When courts rule on religion: 6-23-09
Don't forget Orthodoxy: 6-25-09

Another anti-terrorism move?: 6-24-09

As you know, most of the 9/11 hijackers came from Saudi Arabia, which also was the home of Osama bin Laden.

Abdullah

So the Saudis have a lot to answer for when it comes to violent religious fanatics.

Since 9/11, the kingdom crowned a new king -- the man who, when I met him in Saudi Arabia in 2002 still was Crown Prince Abdullah (pictured here in a photo from Arab News). He just celebrated his fourth year on the throne, and he said some things to his citizens on that occasion that I found intriguing.

"What pains you pains me," he told them.

Clearly it was an effort to make the head of a historically oppressive regime, the House of Saud, seem more human, more approachable, more sympathetic.

Indeed, as I've noted here before, King Abdullah is recognized in Saudi Arabia as something of a reformer. Now, understand that reform in the kingdom moves at a snail's pace and that Saudi Arabia still refuses to grant its citizens religious freedom. Everyone must be a Muslim there, except for foreigners -- and even they are not allowed to practice their religions in public.

Still, when I left Saudi Arabia seven years ago this month I had a foreboding sense that the kingdom would implode or explode in five to seven years, given all that was working against it. Somehow this king has prevented that, and one way he has done it is by making himself a little more beloved, if you can call any dictator beloved. But dictator isn't quite the right description of Abdullah, whose culture requires him to rule by a process of consultation.

At any rate, what most of us Americans hope for is that he can prevent a new crop of terrorists from emerging from Saudi soil.

* * *

HIGH-LEVEL GAMESMANSHIP?

Pope Benedict XVI and President Barack Obama have scheduled a July 10 meeting at the Vatican after Obama attends the G-8 summit. Hmmmm. G-8 to B-16 sounds less like a presidential itinerary than a bingo game. 

Comments

Will Graham

Bill, those pictures of Obama bowing to the Saudi Arabian "Royalty" was were pitiful.

And the reference to the case holding a teacher responsible for unconstitutionally disparaging student's religious beliefs was very timely yesterday. The Federak Judge wrote a 37 page ruling showing that if the state can not promote religion (establishment) neither can it denigrate it (restrict free exercise).

Brilliant decision.

http://www.ocregister.com/articles/corbett-religion-court-2387684-farnan-selna

Will Graham

By the way, if you read the article about the Corbett decision, and the ruling, the Judge did not take kindly to the teacher also using things like the Flying Spaghetti Monster to make fun of Christina students.

Our thanks to the Master Debater for letting us know about this decision. If any of you know of local students in this postion, don't hesitate to let us know.

memberofKCFreeThinkers.org

I have received some interesting replies to the Faith Section KC Star article Recovering from Religion – http://www.kansascity.com/238/story/1249250.html

Some are very happy there is a group like this to go to. Had been wanting something like this for years: , “I have been looking for something like this for years! Where and when will you be meeting next? I live on the north side of Kansas City, Mo, ( city location withheld for privacy), but am willing to drive south to meet.”

One guy was doubtful he will be able to come. If he did he would have to lie to his family and sneak out. He told me his wife would rather see him at a titty bar, drunk, than to meet with non religious people. He would be divorced – his teenage children would divorce him. I felt bad for him. What do you say to something like this?

Another man I know very well as a customer came in where I work the Saturday the article was out. As I helped him he mentioned his wife read it. After that he seemed indifferent so I let it go.

The next day he came back in for another project and as he was checking out he asked if can talk with me. Great, I thought, here it comes. Boy was I surprised. As we stepped outside he couldn’t wait to get it out. He told me he had been questioning god for quite some time. He was glad I was involved with this since he knew me. He said his wife and he went over the article together and told her he doesn’t believe in god any more and just didn’t know how to tell her. She replied, “Me, too”

Life is funny sometimes.

Peace For the Sake of Goodness Cole

Dolores Lear

Bill:
"So the Saudis have a lot to answer for when it comes to violent religious fanatics."

Me:
So why are we Killing Humans in Iraq? Because of Osama bin Laden killed Humans in the USA?

In the USA we have Religious Killers also. The riot pictures in Iran, remind me of the riots in Selma, and many cities in the USA, including K.C. MO, during the Civil Rights Movement 1960s.

There was damage to businesses, fires, and all kinds of Problems. All people rioting against Government look similar.

We also have Humans that bomb Abortion Clinics and Kill Abortion Doctors, beside all other types of Religious Killings, and Church Burnings.

Now Iran is again in a Government rebellion. This has happened before also, and the USA and Dick Cheney, were involved with the Shah in the 1970s.

So should we let them work out their problems? I do not remember any other country coming to the USA to help with the Civil Rights Movement.

That is what is going on in Iran again. President Obama knows this, and is being put down by many, for not wanting to meddle, like we did in Iran before, and like we have in Iraq.

So there are Killer Humans all over our Planet, and will be until the Planetary Judgment Day Fire, Ruins our Eco System for Life as we Know it.

This is built-in Results, for a Fallen Body Birth Society, that Reproduces Killer Humans. Humans are Living in the Last Days of Life on Earth, as Religion teaches.

All Types of Pollution of our Elements of Life, and Nuclear Bombs on Land and Sea is not the Receipt for Eternal Life on a Home Planet.

Religion also has the Information for High Tech Purebred Male and Female Clone Eternal Physical Life on Earth and in Spaceships, like the Lord God/Us, in our Human Image in Genesis.

Will we ever Know what when Wrong, so that the Purebred Clones started Reproducing Defective Misbred Children?

memberofKCFreeThinkers.org

Below is a response to our KC Star interview - http://www.kansascity.com/238/story/1249250.html
for some of our east coast contacts:

“Very interesting. You're really doing a lot of great stuff out there and I respect that. It's also cool how many of the articles I'm seeing from around the country - including this one - are starting to have a much more positive tone about atheists. Great going.”

Bill, It is a shame it takes so long for countries to become fair. Perhaps if monotheism had never won the role of honorary religion in the Roman Empire things would be different. Believe as we do or we will kill you philosophy was certainly not fair, but effective. Perhaps they should have paid more attention how badly Akhenaton forced his 14th century B. C. E. monotheistic rule over his subjects under the Sun disc god, Aton.

Another fiery monarch reformer, King Josiah, in 7th century B. C. E. tried his version of monotheism– likely to have been copied from the Egyptian Akhenaton. After his death Israel drifted back to polytheism. It took centuries for monotheism to win. Continued

memberofKCFreeThinkers.org

Continued
I believe too many people know too little of religious history to know where their belief in god came from. It came from people. People made up god. It is obvious. Look at your god’s character: anger, love, killing, jealousy – jealousy, that is interesting. Why would the supreme god be jealous? Jealous of what? Surely not other inferior gods. God did mention other gods many times. Just check out the Ten commandments for one. And in Genesis several times.

Exodus 20:1 You shall have no other gods before me.
Exodus 20:2 - For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God,-

3:22 And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever:

Who is us?

I find the following funny. Looks like Adam was the first rat!

Genesis 3:11 And he said, Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat?

3:12 And the man said, The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat.

Peace For the Sake of Goodness Cole

IGGY - www.KCFreeThinkers.org

(Continued)

I, however, have seen "crazy fundamental Christians" like Just Thinking, Will Graham=adamh=Andrew and their Glorious Leader and Master Debater James Christensen go out of their way TO JUSTIFY EVERYTHING THEY DO THROUGH THE TRUTH THEY CLAIM THEY KNOW.

Over apst couple of years I have seen this again and again IN EVERY CHURCH YOU GO TO for Bible studies or talking to minsiters directly - IT IS ALL THE SAME AND IS ALWAYS PREDICTABLE. I have not come across a single minsiter yet who is LIBERAL ENOUGH TO ADMIT FROM THE GET GO THAT HE MAYBE WRONG.

I have, however, "shamed" ministers into intellectual submission after 30-60 min of talking to them - THEY WILL THROUGH LOGICAL DOMINIATION WILL ADMIT FINALLY "THEY CAN BE WRONG".

To me this is a psychological interesting experiement. They are actually acting exactly like animals do - i.e. protecting their mental equilibrium as they should.

My daughter brought a dog from a friend of his and she is not getting along well with my dog, there has been a few very violent fights between them for the past couple of days and I had to pull them apart all the time. Now I have two electric collars for them to sound a tone and shock them if needed at 1-8 level of electric correction - they are smooth as silk now.

I can see how they fight - my dog aims for the legs and paws of the other dog and also the section of the tail by anus, the other one (mix of boxer and pit I think) goes straight for the neck every single time.

"Truth" finding with religious people is simialr - this is the "anus" biting for them per se - this is all they knwo and how WE ARE ALL PROGRAMMED.

They just don't know the truth :o) about this.

Will Graham

Iggor,a/k/a KCFreethinker, funny you should mention James Christsen. He told us not to be upset by your antics here. He says you are doing a great job putting a positive face on atheism like Cole mentioned.

So, keep up the good work, sport!

And instead of repeatedly crying out for James, why don't you call him and set up a debate. But you have to request it personally, no anonymous blog stuff.

What are you waiting for?

Will Graham

Oh, Igor Dybal...your second to the last sentence above was brilliant!
Do you mean "anus" in the philosophical sense? LOL!

Will Graham

Oh, and one more thing! Your electric collar experiment was fascinating.

Sounds like the stuff atheists have tried on Christians in places like the Soveit Union and Red China.

Priceless, Igor, Pricless!

Love your work! tatafornow.

The Secular Parent

Greetings All,

I too must take issue with the claim that "The Saudis have a lot to answer for when it comes to violent religious fanatics."

While everyone is entitled to their opinion, I would invite the blogger to consider Timothy McVey, David Koresh, and Jim Jones. These were home grown religious fanatics. They murdered people in the name of their faith, raped children, and stole futures. In no way do these individuals represent the whole of the country, and it would be illogical to conclude that America had to answer for their fanaticism.

The Iraq war, a crusade for Christ according to former President Bush, also leaves America in the position of being judged as "having blood on our hands." But, is there a better way to approach the issue of religious intolerance?

Now, we must also look at Saudi Arabia with a skeptical eye; they are after all a country dominated by a religious faith. But we must also look at ourselves with an equally skeptical eye; when George Bush allocated money to Africa for AIDS prevention (a good thing) he did so under the guise that funds could only be used for abstinence (a bad thing). Many people still contracted AIDS; condom use, and birth control would have saved millions more.

This makes me think of America; there are many who wish this to be a Christian country. Would America, were it to become a Christian nation, also have human rights violations like Saudi Arabia? Would our country, were it to become a Christian country, stop people from worshiping their God, or no God at all?

No country should be ruled by doctrine...we can see this from a Muslim perspective. Why can't we also see that a Christian dominated country would be just as bad?

www.secuarparenting.wordpress.com

IGGY - www.KCFreeThinkers.org

Bill, the first part did not post for some reason. The "Continued" part posted. Weird, you never know with computers. Thanks!

*********

Red Biddy,

The Truth is stranger that biblical fiction.

Cole and I have been talking over past year with many Christians about their religion and AGAIN AND AGAIN we come across "faith" vs. "facts" vs. "verified reality = scientifically based" vs. "personal peace/revelations".

It is dog chasing its tail again and again. The basic tenant of "faith" is NOTHING CAN ARISE FROM NOTHING, THEREFORE SPACE ALIEN YAHWHEH (aka god, father of Jesus) is the only game in town.

THERE IS NO OTHER PSYCHOLOGICAL UNDERPINNING OTHER THAN THIS from what I have seen. Everything else is just window dressing - IN EVERY FAITH, CULT, OR SPIRUTAL PHILOSOPHY give or take a few.

Hence, TRUTH is always seen AS THE TRUTH OF THE GOD, and nothing else - not changing, ever lasting, always true. The same will be said about "crazy Muslims" and Jews and crazy Scientologists and other cult members.

It is UNSETTLING for the psyche of htese people NOT TO HAVE AN ANSWER - i.e. Truth. You have to "cling" to the "TRUTH" because psychologically NOTHING ELSE MAKES SENSE TO THEM.

For you and me as atheists or agnostics or even "normal/liberal/secular Christians=freethinkers like Bill Tammeus or Susan or "crazies" like Dolores - sorry, dear! - (or at least for me) UNCERTAINTY IS NOT AN ISSUE. I, personally, thrive on waking up every morning and going out hunting, exploring, combatting advertsity, etc. - in short enjoying the UNCERTAINTY and FIGURING OUT PHYSICAL AND NORMAL ways of overcoming it.

There is no TRUTH in what I do - it is WHAT I DO. It is like trying to figure out if there is TRUTH IN BREATHING OR IN GOING #2 IN YOUR TOILET - this is a non sequitor and makes no sense.

IGGY - www.KCFreeThinkers.org

Cole wrote>>>>>>>
I believe too many people know too little of religious history to know where their belief in god came from. It came from people. People made up god. It is obvious.

Cole,

The "first cause" is always the culprit with religous crazies - it all boils down to - "Were you there? Did you take a picture/video? If not, then we cannot rule out god".

It gets so boring dealing with this kind of "fundamental" and honestly "silly" and "childish" argument (but in reality THIS IS ALL RELIGOUS PEOPLE HAVE) that I want to cut through the bull with them immediately and see if they are "freethinkers".

I always within first 30 seconds of our chat want to know 'WHAT WOULD BE ONE THING THAT WILL CHANGE YOUR MIND ABOUT YOUR GOD".

This puts it exactly where it shoudl be - ARE THEY RATIONAL OR NOT.

Our irratoinal adamh=Will Graham moans about "innanimate matter forming intelligence" and when it's shown it can I ASS:o)ume he "may" reconsider but even then crazies like him will cling to "But were you there? The space alien works in mysterious ways through the Holy Spirit and scientific principles".

You can never win with a crazy - they just need to die out like dinasaurs.

Biddy was asking about "Truth" - the truth is there is no truth :o) it's whatever the hell you want it to be.

And crazies are just "truthful" to this "truth"

"That's all I have to say about that..." -- Forrest Gump

adam harrison

Did anyone notice Iggy's excited description of how their dogs fight? Why the heck would he let that go on? And he thinks doggie shock collars are a good solution? 1 to 8 levels of correction.

Weird.

But someone so mean to people of belief, especially old folks in bible studies, sure can't be expected to coddle so pit bull! Hahahahaaaaaaaaaaa!!!

adam harrison

Cole Morgan...I saw the massive response to your star article...a grand total of NINE.

One from Susan, a couple from the same people, and only four in favor.

Hardly a title wave.

And what are you doing in a "recovering" group? You were never religious, and even hated it at the age of 13 according to your previous story.

adam harrison

IGOR DYBAL=KCFreethinker says that it has been shown that inanimate matter can produce intelligence.

WHERE HAS THIS BEEN SHOWN?

PROVE YOUR CLAIM!

Prediction: you can't, you won't, and you will ignore this fact...inanimate matter has not been shown to even be capable of producing LIFE, much less intellignece.

But I must say, my opinion of you has gone even lower after I read your gleeful posts about dogs fighting, and biting their "anus".

What are you? Some kind of nut? Look at your irrational statement that "the truth is there is no truth." Pure irrational idiocy, because in claiming there is no truth, you establish a truth, thus REFUTING YOUR OWN CLAIM!

And Be Asia bellyaches about religous fanatics. You are an atheist fanatic, and mean little guy too. What is it with short guys?

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