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Old 02-13-2012, 12:32 PM   #76 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Maggiedoll Alter View Post
Why call it an atheist organization if an organization has the goals that you mentioned? As you point out, plenty of religious people support those goals too. Making it a specifically atheists organization would just exclude potential supporters.
Any group that "fights to strengthen the separation of church and state, fights against anti-atheist bigotry in the workplace, law, military and anywhere else, and that gives support to people who suffer under those circumstances or who are tentatively throwing off the bonds of religious indoctrination" is likely a place people will feel free to ridicule Christians. So no, Christians will not support such a group, even if they are similarly minded, no matter what you call it. Might as well call it an atheist group to make it easier to find.
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Old 02-13-2012, 12:34 PM   #77 (permalink)
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Old 02-13-2012, 12:54 PM   #78 (permalink)
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Old 02-13-2012, 01:55 PM   #79 (permalink)
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I would like to thank Lo for this thread - and also to those who shared. Honestly, I had no idea. Probably because it simply never comes up in my life or entourage. Ever.

Even the threads on SLU in the past about religion, I would only breaze through. I just couldn't identify.
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Old 02-13-2012, 02:09 PM   #80 (permalink)
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Any group that "fights to strengthen the separation of church and state, fights against anti-atheist bigotry in the workplace, law, military and anywhere else, and that gives support to people who suffer under those circumstances or who are tentatively throwing off the bonds of religious indoctrination" is likely a place people will feel free to ridicule Christians. So no, Christians will not support such a group, even if they are similarly minded, no matter what you call it. Might as well call it an atheist group to make it easier to find.
The two biggest groups that support these causes are Americans United and the ACLU. AU is headed by Barry Lynn who is an ordained reverend in the United Church of Christ, and the ACLU fights on behalf of anyone facing persecution regardless of their religion. When it comes to giving support to people struggling to free themselves from religion then yeah, I doubt you'll find any religious groups willing to offer anything but recrimination.
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Old 02-13-2012, 02:11 PM   #81 (permalink)
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I would like to thank Lo for this thread - and also to those who shared. Honestly, I had no idea. Probably because it simply never comes up in my life or entourage. Ever.
Same here. It's just not an issue and never has been.

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Even the threads on SLU in the past about religion, I would only breaze through. I just couldn't identify.
I always read those precisely because that's one thing about the US that is really different from here and it's a constant puzzle to me how it can be that different.
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Old 02-13-2012, 02:46 PM   #82 (permalink)
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I think we are lulled into thinking that we are similar in all issues because we look the same, or speak the same language, or share a similar history. It's almost as if we can't believe it can be - so - different with some issues.
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Old 02-13-2012, 02:49 PM   #83 (permalink)
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A lot of us in the US can't believe it either. It's like a bad dream.
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Old 02-13-2012, 03:15 PM   #84 (permalink)
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When it comes to giving support to people struggling to free themselves from religion then yeah, I doubt you'll find any religious groups willing to offer anything but recrimination.
I'm not even entirely sure of that. I have trouble imagining religious people who believe in separation of church and state and nondiscrimination (so we're NOT talking about teavangelicals and whatnot here) being overtly negative towards somebody trying to free themselves from a religion that they find oppressive.
Disapproving of outright hostility towards religion in general and active attempts to get people to abandon religion for no particular reason, yes. But towards people who want to get away from oppressive and excessively dogmatic sects? Or towards more "make up your own mind" type messages? That I have more trouble seeing.
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Old 02-13-2012, 03:20 PM   #85 (permalink)
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attempts to get people to abandon religion for no particular reason
Please elaborate. Why would anyone think "no reason" was a convincing argument for leaving a religion?
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Old 02-13-2012, 03:29 PM   #86 (permalink)
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I never really thought about atheists being victimized, but I know how much crap you can have to put up with if you go to the "wrong" church. So, I guess it does follow you'd probably have to put up with even more crap if you say that you not only don't go to church you don't even believe in God.
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Old 02-13-2012, 03:31 PM   #87 (permalink)
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I think if everybody would just shut the fuck up about their belief system or lack of belief system everybody would be just hunky dory. That won't happen though.
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Old 02-13-2012, 03:39 PM   #88 (permalink)
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Growing up in Texas, I dealt with all kinds of crap for not being a nice Christian girl... ranging from H.S. stuff to employment, but the most serious was when my husband and I divorced, my attorney told me that I didn't have a chance of getting custody because lesbians are an abomination before God and my husband's new wife got her pastor to write letters to the judge extolling what a good Christian couple they were.
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Old 02-13-2012, 03:41 PM   #89 (permalink)
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Growing up in Texas, I dealt with all kinds of crap for not being a nice Christian girl... ranging from H.S. stuff to employment, but the most serious was when my husband and I divorced, my attorney told me that I didn't have a chance of getting custody because lesbians are an abomination before God and my husband's new wife got her pastor to write letters to the judge extolling what a good Christian couple they were.
Okay, I'm nosey... please please please tell me you ended up getting custody of your kids?? PLEEEEEASE!!!
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Old 02-13-2012, 03:42 PM   #90 (permalink)
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Okay, I'm nosey... please please please tell me you ended up getting custody of your kids?? PLEEEEEASE!!!
Blackmail.

And no... I'm not kidding.
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Old 02-13-2012, 03:43 PM   #91 (permalink)
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There's a whole spectrum full of minute gradations between "believer" and "hard atheist".
True. While it may seem like a binary condition there are all sorts of places between those two points.

For example, I have absolutely no idea how to answer what should be a simple question 'are you religious'. I am an eclectic Wiccan and when I was studying it the entire first year was making up a religion that makes sense to you. There are a few things that make it seem like any other pagan religion (do no harm, evangelism is bad, and so on) but the main purpose of mine is easily described: 'to make fun of itself'.
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Old 02-13-2012, 03:43 PM   #92 (permalink)
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Blackmail.

And no... I'm not kidding.
But, you got them, right? That's what's important.
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Old 02-13-2012, 03:47 PM   #93 (permalink)
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But, you got them, right? That's what's important.
I got joint custody, which worked out pretty well, all in all.
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Old 02-13-2012, 04:19 PM   #94 (permalink)
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Same here. It's just not an issue and never has been.


I always read those precisely because that's one thing about the US that is really different from here and it's a constant puzzle to me how it can be that different.
I think there are many other cultural differences than just the excessive religiosity of the United States. Our murder rate is 4 times that of the UK. Our social safety net is far more tattered. We don't have national health insurance and the American Care Act is merely a step in the right direction. Unionization is 150% greater in the UK and 300% greater in Canada. The majority of American believe in evolution while the British know creationists are cranks. Most Americans don't believe in global climate change - or much of science at all if it's inconvenient.

You have Prime Minister's Questions - which is simply amazing. Here, political debate in person is formalized pabulum and the real debate is waged by proxy on cable news and the internet and in national papers.

We have more absolute freedom of speech and waste it with an overly deferential media. You have more limited freedom of speech and yet have reporters that have heard of follow-up questions.

Do you think any politician in the UK could actually argue that a bullying law should have a religious exemption that allows people to bully on religious grounds?

Do you think any politicians in the UK could seriously argue that government should forbid insurance from providing contraception?

I could go on, but I am already getting depressed by it.
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Old 02-13-2012, 04:41 PM   #95 (permalink)
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I'm not even entirely sure of that. I have trouble imagining religious people who believe in separation of church and state and nondiscrimination (so we're NOT talking about teavangelicals and whatnot here) being overtly negative towards somebody trying to free themselves from a religion that they find oppressive.
I'm not suggesting they'd be mean about it (though some certainly would). I just have a hard time imagining a religious organization offering counseling to someone leaving religion behind without their efforts being directed at bringing them back into the fold. As well meaning as that may be you have to imagine what that would be like for someone who's come to a long, perhaps agonized, decision that they don't believe. In that situation what they most need is contact with other people who've gone through it and to know that they're not alone and there's nothing wrong with them.
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Old 02-14-2012, 01:48 PM   #96 (permalink)
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What do you guys think? I think that joining an atheist group is stupid (I wouldn't join one, personally, it would feel a bit too much like joining a church).
I think a group that's basically "Hey, we're atheists!" makes no sense, but it would make sense to have an Atheist version of say the NAACP, where it's about lobbying and civil rights protections for Atheists. Discrimination against Atheists is certainly more rare than discrimination against GBLT people, but that's not to say it doesn't happen. Not to mention, there's a constant encroachment of Christian lobbyists and politicians trying their hardest to tear down the separation of church and state which someone needs to keep an eye on.

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Actually this statement is from an agnostic, an atheist would have said there is NO god,
I really wish people would stop saying that. Atheism just means that you don't believe in any particular god, it makes no claims about knowledge of a god's existence, that's (a)gnosticism.

Do you know who is behind that bus ad, the person you labeled an "agnostic"? The quintessential "militant atheist", Richard Dawkins.

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Old 02-15-2012, 11:48 AM   #97 (permalink)
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I was born and raised in London and in almost 50 years, the question of religion rarely raised it's head. My friends and colleagues included people from pretty much every faith and belief system as well as non believers, and I never once had to define myself as an Atheist because people simply didn't use religion to define themselves or others.
Two years ago, I relocated to Arkansas to marry my SL partner, and although I love it here, some days it feels like I've moved to Tehran. Religion governs every aspect of life here and the vast majority of folk I've spoken with would be jubilant if the US was turned into a theocracy, just as long as it was their particular strain of Christianity that got to be in charge.
I work at a bank, and my manager freely told me that she wouldn't have hired me if she had known I was an Atheist. She doesn't understand how I can stop myself from stealing if I don't believe that I'm being watched by God!
There's very little open hostility towards me as an Atheist, but that's probably more to do with the novelty value of my exotic English accent! I'm sure I'd be less accepted if I was anything but a white, straight, English male.
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Old 02-15-2012, 12:52 PM   #98 (permalink)
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She doesn't understand how I can stop myself from stealing if I don't believe that I'm being watched by God!
These are the same people whose rationale proclaims that "God has a plan for everybody".

I don't think they follow through on that logic or they'd realize that they're basically saying your decision to steal or not is also part of God's plan, even if you don't believe.

I move in some pretty secular circles around here and I would pit the morals of my secular friends against many of the allegedly religious folks any day.
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Old 02-15-2012, 01:49 PM   #99 (permalink)
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I work at a bank, and my manager freely told me that she wouldn't have hired me if she had known I was an Atheist. She doesn't understand how I can stop myself from stealing if I don't believe that I'm being watched by God!
I think the bank's video cameras are a more powerful deterrent. Assuming one is a sociopath who can't tell the difference between right and wrong.

Is the only reason she isn't robbing the bank blind because she think's God is watching her? I wouldn't hire someone who thought like that because sooner or later she'll figure out that as long as she accepts Jesus as her savior, he won't care if she robbed the bank.
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Old 02-23-2012, 04:46 PM   #100 (permalink)
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So at least some judges think it's okay to assault atheists. This is framed as a judge supporting the right of a Muslim to use violence in support of his religious beliefs, but I wonder if the more accurate frame would be that the judge supports the use of violence against atheists?
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