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This month we will be discussing two articles from “Conscience” magazine entitled “A Delicate Balance: A History of the Separation of Church and State in the US” by Rob Boston and “Religious Liberty: Towards a truly ’civil” society” by Sara Hutchinson. Conscience magazine is a publication of Catholics for Choice and frequently takes stands in opposition to current Church doctrine and practices. The entire issue (VOL. XXXIII-No[masked]) is devoted to a discussion of Church State separation and the Church’s efforts to influence public policy to advance its agenda. These articles also seem timely in view of Pope Francis‘ recent comments outlining a new, more tolerant position on atheists and atheism which encourages working more closely together to do good. There are many in the Secular Humanist and Atheist communities that have long espoused similar views let us see if the Pope’s message has any impact. The Conscience articles can be found at http://www.catholicsforchoice.org/conscience/current/ADelicateBalance.asp and http://www. catholicsforchoice.org/conscience/current/TrulyCivilSociety.asp. Commentary about Pope Francis statement can be found at http://www.alternet.org/atheists-rejoice-pope-francis-says-youre-ok and http://en.radiovaticana.va/news/2013/05/22/pope_at_mass:_culture_of_encounter_is_the_foundation_of_peace/en1-694445.
At our last meeting we talked about the potential areas for misunderstanding and animosity between believers and non-believers. During our discussion we referenced Greta Christina’s May 14, 2013 blog post “9 Questions That Atheists Might Find Insulting (And the Answers)”. While our main discussion topic was Sharon Hall’s summary of believer’s criticisms, Greta Christina pointed out how some believers questions and assumptions are insulting both to believers as well as to non-believers. For example, “How can you be moral without believing in God? or “Why do you hate God?” This post can be found at http://www.alternet.org//belief/9-questions-atheists-might-find-insulting-and answers
Finally I was informed of a research project that involves interviews with black women non-believers (“atheist, agnostic, free thinker, secular humanist, etc in the US”). If you meet the criteria and are interested in participating please go to the following site to schedule and interview.
http://atheistsofcolorresearch.wordpress.com/ . See you on the 29th.
About African Americans for Humanism DC
The need for critical thinking skills and a humanistic outlook in our world is great. This is no less true in the Black community than in others. Many African Americans have been engulfed by religious irrationality, conned by self-serving "faith healers", and swayed by dogmatic revisionist historians. Many others, however, have escaped the oppression of such delusions, and live happy and upstanding lives free of superstition. African Americans for Humanism (AAH) exists to bring these secular humanists together, to provide a forum for communication, and to facilitate coordinated action. In an irrational world, those who stand for reason must stand together.