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True unbelievers Events of Sept. 11 have atheists "coming out' to face an unaccepting society
SF Chronicle ^ | 3-10-02 | Sam McManis

Posted on 03/10/2002 4:11:04 AM PST by Oldeconomybuyer

Edited on 04/13/2004 2:39:50 AM PDT by Jim Robinson. [history]

Way in the back of an ornate and dimly lit German restaurant in San Francisco, partitioned off from other Saturday night diners, sits a group packed in two long rows of tables. Chewing bratwurst and the fat, they are as old as 80 and as young as 22. They are black, white, Asian, hailing from as far away as Zimbabwe and Australia or as close as Daly City. Some know each other; some are strangers. All seek support and comfort from those who understand.


(Excerpt) Read more at sfgate.com ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Philosophy; US: California
KEYWORDS: atheists

1 posted on 03/10/2002 4:11:05 AM PST by Oldeconomybuyer
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To: Oldeconomybuyer
"(But) now, even if I wanted to believe, I no longer can."

"...My spirit shall not always strive with man..." Gen 6:3

2 posted on 03/10/2002 4:22:54 AM PST by nightdriver
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To: Oldeconomybuyer
We do the right thing because we think it's right -- not because we think we'll be rewarded or punished in the afterlife based on our actions.

Where do athesists think their inner voice of what "we think is right" originates? Believers try to do the right thing, not out of fear of later punishment, but out of a longing for an inner peace that comes from obedience to the life God intended for us to live. Christians can release the guilt of falling short in that quest through repentance and faith in Jesus Christ who lifts that burden from our shoulders.

3 posted on 03/10/2002 4:29:13 AM PST by NoControllingLegalAuthority
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To: Oldeconomybuyer
"We're the last group it's OK to bash,"

Malarky.

Smokers
Men
Conservatives
Pro-lifers
Anyone care to add to the list?

What's weird is that they have apparently organized a group around the absence of an organization (Religion and the Church). Makes me think these are your typical bay-area whiners.
4 posted on 03/10/2002 4:30:46 AM PST by self_evident
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To: Oldeconomybuyer
We are very ethical. We do the right thing because we think it's right --

Amazing. Belief in God provides the absolutes of right and wrong. Without God, there is no right or wrong. These intellectual midgets just don't get IT.

5 posted on 03/10/2002 4:32:42 AM PST by newfreep
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To: Oldeconomybuyer
So the God-less want to paint themselves in the same light as blacks in the '50's and early '60's.........or better yet, maybe the gays ["You see? It's HIP to be gay......and you'd better love and accept us and elevate our status to that of 'celebrity' or you're a hateful homophobe, vilified by the media and our sheepish society!"].

Screw 'em.

6 posted on 03/10/2002 4:38:23 AM PST by RightOnline
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To: Oldeconomybuyer
You should have posted a WHINE ALERT!!
7 posted on 03/10/2002 4:41:56 AM PST by alley cat
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To: NoControllingLegalAuthority
atheists -- some prefer to be called secular humanists

Some quote about secular humanism triumphing over the bloody corpse of Christianity has floated around. It was from an NEA article, publication, or speech.

Carl Sagan was a dedvout renouncer of a belief system.

It's easy to be a naysayer and deny the obvious. Sometimes you can't see the forest for the trees.

Finding ways to communicate with secular humanists effectively could be the way to present Christianity to the Islamo-fascist crowd. Simply expounding on "beliefs" and "feelings" won't work to convince the unbeliever.

8 posted on 03/10/2002 4:59:40 AM PST by Podkayne
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To: Podkayne
The public school system is being used as the ideal vehicle for spreading this atheistic belief system. John Dunphy wrote (in The Humanist, Jan/Feb 1983):

"I am convinced that the battle for humankind's future must be waged and won in the public school classroom by teachers who correctly perceive their role as the proselytizers of a new faith, a religion of humanity that recognizes and respects the spark of what theologians call divinity in every human being.

These teachers must embody the same selfless dedication as the most rabid fundamentalist preachers, for they will be ministers of another sort, utilizing a classroom instead of a pulpit to convey humanist values in whatever subject they teach, regardless of the educational level -- preschool day care or large state university.

The classroom must and will become an arena of conflict between the old and the new -- the rotting corpse of Christianity, together with all its adjacent evils and misery, and the new faith of humanism.

9 posted on 03/10/2002 5:04:43 AM PST by Podkayne
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To: self_evident
Anyone care to add to the list?

Yeah. Caucasians, Christians, and Gun Owners. Oh, and also, anyone who lives in the South or Texas.

10 posted on 03/10/2002 5:10:19 AM PST by roachie
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To: newfreep
People with your attitude don't make being Christian very appealing.

It's funny - I don't begrudge anybody their religion. I think it's just fine to have the Ten Commandments hanging on the wall of a courthouse. I don't have any problem with a nativity scene. I'm Republican, voted for Bush, served in the military, own a gun and am almost always anti-abortion.

I am also an atheist. I'm not interested in "converting" anybody to atheism, and I'm not interested in campaigning against prayer in schools or any other such business. What I'm interested in is pursuing life, liberty and happiness in the Free Republic that is supposed to be America.
11 posted on 03/10/2002 6:02:20 AM PST by NeoCrusade
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To: NeoCrusade
Hey.. welcome my friend.

Be careful not to lump Christians as intolerant. I think you'll find the lot to be very compassionate in their actions and deeds.

I have several friends who are atheistic/or agnostic. I don't quite understand it, but would not stop being their friend.

The great thing about this forum is that we can discuss these things without wanting to act out agression.

Christians are a fierce group of people, very devout in their faith. If you really look deep down they are concerned for the salvation of your soul. (Not a bad thing in my book...)

So... God bless... and welcome to the best forum out there!

12 posted on 03/10/2002 6:14:44 AM PST by Northern Yankee
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To: NeoCrusade
Do you think your professed atheism requires faith?
13 posted on 03/10/2002 6:15:17 AM PST by Windsong
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To: Podkayne
What I find fascinating is atheists somehow see Christianity as some kind of prison when our Christian faith is actually release from prison.
14 posted on 03/10/2002 6:17:28 AM PST by NoControllingLegalAuthority
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To: Oldeconomybuyer
I expect that this will be the next victim group that will be holding seminars at the public schools in the interest of tolerance and acceptance. What would one be called who believed in God - an "athieaphobe"?
15 posted on 03/10/2002 6:43:05 AM PST by 3catsanadog
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To: newfreep
Belief in God provides the absolutes of right and wrong.

No. Belief in God gives you a cop out: Do what God says or else. It's might makes right with a supernatural twist.

16 posted on 03/10/2002 6:50:54 AM PST by TheQuestion
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Comment #17 Removed by Moderator

To: Oldeconomybuyer;WardSmythe...
"Listen," she said, "my family has vilified me since I came out. Now, at age 43, I've finally had enough. I have no contact with my family at all, and it's the best thing I've ever done. I feel free."

If she thinks that is bad ,she should be a Bible Believing Christian here or as we are called "talibornagains". And that is by our "friends" *grin*

18 posted on 03/10/2002 7:04:11 AM PST by RnMomof7
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To: Oldeconomybuyer
Though atheists are quick to point out that the United States was founded as a secular nation -- there is no mention of God in the constitution -- they see religion seeping into national policy

This is flatly an unhistoric statement. Not only did many founding documents, including state constitutions, mention God, but Congress and the several state legislatures employed chaplains from the beginning. Religion provides the moral underpinning of our law, a fact symbolized by the use of religious oaths before testimony and the many religious concepts, such as intention, in the commmon law, owing to its relation to the Justinian Code, a legal code that is undeniably religious. The special place that religious bodies have in our society--as mediate bodies--is not allowed in truly "secular: governments, of whicvh the purest examples are the communists states of Cuba and China. The blatant hostility of such states to religion does not make believers feel much inclinted to listed to the whining of atheists about the minor discomforts under American law. Religion is not "seeping" into a"national policy"; rather it is refilling again its natural place by artificial dikes created by secularist bigots like those in the ACLU and other friends of the these atheists that are gathering in SF. What will they do next: petition that the name of the city be changed?

19 posted on 03/10/2002 7:13:41 AM PST by RobbyS
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To: self_evident
Makes me think these are your typical bay-area whiners.

That's the gist of it.

FWIW, I'm acquainted with several atheists here at FR -- and they don't drive everyone nuts whining about how life done 'em wrong.

20 posted on 03/10/2002 7:15:17 AM PST by dighton
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To: Oldeconomybuyer
I find it very hard to believe atheists are discriminated against, I rather think what bothers them is their lack of power to discriminate against believers.

I'm sure listening to "God Bless America" is like hearing finger nails dragged across a blackboard to them and they feel left out. Well gee, when you hold yourself apart, I guess you are left out. If you don't have enough compassion for your fellow man to quietly induldge the majority in their beliefs during a tragedy, then a person is right to leave himself out of the equation. I guess they just want to whine about it.

21 posted on 03/10/2002 7:23:01 AM PST by MissAmericanPie
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To: Northern Yankee
Hi there, glad to be here. I'm not interested in bashing Christians or any other groups for their religious beliefs. I can understand that Christians would like to "save my soul", and that's fine if they want to present their point of view and then just respect mine. I don't like it when people stick it in my face and shove it down my throat. I don't like it when homosexuals do it, I don't like it when minority victim groups do it and I don't like it when religious groups do it.

"Do you think your professed atheism requires faith?"

I don't know, I never really thought about it. I don't get wrapped up in the semantics or word games of it.

It's too bad atheists get stereotyped like everybody else, but that's the nature of the beast.
22 posted on 03/10/2002 7:26:44 AM PST by NeoCrusade
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To: TheQuestion
ROFL!
23 posted on 03/10/2002 7:33:11 AM PST by anniegetyourgun
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To: Oldeconomybuyer
"If I were to say what I am, I'd be blackballed from jobs -- banned," he said. "I'm serious. I'm doing a job now in Walnut Creek where, if I declared who I am, they'd take away the contract."

Oh please. Does being an atheist also mean one must be paranoid and delusional?

24 posted on 03/10/2002 7:38:51 AM PST by mountaineer
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To: Oldeconomybuyer
Belief in God, I understand ... agnosticism, I understand ... but to affirmatively say, "there is no God," that I do not understand ... there is no intellectual construct which permits the human mind to eliminate the possibility of an intelligent creator ... there might be one, it is just beyond the comprehension of human intelligence ... on the other hand, the human mind can conceive of God ...

To call oneself an atheist is an act of pride.

25 posted on 03/10/2002 7:50:05 AM PST by Urbane_Guerilla
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To: Oldeconomybuyer
Pure unadulterated Bravo Sierra. Atheists discriminated against? Where? I'm an atheist, and I live smack dab in the middle of the bible belt, and I cannot think of a single instance where I caught the slightest bit of grief for not believing. Christians as a whole have been more than accomdating. Sure, there have been some knock down drag out fights over certain policies on occasion, but very little animosity in real life. Only on the internet, and on television have I ever seen any real hostility towards atheists.

I suggest that the members of this little group have elevated whining to a new level. The whole concept of a group of atheists boggles my mind even. I can't imagine meeting with a group to discuss what I don't believe. Am I the only atheist who doesn't see the logic in this?

26 posted on 03/10/2002 7:50:39 AM PST by Melas
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To: newfreep
The important thing to remember is that most atheists ARE nice moral people. The point of your statement is not that atheists are evil or immoral, but that they're inconsistent.

They reject the existence of God, but then clamor to prove they are "moral" - even though the word has no real meaning in a world without God. Any effort to establish a morality apart from God inevitably relies on the religious traditions they claim to reject. Non-violence, universal rights, and cooperation with others are seen as self-evident priciples, and anyone who dares challenge the validity or question the foundation of those precepts in an atheistic system is typically insulted and belittled for his free-thinking. (e.g. when asked for the source of some universal right, a typical answer is, "How can anyone question the universal right to blah blah blah? You must be a liberal commie pinko fag.")

The reason for this is that there is no validity to those precepts; they are hold-overs from the system they claim to have left behind. This then leaves only two options - 1. Accept the rules and therefore the existence of God. 2. Reject God and live in a world without rules. Option number two sounds liberating and appealing, until it is realized that the other guy has no rules, either. Since neither option is acceptable, it's easier to call names than to think about it.

C.S. Lewis nailed it when he pointed out the circular reaonsing - that selfishness is "bad" because it harms society, and harming society is bad because it's selfish. The atheist will resort either to "self-evident axioms" or throw up his hands and challenge you to come up with a better source of morality outside of God - in spite of the fact that it's his job to defend his belief system.

They may claim to do what's "right" for different motives, but they fail to see that "right" is a "moral" distinction that evaporates in a world without God.

27 posted on 03/10/2002 8:04:40 AM PST by watchin
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To: Melas
"I can't imagine meeting with a group to discuss what I don't believe."

A mark of sanity.

28 posted on 03/10/2002 8:09:41 AM PST by watchin
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To: self_evident
Christians

Gunowners

29 posted on 03/10/2002 8:15:50 AM PST by mymanbush
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To: Oldeconomybuyer
Upon further reflection, I've decided that the events of September 11, have made life easier for atheists in America, if it has had any effect at all. After all, we're atheists, and not muslims. Not Muslim is a very positive thing these days. :)
30 posted on 03/10/2002 8:49:15 AM PST by Melas
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To: Oldeconomybuyer
Another "oppressed" minority with a litany of grievances. Sheesh, when will it ever end?
31 posted on 03/10/2002 8:55:09 AM PST by Zorobabel
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To: watchin
I believe that men wrote every "holy book" and came up with every dogma and philosophy - I do not believe that morality is handed down by a flaming whirlwind. Therefore I agree pretty much with the Judeo-Christian principles of the Ten Commandments and The Golden Rule. There is no contradiction there - I believe men came up with those things and I happen to agree with them.
32 posted on 03/10/2002 9:16:23 AM PST by NeoCrusade
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To: self_evident
Add Christians to the list. Last night's SNL was a prime example of how "funny" it is to mock Christians and Christian values.
33 posted on 03/10/2002 11:22:25 AM PST by Exnihilo
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To: NoControllingLegalAuthority
Christians can release the guilt of falling short in that quest through repentance and faith in Jesus Christ who lifts that burden from our shoulders.

Amen, preach it!!! I once was separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and a stranger to the covenant of promise. But now, I have been brought nigh and have peace by the cross of Christ.

34 posted on 03/10/2002 12:06:18 PM PST by sola gracia
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To: Melas
Pure unadulterated Bravo Sierra. Atheists discriminated against? Where? I'm an atheist, and I live smack dab in the middle of the bible belt, and I cannot think of a single instance where I caught the slightest bit of grief for not believing.

Correct!

I think what we see being played out here is the establishment of another special interest group that has been "discriminated against" and is looking for some lawsuit material or to become a protected special interest group. After all, this is San Francisco!

35 posted on 03/10/2002 12:31:40 PM PST by Gritty
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To: Gritty
It's that or an excuse to whine. Whining has become an art form these days. Feeling lonely? No date for Saturday night? Well, obviously you must be part of some oppressed class of citizens. I thought I had too much time on MY hands, until I read about these guys. The whole concept of meeting to discuss what you don't believe still boggles my mind.
36 posted on 03/10/2002 12:58:24 PM PST by Melas
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To: NeoCrusade
"I believe men came up with those things and I happen to agree with them"

Then you would say that those who defy such "things" are not actually "wrong" or "evil", but merely in disagreement with you. If men made it up, other men should be free to ignore it. Someone else might believe that lying is good, rape is virtuous, and stealing is honest?

I'm curious about your view here ... is anything wrong or evil, or is it really up to us to toss a coin and decide? If you come to the conclusion that there are absolutes, where did they come from, and how did we find them?

37 posted on 03/10/2002 1:05:28 PM PST by watchin
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To: watchin
Look, you're wanting to paint me with the moral-relativist brush just because I don't believe one requires a divine mandate to figure out that rape or murder is wrong.

What makes civilization civilized? It would be in large part the organization of government and the application of laws (any good Freeper should know this). So essesntially, a majority of people decide that a certain thing is wrong and punishible and give the government power to enforce. There are plenty of people who defy such "things" and they are prosecuted and punished.

"Someone else might believe that lying is good, rape is virtuous, and stealing is honest?"

Hey, look around man. There are plenty of people like that. They're called criminals.
38 posted on 03/10/2002 1:52:07 PM PST by NeoCrusade
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To: Oldeconomybuyer; RnMomof7
"Way in the back of an ornate and dimly lit German restaurant in San Francisco..."

Would that be the Rathskeller? (AKA Rat cellar) Hangout of the freaks in a town devoted to freaks. Once the hangout of Edward Abbey, Jack Loffler (AKA Travis T Hip), Anton LaVey and numerous other well known freaks, all of which have at one time or other sworn that there is no God, but a couple of them now know better, I suspect.

Athiests persecuted? What a laugh! Especially in the Bay Area; it's a badge of honor.

"talibornagains"

By the most reasonable freepers here, right, 'MoM' ??

39 posted on 03/10/2002 6:54:49 PM PST by editor-surveyor
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To: editor-surveyor
By the most reasonable freepers here, right, 'MoM' ??

The blood of Calvinists bought freedom of speech.

I will never cease to be amazed that the ones that most value free speech are slandered by other conservatives with the "talibornagain" label..and then they give the left permission to use it as ammo to beat Christian conservatives .

Isaiah 5:20 Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!

40 posted on 03/10/2002 7:18:27 PM PST by RnMomof7
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To: NeoCrusade
"Look, you're wanting to paint me with the moral-relativist brush"

Certainly. And pointing out, at the same time, that any other view is inconsistent for the atheist.

I'm not trying to pick a fight. I'm just pointing out the reality. As soon as you claim that we just made up morality, you essentially admit to being a moral relativist.

If we just made up the rules out of thin air, then there really is no such thing as a criminal. Nothing is really wrong, but only contrary to the opinion of the majority, who imposes its morality on the minority.

So you can call those who find rape honorable "criminals", but your definition of a criminal is simply someone who disagrees with you. If his side was the majority, you'd be a "criminal" for avoiding rape.

41 posted on 03/10/2002 9:43:30 PM PST by watchin
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To: Podkayne
The classroom must and will become an arena of conflict between the old and the new -- the rotting corpse of Christianity, together with all its adjacent evils and misery, and the new faith of humanism.

Wishful thinking on his part.

There is a definite anti-Christian bias in the schools. But the alternative is some kind of "New Age" fuzziness, not some thought out philosphy such as humanism.

All the same to a Christian being bashed, but far from the same to a humanist.

42 posted on 03/10/2002 9:57:44 PM PST by Salman
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To: Oldeconomybuyer
Oh please! I'm getting sick of every group with every imaginable difference getting together and claiming to be an abused minority. Get over it. If you don't believe in religion then why are you discussing it with people?
43 posted on 03/10/2002 10:03:29 PM PST by McGavin999
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To: Oldeconomybuyer
'Our problem is that we've never asked others to consider our feelings the way we do theirs,"

Hard to believe considering all the shrill lawsuits you yahoos file!

44 posted on 03/10/2002 10:03:30 PM PST by lawdog
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To: editor-surveyor
Athiests[sic] persecuted? What a laugh! Especially in the Bay Area; it's a badge of honor.

I have immense difficulty viewing atheists as being "persecuted" in the Bay Area, and most of the atheists I know in the Bay Area (and there ARE loads of them here) are not the whining losers portrayed in the article. In fact, most of the Bay Area atheists I know are pretty conservative as a group in the strictly Constitutionalist sense. I would say that "atheist constitutionalist" describes a non-trivial percentage of the Silicon Valley engineering and executive professionals (with "non-trivial percentage" unfortunately being much smaller than the avalanche of sandal-wearing grass-eaters in the area).

I'm just going to guess that there is also a type of left-wing atheist that I just don't run into very often (by choice). They make all the conservative atheists look bad.

45 posted on 03/10/2002 10:14:38 PM PST by tortoise
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To: NeoCrusade
Quit yer bitchin' Nancy boy.
46 posted on 03/16/2002 9:08:12 AM PST by Conservative til I die
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