Atheism: The New Religion

Today, it was announced that a group calling itself “The American Atheists” filed a lawsuit over a particular item at the 9/11 memorial. Particularly, they are suing to stop the now well-known 9/11 cross, discovered still standing at Ground Zero during the cleanup and made of steel beams from the frame of one of the towers, from being prominently displayed in the soon-to-be-opened 9/11 memorial museum.

In the weeks after the attacks, the fires were fought and human remains were carefully recovered and respectfully removed. In some cases, all that was found was a handful of bone fragments or some clothing. A mangled helmet belonging to one of the Engine 3 firefighters will be on display, as will the mangled Engine 3 itself – it has already been lowered into the museum by crane. As the smoke cleared during the recovery efforts, however, the only beams found still standing had formed a cross. That cross offered a great deal of comfort and inspiration to those who lost and those who helped work on 9/11.

Considering the fact that the National September 11 Memorial and Museum at the World Trade Center Foundation is a private organization and is tax-exempt (not to mention the fact that the property is privately owned), the group isn’t likely to win their lawsuit. They are basing their lawsuit solely on the fact that the organization has received government grand funds. That tactic has never worked in the past. The group claims that they favor absolute separation of church and state, meaning that they believe that no mention would be made of religion whatsoever during any event or in any facility that has the slightest fingerprint of government on it.

Most telling about their position, however, is the press release offered by leader Dave Silverman: “The WTC cross has become a Christian icon. It has been blessed by so-called holy men and presented as a reminder that their god, who couldn’t be bothered to stop the Muslim terrorists or prevent 3,000 people from being killed in his name, cared only enough to bestow upon us some rubble that resembles a cross. It’s a truly ridiculous assertion.”

That’s not a legal position. It smacks of religious undertones, whether it was meant or not. When I posted the link to the original story on Twitter, I wrote, “atheism: the religion created by those who wish to prove that God does not exist.” User @HatefulAtheist was apparently quite offended. He still hasn’t let go of the fact that I called the move quasi-religion.

He refuses to admit I have a point. Here are a few definitions, taken directly from Merriam-Webster:

RELIGION: 1: the state of a religious 2: a personal set or institutionalized system of religious attitudes, beliefs, and practices 3 archaic : scrupulous conformity : conscientiousness 4: a cause, principle, or system of beliefs held to with ardor and faith

Note that there are a few varying definitions, and not all are spiritual. The poster then said that religion must contain “dogma” in order to be a religion. Let’s take a look at that definition…

DOGMA: 1: something held as an established opinion; especially : a definite authoritative tenet 2: a doctrine or body of doctrines concerning faith or morals formally stated and authoritatively proclaimed by a church

Note that the church reference is secondary in this instance. To be sure, let’s take a look at the definition of another word used here…

TENET: a principle, belief, or doctrine generally held to be true; especially : one held in common by members of an organization, movement, or profession

Religion isn’t even mentioned here. My point in all of this is that my opinion is that atheism has to some degree become a religious movement in and of itself. The ardent refusal to believe that God exists has become so important to some that it trumps all other pursuits. You can see multiple open insults in Dave Silverman’s comment; his choice of words is not unlike those of religious leaders in Christianity and Islam. There are leaders in every religion on the planet who take verbal swipes at other faiths and those who openly hold to no faith. In fact, some are quite well-known for such insulting behavior.

When a group is willing to persecute another group so vehemently that they refuse to allow any vestige of that group to be experienced in public, it has become a religion, regardless of the values or beliefs of others who belong to that group. Entire organizations of atheists have been built for the purpose of tearing Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, Islam and other religions down until the public no longer sees references to any established spiritual belief.

To @HatefulAtheist and those like him, I say this: Christians aren’t all anti-gay. There are “open and affirming” churches all over the world, Christian churches that believe that homosexuality is not a sin and congregations that welcome those who are openly gay. Jews aren’t all anti-gay, either. In fact, the IDF – the Israeli military – has long allowed gays to serve openly. These facts do not change reality. The reality I speak of is the fact that most gay people see both religions in an extremely negative light because of the members who really do believe homosexuality to be a sin, some of them preaching borderline hatred against us.

You are entitled to your opinion just as I am entitled to mine. You are as likely to change my mind as I am to change yours. Since I am a believing Christian and you are an atheist, we both know how far that’ll carry us. The difference between you and I is that I don’t see my faith as a religion and, in fact, I bristle at being referred to as religious. You would disagree and pigeonhole me as religious just for believing in God. You can argue with me all day – but I see it this way: if I agreed with you, we’d both be wrong.

Michele and Sarah: The Woman Warriors of the Right

Re-posting an article of mine published on American Thinker, also featured in Conservatives4Palin.

With the debut of Stephen Bannon’s documentary in Iowa, the media cycle woke up energized Tuesday morning.  It seems CBS News managed to find two Republican Iowa women who believe it’s time for Sarah Palin to go away.

Of course, Sarah Palin’s approval in Iowa greatly outweighs her disapproval, but this type of narrative seems to be a stubborn roadblock for the Mainstream Media.

CBS News correspondent Jan Crawford said, “Palin has been so badly damaged by years of negative media coverage” after one of the Iowa voters declared, “I respect her a lot, and I really do like her, but I think it’s time for her to step back.”

The second comment came from a Waterloo resident who seems to portray Bachmann as a more serious candidate.  Her reasons include the fact that her children are raised while Palin’s are not.

With this “news,” CBS scores a double-win for liberalism.  They get to portray Republican women as anti-feminists while simultaneously using them to characterize Sarah Palin as a housewife on a mission to break the rules of motherhood.

Ironically, news stories like this directly confirm Crawford’s claim of press-perpetuated scrutiny.  But unfortunately for those in the media and the blueblood elite members of the Republican Party, this isn’t the first time Sarah Palin’s dealt with it.  This in and of itself is not good news for Michele Bachmann.

After the Congresswoman’s announcement in Iowa yesterday, Bachmann innocently and erroneously claimed John Wayne was from Waterloo, Iowa.  As a result of her gaffe, the media immediately pounced.

While Bachmann is relatively new to the national spotlight and the media’s dissection of every word uttered, Sarah Palin has undoubtedly proven it is something she can handle.  Since 2008, Sarah Palin has been scrutinized, vetted, quoted, and taken out of context more times than practically any other politician in history.

As a result, she has a steel spine in dealing with it which matches her handling of dismayed establishment-politicians beholden to special interests.

To be fair, it is difficult to point out the differences between the two without first acknowledging the similarities.

Without a doubt, Palin and Bachmann are political allies.  While Palin was campaigning with John McCain in 2008, Bachmann was on the House floor standing in opposition to the Wall Street bailout.  While Sarah Palin was out selling books and preparing to campaign for a myriad of candidates, Michele Bachmann was rallying strong as a member of Congress against the stimulus and ObamaCare.

Both women are of strong faith.  Both women are resourceful, attractive, young, and energetic.  Further, they separately and collectively graced stages and podiums in 2010 at Tea Party rallies to deliver great energy to the crowds, leading to the most historic victory for conservatism since WW2.

In all honesty, their convictions alone make them both more than qualified to take on President Obama, win, and lead this country to the greater days we’ve yet to discover.

Still, on the basis of objective evidence, the chips fall in favor of Sarah Palin.

First, no President since James Garfield in 1880 has gone directly from the House of Representatives to the White House (my apologies to Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul fans).

Despite varying political persuasions, Americans instinctively prefer executive experience found in former governors including Reagan, Clinton, G.W. Bush, and even Carter.

As a former governor, Palin vetoed $237M of wasteful spending under Alaska’s billion-dollar annual budget.  She proposed and often convinced the legislators on both sides of the aisle to reduce burdens on individuals and businesses by eliminating nuisance taxes and various bureaucratic road blocks to success like license fees and other unnecessary costs.

She achieved a record 88% approval rating by showcasing her independent streak of reaching across the aisle to Democrats in the legislative branch.  Doing this made sure that fellow Republicans were, too, held accountable.

While one can appreciate Michele Bachmann’s entrepreneurial experience as a job-creator, Palin’s similar experience is now combined with that of an executive of a state.  She knows how to utilize business experience for the greater good of job creators.

Further, as former head of the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (AOGCC), Sarah Palin knows firsthand the complexities involved in dealing with often-stubborn oil giants.  Her experience can be utilized to explore tapping into our own resources benefiting our economy, creating jobs, and making us less dependent on foreign sources.

Finally, the aforementioned experience Palin has with handling the media is one characteristic which discourages Republicans from supporting her.  However, those same naysayers seem to be ignoring the lashing Bachmann took yesterday.

In addition to voting records, experience, and name-recognition, media-written narratives have become an expected, yet sad reality to our electoral process.  Since waiting around for the media to treat a good conservative candidate fairly is not likely to happen anytime soon, we have no choice but to accept it and fight back as we did in 2010.

That mission promises to be a lot easier with a candidate who has spent many years handling it than with one who is not even yet acclimated to it.  Be it media wisdom, executive experience, or vast knowledge on issues like energy, it is Sarah Palin whose time has come.