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I posted this picture several years ago but today is an important day to remember it. The man picture above was Pat Tillman, today marks ten years since his unfortunate passing. Pat Tillman was a man that played for the Arizona Cardinals in the NFL and stepped away from an extremely lucrative contract in order to become an Army Ranger and assist in Afghanistan. Among the many things that Pat was known for was his open and outspoken Atheism. Sadly this man’s life was cut short in Afghanistan and the official reason was stated to be “friendly fire”. He was killed well not engaged with the enemy at all but “accidentally”, as the story goes, by one of his own. Of course this story has sparked many questions and also spawned many conspiracy theories, some being more outlandish than the others, but one that has often come up is that it may have been due to his outspoken non-belief. This hero, this warrior, walked away from a life most of us could never dream of to bravely serve when he felt he was called to do so and in the end he may have paid the ultimate price not in battle, but simply because of who he really was. Gone but not forgotten - Pat Tillman 11/6/76 - 4/22/04
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I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve run in to this exact same sentiment.
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Atheist Mingle - “At Atheist Mingle we understand how difficult it can be to find someone who shares the same bitterness you do about religion, ignorant people, and the world in general…”
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Anonymous asked: Regarding the quote, people with cancer don't choose to have cancer. But people choose to have religions so I feel like it's entirely different. It's not their fault that cancer patients have cancer but religious people don't have an excuse. Because it definitely is a choice.
It all depends on the situation. I think the amount of people that make a conscious choice in relation to their beliefs or religion is minimal. The most common way religion is passed on is through indoctrination, forcing it upon a child before they have the comprehension skills to really process what they are being given. Honest belief isn’t really a matter of simple choice for most people as it is. I couldn’t suddenly just make the choice to believe in god, at least not in any genuine way. The same really has to be said for giving up religion, giving it up is by far a much easier path in my view but it is still something that has to be built to. Most people don’t snap from being a believer one moment to a flat out Atheist the next, the transition often takes people years.
I have said many times in the past that when we boil it down religious people are the victims of religion. Religious people are the first victims of their own religion. This often spread and infects in to other areas of their life, voting in line with their religion, evangelizing to friends and neighbors (or worse, strangers), distancing themselves from non-believers or even other denominations and religions, insulting themselves in an echo chamber of reassurance on their beliefs. Even if it doesn’t cause them to do vile acts it still causes them to sell out their intellectual integrity and believe things that no person could possibly genuinely believe if it wasn’t for religion. It is harder to maintain sympathy for these victims though because they do have the power to break the chains, they hold the key to free themselves from this imposition, yet most are too afraid. I often feel a wide range of emotions when I sit and seriously reflect upon the nature of a religious mind but perhaps the one that hits me the most is simple pity.
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New American Atheist billboard campaign attacking the non-helpful response of most religious individuals to natural disasters. People need real help, not your bullshit. Read more about the campaign here.
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