Dale McGowan. Photo courtesy McGowan.
Dale McGowan. Photo courtesy McGowan.

If just 1 in 7 atheists are anti-religious, who speaks for atheism? An interview with Dale McGowan

Dale McGowan. Photo courtesy McGowan.

Dale McGowan. Photo courtesy McGowan.

How many atheists are anti-religious?

If you said “all,” “most,” or even “many,” think again.

In his most recent book In Faith and In Doubt, Dale McGowan draws on a University of Tennessee study from last year on the different "types of nonbelievers"—challenging the stereotype that atheists are broadly anti-religious.

"Many of the most prominent and well-known voices in modern atheism," he writes, "are best described as anti-theists... [Yet] [tweetable]even though they are often seen as the 'typical' atheist, anti-theists make up only 14.8% of nonbelievers.[/tweetable]"

If that is true, why are the most visible atheists generally anti-religious? I decided to ask McGowan, who may be one of the busiest people in atheism—he is the Executive Director of Foundation Beyond Belief, National Director of Ethical Education for the American Ethical Union, has published five books in the last seven years, and is the new managing editor of the Patheos Atheist channel. Below, he shares his thoughts on why so many people conflate atheism with anti-theism, how to lift up more representative voices, why atheists should participate in interfaith initiatives, and how to make relationships between believers and nonbelievers work.

CS: This week you spoke as an atheist representative at the launch of the Fourth Annual President's Interfaith and Community Service Campus Challenge. Why should atheists participate in interfaith programs?

DM: [tweetable]Doing meaningful work together is the single most effective means of dismantling distrust and stereotypes.[/tweetable] It’s also the best way to discover the immense common ground that can be disguised by our separate labels. And less distrust and more common ground is a recipe for a better society.

CS: While speaking at the launch, you cited research that suggests that only 14.8% of atheists are anti-religious. Why do you think so many people see atheists as anti-religious?

DM: For the same reason so many atheists see religious people as biblical literalists and fundamentalists when most are not. [tweetable]The louder, more extreme examples of any viewpoint naturally gain the most attention.[/tweetable]

CS: You manage one of the largest atheist blog hubs. Do you feel an obligation to lift up different kinds of atheist voices? Do you think the atheists writing for Patheos are representative of atheists at large?

DM: Individually, the atheist blogs at Patheos are fantastic. Collectively, they know as well as I do that diversity in tone and approach, not to mention gender and ethnic diversity, can use some serious attention. We’ve done some great brainstorming together to address this. Check back in a few months to see what we’ve done!

CS: Almost four years ago, Foundation Beyond Belief launched Challenge the Gap, an interfaith initiative that was controversial at the time. How has that program has helped increase understanding between atheists and theists?

DM: The simple fact that atheists have raised over $100,000 for progressive religious charities is attention-getting in the best possible way. I’ve heard from countless atheists who were initially opposed to the program and now see the power of it. [tweetable]It’s an effective demonstration of our ability to discern between positive and negative expressions of religion.[/tweetable] And theists often say this has changed the way they look at atheists.

When we supported a Christian medical organization in Afghanistan, an executive in the organization said, “Sometimes from my little corner of the world here in Kabul, it's easy to think that the world is getting more fractious and polar. This has made my day.” [tweetable]There’s more power to change minds in that moment than in a thousand debates.[/tweetable]

CS: In Faith and In Doubt explores believer-nonbeliever relationships. What were your key findings? What might surprise people the most?

DM: The key finding is the one that surprises people most: These relationships can and do succeed—if you avoid certain pitfalls. Desire to convert a partner is a major red flag. If they were both of the same perspective in the beginning and one changed, that’s harder than difference from the beginning. Dogmatic thinking from either partner is bad; learning about each others’ worldviews is good. And if it goes well, both partners often report a much more positive and nuanced opinion of the other worldview. [tweetable]These relationships are the ultimate interfaith project.[/tweetable]

CS: You do a lot. What motivates you? How do you find balance, and do you have any tips for other activists?

DM: I’m inspired by the opportunity to fulfill genuine unmet needs in a positive way. But there are many serious gaps remaining in the nonreligious community, and I have trouble turning down interesting invitations, so burnout can be a serious problem. [tweetable]Don’t wear your frazzle and fatigue as a badge of honor. It kills your effectiveness in the long run, and it’s unhealthy.[/tweetable]

Full disclosure: I assisted with the creation of Challenge the Gap and have served as an advisor since 2010. —Chris Stedman

Comments

  1. Cool interview. I didn’t realize that Dale was the editor of the Patheos Atheist Channel nor that he has written so many books. Good to know.

  2. “why are the most visible atheists generally anti-religious?”

    This is NOT TRUE.

    The vast majority of Atheists go to church.
    They support religion. They put money in the basket!
    Millions of Atheists are in church every Sunday
    going through the motions often for the benefit of a spouse or other relative who still believes the nonsense.

    Millions of Atheists in ‘houses of worship’ bow their heads and take communion because it is the far easier thing to do! To admit you don’t believe or to tell a neighbor or a friend – is a huge invitation for a problem.

    So we go through the motions.

    The most visible Atheists are the ones sitting next to you in the pews!

  3. Chris,
    It was great to read your interview with Dale McGowan, I found myself wanting to know more about his work. Especially interesting is when Foundation Beyond Belief launched Challenge the Gap. There are similarities with Frank Burton’s Circle of Reason.

    The anti-theist are really way outspoken than the none anti-theist. Only 14.8% but as angry and seemingly hate filled as the anti-atheist, fundamentalist.The late Rev. Jamie Buckingham, a great charismatic preacher once said about fundamentalist: “They are no fund and damn little mental.” I didn’t say that, he did. I guess that quote puts me in the anti-fundamentalist camp.

  4. Jesus and Paul were fundamentalists.
    The worst kind.

    “If anyone does not love the Lord, let that person be cursed!”
    (1 Corinthians 16:22)

    Merciless nonsense.

  5. Please stop using the phrases “anti-religious” and “anti-theist” interchangeably as if they are the same thing. Or at the very least, provide a definition that allows the reader to make sense of what specifically you are saying people are and are not “anti” about.

  6. “Most visible” in this context doesn’t refer to the reflection of light rays.

    I do like your comment, as I spent a lot of time in church, put money in the plate and kept in the closet for 62 years. Now that I’m retired and no longer have the risk of losing income, I don’t care if anyone knows my opinions on religion. However, when I express them, theists sometimes consider me anti-religion. I’m not anti-religion, I do argue against an unjustified belief in gods. Take away the god belief and most religious organizations would be much improved.

  7. Nell,
    I don’t think I have ever used the terms “anti-theist” and “anti-religion” interchangeably,if I have I apologize. Anti-theist would seem, in my opinion, to mean a person who holds a view that is against the idea that there is a ultimate God and/or Creator, or any higher being at all.
    At the same time, he/she could be part of the 14.8% who are actively anti-theist.
    Anti-atheist would be a person who believes the atheist are wrong, that there is a God and some will actively speak against atheism.

    I’m not anti-religious, for I am a person of faith. yet organized religion, in general, has a lot of negative elements which can seem like a weight dragging down the message of faith.

  8. Definitions and usage do matter:

    A Theist says: “I know which God is true, and I know what he wants of me”
    A Religionist says: “I worship that god”

    I am Agnostic because I do not ‘know’ if god exists or not
    I am also Atheist because I do not ‘believe’ a god exists
    Atheism is NOT A CLAIM. I do not state that God is impossible.

    I am Anti-theist: I do not believe it is good to PRETEND a god exists if there is no evidence for it since the damage to society is enormous.
    I am Anti-Religious: I do not believe it is GOOD to actively WORSHIP something for which there is no evidence.

    But I defend people’s right to freely believe, to speak freely, and to preach their beliefs.

    As long as they are not physically harming anyone and as long as they are not forcing it on unbelievers.

    If people hold an unfounded belief
    They are harming nobody but themselves. Though I wish they would not do it, and I wish they would confront the irresponsibility of it, I defend their right to religion.

    Religionists and Theists have their rights and I support them.
    As long as there is separation of church and state
    we cannot seriously harm each other.

  9. I am a humanist and most of this discussion seems irrelevant to me. I don’t define myself in terms of something that I have no evidence even exists. If anyone does believe in anything that has no rational basis then that is OK, all I ask is that they don’t impose any nonsense on anyone else. Of course it is right that people should help each other and it is not too important what they believe just don’t ram it down my throat.

  10. A.M. “Definitions and usage do matter:”
    Foe show man…
    rock on bro…
    Glad to see you have a sense of humor! Oh wait… I wonder if my definitions and usage of humor mean what you think they mean; or the other way around; or… o well; with all due respect.

  11. Thought-provoking article. As I see it: Atheism is simply a personal mental understanding of The Universe. Trying to make it a movement is counterproductive, unless someone is trying to make money off of it. Living it nonviolently/compassionately and constantly shaping its impact on an individual life is a form of ethical personal practice. This attitude is sorely lacking among organized atheists and organized religious. Being anti-religious is a function of education. Many who believe in a Higher Power in The Universe are deeply anti-religious. “Atheism vs Religion” is basically “Independent thought based on scientific evidence vs Submission to and identification with a body of predigested assumptions about The Universe”. So, it seems to me that the issue is one of “independent thinkers vs dependent followers” at both ends of a false polarity. The worth of either group is measured by their impact on the world around them.

  12. Concerning “anti-religious” atheists … the problem is that the definition of “anti-religious” is relative and subjective. My own approach to religion is that, as an agnostic, it’s not for me; but I don’t object to anyone else belonging to a religion. I simply expect that my non-belief be respected, and object to religious folk trying to coerce me to join or obey their religions. That is something I will never willingly do.

    I don’t see how that could make me “anti-religious.” But I’ve been called that, and by people who genuinely believe me to be “anti-religious.” They view my refusal ever to join or go along with a religion as an inherent form of hostility to religion in general, and think I want to abolish religion entirely. Of course, I want no such thing … but no amount of my telling them so, can change their minds or get them to see otherwise.

    And that, I fear, is the problem. A lot of religious folks, particularly of the “fundamentalist” sort, just can’t tolerate someone who refuses to go along with them.

    One last observation, re: “For the same reason so many atheists see religious people as biblical literalists and fundamentalists when most are not.”

    There’s a reason a lot of non-believers, atheists included, “see religious people as biblical literalists and fundamentalists” even if not all of them are (and yes, I know this is so!). That reason, in the US anyway, is that the non-literalist and non-fundamentalist majority of Christians have, more or less, surrendered to the literalists and fundamentalists. What’s worse, they’ve done so in a very real and tangible way: A majority in the House of Representatives are of the literalist-&-fundamentalist sort, as is a near-majority of the Senate. As far as I’m concerned, that they’ve made this choice tells me the supposedly non-literalist and non-fundamentalist majority of American Christians has thrown themselves behind the literalists and fundamentalists.

    Make of that what you will. But don’t accuse non-believers of being irrationally concerned about the outsized political power of the literalist and fundamentalist wing of American Christendom. There’s nothing irrational about such concerns.

  13. PSiCop
    I cannot help but wonder since you openly state that you are a agnostic, that atheist have attacked you for not siding with them? Neal DeGrasse Tyson has noted that he is often confronted by atheist to come out as an atheist.
    However, that is not the subject of your email.

    That reason, in the US anyway, is that the non-literalist and non-fundamentalist majority of Christians have, more or less, surrendered to the literalists and fundamentalists.
    As a former Southern Baptist Pastor, that the “good people” in the church often simply keep their mouths shut while the big mouths ruin things. The strong teachings on humility are overdone. The baptist for one have only existed for a little over 400 years. Their fist leader died in Newgate prison via King James (yes he commissioned the King James Bible). They, among other groups, were greatly discriminated against in the early part of our nation. Even in the 21st century it does take much to renew a fear of discrimination and for some, an unreasoning fear of Satan.

  14. PSiCop
    I cannot help but wonder since you openly state that you are a agnostic, that atheist have attacked you for not siding with them? Neal DeGrasse Tyson has noted that he is often confronted by atheist to come out as an atheist.
    However, that is not the subject of your email.

    “That reason, in the US anyway, is that the non-literalist and non-fundamentalist majority of Christians have, more or less, surrendered to the literalists and fundamentalists.”

    As a former Southern Baptist Pastor, that the “good people” in the church often simply keep their mouths shut while the big mouths ruin things. The strong teachings on humility are overdone or taken too much to heart for the humble. The baptist for one have only existed for a little over 400 years. Their fist leader died in Newgate prison via King James (yes he commissioned the King James Bible). They, among other groups, were greatly discriminated against in the early part of our nation. Even in the 21st century it does take much to renew a fear of discrimination and for some, an unreasoning fear of Satan.
    Fundamentalist, no matter what religion, know how to invoke fear into action. Outspoken atheist, agnostics and simply people of faith who will not follow traditional lines seem to threaten to shake many Christians their precarious perch of “This is a Christian Nation”.

    \\\\

  15. I made a mistake and sent two comments on the same thing

  16. Re: “I cannot help but wonder since you openly state that you are a agnostic, that atheist have attacked you for not siding with them?”

    I’ve heard some complaints along those lines, but they’re not really a problem. And they aren’t even relevant here … so I wonder why you even brought it up.

    Re: “As a former Southern Baptist Pastor, that the ‘good people in the church often simply keep their mouths shut while the big mouths ruin things.”

    It doesn’t matter to me why the moderate-majority of Christians ceded power to the fundies. I only care that they did. And I will only care if they get off their butts and fix the problem. So long as they continue to go along with the fundies, it’s not unreasonable just to count them as fundies (because they may as well be).

    Re: “[Baptists], among other groups, were greatly discriminated against in the early part of our nation.”

    Bully for them … but so what? Does that somehow justify ceding power to the fundies? Or does it justify not reining them in again and taking that power back?

  17. “Trying to make it a movement is counterproductive”

    No.
    The effort to spread Atheism (non-belief, secularism) is an international emergency. If you don’t think so look into Al Queda, ISIS, Zionism, Catholicism, Hezbollah…etc.

    Religion is destroying the world. And it can’t wait to blow things up.

    “Slay them Wherever you find them” – (Surah) Q’uran
    “Execute them in front of me” – JESUS (Luke 19:27)
    “Kill unbelievers” – Torah (Judaism)

    Religion is a nightmare of bad ideas and ancient, dangerous superstitions.
    It must be reduced to the influence of the belief in Leprechauns before the world becomes safe.

  18. @Chaplain Martin,

    Since you brought it up with PsiCop:

    Agnostics are already helping us Anti-Theists in the argument against religion by simply stating their agnosticism.

    Agnostics are pointing out the same thing the Anti-Theist is pointing out. Namely they are saying something like:
    “whether or not a God exists is just an option, and it is not a good one….for me.”

    That simple message alone
    is very effective and forcing people to question whether god beliefs are good for people or not.

    “Slay them wherever you find them” – Surah (Q’uran)
    Wouldn’t it be great if all Muslims became agnostics on this question?

  19. PsiCop
    I’ll admit mea culpa. For many years as a clinical chaplain/pastoral counselor I obtained my employment in various hospitals and a prison and never had to “toe the line” under the SBC. I did let my opinion be known, but really did nothing.

    Frankly, all the fundamentals have is past, no real future, no real faith, sterile, love is a sparse commodity but “God how long will they hold on”. Taking the power back will likely be the “nons” spiritual but not necessarily church goers and the “missional” believers who actually care for those in need.

  20. So you’re saying the reasonable Christian majority has no intention of taking their own religion back from the fundamentalists? They want to continue letting the fundies run things? Even in spite of knowing what they’ve done to put them in charge and in spite of knowing it’s up to them to take charge on their own? Yet, I as an outside observer am required not to notice this?

    Sorry but no. I do notice it, and will continue to notice it. And every time someone tosses out the “but I’m not a fundie myself, how dare you say I am” objection, I will point out that it’s not unreasonable to equate the “mainstream” with fundies because the “mainstream” ceded Christianity to the fundies long ago and refuse to take it back.

  21. PsiCop
    “So you’re saying the reasonable Christian majority has no intention of taking their own religion back from the fundamentalists?”

    No, I’m just saying that denominations like Southern Baptist (which have churches all over the nation) has little chance of turning away from fundamentalism. I warned lay people of the church where I belonged in the 1980’s and 90’s what was continuing to happen. Their dismissal response: “It is just a preachers fight”.
    The so called mainline churches have been decreasing in size for a long time. Their influence on the political front is moderate at best.

    It is past time for the majority of Christians to get some backbone and actively take on the fundamentalist. They have let their leaders raise the Republican Party Serpent Pole for them to worship instead of God.

    According to various polls, young people that are interested in faith are much more interested in doing social/missional type of activities (helping the poor, seeking justice etc) than they are in denominational loyalty. I see more hope in the future of Christianity than I do in the present denominational structure.

  22. Chaplain Martin,”young people that are interested in faith are much more interested in doing social/missional type of activities (helping the poor, seeking justice etc) than they are in denominational loyalty.”

    I think people have figured out that religion is not useful to accomplish anything practical. I’m 32 and I have seen people laughing at Christian teachings about love because everyone knows they are joined to teachings about hating gays. So forget that.

    There is probably no afterlife, so what is the point of ‘salvation’ stuff anyway? Christians are obviously bent out of shape about Muslims but they both are taking things from authoritarian leaders.

    Lots of atheists everywhere are proving that belief in god (or gods) is rather worthless. Gods do not help no matter how they are worshipped, i mean really. People my age are laughing at believers. Not because we want to be mean – we don’t. But religion…ugh! it is soooooo ridiculous. Nothing of it holds up to examination for 5 minutes!

  23. Re: “No, I’m just saying that denominations like Southern Baptist (which have churches all over the nation) has little chance of turning away from fundamentalism.”

    Then it’s safe to count the SBC as fundies. OK, I can go with that.

    Re: “The so called mainline churches have been decreasing in size for a long time.”

    … and the fundamentalist churches have been growing at their expense. Actually that’s pretty well known. Fundie churches have, indeed, grown in numbers as well as in political power.

    Re: “It is past time for the majority of Christians to get some backbone and actively take on the fundamentalist.”

    And they plan to do that … when, exactly?

    Re: “I see more hope in the future of Christianity than I do in the present denominational structure.”

    Personally, I doubt it will make much difference. As you acknowledge yourself, and as I’ve observed, American Christians have increasingly thrown their lot in with their fundamentalist faction. It’s all well and good to hope future Christians won’t do that … but I will believe it when I see it, and not a moment before. In any case, it’s cowardly for Christians now to lean back in their pews, let the extremists among them run the show, see that it’s going awry, but respond with a hope that later generations will change it. I have no time for cowards and zero respect for people who refuse to clean up their own faiths.

  24. Cathy Wynn,
    I belong to a Baptist (yes Baptist Church) which has not only gay members, but a gay who is in a committed relationship, she and her partner has adopted 2 children, is the chair person of our deacons.
    Of course our church is not a Southern Baptist Church it is a member of Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, which began over 20 years ago in response to SBC going fundamentalist. Frankly, there are millions of Christians who do not have hatred toward gays yet don’t feel scripture allows for homosexual relations.

  25. Cathy Wynn,
    My faith in God is through experience and belief as well as many trials. Much has happened in my 74 years that have greatly challenged my faith as well as has strengthen it. Even if I didn’t believe in a heaven, the guidance that I have experienced through, what I believe is the Holy Spirit would make me see the value in belief and love.

    I can’t imagine believing that there is no power greater than myself, but I sense what I would have become. The church doesn’t hold me to account for my salvation, the years in graduate school studying religious history, interpretation of scripture, geology, counseling, etc. doesn’t hold me to account, only my faith in God holds me to account. In spite of the “bad” press on this web site, there are millions of Christians who hold firm to the faith. Who are not as you and others categorize them. We Christians are flawed human beings who are in, for me, a recovery mode similar to the steps of AA. God never promised an easy life. Bad things do happen to good people. To ask: What is God worth if He Doesn’t keep us from experiencing life as it is? Heck ya! I sometimes have said things to God about “What now,” “Why me,” “Why now”, Yet there is a loving power that reaches out and comforts me.

    I have seen much evil in my life as chaplain (service in prisons, courts, and an attempt to kill me) but I have also see the love of many, many for God. I have witnessed those dying on their death beds in hospitals and at home giving a witness and concerned love for those who will be left behind.

    There is so much more to Christianity than has be put forth on this and other web sites.
    I aware of many, many evils which are wrapped in the piety of religion. Evil has always attempted to appear as “wolves in sheep skin”. The “divine right of Kings.” was just a way for evil rulers used to keep the people in submission; similarity to the methods today of the Republican party to wrap themselves in the cloak of the Christian right for their own gain.

    I have found that God often believes more in the atheist than the atheist believes in his or her self.

  26. PsiCop

    I agree with much of what you wrote. The “fundies” movement started when I was in Seminary in the later half of the 1960’s, they were seen as foolish and laughed at by us moderates and you can see what happened? Never underestimate the enemy, even when he doesn’t appear so.

    This movement has been building for close to fifty years and has gone off course only in the last few years, which the argument over predestination splitting some of the movement. Will it take that long to at least bring the Fundamentalist/Political movement in check? Lord, I pray not.

    There has been a resurgence of the National Council of Churches which brings some hope. Even if the churches with fundamentalist beliefs have seen a upturn of members who go out to simply serve the needs of the community, in (free) community markets, and food closets, homes for the homeless, training for paying jobs, going to countries like Liberia to teach and to serve medically. I keep in contact with a family which serve in a strict Muslim area that I cannot name for fear of reprisals against them. They teach improved farming methods, put in simple, clean watering systems in villages and teach locals to maintain them, and have a part in a medical boat service which floats down the river stopping along the way giving much needed medical help. After all these years the population of each place they go know they are Christian, their example speaks volumes. The people love them there and some love their Christ.

    Investigate, I invite all to investigate the work of religious charities, individual congregations of faith social gospel, there is a faith movement that, I think, will be a witness against the fundamentalist.

    SBC is not so slowly imploding membership decreasing baptism way down. People are getting sick of hearing the gospel without love, just law.

  27. Re: “This movement has been building for close to fifty years and has gone off course only in the last few years, which the argument over predestination splitting some of the movement. Will it take that long to at least bring the Fundamentalist/Political movement in check? Lord, I pray not.”

    Fundamentalist Christianity hasn’t “gone off course only in the last few years.” It went off the course the moment it was created! It always was an insane philosophy; any form of fundamentalism is (as Iraqis and Syrians now living under ISIS/ISIL/IS can now attest, in spite of the fact that a lot of them initially welcomed that barbaric brood). “Insanity” and “fundamentalism” always march in lockstep. They’re joined at the hip. They’re one and the same.

    I have to say, your unwillingness to acknowledge this shows how they may have ended up being so successful. A lot of their fellow Christians either could not, or would not, see them as the crazies they always were and always will be.

    Note: My view is that of an “insider.” I’m an ex-fundamentalist Christian. I know what they believe, think, say, and do. I know what fuels them. I get it. Probably better than you do. I was warning people about them 30 years ago before anyone would pay attention at all. I’ve issued the same warning, all that time. Their insanity is not news, I assure you, and it’s not just a recent development.

    Re: “There has been a resurgence of the National Council of Churches which brings some hope.”

    Seriously?! You think a useless-to-the-point-of-virtual-nonexistent organization is going to get the majority of mainstream Christians to reconsider their own willing collaboration with the fundies!? How is that going to work? Pardon me; those snickers and guffaws you hear are me, trying to be nice and stifle my laughter at this suggestion.

    Re: “Investigate, I invite all to investigate the work of religious charities, individual congregations of faith social gospel, there is a faith movement that, I think, will be a witness against the fundamentalist.”

    For decades I’ve been “a witness against the fundamentalist.” No other “mainstream” Christians cared. They all just went along with the fundies, falsely misconstruing their rabid adherence to religiofascist doctrines as a kind of devoutness which they respected rather than rejected. What makes you think any of them are suddenly going to change their minds and yank their support? Once again, I’m forced to hold back laughing at some of the most ridiculous naivete I’ve ever read.

    Re: “People are getting sick of hearing the gospel without love, just law.”

    Yet they’ll happily march into the voting booth and approve of it. Sorry, but this fundie-become-agnostic isn’t stupid enough to think this is going to change any time soon. American Christendom long ago sold itself out to fundamentalism … and that’s just the way it is. To deny it is as insane as the fundamentalism is, itself.

  28. PsiCop

    It’s is pretty easy to understand you assume from my reply that I am a naive, close to being a idiot. I can take that, I know my own short comings and I accept my humanity. I also realize you and others on this site may not take anything I write seriously, however I will do it anyway.

    I came to faith, not while in a church, although I went, an my mother prayed and read me Bible stories. It was just one day while walking home from high school, it came to me in a way I cannot explain but it remains real to this old fart. Go ahead and laugh, I laugh at myself. sometimes about how it happened. No Damascus road experience for me, just Holly
    Street.

    When Christianity or any religion is tide up with the state, catastrophe is the result. That is what we now have. Christians surely need to take a stand and be willing pay the consequences
    of pointing out the wrongs of individual politicians and the facilities of fundamentalism.

    It is not the duty of the moderate or liberal churches/pastors to tell their members how to vote any more that it is right for the fundamentalist to do so.
    Much of the hatred for President Obama here in the old Confederate South has more to do with racism than religion. Liberalism is just a useful word for prejudice. Democrats often used to take the place on the “N” word.

    In the SBC the movement, I know for a fact, started in the 60’s. I also know for a fact that the SBC membership has decreased by the hundred of thousands. I’m sorry you didn’t actually seek to find the good work that is being done in the name of Christ.

    I was on a Presbytery made up of a Catholic Priest, a Anglican Priest, Baptist ministers (CBF), Methodist Minister, Presbyterian Pastor, First African Baptist Pastor, to examine a candidate for Jail Chaplain (not to be paid for with any government funds). The program he started has gone on to be an model program (really programs) across the state. GED success for many, apartments for newly release homeless women, a veteran program, library under the local library system an alcohol and drug treatment program, follow up care for those released. and much more. I realize you probably are not interested. But I state it as an example of what can be done.

    I don’t have a whole lot of faith right mow in the church as a whole, but I support people of faith and they sure have supported me, my entire life.

    God bless you everyone whether “fer” me or “againt” me.

  29. I love how the comments go to saying. Yeah this is good for atheist and theist to understand each other. To basically Anti-Theist rhetoric. Good Job, Dumb Shits.

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