"Join us for the largest gathering of the secular movement in world history"
If anyone from the Washington DC area will be going to this rally, it would be great if you could provide some comments.
Secular does not mean atheist; if they stand to reason to start with.
These are no synonyms.
Sounds more like it'll be an unreasonable rally.
We'll be attending, although this is the first I've heard of it. Thanks for the link. We live close enough to drive down, but if you're coming in from out of town you should definitely reserve your rooms early. And stay outside of the beltway if you don't want to spend two hundred a night for an average room.
I wish I could come! Some very good speakers.
I will have to wait for you guys to come back and tell those of us who couldn't be there about it in a hub or two.
I would come, but there are no buses which run from England to Washington DC. It is great news that American atheists are not afraid to stand up and be counted. Hopefully this will be the start of more atheists coming out of the closet.
Out of the closet is the right terminology too, as having any public profile in America, it is love the fairy or walk!
People are less likely to admit they don't follow the bronze aged god when their lives and those of their children can be ruined by their non belief in the unbelievable.
I hope they see a high percentage of non believers, but I doubt many can afford the risk in these hard times... too likely to lose their income.
You apparently know little of America. There isn't any problem with being an atheist. This is a free country, last time I checked.
Not that little.
You won't find the same problem in places like down-town New York so much, but other places?
Try running for President or high office without the right fairy, or getting a job in a turban, or trying to find a boss who doesn't want to know what your religion is regardless of any state laws to stop that type of discrimination as happened to a friend recently.
The word "Muslim" was used as a derogative word to denigrate the first black president but was OK by a large percentage of the right.
No, America still carries the old racist, sexist, religious bulldust around and parades it like a badge of honour.
The newly politically correct religious zealots still destroy democracy with an inordinate amount of representation in my view.
Thank goodness Americans don't seem to be as blind or narrow minded as you seem to be.
That's bs. Freedom of speech, and a media that loves ratings brings the crazies to the limelight quite often. They are a vocal minority. The world I live in does not resemble your picture.
Fair enough, I don't live there and you do, I have never stayed for more than a few months, but have been watching America and formed those views.
You may well be right about a vocal minority, I guess you get to know that by living there and knowing your culture better than I do.
May I ask approximately where you are in the states, and if you feel your location reflects a typical or majority point of view?
North of DC. Small town in Maryland. And yes, we do. No one cares who is what. This state is one of the states that is already over 50% hispanic, believe it or not. There are a lot of people who live here that have been here for generations, and we have our share of bedroom communities for DC.
But, I've lived in several states throughout the years and the picture you paint is not indicative of anywhere I've lived.
No, I don't sit around and discuss my views in the local diner, but neither does anyone else discuss religion, race or any subject you mentioned. I've never been asked my religious affiliation in any job interview.
I realize it's the nature of things to insult our country here, but at least I can take comfort in the fact that no Americans are running around attempting to return the favor.
The world you live in does resemble the picture that earnestshub paints, if you live in the United States. You can't run for POTUS as an atheist, and it is more difficult to find a job if you wear a turban. The word "Muslim" was used to denigrate Obama, and a majority of the Conservatives didn't object.
You can run, but you've already handicapped yourself just as someone who built a political career on being a woman, or a member of a specific ethnic group has. When you put your personal line of separation on your resume you are pointing out that the sieve you use in your decision making process will automatically disenfranchise any party of your constituency that doesn't share that view. I wouldn't vote for someone screaming atheist on those grounds alone, no matter what my other opinions were on their qualifications.
Those are the glasses of your perception. When you look for problems in the behavior patterns of others you'll find them. None of us are perfect. We all have moments when we disappoint ourselves. But I refuse to leave that as my expectations of others. I can only judge what Americans are by what I see. What I know. My reflections on my interactions with others. Those whose paths have crossed mine do not reflect that mentality as what they want to be.
If you look to the media for your opinion, you'll see the worst the world has to offer. Judge the world by the one you live in and make a difference there. Do your part in molding it into the opposite of what you've posted.
It is probably even worse than you describe Earnest ,and location obviously can be deceptive .However the old boys club ,especially those who run the main offices still have their territory contained...Old money talks...
Freedom of speech is alive and well ,but if the media is controlled by on high ,all they do is open make alot of hot air.
Democracy - No comment.
BBC and Rueters is less insular oh and the discovery channel
"You apparently know little of America. There isn't any problem with being an atheist. "
No, unless you happen to mention that you're an atheist in company. Then people will judge you, assume you're also a communist, or otherwise a bad person. I've had Scout leaders tell me that atheists are horrible destructive people who have no respect for themselves or others and don't give a darn about anything. I've read comments on the forums from American who say that anyone who refuses to swear an oath to tell the truth with the words "so help me God" and their hand on a Bible would be an unreliable witness in their eyes.
If you really think that nobody in the US cares if someone is an atheist, and that atheists (known ones, that is) don't get treated with suspicion, you're deluding yourself.
I wouldn't say no one cares. This forum would prove me wrong. I will say that the number of people who do think that way is drastically smaller than the numbers bandied about. And the numbers are shrinking.
If you take a Christian organization like the Boy Scouts as the litmus test for the average American, you will get a skewed perception.
I find your comment about swearing on the Bible humorous since I assume it came from Christians. Shows how little they know, or pay attention to, their scriptures.
I don't think I'm deluding myself. People are judged by their words and actions, not by their professed stand on the topic of religion. I don't begrudge people their views as long as they extend the same courtesy.
"I find your comment about swearing on the Bible humorous since I assume it came from Christians. Shows how little they know, or pay attention to, their scriptures."
Heh, you're right, and it is pretty funny.
"People are judged by their words and actions, not by their professed stand on the topic of religion."
Generally speaking, that's right, unless someone gets outed as an atheist.
Most people don't care if someone says they don't go to Church. Most people don't care if someone follows a different religion, like Judaism or Hinduism or Buddhism. Most people don't even care if someone says, "Well, I'm not religious, but I am spiritual, and I think something's out there; I just don't know what."
But if someone says flat out, "No, I don't believe in God or Jesus or any of that superstitious stuff," well, they can expect to be treated a little differently by many, many Americans.
I can't lay my hands on the poll just now, but atheists are one of the least-trusted groups in the US.
I see your point. I label everyone that doesn't believe in the god concept atheist, so there's a lot more of them around; by my count.
Although, given a choice of trusting a firmly entrenched atheist or a Bible thumping Christian; I'll take my chances with the atheist. I've dealt with enough slippery Christians who think they are going to get a free ride by professing faith.
"given a choice of trusting a firmly entrenched atheist or a Bible thumping Christian; I'll take my chances with the atheist."
Your instincts are good; in an older discussion someone mentioned that they were trained in spotting liars (for an insurance claims job, I think?) and said that 90% of the time, if someone pulls out a Bible and offers to swear on it, they're lying.
For my money, if someone is honest enough to decline to use a Bible, they're honest enough to tell the truth in court.
BTW, a bit of trivia, John Quincy Adams, though not an atheist, didn't swear in as President on the Bible. He used a law book.
Also, Quakers don't swear at all, let alone on a Bible. They just affirm that they're not going to lie. Luckily for them, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts stopped hanging Quakers a long time ago.
America has a large influence on Australia and many other countries many of which most Americans can't even locate on a map, so you are due a bit of scrutiny.
You control our drug laws for example, something that interferes with our medical R+D.
We were also dragged into all of your recent wars including Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan.
Australia has a pretty nasty history, and is not perfect now either, so feel free to criticise it, I do.
I'm happy to know it has improved over there.
Well, if there is any control, or participation in things you don't agee with, that might be a problem. I thought Australia was a democracy, but not a part of this one.
We only have fifty states and I can name them all. Australia isn't on that list. I would think your government might be responsible, not America.
And I would be remiss if I didn't point out that your comments on our ability to locate countries on a globe is insulting, with no evidence other than that narrow minded statement.
I have no problem criticizing things within this country that I feel need to be adressed. But your statements on Americans are too off the mark to consider them problems. And I have enough respect for Australians not to make broad derogatory generalizations without facts.
No, the drug laws were put in place on the usual basis. Do it or we will punish you, the same as they do in several other areas including participation in wars.
The thing is, it is true that many Americans have no idea where many countries are, in fact I can probably find the data to support that statement, although it has been obvious even many Presidents up until Obama knew very little about the rest of the world.
America has had a tendency to nationalistic fervour for some time, the excesses visible to all who can get Fox TV.
I love America, have for a long time, but I am not going to lie about what I see that I don't like.
I am willing to be educated on the matter, but could do without the accusations of being narrow minded and the like.
I'm so sorry ernest. I guess I am being testy about the whole thing. I simply think you are somewhat insulting in your assessment of our country. I remember a time a town I lived in was on the local news of the larger town we were outside of. It was so insulting. It was like they searched for the most ignorant within the smallest minority to interview. It was not an indication of who we were, and it appears you have been given a similar view of the entire country.
I do realize our government uses its muscle, but how does America threaten to punish Australia?
That's OK I understand, I am proud to be Australian and like Rupert would be happy to be a dual citizen. I do have a green card.
As you know I ran for the Senate in my state, so I do know some of what goes on in government here from colleagues and our hungry press.
America if not obeyed imposes trade embargoes, blocking supply, threatens to renege on joint ventures, threatens to block deals, whatever gets the job done.
Our politicians fold like cards because our economy is so reliant on yours that the local saying that everyone knows is "America gets a sniffle, we get the flu."
We have a smaller economy than America and depend heavily on your good offices, so we do as we are told.
I'm sorry to hear that. I had no idea it was that big of a problem. I do realize that there isn't really anything such as a sovereign nation anymore, we are all so interconnected and interdependent economically.
But, if things continue the way they are pretty soon you'll be grumbling about your relationship with China and have forgotten where we are on the map.
True! We have a very strong relationship with China based on Australian resources such as LPG and iron ore, boxite etc.
We have a little better control over those.....so far.
You only have control because they are growing. They'll flex their muscle as soon as they feel capable. All governments do.
I agree, and China has big muscles to flex at this time. China and Australia have a very long relationship though.
The oldest family in my city of almost 4 Million are Chinese, I have an adopted son from China, half or more of what we buy is Chinese, yet I would estimate they only represent around 2-3% of the population here.
I hope that our student exchange program and the number of Asian students here may make things a little easier in negotiations with China into the future.
The culture is very different though, and I would never find it as easy to assimilate into their culture as they do into mine for many reasons.
I worked for the Chinese Government for a while in the nineties as editor of the Aust/China business Herald, which they started in Melbourne, written in Mandarin and English.
Way back then, they lifted infrastructure verbatim from Canadian and Australian laws in preparation for them becoming the real capitalists they are at heart more openly.
The problem is that bribes will have to be lost when the laws go in to place and people will have to be paid more.
Hell of an eye opener for me.
I'm sure there are hurdles, but I like the Chinese people very much. Those I've met are incredibly nice and the films I've seen from China show me we have a lot in common as to the things we laugh at and what entertains us.
Our people certainly could get along better if our governments weren't in the way.
I am happy to know you like the Chinese people I do too, but until we learn their business culture we both lose.
I had the opportunity to explain the different business views on ABC radio some years back, and it is a difficult one.
They see our contracts as being based on litigation, whereas their primary goal is to establish trust.
If things break down they claim we use contracts to gain payments that are not deserved, and we claim if things go wrong they don't honour their contracts. I believe this is the guts of that little problem.
The people themselves? Delightful, quietly courageous.
I like em too. I am so proud of my youngest son. He has done well here.
Well, trust of their businesses is one thing we don't have here in the states. Lots and lots of problems. We had a nightmare with their drywall.
I got out of my last business because my largest competitors decided to sell Chinese manufactured machinery I knew to be dangerous. I have known these companies since I was a kid.
They were as a modern company now run by pen pushers, prepared to risk killing some apprentice motor mechanic or inexperienced workshop owners who wanted to save money and buy this crud.
I could not even compete with reconditioned high quality machines because the market didn't know enough.
The Chinese car hoists failed in under a year when worked hard, yet I could give a 5 year guarantee on a rebuilt 20 year old American one without any fear of it failing
Some things have to be high quality to be safe, and these were not.
I pulled the door shut.
Good for you. I have nothing against foreign made goods, but I expect them to meet minimum standards. That doesn't happen a lot of times.I always check country of origin before a purchase now.
I watched the CEO of Ford on Charlie Rose yesterday. He had a lot of encouraging news about America and it's capacity to do as Ford has done, which he says is rationalise model range, build for a world market and remain focussed on your core business, ensuring everyone down to the floor is on the same page. A strategy that has seen Ford America with probably the best quality car range in the world this year, rave reviews from the car nuts and a massive profit.
He sees other Americans going the same way. I sure hope so, I know how good the American made stamp is considered amongst engineers and machinery techs. High quality and long life. Now Ford have taken them all on, the Koreans, the Japanese, the Europeans and is beating them even on manufactured cost.
Good times ahead again soon?
Hard to say, but our manufacturing can turn around. People will probably hate me for this, but first they have to break the unions. They are one of our problems. We don't do unions, but occasionally we have to work with them in our company. Lazy, arrogant and not to be trusted has been my experience. And everything costs double.
I was surprised in the interview to learn that Ford and the unions are bosom buddies.
They are about to cut a new deal. This Ford CEO is ex Boeing and seems to be worth emulating.
We have our share of crappy unions too.
Many good unions were crippled by 'Reganomics' my hubbys says.
As an American he feels that man (edited) hurt the family man. He also feels strongly that laborers were given the short end of the deal i.e drop in wages-de-unionised etc.
Of course why pay a skilled American $15 an hour when you can get an unskilled immigrant to do the job for half the pay.
Sure the company gets to keep more in their pockets ,but long term ,hundreds also collapsed or moved off shore and now the infrastructure of many roads are terrible to drive on. Not the highways because federal money takes care of that ,but Im talking about local towns and cities etc
No employment -companys closing or struggling to stay afloat,hence no hiring and it shows in many towns.
It must be so sad for families trying to raise kids,with that instability.
It has been inexpensive to buy real estate in the USA for 5yrs now.
Banks and lawyers are not hurting though.
What the media say and what Ive seen traveling amazes me.
Sometimes streets of abandoned homes ,some in ruins and very delipated ,but some stately and beautiful homes!
Such a waste of a building.
I'm sorry Emile, but Earnest is correct about some parts of our country. Unless you've lived in the deep south or out west you don't realize the extent of racism or homophobia some parts of the country contain.
Deeply religious and heaven bound- these church ridden areas still believe the nonsense spewed weekly at their favorite christian cult meetings. Both politics and morals are dictated from the pulpit for the eager listeners to obey and believe.
I grew up witnessing the toll it has taken on people's ability to make their own decisions. You might be surprised at how often I hear Obama referred to as "that n****r president."
I've lived around and have seen some crap. I do know every state south you go on the eastern seaboard, the small towns are another decade behind with each state line you cross. But that is dying.
As to comments about Obama, I don't let anyone speak with less respect than is due the president. That bs, calling him that? Ridiculous. He isn't a black man who became president. He's a man who happens to be black. Big difference in political styles.
Don't let? LOL! You would end up spending all of your time getting gang whipped if you defended the president with such zeal around here.
Unless, of course, you were in a certain other section of town, and you would be suspected of buying drugs if you were there and white.
No, some things change very slowly here in the south. Enlightenment is one of them.
Rural Southeastern Georgia. Fortunately, I live in the country on a farm and do not have to deal with people I don't like.
Georgia? I went to university in Georgia. They told horror stories about Underground Atlanta, but every time I went there, I loved it.
Atlanta is one of the friendliest cities in America. Hate the airport though. And, man, it's hot as h*ll down there. No wonder the religious are so cranky.
They loved me Randy down South ,actually more than my hubby.
But then hes a yank
Actually Im Southern girl ,just from the other end of the Hemiphere lol...closer to Penguins than maybe Snakes
But I loved the time I lived in Greenville ,SC and Spartanburg.
My new friends Pat and Les and Janet,Les was a retired sherriff and General Lee took up most of one living room corner.
Culturally I learned much from the locals..
Then there was Alex ,oh my gosh he was almost 80 yrs old and what a charmer..cooked the meanest (best) grilled chicken ,marinated in a family secret recipe!!...
I loved hearing his stories,wished now Id recorded some of them ,he would have let me too...amazing man,he had such a rich past.
In the past all I had known ,was what Id read ,now some of that has been confirmed by my friends recollection of his family history, and although some comments disturbed me ,it was never the less a part of the Souths history.
I don't intend to infer there are not some great people here, EK. It is so much better here than when I was a child before the civil rights movement took place. Even as a small child I was disturbed by the racism I witnessed in public places.
We still have along way to go, though.
I can well imagine the racism.
In some quarters I noticed how easily some people still do use racist language without a flinch of shame.
I thought I was shock proof -I was proven wrong.
Now I get to observe the North
I was in high school when the first 2 black students entered the formally all-white institution of learning. The halls were lined by white students who had been reared by mostly racist parents.
These 2 bright young men (both honor students) wore white shirts with ties and black dress pants, making them stand out even more among those hundreds of us in casual wear forming a gauntlet of sorts for them to traverse to their homerooms.
I was in fear for their lives as some uttered racial slurs upon them. They held their heads high and one of them even stopped in front of a group of boys and asked who called him a n****r.
I knew who said it, but even though the boy who hurled the insult was surrounded by friends, he was afraid to admit his guilt under the gaze of the new student. I was ashamed to be white that day.
I often wondered what the night before was like to those two brave boys and what went on in their minds. I still do.
Now ,you lived through some powerful history.
Enjoyed first hand that walk down memory lane.
I would lo know what happened to those two boys too.
If you remember their names ,could they be a High School Year Book,perhaps.
Or Facebook ,the whole globes on Facebook it seems.
I found a friend of mine from over 30 yrs ago.
I could never forget their names, EK. They both did well academically and I am proud for them. I have considered interviewing them both to find out their thoughts about that day. Perhaps I may at some time in the near future.
Please do,I love hearing about people and where there lives led them etc.
Now that Ive read the prelogue, I have to read the story!
Randy, I will be a reader for sure, I can understand how you felt to some degree. I have seen something similar as a kid.
I would enjoy reading what they have to say about it now, so I do hope you find the time to write the hub.
I only passed through Georgia as a tourist and by knowing what a religious loon looked like from some people we met along the way at a food stop, we were able to avoid em.
We noticed they like to advertise their lunacy all over themselves and their vehicles.
The people I met in Georgia were great, very friendly and easy going, hospitable and I enjoyed listening to them.
I was looking at car collections though, not bible collections.
I like this outlook Emile, it is optimistic and reminds me that when we expect the best from people we very often get it.
My dad used to say "give a dog a good name" by which he meant to get across that If we expect people to behave well we should treat them with that level of respect from the start, more people will meet or better our expectations.
Thanks ernest. It's my ideal. I don't always live up to this, but when I recognize that I've fallen short I apologize, make amends or whatever I have to do to show that I know it. Then I kick myself in the head for a few days for falling short, before I finally find perspective.
Maybe someday I'll live it 100% of the time.
With you on the channels, I also catch the Daily show and the Corbet report as well as the news hour on PBS with Jim Lehrer, Charlie Rose and Discovery of course!
The Reason Rally - March 24, 2012
I think it is a misnomer; it should have been named doubt rally or deny rally; why hide behind the word reason when their stand is not reasonable.
Earlier they were against being organized; that is why they were against organized religion.
Are they trying to become a religion now?
Well I wish all couple few hundred of you a nice time at your lil shin-dig.
It is good that they are rallying; that will expose them.
There is no requirement of reason for being an atheist.Atheism is open to those who have no reason with them.
We the Squares will oppose your moves towards world domination
It is unreasonable to spend the money and time to travel to a rally that will have no affect on anything, so the only ones who will arrive will actually be unreasonable people, making the reason rally completely unreasonable.
We who are truly reasonable can best show our strength and numbers by doing the reasonable thing and staying home - the more who don't show up in Washington, the greater will be the success of the reason rally.
I think the lack of trust in someone who doesn't believe in any religion or any supernatural belief, is not only evident in the US. The 21st century is in many ways a more religious time than has been the case in decades. And the number of people who believe in the paranormal has increased dramatically. I watched a TV programme tonight which stated that in the UK, in the 1950s, only 1 in 8 people believed in ghosts. Now though, it is 50%. And when I go to my local bookstore, there are many shelves dedicated to the supernatural. Everything from how to contact your spirit guides or angels, or even fairies. Things which 60 years ago would have been thought of a eccentric is the norm now.
But when you consider that the world 60 years ago was one where science was considered so important. The world's two super powers were engaged in the space race, and the threat of nuclear war was ever present, with all children taught how to "duck and cover." Ideas of creationism were increasingly seen as out-of-date and unsupportable by scientific evidence. Whilst Kennedy talked about putting a man on the moon, in Britain, Wilson talked of "the white heat of technology." Things have changed considerably, and the supernatural has made a big comeback. And those who do not believe in it are now the eccentric ones.
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