Of Course Creating A Church Would Create A Schism Between Atheists

An atheist 'church'

In November, I wrote a post concerning the growing popularity of the Sunday Assembly events for atheists and complaints about the media labeling these events, that happen on Sundays, as a church. To go along with the church motif now a disagreement about the direction of the Assemblies have lead to the press labeling it a schism. It just goes back to my concern about Sunday Assemblies creating confusion and diluting our positive secular message by wrapping it up in warmed over religious packaging.

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Atheists Don’t Be Upset When You Act Like A Church And The Religious Call You A Church

artist concept of an atheist 'church'

The Associated Press had a wire story on November 10th about the rising popularity of an atheist gathering called the Sunday Assembly. The AP report referred to it as a “mega-church”. A collective panic in the atheist movement screeched about how it wasn’t a church and how dare anyone call it that. However, If you look like a church, act like a church, and meet on a Sunday then don’t get upset when the religious majority think you are a church. This is a prime example of why using warmed over religious terms or activities and in the case of the Sunday Assembly, avoiding talking about atheism can cause confusion and hurt the atheist movement in the long term.

From the AP report:

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‘Last Man Standing’ Tells You To Break The Law And Read The Bible All In One Episode

screencap of Kristin (Amanda Fuller) arguing with her father Mike (Tim Allen) on the ABC show Last Man Standing
Kristin (Amanda Fuller) arguing with her father Mike (Tim Allen) on the ABC show Last Man Standing

This past Friday was the season premiere of the sitcom ‘Last Man Standing’ starring Tim Allen on ABC. He plays Mike Baxter. His character reminds me of a tamer Archie Bunker where he believes and says some ignorant and/or bigoted things but by the end of the 30 minutes it shows his views were wrong and he changes his views or he comes to understand the “other side”. But in the episode ‘Back to School’, one character is told to break the law so her child can go to a ‘good’ school and another character agrees that only god can give one a purpose in life. Did I just watch a Kirk Cameron movie? I need a shower now.

If you aren’t familiar with the show here is a blurb:

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Tom Brokaw on the Charlie Rose Show

I watched a bit of Tom Brokaw on the Charlie Rose show tonight talking about his book “The Sixites” and the History Channel documentry on 1968 specifically (which was a good show – nothing about UFOs thank goodness)

The following is a quote from that interview. I liked it because it sums up my philosophy and infuses my Humanism:

The big political lesson [of the sixties] was that you got to have a clearly established goals, that you can’t be hostage to political correctness, that you have to examine situations on their merit, and that the solution may come from the right – and that’s okay, or it may come from the left – and that’s okay, as long as we continue to move in that direction. And that does not mean you have to sacrifice your personal ideology.

Tom Brokaw on the Charlie Rose show 12/10/2007

Crap Happens

On Monday, the big news story was the shooting at the Amish school in Pennsylvania.

I watched some of the coverage on the news channels before going to work. It is a very sad time for their community. I was a bit saddened to hear some of the news people saying factually wrong things about the Amish. One of the things was that the Amish reject any help from the government – that is not true. Here in Ohio the Amish do accept some government support especially when it comes to health care and their children. When they do accept it, the community, later, will have an auction or market day to pay back the state for the aid they received.

Of course, after every violent incident involving a school or children, the religious wing nuts make statements like the one I read in a forum posting on our local newspaper website:

Do you think there is a correlation with taking prayer out of schools and the escalation of school violence? Innocent voices raised in prayer each day kept God’s protection over the schools. Parents better pray for their children each day, I know I do!

Then there was this bit last night on the “Free Speech” segment of the CBS Evening News by Brian Rohrbough, father of one of the students killed in the 1999 Columbine High School massacre in Colorado:

ROHRBOUGH: I’m saddened and shaken by the shooting at an Amish school today and last week’s school murders [in Bailey, Colorado]. When my son Dan was murdered on the sidewalk at Columbine High School on April 20, 1999, I hoped that would be the last school shooting. Since that day, I tried to answer the question, “Why did this happen?”

This country is in a moral freefall. For over two generations, the public school system has taught in a moral vacuum, expelling God from the school and from the government, replacing him with evolution, where the strong kill the weak without moral consequences. And life has no inherent value. We teach there are no absolutes, no right or wrong, and I assure you the murder of innocent children is always wrong, including by abortion. Abortion has diminished the value of children. Suicide has become an acceptable action and has further emboldened these criminals. We’re seeing an epidemic increase in murder/suicide attacks on our children.

In response to Pennsylvania school shooting, CBS’ “Free Speech” featured Columbine father attacking evolution, abortion

That was just an uninformed comment. The Amish are about as religiously conservative as a religion goes, yet all their prayers didn’t “protect” them from the violence. It also doesn’t make one any saner. Mental illness doesn’t avoid the religious. In a press conference today, PA State Police reported the Amish school shooter wrote to his wife that he was angry with God.

Prayer is NOT a solution – it is what some do to cope with their lives.

People need to get some perspective. Mentally ill people, who perpetrate these killings, will do what they can to do harm. Unless we can gain some kind of psychic ability, we can NEVER prevent these incidents 100%.

The guy, who is said to have shot the Amish children, wasn’t on any law enforcement radar. The guy seemed to have just snapped (although I bet there were some signs his family and friends ignored).

My philosophy of life allows me to function without being crippled by the unknown. It basically boils down to “Crap Happens”. You deal with what you can control and try your best to slog through what you can’t control.