Opinion

Politicians ignore Reason Rally at their peril

Thousands of atheists and unbelievers gathered on the National Mall for the Reason Rally in 2012. Religion News Service file photo

(RNS) A predicted 30,000 people are assembling in Washington on Saturday (June 4) to proclaim their voting power in a high-stakes election year. They’re part of a population riding a demographic tsunami that has made it, by some reckonings, the largest “religious” category in the country. You’d expect politicians to be salivating for the chance to address this crowd.

But not this rally. Apparently the secular voting bloc, if we can call it a “bloc,” is far too toxic to attract any big-name officeholders or candidates.

At Reason Rally 2016, not a single U.S. senator or Senate candidate is speaking. Trump? Clinton? Sanders? Forget about it. A pair of Congress members, a congressional candidate and a D.C. council member are, at this point, the only politicians lined up to address the gathering of atheists, agnostics and humanists.

In about the clearest light imaginable, the situation demonstrates how far our national politics have fallen behind our demographics, and how far the nascent secular movement has to go before it wields political clout commensurate with its numbers.

“The secular demographic is still seen as anathema to politicians,” said Lyz Liddell, executive director of Reason Rally. “It’s certainly disappointing to approach potential speakers and be told ‘no’ because the individual doesn’t want to be associated with our group. We’re pushed out of a number of places — political coalitions, interfaith collaborations, service projects — because of ‘the optics.’ But it’s not limited to just politics. The ingrained anti-atheist sentiment in our country is still very strong.”


RELATED STORY: Reason Rally organizes atheist vote


To put the picture in perspective, remember that the surge in nonreligious Americans is a new phenomenon. As recently as 2007, polling data from Pew showed that the religiously unaffiliated constituted 16 percent of the American population. The cohort had a bad reputation and little organizational structure.

The good news for the nascent secular movement is how much has changed. The number of nonreligious Americans shot up to 23 percent of the population in Pew’s 2014 survey. It’s probably even higher now. If you separate the evangelical demographic by race — which we ought to do, given the very different cultural and political dynamics of black and white evangelicals — the nonreligious outnumber every religious category.

Yet as Religion News Service reported earlier this week, all those religion-less people have yet to coalesce into institutions and structures that can yield a cohesive vote.

“We aren’t in church every Sunday and we don’t have a unifying guiding doctrine,” Liddell accurately noted.

On the bright side, though, “the number of community groups for secular Americans is growing hugely,” Liddell added. Doctrine or not, those gathering do have common values, she adds. “Events like Reason Rally show that we are growing our presence.”

That’s more than spin. A glass-half-full assessment of the secular movement shows a level of progress and momentum that promises to make it harder for politicians to ignore.

If the crowd materializes Saturday in the predicted numbers, it will be a large increase over the turnout for the last iteration of the event, in 2012. That’s a sign of something. So is the fact that over his seven-plus years in office, President Obama — more than his predecessors — has often signaled respect for secular people, as if to nudge his fellow Christians to accept these people as equally American.

As I have written elsewhere, the religiously unaffiliated — the so-called nones — are clearly becoming “somethings” a decade after the barrage of best-selling atheist manifestos that loudly announced this population to the largely Christian public (rubbing a lot of people the wrong way in the process). One still hears anti-religion snark and venom from some of the movement’s highest-profile leaders and spokespersons. But in a development that can only boost secular America’s reputation, more are burying the anti-religion hatchet and emphasizing a positive expression of secular values.

And let’s face it. It’s not as though religious Americans are having their way with this looming election. This is true even with the vaunted evangelicals, who have been fawned over by one party’s candidates for more than three decades, but who face a Hobson’s choice this year between the deeply impious Donald Trump and whoever the reviled Democrats put forward.

The Reason Rally will take place Saturday in Washington, D.C. Photo courtesy of the Reason Rally

The Reason Rally will take place Saturday in Washington, D.C. Photo courtesy of the Reason Rally

Nor is it accurate to say that secular Americans have no voice in politics. Survey the ranks of many progressive causes and organizations — the LGBT rights and environmental movements, for example — and I guarantee you’ll find many secular people exercising what they would term their secular values.

It’s a poor testament to our politicians’ character that no Senate or presidential candidate has the temerity to speak at Reason Rally 2016. The citizens who are attending, and the many they represent, are equally American and equally deserving of attention and respect.

But that’s idealism talking. Ultimately, it’s not fairness or politicians’ character that will make the secular movement a player in national politics. It will be the proven ability of this loose coalition of atheist and humanist organizations to deliver what politicians ultimately care about — votes and organized pressure.

The building is underway. It has a long way to go.

(Tom Krattenmaker is a writer specializing in religion in public life and communications director at Yale Divinity School. He is the author of the forthcoming “Confessions of a Secular Jesus Follower”)

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Tom Krattenmaker

68 Comments

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  • When the right-wing whines about how America is worse now than at some idyllic time in the past, this is the sort of thing they’re talking about. And this shows exactly why the brad of religion is ruined – the right-wing from Jerry Falwell to Osama Bin Laden have used it to spread hatred and nobody decent wants anything to do with it.

  • You just misquoted the bible. That’s gotta be really bad.

    Google “lyings of a woman”

    And if you want to know what Jesus thought, Google (centurion pais)

  • So exactly what does this faux “Reason Rally” want? They can’t even come up with a unifying political platform or candidate that they can all agree on!

    Besides, Clinton and Sanders have already sewed up the atheist and liberal votes between them.

    So, other than utterly strange sound-bites like “Impeach God”, why should anybody really pay attention to these “Reason-Come-Lately” types???

  • Agreed, but rallies where people carry signs saying “Impeach God” don’t exactly win friends, either!”

  • “[T]he major new survey of more than 35,000 Americans by the Pew Research Center finds that the percentage of adults (ages 18 and older) who describe themselves as Christians has dropped by nearly eight percentage points in just seven years, from 78.4% in an equally massive Pew Research survey in 2007 to 70.6% in 2014. Over the same period, the percentage of Americans who are religiously unaffiliated – describing themselves as atheist, agnostic or “nothing in particular” – has jumped more than six points, from 16.1% to 22.8%.”

    http://www dot pewforum dot org/2015/05/12/americas-changing-religious-landscape/

  • I think shock value has it’s usages. I’d compare it to “No Veit Cong ever called me N–.”

  • As far as the authors of the atheist manifestos ” rubbing a lot of people the wrong way “, it’s long overdue and much too lenient for what the ” nones ” and our predecessors (and predeceased) have suffered for millennia. A snarky comment isn’t equal to the Christian torch.

  • Just because that’s the image they chose to sell this article doesn’t mean it’s representative. What does it even mean? It might as well read “Impeach Voldemort.”

  • If the secular community really wants to make political and cultural inroads, they need to ditch the “Impeach God” and circle-slash-through-a-cross signs (the latter was on the prior RNS article this week). Major politicians don’t want to be associated with that, regardless of whether you find the message to be accurate. Moreover, those individuals probably aren’t interested in interfaith discussions or service projects. As the author of this article states, there needs to be more pro-atheism than anti-theism for this to work.

  • It strikes me as funny, that the Reason Rally folks think these escapees from organized religion are highly motivated to go join organized atheism! While we’re chuckling here, “what do you get when you cross a ‘Reason Rallly-ier’ with a Jehovah’s Witness? Someone out knocking on doors for no apparent reason!”

  • Reason doesn’t mandate atheism, just the realization that god isn’t a supernatural being with infinite powers.

    God is the process delineated by the laws of nature and physics underlying reality; limitless yet not infinite. The god process observed by scientific observations is no less powerful than the delusions springing from the arrogance of hubris.

    The god process doesn’t mandate morality but rather utilizes the evolutionary process of natural selection to determine the outcome when humans propose differing views of morality or ignore the concept completely.

  • As a liberal and a Christian I think it’s sad that the present candidates aren’t giving this segment of our population respect. I don’t agree with them but I think they have a right to hear from the candidates. I hope they do become a force in our political mayhem. We need sensible people no matter what their attitude toward organized religion as we’ve known it for years.

  • “there needs to be more pro-atheism than anti-theism for this to work.”

    There is a lot of sense in this comment. I think the atheists and nones will continue to grow, but anti-theism slows them down, alienates nones, and is counter productive. The theists who actively oppose others is a small percentage of believers, but virulent anti-theism turns off the majority of theists who want to support acceptance and respect for atheists.

  • It’s nowhere near as offensive as the signs paraded about by the Westboro Baptists. And you’ll find a lot of Christians privately agree with Westboro’s stance.

  • At this point, I have to say your sentiment, while superficially reasonable, at its core is ridiculous. That’s like saying that the African-American community needs to get in line. Not to mention that it’s insane to have to rally for reason? Why do we need to do this? Because politicians are too afraid to admit that they are atheists. Do you think Donald Trump believes in and worships a god other than himself? When questioned, the guy barely knew what days people normally chose to go to church!?!

  • Liberal and at least modern-day christianity are mutually exclusive. Pick one, you can’t be both.

  • My response is geared to the Reason Rally’s executive director, quoted in para. 5 as stating that she wants secular people to be invited as part of political coalitions, interfaith (her word) collaborations, etc. That’s not going to happen unless, as the author of the article stated, the movement buries the anti-religion hatchet and expresses a positive view of secular values. To use your analogy, the African-American community doesn’t have to “get in line,” but the civil rights movement never had long-term success by being anti-white.
    Honesty from Trump about his true religious view (probably a None) would be refreshing, but it wouldn’t change my level of support for him, which is zero.

  • Lol, I’m not a Christian or a Bible-thumper. Check my comment history (if you know what that is and how to do it, Old Man).

  • From your description God is merely something to embody feelings of personal awe. Something which is neither necessary, nor part of reason or rational discussion.

  • Maybe after very vocal Christians stop claiming all political power in this country belongs to them and them alone. I find the hijacking of the apparatus of government for sectarian purposes far more offensive to public sensibilities than a little expressed animosity (equivalent of shaking one’s fist at the sky).

    Many politicians learned early on that Christian fundamentalists and reactionaries are useful for organizing votes, even if their agenda was blatantly offensive to Constitutional principles. They are given undue deference by government and in culture. These people are also uninterested in interfaith discussions or upholding secular religious freedoms (unlike practically every minority religious groups). You are criticizing what amounts to the reaction to fundamentalist mayhem instead of identifying the source of the trouble.

  • When Christian groups who engage in interfaith actions start censuring their more extreme sectarian groups, your call for atheists to do the same won’t sound so hypocritical.

  • Speak for yourself.

    You don’t speak for “everyone”, only yourself and people you’ve personally communicated with.

  • You can choose to call the laws of laws of physics and nature anything you please; that’s true. But your choice is your opinion and what’s reasonable or rational isn’t mandated by anything other than that opinion.

    One thing that’s not reasonable or rational is to call the laws of physics and nature “nothing”.

  • I’m not representing those groups, as I’m not a Christian. The hypocrisy isn’t on me.

  • I understand. But my feeling is that the anti-theists are merely a minor reaction to a very extreme action by others. Plus the categorizations are not that clear cut either. Plenty of antitheist sentiments are spoken by people who are just as willing to work with interfaith efforts. Just like various churches and religious groups with rather exclusionary rhetoric in their beliefs still are willing to cooperate with others.

    It rises to the same level as worrying Jews, Christians and Muslims being unwilling to work with each other because theological points of each faith excludes and offends the other. People who are genuinely interested in community service put aside such differences for a common goal. If everyone was so thin skinned about the beliefs of others, there would be no interfaith efforts at all.

  • Old Man,
    You are dead wrong! Liberal and Christian are the only compatible beliefs in the Christian Faith.
    “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” is about as liberal as it can get. I am not a Catholic but Pope Francis has the right of it. Christianity as about feeding the poor, and caring for the infirmed. “If you’ve done it unto the least of these my brethern you have done it onto Me”.
    You should consider reading and living the story of “The Good Samaritan”.

  • What is reasoned and rational is mandated by the structure of the discourse. Rational inquiry and discussion employs methods to ensure credibility and integrity of the process. Following so means that one is practically compelled to accept the results of such lines of inquiry because it is objectively shown to be so.

    God falls outside such things. There is no evidence nor objective argument out there that anyone HAS to accept for God. Despite the claims of various religious apologists, there is nothing rational or reasoned in a belief in God. One’s acceptance of it depends entirely on the person themselves.

    “is to call the laws of physics and nature “nothing”.”

    You didn’t refer to them. So I never made such a statement. You simply want to put a godly “tramp stamp” on science. Nothing stops you. But it would be foolish to think others would have to.

  • Yes — I think a lot of this is about perception on both sides, and how people actually feel about the subject as opposed to what’s printed on a sign, shirt or website. For example, institutions like the Pew Foundation have done studies finding that way less than 100% of self-identified evangelicals actually believe all non-Christians will go to hell. I would be interested to see a similar study of how Nones or atheists actually feel about subjects regarding religious beliefs (not just whether people who identify as non-religious believe in God). I have a gut feeling that Internet comment sections aren’t representative.

  • Why “pay attention” you ask? Because if the black person didn’t demand equal right they would still be considered 2/3 of a person. If women didn’t demand equal rights, they would be considered a non person. Your argument is null and void all because you do NOT understand that to gain respect and acceptance you have to start the fight at the core of what is wrong. The “religious” sect, has for many years, forced everyone to believe in any god. We have to fight that attitude of “if you don’t believe in a god, you are evil” We are not evil, we just prefer to use our brains. So the “Impeach god” sign, that you so despise, is exactly the slogan we need. It says, I do not believe in any god and that ALL gods need to be removed. But you wouldn’t understand that due to the fact you (now I do not know your religious affiliation) probably believe there is a god and that Atheists are just people that have “lost their way”. Your last statement just proves you have a closed mind. “Reason-Come-Lately” I guess you would be on the front lines of stating “Women’s rights-come-lately” or “Equal rights for all – come-lately” when the women and black person were beginning their fights too.

    Oh and do not even attempt to justify your comments. You are a closed minded person that will NOT accept that their is no god. Your whole statement screams that you are closed minded.

  • “When the right-wing whines about how America is worse now than at some
    idyllic time in the past, this is the sort of thing they’re talking
    about.”

    Of course those people whining are usually white, male, Protestant, and of Northern European extraction. Pretty much everyone else says, “are you kidding me?”

  • There is a saying making its rounds, “There are no believers in God at a funeral”. One sure way to really ensure people will be annoyed at a funeral is to tell the bereaved the deceased, “is in a better place”. Nobody is happy their loved one is in the afterlife they allegedly believe in.

    Despite what a lot of people say in public about their religious
    beliefs, when push comes to shove, a lot of it is just hokum. For show.

    “I have a gut feeling that Internet comment sections aren’t representative.”

    You think? 🙂

  • “You should consider reading and living the story of “The Good Samaritan”.”

    The story which ironically demonstrates how religious belief can be a hindrance to moral action rather than drive it.

    The moral person was the one who was from a religiously despised group who felt the need to act humanely and the immoral ones were avoiding taking action because they did not want to violate arbitrary religious codes.

  • I totally aaccept that Jesus was a man of His time as well as my Guide in Life. The fact that the Samaritan was a man from a ‘despised’ culture only differentiates between “hearing the Word and Doing it”. Those who choose to do the ‘correct’ thing rather that broadcasting their supposed faith are the ones who make the right choice. As I have been taught and have taught my children “actions speak louder than words’.

  • Politicians don’t need to pay attention to atheists. A 7% demographic (generous if that) is a drop in the bucket compared to the MILLIONS of religious people who vote.

  • First of all, atheists are citizens, and deserve just as much attention as any other constituent group. Second, 7% of the population is 22,688,315. Are you actually suggesting that well over 22 million Americans should be ignored by their elected representatives simply because they don’t have religious beliefs? Third, 23% of the population identifies as “none”, that is no particular religious affiliation. They may believe in a deity, or simply consider themselves “spiritual”, or believe in no deities but decline to identify as “atheist”. That’s an additional 74,547,321, or roughly 74.5 million people. Finally both “atheist” and “none” are the fastest growing demographics, particularly in the vital 35 and-under age group. The Jewish population of the US is 5.3 million, or only 1.4% of the population. Would you suggest that they be ignored? I certainly hope not. That there is bigotry against atheists is undeniable. There is a ridiculous stigma against atheists. However, we’re here to stay, we’re growing fast, and any sensible politician would do well to pay attention.

    http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2015/05/13/a-closer-look-at-americas-rapidly-growing-religious-nones/

  • Actually, atheists are often barred from “interfaith” discussions. As if holding a philosophical position isn’t perfectly legitimate. Also, atheists do plenty of service projects. They just don’t tend to do things like hurricane clean-up all wearing matching t-shirts from their church. Every year, the atheist community on social media site Reddit raises hundred of thousands of dollars for “Doctors Without Borders”. Indeed, even when atheists offered to help a church-affiliated food bank, they were rebuffed – simply because they were atheists.

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/2010/07/31/they-need-volunteers-atheists-need-not-apply/

  • The structure of a discourse here is by the nature of the venue informal.

    You, as adversary, come across as a control freak.

    Of course you’re not alone. There are entire Forums, most notably RDFRS, which promote absolutist POVs. RDFRS controls very stringently the content of its Forums, to the point of employing falsehoods to justify thwarting (removing) anyone who posts ideas contrary to their agendum, by labelling such posters as spammers.

    Dawkins states in his “about us” letter: “The mission of the Richard Dawkins Foundation is to promote scientific literacy and a secular worldview” and then makes his case for atheism.

    “Our Beginnings

    Founded in 2006 by Richard Dawkins, the foundation’s mission is to
    realize Richard’s vision to remove the influence of religion in science
    education and public policy, and eliminate the stigma that surrounds
    atheism and non-belief.”

    Dawkins is a renowned scientist. (As a layperson) I’ve no problem that evolution by natural selection is (at very least) the most probable means by which nature charts the course(s) life takes. However when Dawkins vents his hostility to religion and advocates political atheism he’s expressing his opinion.

    Opinions about religions based on supernatural underpinnings are not science and RDFRS is essentially a fundraising endeavor seeking support for Dawkins opinion.

    Religion isn’t important to me. Both honorable and dishonorable people populate the ranks of both religious believers and non-believers. Mistaken beliefs don’t necessarily disqualify a person from either category

    Calling the laws of physics and nature the god process is a person’s choice. It’s possible that many people who aren’t followers of religion but whose lives aren’t directed by bigotry against religion have opinions about the nature of god and the laws of nature and physics which make the word god a decent description of nature’s processes.

    I don’t understand the point(s) of the sentences in your post: “You didn’t refer to them. So I never made such a statement.

    I never claimed you made such a statement. So, what’s your point?

  • You know what? I agree, politicians don’t need to pay attention to a minority! I mean, take black people; they only make up 13 percent of the population! Who cares what a black person wants compared to what the MILLIONS of white people want.

    My sarcasm aside, a minority shouldn’t be ignored politically just because they are a minority. What if they have a good idea? What if there’s a problem that the minority is experiencing? They don’t get listened to if we just dismiss them because they’re not apart of the majority. Horrible things have happened because politicians didn’t pay attention to a minority group.

  • The Reason Rally is not organized atheism. We are not going there to worship anything or anybody. We are going there to hear people speak and to have a good time. I personally am going because I’ve never met another atheist in real life. We are not going to to Reason Rally to replace whatever religion we lost, and the Reason Rally would be a poor substitute for church/mosque/temple considering this is only the second occurrence in four years.

  • How sad that our government respects those who believe in nonsense more than they do those who would advocate for science and reason. Superstition comes first in their falling world. And that is what will make it fall.

  • Now you are just slipping into ad hominem an ascribing positions to me which I never stated.

    If you want to consider your part of the discussion rational, then you have to present it in a rational manner.

    “but whose lives aren’t directed by bigotry against religion have opinions about the nature of god and the laws of nature and physics which make the word god a decent description of nature’s processes. ”

    The fact that you have to qualify your previous statement to such a degree and rely entirely on personal choice for the use of God shows how entirely unnecessary it is to use him in that context. In the end you are really just affirming what I stated before:

    “God is merely something to embody feelings of personal awe. Something which is neither necessary, nor part of reason or rational discussion.”

    Since the use of God is entirely personal in nature (according to you), there is no reason anyone really needs to invoke him at all. Just your personal peccadillo.

  • What “positions”? Why do you call god “him”?

    Nobody needs do anything but (almost?) everybody chooses to do something.

    I reject an anthropocentric view of reality but empathize with those who choose that view. It’s an easy mistake to make.

    You and I disagree.

  • Why even bother calling your awe and amazement with natural process God? It implies a link to religious belief which is misleading and overarching.

  • You say that “all gods need to be removed”, yet you have no clue that most black Americans believe in a God of some kind and would be insulted by a sign saying “impeach God”? Sheesh.

    (Take another look at the “impeach God” photograph, by the way — do you see a SINGLE unambiguously black person in there?)

    And THEN you want to exploit the largely religious-led black civil rights struggle in an attempt to justify the “Reason Rally” mess?

    Bernie Sanders is the closest thing you’ve ever had to an openly atheist presidential candidate, and you see how respectful HE is towards all theists. So the clearly-misnomered “Reason Rally” had better just throw its pitiful messed-up votes in HIS direction — or else just skip 2016 altogether.

  • Why not? The laws of nature are indeed aw(e)ful and overarching.

    What I get from calling the laws of nature and physics god is, after a lifetime of reading more reports, books journals, and opinions than I can count, the most accurate view of reality that’s possible at this time. Before my old man died he was agnostic, but it’s now possible to do better than merely not knowing; it’s now probable that the nature of reality can at least be glimpsed.

    Reality is unlimited in its manifestation of spacetime yet isn’t infinite. Cycles appear and reappear in all aspects of scientific observation and instances between cycles are without spacetime. Perhaps the concept of foam extending forever is as close as can now be conceptualized. (Fer sure, reality’s real, real big!)

    You (and everyone) are free to believe or not believe in god, nature, science, physics, evolution by natural selection, and/or even nothing at all.

  • “Horrible things have happened because politicians didn’t pay attention to a minority group.”

    Like violent rebellions, sure.

  • You’re not so hot at math. 7% of the population is well over 22 million people. Are you actually suggesting 22 million people be ignored by their elected representatives simply because they hold no religious beliefs? The “nones” (identify with no particular faith, may or may not believe in deities) comprise an additional 23% of the population, or 74 million. Both of these are the fastest growing demographics, particularly in the key 35 and under group. Politicians would be very wise indeed to court these active, politically engaged voters.

  • I was thinking more along the lines of the AIDS epidemic not being properly responded to by the US government until five years after AIDS had been discovered because at the time it was primarily affecting the LGBT community.

    But sure, violent rebellions.

  • “Politically engaged voters” LOL!! Millennials don’t vote. They just “Like” things on Facebook. Not the same.

  • Know a great way to prevent AIDS? Stop being so promiscuous and unsafe when it comes to sex. In this age of information, you’d think people would be more self-aware and knowledgeable about the dangers of unprotected/promiscuous sex. But you know what? Some people shrug it off as “it will never happen to me”. Well, you know what? When it does, don’t whine.

  • Atheists, whether millennial or not tend to have more education than the average citizen, and as such they vote in higher numbers too. Any politician who ignores them is whistling in the dark.

  • The government, the Reagan administration in particular, absolutely dropped the ball with the Aids crisis. Furthermore, since it was the beginning of the epidemic, they totally missed the key golden window of opportunity to if not halt, at least drastically reduce the spread of Aids while the outbreak was still small. It was a shameful episode, by any measure, and resulted in millions of lives lost needlessly.

  • Really? Tell that to all the hemophiliacs and their partners who were infected by tainted blood-clotting supplies. Or those who had blood transfusions before the virus could be identified in blood supplies. Or to those infected by their spouses who were, unbeknownst to them, having unsafe sex or using needles. The unforgivable foot-dragging by the Reagan Administration delayed key scientific funding and research and public health education that could have stopped these forms of transmission much sooner.

  • What you mentioned above were all the exceptions, not the majority. At the end of the day, AIDS is an STD that spreads through promiscuous, unsafe sex, and all of the above reasons you listed were the result of other people being selfish and not practicing safe sex. That’s what happens when society slips–innocent people get hurt.

    And still, even today, AIDS spreads, despite all of the info out there. You can only blame the Reagons for so long. We live in today, not the past. Take some responsibility for yourselves.

  • “What you mentioned above were all the exceptions, not the majority.”

    I’m sure that will make their families and friends feel so much better about their loss. You should be sure to mention it to them and see how that goes for you.

    “and all of the above reasons you listed were the result of other people being selfish and not practicing safe sex”

    There was no such thing as “safe sex” then. No one knew how how the disease was spread, or how it got into the blood supply. And the Reagan administration’s delays caused many more pointless deaths. I do take responsibility for myself. I am in a monogamous heterosexual relationship of many years. And as a resident of San Francisco since the early eighties, I have had a very close view of the devastation the disease has wrought. If you had a blood transfusion in the eighties, you’d be just as dead as everyone else who was infected sexually, and we wouldn’t have to listen to your supremely arrogant holier-than-thou toxic preaching. It is a known fact that shaming and stigmatizing HIV positive people, or just sexually active people in general, helps spread the disease by encouraging secrecy and lying. So, way to to contribute, in your own special way, to the spread of disease. You’re super helpful.

  • Jesus Christ is Lord Risen Messiah even though I die I will live through his resurrection
    The Bible is truth Jesus Christ is Lord this is the old covenant Jesus Christ is the new covenant

    Leviticus 25 When you enter the land I am going to give you, the land itself must observe a sabbath to the Lord. 3 For six years sow your fields, and for six years prune your vineyards and gather their crops. 4 But in the seventh year the land is to have a year of sabbath rest, a sabbath to the Lord. Do not sow your fields or prune your vineyards.

    Leviticus 26 33 I will scatter you among the nations and will draw out my sword and pursue you. Your land will be laid waste, and your cities will lie in ruins. 34 Then the land will enjoy its sabbath years all the time that it lies desolate and you are in the country of your enemies; then the land will rest and enjoy its sabbaths. 35 All the time that it lies desolate, the land will have the rest it did not have during the sabbaths you lived in it.

    Jeremiah 29:10 10″For thus says the LORD, ‘When seventy years have been completed for Babylon, I will visit you and fulfill My good word to you, to bring you back to this place. 11’For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.…

    2 Chronicles 36:21
    to fulfill the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah, until the land had enjoyed its sabbaths. All the days of its desolation it kept sabbath until seventy years were complete.

    2 Chronicles 36:22
    Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia– in order to fulfill the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah– the LORD stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, so that he sent a proclamation throughout his kingdom, and also put it in writing, saying,

  • Atheism is not a belief system. It is a LACK of belief in deities. If organization and shared views were all that’s required to qualify as a religion then my parents’ country club would be a religion. What “God” do you imagine atheists have, when the literal root meaning of the word is “without god/gods”?

  • Which is kinda ironic since white males also make up the group most likely to be vehemently homophobic as well. Aside from David Geffen, I can’t think of too many gays with media power. Plenty of gay celebrities, but most play straight roles (Neil Patrick Harris and Jim Parsons come to mind)

    But it’s still very tough for many gay minorities to come out in their communities.

  • We must begin to tax all church income and all church property at a regular business rate, seeing how so little of their money actually goes for “good works” and how much goes for political propaganda. I attended religious schools K 12 and stopped believing it around age 10, and began to despise religion about age 16. I’m 69 now and they have not changed my mind.

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