by Eleanor Goldfield Swede
“US Congress keeps putting blocks on closing Guantanamo,” “UN criticizes Bahrain over toughened 'anti-protest' laws,” “Fukushima drainage has 20,000 tons of water with radioactive substance,” and “Washington Post sold to billionaire Amazon CEO” are just a few of the stories that have slipped under the radar of the American public due to yet another tabloid drama.
The GOP has brought the left/right banter back to the front pages with Committee Chairman Reince Priebus' call for NBC and CNN to cancel a proposed Hillary Clinton program or lose rights to the GOP primary debates. This fiasco highlights two deeply rooted and significant pitfalls of our current system: left/right childish sparring while avoiding key issues, and the corporate control of our “free media” system.
Neither one of these mentions should come as a shock to anyone who isn't tied (or shall I say, shackled) to a party ideology. Those of us who dig deeper than the whipped topping of left/right party politics have become accustomed to this sort of gnawing stalemate, punctuated by the type of periodic back and forth reminiscent of sharing a back seat with your sibling on road trips. This story in particular showcases more blatantly that interesting characteristic of our divided and splintered system: it's more important to find problems in your opponent than to fix problems in your country.
The membership of the Secular Party of America (SPoA) have unanimously voted to hold an interim election for the Office of President.
One atheists’ plea for freedom of religion
“Lest anyone try to convince you that God should be separated from the state; our founding fathers, they were believers, and George Washington, he saw faith in God as basic to life.”Typically in conversations with Christians, when a secularist begins to sound a bit too rational, this old gem seems to crop up sooner or later. The old, “But this country was founded on Christian Principles” or “But the founders of this country were Christians.” The danger with getting into this argument is that it’s circular, and at the end of the discussion, no one thinks any differently than when they began.
One could argue that when people are deciding what is and is not fair, they should first imagine themselves in a minority position. Yes, the majority of Americans (roughly 73%) claim the Christian faith, while the non-religious make up approximately 18-20% of the total U.S. population. With non-religious Americans being the fastest growing “religious” demographic in the country, it’s not hard to imagine a day where they could be in the majority. The question I think Christians should ask themselves is: When that day comes (and I think it will eventually), do they want the non-religious people being able to tell them how they can and cannot worship, live their lives, or act?
On August 1st at 12am Eastern standard time our party, which has been known as the “National Atheist Party” since March of 2011, will undergo a transformation that will help focus us on the journey ahead. Our new designation was overwhelmingly selected by a “supermajority” of the members who voted to change the name to the far more inclusive and politically motivated “Secular Party of America.”
With such a monumental change, there is obviously much to do: new logos, new promos, new merchandise, and a basic revising and updating of our charter to make the change complete and to include the other proposals and wording that also passed the vote. Everything else essentially will stay the same: our motto, our non-profit status as a 527, and all of our planks remain as was written and intended by the Party’s founders. Our goals and mission statement are still focused on secular principles and the will of our membership. We are still YOUR Party and we are looking towards the future. New contacts, new members, new partnerships, increased donations, enlisting and endorsing secular candidates, attending and participating in more conventions and conferences, inspiring more secular speakers, getting our name out there, supporting organizations that share in the vision of true separation of church and state, and so much more. We hope to reach out to more religious-secular organizations and form an understanding that only through a secular government can all Americans truly be free.
Originally posted by kaustubhmathur
Atheism is not a negation of anything. You don’t have to negate what no one can prove exists. No, atheism is a very positive affirmation of man’s ability to think for himself, to do for himself, to find answers to his own problems.We all must be aware of the indubitable co-relation and interdependence between God and religion. If we look at religion in the Utopian, the ideal way of it, then it is merely the path to spiritual enlightenment and liberation in the manifestation of faith with Nirvana as one of the destinations. Now, when we look at religion this way, nothing seems wrong, right?
- Madalyn Murray O’Hair
Maybe religion was a concept, a design, a humble notion, a working model that was devised to make people believe in their own faith. That’s all it seems, in broader terms. People want some kind of faith to cling on to. They need it, rather.
So the guys back then must have thought that,
“Hell yeah, they want a way to express their faith? Let’s give ‘em that. We’ll create this levelheaded thing called Religion which will be like totally cool and all. The lads will not only find a way to express and hang on but will also like, learn about life, you know, in an allegorical way.”But those guys weren’t completely right. Apparently, after centuries, religion is serious stuff. You can’t express your opinion without hurting a pocketful of over sensitive peeps. People think that their religion is the ‘best’ and all other should perish. Religion surely wasn’t created to cater to your ego? Surely the purpose was not to create a divide between people following a different religion?
“All we’ll provide them with is the figurative path, in the form of short stories or poems which will like, guide them and all and give them a way to differentiate between the good and evil.”
Originally posted by DividedUnderGod
For over two years, the National Atheist Party has been a small political party recruiting members from the atheist community through social media, namely Facebook and Twitter. Despite the name of the party and religious affiliation of most of its membership, the NAP’s focus was not aimed at promoting atheism or tearing down religious dogma, as groups like American Atheists and Freedom From Religion Foundation do from time to time. Rather, as a political party, the NAP was more interested in removing religion from US government, fighting the presence of God in the public square, and strengthening the separation of church and state.
Many members of the party have long taken issue with its name, citing that someone’s religious affiliation does not define their politics, so naming a party “atheist" assumes that it represents all atheists, which it may not. It’s no different than forming a National Christian Party and assuming all Christians would have the same political leanings and be compelled to join. It’s presumptive and illogical. And if there’s one thing atheists hate, it’s the absence of logic. On top of that, the name suggests that only atheists are desired or allowed to join, which is untrue. In fact, anyone in favor of a government free from religious influence is encouraged to join.
I'm proud to call myself an Atheist and it will always be my term of choice when describing myself, but at this point we will only become a political powerhouse if we become more inclusive rather than exclusive. By renaming ourselves as the “Secular Party of America,” our uphill war will turn into a coast downhill.
Most Atheists, Agnostics and otherwise unaffiliated with religion (aka the “Nones”) agree that extricating religion from our government should be our number one priority since, as I noted in my last blog, the Religious Right-Tea Party-Corporate alliance has been destructive to the rights of American workers, women and the GLBT community, as well as our children’s education, funding for scientific research, the environment and humane animal treatment, etc.
As much as we have in common with advocates for these issues, however, most will shun being allied with something that sounds so negative to U.S. masses as the “National Atheist Party.”
Following is a summary of some potent “blessings” at our disposal, one by one – provided we vote to change our name of the “Secular Party of America.”
U.S. workers now work more than employees in any other industrialized country. The U.S. also has one of the worst unemployment insurance plans. Many get no paid time off or sick days. Europeans, by contrast get more sick leave, holidays and vacations and better pensions. Studies show this is why, in part, they are happier, have less stress and insecurity and live longer than Americans.
Europeans and Americans once put in comparable hours until about 30 years ago. While left-leaning groups in Europe pushed for employee rights, right-leaning groups in the U.S. shifted power from employees and unions to corporations. The gap between rich and poor, by which we once judged the stability of “third-world” nations, is now higher in the U.S. than any other developed country.
Wait – What just happened? A roundup of the week in news, June 23, 2013
By looking the GOP’s way of course!
By now, you’ve probably heard that the Republican dominated House of Representatives passed the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, banning abortions after 20 weeks, again hacking away at Roe v Wade which holds that states can ban abortions after a fetus is capable of surviving outside of the womb, a point that varies but was defined by the Supreme Court in 1992 as being at “23 to 24 weeks.”
But is that really enough? Not for Representative Michael Burgess (R-TX) who, himself, claims to have seen male fetuses begin masturbating in the womb around 15 weeks into a pregnancy.
Burgess is an expert on intra-uterine masturbation because, scarily enough, this man used to be an OB/GYN and is also a leading member of a House subcommittee focused on public health and biomedical issues. According to Burgess, it’s because “they stroke their face. If they’re a male baby, they may have their hand between their legs. If they feel pleasure, why is it so hard to think that they could feel pain?"
Need to see it to believe it? Watch his testimony here.
While we’re on the topic of the unborn spanking their monkeys, why not move on to adults “Spanking for Jesus”
Branding ourselves as the opposition
The last blog in this four-part series centered on why the word “Atheist” lugs with it a plethora of negative stereotypes. In this blog, I focus on one of the most politically debilitating – that all Atheists are against religion and other inexplicable phenomena.
Although the word “Atheist” merely means “without god,” the culturally entrenched stereotype that we want to do away with all religion and other supernatural claims will probably outlive the youngest of Atheist activists. For this reason, by naming ourselves as the opposition, we are jumping with “both feet” into a “trap deliberately set for us,” says Sam Harris in his revelational “Dangers” of “Atheism” YouTube talk.
The bill still needs to be passed by the appointed upper house and signed into law by President Vladimir Putin. Due to the bill’s unanimous approval by lawmakers and Putin’s well known stance on the need to maintain a traditional culture in Russia, there is no doubt that the bill will go through. Just this past year after France legalized gay marriage, Putin made moves to have Russia ban the adoption of Russian children to gay couples. This bill is receiving large support not only from lawmakers but also the general population as well.
A recent poll revealed nearly half of Russians believe that the LGBT community does not deserve the same rights as heterosexuals in Russia.
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