Kirk Cameron Doesn’t Understand Atheism

The video below, part of The Atheist Voice series, discusses how Kirk Cameron doesn’t seem to understand the atheism he loves to talk about.

In case you missed Cameron’s video from a couple of days ago, you’ll want to watch that here first!

We’d love to hear your thoughts on the project — more videos will be posted soon — and we’d also appreciate your suggestions as to which questions we ought to tackle next! [Read more...]

Charles Darwin’s Great-Great-Grandson Will Speak at New York City’s ‘Atheist Church’ on Sunday

If you’re in New York City, you may want to stop by the Sunday Assembly (a.k.a. “Atheist Church”) gathering tomorrow at Tobacco Road: The speaker will be Charles Darwin’s great-great-grandson (and writer/director of The Ledge) Matthew Chapman:

American Atheists’ Amanda Knief will also address the “congregation.”

The event begins at 12:30p so you can sleep in if you’d like!

More information can be found at the group’s Facebook page. [Read more...]

U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom Calls on Kazakhstan’s Government to Release Atheist Prisoner

Yesterday, the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) called on the nation of Kazakhstan to release two prisoners, one of whom is there because he’s a public atheist:

63-year-old Aleksandr Kharlamov (seen above) has been kept in a psychiatric hospital for the past four months for “inciting religious hatred” and could face up to seven years in prison.

Damn… how did he incite all this religious hatred?

He talked about why atheism made sense and religion didn’t.

That’s it.

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Dave Silverman Appears on FOX News to Debate Jewish Star on Ohio’s Holocaust Memorial

Last week, I wrote about a new Holocaust memorial that will soon go up on the grounds of the Ohio Statehouse:

The design features the story of an Auschwitz survivor told on two giant tablets… with a Star of David in the negative space between them.

While the monument will be paid for mostly through private donations, the state is kicking in about $300,000 for the preparation of the site.

The Freedom From Religion Foundation says that, while we should certainly honor the victims of the Holocaust, this particular design constitutes a promotion of religion:

… including the Star of David so prominently in the planned Memorial is exclusionary, ignoring the sacrifices made by the many other groups targeted by the Nazis during World War II. A reasonable observer could conclude that the government only cares about the Jewish victims of the Holocaust, not Christian, nonreligious, or other non-Jewish victims.

This afternoon, American Atheists’ David Silverman appeared on FOX News to defend FFRF’s position:

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The Military Was Right to Take Down ‘No Atheists in Foxholes’ Column

Chaplain Lt. Col. Kenneth Reyes, who works at the Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Alaska, wrote an article for his “Chaplain’s Corner” column recently in which he talked about the origin of the phrase “no atheist in foxholes.” While the column has since been removed from the website, the text is still around:

Many have heard the familiar phrase, “There is no such thing as an atheist in a fox hole.”

Where did this come from?

Research I verified in an interview with former World War II prisoner of war Roy Bodine (my friend) indicates the phrase has been credited to Father William Cummings.

With the pending surrender of allied forces to the Japanese, Cummings uttered the famous phrase “There is no such thing as an atheist in a fox hole.”

Everyone expresses some form of faith every day, whether it is religious or secular.

Some express faith by believing when they get up in the morning they will arrive at work in one piece, thankful they have been given another opportunity to enjoy the majesty of the day; or express relief the doctor’s results were negative.

While I have no issue with Reyes trying to find the origins of that phrase, the fact is: that statement is just untrue. And to perpetuate it by saying everyone has faith in something just reinforces a harmful myth. Of course there are atheists in foxholes, and when they’re under attack in a war, they don’t start looking to God for help. To argue otherwise, or to redefine “faith” to mean faith in yourself or fellow soldiers, is disingenuous.

I don’t think Reyes intentionally set out to denigrate atheists, but that’s what he ended up doing.

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