Friday, January 18, 2008

Jonathon Edwards

Though extremely late coming, here is John Edwards reply to the question of the faithless in America:

Dear Elena,

Thank you for writing John Edwards about faith in America. We
appreciate that you took the time to share your thoughts and concerns
with us. We enjoy the opportunity to hear ideas from people all over
the country about issues that are important to them.

Faith has played a huge role in John's life. It does every single day;
it's what gives him strength to keep going. He grew up in the Southern
Baptist church and was baptized in the Baptist Church at a very young

But, we have a strong tradition of separation of church and state in
America and Senator Edwards would not, under any circumstances, try to
impose his personal faith and beliefs on the rest of the country. He
doesn't think that's right. The president of the United States should
not use his or her belief system to govern or impose that belief system
on the rest of the country.

John Edwards has seen faith-based organizations all across the country
working on poverty. In many places, there would be no support for the
poor if there were no faith-based groups. He thinks religious
organizations should be eligible for federal funding consistent with our
civil rights laws. Many are making an incredible difference in their
communities. We shouldn't shy away from supporting what works,
consistent with those laws and with the Constitution.

And finally, the decision about whether to bear a child is one of the
most difficult and personal decisions that a woman can face. It is a
decision every woman should make with her family, her doctor, and in the
context of her religious or ethical values, but it is not a decision for
the government. John Edwards firmly believes that a woman's right to
choose is constitutionally protected. And at the same time, we should
support measures to reduce unwanted pregnancies, including improved
access to birth control and family planning services for all women.

Again, your thoughts on faith are important to us and we appreciate
hearing from you.

The Edwards Team

Friday, December 21, 2007

Pressies for all

2 videos in as many days!? Yes, well, whilst lots of work has been going on now is the time of relaxation. So!

Dara O'Briain - an extremely funny, openly atheistic comedian who is still Catholic of course! Please enjoy.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Mike Gravel

A reply! Of sorts. Unfortunately (in my opinion) the chances of Mr Gravel getting elected are almost nil. However, its important to know there's a candidate with some common sense.

Merry Squidmas everyone!

Monday, November 26, 2007

Thinking: Good For The Soul

Well it's been a while since I updated. Mostly because I've just moved continents but also because we have received no further replies from candidates. Although most of the candidates I contacted are perfectly happy to spam my inbox 6 times a day (I'm looking at you Bill Richardson) but not reply to my questions.

Most Disheartening.


An Art Project is being assembled. The final grant application won't be processed until January but we're preparing now!

It is a many faceted project which will encompass a book, street performances and artwork in picture and video form. Todays call to arms regards the street performances.

We (By which I mean a crack team of atheists with nothing better to do, if you'd like to be one of them please email me at crispymartian @ hotmail dot com) are going to be standing at various locations (at the moment it is St Paul's Cathedral, Speakers Corner in London, The Vatican & The First Cathedral of Christ in Moscow, more places to be added soon) wearing billboards with questions written on them. Attached to the billboard will be a number of creative utensils including charcoal, marker pens and paints for people to submit their answers on.

The people wearing these billboards will not approach anyone in the street, nor will they be trying to steer anyone away from their specific God. The point of this exercise is to get people thinking, and to share ideas in a comfortable environment.

So! The first draft of questions is halfway through and here they are:

Who is God?
How can I be Happy/Why Am I Unhappy?
I Sacrificed Myself For You: Discuss
Should My Body Be Hidden?
Polyester/Cotton Blend = Abomination?
Selfish Prayers Here:
Confess Your Sins Here:
What is Sin?
Who Is Evil?
Why Are We Here?
How am I Here?
Why Won't God Heal Amputees (This question was stolen from a website with the same name. I have yet to ask the owners permission and will need it before I use it in any official sense)
What Would God Say To You?
Is My Love/Reality Not Enough?
Our Lady Of:?
Why Love Your Enemies?
If The Rapture is Coming: What Was The Point?
How Did All Those Animals Fit on That Tiny Boat?
What Is Creation?
Where Does Your Goodness Come From?
Who Are You/What Makes You You?
What Is Holy? - If people write polo's I will be the happiest girl in the universe
In The Bible God Killed 2,270,365 People; Wouldn't You Rebel?
What If They're Wrong?
This Building Cost £-. How Would You Spend The Money?

Please please please let us know which questions you like and which ones you don't. Any suggestions for more questions can be added in the comments and if you'd like to receive updates on this project or if you'd like to be a part of it please email me. If we get this grant we will be covering travel costs of all the people who come to our billboard extravaganzas.

And please see my previous entries for other fun atheist projects.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween!

It Halloween as and in the spirit of trick or treat I thought to take this oppurtunity to advertise the goodies on my side bar. Just a quick, what they do and why I've linked them.

Fundie Watch

An absolutely hillarious blog, mostly picking apart a man named Matt J Barber who seems to be the only member of Concerned Women for America (Go figure!).

Bay of Fundie

A slightly more in depth analysis of fundie propeganda from all over the spectrum. Check out Kook Watch while you're there!

Christopher Hitchens (a.k.a. build up that wall)

The author of the wonderful book: 'God is not great'. If you have a few dollars lying around I suggest you buy it! Posting on the forums here is another great way of spreading the message and getting people motivated!

Richard Dawkins

The much publicized book 'The God Delusion' brought atheism to the publics attention, with some hillarious results on Bill O'Reilly. The site has some great resources too!

Carnival of the Godless

Carnival of the Godless is like a magazine. The content varies from week to week and it covers a broad range of tones from deadly serious to absolutely hillarious. They update every 2 weeks and it is definitely a must read!

Atheist Blogroll

Its over 400 blogs dealing with atheism and agnosticism in one place! What could be better? I've pasted the link above and to the side, please look through and if you see anything you like click on it!

Reply from Barack Obama

Reply from Barack Obama! Obviously I wrote him off too soon for which I apologise. Please enjoy.

Dear .......,

Thank you for contacting us about faith. We encourage you to read the full Call to
Renewal speech where Barack explicitly addresses people of all faiths, and people of
no faith. You can read the full text of the speech here: e_address.php
Again, ......., thank you for writing and for your support.

Obama for America
This speech is rather long so for those of you with less time on your hands I think the next

few paragraphs sum the whole speech up. If you feel I've taken this out of context please let
me know.

Imagine Lincoln's Second Inaugural Address without reference to "the judgments of the Lord." Or King's I Have a Dream speech without references to "all of God's children." Their summoning of a higher truth helped inspire what had seemed impossible, and move the nation to embrace a common destiny.

Our failure as progressives to tap into the moral underpinnings of the nation is not just rhetorical, though. Our fear of getting "preachy" may also lead us to discount the role that values and culture play in some of our most urgent social problems.

After all, the problems of poverty and racism, the uninsured and the unemployed, are not simply technical problems in search of the perfect ten point plan. They are rooted in both societal indifference and individual callousness - in the imperfections of man.

Solving these problems will require changes in government policy, but it will also require changes in hearts and a change in minds. I believe in keeping guns out of our inner cities, and that our leaders must say so in the face of the gun manufacturers' lobby - but I also believe that when a gang-banger shoots indiscriminately into a crowd because he feels somebody disrespected him, we've got a moral problem. There's a hole in that young man's heart - a hole that the government alone cannot fix.


In fact, because I do not believe that religious people have a monopoly on morality, I would rather have someone who is grounded in morality and ethics, and who is also secular, affirm their morality and ethics and values without pretending that they're something they're not. They don't need to do that. None of us need to do that.

But what I am suggesting is this - secularists are wrong when they ask believers to leave their religion at the door before entering into the public square. Frederick Douglas, Abraham Lincoln, Williams Jennings Bryant, Dorothy Day, Martin Luther King - indeed, the majority of great reformers in American history - were not only motivated by faith, but repeatedly used religious language to argue for their cause. So to say that men and women should not inject their "personal morality" into public policy debates is a practical absurdity. Our law is by definition a codification of morality, much of it grounded in the Judeo-Christian tradition.


Moreover, if we progressives shed some of these biases, we might recognize some overlapping values that both religious and secular people share when it comes to the moral and material direction of our country. We might recognize that the call to sacrifice on behalf of the next generation, the need to think in terms of "thou" and not just "I," resonates in religious congregations all across the country. And we might realize that we have the ability to reach out to the evangelical community and engage millions of religious Americans in the larger project of American renewal.


So the question is, how do we build on these still-tentative partnerships between religious and secular people of good will? It's going to take more work, a lot more work than we've done so far. The tensions and the suspicions on each side of the religious divide will have to be squarely addressed. And each side will need to accept some ground rules for collaboration.


For one, they need to understand the critical role that the separation of church and state has played in preserving not only our democracy, but the robustness of our religious practice. Folks tend to forget that during our founding, it wasn't the atheists or the civil libertarians who were the most effective champions of the First Amendment. It was the persecuted minorities, it was Baptists like John Leland who didn't want the established churches to impose their views on folks who were getting happy out in the fields and teaching the scripture to slaves. It was the forbearers of the evangelicals who were the most adamant about not mingling government with religious, because they did not want state-sponsored religion hindering their ability to practice their faith as they understood it.


And even if we did have only Christians in our midst, if we expelled every non-Christian from the United States of America, whose Christianity would we teach in the schools? Would we go with James Dobson's, or Al Sharpton's? Which passages of Scripture should guide our public policy? Should we go with Leviticus, which suggests slavery is ok and that eating shellfish is abomination? How about Deuteronomy, which suggests stoning your child if he strays from the faith? Or should we just stick to the Sermon on the Mount - a passage that is so radical that it's doubtful that our own Defense Department would survive its application? So before we get carried away, let's read our bibles. Folks haven't been reading their bibles.

This brings me to my second point. Democracy demands that the religiously motivated translate their concerns into universal, rather than religion-specific, values. It requires that their proposals be subject to argument, and amenable to reason. I may be opposed to abortion for religious reasons, but if I seek to pass a law banning the practice, I cannot simply point to the teachings of my church or evoke God's will. I have to explain why abortion violates some principle that is accessible to people of all faiths, including those with no faith at all.


But a sense of proportion should also guide those who police the boundaries between church and state. Not every mention of God in public is a breach to the wall of separation - context matters. It is doubtful that children reciting the Pledge of Allegiance feel oppressed or brainwashed as a consequence of muttering the phrase "under God." I didn't. Having voluntary student prayer groups use school property to meet should not be a threat, any more than its use by the High School Republicans should threaten Democrats. And one can envision certain faith-based programs - targeting ex-offenders or substance abusers - that offer a uniquely powerful way of solving problems.


And that night, before I went to bed I said a prayer of my own. It's a prayer I think I share with a lot of Americans. A hope that we can live with one another in a way that reconciles the beliefs of each with the good of all. It's a prayer worth praying, and a conversation worth having in this country in the months and years to come.

Make of it what you will.

Reply from Ron Paul

Ron Paul is our first replier and I would like to thank Chris Robertson for getting back to me so swiftly.

Here is the email:

Dear .....,

Thank you for taking the time to write the campaign to personally find out more about Dr. Paul's view on the role of faith in his life. One of Dr. Paul's primary messages is about personal freedom and liberty, meaning that government should not dictate individual behavior to people so long as they are not engaging in activity that harms others. A person's faith is a deeply personal and private issue which the government should never dictate. Dr. Paul supports personal and economic freedom, including the choice to not engage in organized religion. Let me also refer you to this link, it outlines Dr. Paul's position on racism and prejudice which I think outlines his position rather well. I'm sure you will understand the relevance as it relates to your question.

Yours in Liberty,
Chris Robertson
Ron Paul 2008

Please leave a comment for Mr Paul and the rest of us! Free speech and discussion, you've gotta love 'em!