Friday, May 18, 2007

Drama Alert!!!


Some of the faith based groups in SL are quarreling again:

New World Notes Report

SLNN Report

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Atheists with Attitude


Interesting 'history' of atheist thought in the New Yorker by:

Anthony Gottlieb

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Jerry Falwell Dead at 73


American members of the group will know him well. To give a flavor of his pronouncements to the rest of the group who live outside the US:
  • "I really believe that the pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, People for the American Way, all of them who have tried to secularize America, I point the finger in their face and say you helped this (the 9/11 tragedy) happen"

  • “I had a student ask me, 'Could the savior you believe in save Osama bin Laden?' Of course, we know the blood of Jesus Christ can save him, and then he must be executed”

  • “AIDS is not just God's punishment for homosexuals; it is God's punishment for the society that tolerates homosexuals”

  • “If you're not a born-again Christian, you're a failure as a human being”

  • “[homosexuals are] brute beasts...part of a vile and satanic system [that] will be utterly annihilated, and there will be a celebration in heaven.”

  • I hope I live to see the day when, as in the early days of our country, we won't have any public schools. The churches will have taken them over again and Christians will be running them. What a happy day that will be!

  • I believe that global warming is a myth. And so, therefore, I have no conscience problems at all and I'm going to buy a Suburban next time.

  • We're fighting against humanism, we're fighting against liberalism ... we are fighting against all the systems of Satan that are destroying our nation today ... our battle is with Satan himself.

  • Perhaps the most amazing thing is that he was consistently given a free platform on every mainstream network in the US to spew this kind of bile. He was a racist, bigoted, homophobic, anti-intellectual, dominionist whose actions ranged from the laughably ludicrous (accusing the Tele Tubby Tinky Winky of turning children gay) to the sinister (his founding of the so-called Moral Majority to assist in the hijacking of the Republican party by dominionist Christians). The world is just a little bit of a cleaner place now that he is gone.

    And lest you confuse my celebration of his death as anti-humanist: Conservatives tend to moralize people based on what they do in private. Liberals, such as myself, moralize people based on what they do in their public. Falwell chose to be a public figure, and his public performance was willingly poison to both American culture and politics. The harm he did will certainly survive him for a while, as there are many clones clamoring to take his place on the nation's airwaves, but he is finally off of the public stage. We only knew this public side of the man, and that is how he will be judged by history.

    It's almost worth wishing there was a hell.

    (Clock's ticking, Pat Robertson...)

    Monday, May 14, 2007

    Pat Tillman- Freethinking Hero

    Posted by TORIN GOLDING

    I heard a newstory on the radio today that put me in mind of our group discussion about heroes last week. It wasn't on the mainstream media in the US (who wouldn't touch this story with a 50 foot pole since they're cowards and collaborators).

    Pat Tillman is famous in America for being a hotshot football player who gave up a lucrative sports contract to enlist in the military after 9/11 and got posted to Afghanistan. There he was killed in the line of duty. At first, the American armed forces used him as a posthumous spokesperson for the so-called "War on Terror" because he was an all-American sports hero who got killed fighting for freedom (or something). Then it finally emerged that 1) he was killed by 'friendly fire' and 2) the military actively covered that up to use him as a poster child for the war. After that revelation, the US media pretty much stopped covering his story.

    Which is a shame because it got even more interesting. Because of his popularity, Tillman was given a large funeral recently. Some shameless celebrities and politicians got up and spoke about how 'he is with God now.' Then Tillman's brother got up and said:

    "Thanks Pat. I didn't write shit because I'm not a writer. I'm not just going to sit here and break down on you. But thanks for coming. Pat's a fucking champion and always will be. Just make no mistake, he'd want me to say this: He's not with God. He's fucking dead. He's not religious. So, thanks for your thoughts, but he's fucking dead. (transcribed by the Uncivil Litigator on his blog.)

    It seems that Tillman, according to his family, was an active freethinker and a probable atheist. He was outspoken about his opposition to the Iraqi occupation, and in life actively resisted being used for its propaganda (even if, ironically, tragically, the Bush administration attempted to do just that with his death). If the mainstream media were unwilling to present his true character before, they certainly are now.

    I never would have thought I'd consider an ex-professional athlete / military man a hero, but the more I learn about Tillman, the more impressed I am at his courage and principles. Here are some more references to Tillman's story:

    Pat Tillman Our Hero

    Brother of Pat Tillman accuses military of deception

    Pat Tillman is Atheist Worm Dirt

    Sunday, May 13, 2007

    Outreach Committees

    Posted by TORIN GOLDING

    The group is recruiting members interested in getting involved with group outreach. Two committees have formed, one on Publicity, and one on Service. Here is the original call:

    We are creating two outreach committees that are basically small subgroups of SL Humanism. The purpose of these committees will be to brainstorm approaches about their respective domains and to report back to the SL Humanism officers about proposals and ideas. This is initially a short term commitment. It is a way to get involved with the SL Humanism group beyond the regular Sunday meetings.

    The two committees are described below. The final section has the procedure for signing up for one or both committees.

    [ One word about protocol: nothing agreed to by a committee has official standing within the group until the Officers and Director officially implement it. ]

    Purpose: Discuss group publicity and networking to the larger freethinking and progressive SL community. Develop strategies and practical opportunities. One really good approach that has been raised recently in Sunday meetings is a "Humanism Yellow Pages", a collection of categorized landmarks of SL businesses who are either run by Humanists or Humanist-friendly. This might be a good first project for this Committee.

    Purpose: Social service to the wider SL community. What practical contribution can the SL Humanism group make? Is there a practical way to do regular charity fundraising or similar action? Is there a way to build an 'action group' within SL Humanism that will interact with RL causes within SL? Is there a role for non-professionals in service? Do prospective Humanists need help and support 'coming out'? What is appropriate for an SL environment?

    To sign up for a committee visit these fora and start posting. Organizers will also hold in-game meetings as well.

    For Committee One (Publicity) go here: Committee One

    For Committee Two (Service) go here: Committee Two

    Welcome to the SL Humanism Blog!

    Welcome Humanists inside and outside of Second Life. This blog will hold the contributions of the members of the SL Humanism members as well as group news and information. It will also allow comments on relevant posts.

    To post as a member of the group, drop your post on Torin Golding inside SL on a notecard, or see this thread on our messageboard: How to Post on the Blog

    Happy blogging!