Atheists get press in Minnesota...

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Andonyx
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Atheists get press in Minnesota...

Post by Andonyx »

Mostly fluff article about Atheist group in Minnesota. But there are some good quotes, and some interesting stats.
"The Catholic Church always said, 'For the love of God, think,' " Castle said. "I did, and I became an atheist. It was kind of a relief. I got a lot less self-righteous."

In early May, the Barna Research Group, a national leader in tracking religious trends, published a survey showing that the number of "unchurched" people has nearly doubled in the past 13 years, growing from about 39 million in 1991 to about 75 million people today.
http://startribune.com/stories/1557/4838244.html
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tamiO
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Re: Atheists get press in Minnesota...

Post by tamiO »

Andonyx wrote:Mostly fluff article about Atheist group in Minnesota. But there are some good quotes, and some interesting stats.
"The Catholic Church always said, 'For the love of God, think,' " Castle said. "I did, and I became an atheist. It was kind of a relief. I got a lot less self-righteous."

In early May, the Barna Research Group, a national leader in tracking religious trends, published a survey showing that the number of "unchurched" people has nearly doubled in the past 13 years, growing from about 39 million in 1991 to about 75 million people today.
http://startribune.com/stories/1557/4838244.html
I have always had the feeling that when a stranger asks people if they believe in God and they are an atheist, they will most likely give a non answer or allude to some sort of belief just to not cause waves or insult the person asking the question.

People that ask what you believe are being nosy. When a Christian asks if you believe, they might put you on a mental list to try and save your soul. If they believe in Hell, they will fear for you being sent there and will try in every way possible to <s>annoy</s> convince you.

I imagine that the polls that show that 95% of the US population believes in a God, it's bullshit.
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Andonyx
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Post by Andonyx »

Oh, by the way, for those registration phobes:

poenews
poenews

Also,
I imagine that the polls that show that 95% of the US population believes in a God, it's bullshit.

This was also reflected in a Minnesota Poll in December that showed the number of people in the state who "definitely believe in God" has decreased since 1984, from 84 percent to 78 percent.
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Skeeve
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Re: Atheists get press in Minnesota...

Post by Skeeve »

tamiO wrote:I imagine that the polls that show that 95% of the US population believes in a God, it's bullshit.
I'm sorry, ma'am, but I simply have no idea at all what you meant there.
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Andonyx
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Re: Atheists get press in Minnesota...

Post by Andonyx »

Skeeve wrote:
tamiO wrote:I imagine that the polls that show that 95% of the US population believes in a God, it's bullshit.
I'm sorry, ma'am, but I simply have no idea at all what you meant there.
I'm of the impression that she believes that because of the inherent social pressure and cultural mores associated with belief in a higher power, there is a fundamental flaw in asking people if they believe in god because a significant portion of them will respond "yes" out of concern over perceptions of them, even if the truth is, "no."

Much like asking 1,000 men if they have ever cheated on their wives. Even if there is a gurantee of anonymity, many will answer falsely out of guilt or shame.
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Skeeve
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Re: Atheists get press in Minnesota...

Post by Skeeve »

Andonyx wrote:I'm of the impression that she believes that because of the inherent social pressure and cultural mores associated with belief in a higher power, there is a fundamental flaw in asking people if they believe in god because a significant portion of them will respond "yes" out of concern over perceptions of them, even if the truth is, "no."
Thank you, thank you. If that was the intent, I must agree. If a strange man walked up to me while I was waiting for the light, and asked me "DO YOU BELIEVE IN GOD" I would, indeed, mumble quietly, nod vaguely, and think NO, JACK I DON'T. There are just too many nut cases out there right now, and some of them have government support.

I remember the same questions being asked to schoolteachers in the 1950's, and watching as the ones who were dumb enough to tell the truth to nasty, dominating men in black suits were summarily fired, and couldn't get a job for 15 years. I think it's much the same now. Can you imagine an elderly, atheist woman, for instance, asking John Ashcroft for a job?
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ceo_esq
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Re: Atheists get press in Minnesota...

Post by ceo_esq »

Skeeve wrote:Can you imagine an elderly, atheist woman, for instance, asking John Ashcroft for a job?
As long as her tits weren't showing - yeah, sure, why not?
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Hexxenhammer
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Post by Hexxenhammer »

Hey, good deal. Right in my city. Too bad I'm not a joiner. They did mention "brights" in the story though. I'd have to smack anyone who called themselves a bright.
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Skeeve
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Re: Atheists get press in Minnesota...

Post by Skeeve »

ceo_esq wrote:
Skeeve wrote:Can you imagine an elderly, atheist woman, for instance, asking John Ashcroft for a job?
As long as her tits weren't showing - yeah, sure, why not?
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:P
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Blue Monk
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Post by Blue Monk »

I have, at times, been pleasantly surprised at the reaction of some people when I tell them I’m an atheist.

There are two ladies in my neighborhood who are devout (or hard-core if you prefer) Christians. When I first moved there they were very pleasant but both immediately asked if I believed in Christ. I was honest with both of them and told them I was an atheist.

And that was that.

They still continue to be very sweet and friendly with me (one likes to send over food on holidays because she’s worried that a man living alone might not be eating well, hehe) and except for making it known that I would be welcome at the church they have never tried to convert me or changed their friendly neighborly demeanor to any degree at all.

I wish more people would be a respectful of my beliefs as these two ladies.
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Skeeve
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Post by Skeeve »

Blue Monk wrote:I have, at times, been pleasantly surprised at the reaction of some people when I tell them I’m an atheist.

There are two ladies in my neighborhood who are devout (or hard-core if you prefer) Christians. When I first moved there they were very pleasant but both immediately asked if I believed in Christ. I was honest with both of them and told them I was an atheist.

And that was that.

They still continue to be very sweet and friendly with me (one likes to send over food on holidays because she’s worried that a man living alone might not be eating well, hehe) and except for making it known that I would be welcome at the church they have never tried to convert me or changed their friendly neighborly demeanor to any degree at all.

I wish more people would be a respectful of my beliefs as these two ladies.
Yes, Monk, I've met people like that, too, people who actually do practice what they preach. There aren't as many of them as their used to be, I think thanks to McCarthy, and then by the hatesellers who run all of the big televangelism stuff, the ones who are always on about how the devil is alive and well, and loose in the world and all that.

With neighbors I am quite frank, misunderstandings are best avoided, and if they are going to react negatively, the sooner the better, as to be known, rather than suspected, of intolerance.

But, with people on the street? No, I'm not usually very frank. Most of them are both younger and bigger than I am, and there is a lot of deliberately fostered hatred out there these days.
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Blue Monk
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Post by Blue Monk »

Skeeve wrote:But, with people on the street? No, I'm not usually very frank.
Yeah I've copped out a few times myself by just saying something like "Well, I'm not very religious" or "I'm not a spiritual person by nature" just because it didn't seem to be the time or place.

I rarely do that now though.
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Skeeve
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Post by Skeeve »

Blue Monk wrote:
Skeeve wrote:But, with people on the street? No, I'm not usually very frank.
Yeah I've copped out a few times myself by just saying something like "Well, I'm not very religious" or "I'm not a spiritual person by nature" just because it didn't seem to be the time or place.

I rarely do that now though.
:oops:

Well, perhaps I should clarify things a bit. My companions have told me that they often regard me as somewhat hard on would-be proselyitizers, even on the street. In casual discussion I'll duck the question, but when the HAVE THEE ACCEPTED THE LORD THY GOD types get to me, I admit that I have been know to reply I have met thine dog, and she is a fox terrier or something similar. The Immortal Soul thing really doesn't work, I will pull a shoe off, look at the bottom, and say well?. The old rapture ready routine usually stalls at the classic bumper sticker thanks to a friend from Ithaca for this one of when the rapture comes, can I have your car.

So, I guess I am understating how I'll react. To a casual question or somebody who looks tense, I'll just blow it off. If it's some sour young thing come for my soul, well, that's another chapter, and quite a few more verses. Yeah, they bug me.
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livius drusus
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Post by livius drusus »

I enjoyed that article. I didn't find it fluffy at all; rather invigorating, in fact. In a marked departure from some of the more visible national organization, Minnesota Atheists seems positive, active and deeply involved in its community instead of focusing exclusively on politics.

Damn shame somebody had to bring up the old "herding cats" cliche, though. If I never see that again it'll be too soon.
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Andonyx
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Post by Andonyx »

livius drusus wrote:I enjoyed that article. I didn't find it fluffy at all; rather invigorating, in fact.
No it's a fine article...perhaps fluffy is not the term I should have used.

Certainly it takes pains to treat the subject (The Minn. Atheists) in a positive light...but while it does quote some statistics and even offers a couple insites into why Atheism may be becoming more mainstream, it does not necessarily explore the conflict btoh political and social between atheists and public perception.

Not that it has to.

But it struck me as more of a human interest piece than say a political or social examination.