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Atheist Community of Austin
Atheist activism

Hello, My name is Phil. I am a member of American Atheist,Inc.

If 1 million, of the 30 million people who answered a phone survey as atheist or agnostic, walked for our rights and freedom from religion, would this enable others to stand with us?

Would we have a real voice in government?

Is anyone interested in discussing this possibility?

There is no doubt that religious "fanaticism" is being used against everyone else! I am glad you mentioned activism because it's terribly lacking. I don't mind marching, (it beats arguing with dumb asses about the Big Bang Theory) as well as writing grievances to all of the agencies concerned with religious discrimination. We already have The Establishment Clause of the First Amendment (referring to the first of several pronouncements in the First Amendment to the United States Constitution) stating "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion." 1. The establishment clause has generally been interpreted to prohibit the establishment of a national religion by Congress, or 2. The preference of one religion over another or the support of a religious idea with no identifiable secular purpose.

The "establishment of religion" clause of the First Amendment means: Neither a state nor the federal government can set up a church. Neither can pass laws, which aid one religion, aid all religions, or prefer one religion over another. Neither can force nor influence a person to go to or to remain away from church against his will or force him to profess a belief or disbelief in any religion. No person can be punished for entertaining or professing religious beliefs or disbeliefs, for church attendance or non-attendance. No tax in any amount, large or small, can be levied to support any religious activities or institutions, whatever they may be called, or whatever form they may adopt to teach or practice religion. Neither a state nor the Federal Government can, openly or secretly, participate in the affairs of any religious organizations or groups and vice versa.

Thomas Jefferson wanted the clause against establishment of religion by law to erect "a wall of separation between church and State."

The majority of the time these protections have been ignored. It is becoming obvious that a religious test is required to run for almost any public office. Only one person running for President has not used his Mormon religion to gain votes. He said, "I'm not running for preacher, I'm running for President." That's so true, but his faith is not popular. They should all be saying religion should never be part of the political process. (Profiles in no courage.)

Also, I believe that the "faith based initiative" is just a P.R. campaign. It helps politicians and Evangelicals, but does little for people. Even though documentation of any results achieved by the "faith-based initiative," is nonexistent. It is being used to praise "compassionate conservatives," but up until now there is nothing to show that the taxpayers money is well spent. Ordinarily government agencies that have handed out millions of dollars would have to report to Congress and the public about what we've gotten for the money.

There are ways to gain control of a society- through the mass media, religion, and fear. The mass media and religion are so in bed with each other these days. It is even in the news (not the war.) I say a report about a woman that wasn't burglarized because the police got there before they could get in. Then the church she attended and gave the credit to the fact that she went to that church! What a get your ass to church story! Next time she can call the church! Religion is being used as a subterfuge to clean up sleazy politicians images, news, media programming, churches with advertising campaigns, which exploit to the fullest the ignorance of public.

In 1961 Eisenhower gave his farewell address. In it he voiced his concerns about a threat to our liberty and freedom, the military-industrial complex. "This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence -- economic, political, and even SPIRITUAL -- is felt in every city, every Statehouse, every office of the Federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources and livelihood are all involved; so is the very structure of our society. In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.

2006 - The House of Representatives has passed a bill that undermines enforcement of the First Amendment's separation of church and state. The Public Expression of Religion Act - H.R. 2679 - provides that attorneys who successfully challenge government actions as violating the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment shall not be entitled to recover attorney's fees. The bill has only one purpose: to prevent suits challenging unconstitutional government actions advancing religion.

The United States State Department (USSD) and United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) who lecture governments the need to revoke anti-conversion laws (on the grounds of violating religious freedom) have turned a blind eye (due to a lack of knowledge) to religious discrimination by minority institutions in India. The USSD officials have even lobbied on behalf of these discriminating institutions, trying to nudge regional Indian governments to revoke anti-conversion laws!

USCIRF has actively opposed the presence of anti-conversion laws (that adversely affect Christian interests in India) in some Indian states. It doesn't appear to have noted, let alone actively opposed, the existence of Articles in Indian constitution that have led to unfair practices by minorities in India and violations of religious freedom of majority in India. It appears that USCIRF may have inadvertently acted to promote the interests of Christianity (the majority religion in America), while ignoring (perhaps inadvertently) the religious freedom of majority in India. This pattern of behavior by USCIRF, an US government body, may be seen as a violation of religious freedom and that of American constitution - that of violating the separation of Church and State. One of the reasons they are trying to get Christianity into Asia and other third world countries is that in Europe there is a huge drop in any interest in religion. While America and the Middle East are Fanatic City. This may require a little more than marching!

It might be a little less important than the issues mentioned here, but I would like ask: Does anyone know whats happening to Mardi Gras?? Over the last few years huge groups of fundamentalist Christians have decended upon the party-goers and ruined the whole vibe. Of course, the vibe is not really the issue, it is more to do with the fact that these Christains have used Mardi Gras as a stomping ground for their ideas to convert "sinners". The other really disturbing fact is that these rallies seem to be cooked up in churches and organized to the point of underhanded trickery on the streets of New Orleans. Now, I know that Mardi Gras is technically a religious celebration, to Catholics it is the suspension of all belief for two weeks before lent...even they dont want to be bombarded with the fear guilt and shame that these people have infused the party with.And, New Orleans being the very religious place that it is, I dont really see getting my point across to the city in any way. These Christains form parardes they are not invited to form, the march en masse carrying huge banners and crosses, they use bullhorns to spout their beliefs into the air, they conduct seemingly innocent games to draw people to them, this year they even wore shirts saying "l love fornicators" I love gays" and "I love heodists". I liked the shirts persoanlly until I complimented one of them on it only to hear how much they love us with their God love. The point is they are organizing and executing this type of overtaking. Shouldnt we fight back? Shouldnt we organize the same way? Shouldnt we be able to party without Christains? In wasnt like this a while back, but it seems to get bigger every year, and no one seems to be able to do anything about it. I saw lots of discontent and heard lots of complaints but that was about it. I found ONE girl who went to walgreens bought a florescent posterboard and wrote on it "Thank "god" Im an atheist". I want more response!! I planned on giving up my mardi gras to obtain a bullhorn and march in the streets myself. But, it would be nice if there was some organization on our part for next year. Im not looking for a fight or a war, but I think we can peacfully state our presence and have a voice together next year. Do you see the severity in this? Does anyone see how wrong it is for them to be there to make Mardi Gras a kind of breeding ground to convert us all! The other thing that bothers me is there are so many of them!! Im talking hundreds of people. I only wish to have hundreds of atheists there to win back Mardi Gras in the spirit in which the celebration came to be in exsistence in the first place. Whose with me? Janet

janet siad, "It might be a little less important than the issues mentioned here, but I would like ask: Does anyone know whats happening to Mardi Gras??"

I hope you are still looking at the message board because I think this is a very important topic. I actually think you should have posted it as a topic (you might want to do that.) I would have answered sooner but unfortunately I had some of my own fascist, fundie, rightwing, radical problems. I found an interesting article that tells you exactly where these people are coming from.

This paragraph came from the article. Put this in search: and read this article.

A Letter From New Orleans: Jesus Pulls a Right Cross February 2008 by Jim Gabour

This is just a sample of what is in the article:

"The preachers carry multiple megaphones and pockets full of rechargeable batteries and miniature Bibles. They have over the last half-decade become the biggest litterers of Carnival, dropping thousands of leaflets on every street. Through the weekend they walk residential neighborhoods at all hours, chanting and preaching: "Fornicators! Drunkards! Sodomites! You're all going to burn in hell for what you do this day!" Subtlety is not their strong card. I imagine that there is nothing quite as pleasant as having your child awakened at 7 a.m. by the loud prospect of eternal damnation. With a Texas accent."

I think marching should take place at Mardi Gras...normal thoughts come to mind about mardi gras, but we can march the way the christian fanatics are, During the day, sober and with bullhorns!! Oh, but of course, I would encourage costumes..mine will be fishnets and a corset...Ive seen the looks on these christian faces and im sure they wonder how its possible to have so much fun as they stand there in the midst of it all, like a black void in the crowd. I would love to see the looks on their faces as huge groups of atheists approach them! I wrote a previous message regarding this march and if anyone is interestd, and this message gets approved please contact me at luciensummer@yahoo.com Thank you!! Also, I have registered for the atheist convention in LA on Oct. 2-4. Anyone else going? Janet

I read that article it was really scary!

1 million self loving humanists all full of pride and ego. I don't know if a city street could handle the weight of that many swelled heads.

1 million one sided individuals, close minded unable to embrace possibility. And even with theory of evolution a purposeful process that explains how simple life became complex you still don't believe in God.

You know what scares the heck out of me? Is the fact that you guys have so much pride and ego you aren't afraid of God.

If you don't fear God then what are you guys capable of? You can easily believe in God, show him respect, submit to him BUT STILL CONTINUE TO PURSUE THE ADVANCEMENTS OF SCIENCE. It's called being balance.

Mr. T. said, "1 million one sided individuals, close minded unable to embrace possibility.

Don't you want to be "open minded" like the blithering idiots who are waiting on the Rapture? Let's not be "closed minded" let's just believe anything that one of these fruit loops comes up with.

You might believe that they are "closed-minded" - but believe it or not - there are a lot of people out there who are not that stupid. That's the real reason that they won't mindlessly follow the "closed-minded" dogma that you were indoctrinated into.

Atheists don't try to force their ideas on anyone; but if an atheist writes a book based on the facts and evidence, these unreasoning fanatics try to discredit them with "what most people think" or according to "popular opinion" etc.? Apparently they think that facts and reality are subject to polls, and they want facts determined that way because otherwise they have nothing to offer. Atheists ignore them because they know that they are too dumb to get it - and it's not just because of the spelling and grammar. This is roll reversal "close-minded" typical religious bullshit, and intellectual bankruptcy! Why do you think it's any of your business what people believe? Even though the clergy debated against it ever since Darwin's theory of Evolution was published, Mr. T. says, "And even with theory of evolution a purposeful process that explains how simple life became complex you still don't believe in God." I don't know of any atheist Evolution denier; they have all been believers. How does the "Theory of Evolution" help to prove the theory of a Creator or Intelligent Designer? Evolution does not affirm a creator, and that is why the clergy tried to falsify it, and would have with actual evidence if they could have, and they are still trying to with their war on science that includes the Big Bang theory.

They have tried desperately to be a "victim" when in fact they are the victimizers - religion has a long history of that. People who have facts, evidence and objective criticism do not operate the way any of these people do. The atheists state what they have found through investigation and the evidence, it is not simply an assumption, and anyone who has a case should be able to simply lay it out for the world to see, because that is exactly the way Darwin presented the theory of Evolution.

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