Posts tagged agnostics
Posts tagged agnostics
Nate Phelps, estranged son of the infamous Westboro Baptist Church Pastor Fred Phelps, plans to speak at an atheist rally.
“Nate Phelps brings a powerful voice and story to the rally,” Reason Rally organizer David Silverman said in the release. “He shows us all that if you can come out as an atheist in that family, it’s possible anywhere.”
The younger Phelps is described on his website as an LGBT advocate who, “speaks out against the dangers of religion and child abuse.”
The site says Phelps left his father’s home at midnight on his 18th birthday after enduring “extreme physical punishments and abuse, extreme dietary and health requirements, and other extreme expectations,” while growing up under his father, according to the site.
Many people believe that the Westboro Church is a fraud designed by trolls who do not believe what they preach, but rather, try to earn money from lawsuits. Nate Phelps is proof that, unfortunately, the church and it’s members do believe what they preach.
To those attending the rally, I strongly recommend listening to Nate speak. His testimony regarding his departure from his family home was riveting.
Douglas Adams was born in 1952 in Cambridge, England. Douglas’s mother, Janet, worked as a nurse while his father, studied post-graduate theology. However, his parents divorced in 1957. After the divorce, Douglas and his sister, Susan, moved with their mother to Brentwood, Essex. His father remarried and the couple had a daughter; his half-sister Heather and his mother’s remarriage resulted in two more half-siblings named Jane and James.
Douglas attended the Brentwood School in Essex from 1959 to 1970. He first became interested in writing at age ten after receiving a good grade on an English composition. Douglas’s essay on the revival of religious poetry won him a place at Cambridge University. Douglas had grown up Christian, particularly as a result of his father’s study, however at age 18 he had an epiphany which led him to become an agnostic.
He stopped to listen to a minister and realized that the minister was talking total nonsense. Further thought on the topic led him to doubt the idea of a god.
Douglas wanted to join Footlights, a prestigious comedy club on campus, but after his first year, he found the club to be too blasé. Instead, he joined the Cambridge University Light Entertainment Society and performed on campus.
During his attendance at Cambridge, Douglas hitchhiked across Europe. He worked various jobs throughout his travel introducing him to a variety of lifestyles and individuals.
Douglas graduated from college in three years with a Bachelor’s of Arts in English literature despite his admitted lack of hard work. In his early thirties, Douglas made the theological move from agnosticism to atheism after exposure to evolutionary biology.
Douglas began his career by writing for BBC2 television in 1974. His work was discovered by Monty Python’s Graham Chapman which led to a brief writing partnership. Their work earned Adams a writing credit for a Monty Python episode entitled Part Political Broadcast on Behalf of the Liberal Party in 1982. Douglas had two brief cameos in Monty Python’s Flying Circus.
Douglas continued his career in radio with sketches like The Burkiss Way and The News Huddlines. However, Adams had difficulty marketing his comedy and worked a variety of odd jobs to support himself. Douglas achieved comedic success when his first radio series The Hitchhiker’s Guide became successful. His success led to Adams’s promotion as a BBC radio producer, however, he left this position six months later to become the script editor for Doctor Who.
Adams’s most famous work, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, was a concept for a science-fiction comedy radio that he originally pitched to Simon Brett in 1977. BBC Radio 4 broadcast the first weekly radio series in 1978. The series became an instant success and a second set of episodes was broadcast in 1980. During this time, Adams worked on writing So Long, and Thanks For All the Fish.
In 1991, Dougals married Jane Belson and the two of them had a daughter named Polly Jane in 1994.
By 1992, Adams had published five novels in the series. These books became adapted into comic books, interactive computer games, and even photo illustration. Eventually in 2005, the first book was adapted into a box office film.
Adams’s work on Doctor Who originated in 1978 when he sent the script for the pilot to the Doctor Who production office. Altogether, Douglas wrote three Doctor Who serials staring Tom Baker as the Doctor including The Pirate Planet, City of Death, and Shada.
Douglas Adams had a good deal of influence on a wide range of activities ranging from music to computer games.
Unfortunately, Douglas died of a heart attack in 2001.
In honor of his birthday.
A Philadelphia archdiocese official on trial for allegedly covering up the sexual abuse of children has asked a court to throw out charges against him based on a 1994 memo showing Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua ordered a list of suspected abusive Catholic priests to be destroyed.
As revealed in court papers filed on Friday, Molloy’s handwritten memo dated March 22, 1994, informed Bevilacqua that the secret list of 35 priests had been shredded per his instructions.
Bevilacqua, who died on January 31, testified 10 times before grand juries in 2003 and 2004. A final grand jury report said it had no doubt that the cardinal knew about the danger posed by the accused priests and that his actions endangered thousands of children in the archdiocese.
“It should not be surprising to learn documents about child abusing priests were destroyed,” said Marci Hamilton, an attorney who has represented victims in many clergy sex abuse cases, including suits against the Philadelphia archdiocese. “That is consistent with the pervasive pattern of secrecy and the rule against scandal.”
“I was just following orders,” has been proven over and over again to be a useless and disgusting attempt at an excuse.
I don’t care if the Pope himself had told this man to destroy the memo and therefore cover up the sexual abuse of children, this man had the absolute responsibility to protect these children and failed.
One Acton family is waiting for a decision from the Middlesex Superior Court on whether the words “under God” should be removed from the Pledge of Allegiance recited daily in the town’s schools.
The family, which has chosen to remain anonymous, says that part of the pledge discriminates against their children who they are raising as atheists.
This issue has come up before in other courts around the country. Attorney David Niose, who is representing the Acton family, is taking a new legal approach that could change the way the pledge is recited across Massachusetts.
“The pledge was changed in 1954 to add the ‘under God’ language,” Niose said. “So what we’re really saying is just because the federal government added religious language to the pledge back in 1954… that does not mean that the state should require daily recitation of that pledge in its public schools. ”
State law in Massachusetts only mandates that students say the pledge, it does not explicitly state which version of the pledge, and that could affect how this all shakes out in the courts.
Good for the family. It makes me grateful that I work at a school that does not recite the pledge every day.
Good for them indeed. I was never comfortable saying the pledge in grade school and it always bothered me. As far as I’m concerned it should be eliminated altogether, under God or not.
Yesterday, I posted a story about a woman who was receiving conservative support for refusing to do her job. She refused to issue marriage licenses to gay couples because she felt that it violated her religion.
As I thought about the issue more and more, I realized that this woman truly feels that she is being persecuted for her beliefs. How incredibly sad. And not in the, wow-it-sucks-to-be-her way, but in the, wow-I-can’t-believe-that-you-honestly-believe-that kind of way.
The idea of Christian persecution in the United States is becoming more frequently voiced and I find the whole debacle to be entirely trite. It reminds me of an only child gaining a new sibling and being outraged that they now have to share.
In this country, Christians are extremely privileged. They are the vast majority and yet, any instance where they are expected to be tolerant of other beliefs or allow for non-discrimination policies, they claim that they are being persecuted. How absolutely absurd. I doubt that most US Christians would even know what persecution was if it stared them in the face.
Being expected to maintain a secular country isn’t Christian persecution, it’s following the Constitution and the wishes of our Founding Fathers. Being expected to treat everyone fairly isn’t Christian persecution, it’s the law. Being held to the same laws and legislation as every other citizen isn’t Christian persecution, it’s equality.
So please Christians, before you start claiming that you’re being persecuted for your beliefs, take a look at your own privilege. Making such outlandish statements will just embarrass you and make you look incredibly ignorant.
Reblogging this again from the long time ago because it’s just sooo pertinent to the whole “THE GOVERNMENT IS DISCRIMINATING AGAINST THE CATHOLICS WAAAA” debacle that was all over the cable news tonight. And how fast Romney, Gingrich, and *ergh* Santorum have ALL been “The President is a bad man and there is a war on the Christians because we can’t oppress anyone now, boo hoo hoooo!” Sorry the fucking government grew a pair and decided to actually allow people access to fucking reproductive health care! SORRY THAT OFFENDS YOUR POOR WIDDLE FEEFS.
The world’s best known living scientist, Stephen Hawking, was too ill to attend his 70th birthday celebrations Sunday but in a recorded speech urged people to “look up at the stars” and be curious about the universe.
Hawking, the author of the international bestseller “A Brief History of Time,” was diagnosed with motor neuron disease in 1963 and told he had barely two years to live. He has since been hailed as one of the most brilliant theoretical physicists since Einstein.
In the speech played out at a symposium in his honor at Cambridge University, he said his excitement and enthusiasm for his subject drove him on, and urged others to seek out the same inspiration.
“Remember to look up at the stars, not down at your feet. Try to make sense of what you see and wonder about what makes the universe exist. Be curious,” Hawking said in the speech he had been due to give in person.
Hawking has broken new frontiers research into theories of time, space, relativity and black holes. He is often hailed as a modern-day Einstein and his work has shed light on the origin of the cosmos, the nature of time, and the ultimate fate of the universe.
The 70-year-old urged fellow researchers and cosmology enthusiasts to encourage public interest in space and to keep going there to witness what he described as the “uninterrupted views of our vast and beautiful universe.”
“We must also continue to go into space for the future of humanity,” he said. “I don’t think we will survive another thousand years without escaping beyond our fragile planet.”
Happy birthday Professor Hawking!