Former Congressman Barney Frank Finally Comes Out as an Atheist

Yes, former Congressman Barney Frank is gay.

Yes, Barney Frank is liberal.

Yes, Barney Frank is a Democrat from generally-progressive Massachusetts.

Yes, we all probably assumed he was an atheist.

But until now, his official religious affiliation (PDF) had always been “Jewish.”

Last night, after taping Real Time with Bill Maher, Frank referred to the fact that he was a “pot-smoking atheist” on the post-show segment “Overtime” (about 0:50 into the segment):

Bill Maher: … you were in a fairly safe district. You were not one of those Congresspeople who have to worry about every little thing. You could come on this show, and sit next to a pot-smoking atheist, and it wouldn’t bother you…

Barney Frank: [Pointing back and forth to himself and Maher] Which pot-smoking atheist were you talking about?

[Laughter]

Bill Maher: Ooh, you are liberated!

Barney Frank: No, I would tell you now… I regret… I had asked my governor to appoint me to the open Senate seat and he decided not to, and I was looking forward to having my husband Jim hold the Constitution, not the Bible, and affirm, not swear, that I was gonna be a wonderful Senator.

Bill Maher: You would’ve been a wonderful Senator…

It’s one of those things you wish he could’ve said more openly during the 32 years he sat in Congress. Somehow, it was okay to be a gay liberal, but saying he was an atheist would’ve been taking things too far…

Incidentally, the Secular Coalition for America gave him a “C” grade in their 2011 report card:

The grade was lower than expected because Frank supported reaffirming “In God We Trust” as our national motto, voted to give land to the Boy Scouts of America, and supported a measure that allowed “certain church plans to be exempt from registration and disclosure requirements.”

In any case, former Rep. Pete Stark (D-CA) still remains the only openly atheist member of Congress in our history.

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.

  • Heidi McClure

    Barney’s a good guy. I’m not in his district (I was in John Olver’s and now I’ve been redistricted to Niki Tsongas’s), but I would’ve voted for him.

    • pennyroyal

      He was my Rep. for many years and I always took pleasure in voting for him. Then he got gerrymandered out and we had Republican Peter Blute later of the infamous “booze cruise.”
      Barney is sorely missed for his knowledge and commitment to fair government that served people’s needs and for his years of standing up to the political extremists.

      • WSG57

        ” commitment to fair government that served people’s needs and for his years of standing up to the political extremists.” Wow – REALLY ? As opposed to Constitutionally limited gov’t and Frank is a Radical Progressive by any objective definition so that makes him, what, a moderate ?? You are delusional – willfully detached from reality.

        • pennyroyal

          really? You don’t even know me. So who are you to judge. I’m a former RN, a retired hospital and hospice chaplain, a minister, married 48 years to the same man, respected in my community where I write a monthly column. I donate platelets once a month in memory of my brother who died of cancer. I’m an activist and give support to many causes. What do you do but gripe and be part of the Tea KKK?

          • WSG57

            My “judgment’ was an evaluation of your stated support for Barney. Such as Frank-Dodd(FD) a flaming example of arsonists now in charge of the fire dept. NO agency of the gov’t should have the power to destroy entire swaths of the private sector and that is EXACTLY what FD is intended to do. Read it – all of it – and rationally tell me otherwise please. His behavior or lack thereof where his “roommate” was concerned – nahh Barney had no idea his roomey was pimping ? Room precludes a legion of further examples. TEA-KKK is oxymoronic -the KKK was a DEMOCRAT outfit read a history book – not Zinn – a real history book. Then get back to me and I’ll match my definition of community activism with you ANY day.

            • WSG57

              Given that the last version of FD was over a 1000 pages – I’m going to call it a day. I am fortunate enough to still have a private sector job in BHO’s “recovery.” My day starts at 3:20 am- good evening.

            • EvolutionKills

              Yeah, and the Lincoln was a Republican and they where the driving force behind emancipation. Doesn’t mean that the trend for current Republicans and Tea Party is any less racist now because of what the party was founded on. It would be more accurate to label the KKK as being supported by the Dixiecrats, the extremely racist southern Democrats of the time. The mainstream Democrat platform has little in common with the KKK, which is more in line with what passes for Republican and Tea Party. Regardless of how either party started, the current Republican and Tea Parties are more in line with the KKK because they are all welcoming hosts to religious fundamentalists and extremists. The Democratic party has it’s own wingnuts, but nowhere near the extent of their political opponents. Lying about it won’t change that.

              • WSG57

                Again a willful detachment from reality. I thought you Progressives are all about tolerance ? Not so much.

                • EvolutionKills

                  I have little tolerance for the KKK, or anyone else that espouses racism, bigotry, misogyny, homophobia, hatred, and purposeful ignorance. Label yourself whatever you like, if you display those traits, I will have a problem with you.

                  And in our recent history, those choosing to label themselves as ‘Tea Party’ or ‘Republicans’ have far more often attracted attention and ire for indulging in those traits. That’s not to say that every Tea Party or Republican member holds those values, or that they don’t show up in other groups. But who get more air-time on Fox News fear mongering against Islam and homosexuals; Republicans or Democrats? I rest my case.

    • Zachary_Bos

      Heidi — are you involved in the Secular Coalition for Massachusetts? I’d love to tell you more about it.

  • http://quinesqueue.blogspot.com/ Q. Quine

    Go Barney!

  • El Bastardo

    I don’t care what politicians believe, I care about what they do.

    • HolyChrist

      How can we make them think for themselves and not their party?

      • Thalfon

        That’s the real problem of modern democracy, isn’t it? I don’t think you necessarily can as long as they’re in a party, because the party has so much influence over who rises within their ranks, and what top few candidates there are for each position within the party. But if you try to elevate a politician not associated with a party (an independent) they’re just not going to have the resources necessary to out-campaign any of the major parties they have to face. So a few independents make it here and there, but never a significant number.

        • exoraluna

          That is the exact reason to get money out of politics.

    • The_Eyes_Have_It

      I care very much about what a politician believes. I think it’s reasonable to say that you do too–consider: An evangelical, fire and brimstone congressman is likely to have his decision making skills influenced by his faith. I think this speaks to a bigger issue at hand, and that is critical thinking and the value for empirical evidence–something that a religious extremist either lacks, or simply has not applied to their religious faith.

      I don’t want to have to vote for a lawmaker that is satisfied with not understanding the universe.

    • Shannon Marie Federoff

      They do what they believe.

  • http://www.everydayintheparkwithgeorge.com/ Matt Eggler

    I like Barney Frank but supporting giving land to the BSA?!? A homosexual atheist wants to give government land to a group that discriminates against homosexuals and atheists? I’m not from Vermont so I have to ask, are the Boy Scouts so popular there that to not support that measure would have been that politically damaging to him?

    • Machintelligence

      At the time, probably. But even the BSA seems to be changing with the times, and I am willing to wager that the ban on atheists will be gone in another decade or two. It was largely ignored at the local level by many of the more religiously diverse troops anyway.

      • rhodent

        Well, if you’re right, then you should also be willing to wager that I will cease to consider them a hateful, bigoted organization in a decade or two…and not before.

        • clevertitania

          Well said. I refused to let my son do it. At the time, he didn’t get it, and was bothered. Maybe 2 years later, he asked me about it, and I explained it again – by about 11 years old, he understood enough to say that he wanted no part in it, and he was glad I hadn’t let him do it.

      • clevertitania

        I haven’t heard anything about the Atheist ban going away, just talk about the gay ban going away. Are you just being wishful, or could you direct me to information suggesting this is likely?

        The bulk of the local BS organizations are run by the Mormon church, you can’t really think they’re going to easily back off on the Atheist banning?

        • Jim Jones

          Mormonism may be the first to collapse.

          We can only hope.

          • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

            Scientology gets my vote.

            • BackspinBubba

              Just another of the made up religions. At least Hubbard was up front about starting a religion to make money. Unlike the Mormons or Catholics…

          • pennyroyal

            may it be so, around here I think it’s the Roman Catholic Church, collapsing of sheer hypocrisy. Scapegoating gays and women, taking away their rights. A sanctimonious club of pedophile priests and their enablers. And now a Federal judge says you can’t sue the church for damages.

        • clevertitania

          I could live with either of them going down first – both go way too far in trying to foist their perceptions of right and wrong on to the rest of the world.

      • http://www.everydayintheparkwithgeorge.com/ Matt Eggler

        They ignore that stuff here too, but as a national legislator you have to consider the organization as a whole.

    • spiritnnite

      Barney Frank is from MA… not VT.

      • http://www.everydayintheparkwithgeorge.com/ Matt Eggler

        Brain Fart: I crossed him with Bernie Sanders for some reason.

        • pennyroyal

          I do that kind of thing all the time. Not to worry. They are both movers and shakers.

    • Brian Westley

      The bill about the Boy Scouts:
      http://beta.congress.gov/bill/112th-congress/house-bill/473

      Help to Access Land for the Education of Scouts or HALE Scouts Act – Requires the conveyance of specified National Forest System land in the Ouachita National Forest in Oklahoma to the Indian Nations Council, Inc., of the Boy Scouts of America….

      Requires the Council to pay to the Secretary of Agriculture (USDA) the fair market value of the land, as determined by an appraisal approved by the Secretary and done to conform with the Uniform Appraisal Standards for Federal Land Acquisitions and the provisions relating to exchanges of public lands and interests within the National Forest System under the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976.

      I’ve been against the BSA’s discrimination for decades, and this bill is fine since it isn’t a grant, it’s selling federal land at fair market value. I don’t think the SCA should count this vote as against atheist interests.

  • http://www.last.fm/user/m6wg4bxw m6wg4bxw

    This is essentially what goes through my head when I think about gay atheists:

    person1: I’m an atheist.
    person2: You’re not an atheist. You just deny god because you want to sin without responsibility.
    person1: I’m also gay.
    person2: See!?

    • clevertitania

      Atheists do NOT deny god because they want to sin, they believe other people’s deities to be as fictional as Zeus, Ra and Thor. Do YOU spend a lot of time worry about whether Aphrodite is going to be angry with YOUR behavior?

      An Atheist doesn’t care about your admonishments about hell, because they do not believe such a place exists, given that there is ZERO EVIDENCE that anything in any religion is based in reality. If you choose to believe, that’s your prerogative, but stop telling yourself that the rest of us really know god’s real and choose to reject or deny him – it’s an entirely delusional response.

      “Last week Pope Francis suggested that Atheists could get into heaven by doing good deeds, but this week the Catholic Church made an official follow up statement that Atheists are still going to Hell. Atheists everywhere breathed a huge sigh of not giving a shit.” – W. Kamau Bell

      • Amakudari

        Thumbs up for the Bell quote, but m6wasdfadf is pointing out the tendency for Christians to ascribe desire to commit any sort of sin according to their magic book as the reason people don’t worship their god. When confronted with an atheist, they find some “sin” the person engages in—usually low-hanging fruits, predominately sexual, like premarital sex, masturbation or sexual identity—to comfort themselves that everyone rejecting Christianity has done so for illogical, self-centered reasons.

        • Jim Jones

          In her statement, Ms Knight told how their captor, Ariel Castro, went to church every Sunday before coming home to “torture” the women.

          So, church not so helpful after all.

          • surfdog

            I’m not taking sides here but it’s worth pointing out that a national policy of Atheism during the era of Stalin , Mao and Pol Pot left tens of millions dead .

            • WSG57

              Correction Please – That would be HUNDREDS of millions dead – The Statist/ Utopian/ Socialist religion(s) have left at least 130 million dead in the last 100 years. Then there is the 1 billion plus still enslaved by the same wonderful belief system(s).

              • surfdog

                No dispute with your numbers . I purposefully low balled because the numbers are hard to verify . Estimates from the Mao era range from 60 to 100 million . With Stalin generally accepted numbers are around 20 million . Some people remark that Hitler [ 50 million] came from a christian background but there was nothing christian about his behavior . The one consistent belief with these monsters is that they all thought they were going to change the world and that’s what should be feared .

                • clevertitania

                  Yes, but the other consistent belief is not that they didn’t believe in god. It’s that they tried to make themselves gods and/or messiahs. They instituted a pseudo-religion, with them at the center – which is what all dictators do, whether they are faithful or faithless.

                  And Hitler’s writing was littered with statements about doing god’s work, and the importance of biblical ethics in the Third Reich. There’s nothing Christian about Fred Phelps’ behavior either, doesn’t mean he’s not acting (in his mind) on the will of god and the bible.

                  But Phelps hasn’t killed anyone (that we know of, *cough* Red State *cough*), and from my perspective Hitler killed people based on cultural perceptions less than religious convictions. I don’t list the victims of WWII as victims of religious intolerance. Maybe some do, but I think that’s a vast oversimplification of a massive amount of death, the same way it’s an oversimplification of Mao and Stalin’s reigns.

                  Stalin used Atheism as his grinding point, the same way that Bloody Mary used the Roman Catholic Church – I wouldn’t put the executions she committed under the auspices of a ‘holy war’, and more than I would Stalin’s. Even active Roman Catholics at the time condemned what she was doing. That was about her, not her god. She didn’t even always follow the rules of conversion when she got people to convert (though in fairness we know Inquisitors in the Crusades also ignored the rules when it suited their egos). Like Stalin, her use of religion was to acquire and retain power – which was aided (in her mind) by realigning England with the Vatican.

                  The numbers matter, but so does the context.

            • Jim Jones

              That’s a newbie error. Those regimes, along with those of the Kim family in North Korea and the Castro family in Cuba, are no more atheistic than they are communist.

              All of their murders were committed for power and because the “people’s leaders” would brook no opposition to their rule from the proletariat — nor from anyone else. All were cults of personality – which is what most religions are.

              • surfdog

                The Surfdog is way too old to be a newbie . Religion as a cult of personality or not , the idea from the Kim’s , Castro and the rest is that your freedom and identity comes from the state and therefore the state can take it away . If your liberty comes from god or natures god or something other that the state then that is what was expressed in our Declaration of Independence .

                • C.L. Honeycutt

                  The point remains, those murders were committed to retain power and to push an ideology that is parareligious. They were not committed in the name of atheism.

                  Marx specifically said that Christianity was the enemy of the people. He and his followers knew that it was COMPETITION for Marxist ideology. Atheism is not an ideology. Your position is functionally equivalent to blaming Buddhism for the murders committed by Muslim ideologues.

                • Jim Jones

                  Tell that to the members of the Solar Temple, Aum Shinrikyo and all the other suicide cults – not to mention all those who die for equally silly ideas after surrendering their identity to the leader. Also note that no one’s ‘liberty’ comes from god since no gods exist – it always comes from the priest of ‘god’.

        • clevertitania

          Yeah, I already took my foot out of my mouth, for not recognizing he was going with satire there.

          I am ALL too familiar with the schtick of which you speak. Bizarrely, I’ve recently had a rash of Christian Conservative men hitting on me on a dating site. I can’t figure out how they miss the Atheism in the my profile, but when I point it out in reply to their emails, it’s a riot to see how fast I go from decriminalization advocate who openly discusses the conflicts of male/female sexuality, to a pothead slut.

          Easily my favorite thing W. Kamau said last season. I’m very much looking forward to him going nightly later this year. The man (and his writers obviously) boils bullshit down in a way that is truly art. He deserves some time in the echelons of John Stewart.

      • http://www.last.fm/user/m6wg4bxw m6wg4bxw

        Relax. I’m with the choir.

        • clevertitania

          Eek, sorry. I wondered if it was sarcasm at first, and reread it a few times, because I still wasn’t sure… should’ve trusted my instincts.

          • olafauer

            Yeah, your instincts are so well honed that you don’t believe in a higher power than yourself. Why don’t you sit down and think, really think, about your life and open your closed mind. As it is you are a joke; maybe some reflection might clear your mind, limited as it may be.

            • C.L. Honeycutt

              Meanwhile you manage to be judgmental on behalf of God AND a racist prick, according to your post history.

              Does Jesus love that you’re a pissy, hypocritical racist? C’mon, does He?

            • chynna

              The only people with closed minds are those who refuse to even entertain the idea of looking outside of their comfort zone to ask any real hard question about the roots of their belief system.

              Religions are closed systems and do not allow for change of any kind. That is why they never allow for progress, new ideas, new knowledge or information to be introduced.
              Religions have always feared knowledge and education and refused to accept since as acceptable on any level.

              People like you are willing to grasp as mere straws or even less to shore up your relentless persuit of fantasy and the denial of death and your over whelming fear of your god. You cannot even begin to understand the concept of freedom as you mind is so enshrined in bondage and dogma that has been completely plagiarized form hundreds of other sources through out history. Yet not one of you will ever take the time to research and find the truth. The majority of you will never even make time to even read your own bible. Much less understand what it actually means.

              When you have a closed system, you have closed and mind that will never compromise or be willing to deal with reality on any level.

              You can dedicate your life to delusions, fantasies, fair tales and fiction, but intelligent educated people have a strong and healthy relationship with reality.

              “Fear believes, courage doubts. Fear falls upon the earth and prays, courage stands erect and thinks. Fear retreats, courage advances. Fear is barbarism, courage is civilization. Fear believes in witchcraft, in devils and
              in ghosts. Fear is religion, courage is science.” -Robert G. Ingersoll (1833-1899)

              • EvolutionKills

                Gotta’ love a good Ingersoll quote. Been reading his ‘Some Mistakes of Moses’, it seems amazing that this gentleman was more than a century ahead of his time.

            • clevertitania

              LOL, that’s funny. You think that my instincts have anything to do with my lack of belief in god? Dude, that’s called logic and reason. I don’t have women’s intuition that there’s no god, I don’t guess that there’s no good, I don’t FEEL that there’s no god. There is no proof of a god, no evidence to support a god exists, and ample evidence that every god that’s been proposed by various religions, ranges from basically useless to a petulant child who likes to throw tantrums by committing genocides.

              If the Judeo-Christian god showed up, do you know what my response would be to that – you wanna explain who the hell you think you are, to order the massacre of millions of people, because they refused to cater to your ego. I don’t give a rat’s ass what you created buddy, I created a son, it doesn’t mean I get to put him to death if he chooses to live in way I don’t like.

              Your god, as your fictional bible tries to describe him, is bully and a creep, and if I believed he were real the last thing I’d ever do is worship him. But fortunately, since he doesn’t, I have zero fears of him trying to smite me for questioning his seriously twisted morals.

              My mind is open to reason, logic, even a bit of wonder. It’s not open to your close-minded religion, that tells me I am cattle and deserve to suffer in pain once a month, because some chick supposedly told a guy to eat an apple, and he then chose like the adult he was, to eat the damn thing.
              And I am not a higher power, I’m just a person. I do not need an imaginary friend to help me survive my life. I am a writer, I spend 99% of my time self-reflecting. You might as well tell a stand-up comic to try self-reflection, and watch them laugh you out of the room.

              Perhaps you should reflect, on why a grown woman thinking for herself, and completely confident in her lack of belief, is so challenging and frustrating to you? Why do you feel the need to justify your own beliefs, by insisting that something exists, when your entire belief structure is based around belief in spite of evidence? Why is it so hard for you to accept, that people of rational thought, don’t find any exists, in the belief in an omniscient god who couldn’t predict stem cell research and internet porn?

              In my mind, who the joke is, in this conversation, is very clear.

              • Sunwyn Ravenwood

                If the Jewish God ever showed up I’d ask him why he abandoned his people. They have been faithful to him for 2500 year and he has done nothing for them. Didn’t show up when the Romans captured Jerusalem, or when Hadrian had them dragged off into captivity, or during any of the pogroms in Europe, or even when the Germans were doing their best to exterminate them altogether. What a miserable excuse for a god.
                The Jews must be the most stubborn people in the world to be faithful to a God that has never done anything for them. I’d find a new one if I was a Jew.

                • pennyroyal

                  said the Holocaust survivor, “if god were to show up, he’d have to apologize to me!”

                • J.R. Robbins

                  It actually says “He’d have to beg my forgiveness.”

                • pennyroyal

                  thank you for the correction.

      • Gander

        Anyway, the religious keep resetting the goalposts on what they consider to be “sin”. Who’s to know?

        • clevertitania

          Just furthers the argument that sin is as imaginary as the rest of it. It is arbitrarily decided, but what best serves the religious masters wielding it.

          There are crimes, outrages, there are perversions (everything from truly twisted to mostly harmless), and there are even affronts to humanity – but there has never been such a thing as a sin.

        • Yerr

          Don’t worry about what the “religious” say what is sin or not.. just open a bible. As long as there are men, there will be both good men and corrupt men, religious or otherwise.

      • Reverend Spith

        “Last week Pope Francis suggested that Atheists could get into heaven by doing good deeds, but this week the Catholic Church made an official follow up statement that Atheists are still going to Hell.”

        What the hell is the Catholic Church doing ARGUING WITH THE POPE!? Haven’t they read the rules that state that the POPE is final authority on God’s word?

        • randomfactor

          Very carefully. Noting the loopholes.

        • chynna

          The last place I would ever want to be is in heaven with any evil Christian.

        • RobMcCune

          What the hell is the Catholic Church doing ARGUING WITH THE POPE!?

          Entertaining atheists? Trolling catholics? I honestly don’t know, but I like it.

        • Sunwyn Ravenwood

          When push comes to shove, the Pope is “Prisoner of the Vatican”. He can TRY to change things but if he tries too hard too fast he will wind up murdered in his bed like Pope John Paul I. That is probably what Benedict was trying to avoid when he retired.

      • Sophia Keenesburg

        and do not forget most atheists are HUMANIST = they care about human relations in the wider sence of the word. They know humans have to do it them selves and make this human-planet livable and also keep our planet livable for ALL species on it & the future.

        Atheist is also NOT a Religion as some Chrisitans seem to think!

        About the new Pope = one can see he has brains and is a good person but he is not the one who is the big boss (as might seem for the outside world) otherwise there wouldn’t have been an official statement. I think this Francis is a good person and I hope he will be able to change the church for the better ,….. if only the others in the Vatican will let him do that! And I have big doubts they will let him …. I see the Vatican as a COMPANY and CEO’s fighting eachother all the time making themselves into little (or bigger) groups … it’s all Politics in the end

        • C.L. Honeycutt

          I don’t know about most atheists being knowing Humanists. It feels to me like the majority would be more Humanists by default without having thought it out.

          • clevertitania

            I think Sophia’s point was more like, if they are politically active or conscious Atheists, they’re likely also Humanist minded, in their activism or awareness.

            The same way people who are politically active regarding their Christianity, tend to lean toward the Conservative side of most political issues.

    • Jeff Hall

      person2: Toldya!

  • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

    Kinda figured he’d be a pot-smoker.

    • Gander

      We knew about the pot. He got busted and admitted to it. Always had no problem “fessin’ up” to that. The atheist thing was just one hurdle too high…*Sigh.

      • randomfactor

        There’s an openly bisexual congresswoman who, after winning election (in Arizona!) made it clear she wasn’t an “atheist.”

  • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

    I wish we’e heard his opinion of the Green Party.

  • clevertitania

    It is sad, that someone would not be hired to do a job, because they don’t believe in an imaginary man in the sky, who’s book tells you the world is only a few thousand years old – when every piece of scientific evidence says otherwise – and that women and children are to treated as cattle and cannon fodder.

    What’s worse is, I would never not vote for someone just because they are religious. If they subscribe to religious ideas that I feel are contrary to their representing the needs of their constituents, that could be relevant – i would never vote for someone active in a church that promotes dangerous or repellent activities, like Quiverfull, child-brides, cutting off family members who leave the church, etc. I certainly wouldn’t be voting for any Westboro Baptists, or most people who are real fans of Pat Robertson.

    But that was one of the things I respected most, about Obama’s discussions about religion – he admitted to having Christian ideals, but made very clear that he didn’t think that he had a right to dictate policy based on forcing the rest of the country to live by those ideals. He UNDERSTOOD the concept of Secular Politics, and respected it’s boundaries.

    And if anyone should be elected based on how likely they are to practice Secular Politics, it’s an Atheist – it’s like hiring an Orthodox Jew to write on the subject of having your hairstyle mocked.

    • http://www.last.fm/user/m6wg4bxw m6wg4bxw

      You claim it is sad that someone might be judged and excluded by someone who finds their actions to be harmful. Then you go on to describe how you would judge and exclude someone because you find their actions to be harmful.

      • clevertitania

        Being an Atheist is an action? No, surely it’s a verb, but not an action verb – in fact it’s a linking verb, yes? To march in an Atheist parade is an action, to vote against an organization that discriminates against Atheists (which is the opposite of what he did) is an action, to go around telling other people to be Atheists, this is also an action. But just being an Atheist, is not an action, and those who would’ve judged him unfit to serve, wouldn’t have done so based on actions, but on ignorant distrust of his belief.

        I said it is sad that one might be judged simply by a form of belief they have, that others don’t understand, instead of how they choose to push that belief into the world, or not. Obama’s ACTION was not to push his religious beliefs onto the nation – I respected that action. I judged those who do take the action, of trying to push their religious beliefs on to the world, negatively, because they are ignoring the First Amendment rights of others.

        Frank being unelectable, because he simply is an Atheist is not judging dangerous behavior, unless you’re dealing with a real idiot of Christianity, who genuinely believes that every Atheist is a ticking time bomb of heathenism. If he were an atheist actively using his platform to attack Christians, that would be a different story. And I feel it is absolutely fair to say both the Westboro Baptists and Pat Robertson qualify as Christians who attack EVERYONE else, mostly just because they can. THAT is something you should be judged for, and it taken into the consideration if you’re running for public office. Because again, the Westboro Baptists in particular, ignore the First Amendment rights of people constantly, by thinking their right to say nasty things about how god hates gay people at funerals, is more important than a person’s right to grieve a loved one, in whatever way is in line with their own personal beliefs, without a group of bikers having to stand guard at said funeral.

        Barney being an Atheist is not a behavior, it’s a belief. If a Christian chooses to perceive that differently – well if they’re that oblivious to the difference, they probably also think that man walked with dinosaurs, and I see no point in arguing with those sad souls.

        • http://www.last.fm/user/m6wg4bxw m6wg4bxw

          I was noting the similarity between the behavior described in the first and second paragraph. I read them as general descriptions, not specific to Barney Frank, Barrack Obama, or grammar.

          After several readings — both yesterday and today — I haven’t been able to confidently link your response to what I said in any meaningful way. But, grammatically speaking, “atheist” is a common noun which shouldn’t be capitalized.

          • clevertitania

            I essentially capitalize Atheist only when I feel the need to highlight it in a plain text environment, or when I’m using it specifically with other ideas which should be capitalized, much the way I capitalize an entire word not to scream, but to make clear it’s bold importance to the point. When you’re working without tone of voice or HTML, you do what you can to make sure people understand the key factors.

            There is no behavior in the first paragraph. There is only belief in the first paragraph. The second paragraph talks about actively participating in a church which has practices (not ideas, actual actions) which are dangerous to people. It does joke about just being a fan of Pat Robertson, but I thought my wording made the sarcasm fairly clear. But again, the judgement in that paragraph involves actions, while the comments in the first paragraph mention nothing but belief.

            How is my explaining the difference between judging a behavior, and judging a belief, not a direct response to your…

            I don’t want to say accusation, because it’s not remotely that harsh. But obviously it’s not a question.. I guess I’ll just go with statement of inquiry.

            • http://www.last.fm/user/m6wg4bxw m6wg4bxw

              Please pardon the tardiness of my response.

              “It is sad, that someone would not be hired to do a job, because […]”

              “There is no behavior in the first paragraph. There is only belief in the first paragraph.”

              I was speaking about the not hiring, the person or people who would do that, and how they determine their subsequent (in)action. Technically, not doing something isn’t an action. However, the consideration, judgment, and decisions which led to not hiring a person are all actions. Though your own words don’t describe the behavior that led to the (in)action in your first paragraph, it is necessarily part of the context.

              Your second paragraph describes essentially the same behavior, except with them, their standards, judgement, and actions replaced with you, your standards, judgement, and actions.

              • clevertitania

                Ok, I see now what action your referring to, but your missing the key element, of the REASON for the action.

                I was condemning not hiring someone not for simply believing something which is different than them – I even stated that I would never fail to vote for someone JUST because they were in a religion I didn’t agree with, ONLY if they were involved in a specific church which is participating in hate-crime like behavior.

                You have to remember that not every philosophy or society agrees that every form of speech qualifies as speech which should be free. For example, Australia’s ‘first amendment’ does not grant protection to speech which does NOTHING but speak hate or promote violence, or which flat out lies.

                So again, by way of example. You can say, all you want, that you don’t like homosexuality and you don’t want people behaving that way around you. BUT you cannot say, gay people are perverts and pedophiles, who should all be killed or locked up. You can also say, that you believe a political opponent has bad ideas which are wrong for the country – but you CANNOT say, this person has committed fraud and is planning on selling votes, without actual proof to back it up. The first examples are acceptable forms of free speech, the latter constitute hate speech and lies – which shouldn’t be protected by our constitution, but even the lies involved hold no criminal penalty in this country, only civil.

                There’s a big difference, between tolerating various ideas, and tolerating hateful behavior and actions. Pat Robertson doesn’t just believe in a god I don’t, he actively involves himself in denigration of homosexuals, women, minorities, and our government for treating those citizens as equal to Pat Robertson – which he has been very clear in proclaiming they are not – and makes any lie up he chooses, to reinforce his hatred.

                To be a tolerant person, I have to be willing to let Pat say he doesn’t like feminists, and even that, in his opinion feminism is bad for the country/society/etc. And I do – as far as I am concerned, he can say it all he likes. But, I do NOT have tolerate him saying that the feminist agenda is “…about a socialist, anti-family political movement that encourages women to leave their husbands, kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism and become lesbians.”

                Incidentally, Pat has also advocated (publicly) for nuking the state department, and called for the assassination of a world leader (and NOT in a tongue in cheek kind of way). Again, it’s about tolerating ideas or tolerating very bad behavior. I have to tolerate bigotry in the world, because it’s a difference of opinion (though I can try to educate it away), but I do not have to tolerate people burning crosses on other people’s lawns.

                • http://www.last.fm/user/m6wg4bxw m6wg4bxw

                  Whew! It’s nice to have reached some shared understanding.

                  I’ve limited my following remarks to the second paragraph because the rest is tangential to the point of our exchange. If I’m wrong, be sure to say so.

                  Your refusal to judge and exclude others based strictly on their beliefs, or lack thereof, is commendable. Certainly, a consideration of the benefits and harms of a belief likely leads to a better, more informed, and more defensible position.

                  However, I think you continue to oversimplify the scenario. While it may seem like certain religious types make exclusions strictly because of their differences, I think you will find that they, too, have considered the consequences. What differs between you and them is the standard used in the considerations. Or — to use your wording — they also have reasons for their actions.

                  Generally speaking, you think they are [mistaken / crazy / dangerous] because of what they assume in their thinking, and they think you are [mistaken / crazy / dangerous] because you don’t. Both sides do what they think is right, judging and excluding and they reason it should be done. It’s this similarity that my initial post was meant to show.

                • clevertitania

                  No, generally speaking I think they are HURTING people, and they are spreading bold-faced lies to serve their agenda. That is not the same thing as saying I think they’re crazy. Of course I do, but that’s not the reason I condemn them, and everyone who actively supports them – I condemn them because they are hurting other people, based on those beliefs.

                  Yes, I think my perspective is right and theirs is wrong – but the difference is, I am not picketing the funerals of Westboro Baptists, and shouting hateful things at the mourners, as they grieve. I am not trying telling people that Pat Robertson is a sexual deviant, who should be condemned by our government, to avoid further natural disasters – like Katrina. I am not burning crosses on the laws of KKK members, to scare them into doing things my way.

                  Yes, they think they have reasons for their beliefs, and even their actions – but a hardcore narcissist can think the entire world revolves around them, and they are entitled to that twisted belief. When they start stealing because they think the whole world also belongs to them, then you get in their face and explain to them, that they’re deluded.

                  I will condemn people who hurt others with their beliefs, lie to promote prejudice, and try to force those beliefs on to the rest of the world. I don’t care if their bible gives them internal justification for their actions – Hitler thought he had justification for his actions too, it doesn’t mean those who opposed him throwing people in cages were no different than him. I don’t judge them based on what they belief, or even how loudly they shout those beliefs – I judge them when they shout things which are factually lies, and which actively promote hatred against others.

                  And by the way, before you invoke Godwin’s Law – I don’t associate Robertson with Hitler’s fascism and propaganda in a fallacious way- he built that association himself….

                  “Many of those people involved in Adolf Hitler were Satanists, many were homosexuals – the two things seem to go together” – Pat Robertson

  • pennyroyal

    “Under god” in the Pledge of Allegiance has got to go! Let’s revert to the pre-1955, Commie-scare times when it was stuck in there. Let’s go back to keeping church and state separate, in fact, a Wall of Separation needs to stand firmly between them.

    • Machintelligence

      Or we could try to be more ecumenical and change it to “under Gods“.

      • BackspinBubba

        I want it to read “under Thor”!!

      • pennyroyal

        Humanity has had thousands of gods in its history. We no longer believe in a divinity called Zeus or Hera, or Kwan Yin. Some day humans will go one god more and get rid of Jehovah, God, Allah.

        • Sunwyn Ravenwood

          Hey, speak for yourself. I believe in Zeus and Hera and Thor and I really really believe in Pele. Of course, that may have something do with living on the side of Kilauea. I’m not going to offend ANYONE while I live on the side of the world’s most active volcano….
          (BTW Zeus means “shining sky”, Hera means “time, and Thor means “thunder”… most deities are pretty obvious if you just look up the etymology of their name.)

          • clevertitania

            You know, in your shoes, I think I would be hesitant to diss on any god that has ever been conceptualized….

            Which I consider a GREAT excuse for never living on the side of a volcano. :)

            Also, I believe the etymology of Hera is “protectress,” as in hero. Chronos is Greek for time, and the god of time as well.

            • Sunwyn Ravenwood

              Excerpt from Wikipedia entry:

              The name of Hera, the queen of the gods, admits a variety of mutually exclusive etymologies; one possibility is to connect it with hōra (ὥρα), season, and to interpret it as ripe for marriage and according to Plato eratē (ἐρατή – beloved) as Zeus is said to have married her for love According to Plutarch, Hera was an allegorical name and an anagram of aēr (ἀήρ – air).So begins the section on Hera in Walter Burkert’s Greek Religion.[7] In a note, he records other scholars’ arguments “for the meaning Mistress as a feminine to Heros, Master.” John Chadwick, a decipherer of Linear B, remarks “”her name may be connected with hērōs, ἥρως, ‘hero’, but that is no help, since it too is etymologically obscure. A.J. van Windekens, offers “young cow, heifer”, which is consonant with Hera’s common epithet βοῶπις (boōpis, cow-eyed). E-ra appears in Mycenaean Linear B tablets.”

              I opt for the connection with “hora” ripe season, since her primary function is that of promoting marriage, which only occurs when the bride is “ripe”. In Greek the word for “maiden” is “pallas” literally “pale green, unripe”.

              The problem with connecting it with “hero” is that you then have to explain where “hero” came from. A “hero” in Greek religion was not a “protector” it was the powerful ghost of a dead man, which demanded services in exchange for promoting fertility, etc. There were no LIVE “heroes” in Greek religion, and not “heroines” either, there is no feminine of “hero” in Greek religion. No Greek woman ever became a “hera” after her death.

              • clevertitania

                From etymology.com…

                hero (n.1)

                …from Latin heros “hero,” from Greek heros “demi-god” (a variant singular of which was heroe), originally “defender, protector,” from PIE root *ser- “to watch over, protect” (cf. Latin servare “to save, deliver, preserve, protect;” see observe)…

                Hera

                sister and wife of Zeus, from Greek Hera, literally “protectress,” related to heros “hero,” originally “defender, protector.”

                If hero is already tied to Greek and Roman words for protector, why would you need to explain where Hero came from? It would effectively PREDATE Hera.

                And if you look at the Wiki on the Hero, you get roughly the same information with mild deviation. But clearly two different people are editing the sections on Hero and Hera, because they’re agreeing with different experts.

                Though – how does Ripe equal being a goddess of Time? You can call her a goddess of Fertility, Family, Marriage, Harvest, any number of things under the guise of Ripe – but not Time. Especially when there actually was a Greek god of Time, who’s English name was based on Ancient Greek for Time, which is Chronos.

            • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

              “Good morning, Chrono.”

              …sorry. Couldn’t resist.

              • clevertitania

                Sorry, I’m unfamiliar with the quote. I looked it up, to see if it was something I should be familiar with – based on the links that came up, I’m guessing it’s a video game reference?

                I’m not a big gamer. I have an overactive amygdala, that can’t process the tension in this games in a rational way, and affects my brain like I was actually in a dangerous situation, not just a simulated one. I used to get mild anxiety attacks playing Adventure on Atari. :)

      • JNWesner

        How about “under the Constitution”? Of course, the rest isn’t really true either.

  • freddieknows

    Hmmmm…..”generally-progressive Massachusetts????” Not sure what you’re trying to get at. I’m from Massachusetts and I thought we were relatively progressive, no qualifier necessary,

  • TheDaleks

    There is nothing contradictory about being Jewish and also atheist. I can attest to this from personal experience. Judaism is a nationality, literally a person from (or descended from) the Kingdom of Judaea or the tribe of Judah. Most Jewish Americans — like Barney — immigrated from eastern Europe, and were never considered to be Polish or Russian or Austrian or whatever. Not by themselves or by the countries where they lived. Most of them were not full citizens, and they lived in autonomous enclaves. There is now a significant number of Jewish atheists both here in the States and also in Israel.

    • clevertitania

      You did notice the part where it said his RELIGION was listed as Jewish, not anything to do with his nationality?

      Everyone knows that being Jewish is also a cultural heritage, and that Barney is certainly a product of it. So sure, there’s nothing out of the ordinary about being a Jewish Atheist. But that’s not the use of Jewish that is relevant to this article. You cannot be of the religion Judaism, and also be an Atheist.

    • pennyroyal

      there are many secular Jews in my acquaintance. Look up Rabbi Sherman Wine who headed a whole congregation of secular members.

      • clevertitania

        I don’t think there’s any dispute in this thread about Secular Jews existing. But Secular and Atheist are obviously not the same thing.

        • pennyroyal

          sometimes people who are really atheists in their understanding, will soften that in speaking to others and call themselves ‘agnostic’ or ‘humanist.’
          But you are correct.

          • clevertitania

            Yes, but not secular. Secularism is a position of keeping religion out of the lives of yourself and other people – more than anything it’s a political position, that centers on the separation between church and state. One rarely tempers Atheist with Secularist, because while there are many people who are both, there are also many people who aren’t.

            And humanism isn’t really related to religion at all. Humanism is a philosophy that involves treated all humans as equal to each other.

            Agnosticism is confusing though. It seems to be working from the position that both the religious and the non-religious may be right, but Atheism doesn’t claim a ‘rightness’ at all. It simply states that, until you show me proof there is a god, there isn’t one. While religion argues that we must believe in a god, despite lack of evidence – that is what faith is. I don’t know how you can say either is true, when one says it’s the only truth that saves you from perdition, and the other offers no truth, only a demand for evidence before belief.

            • pennyroyal

              the hundreds of Humanists I know are atheists and view Humanism as a postitive life stance based on there being no supernatural power and adhering to knowlege as gained through reason and scientific inquiry.
              Let’s not quibble but instead combine efforts, as do the people in the Humanist group I belong to (all of whom are atheist). I am not an agnostic, I am a humanist/atheist.

              • clevertitania

                I’m not trying to be argumentative, but I think definitions matter. And the comment I replied to wasn’t talking about Humanism, but Secularism – which is a term a lot of people misunderstand, which can cause a lot of problems, when people are advocating on behalf of it. I’ve met people who also think Secularism and Socialism are roughly the same thing, and man is that dangerous.

                Yes, probably all of the Atheists I know are Humanists, because that’s an ethical foundation, not a belief (or lack of belief) in any deity – there are also plenty of religious Humanists. But I know many Atheists who are not Secularists, because they don’t care about the politics of it.

                My point was just that, no one was questioning whether there are Jewish Secularists, because Secularism isn’t really about faith, it’s a belief that no matter what you believe, that belief shouldn’t be forced on anyone else, through legislation and other governmental means.

                • pennyroyal

                  I agree definitions matter. We just have different experiences regarding the word secular. Public confusion between the word “Secularism” and “Socialism” is appalling. So, I concede the point. No one should be forced in anything, especially belief.

                  Here’s a link to secular women, FYI. http://www.secularwoman.org

                • clevertitania

                  I don’t follow your logic. So you’ve had experiences which define Secularism as the same as Humanism? That seems odd to me – do you mind elaborating? I honestly can’t conceptualize what scenario would make that correlation.

                  I’m not clear on the significance of the link you posted – it seems to be a group that’s primary focus is on combating sexism within the secular community, which is still an ongoing issue, by focusing on the needs of women within that community.Were you just sharing it because I am a woman, or as illustration of experiences?

    • chynna

      It is no longer a nationality at all as there is no territory or country of Judah for over 2500 years. All the tribes split and disban.

  • anon

    Barney Frank is worse than Bill O’Reily at yelling over people. Its really fucking annoying, youre not the only person who has something interesting to say bud.

  • midnight rambler

    Those ratings in the table are pretty poorly done. They give Niki Tsongas and Steven Lynch 80%/A, yet the entire MA delegation voted the same on every bill listed. It’s just that some didn’t vote at all on some of them, so apparently that counts as neutral.

    I have no doubt that at least Lynch, a conservative anti-abortion Catholic, would have voted the same way as Frank and the others who got low ratings.

  • LutherW

    Apparently Barney was not that Frank in Congress. Here he is Barely Frank. The way I listen to it, he did not directly say he is atheist. If he said that while he was in Congress, he could have easily backed off the comment the next day saying he was just joking, supported civil liberties and confirmed that he was jewish.

    Give me someone who will actually say “I am atheist, have been for years, and apologize for lying when I could have taken a bold stand”

  • Keith McMullan

    It’s a shame that atheism is still a reason not to vote for someone running for public office. With about 20% of Americans considering themselves “Nons” (according to Pew research polls and by the way, I very much dislike that term) I hope that begins to change…

    • ebola131

      You can’t have morals or ethics without a religion.
      Without morals and ethics you don’t have social order.

      • chynna

        there were over 11 separate set of documented morality codes in place long befor any organized religion was ever established. There is no connected between religion and morality at all and never has been.
        Social order is a function o survival not morality and it is part of the social structure of all group survival instincts of all animals on this planet.

        • C.L. Honeycutt

          It’s doubly funny because Hebrew law was directly copied from the Code of Hammurabi, which was, as you noted, secular.

          He seriously needs to read a book.

          • Jim Jones

            > He seriously needs to read a book.

            Or get his mommy to read one to him.

      • C.L. Honeycutt

        Your ignorance of the basics of ethics and morality despite having access to Google only reflects badly on you, not anyone else.

        Pity Jesus never said, “Read a book before speaking, dimwit.”

        • ebola131

          Have it your way, dumb@$$.
          The basis of ethics and morality has always been “religion”.

          • C.L. Honeycutt

            Well gosh, saying “Nuh uh” sure closes the case!

            Or else it doesn’t and you aren’t bright enough to even know what Humanism is, let alone other ethical models that don’t rely on magic spells. Apparently you aren’t bright enough to know that current Western ethics, like law, are based on secular Enlightenment values and nonreligious philosophy spread during said Enlightenment. It helped curb the violent tendencies of “ethical and moral” Christians so everything else could finally be advanced at a decent pace.

            Guess you missed the part below about Hammurabi. Funny how just ONE name shatters your entire belief system.

            It’s “dumbass”, hon. Pretending you didn’t write it doesn’t fool Jesus.

          • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

            I think Mathew 7:1 says “Don’t call your neighbor a dumb@$$”

          • chynna

            You will have to explain why there was morality and ethic long befor organized religions very existed. Your complete ignorance of ancient history and humanity in general is appalling.

      • Jim Jones

        > You can’t have morals or ethics without a religion.

        Religion is never the source of morality. If it was, we’d still have slavery and public stonings.

        • ebola131

          Public stonings….now there’s an idea whose time has come.

          • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

            Oh, I agree! I should be able to whip out the bong in public without getting hassled!

          • EvolutionKills

            Careful now, have you ever eaten shellfish?
            Have you ever worn a cloth woven of two fabrics?
            Have you ever shaved the hairs on the side of your head?
            Have you ever done any work on a Saturday?

            Guess what? You’d be first in line to get stoned to death! All those ‘offenses’ are proscribed by ‘God’, with the penalty of DEATH.

            Good luck with that…

      • Keith McMullan

        Don’t feel bad ebola131, That is a widely held misconception by many who don’t quite understand what a Humanist is. Without attacking your faith (all are entitled to believe in what they think is right), if you would like to understand why we Humanists would respectfully disagree, take a look at this link which will shed light on what a Humanist is and where we are coming from !!! http://imahumanistbecause.tumblr.com/

  • The Captain

    Other than my typical “fuck you” for not coming out and defending atheist while in congress, the fact he felt he was able to come out as a homosexual before he did as an atheist, I thinks says a lot about this shitty country and it’s shitty electorates views of religion.

    Edit: this is not to imply that coming out as a homosexual should somehow be worse than saying you’re an atheist just that the bigotry against atheist just seems to take a backseat to stoping the bigotry against other groups.

  • ebola131

    You can’t believe in a Christian God and be a Democrat.
    God really frowns on you stealing from your fellow man under the guise of benevolence.
    III

    • Timothy Lane

      Actually, their real problem isn’t the restriction on theft (which after all would indict politicians of both parties), but the commandments against false accusations and coveting “anything that is your neighbor’s”, since without those their entire politics disappears.

      • C.L. Honeycutt

        Pity there’s no Commandment against starting false wars for ego and greed and thereby impoverishing 300 million people, huh? Not that you should care, since the Bible very clearly states that you should give no thought to tomorrow.

        Seems like a Commandment about mote and beams and eyes would be helpful also right about now, don’t you think?

    • C.L. Honeycutt

      Jesus was a Communist. Deal with it, angrums.

  • Gayle Spencer

    To dope out a person’s world view all you need is one or two facts. Tell me a person is a Democrat and you can pretty much figure he/she is for abortion, for open immigration, higher taxation, unilateral disarmament, and so forth.

    That a liberal Democrat (redundant, I know) doesn’t believe in G_d is like no surprise.

    But tell me this. If they don’t believe in accountablity, how can we trust their Article 6 oath to support the Constitution?

    • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

      You can also assume a lot about someone who’s afraid to spell ‘God’.

    • C.L. Honeycutt

      Most Democrats are Christians.

      Your stupidity and dishonest claims are unsurprising coming from your ilk.

    • Jim Jones

      > Tell me a person is a Democrat and you can pretty much figure he/she is
      for abortion, for open immigration, higher taxation, unilateral
      disarmament, and so forth.

      Tell me he is a Republican and I can tell you you’ll wind up with a country headed for bankruptcy, a huge increase in government and government spending and much worse unemployment. But the rich will be much, much better off. The army will be up to their asses in unneeded weapons systems which will be useless when the next war starts and the effective minimum wage will be lower than ever.

    • RobMcCune

      Because atheist politicians are accountable to the people who elect them, not arbitrary whims and barbaric laws of a magical man who lives in the sky.

  • ptm

    Does that make Weiner a closet Atheist or the mayor of San Diego or Spitzer? All Jews AND ….

    • Timothy Lane

      No, like Obama they worship themselves. That isn’t atheism, properly speaking.

      • chynna

        Only conservatives worship themselves and have no concept that other people cannot live outside of that paradigm

  • CrossHugger

    You can have him……

    • C.L. Honeycutt

      Your rage at the world moving forward despite you is noted.

      • CrossHugger

        Yup and I like the way it is moving because I know the end of the story. Peace out…of course No peace, No Jesus, Know peace, Know Jesus……Cute pic….is that a dog, a frog, or was it a pile of goo before it became cute.

        • RobMcCune

          was it a pile of goo before it became cute.

          What does embryology have to with anything?

          • CrossHugger

            Big difference between a pile of goo and a human life.

            • RobMcCune

              Wait I thought you were talking about a dog, or a frog.

              • CrossHugger

                Been a long day…..

        • C.L. Honeycutt

          Revelations was a metaphor for the politics of the day, written in code so that the Christians wouldn’t be arrested for criticizing the government. It already happened, 2000 years ago. Any Bible scholar could have told you that. Enjoy your wasted sociopathic anticipation of mass murder by God.

          Bumper sticker platitudes, gosh you’re competent.

          Thanks for telling everyone that you look FORWARD to everyone dying horribly and then suffering eternally. Your religion is sickness, and you a germ.

          Jabbering ignorantly about… Evolution, I guess? …doesn’t make you sound like you have a point.

          • CrossHugger

            Feel better. Thanks for sharing that. I did not know that tibit as you pointed it out. You are right I should not have said what I did. Just a little tired of your side ruining Christian blogs with snide comments. Sorry and I do hope you feel better after you made yourself look important. I do not wish eternal damnation to you are any others, just the opposite.

            • Gus Snarp

              Yes, because no one ever ruins blogs anywhere with snide comments. Certainly Christians don’t descend on atheist blogs with repetitious, tedious, and insulting comments – oh wait, never mind, you do!

              Here’s a hint: if the comments piss you off that much, it’s a really good idea not to read them. Also, if you must read them, you should always keep in mind that a significant percentage of comments on the internet are made by trolls, defined strictly not as people who disagree in annoying fashion with something, but as people who literally don’t give a shit about what they’re commenting on and just comment to see how pissed off they can make people.

              Also, if you really think a few snide comments “ruin” a blog, good luck finding a blog that isn’t ruined. At the risk of redundancy, don’t read the comments.

              • CrossHugger

                Thank you, have a great week……..

            • C.L. Honeycutt

              Thanks for admitting that Jesus turns you into such a decent person that your entire grasp of ethics amounts to locating and insulting strangers because some other stranger somewhere insulted you and you’re feeling spiteful. I’m sure He will appreciate your witnessing for him that way.

              Poor, poor pissy passive-aggressive angrums. Told off for wanting to see billions of people die to fulfill a fake prophecy, so ‘oo get all stompy-footed.

        • EvolutionKills

          If we’re going to duel with worldviews that fit onto bumper stickers, I have a few I can pull out…

          Don’t be a dick!

          My worldview doesn’t seem to fit on this bumper sticker.

          If Jesus is your copilot, switch seats!

          Jesus didn’t heal for profit!

          I want YOU! To think for yourself!

          Science flies you to the moon, religion flies you into buildings.

          And my personal favorite…

          • CrossHugger

            Angry aren’t we….Keep your bumper stickers. I truly hope that one day you see the light.

            • GCT

              Delusions of grandeur, or do you simply always use the royal we?

              • CrossHugger

                Sorry that I infringed on your area of expertise, delusion. No royalty here but I know a King.

                • Gus Snarp

                  Really? Which one? Jigme Khesar Namgyel of Bhutan?
                  Philippe of Belgium? Norodom Sihamoni of Cambodia? Letsie III of Lesotho? Someone else?

                • CrossHugger

                  Really.Does it really hurt to say the name. Is this one of those cute little mind game tricks where I say the name and you come up with something witty or sarcastic….

                • GCT

                  Oh, so you were making bigoted remarks about those “angry atheists”? Sorry for giving you the benefit of the doubt.

                • CrossHugger

                  Take a look at your responses for the anger part.. It is that whole get the log out of your own eye Christian thingy. As far as bigoted, doubt it, sarcastic, yes. But then again, I forgot that you still are more superior in intellect and wit. Afterall, I am just some redneck bozo that believes in a Book of fairytales and made up tribal stories, huh. Now does that sound bigoted? Oh ya, I forgot, right wing tea bagger. You slay me. You more unforgiving and self righteous than most Christians I know.

                • GCT

                  Take a look at your responses for the anger part.. It is that whole get the log out of your own eye Christian thingy.

                  So, we must be angry, and when you point it out, it’s truth. When I point it out to you, then it’s me having a log in my eye. Nice double standard.

                  As far as bigoted, doubt it, sarcastic, yes. But then again, I forgot that you still are more superior in intellect and wit.

                  Not bigoted, you’re just going to continue to make bigoted remarks? Got it.

                  Afterall, I am just some redneck bozo that believes in a Book of fairytales and made up tribal stories, huh. Now does that sound bigoted? Oh ya, I forgot, right wing tea bagger. You slay me.

                  Well, it’s easy to make me into a bigot when you get to put words in my mouth. The unfortunate thing for you is that I haven’t said any of those things, nor have I been acting as if those are true. I’ve been treating your words as indicative of your arguments and your biases against atheists.

                  You more unforgiving and self righteous than most Christians I know.

                  How you can make that determination from me pointing out that you are engaging in bigoted atheophobic stereotypes is beyond me, except to point out that it’s more of the same atheophobic religious privilege from you that you’ve been displaying from the start.

                • CrossHugger

                  Am I supposed to be impressed. Your usage of big words does not impress. I am not. Early on I said I was wrong by coming onto your precious blog and saying what I said. But you and your cronies have decided to go on a sanctimonious battle of a war of words with me. Here is what I say, you have chosen a path that you believe in and I have chosen mine. You chose to look upon what I believe with disfavor. I have a hard time understanding your viewpoint. So, suffice it to say, you and your words will not convince me nor hurt me. I believe in the only Word that there is and what if I am right and you are wrong. I know that being wrong would be something new to you but what if. Have a great week.

                • GCT

                  Am I supposed to be impressed. Your usage of big words does not impress. I am not.

                  Maybe you should focus less on the length of the words used and more on their meaning.

                  Early on I said I was wrong by coming onto your precious blog and saying what I said.

                  That’s meaningless when you continue to do what it was you claimed was wrong as if it isn’t wrong. Additionally, by adding modifiers like “precious” you make it clear that you’re really not sorry and that you don’t think anything you did or said was wrong at all. I can do that too: I’m sorry that you don’t understand why your bigotry is wrong.

                  I have a hard time understanding your viewpoint.

                  And you will continue to do so if you refuse to listen to us and insist on imparting stereotypes onto us.

                  So, suffice it to say, you and your words will not convince me nor hurt me.

                  If you cannot be convinced that you are wrong about this, then you are claiming infallibility. You’re also advertising that you have no interest in actual discussion and would rather preach at us. You have a closed mind.

                  I believe in the only Word that there is and what if I am right and you are wrong.

                  Pascal’s wager is a terrible argument. Why do you believe that you are correct? What evidence do you have to support your beliefs?

                  I know that being wrong would be something new to you but what if.

                  And, again, you throw out bigoted stereotypes.

                • C.L. Honeycutt

                  It’s a beam or a plank. Read a book. :P

            • EvolutionKills

              People who take religion so seriously, that they cannot laugh at it, scare me. The Taliban and the Catholic Church both take themselves too seriously to ever laugh at themselves. It’s a shame all you can seem to do is preach a bumper sticker and not laugh at it. I can’t imagine being so humorless…

              • CrossHugger

                Sorry I forgot my place, you unbelievers are so much smarter, I should have assumed that you were also funnier than any Christian. Wow, Taliban and the Catholic Church. Get over yourself. Have a great week

                • EvolutionKills

                  Uh oh, did somebody get butthurt on the internet? Sorry, but this is what happens when you engage with people who don’t have a vested interest in perpetuating your delusion. Get used to it, and don’t forget to apply water to the burned area.

                • CrossHugger

                  Have you been peeking in showers. Glad I have given you and your oh superior wit and mind something to grind on. My butt is just fine and I am not hurt at all. I just did something that ticks me off about other sites and I thought that it was wrong of me to do that. It is no delusion, you just refuse to see it. What if we are right?

                • C.L. Honeycutt

                  If you thought it was wrong, you wouldn’t have been pissy and passive-aggressive when called out on it.

                • chynna

                  You are so very right. Religions is a mental disease and have a debilitating effect on every mind it touches.

                • CrossHugger

                  Yes Christ was against religion but belief in Him is not wrong.

                • GCT

                  Citation please. Seems to me that he wasn’t against religion so long as he got to be in charge.

                • CrossHugger

                  Heading out for an appointment, will get back to you.

                • chynna

                  People like you who live in a constant state of mental delusion have no ability to evaluate what is right or wrong as you have no ability to distinguish reality from fantasy.

                  You have invested your entire life in a god, one of the 4700 other gods that have never been proven to exist. Yours is no different than any of them either.

                  Jesus is simply a recycled version of over 50 other crucified savior that lived over 3500 years befor him with nearly identical life stories. That fact that you refuse to research any ancient history or study religions to find the real truth is obvious You have no strength of character or even the mental ability to maintain your fake lifestyle as you do not have the courage to even think about starting on that kind of journey for knowledge and truth.

                • CrossHugger

                  You are the ignorant and intolerant. You are unwilling to look at the proof. Every time you cynics try to prove the Bible wrong, you fall short so your only way out is to cheapen it by poking fun and ridiculing. You do not know me or my life so how do you know how much of my life I have vested in following Christ.. There is one thing that I have learned the most from my little excursion into this side of the world, you are all pretty much all intolerant and think that you are brighter than you are. I hope the best for you and yours. Here is what you asked for earlier. Matt 17:7,8 Matt 23:27,28 James 1:26, James 7:27 and Matt 6:1-34….The reason that you can not believe in a power greater than yourselves is because you think that you are greater and smarter than God. The hardest thing for me to understand is knowing full well Christ died for you and me. My sins are no different but I know where I can go for strength and peace. Have a great life and I hope that some day you will have a change of heart.

                • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

                  Shorter CrossFetishist: WAAAAAAHH WAAAAAAHHH MY SUPER-SENSITIVE RELIGIOUS SENSIBILITIES ARE OFFENDED BY TRUTH! WAAAAAAAAHHH!!!!

                  Seriously, dude, call the fucking Waaahmulance.

                • CrossHugger

                  What are you 13…..Grow up and buy a tape recorder and tape yourself since you think you are funny.

                • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

                  No… just someone who’s tired of Christians whinging about having their (entirely unearned and unjustifiable) privilege challenged.

                  Kindly take your attitude elsewhere.

                • CrossHugger

                  Another victim….blah, blah, blah….A man or a woman rejects God neither because of intellectual demands nor because of the scarcity of evidence. A man or woman rejects God because of a moral resistance that refuses to admit the need for God. Ravi Zacharias

                • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

                  I’m always amused at other people who seem to think they know my thoughts and motivations better than I do. And people accuse atheists of being smug.

                • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

                  pffft.

                • GCT

                  You are the ignorant and intolerant.

                  Says the person who is throwing stereotypical atheophobic slurs around.

                  Every time you cynics try to prove the Bible wrong, you fall short so your only way out is to cheapen it by poking fun and ridiculing.

                  Seriously? Genesis…didn’t happen. Exodus…didn’t happen. The gospels…didn’t happen. But, it’s not up to us to disprove your assertions, it’s up to you to prove they are true.

                  There is one thing that I have learned the most from my little excursion into this side of the world, you are all pretty much all intolerant and think that you are brighter than you are.

                  When you come in convinced that a stereotype is true, then lob stereotypes at your target in an attempt to confirm your biases, it’s likely that you will affirm your biases whether true or not.

                  Matt 17:7,8 Matt 23:27,28

                  Has nothing to do with religion.

                  James 1:26

                  He’s not claiming that religion is bad, he’s claiming that the way some people engage in it is bad.

                  James 7:27

                  There is no James 7.

                  Matt 6:1-34

                  Again, this is not claiming religion is bad, but telling you how to conduct your religion.

                  The reason that you can not believe in a power greater than yourselves is because you think that you are greater and smarter than God.

                  More bigotry from you. The reason we don’t believe in god is because there is no compelling reason nor evidence for the proposition that god exists. It is up to you to provide evidence for your assertions – the burden of proof is on you.

                  The hardest thing for me to understand is knowing full well Christ died for you and me.

                  I certainly didn’t ask him to do that, nor do I think it makes any sense. Why does a god have to come to Earth in order to have himself killed in order to allow himself to forgive us for sins that he had us commit? Additionally, this is nothing more than transference but using a human/god sacrifice. In the OT, they would put their sins on an animal and then sacrifice it to appease god. This idea of sacrificing Jesus is akin to that same practice.

                • C.L. Honeycutt

                  Hmm, try to prove the Bible wrong… oh, I got this one!

                  Exodus is fake. There is no historical evidence or documentation of Egypt enslaving the Hebrew peoples. None. Anywhere. Not even from neighboring nations. Nada. Zip. It’s so pathetic that Biblically-inspired archaeologists make careers of trying to find evidence. They keep failing.

                  We have proof that the Sumerians were enjoying beer well before Genesis, but no evidence that a mighty nation from somewhat later, a nation that enjoyed writing, enslaved an entire other nation.

                  The reason that you can not believe in a power greater than yourselves is because you think that you are greater and smarter than God.

                  Pretending to be able to read the hearts of others? Doesn’t the Bible have something to say about false prophets like yourself?

            • chynna

              The only time people like you will ever see the light of day is if you take you head out of your a$$

          • C.L. Honeycutt

            DO WANT

        • Gus Snarp

          You know, the only thing you’ve got going for you with that is that you get to enjoy the delusion that someday we’ll find out we were wrong when we go to hell, while we have to accept the simply fact that you’ll simply cease to be and never realize how futile your twisted, judgmental fantasies about us being tortured eternally really were.

          On the other hand, that means we’re not reveling in thoughts of horrific payback for those who disagree with us, but instead get to enjoy a reality that is constantly improving, while you’re a sick bastard with revenge fantasies for people *gasp* getting to live out their lives without your type telling them what to do and who to love.

          • CrossHugger

            I hope that you feel better after unloading. Have a great week.

  • saywhatsaywhat

    Atheists are no different from bible thumpers. They just thump a different bible, and they also tend to be pompous and silly.

    • chynna

      Exactly what ‘buybull’ is that?

    • C.L. Honeycutt

      Poor angrums, so desperate for an original thought, but you can’t even break out of your fetishistic need to tell everyone that you’re superior to them.

    • EvolutionKills

      Hey, check it out, a Lie of Equivocation coupled with Ad Hominem! Wow, I haven’t seen such a brilliant combination of argumentation since… never. It’s not brilliant, just tired and lame.

      I wonder, do fundies get boners from posting ignorant shit like this, or do they actually think that they are being super insightful or something?

    • chynna

      Atheist base their ideas on KNOWLEDGE, believers base their beliefs on FICTION.
      Those are two very different books. One is researched and substantiated the other is fake.

  • God Mann

    Who cares what he believes or doesn’t believe? He would have my vote if he only supported the Constitution first and party second (or never).

  • Timothy Lane

    Given Barney Frank’s record, this is hardly an argument for atheism. Fortunately, I consider myself a deist. But does your name mean that you oppose the militant chiristophobia of so many atheists?

    • C.L. Honeycutt

      Given the power distribution in this country, your intent focus on blaming the victims of religion for pushing back is overwhelmingly messed up.

      • clevertitania

        Yeah, but unsurprising. After all, Obama is supposedly a reverse-racist, and I’ve recently been told that if you’re a Feminist you don’t care about ANY other issue but special rights for women, so mentioning a Feminist issue immediately is grounds for disregarding anything you say.

    • RobMcCune

      Being an atheist means [the things] you oppose actually exist.

      • Kenneth Browning

        You mean don’t believe in things that don’t exist?

        • RobMcCune

          fixed.

  • dixhandley

    This career fudge packer is a homosexual. Why should we be surprised!

    • chynna

      Homophobic bigot speaking your narrow minded filth.

      • dixhandley

        Hahahaha…I love your post!

        • C.L. Honeycutt

          Gosh you’re controversial. Yawn.

          Your style of trolling is exactly equal to shitting your pants and then proclaiming that you’re smarter than everyone else because you’re making them smell it.

          • dixhandley

            Tell your mommy to use soap next time to wash out your potty mouth!

        • chynna

          There is nothing remotely even human about your attitude or morality

          • dixhandley

            You’re a liberal. Why would you think otherwise, zombie!

      • ptm

        You should be scared if you have children.

        • Anna

          What on earth is that supposed to mean?

          • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

            Those EEEEEVIL HOMOSEKSHULS are gonna come after your kids and TURN THEM GAY!!!!

            (I jest, but you know this is what ptm is thinking…)

            • GCT

              Heterosexuals abuse children as well. I guess we should be scared of all adults as any adult has the capacity to abuse children. This is pretty weak sauce.

            • C.L. Honeycutt

              It’s pitiful that you’re too hate-ridden to bother to learn that homosexuality is not related to pedophilia. Why do you harbor such animosity for people who have done no harm? And why do you spend all your time thinking about their penises?

              • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

                What the fuck does this site or post have to do with NAMBLA?

                You’re against NAMBLA? Great, SO ARE WE. Now go fight NAMBLA somewhere where people actually support NAMBLA. Nobody here does.

            • chynna

              You need to lean to read. YOU WERE THE ONE THAT STATED ALL HOMOSEXUAL ABUSE CHILDREN.
              YOU DO NOT KNOW THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN HOMOSEXUALITY AND PEDOPHILIA.

        • chynna

          I am a mother and a grand mother as well. I also have numerous gay friends. Many of which are married.
          All you are doing is spewing hate and viciousness from your pathetic putrified dark slimmy soul that you think others have as well. Sorry, but that is your vile nature, and nobody else’s.

          The only think that scares me is the twisted and perverted mind set of the people like you who not have the intellectual ability to understand the difference in the concepts of
          consensual sex and rape.
          Your mental ability is obviously so incredibly limited that you are incapable of understanding the very basics of humanity and morality. As well and how to determine the difference between what constitutes child abuses and adult relationships.

          • dixhandley

            Be wary of those who say, “I have gay friends or I have black friends.” I think you are the type of person who needs to insert themselves into every little discussion regarding “abnormal” lifestyles! The only hatred I’m seeing is your intolerance of differing opinions. But then, liberals are good at shutting down dissent.

          • GCT

            Citations please.

          • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

            Oh don’t bother (knowing I already did :-(. It will certainly find stuff from Bryan Fischer etc.

            People who actually think there’s any correlation between sexual orientation and pedophilia are beyond hope until they actually get to know some gay people.

          • chynna

            Being BOLD FACE LIAR does nothing but show exactly what kind of moronic ass hole you really are.
            The only thousand of raped kids are victims of the catholic priests. In fact there are over a million victims world wide.
            It is HETEROSEXUAL couples that product homosexual kids. Sexual orientation is not something that is contagious neither can it be taught.
            READ AT LEAST ONE BOOK BEFOR CONTINUING TO EMBARRASS YOU SELF. MY DOG IS MUCH SMARTER THAN YOU ARE.

            • GCT

              It’s nobody’s fault. Homosexuality is a natural occurrence (and not just in humans).

              And, if you’re going to make claims that all homosexuals have been abused as children, you’re going to have to back those claims up. Citation severely needed.

              Lastly, I don’t think you actually care about abuse, or else you would be aiming this as people who abuse instead of aiming it at all homosexuals, most of whom are innocent of abusing children. This has nothing to do with abuse – it has everything to do with your blind hatred and intolerance.

        • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

          Threats? Classy….

          • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

            You seem to have confused this site with one that advocates or supports NAMBLA in some fashion.

            The rights of gay people or people with Tourette syndrome to do things that don’t harm other people doesn’t relate to the rights of people to harm other people, no matter what their compulsion is.

            Edit to add clarity:

            The rights of gay people or people with Tourette syndrome to do things that don’t harm other people doesn’t relate to the ‘rights’ of people to harm other people, no matter what their compulsion is.

          • chynna

            The biggest threats to kids these days re catholic priests

      • Gus Snarp

        Two words: Adult consent.

        • Gus Snarp

          Oh, I’m sorry. I could tell you were ignorant, but I didn’t realize you were this stupid. Apparently two words weren’t enough.

          There is no comparison between an activity between consenting adults (i.e. hot, steaming, gay sex, or gay hand holding and picnics in the park) and taking advantage of children who cannot legally consent.

          There is no reason to bring up a topic that is utterly unrelated and that we have laws against because it has actual victims.

          • Gus Snarp

            You’re being disgusting, bigoted, hateful, and insulting enough already, so why don’t you come right out and say what you’re trying to imply. How exactly is it directly related?

            Also, if you’re going to put something in quotes, you ought not to change the words. That’s dishonest.

            At least you were honest in signing the last comment “- idiot”.

          • chynna

            Those who abuse kids are most likely YOUR relative, brothers, uncles, grandfather and friends. PROTECT THEM FROM YOUR FAMILY MEMBERS.

  • ptm

    Is this arrssee hole trying to elevate himself into the Maher’s Misogynist stratosphere.

    • dixhandley

      One has to realize in this day and age, some will say anything to garner attention. Even if it’s unwarranted!

      • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

        This is true, just look at “dixhandey” and “ptm” — saying anything to get attention….

  • Lookin4Diogenes

    Since when is being an atheist something “to come out of”? I always kinda thought of it as just another religion. ;)

    • dixhandley

      There is no such thing as an atheist! They don’t exist.

    • clevertitania

      If you’re going to bait, don’t end in a wink.

      • Lookin4Diogenes

        Well, just because you said so, I might not. Nope. On second thought, I’ll say what I damn well please rather than supplicate myself to your gratuitous oversight….and for good measure…> ;)

        • GCT

          Yes, please keep saying what you “damn well please” since you make it so easy for us to identify you as uninformed and not worth taking seriously.

        • clevertitania

          Forgive me for suggesting that it is inappropriate for a troll to wink. Feel free to say what you damned well please, and look entirely ignorant in your understanding of what Atheism is or means.

          Your determined chin saves everyone else a lot of time, in pointing out your obtuse misstatement of reality.

  • dixhandley

    Just the site of Bwany’s face is enough to make me puke. The guy allowed his “boyfriend” to break the law for quite sometime and nothing ever happened to him. But then again, liberals never play by the rules everyone else does!

  • Howard Hendrickson

    I respect him even more now than i already did

  • Sunwyn Ravenwood

    I would love to be an atheist, but I really do believe in “The Gods of the Copybook Headings” … and I think I hear their footsteps…

  • WoodyTanaka

    “It’s one of those things you wish he could’ve said more openly during the 32 years he sat in Congress.”

    He could have; he chose not to. He is a pitiful coward.

    • GCT

      Although I would prefer atheists to stand up and be vocal about their atheism, I find it rather harsh to call someone a “pitiful coward” for not doing so, especially when I don’t know what their situation is.

      Additionally, I have to wonder whether you think all closeted gays are “pitiful cowards” as well?

      • WoodyTanaka

        I don’t think it’s harsh at all. The man was an openly gay liberal re-elected by wide margins in a deep blue state. Would announcing his atheism have posed any problem to him?

        Not all are, no. Those who face realistic threats to their safety or security aren’t necessarily cowards.

        • GCT

          And, dealing with all of that isn’t enough for you? Do we even know how long he’s been an atheist? It seems rather petty to attack someone for not coming out sooner, as if they have to do things on your schedule.

          • WoodyTanaka

            My point is that if with that he was an a sure-bet reelection for 26 years, adding “atheist” on top wouldn’t have changed much.

          • WoodyTanaka

            I assume that he did not become an atheist 10 minutes before appearing on Bill Maher’s show. So I will amend my statement to say, to the extent he was an atheist while in Congress, he was a pitiful coward.

            • GCT

              So, he must conform to your timeline, to your ideas of what he is and is not allowed to conceal about himself, or else he’s a pitiful coward? Again, you don’t know what was going on in his life. You shouldn’t shit on people simply because they haven’t been able to take the same step you have. It takes all kinds, and what works for you may not work for everyone.

              • WoodyTanaka

                He’s free to do whatever he wants. And I’m free to have an opinion about it. And you’re free to disagree with me. Ain’t life grand?

                • GCT

                  This isn’t about being free, it’s about being overly judgmental.

                • WoodyTanaka

                  Oh, “overly” judgmental. Please, tell me exactly how judgmental I am permitted to be under your ideas about how I should reach my opinions and run my life. Because clearly you are a better judge as to how I should think than I am.

                • GCT

                  Don’t pull the “You’re being intolerant of my intolerance” crap. C’mon. Yes, you’re being judgmental. You have the temerity to call him a pitiful coward simply because he didn’t come out on your timetable. Then, when it’s pointed out you try to hide behind platitudes about freedom. Kind of cowardly if you ask me.

                • WoodyTanaka

                  So now the problem is that I am merely being “judgmental,” as oppose to being overly so. Okay. Yes, I am judgmental. I reserve the right to evaluate people’s conduct and actions (especially politicians) and make judgments about them. If you don’t like that, that is your right. I don’t really care. It won’t dissuade me from doing it nor will it chang the fact that Barney Frank is a pitiful coward. And if it makes you feel better to think I am a coward then, by all means, continue to believe it. You’d be wrong, but your opinions don’t mean anything, so you might as well believe it.

                • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

                  Oh, shut up already.

                • WoodyTanaka

                  Piss off. No one asked for your opinion.

                • GCT

                  Yes, you have a right to be a jerk, and I see you are exercising that right. Bravo.

                • WoodyTanaka

                  If you don’t like it, feel free to go away.

                • GCT

                  You don’t like being called out for being a jerk? If you don’t like Frank’s timing, then feel free to go away. I have a right to express my opinion that you’re being a jerk.

                • WoodyTanaka

                  No, It doesn’t bother me one bit how you feel about my opinions or how I choose to express them. Why would it? You and your opinion mean nothing and have no value.

                • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

                  *hands Woody a shovel*

                • WoodyTanaka

                  You’re still here? i thought you were instructed to go piss off.

                • GCT

                  Does wmdkitty not also have a right to express an opinion?

                • WoodyTanaka

                  Sure, and I have the right to tell her/him/it to piss off. Isn’t freedom grand?

                • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

                  Dude, you are really being a colossal asshole right now. What’s got your fur in a bunch?

                • WoodyTanaka

                  Oh, darn. A random nobody thinks I’m an asshole. How shall I survive it??

                  Piss off and mind your own business.

                • GCT

                  Which is why you’re whinging when I call out you being overly judgmental and a jerk? OK, sure.

                • WoodyTanaka

                  LOL. It would take more than comments from a non-entity like you to get any kind of rise out of me.

                • GCT

                  So, now I’m a non-entity? Do you think I’m some sort of AI computer program that is here to tell you how much of a jerk you’re being? Is that why you’re telling me to go away and arguing with me in defense of being a jerk because someone had the temerity to come out on a schedule different from what you demand of them? You’re not just a jerk, but an arrogant, condescending, and demanding one. I love how your imperiousness comes out when challenged, what with you telling people they need to follow your instructions (not just Frank, but also all commenters here must bow down to your royal commands). It’s actually rather comical watching you flail around like that.

                • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

                  Three atheists walk into a bar…

                  … and not finding a theist to fight with, they find some reason to snark on each other.

                • GCT

                  Geez. Sorry for sticking up for atheists that aren’t out of the closet.

                • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

                  Snarking? No… just thought Woody would like a new shovel. All that digging…

                • WoodyTanaka

                  You’ve always been a non-entity, meaningless and without value. And feel free to believe whatever you want. I’m sure you have a lot of experience being wrong.

                • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

                  And this would be why I handed you that shovel. Keep digging…

                • WoodyTanaka

                  Why do you think I would give a damn about your opinion?

                • GCT

                  Didn’t realize that I don’t exist. But, that poses a problem for you in that you’re conversing with an entity that doesn’t exist (and losing).

                  And, anyone who claims they don’t have experience being wrong is lying. In this case, I’m not wrong. You’re being a jerk and doubling down on your jerkiness by adding asshole and d-bag to the equation. You’ve consistently shown that you are incapable of stepping back from your control freak side and using anything approaching compassion or empathy. In short, you’re pretty disgusting.

                • WoodyTanaka

                  LMAO. No, you exist; you simply don’t matter. It doesn’t matter whether you think I am a jerk or an asshole. Your opinion means nothing because you don’t matter.

                  Well, I’m getting bored with your pathetic need to tell me how awful I am for having the audacity to disagree with your opinions about a coward like Frank. So feel free to post whatever nonsense you want in response to this post, as I have better things to do than read it. So long, loser!

                • GCT

                  It doesn’t matter whether you think I am a jerk or an asshole.

                  Non-sociopathic people tend to care whether they are being an asshole.

                  Well, I’m getting bored with your pathetic need to tell me how awful I am for having the audacity to disagree with your opinions about a coward like Frank.

                  This is a fabrication and you know it. I guess we can not add blatantly dishonest to your list of failings. The irony here is that you are the one acting like an imperious ass that has the right to tell all of us what we need to do, think, etc.

                  Anyway, good riddance and don’t let the door hit you on the way out…or go ahead and let it.

    • Gus Snarp

      Yeah, it’s not like he was dealing with anything else difficult or facing tough political battles over who he was on one front already.

      How about you go get elected to Congress at a time when just about everything you are is deeply hated by a large percentage of America, fight for your principles in office, whether against a Republican opposition or even your own party, then get outed as gay at a time when that’s not nearly as minor an issue as it would be today, suffer countless attacks for both your politics and your orientation, and see if you want to just come on out and give people one more reason to hate you. The fact is he may have done what he had to to get elected and stay in office and serve the people of his district the best he could, but is it his job to serve atheism, or to serve the people of his district? Is it better to have a strong progressive in Congress, or to have an out atheist who never gets elected? Or who serves one term only?

      Because there’s the thing, Barney wouldn’t be in the position he’s in if he had been out as an atheist while in Congress. He couldn’t have been elected as an atheist. He wouldn’t have served as long or risen to leadership positions in the House. He wouldn’t be a household name. He’d be just another out atheist in Massachusetts. Maybe a lawyer or a lobbyist, maybe a secular activist. Instead, he’s a lawmaker who’s strongly respected by liberals, progressives, and Democrats (and lets face it, they’re the only ones who are going to accept us in politics any time soon, whether that’s your political persuasion or not) and he’s come out now. So which would you rather have? A freshmen rep who came out and got voted out and no one really cared, or someone who after retiring at the top of his game comes out, letting people know that people like us not only exist, but can be great elected officials?

      • WoodyTanaka

        Oh please. give it up. From 1984 to 2010, he didn’t face an opponent who got more than 34% of the vote, and ran unopposed 6 of those 13 elections. He being an atheist wasn’t going to change his re-electability.

  • Gus Snarp

    One more reason to love Barney Frank. I wish he were still in office. This country needs more like him.

  • Frank

    Wow what a surprise; a person who denies and rejects Gods created order rejects God as well.

    • GCT

      God’s created order is that ordered, considering that being gay is natural and happens not just in humans. But, tell you what: show us some evidence that god exists and has some specific order in mind, and maybe we’ll consider your ideas.

  • LogicGuru

    Yes, former Congressman Barney Frank is gay. Yes, Barney Frank is liberal. Yes, Barney Frank is a Democrat from generally-progressive Massachusetts. Yes, we all probably assumed he was an atheist.

    Offensive. If you’re gay, liberal, or from a progressive, coastal blue state, well of course you’re an atheist. Contrapositively, if you’re religious you must be straight, conservative and from the redneck rural outback. Guess what: some of us religious folks are liberal, educated, urban-coastal, upper middle class “knowledge workers.” I am sick of the assumption that because I’m a religious believer I’m a lower class ignoramus.

    • GCT

      Yes, please flaunt your religious privilege in our faces. When atheists are labeled as being elites and arrogant, it somehow becomes our fault and somehow becomes us being intolerant because you have put those false stereotypes upon us.

      • LogicGuru

        You atheists ARE disproportionately elite–and many of you remind us benighted religious believers of it incessantly. You remind us that on the average you have higher IQs, you remind us that among elite scientists in religious believers are in single digits. What religious privilege do you think I have? Maybe if I lived in in a trailer park in some rural area in the deep South I might be privileged. Maybe among lower classes. But educated, upper middle class people are contemptuous of religious believers. I call that privilege–atheist privilege, atheist elitism. As far as political privilege goes, politicians, most of whom are likely atheists just lie. Until they retire. Who’s surprised? They’re politicians. I’m sick of the assumption that because I’m a religious believer that I’m lower class, uneducated, conservative and bigoted.

        • GCT

          You atheists…

          Way to open up your defense of bigotry with more bigotry. Sorry, but you don’t get to paint with a broad brush and then pretend it is accurate simply because you hold atheophobic biases.

          …and many of you remind us benighted religious believers of it incessantly. You remind us that on the average you have higher IQs, you remind us that among elite scientists in religious believers are in single digits.

          Where? When have I done that? Where has that happened? Citations please. And, you do realize that even if you can find an example of one or two people doing that, that it’s still bigoted to believe that it means you’re justified in generalizing about a whole group of people based on the actions of a small few, right?

          What religious privilege do you think I have?

          The privilege to live in a country that doesn’t treat you like a second-class citizen due to your non-belief. The privilege to be able to go into most venues and spew your atheophobic nonsense and have most people agree with your demonization of all atheists. Etc.

          Maybe if I lived in in a trailer park in some rural area in the deep South I might be privileged. Maybe among lower classes. But educated, upper middle class people are contemptuous of religious believers.

          Sounds like you have a lot of problems with your biases and your bigotries that you are trying to claim are really our problems.

          I call that privilege–atheist privilege, atheist elitism.

          Yes, we are sooooo privileged. We get to live in a country where we can’t be elected to office unless we remain in the closet. We get to live in a country where government institutions are continually pushing the borders of secularism to get religion into the back door. We get to live in a country where religion is the default assumption and we have to fight for equal rights and protection. Yes, we are so privileged.

          No, wait, we aren’t. You don’t get to come here and condescend to a hated minority by claiming that we are really the privileged ones and you are persecuted for being in the majority. That’s simply disgusting.

          As far as political privilege goes, politicians, most of whom are likely atheists just lie.

          Yes, I’m totally sure that in a country that is about 10% atheist, that most of our politicians are atheists. They just try to pass laws favoring religion and religious institutions in order to keep up appearances, right? Oh, and they lie about being atheists? Why? Because they can’t get elected unless they lie about it! What a great argument you’ve got going on there. In order to prove that atheists are really the majority, you just pretend that it’s true and ignore the fact that it doesn’t fit the facts nor does it even make any sense. If atheists really were the majority, they wouldn’t have to lie about being atheists.

          I’m sick of the assumption that because I’m a religious believer that I’m lower class, uneducated, conservative and bigoted.

          And, I’m sick of you complaining about how bigoted we are because you can’t figure out how to treat people as something other than a stereotype. The failing here is entirely on your end.

          • LogicGuru

            Whine, whine, whine. Of course atheists aren’t the majority in the US. College graduates aren’t the majority in the US for that matter. Atheists are however the majority among the elite–in particular, in the media, journalism and Academia. That is a demographic fact. And in those worlds many religious believers are in the closet. I know some who say they won’t “come out” until tenure.

            Most people I know are atheists–though, OK, I agree, most aren’t militant and most don’t say nasty things about religious believers because we are completely off their radar. They assume we’re all Bubbas some where in rural south–it doesn’t occur to them that a colleague at work or someone they might meet socially could be a religious believer. And when they find out they’re surprised and puzzled–like finding out that someone they know speaks Ukranian or is active in the Society for Creative Anachronism. Most regard it as an eccentricity at best, and assume that we must have screwy views about science, politics and such, though some are actively hostile.

            As far as citations for the plain snobbery of atheists, you google. It’s all over. Start with Dennett proposing that atheists call themselves “Brights”–as district from us religious believers who are, presumable dull and stupid. And of course among adolescents and among the lower classes, professing atheism immediately confers status as an Intellectual. It’s edgy, it’s cool, it links you to those urban-coastal elites. All you have to do is learn off 20 cliches–flying spaghetti monster, pastafarians, Galileo, Crusades, Inquisition, yada-yada and you are immediately thought clever. Write one of these cliches in your high school English paper that the teacher will put a remark in the margin, “Now you’re really thinking!”

            So whine, whine, whine about the “privilege” of religious believers. What kind of privilege is that if it’s only a privilege amongst trailer trash? Among the people who run our country and form opinion–the rich, educated, and powerful: the politicians (who lie), journalists and academics, religious belief is rare, is regarded with at best surprise and quite often contempt.

            • GCT

              Whine, whine, whine.

              Coming from the person in the majority complaining about being persecuted…

              Atheists are however the majority among the elite–in particular, in the media, journalism and Academia.

              Citation necessary.

              I know some who say they won’t “come out” until tenure.

              Ah, the “Expelled” crowd that make up shit to fit their persecution fantasies.

              They assume we’re all Bubbas some where in rural south–it doesn’t occur to them that a colleague at work or someone they might meet socially could be a religious believer.

              So you keep claiming without backing up. You are the one trading in stereotypes here, not us. Secondly, do you honestly think that most atheists are too stupid and uninformed to know the demographics of the country? Do you honestly think that atheists don’t think they could run into a believer in a country that is about 80% theistic? LOL.

              Start with Dennett proposing that atheists call themselves “Brights”–as district from us religious believers who are, presumable dull and stupid.

              Strike one. He specifically says that it’s not an attempt to claim that believers are not bright.

              And of course among adolescents and among the lower classes, professing atheism immediately confers status as an Intellectual.

              Strike two. This doesn’t even rise to the level of anecdote, let alone plural anecdotes which don’t rise to the level of evidence.

              So whine, whine, whine about the “privilege” of religious believers.

              This is the height of arrogance for you to dismiss the real examples I gave you of how theists try to make atheists into second-class citizens. You’re an atheophobic bigot.

              What kind of privilege is that if it’s only a privilege amongst trailer trash?

              Again, this is you trading in your bigoted stereotypes and blaming us for making you use them. Really, you’re the bigot and you’re looking for someone to blame because you can’t figure out how to treat other people as people.

              Among the people who run our country and form opinion–the rich, educated, and powerful: the politicians (who lie), journalists and academics, religious belief is rare, is regarded with at best surprise and quite often contempt.

              Again, you’re going to have to back this up. And, you should also explain why, if this is true, we keep having to fight for secularization and equal rights. Why, if we were such powerful movers and shakers and so intellectually elite, you’d think we could convince all those bubbas that atheists should be granted equal rights and wouldn’t have to fight a constant battle against creeping theocracy.

              Oh, but having to battle against our children being indoctrinated into Xian thought by schools and government is just “whining” right? Not being able to be open about our non-belief if we wish to be elected to something is just whining. Meanwhile, you being part of the majority religion while meeting a couple of atheists sometimes that you don’t like means that you’re the one being persecuted and you get to degrade all of us. How pathetic.

              • LogicGuru

                Why should I do the work digging up citations and links? I haven’t seen any citations from you. But I can give you one from Phil Papers here http://philpapers.org/archive/BOUWDP according to which, as the result of a survey, among academics in philosophy 72.8% are atheists, 14.6% are theists and 12.6% are “other.” And the figures for other academic disciplines (YOU google out the stats!) are comparable.

                And I’m not sure what you mean by the “‘Expelled’ crowd”–I’m talking about academics employed at prestigious universities, doing well in their careers, who believe–with justification–that it would count against them if they “came out” as theists. So, Walmart Mamma, maybe in your trailer park atheists are in a persecuted minority (whine, whine, whine) but in Academia, and among educated urban-coastal “knowledge workers” atheists are in a comfortable majority.

                And I repeat: I haven’t just met a “couple of atheists.” Most people I know are atheists. It’s the norm in Academia, and it was the norm when, in my past life I lived in NYC and worked in publishing, and knew people mainly in publishing, journalism and the arts. In all those worlds religion is simply not done.

                So I am very sorry if the Bubbas in your trailer park are giving you a hard time. Maybe you should get your GED and move to a more congenial venue instead of whining about it.

                • GCT

                  Why should I do the work digging up citations and links?

                  Because you are the one making claims.

                  I haven’t seen any citations from you.

                  When they are necessary I can provide them. But, do you really need a citation for the claim that atheists have to be in the closet in order to get elected, especially when you’ve already implicitly agreed with it?

                  But I can give you one from Phil Papers here…

                  OK, so you’ve found a paper that indicates that world-wide, philosophers in academia tend toward atheist. This doesn’t show that most academics are atheist, that atheists look down on non-atheists, or anything else that you’ve claimed.

                  And I’m not sure what you mean by the “‘Expelled’ crowd”–I’m talking about academics employed at prestigious universities, doing well in their careers, who believe–with justification–that it would count against them if they “came out” as theists.

                  They claim to have justification, but when their claims are examined it turns out to be nothing more than an over-developed sense of persecution…something you might be very sympathetic to, seeing as how you have one yourself. Sternberg comes to mind as do all the other supposedly expelled people in the documentary. None of them were “expelled” for being Xians, and most can’t even admit to the facts of their situations.

                  So, Walmart Mamma, maybe in your trailer park atheists are in a persecuted minority (whine, whine, whine) but in Academia, and among educated urban-coastal “knowledge workers” atheists are in a comfortable majority.

                  I love how you continue to sling stereotypes around and accuse us of being the real bigots. What an absolute joke. You’ve still refused to deal with the very real examples I gave you of atheists being treated as second-class citizens so that you can claim it’s just whining. It’s dishonest to the core and you are not doing yourself any favors by acting so dishonestly.

                  And I repeat: I haven’t just met a “couple of atheists.” Most people I know are atheists. It’s the norm in Academia, and it was the norm when, in my past life I lived in NYC and worked in publishing, and knew people mainly in publishing, journalism and the arts. In all those worlds religion is simply not done.

                  And, I don’t believe you. The demographics simply don’t work out that you know only the 20% of religious nones and none of the other 80% of the country.

                  So I am very sorry if the Bubbas in your trailer park are giving you a hard time. Maybe you should get your GED and move to a more congenial venue instead of whining about it.

                  Again, you shoot your own argument right in the foot. Am I an academic elite because I’m an atheist, or am I an uneducated person without a GED? Again, you sling stereotypes around and complain that we are the ones with the problem generalizing people. Do you know what the first rule of holes is? I suggest you follow it. I also suggest you learn to see people as people and not as stereotypes, which would help with your raving bigotry. Yes, you are a bigot.

                • LogicGuru

                  I did not say that you were a member of the academic elite because you were an atheist. I suggested that people like you acquire prestige by associating yourselves with the elite by being atheists. It’s one of the new status symbols. Nowadays, with credit cards and payday loans, everyone can get fancy material things. So the status symbols are ideas and ideologies–like atheism. So that sets you off an an Intellectual among the other Walmart Mammas.

                  As far as the demographics, the 80% religiously affiliated/20% religious nones is not evenly spread over the population. In prisons (and I don’t have the cite but I don’t think you’ll disagree) 97% of inmates are convinced religious believers; in the elite national Academy of Sciences 93% are atheists. I’m an academic and I gave you the figures for my profession–just under 15% are religious believers. So amongst the lower classes MORE than 80% are religiously affiliated whereas amongst elites it is a minority.

                  Of course I don’t’ think you’re a member of the academic elite. I think you’re a working class village atheist from the boonies who are delighted with yourself for being an atheist because it sets you apart from the other Bubbas and Walmart Mammas in your trailer park. And yes I am a bigot. I detest the lower classes, and I’m sick of being associated with them because I happen to be a religious believer. So keep whining–that’s another one of the status symbols these days–whining about bad backs, allergies, and “chemicals”–and about those bigoted religious believers who are trashing the country and persecuting you.

                • GCT

                  I did not say that you were a member of the academic elite because you were an atheist.

                  Apparently, you don’t know what you’re saying.

                  I suggested that people like you acquire prestige by associating yourselves with the elite by being atheists.

                  LOL. All this time, all I had to do to gain power and prestige was tell people I’m an atheist so that they will automatically shower me with it.

                  So that sets you off an an Intellectual among the other Walmart Mammas.

                  Because those other “Walmat Mammas” would look up to cultural and academic elites for some reason? You can’t have it both ways.

                  As far as the demographics, the 80% religiously affiliated/20% religious nones is not evenly spread over the population.

                  Apparently, you think all the elite positions, which you define as politicians, academicians, etc are the 20% of atheists (minus me apparently), and the 80% religious (plus me apparently) all live in trailers and shop at Walmart.

                  I’m an academic and I gave you the figures for my profession–just under 15% are religious believers.

                  For philosophers world-wide. I pointed that out to you. You’re making unjustified leaps. You’re also unable to see beyond your own nose. You think that if you happen to be in a specific group that is comprised of more atheists than normal that that means that all groups that are similar to yours in whatever superficial way you deem makes sense to you, must also be the same. You also think that this means you are put upon, because you think for some reason you’re allowed to ignore the rest of the country and the empirical evidence.

                  I think you’re a working class village atheist from the boonies who are delighted with yourself for being an atheist because it sets you apart from the other Bubbas and Walmart Mammas in your trailer park.

                  Think what you will. I honestly don’t care what you think. My arguments stand on their own merits regardless of what your bigoted biases are.

                  And yes I am a bigot. I detest the lower classes, and I’m sick of being associated with them because I happen to be a religious believer.

                  Well, that was refreshing, in a way. It’s nice when bigots come right out and wear it proudly so that we all know who they are. You’re not just bigoted towards the “lower classes” but towards atheists and probably other groups as well. You are a disgusting individual, aren’t you?

                  So keep whining–that’s another one of the status symbols these days–whining about bad backs, allergies, and “chemicals”–and about those bigoted religious believers who are trashing the country and persecuting you.

                  Well, when you are brave and honest enough to deal with the facts on the ground, then maybe we can have a discussion. Until then, I see no reason to keep thumping you over the head with arguments you can’t answer and pointing out your vile and hate-filled bigotry. I mean, I wouldn’t want to persecute an elite such as you. LOL.

                • LogicGuru

                  Apparently, you think all the elite positions, which you define as politicians, academicians, etc are the 20% of atheists (minus me apparently), and the 80% religious (plus me apparently) all live in trailers and shop at Walmart.

                  No, dearie. I did not say “all”–just that proportionately more members of the lower classes are religious whereas most upper middle class urban-coastal “knowledge workers” are not. And I did not infer from the fact that most people in my social and occupational group are atheists that most members of other groups are. On the contrary, amongst the lower classes, the 2/3 of Americans who don’t have at least 4-year college degrees, religious belief is the norm, whereas amongst educated people, atheism is the norm.

                  So there is room for village atheists like you to set up as the Intellectuals–it doesn’t take a PhD anymore, just memorizing the 20 cool atheist cliches and a Pastapfarian colander on your head. Nothing like being a big fish in a little pond, the Great Intellectual of your trailer park.

                • GCT

                  No, dearie.

                  Passive aggressive sexism added to the list.

                  I did not say “all”–just that proportionately more members of the lower classes are religious whereas most upper middle class urban-coastal “knowledge workers” are not.

                  What I’m getting at is the numbers don’t add up, and your story doesn’t add up.

                  And I did not infer from the fact that most people in my social and occupational group are atheists that most members of other groups are.

                  Yes, you most certainly did. You claim that most politicians are atheists. Not only are you claiming to be a philosophy professor, but also a governor or senator? Please. You’re most likely none of the above.

                  Lastly, your continued barbs about trailer parks and personal attacks on me are rather funny, and just continue to show how deep your bigotry runs. Not only are you bigoted towards atheists and poor/uneducated people, but you’re also sexist and probably racist (since blacks are disproportionately represented in the poorer classes due to systemic inequality, not that that would matter to you). So, go back to your KKK meetings and you can stop trolling here.

  • Sunwyn Ravenwood

    Plutarch, “On Superstition”

    “Is it, then, an unholy thing to speak meanly of the gods, but not unholy to have a mean opinion of them? Or does the opinion of him who speaks malignly make his utterance improper? It is a fact that we hold up malign speaking as a sign of animosity, and those who speak ill of us we regard as enemies, since we feel that they must also think ill of us. You see what kind of thoughts the superstitious have about the gods; They assume that the gods are rash, faithless, fickle, vengeful, cruel, and easily offended; and, as a result, the superstitious man is bound to hate and fear the gods. Why not, since he thinks that the worst of his ills are due to them, and will be due to them in the future? As he hates and fears the gods, he is an enemy to them. And yet, though he dreads them, he worships them and sacrifices to them and besieges their shrines; and this is nothing surprising; for it is equally true that men give welcome to despots, and pay court to them, and erect golden statues in their honor, but in their hearts they hate them and “shake their head”.

    The atheist thinks there are no gods; the superstitious man wishes there were none, but believes in them against his will; for he is afraid not to believe. And yet, as Tantalus would be glad indeed to get out from under the rock suspended above his head, so the superstitious man would be glad to escape his fear by which he feels oppressed no less than Tantalus by his rock, and he would call the condition of the atheist happy because it is a state of freedom. But, as things are, the atheist has neither part nor lot in superstition,
    whereas the superstitious man by preference would be an atheist, but is
    too weak to hold the opinion about the gods which he wishes to hold.

    Moreover, the atheist has no part in causing superstition, but superstition provides the seed from which atheism springs, and when atheism has taken root, superstition supplies it with a defense, not a true one or a fair one, but one not destitute of some speciousness. For it is not because these people saw in the heavens anything to find fault with, or anything not harmonious or
    well-ordered in the stars or seasons, or in the revolutions of the moon or in the movements of the sun around the earth, “artisans of day and night,” or in the feeding and growth of living creatures, or in the sowing and harvesting of crops, as the result of which they decided against the idea of a God in the universe; but the ridiculous actions and emotions of superstition, its words and gestures, magic charms and spells, rushing about and beating of drums, impure purifications and dirty sanctifications, barbarous and outlandish penances and mortifications at the shrines — all these give occasion to some to say that it were better there should be no gods at all than gods who accept with pleasure such forms of worship, and are so overbearing, so petty, and so easily offended.”

    “Hence it occurs to me to wonder at those who say that atheism is impiety, and
    do not say the same of superstition…. The man who does not believe in the existence of the gods is unholy? And is not he who believes in such gods as the superstitious believe in a partner to opinions far more unholy? Why, for my part, I should prefer that men should say about me that I have never been born at all, and there is no Plutarch, rather than that they should say “Plutarch is an inconstant fickle person, quick-tempered, vindictive over little accidents, pained at trifles. If you invite others to dinner and leave him out, or if you haven’t the time and don’t go to call on him, or fail to speak to him when you see him, he will set his teeth into your body and bite it through, or he will get hold of your little child and beat him to death, or he will turn the beast that he owns into your crops and spoil your harvest.”

  • Lookin4Diogenes

    Clevertitiania’s nickname has gone to his/her head, indeed. Point out his/her condescending demeanor and you will be labeled a troll. C. would make a terrific demagogue in spite of the projected appearance of being an atheist with brains.


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