American Atheists (Official)

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American Atheists (Official)

American Atheists is a nationwide movement which defends the civil rights of nonbelievers, works for the separation of church and state, and addresses issues of First Amendment public policy.

Website: http://atheists.org
Location: National
Members: 984
Latest Activity: Apr 30

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Comment by Monkeyfinger664 on August 7, 2009 at 8:23am
Naomi, if you have found inner peace in realizing your atheism, then you own members of your family nothing.

"The Zen master Hakuin was praised by his neighbours as one living a pure life.
A beautiful Japanese girl whose parents owned a food store lived near him. Suddenly, without any warning, her parents discovered she had a child.
This made her parents angry. She would not confess who the man was, but after much harassment at last named Hakuin.
In great anger the parent went to the master. "Is that so?" was all he would say.
After the child was born it was brought to Hakuin. By this time he had lost his reputation, which did not trouble him, but he took very good care of the child. He obtained milk from his neighbours and everything else he needed.
A year later the girl-mother could stand it no longer. She told her parents the truth - the real father of the child was a young man who worked in the fish market.
The mother and father of the girl at once went to Hakuin to ask forgiveness, to apologize at length, and to get the child back.
Hakuin was willing. In yielding the child, all he said was: "Is that so?""


Don't concern yourself with their religious struggle. You've crossed that bridge. Don't look back. Show them the happy atheist and the content atheist, that your life makes sense now. You accept them as they are and it's their job to accept you as you are.
We are pretty much all minorities as atheists in america. But you are not alone and we all go through what you are going through at some point. Don't let them get you down!
Comment by Naomi on August 6, 2009 at 11:08pm
can you give me some advise?
when i was 12 my step mom- a right wing fanatical christian - had a favorite punishment for me (i was such an 'evily' rational and 'ungodly' questioning child). this punishment was copying whole chapters or even books out of the niv bible.
At first i was angry that i had to write... but soon i began to realise just what i was copying. Verses in Exodus, Leviticus and Deuteronomy to name a few that were saying we should do horrible things for god. i began to wonder that, if the devine creator of the world bothered to write a book why was so much of it a boring list and so much other such horrible things. At that time in my life christianity stopped being Jesus loves me this i know for the bible tells me so" to who the hell was jesus really and what was actually involved in this..

throughout the next 6 years i went to the churches of my family with a knot in my stomach. i went for them but secretly i was studying. actually reading the bible and wishing i could share in my familys 'blind faith' but knowing i just could not be content with it.
at 15 i had ran away from that home and was adopted by some wonderful family members. now religion took on a new light. it was no longer a punishment. now it was very sincere people who loved me and were concerned over my eternal soul.
out of love for them i went to their church, played in a praise band, even wrote a few worship songs they may still use today. but i did not beliieve it and it still sickened me.
at 18 i moved out on my own and began going to college. at 21 i joined the army and was sent to japan. all this time i was reading the qur'an, the book of mormon, l ron hubbard 'dianetics', the hagakure, many books on buddhism and other eastern religions. i went to synagogue and buddhist temples, catholic masses and pentacostle shouting matches where people got pushed over by the pastor and no one made any sense.
i dabbled in astrology and tarot cards, candles incense and meditation.
then one day this april a friends dad lent me the audio book of Sam Harris' , 'Letter to a Christian Nation' and it all made sense finally. i was not crazy for questioning faith. i was not even the first person to find it so questionable. and since then i have read every book i got my hands on (and please suggest me more!) i.e. Sam Harris' , 'te end of faith' and Richard Dawkins' ,' the god delusion'.
i am slowly, not showing my nonbelief, but rather simply not hiding it from my family.
my mom (adopted) now lives with me due to her health failing from end term terminal breast cancer and when she saw all my b0oks and religious artifacts she simply said she can rest easy believing i will find jesus before i die. meanwhile she suffers depression due to believing she deserved this cancer and is still earning her way into heaven. afraid of going to hell.
yesterday my brother i have not seen in years was in the area. on the one day i have with him he proceeds to strongly suggest that if i am not a conservative christian republican like the rest of the family i am a fool and i need to send him email proof of these so called bad bible verses and etc that made me make such a horrific and damned life choice... after all, he said that atheists are horrible people who are unhappy and kill and steal etc all the time.
and now i am in a funk friends...
because at 25 years old i have to stand alone against my entire family and their god.
Comment by Pedro Godfroid on August 6, 2009 at 1:55pm
Hi from Spain.

I was member during the first half of the eighties, when I was living in the US. I was already an atheist but living in the Bible Belt made a militant atheist out of me :-)
Comment by Aly R Aly on August 4, 2009 at 12:09am
Just wanted to support all women who had to make that decision and say, that I would rather see a late term abortion, than an unwanted child, or one who's birth will affect the well being of the mother or it self.
Comment by Susan Stanko on June 22, 2009 at 8:58am
Just like another poster on here, you seem to think that late term abortions are mostly done on a whim and not agonized over. I think there are laws in place to prevent women from seeking late term abortions just because.
Comment by Joshua on June 21, 2009 at 11:18pm
Woman don't suffer the involuntary and lethal pain of abortion, that is far more accurate and reflective of the point I was trying to make.

I don't think woman who have late term abortions are sadistic, I think they are misguided. There is a difference. Also, I don't seek to criminalize the woman, merely the act of killing a child beyond a certain point in its development without justifiable cause, namely when it has gained the faculty of self-awareness which must necessarily denote its departure into a seperate being.

As to an infant being held responsible for its mother's demise upon childbirth, you would have to make a case that the child chose the course of action which ultimately led to his mother's death and that the child had the faculty of awareness of his actions enough to justify punishment.

A child does not start the course of action that leads to its life, its parents do. A child is unaware of life, death, or the cause or effect of anything, its parents are.

A child, upon being born is just as much a victim of nature as is any other party. To maintain a power relationship where a mother can choose to take part in an action which leads to the development of life, choose to allow it to develop to a point where it has self-awareness and then choose to terminate its life at her every whim is tyrannical.

I think that a mother should have a great deal of reproductive say up until the point where her say begins to violate the rights of seperate human beings. For the issues of overpopulation and late-term abortion I think the needs of others clearly outweigh the desires of the mother. Once 20 weeks has been reached, only ~7 to 10 additional weeks are needed before the child can survive ex vivo. For a mother to choose impatience over the life of another when the c-section would be just as invasive as the abortion and would preserve the life of the child is not only foolish, but it is also horrific.

I am not asking for a woman to lose her right to a medical decision in an emergency situation. Nor am I asking for her to lose her right to terminate the life of a child in utero which would be incapable of surviving on its own or which would have a very poor quality of life. These kinds of abortions are necessary and merciful. All I am asking is for saner laws regarding elective abortion after the 20 week threshold. I think that it is insane when a woman can terminate the life of her child so long as it has one toe left inside of her, regardless of whether or not it could survive on its own.
Comment by Susan Stanko on June 21, 2009 at 10:28am
Women don't suffer the pain of abortion? Ask any woman who has had an abortion and they will tell you how difficult a decision it is. Some never stop wondering if they made the right one. To say that women don't suffer is to make a mockery of women. Only those who are sadistic have abortions.


You also confuse children already in the land of the living with fetuses. This children can live outside the mother and have autonomy because it. The fetus does not.

Your third point I have already maed an argument against. The mother does not have late term abortions because she decided she didn't want the baby. It is for health reasons: the mother's, the baby's or both.

I am just curious, Joshua, if the baby caused the death of the mother. Could it be brought up on charges. After all if you are putting so much weight on a late term fetus being the same as a living child then it isn't the ridiculous question if first seems to be.
Comment by Joshua on June 19, 2009 at 3:13pm
Well, I am not exactly interested in popularity, but I am interested in virtue and justice. I personally think a man's behavior should be regulated as well in the form of controls placed upon our reproductive choices, namely that the human population of earth should be brought down to a level of ~ 200 million or so, but that is another issue entirely.

As to woman being subordinated to the will of Fetus' and Men, that is ridiculous. The fetus never asked for existence, and if we are to bring it into this world (ahem, once its inside you, it is in this world) then we ought to do rightly by it. Secondly for them to be subordinated to the will of men is a perverse idea which suggests that in order for one to make a decision then they must belong to the group of which the decision is being made about. So, that means that only children should be able to legislate what rights they are to receive, only Doctors should be able to vote upon laws that govern their behavior, and only Business owners should be able to vote upon laws that govern their commerce??? Imagine such a world!

Why should women, who are not the ones suffering the pain of abortion and who are not the ones who will cease to exist afterward get to make that decision for their children??? This could go on forever.

Whenever I attempt to view any issue, I try to synthesize a solution that takes ALL of the factors into account.

I personally find abortions which take place after 18-27 weeks not only to be common enough to warrant discussion, but also to be so horrific enough to warrant criminalization.

This is not the only issue, there is a broad spectrum of them that must be addressed. Genital mutilation issues in infants (especially males) largely go entirely unaddressed, a child's right to choose for itself its own religion, its own culture, its own future is unheard of in any country that I know of, and ultimately the fact of the matter is that it is our children and not our woman who are the most helpless members of our civilization and who are the direct victims of the worst kinds of atrocities on a daily basis.

Children are habitually denied the right to: reasonable education, healthcare, safety, housing, clothing, nutrition, bodily autonomy, free choice, freedom of religion and even the right to life. How many fetus' at 18 to 27 weeks in the womb will be ripped from their mother's bodies crying as their executioners cut them to shreds before we do something about this???

Abortion is one thing, murder is quite another. If you wish to terminate a pregnancy before it has become obviously human, than that is quite your own decision, but once it is a human being, once the tissue groups of its blastula have specialized, the nerve net is in place, the mind is recording, you must respect its individual rights and back off. You must. If it is unable to live on its own for some reason, due to illness, or its birth will certainly cause the death of either the mother, the infant, or both, then these are special circumstances under which early termination could be considered; however, to say that this is an issue of Woman's rights alone is not only short sighted, but it is incredibly dehumanizing of the very beings who need our greatest concern and protection.
Comment by Monkeyfinger664 on June 19, 2009 at 9:07am
It seems that this mythical "Late, third trimester abortion just for kicks" woman is what this debate seems to hinge around. I don't know who this woman is. But she scares the hell out of fundies. They froth at the mouth about her. She is viewed as an animal and/or a caricature, a political cartoon.
But here in the real world, I agree with Jacqueline. There is a whole lot of decisions being made for the women this affects directly. And it seems that the fundie viewpoint is to legislate beyond what the pregnant woman should have to submit to based on personal privacy. If men had to submit various aspects of our anatomy to the will of the voters, I don't think there would be the same enthusiasm.
Comment by Joshua on June 19, 2009 at 1:09am
Jacqueline, I love your sentiment, truly, but I think that the issue is perhaps neither black nor white. I think that surely a collection of pre-sentient cells is not a self-sufficient life-form nor is it a being worthy of rights; however, I think that beyond a certain point, once a being is capable of basic thought, action, feeling and sometimes memory, that they are, indeed worthy of such rights. Your proposition of fetus vs woman could indeed be used for a fetus of any age. I think that a woman initially should have the right to medically correct her pregnancy if that is her wish, but after a certain point (18 - 27 weeks) the area gets really gray. Now that is a big time frame, I admit; however, I am really, truly uncomfortable with the idea of late term or partial birth abortion and I think that it is no different than the suffering that an animal endures at the slaughter house.

I do not think that Dr. Tiller should have been maliciously murdered; however, I also do not think that woman should be at liberty to slaughter innocent beings. The question is, when do our children inherit their rights, and I think that biologically speaking, that once the nervous system is developed to the point that it is capable of observing a seperate reality, that it should be given the rights of a seperate being. Just my opinion.

-Joshua
 

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