Category: Religion


Book Fair – Debacle

thThis is R.I.O.T. (Reading Instead of Television) month at my children’s elementary school.  RIOT month is supposed to encourage children to set aside “screen” time for good ole fashion reading.  This has never been an issue in our house.  We have been doing book time every night since my oldest was 2 years old.  Reading is just a way of life for us.  To be honest, it’s all my wife’s doing.  With that said, one of the rewards for participating in the program is that the children get to fill out slips for each “x” amount of minutes that they read.  They then use those as tickets in a drawing to win books that were donated by the community.  I think you can see the idea…self-reinforcing concept.  I must admit it’s a great program.  But there is an issue that came up recently.  Apparently, someone(s) decided to donate a collection of Christian texts to the school, a public school albeit.  I have my suspicions about the donors intentions.  My wife was extremely annoyed upon discovering that our 6 year old chose a children’s bible when she won the drawing.  Being a volunteer at the school she confronted the individuals about the religious text.  She was assured that it was simply overlooked when they were going through the donations.  I can understand that, if it was the truth.  Turns out, the following week, my wife, in her volunteer capacity was going through the donations and found no less than 5 additional books that were Christian focused.  She promptly pulled them out and will be donating them to a local church.

So what’s the point of this story?  To my surprise, my wife and I had very different reactions to this particular situation.  She was very irritated by it all and was upset that our daughter chose the book she did.  My stance was; despite the obvious attempt by a certain individual or individuals to push their agenda on impressionable children, I am not concerned by her being exposed to different views and ideas.  Was this an example of a violation of the 1st Amendment?  Maybe?  But ultimately my daughter chose the book herself.  She should be allowed to read what interests her.  That’s the difference between the open-mindedness of free thinkers and the narrowed-mindedness of religion.  Ultimately I want my children to be exposed to all kinds of ideas and being grounded in an upbringing that teaches them to be skeptical, rational and scientific, I am highly confident that they will come to truthful and factual conclusions.

On the eve of Charles Darwin’s birthday I want to take a moment and tell you about a movie that never made it into wide circulation in the United States.  The movie is called “Creation”.  I have blogged about the movie before,  mostly to lament my inability to see it.  At the time of its release back in 2009, I would have had to travel 300 miles to view this movie in exactly “1” Manhattan cinema.  Yes I said “1”!  Well surely it must have been a movie that just wouldn’t have had wide appeal with two bit actors and a measly budget.  Not so!!  The movie stars Paul Bettany and Jennifer Connelly.  Their movie credits include such critically acclaimed works as, A Beatiful Mind (Oscar Winning), the DaVinci Code, and The Tourist.  The reason that this movie was kept from America was the “controversy” of its subject; evolution.  What most educated 1st world nations accept as fact, we here in America are still on the fence about.  And apparentlythe last thing we can handle is any form of rational discussion on the topic, something that this movie would have most certainly provided.  It wasn’t until a few weeks ago that I discovered that Netflix had it in their library for ondemand streaming.  Oh joy!!  I normally nod off pretty early in the evening but when I settled down to watch this cinematic work, I was transfixed.  You must see it, if only to honor the man who dared to speak the truth, a truth he could not ignore, a truth that nearly destroyed his life. 

Happy Birthday Chuck!!!!

Book Review–The God Delusion

 

I am currently reading the infamous work of Richard Dawkins that I so often here quotedThe God Delusion [18/11/07 228] in atheist circles.  I am about 3/5 of the way through it and will  be posting my review here in what I hope is several days and not weeks.  So far I must way I am not disappointed in the least.  Although it certainly is heady reading, Dawkins does a great job of using analogies to everyday occurrences and scenarios to explain complicated arguments.  Keep you posted!

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This is a recent interiew with Sam Harris about the ongoing denial of the problems within the Islamic faith.  Take a moment to understand it and absorb what he is saying.  It’s very easy to jump to conclusions about his statements if you don’t listen carefully to everything he is saying.  More honesty like this would go a long way to actually addressing the modern crises that humanity faces.

A chart showing the relationship between weak/...

 

This is really extensive risk-analysis for those who are considering “coming out” about their atheism.  I don’t agree completely with every aspect of the article but in general it is a good intro to the pitfalls of exposing yourself.  Just for the record, I do not hide my Atheism whatsoever.  I do try and refrain from engaging believers in debate but even then sometimes I do find myself engaging those that are more open-minded and less apt to be offended by intellectual banter.  I have on occasion walked into mine fields and through experience and wisdom have become a lot more careful about who I choose to engage on the topic.  It’s important to understand that strong Atheists are still very much in the minority and can be seen as a real threat to some, even just our presence.  Good luck!

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Coming Out to Coworkers & Employers: Should You Reveal Your Atheism at Work or to Employers?

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Christopher Hitchens 

A very worthy read and something that I have been saying for a long time.  If the Vatican is a state, or deems itself as such,  then it should have to pay taxes and be subject to all matters and treatment that nation states receive, good and bad.  So, if you want your diplomatic immunity for your child rapists then we can expel your diplomats (priests and bishops) from U.S. soil.  Or the alternative is to maintain you’re merely a religion and prepare yourself for the hammer of justice.

OFFICIAL Position of the US Department of State – For human rights purposes, the Vatican is not a state.

Why is the Obama administration siding with the Vatican? – By Christopher Hitchens – Slate Magazine

 
 
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Why is the Obama administration siding with the Vatican? – By Christopher Hitchens – Slate MagazineWhy is the Obama administration siding with the Vatican? – By Christopher Hitchens – Slate MagazineWhy is the Obama administration siding with the Vatican? – By Christopher Hitchens – Slate Magazine

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