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

Exodus: Coming Out Atheist in the African American Community

While Exodus is a film still in its funding stage, this promising project hopes to become a feature-length documentary about the growing number of African-Americans leaving religion and the prejudice and social problems they face as part of the most religious demographic in America.

Many people are surprised to learn that there are Black non-believers and while the numbers identifying as atheists are small, only 1 or 2 percent by the lowest estimates, the proportion of African-Americans who are not affiliated with a particular religion is about the same as it is for the general population of the United States, amounting to several million.

For Americans who are only slightly aware of the growing trend of African-Americans leaving religion the question is: who are the Black non-believers and where are they?

This important film will challenge stereotypes, promote dialogue, and provide a true insight into the lives of Black non-believers. Yet Black non-believers remain practically invisible in their communities and may be the most closeted group in America.

Project narrative

The church is a focal point of the African American community but many former adherents are declaring themselves non-believers and leaving the faith of their ancestors. They identify themselves as nonreligious, non-believers, Humanist, agnostic, or atheist but they all disassociate with the religion that is the focal point of their communities.

In this film, African American non-believers will tell us in interviews and conversation what caused them to leave the church, the social and personal problems that resulted, the ways their lives have been changed, and why identification as a non-believer is important to them. Pastors and theologians commenting on this trend provide a counterpoint revealing how the African American church and community are responding to this growing exodus.

The “sizzle reel” for Exodus features Alix Jules, Bridgett Bria Crutchfield and Pastor Lorenzo Neal.

 

Alix Jules

Alix Jules: Jules is a secular activist in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area commonly involved in issues and topics regarding the role of diversity in the atheist community as well as atheism in diverse communities. He’s the chair of the Dallas/Fort Worth Coalition of Reason’s Diversity Council, Organizer for Black Nonbelievers of Dallas, and is a founding member of the largest family-based secular humanist organization in Texas, the Fellowship of Freethought. Jules is a regular co-host on Dogma Debate.

Bridgett Bria Crutchfield

Bridgett Bria Crutchfield: Born and raised in Los Angeles, Bridgett (known as ‘Bria’) was raised, baptized and dis-fellowshipped from Jehovah’s Witness faith. She segued to Pentecostal Christianity and assumed leadership roles as Prophetess, Intercessory Prayer Warrior and Evangelist. After careful consideration, Bria realized she was an Atheist. In 2011, she Founded Minority Atheists of MI, and founded the Detroit affiliate of Black Nonbelievers in 2013.

 

Pastor Lorenzo Neal

Pastor Lorenzo Neal:  Neal is pastor of the New Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Jackson, MS. He is also a licensed pastoral counselor and writes about Black Evangelical Christian issues and socio-political issues.

The Filmmakers

Producer/Director David Person is an accomplished professional journalist and consultant with more than 25 years of experience as a broadcaster, producer, and reporter. David Person has hosted and produced two nationally distributed public radio documentaries: Uncommon Courage: The Viola Liuzzo Story and The Afro: Personal Reflections. In addition, he has done feature reporting for National Public Radio. His most recent documentary project is The Biblical Prophets of the Qu’ran, an examination of the commonalities of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.

Executive Producer Charles R. “Chuck” Miller  is a secular activist and consultant. He was a founding director of the Secular Coalition for Alabama and served as that organization’s Executive Director. He is American Atheists Regional Director and a Life Member of that organization. His writing has appeared in American Atheist Magazine.

Advisory Board

Dr. Dedrick Blue is Dean of the Department of Religion and Theology of Oakwood University. He also serves as a board member at that institution and was Senior Pastor of the Ephesus Seventh-day Adventist Church in New York, NY.

Mandisa Lateefah Thomas is the co-founder and current President of Black Nonbelievers, Inc. a national social and activist organization founded in 2011.

Mandisa Thomas
How to support the film

Filmmakers are actively seeking financial support to fully examine this trend through a combination of crowdfunding, grant writing, and foundation support.

Follow @ExodusTheDoc on Twitter and retweet to your followers.

Like the Facebook page and share it with others.  https://www.facebook.com/Exodus-the-Documentary-1618252915132943/

Contributions can be made by sending funds via PayPal.me/Exodoc.

Underwriters should contact the producers by email at exodusproducers@gmail.com or DM @ExodusTheDoc on Twitter.

Donors who provide $1,000 or more will receive recognition in the credits and institutions making larger grants will be recognized in the opening credits.

Currently, the North Alabama Freethought Association is acting as fiscal sponsor.

Links to Media

“Exodus” Sizzle Reel https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jej6u9QCCOw

“Uncommon Courage: The Viola Liuzzo Story” https://beta.prx.org/stories/3383

“The Afro: Personal Reflections” https://beta.prx.org/stories/8759