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Council prayers are ruled unlawful

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Council prayers are ruled unlawful

Post by witchfinder on Fri Feb 10, 2012 6:52 pm

First topic message reminder :

The Town Council in the English town of Bideford has had its prayers ruled unlawful by the high court in London, the prayers which were said or given at the start of each council meeting upset one councillor who is an athiest, councillor Clive Bone objected on the grounds that prayers had no place in a council meeting.

The councillor took his dispute to the National Secular Society (NSS) who took the case to the high court, it is been seen as a test case which could affect council meetings and local government all accross the country.

Personaly I see this as a victory for common sense, and as councillor Bone himself said, I believe strongly in the principal of freedom of religion, but I also agree in the principal of freedom FROM religion, and religion does not have a place in civil or civic life.

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Re: Council prayers are ruled unlawful

Post by Phil Hornby on Tue Feb 14, 2012 5:39 pm

Quote : "It seems this is yet another story which has been picked up by Tory Ministers because it will and has deflected attention away from teh main issues of the day"

...and what's more it subtly seeks to draw attention subliminally to the prospect of those 'awful foreigners' who simply insist upon their religious rights being observed etc etc ad nauseam.

In any gathering where some 'ceremonial activity' might be taking place I simply let the whole thing drift by if I am not interested in taking part. It seems to work for me. No need for any show of diapproval or dissent - they get on with it and I watch politely and otherwise ignore it. What is so difficult about that...?

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Re: Council prayers are ruled unlawful

Post by oftenwrong on Tue Feb 14, 2012 7:31 pm

What few people seem to have noticed is that Religious activity is indisputably the invention of humans. God didn't write The Holy Bible, and I'm not aware of any strongly-held belief that He wrote any of the other books of Holy Writ in common use by other Faiths.

THAT's what the argument is about - OUR human-devised way of worshipping is superior to YOUR human-invented version. So take THAT!

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Re: Council prayers are ruled unlawful

Post by Ivan on Tue Feb 14, 2012 7:45 pm

Rev Phil Hornby wrote:-
They get on with it and I watch politely and otherwise ignore it. What is so difficult about that...?
So reminiscent of those atrocious school assemblies, which must have vaccinated millions of children against Christianity.

The fact remains that if a person is summoned to a council meeting, and prayers are part of the agenda for that meeting, he or she is having religion rammed down their throat regardless of their personal beliefs - just like in those bloody school assemblies!
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Re: Council prayers are ruled unlawful

Post by oftenwrong on Tue Feb 14, 2012 8:12 pm

It's the same with fellatio, I'm told.
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Re: Council prayers are ruled unlawful

Post by Shirina on Wed Feb 15, 2012 9:04 am

I personally believe that Christianity is under attack from all directions, but have expected it for years.
Christianity is predicated on suffering and persecution. In fact, it's even in the Bible, essentially saying that those who suffer in the name of Christ are all but guaranteed a place in Heaven. All religions say that, but Christianity takes it to heart. What Christians fail to understand is that they, not everyone else, pull the strings. It is positively ludicrous to claim that Christianity is "under attack." Under attack by whom, exactly?

I can't speak for Britain, but I will speak for America. Christianity has had its way with this country for FAR too long. It is because of evangelicalism that gays are not only prohibited from marrying, but some states are pushing for more discriminatory laws - laws that allow bullying in our schools as long as it is done in the name of religion, laws that prohibit private employers from granting same-sex partners medical benefits, and they are boycotting businesses that practice equal opportunities for homosexual workers. It goes on and on and on. They are so rabidly anti-abortion that they even tried to redefine what a "rape" is just to keep rape victims from getting one. We live in a nation where a political candidate's religious beliefs are at least as important as his politics, and you can be DAMN sure a proclaimed atheist - or a non-Christian for that matter - will NEVER sit in the Oval Office. You have the religious right funneling tens of millions of dollars into the campaigns; the Mormon church alone spent $42 million just to keep gays from marrying in California, and they won. Meanwhile, you have Christian-backed right-wingers like Pat Robertson and Glenn Beck preaching their hatred of atheists and liberals, inspiring an entire nation to hate that which does not conform to their quasi-fascist ideology. Fascists, you say? Try the American Family Association and its subsidiary group, One Million Moms, who do nothing all day except try to censor and ban anything that they deem as blasphemous against God - and they've won many of their battles.

If you look around this country, God is rammed down our throats everywhere you turn. You can't even drive down the damned highways in this country without seeing big white crosses on the hillsides or Bible verses nailed to telephone poles. And then you have to see this kind of crap:


And yet it is Christianity that is under attack? You know what I think ... I think Christianity never had a plan for being a dominant religion. It never had a vision for itself and thus it has no idea how to behave, ruling the richest, most powerful nation on earth. Christians behave as though this is still Rome before Constantine, that they are still being thrown to the lions in the arena. After 2,000 years, they still haven't grasped the fact that THEY are in control. If they lose ground anywhere, over the smallest thing, they retreat to this outdated and wholly delusional ideology of persecution. Newt Gingrich has actually made this imaginary "war on religion" part of his political platform, and Christians are eating it up (yum!) by the bucketful.

Christians aren't under attack. They just want to believe they are because being persecuted is central to their faith. They are like kids who were bullied so they grow up to become bullies themselves.
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Re: Council prayers are ruled unlawful

Post by trevorw2539 on Wed Feb 15, 2012 10:39 am

Shirina. Thanks for your reply. You talk for the US. I for the UK.

Re: Council prayers are ruled unlawful
by Shirina Today at 9:04 am

.I personally believe that Christianity is under attack from all directions, but have expected it for years.

Christianity is predicated on suffering and persecution. In fact, it's even in the Bible, essentially saying that those who suffer in the name of Christ are all but guaranteed a place in Heaven. All religions say that, but Christianity takes it to heart. What Christians fail to understand is that they, not everyone else, pull the strings. It is positively ludicrous to claim that Christianity is "under attack." Under attack by whom, exactly?

I can't speak for Britain, but I will speak for America. Christianity has had its way with this country for FAR too long. It is because of evangelicalism that gays are not only prohibited from marrying, but some states are pushing for more discriminatory laws - laws that allow bullying in our schools as long as it is done in the name of religion, laws that prohibit private employers from granting same-sex partners medical benefits, and they are boycotting businesses that practice equal opportunities for homosexual workers. It goes on and on and on. They are so rabidly anti-abortion that they even tried to redefine what a "rape" is just to keep rape victims from getting one. We live in a nation where a political candidate's religious beliefs are at least as important as his politics, and you can be DAMN sure a proclaimed atheist - or a non-Christian for that matter - will NEVER sit in the Oval Office. You have the religious right funneling tens of millions of dollars into the campaigns; the Mormon church alone spent $42 million just to keep gays from marrying in California, and they won. Meanwhile, you have Christian-backed right-wingers like Pat Robertson and Glenn Beck preaching their hatred of atheists and liberals, inspiring an entire nation to hate that which does not conform to their quasi-fascist ideology. Fascists, you say? Try the American Family Association and its subsidiary group, One Million Moms, who do nothing all day except try to censor and ban anything that they deem as blasphemous against God - and they've won many of their battles.

If you look around this country, God is rammed down our throats everywhere you turn. You can't even drive down the damned highways in this country without seeing big white crosses on the hillsides or Bible verses nailed to telephone poles. And then you have to see this kind of crap:


And yet it is Christianity that is under attack? You know what I think ... I think Christianity never had a plan for being a dominant religion. It never had a vision for itself and thus it has no idea how to behave, ruling the richest, most powerful nation on earth.

You are talking USA. The situation is different here in the UK. The power of the Church is declining. Just recently an ex-Archbishop of Canterbury supported a couple in court for a religious belief, and was told to keep out - the church had no right in the matter. It was for the law.

You are right. Christianity was never about power. It was about love and caring. True Christians do not believe Christ died/rose again to bring worldly power for his followers. Human nature took over in the centuries that followed. There had to be some 'organisation' but this took over. You obviously know something about Christian history so I will not go into details.
The Roman Catholic church is obscenely rich in goods accumulated over 2000 years, something never intended by Christ. Other Churches not so. Oh. The Mormon religion is also rich.

Christians aren't under attack.


I think I said 'Christianity' is under attack. Its teachings and ideas. Individual Christians do find themselves under attack in specific circumstances. However, in the main we are free to worship and live according to our faith. I have certain problems with todays society, but cannot force my beliefs on anyone. If I can continue to live my faith without interference, and simply express my views without vilification, I shall be content.

Looking at your 'notice'. I can see how 'annoying' these things must be. It is beyond my understanding how these people expect that poster to help them. It would put me off completely. It is completely negative. And Christianity should be a positive religion.

Again - I can't understand how this would affect Americans, not being a 'Yank'. I guess in this country it would be removed fairly promptly - legally or illegally. Smile Anyway, we have planning regulations for such things.

Churches in my local town do have a parade every Good Friday in our town. It is simply a demonstration of our faith. For the rest of the year several churches work in the community among the aged. One church runs a pregnancy advice service and also works with the police in seeking to help young offenders, both on church premises. A free food shop is available during these difficult time for those in need, again run by the churches.

Our House of Lords is made up of peers and unelected members, including senior clergy. At the moment members, clergy included, are fighting, delaying and trying to amend Government legislation which they believe will have a detrimental effect the poor.

This is the type of Christianity envisaged by Christ.

Now I will shut up. Rolling Eyes
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Re: Council prayers are ruled unlawful

Post by Papaumau on Wed Feb 15, 2012 11:31 am


Being an atheist and a humanist and a member of the Secularist Society of Britain I have to defend the rights of people who simply cannot understand blind faith.

While I would fight and die for the right for every person in the world to follow their own faith I simply cannot equate what goes on in the world with there being any kind of a caring or loving God. Yes, I know that in the Bible it was said that we were given "free-will" but I see that bit of flummery as only a get-out for the inactivity of any God in defeating the cruel things that we do to each other or that happens to us.

OK, even if the "free-will" that we have excuses the evil that men do, how is it reconcilable that so many innocents - especially the children - die in the womb, or shortly after birth or are born horribly handicapped only to die in pain and suffering a few months or years later.

( Oh, and I know the other get-out that says "Who are we to try to examine or understand the works of our God !" )

I have looked for the presence of the hand of a God on any thing that happens on this earth but I have found none. In fact as I see it everything that happens here happens via pure chance.

Sorry if this differs from any of the thoughts of others here but just as we all have the right to follow any faith we also have the right to not follow any faith if we wish, especially if this decision has been reached via deep thought and serious examination.

Regards....

Papaumau.
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Re: Council prayers are ruled unlawful

Post by blueturando on Wed Feb 15, 2012 4:02 pm

Todays ruling from the high court is progress, and the final destination of this progress must be a society where faiths and religions are (a) restricted to either places of worship ie Churches & Mosques etc or within the privacy of your own home, and (b) banned completely from all public buildings including schools, courts, town halls and community centres.

Witchfinder....you hit the nail on the head here, just what I was going to say...but now no need.

Atheism shouldn’t be rammed down the throats of everyone elected to serve on councils, either. As a mater of fact, I want my council member, elected in part by me, to consider the teachings of Jesus in every decision he makes and in every vote he casts as my elected representative

ROCK....Atheism is not rammed down their throats. All they are saying is keep your prayers private (as they should be really)

and regarding the teachings of Jesus....are these not open to the individuals interpretation of the teachings and of the Bibles contradictions? Just as the same can be said of the Quran.

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Re: Council prayers are ruled unlawful

Post by trevorw2539 on Wed Feb 15, 2012 4:38 pm

Papaumau wrote:
Being an atheist and a humanist and a member of the Secularist Society of Britain I have to defend the rights of people who simply cannot understand blind faith.

While I would fight and die for the right for every person in the world to follow their own faith I simply cannot equate what goes on in the world with there being any kind of a caring or loving God. Yes, I know that in the Bible it was said that we were given "free-will" but I see that bit of flummery as only a get-out for the inactivity of any God in defeating the cruel things that we do to each other or that happens to us.

OK, even if the "free-will" that we have excuses the evil that men do, how is it reconcilable that so many innocents - especially the children - die in the womb, or shortly after birth or are born horribly handicapped only to die in pain and suffering a few months or years later.

( Oh, and I know the other get-out that says "Who are we to try to examine or understand the works of our God !" )

I have looked for the presence of the hand of a God on any thing that happens on this earth but I have found none. In fact as I see it everything that happens here happens via pure chance.

Sorry if this differs from any of the thoughts of others here but just as we all have the right to follow any faith we also have the right to not follow any faith if we wish, especially if this decision has been reached via deep thought and serious examination.

Regards....

Papaumau.


This is not meant as a criticism, but I don't think you need to defend anyone. People such as yourself have come to your decision over time by thought and consideration. I have no problem with that.

I confess that I have great difficulty with the term 'free will'. To do, or not to do, what? (to misquote Shakespeare)

Blaming the ills of the world on a non-caring God is, in my view, laughable. It is, in simple terms, like blaming your wife for all your ills because you ignored her and threw her out. We are responsible for our own actions. And we alone.

The paragraph on 'innocent' children. In the majority of cases it is not reconcilable. But who are we to try........ ooops. Surprised
Nature and evolution have a hand in the problem. Hopefully sensible medicinal progress will gradually help the relieve the situation.

As to everything happening by chance. I hope not. There will be a lot of unhappy children in the world wondering if they were really wanted Smile

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Re: Council prayers are ruled unlawful

Post by Shirina on Wed Feb 15, 2012 5:44 pm

At the moment members, clergy included, are fighting, delaying and trying to amend Government legislation which they believe will have a detrimental effect the poor.
I find this to be a rather strange, and sad, dichotomy between the USA and Britain. Here, churches conduct charities like they do there, but there are MANY churches here who actually oppose legislation that would HELP the poor. One of the mantras frequently heard here is that the poor should rely completely on charity; the government should provide no services to the poor. I always thought returning to the days when men and women covered by burlap hoods begged in the streets was the wrong way to go.

And while the church in Britain which takes an interest in helping the poor is declining whereas the churches here who wish to abandon the poor are on the rise. It seems all is madness everywhere.
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Re: Council prayers are ruled unlawful

Post by ROB on Wed Feb 15, 2012 6:14 pm

Rock On Brother wrote:
Atheism shouldn’t be rammed down the throats of everyone elected to serve on councils, either. As a mater of fact, I want my council member, elected in part by me, to consider the teachings of Jesus in every decision he makes and in every vote he casts as my elected representative.
blueturando wrote:
ROCK....Atheism is not rammed down their throats. All they are saying is keep your prayers private (as they should be really)

Atheism is “crammed down my throat” regularly.

In this instance, my response is within the context of the scenario I described in a previous post in which I stated that if (1) I immigrated to the UK and became a British citizen, and (2) ran for and was elected to a council seat by We the People of that constituency, I would pray as I chose, not as was chosen for me by n man, council of men, or government instituted among men.

I don’t plan on emigrating from the US unless the Republican Party goes haywire and nominates Sarah Palin from the floor as its presidential nominee and voters in the general election install Sister Sarah as the forty-fifth president of the United States on 20 January 2013, so there is little chance of this scenario becoming a reality. And in fact, the last elected public position I’ve held was as president of my fifth grade class, and I didn’t actively run for that.

The actual point is this: I pray as I choose, and I choose to pray as Jesus taught his disciples to pray. You might notice that Jesus charged his apostles to “teach them (me) to observe all thins whatsoever I have taught you, thus establishing the authority of the apostles to convey Jesus teachings to all who have an ear to hear, one of which is to pray without ceasing, another of which is to do all things in prayer. Accordingly, if I were a councilperson, I might pray before, during, and/or after council meetings, I might pray within and/pr without the council chambers, and I might pray silently and/or vocally. I’ll always be guided by my Creator in decisions about prayer, the Creator who told three apostles, “This is my Son, in whom I’m well pleased; hear ye him.” I don’t believe my Creator was speaking of the atheist who complained; I don’t think my Creator was speaking to the National Secular Society which brought suit; I don’t think my Creator was speaking of the high court.

Mind you, the atheist who complained possesses an unalienable right to do so, endowed unto him by the same Creator that has endowed unto me the right to pray as I choose. And sir, I will pray as I choose, which insofar as I can effect, will be as Y’shua Moshiach, Jesus the Christ, teaches.

blueturando wrote:
and regarding the teachings of Jesus....are these not open to the individuals interpretation of the teachings and of the Bibles contradictions? Just as the same can be said of the Quran.

I do not seek to individually interpret Jesus’ teachings; I seek to understand Jesus’ teachings. Understanding seldom springs from interpretation; understanding often results from serious exposition, study, and contemplation practiced in humbleness to one’s Creator.

Pray without ceasing: How would you “interpret that? Go all things in prayer: How would you “interpret” that? Exposition of both is simple enough to me; pray without ceasing means don’t stop praying, and do all things in prayer is be in prayer as one does everything.

Your high court’s decision would have me violate both teachings, so if my scenario were ever to become reality, the Yard might be in my future.
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Re: Council prayers are ruled unlawful

Post by Shirina on Wed Feb 15, 2012 7:36 pm

Atheism is “crammed down my throat” regularly.
Well, this is sort of an easy "get out of jail free" card, don't you think? You could claim that anything that is non-religious is pushing atheism since atheism is a lack of belief. As such, one could argue that a lamp post is pushing atheism because there is no mention of Jesus anywhere upon it.

Atheism may push an agenda here and there, but it rarely wins its battles. Moreover, Christianity, in THIS country, is everywhere! Just a few months ago, the bloody government passed a resolution to reaffirm that "In God We Trust" remains our national motto!

And you're worried about atheism?

Also, I doubt very much that you would "pray as you choose." I'm sure during a business meeting or in the middle of a conversation you wouldn't suddenly break out into prayer. A council meeting has a secular agenda; it's not there to promote religion or to pray in order to curry God's favor. If you want to pray for that yourself, no one is going to care. But including prayers as part of the official agenda of the meeting is unnecessary.

In truth, it's all about decorum. Now, if a law was passed stating that the council cannot spend an hour during each meeting discussing whether Bugs Bunny or Daffy Duck made them laugh the hardest, no one would care. In fact, many would probably agree ... why are our elected officials wasting time talking about cartoons? But ... because it's religion, well, religion should be able to take precedent over everything, shouldn't it. Hell, why not skip the meeting entirely and just have a Bible study session followed up by a few hymns from the Council Choir? Yes, I know the last was hyperbole, but it exemplifies the point: Why should religion be exempt from laws like this just because it's religion?
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Re: Council prayers are ruled unlawful

Post by trevorw2539 on Wed Feb 15, 2012 10:18 pm

Hell, why not skip the meeting entirely and just have a Bible study session followed up by a few hymns from the Council Choir?

Now why didn't I think of that? And to balance things up the next meeting could be the Atheist Choral society singing hymns and..... er perhaps not. Very Happy
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Re: Council prayers are ruled unlawful

Post by ROB on Thu Feb 16, 2012 2:27 am

RockOnBrother wrote:
Atheism is “crammed down my throat” regularly.
Shirina wrote:
Well, this is sort of an easy "get out of jail free" card, don't you think?

No, I don’t think that this is “an easy ‘get out of jail free’ card”; I know, not just think, that this is fact.

Shirina wrote:
You could claim that anything that is non-religious is pushing atheism since atheism is a lack of belief. As such, one could argue that a lamp post is pushing atheism because there is no mention of Jesus anywhere upon it.

I would not argue that.

Other people might argue that, and anything else they might wish to argue; as one who believes and acts upon the belief that all men (gender inclusive) are endowed by our common Creator with certain unalienable rights, among which are freedom of thought and freedom of speech/expression, I would strongly disagree with such an argument and strongly defend the right of a person so arguing to do so.

Shirina wrote:
Atheism may push an agenda here and there, but it rarely wins its battles. Moreover, Christianity, in THIS country, is everywhere! Just a few months ago, the bloody government passed a resolution to reaffirm that "In God We Trust" remains our national  motto!

As a nation under God, having instituted a government among men to ensure Creator-endowed rights unto all men, including atheists, “In God We Trust” is entirely appropriate.

I applaud our government for re-affirming the founding of our nation and our government upon this noble principle, exposited by these words from the document which declared our legal existence…


We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights… That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed…

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these united Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States… and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. — And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.

… and by these few remarks that “the world will little note, nor long remember”, spoken by Abraham Lincoln on 19 November 1863 at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania …


… that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion - that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain; that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom; and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

…. And these words, which I recite with understanding in my heart and tears in my eyes as a personal re-commitment to continue doing all that I can do to make this promise a reality…


… one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

The coinage and currency of my country should include the statement “In God We Trust” inscribed thereon.

Shirina wrote:
And you're worried about atheism?

No. Atheism is “crammed down my throat” regularly. This fact does not make me afraid of atheism.

Shirina wrote:
Also, I doubt very much that you would "pray as you choose." I'm sure during a business meeting or in the middle of a conversation you wouldn't suddenly break out into prayer.

Why wouldn’t I? Jesus teaches “pray without ceasing” and “do all things in prayer.

Shirina wrote:
A council meeting has a secular agenda

Please understand these words…


That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed…

.. and thus understand that a council meeting, as a part of government instituted among men, has as its overarching agenda the responsibility of securing these Creator-endowed unalienable human rights unto all men.


Last edited by RockOnBrother on Thu Feb 16, 2012 12:58 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Council prayers are ruled unlawful

Post by oftenwrong on Thu Feb 16, 2012 11:24 am

RockOnBrother wrote:
RockOnBrother wrote:



.. and thus understand that a council meeting, as a part of government instituted among men, has as its overarching agenda the responsibility of securing these Creator-endowed unalienable tights unto all men.

What colour are those unalienable (sic) tights? If it's green, I've already seen the movie, RoB.
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Re: Council prayers are ruled unlawful

Post by Papaumau on Thu Feb 16, 2012 12:50 pm


trevorw2539 said:

Blaming the ills of the world on a non-caring God is, in my view, laughable. It is, in simple terms, like blaming your wife for all your ills because you ignored her and threw her out. We are responsible for our own actions. And we alone.

And I say that I think you have misunderstood me when I said that "I see no hand of any God in anything on this earth". I was not blaming any God for what happens on earth I was simply illustrating that as we see what happens by us and to us ( by nature primarily ), it seems clear to me that the God or Gods are noticeable by their absence here.

As the Christian world becomes more and more secular in form and the fundamentalist Islamic world seems to grow and expand like never before across the middle East it starts to look as if the freedoms we have to choose - or not - to follow any particular faith in the religiously-confused West is looking weak against the unquestioning power of the rise of Islam.

As I am sure many open-minded ones here will agree; over the millenia that we weak-minded humans have been on this earth we have seen the religions encapsulating more and more of our minds whereby we have made war against each-other based simply on the veracity or not of each of these religions.

In fact before and since Christianity swept across the world, everywhere we have seen it land we have seen the local peoples cajoled and trapped in this faith by the evangelical passions and religious zeal of the missionaries in the faiths that were - in fact - also their conquerors.

At the time of The Inquisition the power of this extremist view of Christianity spilled more blood than any other faith that was abroad in the world at the time. Nowadays we see the fundamentalist zealots of Islam and Judaism and Christianity taking the beliefs in these religions to levels of cruelty and hatred that would not exist at all without their presence.

If it is to happen at all, I have great fear that it will be the clashes between the organised religions that will bring about any "armageddon" that may have been forecast by any of the religious tomes that speak of this end to humanity.

Regards....

Papaumau.
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Re: Council prayers are ruled unlawful

Post by ROB on Thu Feb 16, 2012 1:26 pm


Papaumau,

Let m know if you wamt an opportunity to see the hand of God in this earth.

Rock
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Re: Council prayers are ruled unlawful

Post by Papaumau on Thu Feb 16, 2012 2:24 pm


Hi Rock.....

Since before I started to go against the Christian Protestant teachings that were rammed down my throat during my formative years living in Northern Ireland I have searched for any proof that this Christian God exists. I have tried REALLY hard to see this evidence but I have failed to find any at all.

As I went through life and grew in learning and intellect, ( I hope ), I still found no evidence of this entity or of any other of the deities from the other religions and as I was not prepared to accept this situation in blind faith I have now evolved into a full-blown atheist and humanist.

I think that to take this stance takes a lot of examination of the possibilities out there as once one has dismissed all faiths as being non-existent one is then caught in the position that all of the teachings one has had forced upon one are then not available to a person. It is hard then to believe that there is no heaven or hell, no forgiveness for perceived sins and no home for the soul after death.

That is why I feel that to come to Atheism has to be a decision that is made in the cold light of day and with all knowledge settled in ones mind. A difficult decision for any human to make, but to me, the only one that was possible.

Here are a couple of sites that might interest you as I know you have an enquiring mind:

The British Humanist Association

AND......

The National Secularist Society

Regards.....

Papaumau.
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Re: Council prayers are ruled unlawful

Post by Shirina on Thu Feb 16, 2012 5:31 pm

No. Atheism is “crammed down my throat” regularly. This fact does not make me afraid of atheism.
Do you have any examples? Remember, you said atheism was crammed down your throat regularly, which means it can't be some one-off event like the guy who tried to remove the word God from the Pledge of Allegiance.

I've given examples of how I'm always being pushed into Christianity, and I can give you more. For instance, while in college, I was frequently accosted - along with other motorists - by a group of rabid Christians who stood on the corner of the busiest intersection in town (with the longest red light). As I was held captive by traffic laws, I had to listen to these people. Well, unless I had my trusty Ozzy Osbourne CD with me.

Working with libraries, it seems every week some group or organization labors tirelessly to get books taken off the shelves. As you may have guessed, Harry Potter books are a juicy target. But they also go after any book that displays nudity, such as books showing pictures of classic art and sculptures. Oh how they hate depictions of Venus de Milo! Another adventurous little group of fascists got a petition going to have the library remove all of the South Park videos the library carried - because the show blasphemed against The Lord! Oh, it goes on and on, Rock. Fortunately for our freedoms, this is a public library, paid for by the government, and thus it is virtually immune from these kind of book banning extravaganzas. Many libraries even have a "Banned Books" week when we deliberately encourage people to read books that Christians want banned. I get a big LOL! from that - a good LOL! not a sarcastic one.

By the way, I've yet to see an atheist walk into the library and demand religious books be taken off the shelves. In fact, I've never heard it taking place anywhere else, for that matter.
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Re: Council prayers are ruled unlawful

Post by ROB on Thu Feb 16, 2012 8:27 pm

RockOnBrother wrote:
No. Atheism is “crammed down my throat” regularly. This fact does not make me afraid of atheism.
Shirina wrote:
Do you have any examples?

Yes.


Last edited by RockOnBrother on Thu Feb 16, 2012 8:30 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Council prayers are ruled unlawful

Post by trevorw2539 on Thu Feb 16, 2012 8:30 pm

Shirina wrote:
No. Atheism is “crammed down my throat” regularly. This fact does not make me afraid of atheism.
Do you have any examples? Remember, you said atheism was crammed down your throat regularly, which means it can't be some one-off event like the guy who tried to remove the word God from the Pledge of Allegiance.

I've given examples of how I'm always being pushed into Christianity, and I can give you more. For instance, while in college, I was frequently accosted - along with other motorists - by a group of rabid Christians who stood on the corner of the busiest intersection in town (with the longest red light). As I was held captive by traffic laws, I had to listen to these people. Well, unless I had my trusty Ozzy Osbourne CD with me.

Working with libraries, it seems every week some group or organization labors tirelessly to get books taken off the shelves. As you may have guessed, Harry Potter books are a juicy target. But they also go after any book that displays nudity, such as books showing pictures of classic art and sculptures. Oh how they hate depictions of Venus de Milo! Another adventurous little group of fascists got a petition going to have the library remove all of the South Park videos the library carried - because the show blasphemed against The Lord! Oh, it goes on and on, Rock. Fortunately for our freedoms, this is a public library, paid for by the government, and thus it is virtually immune from these kind of book banning extravaganzas. Many libraries even have a "Banned Books" week when we deliberately encourage people to read books that Christians want banned. I get a big LOL! from that - a good LOL! not a sarcastic one.

By the way, I've yet to see an atheist walk into the library and demand religious books be taken off the shelves. In fact, I've never heard it taking place anywhere else, for that matter.


I didn't realise things were that bad in the US. Don't they know that the Bible contains descriptions of nudity. The Song of Solomon was considered pornographic in Victorian times. Murder, rape, witches, spirits and incest are all featured in the Bible.
Oh, I nearly forgot - God features too. Smile

As to Harry Potter. It should be compulsory reading for all. It is a really good series of books. Every child should learn how to use their spells properly. On second thoughts - perhaps I mean every child should learn to spell properly. Embarassed

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Re: Council prayers are ruled unlawful

Post by trevorw2539 on Thu Feb 16, 2012 8:36 pm

Papaumau

And I say that I think you have misunderstood me when I said that "I see no hand of any God in anything on this earth". I was not blaming any God for what happens on earth I was simply illustrating that as we see what happens by us and to us ( by nature primarily ), it seems clear to me that the God or Gods are noticeable by their absence here.

Sorry. This wasn't meant as a personal criticism. It was said as a generalisation. I didn't take it that you were blaming 'God'.
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Re: Council prayers are ruled unlawful

Post by Shirina on Thu Feb 16, 2012 8:41 pm

I didn't realise things were that bad in the US. Don't they know that the Bible contains descriptions of nudity
It's worse in the South than it is in the North. Oh, but the story gets better. With the issue of books that display classical art, when the library refused to ban those books, one of them came in with a black marker and censored out all of the genitalia. The books were ruined and the library had to spend a lot of money to replace them. I thought it was awfully considerate of those Christians to decide for me (and the rest of the community) what I should be reading and looking at.

Incidentally, we put up a sign warning people that intentionally destroying or marking up the books would be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law (and we meant it). So far they haven't tried to censor the new books ... especially since we have to watch them like hawks now.
Every child should learn how to use their spells properly. On second thoughts - perhaps I mean every child should learn to spell properly.
LOL! Yeah we joked about that, too. Around the library, I'd tell one of the staffers, "Can you put that cart of books on the shelf?" and she'd respond, "Sure!" Then she'd chant and wave her arms around. "Okay, done!" The joke was that, if we could actually learn spells from a Harry Potter novel, why would we do any work at all? We'd just cast a spell and everything would be done. Haha, it was funny.
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Re: Council prayers are ruled unlawful

Post by trevorw2539 on Thu Feb 16, 2012 9:35 pm

LOL! Yeah we joked about that, too. Around the library, I'd tell one of the staffers, "Can you put that cart of books on the shelf?" and she'd respond, "Sure!" Then she'd chant and wave her arms around. "Okay, done!" The joke was that, if we could actually learn spells from a Harry Potter novel, why would we do any work at all? We'd just cast a spell and everything would be done. Haha, it was funny. .

I wish. Save me cleaning my flat. Very Happy
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Re: Council prayers are ruled unlawful

Post by oftenwrong on Thu Feb 16, 2012 10:38 pm

Why are prayers still couched in a form of words not current since the 17th.Century. Do we assume that God is a slow learner?
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Re: Council prayers are ruled unlawful

Post by blueturando on Fri Feb 17, 2012 1:16 am

It's worse in the South than it is in the North. Oh, but the story gets better. With the issue of books that display classical art, when the library refused to ban those books, one of them came in with a black marker and censored out all of the genitalia

Shirina......I always find it confusing that religious people find the naked body that their own God gave them offensive.....Isn't that an insult to God? Maybe their place in heaven has been revoked for banning the creators work.

In the same breath many of these people think Violence and killing is ok....go figure!!!!
Take US television, I believe it never shows nudity, but I bet my last dollar that voilence is shown routinely without a care in the world......There is now a very thin line and blurred between the Christian fundamentalists and the Muslim extremists they purport to hate

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Re: Council prayers are ruled unlawful

Post by ROB on Fri Feb 17, 2012 2:55 am

RockOnBrother wrote:
.. and thus understand that a council meeting, as a part of government instituted among men, has as its overarching agenda the responsibility of securing these Creator-endowed unalienable human rights unto all men.
oftenwrong wrote:
… unalienable (sic)…

un•al•ien•a•ble
adj.
Not to be separated, given away, or taken away; inalienable: "All of them... claim unalienable dignity as individuals" (Garrison Keillor).

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition copyright ©2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Updated in 2009. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

http://www.thefreedictionary.com/unalienable
__________________________________________________________________________________________

inalienable, unalienable - Inalienable and unalienable are interchangeable for "unable to be taken away from or given away by the possessor."

Farlex Trivia Dictionary. © 2011 Farlex, Inc. All rights reserved.

http://www.thefreedictionary.com/unalienable
__________________________________________________________________________________________

Adj. 1. unalienable - incapable of being repudiated or transferred to another; "endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights"
inalienable
intrinsic, intrinsical - belonging to a thing by its very nature; "form was treated as something intrinsic, as the very essence of the thing"- John Dewey

Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2011 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.

http://www.thefreedictionary.com/unalienable`

oftenwrong wrote:
… unalienable (sic)…

sic 1 (sk)
adv.
Thus; so. Used to indicate that a quoted passage, especially one containing an error or unconventional spelling, has been retained in its original form or written intentionally.

http://www.thefreedictionary.com/sic

RockOnBrother wrote:
.. and thus understand that a council meeting, as a part of government instituted among men, has as its overarching agenda the responsibility of securing these Creator-endowed unalienable human rights unto all men.
oftenwrong wrote:
… unalienable (sic)…

Please identify “an error or unconventional spelling” in the “quoted passage.”
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Re: Council prayers are ruled unlawful

Post by Papaumau on Fri Feb 17, 2012 10:43 am


Shirina said.....:

No. Atheism is “crammed down my throat” regularly. This fact does not make me afraid of atheism.

And while I am sure that you truly feel that way I cannot see where this "ramming down my throat" might come from as even although Atheists - like me - are growing in numbers all of the time I don't think that many of them are fanatic enough to "ram" this non-belief-system down anyone's throat.

It is only when any person of faith is weak in that faith that they might feel vulnerable to a perceived attack by the ones that have already denied the existence of any kind of God.

While the religions DO have ministries that are designed specifically to draw converts to them, the very few meeting-places that are used by like-minded Atheists are not in the same league as the religions when it comes to evangelism.

I have said something similar about the way that religion is indoctrinated into the innocent minds of children by their parents, their priests and even their schoolteachers on occasion and that is why I fear the power of the organised churches as they have practiced for years in the cause of ensuring that their particular religion keeps on going.

Regards....

Papaumau.
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Re: Council prayers are ruled unlawful

Post by trevorw2539 on Fri Feb 17, 2012 1:17 pm

(papaumau quote)
I have said something similar about the way that religion is indoctrinated into the innocent minds of children by their parents, their priests and even their schoolteachers on occasion and that is why I fear the power of the organised churches as they have practiced for years in the cause of ensuring that their particular religion keeps on going.

30 years ago I would have agreed with you. I can't talk for Scotland or their attitude to religion, it being different to the English.

Things have changed over the years. Young people make up their minds early these days as to their attitude to religion.
'Power of the organised churches'.
I don't speak for the RC church as I know little about them.
Indoctrination in schools is far less effective than is supposed. Unless that is backed up with parental support at home, and the parents going to church, the effect is limited.
My local primary school is C of E. and Christianity is part of the life of the school. But only one parent attends the Church with their child, and as far as I know there is no 'back-up' at home.
Long gone are the days when parents sat and read the Bible with their children. Many never say prayers outside church.
My experience as I've moved around has been that many young people who have been brought to church as children have left the 'church' as teenagers.
There are churches where some services have been geared to young people who have a group of these, often from outside the church.
Young people are found in greater numbers outside the mainstream churches.
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Re: Council prayers are ruled unlawful

Post by Shirina on Fri Feb 17, 2012 8:27 pm

Shirina said.....:
Actually, Papamau, I didn't say.

I think you quoted me quoting Rock. You and I seem to be on the same page in regards to religion. Wink
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Re: Council prayers are ruled unlawful

Post by Ivan on Sat Feb 18, 2012 11:39 am

Dangerous times we live in. Like a true fascist dictator, that arrogant fat slob Eric Pickles has “signed an order” overruling the High Court and giving permission for councils to have prayers in council meetings, regardless of the wishes of the councillors summoned to attend those meetings. That raving idiot Sayeeda Warsi can go on about “militant secularism”, but here we have a case of militant Christianity, where non-Christians will once again be forced to sit through prayers in meetings.

Bideford Town Council, whose prayers provoked the High Court action from the National Secular Society, plans to say prayers immediately before council meetings begin until the Pickles decree comes into force at the end of March. So why can’t they just do that all the time, instead of ramming their views down the throats of non-believers?

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Re: Council prayers are ruled unlawful

Post by trevorw2539 on Sat Feb 18, 2012 12:44 pm

Quote from Ivan.
Bideford Town Council, whose prayers provoked the High Court action from the National Secular Society, plans to say prayers immediately before council meetings begin until the Pickles decree comes into force at the end of March. So why can’t they just do that all the time, instead of ramming their views down the throats of non-believers?
The more you try to force people to believe the more they rebel. If you live the Christian life for all to see, when you put forward your point of view reasonable people will accept your right to that view. They may not agree. There are things I do not, as a Christian, believe in, and will say so. Often at the risk of being abused. But I accept that I cannot force others to believe as I do.
Prayers are important to the believer, and irrelevant to the 'infidel' ooops Very Happy. If I need to pray while in public I get my stool out and stand on it and Smile
er - I do it in my mind and heart.
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Re: Council prayers are ruled unlawful

Post by snowyflake on Sat Feb 18, 2012 10:20 pm

I think if you want to pray before your council meeting you go right ahead. But it should not be a requirement to begin the meeting for the simple reason that not everyone is a Christian and in a multicultural society you cannot favour one religion over another. Besides that what's the point? It's a council meeting of local government and as such shouldn't have any religious over tones whatsoever.
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Re: Council prayers are ruled unlawful

Post by witchfinder on Sun Feb 19, 2012 10:58 am

I have been missing from the forum for a couple of days - how nice to see snowyflake here.

Once upon a time in many parts of "Great Britain" you were Christian or nothing, and if you were not of the established Church ie CoE or Church of Scotland, Church of Wales, then you obviously belonged to an inferior Church.

The most inferior Church of all was Roman Catholic, and if you were a Jehovas Witness or a Spiritualist - you ought to be locked up because you were a nutter with no hope.

Was it Shirley Bassey who sang the song "I am what I am" ?
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Re: Council prayers are ruled unlawful

Post by oftenwrong on Sun Feb 19, 2012 12:45 pm

"Was it Shirley Bassey who sang the song "I am what I am" ?"

Yes, but ..
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I_Am_What_I_Am_(Broadway_musical_song)
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Re: Council prayers are ruled unlawful

Post by Papaumau on Sun Feb 19, 2012 1:39 pm

trevorw2539 wrote:(papaumau quote)
I have said something similar about the way that religion is indoctrinated into the innocent minds of children by their parents, their priests and even their schoolteachers on occasion and that is why I fear the power of the organised churches as they have practiced for years in the cause of ensuring that their particular religion keeps on going.

30 years ago I would have agreed with you. I can't talk for Scotland or their attitude to religion, it being different to the English.

Things have changed over the years. Young people make up their minds early these days as to their attitude to religion.
'Power of the organised churches'.
I don't speak for the RC church as I know little about them.
Indoctrination in schools is far less effective than is supposed. Unless that is backed up with parental support at home, and the parents going to church, the effect is limited.
My local primary school is C of E. and Christianity is part of the life of the school. But only one parent attends the Church with their child, and as far as I know there is no 'back-up' at home.
Long gone are the days when parents sat and read the Bible with their children. Many never say prayers outside church.
My experience as I've moved around has been that many young people who have been brought to church as children have left the 'church' as teenagers.
There are churches where some services have been geared to young people who have a group of these, often from outside the church.
Young people are found in greater numbers outside the mainstream churches.


Yes Trevorw2539.....

There is no doubt that the religions in Britain - including, to a lesser extent the Roman Catholic church - are losing their hold on the young people. Happily many more young people are not now holding on to what they have been indoctrinated with by their parents and priests and ministers. Mind you this break is not an easy thing to accomplish if the religious family circle is still within range of the still open minds of these youngsters.

Secularism is coming to Britain from all directions and once the teachings of secularism are allowed to penetrate into all walks of life in this country, the religions, and yes even the very strong ones like Islam, are going to get weaker and weaker until they eventually fall apart.

The great power of the religions is not so much the deeper teachings of the faiths, it is how the religions appear to hold themselves in total and complete control over ethical and moral stances in Britain and across the world. As I see it the religions have no right to hold these values as their own as there are many people in the world who are both moral and ethical that have nothing to do with any religion.

Regards....

Papaumau.




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Re: Council prayers are ruled unlawful

Post by trevorw2539 on Sun Feb 19, 2012 5:19 pm

Papaumau:-
The great power of the religions is not so much the deeper teachings of the faiths, it is how the religions appear to hold themselves in total and complete control over ethical and moral stances in Britain and across the world. As I see it the religions have no right to hold these values as their own as there are many people in the world who are both moral and ethical that have nothing to do with any religion.

Although I am a Christian I agree. There are many people in the world who have values that exceed those of some Christians/religious people. Sad
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Re: Council prayers are ruled unlawful

Post by snowyflake on Sun Feb 19, 2012 7:19 pm

Although I am a Christian I agree. There are many people in the world who have values that exceed those of some Christians/religious people. Sad

Then belief is not a prerequisite to a moral, decent, ethical, productive and happy life. If people can be so without God then God is essentially unnecessary. In fact, belief and religion may be a hindrance to a productive and happy life.
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Re: Council prayers are ruled unlawful

Post by astra on Sun Feb 19, 2012 7:53 pm

In fact, belief and religion may be a hindrance to a productive and happy life.

In particular -
When it comes to Genital Mutilation - Both Male and Female

AND placing a Tythe on the altar BEFORE placing a meal on the family table!
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Re: Council prayers are ruled unlawful

Post by Phil Hornby on Sun Feb 19, 2012 8:04 pm

Council Prayers
(guardian.co.uk)
" For the huge expenses we are about to receive..."
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Re: Council prayers are ruled unlawful

Post by Shirina on Sun Feb 19, 2012 8:35 pm

Shirina......I always find it confusing that religious people find the naked body that their own God gave them offensive.....Isn't that an insult to God?
Organized religion is 80% about sex - who to have it with, when to have it, what sexual positions you are allowed to use, how often, for what purpose, blah blah, blather blather. Most holy books contain thousands of pages of text, but the religious tend to zero right in on any passage dealing with sex, and that becomes central to the faith. Never mind all that "tripe" about loving thy neighbor since that might include SEX! Oh noez!

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