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David Silverman on the O’Reilly Factor last night. It really looks like O’Reilly just wants to take a swing at Silverman. I think David did a good job of trying to have a real discussion despite O’Reilly being his usual idiotic self.
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“ATHEISM IS PATRIOTIC - ATHEISTS.ORG”
The American Atheists banner that flew over NYC yesterday to celebrate the 4th of July.
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New American Atheist billboard campaign in New York targeting Muslims and Jews. You can read more about it here.
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I have had a few people ask me about my thoughts on the topic. I have talked quite a lot about it on twitter with random people who mostly oppose the American Atheist group bringing about the law suit. It seems a fairly large number of Atheists are upset about them bringing about the suit as well and feel they shouldn’t touch the topic. For anyone that may be unfamiliar with it (even though it’s been all over the news) you can check out this article: Atheists Sue to Block Display of Cross-Shaped Beam in 9/11 Museum To sum it up simply they want to move a “cross” that was found at ground zero to that National September 11th Memorial and Museum.
There are a few ways that people can look at this topic but generally I oppose this being placed into the museum and am glad that American Atheists are standing up against it. If you look it and accept it to be a symbol of Christianity it is a clear cut case of religion encroaching in to where it doesn’t belong. The symbol was previously displayed at a Catholic church. It has been “blessed” by several holy men. It has been adopted by Christianity and used as a symbol for their purposes.
There was one estimate I saw saying that over 1,000 of the victims of that day were not Christian. That is an extremely large portion of the victims and it would be an insult to them to display a symbol of a particular faith that is not theirs. It it not about “discriminating against Christians” it’s about not allowing them unequaled representation. It’s about not recognizing one faith over any others or giving one faith special prominence. It is about making sure it is fair to everyone and the only way to do that is to entirely leave the subject of religion out of it.
There are a lot of people looking at it from the view point that it was just another piece of rubble and that’s why it should be in the museum. If that is the case it is a more realistic view point but why chose this one particular piece? There are thousands and thousands of pieces of rubble and debris from the building why would we want to chose this one particular piece that has been hijacked by the religious factions of our country? Take a piece that does not have the ties that it does and that will not polarize people in the way that “blessed cross” would.
There are also many people that take completely unrealistic views to the whole thing that aren’t worth responding to. “Not having a cross there is offensive to Christians.” “If Atheists don’t even believe in God why do they even care.” (Because we want to maintain a secular society, obviously, not surprising that subtle yet important point would be lost on people.) “Atheists just hate America.” Many other ridiculously stupid statements that aren’t worth responding to.
The point comes down to this, it has been used as a Christian symbol. As a Christian symbol it should not be put into a national monument that is meant to be enjoyed by all people of all faiths and no faith. There are many other pieces that could be entered in its place so if you just want a piece of rubble from the aftermath there are thousands of alternative options. The only reason someone would insist it being this piece is because of the fact that it is a cross. The fact that they see it in that way is specifically the reason it should not be put in a public place. Feel free to bless it, keep it at church, hang Christmas lights from it, nail a little plastic Jesus to it, whatever you want in the religious setting, just keep your religious garbage out of the public square.
Religion is one of the leading factors in why the attacks took place on Sept. 11th. Atheists are one of the only groups in America right now willing to put themselves out there and force the country to remain secular the way it should be. If we allow religion to start encroaching once again into areas it doesn’t belong who knows how long it will be before we start hearing “holy war” thrown around again in realistic conversations. This just isn’t the right place for it, this isn’t the right piece, however you look at it, just keep it out.
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American Atheist Rapture Party! The most fun you can have without being blinked out of existence!
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Great new American Atheist billboard, you can see an interesting video of David Silverman discussing this billboard on Bill O’Reilly here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3XEgkViLbTk&feature=sub
O’Reilly make me laugh sometimes. I don’t understand how tides work! God did it!