Know your enemy

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by TexasSky, Sep 6, 2005.

  1. TexasSky

    TexasSky
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    I upset people in another thread when I spoke very harshly against the American Athiest organization.

    It made me realize that many Christians must know very little about this group. Understand, it is NOT this group's intention to "endorse freedom of relgion by prohibiting prayer in school." It is to wipe out faith in America.

    From a speech by their current President, Ellen Johnson, in which she listed the goals of the organization: (Read this carefully people. They are talking about the Young Christian Ahtletes, the Bible Studies, the son or daughter who invites a friend to church, the WWJD braceletts.)

    "One of the founding principles of the American Revolution was the disestablishment of churches."

    We call for an end to harassment and other violations of our rights in the public schools. Too often we hear in the media exaggerated and unsubstantiated claims that, somehow, religious speech is being throttled. The problem which is often ignored, though, involves "prayer bullying" and other forms of coercive religious proselytizing--sometimes by students, sometimes by teachers and administrators. Our public schools must not be allowed to become churches and recruiting grounds for religious groups. They are and must remain centers for secular and enlightened education.

    "We also call for an immediate end to the use of government money to aid religious groups, whether it is under the guise of operating faith-based social programs, or repairing dilapidated houses of worship, tax dollars for vouchers for religious schools or some other ruse.

    We also are taking a stand against government aid to religion in the form of vouchers and other financial assistance to religion-based schools. Since religious parents aren't taking enough children into the churches for indoctrination, the churches must get to them where they are, which is in the schools, and it needs the help of the government to do that.

    We are also critical of the policy of the Boy Scouts of America to exclude Atheists and gays. Everyone knows that they exclude gays, but we are here to remind you that they also exclude Atheists. Restricting membership in an organization to something that is relevant to the mission of that organization is justifiable, but there is no logic to excluding Atheists or gays, except the illogic of bigotry. Discrimination on the basis of religion is wrong, even for "private" groups.
    (REMINDER FROM Texas Sky - The Boy Scouts were founded as a Christian organization).

    We nonbelievers love to debate; we love to quote the Bible or the Koran; we love to argue over the nuances of creationism and evolution, but I think it is time to begin shifting the focus a bit. Don't get me wrong; these sorts of debates and intellectual face-offs are important. We do need to be "philosophically active." But we aren't going to get our civil rights by trying to "convert" the religious to our point of view. We aren't going to get our civil rights by trying to make Christians or the Pope or some other religious figure "like us." Unless and until you turn you life and mind over to Jesus Christ, they aren't going to like you. They want complete submission, and we cannot give them that. One of the things Atheists or other groups often do when they get organized is go down that road of trying to win a popularity contest. They organize blood drives, or volunteer to be on a telethon, or pick up trash along a highway in hopes of winning community recognition.

    I look at the American Religious Identification Survey which tells us that over 14% of the American population has "no religion." That's 30 million people. It includes Atheists and Freethinkers and Humanists and a lot of other individuals who simply have no need for religion in their lives. They are "irreligious." Do you know what I see there? I see a voting block. I see millions of potential allies who already don't need to be "converted." I see a group of people who are numerically larger than all of the individual Protestant denominations, more numerous than Jews and Muslims and Methodists and Baptists. Am I right? Which leads me to this; it's time for us to stop asking religious people for permission--permission to obtain our civil rights, permission to defend the First Amendment, permission to speak out! I can't tell you how many times I have been told by an attorney or advocacy group that when it comes to getting involved in the legal system and challenging some egregious abuse of state-church separation, they don't want an Atheist involved.They tell me, "let's find a minister" or "let's find a rabbi" to be the plaintiff because we don't want the appearance of being anti-religious. I could not care less whether religious people "like us" or "agree" with us. What I do care about is whether we have the clout, and organizational savvy and political sophistication to make them respect our position as equal players in the governmental process.


    When we took on the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, we found out that that legislation was written and pushed through by a religious organization called the Coalition for Religious Freedom. American Atheists has been working to change that balance of power. In California, in Texas, in Maryland, in New Jersey and other states we've had gotten Atheists and our allies--including some of you here tonight--to walk into these committee hearings and legislative offices and speak out.

    Actually, this march is for ALL Americans. ALL Americans are "Godless Americans," because there is NO GOD. (Thank you Emmett Fields.)

    We are on the move toward organizing ourselves into a viable and influential movement in America.


    We need to copy a page from the religious groups in America. We, too, need to become a well-oiled, well-financed, well-organized political machine. (Hello, all you wealthy Atheists out there! We could use some of your financial support.) My predecessor Jon Murray summed it up perfectly when he said, "We need to learn what Christians know all too well: the value of being a pain in the ass. And that's so true.

    Some "godless Americans" don't want to "criticize" anything about theology because they don't want to offend religious people. Yet, in politics, these very same folks have no problem criticizing Republican or Democratic ideas. But, somehow religious ideas are a protected class of ideas. Well not to me. I don't like theism, just as I don't like racism or sexism and I think the world would be a better place without all of them, and I am not afraid to say so. When it comes to the abuses of religion in America, I do not turn the other cheek. Activism does involve ruffling some feathers. We are going to be hated by some, but I would rather be hated by others than to hate myself for not standing up for what I think is right and not fighting those things that I think are wrong.



    Source: http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0OBW/is_9_41/ai_99492572/pg_5

    [ September 06, 2005, 05:17 PM: Message edited by: TexasSky ]
     
  2. Magnetic Poles

    Magnetic Poles
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    TS, there you go again. No one was upset, they just asked that you stick to facts and that you don't characterise a group based on the action of an individual.

    Like I said, I have no love of American Atheists, and don't want to end up being an apologist for them, but I didn't get the impression anyone was upset with you.
     
  3. TexasSky

    TexasSky
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    Magnetic Poles,

    The criticism was in reference to my comment that you couldn't expect much from a group of people the deny God and kill of their leader. People (you I believe) said it was wrong to catorgize the group as being killers. Yet, the President of their Group says in a speech to the activists in their group, in reference to people of faith I think the world would be a better place without all of them, and I am not afraid to say so.

    The woman is calling for the anileation of Christians.
     
  4. Johnv

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    You did not upset people, at least not me, by being harsh about this organization. Their actions deserve harshness. What you did, however, was state that the organization murdered their own leader. That's not only false, but compromises our own Christian witness. If we're to be credible in witness, we must be correct in our facts.
     
  5. El_Guero

    El_Guero
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    Tex

    I read the first link you posted.

    That woman was hated. And she probably earned that feeling.
     
  6. El_Guero

    El_Guero
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    Brethren,

    While I can understand what Tex was saying, I am at a loss with your words.

    I came away with the feeling that he felt that this woman taught hatred of such a kind that "it came back to haunt her" in the form of one of her practitioners killing her. I know many here in Texas felt her death was a form of poetic justice.
     
  7. LorrieGrace

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    TS, (((((((((HUGS)))))))))
     

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