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Thu Mar 22, 2012, 10:57 AM

Should Fort Bragg Hold an Atheist Concert?

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Should Fort Bragg Hold an Atheist Concert?
Rock Beyond Belief, an atheism-themed event scheduled to be held at Fort Bragg March 31, is generating national buzz.

"Rock Beyond Belief", an atheism-themed concert event scheduled to be held at Fort Bragg March 31, is generating buzz across the nation.

According to the Washington Post, the event is the brainchild of Sgt. Justin Griffith, an atheist soldier stationed at Fort Bragg. Griffith felt that 2010's Christian "Rock the Fort" concert, organized by the Billy Graham Evangelical Association, was overtly sectarian and left people of different faiths and no faith out in the cold.

With the help of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, Griffith organized Rock Beyond Belief as a venue for secular soldiers. Originally scheduled for 2011, Rock Beyond Belief ran into troubles. Although Fort Bragg leadership had previously stated, in response to MRFF complaints about Rock the Fort, that it would provide the same level of support for any other group, Rock Beyond Belief originally found itself relegated to an indoor facility "that could only hold a few hundred people in separate rooms a broom closet compared to the expansive venue apportioned to Rock the Fort," according to the Post.

Griffith resubmitted his request and was approved to use Bragg's expansive Main Post Parade Field for the event. Scheduled speakers include evolutionary scientist Richard Dawkins, an outspoken member of the New Atheism movement and author of the bestselling book The God Delusion.

More:
http://fortstewart.patch.com/articles/should-fort-bragg-hold-an-atheist-concert


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26 replies, 2969 views

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Arrow 26 replies Author Time Post
Reply Should Fort Bragg Hold an Atheist Concert? (Original post)
Ian David Mar 2012 OP
rocktivity Mar 2012 #1
immoderate Mar 2012 #4
eqfan592 Mar 2012 #11
EvolveOrConvolve Mar 2012 #13
SwissTony Mar 2012 #2
Ian David Mar 2012 #3
SwissTony Mar 2012 #6
Ian David Mar 2012 #7
SwissTony Mar 2012 #8
Ian David Mar 2012 #9
SwissTony Mar 2012 #10
PassingFair Mar 2012 #22
SwissTony Mar 2012 #23
PassingFair Mar 2012 #24
SwissTony Mar 2012 #25
PassingFair Mar 2012 #26
eqfan592 Mar 2012 #12
SwissTony Mar 2012 #18
eqfan592 Mar 2012 #19
Rob H. Mar 2012 #20
SwissTony Mar 2012 #21
Rob H. Mar 2012 #5
dimbear Mar 2012 #14
Rob H. Mar 2012 #15
dimbear Mar 2012 #16
Ian David Mar 2012 #17

Response to Ian David (Original post)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 11:22 AM

1. The concert sounds more anti-religious than non-religious

So I'd have to say no.


rocktivity

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Response to rocktivity (Reply #1)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 11:54 AM

4. Billy Graham smiles...

--imm

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Response to rocktivity (Reply #1)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 05:24 PM

11. Umm, how, exactly?

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Response to rocktivity (Reply #1)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 07:38 PM

13. What does "anti-religious" mean?

I hear the "anti" accusation thrown around a lot, but very few can define A) what "anti-religious" means; B) how it's necessarily a bad thing; or C) what specific actions by persons or groups are "anti-religious".

If you mean that the concert won't kowtow to so called sacred ideas or tiptoe around the topic of religion, yes it's "anti-religious".

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Response to Ian David (Original post)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 11:43 AM

2. What is an atheist concert?

I can see how you can celebrate faith, but celebrating lack of faith? That's like celebrating not being a stamp collector.

But, on the other hand, all the concerts I attend are atheist concerts (because I am one), even Bach's St Matthew Passion (which is on tomorrow night).

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Response to SwissTony (Reply #2)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 11:46 AM

3. Well, check their website for enlightenment. n/t

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Response to Ian David (Reply #3)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 01:39 PM

6. Been there, done that, no enlightenment.

If I meet a fellow atheist, what do I know about him/her that's not obvious from their physical form? We have no shared beliefs or preferences that I know of (apart, presumably, from things such as not wishing to die and wishing to be happy etc - the "universal" wants). What we share is a LACK of belief in one aspect of the society we live in. I simply don't feel the need to get together with other atheists to "celebrate" whatever we are supposed to be celebrating.

Maybe it's a matter of personal circumstance. I'm an Australian living in Holland. In both countries, my religious beliefs were never of any importance. They rarely (if ever) came up in conversation. I worked with a guy for about 10 years in Holland before I found out he was a devout Christian (and he found out I was an atheist). But that was not a problem on either side. We had a brief conversation about it and then went onto more important matters - an upcoming soccer international. Maybe, it's different where you live.

And I still don't know what an atheist concert is.

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Response to SwissTony (Reply #6)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 02:49 PM

7. I am sure you must find some common ground HERE...

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Response to Ian David (Reply #7)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 03:25 PM

8. An arbitrary selection of 3 points

- We are committed to the principle of the separation of church and state.

- We cultivate the arts of negotiation and compromise as a means of resolving differences and achieving mutual understanding.

- We are concerned with securing justice and fairness in society and with eliminating discrimination and intolerance.

I know a lot of Christians who would agree with these points.

I know you're aware of this, so I'm stating the obvious but secular + humanist != atheist.

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Response to SwissTony (Reply #8)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 03:31 PM

9. Agreed. Disciples of Ayn Rand who are Atheists cannot also be Humanists, IMHO. n/t

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Response to Ian David (Reply #9)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 03:53 PM

10. I actually read Ayn Rand way back when.

She turned me into a communist...but I got better.

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Response to SwissTony (Reply #6)

Fri Mar 23, 2012, 01:50 PM

22. We know that their motivations and aspirations differ from believers.

You are speaking only for yourself.

No atheist that I know ever bent over backwards to help someone in the
hope of an eternal reward for themselves.

And no atheists that I know are walking around, counting the days
until they will join their loved-ones in the "great beyond".



I like knowing that about a person.



Many atheists like having a sense of shared ideas. Sometimes it's fun
and interesting to get together with others for whom the magic of reality is magic enough.

I don't belong to any regular "group", but I do attend atheist meet-ups occasionally,
and I always enjoy them.

I am sorry to be missing the "Reason Rally" in DC for the same reasons.

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Response to PassingFair (Reply #22)

Fri Mar 23, 2012, 02:21 PM

23. We know that their motivations and aspirations differ from believers - yes and no

"You are speaking only for yourself."

Yes, I hope that is now clear.

"No atheist that I know ever bent over backwards to help someone in the hope of an eternal reward for themselves."

Of course not, we don't believe in an eternal. But you seem to be saying (and yes, I am putting words into your mouth) that believers are beancounters - if I do this kind deed, I rack up 10 extra points. Believers do kind things for the same reasons non-believers do. Believers are human too.

(Aside: am I defending religion here?? God help me).

"Many atheists like having a sense of shared ideas. Sometimes it's fun and interesting to get together with others for whom the magic of reality is magic enough"

Many atheists and believers also have a sense of shared ideas. A just and fair world, for example. Sunsets and rainbows. Bach. The proof that pi is irrational. But if the only connection I have with a fellow human is that (s)he is a fellow atheist AND I LIVE IN A COUNTRY WHERE THIS IS NOT A PROBLEM, what is my connection actually? egfan592 and Rob H have pointed out that I live in a situation rather different to what you are facing. I accept that (and sorry about the caps).

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Response to SwissTony (Reply #23)

Fri Mar 23, 2012, 02:25 PM

24. Of course the atheism would never be the "only" connection.

Ideally, it would be one of many.

But it WOULD be one....

I think that atheists and "humanists" meet together in other countries
as well. I know that they do in India.

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Response to PassingFair (Reply #24)

Fri Mar 23, 2012, 02:59 PM

25. Again, it might be a matter of personal circumstance

I said in another post that if I were to announce to a group of people in Australia that I was an atheist, I'd get less reaction than if I'd announced which football team I supported. Obviously, things would be different in other parts of the world.

But my "connectivity" with an individual (in my situation!!!) would not be greater with an atheist than with a believer (unless (s)he tried to stuff his/her beliefs down my throat...and if (s)he was a Collingwood supporter, it's a case of justifiable homicide (just kidding)).

But on a more serious note, what makes you think that atheists and humanists don't meet in countries other than India? Atheists, humanists and believers meet every day in most parts of the world.

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Response to SwissTony (Reply #25)

Fri Mar 23, 2012, 03:23 PM

26. I'm talking about in groups. n/t

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Response to SwissTony (Reply #2)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 05:32 PM

12. Sorry, but I can't agree.

Yes, being an atheist means you don't have faith in the existence of a god or gods, and if the world were perfect and accepting of such beliefs, then I might be more inclined to agree with you. But many of us have to put up with a lot of crap because of the fact that we are atheists (especially if we have decided not to hide this fact from loved ones that are religious), and this gives many of us a common ground and common experiences that we can share with each other, as well as find comfort in the fact that we are not alone with this.

You may not have had to go through any of this, and if that is the case then count yourself lucky, but that is not the same story for many of us.

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Response to eqfan592 (Reply #12)

Fri Mar 23, 2012, 05:42 AM

18. I did suggest that it might be a case of personal circumstance.

As I said, my atheism has never been an issue. So, maybe I have been lucky. My atheism is about as relevant as my hair colour. Even to my JW sister. Sorry that hasn't been your experience.

Thank you for your insight (no sarcasm implied).

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Response to SwissTony (Reply #18)

Fri Mar 23, 2012, 11:53 AM

19. No problem, and sorry I missed that part of one of your replies.

I've been pretty lucky I think among folks from the US who are also atheists, but the sad fact is that studies have shown US Christians (who are a clear majority of the population in the US) tend to trust atheists only slightly more than they trust rapists. That's something we are trying to change, slowly but surely. But more importantly I think, we're trying to make sure that "closeted atheists" here understand that they are not alone, and I think gatherings like the concert mentioned in the OP aid in that.

Hopefully we'll get things here to the point where stories like yours become the norm here!

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Response to eqfan592 (Reply #19)

Fri Mar 23, 2012, 12:52 PM

20. "...US Christians...tend to trust atheists only slightly more

than they trust rapists."

Yeah, I saw the results of that survey last year, and it just made me sad. Check out this excerpt from an article I found:

The researchers found that religious believers thought that descriptions of untrustworthy people - people who steal or cheat - were more likely to be atheists than Christians, Muslims, Jews, gays or feminists.

Gervais was surprised that people harbour such strong feelings about a group that is hard to see or identify. He opines that religious believers are just more comfortable with other people who believe a deity with the power to reward and punish is watching them.

"If you believe your behaviour is being watched you are going to be on your best behaviour," said Gervais. "But that wouldn't apply for an atheist. That would allow people to use religious belief as a signal for how trustworthy a person is."


I still maintain that if a person is only doing the right thing because they think they'll be rewarded for it in their version of the afterlife (or that they'll be tortured for eternity if they do something wrong), it doesn't count.

Full article here: http://www.vancouversun.com/life/Atheists+rapists+list+people+religious+believers+distrust+most+study+finds/5794699/story.html

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Response to Rob H. (Reply #20)

Fri Mar 23, 2012, 01:36 PM

21. That is really sad.

There are various posts/videos on the internet which say that if all atheists left America, 90+% of scientists would be gone, but only 1-% of people in jail. Hey, we're apparently the good guys.

I'm an Aussie living in Holland. The current Australian Prime Minister is atheist/agnostic (I don't know how she'd describe herself, she simply said she did not believe in God when asked by a reporter). But I'd get more reaction in Australia by telling people which Aussie Rules football team I support (the mighty Port Adelaide!!!) than by announcing I was atheist. In Holland, nobody cares. There's still a fair amount of religious hangover around. For example, in villages (not the bigger cities) all over Holland, all the shops are closed on Sunday. Exceptions are food and drink establishments (pubs and eateries) and shops in tourist areas. But not supermarkets or bookstores. But Holland has this liberal tradition - you can think what you want, we don't have to agree with you.

And to Xtians who mention the 10 commandments as a basis for moral behaviour, I say "So 100 words on a piece of paper is all that is keeping you from being a lying, thieving, murdering rapist??? Don't come near my kids".

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Response to Ian David (Original post)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 12:33 PM

5. They opened the door with "Rock the Fort" so I'd say "yes"

and did in the poll.

On a Fort Bragg Patch story about the event, commenter Yeah Right posted, "Hey if atheists can do this, will the post support a Koran burning Islamic Bash Fest???"


Ah, fatwa envy, how I've missed you!


Edited to add: I think it's cool that Camp Quest is going to be there for kids who aren't necessarily interested in the musical performers.

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Response to Ian David (Original post)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 08:25 PM

14. Sure, you can vote, but you can't see the poll results..............

Just like the promise of heaven. Always over the horizon.

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Response to dimbear (Reply #14)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 08:43 PM

15. That's weird--I can see them

97% voted "Yes" (703 of 722 voters).

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Response to Rob H. (Reply #15)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 09:02 PM

16. Thanks. That's good news. n/t

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Response to Rob H. (Reply #15)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 09:28 PM

17. So can I. But only inside my hat with a seer stone. n/t

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