from early childhood for those of us who did all our time in parochial schools. That faith is betrayed. BETRAYED. Trashed. Shredded. Turned totally upside down.

I think the human instinct to want some sort of relationship or involvement with a power larger than the human - is basically a quest to prove we're not alone. It's an awfully big world out there, whether you're in the cave-dweller days and could only see the word from the top of a hill, or in orbit, looking at the planet and then the vastness of space around you. It can make that prayer seem awfully real - "Dear God please watch over me. The sea is so vast and my boat is so small." Aloneness is terrifying. And there you have it: a prayer. It's like finding the biggest (and in this case benign) bully on the playground and sidling up to him because you know you'll be safe in his company.

And not only alone - but the other terror to cope with at the most basic level, seems to me, is the reassurance that there's a Force or a Power you can count on somehow. Something that'll be there for you in times of trouble. Who would we be most likely to go to for comfort or solace or protection in the community, aside from parental or family elders? Usually the first answer is some version "your priest." You count on this constancy. Priests are supposed to be steadfast and supportive, literally men of God. Why wouldn't one count on them and turn to them for comfort and wisdom and a reassurance (from someone who's ordinarily expected to know) that God doesn't hate you? That's what so many of us grew up with. In my case, since pre-kindergarten. Our kids went to pre-school at the neighborhood Presbyterian church. That church was and still is famous for it. So that kind of formalizing mindset starts very gently with so many Americans - at maybe the age of three. And with legions of us, also, that faith-based pre-school or early-childhood education directly follows all the stuff at home, saying of Grace before meals, prayers before bedtime, talks about Guardian Angels and all the stuff surrounding Christmas and Easter. Religion is DEEPLY imbedded across society, from the earliest ages.

So what if your own quest doesn't find sufficient answers in all of the above? What if that doesn't fit you, for whatever reason? What if that's just not who you are? When you're surrounded by a strong and demonstrative and fully-involved Judeo-Christian tradition, and it just isn't you - where do you go for that deep-down human need for connection beyond yourself? Or even just connection to something.

I'm glad to see this happening. Clearly it's needed with all the aggressive missionary and evangelistic activity out there! I'm glad there's a refuge these folks can seek out, and fellowship and community that lets them know that yep, they, too, are not alone! You do not have to be religious or religion-oriented to be a good person. Especially in a time when there are religious who are bad people.

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Response to calimary (Reply #23)

Sun Feb 17, 2013, 07:57 AM

52. As an also-lapsed Catholic, I agree.

The Church is in bad shape. It needs a liberal Pope on the scale of John XXIII to turn things around. Whether the College of Cardinals will give us that (in the person of Angelo, Cardinal Scola, perhaps) is another question altogether.

-Laelth

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Response to calimary (Reply #23)

Sun Feb 17, 2013, 11:31 AM

62. Excellent post! When I was young, I met a young person from Germany.

I was in the throes of being highly religious, but highly conflicted as other religious people seemed well, insincere. This German confessed to having the same feelings, and said that her atheistic friends, back in Germany, were the more ethical and kind than her friends who believed. Through the years, I often found that atheist, who don't think they get forgiveness for all their sins nor an afterlife, often do try to make choices that cause the least human suffering.

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Response to CoffeeCat (Reply #7)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 04:39 PM

24. Well said! nt

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Response to CoffeeCat (Reply #7)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 05:37 PM

33. What if you believe people should be stoned for wearing mixed fibers?

Or don't have any problem with people who will get stoned at the drop of the hat.

...we aren't talking about the same kind of stoned are we?

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 03:46 PM

8. Free Your Mind, The Rest Will Follow...

I have hope for our future as a species in seeing the decline of the hold fear, hate, and superstition has on our youth.

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 03:52 PM

9. "It is difficult to believe in a religion that places such a high premium on chastity and virginity.

"It is difficult to believe in a religion that places
such a high premium on chastity and virginity."

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 03:56 PM

10. I credit the internet (cont)

 

If ANYTHING can save the world it is this.

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 04:00 PM

11. Hmm, why should I believe you?

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 04:02 PM

12. I use to worry about whether my son would be easily influenced by religous zealots on college campus

He is autistic, but he does have a mind of his own. In fact he has already gotten into a couple of disagreements with classmates at his middle school. He has Christian friends who believe in creationism. He simply disagrees(respectfully) and tells them that he believes in evolution. Up until now I wasn't sure what he was going to believe. I let both of my children choose their own path. I don't try to influence them in any way. With my son being autistic I was curious which way he would go. When he was little, he was fascinated with Greek mythology. I think for a while there he really believed the Greek mythology was real. I simply told him he was free to believe whatever he wanted no matter what anybody else told him. Well, as he got older he started having a more practical, logical, and scientific approach to his beliefs which is why I believe he finally came to the conclusion that he is an agnostic atheist. He believes there is no God but is not sure. He's not one of those militant atheists that is just as sure there is no God as the religious people are sure there is a God. My daughter is the exact same way. She self describes as an agnostic atheist. My son still likes reading religious stories. He finds them interesting, but does not believe they are real.

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 04:13 PM

13. Certainly makes me want to go back to college...

I was stuck in the bad-old days when everyone from Jews-for-Jesus to the baptist preacher with the megaphone harassed me on my way from one class to the next. I would have loved to have participated in all those events. Just to annoy those people back for annoying me.

And now, a prediction: by the psychic powers given to me by the exploding meteor over Russia....I predict.....

Fox News, picking up on this will go crazy about atheists killing off young people's faith in god--they will likely interview said atheists in some rude fashion in an attempt to get the to say something damning (editing what they say will help). Maybe they'll even get some young Christian collegiate to bear witness against them. I predict that Fox will declare that this war on god has taken over college campuses. Which is why everyone should vote against the government funding college education and President Obama who wants kids to go to college.

I also predict that every televangelist will be all over this as well, AND I predict that some magazine/newspaper will pick it up and title it "the death of god on campus?" AND...hysteria will briefly reign among unbelievers who will give a lot of money to people who promise to make it all stop. All this will reach a fevered, ridiculous pitch before most people (the semi-rational ones) realize that the number of atheists really hasn't gone up by that much, they've just become vocal and visible unlike in the past when they were quiet and invisible.

Virtual bets on my prediction anyone? Or additions?

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Response to Moonwalk (Reply #13)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 04:23 PM

18. Who says there's never any GOOD news :)

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 04:31 PM

20. This is why the RW wants to get right of higher education except for the 1% (who won't be

influenced to become liberals because they are already thoroughly brainwashed). Of course they DO want all universities that remain to be like Bob Jones and Liberty.

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Response to kestrel91316 (Reply #20)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 04:34 PM

22. Higher education?

Hell, they'd like to get rid of as much education of any kind as possible for as many people as possible. Who benefits from a more educated populace? Certainly not the kind of people controlling the Republican party.

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 04:33 PM

21. All I can say is...

...I'm so happy to read this wonderful news. Keep going, kids. We might be able to change this world, after all.

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Response to ReRe (Reply #21)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 05:01 PM

28. I'm cautiously optimistic...but I won't be getting out the party hats yet...

College kids do join organizations to be contrary, to shock, to have wacky fun--as well as to assert strong positions, beliefs, and, yes, fight back the only way they know how in a world that tries to keep them as powerless. We have to remember the very visual (if not in actual numbers) pervasiveness of the 60's hippy movement which was fueled by strong feelings against a war, against establishment hypocrisy (including strong feelings against mainstream religion which seemed out of touch with their concerns), etc. A lot of conservative-minded kids grew their hair long and joined in because it was the thing to do (and there was sex, drugs and rock'-n-roll) even if they didn't, at heart, believe in it.

I don't think we would have ever imagined that once those hippies were married and had kids that enough of them would go conservative and greedy, and, yes, mainstream-religious enough that they'd elect President Ronald Reagan--and start us down a right-wing religious as well as political road.

I'll be interested to see if those who joined these atheist clubs to be contrary, to shock, to have wacky fun, etc. retain whatever questioning, investigating attitude they get from the experience or whether they return to some mainstream religion once they have jobs and spouses and kids. And I'll be interested to see how many remain of those who belong because they have genuine and strong opinions on the topic.

Taking campuses by "storm" can sometimes mean a fad or a form of protest--not a real sea change. We'll have to wait and see how much of a sea change this really is.

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Response to Moonwalk (Reply #28)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 05:18 PM

31. I can't imagine....

.... young people doing what we did in the 60s and 70s. We were reacting to so much that was wrong back then. Religious domination, a senseless war that eventually sent home some 58,000 body bags. I think they have pretty good heads on their shoulders now. The kids you are talking about ends up in the Sororities and Fraternities.

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Response to ReRe (Reply #31)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 05:59 PM

36. I very much understand that in the 60's & 70's young people had to react--the draft trapped them...

...into taking action. Either you went into a war you didn't understand and risked being maimed or killed (or saw boyfriends/brothers/friends drafted, maimed, killed), or you protested, fled, went to jail, etc. The establishment didn't leave anyone of draft age (or those who were sisters/girlfriends/friends of those of draft age) a chance to be neutral or even level headed. It pushed everyone into a strong, emotional position.

This atheist/humanist movement on campus is certainly very different. It may be fueled by strong emotional reactions to how the religious right has taken over education, politics and the rest, but as you say, it really doesn't have the same "Why should I die or go to jail for this?" motivation. And, so, you're right that these college students can be level-headed and likely, by comparison, are. Which means that they may hold onto this way of thinking long after they have jobs and kids. Unlike those who lost their more liberal inclinations as soon as the war and draft were over.

But I still want to wait on more data, and see how this plays out beyond this one year of "taking campuses by storm." It should, after all, be our creed as atheists to wait and gather as much evidence as we can before celebrating any theory as proven, especially one we want to be true. That way lies cold-fusion embarrassment

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Response to Moonwalk (Reply #36)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 06:43 PM

39. Yeah, I agree...

... I think the Republican Party's penchant for forcing their religion down everyone's throat, their inability to understand the separation of church and state, trying to turn our country into the Taliban... that's probably what has shaped their thinking. And yes, I never could understand why the hippies turned into Republicans. I didn't.

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Response to ReRe (Reply #39)

Sun Feb 17, 2013, 11:04 AM

59. I didn't either...

Remember the Jesus Freaks? Wonder what became of them

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Response to PasadenaTrudy (Reply #59)

Sun Feb 17, 2013, 02:47 PM

70. Don't know...

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 04:51 PM

27. It's the only way to defend ourselves against the takeover of our educational system...

....by extreme fundamentalist religious organizations.

Very happy to see this happening!

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Response to OldDem2012 (Reply #27)

Sun Feb 17, 2013, 01:39 PM

69. Fundamentalists aren't even the major players in this

Try corporations like Pearson, hedge fund crooks, and billionaires. They are more influential.

They have bought off most of Washington, D.C., including the White House and cabinet, and most of the statehouses.

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 05:11 PM

29. Good. Enough with the magical thinking.

We are all we have to improve the only life we will ever have. I'm sick to death of people accepting cruelty, bigotry, poverty, and pain because of a "better life" after death. That's the biggest con ever perpetuated in history.

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 05:35 PM

32. As an Ordained ATHEIST minister,

I can only say that we are entering a new age and the young
are waking up from a 2013 year old NIGHTMARE !

AH-MEN !

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Response to penndragon69 (Reply #32)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 06:50 PM

40. What is an athiest minister?

Minister to whom? And who ordained you?

It would seem that atheist doesn't fit the definition of minister.

min·is·ter (mn-str)
n. Abbr. Min.
1.
a. One who is authorized to perform religious functions in a Christian church, especially a Protestant church.
b. Roman Catholic Church The superior in certain orders.


http://www.thefreedictionary.com/minister

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Response to kwassa (Reply #40)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 07:36 PM

41. Simply means that he can legally marry people. While this does not fit the dictionary definition...

...of "minister" it is the title given to someone who has been given the legal right to marry people by a tax-exempt organization. We atheists would happily choose other titles and terms to use if we could (instead of church for a tax-exempt organization of like-minded "believers" and minister for someone a leader of said organization who can legally marry people)--but, alas, there are as yet no other recognized terms for such.

If an atheist wants to council other atheists in the army he/she has to be a "minister"--that term is not one they pick, but one they must have in order to do a similar job for atheists as religious leaders do for the religious.

In short, if you don't like atheists having to use such titles and terms, then take it up with the U.S. legal system that forces them to use such titles and terms.

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Response to Moonwalk (Reply #41)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 11:22 PM

45. which begats the next question: why do atheists need to marry people?

Is the justice of the peace too secular for them?

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Response to kwassa (Reply #45)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 11:52 PM

47. It isn't always easy to get a justice of the peace....

...they often have full schedules and/or can't make it to the place where a couple might want hold their marriage celebration ("Hey, I'm getting married on my favorite mountain top with a bunch of rock climbers...hm, where is that rock-climbing justice of the peace?"). Also, an atheist may want someone they actually know and who knows them to perform the ceremony--just as you might want someone who knows you and your partner to marry them, someone who can actually talk about you and your partner, rather than a stranger. I remember one amazing secular wedding where the couple was married by the bride's father. He was terminal and hadn't long to live, and so his being the one to marry them made it powerfully memorable and important. Would you have said that those two atheists should have, instead, gotten a justice of the peace simply because all that mattered was that the one marrying them be secular?

Which begs the question--why do you think we shouldn't marry each other? Why should we have to go to a justice of the peace instead? Just to avoid that silly title? Doesn't bother us.

These are all obvious answers. So why do you feel it "begs" the question? You act like atheists are not human beings. We have as much desire as anyone to have memorable moments, and to share those moments with those we love. If that can be done by having a friend or family member marry us instead of stranger, why shouldn't we go that way?

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Response to Moonwalk (Reply #47)

Sun Feb 17, 2013, 01:40 AM

49. I stated it rather poorly.

I don't mean that atheists shouldn't marry. I meant that I didn't understand why atheists felt the need to become "ministers" to perform marriages.

One can perform marriages without being a minister. Marriages can be both civil and religious occasions, obviously. However, the terminology of atheist minister seems, quite frankly, an oxymoron, as the meaning of minister is clearly religious.

Edit to add: Finding a justice of the peace is not difficult. I don't buy that reason at all. Your mileage might vary.

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Response to kwassa (Reply #49)

Sun Feb 17, 2013, 08:41 AM

54. Would you pipe down and relax?

I think the "minister" was speaking tongue-in-cheek.

Not everything is an "atheist conspiracy."

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Response to kwassa (Reply #49)

Sun Feb 17, 2013, 01:32 PM

67. My milage does vary--

--so please, do BUY that reasoning. I've a lot of friends who had trouble getting onto a justice of the peace's schedule, unless they wanted a quick wedding during his lunch break. And even more trouble if they wanted him to drive out to the place they picked out for the wedding. Much easier to get a friend, and again, WHY should they be forced to pick and pay a stranger to marry them when a friend or relative will do?

As for the "minister" title--as said in the other post, you're focusing way too much on that title. I can marry people. I don't call myself a "minister" but at the time (and this was a while ago) the only way I could get the right to marry people was by paying a non-demoninal organization $10 and getting a license that declared me a "minister" of that church. So. I'm a "minister." The piece of paper I have says I am. If you find that contradictory and disturbing, then I suggest you write to whomever created the rules for who can marry whom and ask that people be allowed to legally marry other people without being dubbed "ministers" by any organization religious or otherwise. You can make up a whole new name for them so that you're never offended or confused again. But please don't blame us atheists if we have to use such terms because certain states in the U.S. have backward, theist-bigoted laws that require that people have such titles to do certain things--like marry people.

At this point, you are damning us if we do, and damning us if we don't. If we don't, we don't get to marry each other (and, apparently, in your eyes that's all right. We atheists shouldn't be allowed to do that, we should be forced to always use a justice of the peace no matter what we might want). And if we do, we're stuck with the "minister" title by default and that, apparently, damns us even though it's not up to us. I'm sorry, but we're not going to give up the right to marry each other because you, personally, think a justice-of-the-peace should be good enough for the likes of us. And if you want the "minister" title gone, then talk to those that made the requirements. What would you like the title to be? If you find a good one for us, and you are willing to go to court with us to make it as legal in all the states where "minister" is required to marry people, then we'll happily stop calling ourselves "ministers" (note the quote marks) and use your title instead.

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Response to Moonwalk (Reply #67)

Sun Feb 17, 2013, 10:24 PM

73. you are reading way too much into my post.

projecting all kinds of things onto me that I never said or meant. Like this.

At this point, you are damning us if we do, and damning us if we don't. If we don't, we don't get to marry each other (and, apparently, in your eyes that's all right. We atheists shouldn't be allowed to do that, we should be forced to always use a justice of the peace no matter what we might want).


I don't believe any such thing. I actually have no idea what the marriage laws are in your state, they vary considerably, they are controlled by the state legislature. In some states judges, deputy clerks, and the interesting office of marriage commissioner are able to marry you.

You feel that anyone should be able to perform marriages. Fine. Address your state about that.

I still think your justice of the peace thing hold no water. Most people plan their marriages many months in advance. One could easily get on the justice's schedule in that time.

And if we do, we're stuck with the "minister" title by default and that, apparently, damns us even though it's not up to us. I'm sorry, but we're not going to give up the right to marry each other because you, personally, think a justice-of-the-peace should be good enough for the likes of us
.

What right to marry each other? Unless your state grants such a right, it doesn't exist. It absolutely doesn't exist. For anyone, religious or non-religious.

It is a very common phenomenon for people to show up for a church wedding and are never seen in a church again. They are not committed to that church, they do it for the purpose of getting married. Same for the justice of the peace. If you want it to be different, you have to get the laws changed.

You are essentially committing an act of fraud when you claim to be a minister, but are not.

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 05:41 PM

34. We were secular, too, back in the 60s

A lot of my friends got dragged back to church by their kids. Now they can't do without the social support, whether or not they believe a word of it.

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Response to Warpy (Reply #34)

Sun Feb 17, 2013, 11:23 AM

60. By their adult children? Or they found support in the church while raising small children?

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Response to shcrane71 (Reply #60)

Sun Feb 17, 2013, 05:02 PM

72. By their school age children

who wanted to join their friends in church activities, mostly.

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 05:58 PM

35. K&R. Glad to hear it.

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 06:11 PM

37. I think religion fills some kind of void in the human psyche.


We need to find another way to fill that void minus the supernatural and stifling patriarchal social order. I believe education is the key: one conversation, one battle, one person at a time.

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Response to Ligyron (Reply #37)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 06:14 PM

38. Walking outside and looking at the sky can fill that void.

Talking to your child or your loved one can fill that void.

Religion - not so much.

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Response to GoneOffShore (Reply #38)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 11:55 PM

48. +1000

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Response to Ligyron (Reply #37)

Sun Feb 17, 2013, 06:32 AM

51. Its called Quantum Mechanics.

Or honestly, any of a number of other fields in scientific inquiry. ALL the magic is there, ALL the mystery is there, within science. Scientists don't know the truth, but they are faithfully following the paths reason lead them to the current conclusions, and they are more aligned with the truth than arrogant deceivers who claim to know it all. I have become one of them, and frankly, its so satisfying: Anything is possible with science, the future is in our hands. When you connect with it, the excitement is electric, others around you can feel it, and want to learn more reason and ethically beautiful zen paths themselves.

Magic and holiness don't need names, they arise spontaneously from honestly approaching the universe we live in. Releasing religion from your life means releasing fear, and trust me, you will not be let down. Every little bird must take the brave action jump from the nest before it can fly. What kind of creator would let you down in pursuing reason and ethics in this manner?

JUMP!

Peace,
Nir

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Response to napoleon_in_rags (Reply #51)

Sun Feb 17, 2013, 04:21 PM

71. I'm with ya dude. n/t

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Response to Ligyron (Reply #37)

Sun Feb 17, 2013, 11:43 AM

65. it manages our fear of death per terror management theory

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 09:11 PM

42. I am glad to see this.

My son is a sophomore and he and some friends started a students for a secular society last year. They seem to have more members this year (judging from the photo of their meeting on Darwin's b-day when they all wore beard masks!). He is a biology major so I think it is a good group for him to be a part of.

I was raised Catholic (until about age 9 when I started having serious questions) and I raised my kids with a lot of "people believe a lot of different things", because I wanted them to find their own way without all of my "doubts" and I avoided all of the dogma I was shown.

I think maybe people (especially young people) are looking at religious people these days and are seeing the Catholic pedophiles, the Muslim terrorists and the Christians using the church as a money making scam and seeing that religion may not be all that it cracked up to be. We can be connected as human beings without the formal structures of the church or the belief in a god as portrayed in "holy" books.

I think the best chance for the world today is for the young people to turn more toward science. Maybe having computers and the internet will help this process and evolution. I think it is what is best for the planet.

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 10:02 PM

43. Years of hateful fundies forced down a generation's throat will do this.

It's only going to grow.

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 10:47 PM

44. Dang, I was DECADES ahead of this crowd!!

I went to a liberal Presbyterian university and discovered Unitarian-Universalism back in 1978, in San Antonio!

I still consider myself a UU even though I live too far out in the country to be anywhere near a fellowship or church.



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Response to marmar (Original post)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 11:29 PM

46. I guess non-stamp collecting is a hobby after all. nt

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Response to Union Scribe (Reply #46)

Sun Feb 17, 2013, 08:49 AM

56. More a reaction to the undue influence of stamp collectors

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Response to SecularMotion (Reply #56)

Sun Feb 17, 2013, 11:32 AM

63. .

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Sun Feb 17, 2013, 08:21 AM

53. "believers in reality taking college campuses by storm" is more accurate

I am not a "non-believer" or "without" anything. I have it all, in all of its awesomeness.

some would call that arrogant? I believe I have been told.

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Sun Feb 17, 2013, 08:44 AM

55. College is a time to question everything (nt)

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Sun Feb 17, 2013, 10:34 AM

57. Good.

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Sun Feb 17, 2013, 10:53 AM

58. So happy to hear this! n/t

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Sun Feb 17, 2013, 11:30 AM

61. My people!

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Sun Feb 17, 2013, 11:40 AM

64. Good.

 

I hope to see archaic religious beliefs gone in my lifetime.

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Sun Feb 17, 2013, 01:37 PM

68. It doesn't mean one thing

When they get older they will gravitate more and more to religion.

It's almost a natural thing to gravitate to it when one gets closer to old age. It helps give meaning to many people.

Almost everybody I graduated with in high school back in 1973 is into religion now. Not many atheists or agnostics.

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