CFI Portland Meetup Group Message Board Announcements › "Recycle Your Bible and Koran Day" - A way to turn Bibles and Kora

"Recycle Your Bible and Koran Day" - A way to turn Bibles and Korans into pro-Atheism books

Gavin
Atheistic-ExJW
Beaverton, OR
Post #: 1,935
Should we organize a "Recycle Your Bible and Koran Day"? Such a day can used to draw attention to people discarding their Bibles and Korans, while doing so in way which turns them into more useful books in an environmentally friendly manner. On that day people could also recycle other religious books. It would be especially cool if the Bibles and Korans were being recycled to make books which promote atheism. What do you think? Imagine the marketing effect of having stickers on pro-atheist books which say "Made From Recycled Bibles, Korans, and other Religious Books".
Bernie D.
BernieDehler
Hillsboro, OR
Post #: 1,303
If you write "Jesus" on a piece of paper and then burn it, it might be ok. If you print-out a page from an online Bible with the word "Jesus" and burn it, you might still be ok. But if you rip a page from a printed Bible and burn it, you will create some controversy.

As for Muslims killing people because of a burnt Quran... the world would be a safer place if they instead just did "eye for eye" ... in this case, to get even, they should burn some Bibles. "Eye for an eye makes the whole world blind." But in this case, it would just rid the world of religious texts.

Gavin
Atheistic-ExJW
Beaverton, OR
Post #: 1,936
If you write "Jesus" on a piece of paper and then burn it, it might be ok. If you print-out a page from an online Bible with the word "Jesus" and burn it, you might still be ok. But if you rip a page from a printed Bible and burn it, you will create some controversy.

As for Muslims killing people because of a burnt Quran... the world would be a safer place if they instead just did "eye for eye" ... in this case, to get even, they should burn some Bibles. "Eye for an eye makes the whole world blind." But in this case, it would just rid the world of religious texts.

Although burning a Bible creates some controversy, I am not promoting Bible burning since burning books is bad for the environment (unless it is done with good environmental controls where a way to produce electricity from renewable sources), and I am an in environmentalist. As a result, I specifically suggested recycling the Bible instead. Plus making pro-atheist books out of Bibles sends a good strong message, like turning swords and spears into plowshares. wink
Gavin
Atheistic-ExJW
Beaverton, OR
Post #: 1,937
Should we organize a "Recycle Your Bible and Koran Day"? Such a day can used to draw attention to people discarding their Bibles and Korans, while doing so in way which turns them into more useful books in an environmentally friendly manner. On that day people could also recycle other religious books. It would be especially cool if the Bibles and Korans were being recycled to make books which promote atheism. What do you think? Imagine the marketing effect of having stickers on pro-atheist books which say "Made From Recycled Bibles, Korans, and other Religious Books".

Of course people must only recycle books which rightfully belong to them, this is not a book burning in the bad sense of destroying other people's books. Even so, Muslims might get violently upset if they knew Korans were being destroyed.

I did a search on the internet and found that in the 1860s there was an organization called "Society for the Abolition of Christianity" and I found a news article from the 1930s which mentioned about an organization called "American Society for the Advancement of Atheism". Maybe new organizations should be created using those old names, what do you think?
DaniT
user 6576544
Portland, OR
Post #: 28
I think this would be a distraction from our (CFI's) mission which is to " foster a secular society based on science, reason, freedom of inquiry, and humanist values." If we can get people to think critically, all this stuff goes away, and--bonus--every other aspect of our society is better too. I spend a lot of volunteer hours with CFI and have to budget my time on projects that I think will produce the biggest results. For example, right now we're working on a critical thinking curriculum for high school/middle school students.

One thing I've learned from my activism is that the most effective way to create real change is to get people on your side. This is done by solving a problem instead of creating one, coming off as the 'guy riding in wearing the white hat'. This would just piss people off.
Gavin
Atheistic-ExJW
Beaverton, OR
Post #: 1,938
Getting people to think critically is a very good thing, but many people don't want to think critically. I got the idea of the recycle the Bible day, from reading about atheist billboards which promote awareness of how many people are atheists. My idea also promotes awareness, by showing people that many people in their community are abandoning their religious books and becoming atheists. But I can see how CFI probably wouldn't want to sponsor such an event, but some atheist groups might want to.
SylviaB
SylviaB
Group Organizer
Portland, OR
Post #: 150
Gavin,

I want to add an explanation. Your suggestions are appreciated, and I don't just want to dismiss it, but I want to give you some insight into how we make decisions about what projects to pursue.

To be clear, CFI has no problem pissing off the religious. For example, Free Inquiry was the only American magazine/paper to republish the Danish cartoons. We are also the organization that initiated Blasphemy Rights Day.

The question is: Is giving the finger to the various holy books the best use of our time right now, locally? I think few people have any idea how many hours every week the board members and even organizers in our community spend on our activism.

It's one thing to spend an additional 30 minutes on an interview that will be turned into a 2 minute newscast segment about how the Christians respond to the Bible recycling. In Portland, my guess is that we'll get a shrug, anyway. It's quite another to have our agenda hijacked by Muslims flipping out about their holy book not being disposed of properly. We want to pick our battles carefully for what will move us furthest along in the path to our goals, and we need to think what will give us the greatest benefit for the least cost. For example, if we wanted to give the public finger to religious texts, a "smut for smut" event would be a better use of our time, making a similar point with less wasted time.

I know of no one on the board who can take that kind of time to manage such issues without taking that time from those outward-directed programs that will make a difference in the long term, such as the PHFF, the DARKTOLIGHT concert, the Reason Fair we are hoping to implement in the coming years, the critical thinking class, and a new strategic initiative in cooperation with public intellectuals that we are currently exploring. And those don't even include the things we do strictly for our internal audience and our own community.

We have a long-term plan. Stuff like this holy book recycling is very emotionally satisfying and makes a point, and it is doable if we have additional personnel resources who are highly qualified in public communications (although even then, I'd wonder if we could put their talents to better use). In the absence of that, we need to think critically about how we use our existing resources to achieve maximum progress. To dump the blowback on a bunch of volunteers who are already spending hours a week on important strategic initiatives will distract from our mission and make us less effective in the long run.

It's like a family budget: Use the money for a vacation in Disney World for 5, or for turning the basement into a rentable apartment?

Thanks for being engaged and helping us come up with ideas. We can can add it to the list for a time when this kind of event will be exactly what we need at that moment in our development :-)

Sylvia



Gavin
Atheistic-ExJW
Beaverton, OR
Post #: 1,940
Hi Sylvia, thanks for your reply. The points you made are very good ones.

I think my posts in this forum topic have created a misunderstanding. Though I made the posts in a CFI forum and though I started off the first post with the words "Should we organize ...", I was not specifically/primarily directing it to the leadership of CFI. Instead I was directing it to atheistic members of the CFI meetup group in general, those were the people I had in mind. I was mostly just trying to get the idea out to the broader atheist community nationwide by posting it in the CFI forum, as a way to get individual atheists to think about the idea and pass it onto other atheists. I am sorry for the confusion. I now think it would have been best if I had submitted the idea to the Freedom from Religion Foundation, since my idea is probably more in line with the mindset of the members of that organization and with the activities/campaigns of that organization. In addition, I think you and Danni made very good points of how my idea would likely cause more difficulties than it is worth and how my idea could become more problematic than I anticipated.

Regarding the PHFF, by which I presume you mean the "Portland Humanist Film Festival", has there been any effort by Humanists to make that film festival a nationwide one, including getting it into the Bible Belt states where the resistance to Humanism is the probably the strongest? It seems likely to me that Humanist groups in other cities would love to participate in the film festival by having their own showings of the films as well. If the film festival would broaden to a nation wide film festival, it could still have the debut showings in Portland, OR. For example, Humanist organizations in Seattle, WA and California might want have to organize Humanist Film Festival showings. What do you (Sylvia, Danni, and others of the local CFI leadership) think about that?
Gavin
Atheistic-ExJW
Beaverton, OR
Post #: 1,942
I like the ads being run by American Atheists, as described in the news article called "American group target Jewish and Muslim neighborhoods with atheist billboards". Those billboard ads are designed to get atheists to withdraw from Judaism and Islam. See also this news article (which includes a news video) called "Atheist Billboards Planned for Brooklyn, NJ, Stir Controversy".
Gavin
Atheistic-ExJW
Beaverton, OR
Post #: 1,943
A moment ago I learned that according to http://en.wikipedia.o...­ and http://en.wikipedia.o...­ even recycling a Quran is considered improper disposal and thus a desecration, but burning it is fine, provided it is done in a respectful way. I wonder how many of them get recycled in the USA. The Wikipedia article also says "Intentionally insulting the Quran is regarded as blasphemous." According to http://en.wikipedia.o...­ many non-Muslims are blasphemers. As a result of what I learned above, I now discontinue my idea of recycling the Quran into atheist books and of including a sticker on those books which says they were made from recycled Qurans.
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