Even Seculars Pine for Messiahs

There’s little doubt that human beings seem to like the idea of messiahs, deus ex machinas that will save us in our darkest hours. Obviously, even we seculars find something appealing about it, or else we’d be rolling our eyes, or else outright rejecting, stories that are messiah-tastic, such as Harry Potter, Dune (Paul Atreides), and even Lord of the Rings (Frodo and Aragorn are both “foretold”).

At The American ScholarWilliam Deresiewicz sees a pining for messiahs throughout more than our fiction, but in our very response to word events and technology. He cites our collective awe over the Web, and its liberating potential, as well as “politics,” in the sense of either elected leaders (Obama in ’08) or revolutions (the Arab Spring and Occupy) who will magically “change everything.” And he thinks he spots where this inclination has gotten us into serious, serious trouble: Climate change. [Click the headline for more...] [Read more...]

E.W. Jackson: Calling Out My Positions is Persecution

The Virginia GOP sure knows how to pick ‘em. Its candidate for Lt. Governor is going out of his way to induce a collective facepalm amongst non-wingers everywhere. (And when’s the last time you had even heard of, let alone were incensed by a candidate for Lt. Governor?) E.W. Jackson, already a circus-on-wheels of wingnuttery, is tired of being, well, quoted. [Click headline for more...] [Read more...]

South Jersey Clergy: Township Council Should ‘Muscle Up’ with More Sectarian Prayers

It’s possible that once the township council of Galloway, NJ (my hometown) had unanimously voted to allow prayers at its council meetings, a tumultuous subject was now more or less closed. It was not to be.

Some quick background: In February, I shared with you a thwarted-coming out of Michael Cluff, a secular activist with the South Jersey Humanists who had planned to out himself as an atheist at one such meeting with a short statement, but because of the way they had wound up running the meeting (holding the vote on prayer before anyone had a chance to talk about it), Michael never got to deliver his speech. He allowed me to reprint it later on Friendly Atheist, so it wasn’t a total waste. [Click headline for more...] [Read more...]

Alabama House Republicans Launch Completely Unnecessary Petition Against Fictional ‘War on Prayer’

Last month, we learned that Cullman County Schools (Alabama) Superintendent Billy Coleman was planning his third annual “Prayer Caravan” in which he visited the schools in his district and prayed for them.

There’s only one important question for us here: Was the Prayer Caravan illegal? If a bunch of private citizens wanted to pray, they have every right to do that. However, the moment Coleman used school resources and his official title to promote the event, he crossed the line.

Just to be clear: FFRF’s only objection to this event was that it gave off the impression of being supported by the district.

But Alabama House Republicans — the bright bunch at they are — don’t care about the facts. They’ve launched a petition they intend to send to FFRF headquarters in Wisconsin in which they voice their opposition to the group’s non-existent “War on Prayer.”

[Click headline for more...] [Read more...]

David Barton: If There’s No Prayer at a Public School Graduation, That’s a Promotion of Atheism

Last month, when there was a strong push to allow Humanist chaplains in the military, Rep. John Fleming (R-LA) responded by explaining the obvious consequences:

“This I think would make a mockery of the chaplaincy,” said Rep. John Fleming (R-La.). “The last thing in the world we would want to see was a young soldier who may be dying and they’re at a field hospital and the chaplain is standing over that person saying to them, ‘If you die here, there is no hope for you in the future.’”

We all know he has no idea what he’s talking about.

Which must be why Christian pseudo-historian David Barton wanted to speak with him on “WallBuilders Live.” You know, intellectual equals and all.

[Click headline for more...] [Read more...]


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