Metro State Atheists

Promoting Science, Reason, and Secular Values

An Example of Faith in Practice

One of the interesting quirks of faith-based religions is their tendency to encourage absurd behavior in substitute of useful. I suppose this is because once you think you have an answer, you stop looking for it; and if you end up being wrong, a faith-based approach solidifies and glorifies your error; no chance for correction is possible. From this disadvantaged point, the faithful will be left in the wake of the progress of those who continue seeking and discovering. The exception is when circumstances have allowed the faithful to be such a dragging obstruction to the progress of others that no wake may be had in the first place.

I was amused to find an artifact of this sort of behavior while aimlessly browsing the ‘net the other day. I discovered a group collecting people against something called the Freedom of Choice Act, or FOCA. The group had succeeded in collecting 42,716 members, last I checked. The purpose of the group is to issue a message instructing its members to do the following:

“. . .We must stop this horrific act before it becomes a law.

The Plan :

To say a novena (9 days of prayer) along with fasting

starting on January 11th. For Catholics, the prayer of choice will be the rosary with intentions to stop the FOCA. For all other Christians, we I encourage you to pray your strongest prayers with the same intentions, also for nine consecutive days. The hope is that this will branch and

blossom as to become a global effort with maximum impact. We have very little time so we all must act fast. Just do three things:

1) In less than three days: invite all your friends to this group. (espescially those that you know are Christian)

2) Start the novena on January 11th and pray for nine

consecutive days.

(please also fast for at least two days during the novena). . .”

This clever plan brings to mind an image of an advancing army whose members periodically drop off from the ranks to bury their heads in the sand; from which location they might strategically avoid seeing the enemy’s approach. The advantage that their rational enemy has is the knowledge that it’s not actually useful to speak to oneself and frivolously skip meals while fighting a battle.

-Weston

************************************************
(Full message: )
“If you are opposed to abortion then there is bad news on the horizon. For those of you who do not know, the Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA) is set to be signed if congress passes it on January 21-22 of 2009. The
FOCA is the next sick chapter in the book of abortion. If made a law then all limitations on abortion will be lifted which will result in the following:

1) All hospitals, including Catholic hospitals, will be
required to perform abortions upon request. If this happens Bishops vow to close down all Catholic hospitals, more then 30% of all hospitals in the United States.

2) Partial birth abortions would be legal and have no
limitations.

3) All U.S. tax payers would be funding abortions.

4) Parental notification will no longer be required.

5) The number of abortions will increase by a minimum of
100,000 annually. This is an estimation.

Needless to say this information is disturbing, but sadly
true. As Catholics, as Christians, as anyone who is against the needless killing of innocent children, we must stand as one. We must stop this horrific act before it becomes a law.

The Plan :

To say a novena (9 days of prayer) along with fasting
starting on January 11th. For Catholics, the prayer of choice will be the rosary with intentions to stop the FOCA. For all other Christians, we I encourage you to pray your strongest prayers with the same intentions, also for nine consecutive days. The hope is that this will branch and
blossom as to become a global effort with maximum impact. We have very little time so we all must act fast. Just do three things:

1) In less than three days: invite all your friends to this group. (espescially those that you know are Christian)

2) Start the novena on January 11th and pray for nine
consecutive days.

(please also fast for at least two days during the novena)

Remember that with God all things are possible and the
power of prayer is undeniable. If you are against the senseless killing of defenseless children then the time is now to do something about it!”

January 30, 2009 - Posted by | atheism, Bible, Center For Inquiry, Christianity, creationism, Epistemology, god, Jesus, Jesus Christ, Jesus is Lord, Metro State Atheists, religion, science, The Holy Bible | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

5 Comments »

  1. I find it interesting that you only apply faith based principles to today’s popular religion
    Let me share with you a definition of what faith is from Wikipedia.

    Faith is a belief, characteristically without proof. It is the confident belief in the truth of or trustworthiness of a person, idea, or thing.

    The fact is you are being intolerant to another group’s irrational beliefs.

    Still your belief is a belief that is just as much irrational. You may have an explanation for our existence now. But who really knows what happened at the start of our universe?

    Unless you have some sort of insight into what actually set the Big Bang theory into action, who are you to decide the answers to our existence?

    The things we believe will be irrelevant in a few hundred years anyway so why even bother?

    People believed there was evidence supporting a God who their society supported during the crusades and the Spanish inquisition.

    Even more so then there was for a tolerant and accepting savior. So who are you to say that you are any better then they were going around and judging for they’re feelings towards the possible life of a child?

    It may appear at this point and time that you may have more physical evidence then the Christians, Muslims or Hindus as to weather you are right or wrong.

    yet your beliefs have just as much a basis in faith as any other religion.

    Comment by J free | January 31, 2009

  2. J Free,
    The difference between the faithful and us is that we don’t pretend to have the answers to things like the origins of the universe. Even when scientist offer explanations for natural phenomena, to admit a certain degree of uncertainty. And, lastly, those explanations are justified on the bases of evidence.

    We are no one to decide the answers answers to our origins. What irritates me is that, when we express out skepticism towards divine claims, we bet accused of being arrogant and close-minded. When asked about the conditions prior to the big bang, the responsible scientist can only speculate. In the end, the only good answer is “I don’t” know. So get off your soap box. The only people pretending to know to be able to answer the biggest questions are the dogmatic.

    “The things we believe will be irrelevant in a few hundred years anyway so why even bother?”

    Because I’m human, and to stifle by curiosity about the natural world is, to me, intellectual suicide. Someday, my wife might die…so why marry her. Someday, I might die…so why breathe. I am compelled by my very nature to peruse truth. Save your apathy for someone else.

    “Even more so then there was for a tolerant and accepting savior. So who are you to say that you are any better then they were going around and judging for they’re feelings towards the possible life of a child?”

    Judging…is that the extent of what the great crusaders did? Is judgment for which you think we condemn the actions taken in the inquisition? We are no different than them becuase to practice our right to free speech, and criticize that which we deem irrational? Comparing us to the inquisition and the crusade on the basis that we disagree with someone is an absurdity without equal. We aren’t killing or torturing people who disagree with us, and we would fight and die for there right to disagree with us. Have you not judges us in your response; judged us unworthy to criticize those whom we feel irrational? Everyone judges. If they didn’t, opinion would be impossible. We have every right to disagree and anyone who says we don’t is as American as Hitler.

    “People believed there was evidence supporting a God who their society supported during the crusades and the Spanish inquisition.”

    Seriously? Yeah they thought there was evidence, but they were also one of the most oppressive governing bodies in history. Your saying “you guys are like the evil Catholic Church of our history becuase you have an opinion.” No has negative feeling towards the Catholic Church becuase they had an opinion they thought was true. People have negative feelings about them becuase they killed people for having a different opinion. When we start lobbying to have non-atheists butchered, then you can compare us to the oppressive Church. I don’t want to be harsh here, but your comparison is acutely inaccurate. Its like saying anyone with a mustache is genocidal becuase Hitler was genocidal and her had a mustache, except you replacing mustache with “strongly held opinion” and Hitler with “Catholic Church.”

    “yet your beliefs have just as much a basis in faith as any other religion.”

    Our beliefs are based on evidence. And, unlike most dogmatic religious zealots, me will change our opinion in light of new evidence. If we see new evidence that contradicts our opinions, we will admit we were wrong. The faithful, though, will not. Faith means never having to say your wrong. Your accusing us of faith, even after having admitted that we base our opinion on evidence. That’s like accusing Theist of not believing in God. Its a complete contradiction.
    – Chalmer (VP)

    Comment by Metro State Atheists | January 31, 2009

  3. Wiki isn’t the best source for definitions…so let me help you using the Oxford English Dictionary:

    Faith, n.

    Belief proceeding from reliance on testimony or authority.

    2. Phrases. to give faith: to yield belief to. to pin one’s faith to or upon: to believe implicitly.

    3. Theol. in various specific applications. a. Belief in the truths of religion; belief in the authenticity of divine revelation (whether viewed as contained in Holy Scripture or in the teaching of the Church), and acceptance of the revealed doctrines. b. That kind of faith (distinctively called saving or justifying faith) by which, in the teaching of the N.T., a sinner is justified in the sight of God. This is very variously defined by theologians (see quots.), but there is general agreement in regarding it as a conviction practically operative on the character and will, and thus opposed to the mere intellectual assent to religious truth (sometimes called speculative faith). c. The spiritual apprehension of divine truths, or of realities beyond the reach of sensible experience or logical proof. By Christian writers often identified with the preceding; but not exclusively confined to Christian use. Often viewed as the exercise of a special faculty in the soul of man, or as the result of supernatural illumination.

    Have a good day.

    Joel
    President

    Comment by Metro State Atheists | January 31, 2009

  4. I would like to further state, Jfree, that I don’t see large Muslim organizations mentioned in the blog or the quoted material from which the blog is primarily derived. To me it sounds like Catholic and Christian groups. Thus there is no contextual basis for attacking people not involved in the opposition to the bill.

    Joel

    Comment by Metro State Atheists | February 2, 2009

  5. I’d just like to comment on the target of this faith-based non-initiative: The Freedom of Choice act, senate bill S 1173 IS.
    http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c110:S.1173:

    Actually reading the bill, you can see that none of the points raised are explicit or implicit in the bill. Rather, it is designed to guarantee at the federal level the current stance of the government of abortion, as set by Roe vs. Wade and Doe vs.Bolton in the Supreme Court. So, not only is mass prayer effectively a non-solution, it is in response to a non-problem. This provides only an example of the mis-directed effort religion often brings about, but the extreme, even exaggerated, reaction-ism that so often accompanies it.

    Comment by Zoe Gagnon | February 20, 2009


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