We have made our podcasting debut today! Blasphemy In the Bluegrass is a new podcast for atheism, freethought, church/state issues, and all other issues of interest to the secular community of Kentucky. We are based in Louisville, KY and associated with Louisville Atheists & Freethinkers and the Kentucky Secular Society.
At the end of 2014, signs declaring "In God We Trust" were added to the legislative committee rooms in Frankfort. Why?
State Sen. Albert Robinson, R-London, said he wants to start a project to put the signs in Kentucky courthouses and city halls on a voluntary basis.
“This is our national motto. We should remind people of our God-given rights,” said Robinson before reimbursing the state $2,811.10, including 8 percent interest, for the 13 signs that adorn various legislative committee rooms.
Read more here: http://www.kentucky.com/news/politics-government/article86866207.html#storylink=cpy
Actually no, Senator Robinson. Our rights do not come from your god. The highest authority in the United States is "we the people," not any supernatural power. These signs only divide up the American citizenry into Christians (as this motto always seems to refer to the Christian God) and everyone else. But we are all citizens and we are equal under the law.
Robinson's amendment said the motto would be displayed "behind each chairman or chairwoman in each committee room used by members of the General Assembly in the Capitol and Capitol Annex."
Asked Monday why the signs are needed, Robinson said, "This is America. I feel like this nation was and is established by God.
"We need to show the same respect in the committee rooms that we show in the Senate and House chambers."
Read more here: http://www.kentucky.com/news/politics-government/article44542419.html#storylink=cpy
We agree with the ACLU and the Americans United for the Separation of Church and State that these signs indicate a bias in government towards religious citizens and against the non-religious, and this is not appropriate. We are all equal under the secular law of our nation, and the signs and decorations of our government buildings should reflect that.
Here are some of the things LAF members had to say about the IGWT signs in the Kentucky state capital.
The word " we" implies that this speaks for all of us which it does not.
I feel my government excludes me and others like me as it ignores the intent of the separation of church and state.
InOneOfCountlessStillActiveGodsThatManHasCreatedThroughoutTheCenturiesSomeOfUsStillPlaceFalseHope. It's a bit of a mouthful.
'In Xenu You Believe' gives me the same feeling. ...
Which God do we trust?
Because we should focus on uniting over common goals (helping the homeless, bettering education, etc) instead of having Christians throwing up IGWT signs anywhere they can out of spite as they simply come across as children saying "my dad can beat up your dad"
I'm more offended by the late addition of under God in the pledge of allegiance, because it is more of an attempt at indoctrination. Both are in place to help normalize religious inclinations.
Putting their religion in the pledge is just like what they're doing with throwing up IGWT signs everywhere--they're trying to saturate our culture with their religion in hopes of making it look like it's been a crucial part of our society. It's the sign of a dying religion desperately trying to survive.
Because E Pluribus Unum was a much more optimistic, promising, and noble ethos as a national motto.
It excludes more than half of the country, persecutes nonbelievers, and prevents religious freedom and true separation of church and state.
Because it's not true. In doctors we trust, in friends and family we trust, in blood pressure meds we trust, in SIG Sauers we trust, in seat belts we trust...in neither of the posited gods (the Christian one in this case), does anyone trust. That's why we do all that other shit.
Abdicates individual and social responsibility.
It implies we can't think/do for ourselves. We trust a being made by man to single us out and favor us over others.
Louisville Families Beyond Belief the the part of Louisville Atheists and Freethinkers that is focused on families and children. We now have a new monthly meetup discussion group for parents who want to learn from discussion material and from each other how to raise ethical, caring and curious children without religion. The Parenting Beyond Belief discussion group meets on the first Sunday of the month at 1:30pm. Currently we are discussing the book Raising Freethinkers: A Practical Guide for Parenting Beyond Belief, at a pace of one chapter per month. The next meeting is November 6, and we will be discussing chapter 2: "Living and teaching ethics in your family."
The meetings details and meeting places can be found on our Event Calendar. We would love if you could join us, and bring the kids too!
Breaking away from a religion with compulsory beliefs means you no longer have to be afraid of doubt. This is incredibly important, because you cannot really reach out and learn about the world as it is unless you are unafraid to doubt what you think you know for sure. Unafraid of the possibility that you might find out that you are wrong. Now there is some normal fear at the prospect of being proven wrong (that’s just human nature, apparently), but not the paralyzing phobia that compulsory belief gives it. Not the agony that comes with the idea that if I were to disbelieve this thing, whatever it is, that I will be punished severely either in this life or in the next. The fear of a freethinker is one that is mixed with the exhilaration of the possibility of making an amazing new discovery.
Here is a lovely old song about what I am talking about that I first heard Dan Barker sing at the FFRF convention last weekend. Enjoy. 🙂
The booth for the Kentucky Secular Society and Louisville Atheists and Freethinkers is now up and ready for the Kentucky State Fair to start! We will be there the whole time, from the morning of Thursday, August 18 to Sunday, August 27.
The Kentucky State Fair is our biggest outreach activity. Our goals are to reach out to atheists among the general public, to normalize atheism, promote the separation of church and state, and support accurate science education.
We are in booth 1436. Our location is marked in red in the map at the link below.
Yesterday we joined with Tri-State Freethinkers to protest the opening of the Ark Encounter theme park. It was a very well attended protest and a great time! But perhaps more importantly, we got lots of media attention.
The day before the protest, Ed and I were interviewed by WDRB and the story aired the same day at 4pm. You can read the story and see the video here.
The walk to the Rally from our hotel was long, but fun. Ed and I were wearing our “LouAville Atheists and Freethinkers” shirts which got a lot of notice and comments and also signaled to all the other rally people to where we were going. We had some good company and interesting scenery on the way, including a pass right by the Washington Monument. I’d seen it from a distance before, but never so close up.
We arrived at the Rally at about 10:30am, about 1/2 hour after the official start time. Once we got there, we found a nice grassy shady spot under the trees alongside the reflecting pool and settled in. We were far enough from the stage to just barely be able to see what was being projected on the large screens, but we had no problem hearing everything as long as the sound system didn’t glitch.
There were several speakers at the Reason Rally that I had not heard of before, which was fine for me since I’ve been to enough conventions that I’ve heard many of the well-known speakers many times before. It was good to hear fresh voices. One of my favorite talks was the guy from Hollywood Squares, John Davidson. (Yea, I had to look up his name since before the rally I had not heard of him.) He talked about how he’d been an atheist though much of his career, but spent most of that time hiding that fact. He talked about how he’d turned down a gig once because the sponsors wanted him to either pray or sing a gospel tune at the end of it — though he didn’t tell them why he backed out. It was very interesting to me to hear the ways that being a closeted atheist had affected his life and his career. It was only fairly recently that he came out as part of the Openly Secular project.
Another top moment for me was when Penn Jillette did a duet with the singer who had been berated for being an atheist on Ecuador’s Got Talent. (Seriously, if you haven’t seen the video, Google “atheist on Ecuador’s Got Talent. She shows some amazing composure and courage though the whole ordeal.)
And I loved yelling “ATHEIST!” with about 15,000 other people during Dave SIlverman’s talk, too. 🙂
I was at the Reason Rally in 2012 so I can’t help but make a few comparisons. The 2012 rally had a more tightly packed crowd, and more of a “We’re here, we’re atheists, get used to it!” type of feel. More like what I’d expect of a rally. The 2016 Rally had a bit more of a toned down feel which was more like “We’re here, we’re atheists, now how do we make the world a better place?” vibe. There was a large crowd, but it was spread out — especially at our distance from the stage — and we were able to sit on our blanket on the banked area and still see the stage. This time I am a mom, and I welcome the more “family friendly” aspect of the rally. As the movement matures it becomes not only about knocking religion off its pedestal (though that aspect is not going away) but also about the scientific and humanistic concerns like social equality and climate change. I think this is a good thing, and a sign that the moment is maturing. After all, atheism is only about the a rejection of the claims of theism, but atheists — real flesh and blood atheists — have concerns that go well beyond that.
by Lyz Liddell Executive Director Reason Rally 2016
The latest polls show that the percentage of people who don’t care about a candidate's religion is increasing, and that “nones” are an ever-growing segment of the under-45 population — key voters! That’s great news for those who support separation of church and state, critical thinking, and just plain good sense. As the Pew Research report [http://www.pewforum.org/2015/05/12/americas-changing-religious-landscape/] states:
Meanwhile, the number of religiously unaffiliated adults has increased by roughly 19 million since 2007. There are now approximately 56 million religiously unaffiliated adults in the U.S., and this group – sometimes called religious ‘nones’ – is more numerous than either Catholics or mainline Protestants, according to the new survey. Indeed, the unaffiliated are now second in size only to evangelical Protestants among major religious groups in the U.S.
We all have the opportunity to celebrate our increasing numbers — and build our power as a voting bloc — by attending Reason Rally 2016, June 4, at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. You’ll hear great speakers and entertainers — Carolyn Porco, Bill Nye, Julia Sweeney and more — as well as comedians, lots of music, and a good time for all.
It’s a Voting Bloc Party for those who believe that public policy should be made based on scientific evidence, not religious beliefs. It’s also an opportunity to take the message of science-driven public policy directly to your own members of Congress on the lobbying days that precede Reason Rally 2016. The focus of the lobbying will be sex education and the wasted money devoted to abstinence-only curricula that have been shown to be counter-productive. IN fact, abstinence-only sex ed correlates with increased teen pregnancy!
So check out the speakers, hotel and travel deals, and sign up to lobby at our website, reasonrally.org. Bring your friends, then go home and vote in every election, from school board to president. Let’s Speak Up for Reason! Let’s make the media and politicians court us as much as they court the religious right.
For the March Meetup of the Louisville Atheists and Freethinkers, LAF member Laura Farinholt will discuss her time spent in India. The discussion will include the culture and lifestyle and the ways that the dominant religions there, Hinduism and Islam, affect daily life.