Review: Godless: The Church of Liberalism 106

Godless: The Church of Liberalism by Ann Coulter, Three Rivers Press, New York, 2007, 326 pages

Ann Coulter is always witty, pithy and funny, and a dead shot at hitting her targets. A rational political analyst if ever there was one, she writes a barbed prose that is a delight to read, especially when she is about the business of exposing the absurdity, hypocrisy, and the sheer bad faith of the Left.

Sometimes her jibes seem exaggerated but are essentially true: ‘Environmentalists want mass infanticide, zero population growth, reduced standards of living, and vegetarianism. The core of environmentalism is that they hate mankind’. Or, ‘the Left’s most dangerous religious belief is their adoration of violent criminals.’

She’s an expert in throw-away lines such as: ‘The democrats’ leading geopolitical strategist, Bianca Jagger, said …’ And she’s funny even when she stalks the wilder shores of nonsense as with: ‘Why hasn’t the earthworm evolved into a beagle? Just for being cute, a beagle can acquire a six-room coop apartment on Park Avenue, surely an evolutionary advantage.’ On a liberal’s objection to another liberal’s argument for bestiality that an animal cannot ‘consent’ to having sex with a human being, she remarks: ‘It is only through a quirk of its species that the poor mute goat is unable to communicate its consent, and man and beast are forever condemned to being star-crossed lovers, like Tristan and Isolde.’

When she comes to religion, however, clarity of thought fails her. Though still funny, still trenchant and eloquent and highly readable, she soft-pedals reason as she lets us hear it for her faith. Like a great many American conservatives, she is a believing Christian. To her, ‘liberal’ is synonymous with ‘atheist’, and both are synonymous with ‘Darwinist’ .

Darwin’s theory of evolution she regards with the utmost contempt and irritation. She observes that Darwinists – or ‘Darwiniacs’ as she frequently calls them – cling to their theory with fanatical faith rather than subject it to scientific criticism. Not that she is against fanatical faith as such. She can see great merit in it as long as it is faith in the supernatural.

Evolution, she claims, cannot stand up to rigorous scientific testing. It has no proofs. That is why evidence for it, such as the Piltdown Skull, has had to be forged. Having no proofs, and failing the Popperian ‘falsifiability test’, it is ‘pseudo-science’. Those who embrace it do so, in her opinion, only to spite God or God-believers, and to let themselves ‘off the hook morally’ – as if moral laws really had been dictated to us by a divine legislator and not, as they must have been, conceived for sound reasons by human beings.

‘No [lack of] evidence will ever shake their confidence in the theory of evolution,’ she accuses Darwinian biologists. And I suspect that no lack of evidence will ever shake her confidence in the theory of divine creation. But is it not passing strange that while she absolutely cannot believe in the possibility of simple life-forms evolving into complex life-forms, she has no difficulty at all in believing that a virgin gave birth to a son? It is always interesting to hear the religious demanding iron proofs of any and every scientific finding or idea that calls a divine Creator into question, while they themselves hold unshakeably to beliefs which have no proofs whatsoever.

So how does Coulter account for the world being as it is? She ascribes creation – following the current intellectual fashion among the religious when they argue with evolutionists – to an ‘Intelligent Designer’, aka God. And although evolution, to her certain satisfaction, is a busted theory, if it really did happen then it was God that made it happen. ‘God can do anything, including evolution.’ In fact she discovers that if you look at evolution as God’s handiwork, it is not so absurd after all. The higher species came into existence because God was learning as he went along:

‘The successive appearance of more complex species does seem to show something that looks like progress. But that has nothing to do with the Darwinian mechanism of natural selection. One also sees progress in the Wright brothers’ increasingly complex air-planes, a master’s paintings … progressions all notable for being the product of “intelligent designers”. The appearance of progress hardly establishes mutation and natural selection as the engine of change. To the contrary, the similarities that so mesmerize Darwiniacs look more like the progress of a designed object than the result of a series of lucky accidents. Far from the fantastic competition of a dog-eat-dog struggle to survive, we see a fossil record that reveals a rather clean, well-organized sequence.’

So the Intelligent Designer had to work on his ideas to get them better and better? He needed to improve? Quite apart from the question of what an intelligent designer was intelligently designing the world for, which the religious never can tell us, doesn’t the idea that He or It has to learn as He or It goes along ruin the notion of a perfect, infallible, omniscient, omnipotent Being? Coulter doesn’t notice that, or at least doesn’t say.

One of the facts she raises to question Darwin is the ‘explosion’ of species in the Cambrian period. Darwin himself, she says, referred to the great difficulty of explaining the absence of ‘vast piles of strata rich in fossils’ before it. Therefore, she implies, they could not have evolved and must have been – what? Plonked down on Earth all at once by the hand of the experimenting Creator? And where was Man then? ‘We have dominion over the plants and animals on Earth,’ she writes, because the Book of Genesis says so. Where was Man when the dinosaurs stalked the Earth? Why did we not have dominion over them? Or did we? Perhaps Man was already there enjoying dominion over those gigantic creatures, and maybe his fossil remains will yet turn up in the geological strata. Just when did God fashion a man from the dust and a woman from one of his ribs and set them down fully-formed in Eden?

And why did He give them an appendix?

Jillian Becker

Posted under by Jillian Becker on Saturday, July 18, 2009

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  • veggiedude

    I have a problem with atheists who support the GOP… they are no different from gays who support the GOP. What is it? A brain disorder from reality?

    • Don L

      Apparently, it is one of many. many, many problems you have. Lack of knowledge, reasoning and independent thinking are but a few. Support the GOP…you are an unthinking jerk! You’re limited to categorizing according to the ignorancy of the sweeping generality…aren’t you?

      • veggiedude

        Lack of knowledge, reasoning and independent thinking? I rejected Catholicism and became atheist at age 13. By age 14 I rejected the idea of eating animals. TWO examples of independent thought at an early age. I have never drank alcohol or done drugs, an area where peer pressure usually wins over. I am 54 years old now. Where are YOUR credentials as a rational, reasoning and independent thinker? All I see is a person lockstep and tow with RUSH LIMBAUGH.

        • Don L

          I say you have a lack of knowledge because of your misuse of Washington’s quote. I say you lack reasoning because when maxparrish attempted to get you to see the error in your comment, you unreasonably rejected it as, subsequently, you referenced the quote incorrectly again. And, I charge you with failed independent thinking because having been provided with the idea of classical liberalism vs liberal…you have failed to actually verify the explanation and then attempt to clarify your use/misuse of the Washington quote. Independent thinkers would have checked it out.

          My credentials…since you think it matters, having referenced it as an asset…I’m 68…son. Now as to your atheism and leaving catholism…I’m figuring, given the totallity of your responses herein, that you stopped the one stupidity of believing in god because you took up the equavalent stupidity of believing in the socialist dogma of feel good: merely swapping one failure to think for another failure of thought

          Atheism, as opposed to habit swapping, actually requires thought. Your leftism reveals you aren’t doing anything like thinking…or you’d know what’s wrong with Obama and all things socialistic. As for taking up veggies…an unnatural condition for an omniverous specie…again, anti-specie behavior isn’t anything more than a reflection of the cult aspects of the leftist non-thinking rituals…See how good of a follower I am of the Nobama cause…I don’t eat meat…I deprive myself for the rulers…oooh….accept me, accept me…I want to belong!

          The balance of my credentials reside in my recognizing the foolishness of your comments and the emptiness of your causes. Most of us on this site would love to have you spell out what is good about Obama…we like humor. And since it would be easier for me to say what is good about him than to list his negatives…I’m done…can’t think of anything he’s worth a damn at!

          Oh, let’s see…I may have actually listened to Rush about a dozen times since the Clinton impeachment days. I don’t have AM in the house and I’ve been fortunate enought to have retired about 20 years ago…I’m home more than in the car. And, in the car it’s FM and lite rock/rock classics. However, I do think Rush is smart…then I also think he’s an idiot for being a god promoter/defender.

          Say, are you a union member too? So, don’t forget to list the wonders of Obama and the benefits of the progresive/leftis movement…son.

          • veggiedude

            Washington’s quote: I already replied to Jillian Becker about that in the context of her article so it’s a closed issue. President Obama is a much better and improved president than what there was before. Bush kept up the ban on stem cell research. Bush listened to the voice from GOD in his head and admitted so on many occasion. If Bush is your idea of a great conservative I laugh in your face. And what was the GOP doing when they OWNED all three branches of government for SIX YEARS? The GOP is a joke and there is no reason to believe what they say now based on those SIX YEARS.

            • liz

              Nobody here particularly thinks Bush or the GOP are good conservatives. But that doesn’t change the fact that Obama is the sorriest excuse for a President in history. Unless you actually like communist dictatorship.

            • veggiedude

              Communist dictatorship??? Please explain that remark. I really want to understand why you think he is a communist. Really.

            • Don L

              Frank Marshall Davis, mentor to a young Barack Obama, Communist Party USA (CPUSA) member 47544 and, for many years, editor/contributor of the Chicago Communist Party newspaper He mentored Obama from 1970 until his death in 1987. For a great deal of Obama’s life

              Davis was as aggressive & hardcore a communist as is possible and was always on the FBI watch list. Obama continued his communist exposure until he began to cloak his true intents as he prepared to enter politics. He stopped calling himself a communist, as others did, like Hillary, and adopted the PC term of ‘progressive’.

              Of course, as socialist/communist became liberal, liberal became progressive…nice sounding to hide the fact that it is liberty ending totalitarianism by force that is the ultimate outcome of their objectives. Of course, it’s gone full-term whereas progressive is now recognized as meaning socialist/communist.

              Today Obama implements his communist plans by marginalizing Congress, rigging the judicial system and illegally ignoring the limits on his Constitutional duties by misapplication of executive powers and (senate advise & consent be damned) csar & bureau implemented regulations…all dictatorial actions.

              Veggiedude, as you have exposed, you have no original knowledge of anything. You regurgitate the progressive party propaganda nearly verbatim. You are a useful stooge for the left…and you lack the self care to investigate, learn or otherwisw come to your own mind. (I have presents for you below…maybe change this.)

              For you it iseems to be easier to be led by the leftist gimmicks of sounds and feels good verbiage that foresee utopian love and warmth for all. Social justice, income equality, it takes a village and the rest all sound nice. They are, however, all absurd impossibilities that history has shown result in economically destroyed societies and the death of millions.

              This is the nature of your Obama. He is a lying SOB, an enemy of the America of our founders…a delusional fool destroying the very threads of the American principles. But, you are unread, ill informed and merely the mouthpiece for those who will chain and rule you. You march down their path to your own destruction,

              Unfortunately, there are many like you. Dems and Obama get elected. The progressives rule, having taken control in the early 1900s, compulsory schooling which is their indoctrination factory. Like you, turning out conditoned to be mentally bland and curiosity empty is the desired outcome of ‘education’.

              Here, try to begin to learn. Below are a links to a couple of free books, in PDF format that describes conservative economics…Everything, all political ideologies too, is about economics…hopefully these will open your eyes/mind toward beginning a journey of discovery:

              http://library.mises.org/books/Ludwig%20von%20Mises/Liberty%20and%20Property.pdf

              http://library.mises.org/books/Ludwig%20von%20Mises/Economic%20Policy%20Thoughts%20for%20Today%20and%20Tomorrow.pdf

            • liz

              That covers it well!
              I’ll just mention, for example, “Obama care”, which is a giant socialist takeover of a sixth of the economy, the end goal of which is “single payer healthcare”, which means government run, as in communist.
              He’s ramming that through whether anyone wants it or not, as in dictator.
              Or how about his ban on drilling in the Gulf? He used the ” environmentalist” excuse to kill whole swaths of the private sector economy and jobs with that one, and ignored rulings by federal judges that it was unconstitutional. The list goes on and on. Try educating yourself – the archives on this site might help.

            • veggiedude

              President Nixon’s own proposed healthcare plan was far more progressive than ‘Obamacare’ and I don’t see anyone calling him a communist.

              The Affordable Healthcare Act (“ObamaCare”) is essentially a conservative approach originated by the Heritage Foundation in 1989.

              It was enacted into law in Massachusetts by Gov Mitt Romney in 2006 and praised as a good conservative idea by Tea Party favorite Jim DeMint in 2007.

              The Republicans originated the idea of the insurance mandate.

              President Obama adopted that idea as a compromise measure.

            • liz

              Like I said, nobody is arguing that the GOP is conservative. Just because sellout career politicians who happened to be Republican pushed the same agenda doesn’t make it a good plan!
              “Many years of development” is right – all the way back to the beginnings of the communist infiltration of an already corrupt government with the socialist agenda.
              Obama TAUGHT workshops on Saul Alinsky. Maybe you should find out who he was.

            • veggiedude

              There you go, dropping names again. Guilt by association? Look at the man himself. Where is the evil in Obama? Where is the anti-american or the communist? This is why people like me see you as radical extremists. You don’t point to an issue and debate it, instead its wave your arms and say LOOK OVER THERE.

            • Don L

              Read the free booklets jackass…I haven’t the time to waste educating a moron! Your ignorance has no bounds. So long kid!

            • liz

              You apparently look at Obama with no “association” whatsoever – like, to reality. You have obviously chosen to ignore well known facts about him in order to keep your rose colored glasses on.
              As Don has pointed out, you’ve already drunk the kool-aid and trying to get through to you is pointless.
              Have a nice life in lala land.

            • Don L

              That nobody read the bill, that the liar-in-chief said evryone, including the public, would always have time to read any bill (they didn’t), that Pelosi, his agent in the house, commented that it has to pass before you’ll know what’s in it and that the senate Dems apllied an obscure ruling to jam it through…that to this total a__hole is not being ‘rushed through’. He is a loser…a lefty trait.

              And yet agin, Ayn Rand is proven right…you just can’t have a rational dicussion with irrational people.

            • Don L

              Like watching a truly bad comedian…I’m extremely embarrassed for you…your stupidity just rages in the virtually word-for-word irrelevant propaganda you post. You don’t exhibit selective memory…you exude total dumbass!!!

            • veggiedude

              Conspiracy nonsense. And Obama has used executive powers far less than any modern president. Don’t believe me, it’s a fact that is easily looked up. Just as I thought, your hatred is aimed at a strawman – one of your own dementia. Get yourself checked for mad cow. That’s what happens when you eat too much meat.

            • Jillian Becker

              Hmm. Adolf Hitler was a vegetarian. A man with a sound and healthy brain, would you say?

            • Don L

              So, you deny the existance of Frank Marshall Davis and his influence on that SOB in the whitehouse…did you look him up?

              It isn’t the number of exec orders used…it’s what they are and how they impact society. But, again, you didn’t look any of your comments up, you are reguritating the party line. You are just too stupid to know you don’t know!

              You posted “Please explain that remark. I really want to know…”. You lied. The unabashed simple evidence was presented…you wisked it away without any investigation. I provided you links to two very small, and free, booklets…no thanks and you certainly didn’t read them.

              And, you never answered Jillian. You lack some basic communication skills relative to the english language if you believe you have provided any answers or meaningful discussion of any kind. Indeed, you have no answers and chose to not learn so all you do is ‘flop on the deck like a fish”.
              Finally, you are a pitifull joke who is empty of mind…the typical leftwing soldier in the army of false flag recruits. You march against your country while believing the false messages and motives. You give atheism a bad name and you are No american.
              I tried, but you are just not worth anymore time!

            • Don L

              This guy is the enemy. He is what the world thinks atheists are like. It’s why people cannot distinguish between socialism and atheism. And their observations are predicated on unthinking zombies for the god of socialism.

              This fool is absolutely without capability to think. As I posted prior, he has merely swapped one brainless habit for another. That he did it at an early age evidences his vessel was empty early on.

              Anyway…there is no reasoning with him. He only returns with democrat/progressive talking points…like we’ve never seen/heard them before. So, I’m outta dis one…too much da Nobama coolaid from dis one!

    • liz

      Yeah, and don’t forget blacks who support the GOP. They suddenly lose their “victim” status when they stray off the reservation, don’t they? Obviously anyone who dares to think for themselves rather than parrot leftist propaganda has a brain disorder!

      • Don L

        Please don’t mention anything to him about the Second Amendment and arms. I’m trying to keep my temper in check. If he attacks the right to bear arms…I’m gunna havta blow his carrots and cabbage away! And, them radishes and lettuce…I’ve got other methods planned for them and the other unanimal stuff!!!

        Say, I wundda if the dude has eber ate a wabbit? Tastes like frog legs! LOL

  • veggiedude

    “As Mankind becomes more liberal, they will be more apt to allow that all those who conduct themselves as worthy members of the community are equally entitled to the protections of civil government. I hope ever to see America among the foremost nations of justice and liberality.”

    — George Washington

    • Jillian Becker

      Please make your point clearly, veggiedude. Why have you quoted these statements?

      • veggiedude

        If you think “Environmentalists want mass infanticide, zero population growth, reduced standards of living, and vegetarianism. The core of environmentalism is that they hate mankind” is essentially true, then I can use good old George.

        • Don L

          Maybe you should eat some pork fat or beef ribs…your clarity is clouded by too many veggies…it seems. In todays terms…are you a liberal or a conservative? Are you a Greenie Obama lover or a free-market capitalist conservative? Simple questions…how ’bout a straight answer?

          • veggiedude

            What’s wrong with Obama? His stance on gun control? Not very different from Reagans. His stance on the ACA? It was a conservative idea, developed over many years by the same and then first implemented by GOP Gov Mitt Romney. Is it that he bailed out Wall Street? Do tell.

            • Don L

              OK…you have flown your colors and you are a flaming Kook who has drunk the Dem/Socialist/Nobama coolaid.

              Nothing you just spewed has any validity…and, I suspect you will defend it, however, by spewing leftist propaganda and more silliness.

              That you even presented these arguments
              /comparisons/questions stimulates a horrid emotion in me for you…pity.

              You’ve never done any original research and wholly rely on refuted sources. The proof, now that you’ve exposed yourself, is the absolute misunderstanding of the Washington quote, and the history of the word liberal, you continue to exhibit EVEN AFTER HAVING BEEN PROVIDED AN EXPLANATION OF THE ERROR OF YOUR COMMENT/POST. I feel so sorry for you…an idiot liberal adhering to the leftist tradition of stupid until death.

            • veggiedude

              You refuse to answer the basic question. What is wrong with Obama? Spewing hyperbole is not an answer.

            • Don L

              see above reply to your post: Lack of knowledge, reasoning and independent thinking?

            • maxparrish

              “If you think “Environmentalists want mass infanticide, zero population growth, reduced standards of living, and vegetarianism. The core of environmentalism is that they hate mankind” is essentially true, then I can use good old George.”

              Huh??

              I’m sorry but Obama *wasn’t* the basic question. That is hopping from subject to subject to make right turns when you have no answer.
              Disassembling and diversionary ploys ‘is not an answer’.

    • maxparrish

      There is a total difference between “Classical Liberal” and the liberal of today.
      I believe Washington was speaking of the former as he was one of the framers of the Constitution, which is a Libertarian philosophy.
      It certainly wasn’t the desire in his mind to see the liberal social experiment of today.

      • veggiedude

        You only have to go back 40 years to know the ‘conservatives’ of today are nothing like the ones of back then, you know, the ones that used to be for fiscal responsibility and for Feds to stay out of local politics. News this week they want to sue Obama for not going after the States that have legalised pot. So much for States rights, huh?

        • maxparrish

          Your Point?? That has what to do with Classical liberal and social liberal except to change the subject if it isn’t acceptable. I don’t believe we were speaking of conservatives.

          Washington’s use of liberal was in connection of liberty. The Constitution was to protect people from government and each other, and the fruits of their labor.

          The subject is you have mistaken Washington’s quote as meaning the liberal as you know it, which is literally not the same.

          I am a Libertarian. I don’t care about what anyone puts into their body, but that really isn’t the subject, is it.

      • Don L

        I was trying to give him the benefit of the doubt. His recent posts take that away! LOL. He doesn’t know the differences as you’ve explained them. And, he’s had considerable time to look it up…confirm it and correct his commentary…he decided to stay stupid. He’s a lefty…what could one even hope for? You tried!

  • GodsOne
    • Jillian Becker

      Your point being … ?

      • GodsOne

        Many people have misconceptions of what Darwinism actually was. This link helps to clear it up.

        • liz

          Yes, many people do have misconceptions about Darwinism and evolution in general – namely, those who choose to ignore the overwhelming body of scientific evidence proving it to be fact – in favor of “evidence” derived from the writings of primitive, superstitious men who had no concept of the scientific method of ascertaining fact.

        • Jillian Becker

          It does nothing of the kind. All it does is report a churchman’s comment which only serves to demonstrate his own incomprehension of evolution.

  • Philo Vaihinger

    What was Douglass Adams’ theory? The white mice put us here? I forget.

  • Paine

    And did Eve have and umbilicus?

    **snark**

    Brilliant dismantling of the Right’s Sacred Horse, Ann Coulter.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/BSXOJSGY2CFNGV44B2DDP2AROY Bobgood1

    You Atheist spend a lot of time trying to convince people of Religion, that you are Atheist. Funny.

    • George

                             No Bobgood1    , we atheists don’t spend a lot of time  ( or any time for that matter ) trying to convince people of  religion that  we are atheists.   That’s a given.   Duhhhhhh  !!!!!!     There is no reason to convince anyone that we are atheists . It’s arrogant people like you who have no problem with fundamentalist christian zealots ( or other religionists – aka theists ) perpetually trying to shove your indoctrinated theological dogma down our throats .     We are NOT the ones telling people that if they don’t accept secularism that they are going to burn in some eternal secular hellfire. We are not the ones filling houses of worship and bashing anyone and everyone who doesn’t accept our beliefs .   Secular freethinkers today are simply finally standing up and speaking up to be recognized like everyone else.   People like you feel that it’s ok for you and  your religious cohorts to impose YOUR religious beliefs on us and everyone else but as soon as we speak up for ourselves then we have to put up with your ad hominem attacks ,  bashing , mockery, vilifying , maligning , denigrating , defamation , lies & deceit, threats , violence , discrimination , harrassment, ostracism and more 24/7 .   
                           You knew that this was an atheist website when you posted on here but instead of simply asking a question for information purposes or trying to engage in some form of civil discourse , you come on here with your trolling derogatory behavior   per your comment.  Now if there is something you have of as a question then ask , and we will give you a straightforward and honest answer .  If you’re going to post insulting and/or sarcastic comments  then may I suggest that you simply STFU  !!!!!!!    You’re the one whos funny or rather pathetic !  Grow up and get a life !

  • Brad

    Political conservatism and atheism seem like obvious philosophical counterparts, but the American landscape of political opinion differs completely. The same skepticism, reliance on evidence and reason, and aversion to illegitimate authority that “knows best” how I should think and act is the source of my conservatism AND my atheism. 
    Knee-jerk, uncritical dismissal of atheism persists mostly due to its associtation with the Left. The communists and socialists that decimated Europe and Asia had atheistic manifestos, forever contaminating the idea to free-market westerners forever. The tyrannical despots of the communist regimes, however, began with atheism as an intellectual ideal and sustained it because one could not have fanatical, unthinking allegiance to the state if one spend it all on the church.
    Eric Hoffer brilliantly elucidated the essentially religious nature of secular mass movements in his book, “The True Believer.”
    Even though most intellectual conservatives seem to “indulge” religion as a personal liberty (which it is)  I think  they fear alienating their traditional constituents by approaching it with the same skeptical rigour that they approach the absurdities of leftist ideology. Dedication to truth, however, compels the intellectually honest to do just that. 

    • George

      Except atheism didn’t decimate Europe and Asia . If you’re referring to the dictators who ruled Asia and Europe , let’s examine the facts.   Adolp Hitler was a staunch Catholic and admitted such in his writings and speeches.  Joseph Stalin was accused by US theologians of being atheistic but Stalin attended a seminary twice  ( once as a teenager and later in his adult life ). Stalin was a staunch supporter and follower of the Russian Orthodox Church ( which prevailed strongly in the USSR and actually wielded the true power and control in that communist nation with Islam also having a significant although minor position in that nation —just look at the Russian architecture with it’s flourishing minarettes which is islamic architecture clearly , and acknowledged by historians as well )  , and during his later years preceding his death , Stalin converted back to hardcore religious belief and ferver .  It was only rumored by a close associate of Stalin via third party hearsay that Stalin badmouthed religion and I have the exact documented quotations if you ever want me to post them later. It was during this time after converting back to religion in hiS last remaning years that he was considered to be the most ruthless. It was only during his middle years that he was accused of being atheistic and even that is questionable considering that during these mid life years Stalin stated that it was his intent to start his own religion.  Both Pol Pot  , the Marxist who studied in Paris France ( whose real name was Sadath Sar )  and Mao Tse Tung  (aka- Ze Dong ) were Buddhists . Mao often switched to variations of Taoism and Shintoism but was never a secularist.     Alexandro Fidel Castro was never an atheist but always a Liberation Theologist and continually embraced Liberation Theology staunchly .  American Christian  theologians have branded anyone who doesn’t embrace the top three Abrahamic religions as a seculr heathen , infidel or atheists and they do so in order to denigrate secular freethought.
                          Actually conservatism is more in accord to secularism than theology becasue conservative ideology demands proof , veification and substantiation except the religious Christian right that has virtually hijacked the conservative movement just as the liberals of the radical left have virtually hijacked the secular freethought movement.  It’s a sad state of affairs no matter which way you look at it.

      • Jillian Becker

        Yes, please George, do post the exact documented quotations (with sources if possible) on Stalin’s late-life return to religion. I’d be very interested, and I think others would be too. 

        • George

          Do keyword  search on internet under the title :
          [     Were Stalin , Hitler and Pol Pot atheists ?   ] ,  the actual website is http://www.freethoughtnation.com/index.php?option=com…id…stalin
                                It indicates Stalin converted back to religion in his later life. I have another article in a paper file in a box in storage stating that it was AFTER Stalin converted back to religion that he was the most ruthless . I will search for that one and then present info for substantiation.  I have a paper file on Hitler, Mao Tse Tung, Hitler, Pol Pot and Castro and I will later jot down the source names and titles as well.  The Chistians have used their false propaganda via the media to villify atheists perpetually.

      • http://www.thereligionofpeace.com/ True Freethinker

        Hitler rejected Catholicism, never attended mass as an adult, murdered 3 million Catholics in the Holocaust and constantly criticized Catholicism and Christianity as a “lie invented by the Jews”. Your view is based on the fact that Hitler had a Catholic mother (and an atheist father) and he said some vaguely pro religious phrases in Mein Kampf and during election campaigns (sounds like Obama).

        Stalin was completely atheistic. He attended seminary as a young man, though like many, he was probably already an Atheist and went to seminary as a career move. Stalin persecuted Christianity in the USSR demolishing cathedrals and driving the Russian Orthodox Church underground. During WW2, after being invaded by Hitler, Stalin relented in his persecution of religion because he was too busy fighting WW2 and trying to survive. Allowing people to start rebuilding churches was also a morale boost as Russians may stop resisting Stalin’s regime and start fighting Hitler. You are confusing a respite in persecution with church power. That’s like claiming that if Hitler had stopped killing Jews for a few days, he must have converted to Judaism and Jews would have been the true power in Nazi Germany.

        Pol Pot & Mao were both secular Atheists who persecuted Buddhists destroying Buddhist temples. Pol Pot murdered every Buddhist monk and nun he could find in Cambodia. Mao invaded Buddhist Tibet driving the Dalai Lama into exile. Shintoism is Japanese Emperor worship, no Chinese person would be interested in such a thing.

        Fidel Castro is an Atheist. Liberation Theology is followed by some Latin American Catholics but Castro like Ché Guevara is a staunch Atheist.

        Your irrational comment is an insult to this site.

        • Jillian Becker

          True Freethinker – None of them did what they did IN ORDER TO spread atheism. Atheism was part of the package for the Communists, but their chief aim was to impose Communism.

          George was a valued reader, who contributed often, informatively, and charmingly to this site. He never insulted it. He was an asset to it. We miss him sadly.

    • Liz

      Brad –
      I think that is an excellent point that both conservatism and atheism require the same reliance on evidence and reason, etc., that you mention.  They are NOT antithetical, but, in fact, are completely compatible, in contrast to conservatism and religion, or atheism and leftism, for the very reasons you pointed out.  But since both atheism and conservatism have been “contaminated” by their association with leftism and religion, respectively, they seem to be forever polarized.  

  • George

    Well folks  , I just happen to be net surfing and I came across this fantastic book that counters that nut-case Ann Coulter. The book is titled— ” Brainless : The Lies and Lunacy of Ann Coulter “    by Joe Maguire   ( hard cover ). You can even order at amazon , com or your local bookstore.  I read the reviews and they are great. Check it out !

  • Anonymous

    Interesting web site. But I’m suprised to see people with enough intelligence to understand religion for the blight on humanity that it is yet dumb enough to fall for the idiocy of conservatism. Are you people like a missing link between ape like religious conservatives and fully evolved human beings?  Were you raised as brain dead conservative Christian scum who somehow managed to find just one clue? No, let me guess, you’re libertarians who think you’re clever because you read an Ayn Rand book and reveled because you have no more conscience than she did right? And BTW have you ever looked at Ann Coulter’s adams apple? She obviously used to be a man. Which explains her behavior: she’s a transgendered lunatic projecting  her own self hatred against liberals to compensate.

    • C. Gee

      Hark at the authentic voice of  supremacism. Progressives  - like their intellectual forbears, the nazis – are again distorting Darwin to establish their own superiority. “Fully evolved” are you?  Or a fossil of the ubermensch species of the last century? 

      • Anonymous

        Just exactly what is the difference between conservatives and the Nazi party? No, seriously. It sure can’t be that conservatives would never launch a first strike attack against a defenseless country. They most certainly did that. Nor can they claim that that they would never allow the government to spy on its citizens. Or even torture them. Because they did both of those too. They’ve even done away with the right to a trial, the right to an attorney, and even notification of families when the government grabs someone off the street. Just invoke the magic word, “terrorist” and the GOP can treat anyone any way they want. Yet not one single person at Gitmo was ever convicted of terrorism by Alberto Gonzales. Not one. Ever. So what’s the difference?

        Maybe they think God is on the conservative side or as the Nazi slogan had it “Gott Mit Uns”. Did you know that 98% of the Germans polled in 1939 claimed to be Christian? Still I suspect that conservatives would scoff at all this and point out that they haven’t gathered people up and exterminated them by the hundreds of thousands or even millions. Were you aware that Hitler took his inspiration for those acts from the way the United States treated the American Natives? So, yeah, American conservatives have done that too. In fact they did it FIRST. And lets not forget the 650,000 Iraqis who have died as a result of Bush’s lies. Yes, I know conservatives will never admit that number. Just as the Nazis would like to pretend that the Holocaust never happened. Odd that many conservatives want to bring about a fundamentalist theocracy just like the most extreme Muslims want. Birds of a feather. Nazis wanted to “kill all the Jews for Jesus”. Conservatives want to “kill all the Arabs and let God sort them out.” And the only reason they tolerate Jews is because they think the rise of Israel will bring about the second coming of Jesus at which point those who don’t convert will spend eternity in the fires of Hell. (Read Matthew 25 to learn what Jesus really thinks about conservatives.)

        What’s really funny is when conservatives make the claim that the Nazis operated under a system of “National Socialism”. That’s like believing that the Bush administration was serious when they came up with the title “Clear Skies Initiative” then put the biggest polluters in charge or the “Healthy Forest Initiative” that lets loggers clear cut whatever they want even federal land. No, the Nazis were FASCISTS. And what is a fascist? The American Heritage Dictionary defines fascism as “a system of government that exercises a dictatorship (read “Unitary Executive”) of the extreme right, typically through the merging of state and business leadership, together with belligerent nationalism” Fascism was named by Italian dictator Benito Mussolini. Mussolini noted in the entry he wrote for the Encyclopedia Italiana, “Fascism should more appropriately be called corporatism because it is the merger of state and corporate power.” Correct me if I’m wrong but isn’t that the GOP platform?

        If anyone wonders how the Nazis became as evil as they were I would point out that we watched the methodology for 8 years under Bush. And while it may be attractive in its early stages (Mussolini made the trains run on time) it doesn’t end up well. Everything Hitler did was in compliance with German law. That’s more than one can say for Bush. But like Bush when Adolph felt constrained by the law he just changed the laws. Just like Bush used a little known clause in the so called “Patriot Act” to replace federal judges who prosecuted Republicans.

        So, again, just exactly what IS the difference between today’s conservative and the Nazis? Surely there’s something. Isn’t there? Well I’ve been working that question for the last 8 years and the only differences I can see is that Nazis were willing to make sacrifices for their country whereas conservatives whine about even paying their taxes. And Nazis weren’t stupid like today’s conservatives. Nazis gave us our space program. Conservatives think people rode dinosaurs 5000 years ago. And just like the Nazi scientists went to NASA their propagandists joined the GOP. Which is why the GOP is so good at manipulating empty headed morons like you.

        • C. Gee

          No, sorry, I got to Godwin’s Law first.  So I win. 

        • Liz

          “a dictatorship…thru the merging of state and business leadership” is EXACTLY what Obama is doing.  And if the only difference between the Nazis and the conservatives is that the conservatives whine about paying their taxes, then I guess that makes you a good little obedient slave of the government who dutifully bows to their all knowing wisdom and allows yourself to be screwed.

    • Andrew M

      Do you have a proposal for a superior political position, laplacesdemon? Right now, it just seems like you are berating us merely for being conservatives and libertarians without actually addressing our arguments in favor of this stance.

      Another thing to consider is that evolution is directionless. Every species alive today is “fully evolved” until the next present occurs.

  • Anonymous

    Interesting web site. But I’m suprised to see people with enough intelligence to understand religion for the blight on humanity that it is yet dumb enough to fall for the idiocy of conservatism. Are you people like a missing link between ape like religious conservatives and fully evolved human beings?  Were you raised as brain dead conservative Christian scum who somehow managed to find just one clue? No, let me guess, you’re libertarians who think you’re clever because you read an Ayn Rand book and reveled because you have no more conscience than she did right?  I wonder if you realize that sick woman used to write love letters to a man who was in prison for kidnapping a 12 year old girl for ransom and then chopping her up for kicks. Well, anyway, congrats on finding that one clue anyway. Maybe given another million years you will evolve into real people. And BTW Ann Coulter used to be a man. You guys ever take a good look at that Adam’s apple of hers?

  • Mark

    I’m late to the game, but brilliant, Jillian. I own this book and am definitely a fan of her wit and critical thinking. However, her sense of honest introspect certainly falls short; you seem to have touched quite accurately on all the points I’d have mentioned in whatever amateur critique I could muster. Ann and yourself also share the same sense of humor – for better or worse. :D

    • George

      Hey Mark, you know what really puzzles the heck out of me————– The conservative  Christians  are so logical , analytical, pragmatic , scientific  and reasonable on everything in life except they can’t shake the superstitious belief  regarding  the make-believe invisible Daddy In The sky.  They demand proof of everything else in life and existence yet  they embrace the belief in the invisible Space Ghost, or invisible  Cosmic Santa Claus , or invisible Sky Spook  unquestionably on superstitious face value , all because of some book of 2,000 years ago.  Then on the other hand we have atheists or secularists who proclaim to be so rational, logical, reasonable and pragmatic but they do NOT put their rational or pragmatic mindset generally into action , but only pay lip-service to situations and conflicts.   Amazing , isn’t it ?   Ann Coulter would be an amazing person if she wasn’t so brainwashed with Christian religious superstition . This is why I only attended only one Tea Party assembly , because I couldn’t “stomach” all the GOD talk. I was becoming nauseated.  It is so mind boggling—ha ha  !  Simply amazing !

      • Mark

        I suffered similarly. I was a die-hard Limbaugh fan and as active as I could be in the grass-roots/anti-socialist campaigns this past election and thereafter; same as you – I couldn’t stomach it. Some of the most civic-minded, awesome people occupy these slots of import and influence but they muddy all of it with the same ghostly, esoteric mumbo-jumbo that has contributed to more death and societal regression than any other factor known to man. In response to this dastardly query on my behalf, theists labeled me, simply, vain; that’s regarding my arrogance in being blessed with this mindset yet not giving due thanks to the absentee father-figure that blessed me with it.
        Words fail me, sadly. All I can muster is: “Dude, that’s… a conundrum.”

        • George

          I had a Christian friend say to me once—– ” I’m going to pray for you ” .    I replied– ” You go ahead and pray for me and I will think for you “   I then said– ” If you want to waste your time uttering words into thin air to some make believe invisible ghost in the sky, then  go for it ” .  I then went on to say—- “  While you’re on your knees begging and grovelling to some make-believe invisible Sky Daddy”  I’ll just  do what is pragmatically necessary to get real results”.  
                   He sneared at me and said I was nuts. I then said  ” If facing reality and not worshiping some mythical fairy-tale make believe invisible being in the sky makes me nuts, then the fact that you engage in this cartoon mentality makes you the epitome of a psychotic comatose mindless brainwashed robot ——I’ll take nuts over that any day “.  He said one day I will see the light . I told him I saw the light just a while ago when I checked my car headlights and I didn’t need some invisible outer space supernatural boogey-man as a crutch  to guide me.  He then waved me off and walked away and I did likewise  and just as many before him , I hate to say it but I have one less “friend”   now as a result and I never really regard anyone as a true friend if I am going to be judged by my embracing some BS superstition.   So he can go “pack sand” as far as I am concerned.   I’ve developed a thick skin, and I don’t give a crap anymore what these Bible-humpers think of me.  I am always nice to them until they start attacking me because I am a secular rational freethinker and that’s when  the gloves come off.    They eventually get the message ( sometimes they get even worse ).    Many atheists become loners as a result of ostracism and rejection .   We all have an uphill battle  and we have to keep up the fight.   Take care guy !

  • http://www.ralphlauren-poloshirts.co.uk ralph lauren polo shirts

    All I hear is a bunch of whining about something that you could fix if you werent too busy looking for attention

  • Buseaair

    It’s too bad people don’t put the same standard of reason and logic to their faith as they do other aspects of their lives.

  • Bupshaw3

    I am a high school science teacher and one of the important ideas that I communicate to my students is the idea that people that the opinions expressed by people in areas where they have no expertise are simply opinions and do not necessarily constitute informed opinions. Anne Coulter, as you point out quite well, is completley uninformed about the evidence for (and attempts to manufacture evidence against) the Theory of Evolution by Natural Selection. She consistently rejects all evidence that conflicts with her belief system and comes to conclusions that have no supporting evidence.

    If Anne Coulter is willing to suspend critical thought when discussing evolution, are her opinions on other subjects also generated without recourse to rationality?

  • benn

    Very interesting.Being an atheist-conservative from the post-communist state and the reader of “American Thinker”,I search for my social tipe`s thoughts. As the scientific atheist I think the term “conservatism” is restricted by American cultural and political horizon,because the majority of cultures have nothing interesting to conservate. I highly appreciate the humanitarian achievements of many American churches

    • George

      I agree with you on that Benn and I’ll explain why. To many people the term “conservative” means to maintain what they consider “traditional values” or the traditions, “values” of the accepted practices of a society that has been carried on for so long. They therefore want to “conserve” or maintain past practices which have overwhelmingly been established as the “norm” of that society , nation , or culture. In many “circles” the term conservative could be a negative depending on how you perceive it. For example it was considered NORMAL and accepted in American society to anihilate almost entirely the Native American Indians , confiscate it for the colonials and then claim it for their own, and the enslavement of Africans for centuries brought here by force , and the subjugation of women who were treated like property and not given equal rights as men. If our society had continued to maintain or CONSERVE it’s original “traditions” or the original ” established norm ” then as a black man , I would be wearing chains on my hands and feet and beaten by a whip. Jillian Becker would not be allowed to form this website because she would be considered as a female to be ” out of her place” as a woman. Men ( primarily white males ) would be settling arguments by duals ( but instead of using a 45 Colt 6-shot revolver , it would be a Glock or Uzi ). Every continent would be still “in the Dark Ages ” so to speak, -i.e. Africa, Europe, Australia ( an island continent ) etc.
      I’ve had debates or arguments with fellow atheists when I point out the “cold” or “distant” mindset or demeanor of many atheists who are outstanding when it comes to talking, writing , debating and philosophy, but they absolutely will NOT go out into the communities and get involved in any activities , or establish hospitals like the Christians ( even though many atheists say we are around 10% of the nations population ( that figure has varried from 3% to as much as 13% from what I have read ). Where are the atheist soup kitchens, hospitals, homeless shelters, abuse shelters, local charity groups, mentoring groups , etc ? Oh silly me—- I keep forgetting : They don’t have time. Yeah right ! I keep hearing that same worn out cop out excuse over and over again everywhere I go and I’m NOT buying it. This is where I part ways with many of my fellow atheists and I am a conservative. Some of them actually get ticked off when I say this because I display a mirror image of themselves of which they are in denial and can’t handle the truth.
      If we as atheists had gone into the communities as secular freethinkers, or humanists or whatever name you want to use and helped the poor, help in the communities with community activities and issues with a helping hand , I guarantee we would be more and more highly accepted in this society even if we are NOT religious. I’ve said it before and I’ll keep saying it until I’m blue in the face——— people want action and deeds, and NOT talk and lip service yet the typical atheist is too mentally “blind” and ignorant to see this. Now , I’ll bet some hate the fact that I have spoken this undeniable truth.
      This is why the religionist (theists) are succeeding and we are still lagging behind. We continue to pour out excuses for our inaction yet we proclaim to be so rational . What good is it to be rational in thinking , but that rational thinking is not carried out with rational ACTION ? You can be the most ingenious and smartest person on earth but if you don’t put your ingenuity to work in action and just sit on it then your ingenious mind is in vain and useless. I see Christians all the time engaging in humanitarian activities and I admire them for that ( although many in some cases the effort is to have people convert to their theology ) yet many Christians donate to charities, get involved in the communities and established hospitals, soup kitchens because they believe it’s their duty and they want to help and pitch in while the overwhelming majority of atheists in America just want to sit around in a monthly meeting at a public library or Unitarian Church once a month listening to some freakin’ speaker for an hour and it makes them feel good for that moment as it strokes their egos.
      I was a member of a secular humanist group and an atheist group at the same time who had their combined meetings each month together at a public library. After the meeting I asked for volunteers to assist me in starting a soup kitchen ( even temporary ) in the poor community and I offered to foot the bill out of my pocket all at my expense. I was going to buy the food, the used restaurant kettles, plastic bowls and plates, portable gas stoves,etc, and feed the poor on the weekend. I asked for volunteers and not one atheist/humanist would volunteer ( not even for a few hours on one single weekend ) even though I begged and pleaded , it was to no avail. I walked out of the meeting and resigned from both organizations and wanted NOTHING to do with either group from that moment on. And yet some of the members “trashed” me and accused me of being pushy . They even admitted that all they wanted to do was come together and TALK. It’s always talk talk talk talk and yet I’ve had many atheists tell me they agree with me and that this is the biggest downside of secularists that is a turn off by society in general but no one listens. There are many good things about the church that I admire.
      Please excuse me if this post is lengthy but I need to get this message out seriously. As long as we do nothing but sit around and chit chat behind closed doors and online then society in general will never really respect us or admire us. Why should they ? There is a Christian Bible verse that reads” ” A tree is known by the fruit it bears and a man is known by his works”. He isn’t known by his talk, chit-chatting, lectures, or debates but his/her deeds. Period ! It’s the same old tire worn out excuses over and over and this is the number one reason why society does not recognize us as being a positive contributing factor in our culture. Believe what you want but it’s sad but true . We need to cut the chatter and start rolling up our shirt sleeves and get busy. Unfortunately no one listens . I love this website and I am trying to encourage fellow atheists to get busy and get involved and NOT just talk and philosophize. Robert Ingersoll stated- ” The hands that help are better than the lips that pray”. Put another way– ” The secular hands that help are better than the secular mouths that TALK “. Got it ?

      • Grig035

         I agree that these trends are troubling, George.  But they are in fact in keeping with what appears to be the oldest atheist tradition, certainly the earliest extant atheist philosophy that’s been documented.  It’s the ancient Indian Lokayata doctrine, as pioneered by the ancient Indian sage, Brihaspati, ca. 600 b.c.e.  The earliest extant quote from Brihaspati’s reflections is found in a summary of various then-current doctrines, the Sarva Siddhanta Sangraha.  Not only is Lokayata doctrine the earliest known doctrine to state that there is no deity and no afterlife, Brihaspati is directly quoted as considering all feeding of the indigent and all shelter and/or water for the homeless as a useless waste of effort.  In context, the description in the Sarva Siddhanta Sangraha makes it clear that Brihaspati views such onerous practices as being entirely of a piece with the additional more ascetic practices of various religious observants.  To Brihaspati, care for the vulnerable and personal ascetic practices are equally the result of theistic superstitions, and the whole package can therefore be junked.

        Stone

        • Jillian Becker

          Thank you, Grig035, for this interesting information. We’re in your debt. 

          We’ll explore Lokayata and Brihaspati further. 

        • Grig035

          Further to Jillian Becker’s interest in further exploration of this, some useful information has been gathered here –

          http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=C%C4%81rv%C4%81ka&action=historysubmit&diff=439567052&oldid=439566875#Earliest_description_of_Brihaspati

          Stone

        • George

          Sorry I missed your post of 2 months ago  Grig035.  One thing is certain my friend and that is not all atheists ( just like the religionists ) are monolithic in our thinking or viewpoints. That’s why it’s called a “discussion forum” –to discuss and share ideas, viewpoints, perceptions, and to look for solutions and improve our society and personal lives. Thank you.

      • conarch

        I’m brand new to the site and this is my first reply.  I have some real sympathy for George’s criticism of the atheist community’s lack of good works and can think of several explanations. I live in a quite religious community and find no particular reason to either flaunt my atheism or make it a point of contention. I don’t tolerate any inquiries into my spiritual life nor do I inquire into others. My approach is a personal adoption of the Constitution’s Article 6 prohibition to a religious test in secular life.

        There may well be others, who like myself, join organizations for business reasons, not for charitable giving. I do that on a purely personal basis. I regard that as a matter of personal choice, not subject to George’s or anybody else’s  approval. I also engage in a number of pro bono practices that are again, matters of personal choice, not subject to any group’s approval.

        I certainly emphasize with George’s comment on “conservative” but must remind him that all things, even conservative values, evolve over time and no one I know supports slavery or women’s disenfranchisement because it was once “normal.” That entire argument is spurious and inapplicable to to the issue of atheists community involvement.

        It is the association of conservatism with unbending allegiance to traditional and out-moded values that is perhaps it’s greatest ball and chain, second only to its relationship with fundamental christian practices. That’s one reason I’m very happy to have found this website. If you look at the TEA Party’s priciples, they match up nicely with this sites values statement under “Conservatism” and it is the 75% -80% overlap of their membership with evangelical and fundamental christians that keeps me and any who treasure the wall of separation away from the movement.

        Lastly, I suspect conservative atheists may be libertarian in many respects and joining a group to promote good works comes relatively low on their priority list. Before you accuse and condemn the atheist community, poll them for  what they are doing for their communities as individuals, I’d certainly be  interested in the results. Groups have no monopoly on good works.

        • George

          Conarch , I do not condemn the atheist  community and now you are reading something into what is not meant whatsoever. I do not wear my secular beliefs on my sleeve and nor do I engage in any secular proselytizing whatsoever.   However I believe that we as secular freethinkers need not be ashamed of being rational freethinkers and more of us need to come out of the closet as I have heard more and more atheists who are outspoken individuals  state as well.   I have never attacked anyone for their religious beliefs and I do not make any personal judgement of what you or anyone else has to do or say. At no time did I say you needed my approval and likewise  I certainly don’t need yours as well. It works both ways. Apparently you missed previous posts from before on this matter.
                    About three decades ago , I use to just attend secular meetings and watched Christians bash and mock atheists and present many myths to the public nonstop. The atheists in the group meetings would ALWAYS complain behind closed doors to each other but none of them would make their voices heard publicly. I began writing letters to the editor routinely and even speaking out at public events as well as a secular freethinker meetings .  At no time did I bash anyone but simply cleared the air regarding the many myths about secular freethinkers.  People began to see a different “light” as a result. I then began to do work in the communities and give  generously to charities and it also made the paper .  Many of the same Christians who badmouthed me for being a secular freethinkert began to accept me and act more friendly toward me as a result of my community activities. People in general look at people and their deeds .  This in no way means that people who are not ACTIVE  are not effective at all. You are misinterpreting the entire situation.  What I think or anyone else thinks shouldn’t matter to you  and also vice-versa. 
            I am only citing what I have seen for a fact that works and it has been very positive in the results. What has indeed upset me more than anything is those fellow atheists who were afraid to speak out publicly and yet when  I dared to do so  myself would stand around acting high and mighty and criticize me for my letters or public appearance  and then they would dictate or act like an  arm chair critic of my public input . 
                I am a conservative libertarian ( even though I do not like labels  which I regard as divisive ).  My ambition and goal has been to motivate more and more atheists to come out of the closet, assert themselves when people attack us and to be proud of who we are — no more and no less .

    • Buseaair

      Benn, I am not disagreeing with your thoughts but as the word is “converse” and not “conversate”, it is “conserve” and not “conservate”. These are back-formations of words and as such improper despite being found in some dictionaries in the same way as bastardizations of English such as “ain’t.”

  • George

    Let’s see————— Godless: The Church of Liberalism / ( aka- Superstitionless : The Dwelling of Rationalism. Hmmmmmmm. Yeah , thatta work !

  • http://dentistinflint.com Jim King

    Although I disagree with your compliments of Ann Coulter, I would like to discuss your ideals. You see, I do not understand how you can be a non-believer, and conservative. Almost all conservative ideals are based on their religion, so how can you be conservative and not have a religion. Lets use an example. Gay marriage for instance is opposed because certain sects of Christianity believe it is immoral. What is your logic to think this, if you don’t use religion as your back ground?

    • Jillian Becker

      We have nothing to say for or against gay marriage.

  • http://escapingmediocrity.wordpress.com Natassia

    Good review. :)

    And I think the Intelligent Design movement does Christians a disservice.

    Is it so unreasonable to suppose that evolution is not random but purposeful because nature has been given purpose, and therefore nature is simply doing what it was created to do?

    And yet these IDers are constantly looking for something that may very well not be there — some sort of supernatural imposition into the natural order and way of things. They are looking for miracles with science…not very scientific if you ask me.

    • Jillian Becker

      Thank you for your comment and kind appreciation, Natassia.

      I don’t understand what you mean by “nature has been given purpose” – by whom?

      And by whom or what was it “created”?

  • JDBlues

    Great review! Objective and witty. I'm so glad I found this site.

  • Anthroposmetron

    It is refreshing to read a well thought out review of this book by an atheist–one that is both fair and objective–considering the book is written by a rather strident theist. While I understand that the fundamental disagreements between non-theists and theists will remain, it gives me great satisfaction to see that it does not have to translate into opposing sides of the political coin, particularly when it relates to liberty.

  • Bill

    I apologize in advance, but I do not even give the time of day to religious conservatives. They put capitalism on the back burner and religion as their main policy. Case in point: The Republican disaster of 2001 through 2008, which embraced more government spending.

    I started out as a Randian, so that is why I do not compromise.

    Ann Coulter is no true conservative. True conservatives are skeptics, but not for the sake of skepticism. Occam's razor is a staple of ours.

    • ZAR

      Bill, one thing that bothers me about our world is how little people really think about the Distinctions they make, or he words they use. As I said in the comment below which was actually meant for “The God Delusion”, everyone has a Religion. This includes those who proffess to hate Religion. Religion really is a useless term used by us to make synthetic distinctions beween beleifs, but is a word that simply describes our beleifs about our existance. Religion is not all about Theism. Atheism doesn't make you non-religious.

      Its silly to think of “Religious Conservatives” as any different from the Non-Religious conservatives.

      That said, you should also be very Cautious in this point. What of those same Religious Conservatives said the same of you? That Atheist Conservatives do not need to be given the Time of Day? Woudln't that be used agaisnt them to show how discriminatory they are?

      And given that the word Religion seems to be misused to simply refer to those who beleive in a god, its ridiculous to discount Religous Conservatives simply because you happen to disagree with them about this point. Its equelly suilly for Atheists to be militant and call belei in God a delusion, superstition, or mental illness. Logical, rational arguments for Gods existance have been made, and ontrary to the rhetoric on the Internet, these arguments arent all weak or dependant on Logical Fallacies.

      Noe I'm not sayign that God has been tso theougrouhgly proven that you must beleive or be a fool, I'm just saying beleif in God doesn't make yo u a fool either.

      It should also be noted that not all Conservatives, even those pesky Religious Conservatives, bother with Ann Coulter, nor did all really support Bush.

      Your critisism is essentially one that lumps all Theistss intot he same Category and asumes that hey all voted Bush and thus Religiosu Conservatives shouldn't be Taken Seriously. What of the Conservatives who beleiv ein God who didn't like Bush, though? Shoudl they not be takn seriously becaue of a presumed support of Bush? Are they simply Guilty by Association?

      Further, we've had bad presidents, and our Current President is Barrack Obama. any Atheists support him. Woudl it be wise fo rme to sya I cant take an Atheist Liberal seriously because of Obama? What if Said Liberal also disagrees with him?

      Your argument is simply tosh.

      Also, an din closing, it should be noted that your abusing the term Skeptic. Even thhg in modern Ahtiest Circls the term is reserved only for Atheists and Agnostics, the truth is Skeptisism is often lackign in the Ahtiest COmmunity. They call themselvesd Skeptics but oftn beleive the most Ridiculosu and incredulous of claims so long as it attacks “Religion” and really Christainity. A perfect example fo this is how many Athiest Websites hae now picke dup the Jesus Myth Theory. Its been thouroughly discredite dby Acadmic studies, and the idea of Jesus havign neve rlived is taken about as Seriosuly in History Cirlces as the Theory that ALeisn Bult the Pyramids, and yet you hear from every Quarter that the excistance of Jeus is hotly contested, there is no evidence he ever lived, and ample evidence he wa sa plagerised Pagan Myth.

      Noen of this is true, an can easily be disproven, but few “Skeptics” bother with it. This is because in their mind, they are Skeptics by the Virtue of beign Ahtiests or Agnoatics. This and this alone makes them Free THinkers, who love Science and Reason, and gives them the ability o think for themselves and examien evidence properly.

      Of coruse, beign Relgiious means you arne't a Skeptic, btu simply go to CHurhc and listen to your Pastor and Read your Bible.

      Thats not true Skeptisism, either. One can actually be a SKeptic in the true sence of the wrd and a Dedicated Christain, or a COnvinced Muslim. As much as Militant Ahtietss think any amount of theism means ta person is inherantly mentlaly inferior and Gulible doens't mean it actually is the case, justa sit snto the case that Skeptisism and the ability to weight evidence is not hampere dby beleif in God.

      And in closing, Occams Razor has been claiem dby you as a Staple of the “SKeptic” community. You do realise that Occam was a Devout Christian, right?

      • Bill

        You are telling me this after more than 30 years of being a confirmed atheist and knocking social conservatives. Well in those 30 years, you would think I had some experiences to solidify my thinking, wouldn't you? Well I did.

        I'm sorry I did not read your entire post, only the first three paragraphs (life is short for an engineer with lots of hobbies). So don't take it as an insult. Proper righting skills will summarize the essay in the first couple of paragraphs and reiterate them in the conclusive paragraph.

        Anyhow, I'm well aware social conservatives hate atheists. In fact, if you do a google search, you will find atheists are less trusted than Muslims by Americans. This is even when Rush Limbaugh and Glen Beck talk fondly of atheist Ayn Rand's “Atlas Shrugged” many times! I cannot figure that out.

        thanks!

        • Bill

          Um…”proper righting!” LOL. What a slip! Proper writing! Where's my spell checker?

      • JDBlues

        Would you mind telling me where you're getting your definition of religion?

        Also, if you really don't think that that faith in god is delusional and/or irrational I would recommend that you read “The Case Against God” by George H. Smith.

      • Bupshaw3

        I love it when religious people try to use logic to “prove” the existence of God because all of the so called logical arguments for God are, in fact, logical fallacies. All logical arguments for the existence of God that I am aware of are some derivative of circular reasoning or the appeal to belief.

        There is no evidence for the existence of God: therefore, no correct logical arguments can be constructed proving the existence of God. This does not mean that logical arguments can be generated disproving the existence of God because lack of evidence is not proof that something does not exist.

        In closing (I promise I will only close once) “evidence” for God is found only in the hearts and minds of believers and not (yet , perhaps) in our universe. I want religious people to recognize this fact and treat me as if I can think – and treat our Constitution with the respect it deserves with regard to the freedom of religion.

        • Jillian Becker

          Welcome, Bupshaw3, and thank you for your comments. I like what you say here except for the words “yet, perhaps”. As a science teacher you will agree, I’m sure, that to ask if the supernatural exists is not a scientific question. Science is exclusively concerned with the natural. A scientist cannot ask “will a god one day be found to exist?” without stepping outside his universe of discourse.

  • Zar

    Before I begin, I am dyslexic. Spellign errors shoudl be expected.

    Not to be too much of a wet blanket but, while I agree wiht much of this Review I do disagree with soem elements. For one thing, why is it that today we use thew word “Religion” as a Synonym for Theism? We all know Atheists aren't Religious because they are Atheists, but this assumes that Religion is all about beleif in gods. Its not. Religion is simply a set of beleifs regarding the nature of our existance, and is not the same thing as Theism at all.

    In reality, everyone has a Religion. This includes Atheists. ( DO not misread. I didnt dsay Atheism was in and of itself a Religion. I said Atjheists have Religion, because they have a set of beelifs about the nature of our existance.)

    And here I agree with the Author of this Review. Dawkins thinks Religion is evil because it creates Social Divisions base don Tribal Groups who are at odds with each other and have an Us VS THem mentality. His Solution is the same as that of other Atheist Humanists, such as Dan Barker or Sam Harris: Get everyone to embrace the same beelfis I have.

    In this way he's not really advocatign a world with no Religion, he's simply arbitrarily declarign his own beleifs to be non-relgiion, and assumes everyoen who is not Relgiious agrees with his views. He then assumes that the world woudl be a better place if everyone agreed with his personal beleif syustem and the problem in the owrld is cause dby others not sharign his personal beleifs.

    I fidn this supremely Arrogant and, as the Author stated, Hypocritical. Dawkisn is essentially askign us nto adopt his beleif system and abandon everyone elses. His solution woudl create SOcial Unity because we'd all then have Shared Values and beleifs, but the same woudl be true if everyone abandioned their bewleifs and converted En masse to Catholisism. Once we all Embrace the Truth of the Catholic Faith and submit to the Pope, there will be no more stirfe, and no more divisions. This same argument could be made for Mormons as well. Once we all realise the truth that Joseph Smith Jr. was the Prophet who came to giv us the Restored Gospel of Jesus Chruist and submit tot he Authority of the Mormon Faith, we will see no social or Relgiious Division and Tribal Feuding will end. We can do this for Sunni ISlam as well, for once peopel relaise Muhammad was the Prophet of God and submit to the Koran, and folow the Hadiths of the SUnni Tradition, the world will be united.

    The only difference is that Dawkisn assumes his beleifs are self evident truth any raitonal person will arrive at if they just stop beking blidned by Faith and use Logic and Reason instead. And here is where I must also disagree with the Author of this Review. Faith is called Gullibility above, and Dawkisn pretty well agrees. But is that what Faith really is? I'd say no. Thats because I do not define Faith as Atheist Circles have tende dot sicne the mid 19th Century. Faith is not beleiving in soemthing even though there is no evidence for it. Faith is actually confidence in a given proposition pr person, or loyalty thereto. Faith was never udnerstood as beleif without evidence. (Spare me a misquotation of Hebrews.)

    Faith can actually be the result of Reason and Logic. In fact, Dawkisn praie of Reason and Logic reveals he has Faith in them!

    I also don't think beleif in God is a Delusion or Irrational. Dawkisn didn't really show that the existance of God is unlikely using Probability, and even other Athiest Reviewers have critisised his Logic on this. Not simply becuase anythign sahort of Zero Probabuility leaves room for God, but because the Logic behidn what he said in hbis book (Forgive me I read it in 2006 and dotn rmember all fo it) really was base don assumptions that he himself cannot prove.

    And sicne Dawkisn never bothered to read what serious THeologians or Philosophers have said about the ecxistance f God or talked to Scientists who beleiv ein God (They do exist you know) but intead relied on Atheist Articles and Books written from the same general beleif systsem he holds to, he never really engaged in discussign beleif in God as it is actually held by Theists.

    For example, how can his Probability Argument really hold up to Paul Tillichs views of God? Tillich beleived God was not an actual beign but the “Ground of Being”, a sort of Superstructure fro which the Universe was Emergent from. There is also a Pantheistic view in which the Universe as we know it is God. What about the THeology of Rowan Williams? Dawkins actually takes the view of God he argues againt from Sterotypes of “Relgiious beleivers” as foudn in Athiest books, as a “Magical Man who lives in the Sky”. He then procceeds ot Ridicule this Magical Man who lives in the Sky, or Sky Daddy, and never bothers to actually discuss the God as beleive idn by Chrisdyains, Jews, or Muslims.

    Speakign of which, the Brilliant Scinetific analysis you praised about why Relgiion (Really Theism) exists is not realy Brilliant. I am gettign a degree in Psycology and thus am goign to be a Scientist myself, and this is my personal feild. The idea that beleif in God came out of Natural Selection as aprt of a Childs need to obey and beleive his or her Parents, and from imaginary Friends, and projectign Anthropomorphisms onto Natural Phoenomenon is more Frued than Modern Science. People who study the Psyclogy of Relgiion today do not bleive that the need for a Divine Parental Fgure created beleif in God.

    I realise that Ahtiests need to find a reason that peopel beeliv ein God that precludes his existance. I know that as an Ahtiest your not liekly to entertain even hypothetically the idea that maybe peopel beleiv ein God because he exists, but if God does exist and thisd si why people beelive in him this woudl make sense. Still, if you insist we only view this as Atheuists then why not try to undrstand God from Modern OPsycology and not 19th and early 20th Century theories? Such as beleif in an overarching creator comign orm the awareness of our own COnsciousness and the assumption that everythign else must have soem form of Cinciosuness, includign the overpower of the Univrse itself? Rather htan look at God as a sort of Divine Parent that evovled as a side effect of Parental Dependancy, Modern OPsycology woudl argue that perhaps bleif in God came abotu as a natural extension of beign self aware, and aware of our own COnciousnes.

    The Idea that God was created just to explain the gaps in our knwoeldge is also a bit outdated.

    Still, overall I liked the Essay.

    • Elyse

      It's very nice to see someone speaking about the nature of religion (religio fr. L. >scruples, conscientiousness, observances, awe, etc.) Everyone has it/them toward certain things and such concepts are often placed in a set which we call our ethics, morals, scruples, belief systems, etc. So if an atheist thinks the elderly ought to be cared for in a society, for example, and then acts by volunteering to read to an elderly person every Thursday, the atheist is observing his or her scruples, which is acting religiously. I do wish education in America would return to stressing vocabulary-learning–I agree that words are often not really understood, and of course the first part of a logical argument (which does not mean a fight) is to define terms.

  • John Harding

    Dude – Coulter is not witty, pithy & funny – rather caustic, nasty and completely close-minded. I am a conservative – but she gives conservatism a bad name – a really bad name. You can't reason with these types. Better to ignore them – or if you can't, just attack back. I think this is the only modus operandi she can understand.

  • London Kentucky

    excellent post, keep it up! I'll be coming back often

  • Proxywar

    I've been kicked off American Thinker 3 times now for openly stating I'm an atheist-libertarian. Finally, I find a intelligent site that speaks for me. Don't get me wrong The American Thinker produce good conservative articles but their religious views are
    always prosecuting people like myself over there. I finally found a place that will allow me to speak my mind.

    • aeschines

      Welcome, Proxywar!

      It's too bad that “conservatives” today in America stand for a fickle freedom. Freedom to them means freedom to go to the Jesus-loving church of your choice, freedom of God-praising speech, freedom of arms to defend against those Godless heathens, the freedom to listen to Jesus-prasin' country music (but not that stuff that rots the minds of our kids like rock or rap), and the God-given freedom to hang a giant poster of John Wayne up in your window. Any other freedoms are evil and Godless and fulla sin.

      You'd think for all the lip-service that they give to the Founding Fathers, they'd realize that the Fathers weren't exactly a united lot on matters of religion.

      Having lived in Boulder, Colorado, and a very nasty small right-wing town, I can say with authority that the two places aren't too different – they're just different sides of a freedom-hating coin.

      • Proxywar

        Though I disagree with Jay-Z's liberal-politics the man has some good music. For example: Empire State of mind is right up there with Frank Sinatra's new york, new york. Those evangelical right-wingers would never admit Jay-Z is gifted.
        Their problem is they can't compartmentalize. Thus, You hit the nail on the head when it comes “Jesus-prasin' country music” and “a giant poster of John Wayne” no offense to country music but johnny cash and willie nelson are about the only country artists I could ever really tolerate. John Wayne is overrated as hell.
        I'm more of a steve mcqueen and edward norton fanboy myself. Hannity has some of the worst taste in music as well.

        You're also correct the only freedoms they do seem to care about is their so-called right to worship God and praise Jesus in public schools and to hang moses 10 commandments in Court Rooms as if any of that affects their life for the better in anyway, shape, or form. It's a bullshit argument based on pseudo-victimology. As you pointed out “the Fathers weren't exactly a united lot on matters of religion” I'm actually reading a great book on this very topic it's called, “The faiths of the founding fathers”, without question the founding fathers who mattered were deists and they hated how England's monarchy didn't seperate chruch from state.

        What the Religious-right and religious-left don't seem to understand about themselves is they are both Tyrants with different agendas, but religious dogmatic tyrants nonetheless. I'm sorry you had to live around them. It must of been a anthropomorphic hell on earth.

        • aeschines

          The worst part about John Wayne is how he's an “American Hero” while he did absolutely nothing for the country. Take James Stewart, a real Hollywood American hero, who volunteered at the outset of WWII for the army. He was rejected several times because of low weight and then tried to get into the air force, which he also failed. After convincing the enlistment officer to finally induct him (Stewart was still underweight), Stewart went on to a long and glorious career in the air force. He flew well over 20 missions well into the heart of Germany, often with casualty rates as high as 25%. He retired a Brigadier General in the Air Force Reserve. He received the Distinguished Service Medal, the Croix de Guerre, the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

          What did good old John Wayne do? He dodged the draft in the most legal manner he could.

          “It must of been a anthropomorphic hell on earth.”

          You have no idea.

        • Proxywar

          I believe, John Wyane helped sell war-bonds though, but you are correct he never went to war. The excuse I heard was he put off signing up so long that by the time of Pearl Harbor he was much too old to enlist. I believe, the real reason he didn't want to enlist was because he wanted to further his movie career. At least he was anti-communist. The problem I have with John wyane is he's over-rated, wasn't really the duke, thus he would never hang on my wall. I never knew that about James Stewart. Very interesting indeed. That man was a Hero who belongs on my wall.

      • Anthroposmetron

        I can't help but wonder if this contemporary conservative to which you refer is the same caricature that has been portrayed by the liberal left, rather than from your own real-world experience. The caricature that you describe is not the typical theist–and it is certainly not the typical conservative–with which I am familiar, but rather a small (albeit vocal) minority. I didn't realize you had to be an atheist in order to enjoy rock or rap. Should I warn my theist friends they're lock-stepping it with 'da debil, or should I point out that you just might be lock-stepping it to the tune of a leftist meme?

  • Proxywar

    Great review.

    Ann is good at attacking the left logically but then her religious veiws show up and conservatives like ourselves get turned off by her convoluted logic.

  • faciaina

    Church is involving to much in political problems when the Church has as many problems of their own with more and more corrupt priests , the Church should use sabbath to look in their own organization and not accept anyone to be a priest

  • Jillian Becker

    No videos of our own. As yet. Someday maybe. But click on PajamasMedia in our margin, and then on PajamasTV.

    They like us, we like them, and they make good ones.

    Not much about religion there.

  • Jon_McGill

    Thanks Jillian! I'm definitely attracted ;-)

    Keep up the good work.

    Is there a video section? On the Atheist Media blog, they love to show videos which spin conservatives as all a bunch of religious nuts. When I come to the US (once or more a year) and actually watch Fox news, I rarely have seen anything about religion… unless they do stories about Reverend Wright, Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, or Jimmy Carter… all as ridiculously religious as the Atheist Left likes to portray all Republicans as being.

    • http://www.lacostepoloshirts.co lacoste outlet

      I always make short post, not because I don’t have any idea to write, but I’m still learning English, so sometimes the problem is not about the idea, but what words should I use lol.

  • Jillian Becker

    Thank you, Jon_McGill.

    We appreciate your comment. You're the sort of reader we hope to attract.

    Please comment again – the more often the better.

  • Jon_McGill

    Great review! I do like Anne Coulter's political discussions… no Atheist I have met on RichardDawkins.net could even come close to saying a thing like this. And I also agree that Coulter's take on evolution, religion is pure nonsense. Would that more people could point out where people are right and where people are wrong on these important topics.