Even Atheists Get No Respect!

It’s no wonder evangelical atheists need to shout so loud
by Barry Cooper
Calgary Herald (Canada), August 27, 2008
p. A16 (editorial)

The shining example of free thinking said to characterize the French Enlightenment was Voltaire. In the face of dogmatic clerics, both Protestant and Catholic, he urged reasonable people everywhere to “crush the infamous thing.”

His argument was as obvious then as it is today: organized religion not only divides humanity into believers and infidels, it authorizes the former, with a beatific smile, to extinguish the latter. Often religion claims to be doing so for the good of the infidel.

That Voltaire had Christianity in mind is indicated by a rather more vulgar expression from his pen: “the people will not be free until the last king is strangled in the guts of the last priest.”

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Seattle Atheist Buys Billboard Space

Touting freedom of “no religion”
by Janet I. Tu (Seattle Times religion reporter)
Seattle Times, August 27, 2008
p. B1

A Redmond man paid for the sign in Seattle to get people thinking. It’s drawn support here, unlike similar signs in other cities.

Putting up a billboard saying “Imagine No Religion” at the base of Capitol Hill, in the heart of not too-churchgoing Seattle, is a bit like preaching to the choir. So to speak.

Mike Christensen knows this. But he’s OK with it.

When he paid for the sign about a month ago in support of the Freedom From Religion Foundation, his goal never was to change people’s minds. It was to get people thinking and talking. And maybe, just maybe, get a few more members for the foundation, which fights for the separation of church and state. Mission accomplished. The 14-foot-by-48-foot billboard, on Denny Way near Stewart Street, has brought in five new members and about 20 prospective ones, according to the Wisconsin-based Freedom From Religion Foundation: www.ffrf.org foundation.

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Pileated Woodpeckers Invade Backyard!

Earlier this summer my wife and I were treated to the sight of these two young male pileated woodpeckers circling the base of a tree in our backyard. We watched for about 15 minutes as they circled back and forth with an occasional display of outstretched wings!  We’ve now seen the six species of woodpeckers in our part of the country: hairy, downy, red-belly, yellow-shafted flicker, yellow belly sapsucker, and these pileated youngsters.

Two Young Male Pileated Woodpeckers

Florida Teacher Blends Bad Science With Ridicule

Once again the New York Times publishes a hit piece on creation and the faith of Christian students.  This time, they enlist the aid of Florida high school biology teacher, David Campbell.   Campbell reveals his bigotry in the closing comments:

“ We also failed to include astrology, alchemy and the concept of the moon being made of green cheese,” he said. “ Because those aren’t science, either.”


Science teachers’ methods evolve to not drive off faithful students
by Amy Harmon (New York Times)
Charlotte Observer, August 24, 2008
p. 12A

David Campbell switched on the overhead projector and wrote “ Evolution” in the rectangle of light on the screen.

He scanned the faces of the sophomores in his Biology I class. Many of them, he knew from years of teaching high school in this Jacksonville suburb, had been raised to take the biblical creation story as truth. His gaze rested for a moment on Bryce Haas, a football player who attended the 6 a. m. prayer meetings of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes in the school gymnasium.

In February, the state Department of Education modified its standards to explicitly require, for the first time, public schools to teach evolution, calling it “ the organizing principle of life science.” Spurred in part by legal rulings against districts seeking to favor religious versions of natural history, over a dozen other states have also given more emphasis in recent years to what has long been the scientific consensus: that all of the diverse life forms on Earth descended from a common ancestor, through a process of mutation and natural selection, over billions of years.

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Rev Michael Dowd Preaches ‘There Is No God But Evolution’

Science and religion can go hand in hand
by Renee K. Gadoua (Religion News Service)
Leader-Post (Canada), August 23, 2008
p. G7

The Rev. Michael Dowd’s Dodge Sprinter van bears an image of kissing fish. The fish, labelled “Darwin” and “Jesus,” reflect his belief that evolution is sacred and that science and religion go hand in hand.

“I’m not into reconciling science and religion,” said Dowd, 49, a former believer in creationism. “If evolution doesn’t wholly jazz someone religiously, they should continue to reject evolution.”

Dowd, a pastor in the United Church of Christ, is the author of the new book, Thank God for Evolution: How the Marriage of Science and Religion Will Transform Your World.

Since 2002, he and his wife, Connie Barlow, an atheist and a science writer, have lived on the road, sharing their perspective that an understanding of evolution strengthens, rather than undermines, faith.

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