Former Congressman Barney Frank.

Former Congressman Barney Frank. Photo courtesy Frank.

This weekend, the American Humanist Association (AHA) will honor former Congressman Barney Frank of Massachusetts with their 2014 Humanist of the Year award.

Last year, Frank—a trailblazing politician who was the first member of Congress to come out as gay and the first to be in a same-sex marriage while in office—revealed his atheism in an interview with Bill Maher. The atheist and Humanist community has enthusiastically embraced him; earlier this year he was awarded the Lifetime Achievement in Cultural Humanism award by the Humanist Community at Harvard.

In advance of his appearance at the AHA’s 73rd annual conference tonight (Friday), I spoke with Frank about Humanism, LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer) rights, and atheism and politics.

Below, he shares how anti-Semitism impacted his decision not to talk about his nontheism sooner, his advice for atheists who want to run for public office, what he considers the most pressing issues for nontheists and LGBTQ people today, and how responses to his nontheism have differed from responses to his sexual orientation.

CS: What does Humanism mean to you?

BF: A Humanist is nontheistic in his or her value set, and focused on humanity and human beings as the source of values. I never identified specifically as a Humanist, but that’s essentially what I am. It reflects my viewpoint.

CS: How does it feel to be embraced by the Humanist community?

BF: It’s very nice. I think it’s a sign of the times; there’s still enough prejudice against nontheists that my simply saying something that seems fairly commonplace to me means a lot to people. I’ve long been aware of prejudice against gay and lesbian people, and I have been very sensitive to that. I guess I never thought about the extent to which people who want to be explicit about their nontheism and their Humanism have felt somewhat devalued—so I’m glad to be of service.

CS: You became the first openly gay member of Congress in 1987, but you didn’t reveal your nontheism until after you left office. Why?

BF: It was never relevant. I never professed any theology. And it’s complicated by my Jewishness. Obviously, being Jewish is both an ethnicity and a religion. I was concerned that if I were to explicitly disavow any religiosity, it could get distorted into an effort to distance myself from being Jewish—and I thought that was wrong, given that there is anti-Jewish prejudice.

For years I would go to temple, but I suddenly realized it doesn’t mean anything to me. So I decided, I’m not going to do this. I’m not going to pretend. During my service I never pretended to be a theist. It just never became relevant that I wasn’t, and I guess I was not as conscious of the discrimination nontheists felt. But I’ve always been opposed to any imposition of religion. I fought hard, for example, with other members of Congress to oppose any notion that a religious group getting federal funds could discriminate in hiring.

When I took the oath of office, I never swore and said, “So help me God.” But members of the House take the oath en masse, so nobody noticed. I’ve said that if I’d been appointed to the Senate, as I wanted my governor to do but he decided he had other plans, I would’ve had my husband hold the Constitution.

The subject just never came up. The only religious services I’ve attended for the last 20 years were funerals; I’ve attended more masses than a lot of my Catholic friends.

CS: A recent survey found that only 53% of Americans say they would vote for an otherwise qualified nontheistic candidate. There are currently no open atheists in Congress. Why do you think that is?

Former Congressman Barney Frank.

Former Congressman Barney Frank. Photo via Wikimedia Commons.

BF: First of all, I wouldn’t say atheist. It seems to me that atheist is a more specific term. I just have no interest in [theology]. I’m not interested in guesses.

I think American history and tradition show [why there aren’t open nontheists in Congress]. There was this fervent Protestantism when we started, but there was also Robert Ingersoll. I don’t know exactly why; I’ve never really studied it.

I wasn’t thinking about that [when I announced my nontheism]. I just thought, I don’t really believe this stuff, I’m not going to pretend that I do. But I have consistently defended the rights of nonbelievers throughout my career. I’ve just never thought about why America has more of an issue [with nontheists in politics] than other countries, assuming that we do.

CS: What advice would you give to nontheists who are seeking to be more politically involved? For example, there’s a young man named James Woods, who is an open atheist running for Congress in Arizona. What would you say to him?

BF: Don’t appear to be aggressive—that’s the problem about atheism, and why I think nontheism is a better word. Honor other peoples’ convictions, as we seek to have ours honored. Don’t ridicule, don’t attack. Religion does a great deal of good, but when we have conflicts, religious leaders often make it worse rather than better. But I’ve always acknowledged the good work that is done by religions.

So the answer is: Don’t give the appearance that your campaign is a crusade for nontheism. Address it honestly when it comes up, and avoid any negativism about religion in general. That doesn’t mean you can’t criticize particular abuses that are carried on in the name of religion, but I would say this: You deal with it when it comes up, you’re matter of fact about it, and you go on about other issues.

CS: What do you consider the most pressing issues facing LGBTQ people and nontheists today?

BF: Well, they’re different. Increasingly, the most pressing issue facing LGBT people in most of this country is job discrimination: The fact that you can be fired, not hired, or denied a promotion in a majority of states because of your sexual orientation or gender identity. Marriage equality was the issue, but that is rapidly changing—judges are declaring in favor of marriage, but judges cannot declare in favor of employment non-discrimination. Judges can say that the state government can’t discriminate; they can’t argue that it’s a constitutional violation for private people to discriminate. So I think employment is the biggest issue.

For nontheists: Only a very tiny number of people are going to run for office, so that’s not the biggest. I think it is the critical response atheists get; that people think ill of them. And there are also denials of employment opportunities for nontheists as well. There are organizations that require you to profess religious belief. Part of what I did in Congress was to say, Ok, well you can’t get federal money.

CS: What do you make of the parallels or equations that some nontheists make between being gay and being atheist, such as “coming out,” “being in the closet,” or saying that the atheist movement should look to and learn from the LGBTQ movement?

BF: There are similarities and there are differences with all groups. There are areas in which the movement for LGBT legal equality resembles the women’s movement and the movement to end racial prejudice, and also areas where they are different. I think [such comparisons] can be a way of using common terms to help you make your point. A lot of these issues are very different, but it does help make the central point that we’re being treated unfairly because of something that shouldn’t be anybody else’s concern. That commonality is relevant.

CS: Do you feel your experiences as a gay person and as a nontheist have any parallels, or do they feel different?

BF: I’ve never felt any discrimination because I was not a believer in any religious doctrine. The constraining factor was, as I said, my fear that [my nontheism] would be interpreted by some as a repudiation of Jewishness. But no, I can’t say I’ve experienced [discrimination for being a nontheist]. The prejudice and criticism for my sexual orientation was much more pronounced. I’m not aware of any on the religious side.

CS: You’re the subject of a new documentary. Can you say a little bit about what else you’re working on now?

BF: I just finished the first draft of a book and I’ve been talking to my editor. I was pleased that they don’t want a whole lot of rewrites. I am a contributor to CNBC and MSNBC, and in September I will start teaching at Harvard: In the fall, a course on LGBT history, and in the spring, a course on Congress.

Portions of this interview were minimally edited for length or clarity.

105 Comments

  1. Frank says, “Don’t give the impression that you are on a crusade for non theism.”

    Unfortunately, Theism is a crusade – it is the very definition of a ‘crusade’ – And the only way to shut it down is rally against it.

    Also, Barney Frank is wrong to defend religion as ‘doing’ some ‘good’.
    People are doing the ‘good’ not the religion.
    For some reason, Frank has not connected other dots where religion demands horrific behavior that would never occur otherwise.

    For example, Gays are discriminated against not because they are Evil, but because Religion says they are evil.

    He is also mistaken about Atheism. A “lack of belief in gods” IS ATHEISM. Frank, then, is Atheist. He does not run away from the word ‘gay’.
    And just as it is fine to be Gay, it is FINE TO BE ATHEIST.

    He would do us all a favor if he got over his ‘Atheophobia’.
    I hope he gives this more thought.

    • Neon Genesis

      So not only are you a bigot to Christians but you’re also a bigot to any nonbeliever who isn’t as hardcore as you? And yet people wonder why atheists are so unpopular.

      • @neon,

        You are an Atheophobe.

        How rich that you call ME the bigot!?
        I’m out and I’m proud.
        All gods are nonsense, not just your precious Jesus. So don’t pretend to be persecuted by my laughter. You can always smoke a goat for your lord-he might grant you three special wishes (Exodus 29:18)

        Gosh, what could possibly be ridiculous about that? Lol!

        • Neon Genesis

          I’m not a bigot to atheists. I frankly dont care what you think about the existence of God. But almost every post you make on this site is filled with anger and vitrol towards anyone who doesn’t meet your hardcore atheist purity test.

          • My anger is directed plainly and directly at the religion, not people.
            Religion is not benign. It is a parasite on humanity.

            Believers are victims of a crime – a concerted hoax perpetrated by priests, preachers and nuns and they are so deluded they don’t even realize it is nothing more than a parasite destroying their minds. To teach this nonsense to children is a disgrace.

            You may not care what I believe but I care VERY MUCH that people believe AND PREACH this destructive, heartbreaking nonsense.

        • He might grant you three special wishes, isn’t that the story of the Genie in a bottle. Wow those who wrote that fairytale, stole pcs. from all fairytales and put their own mythological characters.

    • Yes, much of theism has always been a “crusade.” In Christianity, they like to refer to it as evangelizing. And we continue to witness many ugly manners in evangelizing or crusading in religion in our own country today. It is most ugly when it crosses the line of constitutional separation and respect for other humans when it enters politics and government.

      Those of us who are non-theists should not copy the tactics of those with whom we differ by ever using methods we consider inappropriate for anyone else to use.

      • @gilhan,

        Witches were burned alive by Theists.
        They were not burned because they were really witches.

        They were burned because they let Theists do all the talking. They let Theists have the upper hand.

        Know your enemy. It is religion.

      • Yes, they go to other countries and try to impose their beliefs on others. But now they must be careful were they go or they get in hot water. Look at the stupid guy who went to North Korea and was jailed as a terrorist a few days ago.

    • Neon Genesis

      Yet you don’t think it’s ok to identity as nontheist which makes you a hypocrite that you demand everyone to go buy your preferred label but you mock people just for using a little different label.

      • @Neon,

        YOU RELIGIOUS PEOPLE have crossed a whole row of lines in the sand and some of us are just going to sound uglier than ever.

        I really don’t care what Religious people think of me – they already don’t respect my right to live without religion!

        It is infuriating that plaques and prayers are going up everywhere by cowardly, delusional religious fascist nut bags.

        Atheists have been ABSOLUTELY SILENT
        and it is far past time to notify our congressmen with letters and petitions to stop these religious cowards whose own faith in God is so pathetically weak they must foist religion on the rest of us TO CONVINCE THEMSELVES that their religion is true!

        Meanwhile we throw away our freedoms permanently by creating these vast precedents in the law.
        Religious people are really going too far.

        • Neon Genesis

          What world are you living in? Every atheist I know opposes government endorsement of religion and it was an atheist who took on the Greece case. In contrast, most moderate Christians I know don’t care that much about what atheists think about the existence of God. You sound just like those Republican extremists who complain about how the Obama administration is taking away all their rights. Yet in spite of you claiming to have your rights violated everywhere, Religion News Service, which is a RELIGIOUS news site continues to allow you to post your vile bigotry without any moderation at all. Why do you post at a religious news site anyway if you hate religious people so much?

          • Mike de Fleuriot

            Look Neon, if you have a problem with atheists, you might want to pray about.

          • @Neon,

            “Vile bigotry…..Why do you post at a religious news site anyway if you hate religious people..?”

            If it is NOT bigoted to approach a non believer
            and say “come to Jesus” –
            IT CANNOT BE BIGOTED to say to a believer
            “Jesus is nonsense!”

            Call all the Christian missionaries in the world BIGOTS
            and then I’ll accept your charge that Atheists who reject Jesus are also BIGOTS!

            You won’t do it. Because you are the bigot. You have a problem with people like me who find your religion a disgrace to humanity and a fundamental threat to democracy.

            Why do I read everything at RNS?
            Because the most influential news is RELIGIOUS NEWS. Religion is behind almost every awful thing going on today in the world.
            We can’t even get one day without Suicide Bombings, Pakistani stonings, African witch hunts, Boku Harum atrocities, NRA Christian Gunslingers and other FAITH-BASED programs!

            Religion is a disease. Its victims are afflicted.
            I’m studying it from every angle.

    • While I agree with your perspective on religion, I also understand Barney Frank’s perspective. As someone who was raised in a religious Jewish family, I do feel some affinity with Judaism, even though I don’t believe in any of the god stuff associated with it. I enjoy the sense of community and even some of the rituals, at least those involving food. As such I can understand his reluctance to just throw that away. Fortunately there are a number of humanistic Jewish synagogues that exist just for people like that. They provide an opportunity for people like Congressman Frank and me to get together with like minded people as a community, without having to pretend that we believe in a mythical sky daddy.

      I think that the reason that these “congregations” exist is for the same reason that religion is still so strong in this country and much of the world. It’s not that so many people actually believe all these fanciful stories in their “holy” books. It is because humans are social animals, and religious institutions provide a structure and an excuse to allow them to exercise those instincts.

      I do think that “Neon Genesis” is projecting when he says that “atheists are so unpopular.” That is his perspective because he doesn’t like people calling his irrational beliefs out for what they are.

      • @Craig,

        I do understand the social aspect of religion. A church cookout can be a lot of fun. I’ve been to dozens.

        The problem is that we have reached a point in our society where the damages of religion are simply too great to ignore. Religion is not benign. It is dangerous. And politically the republican right has co-opted the argument on religious grounds:

        The NRA
        The Patriot Act
        The Corporate Oligarchy
        The Military Oligarchy
        The NSA wiretaps
        The Anti-tax Tea Party
        The war on women’s rights
        Climate Change denial
        Creationist nonsense in schools replacing science.

        This is just a sampling of the disasters we are seeing because of a republican party high on the fumes of religion.

        Religion is poisoning our politics to the point that nothing is functioning.
        Religion must be abandoned and the wink wink to the Atheists must become a louder roar.

        We Atheists and Agnostics (people who lack belief in gods) outnumber the die-hard religious. But the Fundies just don’t know that. Yet.

        • Atheist Max, Yes. And it is hard to make yourself known as a unbeliever in our culture. Despite the so called freedom we supposedly have to do so there is still big price to pay of unbelief in many parts of the country and this is very unfair.
          Still, generally this must happen. The bravest of us need to start sticking our necks out a little bit.

    • I agree with you 100% Max. If you’re gay, say so. Same for being an atheist, vegan, or whatever isn’t necessarily the norm. There should be no backseat taken. Especially if speaking up helps otherwise ignorant people wake up to their appalling bigotry and eventually, thanks you your voice and the voices of others, change for the betterment of ALL. :-)

    • So well said Atheist Max!
      I am really disappointed in Barney. His responses were horrible and show how ignorant and disconnected he is just as some other commenters on this site. They just don’t get it. Barney doesn’t deserve this award.

  2. An ATHEIST is a fine thing to be.
    Nobody should feel the need to hide from the word.

    To admit you do ‘not believe’ in gods
    while there isn’t the slightest reason or evidence to think the belief is valid
    should be as admirable a position as it sounds.

    If the Theist thinks his position is as honorable let him explain himself. I see nothing noble in pretending.

    • So anyone who chooses not to use the label of atheist is a coward in your view even if they otherwise share the exact same views you do on religion? This is why you’re a bigot because you insist everyone be this hardcore anti-religious crusader like you and this is why atheists will continue to remain unpopular with the masses as long as they embrace this irrational hatred of anyone that’s not as hardcore as they.

      • @neon genesis,

        Wrong on all counts.
        I hate cancer, not cancer patients.
        Religion is a disease, and the afflicted can be treated.

        If it is not bigoted to blast religious nonsense in the face of an atheist
        It cannot be bigoted to reject that religious nonsense vigorously.

        If Barney Frank says he is a non-believer there is only one word for that – ATHEIST.

        And Atheism is the morally superior position since the Theist admits he is a pretender – the Thest needs ‘faith’ which is just faking it.

        Nothing has caused more misery on humanity than religion. And there is worse to come.
        It should be abandoned everywhere.

        • You’re just like the religious bigots who say they don’t hate gay people but they just hate their sexuality. There are dozens of different labels that have been used throughout history to describe people who don’t believe in God. Secular, nontheist, humanist, skeptic etc. In ancient times the term atheist was considered an insult. It’s only been in modern times that the term atheist has become more neutral. Your bigoted declaration that nothing has caused more misery in the world than religion is not only an insult to all religious believers but is also an insult to all the people who die from other miseries not caused by religion like poverty, political conflicts, and civil wars, but I’m sure in your bigoted mind, that’s all the fault of Jesus too. For someone who claims to be an atheist, you ironically seem to have more faith in the power of religion than most religious people do.

          • @neon,

            Have it your way.

            The religious person who lies that God exists is not bigoted when addressing a non believer.

            But a non believer who rejects the claim is a bigot.

            You don’t believe in leprechauns so I guess in your mind that makes you a bigot against leprechaun believers.

            You don’t believe in garden gnomes so I guess you are a bigot against garden gnome believers.

            You don’t believe in mermaids so I guess you feel comfortable being a bigot against mermaid believers.

            You are being foolish because a belief is not one’s race.

            If you are so easily offended by people who do not believe as you do perhaps you should consider why your god is so weak and unhelpful to you in that regard.

          • Neon Genesis……….your dumbfounding ignorance has you acting as a little persecuted princess. If there is any bigot here it is you!

    • Explaining different positions about anything can be very respectful if all parties are interested and demonstrate civility in listening to others and in explaining their own positions. The good manners should be mutual.

  3. Barney Frank is a gay man, an non-theist, a Jew, and a great Democrat from Massachusetts who deserves high respect and gratitude from the people in his Massachusetts House district and from all the people in the United States for the superb work he did for so long for all the people of this country, no matter their political orientation, their religious orientation, their sexual orientation, or any other orientation.

    I have always thought that the moniker GLBT is one letter too long. Lesbians are gay, so why the need for the overlapping “discrimination” of gay and lesbian, G and L.

    I notice that RNS author Chris Stedman extends that even further by adding a Q for “queers.” If lesbians are gay, and if gays have for generations been put down as “queers,” to the point that they even humorously refer to themselves as “queers,” then L and Q mean the same thing as G for gays.

    Why all the redundancy. Why refer to varieties of gays by also denigrating them as “queers?” Why refer to lesbians separately after first using G to refer to gays, all gays, men and women? We don’t separate the genders of bisexuals or transgendered people. We leave them properly as bisexuals and transgenders.

    Why isn’t GBT sufficient if sexual differences need to be initialized at all as if they are labor unions or some such groupings? Genderize it altogether of quit using it.

    Do you notice that Barney Frank, in immediate response to Chris Stedman’s use of GLBTQ, leaves out Stedman’s Q for queers and only uses GLBT? Even that, I think, is one letter too much. GBT is enough.

    Why should gays, bisexuals, or transgendered people be reduced to initials that only continues their denigration. Why not stop it all? We are not like the CIA, the FBI, the NSA or some other cup to government soup. We are individual enough and honorable enough that we shouldn’t be referred to by dehumanizing group initials.

    • Who are you to declare who gets to use which label and why? I didn’t know you wrote the dictionary. We in the LGBTQ get to decide our labels, not you outsiders. Go Google the concept of re-appropriation if you want to understand why some gay people consider queer to be a positive and affirming label.

    • The Great God Pan

      GLBTQ has been common for years. Stedman did not add the “Q” himself. The “Q” was originally not redundant as it stood for “Questioning,” although I guess the contingent that insists upon being referred to with a slur has seized it for their own and turned it into “Queer.”

      • But my question is, How did you decide what is right and wrong?

        I assume you believe it is wrong to steal and kill, how did you come up with those beliefs?

        • @Steve,

          I know very well what you are asking.
          I have already answered you. But it appears you would like further elaboration:

          YOU KNOW what is wrong and what is right regardless of which religion you grew up with.

          For example: The religious are taught to identify SIN.
          But one must already have a sense of morality innate in them
          in order to do check the correct box of what is or is not a ‘sin’.

          This innate morality comes from the same place
          apes and other mammals get it: Evolution.
          We would not have survived millions of years without knowing that there are certain behaviors which are destructive to ourselves and our social groups.

          For example:
          Every child in the school yard knows when they have been treated unfairly – “That’s not fair” is one of the first things we learn to say.

          Yet you are asking…How do little children know what is fair and what isnt? Answer: They are born with this sensibility and it is honed throughout life – it is how we build a moral code, the oldest of which is the Golden Rule (do not do to others what you would not want done to you) and it dates back at least 8,000 years and it functions perfectly well without gods or devils.

          All of this comes from the sense of fairness which we inherited.
          Do not: steal, kill, needlessly harm, lie, cheat, etc.
          It is just THE GOLDEN RULE in action.

          It isn’t because of ‘jesus’ or god that we understand fairness.
          Religion has nothing to do with it. Morality comes with being human. It is part of our biological inheritance from thousands of previous generations.
          Religion gets its morals from us – not the other way around. Religion is man made and as such it reflects the Golden Rule which is innate in us. The gods have never had anything to do with it.

          I repeat:
          YOU KNEW right from wrong since childhood. AND SO HAVE I.

          And we are always re-assessing right from wrong because the ‘sense of fairness’ grows more observant as one gets older. That is when we start to call it WISDOM.

          • I agree that you and I both knew wrong from right at birth but I believe its because God gave it to us.

            So your saying that evolution actually impacts our sense of right and wrong. This is honestly the first I have ever heard that argument, usually the answer I get is that society sets the standard.

            Back to your answer. Therefore you are saying that people such as killers and thieves are less evolved that you and I?

            Couple more questions:

            Hitler was a very intelligent man, but he also believed it was okay to kill people for the good of the world. Does this mean he wasn’t all the way evolved?

            Why are there serial killers? Again is it that they didn’t evolve correctly? If that’s the case it really isn’t their fault so how should they be treated?

            Just FYI, you haven’t attacked me and I haven’t attacked you. I’m honestly interested in how you think. Its new to me.

            I’m sure you already know that I’m a Christian, I believe that all people are created as sinners so we all do bad things thru our lives. For example, yes, I believe its a sin to take part in homosexuality but I aslo think its a sin to have sex out of marriage with a woman, which I have done, so I’m as guilty as any gay person when it comes to sin. The old saying…. hate the sin but love the sinner.

            If you would like to take the discussion off of this board and to email, let me know I would be happy to I’m genuinely interested in your point of view and were it comes from. I don’t agree with it… but I would like to understand it.

          • As for the reducio ad Hitlerum,

            He was not a sane person. He had little to no connection to humanity and had no conscience to speak of. He had none of the qualities one is normally ingrained with as a human being.

            We evolve a sense of right and wrong out of being a species which forms communities. Religion, especially Christianity, seeks to replace this with their own authority. To outsource our moral processes to authority figures.

            The thing about the Nazis are they had NO PROBLEM WHATSOEVER getting Christian churches to sign off on their atrocities. Outsourcing one’s belief to authority as you and all Christians are expected to do makes atrocity easier to commit. “Its not my decision, its the orders I am given”. “Its what God wants me to do”. “God hates Jews, Gypsies, Communists and Poles”

            There is a reason serial killers are considered insane. Their ability to process empathy and form connections to fellow people is considered defective. The scary thing is how easily Fundamentalist Christianity fits in well with a serial killer’s usual thought patterns. Its rather enabling to say God is telling me to kill (as many killers have said).

          • @Steve,

            Thanks for the questions:

            1. “you are saying that people such as killers and thieves are less evolved that you and I?”

            No.
            A small percentage of people (approx 5%) are born with a predisposition to Psychopathology. This is endemic in all cultures. The profile of this population does not have the sense of fairness or a capacity of empathy. For the record, religion (among other things) has never reached them nor improved their behavior. Psychopaths and sociopaths often use religion as an expression of their pathology.
            Psychologists and biologists have done studies on psychopaths and it is possible this population evolved as to be warriors or soldiers in very ancient civilizations when these genetic predispositions could be put to use in defense of a tribe.
            Raping the women of a conquered tribe would guarantee some of the genetic predisposition would be passed on to offspring – this is convincing research.
            Killers are not less evolved than us. We all carry DNA with predispositions for all sorts of things.

            2. “Hitler was a very intelligent man, but he also believed it was okay to kill people for the good of the world. Does this mean he wasn’t all the way evolved?”

            No. As in the previous answer, psychopaths often use religion as an expression of their behavior.
            Hitler was a Catholic who found great fascination in Martin Luther’s writings regarding hatred of Jews (Mein Kampf) and Hitler’s first peace treaty was with the Vatican in 1933 (the Vatican Koncordat) and it is likely that Hitler’s favorite Parable was of the Minas which ends with this injunction from Jesus:
            “bring to me those enemies of mine who would not have me as their King [Jews] and execute them in front of me.” – Jesus (Luke 19:27)

            Hitler demanded of his SS Guards allegiance to himself first and also Jesus (most of the SS were confessing Catholics who were never excommunicated from the church).
            “..the personification of the devil as the symbol of all evil assumes the living shape of the Jew.”
            - Adolf Hitler (following the position of Martin Luther), Mein Kampf, Vol. 1 Chapter 11
            “And our Lord Jesus, the founder of Christianity made no secret indeed of his estimation of the Jewish people. When He found it necessary, He drove those enemies of the human race out of the Temple of God…”
            - Adolf Hitler

            3. “Why are there serial killers and what should we do about them?”

            As I say, religion has no effect on psychopaths except to occasionally be used as an excuse for or aid in the psychopathic expression of violence. An extremely small number of psychopaths fit the description of ‘serial killers’. They should be caught and sent to jail for life – just like all other psychopaths.
            If an effective treatment for psycho- or socio-pathology is discovered it would be a huge benefit to society. So far there isn’t much else we can do.
            Certainly religion has done nothing to stop them.

            4. “I believe its a sin to take part in homosexuality but I aslo think its a sin to have sex out of marriage with a woman, which I have done, so I’m as guilty as any gay person when it comes to sin.”

            You should feel absolutely no guilt or shame for having sex
            if the other person was legally old enough and it was mutually consenting and safely practiced.
            Sex is part of life – indeed a TRIVIAL matter.
            Masturbation, homosexuality, bisexuality is not only harmless but honest, trusting sex is natural and a healthy routine part of life.

            Religion likes to call these things ‘sins’ because it gets you back into the church to ‘repent’ and feel bad. Religion plays with your guilt.
            The church uses sex because they KNOW you are going to do these things even if you try not to. Eventually men and women want sex and they WILL get it.
            The church would love for you to hate yourself for this.
            It is insidious nonsense.

            5. You said regarding morality, “I believe God gave it to us.”

            We have also been born with the ability to think. Supposedly, God gave that too.
            Yet, how many of the Commandments
            give you the right to question God?
            How many of the commandments give you the right to freedom from slavery or genocide?
            “Anyone who is captured will be run through with a sword. Their little children will be dashed to death right before their eyes.” (Isaiah 13:15)

            Consider how God has closed off your ability to use your THINKING mind? Is God interested in inquiry?

            Now Consider the two dominant things
            religion requires of you:
            “Fear” and “Obedience”.

            Fear and Obedience – Isn’t that exactly what we hate about the Nazis?
            And what is moral about that?

          • Max
            You are really convincing. And you have some fresh approaches vis-a-vis origination of morality that I had not thought of. Thanks for that.

    • If you have to rely on “God tells me so” to make such decisions, we should all run away from you as fast as possible. It means you are totally without conscience, free will, connection to fellow humans and probably a sociopath.

      The premise that “religion teaches morality” is fiction. A lie people tell themselves and others to justify religious belief. It is a denial of one’s own conscience and connection to humanity.

      The reality is how one interprets religious scripture is based on one’s own conscience. So religion is really just a justification for one’s own conscience to begin with. A gloss over one’s already existing ideas. It cannot be the cause of such things.

      I know right from wrong because I am a human being who is sane. I do not seek to harm others because I do not want the same returned to me. People have the same desires as myself. I understand what it would be like to be harmed and understand others do not want to be harmed as well. I understand the pain and trauma harmful acts cause and do not wish others to experience them.

      Its called having a conscience. Its called being a human being.

      • The entire story of the bible is built around the grace of God. Sure it tells you that you are a sinner but entire point of it is that God gave his only son so that we could be saved. So that we can live without guilt and fear. Most athiests focus on the old testement rather than the new testement. Its like watching only the first have of a game :)

        I got an idea…

        Rather than both of us going on and on about things and why we are right, lets just answer questions. I challenge you to answer my questions with short responses and I will do the same.

        So my first question is…. Why is your and my views right and Hitler’s wrong, Why are we so sure the world wouldn’t be better off without Jews?

        • @Steve,

          Larry is right.

          But let me ask you:

          You said, “The entire story of the bible is built around the grace of God”
          What does that mean?
          What is ‘grace’?

          You said, “God gave his only son”
          What does this mean?
          According to the story Jesus took a nap for 2 nights and has been alive ever since he woke up.
          What did ‘God give’? I don’t understand.

          You said, “So that we can live without guilt and fear.”
          It is clear I already have that without Jesus.
          Why would I need Jesus for it?

          You said, “Most athiests focus on the old testement rather than the new testament.”
          Is it not true that God’s law is perfect and eternal?
          Why do you think God changed his laws?
          Are you suggesting there are two different Gods?

          • You never answered my question but I’ll answer yours.

            1) Grace is forgiveness, the idea of the bible is that Jesus came and died so that we don’t have to pay for our sins, he did.
            2) Jesus suffered on the cross for days, died, was put in a tomb. I wouldn’t allow my children to go thru that suffering.
            3) If you live without guilt and fear that’s great but you said that thru evolution you know right and wrong, my guess is you have done something wrong in your life and felt guilt, maybe I’m wrong.
            4) God’s law is perfect and eternal. The testement tells us that, it also shows us its impossible to keep it, the good news in the new testement tells us that Jesus paid the price for us, all we have to do for forgiveness is accept it.

            I believe that’s short answers to all your questions, you never did answer mine tho.

            Why are your views on human life correct and why are Hitlers wrong?

          • @Steve,

            “Why is Hitler wrong”
            Hitler is wrong because he caused needless harm to humanity.

            “Why am I right”
            Because I would rather live in a world where people do not cause needless harm. It is better for me and for those I love.

          • @Steve,

            “I wouldn’t allow my children to go through that suffering”

            Why not?

      • Larry, how do you know your sane?

        Isn’t evolution survival of the fittest? Maybe people trying to take over the world for themselves are the most evolved?

        • Max, so is that the standard? as long as you don’t cause harm to humanity everything is all good? Who decides what causes harm to humanity? There are no two people on this planet who would agree on every item so who gets to pick?

          • @Steve,

            “Who decides what causes harm to humanity?”

            To clarify, I said ‘needless harm’. Needless harm is immoral.

            “Who decides?”
            We do. You and me.
            The Golden Rule is sufficient.
            You will not choose to harm me if you don’t have to.
            And I will not choose to harm you if I don’t have to.

            “Who gets to pick?”
            We do. You and me.
            The Golden Rule works.

            If it turns out that one of us is a psychopath then someone must restrain that psychopath before he causes “needless harm.”

            “Why restrain the psychopath?”
            Because I won’t want him to cause ‘needless harm to you’
            and you won’t want him to cause ‘needless harm’ to me.

            The Golden Rule works. No gods needed.

          • @Steve,

            There are only two important moral choices – it isn’t as complicated as you are pretending:

            1. To harm someone needlessly.
            2. To not harm someone at all.

            For example:
            If a child needs a measles vaccination it is important to give her the vaccination – this is going to harm her for a moment but it is not ‘needless’ harm because it will result in her being healthier.
            It is therefore moral to cause harm temporarily to prevent agonizing needless harm later.

            Or:
            If a man is hurt by the side of a road you can call 911 and stay by his side or you can shrug it off and keep walking. What is the moral thing to do?
            By calling 911 you may be helping to prevent ‘needless harm’ as your action might save his life.
            By walking away you may cause ‘needless harm’ to yourself as well as the injured man because reading about his death later may fill you with guilt for not preventing that death.
            Calling 911 is therefore the moral thing to do for both of you.

            Or:
            Your children are dying of starvation. You take them to a desert town with one grocery store full of food. But the store is closed.
            If you break the glass and steal some food your children will live.
            If you decide not to steal and wait for the store to open your children might die.
            There is no question that stealing the food is the moral thing to do because it will prevent needless harm to the children. The punishment for stealing will be weighed as a moral imperative by the judge – who also will consider the prevention of ‘needless harm’ to the children before judging the man who stole the food.

            And so on…

            The Golden Rule works.
            “Treat others as you would hope others would treat you”
            No gods are needed.

  4. You missing my….

    You keep saying “golden rule” over and over again. How does a kid born 5,000 years ago on the other side of the planet know the same rule that a kid born tomorrow will know? How does Darwin and “golden rule” go together?

    Shouldn’t there be some kind of evolved view of it?

    Isn’t your “golden rule” just your version of religion? You think it should apply to everyone, doesn’t that mean your trying to be God?

    • @Steve,

      I thought it was clear.
      We are born with the sense of fairness.

      The Golden Rule IS the SENSE OF FAIRNESS – it is an actual, provable human condition.

      And every human on earth is born with it – except for the small percentage which are psychopaths and sociopaths. They feel no empathy for others.

      What are you not understanding?
      There is no need for a God in any of this.
      Most of us are born with hands and legs – this is not proof of god.
      Most of us are born with fingers and toes – this is not proof of god.
      Most of us have hearts which pump
      and brains which can think – none of this is proof of god.

      Being born with a sense of fairness is not proof of god either.
      And teaching the Golden Rule does not prove a god either.

      In fact, all of this indicates no god is needed for any of it.

      • @Steve
        how did you figure out the rest of your argument? It doesn’t follow that morality would not be connected to humans somehow one way or another it has to be a natural thing.

    • Allah Allah Sis Boom Bah

      @Steve,

      “Isn’t your “golden rule” just your version of religion?”

      No. Absolutely not.
      There is no religion or ‘faith’ in it at all. It just exists as part of the human condition.

      The sense of fairness (the golden rule) is pure biology and it comes from evolution. In fact, if people discovered it now they would not call it the golden rule, they would call it ‘sense of fairness’ because there is no RULE to follow. Fairness comes most naturally.

      If you see a mother chasing a stroller down a hill it kicks right in no matter what religious beliefs you have – you help her run after the stroller.

      If you see a baby running toward the street you run to catch the baby before she gets hit by a car. It doesn’t matter if you are religious or atheist – you will try to help people.

      Religion has nothing to do with any of it.

      • “If you see a baby running toward the street you run to catch the baby before she gets hit by a car. It doesn’t matter if you are religious or atheist – you will try to help people.”

        We all agree on this, I don’t think you have to be religious to do good things at all. Where we disagree is how you get this sense of right and wrong. I believe there is creator that made us that way, you guys believe that we evolved that way and that at some point someone tried to explain it so they wrote down some stories about it, “the bible”.

        What I was poking around for, and you guys never bit :) was what many athiests say is that society decides right and wrong which drives me NUTS!

        So the question really is…. Did God come first or was God created by humans to explain why we are the way we are?

        If your version is correct its pretty amazing how they used this Jesus fellow, who we know was a real person to tie the whole story together.

        • Allah Allah Sis Boom Bah

          Steve,
          Did God come first? geesh. I don’t know if there is a god. And I don’t see the use for a god even if he does exist. what do you think the god does? nobody seems to have good answer about what he/it/she/them/ do exactly. do the god just spin little worlds together out of nothing?

          • Allah Allah Sis,

            If your content with dying at the end of this life then your right, you have no use for God. You should lie, cheat, steal, or whatever feels good and not care about others.

          • Allah Allah Sis Boom Bah

            Steve – god can prevent us from dying? Do you really believe you want to live in a state of heaven where you can’t leave? besides Jesus taught lying, cheating, stealing and did what felt good too. He even asked god to not let him die. Jesus was the first christian sinner for goodness sake, dude!
            If someone told you he was absolutely not going to go to NYC under any circumstances…but then, when you weren’t looking he went anyway in secret…woulnd’t you call that a lie? Jesus did that sort of thing all the time.

        • @Steve,

          “Where we disagree is how you get this sense of right and wrong. I believe there is creator that made us that way.”
          Okay. I don’t.

          “Did God come first or was God created by humans to explain why we are the way we are?”

          God was an invention by humans to explain everything – not just why we are the way we are. MOST IMPORTANTLY, Gods were the first explanation for pain and appeasing the Gods was all about AVOIDING PAIN.

          When suffering happens we feel like we are being punished for something. We want desperately to avoid pain so we look for causes of the pain. In an ancient world where there is no understanding of germs, or why relentless illnesses killed off so many people , volcanoes, bacterial infections, earthquakes or tornadoes…

          SO this suffering was typically attributed to FALSE CAUSATION.

          A ‘wise’ tribesman might make a connection between eating a certain food and the death of a child, for example. This is probably why shellfish was banned in many INLAND religions. There was no way to keep it cold and fresh.

          Or perhaps a person would be swept away in a storm. Someone would observe certain qualities about the person which must not be repeated – the point being that obviously a ‘power greater than man’ must be objecting to SOMETHING about that victim or his family.

          Almost all Gods were believed to be MALE and so virgins were often sacrificed in the hope that the ‘spirit’ of a virgin would APPEASE the gods and let the rest of the tribe live. Many cultures which developed near earthquake or volcanic geography developed the custom of throwing virgins into the volcanoes or the earthquake fissures to appease the god so there would be NO MORE VOLCANIC ERUPTIONS OR EARTHQUAKES.

          I hope you are getting the point loud and clear now.

          ALL Gods are an invention of mankind to deal with suffering.
          They are not real.

          They are based on FALSE CAUSATION.

          • I get your point, but why does one God have such a lasting presence in the world? My God, the God, does not promise prosperity or an easy painless life. People like Joel Olsteen that preach are just plain wrong.

            I totally understand your views from what you see in the world, the people in churches are flawed and always will be but the bible isn’t. Christians are evil people just like everyone, those who claim us Christians are better or smarter than you Athiests are kidding themselves. Just like Athiests that believe Christians are all dumb hillbillies are kidding themselves and seeing themselves as a god.

            Simply put. I respect your view, I understand how you came about it, there are sure alot of people that give religion a bad name. That said, Christ has touched my life, and I would love for you to be able to see what he could do in yours but that would have to come from him, not me. Read the new testement with a open mind and he just may do that.

            I’m not here to convince anyone, I was just interested in your views and how they came about. My guess it comes down to at a young age someone associated with religion was a bad example and that sucks.

          • @Steve,

            “why does one God have such a lasting presence in the world?”

            Because:
            We are ALL born looking for our parents. Evolution has handed us this drive to find them. We MUST find them from the moment we are born.
            The need to find our parents is crucial to our survival.
            Babies reach upward for mom and dad.

            Normally we outgrow our baby teeth – they fall out. Our baby hair falls out too and is replaced with a child’s normal hair.
            Our baby skin changes too, and as we develop we even outgrow the dependence on parents. Our psychology adjusts to independence.

            But all cultures have figured out how to keep the infantile desire
            for parents alive – because it has been very useful to the powerful.

            God is the parent and it is expressed in a multinational industry called ‘religion’. Look at how religion is used to manipulate people and you may get a clearer understanding not only of why religion is dangerous but why it is important to clear up the nonsense about God.

          • @Steve,

            “My guess it comes down to at a young age someone associated with religion was a bad example and that sucks.”

            No, Steve.
            Believers eventually discover that God is not real. It can happen in a million different ways – it will probably happen to you someday also.

            I would only encourage you to keep questioning these claims of religion.

            Don’t do what I did – don’t waste 44 years of your life with Christianity only to discover the whole thing is a charade.

        • @STEVE,

          Human sacrifice is what reveals religion is a delusion.
          The Aztecs believed in human sacrifice to appease their God to stop their suffering.
          Christians believe in the human sacrifice of Jesus to appease their God Yahweh.

          The idea in both cases is identical
          and very primitive:
          “God is now satisfied and he will protect us from further suffering”

          • There is no need for human sacrifice, the last words Christ said was, “it is done”. Remember, he is alive :) I can’t speak for all religions but no Christian needs to sacrifice anyone’s life.

          • @Steve,

            You are not playing fair now.

            Jesus IS “THE SACRIFICIAL LAMB OF GOD”.
            Jesus is the “HUMAN” sacrifice.
            Jesus’ bloody death was a sacrifice to appease Yahweh.

            Please don’t pretend otherwise with me. You are dealing with someone who knows a lot and was trying to answer your questions.

          • @Steve,

            “God doesn’t protect us from suffering.”

            I thought I was dealing with a Christian?
            In one breath you suggest God was appeased by Christ’s death, “It is done.”

            and then in the next breath you say “God doesn’t protect us from suffering.”

            The suffering is not of this world, Steve. Jesus is to protect us from the suffering in the NEXT world – HELL.
            This is basic Sunday School.

          • Jesus is both God and Man. God sacrificed his son so that we don’t have to, isn’t that the ultimate act of love.

            God doesn’t protect us from suffering on this earth.

            Honestly, I’m a little torn on Hell… My church believes there is a place called Hell, some Christians believe that when we die we go to “sleep” meaning that when Jesus comes again if your not saved you just stay there in the ground. Honestly, I haven’t really reconciled that in my own head. I tend to lean towards the latter.

            Allah, can you give me one specific example of Jesus sinning in the bible? Your come off as a bitter person who “hates” religion, you give athiests a bad name. I enjoy debating with Max because I think he really is coming at it from trying to understand why he is here and what life is about not just taking the other side of the majority because he thinks he is better and smarter than everyone else.

            And just so everyone knows… I am by no means a biblical scholar, that’s probably clear by now

          • Allah Allah Sis Boom Bah

            But hey Steve gotta call it like I see it: Jesus is right there in the bible talking like he is going to the festival but…welll just check it for yerself:”‘Go to the festival yourselves. I am not going to this festival, for my time has not yet fully come.’ After saying this, he remained in Galilee. But after his brothers had gone to the festival, then he also went, not publicly but as it were in private” (John 7.8-10 RSV). would you not agree that this is lying? If someone did it to you wold you not call it lying?

  5. Hey Max,

    Can you tell me if I”m doing damage to myself for being a Christian if I’m content in my life?

    Do athiests want Christians to become athiests or do they just not care?

    • @Steve,

      You asked, “am I damaging myself…if I am content being a Christian?”

      Not as long as you can do these things:

      1. avoid snake handling
      2. reject prayer as a way to cure illnesses or solve any problems.
      3. reject all vicarious redemption
      4. reject guilt for having sex.
      5. reject shame for having sex
      6. reject all claims that Hell is real.
      7. Avoid most of Jesus’ injunctions in reference to God for they are all immoral.
      The Good Samaritan is okay.
      8. reject the claim of an afterlife as it will diminish your appreciation for this life.
      9. never surrender to abjection.
      10. Never trust god to solve your problems for you.
      11. Don’t throw your money away by donating to churches.
      12. Ignore Jesus’ injunctions about hating your parents.
      13. Ignore Jesus’ injunction to leave ‘the morrow to itself’ as this is immoral.
      14. Never pray when you can actually help someone instead.
      15. Don’t feel guilty for finding forgiveness impossible sometimes.
      16. If you ever have children, don’t preach Jesus to them. They will have to avoid the same list you had to, and it is difficult to it without needing psychological help.

      If you can avoid all that, Christianity shouldn’t harm you.

      • Most of your list is just nuts, but here are thoughts on the dumbest ones.

        Snake handling? really? how many Christians do you really think are out there doing that, way to sterotype based on a tiny group.

        Yep, throwing away money on those churches that help the poor, provide a community for the lonely, yep those places are terrible…. How many of you athiests have banded together to help the poor and the sick? You ever wonder why most hospitals are associated with the a church?

        Appreciation for life, really??….. isn’t it the church that denounces abortion?

        Never pray when you can help someone? I don’t even know what one has to do with the other

        Forgiveness is a gift to the person doing the forgiving, you really want to carry that hate around with u all your life? Don’t you feel better when you forgive someone?

        I always hear athiests talking about how they are spreading the word that churches are ruining the world. So….. your way to better the world is to tell people they are stupid, how about getting off your computers, banding together with some other athiests and opening a shelter, building some community projects, feeding people. The way I see it all your concerned with is telling people how stupid they are and how you have it all figured out and any other way is wrong. Hate to break it to you but is sure sounds like your god is you.

        • @Steve,

          You asked if you were damaging yourself being a Christian:

          1. “Snake handling? really?”
          Yup. Only Christians die from it – every year.

          2. “churches help the poor, provide a community for the lonely, yep those places are terrible…. How many of you athiests have banded together?”

          Less than HALF of each Religious dollar goes to anything useful.
          Talk about waste.
          What do Atheists contribute?
          While Religion wastes billions on houses of superstition
          and holy books preaching hatreds against other religions in return for their services to the poor…

          These ATHEIST and Non-religious organizations are saving the world:

          Doctors Without Borders,
          The Foundation Beyond Belief
          Goodwill Industries,
          Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation,
          Warren Buffet Foundation,
          Oxfam International,
          Rotary International,
          American Red Cross,
          SEED foundation, United Children’s Fund,
          Sierra Fund, National Campaign to prevent Teen Pregnancy,
          Treatment Action Campaign,
          Women’s Defense League
          US Military Association of Atheists and Freethinkers,
          Plan USA, Tanzanian Children’s Fund
          National Academy of Science,
          The ACLU

          Atheists spend BILLIONS on saving lives.
          We don’t just care about saving lives but go further to promote education and culture also.
          Atheists have done more for humanity than any other group:
          While religious people pray for cures – Atheists create medicine*.
          While religious people pray for food – Atheists create agriculture*
          While religious people ban condoms – Atheists distribute millions saving countless lives from AIDS in Africa.*
          While religious people ban books – Atheists develop the internet*
          While religion oppresses women and creates poverty – Atheists and emancipated them and lessened poverty.*

          The Scientists working to understand climate change
          are almost entirely atheist.

          While Christians and Muslims fill the prisons,
          the Atheist population in prison is statistically ZERO.
          Religion feeds a few thousand poor people while all the while apologizing for a God who never shows up to save the 17 MILLION CHILDREN who will starve THIS YEAR alone.

          While ATHEISTIC Science does the heavy lifting.
          Monks, Priests and Imams argue against science and hide the facts from millions of people.

          The Best Children’s Hospitals are none religious and provide free help to families in need.
          Christian hospitals like ST. JUDE’S pale by comparison.

          If religion worked better than Atheism,
          ambulances would pull up to churches instead of hospitals.

          3. “Appreciation for life, really?… isn’t it the church that denounces abortion?”

          No.
          First, Humanist organizations denounce abortion also. But the matter of who owns the woman’s body is a priority – and a matter of law.
          Second, Life is cheap if you think it continues for an eternity after death. You are turning this life into a doormat to the next, grander one.

          4. “Never pray when you can help someone?”
          Prayer accomplishes nothing and if you think it does you are harming yourself.

          5. “Forgiveness is a gift to the person doing the forgiving, you really want to carry that hate around with u all your life? Don’t you feel better when you forgive someone?”
          You are over-selling forgiveness. And if it is a gift to forgive – then go ahead and forgive – I didn’t say don’t forgive. I said ‘don’t blame yourself’ if you can’t. That is where I put the emphasis because religion will tell you to blame yourself even when the person you just forgave goes off and molests another child. I’m showing you how Christianity could harm you and you don’t sound very appreciative.

          6. “I always hear athiests talking about how they are spreading the word that churches are ruining the world. So….. your way to better the world is to tell people they are stupid, how about getting off your computers, banding together with some other athiests and opening a shelter, building some community projects, feeding people. The way I see it all your concerned with is telling people how stupid they are and how you have it all figured out and any other way is wrong. Hate to break it to you but is sure sounds like your god is you.”

          Don’t know what to make of this. I never called you stupid. In fact, you remind me of myself when I was in my 30′s when I started questioning my strong belief in Jesus. I did not get smarter when i discovered I was an atheist. I don’t call believers dumb because that would be like calling myself dumb – which i wasn’t then and I’m not now.
          Thought I was doing you a favor by answering you respectfully – but I guess you think I’m a dick.
          Non-believers just can’t win. Sorry, but I don’t believe in God and that does not make me a bad person, or a mean person and it does not mean I’m calling you stupid.
          And I didn’t call you stupid.
          Plus I’m not angry – so I’m not getting where that idea comes from either.
          Guess you just threw me for a loop there.

          I know dozens of Atheists and we are all very generous to the organizations I listed above. Our Atheist meet up group gathered an additional $8,200 for the children’s fund for the Tornado that hit Moore, Oklahoma last year and killed about 50 people.

          I do not give money to churches because it does not go to help anyone. Yes, churches are a social center but so is the local bowling alley, diner and school sporting event of the week. So I don’t have much sympathy for that. And Catholic churches are another problem all together.

          I was trying to be decent and answer your questions.
          I save my worst rants against religion – never people.
          And I didn’t call you stupid.

    • @Steve,

      You asked, “Do Atheists want Christians to become Atheists or do they just not care?”

      It depends which Atheists you talk to. Most Atheists don’t mind if others have religion.
      Some are against religion because they see the harm it causes to innocent people. Some Atheists don’t care.

      I do care because I care about people.

      I obviously think Christians, Muslims and Hindus are harming themselves and their families by believing and supporting ‘faith-based’ nonsense. They have the right to their religion – I won’t deny that.

      But Democracy, mental health and rational thinking are not helped by the anti-science, strongly right wing Christian groups. Religion is an impediment to freedom wherever it is strong.

      I don’t mind if people believe and if they are happy – just so long as they can leave my rights untouched in the process.

      Faith-based programs like genital mutilation, suicide bombing, Creationism in public classrooms – even religious monuments on public property – annoy me tremendously and obstruct my rights and the rights of others.

        • Allah,

          Huh? So if my buddies were going to the gym and I told them to go but its not my time YET, then when I was done with what I need to do I went that’s a lie? Try again… I assume you googled, “Jesus lying” and that’s what came up.

          • Allah Allah Sis Boom Bah

            steve, if you told your friends you were not going but then you went anyway that would be lying. But I guess you don’t mind being lied to.
            Jesus lied in many other places too. Yes, google it. Good idea.
            Jesus sinned in a bunch of ways – he cheated, stole, whipped people, lied, – funny thing is, jesus couldn’t follow his own rules! he said forgive your enemies but that is not what he did to his enemies is it. google it yourself.

        • @Steve,

          Let’s say you and I share a house with a bunch of other people.
          Everyone has their own bedroom. But we all share the living room.

          Because the living room belongs to all of us we must cooperate with what goes in there. None of us has the right to leave our cat’s litter box in the living room unless everyone approves of it.

          Similarly the public square is to be treated with the same regard as a communal living room. Lucky for all of us, that is how the law works too.

          For example: To many of us, a stone monument to the 10 Commandments is a filthy litter box. You are free to place it on your lawn – but not the public lawn.

          A community might temporarily allow a religious statement on a public square – such as a Christmas Manger – but it must also accommodate any other religious statements along side it as a matter of fairness and law.

          Religious monuments are a right of religious expression on private property.

          But you have no right to make a permanent religious expression (stone monument) on public land because the town owns that land, not you. And The town itself is FORBIDDEN BY LAW from making its own religious expression – because the TOWN has no right to establish a religion.

          If our TOWN were to express a permanent religious statement on its property that would be an obstruction of my Constitutional Right to live in a town that has no established religion.

        • @Steve,

          “What Public Schools teach Creationism?”

          Hint:
          Don’t trust anyone’s education if they went to school in
          Tennessee, Louisiana, Florida or Utah.

          These children are taught that the earth
          is only 6,000 years old.

          IN PUBLIC SCHOOL:

          http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/science/2014/01/creationism_in_public_schools_mapped_where_tax_money_supports_alternatives.html

          • Hate to break it to you but your lists of foundations are filled with christians. Bill Gates for example has said he gives money to charity because of the moral beliefs he was taught from religion.

            Also hate to break it to you but the country your living in was founded on Christian beliefs and freedoms. The idea of separation of church and state means that the state cannot tell the church what to do and the church can’t tell the state what to do. Its doesn’t mean that religious views need to be hidden behind closed door.

            Everytime I ask about your beliefs you give me a quick answer then go on to a long spiel about how bad christianity is, seems like your not an athiest but your a anti christian. You should focus on what you believe not on what you don’t believe.

            This website is a great example, if you go to the homepage its nothing but “poor us”, “those evil religous people”. Why not focus on positives about yourslelf? I guess its the typical victim mentality that this country is coming to.

          • @Steve,

            Okay. I’ll call you stupid now.

            Your solipsistic and foolish, too.
            Bye.

          • I may be foolish now but at least I don’t focus on other people;s way of life and how they are wrong, I spend my effort and time supporting my beliefs not just attacking others.

            You said your whole life is based on the “golden rule” which means treat people how you wanted to be treated. Then you spent the next 48 hours telling me how I was wrong and stupid. I guess the golden rule did get all the way evolved to u….. lol

          • Steve,
            “at least I don’t focus on other people’s way of life and how they are wrong”
            Glad to hear you support the Taliban, Al Queda, Zionism, Nazi skin heads and pedophile priests.
            You must feel very comfortable in how much good you are doing for the world.

  6. ATHEIST MAX…………I just want to give you a high five for great comments! I salute you and great job putting these uber ACCOMODATIONISTS in there place, they are clueless.

  1. […] This weekend, the American Humanist Association (AHA) will honor former Congressman Barney Frank of Massachusetts with their 2014 Humanist of the Year award. Last year, Frank—a trailblazing politician who was the first member of Congress to come out as gay and the first to be in a same-sex marriage while in office—revealed his atheism in an interview with Bill Maher. The atheist and Humanist community has enthusiastically embraced him; earlier this year he was awarded the Lifetime Achievement in Cultural Humanism award by the Humanist Community at Harvard. [Read more] […]

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