Atheist News – 6 Aug

Here are a few quick links to 5 items of Atheist news today for you all …

Jon Stewart Asks Atheists Against 9/11 Cross: Why Do You Give AS@&T?

Stewart finally weighed in on the American Atheists’ lawsuit to remove the so-called 9-11 Cross from the World Trade Center Site. “By the way, atheists, why do you give a s&@?” Stewart asked …. Perhaps, as a compromise, we could build you an atomic symbol statue. But it has to be made out of billions of crosses.

Army Agrees To Host Concert For Atheists At Fort Bragg

A group of military atheists have won the backing of U.S. Army officials to hold a “Rock Beyond Belief” concert for nonbelievers at North Carolina’s Fort Bragg next year.

The victory came after several church-state separation watchdog groups complained last month to the Secretary of the Army that a Christian-themed concert held at the fort last September gave “selective benefits” to religious groups.

Atheist comedy: Laughter beyond belief

‎A slate of atheist standup comics are hoping to prove they’re funny, especially when it comes to taking shots at true believers. The Atheist Comedy Show comes to Yuk Yuk’s Comedy Club on Richmond St. W. Sunday at 8 p.m. Host Bryan O’Gorman says it’s a concept that follows in the unhallowed footsteps of comic legends Lenny Bruce, George Carlin and Bill Hicks

Cecil Bothwell, Gay-Friendly Atheist for Congress

‎…Luckily, this Blue Dog has a challenger in the form of Cecil Bothwell, currently a member of the Asheville city council. Bothwell is a strong supporter of the gay community; in fact, he has spoken at rallies for LGBT causes. He is also a strong supporter of women’s rights, even volunteering to escort patients past protesters at Femcare, an abortion clinic in Asheville. But what is perhaps most interesting about Bothwell is his religion. While Shuler is a self-identified “evangelical Christian,” Bothwell is that rarest of species in modern American politics: an out-and-proud atheist.

Nominate an atheist

And so I’d really like to vote for an atheist sometime soon, thanks.  Not because I believe there’s anything inherently superior about atheism.  For my part, I’m a Christian (albeit one whose beliefs are so amorphous that I would hardly qualify in the eyes of most evangelicals) who attends church more often than not.  All else being equal, a candidate’s personal religious beliefs should be wholly irrelevant when consider her fitness for elected office.

But all else is not equal.  Religious extremists continue to hold disturbing sway over one of our major political parties.  Beliefs that would have been commonplace before the Renaissance are proclaimed proudly by several of its presidential contenders.  In that light, a candidate who ran without apology as an atheist would be contributing a positive good to our civic life.  Given two candidates who were otherwise equally qualified for the presidency, I would prefer the atheist at this point.  Doubtless said candidate would be villified by the same people who kowtow to the likes of Hagee and James Dobson, but we need to rid ourselves of the de facto religious test for higher office, whereby some gesture toward religious belief is necessary in order to be considered fit for office.  Even if said candidate were to lose, I would be grateful to hear a candidate publicly repudiate the idea that we must seek divine intervention in solving our political or economic problems.


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