Atheists and Believers Respond to Westboro Baptist Church with Unity, Positivism, and Resolve

On their way to Hollywood to peddle their drug of addiction, hate, outside the Academy Awards Sunday night, half a dozen members of the Westboro Baptist Church paid a morning visit to my home town 50 miles north of Los Angeles. They targeted five churches in a series of brief picket protests for the sin of having female pastors and other doctrinal practices that they abhor. Armed with their typically vile signs and antagonistic rhetoric, they timed their demonstrations to be seen by the parishioners as they arrived for or left Sunday services.

A few of us from the Santa Clarita Atheists and Freethinkers (SCAF) joined 200 to 300 members of the community to counter-demonstrate at each of the churches, despite the drizzle of much-needed rain. Groups from other churches and faith organizations, many students from Gay-Straight Alliance clubs at high schools and the community college, military veterans, and plenty of families and individuals turned out to overwhelm the little sidewalk bigot squad with a flood of harmony, acceptance, and love.

Here’s a small sampling of the nasty and rather goofy messages of the WBC:



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What Can Religious People Do to Help Atheists?

The video below, part of The Atheist Voice series, discusses what religious people can do to help atheists.



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Christian Conference Organizers Asked Me to Share My Views on Gay Marriage… So This is What I Sent Them

A couple of weeks ago, I got an email from the organizers of the NINES, an online-only conference for evangelical Christians. (People would presumably purchase the live-stream and watch it with their small groups or church staffs.) Because the theme was “Culture Crash,” they asked me if I wanted to make a video discussing my views on same-sex marriage. They gave me five minutes and no restrictions (other than, you know, please don’t swear because there may be kids watching).

That was quite courageous of them to do, I thought, and the video I made is now online on the Atheist Voice channel. Take a look:



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A Christian’s Plea to Get Her Community to Stand Up for Atheists

Rebecca Florence Miller, one of the evangelical Christian bloggers on Patheos, recently got in a conversation with a bunch of atheists (on this site, I believe), and came away with a few important conclusions:



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In Georgia, an Atheist and a Christian Stage a Public Dialogue at a Local Bar

Justin Mullinix, an atheist from Georgia, recently volunteered to sit down with Will Dyer, a local pastor, in front of a large crowd at a bar and answer questions from the audience. It wasn’t a debate. It wasn’t confrontational. It was just a chance for everyone to watch a civil dialogue about serious differences in opinion:



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