Thoughts for Atheists at Graduation.

Good evening sinners.

At High School graduations throughout our country, it is customary for older people to tell younger people what the older people were told by older people, who are now probably dead people, at their own High School baccalaureates and graduations. This is usually some sad, emotional, and boring commentary on how the world and the future is yours, how you are the future, that we are leaving it to you, and that the speaker’s generation messed up the world, but the future if still full of limitless possibilities, and that it is up to you to straighten it all out for the generations to come, and that with hard work, faith, and god’s help it can all be done. There, I have just summarized every known High School graduation speech. When you are old you can tell the same rubbish to a new generation of bright eyed graduates ready to go forth into the world to breed, grow old, and die.

The problem with all of these far too long and whining baccalaureate and graduation speeches, or sermons, is that they usually call for more of what has caused the problems complained of. The baccalaureate talks are the worst. That is where educated adults, who should know better, pray to invisible imaginary friends for wished-for things that never happen.

What is wonderful and different tonight is that this is an Atheist Baccalaureate. And it may be the first such in the history of the United States. So you will go down in history. Some will say you will go to in Hell.

As Atheists, you know that the world is not run by magic and magical thinking. Atheists do not bring up their children in a land of make believe.

We have tried to teach you the principals of reason, critical thinking, logical fallacy, ethical behavior, and the methods of science and evidence. We want you to know that there is a big difference between Righteousness and Self-Righteousness.

We want you to know and understand the difference between belief and proof; between faith and fact. We want you to know that you are part of a great historic tradition of bringing light unto darkness; that there is a difference between that which is ethical and that which is expedient; a difference between being truly moral and being a follower of religious rules. We want you to know that science is based on facts, not on fairy tales. That evolution is a fact and that “Creationism” is a fairy tale. That there is a difference between coincidence and causation. A difference between potential and actual. That an egg is not a chicken and that an acorn is not an oak tree.

At this rite of passage, we want you, our children who are our future, to understand that what happens to each of us and to our world is based on cause and effect—not on faith and miracles. We want you to know that behavior has consequences. If you run on a wet trail you can slip and be hurt. If you let fools be your rulers, you will be ruled by fools.

We want you to live—not for life after death, but for life before death. We all share the mystery of having been born human. As humans, we are many races, many nations, and many religions. We can learn to live together or we can destroy ourselves. No god is going to save us. We must save ourselves.

For your own safety’s sake, we have tried to help you learn to distinguish between logic and fallacy; between science and superstition; between real and pretend; between the wonder of discovery and magical thinking. We want you to know the difference between doing and dogma; between imagination and mythology. And we want you to understand that learning never ends. We want you to know, as many do not, that life does not stop with High School graduation. None of us know the limits of what you may yet learn and what you may yet become. There will also be some pain and some disappointments. It is all part of the deal. We did not make the rules.

Most importantly, we want to help you, our children who are now young adults, to be competent. You will be competent when you can survive, thrive, create, empathize, and interact justly with others, free of pain, fear, and guilt—without gods, without religion, and without us. If you can achieve, as we know you can, self-reliant adulthood, you will not need the gods or the religion, and you will not miss them. If we have done it right, you will not need us either. But perhaps you will miss us.

There is one thing we want. We want you, and your children, and your children’s children, to be able to live in a world where it is okay not to believe in god. To do otherwise is to defile the graves of our martyrs.

May your future be better than your past, and may that measure of peace, justice, harmony and understanding denied religion and its deities be attained by you as mortals through the use of your minds, and may reason, science, curiosity, and discovery replace the fear, the guilt, the pain, and the ignorance of trembling in terror before capricious gods.

by Edwin Kagin

Trinity Square Perpetual Embryo Care














Letter to Legislators (as Proposed by Edwin) on “Student Expression of Religious Viewpoints” Bill

Dear (insert title and name),

I cannot tell you how delighted we were to learn of the STUDENT EXPRESSION OF RELIGIOUS VIEWPOINTS bill now under consideration by the __________ (fill in the state) legislature. Let me tell you why.

For some years now there has existed in the State of _________ a “by invitation only” highly secret society composed of students in the public schools who are within the top 1% of the student population as measured by intelligence and school achievement. We are fully aware that none of our members are in the ________ legislature. This is as expected. As would also be expected, persons of the required intelligence and achievement level necessary for membership in our society (which must remain unnamed) universally reject the primitive mythology of the Christian religion.

The proposed bill will permit these splendid and brilliant young people, in the words of the new law, to “express their beliefs about religion in homework, artwork, and other written and oral assignments free from discrimination based on the religious content of their submissions.” Further, this remarkable piece of legislation will protect the expression of “the student’s perspective on purpose, achievement, life, school, graduation, and looking forward to the future.”

Thank you from all of us. We support and praise this legislation that we had doubted would ever even be proposed, much less passed. Already, some of our members and alumni are preparing discussion topics and graduation speeches in reliance upon this outstanding law. Overwhelmingly, you can expect to hear from our members as they speak and produce art from positions of leadership and achievement within their respective schools. Here are just a few of their topics:

“Masturbation Techniques for Boys Not Dating Catholic girls.”
“The Flying Spaghetti Monster–The Twin Meatballs of his Pastafarian Noodleness.”
“Clitoral Resection as a Means to Female Holiness.”
“Burkas for Men–A Plea for Gender Equality.”
“Homoeroticism and Gratification thru Sexual Pain in the Cinematography of Mel Gibson.”
“Free Love and Eroticism in Primates as a Model for Teenage Sexuality.”
“Religious Crime as a Viable Career Option.”
“In Praise of Pedophilia within a Celibate Priesthood.”
“Cannibalism and Child Sacrifice as Foundational Sacraments of Christian Perversions.”

These few samples represent only a few of the less controversial topics we can look forward to in our schools once your protective legislation has been passed into law.

Now, if you would only reconsider the age of consent. Just joking.

Thank you.


Edwin Kagin © 2012

On Public Prayer


The family that prays together stays together.  Religious putdown of the families of non-believers.


Prayer is the means whereby humans communicate with the supernatural deity or deities in whom they believe.  Most religions accept uncritically the reality of beings who exist outside the laws of nature and who can, upon appropriate application, alter those laws for the benefit of the believer.  One makes supplication to the god of choice by silent or vocal praise and the lodging of requests for divine intervention.  This practice is known as “prayer.”

Christianity is the dominant religion of the United States.  It is mythically based on the life and teaching of Jesus, the deity made man.  Fundamentalists believe every word of the Bible (the sacred texts) to be the word of God.  Here’s what God, through Jesus (also God), said about prayer: “And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men.  Verily I say unto you they have their reward.  But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.”  Jesus Christ, Matthew 6:5-6 King James Version in a stolen Gideon Bible.  We need not bother with the more recent translations.  If the King James Version was good enough for the Apostle Paul, it’s good enough for us.

What we have here is the Son of God, the Messiah, the Savior of the World, God Incarnate, the Light of the World giving definitive, authoritative, and unimpeachable information on how to pray if the person praying wants God to pay attention.  Preempting all contrary mandates, the one God has given his orders on prayer to all people for all times until the end of the world.  The instructions are strict and inflexible.  There are no exceptions.  When one prays he should go into his closet and shut the door.

This command of the deity on earth in human form was given publicly in the “Sermon on the Mount,” wherein the Christ conveyed the will of the Father.  The Lamb of God went on to dictate into the record an example of how to pray:  “Our Father which art in heaven,” etc.  (How Jesus was God and discussed the will of his father, who was also God in heaven must wait for a future consideration of the mythology of the “Holy Trinity.”)  This is known as “The Lord’s Prayer.”  When one prays it, or any other prayer, one has to do so behind closed doors in one’s closet, not publicly.  The “Lord’s Prayer” was not openly prayed by Jesus, but was taught to be repeated only in private.  When Jesus prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane, before being crucified, he prayed privately.  He probably didn’t have a closet.  While hanging on the cross, he prayed with others about, but he really couldn’t, under the circumstances, be expected to deliver these final prayers elsewhere.  Thus, prayers are to be given from behind closed doors unless you are alone in the mountains or trussed up for execution.  In fairness, the orders probably leave room for any silent or quiet prayer that is not rendered in public.  All public prayers are forbidden and are a deliberate disobedience to the will of god.

The Son of Man not only set out the rules for prayer and other matters in the sermon on the mountain but concluded with a warning of the dire consequences of disobedience:  “And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: and the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.”

Matthew 7:26-27.

So there it is.  Our world is coming unglued and we suffer crime, violence, and war because of public prayer.  The more out of the closet prayer, the more awful things get.  Those who yell loudest that the Bible is the inerrant word of God are the worst offenders.  The more they argue that we must return to the Bible, the more they blasphemously engage in uncloseted prayer.  They doom us by their forbidden entreaties to the Almighty whose commands they flout.  Nowhere is the influence of Satan clearer seen.  Satan has deceived the faithful to engage in prayer meetings, prayer breakfasts, and all manner of condemned celestial communications reaching into the very foundations of government.  Heaven help us, there are even those who advocate publicly praying in our schools as a solution to the problems directly created by that very disobedience to ultimate authority.  There are prayers on radio and on television, in churches, in homes and in auditoriums.  The more we publicly pray, the more we become the most violent and crime-invested nation on earth.  Is this our American heritage, our family values?  Why do we deliberately disobey God?  The American civil war was conducted by armies who publicly prayed and believed god supported their cause and was on their side.  Lincoln observed that “both sides may be, and one must be, wrong.”

Humanists who wrote our Constitution tried to prevent the problem.  God is not mentioned in the Constitution, and church and state are separated in the Bill of Rights.  This is probably all that has kept Satan from totally leading us to destruction.  Our greatness comes from humanists, our problems from the folly of those who advocate and practice public prayer.

It is all so simple.  A believer is not permitted to disregard a direct order from the deity without consequences.  Better to be a non-believer than one condemned under one’s own rules.  Examples that impious prayer doesn’t work are legion.  Every fundamentalist bigot in the country publicly prayed that Mr. Obama not be elected president of the United States.  The prayers failed.  God is not mocked.

So if you must be a believer, get it right.  Read your Bible.  Do you think Jesus was wrong?  Obey your God.  Stop all forms of public prayer.  It’s hard to stand on your feet when you’re on your knees.

And don’t naively assume your daughter has religion when she comes home with a Gideon Bible in her suitcase.


Edwin Kagin (c)


Onward Christian Crazies


(May be sung to the tune of “Onward Christian Soldiers”)

Onward Christian Crazies we must not delay
We must conquer freedom, things must be our way.
Our one true religion makes the money flow
From our god in Heaven down to us below.

Onward Christian Crazies come and help us win
Wrong belief must be unlawful, disagreement sin.

In our Christian Nation, prayer and faith will rule
As the “Ten Commandments” is made our working tool.
Disbelief must be illegal, our new laws will state
And the truths of Jesus we will legislate.

Onward Christian Crazies come and help us win
Wrong belief must be unlawful, disagreement sin.

We are fierce crusaders, vicious army ants
We will lead this nation with religious rants;
We are in agreement that holy we will be
When our sinful people start praying to stay free.

Onward Christian Crazies come and help us win
Wrong belief must be unlawful, disagreement sin.

We await the Rapture to lift us to the skies
Destroying all who mock us with their evil lies
For we know for certain truth is absolute
And we will not tolerate any more dispute.

Onward Christian Crazies come and help us win
Wrong belief must be unlawful, disagreement sin.

We must make the Congress religion consecrate
Replace bad secular science with miracles and hate.
We are getting ready, faith and prayer must rule
And the Ten Commandments will be our Golden Rule.

Onward Christian Crazies come and help us win
Wrong belief must be unlawful, disagreement sin.

We must make the judges change all evil laws
And make the constitution agreeable to our cause;
Choice of birth and dying will be controlled by we
Nothing now can stop us; victory we can see.

Onward Christian Crazies come and help us win
Wrong belief must be unlawful, disagreement sin.

Edwin Kagin © 2012.

Homeland Security Simplified Census Form


(Created in conformity with the Paperwork Reduction and Simplification of Reading, Thoughts, and Options Act)

Name: _________________

Address: _________________

Church: _________________




Signed (Mark): ___________________

Date: _____________________

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

A representative of the Faith Based Fairness for All Alliance will pick up this form.

Filling out the census form is mandatory (required).

created by Edwin Kagin per directive of 2012.

My Struggle with Belief

Submitted by august on Tue, 2006-04-04 11:25.
This article originally appeared as part of SSA eNews No. 10 – My Struggle with Disbelief, Part 2.
This article was written by Edwin Kagin, legal director for American Atheists. He responded to the prompt: Tell us about your struggles with disbelief.
Dear Editors,
A far better title would be “My Struggle with Belief.” “Disbelief” is not really the right word for the topic you presented. Quit being cute. Disbelief in what? You editors are really asking why the respondent doesn’t believe in god, aren’t you now? “Disbelief” is refusal to believe or absence of belief. Like such is somehow a bad thing or something.
Now here’s the way it is. I, just like you and everyone else who has ever lived, was born an Atheist. The problems come from all of the god stuff that is poured into small heads, like mine and yours, by using punishment and rewards to make little children believe nonsense that is not true. Amazingly, kids grow up believing in the god or gods of their fathers (and mothers—we must not let political correctness fall down a person hole). Thus, children in Albuquerque or Kalamazoo, or even Saskatoon, believe in Jesus, not Brahma or Oden. And it is unlikely that a child in Katmandu would grow up believing in Jesus.
The issue put should be, “My Struggle with Belief.”
The best reason not to believe in a god, or gods, is because there is no reason to believe in a god or gods. Belief is the disease. Information and critical thinking (like kids get at Camp Quest) are the antidotes.
I believe in lots of things. More or less. I believe this computer is not going to blow up this afternoon and take out half a block with me at the epicenter. I believe that my beloved Helen will not stab me with a large knife while I am composing this. And so on. But these beliefs are based on information and past experiences. There are good reasons to believe them, and one could become very anxious, or psychotic, if one did not have certain operational beliefs such as these. Of course some believers are very anxious, or psychotic, but that requires a different analysis.
Sadly, a child unfortunate enough to be infected with religion is taught to believe the world operates in ways other than it does. Magical ways. And this leads to messed up kids. An innocent little person is shamelessly lied to about Santa Clause, about where babies come from, about why there are people, and about why Grandma is so still in her coffin. Thus they are conditioned to acid beliefs that score their minds. Fortunately, it is a condition from which recovery is possible. People can get over it.
My father was a Presbyterian minister. I know all about the bible and the god stuff because of twelve years of perfect Sunday School attendance. I don’t believe in it because of twelve years of perfect Sunday School attendance.
I struggled with belief and I won.
Yes, people can get out of the hole of belief.
But the first thing they have to do is to stop digging.
This article originally appeared as part of SSA eNews No. 10 – My Struggle with Disbelief, Part 2.

Home Do Not Change

(May be sung to the tune of “Home on the Range”)

Oh, I want my home
Safe from where bigots roam
Where fanatics are all kept at bay
From courthouse and school
So no pious fool
Can control what I think or I say.

Home, home do not change
Don’t let freedom be taken away
From courthouse and school
Let no pious fool
Control what I think or I say.

Some folks think it strange
When they can’t rearrange
Me, and I can’t get it quite right
To do things their way
And behave as they say
I just want them out of my sight.

Home, home do not change
Don’t let freedom be taken away
From courthouse and school
Let no pious fool
Control what I think or I say.

I want to stay where
I can breathe freedom’s air
Safe from the righteous deceived
No invisible friends
No new life when life ends
Far away from pretend things believed.
Home, home do not change
Don’t let freedom be taken away
From courthouse and school
Let no pious fool
Control what I think or I say.

My home is my place
If they get in my face
Trying to make me believe
As they want me to do
Telling me what is true
I can just make them all leave.

Home, home do not change
Don’t let freedom be taken away
From courthouse and school
Let no pious fool
Control what I think or I say.

© Edwin Kagin.
Permission given to non-commercially reproduce, so long as credit is given.
If you make money on it, I want some of it.