Kentucky Atheist Faces Backlash After Stopping Christian Invocations at Public Meetings

Boyle County, Kentucky used to be one of those places where an Christian invocation was delivered at public meetings. That came to a stop after resident Ricky Smith spoke out against it. Now, the county has a moment of silence instead.

Ricky Smith (Stephanie Mojica – AM News)

As a result of his activism, though, Smith has been the victim of “Christian love”:

Smith, 46, says he is the county resident who recently met with Boyle County Judge-Executive Harold McKinney about the issue of Judeo-Christian prayers during public meetings. As a result, county magistrates voted to change the invocation to a “moment of silence.”

A former friend also made disparaging remarks about Smith on Facebook, and a few people made harassing telephone calls to his residence, he said.

“They’re getting down right mean,” Smith said.

He noted that if ridiculing a man’s weight and lack of religious beliefs is a proper Christian attitude, then he is now even more convinced that atheism is the right path for his life.

“I’ve become a better person since I realized I was an atheist,” Smith said. “I am much more tolerant now.”

It’s worth noting what these Christians are getting so upset about. No one banned their faith from the public square; they just have to pray in silence instead of out loud. They’re being treated just like every other religion.

That’s why they’re pissed off. They demand privilege and a special place during government meetings. Instead, they got equality and they can’t handle it.

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/ Kevin_Of_Bangor

    When people learn you are an atheist you find out who really is your friend.

    • http://www.facebook.com/WalrusInc Ted Thompson

      And who in your family will always be on your side.

      • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/ Kevin_Of_Bangor

        I’ve already had a sister who I was always very close to un-friend me on facebook and she pretty much as removed herself from my life.

  • Lori F – MN

    And they’ll know we are Christians by our love, by our love. Yes, they’ll know we are christians by our love. [yeah right!]
    What ever happened to the verse about NOT praying out loud and publicly, like the pharasees?
    good for you, Ricky

  • http://www.agnostic-library.com/ma/ PsiCop

    For all the Christians out there who are outraged at this man for preventing them from hosting their public prayer sessions, perhaps you need to stick a crowbar into your precious Bibles and read what Jesus Christ had to say about it:

    “Beware of practicing your righteousness before men to be noticed by them; otherwise you have no reward with your Father who is in heaven. So when you give to the poor, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, so that they may be honored by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full. But when you give to the poor, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving will be in secret; and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you. When you pray, you are not to be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on the street corners so that they may be seen by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full. But you, when you pray, go into your inner room, close your door and pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.” (Mt 6:1-6)

    Your own deity has forbidden you to practice public piety. You shouldn’t need people like Ricky Smith to get you to stop. You shouldn’t have to be forced to stop by court decisions. You should stop of your own volition, because your own Jesus told you never to do it.

    I really don’t know how much clearer this could be. Honestly.

    • http://www.facebook.com/frede.feareo Fred E Feareo

      You are twisted the all mighty words of God for your own gain. Jesus said clearly that his path was the Way and the Light. What more do you people need? I feel like I’m talking to a group of close-minded people who don’t know the first thing about Jesus. I will think of you all in my prayers—YOU NEED IT! if you have any sense at all, pray for our troops: https://okmed.wordpress.com/2012/09/20/now-this-is-a-posterrl/

      • Miss_Beara

        Funny how taking words straight from the bible is twisting words.

        In the KJV, if that is your bible of choice, clearly states

        “And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.”
        and
        “But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.”

        That is straight from the bible. No twisting. This is actually in your bible.

      • Brian Scott

        It says it right there.

        The fact that an unbeliever schools you in your own religion is not a reason to become petulant over it. You lost, good day sir.

      • Roger

        And we feel like we are talking to a closeminded ignoramus that isn’t capable of understanding that the majority of atheists know more about Jesus and Christianity than the actual Christians do. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/09/28/pew-forum-religious-knowledge-survey_n_741349.html

      • RobMcCune

        Twisting the all mighty words of God = The bible doesn’t say what I want it to.

      • coyotenose

        You do realize that you just lied about the contents of the Bible. You do, right? It’s either that or you are too ignorant to even have a shot of getting better.

      • http://www.facebook.com/WalrusInc Ted Thompson

        Lol at fan of Drudge, Beck, and Savage. You sir, are not only a tool box, you’re a Sears Craftsman Outlet Center. Read a book that doesn’t involve magic zombies.

      • RobertoTheChi

        Taking words straight out of the bible is twisting them? Really?

        I have to laugh that you used the words close – minded and sense in your senseless rant. Re-read what you wrote and apply those words to yourself.

        And your passive aggressive ” I’ll think of you in my prayers ” is just christian speak for ” fuck you ”.

      • Jill Lacious

        You need to read your bible more often. Or, at least learn to understand it.

      • ThomasPaine1786

        I looked up “delicious irony” in the dictionary and all it had was a link to this comment from Fred E Feareo. You freethinkers are all so “close-minded.”

      • http://www.facebook.com/mary.freeman.397 Mary Freeman

        the passage he gave to you was verbatum out of the bible and the direct words of christ himself so how can you say it isnt right. yes of course christ is the way and the life and so you should follow what he said but of course christians cant be christians unless everyone else can se it right?

      • http://www.agnostic-library.com/ma/ PsiCop

        I am “twisting” nothing. I quoted your own Jesus and explained the relevance of the quote to the topic at hand. There’s nothing “twisted” about it.

        As for my “gaining” something by it, what a steaming load. I gained nothing personally by doing so. I’m not a Christian so Jesus’ commands don’t matter to me. They do, however, matter to you, assuming you’re a Christian.

        So in the end, it’s YOU, not me, who has something to gain from my comment above. You get the chance to think carefully and clearly about what your Savior told you. Otherwise you run the risk of hearing, for yourself on Judgement Day, something else from the lips of Jesus:

        “Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.’” (Mt 7:22-23)

      • D

        Twisting? I would say interpreting. Which is all anyone, even Christians can do. Isn’t that what Sunday School is for? I remember my teacher asking what we felt a certain passage meant and we were not punished for our thoughts.

        If someone believes Jesus is The Way and Light and they feel good about it, awesome. But I’m a little confused about your emotional point and how it relates to everything else.

        I used to be less about public prayer after falling very out of love with Christianity. But have grown up to feel compromise is wise and kind in many areas. Almost everyone can pray in their heart, no one should be able to stop that. I would not stand for an end to one’s prayer (even if it’s passive-aggressive like that one up there…). But what is so wrong about a moment of silence? I get tired of people with a victim mentality bristling at this without thinking. Encouraging silence over public prayer is a way to respect the prayerful–no matter which religion, and everyone else. I actually hate sounding very PC sometimes, but why not be in this case? Who is harmed? You can still pray and maybe your all-knowing God will hear. Right?

        When I used to pray, I felt it was a private matter. Who really needs to hear my talking to a deity? Some people I know to be very about public prayer are so about it that it almost seems to be an act of pride, a trolly activist thing. Nothing wrong about feeling good about your religion. But making others who may or may not be into it experience it is as polite as grocery store singing or blaring a stereo. Why make someone feel unwelcome for not not praying as you do? I feel that if you know someone will be annoyed by an action, avoid doing it unless you can modify your action. This may sound too soft to a variety of people who see my words. It makes me sad. So many are uncompromising.

      • Keith Pinster

        “What more do you people need?” – Well, some evidence that at least your mythological character jebus actually existed, let alone that your delusional superstition has any validity at all. Can you provide any of that?

      • Bladewalker56

        Fred, you guys should be worrying a lot more about how YOU’VE twisted the words in your own silly holy book. The same silly holy book that you don’t seem to know very well. Well, at least you know the parts that fit your twisted rhetoric, right?

        You folks are part of the largest religion in the world, yet you all love to pretend that you’re being persecuted. Why? Because, suddenly after a thousand years or so, you have to abide by the same practical, civilized rules and subject yourselves to the same exclusionary practices as you’ve treated every other hokey religion in America. The utter arrogance and willful-ignorance being embraced by you pseudo-Christians makes me want to puke.

        By the way, your buddy Jesus was a myth; an amalgam of various messiah figures from the time preceding the alleged existence of your chosen deity. Nothing more. There is no evidence than he ever existed… except in your own silly holy book, that is.

    • Helanna

      Thanks for the link, I bookmarked it. I always forget what verse that is and then I can never find it when I want it. It’s so handy though!

    • Helanna

      Thanks for the link, I bookmarked it. I always forget what verse that is and then I can never find it when I want it. It’s so handy though!

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Human-Ape/100001623230964 Human Ape

      That’s very nice Jeebus said pray in your inner room, but he’s still was an idiot.

  • http://www.facebook.com/frede.feareo Fred E Feareo

    Maybe if you atheists would have a little empathy, you’d believe in God: http://okmed.wordpress.com/2012/09/13/billy/

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Chris-Sadler/100000016482886 Chris Sadler

      Which god?

      • http://www.facebook.com/frede.feareo Fred E Feareo

        If I have to answer this question, you need to educate yourself more.

        • Roger

          Since there are over 3000 “gods” that people have worshiped over the centuries, a little help narrowing it down would be appreciated

          • http://www.facebook.com/frede.feareo Fred E Feareo

            Those aren’t real gods. Ithink that is obvious

            • http://twitter.com/InMyUnbelief TCC

              There’s as much evidence for those gods as for yours.

            • Roger

              What makes your god real and those other ones unreal? If it was really that obvious, I wouldn’t have to ask.

            • coyotenose

              They’re all fake, which is even more obvious if you compare them and discover that Jesus was cribbed from other, older deities with the same storyline.

            • baal

              A billion Hindus disagree with you.

            • http://www.facebook.com/lola.sasha.90 Lola Sasha

              It is just as ‘obvious” to many of us, that your god is equally imaginary as all the others . . . turning people to salt? Having fathers sacrifice their sons? If your god WERE real, I would stay far far away from the psychotic bastard!
              As one renowned atheist, Judith Hayes, put it, it has all been a racket for priests . . . god is angry, tithe to the priests.
              The Bible is one of the craziest bits of hodge podge I have ever read . . .part boring geneology text (“and then Jack begat Jeremy, and he lived 400 years, and Jeremy begat Wyatt who lived for 325 years etc) part pornographic love poems (Songs of Solomon any one?) part aesops fables (see jonah and the whale), part misogynistic fables (see Eve and the apple), part melodramatic murder memoir (Cain and Abel) part regular poetry (see Psalms) and part drug induced hallucinations (revelations) . . . .ALL poorly written, frequently edited and revised, FICTION.

            • RobertoTheChi

              Where is your proof? And no, you can’t use the bible or feelings as proof.

          • Patterrssonn

            Probably a lot more than that. At present there’s over 30,000 distinct Christian churches alone. And as studies have indicated each persons god believes in exactly the same things that they do , so in ways each person’s god is unique.

            • Roger

              True, but those Christian churches all worship microaspects of the same Abrahamic god: Yahweh/Jehovah/Elohim/Jesus/Allah/Holy Ghost/et al. I was thinking of the separate and distinct deities from other religions, such as Zeus/Jupiter, Odin, Ra, Amaterasu, Baron Samedi, Kukulkan, Damballah and so on.

      • Miss_Beara

        I like Ra, personally. He had some awesome hieroglyphics.

        All hail to Ra!

        • baal

          Nuh uh!, Blood for Baal!

          • Glasofruix

            I vote for Thor, ya think that Jeebus dude nailed himself to the cross?

        • http://twitter.com/docslacker MD

          I go for Chac, the Maya god of rain. Always useful, and as effective as any other god.

    • unclemike

      Maybe if god was real you wouldn’t have to send around sappy fables like that one to try to bring people to him.

      • http://www.facebook.com/frede.feareo Fred E Feareo

        Maybe if you had some empathy or a family or belief in anything, you’d start to look at the positive things in life. “sappy?” God IS real. we are all sinners. and someday, you’ll have to stand before him and be judged. https://okmed.wordpress.com/2012/10/24/why-i-forward-stuff-to-you/

        • Roger

          I do have empathy. A lot more I daresay than you do. I do have a family. I believe in many things. I just don’t believe in a supernatural murderous magician that gets angry because people have to audacity to use the brains that your malevolent evil deity supposedly gave them.

        • http://twitter.com/InMyUnbelief TCC

          As someone who has empathy, a family, various beliefs, and a reasonably positive outlook on life, I reject your premise.

        • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

          or a family

          WTF? Dude, you are seriously out of line there. Free speech and all- but to denigrate my wife and my son by saying I don’t have a family?

          And you wonder why atheists are angry?

          Hey, I have a suggestion. Go poke a hornet’s nest and ask why they sting you.

        • Miss_Beara

          “or a family.”

          I guess I don’t have a mother, cousins, aunts, uncles. I never had a grandmother…

          • RobMcCune

            He obviously means you’d look to the positives if you had a husband to order you to.

        • allein

          Yes, believing that all of humanity is just a bunch of
          horrible sinners is such a positive outlook on life.

          • Bladewalker56

            I know, right? I wonder what color the sky is on his home planet?

        • Bladewalker56

          Please, please, please tell me that you’re not as willfully-ignorant and arrogant as you seem.

    • JohnnieCanuck

      There’s never been a feel good story that couldn’t be improved with a shaking of Jesus salt added in.

      Snopes tells me that this was plagiarised from Chicken Soup for the Soul where at least they got the boy’s name right.

      CSftS created their fictionalised version from the story of Frank ‘Bopsy’ Salazar, the first Make a Wish Foundation recipient.

      Jesus is really just an afterthought in what secular people did for the boy, if that.

      • allein

        >>There’s never been a feel good story that couldn’t be improved with a shaking of Jesus salt added in.

        Like this? http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/2012/08/23/salt-and-pepper-jesus/

      • http://www.agnostic-library.com/ma/ PsiCop

        Re: “There’s never been a feel good story that couldn’t be improved with a shaking of Jesus salt added in.”

        Or, large passages of text enlarged and in other colors? ;)

      • tinker

        Funny thing is, I reread the Snopes version and it made me cry again, whereas the version with the Jeebus stuff and the plea to spam did not.

      • http://www.facebook.com/frede.feareo Fred E Feareo

        Comparing Jesus (your lord and savior) to salt is blasphemy and you should know better to say such things.

        • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

          Deities should be open to ridicule. If they exist, they can take it. If they don’t, it doesn’t matter.

        • RobMcCune

          I take it as an insult to salt and it’s constituent elements.

          • Antinomian

            The calcium is building up to it, but the clorides are already gassed.

        • JohnnieCanuck

          I can see salt and I can touch salt. In spite of so many of us having too much salt, it is a very useful thing.

          Jesus, on the other hand, not so much.

          If ever this trouble making carpenter existed as claimed, he died a long time ago. In that case only his constituent atoms remain today, spread out here, here there and everywhere. Relax, he isn’t really watching everything you do in your bathroom and bedroom.

          Since all gods are non-existent, and only gods can be blasphemed, it is actually pretty difficult to commit blasphemy. Haven’t you heard that it’s a victimless crime?

          If by chance you actually do have His ear, tell Him to come talk to me. In person, if it’s not too much trouble. There’s some things He needs to hear. He’ll know where to find me, won’t He?

        • John (not McCain)

          Screw your lord and savior and the clumsy slut he dropped out of.

        • Brian Scott

          Didn’t Jesus use salt in a metaphor as a good thing?

          • http://www.facebook.com/abb3w Arthur Byrne

            In three of the four gospels: Mark 9:50, Matthew 5:13, Luke 14:34.

          • Bladewalker56

            You mean, like a “Salt of the Earth” kind of thing? LOL!

        • http://twitter.com/FelyxLeiter Felyx Leiter

          I’m going to take this comment with a grain of salt.

        • RobertoTheChi

          I happen to like my jebus heavily salted when eating his zombie flesh. He isn’t so bland when you add a pinch of salt to him.

        • Bladewalker56

          Jesus was a fraud and a myth.

          Was that any better?

      • http://www.facebook.com/frede.feareo Fred E Feareo

        REALLY NICE! The admin of this forum deleted my first comment. Go Figure. Someone with an opposing point of view comes in and you shut him down. You guys have fun living in your bubble. I can’t say I didn’t try to help you out. No good deed goes unpunished.

        • http://twitter.com/InMyUnbelief TCC

          I suspect that it was deleted because it was downvoted so many times, actually. I don’t know if Disqus does that automatically, but I wouldn’t be surprised.

          • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

            I’m guessing auto-deleted due to downvotes. If Hemant was going to delete that post, he’d ban the person. I suggest Fred go express his opposing point of view on his own blog. There’s “opposing point of view” and there’s Infantile twaddle”.

        • Roger

          Deleted for plagiarism it would seem. You know, stealing someone else’s words. Something both Ten Commandments have to say something about: Exodus 20:15 “You shall not steal.” and
          Deuteronomy 5:19 “Neither shalt thou steal.” So, off to hell you go. (Or not, since that’s not real either.)

        • RobMcCune

          No good deed goes unpunished.

          I know Hemant brought that poor man’s story to our attention and now we have to put up with you.

    • Phil Cleaver

      Maybe if you Christians would have a little empathy, you’d believe that in a pluralistic society, no one religion should have special priviledges over all others.

      • http://www.facebook.com/frede.feareo Fred E Feareo

        Such a common excuse. you don’t know the first thing about Christianity. The is only one God and Jesus is our savior. Do I really have to spell this out? This forum is full of people who just don’t get it. Time for you my friend to get SAVED!

        • Roger

          Saved from what exactly?

          • RobMcCune

            Magic fruit?

        • baal

          Hi Fred, did you happen to notice that this is the ‘atheist channel’ part of Patheos? This forum is pretty much solidly packed with folks who are atheists. It’s not a blog from a christian about atheists.

        • http://www.facebook.com/lola.sasha.90 Lola Sasha

          No thanks. I agree with Mark Twain “Heaven for the climate; hell for the company.” Even if there WERE a god, and a heaven, I sure as hell wouldnt want to spend eternity with people as self righteous, ignorant, and hypocritical as most of the “Christians” I know. Another great man I agree with, Gandhi said “I love your Christ, but cannot abide your christians.” Truer words never spoken . . . if the Jesus described in your bible were walking around today, the majority of “christians” would despise him as a socialist, liberal hippy. “Feeding the poor, healing the sick? They are just leeches on society . . give a bonus to CEOS or its class warfare!”

        • RobertoTheChi

          Please save us from your stupidity and GO AWAY.

        • http://www.facebook.com/abb3w Arthur Byrne

          Actually, in the US the average atheist or agnostic tends to know more about Christianity and the Bible than the average Christian, and even the average of most varieties of Christian. (Details.) Additionally, most US atheists and agnostics are (de)converts, having been raised as Christian of one variety or another, and thus know a fair bit.

        • Wild Rumpus

          “common excuse” or “common sense”? I think it is you who doesn’t get it, you poor delusional man…

        • http://www.facebook.com/mary.freeman.397 Mary Freeman

          thats your opinion and your entitled to believe in whatever unseen imaginary friend you like but i have family in each generation that died to protect my right to not be bullied by christians

    • coyotenose

      Maybe if you didn’t make up things about us, you wouldn’t be a liar. Does Jesus love it when you slander? Y’know, like what was done to him?

      • http://www.facebook.com/frede.feareo Fred E Feareo

        I dont slander, you do. I’m 100% sure you are a crazy liberal atheist that hates america. Why are you atheists so hatefilled. Try practicing love like Jesus. You worship a false idol. https://okmed.wordpress.com/2012/08/29/msnbc-breaks-away-from-gop-convention-every-time-a-minority-speaker-is-presented-from-voting-american/

        • http://twitter.com/InMyUnbelief TCC

          You’re sure about that because you’re a bigoted idiot – and I don’t have to guess at that, since it’s pretty clear from your own comments. And to have the nerve to preach at us about practicing love? Look at the log in your own eye, friend.

        • Roger

          I can’t speak for coyotenose (love the nick, BTW. I wanna hear the story how that came about), but I’m not crazy, nor do I hate America. As for hatefilled, I’m not that either, but it sure sounds like you are. Why do you hate atheists? And more or less by definition, atheists don’t worship false idol(s). We don’t worship real ones either, since there aren’t any.

        • RobMcCune

          I’m 100% sure you are a crazy liberal atheist that hates america.

          ROFL c’mon this is a poe right? Okay let me try. You are an ignorant moron doesn’t have a thought in his head that wasn’t put there by your pastor or fox news.

          How was that?

        • coyotenose

          You claimed we lack empathy despite lack of evidence. You lied.

          Then you doubled down with several more lies.

          Again, does Jesus love that? Does he love that you claim to be practicing love while insulting people and lying about them? Does he love that YOU are driving people further from Christianity by doing so?

          Pathetic hypocrite.

        • PietPuk

          Flagged for trolling.

          • http://www.facebook.com/abb3w Arthur Byrne

            There are quite a few people out there who would have similar preferences to those indicated by Fred’s Facebook profile; and such a person would likely be quite sincere in espousing beliefs like Fred’s, rather than a troll.

          • http://www.facebook.com/mary.freeman.397 Mary Freeman

            what is trolling ? im sorry not real good with the younger internet lingo

            • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

              In the original use, trolling is making comments that are incendiary given the environment. e.g. going on to a pro-choice forum and accusing everyone of murder. Important is that the intent is just to rile people up and get a reaction. Kind of like kicking over an ant pile for the ‘joy’ of watching them run around. Classic trolls don’t usually give a shit about the actual issue.

              It has come to mean “any comment that is contrary to the majority of the discussion”.

              The thing about Fred, is that his pure intent may not to be just to make people angry. He sincerely believes atheists don’t have families, so from his POV he’s just being honest.

              Nothing we say will get him to look at things differently. Maybe if someone he respects comes out as an atheist he’ll at least learn to love them as his neighbors. Or better yet, family.

        • coyotenose

          And hey, nice job removing your original comment to cover up your gullibility and lying. Unfortunately for you, Google Caching exists, so your lying is now permanently documented.

    • anniewhoo

      I’m glad this story is fake, otherwise it would be yet another example of how Christians, through their privilege, assume everyone believes the same myths as they do. The fireman should have never brought up Jesus, or any other mythological being. What if little Johnny (or Billy, sorry, can’t remember the boy’s name) wasn’t Christian? Should he really have to deal with being proselytized to on his death bed? If it’s a real story, it is terrible and mean, and shame on the fire chief for pushing his religion down a young boy’s throat.

      • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/ Kevin_Of_Bangor

        As a former firefighter and this is over 20 years ago Jesus was never a topic around the station house. Most firefighters I’ve known are sick, twisted and demented people but then again one has to have a few screws loose if you choose to enter a burning structure for the fun of it and yes, I must have a few screws loose myself because I couldn’t wait to get inside.

        • anniewhoo

          Crazy, yes, but you also have to be very brave. I am always surprised that so many people fall for these fake stories… but then I remember how they look at the bible as if it were true. It’s no wonder they don’t check snopes.

          I have a few friends that are fire fighters. One is religious, the other two are not. Regardless, as you wrote, none of them would ever think of pushing their ideas or philosophies on the people they are helping. It’s just plain tacky.

      • http://www.facebook.com/frede.feareo Fred E Feareo

        Yeah, whatever. Fake, you can think whatever you want. Hypothetically replace the Christian with a Muslim, and you wouldn’t think the same. We all know Islam is BS. https://okmed.wordpress.com/2012/08/20/wedding-ring-is-in-for-repairs/

        • Roger

          Yes, Islam is BS. So is Christianity. So is Judaism. So are all other religions.

          • Miss_Beara

            Yeah. He has a case of “your religion is the wrong one. Mine is the One True Religion™”

            Everything is BS.

        • coyotenose

          We’d think exactly the same. Why are you so stupid that you would say otherwise. It’s almost like, gosh, like you’re making up things in contradiction of reality. What do they call that again?

        • http://www.facebook.com/lola.sasha.90 Lola Sasha

          As Bertrand Russell said, “We are all nonbelievers about most gods. Atheiests just take it one god further.”

        • RobertoTheChi

          The muslim beliefs are a steaming pile of horse shit the same as christianity. It’s all a bunch of BS.

        • Wild Rumpus

          Dude, this is an atheist blog, we don’t believe in any gods of any name. We do, however, all agree with you that Islam is BS.

    • WallofSleep

      Maybe if atheism and empathy were mutually exclusive…

      … but sadly for your kind, they are not.

      • http://www.facebook.com/frede.feareo Fred E Feareo

        ARE YOU FOR REAL? did you read all these haters? I make one comment and it’s a great story about the testimony of God. And hater atheists jump on it. I think this is proof positive you atheists have no empathy or feelings whatsoever. Really unfortunate, becasue I’m sure some of you could contribute something to society, but without God, you are squandering your potential.

        • Roger

          And what, pray tell, have YOU contributed to society?

        • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

          Actually, you linked a debunked urban legend that was loosely based on a true story and then got angry when that got pointed out to you.

          Why are you dehumanizing atheists? We are all of us people. That means we all have empathy and feelings. You’ve hurt mine, repeatedly, by your unjust accusations.

          I’m not quite sure what contributing to society and belief in God have to do with one another. A good action is helpful and beneficial; it doesn’t matter if the person performing the action is religious or not.

          • Miss_Beara

            And he wonders why we are angry. Could it be the constant dehumanizing? Hmmmmm…?

        • RobMcCune

          There’s a difference between empathy and being cynically manipulated by christian chain emails. Perhaps if you had any reason whatsoever you wouldn’t be so gullible as to fall for it.

        • TiltedHorizon

          “did you read all these haters?”

          Haters? Odd, the nastiest vitriol I’ve read here comes from you.

          “Maybe if you had some empathy or a family or belief in anything, you’d start to look at the positive things in life”

        • Camorris

          Fred, I think you are a poe in this thread.
          But if this is not the case then I admire that you have the interest to keep responding. This leads me to believe that you are starting question your beliefs.
          From your profile picture I guess that you are in your twenties, and from the responses you compose, I think you are in a stage where you are compelled to “spread the word” that has been fed to you (sort of like a youthful Mormon Missionary). As the year pass, you may gain a better understanding of religions and their origins, and then appreciate the position of most of the participants on this site.
          Anyhow, keep whacking this hornets nest – it is fun.

        • http://twitter.com/docslacker MD

          Has your sense of martyrdom and persecution been stroked enough for today?

    • tinker

      A Christian is telling ME about empathy? Now that made me laugh.

      • http://www.facebook.com/frede.feareo Fred E Feareo

        Christianity has brought more good to the world than you could ever imagine in your feeble mind. Where do you think the root word for “good” comes from? GOD.

        • Roger

          And Christianity has brought more evil to the world that you can ever imagine. And since Jesus wouldn’t have spoken English, what does the fact that two English words sound and are spelled similar have to do with anything?

        • McAtheist

          The root of the word ‘good’ is ‘god’,therefore:

          “Christianity has brought more good to the world than you could ever imagine in your feeble mind.”

          Oh! Now I understand it all.

        • http://twitter.com/InMyUnbelief TCC

          That is absolutely false. Despite only being a letter apart, “good” and “god” are not related.

          • Roger

            Thanks, that’s the link I was looking for.

        • Brian Scott

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Map%E2%80%93territory_relation

          Read it and weep at your previous statement.

        • TiltedHorizon

          I guess etymology is not a word you are familiar with. The word you are thinking of is “gōd”, note the macron over the ‘o’ (which you probably think is the root word of macaroni). This is pronounced ‘g-OH-d’ meaning “valid”, “considerable”, in the context of expressing satisfaction.

          • http://www.facebook.com/abb3w Arthur Byrne

            From the OED…

            “good” Etymology: Common Germanic: Old English gód = Old Frisian, Old Saxon gôd (Middle Dutch goet , inflected goed- , Dutch goed ), Old High German guot , kuot , guat , kuat , etc. (Middle High German guot , German gut ), Old Norse góð-r (Swedish, Danish god ), Gothic gôþ-s , genitive gôdis < Germanic *gôđo- . The root *gôđ- is perhaps an ablaut-variant of *gađ- to bring together, to unite (see gather v.), so that the original sense of ‘good’ would be that of ‘fitting’, ‘suitable’; compare Old Church Slavonic goditi to be pleasing, godĭnŭ pleasing, godŭ time, fitting time, Russian godnyj fit, suitable.

            "God" Etymology: Common Germanic: Old English god (masculine in singular; plural godu, godo neuter, godas masculine) corresponds to Old Frisian, Old Saxon, Dutch god (masculine), Old High German got, cot (Middle High German got, modern German gott) masculine, Old Norse goð, guð neuter and masculine, plural goð, guð neuter (later Icelandic plural guðir masculine; Swedish, Danish gud), Gothic guþ (masculine in singular; plural guþa, guda neuter).

            There’s a bit more, but I try to limit my copyright violations to something in the neighborhood of fair use excerpts.

        • coyotenose

          Calling people feeble-minded must be that love and empathy you claim to be practicing.

          Oh, and you changed the subject. Thanks for admitting that you lose.

        • Bdole

          Hebrew for god: YHWH or Elohim (plural, btw) or HaShem or El Hebrew for “good” = tov I could’ve pointed out half a dozen more languages where there was no connection, but I figure Hebrew would be the most relevant to you. Calling people “feeble minded” eh? Matthew 5:22:

          But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a
          brother or sister will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to
          a brother or sister, ‘Raca,’ is answerable to the court. And anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell.

        • Bladewalker56

          Christianity has brought more pain and anguish to the world than anything else. I can totally understand why you’d want to down-play that fact, though. It doesn’t paint a very nice picture of your faith and religion.

  • Carmelita Spats

    Why on Earth would they make fun of Ricky Smith’s weight? Some scholars believe Jesus was rather obese and could not have walked on water. How would TRUE believers feel if we snickered at an obese Jesus, an obese 33-year-old virgin carpenter, in a loincloth/diaper, flailing from a cross? Apparently, Jesus was shockingly obese. Serious, dock-shaking obese. Can’t-get-out-of-the-pool-without-help obese. It is not something that makes you feel particularly good about the Christian ethos.

    Evidence:

    1. Jesus was too fat to walk on water…

    http://freethinker.co.uk/2009/02/23/jesus-was-%E2%80%98too-fat-to-walk-on-water%E2%80%99/

    2. Fat Jesus…

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m4A1o3ZCHzE

    • John (not McCain)

      Gore Vidal said Jesus farted a lot too.

  • newavocation

    In some ways, I think this whole public prayer thing is not about admiration for their Lord, rather it’s more about them admiring their admiration.

    • http://friendlyatheist.com Richard Wade

      Very, very well said.

  • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

    And those same Christians who want to coerce others into praying would swear up and down about how Liberty is so important that it is “Endowed by our Creator”.

    • Derrik Pates

      Exactly. You’re “free” – where “free” means “free to do exactly what my deity of choice (who I have no evidence for, but they) says”. Christians love redefining words like that.

  • Claude Smoot

    Hypocrisy 101:

    “And they’ll know we are Christians by our love by our love/Yes, they’ll know we are Christians by our love…”

    34 A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so
    you must love one another. 35 By this all men will know that you are my
    disciples, if you love one another.” — John 13:34-35

    • Glasofruix

      Isn’t this followed with “And if they don’t believe the same way you do, kill them all and rape their virgin daughters”?

  • katherine paige

    This blog is really informative i really had fun reading it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/janice.brouwer Janice Brouwer

    Ah…troll feeding…such fun. methinks “Fred” has a touch of mental illness…we really should pity him. Yet another “cafeteria christian”. Nice.

    • allein

      How can we pity him when we lack empathy?

      • Bladewalker56

        I don’t feel sorry for him; he’s practically begging for a single-digit IQ. I say we let him have it.

  • Jill Lacious

    “Christian” is become synonymous with “sanctimonious bully.”

  • Domush

    Way to go, Ricky! Way to bring equality to government. Thank you. One more town meeting will focus on town business and skip the woo.

  • Saul

    Honestly, what wrong could there be in a moment of silence? it accomodates for not just those of no religious faith, but to those of differing faiths. Seems to me that any discord would be in the fact that there are other religious sentiments, or none at all being held by people in the state of KY. The times are a changing, Ky..learn to deal with these changes accordingly and practice what you preach so vehemently.

  • Wild Rumpus

    A little Internet digging reveals that Fred E Fearo, unfortunately, is not a Trolling Poe, but really believes the nonsense he spouts. *sigh* I was hoping it was a troll…

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/ Kevin_Of_Bangor

      I just came back from my digging and I can confirm it but I will treat him like a troll and not feed it.

    • Miss_Beara

      Scary thing is that there are a lot of people who think just like him.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Human-Ape/100001623230964 Human Ape

    The moment of silence is a childish idea. The problem with Christians (all Christians) is they are just plain stupid.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jeff-Duncan/100000209247690 Jeff Duncan

    This guy has a very Bukowski vibe going on.

  • David

    I’d find theism much more believable if god supported people just a fraction of the extent that people support god.

  • Jonas Grumby

    A sane man among the ignorant, superstitious, knuckle-draggers. Religion should never, ever be tolerated in a civilized society.


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