Are we really in 2018?

Atheism leads to Collapse into Immorality & Lawlessness: Letter to Editor, New Zealand

Have faith
One has to wonder where Jim Adams (Letters, December 27) has been not to be aware of the tragic consequences of the adoption of atheism by societies and the attendant collapse into immorality and lawlessness.

It has to be admitted that atrocities have been committed in the past (and even today) in the name of some religions (even by so-called Christians) but the overall outcome has been positive for humanity – especially that of Christianity with its power to change lives for good.

Compare this with atheism which leads to disintegrating societies and the inevitable rise of totalitarian regimes such as those of Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot, Mao Ze Dong and Kim Jong-Un, and the death and suffering of hundreds of millions of people; not the idyllic picture Jim envisages.

We need to recognise that because of man’s fallen state atheistic, humanistic socialism can never be the answer; only a life-changing personal faith in Jesus Christ is.

“For by grace are ye saved through faith (in Jesus Christ) … not of works lest any man should boast” Ephesians 2:8-9.

DAVID PREEST
Rotorua

Letters to the Editor, New Zealand Herald, Rotorura Daily Post

Atheist Xmas Traditions Funnies from Twitter

Ordination & Holiday Ecards Courtesy Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster

Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster: A Must Visit Website

Greetings from the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster

I hope everyone has had a wonderful year and is enjoying a festive Holiday season. This year has felt a bit dark — a little like truth, reason, and accountability have taken a beating — that satire has lost some of it’s power. When reality has become so absurd, how to point out its absurdity with exaggeration?

But I think we’re turning a corner, and I take comfort that the Pastafarian community has remained positive and stable. Another year with Pastafarians standing up for their rights and pushing back against discrimination. Another year of uplifting news stories, free of scandals. That makes me feel better.

What’s coming up for 2018? I’m thinking we should make an FSM book for kids. To indoctrinate the youth with religious propaganda, and so on. And also True Facts about pirates, not the revisionist history that public schools would have us believe. Just feels like maybe it’s time, what with facts having become so pliable, and with this atmosphere where the mixing of religion and education is not so objectionable – maybe it’s time we get into that as well. Just a thought. I’d enjoy brainstorming with the community.

I’m going to make an effort to communicate more often. If you get sick of it, please Opt Out with the link at the bottom of the page and I won’t bother you anymore.

I’ve got a few holiday gift ideas, below. We don’t really do merchandise anymore (though you can surely find knockoff shirts and things on the internet if you look.) The only thing we do now is the Ordinations, and I’d encourage everyone to become Ordinated, or to nominate a friend, if it feels right. Here we go:

• Nominate someone to the Ministry of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster

Do you know someone of impeccable character, ready to serve as a spiritual leader? This Holiday season why not surprise them with Ordination credentials?

FSM Ministers will receive Lithograph Paper Certificates and PVC Minister’s ID cards, and will be added to the official registry. They cost $25 or $40 including shipping anywhere in the world. You can order as a gift here. (Or for yourself here). I will send something you can present the nominee, before their credentials arrive in the mail. If they decide to not join the Ministry, you can re-nominate or get a refund.

• Send a Holiday e-Card to your friends and family

You can create a festive card with personalized message here. It takes only seconds and costs nothing. Below are a few of the designs. I will not smash any ads into your e-cards, nor will I read them.

 

• Give a gift card to Kiva and encourage your friends/family to join our Kiva Lending Team

Our Kiva Lending Team is near 5000 people strong, and has raised over $3.7 Million for the the poor. Please check out our team and join us.Our Kiva Lending Team

CHRISTOPHER HITCHENS: THE LAST INTERVIEW & OTHER CONVERSATIONS

“He’s one of the most terrifying rhetoricians that the world has yet seen.” —Martin Amis

“His unworldly fluency never deserted him, his commitment was passionate, and he never deserted his trade. He was the consummate writer, the brilliant friend. In Walter Pater’s famous phrase, he burned ‘with this hard gem-like flame.’ Right to the end.” —Ian McEwan

“He was an intellectual with the instincts of a street brawler, never happier than when engaged in moral or political fisticuffs.” —Salman Rushdie

“There was nothing that Hitch liked to do more than talk— and all the better if talking meant arguing.” —Anna Wintour

OPENLY SECULAR DAY IS OCTOBER 20

Secular people – including atheists, freethinkers, agnostics, humanists and nonreligious people – are everywhere. They are your friends, your neighbors, your coworkers – even your loved ones. But they often can’t be open about who they are.

Openly Secular is changing that. Toolkits, resources, and videos help break down barriers and help secular people live full, honest, and open lives. Tell Your Story. Speak Your Truth. Together we can eliminate discrimination and increase acceptance. https://openlysecular.org/

Openly Secular is a coalition of secular organizations led by the Center for Inquiry.

Killah Priest is Openly Secular! In this interview with Mandisa Thomas of Black Nonbelievers, Killah Priest (aka Walter Reed) talks about how he became secular, and how religion and the imagery of various religions throughout history have informed his art.

Penn Jillette and Teller are Openly Secular and think that becoming Openly Secular is getting much better and much easier.

Check out the free toolkits:

Toolkits and Resources

Scottish Social Attitudes Survey reveals highest ever proportion of non-religious

Figures from the annual Scottish Social Attitudes Survey, run by ScotCen social researchers, have shown the highest ever proportion of non-religious people.

The new findings from Scotland’s most authoritative survey of public attitudes show that nearly six in ten (58%) now say that they have no religion, up 18 points on 1999 when the figure stood at four in ten (40%).

Young people are least likely to be religious; three quarters of young people (74% of 18-34s) say they have no religion compared with 34% of those over 65.

Commenting on the new figures, Gordon MacRae, Chief Executive of Humanist Society Scotland said:

Gordon MacRae, HSS Chief Executive

“This change is part of a long term trend that has seen more and more people in Scotland live happy and fulfilled lives without a religious belief.

“Humanist weddings for example are now more numerous in Scotland than any religious service.

“Today’s figures help support Humanist Society Scotland’s long held view that we should end privileges that some faith groups unfairly enjoy. A modern Scotland should ensure individuals of all faiths and none are equally respected.”

News: Godless Billboards Return to Sioux Falls, South Dakota

Steven Pinker’s new book “Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress” to be released February 27, 2018

The follow-up to Steven Pinker’s groundbreaking The Better Angels of Our Nature presents the big picture of human progress: people are living longer, healthier, freer, and happier lives, and while our problems are formidable, the solutions lie in the Enlightenment ideal of using reason and science.

Is the world really falling apart? Is the ideal of progress obsolete? In this elegant assessment of the human condition in the third millennium, cognitive scientist and public intellectual Steven Pinker urges us to step back from the gory headlines and prophecies of doom, which play to our psychological biases. Instead, follow the data: In seventy-five jaw-dropping graphs, Pinker shows that life, health, prosperity, safety, peace, knowledge, and happiness are on the rise, not just in the West, but worldwide. This progress is not the result of some cosmic force. It is a gift of the Enlightenment: the conviction that reason and science can enhance human flourishing.

Far from being a naïve hope, the Enlightenment, we now know, has worked. But more than ever, it needs a vigorous defense. The Enlightenment project swims against currents of human nature–tribalism, authoritarianism, demonization, magical thinking–which demagogues are all too willing to exploit.

With intellectual depth and literary flair, Enlightenment Now makes the case for reason, science, and humanism: the ideals we need to confront our problems and continue our progress.

Release date: February 27, 2018