Beliefs News

Reason Rally organizes atheist vote

Thousands of atheists and unbelievers, including Alberto Valdez from Del Rio, Texas, gathered in 2012 on the National Mall for the Reason Rally. RNS photo by Tyrone Turner

(RNS) The steps of the Lincoln Memorial have seen civil rights demonstrations for decades, notably the 1963 March on Washington, in which African-Americans demanded civil and economic rights, but also in the 1990s as LGBT groups demanded an end to discrimination.

On Saturday (June 4), another group will gather at those same steps. Atheists, agnostics, humanists and other so-called religious nones are converging for the Reason Rally, which according to its website aims to be “the biggest gathering of nonreligious people in history.”

The Lincoln Memorial was festooned with banners on Aug. 28, 2013 for the “Let Freedom Ring” event marking the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington. RNS photo by Adelle M. Banks

The Lincoln Memorial was festooned with banners on Aug. 28, 2013, for the “Let Freedom Ring” event marking the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington. RNS photo by Adelle M. Banks

The rally’s main goal is to show that nonbelievers have the numbers, the clout and the organizational skills to be a voting bloc worth courting in the November election.

“We have this community that has the power to move mountains and we just need that critical moment where we can focus the conversation on what our community believes in and can do,” said Kelly Damerow, an atheist activist and the event’s president. “That’s what I see the Reason Rally as doing.”

But the hurdles are formidable. Atheists, humanists and other nonbelievers are generally not joiners. And this election year poses an unusual challenge for secularists — there is no major party candidate who has assumed a religious mantle.

So, how to rally the unfaithful when there is no overtly Christian, Catholic or Mormon “bad guy” to oppose?

“In the past we have sort of been able to play on easy mode,” said Lyz Liddell, head of the Reason Rally’s coalition of sponsors, which includes American Atheists, Secular Coalition for America, Openly Secular and the Freethought Equality Fund Political Action Committee, among others. “We’ve been able to say, ‘Look out, here comes Ted Cruz,  the religious right boogeyman.’ It is going to be a test of whether we can exist not solely in opposition to organized religion.”

Richard Dawkins, center, waves to the crowd during the 2012 Reason Rally. Photo courtesy of David Silverman

Richard Dawkins, center, waves to the crowd during the 2012 Reason Rally. Photo courtesy of David Silverman

First steps

The Reason Rally first came to Washington in June 2012, bringing some 20,000 people to the National Mall to hear atheist superstars such as Richard Dawkins, Bill Maher and Adam Savage.

Ten years earlier, a “Godless Americans March on Washington” drew a few thousand people  — most of them white, male and middle-aged. By contrast, the 2012 gathering attracted many young people and people of color. Organizers of this year’s rally hope to do even better.

Diversity is critical, atheist activists say, both to the health of so-called movement atheism and to crafting a secular voting bloc, or “atheist vote.”

The speaker lineup at this year’s Reason Rally reflects that. In addition to some who routinely pop up on the atheist circuit — science guy Bill Nye, comedian Julia Sweeney, magician Penn Jillette — there are some newer faces, many of them faces of color — comedian Margaret Cho, members of the Wu Tang Clan, comedian Leighann Lord and Rice University professor Anthony Pinn.

“With the Reason Rally bringing together people from across the spectrums of age, color, sexual orientation and ethnicities, I hope it sinks in that we’re not just Richard Dawkins clones and we don’t fit the tiny box many people want to put us in,” said Hemant Mehta, a popular atheist blogger and author of several books on atheism. “That’s not just for politicians and the public, by the way. I think we need to convince other atheists, too, that we’re a larger group than they imagine.”

Beyond church and state

If the first Reason Rally and Godless Americans March focused heavily on church-state issues — which are dear to American Atheists, the Freedom From Religion Foundation and the Stiefel Freethought Foundation, all sponsors of the event — this year’s tent is wider.

Speakers will also tackle climate change, LGBT rights, sex education and social justice issues.

Lydell said the key to forming a nonreligious voting bloc is highlighting how these issues align with “secular values,” not just “atheist values.” Expanding beyond church-state issues is critical if movement atheism is to reach young people, who, polls show, are less concerned with eradicating religion.

“The core of what we believe in is reason,” she said. “So it doesn’t matter if you are a feminist first or an environmentalist first because we do have common ground, and that is reason.”

Secular Coalition will promote that common ground in several pre-rally events, including “advocacy days” on Thursday and Friday that will offer Reason Rally attendees training from professional lobbyists on how to organize and speak to legislators and then take them into Washington offices to meet and talk to legislators about their issues.

Black and white

But will it be enough to bind the 23 percent of Americans who say they have no religious affiliation, according to the latest Pew Forum poll? Only about 7 percent of Americans identify as atheists or agnostics, up from 4 percent in 2007, though they make up about one-third of all those who say they have no religion.

Devin Kuchynka, 24, thinks it will be. An aspiring politician, he will travel to the Reason Rally from Akron, Ohio, and participate in its two advocacy days.

When Kuchynka votes in November, his atheism will be one of the strongest influences on his choice, he said.

“The atheist vote, I think it is strong because you can have conservative atheists, you can have all these different issues everyone cares about but pretty much it seems to have an effect on people’s opinions when they deconvert,” he said. “So I think that while you are going to have a lot of variety, I definitely think it is a driving force in people’s minds when they vote.”

Diva Eytcheson, 50, is less sure. As with Kuchynka, this will be her first Reason Rally. Her atheism is important in the voting booth, she said, but other identities she claims — abortion rights advocate, feminist — are equally and sometimes more important, she said.

“I vote more on social causes and hindering the pork in politics than I do on atheism alone,” said Eytcheson, who is traveling from Denver to attend the Reason Rally. “Every issue has its complexities and there is no such thing as black and white.”

John C. Green, a professor of political science at the University of Akron, said such diversity can be the nascent atheist voting bloc’s biggest strength and greatest weakness.

He drew an analogy between them and the Catholic voting bloc.

“Catholics get on the same page for a few issues, but they are all over the place after that,” he said.

“I am sure the effort to organize a secular voting bloc will take a step forward this year, but I am not sure how big it will be.”

A step forward is further complicated by the fact that there is no superreligious candidate at the top of the ticket to oppose.

Trump has said he is a Presbyterian but has shown little scriptural literacy, and Hillary Clinton, a United Methodist, keeps her faith more private. Bernie Sanders seems to be a more secular than religious Jew.

But David Silverman, president of American Atheists and the main organizer behind 2012’s Reason Rally, sees the lack of a religious candidate as an opportunity.

Now, he said, “is our time to show politicians don’t have to rely on evangelicals, you can get more votes when you rely on the atheists,” he said. “And when you talk to the atheist, you can say, ‘This is when we are supposed to rise up, strike and take our place, while the enemy is weak.'”

Taking their place

The symbolism of the steps of the Lincoln Memorial is not lost on anyone involved with the Reason Rally. Atheist activists have been very open about crediting their recent successes to the LGBT rights movement, which they have intentionally copied. And LGBT activists, in turn, have credited the civil rights movement of the 1960s with showing them how to organize.

“We are standing on the shoulders of giants,” said Damerow.

Lydell, who like most nones is too young to remember the March on Washington, said staging the event on the steps is a chance to pay a debt. The discrimination faced by nonbelievers, she said, is not the same as that faced by the African-American or LGBT communities, but it is still discrimination.

“As long as we continue to get letters from high school students kicked out of their houses because they don’t share their parents’ religion, or from parents denied the opportunity to see their children because they don’t believe in God, we have to fight,” she said. “If the steps stand for something, it is that dream of inclusivity and equality, and that is what we want — to be seen and recognized and viewed as equals.”

About the author

Kimberly Winston

Kimberly Winston is a freelance religion reporter based in the San Francisco Bay Area.

99 Comments

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  • When religious people are killing atheists, there will always be a “religious bogeyman”. And every year we hear of someone who was killed for their atheism by religious people in the name of some god or other. The Christian delusion might not be as murderous as the Islamic delusion, but it is still murderous. Let’s not forget that the last well publicized murder of a person for expressing disbelief in the Christian god happened just six months ago, on Christmas Eve 2015.

  • These people are saying, “I don’t like YOUR religion, so I’ve created my own!”

    What further proof do we need that these misguided individuals lead lives that hunger for commitment to principles that are deeper and more lasting than their own hedonism?

  • I’m always amused by the passionate atheists, who confuse a legitimate disbelief in god with philosophical materialism, which denies any phenomenon they think is supernatural. That leads them to irrational conclusions, as I show in examining 3 cases http://www.GodReconsidered.com

  • How is not believing in ANY gods a religion? Is not collecting stamps a hobby?

    You say we “hunger for commitment to principles that are deeper and more lasting than their own hedonism” but you don’t say which principles would satisfy your standard. Which, exactly, are those principles? And why are they “deeper and more lasting”?

  • This is not true: “And this election year poses an unusual challenge for secularists — there is no major party candidate who has assumed a religious mantle.” Most of the republican candidates did not believe in the separation of church and state, thought it was ok for states to become theocracies, ok to have only christian prayers in govt meeting. Cruz was a dominionist who had always believed we would be a christian theocracy if he was elected, his wife called him the new face of god for america, his father believed he was the new savior.
    Trump is christian-lite and it’s why a lot of people voted for him (he is more like the country that way). But he has surrounded himself with cruz like people who are pushing him to go further to the right religiously. People he has already aligned himself with, like Ben Carson who thinks he is the new jesus, are pushing christianity into govt. That’s the fight we have and will continue to have as long as extreme christians believe the first amendment is a myth.

  • Up until the 1970’s people in some states were being fined and jailed for openly questioning the existence of god, blasphemy laws.

  • As usual with religious folks, there are lots of accusations here, but no evidence backing them up. Other than the founder of the ironic Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, I have yet to see an atheist who has created his own religion, and I have never seen an atheist who has any principles that are any more hedonistic than those of Christians.

    I suspect most atheists are just like me – they find religion obviously fake and harmful, so they simply discard it. There is no reason to replace it with any other religion – since it’s already fake and useless, nothing needs to take its place. As for being a hedonist, like almost any other person, I do pursue happiness, so that is hedonistic – but so do you and every other Christian. As for hungering for commitment to something beyond that, sure, but Christianity (and every other religion) offers nothing deeper, because it isn’t real. I prefer to believe in moral philosophies that are actually beneficial, rather than fake-god-given moral philosophies which are neither moral nor philosophical.

  • “In Science We Trust” emblazoned on a t-shirt. What all you folks won’t acknowledge is that the science is of God. Science is just a codification of all that God has done. It is a way to explain creation. Kind of like numbers are a way to explain some branches of mathematics. I smile at you all God bless you as you proclaim HIs glory without knowing it or understanding it.

  • And now in some places they are being ridiculed for openly expressing HIs existence. As in this event.

  • That really speaks badly of your religious belief. Unlike the rest of us who have some empathy and connection to humanity, you would run amok if not for fear of God.

  • What you fail to acknowledge is that nobody requires thanking God or assuming his existence in any form of objective and rational course of study. You may do so, but the rest of us do not have to.

  • If science is “of God” then why does the Bible get science so wrong, and why did God’s representatives on Earth stifle scientific advancement from 400CE until 1600CE?

    The answer is that gods are fabricated by people whose “divine guidance” is a lie they tell themselves. If God truly led people to science, then the scientific method would have existed 2000 years ago – Jesus would have informed us about it instead of talking about how disease was the result of demonic possession, and people like Hypatia of Alexandria would never have been stoned to death, and people like Giordano Bruno would never have been burned at the stake, and people like Tycho Brahe and Johannes Kepler would have had their books published rather than publicly burned, and people like Galileo Galilei would never have been imprisoned for heresy.

    Your god has stifled science at every opportunity. To claim that science comes from God is ironic in the extreme, given what we know from history.

  • It clearly enrages a few people that someone else does not share their religious beliefs.

  • I’m always amused by authors who confuse a comments section with a legitimate place to sell their books. I’m also amused by new age nuts who willfully blur the line between atheism and materialism in order to advance the ridiculous idea that the supernatural has a rational basis.

    I did go to your website. Your book asks a lot of questions. Here are the answers:

    Chapter One – Is There Extra Sensory Perception? No.
    Chapter Two – Have Extra-Terrestrials Visited the Earth? No.
    Chapter Three – Is There Life After Death? No.
    Chapter Four – Is Natural Order Due to a Higher Intelligence? No.
    Chapter Five – Is Life on Earth Evidence of a Benevolent Creator? No.
    Chapter Six – Are We Responsible for Doing Evil? Yes.
    Chapter Seven – What Are the Problems With Buddhism? The fact that there’s no evidence that its tenets are real.
    Chapter Eight – What Are the Problems with Hinduism? The fact that there’s no evidence that its tenets are real.
    Chapter Nine – What Are the Problem [sic – let’s hope the book has an editor] With Judaism and Islam? The fact that there’s no evidence that their tenets are real.
    Chapter Ten – What Are the Problems With Christianity? The fact that there’s no evidence that its tenets are real.

    Maybe that will clear things up for people so they don’t feel the need to buy your book. And you could probably have saved some time by simply posting these questions to a blog.

  • The book is a nonprofit project and it’s necessary to mention because it’s hard to find evidence-based counter-arguments to philosophical materialism. I don’t share any beliefs of the New Agers. I’ve read most of the skeptics’ magazines and books for many years and have found their advocates blissfully ignorant is the frontiers of double-blind studies of things like acupuncture, medical magnetism and chiropractic (against which they continue to rail). Instead of actually reading careful arguments for ESP, like in Dean Radin’s The Conscious Universe, they quote their “bishops” who insist it can’t exist. Michael Crichton was invited to speak to the Skeptics Society until they found out he wouldn’t adhere to their dogma, so he put the speech he had prepared in the appendix to Travels.

  • I guess I wasn’t the only one that had the question because they put it in their FAQ section: The name in the Stiefel Freethought Foundation rhymes with “gleeful,” not “stifle” which would be hilarious.

  • Ian, your comment is one of the best I have read in quite some time.

    I was going to ask why God allowed people to suffer horribly for so many thousands of years before He finally facilitated science, especially medical science. But you addressed the subject far better than I could have.

  • If Christians really want to ‘get saved,’ they need to accept reason as their personal savior, and repent for holding beliefs that lack legitimate evidence.

  • Thanks – you made my day! I think your point is actually more important, as it casts light on the suffering of millions of people that a loving god, if he existed, should have prevented. Mine, on the other hand, focuses on just a few celebrities whose lives were ended or made difficult by the reality of religious dogmatism. Fortunately, we atheists are presented with an embarrassment of riches when it comes to arguments against the idea that science and religion can coexist, so there are a number of excellent ways to approach the issue.

  • It’s our sinful and fallen world that accounts for everything bad, doncha know?
    God would have fixed everything if we weren’t so sinful, fallen, and broken, but his hands were tied. In fact, we’re so very, very bad that we made god kill himself. There was no other option.

  • They don’t believe the first amendment is a myth. They believe that the first amendment doesn’t apply to them, except as protection.

  • I’m equally critical of religion, if you had bothered to read any chapter. But let’s take ESP, since it’s a very straightforward issue. Freud, a devout atheist, knew from experiences with his patients, that telepathy existed. It doesn’t have to be supernatural, but skeptics are so worried that granting its existence might erode their position that they take an irrational position. The experimental evidence is overwhelmingly in its favor–but you wouldn’t know that by reading skeptics books. Marcello Truzzi, the former editor of The Skeptical Inqurer, finally had to concede this in The Blue Sense. I’ve interviewed dozens of police who have used psychics to solve cases (which is effectively mind-reading). Radin, a Bell engineer and skeptic, was stunned when he did research and found that the atheist Soviets just treated it as a fact and were research ways to use it in intelligence gather.

  • LOL. Yeah. Amazing how God has to create this convoluted plan, involving a pseudo-sacrifice (after all, Jesus got better) that can only save SOME people from humanity’s fall (that God had to know was going to occur – he is omniscient, after all). Strange that an omnipotent god who is so powerful that he created the entire universe can’t just say “Shazam- You’re all forgiven!” so that a few billion humans on an insignificant planet – a tiny part of His creation – can get into God’s gated community.

  • As I said, I’m not making money on this. But if you don’t want to read my book, try Michael Schmicker’s Best Evidence, which has a good summary. I know you won’t–I’ve had decades of experience trying to get skeptics to read things that aren’t on the list of Approved Books.

  • LOL. Now you’re gleefully expecting this discussion to get gullible rubes to run along to your website to buy your book. Good luck with that.

  • The people quoted sound “reason”able. I hope they are successful in forming a voting bloc which is recognized and respected. Every voting bloc deserves that.

  • Here’s what sounds unreasonable, the arrogant and dismissive language of the Christians. You are the reason the number of your cohorts is diminishing.

  • Who said you were making money on it? I said it was uncool to advertise in an unrelated comments section. Carrotcakeman said you were doing it to get free advertising. Both of these are true and have nothing to do with whether or not you’re making money on the book. That’s irrelevant.

  • Unlike you’ve, I’ve read all sides in the debate. I don’t care if you buy my book–you can probably get Radin, Crichton, and Schmicker at the library, but you won’t bother because you’re very faithful to the skeptics’ conviction that there couldn’t possibly be a naturalistic reason for ESP.

  • “free advertising” implies I’m trying to sell books. I’ve recommended several others you can get at the library. The fierce debate of how there could be a good god if there is evil in the world was an appropriate point to assert that since we can’t prove a god of any kind exists, the real debate ought to be over whether atheism should be an organizing principle, rather than a more intellectually prudent agnostic and even anti-religious position. I always find that militant atheists will do anything but read the evidence on ESP because they think it’s a slippery slope to opening the doors to the spiritual. As Thomas Kuhn argued in The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, cutting-edge science is always decades ahead of conventional wisdom, so ESP will eventually be recognized by disbelievers

  • Google “Douglas “Coe/The Family”. Just finished reading the book “The Family”. It’s how the religious “Reich” controls and influences Gov.t’s world wide. Highly recommended read. Scary sh_t.

  • Ah, yes. The old “atheist religion” line. Richard Dawkins and other “new atheists” are our “prophets” who we mindlessly “worship” and since we don’t believe in a supernatural “higher power” we must believe we are the center of the universe and are therefore “hedonists”. Usual childish drivel.

  • “What further proof do we need that these misguided individuals lead
    lives that hunger for commitment to principles that are deeper and more
    lasting than their own hedonism?”

    I’ve met religious folks who still struggle with the same thing. Many religious people still wonder, why are we here? Why were we created? What is the meaning of life? Why does there have to be suffering? All religions have some answers to these questions, but they all seem to contradict each other. Rick Warren’s son committed suicide because of depression, despite being a hardcore Christian. Who are you to judge?

  • There are two great superstitions. The first was that god can work a miracle and the second is that government can.

    Unfortunately
    too many “atheists” are superstitious fools who vote for government to
    make yet another failed attempt at the miracle of the loaves and fishes.

  • Yeah, those dang loaves and fishes. When will the government ever make them appear out of thin air for us?

  • No one cares if you believe in a god, which god you believe in, or how you worship your god. What we cannot handle is your people’s attempts to spread your word through our secular gov’t or your taking the rights of others saying your god tells you to do it.

  • Yes, I saw your earlier claim. I don’t believe that. No, I won’t be buying your book.

  • If you have the courage of your ignorance, you’ll read a library book from one of the other authors. Start with Radin on ESP because he has all the footnotes you could ever want from an engineering mind.

  • That, and the internet, which brings the greatest minds of the 20th and 21st Centuries onto people’s home computers via YouTube and other media sharing websites.

  • Yes, that damned government! Apart from the police, fire departments, public roads, clean air, clean water, public health, public education, national parks and public libraries. What has the government ever done for us?

  • I suspect there is a high probability that, due to historic persecution by Christians, many atheists are still deeply closeted, just like most gay people were at one time. I think it’s much easier for most atheists to remain closeted than it is for gay people because atheism doesn’t involve a strong innate drive that is nearly as fundamental to their lives as sexuality. It’s much easier for atheists to quietly “go along to get along.”

    But the internet is surely changing all of that. For the first time in history it is easy for atheists/skeptics to find each other, communicate with them, and access large amounts of rational thinking in favor of non-belief, all without necessarily revealing themselves to people in their neighborhoods. Not too long ago, a skeptic would probably have been afraid to be seen purchasing a book from his local bookstore containing such thinking.

    While I was growing up in the 1950s/60s, I remember being told that God enabled the invention of radio and television so that the “Good News” could be spread around the world (and that anyone who heard it, but didn’t believe it, would go to hell). I suspect that Christians expected the internet to further that goal, but they didn’t consider the fact that the internet enables two-way communication, whereas radio and television are one-way communication. With the internet, atheism has everything to gain, and religion has everything to lose.

  • Funny – I was just posting a similar message in a thread that came to me automatically via Google Alerts from Kenya (http://www.standardmedia.co.ke/article/2000203643/atheism-feeds-off-christian-failings). The internet really is making advocacy of all kinds a global phenomenon. This week I might be posting to a newspaper in Kenya supporting Kenyan atheists’ attempts to simply set up an officially sanctioned atheist society, while next week I might find myself posting in a blog from Bangladesh about the murders of prominent atheists in that country. Anyway, in the post on the Kenyan newspaper, I wrote:

    Atheism is growing thanks largely to the widespread access to scientific knowledge that has become a reality thanks to the invention of the internet. People can now easily find, at the click of a mouse, the ideas of the greatest minds of our time, many of whom are justifiably contemptuous of religion. Free access to information is what is killing ALL religion, not just Christianity. Within a few decades, the Abrahamic religions will be dead, and to be frank, good riddance. It’s time for people to grow up, and the internet will help them to do that.

  • Why has atheism become so prominent? Think 11 September 2001. If that is what people can do in the name of religion then what is its use?

    Every time something horrific is said or done in the name of religion, more people turn away from faith. Whether it’s Islamist suicide bombers, Israeli cruelty towards Palestinians, Child sexual abuse by clergy of every stripe, cruelty towards gays, persecution of atheists or any other horror done in the name of religion or by members of the clergy, it makes no difference. People simply say, “A plague on all your houses!” and turn away.

    But what attracts people to religion? Well, a former Catholic who married a Palestinian man told me she finally converted to Islam. Yes, there was pressure from her children but also there was the loving kindness of her husband’s family towards her. As the old saying goes, you can attract more flies with honey than vinegar.

  • I agree. However, I think people discarding religion based on religious-fueled cruelty is more of a knee-jerk reaction than a reasoned decision. The nastiness of theists may create atheists, but these experiences don’t really “convince” a person to be atheist – the result is more of a “rejection of religion” than an “embracing of atheism”. While that is as good a reason as any to become an atheist, I suspect folks who reject religion on these grounds are the group that forms the basis of the stories of “atheists who have converted back to religion”. They convert back because they never really rationalized their lack of belief.

    For people to truly embrace atheism, I think it requires self-reflection and a focused rational investigation into why the person believes what they do. Without this rational self-assessment, a person’s atheism is merely superficial. Atheists who truly consider the reasons to disbelieve in gods, and who come to the conclusion that there’s no reason to believe, are, I think, immune to reconversion.

  • Yes but it’s a fraction of what they take not a multiple. Besides, it does more harm than good.

  • Spoken like a true believer. All praise the invisible hand of the free market! You remember the free market – the one that gave us the crash of 1929, and 2008. Oh, but that wasn’t truly free – it was too much in the hands of corrupt politicians.
    More deregulation is what we need! If people lose their houses, they just need to pull themselves up by their bootstraps. If people can’t afford healthcare they just need to die, and decrease the surplus population.
    We’ve heard it all before.

  • I was talking about Welfare and SNAP benefits. Besides the whole small/non existent government spiel is nonsense. Infrastructure costs money. People who benefit the most from a system owe the most to keep it running. Civil liberties do not get protected by local governments. There is not a single privatization effort which benefited end users and customers.

  • I think you’re way too concerned over this government thing. Take a valium. Try to relax. Not everyone is trying to turn government into their god. In fact, I suspect no one is. Lay off the drugs and the steroids.

  • No, I vote for government to do its job. If you want people who want government to take the place of God, you will have to talk to the Christianists, and theocrats.

  • Exactly how would government “take the place of god?” How is our government trying to “take the place of god”?

    Perhaps you could explain these things to me because, honestly, I can’t think of a single example of anything like this happening.

  • People who use the word “statist” and are not political science professors do not need to be taken seriously

  • I am sure you thought you were making a coherent point but it’s not happening. Most of us hear don’t speak wingnut. So you need to be clearer about what you talking about. Because at this point it is just babble.

  • Religious folk better be concerned for the health of Richard Dawkins. When he goes, we will left atheists who understand the effect of social media and are less likely to say silly things in public.

  • People are feeling beings at least as much as rational beings. People often turn from religion in revulsion at what it makes people think and do. They are also attracted towards religion because of kindness and acceptance.

    Is this superficial? Sometimes I’m sure it is, but very often our feelings tap into our true self more accurately than our rationalisations.

  • Right-wingers routinely tell all other Americans that only they have Freedom Of Speech.

  • Red States are parasites on Blue States in that Blue State taxpayers see less of their tax dollars returned to their state so they are subsidizing the very right-wingers bitching about “the liberals and their welfare.”

  • Let me assure you, atheists do not hunger for you to tell them how to live and what to “believe.”

  • What enrages this guy is he’s made his deity sound so repulsive no one wants anything to do with either.

  • No, the ridicule is for that overarching obsession with the sex lives of everyone else.

  • if you followed whole conversation, my critics asserted that anyone who believes in anything paranormal is a superstitious fool. The only thing I’ve said is that they needn’t buy my book to find out the case for the other side–they can go to the library and read other books I’ve referenced. The refusal to do so is willful ignorance. I’ve done my homework, they think they know something based on a faith in secular authorities, which is exactly how fundamentalist religion works.

  • Isn’t Bill Maher a washed up actor? I saw him once in Murder She Wrote and for a while he did the Politically Incorrect show.

  • I’m not interested in your conversation. Please stop trying to sell your book here.

  • Actually no, more like concern – like a parent for their child to stay on the straight and narrow.

  • He’s appearing on stage at an atheist rally. He’s not speaking in front of the fricken UN. He doesn’t have to be credible. He just has to be entertaining.

  • Have you tried a thesaurus? You use a term which is trite, overused and immediately describes ones political position to the world. 🙂

  • we was a blessed nation,Because we believed in god, and our forefathers (some presidents) would pray in times like these (you won’t hear that in lame stream media). But now evil is taking over our nation and the world.It’s time that everyone should get their houses in order. all I know is the bible says it would get this way in the end days and it will get much worse. the bible hasn’t lied and it’s the only book that tells us what will happen in truth! here is a example this to is and will get worse http://www.end-times-prophecy.org/animal-deaths-birds-fish-end-times.html. God bless you all! (2 Peter 3:3-5)

  • You’re the only assclown I see claiming that the government can work miracles. Didn’t your mother tell you it was above your pay grade to put words in another’s mouth?

  • I can independently confirm that it is you, John, and only you, who is embarrassing himself. Your judgement is hereby declared faulty

  • In the book. The chapter posted is on whether there is evidence of intelligent design in evolution (there isn’t–I’m just as hard on religion). If you go to the library you can read Dean Radin’s The Conscious Universe, Michael Crichton’s Travels (appendix), or Michael Schmicker’s Best Evidence, all of which are quite persuasive. But philosophical materialists are as close-minded and uninformed as fundamentalist believer–I’ve spent decades trying to get them to read the evidence, but they’d rather have faith that their bishops (gatekeepers of scientific orthodoxy) had good reasons for anything on the Approved Book list.

  • ‘No one cares if you believe in a god, which god you believe in, or how you worship your god.’ – Absolutely not true. The very existence of any religion is try to make the non-believers into believers, spread it everywhere. The other day during the community yard sale, this guy came and handed me some religious pamphlets. The more people believe in the religious propaganda, the profitable it is.

  • christians think their instructions to proselytise is in the NT, but there is a question whether it says that, or just to spread the love of god through actions.

    2000+ years ago they believed it was belief in god that made you a good person, now we know there are good people of all faiths and no faith at all. religion has outlived it’s usefulness.

  • Well, I agree that religion has outlived it’s usefulness but that was not argument.

  • DennisLurvey, concerning the NT and evangelism: “Going, therefore, make disciples of all nations…” Matt 28.19

  • people are not nations. NT also says spread the message to people not govts. give to caesar what is caesar’s.

    I agree that christianity does not want to save souls, the want to take over governments/countries/nations. They did that to the philippines, tried to do it to Japan, did it to Britain. Puritans did it in Mass, the ‘city on a hill’ was as enclave of literalist puritans who would not tolerate any other beliefs than their own. They used jail, torture, inquisitions and executions to end. That was their intention, to create a puritan nation. But it failed within 75 yrs. Founders used that and the fall of Rome right after they established christianity, as examples of what not to do.

    You must be a biblical literalist then, gays are an abomination, women are slaves to their masters, Anyone arrogant enough to reject the verdict of the judge or of the priest who represents the LORD your God must be put to death. Such evil must be purged from Israel. (Deuteronomy 17:12 NLT), “If a man lies with a male as with a women, both of them shall be put to death for their abominable deed; they have forfeited their lives.” (Leviticus 20:13 NAB).

    and please don’t use the ,OT is not our bible as an excuse. Once you quote the ten commandments to someone that excuse goes out the window.

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