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Atheist News from Edwin Kagin



KENTUCKY ATHEISTS NEWS & NOTES Date: March 30, 2008


Kentucky Atheists, P.O. Box 48, Union, KY 41091; Email: [email protected]

Phone: (859) 384-7000; Fax: (859) 384-7324; Web: http://www.atheists.org/ky/

Editor’s personal web site: www.edwinkagin.com

Editor’s personal blog: http://edwinkagin.blogspot.com

Edited by:

Edwin Kagin, Kentucky State Director, American Atheists, Inc.

(AMERICAN ATHEISTS is a nationwide movement that defends civil rights for nonbelievers; works for the total separation of church and state; and addresses issues of First Amendment public policy.)

I WAS BORN AN ATHEIST JUST LIKE EVERYONE ELSE

To Unidentified Recipients:

Why We Have a First Amendment Department:

http://www.secularism.org.uk/93039.html

Saudi King wants monotheisms to unite to defeat atheism

King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia — head of one of the most oppressive regimes in the world — has said that atheism is a “frightening phenomenon that must be vanquished”. He made the threat during a speech in which he called for dialogue between all monotheistic religions.

“I ask representatives of all the monotheistic religions to meet with their brothers in faith,” Abdullah told delegates to a seminar on “Dialogue Among Civilizations between Japan and the Islamic World,” according to the official Saudi Press Agency (SPA). “If God wills it, we will then meet with our brothers from other religions, including those of the Torah and the Gospel… to come up with ways to safeguard humanity,” he added.

Abdullah said the country’s top clerics have given him approval to pursue his idea and that he plans to get the opinion of Muslim leaders from other countries. According to SPA, the Saudi king also intends to address the United Nations on the subject. “We have lost sincerity, morals, fidelity and attachment to our religions and to humanity,” Abdullah said on Monday, deploring “the disintegration of the family and the rise of atheism in the world – a frightening phenomenon that all religions must confront and vanquish.”

To confirm his credentials as a man of interfaith sincerity, we should remember that the Saudi monarchy bans the open worship of other religions. Mosques are the only religious buildings permitted in the country where the fanatical Wahhabi version of Sunni Islam dominates. When the King visited the Vatican recently, the pope asked if he would consider allowing the building of a church in Saudi Arabia to accommodate some of the 800,000 Catholics in the country. The King is now reported to have turned this request down.

Abdullah’s call follows the formation by the Vatican of a committee that aims to improve relations between Islam and Catholicism. However, this is like trying to pitch the immovable object against the irresistible force. Beyond the big words about conciliation is the hard fact that both these religions are totalitarian in nature and won’t give an inch to the other. Both have an over-arching belief that they have the ultimate truth that cannot be questioned. There is no real sincerity in this supposed search for understanding.

Last week, in what is seen as a clear provocation, the Pope baptised Italy’s most prominent former Muslim, Magdi Allam. And he didn’t do it discreetly, but chose a high-profile Easter Monday service that was shown on TV.

Magdi Allam has infuriated some Muslims with his books and columns in the newspaper Corriere della Sera newspaper, where he is a deputy editor. He titled one book Long Live Israel.

One of the Islamic clerics involved in the pope’s interfaith initiative, Aref Ali Nayed, says Ratzinger’s baptism “was a delib
erately provocative act” performed at an unfortunate time because of Catholic-Muslim tensions. Then, a new audio message from Osama bin Laden accused the pope of playing a “large and lengthy role” in a “new Crusade” against Islam that included the publication of drawings of the Prophet Muhammad that many Muslims found insulting. Catholic-Muslim dialogue? Dialogue of the deaf, more like.
See also:
Islamist website attacks Vatican baptism
For all his interfaith mutterings, the pope loves to goad Islam
A conversion heard around the world

28 March 2008

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From reader Jan:

Can’t these people just buy a damn bumpersticker with their pet phrase on it? It would be cheaper, more individualized and would keep the government out of it completely. If groups want donations to their cause, then let them do the scut work of fund raising and not use the government as a vehicle (pun intended) to raise cash.

If we are lucky, this will cause a schism and the two sides will kill each other off.

http://polwatchers.typepad.com/pol_watchers/2008/03/in-god-we-trust.html

March 27, 2008

“In God We Trust” vs. “In God We Trust”

An “In God We Trust” license plate is almost ready to hit Kentucky streets.

The Senate Transportation Committee on Thursday approved House Bill 207 and sent it to the full Senate. The bill, sponsored by Rep. Jim Gooch, D-Providence, would let Kentucky motorists buy a specialty plate emblazoned with the words “In God We Trust.” Ten dollars from each plate would go to the state’s veterans’ trust fund.

Gooch’s bill has drawn protests from a nonprofit group, Reclaim Our Culture Kentuckiana (ROCK), that applied late last year to the Transportation Cabinet for its own “In God We Trust” plates to raise money for its anti-pornography efforts. ROCK alleges that lawmakers swiped its idea and now stand to divert millions of dollars in potential revenue.

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Missing NY pastor found at Ohio strip club

RIVERSIDE, Ohio (AP) – Police say a pastor who was reported missing from his home in upstate New York has been found at an Ohio strip club.

A police officer patrolling the K.C. Lounge parking lot Friday morning in the Dayton suburb of Riverside spotted out-of-state license plates on 46-year-old Craig Rhodenizer’s car.

The FBI and New York authorities had been searching for Rhodenizer, who disappeared Wednesday after telling his wife he was getting his computer fixed at Best Buy. He is the pastor of a church in Lyndonville, N.Y.

Detective Matt Sturgeon said Rhodenizer was disoriented when confronted by police and said he felt “emotionally guilty.”

Information from: Dayton Daily News, http://www.daytondailynews.com

©2008 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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From reader Michele:

http://www.politico.com/

Religion not new to American politics
By: Andrew Glass
March 24, 2008 05:20 PM EST

Divisive preachers are nothing new in the annals of American politics. From time to time, they have upended presidential contests and bedeviled presidents. Two examples come to mind in tandem with the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Barack Obama’s longtime mentor.

They are the Rev. Samuel Burchard (1812-1891), whose slur “Rum, Romanism and Rebellion,” uttered two weeks before the 1884 presidential election, likely cost the Republicans the presidency, and Charles Coughlin (1891-1979), a Catholic priest and anti-Semite whose weekly radio broadcasts reached tens of millions of Americans in the 1930s.

In 1884, many people, including James Blaine, the Republican candidate, attributed his defeat to Burchard’s alliterative rant against the Democrats. Blaine was present at the rally, and he never disavowed the New York Protestant clergyman’s insulting phrase.

“Rum” meant the “wets,” who opposed prohibition and who recoiled from government-imposed moral codes. “Romanism” meant Catholics, who immigrated in large numbers, particularly from Ireland. “Rebellion” meant Democratic sympathy for the Confederate cause, still an issue at a time when Civil War wounds had yet to heal.

From 1860 to 1912, the Republicans held a virtual lock on the White House. It appeared that Blaine — a former House speaker, a senator from Maine, a two-time secretary of state and the dominant GOP figure of the period — would extend the party’s streak.

Moreover, many newly enfranchised Irish voters were inclined to support Blaine, whose mother was an Irish Catholic. That changed, however, after Burchard hurled his smear. By a mere 1,000 votes, Blaine lost New York — and the election — to New York Gov. Grover Cleveland. (Sex was also a campaign issue: Cleveland had scandalously fathered a child out of wedlock.)

With a tweak or two, Mark Wahlgren Summers’ study of the Cleveland-Blaine contest, “Rum, Romanism and Rebellion: The Making of a President, 1884,” published in 2000, could illuminate today’s opinion pages.

Summers observed: “If in the making of the president, 1884 shows political managers in a new way, coping with grass-roots democracy at its most persnickety and issues raised by those that the political system shortchanged or excluded — women and blacks especially — it has a more disturbing message about Gilded Age politics. For Americans in general, the election demonstrated how far from democratic the political rules had made representative government.”

Fast-forward 54 years to a political rally in the Bronx, where another preacher, Father Coughlin, gave the Nazi salute and said: “When we get through with the Jews in America, they’ll think the treatment they received in Germany was nothing.”

At the time, Jewish homes in Germany were being looted and synagogues were being burned. In 1938, Coughlin’s supporters marched down New York’s Fifth Avenue by the thousands in protest of an asylum bill pending in Congress that would have let more refugees seeking to escape Nazi persecution into the country. “Send Jews back where they came from in leaky boats!” they chanted.

Earlier in the decade, Coughlin had broken with President Franklin D. Roosevelt, whom Coughlin now denounced as a tool of Wall Street and the Jews. FDR, concerned over Coughlin’s role in the 1940 presidential race, dispatched Joseph Kennedy, the father of a future president, to Rome to meet with Cardinal Eugenio Pacelli, the future Pope Pius XII, in an effort to get the Vatican to shut Coughlin down.

Known as the Father of Hate Radio, Coughlin stressed political and economic rather than religious themes. With upward of 40 million devoted listeners, he held real power to skew elections, had not the advent of World War II curbed his influence.

Coughlin finally went off the air in 1940, after an FBI raid found a weapons cache at his Michigan lair, known as the Christian Front. FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover said the Front was planning to murder Jews, communists and “a dozen congressmen.”

Although many prominent Catholics criticized Coughlin, he was never defrocked for his hate mongering and political campaigning, and continued to churn out his virulent screeds until his death.

Andrew Glass is a Politico senior editor.

© 2007 Capitol News Company, LLC

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From reader Shawn:

There is a new rap video featuring Richard Dawkins, Charles Darwin and Eugenie Scott.

Here is the link to see the video (the full lyrics are below):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eaGgpGLxLQw&fmt=18

A high def torrent-version can be found here: http://www.mininova.org/tor/1278276

http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2008/03/if_you_heard_my_voice_you_know.php

Post #119

My name is D to the I to C to the K, Yeah I’m the Dickie D,
I gots my PhD and comin’ your way on the Youtube to bust your world view so just listen to me and
don’t you argue.
You see, this battle’s been ragin’ since Zeus was on the bottle,’tween Science like Democritus and
Faith like Aristotle,
who said the mover was unmovin’ like some magic trick but
that’s no good logic, my posse is far too quick for this
religious sthik.
Cos science is the only way to know y’all, you stand with me y’all, or you can fall y’all
So go ahead and take your pick…
ES: Yeah you tell him Rick …
Darwin : Cos if you don’t know me …
RD: YOU DON’T KNOW DICK!!
Chorus : Yeah he’s the Dick to the Dawk to the PhD,
he’s smarter than you he’s got a science degree!
Yeah he’s the Dick to the Dawk to the PhD,
he’s smarter than you he’s got a science degree!
SH:On the shoulders of midgets we built up this machine,
DD:YEAH!!!
RD: Science silenced that watchdog wingnut Paley
growing stronger and harder almost daily, storming Wilber by force as we framed the discourse that
faith and science are split in schismatic divorce.
Then Darwin took to the seas to see what no one had seen, and ever since then we’ve been
increasingly keen, they may never adore us, but they’ll no longer ignore us,
give it to ‘em PZ hit these BLEEP with the chorus!!!
Chorus : Yeah he’s the Dick to the Dawk to the PhD,
he’s smarter than you he’s got a science degree!
The Dick to the Dawk to the PhD,
he’s still smarter than you he studied biology!

Then there was Darrow dukin’ it out with the straight and the narrow,
a ragin’ bull in the ring, he did his thing, and took it on the chin like he was Bobby De Niro.
We might have lost at Scopes, beaten down by the dopes, and the stooges of popes, but in losin’ we
coped, becomin’ more than we hoped, creationists slipped on the soap of their own slippery slope.
What was impossible, improbable, is now wholly unstoppable untoppleable, the Dick Doc’ll roll up
as you creationists foldup
you haters talkin’ bull,
don’t you know that this Dick is un-cock-frickin’ blockable …
Chorus : Yeah he’s the Dick to the Dawk to the PhD,
he’s smarter than you he’s got a science degree!
The Dick to the Dawk to the PhD,
he’s still smarter than you he studied biology!
Now the machine of our making, sees culture ripe for the taking,
Cos I’m the rappinest, rabidest atheist who unlike the Catholic, Muslim or even the Jew, believes
that no God but science could ever be true, hell if I was dyslexic I’d even hate “dog” too.
Time to open your eyes, get yourself wise, the age of science will rise to be religion’s demise,
and while you churchies all cry, shouting ‘why God oh why,’ I’ll still be popping my collar
earning more dollars than Allah.
Hollah!
Chorus : Yeah he’s the Dick to the Dawk to the PhD,
he’s smarter than you he’s got a science degree
The Dick to the Dawk to the PhD,
he’s still smarter than you he studied biology!
Chorus : Yeah he’s the Dick to the Dawk to the PhD,
he’s smarter than you he’s got a science degree!
The Dick to the Dawk to the PhD,
he’s still smarter than you he studied biology!

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From reader Susan:

Hey Edwin,

I just saw this article and thought you’d find it interesting and very sad.

Praying parents’ other 3 kids removed

By ROBERT IMRIE, Associated Press Writer Fri Mar 28, 7:52 PM ET

WAUSAU, Wis. – The three siblings of a girl who died of diabetes that went untreated as her parents prayed instead of taking her to a doctor have been removed from the home during an investigation, police said Friday.

The parents and social services experts agreed the move would be best for everyone, Everest Metro Police Chief Dan Vergin said. The children are staying with other relatives, though they were not in danger, he said.

“There is no physical evidence of abuse or neglect,” he said.

Madeline Neumann, 11, died Sunday the Weston home of an undiagnosed but treatable form of diabetes as her parents, Dale and Leilani Neumann, prayed for her to get better. Her mother said she never expected her daughter, whom she called Kara, to die.

The family believes in the Bible, which says healing comes from God, Leilani Neumann said.

The children removed from the home range in age from 13 to 16 and are expected to return to their parents once an investigation of the girl’s death wraps up, Vergin said.

He would not specify where they are living, other than with another family member.

Vergin said his agency’s final report will make no recommendations on possible charges against the parents, leaving that up to the district attorney.

“There is no intent. They didn’t want their child to die. They thought what they were doing was the right thing,” he said. “They believed up to the time she stopped breathing she was going to get better. They just thought it was a spiritual attack. They believed if they prayed enough she would get through it.”

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080328/ap_on_re_us/daughter_s_death_prayer

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