Atheists come to the Tea Party … 31

… and are snubbed by Godists. 

Walter Hudson writes an article about this, telling the religious members who object to atheists joining them, why they are wrong:

It began without controversy. At a routine board meeting of the North Star Tea Party Patriots (NSTPP), a coalition of activist groups in Minnesota which this author chairs, a vote was taken to admit a new member organization. The new group was the Minnesota Objectivist Association (MOA) which advocates the philosophy of Ayn Rand …  Though not a Tea Party organization in name, MOA was nonetheless supportive of the movement’s mission and principles. Signs reading “Who is John Galt?” in reference to Rand’s novel [Atlas Shrugged] had been a staple at Tea Party rallies since the movement began.

Within days, word got around to the broader NSTPP membership that MOA had been admitted. Pushback began. Some complained that MOA did not have “Tea Party” in their name. Others noted that MOA was not listed on Tea Party Patriots’ national directory. The concern over these relatively minor points seemed disproportionate. Provision had been made in the NSTPP constitution to include organizations which predated the Tea Party movement yet sought the same ends. A group without “Tea Party” in its name had been admitted before.

After some beating around the bush, the crux of the matter emerged. Ayn Rand was an atheist, and her philosophy of Objectivism did not acknowledge the existence of God. Thus was alleged an irreconcilable difference between the Tea Party and Ayn Rand.

As the controversy progressed, MOA ultimately withdrew from the coalition, citing the episode as a needless distraction to all parties concerned. Precluding debate left some important questions unresolved. What role does religion play within the Tea Party? Must one be a theist in order to be philosophically aligned with the movement?

These questions are important because their answers define what the movement is really about. Is it solely an effort to affect fiscal responsibility, constitutionally limited government, and free markets? Or is it something more which goes unsaid? Is the movement on a mission from God? Or are its principles applicable to the religious and the non-religious alike? The answers to those questions could affect the integrity of the movement. …

Unfortunately, attacks upon religious expression by a relentless secular minority have placed many religious people on the defensive.

While we appreciate Walter Hudson’s intention, we interrupt him here to murmur  that complaints about crosses in public places and “the ten commandments” being displayed on the walls of government and judicial buildings, or grumbles about public prayer, are not “relentless” as the Inquisition and Witch Trials of the religious once were, or the jihad is now.

The result is an inherent suspicion of anyone without faith, the assumption that atheists are necessarily antagonistic toward religion, or worse – inherently anti-American.

Speaking for ourselves, we are antagonistic towards religion, though not aggressive towards religious people – unless in self-defense.

But inherently anti-American, atheism is not. Patriotism and atheism do not have any bearing on each other. There is nothing about atheism that makes it necessarily anti anything except religion.

As Hudson rightly says -

Nothing could be further from the truth. Ayn Rand is perhaps the best example of an atheist whose unrelenting Americanism has been established beyond question. Rand was an anti-communist long before it was cool. More than that, she escaped the Soviet Union and took great effort under blistering criticism to warn Americans about the horrors behind the Iron Curtain. Her first book, We the Living, was panned by critics who claimed she didn’t understand the noble Soviet experiment. Aversion to Objectivism among religious conservatives seems to ignore this history, along with Rand’s fundamental arguments.

It is popular among theists to assert that belief in God is an essential prerequisite to a morality which recognizes natural law and the rights of the individual. The Soviet Union is cited among other tyrannical regimes as an example of atheistic thought manifest in government. However, if atheism leads inexorably to progressivism and communism, why did the atheist Rand spend her entire life decrying collectivism and advocating individual rights more aggressively than most of her American contemporaries? The answer is worth pursuing, and can be found in her work. …

And he concludes:

The line which divides friend from foe within the Tea Party ought not be belief in God, but recognition of individual rights. In a world where government acted only to secure those rights, religious freedom would be assured for the theist and atheist alike.

Agreeing with an atheist like Rand about individual rights, and working in tandem to affect their protection, in no way compromises religious conviction. Atheism is not contagious. Why then vet political relationships with a religous test? What end does that serve? We don’t expect religious cohesion with our mechanics, co-workers, grocers, or in other incidential relationships. Why expect it in our political coalitions?

The Tea Party’s wise focus on economic and legal concerns ought to exclude religious affiliation as it excludes social issues.  The goal of affecting public policy consistent with the principles of fiscal responsibility, constitutionally limited government, and free markets is explicitly secular. … In the face of statist opponents who are strengthened by division in the movement, Tea Partiers ought to unite on principles of civil government and leave religious distinction to religious forums.

We like to think most Tea Party members would agree with that.

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  • Brittany Starr

    It is clear that there’s very little resolve to make a meaningful bond with those who disagree on the subject of theism, especially when most of you mirror and extend the bitterness you often falsely perceive from theist conservatives. The victim complex doesn’t help anybody-theist or not. We’ll never be bonded by principle if God, a being you don’t even believe exists, bothers you so much. And the same goes for theists who are bothered so much by non-belief (which we are admonished by scripture not to be butt hurt over others’rejection of God).

    • Don L

      Hi,

      If atheists sought to stop theists from prcaticing religion all together, that theists were a majority (republicanism – according to the principles and law of individual sovereignty – be damned, majority rules) would you feel attacked and how would you percieve the majority of atheists when they chronically comment that you are intolerant of what they demand and that you are evil because they ARE (numbers trump rights) a majority and what atheists don’t believe is all there is and how dare you question this?

      Here’s the deal: Atheists don’t care what you believe or don’t believe respective of god(s). What we cannot tolerate is being forced to participate in your icon worship, prayers and (like sharia) specific faith-based idiosyncratic politicised moralirty

      To wit, the Terri Schiavo case where “born again” christian US Senators and Representaives were on the floors of their respective houses (live on TV) forcing mystical laws on America because they believed God was telling them Terri was still alive. As you know, Terri did die and the autopsy showed there WAS NO BRAIN IN HER SKULL..it takes many yeras of atrophy for that to occur. I don’t want god in my government when any kind of law can be passed on mysticism.

      Nobody denies theists their right to prtactice their faith…just not in “public/ common tax paid for” spaces. I have a right not to have to participate in things I don’t believe in. Theists has churchs and other religious places, private homes…private parties in the forests.

      Liberals cannot legislate a reality that doesn’t exist into existence and theists cannot legislate morality. Here’s an essay I think theists need to read:

      Separation of Church and State Myth: Is It In The Constitution?

      If It’s Not in the Constitution, then it Doesn’t Exist!

      By Austin Cline, About.co

      Myth:

      The phrase “separation of church and state” does not appear in the Constitution.

      Response:

      That is true, the phrase “separation of church and state” does not actually appear anywhere in the Constitution. There is a problem, however, in that some people draw incorrect conclusions from this fact. The absence of this phrase does not mean that it is an invalid concept or that it cannot be used as a legal or judicial principle.

      There are any number of important legal concepts which do not appear in the Constitution with the exact phrasing people tend to use. For example, nowhere in the Constitution will you find words like “right to privacy” or even “right to a fair trial.” Does this mean that no American citizen has a right to privacy or a fair trial? Does this mean that no judge should ever invoke these rights when reaching a decision?

      Of course not – the absence of these specific words does not mean that there is also an absence of these ideas. The right to a fair trial, for example, is necessitated by what is in the text because what we do find simply makes no moral or legal sense otherwise. What the Sixth Amendment of the Constitution actually says is:

      In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.

      There is nothing there about a “fair trial,” but what should be clear is that this Amendment is setting up the conditions for fair trials: public, speedy, impartial juries, information about the crimes and laws, etc. The Constitution does not specifically say that you have a right to a fair trial, but the rights created only make sense on the premise that a right to a fair trial exists. Thus, if the government found a way to fulfill all of the above obligations while also making a trial unfair, the courts would hold those actions to be unconstitutional.

      Similarly, courts have found that the principle of a “religious liberty” exists behind in the First Amendment, even if those words are not actually there:

      Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…

      The point of such an amendment is twofold. First, it ensures that religious beliefs – private or organized – are removed from attempted government control. This is the reason why the government cannot tell either you or your church what to believe or to teach. Second, it ensures that the government does not get involved with enforcing, mandating, or promoting particular religious doctrines. This is what happens when the government “establishes” a church – and because doing so created so many problems in Europe, the authors of the Constitution wanted to try and prevent the same from happening here.

      Can anyone deny that the First Amendment guarantees the principle of religious liberty, even though those words do not appear there? Similarly, the First Amendment guarantees the principle of the separation of church and state – by implication, because separating church and state is what allows religious liberty to exist.

      • liz

        Excellent essay – thanks for posting it! Best argument supporting separation of church and state I’ve heard.

        • Don L

          Hi Liz, thanks, I found that essay here:

          Austin Cline on about.com

          http://atheism.about.com/

          I haven’t covered the whole site, but it looks like he leans toward libertarianism if I read between the lines…Yet, looks to stick to his topic rather than promoting some political ideology

          Some very good essays on lots of atheism relative topics.

          Here’s another favorite…Jefferson quotes on religion separated into categories. I like Religion and absurdity. The main site is very good too – positiveatheism.org.

          http://www.positiveatheism.org/hist/quotes/jefferson.htm

          And, a favorite site on the Constitution:

          http://www.founding.com/

    • liz

      What makes you think God bothers us?
      Or that we have little resolve to make a bond with those who disagree on theism? The article itself is about a group of atheists who did attempt to make a bond with Tea Party theists, and we’re rejected by the theists.
      As for having a “victim complex”, as often as not it is Christians who think of themselves as “persecuted for their faith” by a godless, secular society.

    • Don L

      ” (which we are admonished by scripture not to be butt hurt over others’rejection of God) ”

      This just eats my craw (have no idea what a craw is…but I think my butt hurts!). Until you see, evidenced by this comment alone, that you come to any meeting with an atheist with condescension; you are better…not equal, morally superior. And, simultaneously you demonstrate that you aren’t capable of thinking for yourself…you must be instructed by scripture…about…in this case…dealing with the lesser folk who don’t believe.

      Theists aren’t interested in attaing the goals of the Tea Party, they are about, wrongfully and ultimately dangerously for America, imposing the false idea that America is a christian nation. In the history of the country, this is a recent phenomena foisted by the born again movements of the late 20th century.

      Pick your battle…Tea Party and test for religion or Tea Party and stick to the secular objectives? The latter wins, the former you lose your liberty and the the Bill of Rights is out the window.

      GRRR…. I think this jackass Roberts, chief unjustice SCOTUS, ought to be imprisoned for life. That he actually believes that the constution, out founders would agree..allows governemnt to force everyone to buy something by gymnastcally declaring the law a tax is beyond comprehension. Only the liberal brain…

      Now atheist conservatives and theist conservatives agree this is beyond the pale. See, a point of agreement…rational and reasonable…secular. Here’s were we part, Theists would have no problem had Roberts twisted credulity if he were to rule that, contrary to all things constituionally considered, christianity was indeed the religion of America: economic/physcal imposition wrong….belief sytem/morality law OK. Or, don’t care what you do, but we care what you believe.

      Both are un-American.

  • Andrew M

    Walter Hudson’s articulate article generated one of the most interesting political discussions I’ve read on the Internet so far. Yes, I checked every comment that was on the page about 24 hours ago.

    This merely goes to show that there is absolutely nothing separating Tea Party Christians from aligning with Tea Party atheists besides their assumed prejudices. Answering only for myself, I frequently find myself resisting to embrace certain elements of the Christian political mindset which want increase the influence of the government over the lives of its citizens. It’s the usual social issues where we encounter the most friction – abortion, gay marriage, any marriage of any sort, pornography, drugs, etc. I do not encourage most of these activities, but I absolutely disagree that outlawing them will somehow ameliorate the situation after decades of failure.

    In turn, Christians are susceptible to conflating atheism into a religion, a label which accurately describes only a small vocal minority of those who do not accept their God. Sadly, this group has done so much damage to the legacy of freethought with their overt desire to police unsavory religious activity themselves. Given this false monolithic impression about a set of individuals who agree with each other as often as bees in a hive fly in the same direction, it is only natural that Christians are wary of atheists. They have nothing to worry about from me; I respect their right to worship.

    Just as I do not tolerate the bullish tactics of the Atheist Cult in muting their worship, I do not tolerate the Godly overtones which are so rampant at Tea Party meetings for the same reason – they distract from the discussion. The Tea Party is fundamentally an economic platform and nothing else!

    Yes, while Christians are my neighbors and I do my best to love and respect them as I do myself, I refuse to silence my criticism of Christianity. I am a fierce critic of Christianity, but the intent of my criticism is to lambast a religious doctrine which no longer holds any relevancy at the material level, is losing considerable influence as a grounds for moral instruction, and increasingly remains salient only as a form of soft, benign community socialism.

    Contrast Christianity to Islam, which is soaring in importance at the material level by its advancing military fronts, is swaying the hearts of limp-willed Muslims to become steel-hard jihadists, and is increasingly salient as a powerful and influential Cult which aims to quash the Unbelievers. We must offer those Muslims who genuinely love Western freedoms to join our meetings, but together we must stand united against the Islam itself.

    Here’s to an excellent next generation of Americans!

    • George

      While I agree with much of what you say Andrew here’s something we should all consider IMHO  of course.  You state that we should offer those Muslims who genuinely love our society to join our meetings, ———————well that’s fine and good –but here’s a question I have. How do we know that the ones who join or attend our meetings aren’t engaging in taquiiya and putting up a “front” just to check out our positions and beliefs ?  How do we know ? That’s  a question worthy of a legitimate answer.  I personally have NEVER had any desire to “mute” anyone’s religious beliefs ( just leave me alone and those of us who have different beliefs alone and let them keep their beliefs to themselves ).  They can embrace their beliefs and even publicly express their beliefs , but the radical proselytizing and mentality of trying to shove their indoctrinated theological dogma on everyone s is where I have a serious problem with many religionists (theists).  Whether it’s the bible-thumping Christians or the jihadist Muslims or for that matter the ( lets mute all the religionists ) secularists ——–  no one has a right to force their beliefs on others  ( whether religious or secular ) — PERIOD !!!!
                               One of the biggest problems with people trying to engage in any dialogue is the fact that we have so many people who are not into honesty, logic, reason, open-mindedness,  etc. but have the mentality of ( I’m right—you’re wrong and that settles it mentality ).
                     I have met Christians, Muslims, Jews, Scientologists, Wiccans, etc ,  who are the nicest people I could ever meet   in my travels throughout America and as  I have stated before  I have met secular freethinkers ( atheists ) who are flaming , arrogant, and cold a**holes who think they know every f***ing thing and you can’t tell them crap.
                           Now having said that , I have to also admit that this website  [  The Atheist Conservative  ]   has been a big breath of fresh air to me because I get so sick & tired of all the liberal agendas being promoted at the overwhelming majority of secular organizations and secular media groups.     This website is sort of like my “getaway  oasis “  since I’ve had to put up with liberal secularism for decades and it’s so nice to be able to correspond with like minded secular freethinkers who share the same sentiments and values.     Take care .  George

      • Andrew M

        Great question as always, George!

        I have grappled over this question for a very long time, indeed ever since I learned about taqiyya. The short answer is that we simply can never be sure whether or not a Muslim is engaging in taqiyya.

        Does this really matter too much? If we are going to extend this logic to its extremes, then I’m clearly a Christian supremacist.

        We must judge a person by his acts and deeds, not just his words. Is Ayaan Hirsi Ali using her super-stealth taqiyya mode skills on everyone, including the Islamic Rage Boys who are trying to kill her? After all, she was once a Muslim before. How about fellow veteran of the Navy, Dr. Zuhdi Jasser, and his unequivocal statements defending our freedom and our American way of life against snake-tongued “moderates”? How about Irshad Manji and her chic fake lesbian jihad against homosexuals?

        I believe that Islam, with the blessings of America, will one day come upon an Enlightenment of their own. This is something which must be gradually accepted by individual Muslims before it takes the Middle East by storm. There are ABSOLUTELY warriors who are trying to undermine this process at every turn, so we must rightly be wary of anyone who claims to submit to Islam.

        But lest we categorically reject anyone who comes from a certain culture, let us remember the words of the West’s finest daughter, Anne Frank:

        “Everyone has inside of him a piece of good news. The
        good news is that you don’t know how great you can be! How much you can
        love! What you can accomplish! And what your potential is!”

        And her finest son, Winston Churchill:

        “Individual Muslims may show splendid qualities, but the influence of the religion paralyses the social development of those who follow it.”

        As disturbing the thought of letting subversives into our ranks may be, it would be a crime to contribute more towards the developmental paralysis of any Muslim yearning for a better life.

        And, hopefully, they will leave Islam as a result.

        • George

          Winston Churchill once stated—  ” You’ve got enemies ? Good !    That means you have stood up for something “.

        • Andrew M

          A great quote which I fully endorse.

          We are either their enemies or their useful idiots. I choose the former!

  • Anonymous

    The theists come to their conservative tenets through their religious in doctrination, therefore, they cannot conceive of such a concept as atheist conservative. 

    They are more likely to embrace fundamentalist isslammist jihadis as brothers in kind than to accept a conservative who doesn’t have religion.  Go figure.

    • Brittany Starr

      I disagree. I’m a theist who set out to look for conservative atheists because I knew they existed. So far I think atheists make great conservatives. If there can be some kind of bond as the forefathers had between faith and non-faith for the same principles of personal liberty and fiscal responsibility, we’d probably revive our nation. Not only that, but we could probably get rid of this culture war and make it a free market of ideas once again. Penn Jilette and GlennBeck are close friends a great example of the relationship necessary between theists and non theists to preserve our amazing nation.

      • Don L

        You should be aware, if religion comes into the 2016 presidential election, whereas abortion and faith as a measure of patriotism comes into play, Hillary wins and little nuns will be forced into prostution camps in the new soviet ukraine for having disobeyed the great and mighty Nobama’s healtcare laws.

        The pickafil a chicken people will be forced to wear yellow cow patches on their clothing and not be allowed to cook.

        Washington and Jefferson gave it credence: keep your religion to yourself! Then we can get along. Forcing religion, anybody’s religion, will drive people away. The enemy is central planning and the source of all corruption…the financial generator of all economic misery and loss of freedom…END THE FED!!!

  • Don L

    Greeting IndigoRed.
     
    The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts only as are injurious to others. But it does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods, or no god–Thomas Jefferson.
     
    Does your group have a website?
     
    I invite you and your group to visit my site: teapartyeconomics.com
     
    I advocate for the Austrian school of economic thought.  Lots of freebies available.  And, the economic school is in fact the grandchild of Jefferson’s , and many of the Founders’ economic beliefs. 

    Their view of free market capitalism was embodied in the work of the French philosopher/economist The Count Desutt Tracy (A Treatise on Political Economy – 1817 & edited by Thomas Jefferson). Download here free (2nd row; 4th from left)
     
    http://teapartyeconomics.com/0006TheFreeAustrianLibrary245PDFs.html

    Irrespective of “tea party endorsement, it is my premise that you have to actually know what free market capitalism is before you camn have it. See if you can answer the questions on the home page of my site.  If not…take advantage of the free 10-Pack offer.  Thanks and I look foward to your reply as to your groups website!

    Don L

    • https://me.yahoo.com/a/vekAsew7lOvzPtoZhB61ECRhcAE-#43299 Liz

      Don – thanks for all the info on economics. I can’t download it but I have made a list of the books for future reference. I have read some Hazlett and Freidman, though.  
      Ironic that free market atheists like Rand are closer to Jefferson and others of our own Founding Fathers in both economic an philosophic thinking than alot of Tea Partiers who don’t want to let atheists join the movement. 

      • Don L

        Hi Liz,

        If you can get to my site, go to the contact page and send me an email with your snail mail address and I’ll mail you a CD with all the PDF files.

        I stumbled into economics…Friedman was a dissapoitment as so much of his message is free market capitalism.  Then, you come to find out that his message isn’t exactly correct.  He believes in gov’t/FED control of the money.  The control of the most important facet of an economy…the means of exchange…the money is in effect to control all markets.  And, refuting every explanation of the cause of economic depression/recession, it is in fact the manipulation of the money that causes the bubbles and bursts.

        Only 2 in the government, both father & son Paul, respect the Founders’ economic principles (adhereing to the Austrian School).  Ron Paul, unfortunately is also a political libertarian and, as such,  an extreme pacifist.

        So, of some 536 elected officials, only 0.996 % are socialistic…believing in and executing socialistic economic theories.  This includes the Nov 10 group of Tea Party endorsed “public servants”.

        OK…enough.  I know you’d blow your mind on the material Liz…so, if there is anyway to gett it to you…it would truly be my pleasure.  Oh, please accept my enthusiasm, but also understand I won’t try to “close” you on Austrian thinking…That is up to you!

        Thanks for your thanks!!

        • Don L

          99.6%  

  • Anonymous

    You’d all be welcome at TEA Party Patriots in Auburn, CA. Yes, we meet in a church, but that’s only because the space was donated by the church two nights a month (the Youth Group sells us homemade refreshments) and that’s a lot cheaper than renting the conference room at the local country club. The moderator of the TPP group is a retired minister and she made it  clear when the question was asked early on that the group is secular, open to all, all faiths and non-faiths, all colors, and all intellects; her husband, like me, is a lifelong Atheist. Usually, the only reference to god is in the Pledge of Allegiance said at the start of each meeting and I just simply don’t say, “under God,” and carry on. Any other references relate to the philosophical underpinnings of Western Cilization and the USA. My position is what doesn’t exist, can’t harm me.

    • George

      Thanks IndigoRed

  • George

    When I attended a  Tea  Party rally , I attended because I was for small government, low taxes,  personal  responsibility , patriotism and standing up for  America , and I’m against the socialist policies of Obama.
                 While at the Tea party , I was actually getting nauseated at all the GOD GOD GOD GOD talk and signs galore . I am sure I was the ONLY atheist present . I will NEVER attend another because of this very reason. While talking to one Tea Party member at one of the booths , we bagan talking about Obama . I was talking about Obama’s policies and he stated to me that Obama  “needs to be born again” .    I then explained to him politely of course that he shouldn’t try to push his personal beliefs on other people no matter of the individual as long as the person is of good character , a patriot and person who has dignity, respect for others and stands up for America.    Surprisingly this Christian fundamentalist actually said—–  ” Yes sir–you’re right —I agree”.    I then began to wonder if there may be possibly a chance at some sort of dialogue with the highly religious depending on how we voice our messages and convey our ideas .
                    I will be te first to concede that I  am  rather aggressive in my atheism ONLY when attacked and subjected to ad hominem personal attacks or subjected to insulting remarks about my being a freethinker.
                        The problem with the Tea Party IMHO is that they have incorporated the Christian GOD dogma as actually a TENNANT or prerequisite of being a true  tea partier .  It’s as if IMO the name should be The Christian Fundamentalist Right Tea Party.

                        The last two statement of this article reads :      ” Tea partiers ought to unite on principles of civil  government and leave religious distinction to religious forums.  We like to think most of Tea Party members would agree with that ” .

                   On the surface that sounds nice but it is NOT going to happen.  Also, IMO —most of the overall great majority of  Tea Party members DO NOT agree with that. The Tea Party is IMHO a haven for religious right zealots and in their minds , the Christian religion is the hallmark of their agenda  and anyone thinking or operating  [ outside the box ] in this regard is considered simply as being NOT on the “bandwagon” of their agenda and group mindset.  While I like the Tea party for the political and social principles , the fact still remains that they have incorporated the  Christian GOD belief as one of the  primary foundations of the tea party itself.    Having experienced this firsthand , I have no further interest in the Tea Party and I really don’t care to discuss the group or their assemblies at all.  That’s just my opinion and my two cents.

    • Frank

      Ditto!

    • Keith

      I second that ditto.

      The problem is just as we cannot fathom blind faith in an imaginary being they cannot fathom that an atheist can develop morals without the same blind faith.
      It scares me to think what these “believers” would be like if they didn’t have the threat of eternal damnation to dissuade them from an immoral lifestyle.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_DMLNMRM3XVTGX5CBFAY62PPK74 PareshK

        This site helps me keep my sanity, I really must say.  It is SO COMFORTING to read that I am not the only one who thinks like this.  Every time I hear about the Tea Party and how they are countering the lib/Democrat/Obama agenda, I think “awesome.”  And then I look into even the littlest bit of the Tea Party and I quickly encounter all that Jesus crap.

        Just like you said George – “they have incorporated the Christian GOD belief as one of the primary foundations of the tea party itself.”  The intelligent thing to do would be to leave god out of it altogether, as whether you believe in god has nothing to do with balancing the budget, rewarding personal responsibility, etc, but the religious folk just don’t seem to get it.

        And Keith, you wrote: “It scares me to think what these “believers” would be like if they didn’t have the threat of eternal damnation to dissuade them from an immoral lifestyle.”  I have ALWAYS thought this.  Any thinking person should understand that it is ridiculous to only behave morally because you are trying to save your own ass!

        Another hypothetical that I have pondered: What if these same people were born in Iran/Afghan/Yemen/etc?  These same people would easily become suicide bombers.  They would vehemently deny it, but in my mind, if you can be brainwashed to believe so strongly as these fundamentalist Christians do, killing themselves and others for the sake of god is not that far a stretch.

        • https://me.yahoo.com/a/vekAsew7lOvzPtoZhB61ECRhcAE-#43299 Liz

          I think you’re right – alot of Chrisians would be suicide bombers if they had been born in an Islamic country, because they have the same mentality about their religion.  They don’t even realize that the only thing causing their religion to be more “civilized” than the Muslims is that it had the benefit of the influence of the Enlightenment for a few centuries.  If it wasn’t for that , not only would the Tea Parties require a “religious test” to join, so would every political office.

        • Don L

          They are the Taliban.   Ostracize first, then punishments begin. 
           
          If they take over the Tea Party movement, they will lose…
           
          Ufortunately, there are too many liberals who are aetheists…they are non-thinkers in both categories.

          If they had any brains, they’d see that that which they protest against is in fact the political solution they seek already at work.  And, they do not come by atheism by thought but, like their politics, by just being against…that’s it….just being against.  They have no answers; merely against.

          From what I have seen…the national Tea Party sites have avoided getting into culural/social issues of conservatism.  Geez, who knows what they are calling themselves now. Locally, both George and I have had similar experiences…had to leave the rally as it turned into a revival meeting.

          There was a reason the word creator and not god was used.  god was only used as in Nature’s god…not a standalone omipotent/omnipresent mystic.  Jefferson’s writings are clear that when taken as a whole…there is a wall between church and state. 

          “Creator”, notwithstanding, is a quickie argument as to derivation of rights…as to government…religion is not ab issue as government gets its power from the consent of the governed…not from a god! the word god is not referenced in the constitution at all.

          When reading about the founding of America…or any history (or any scientific discussion of origin)…beware the author with ties to theist beliefs or institutions.

          Most, not all, Founders were deists…rationality and reason reigned.  Had they the scientific knowledge of our time…it is not hard to imagine they would be atheists today.  But, again…religion is not the issue behind this nation’s problems…it is socialistic economic thinking!

          Finally, I’m all for the query of a Tea Party site.  How ’bout on Monday 11/7/2011 each of us post the URL for 3 sites deemed suitable for query?

    • Keith

      Why don’t we pick a tea party blog and ask if we are welcome. If we get enough of our folks to post we may open a dialog.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_DMLNMRM3XVTGX5CBFAY62PPK74 PareshK

        That’s not a bad idea.  But discussing atheist views with theists is just futile.  The arguments they use are just absurd.  “You can’t prove there is no god” and “I know what’s in my heart” and “satan makes people think that way” and it goes on and on and on.  It’s just pointless, and then they eventually get very abrasive.  When I post on most conservative forums, I just stay out of the religious topics.

        Last night Bill O’Reilly had Deepak Chopra on to counter some of the points Richard Dawkins had made in a Bill O’Reilly interview last week.  I thought it showed very low integrity on O’Reilly’s part to bash Dawkins a week later, and I actually like O’Reilly on political topics.  The points both O’Reilly and Chopra were making were the typical foolish theist arguments, and I really thought these two intelligent guys were better than that.  Unfortunately, when it comes to religion, the theist’s sense of rationality must get knocked down a few pegs.

        Sorry for going off topic…

        I am curious as to how a tea party blog would receive us as a group though.

        • Don L

          I too watched the O’reilly show…I was screaming at the TV.
           
          Watching the debates is another tortuous endeavor.  Unfortunately, I seem to be leaning toward Newt…and yet I hear him say he will abolish a court for upholding my right not to be forced to have religion forced on me…he ignores the trio of hardcore socialists on the supremee court.

          The fellow from CA tea Party group posted while I was typing…I’ll be contacting him.

          And, If you go to my website…yopu will see it is secular…teapartyeconomics.com.

          Lastly, does snyone else have the problem with the comment box having a movinf blanked out space? (see image)  It requires multiple refreshing of the screen to be able to see what I’m typing.  I know george…just as well I can’t see it!  LOL

        • Don L

          sorry…here is image of comment area being blocked

        • Keith

          I gave it a try.

          I keep trying to post the link but the captcha isn’t working.

          The lone reply is encouraging even if tepid.