August, 2016 Newsletter of the Lake Superior Freethinkers
Gail Matthews, editor – firstname.lastname@example.org
Freethought Quotes by Notable Freethinkers
“If I could conceive that the general government might ever be so administered as to render the liberty of conscience insecure, I beg you will be persuaded, that no one would be more zealous than myself to establish effectual barriers against the horrors of spiritual tyranny, and every species of religious persecution.”
George Washington, letter to the United Baptist Chamber of Virginia (1789)
“Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, than that of blindfolded fear.”
Thomas Jefferson, letter to Peter Carr (1787)
“We must never retreat in the face of threats or punishments dispensed by theocratic terrorists more interested in protecting their power and indulging their vanity, than in advancing the human condition. If, as the true believers claim, the word 'gospel' means good news, then the good news for me is that there is no gospel, other than what I can define for myself, by observation and conscience. As a freethinking human being, I have come not to favor or fear religion, but to face and fight it as an impediment to civilized advancement.”—-Steve Benson, "From Latter-Day Saint to Latter Day Ain't", Freethought Today, December 1999
FFRF Unveils ‘Atheists in Foxholes’ Monument
A new monument in Madison, Wisconsin contradicts an old jingoistic slogan that proclaims no secular person could, or would, give their lives on the battlefield in the name of the United States.
The old aphorism “there are no atheists in foxholes,” has served to spark the ire of the Freedom From Religion Foundation time and time again, so foundation members say they decided to erect a monument in front of its Madison, Wisconsin, office that offers a rebuttal.
The monument weighs 4,743 pounds, is more than 7 feet tall and is made of the same South Dakota granite that Mount Rushmore is carved from.
“FFRF deals with so many state/church entanglements regarding all of the military, where substantial incursions by aggressive evangelicals have been made. This monument not only honors nonreligious veterans, but serves as a reminder to our nation that-contrary to that tired, old, untrue cliché-there are indeed many ‘atheists in foxholes,’ stated Annie Laurie Gaylor, co-founder and co-president.
Unholy quotes by ‘Holier than Thou’ Theists
To tell you the truth there is no place for religious neutrality in our constitutional tradition. Where did that come from? To be sure, you can’t favor one denomination over another, but can’t favor religion over non-religion? I think one of the reasons God has been good to us is that we have done him honor. Unlike the other countries of the world that do not even invoke his name, we do him honor.
Former Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, speaking to students at a Catholic high school in Louisiana
The erroneous wall-of-separation doctrine narrows the role of religion in public discourse, fueling the view that religion is a private matter rather than a fundamental precept of American civil society and leading many to fall prey to the disturbing claim that religious freedom doesn’t extend much further than the church door.
Senator Orrin Hatch, Utah, op-ed, “The wall separating faith and public life must be torn down”