Rant Against Atheists in Sydney Morning Herald today

This rant against atheists appeared in some of Australia's major metropolitan newspapers today, including the Sydney Morning Herald.

Some of you may wish to post a response.

It's not all bad news though. The writer did give the Atheist Convention in Melbourne a plug in para 3 - and it would be nice if you could find a way to work it into your reply as well ;-) You don't have to be an Australian to respond.

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Havent read it, though but who wrote it? was it sponsored by anti-atheist grp/ppl or they ddnt research enough.
Wow, I'm glad you said it, Skepticcat. Same old, same old.

And are we surprised when theists fight back a little? It shouldn't be a fight but c'mon, let's be honest: we are initiating the hostilities. Yeah, I know we have law and reason on our side but why should we be surprised or even indignant when the theists yell out their point of view?

:) Just keeping us on our toes.
WE are initiating the hostilities? Oh, Mike, come on! Who has been telling atheists for centuries that if they don't believe they'll burn in hell? Did you know there are still some states in the US where atheists cannot, by law, hold public office? Who is it imposing their narrow belief system on us, in terms of issues like euthanasia? Who is it ripping off the tax system for billions of dollars a year? Who put their lobbyists into the parliaments of the world to try to force their views onto those who don't share their faith? Who hinders sex education and aids education? Whose hateful views on homosexuality drive young gay men to suicide? I assure you, WE did not start the fucking hostilities! In fact, we're a couple of centuries late responding to them.
C'mon Kristy, you know what I'm talking about. You can't hold the last millenium against the theists....their game was, to borrow a phrase, the only game in town.

Theists ARE wrapped into the foundation of human culture. That doesn't mean, of course, that they are right but it does mean that they have an interest to protect. Remember that they never thought of this debate as hostilities because it.is.not.their.debate. It was simply the way the world worked. The Enlightenment and various phases of free thought have changed the rules so in effect, we did initiate the fight. In Western Culture, free thinkers challenged and are challenging the status quo and it IS starting a fight.
If theists had stayed in their churches and kept out of politics, the fight would not have erupted. The religious right began the hostilities the minute they politicized.
Well, I think you see my point. And as you well know, religion in the west (and mostly everywhere) has always been mixed with politics. Separating the two is a rather new phenomenon that was not accepted by all. Si?
"Separating the two is a rather new phenomenon"

What's you definition of recent?

From

Under republican government religious officials were appointed just like political ones. Ancient Israel was different in as much as the King and the priesthood were separate and limited to their respective spheres of authority and responsibility, though interferences did happen as well. Later, under foreign supremacy, the high priest also held the highest civil authority in an autonomous theocracy.

The concept of separating church and state is often credited to the writings of English philosopher John Locke.
- who died in 1704

"In Western Culture, free thinkers challenged and are challenging the status quo and it IS starting a fight."

If speaking out for rights is starting a fight, then to arms and the damn the torpedoes!
Praise the Flying Spaghetti Monster and pass the ammunition!

Yeah, Louis, I know the history a bit myself. But let's not be disingenuous here. The majority of western civilization has had religion tightly intertwined with the government either by a the rulers BEING clergy, being approved by god or clergy or at least by having a state religion.

Don't nitpick, it's not becoming of you. ;)
Strictly speaking, by the recent, developed cultural meaning of "freedom of religion"--possibly in addition to something else that I can't remember just now--the Supremacy Clause kicks those state laws flat on their asses.
I just read it up(entertaining and of my understanding:

1) Tyrants devoid of religion such as Hitler(catholic), Stalin, Lenin, Mao and Pol Pot perpetrated the worst atrocities in history. W/C are mostly if not all politically driven.

2)Jews are commanded to love the stranger that lives in their land as they would themselves.= backpackers(jew), family(jew) and slaves(not jew?).

3)True religious values are grounded in notions of community, charity, mercy and peace.= Tell that to Al quada theyll be happy or the KKK. Or mother Theresa's charities making hospices & nunneries not hospitals or schools.

4)WTH! What about not stealing Einstein

5) Stephen Hawking separated his work from his belief did he not?

6)Is it fair to compare real child abuse with parents instilling in their children religious morals and codes? He should now about emotional stress that goes with it. real child abuse?/True religious values? are these new categories now
From the article -

What about Spinoza, Wittgenstein, Isaiah Berlin, Derrida, Maimonides, Emmanuel Levinas, Martin Buber, Karl Popper, Walter Benjamin and Ayn Rand to name only a few. Does it seem like Judaism is bereft of philosophers?

Wittgenstein - raised catholic
Rand - yes, a real spiritual one there. No comment.
Popper - both parents had converted to xtianity from Judaism

I'm not going to bother with the rest. At the bottom of the article -

Dr Dvir Abramovich, the Jan Randa Senior Lecturer in Jewish Studies is director of the Centre for Jewish History and Culture at The University of Melbourne. He is editor of the Australian Journal of Jewish Studies and President of the Australian Association of Jewish Studies.

For an alleged expert historian, he is a disgrace.

I went through the whole article point by point. The Herald nuked everything except this -

Anyone who cites Hitler, Einstein and Hawking to support the theist case only shows they haven't seriously addressed the facts and are relying on third hand pulpit anecdotes.
Franc Hoggle | Grogan, NSW - October 26, 2009, 1:30PM


Seriously. This is the absolute best theists can do. So it's not all bad.

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