Book Review: The Family (Jeff Sharlet, Harper Collins Publishing, 2008, 454 pages)

the_family_jeff_sharlet.jpgBy Grant Steves

Complacency is a luxury given to the comfortable. To paraphrase M. Niemöller, ‘First they came for the gays, and I didn’t speak up, because I was not gay. Then they came for the Humanists, and I didn’t speak up, because I was an atheist. Then they came for me, and by that time, there was no one left to speak up for me.’ The luxury of complacency toward the political forces in our country may result in the loss of comfort for those not allied with powerful.

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The Economist and Camp Quest

the_economist_logo.jpgBy Bob Schmitz

The July 18th issue of The Economist has a very positive article (p 32) about Camp Quest. It describes the activities of the campers and offers some commentary on the status of atheists in America. Despite the fact that atheists are broadly disliked there has been some improvement according to the writer, who reports that "the proportion who say they might vote for an atheist has doubled in the past half-century." Although five percent admitted they would not vote for a qualified black candidate in a recent poll, 53% still say they would "shun" a qualified atheist candidate. The poll source was not cited.

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Africa: Hall of Horrors

kirumira2.jpgBy Kirumira Mpagi Michael
Former missionary, now Public Relations Officer for Atheist Association of Uganda

Africa is perhaps the most miserable place the world has ever known.  This fact is all but ignored by the media in western Countries. Most of the governments here, although calling themselves promoters of democracies, are ruthless dictatorships, ruled by greed and callous disregard for human life and dignity. They are supported by religious institutions that desire a share in the power, and they are supported by the "Western World" because they can still exploit them for profit. That's Africa, for you friends in Minnesota.


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2009 Secular Student Alliance Conference

watland_gardens12.jpgBy Bjorn Watland

On Friday, August 7, 300 atheists descended onto the Creation Museum in Petersberg, Kentucky.  The Creation Museum, an Answers in Genesis project, is designed as a more traditional science museum than some carnival ride (as other "creation museums" have been).  It presents evidence to support their pre-drawn conclusion that all that has ever happened in the past is contained in the Christian Bible.  Since the Christian Bible contains lineages and ages of people, they conclude that that scientists who have used material evidence to come to the conclusion that the Earth is about 4.5 billion years old must be mistaken about atheism.


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Obama Makes Health Care a Religious Issue

george_head_small.jpgBy George Kane

With his health insurance reform initiative bogging down in the face of declining public support, President Obama is calling on religious leaders to turn it into a moral crusade. On one day in August he held two teleconferences to this end. In the morning he asked about 1,000 rabbis to preach his political agenda in their sermons on Rosh Hashanah, while that afternoon he spoke to a mostly Christian audience of about 140,000 religious leaders in a conference call and webcast.


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