TIME Magazine Just Doubled-Down on Joe Klein’s Inaccurate, Anti-Atheist Statements

Last week, the cover story TIME magazine, written by Joe Klein, included an unfair and untrue jab at Secular Humanists.

Klein wrote:

… there was an occupying army of relief workers, led by local first responders, exhausted but still humping it a week after the storm, church groups from all over the country — funny how you don’t see organized groups of secular humanists giving out hot meals — and there in the middle of it all, with a purposeful military swagger, were the volunteers from Team Rubicon.

Of course, atheists were there, and I listed in detail how many non-theistic groups and individuals contributed time, money, and — yes — hot meals to the victims of the Oklahoma tornadoes. Hell, I’ll do it again right now:

Klein responded to all of this by offering an awful rebuttal in which he argued that he wasn’t saying atheists didn’t help out; it was *organized* groups of atheists who were absent from the recovery efforts:

it is certainly true, as my critics point out, that secular humanists, including atheists, can be incredibly generous. I never meant to imply they weren’t. But they are not organized. The effects of this post-modern atomization is something I’ve been trying to puzzle through for most of my career. That’s why I find the military, and the community values that are at the heart of military culture, so intriguing. That’s why I find the groups featured in my cover story about public service this week so inspiring. I believe that they sustain an essential part of citizenship that the rest of us have lost track of, the importance of being an active part of something larger than yourself.

Klein didn’t just choose not to apologize. He made things worse by lying a second time!

Organized groups of Secular Humanists absolutely helped out in the wake of the tornadoes!

Okay. So Klein’s a lost cause. He refuses to admit his mistake.

But at least the editors at TIME had the opportunity to say something about the comment in the very next issue.

So here’s what they said:

“In Joe Klein’s cover story last week, he wrote about “how you don’t see organized groups of secular humanists giving out hot meals” in the wake of a tragedy. That statement was untrue. Many Secular Humanists, both alone and as a group, pitched in during relief efforts. We didn’t catch that error before it went into print and we apologize for that. We also apologize for the unfair insinuation that non-religious people would not help others after a terrible disaster. We’ll do our best to ensure that never happens again.”

Awesom—Wait. No. That’s not what they said. That’s what they should have said.

Here’s what they actually wrote (some of which is behind a paywall):

“Service can and will save us if it becomes a way of life,” wrote reader Stephen Holt about Time’s July 1 cover story by Joe Klein, which examines organizations that use service projects as a way to help veterans recover from trauma. Many readers were upset by Klein’s comment about secular humanists, who he said are less likely than members of religious groups to organize for disaster relief.

Let’s stop right here while we all collectively undilate our pupils.

Klein did not say Secular Humanists were “less likely” to organize for disaster relief. He said they were not there at all. And we proved him wrong repeatedly! (Not to mention that, without a credible citation, even the “less likely” phrasing would be problematic.)

But what the hell is TIME thinking?!

Then they kept going, not addressing why any of us were upset, only that we were upset… about something:

Blogger Richard Wade called the comment “completely unnecessary,” while reader Lois Lemoine asked if Klein really believes “there are no secular humanists among those veterans or the first responders to tragic events.” In a post on the Swampland blog, Klein acknowledged the criticism and said he plans to write more about the decline of secular service organizations.

*sigh*

I know Richard Wade. Richard Wade is a friend of mine. And TIME took Richard Wade’s comments out of context, because this is what he actually wrote:

Regardless of whether he was out anywhere helping, and regardless of why he was, his out-of-the-blue disparagement of Secular Humanists was completely unnecessary for the point of his article, and even unnecessary for that part of his article, and it was factually false. It was just a stupid, bigoted dig when he saw he’d given himself an opportunity.

That’s the Richard Wade I know and love.

Also, saying that Klein “acknowledged the criticism” is really a cop-out way of saying “Klein ignored the very reason people were angry with him.” That’s like saying “Paula Deen acknowledged the criticism against her” without ever mentioning why people were criticizing her in the first place. It completely misses the point.

Just to top it off, TIME listed a few tweets people sent about the article, including this one from the American Humanist Association:

#TIME Writer Takes Inaccurate Shot at Nonbelievers

They never acknowledge what the “inaccurate shot” was… and I’m not sure how they could have missed it, since the AHA’s actual tweet included a link to a Huffington Post article about how Joe Klein lied:


*Deep breath*

So it’s not just Joe Klein who’s the problem. The people who run TIME are complicit in letting easily-debunkable, slanderous, inaccurate statements make their way into the magazine.

They could have fixed the problem. Instead, they chose to make it even worse.

Don’t stand for this. Cancel your subscription by calling 1-866-550-6934 and let them know why you did it on Twitter.

And just so this piece doesn’t end with me going completely out of my mind, here’s a wonderful rebuttal to Klein written by my friend Dale McGowan:

Humanists and atheists aren’t developing our charitable efforts for recognition or applause. Empathy and compassion are a natural fit for a naturalistic worldview, and it’s incredibly rewarding to put that into action. But it would be nice if we could do this work without the constant, buzzing insistence from people like Klein that we aren’t actually doing 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.

  • Sven2547

    Integrity is a vital part of any journalistic organization. Funny how you never see Joe Klein admit when he’s wrong.

    • http://parkandbark.wordpress.com/ Houndentenor

      In order to admit he was wrong, he’d have to actually check his facts. You can’t have one without the other.

  • Tobias2772

    goddammit,
    I’m so mad I want to punch something and there’s no one around who is responsible. Shit !
    OK, a little better now. We shouldn’t have to get organized around our secular humanism and we shouldn’t have to trumpet our service to our fellow human beings, but the more we come out, the more we organize, the more people associate our good actions with secularism, humanism, or atheism, the sooner this kind of bullshit will be called out for the bullshit that it is (substitute Jewish, Catholic, or black for secular humanists and see what happens)
    I’m going for a bike ride now – fuck Joe Klein.

  • The Captain

    You know, I was about to rant on this, but then I remembered it’s TIME magazine we are talking about here people. We’re talking about a magazine that dumbs down it’s cover stories for the US market while usually giving the rest of the world deep political/world analysis. What do you expect from this crapy rag that probably ships it’s dumbest editors to the US market too.

    • WallofSleep

      You just reminded me of this series of TIME magazine cover comparisons from a couple of years ago. Grain of salt, and all, but it wouldn’t surprise me.

      http://imgur.com/gallery/W2Y5u

      • Miss_Beara

        Chore Wars? Chore Wars?!

        *sigh*

        • WallofSleep

          C’mon now. You should see how badly I can school a mother fucker with this splintery old mop handle.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Aaron-Steinbrecher/100002159424773 Aaron Steinbrecher

        That is eye-opening to say the least. I don’t even read TIME magazine. I’d be more likely to read it if they had the intellectual cover stories like they do for the rest of the world.

    • http://parkandbark.wordpress.com/ Houndentenor

      I as living in Europe from 2002-2003. There was a great deal that American publishers and media sources (including CNN) was talking about outside the US that they simply did not report on their home turf. People still believe some of the lies the Bush/Cheney administration told to rationalize the Iraq War.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Aaron-Steinbrecher/100002159424773 Aaron Steinbrecher

        After looking at the US import census from Iraq, i can’t believe whatever they say for the reason unless they say that it’s oil.

    • RandomAnon

      We still should not be putting up with it, and continue making noise about it. This was a blatant LIE, a libelous statement about secularist groups, and we need to make Klein and TIME magazine accountable for it.

      • GCT

        Agreed. Saying, “Oh well, it’s just TIME magazine being stupid” isn’t enough and I find that sort of defeatist attitude to be unhelpful.

  • http://www.examiner.com/atheism-in-los-angeles/hugh-kramer Hugh Kramer

    I cancelled my subscription to Time Magazine several years ago when I discovered that much of their reporting on political items read more like it belonged in an opinion column than a news page… so their pulling crap like this doesn’t surprise me.

  • Jason Hinchliffe

    I guess what they say is wrong. TIME does not heal all wounds.

  • Drew M.

    You are such a damned tease, Hemant. I got all giddy when I read your wishful-thinking apology.

    • Beth

      He gets me every time!!

  • David Mock

    Ha, I read the first thing and was like, “Why are you complaining, that seems pretty nice?”

  • Josh Powell

    I’m still wondering how they convert the crayon written drafts to type text for print. TIME must have some very hard working kindergarten teachers in the editing department.

  • kullervo

    I was in New York for the month of November doing disaster relief with the Red Cross in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. What disappointing libel.

  • http://friendlyatheist.com Richard Wade

    I have been honored twice today.

    I am sincerely and deeply honored to be counted as a friend by Hemant Mehta, and I have enjoyed that honor for several years.

    In an upside down, inside out, twisted around way, I’m also honored to have TIME magazine take my words out of context to make my statement as milquetoast as possible without their actually lying about what I wrote.

    I have come of age! (At 62, it’s about fricking time.)

    …If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
    Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,…

    –from If by Rudyard Kipling

    • LutherW

      I regret that I only have one Time subscription to cancel. And I did that about 10 years after being a reader and subscriber for about 50 years.

      • Ann Onymous

        Sadly, I use my mom’s subscription, and she probably agreed with Klein. I’m not sure how to punish him. When he says this sort of thing in the humor column, I can laugh it off. But this is the cover story. TIME also pointed out that readers “were upset”, not that, you know, there was anything to legitimately get upset about. And apparently Klein now plans to write further about the “decline of secular service organizations.” What.

    • ModernSexCulture

      That, you have! ^_^ I love that poem. Thank you for quoting it (and of course, thank you for speaking up!).

  • kbam2728

    another point missed: Atheists usually do not have to have an organization to assist or aid in disaster recovery. Organizations, especially religious ones, are only there for the free money.

  • Janet Holmes

    Of course if the government did its job they would all be properly looked after and not dependent on random acts of charity.

  • sminnis

    I wish I could cancel my subscription, but I stopped taking TIME seriously a very long time ago.

  • Rain

    Dear TIME Magazine,

    The days of “hoo-haw journalism” are numbered. It is too easy to fact-check the things that people write. It used to be not so easy, and thus you could get away with it and still be respectable. You need to move out of print and go to the web. The web is now the new place where nobody fact-checks anything. Get with the times TIME!

  • Ray

    Isn’t the Red Cross secular? Maybe Time has never heard of them.

    http://www.redcross.org/support/donating-fundraising/where-your-money-goes/midwest-tornadoes

    • TCC

      To be fair, Klein referred to “secular humanists,” and while the Red Cross is essentially a secular organization, they are not an organization of secular humanists. No need to respond to a demonstrably inaccurate statement with another inaccurate claim.

  • Art_Vandelay

    Not sure if this has been mentioned at all but the most curious thing about this is that if you read the mission statement of the group that Klein was supposedly working with, there’s nothing about them that can’t be considered secular…

    - We will always be motivated solely by the altruistic desire to help those in demonstrable need.

    - We will always ardently maintain our independence from any government or religious institution.

    - We will always respect the culture and customs of the communities we serve.

    - We will always attempt to partner with and employ members of the local community.

    - We will always be accountable to those whose donations make our efforts possible.

  • http://freethoughtblogs.com/amilliongods Avicenna

    The world’s largest medical charities are the Red Cross and Medicin Sans Frontier.

    Both are Secular and both don’t rely on prayer or care about the religion of their staff. They are based on secular and humanist principles and have saved millions of lives across the world.

    It’s just irritating to see this. It’s irritating to hear that you don’t exist….

    • Regina Carol Moore

      I actually thought about this too, and I’m a housewife. Joe Klein is a journalist. He really should have thought about that while he was writing this article. He’s obviously a hack.

  • http://skepticink.com/dangeroustalk Dangerous Talk

    Here is my piece on this: Klein responds to atheists over Time Magazine article; still doesn’t apologize – http://t.co/7DhUVodO0Z

  • coffee-cat

    if memory serves, Foundation Beyond Belief donations for Sandy relief went to Team Rubicon, so lauded in Klein’s piece. Piling insults onto injuries!

  • AtheistsAreUs

    I WILL NO LONGER BUY OR SUSCRIBE OR READ TIME MAGAZINE.

  • TCC

    Canceled my subscription a little earlier and sent an E-mail as well expressing my disapproval with Klein’s response and with TIME’s. Maybe they’ll get the hint.

  • Rembrant Roach King

    I sent an e-mail calling the people at TIME fucking morons. I regret nothing

  • Mark Moore

    Time to move on Time.

  • UWIR

    Klein’s original comment was wonderfully constructed. Clear enough that everyone knows the emotion that he is conveying, but carefully avoiding any transparent factual assertions, thus allowing him to respond to any rational critique with “I didn’t actually say that”. It’s truly an art form, a masterpiece of demagogy. Virtually nothing in his statement can be read literally and unambiguously. His message is conveyed soley by connotation; you can’t argue with the denotative content of his statement, because there is none (Or, if there is, it’s something utterly ridiculous such as “The number of collections of secular humanists that exhibit higher-level structure, provide hot meals, and enter the reader’s visual field is no greater than one, and this fact is humorous.”) He clearly didn’t literally mean that it was “funny”, he clearly meant that these people aren’t there, not merely that one doesn’t “see” them, and he clearly meant “hot meals” as just one thing that they allegedly don’t do, not the entirety of acts they don’t do. And what does “organized groups of secualr humanists” mean? How “organized” does one have to be to qualify? He doesn’t say, and why would he? The point is to villify atheists, not to produce falsifiable assertions. And what is a “group of secular humanists”? Is it a group that includes secular humanists? Or does Klein demand that it be a group exclusively of secualr humanists? Is Klein criticizing secular humanists for not being sufficient exclusiony? Should secular humanists hang a “no theists allowed” sign outside their clubhouse, just so they can declare “Look at me! I did it ALL BY MYSELF”? How many organized groups of Twighlight fans were there? Left-handed people? People whose last names start with the letter “K”?

    Until Joe Klein stops beating his wife, he really shouldn’t be casting aspersions on secular humanists.

    • MikloVelka

      “No, Joe, I didn’t say physically abusing her. I was referring to you winning against her in a competition.” …a competition of the poorest “journalism”

  • http://springygoddess.blogspot.com/ Astreja

    I don’t have a Time subscription to cancel, but I’m thinking bigger than the magazine. Much bigger. Effective immediately, I’m directing My boycott activities towards all subsidiaries of the Time-Warner corporation.

  • David Pearce

    I cancelled my subscription to Time Magazine in the early 90s as the depth and quality of its journalism diminished sharply. Through the nineties and naughties when I picked up a copy to browse, it seemed to be mainly a promo rag for Time Warner media – favourable review of crap movies etc. No real surprise then about the poor journalistic standard typified by Joe Klein. The sooner Time joins Newsweek on the scrapheap of history the better. It is a such a shame that a once decent magazine has fallen so low.

  • Nicholas

    What do you expect from a second-rate magazine? I think the real problem here is that people still read this garbage and actually care. Maybe the writer was correct in his assertion that we aren’t as organized because we aren’t as slavish, but don’t tell them this–they like slaves. Let them die off.

  • DoctorDJ

    Time is just a shadow of it former self. There’s little difference now between it and “People” magazine.
    This is extremely accurate:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4TT81o4hL4c

  • Gary Denton

    Joe Klein has always been an overrated liar.

  • Don Gwinn

    Cancel what? My “subscription to TIME Magazine?” Yeah, I . . . I don’t have one of those. I don’t know anyone who has one of those. People don’t read TIME Magazine anymore.

    • Sunny Day

      Offices with waiting rooms have Time Magazine.
      That’s it.

      • Dana W

        That’s the only place I ever see it.

    • meekinheritance

      Nobody has the time.
      Get it? Time? Nobody has it?
      Happy Friday everybody!

  • Nadia Williams

    From my inbox:

    Dear Nadia Williams,

    Thank you for your e-mail [in which I politely explained that I'm uncomfortable supporting a magazine where the fact that this comment was considered okay reflects an opinion of the minority group I belong to which is insulting and false].

    We are able to cancel your subscription and an appropriate refund will be processed to xxx. You may receive one or two more copies of the magazine before service ceases, please keep them with our compliments.

    If we can be of any further assistance, do not hesitate to contact us.

    Yours sincerely,

    TIME magazine

  • Yojimbo Billions

    What’s a magazine?

    • UWIR

      It’s kind of like the internet, except instead of you deciding which articles to read, someone else has decided for you, and then printed them out and bound them together, and then physically mailed to your home. There’s also something called “America’s Funniest Home Videos”, which is like YouTube, except that you don’t get decide which videos to watch, and all the videos are pretty much the same.

  • Regina Carol Moore

    TIME has always been a hack magazine, as far back as I can remember. But journalism in the form of magazines and newspapers is almost dead in America right now. Every day, more and more people are looking for alternative ways to get accurate news sources. I go to the BBC, and I am led to the NYT and WaPo by people I follow on Twitter. I also read blogs and watch videos on youtube. There’s actually no reason to buy a subscription for anything anymore.

  • SeekerLancer

    You know what TIME, Klein, anyone else in the media?

    Bring it. This is the kind of publicity we need to show the world what we’re doing. You’re giving us a platform to prove ourselves against your slander.

  • brandoshido

    Dafuq, TIME?

  • Amaranth

    Klein’s comment isn’t the thing that actually worries me that much, really. Given the American’s attitude towards atheists, it doesn’t even surprise me at all that he would mention the lack of “organized” secular groups helping out.

    What really bothers me is that TIME magazine, either foolishly or by WILLFUL IGNORANCE, didn’t bother to fix Klein’s error. We see this every day – until recently, the 10 commandments were posted on Oklahoma public schools, in violation of the 1st…for a long time, they weren’t taken down. That’s willful ignorance. It’s not even that they didn’t know about the 1st amendment, which they obviously should…it’s that the teachers and faculty probably knew about it and decided not to do anything about it, or, as in TIME’s case, brush it off.

    What a shame.

  • RickRayFSM

    Perhaps the die-hard xians think that because they believe in an invisible, imaginary deity that they’ll have a better spot at the dinner table nearer the bullshit when they die. The xians must feel so proud that they are able to put down anyone who doesn’t think like they do.

  • Jayne Cravens

    As a researcher and trainer regarding volunteer engagement, and an atheist, I’ve been particularly outraged by Time Magazine’s gross misstatements. I had tweeted about it and posted about it on Facebook already – but now have done all that again, plus blogged about it. I work with a lot of managers of volunteers who are also under the impression that Atheists don’t volunteer, and they are always shocked when I point out otherwise – and often become quite defensive at the idea that opening their volunteer recognition event with a prayer to Jesus might not be a great idea. Time Magazine’s promotion of this myth makes my work that much harder.

  • Heidi McClure

    Looks like my dad will be getting a gift subscription to something else this year.

  • Reasonableguy

    This sounds like a lot of whining over not being recognized as doing something good. Jesus said that when we do good works we should not do them for the reward of men but rather for the reward of having done something good. If all you want is for someone to acknowledge your good works then you’re just doing it for selfish reasons.

    • GCT

      So much fail….

      The religious privilege is just dripping out of just about every word in your condescending rant. it’s not about whining because we’re not being recognized. It’s about people lying about our involvement and thus perpetuating bigoted stereotypes against atheists. If we don’t do anything, we get attacked for not doing anything. If we do something, we still get attacked for not doing anything. Then, when we speak up to point out that we did do something, along come people like you to attack us for speaking up.

      Also, when was the last time you criticized your fellow theists for extolling the virtues of the work they’ve done?

      Lastly,

      If all you want is for someone to acknowledge your good works then you’re just doing it for selfish reasons.

      Oh, the irony.

      • Reasonableguy

        And you are providing the perfect example of my point. There is no religious privelege.. there is right and wrong… there is good character and bad character. And I pointed out a simple truth.. that people who do something that is ‘good’ and then say, ‘look at me, look at me.. see what a good thing I’ve done’ have done nothing good at all.. their motivation was purely selfish. The fact you can’t handle that truth.. means you are ignorant of it. And that’s a shame for you.. because there is no joy in life with that mindset. There is only isolation and loneliness.

        • GCT

          That you don’t see your own privilege is no surprise, but you are steeped in it. You get to live in a world where you aren’t derided as uncharitable simply because you don’t believe in god. You don’t have to abide the slings and arrows of bigotry simply because you refuse to believe in a god based on zero evidence. That you can come here and chastise us for being upset at being lied about is simply more evidence of your privilege.

          And I pointed out a simple truth.. that people who do something that is ‘good’ and then say, ‘look at me, look at me.. see what a good thing I’ve done’ have done nothing good at all..

          And, that’s not what is happening here. What’s happening here is that one of your Xian buddies is lying about us, and we are defending ourselves. You, of course, have decided to ignore all that and attack us for being victimized. Good job with that religious privilege.

          Further, apparently you don’t see the irony of Xians doing good deeds to impress Jesus.

          The fact you can’t handle that truth.. means you are ignorant of it. And that’s a shame for you.. because there is no joy in life with that mindset. There is only isolation and loneliness.

          The projection and the irony are overwhelming.

          • Reasonableguy

            Look my friend…. you don’t know me. Not at all. I live in a world where I’ve been ridiculed and made fun of all my life.. I am completely empathetic to anyone suffering personally for their oddities or their beliefs. And please remember that Christians take a lot of heat from Atheists that is driven by arrogance and hatred. I am not saying you’re one of those guys and I’ve not said anything about you save to respond to what I see in your comments. I have had to abide the slings and arrows of bigotry on many levels. You shouldn’t assume anything as I have not.

            Now.. the the ‘zero evidence’ thing. If I tell you I see God everywhere and in everything.. you’ll say I’m delusional perhaps. But… I see what I see.. and your words will not affect that in any way. The fact that you see zero evidence should be a point of objective consideration if you prize logic and rationale at all. It may simply be that you do not see what you can not see. And it may be that the reasons you don’t see are relative to your fabric of consciousness that has developed through your rearing. I don’t ‘believe’ in God.. there was a time when that was true. But I ‘know’ God now… just as I know anyone that I know. And that knowledge came through a lifetime of questions and self-examination and demanding honesty of myself. I am not a dolt… I do not believe things or think things without a cohesive and comprehensive explanation to defend them. This was the biggest challenge in my search for the truth… because I was unwilling to simply accept someone’s opinion or beliefs because they sounded nice or some emotionally driven reason. And I can present to you a view of the Universe that includes God that is more comprehensive than can ever be delivered by a purely scientific approach because the Cosmos is more than science.

            • GCT

              Look my friend…. you don’t know me. Not at all.

              I know you well enough from your bigoted posts to know that you are not my friend.

              I live in a world where I’ve been ridiculed and made fun of all my life.. I am completely empathetic to anyone suffering personally for their oddities or their beliefs.

              If you have been ridiculed and you live in the US, it’s not because of your beliefs. You are not part of a persecuted minority. You are part of the privileged majority, and you are here to attack a minority. To do to us what you claim has been done to you. I guess that makes you feel superior? More moral than us? It makes you neither.

              And please remember that Christians take a lot of heat from Atheists that is driven by arrogance and hatred.

              You mean anger. Anger derived from the arrogance and hatred directed at us by bigots like you. Anger derived from the bullshit martyr and persecution complexes of bigots like you. Anger from the attempts by bigots like you to enshrine our status as second class citizens into law. Don’t you dare try to turn this around and make it the fault of a despised minority.

              Now.. the the ‘zero evidence’ thing. If I tell you I see God everywhere and in everything.. you’ll say I’m delusional perhaps.

              I would tell you that you don’t seem to understand what “evidence” means and that you still don’t have any.

              But… I see what I see.. and your words will not affect that in any way.

              Glad to know that you are open to reason and can be swayed by argument.

              The fact that you see zero evidence should be a point of objective consideration if you prize logic and rationale at all.

              Facepalm.

              It may simply be that you do not see what you can not see.

              If that’s the case, that would be the fault of your god, which would lead to the absurd case where I would go to hell because god created me to do so all the while claiming that he loves me and wants me to go to heaven…which is absurd in itself.

              I do not believe things or think things without a cohesive and comprehensive explanation to defend them.

              Demonstrably untrue.

              And I can present to you a view of the Universe that includes God that is more comprehensive than can ever be delivered by a purely scientific approach because the Cosmos is more than science.

              You can try, but no one in history has ever been able to do so before you.

              • Reasonableguy

                I am writing a book called, ‘The Purpose of Life’ and when it’s finished and if it is ever published that will be one way for you to see my comprehensive explanation of the Cosmos. Or you and I can enter into a personal dialogue that over the next few months I can relate the whole picture to you.. .which would you prefer? And are you even ready to hear such a thing?

                I’ll begin like this. It is not God’s fault that you don’t see. We are not robots and the reason is Love. Love only exists where there is the freedom to choose. Love that is preprogrammed or forced is not really love. And so the evolution of mankind is a two-sided evolution. And evolution of form and an evolution of consciousness. Mazov’s Heirarchy of Needs posits that we are only able to consider elements of higher purpose and ideals when we’ve resolved the matters of survival and sustenance. The nature of Love has evolved through the centuries and has, through religion and philosophy been further refined and incorporated in the human consciousness. We were once all barbarians… now we have things like ‘Universal Declarations of Human Rights’ and such higher evolved benevolent mutual considerations. And while this is happening on a societal level we, as individuals, are going through our own process of growth. Depending on your upbringing.. how much love was demonstrated by your parents, how harmonious the family environment is and what the quality of that experience was, coupled with your own particular genetic and spiritual make up, you see different concepts and different ideals appeal to you. If you grow up as a street urchin in Rio De Janeiro then you’re not likely to believe in a God because you’re experience is one of zero trust in anything but yourself. Such a person is not likely to see the intrinsic value of love or any such thing. And so… we have a giant disparity in the worlds created in people’s minds. Every person thinks they’re right and that they see clearly while at the same time they acknowledge that not everyone agrees with them. Our capacity to see is not static. And so some say.. there is no God and no evidence of God… while others say.. God is all around us and expressed in every single thing.

                • GCT

                  I could take your comment apart piece by piece and expose all the problems, logical fallacies, and inaccuracies, but I won’t, since it’s off topic. I will say this, however: do you really think that anything you’ve said above is new? It’s boilerplate, typical schlock and neither presents evidence nor anything even approaching a compelling argument. You obviously have no concept of what the word “evidence” means and you don’t have anything that would convince anyone of god’s existence.

                  I will point out that your whole street urchin thing smacks of racism and points to a huge ignorance of the demographics of your own religion.

                • Reasonableguy

                  Then don’t say you can do it GCT… do it! I think you’re full of crap and can’t do any such thing. Not only that… I don’t believe you actually understood what I wrote based on your response. You simply characterize it with words like ‘boilerplate’ and ‘typical schlock’. So… back up your words big talker. And then you get personally offensive using the term ‘street urchin thing’ and when people get personally offensive it means they are intellectually bankrupt. The ego and the arrogance your exhibiting also demonstrates the lack of any real character and that is typical of atheists. You don’t understand ‘morality’ because there is nothing to hinge any morality to in your world. And that is why the efforts of Atheists to do ‘good’ is hypocrisy.. you don’t have any ‘good’.. .there is no ethic or morality justifiable without a higher intelligence to justify it. All morality and virtue is, in your world, an opinion… a point of view. And because of that fact… you atheists can not establish any code of ethic or morality. So your efforts to do something virtuous can only be driven by selfish need and ambition to self-promote. And that’s why you’re whining over the Time’s article. I’ve been debating with atheists of all ilks for 40 years and there is nothing to your arguments and the fact is that the majority of atheists have to ignore whole aspects of reality in order to justify their religion. And that is what it is… a religion.. with all the same characteristics and the most negative aspects of religions. You’re exclusive.. you’re bigoted… you’re narrow-minded… you’re emotionally driven rather than what you suppose… intellectually driven.. and the majority of you have giant issues with authority.. probably the consequence of familial issues. If I ever meet an atheist, that is, one who declares there is no god… who can be truly objective… I will change my mind. But that hasn’t happened in 40 years and countless conversations and debates. And when I really get into the thick of it with you guys what typically happens is that you get personally offensive and irrationally angry. And that’s because of what I said above… you think your views are justified by your insistence that you only accept what is ‘factual’ and backed by ‘evidence’ but when you’re presented with a challenge by someone who really has thought things through and is intelligent enough to present you with real arguments you fold and resort to violence.

                • GCT

                  Not only that… I don’t believe you actually understood what I wrote based on your response. You simply characterize it with words like ‘boilerplate’ and ‘typical schlock’.

                  Because it is. You honestly think that you’re saying something novel? I think that’s the funniest thing you’ve said in this whole entire exchange.

                  And then you get personally offensive using the term ‘street urchin thing’ and when people get personally offensive it means they are intellectually bankrupt.

                  Seriously? You’re the one that started talking about street urchins in Brazil. WTF is wrong with you?

                  The ego and the arrogance your exhibiting also demonstrates the lack of any real character and that is typical of atheists.

                  Bigot.

                  You don’t understand ‘morality’ because there is nothing to hinge any morality to in your world.

                  More bullshit that we’ve all heard a million times before. If you can present a coherent moral platform based on god, then I’m all ears. Until such time, you’ll have to resign yourself to the fact that you have to pick and choose which parts of the Bible to accept and which to ignore as your supposed moral code, which destroys your argument.

                  And that is why the efforts of Atheists to do ‘good’ is hypocrisy.

                  Only if we go by your warped definition that good is only what you claim it is.

                  And that’s why you’re whining over the Time’s article.

                  Apart from your obvious bent of us atheists getting what we deserve, which is bigoted, we’ve told you over and over that we are upset because we are being lied about. That you continually ignore that is deceitful on your part.

                  I’ve been debating with atheists of all ilks for 40 years and there is nothing to your arguments and the fact is that the majority of atheists have to ignore whole aspects of reality in order to justify their religion.

                  Not only is atheism not a religion, but there is no need to ignore any part of reality. Simply because you make up stories and claim that they are true, however, does not make them real.

                  You’re exclusive.. you’re bigoted… you’re narrow-minded… you’re emotionally driven rather than what you suppose… intellectually driven.. and the majority of you have giant issues with authority.. probably the consequence of familial issues.

                  It’s kinda funny and sad when people like you go on rants to accuse all atheists of being some stereotype and then also pronounce that we are bigots…all while demonstrating actual bigotry in the process.

                  If I ever meet an atheist, that is, one who declares there is no god… who can be truly objective… I will change my mind.

                  There is no reason to believe in god, which is what atheism is, disbelief. Positively stating that no god exists is not a necessary condition for one to be an atheist. You don’t even know what atheism is, but you’re sure that it’s wrong, that all atheists are horrible people, etc.

                  And when I really get into the thick of it with you guys what typically happens is that you get personally offensive and irrationally angry.

                  Gee, I can’t imagine why anyone would get angry with you after you’ve been yelling insults at us.

                  And that’s because of what I said above… you think your views are justified by your insistence that you only accept what is ‘factual’ and backed by ‘evidence’ but when you’re presented with a challenge by someone who really has thought things through and is intelligent enough to present you with real arguments you fold and resort to violence.

                  Wait, what? Violence? Your arguments are facile. If this is the best you can do after having really thought things through, then I pity you. I have no need to resort to violence, nor do I want to. That you have pushed that upon me and all other atheists is yet more bigotry from you. I suggest you stop and think about the stereotypical insults you’ve thrown at us.

                • Jitterbits

                  “You’re exclusive.. you’re bigoted… you’re narrow-minded… you’re
                  emotionally driven rather than what you suppose… intellectually
                  driven…”

                  Wow. You’re the one saying that there’s no such thing as a moral atheist. You’re the one saying that atheists are all egotistical, lack “any real character” and ignorant of reality. And you actually have the temerity to claim that it’s the atheists who are exclusive, bigoted and narrow-minded?

                  You’re the one whose entire cache of evidence rests on what you “feel” rather than” what can be seen, but we’re the ones who are driven by emotion rather than intellect?

                  And narrow-minded? Pretty much every atheist I’ve ever known says that if presented with actual, compelling evidence of the existence of God, we would gladly change our mind to suit the evidence. How does that make US narrow-minded? This is especially ironic because I’m pretty sure that there is nothing anyone could say that would make you renounce that claim. That’s the very definition of narrow-minded! It also is incredibly hypocritical.

                  The thing is, despite your assertion, we have NOT been presented with “real arguments”. All of the “real arguments” are built on logical fallacies, not just yours but every single thing I’ve ever read from theologians and apologists. You’re confusing our refusal to continue beating our heads against the wall, trying to have an intellectual discussion with someone whose argument is based neither on intellect nor logic with us “folding”. Sorry, but recognizing the futility in a debate and walking away is sometimes necessary when trying to preserve one’s sanity. It doesn’t mean “you win”, It means your whole premise is so weak and your refusal to admit any fault so strong that, rather than pulling our hair out, we leave you to your delusions. As for violence, I’m sure you must have evidence of an atheist resorting to violence rather than debate a believer, right? I know of a lot of Christians who have resorted to violence when there’s something with which they disagree, but atheists, not so much. Not at all.

                  Your spurious claims are nothing but projecting on your part. And they are so lacking in veracity, they can be seen as nothing other than “Bearing false witness.”

                  Besides all of this, you still keep repeating the LIE that our anger regarding this issue is about not being recognized for our good deeds, rather than being lied about in a major publication. How absurd. And that you continue to insist that we are merely seeking recognition when it wasn’t we who wore shirts emblazoned with our church’s name or pray publicly before volunteers were sent to help or proselytize to the victims, with total disregard to their personal beliefs, while you give the Christians a pass just shows how bigoted, exclusive and narrow-minded you actually are. You don’t even apply the verses you cited to those who claim (quite loudly and proudly) to adhere to them.

                  “Reasonable guy”? Really?

                • GCT

                  I’ll begin like this. It is not God’s fault that you don’t see.

                  It’s not? Then god is not omni-max. From your first sentence, you’ve negated your own concept of god. Not an auspicious start.

                  We are not robots and the reason is Love.

                  Free will can not exist with an omni-max god. Nor, do we have to be kept in the dark about the facts of god’s existence in order to choose to love him. Quite the opposite, in fact. How can I make an informed decision if god deliberately hides facts from me?

                  Love only exists where there is the freedom to choose.

                  Two things:

                  1) god would not have the freedom to choose, therefore you’ve put yourself into a contradiction.

                  2) What freedom is there if the stated alternative is eternal torture?

                  And so the evolution of mankind is a two-sided evolution. And evolution of form and an evolution of consciousness.

                  You have no idea what you are talking about. Evolution is not “two-sided”. Evolution of the species is a random biological process.

                  The nature of Love has evolved through the centuries and has, through religion and philosophy been further refined and incorporated in the human consciousness.

                  Religion has had very little to do with it. With religious “love” we have the Westboro Baptists telling us all how much “god hates fags”. That’s some great love there. But, regardless, I need you to back up your assertion that love has evolved with some citations.

                  We were once all barbarians… now we have things like ‘Universal Declarations of Human Rights’ and such higher evolved benevolent mutual considerations.

                  Those thing have come about in spite of religion. As humans become more educated and more secular, we tend to advance morally as well. See “The Better Angels of our Nature” by Steven Pinker.

                  And while this is happening on a societal level we, as individuals, are going through our own process of growth.

                  Citation needed.

                  If you grow up as a street urchin in Rio De Janeiro then you’re not likely to believe in a God because you’re experience is one of zero trust in anything but yourself. Such a person is not likely to see the intrinsic value of love or any such thing.

                  Except for the fact that people tend to be the religion they were brought up in, except when they leave religion. Religion is shrinking in the industrialized world where we have education and secularism. Your “street urchin” is actually more likely to be Xian.

                  And so… we have a giant disparity in the worlds created in people’s minds. Every person thinks they’re right and that they see clearly while at the same time they acknowledge that not everyone agrees with them.

                  This is correct for certain ways of defining the words you use. So, given that we can’t typically agree on everything, how do we come to agreement? Religion has never facilitated that. We can’t use religion to decide who is right and who is wrong about anything. So, how do we do that? We use reason and science to figure out the answer to the question of who is right and who is wrong. There’s no cause to invoke god for any of that, and it actually hinders the cause.

                  And so some say.. there is no God and no evidence of God… while others say.. God is all around us and expressed in every single thing.

                  Some say that there’s no evidence of god, because there is none. Where is it? You’ve provided none. And, you’ve shown that you still have no clue what the word even means.

                • Reasonableguy

                  GCT.. I was wrong… you actually have done some objective thinking and I will answer every one of your points and I will answer them with empirical reason. But not right this minute because I am going to the park with my kids. But I’m going to challenge you with something before I respond. I want you to lay aside your own views and try to really be fresh in your considerations. I am asking this because my experience tells me that I am dealing with a loaded gun and that gun is not rational or empirical. My whole experience debating atheists has been that they first believe I am arguing from a traditional or doctrinal point of view. I am not. My ‘religion’ is my own and does not follow any traditional Christian template. I have, in fact, had exorcisms performed on my front porch by Church leaders who found my views to be contrary to their traditional ones. I do not attend Church routinely.. do not associate with other Christians… do not feel that the Christian Church in history has fulfilled Christ’s mandate to love neighbor as self and to love God completely. Yet I call myself a Christian and that, after having studied all of the major Religions of the World and having practiced some of them. But I call myself a Christian because of Christ, His teachings, and His Love. So I am asking you to drop your presupposed thinking and engage with me with a fresh perspective. If you can do agree here to do that… then I’ll deal with your thread exclusively. I am not here to win points.. I am here to help. And my first post.. the one that started all this controversy and response.. was strictly about a matter of reason in the analysis of the business of ‘doing good’ and altruism. I didn’t condemn anyone… I didn’t support the author’s perspective… I made a simple statement that doing good that seeks a reward is done for reasons that are selfish. I didn’t even say that Atheists don’t have the right or the obligation to defend themselves or their works. I just made a simple altruistic statement and you all responded with rancor and insults and whatever you felt was appropriate.. but you all missed the point and were preoccupied with defending yourselves… which is an ego game.. rather than discussing the merits of my argument. And that, my friend, is the proof that the responses.. or at least the majority of them, are driven by something other than doing ‘good’.

                • Reasonableguy

                  I will also confess that I used the term, “sounds like a lot of whining” in that first post and that could be, and I should have realized it likely would be, construed to be an attack. It wasn’t… I wanted to allude to the emotionality of the article. And one of my weaknesses is that I am not always as sensitive to how people will take my words as I want to be. I shouldn’t have said ‘whining’ I should have said ‘complaining’ so I regret using that word.

                • GCT

                  I am asking this because my experience tells me that I am dealing with a loaded gun and that gun is not rational or empirical.

                  When you can present rational and/or empirical evidence for god, then you can talk trash.

                  If you can do agree here to do that… then I’ll deal with your thread exclusively.

                  Seriously? You want me to basically grovel for you to cast your supposed pearls at my swine? Either discuss or don’t.

                  I am here to help.

                  Help what? What help could you possibly think we need from you?

                  And my first post.. the one that started all this controversy and response.. was strictly about a matter of reason in the analysis of the business of ‘doing good’ and altruism.

                  It was accusatory and attacking. You attacked us claiming that we were trying to brag about our good deeds, and that it invalidated the good. You ignored the fact that this was all in response to someone lying about us.

                  I made a simple statement that doing good that seeks a reward is done for reasons that are selfish.

                  And, that’s what was done by the atheists in question. We were not bragging about our works. We didn’t even mention them until someone came along and lied that we had done nothing. OTOH, Xians do good deeds in order to impress god, which is doing something for reward.

                  I didn’t even say that Atheists don’t have the right or the obligation to defend themselves or their works.

                  Except that when we pointed this out, you went ballistic and attacked us even more.

                  I just made a simple altruistic statement and you all responded with rancor and insults and whatever you felt was appropriate.. but you all missed the point and were preoccupied with defending yourselves… which is an ego game.. rather than discussing the merits of my argument.

                  It was not a simple statement. It was an attack and we both know it, no matter how much you claim it wasn’t, now, after the fact. Of course someone is going to respond with harsh words when one is attacked, especially in a bigoted way. And, you did attack in a bigoted way. You made (and still make) all kinds of claims that painted all atheists with the same brush, and are borne of religious privilege. And, yes we were defending ourselves, and quite rightly. And, no, that has nothing to do with ego – it has to do with the reality of being a despised minority that is constantly attacked by the religiously privileged majority. When people continually claim that you can not be moral, like you for instance, it’s an attack on us.

                  And that, my friend, is the proof that the responses..

                  Proves what? You attacked us? You acted immorally and we defended ourselves, and you claim it proves that we are the immoral ones? If I were to walk into your house and kick your cat and you cast me out, would that entitle me to say that Xians are not charitable, that Xians are mean, or anything else? No, of course not, because I was intentionally provoking in order to get a negative response. That’s what you did. You wanted a negative response, so you intentionally provoked us in order to get it and then claim that we are negative.

                  I will also confess that I used the term, “sounds like a lot of whining” in that first post and that could be, and I knew it likely would be, construed to be an attack.

                  It was an attack.

                  I wanted to allude to the emotionality of the article.

                  This is another religiously privileged argument. When we do anything that has any emotion to it, we’re being unreasonable and illogical. If we act like Spock, then we are unfeeling and incapable of real emotion. It’s bullshit. The fact that there may be some underlying anger does not impact the fact that Klein lied and Hemant provided the evidence. You aren’t dealing with that at all.

                  I shouldn’t have said ‘whining’ I should have said ‘complaining’ so I regret using that word.

                  It wouldn’t have helped very much.

                • Reasonableguy

                  Sorry.. not worth my time. You are angry… and you’re hypercritical… which is what I find with atheists commonly. You want everyone to respect you.. which is the content of this entire debate… but you have no ability to respect anyone else.. and yes.. that means on their terms. Christianity good.. Atheism bad.. maybe you can deal with that.

                • GCT

                  Sorry.. not worth my time.

                  That should have been my line.

                  You are angry…

                  Of course I am. You’re being blatantly bigoted and insulting.

                  …and you’re hypercritical… which is what I find with atheists commonly.

                  Why? Because I’m answering you point for point? Well, stop saying stupid shit and I’ll stop pointing out how stupid it is.

                  You want everyone to respect you.. which is the content of this entire debate… but you have no ability to respect anyone else.. and yes.. that means on their terms.

                  Yes, I want the common respect that should be afforded to all human beings, and not to be denigrated for being an atheist. Too bad you are unwilling to grant that. No, I don’t respect you as a person because you are a blatant bigot that seeks to treat me as sub-human. No, I don’t respect your ideas, and why should I when they are harmful, intolerant, and blatantly false? If your terms include the religiously privileged idea that I must respect your beliefs, then I refuse to do that. Your ideas are not above criticism.

                  Christianity good.. Atheism bad.. maybe you can deal with that.

                  You’ve been claiming that from the start, but only backing it up with bigoted insults. By our arguments and our ability to deal with your insults, we’ve shown that you are simply incorrect.

          • Reasonableguy

            The fact that someone is lying about you… whether they call themselves Christian or not… is irrelevant to my point except that it gives you an even greater opportunity at doing good. The point is that when you do good… even when people do wrong to you.. .then you are doing a thing that is not natural to human beings… to be truly altruistic and not driven by pride. And again, I am saying this in love… you do not understand that truth. The edict to love your enemies and to do good to those who persecute is instruction that blesses the performer. Not because someone pats them on the back.. but because their nature and their character are changed by the practice. This is the philosophy not only of Christ.. but of Ghandi and Buddha and Martin Luther King. It is the philosophy of devotion and self-sacrifice to a higher purpose.

            There are many people who call themselves Christian.. who go to church every week.. know all the rhetoric… and they are blind. In the Bible there is a passage about the ‘Day of Judgment’ and it says there are many who will come to Christ and say, “Lord Lord, didn’t we do many wonderful works in your name.” And the reply from Christ is, “Depart from me you evildoers because I have never known you.” The keyword there is ‘known’ and it comes from the Greek ‘gnosis’ and it means to have intimate knowledge of.. .as in a friendship. The objective of Christianity is not to give us a ticket to heaven… as many believe… it is to change us… to transform us.. from people who think selfishly to people who live for the sake of Love and Goodness. Bragging about your good works merely shows that your motivation for doing them in the first place was wrong.

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

              It’s bragging if you go up to someone and say “I’m so awesome, look what I did!”.

              It’s defending oneself if someone says “You didn’t do anything!” and you reply with “Yes I did! See, look,” *points* “Stuff I did!”

              • Reasonableguy

                I am not interested in argument for argument’s sake. I made a statement that has real deep truth in it. If you don’t understand my point.. what more should I say? Shall I elaborate further? I am talking about what makes for personal character. If you do something so people will recognize your ‘selflessness’ it is not selfless and they won’t acknowledge except in deceit. If you do something good.. and someone says you didn’t then you have two choices.. you can argue and defend yourself (which actually brings scrutiny to your efforts and skepticism about their value.) or you can trust that simply doing good is its own reward regardless of whether someone sees it, knows it, or acknowledges it in any way… or even if they say you didn’t do it. But if you don’t believe there is a God who sees what you do in private and will reward you in public… that become extremely difficult to do.

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

                  There are more consequences than just what God thinks. If people think atheists are evil people with no morals, they discriminate against them. They shun and disown their children if said children come out as atheists. They fire atheist employees and society nods approvingly. They proselytize in schools and society shrugs. Real people get hurt when atheists are silent, yet you call for such silence?

                  If I said all Christians are evil people with no morals, what would you do? Would you shrug and figure God would sort it out, or would you try to correct my misconception by pointing at the good Christians have done?

                • Reasonableguy

                  This is happening both ways. Atheists are discriminating against believers and believers are discriminating against atheists. Both are wrong.

                  If you say.. all Christians are evil I am going to say you’re a bigot. If you say I am evil I’m going to go on living my life which proves that I am not evil. I don’t worry about my image.. never. I worry about what’s in my heart and what my motivations are. I don’t care what anyone thinks about me. I was burned as a child and had to learn very young that people can be very cruel and in their ignorance they can act foolishly. But I understand why and I forgive them for it. I’ve been doing volunteer work for 40 years. I never brag about it and most people don’t even know I do it. I am not looking for a reward here and I don’t really even respect awards given by people or the recognition of people. It all looks like vanity to me. I didn’t always think that way… but I learned over time through exercising faith and love.

                  Christianity has, throughout its history been guilty of both good and evil. I don’t ever defend Christianity… I defend Christ. Because Christ is perfect and Christianity is not. And today the Church is still doing both Good and Evil. Millions of people are fed and clothed each year by Christian ministries and at the same time giant edifices are constructed in cities while poor and hungry in their neighborhoods go uncared for. This is not the message or the way of Christ and it never has been.

                  I have lots of friends who believe in God and lots that don’t. And I love some of my atheist friends more than my ‘religious’ friends because they are simply better people. They may not see God but they are compelled to be good people. And I think God respects them regardless because of their love and goodness. I could express a complete indictment of the modern Church and point out what I consider to be miserable failings on its part. But… that is swimming in a pool of stuff that I don’t want to have to try to wash off. Suffice it to say that I think one of the main reasons there are so many atheists is because Christians are failing to truly understand and communicate the consciousness and message of Christ.

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

                  I would love you to tell me an example of atheists in the US discriminating against Christians. Christians do face oppression and discrimination in some parts of the world (primarily from other religions, but also in China), but not here.

                  If Christ is perfect, why did he tell us mental and physical illness were caused by demons? That’s led to some really fucked up shit for 2,000 years or so.

                • Reasonableguy

                  Just go on Facebook and do a search for Atheist groups and look at the dialogue. It is utterly discriminatory and utterly bigoted. I can point you to examples that are more pertinent in the context of actual efforts being made to keep Christians from being able to exercise their Freedom of Religion if you give me a little time… but the Facebook examples should illustrate the mentality of Atheists toward Christians and the discriminatory and bigoted nature of it.

                  You have asked a question that is about as deep as any that might have been asked. And if you want an elaborate explanation I will indulge you. But remember that Jesus walked the earth at a time when science basically did not exist. Christ related to people on their level.. not on His. But the question of ‘demons’ is a deep one and I’ll start with it like this. We know now.. in our modern times.. that stress causes heart disease and all sorts of maladies. We also know that a person’s outlook on life can literally affect their health and longevity. Happy and optimistic people beat cancer with better percentages than those who are not. We also know through genetics that the telomers that seem to be associated with longevity are more likely to break down more slowly in people who have certain emotional and psychological characteristics. Demons should be thought of us emotional entities… not necessarily spiritual beings but more like states of mind. I’ll be honest here and tell you I am giving you an explanation that is extremely simplistic because to give you the real explanation, the comprehensive explanation, I’d have to build a conceptual foundation that would take thousands of words. But for example, a person falls into a state of depression.. becomes fixated on negativity or despair… and their health consequently fails. That spiritual/mental/psychological mindset can be thought of as being substantial.. a demon… and people in Christ’s time perceived these things that way. It is almost impossible for us, with our empirically based and logically based rationale, which is a thing that has only come to exist in the last few hundred years, to relate to the mindset of those in ancient times when the world was a giant mystery. Jesus related to those He was trying to reach… that’s the simple explanation.

                  But I can take this a small step further. Imagine that there is a spirit world… another dimension that exists beyond time and space… and in that dimension what is conceptual here.. is tangible there. Those ‘states of mind’, when established, would actually have ‘substance’ in that realm. Yeah… I know.. sounds like voodoo to you? But then, consider this.. everything we know as material.. the entire substantial universe.. is nothing but energy that is defined and directed by invisible laws, what we call the ‘laws of physics’ but those laws are not written on the energy itself.. they exist in a dimension beyond time and space and direct all energy in our Universe. Those invisible laws are manifest in energy and the subsequent matter they define. Two particles of energy whose actions are proscribed to relate in a certain way.. and that certain way causes matter and time and space to exist. The very fabric of our universe is the stuff of invisible laws… we don’t see them.. we see their result… their product. We are all actually just vapor… constantly mutating and transforming vapor.

                • Reasonableguy

                  At least.. .that’s what we are physically… but spiritually… oh that’s another matter completely.. having to do with our capacity, or lack thereof, to love.

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

                  1) Atheist Facebook pages. You mean atheists say mean things about Christians? Perhaps that they’re immoral: well, torture is immoral, eternal torture even more so. If you believe that happens and is at all justified, guess what, you’re immoral. That Christians are bigots? Not all of them, clearly, but when the main forces against racial, gender, and sexual orientation equality are all loudly proclaiming their bigotry is Godly, then the atheists have a point. That churches should pay taxes? That’s a given. That churches that violate the rules about politicking and then dare the IRS to come after them should especially lose their tax-exempt status? Ditto. That Christians shouldn’t be allowed to put their religious symbols on government property, seeing as government must be secular? Why yes, this is true and also not at all an imposition on religious liberty. What, exactly, do atheists say on Facebook that makes you so whiny?

                  2) So why didn’t he say that? Why didn’t he say “wash your hands before you eat and after you shit”? Why didn’t he say “lots of diseases are caused by tiny creatures you can’t see, but if you wash your hands, you can wash off most of them and get sick less”? Why didn’t he include a recipe for basic soap from animal fat and lye? Why not mention the absolute importance of straining and/or boiling water before drinking it?

                  Jesus definitely wasn’t relating demons as metaphorical. One book has him cast them out of a dude (there were lots of demons) and into a herd of pigs, which then all suicided for some reason. The Bible describes them as real beings. If God is omniscient, he would know this would lead to witch-burnings, mass disease epidemics, lepers being treated like, well, lepers, and more bad stuff. It would lead to billions of people dying of treatable disease and the spread of diseases like cholera because people didn’t understand what caused those diseases. What kind of benevolent deity would see that outcome and be like, well sucks to be human I guess. If God knew that rationality was important and blind faith would lead to horrible outcomes, why encourage blind faith over reason?

                  3) Your misunderstanding of physics is impressive. There is absolutely no evidence for some sort of mental-only/spirit dimension. I can imagine it, right enough, but that doesn’t make it real. The laws of physics are descriptive, not prescriptive; that is, they describe the things we’ve seen, they don’t tell the universe how to behave. The universe does whatever it damn well pleases, according to certain patterns we’ve been able to discern, and the patterns we’re really sure about are what we call laws. PV=nRT is a scientific law, discovered through experimentation. It does not tell gases what they should do. It describes how they act. That law is not inscribed on some spirit realm somewhere directing the behavior of gases. Same with E=mc^2 and d=rt and any other formula you can mention.

                • Reasonableguy

                  You know.. when you get offensive.. I am done with you. bye bye.

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

                  What did I say that offended you?

                • Reasonableguy

                  If you can’t read back through your own comments and understand why they are inappropriate and offensive then you lack the critical thinking necessary to have any meaningful dialogue. And you didn’t do what I asked you to do… to go and read the dialogue on these pages.. you simply began characterizing what you assume they say and justifying it. So… I’ll be plain with you. Bigotry is when you start painting a group of people with a broad brush because you don’t like them. It’s when you start making assumptions based on generalities and then use those assumptions to establish characterization in a negative way. And you’ve made sweeping statements in your reply that are not factual. Like I said.. I am done with you… unless you can demonstrate that you are really sincere in wanting dialogue and not merely here trying to egotistically make some points for your team. And the way you’re going to do that is to do some real objective research on the question of the ‘separation of Church and State’ and come back here ready to argue the position that you DO NOT subscribe to. Because unless you can deliver the perspective of those you disagree with comprehensively… with meaning and understanding.. then you are not objective and that means that your opinions and perspective are biased by factors other than reason and facts.

                • GCT

                  That’s pathetic. We’re supposed to guess at what has you all riled up and unwilling to defend your position? If I have to guess, it’s because you can’t defend your position and now you’re getting upset about it.

                  You are a bigot. You have used stereotypes to assume things about all atheists that are simply not true.

                  Lastly, it’s quite apparent that we all know a lot more about separation of church and state than you.

                • GCT

                  Just go on Facebook and do a search for Atheist groups and look at the dialogue.

                  Come back when you know what the word “discrimination” means and when you have an actual example. Until then, your religious privilege is simply disgusting and your bigotry is showing.

                • Rain

                  Suffice it to say that I think one of the main reasons there are so many atheists is because Christians are failing to truly understand and communicate the consciousness and message of Christ.

                  You should give atheists a little more credit than that. Also, it doesn’t add up because during the old glory days of Christian totalitarianism (Henry VIII, the total phony Christian for example; papal supremacy and the Inquisition are another couple of dandy examples) there weren’t very many atheists at all. And besides that, your religion isn’t the only religion that atheists are atheistic about. Maybe other religions are “failing to truly understand and communicate the consciousness and message” of their religion, which is why you aren’t in their religion. If only they ‘splained their religons better, then you would convert to them immediately, right? Yeah didn’t think so.

                  EDIT: If I may, I humbly quote the humble blog manager:

                  The best tool religious leaders used to have was the ability to keep people in a bubble. In the Internet age, that’s just not an option. Pastors are no longer the final authority when it comes to truth.

                • http://springygoddess.blogspot.com/ Astreja

                  Reasonableguy: “I’ve been doing volunteer work for 40 years. I never brag about it and most people don’t even know I do it.”

                  Don’t look now, but I think you just broke your 40-year non-bragging streak. :-D

                • Reasonableguy

                  Astreja… it is not bragging when it is a relevant fact that is necessary in the conversation. Keep trying.. but lose the emotional part and really use your brain.

                • TCC

                  And if you used your brain for a split second, you’d realize that that’s why we’re talking about secular humanist groups volunteering as well.

                • http://springygoddess.blogspot.com/ Astreja

                  I beg to differ, O Pharisee Yapping In the Temple. You criticize atheists for the act of defending themselves against a lie, accusing them of self-aggrandizement rather than “true” charity (whatever the f%ck that is in practical terms). Then what do you do? You turn around and tell the world about your secret volunteer work that you “never brag about.”

                  (Springy G flicks Her wrist and bounces a piece of stale pastry off Reasonableguy’s noggin)

                  *BONK* Here’s yer cookie, you hypocrite. While you’re chewing on it, ask yourself if your behaviour on this thread bears even the slightest resemblance to this “Love” you purportedly worship.

                • phantomreader42

                  No, you did not make a statement that has real deep truth in it. You lied. Isn’t that imaginary god of yours supposed to have some sort of problem with bearing false witness?

                • Reasonableguy

                  What’s the lie Phantom?

                • GCT

                  I am not interested in argument for argument’s sake.

                  Perhaps not. It’s pretty obvious that you are interested in pushing your religious privilege on all of us.

                  If you don’t understand my point.. what more should I say?

                  This is rather funny. Apparently, it’s you who is incapable of understanding us because you can’t see past your bigotry.

                  If you do something good.. and someone says you didn’t then you have two choices.. you can argue and defend yourself (which actually brings scrutiny to your efforts and skepticism about their value.) or you can trust that simply doing good is its own reward regardless of whether someone sees it, knows it, or acknowledges it in any way… or even if they say you didn’t do it.

                  That’s a whole lot of religious privilege you got going on there.

                  But if you don’t believe there is a God who sees what you do in private and will reward you in public… that become extremely difficult to do.

                  And, you’ve just contradicted yourself. By your own argument, your acts are worthy of derision.

            • GCT

              The fact that someone is lying about you… whether they call themselves Christian or not… is irrelevant to my point except that it gives you an even greater opportunity at doing good.

              It’s not irrelevant at all. We weren’t sitting here trumpeting out deeds. Klein came along and lied about what we’ve done. We pointed out what we’ve done and how it’s a lie. You came along to claim (a lie) that we are only trying to trumpet out deeds when in fact we are standing up for ourselves and telling the truth to lies. IOW, you don’t give a crap about people lying about us as long as it helps you feel better about your bigotries.

              And again, I am saying this in love… you do not understand that truth.

              I understand quite well, and there’s nothing about love in your denunciations of us, it’s born from sheer privilege and hatred.

              The edict to love your enemies and to do good to those who persecute is instruction that blesses the performer.

              You are not persecuted.

              There are many people who call themselves Christian.. who go to church every week.. know all the rhetoric… and they are blind.

              No true Xian fallacy.

              The objective of Christianity is not to give us a ticket to heaven… as many believe… it is to change us… to transform us.. from people who think selfishly to people who live for the sake of Love and Goodness.

              Which is why god commands that you do X, Y, or Z? This makes no sense and you are pushing a self-contradictory notion.

              Bragging about your good works merely shows that your motivation for doing them in the first place was wrong.

              The only one bragging here is you.

          • Josh Cervera

            Awesome posts, but if the religious dealt in facts, they wouldn’t exist..

            • Reasonableguy

              That’s ridiculous Josh… you need to qualify that statement.

              • Jitterbits

                Everyone else needs to qualify their statements but you? What poppycock.
                Look, I’ll boil this down so maybe you can understand. We are saying that you are speaking through religious privilege because you are NOT a member of pretty much the most maligned, distrusted groups in America. That you have the privilege to say that it doesn’t matter what people think of you as a group is because no one is trying to keep you from public office or take away your kids or spreading the falsehood that you are automatically immoral. And then you somehow confuse people being upset with how religion, especially Christianity because the majority of the US is Christian (not because Christianity is inherently worse than any other religion) with discrimination. Discrimination can NOT happen without power. It’s like the truism about racism, which is racism=power+prejudice. Being prejudiced alone does not equal discrimination unless someone holds the power to actually affect someone else’s life negatively.

                In any case, I don’t know why I’m bothering with this. It’s quite apparent that nothing anyone says will give you pause to reflect on your own actions.

      • Reasonableguy

        Oh.. and I don’t discriminate based on title… I point out the truth no matter whom I am dealing with.

      • Reasonableguy

        and one more thing.. the point was.. when you do something good… if you’re faithful to the virtue of doing good.. you’ll be patient and have faith it will be recognized. Oh.. but you guys don’t have faith in anything… that’s why you have to puff up your chest and brag about your good works. Keep talking.. you are unwittingly proving my point and fighting against rationale that is superior.. you can not win.

        • GCT

          But it doesn’t get recognized, because bigots like you make sure of that.

          And, what is this superior rationale that you’re talking about? The one where you have faith? The one where you get to brag about your accomplishments while deriding us for pointing out that we do them too? The one where you get to pretend that your accomplishments are virtuous while ours aren’t? The one where you get to do things for the sake of making Jesus happy and hoping to get into heaven while pretending that that doesn’t count when you deride us for doing things and then bragging about them, even though we’ve not done that, nor have we done those good things with a reward in mind? You’re a real piece of work you bigot.

        • C.L. Honeycutt

          Jesus but your posts are self-congratulatory, egotistical and judgmental. Does Jesus love those qualities, I wonder?

          • Reasonableguy

            CL… look through all the responses by atheists on this thread. All you guys can do is attempt to impugn my integrity with personal attacks on my words. You can’t do anything else because you have nothing.

            • GCT

              Except for all the arguments we’ve made to counter your terrible assertions. Oh, and the facts in the OP that you continue to ignore.

            • Jitterbits

              Personal attacks? All you HAVE are personal attacks. Any “attack” on you was merely in retaliation for your own ugly insults. If you can’t take it, then don’t keep piling it on.

      • Malby

        As children, we were encouraged to do good as a way to accumulate “points” for heaven. Ah, the philanthropy!

        • Reasonableguy

          Sorry you were so misdirected Malby.. if you’re an atheist I imagine this is part of the reason why.

          • GCT

            How can you claim that Malby is misdirected when you previously admitted that you do good to get points to get into heaven?

            • Jitterbits

              It’s because “reasonableguy” is nothing but reasonable, and every single spurious claim he made about us is nothing but a reflection of himself.

    • Dana W

      So what is the reward for lying about atheists? Oh yes. Reward in “Heaven” the standard fare for righteous liars.

      • Reasonableguy

        The reward for liars is the same no matter the title. A person who lies does not know who they are. And in that confusion they are miserable. And it’s the same for people who shut themselves off to the truth because what they believe is an emotionally driven lie… such as is commonly true with atheists.

        • GCT

          I’m not miserable, but apparently you must be considering how much lying you are doing. Does it also make you miserable to be such a bigot towards atheists? Why do you hate atheists so much?

        • Dana W

          You are so funny when you are totally full of shit. But do go on, its amusing.

          Keep talking to the voices in your head. ;)

          • Reasonableguy

            Are you the voices in my head? Or are you just another jackass atheist who thinks they are superior? I think the answer is clear. Here… let me speak to you in a way you can understand… hee haw.. .hee haw.. hee haw. Imbecile.

        • Jitterbits

          How is atheism “emotionally driven”? Certainly, the case can be easily made that religion is emotionally driven (since it is, entirely), but atheism? I don’t feel any emotions in regard to my atheism, unlike when I was a Christian.

    • UWIR

      You know, people keep saying that black people are just as intellectually capable as white people. Funny, though, that none of them have been able to get a PhD.

      What’s that, you have a list of black people with PhDs and you want me to apologize? Wow, what a bunch of whining about not being recognized. You’re so selfish. You should just go get a PhD, but let everyone constantly talk about how stupid you and black people in general are. What’s important is you getting a PhD, not other people knowing that you have a PhD.

      Meanwhile, I’m going to go ahead and assume that every black person I meet is a high school dropout unless informed otherwise. And if I am informed otherwise, I will conclude that they are a selfish, whining braggart, because why else would someone go around making a big deal about graduating from high school? Every black person is either incompetent or self-aggrandizing. QED.

      Funny how when Jesus said “When someone hits you, you should turn the other cheek”, Christians managed to convince themselves that that meant “You should feel free to hit other people, and then give them lectures about they should now turn the other cheek:.

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

        Wow, powerful. I almost said some very nasty things to you after reading just your first paragraph. Then I read on and was like, oh. Right. Yes, that’s a good analogy. Carry on.

      • Reasonableguy

        Very small thinking in my opinion UWIR. There’s a tinge of resentment behind all your words… and kind of mindset that is cynical and suspicious. You should consider that because ultimately it will affect your health and well-being. But more importantly, that emotionality to your perspective distorts it and prevents you from seeing the larger issues.

        Being black is not a choice.. .being an atheist is. There’s a fault in your correlation. Black people suffer discrimination because of fear and prejudice. A lot of Atheists suffer criticism because they are so intolerant of religious people and are constantly seeking to prevent them from expressing their freedom in religion. What’s worse, they arrogantly condemn and mock and ridicule without ever imagining that it is a reflection on their own character. Just go on Facebook and do a search for Atheist groups and look at the dialogue there.. and see if you can come up with some reasonable excuse for it. If you can’t.. then realize that when atheists learn to be a bit more tolerant.. they may experience a bit more tolerance.

        But none of that has much to do with my point.. and your response didn’t address the content of my point at all. Demanding that people acknowledge your good works means you’re going them for acknowledgment.. not for doing good for its own sake. And there’s just no way around that.

        • UWIR

          Very small thinking in my opinion UWIR.

          You’ve made it very clear that your opinion isn’t worth much.

          There’s a tinge of resentment behind all your words

          There’s more of a “tinge” of resentment at your defense of bigotry. But thanks for your amateur psychoanalysis.

          You should consider that because ultimately it will affect your health and well-being.

          If you really cared about my well-being, you wouldn’t be defending bigotry.

          Being black is not a choice.. .being an atheist is.

          First, atheism is not a choice, and second, it’s irrelevant. Just mentioning some alleged difference and then declaring “these are different so you’re wrong” is quite fallacious thinking.

          Black people suffer discrimination because of fear and prejudice. A lot of Atheists suffer criticism because they are so intolerant of religious people and are constantly seeking to prevent them from expressing their freedom in religion.

          Some atheists are intolerant. Some black people are intolerant. Justifying bigotry against a group simply because not every single member of that group is a saint is childish. Atheists are not, in general, intolerant, nor does their seek to prevent freedom of expression. Almost always, when an atheist is accused of trying to prevent freedom of expression, the “expression” involves not religious people expressing their religion, but religious people trying to get the government to express their religion. Atheists suffer criticism, and much more, because of bigots like you.

          What’s worse, they arrogantly condemn and mock and ridicule without ever imagining that it is a reflection on their own character.

          Here’s a tip: when someone accuses you of bigotry against atheists, saying “It’s not bigotry to criticze atheists because atheists are awful people” does not refute the accusation of bigotry, but in fact supports it.

          I do consider the fact that I condemn religious immorality a reflection on my character, though. A rather good one, in fact.

          Just go on Facebook and do a search for Atheist groups and look at the dialogue there.. and see if you can come up with some reasonable excuse for it.

          Translation: “somewhere, out there, is some stuff I don’t like, but I can’t actually find any examples”. Are there Facebook pages where atheist legislators call Christian children “evil little things” because they object to their school has a banner declaring that there is no God?

          I’d like you to tell me just how Jessica Ahlquist is “intolerant of religious people and [is] constantly seeking to prevent them from expressing their freedom in religion.” Maybe after that you can explain how Emmitt Till got what he deserved. Just what part of the Bible says to attack children and then make excuses for why it’s their fault?

          But none of that has much to do with my point.. and your response didn’t address the content of my point at all.

          1. You don’t really have much of a point.

          2. Plenty of other people have already addressed what little point you have.

          3. I did, in fact, address your point.

          Demanding that people acknowledge your good works means you’re going them for acknowledgment.. not for doing good for its own sake. And there’s just no way around that.

          How did my post not address that “point”? I contrasted your statement in the context of atheism with the context of black people.

          If black people get offended by people saying no black person has ever gotten a PhD, then according to you, they are getting PhDs just so they can go around bragging about their PhD, and not for the sake of having a PhD.

          And your point is absurd. First of all, it’s dishonest. There’s a vast difference between spontaneously demanding that people acknowledge good works, and getting offended at someone lying and saying that you have not done any good works. Aren’t Christians supposed to not lie?

          Second, just because one wishes to be acknowledged, does not mean that one did it just for acknowledgement.

          • Reasonableguy

            There’s not one response in this post that is anything but opinion UWIR. But you’re only motivated by facts and reason right? Here’s the fact that you missed. I have never justified the person’s comments in the article or the article itself. Please go back and find any place where I did that. You can’t. Because my point had nothing to do with the article.. it has to do with your response to it…. and atheists’ response to it in general.

            • UWIR

              Here is the very first response to your post:
              “Hemant is simply saying that Klein shouldn’t have lied about the participation of secular groups in providing aid. He’s not saying that Klein needed to praise secular groups for providing aid. Big difference.”

              Is that nothing but opinion? Liar liar liar.

              • Reasonableguy

                Yes.. that is opinion. It’s an ethical opinion.. a moral opinion.. but it’s still opinion. I can say ‘I don’t think…’ and you can stop me right there.. because stating it’s what I think is an opinion… it’s not a fact. Klein has the right of Free Press and he can write whatever he likes. He’s wrong.. but he can do that. So yes.. it is an opinion.

                • UWIR

                  “Yes.. that is opinion.”

                  No, it’s not. Do you have some sort of cognitive impairment? All these ellipses and incoherent ramblings that have no clear relation to the post that you are supposedly responding to make me wonder. Do you not understand the difference between rhetoric and stream of consciousness?

                  “and if you call me a liar again that will be the end of the conversation”

                  1. If you don’t want to have people call you a liar, don’t lie.

                  2. This isn’t a conversation. This is you just repeating yourself over and over again, refusing to listen to what anyone else has to say, declaring that everyone else’s posts are nothing but “opinion”, and declaring that people have some sort of intellectual blindness for not seeing the deep truth of your posts.

                  3. Threatening other people is a real asshole move. But as long as we’re doing so, here’s one from you: explain, in valid English, how what you said was not a lie, or I’ll call you a liar again.

                  4. You claimed that your central thesis consisted of two points:
                  a. Secular humanists are demanding that people acknowledge their good works

                  b. This means they’re [doing] good works for acknowledgment, not for doing good for its own sake.

                  You absolutely refuse to actually defend these claims. If you want to have a discussion, you need to do so.

                  “Now I ask you again.. are you ready to commit to an open conversation without all that BS or are you not able to do that.”

                  What BS? If you have any argument to make go ahead. Until you do so, I have nothing to discuss.

                  “You guys make such a big deal about being rational and logical and reasonable… but you’re not… and I’m trying to see if YOU can be or if you simply want to think of yourself in that image like all the rest I’ve ever attempted dialogue with.”

                  How does the fact that you’re being an arrogant asshole prove anything about atheists? I’m not the one refusing to be rational.

                  YOU are the one who is responding to people saying “Stop lying about us” and saying “You’re selfish for not wanting people to lie about you”. That is just wildly offensive, and if you can’t understand that, there’s something seriously wrong with you.

                • Reasonableguy

                  You know… I thought at first you were more of a critical thinker and able to perhaps digest some higher reasoning. It is obvious that there is a common weakness amongst atheists in this department. You’re all stuck in a sort of 2 dimensional mental quagmire. I suppose this is why Jesus said, ‘He who has eyes let him see… and he who has ears let him hear.’ The reason you atheists don’t see God is because you’re all suffering from the same limitation of consciousness. And after studying the Behavioral Sciences and Child Development I am certain that it has to do with your emotional development. I am trying to explain something to you that you CAN NOT perceive… and that’s like trying to explain what blue looks like to a person that is colorblind. I can’t imagine how limiting that is… I really truly feel sorry for you.

              • Reasonableguy

                .. and if you call me a liar again that will be the end of the conversation.. Now I ask you again.. are you ready to commit to an open conversation without all that BS or are you not able to do that. Because if you’re not.. then you’ve proven everything I said about atheists. You guys make such a big deal about being rational and logical and reasonable… but you’re not… and I’m trying to see if YOU can be or if you simply want to think of yourself in that image like all the rest I’ve ever attempted dialogue with..

          • Reasonableguy

            … and I’m sorry… but you just don’t get it. I am guessing that it is because you have an issue with understanding higher moral concepts… ie.. you have no ears to hear and no eyes to see. The fact is that when one wants acknowledgement for doing something good.. they did it for themselves and not for the good. Good.. is not selfishly motivated.. it’s done for others. It’s a simple maxim… try to understand it.

            • UWIR

              Why do you think that just repeating your position and calling it a “fact” is an argument? You’ve had people over and over again present counterarguments, and you refuse to respond to those counterarguments. You just declare that they have “an issue with understanding higher moral concepts” and then repeat yourself. You refuse to have a discussion; you just want to say what you have to say, and have everyone accept it, and if they don’t, they “have no ears to hear and no eyes to see”. You’re an arrogant jerk.

        • http://springygoddess.blogspot.com/ Astreja

          Reasonableguy: “Demanding that people acknowledge your good works means you’re doing them for acknowledgement… not for doing good for its own sake. And there’s just no way around that.”

          And what of it, RG? What if we were selfish? What if we were primarily interested in being acknowledged? You may have a problem with it, but I don’t. Better that than what Klein did, which was to disseminate false information about a group of people and not offer an unqualified apology when confronted with the facts.

    • phantomreader42

      So, you can’t imagine how anyone could have a problem with some asshat shamelessly lying about them? Or are you just being deliberately stupid and dishonest for the glory of your imaginary god of hatred and lies?

      • Reasonableguy

        I made my point succinctly.. if you dont get it… I can’t help you.

    • kaydenpat

      Hemant is simply saying that Klein shouldn’t have lied about the participation of secular groups in providing aid. He’s not saying that Klein needed to praise secular groups for providing aid. Big difference.

  • smhll

    If you don’t have a building with a spire on it, nothing you do actually counts. (Sigh.)

  • Malby

    So sad that I deemed Time irrelevant decades ago and have no subscription to cancel. What idiocy. Apart from everything else, Klein is applauding the work of theists, assuming that all people he sees are those. Not to step back and question why the imprimatur of an oft-corrupt group of myth believers is so important, but seriously? It never occurred to me to donate the substantial sums we do to an organization that takes a position on something so irrelevant to the purpose as religion. Perhaps we should stop contributing to all our local secular nonprofits and donate only to atheist nonprofits just to show Mr. Klein what a lazy thinker he is. Oh, never mind. That would be stupid too.

    I honestly think (and hope) that Blitzer’s interview with that young woman in Oklahoma will be something like a Stonewall for atheists. We’re here, we’re rational, and we’re tired of your crap.

    • ModernSexCulture

      I hope that interview with her will too :) And now I’m regretting that I canceled my subscription years ago..It’s been such a silly publication for so long I just.. couldn’t anymore.

  • Reasonableguy

    I am so glad to be getting all these negative responses from all you atheists out there who are so hellbent on showing what ‘good’ people you are. You’re making my point… and the funny thing is.. you can’t stop yourselves!! This is what I’ve experienced over and over again over 40 years… The problem is that your perspective is, by nature, morally bankrupt. But here you are trying to argue for morality! And the more you argue the more you characterize yourselves as intellectually bankrupt as well! Keep yapping!! :D

    • GCT

      Standing up to dishonest bigots is a good thing to do. That you don’t seem to think so speaks volumes about you. And, if you think it’s a victory to spew some bigoted insults at us and then hope for people to argue with you, then that makes you nothing more than a bargain-basement troll.

  • Reasonableguy

    … and since I now have a dozen or more people who have just become so, so… flabergasted that someone is pointing out your hypocrisy… it’s too much for me to respond to. It’s Saturday and I want to spend it with my kids. Maybe I’ll waste some more time and come back and address more posts if I see anything that doesn’t just look like the same old infantile kicking and screaming, but probably not. You monkeys have a great weekend… and remember.. God loves you!!!… despite all your foaming at the mouth!

  • Abiekaye

    Churches and organized secular humanist groups should work together to assist the victims of injustice and disaster. Unfortunately this does not grab headlines.

  • Daniel Moran

    This is all that I could fit in a tweet.

    “@TIME Cancelling my subscription. Klein’s remark was unnecessary, bigoted, and entirely untrue, and both of you utterly failed to apologize.”

  • Terry Firma

    Just called and canceled my subscription. Buh-bye Time magazine!

  • billwald

    Did the atheists wear T-shirts with identifying logos or come in vans with logos? In other words, did they look like atheists?

  • Reasonableguy

    This paragraph below is the end of a conversation I just abandoned with one of you religious zealots that call yourselves ‘atheist’… This fundamentally applies to almost every atheist I’ve debated for the last 40 years. I am offering it here and perhaps by some extremely small chance it will affect someone who reads it.. if to do nothing else than to plant a seed of doubt. Because I’d think it might occur to you somehow that in a world of people.. the majority of whom believe in God… somewhere.. somehow.. in the depths of your mind… you might consider that perhaps you just don’t get it. I know also that the typical mindset of atheists is that they are thinking somehow logically ‘superior’.. or unfettered.. or whatever… but that’s just ego trying to fill in the gap. So here you go… I won’t be back… and I know you’ll all pat yourselves on the back and declare victory.. small minded children that you are. God Bless you and liberate you from the cave of your despair.

    You know… I thought at first you were more of a critical thinker and
    able to perhaps digest some higher reasoning. It is obvious that there
    is a common weakness amongst atheists in this department. You’re all
    stuck in a sort of 2 dimensional mental quagmire. I suppose this is why
    Jesus said, ‘He who has eyes let him see… and he who has ears let him
    hear.’ The reason you atheists don’t see God is because you’re all
    suffering from the same limitation of consciousness. And after studying
    the Behavioral Sciences and Child Development I am certain that it has
    to do with your emotional development. I am trying to explain something
    to you that you CAN NOT perceive… and that’s like trying to explain
    what blue looks like to a person that is colorblind. I can’t imagine
    how limiting that is… I really truly feel sorry for you.

    • TCC

      Don’t stick the flounce. Good riddance.

    • GCT

      I am offering it here and perhaps by some extremely small chance it will affect someone who reads it.. if to do nothing else than to plant a seed of doubt.

      LOL. It’s doubt that brought us to atheism.

      Because I’d think it might occur to you somehow that in a world of people.. the majority of whom believe in God… somewhere.. somehow.. in the depths of your mind… you might consider that perhaps you just don’t get it.

      Not only is this a logical fallacy (argument from popularity) but it’s most likely untrue for the vast majority of atheists. Why? Because most of us have considered it. It’s just that we see no evidence, and no one seems able to present any evidence. So, we take the rational position.

      I know also that the typical mindset of atheists is that are thinking somehow logically ‘superior’.. or unfettered.. or whatever… but that’s just ego trying to fill in the gap.

      Atheism is the rational position. If it were rational to believe in god sans evidence, then it would also be rational to believe in fairies, gnomes, unicorns, and literally anything else that anyone can come up with. I think that even you can see the folly of that.

      So here you go… I won’t be back… and I know you’ll all pat yourselves on the back and declare victory.. small minded children that you are.

      If victory entails showing you to be a bigot with no real arguments, then sure, we win.

      You know… I thought at first you were more of a critical thinker and able to perhaps digest some higher reasoning.

      I doubt that you’d recognize “higher reasoning” if it bit you in the ass.

      The reason you atheists don’t see God is because you’re all suffering from the same limitation of consciousness.

      So, let’s say this is true. That would be your god’s fault, which he would then torture us infinitely for. You’ve just tossed out benevolence as a trait of your god. Why must you destroy your concept of god in order to argue for it? If you concept of god were consistent, logical, and rational, this would not be necessary.

      I really truly feel sorry for you.

      Perhaps you should, but not for the reasons you think. If you should feel sorry for us, feel sorry for us because we have to suffer the slings and arrows of unabashed bigots like you.

  • imaginaryGHOST

    I have been done with TIME ever since they named Putin a man of the year. Being Russian, I’m aware enough of the atrocities he committed while being in the KGB, as well as the iron grip he runs the country by, to know that the award was a complete joke. I haven’t touched a TIME mag since then, and this only helps console me with the knowledge that I made the right decision.

  • Reasonableguy

    To All: I stopped reading your replies yesterday after my last post. I won’t read any more or reply to any more because there is no reason to. It is a waste of time trying to explain something to people who have no capacity to understand it. So… please stop all this mental masturbation you’re engaged in. Forget about me… I am nobody… go back to sleep.

  • vulpix

    “post-modern” (sic)
    “atomization”
    “larger than yourself”

    All the staples are there. Now, to make the list complete, please proceed to tell us how we have no objective moral basis and we have no meaning in our lives without your particular god.

    Ugh. Can’t these people come up with something new?

  • Jordan Rudow

    I’m curious to see whether Klein feels that supernatural belief is *necessary* to creating a sense of community and organized humanitarian efforts – but we’ll have to wait 9 months for that opinion.

    I agree that there are more organized options available via religion, and that as people abandon religion they lose many of the great things traditionally associated with religion (community / fellowship / organization / identity). But I’m not convinced that setting up Atheist Groups (or Atheist Churches) is the answer. That would encourage the idea that atheism is an alternative belief system (which it’s not, really).

    Ideally, I think, we’d have groups that are secular humanist in nature, but don’t hold “Secular Humanism” as our identity. The question I don’t know the answer to yet – what identity should we hold? Ideally, all people in the world will drop religion and simply *be* secular humanists without having to declare that they are.

    Actually – just came to me – George Costanza’s “Human Fund” could be a jumping off point. The “Human Foundation”? The group would have to do a little more than George did, though. ;)

  • vulpix

    For the Christians who pride themselves on displaying their righteous deeds, they should read their own Bible: “Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.” –Matthew 6:1

  • Santiago Brin

    I’m not sure why as an atheist I need to volunteer or give money for any cause. We are not particularly organized because we don’t really have a ‘platform’ to speak of, except for not believing in deities, and that isn’t much to go on. Let’s not give in to religious propaganda about helping others, their help always has a price……….

  • Phil Spencer

    “Klein acknowledged the criticism and said he plans to write more about the decline of secular service organizations.”
    So he acknowledges the criticism and is going to repeat the offence? Not exactly an apology for being caught out is it?


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