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CFI Skeptics of Eugene Message Board › Atheism-related links

Atheism-related links

Ruth M.
Nice, FR
Post #: 329
Former Congressman Barney Frank Finally Comes Out as an Atheist

August 3, 2013 By Hemant Mehta 22 Comments
Yes, former Congressman Barney Frank is gay.
Yes, Barney Frank is liberal.
Yes, Barney Frank is a Democrat from generally-progressive Massachusetts.
Yes, we all probably assumed he was an atheist.
But until now, his official religious affiliation (PDF) had always been “Jewish.”

Last night, after taping Real Time with Bill Maher, Frank referred to the fact that he was a “pot-smoking atheist” on the post-show segment “Overtime” (about 0:50 into the segment):

Bill Maher: … you were in a fairly safe district. You were not one of those Congresspeople who have to worry about every little thing. You could come on this show, and sit next to a pot-smoking atheist, and it wouldn’t bother you…
Barney Frank: [Pointing back and forth to himself and Maher] Which pot-smoking atheist were you talking about?
Bill Maher: Ooh, you are liberated!

Barney Frank: No, I would tell you now… I regret… I had asked my governor to appoint me to the open Senate seat and he decided not to, and I was looking forward to having my husband Jim hold the Constitution, not the Bible, and affirm, not swear, that I was gonna be a wonderful Senator.

Bill Maher: You would’ve been a wonderful Senator…

It’s one of those things you wish he could’ve said more openly during the 32 years he sat in Congress. Somehow, it was okay to be a gay liberal, but saying he was an atheist would’ve been taking things too far…

Incidentally, the Secular Coalition for America gave him a “C” grade in their 2011 report card:

The grade was lower than expected because Frank supported reaffirming “In God We Trust” as our national motto, voted to give land to the Boy Scouts of America, and supported a measure that allowed “certain church plans to be exempt from registration and disclosure requirements.”

In any case, former Rep. Pete Stark (D-CA) still remains the only [other] openly atheist member of Congress in our history.
Ruth M.
Nice, FR
Post #: 330

Just Thinking about Science Triggers Moral Behavior
Psychologists find deep connection between scientific method and morality
Ruth M.
Nice, FR
Post #: 331

After the Spartanburg Soup Kitchen in Spartanburg, S.C., turned atheists away last spring when non-believers approached the group and offered to help feed the poor, secularists are hitting back with an outreach plan of their own.

Upstate Atheists, a local cohort of non-believers, said that they were just trying to help and that the ban truly surprised them. And activist Hemant Mehta, a well-known secular blogger, was so stunned that he quipped that “Jesus would be so pissed off” as a result of the decision.

Despite the group’s promise not to market their non-belief while helping the soup kitchen, they claim they were turned away.

Jesus Would Be So Pissed Off: SSpartanburg Soup Kitchens Ban on Atheists Sparks Controversy
Photo Credit:
“I told them we wouldn’t wear our T-shirts. We wouldn’t tell anyone who we are with,” Upstate Atheists President Eve Brannon told The Spartanburg Herald Journal. “We just want to help out. And they told us that we were not allowed.”

The soup kitchen’s executive director, Lou Landrum, reiterated and defended the decision in an interview with the Journal.

Doubling down, she reportedly said she’d rather resign before allowing non-believers to volunteer with the Christian group.

“This is a ministry to serve God. We stand on the principles of God. Do they think that our guests are so ignorant that they don’t know what an atheist is?” she said. “Why are they targeting us? They don’t give any money. I wouldn’t want their money.”

Brannon and her group are planning to hit back at the denial by handing out care packages for the homeless this Saturday right across the street from Spartanburg Soup Kitchen. These packs will include tooth brushes, antiseptic wipes, soap, snacks and other essentials.

Landrum has few kind words about the atheists’ response.

“They can set up across the street from the Soup Kitchen. They can have the devil there with them, but they better not come across the street,” she told the Journal.

Spartanburg Soup Kitchen is currently open to volunteers and even has a section of its website devoted to recruitment. Atheists are not explicitly mentioned in it.

Brannon claims the soup kitchen is the first local group to deny them the opportunity to help out.
Ruth M.
Nice, FR
Post #: 332

The Psychological Power of Satan -- How a belief in “pure evil” shapes people’s thinking
Ruth M.
Nice, FR
Post #: 333

Religious income tax exemption ruled unconstitutiona

November 23, 2013
In a victory for secular Americans, a federal court has ruled a religious income tax exemption that allows “a minister of the gospel” to not pay income tax on a portion of their compensation to be unconstitutional.

On Thursday, U.S. District Judge Barbara B. Crabb for the Western District of Wisconsin issued a strong, 43-page decision declaring unconstitutional the 1954 “parish exemption” that allows “a minister of the gospel” to not pay income tax on a specific portion of their compensation.

About her decision Crabb wrote: “Some might view a rule against preferential treatment as exhibiting hostility toward religion, but equality should never be mistaken for hostility. It is important to remember that the establishment clause protects the religious and nonreligious alike.”

The decision could have far-reaching financial ramifications for pastors, who currently can use the untaxed income to pay rental housing costs or the costs of homeownership, including mortgage payments and property taxes.

The unconstitutional law, passed by Congress in 1954, allows a clergy member to use the untaxed income to purchase a home, and then, in a practice known as “double dipping,” deduct interest paid on the mortgage and property taxes.

The 1954 bill’s sponsor, Rep. Peter Mack, argued ministers should be rewarded for “carrying on such a courageous fight against this (godless and anti-religious world movement).”

The Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF), which brought the lawsuit along with their co-presidents, Annie Laurie Gaylor and Dan Barker, consider the ruling a significant victory with far-reaching ramifications. Gaylor called the lawsuit “a sleeper,” saying it has received little media attention and may not be widely known by religious organizations. That will no doubt change with this win, she said. Given the dollar figures at stake, she expects clergy members to pressure the White House to appeal the decision to the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago.

“The Court’s decision does not evince hostility to religion — nor should it even seem controversial,” commented Richard L. Bolton, FFRF’s attorney in the case. “The Court has simply recognized the reality that a tax free housing allowance available only to ministers is a significant benefit from the government unconstitutionally provided on the basis of religion.”

For more political news, information and humor see Left Coast Lucy on Facebook. For more news, information and humor relevant to atheists, freethinkers, and secular humanists, see Progressive Secular Humanist Examiner on Facebook. On Twitter follow Progressive Examiner.
Ruth M.
Nice, FR
Post #: 334
Bedtime Bible Stories

Bedtime Bible Stories - Explicit is a full-color book with satirical commentary that exposes the more sinister verses found in the Christian Bible.

J.D. Shapiro, writer of the blockbuster hit Robin Hood: Men in Tights along with antitheist activist, Joey Kirkman, will be releasing a book titled Bedtime Bible Stories - Explicit. Bedtime Bible Stories will come with a “Parental Advisory” warning and is a satirical take on the Bible’s more sinister verses.

Along with actual scripture and anecdotal musings, there will be full-color illustrations that are designed to excite the reader and inspire them to read the bible from a different, darker perspective.

Your contribution will help fund our publishing, marketing, and initial setup costs.

What You Get

The unique perks offered on IndieGoGo will not be offered any where else. The copies you receive will be signed and will include printed and numbered sketches illustrated early in the making of the book. We will post on our website how many of each print were distributed and they will be very rare!


This book is important. It will be graphic but with plenty of comic relief. Our intentions are to educate with humor.

If you can't contribute please share our project with like-minded friends and family.



Ruth M.
Nice, FR
Post #: 340
Ruth M.
Nice, FR
Post #: 343
Ruth M.
Nice, FR
Post #: 350
Ruth M.
Nice, FR
Post #: 351
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