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Month: December 2011

Happy New Year!

There is nothing really special about New Year’s day. We add 1 to the number that represents the year, life goes on, and somewhere around March we start writing the dates correctly on our checks. (Assuming we still write checks :)). But regardless of the total arbitrariness of the day, it is still a great time to reflect on the past 12 months and make plans and goals for the next. Here I have listed a few of my reflections on the past year, and my goals and aspirations for the next. Highlights of 2011: Record attendance at the best American Atheists convention ever, at which my husband and I signed on as life members. My first time to attend Skepticon! Kentucky Secular Society was granted official non-profit status from the IRS (even after some rather humourous questions in their letter requesting further information). For the first time, we hosted the family Thanksgiving at my house, and I roasted my first turkey. And was very pleased with how it turned out. 🙂 And, of course, the word did not end nor did the rapture happen, much to the disappointment of the followers of Harold Camping. My Goals and Aspirations for 2012: Getting my vision corrected with Lasik in January! For once I will be able to see clearly as soon as my eyes open in the morning. That is...

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Why I am an Atheist: Secular Morality vs. Divine Command

What makes an action good or bad (or neutral)? Atheists are asked by theists, quite frequently, where we get our morals. However, I think that the Biblical theist has a much harder time when it comes to morality than the atheist. This dilemma for the theist is most elequantly stated by Plato as Euthyphro’s dilemma: Is something morally good because it is commanded by God, or is it commanded by God because it is morally good? (my paraphrase. Click the linked text for further detail.) Unlike the Divine Command theory of morality, which states that moral duty comes from God’s or a...

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Sunday school is for religion, not public school

I saw this story in the Friendly Atheist and thought I’d pass it along. Battling anew over the place of religion in public schools But in some corners of the country, especially in the rural South, open prayer and Christian symbols have never really disappeared from schools, with what legal advocates call brazen violations of the law coming to light many times each year. At a school assembly here in South Carolina on Sept. 1, a preacher described how Christ saved him from drugs, telling his rapt audience that “a relationship with Jesus is what you need more than anything else.” A rapper shouted the Lord’s praise to a light show and most of the audience stepped forward to pledge themselves to Christ while a few remained, uncomfortable, in their seats. Such overt evangelizing would not be unusual at a prayer rally, but this was a daytime celebration in a public school gymnasium, arranged by the principal for sixth, seventh and eighth graders. Uh huh. Overt sectarian proselytizing to an immature, captive audience, curtesy of your local public school officials. There are so many reasons this should not be allowed. See the Friendly Atheist’s commentary here. Christian proselytyzing in public schools is becoming an...

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When “religious rights” conflict with other’s rights

Last week I engaged in a discussion about Christian rights in America with The Warrioress at life of a female bible warrioress. She provided some examples that she believes proves that Christian rights are being eroded in America, though I disagree with her in several places. If you have not been following the blog posts you can read up more about it here: “Are Christians Losing Rights in America” Part 2. The topic of religious rights and civil rights in general is very interesting to me, and I have done a bit of Googling to find recent examples where Christians have claimed that their religious rights have been violated. I have compiled a list of such examples, and I am seeing a theme. For my first example: Town Clerk refuses to sign marriage licenses for lesbian couple. LEDYARD, N.Y. — Rose Marie Belforti is a 57-year-old cheese maker, the elected town clerk in this sprawling Finger Lakes farming community and a self-described Bible-believing Christian. She believes that God has condemned homosexuality as a sin, so she does not want to sign same-sex marriage licenses; instead, she has arranged for a deputy to issue all marriage licenses by appointment. Gay marriage has been legalized in New York. Since when have clerks had the right to pass their judgement on citizen’s marriages and decide that they will refuse to personally sign their certificate? Would...

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