The move toward American Theocracy by the empowered evangelical 'elite' in the US has made it almost impossible for an atheist or non-christian to be elected to office.  Schools are having their curriculum undermined by creationist who wish to revise history, remove evolution from science, and prevent teaching sexual health and pregnancy prevention.  Atheist fear reprisals for not being christian and are often discriminated against at work, socially, and most especially in the military. American as a "Christian Nation" is not a free nation or an ethical one.

 

Please- What ideas do you have on combating this most dangerous decline in American intellectual and social standards? I'm especially interested in ideas from outside the US.  Whatever you wish to add.

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Here is an interesting link about Catholic Schools in Australia.

http://www.pandf.org.au/asp/index.asp?page=resources&cid=5202&a...

Today Catholic schools offer the cheapest private school education in Australia. They are good, professional and cheap. And they started from nothing. Good on them.

 

So if you become a primary school teacher with in 3 years, make an organization and a school with some other atheist teachers, it will only take about 150 years for your organization to be a formidable force in educating the youth of America.

 

But from what I can tell, the ones loosing the fight are the creationists. 

http://www.religioustolerance.org/ev_hist.htm It's been less than 150 years and evolution has taken over creationism, which had been set in stone for 2000 years. And less than 100 years when it was first taught illegally at a school in the US. Evolution is winning in my eyes.

 

The creationists seem to be fighting back a little, by getting voted onto school boards in order to determine the school curriculum. But the majority of people still believe evolution should be taught in schools. 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Creation_and_evolution_in_public_educa...

 

I read a few articles after goggling: creationism school board america. There seems to be as many creationists being kicked of school boards as there are being elected to them. But in the long run I think the average American will get fed up with creationists.

 

Good luck anyway.

 

Totally, completely, aside from the issue of religion or evolution, why would anyone in Australia want to send their kids to a private school when enrollment in a public K-12 school cost much less or nothing other than taxes?

- Gary

 

 

Hey Gary,

That's an interesting one.

First I'll explain the types of schools we have.

We have the following types of schools in NSW:

1.Public (Comprehensive, for the so called average kid)

2.Public (Selective, for the so called smart kid)

3.Private (Catholic)

4.Private (Other Religions)

5. Private (non religious)

 

About 67% of all schools are government run, 18% Catholic 15% for the others.

 

So why do people want to send there kids to non-governmental schools?

Back in the 19th century the catholics started their own schools because they weren't satisfied with what was being taught at the existing schools. And I think this is probably still the case. 

 

Actual reasons may include the following:

Money may also be a factor in regards to the influx of Australians sending their kids to private schools. Today we are rich! and so I guess people think they can afford private schools.

Immigration may also be a factor. Some ethnic groups don't want their daughters to go co-educational schools so they send them to Catholic girls schools.

Because they are Scientologists (the Athena school)

 

If you are really interested in the history of education in Australia and don't mind wasting a half a day, you may find the following interesting.

(History of State Aid to non-governmental schools in Australia)

 

Hope that helped a little

 

Leveni

I do think that being aware of the possibility of theocracy is important, but to be honest I think you may be overreacting a little much. I live in Tennessee, the south, where I would say 95 percent of my home town and the surrounding area was heavily Christian, and the people I grew up with and went to church with never wanted anything to do with politics. Most Christians are not fundamentalists, and although I would say their moderation does no good for getting rid of religion all together I would argue that most Americans don't care about enforcing Christian beliefs in government. They might seem very in your face in person, but as far as politics go most would not want enforced Christianity, because then that takes all the fun out of converting people right?(maybe not exactly, but something like that ^.^) The people who do want a theocracy are going to be the fundies which include televangelists and megachurch preachers. I don't think these people would ever get enough support to actually become a strong political force, and don't forget the rising amount of non-religious individuals in this country! That's why everyone who calls themselves a freethinker, atheist, agnostic, etc needs to be open and truthful about his or her views because many people are on the fence about faith and yearn for a better explanation for the world than what religion gives them.

I think the danger is greater than most people think.  For one thing, the people you and I know (and I live in the Bible Belt, too) are generally good, honest people, and probably not very interested in politics.  But if evangelicals make up 10 percent of our population, and they all vote as they are told, then they represent about 20 percent of the vote on election day because so many Americans don't vote.  They will vote for candidates who are anti-abortion, anti-gay, and anti-feminist.  They may not know that their candidates are secretly harboring the desire to convert America into a Christian kingdom as advocated by The Family and other Dominionist groups.  The Family got started in the 1930s by siding with corporate bosses against fledgling labor unions.  Noticed any union-busting lately?  Dominionist groups already have a lot of members and sympathizers in high public office; many get their marching orders from James Dobson, head of Focus on the Family, the man who "saved" Ted Bundy and David Berkowitz.  We have seen how extraordinarily manipulative the GOP has been since Reagan, who courted the born-again vote in 1980 and managed to steal it away from Jimmy Carter, who lost his Christian base by supporting the Equal Rights Amendment.  Look at Wisconsin, where Scott Walker was elected to balance the state budget.  I doubt many Wisconsin voters took that promise to mean tax cuts for corporations, paid for by public employees.  Scratch a GOP leader and you will find an evangelical underneath.  How else can we explain the wackiness emanating from the Right?  The cognitive dissonance one needs to push Reaganomic trickle-down at us yet again is the same sort of cognitive dissonance one needs to believe that the Bible contains no contradictions.

 

The way I see it is that mainstream and/or liberal religious believers don't realize that they have less in common with the evangelical leadership than they do with freethinkers.  The evangelical leaders live in a fantasy world, and they became leaders because their millions of followers want to live in that same world.  I'm all for sharing our views openly, but we should also think very seriously of forming a progressive alliance, perhaps similar to Russ Feingold's new group, in which the marginalized groups work for each other's goals.  We have to get politically larger.

 

Craig

Look at Wisconsin, where Scott Walker was elected to balance the state budget.  I doubt many Wisconsin voters took that promise to mean tax cuts for corporations, paid for by public employees.

 

I wish that was the worst thing he did, alas he is a union buster as well.

Yep.  But he manufactured the budget "crisis" in order to justify union busting.

The evangelical leaders live in a fantasy world, and they became leaders because their millions of followers want to live in that same world.

I'm not even so sure that the evangelical leaders really live in that fantasy world.  You can't really believe in the teachings of the Bible and get anywhere within the structure of the church or create your own church like that.  That requires a level of cynicism and manipulation not found in the general population of believers.

 

Well, there may be one or two who truly believe, but I think they're really damned rare, mixed in with the Jimmy Swaggarts and Benny Hinns.

I doubt that they believe in the teachings of the Bible.  Jesus is continually reinvented to serve different purposes.  For example, the mushrooming of private schools in the Bible Belt really took off when SCOTUS ordered the integration of public schools.  The new Christian schools were for whites only.  Now that racism is generally frowned upon, evangelicals campaign on two primary issues: anti-abortion and anti-gay rights.  Jesus never mentioned either, though the Torah and the letters of Paul do hit on (oops) gays.  Jesus has been transmogrified in the evangelical mind into an American, a capitalist, and a vengeful hater of abortionists and gays.  Maybe the leaders don't believe, but they have a motive for pretending: profit.  Millions of people send them donations, buy their books and videos, etc.  What is their motive?  They, I think, really believe.  Cognitive dissonance, cherry-picking the Bible, ignoring science, insisting a supreme being is talking to them . . . they're nuts.

 

I hope it's clear that I'm talking about fundamentalists/evangelicals.  There are many mainstream believers who understand the difference between faith and fact and can balance the two.  The ones we have to worry about are the ones who can't and who vote the way they're told.

Personally, I want to know where lesbians are mentioned in the Bible.  If you're going to be a Biblical literalist, God doesn't have a bad word to say against them.

Lesbians aren't mentioned in the Bible, but it's pretty clear from Genesis through Revelation what the Hebrews and early Christians thought of women.  Evangelicals have no moral qualms (they're utterly amoral, anyway) about equating feminists, whom God clearly hates, with lesbians, whom God forgot to mention.  Maybe the Bible writers liked lesbians.  Maybe, in the words of Queen Victoria, they thought that "ladies don't do that sort of thing."

 

By the way, Biblical literalists aren't at all literal; they just mine the Bible for verses that support their feelings--if they twist the verses enough.

Maybe the Bible writers liked lesbians.

My point exactly.  Well, at least they got one thing right.

 

By the way, Biblical literalists aren't at all literal; they just mine the Bible for verses that support their feelings--if they twist the verses enough.

Yeah, I didn't really choose my words correctly, there.  I meant people who take everything from the Bible, rather than making crap up on the spot.

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