Atheist Revival in Arkansas

Hard to say what was more remarkable about the resolution that was read into the record and referred to committee … Continued

Hard to say what was more remarkable about the resolution that was read into the record and referred to committee Wednesday by a member of the 87th Arkansas General Assembly.

The resolution itself: HJR 1009: AMENDING THE ARKANSAS CONSTITUTION TO REPEAL THE PROHIBITION AGAINST AN ATHEIST HOLDING ANY OFFICE IN THE CIVIL DEPARTMENTS OF THE STATE OF ARKANSAS OR TESTIFYING AS A WITNESS IN ANY COURT.

Or the fact that it was submitted by the Green Party’s highest-ranking elected official in America, state Rep. Richard Carroll of North Little Rock, who was elected in November winning more than 80 percent of the vote in his district.

Arkansas is one of half a dozen states that still exclude non-believers from public office. Article 19 Section 1 of the 1874 Arkansas Constitution states that “No person who denies the being of a God shall hold any office in the civil departments of this State, nor be competent to testify as a witness in any court.”

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled all such state provisions unconstitutional and unenforceable in a 1961 ruling in a Maryland case: “We repeat and again reaffirm that neither a State nor the Federal Government can constitutionally force a person ‘to profess a belief or disbelief in any religion.’”

Carroll is merely trying to do some symbolic constitutional housecleaning, but it won’t be easy.

In 2005, state Rep. Buddy Blair filed a resolution to affirm Arkansas’ support for the separation of church and state. The resolution lost 39-44 in the House.

And last month, Rep. Lindsley Smith offered a resolution to declare Jan. 29 at Thomas Paine Day in Arkansas.

“I consider myself a very religious person,” Smith told the committee considering her bill to designate Jan. 29 as Thomas Paine Day in Arkansas. Paine, the colonial patriot who wrote “Common Sense,” a pamphlet that built support for the American Revolution. Paine also was a Deist who believed in God but not religion.

The proposal died in committee, even after Smith assured her colleagues that she was not an atheist. Which they would have known if they’d read the state constitution.

Meanwhile, in a related story, the Arkansas House passed a bill Wednesday allowing people to bring their guns to church.

“Due to many shootings that have happened in our churches across our nation, it is time we changed our concealed handgun law to allow law-abiding citizens of the state of Arkansas the right to defend themselves and others should a situation happen in one of our churches,” said state Rep. Beverly Pyle.

The bill doesn’t say whether atheists can bring guns to church.

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  • jamesmmoylan

    So uncommonly pure are the legislature

  • outlawtorn103

    Oh Arkansas…

  • Chops2

    What is this, the middle ages?

  • EgregiousPhilbin

    Didn’t anybody proofread this article? It is so badly written that it is embarrassing.

  • norriehoyt

    “Article 19 Section 1 of the 1874 Arkansas Constitution states that “No person who denies the being of a God shall hold any office in the civil departments of this State…”Lucky person.Thanks be to God!

  • samsingleton

    Brother Sam’s heart swells with pride.

  • orthodoxheathen

    “Meanwhile, in a related story, the Arkansas House passed a bill Wednesday allowing people to bring their guns to church.”Well, DUH! What good are clinging to guns and clinging to religion if you can’t do them simultaneously?

  • kjohnson3

    “Meanwhile, in a related story, the Arkansas House passed a bill Wednesday allowing people to bring their guns to church.”Wonderful. A bunch of armed, panic-stricken idiots shooting at each other in a crowded room. How much stupider can Americans get?

  • coloradodog

    Now criminals know how to avoid testifying in Arkansas in criminal trials. Just deny God and you’re home free. No contempt of court, no nothing.

  • itsthedax

    Infantry11b4faus:This is not a first amendment issue.Article VI section 3 of the Constitution states that “no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.” This means that no one can be disqualified from any public office based on his/her religion.

  • dgblues

    “Due to many shootings that have happened in our churches across our nation, it is time we changed our concealed handgun law to allow law-abiding citizens of the state of Arkansas the right to defend themselves and others should a situation happen in one of our churches,” said state Rep. Beverly Pyle.Well, gollll—eeeeeee!I never knew Gomer had a sister!

  • Farnaz2

    Onward, Christian soldiers.

  • spidermean2

    I think the Church shooters were mostly atheists. 2 or 3 armed marshals in church would make the church safe for believers but UNSAFE for deranged people.

  • persiflage

    CCNL – your spermomania (among other notable preoccupations) really diminishes your righteousness, up there in Liberty Bell land. A profligate seed spreader like Bill Clinton still managed a better presidency than the anally retentive and notorious Reagan-Bush enclave redux, combined. Thanks to that trio we’ll be digging out for the next decade. Those dudes weren’t shooting blanks, as regards economic destrucion. Sending wealthy blue-blooded natural-born Mainers to Texas for political insemination just can’t be a good thing either – the sea and the sand and the tumbleweeds just create a noxious brew._________Spidermean – you’re not even a resident of the USA – what you say don’t mean jacksh*t. Nobody does stupid like yourself – your request for residency is denied.

  • orthodoxheathen

    “Atheism is stupidity. That statement is scientific.”No, it isn’t scientific, but it’s wonderfully ironic. And YOUR making that statement conclusively proves that its converse isn’t true.

  • Arminius

    HI, Spidey,NONE of the church shootings were done by atheists. Most were done by disgruntled members of that particular church. One horrible one, near where I grew up, was done by a member of a conservative church who confessed that he just wanted to kill liberals.

  • spidermean2

    Arminius, I read news clips too. I think most shooters were atheists or believers of false beliefs.One shooter in Finland stated that he’s the “natural selector”. Persiflage, you are the kind who destroys America. You don’t deserved to be called American. Americans are not supposed to be stupid. Im not even sure if you are happy about this statement written all over America : GOD BLESS AMERICA.Idiot.

  • Arminius

    Spidey,Could you furnish links to these other stories of church shootings? I would appreciate it.

  • chuckbarb23

    The poster who wondered about proofreading is confusing Mr. Waters’s irony, and detached amusement with bad proofreading. The article is very well written. By the way, it’s copyreading, not proofreading. Proofreading is for typos. Copyreading is to improve the writing. Which this article doesn’t need.

  • coloradodog

    Jesus wants me with an Uzi

  • Chops2

    infantry11b4faus:That just represents the most crass and clichéd brand of American conservative religious stupidity there is.Grow up mate.

  • rpvt

    Yet another reason to stay away from churches, and Arkansas.

  • hyjanks

    “Arkansas is one of half a dozen states that still exclude non-believers from public office.”

  • Arminius

    Hyjanks,Congressman Pete Stark, D-Cal, U.S. House of Representatives, is an avowed non-believer.

  • CCNL

    If “sperm spreading” Bill Clinton had not shot his wad all over the White House, we would have deleted OBL on “billy boy’s” watch instead we were forced to deal with his lies and impeachment. No OBL, no 9/11!!!

  • semidouble

    On a related note, these 6 States consider also to add the stork theory to their school curriculum and set up a committee to research the theory of gravity and the existence of fake fossils placed by atheists.

  • CCNL

    Another “black eye” for Arkansas. You would think “sperm spreading” Bill Clinton would have been enough!!!

  • infantry11b4faus

    i know that all you anti god people dont want god in anything, but the 1st amendment says:

  • monel7191

    “No person who denies the being of a God..”I wonder if that would include the Flying Spagetti Monster? On another note, the guns in church thing, could Jesus clear an ammunition stoppage and field strip a Colt M-16A2 with 40mm grenade launcher in less than one minute while blindfolded?But then again…would he WANT to?

  • demtse

    LONG LIVE ATHEISM!!! ATHEISM NOW! ATHEISM TOMORROW! ATHEISM FOREVER!!!

  • spidermean2

    “LONG LIVE ATHEISM!!! “Nope. It’s not gonna happen. Nature is your enemy and nobody can escape nature. Darwin’s theory is half truth and half lie. “Survival of the fittest” is a lie but elimination of the unfit/idiot has some truth in it.Natural selection is the process by which FAVORABLE heritable TRAITS become more common in successive generations of a population of reproducing organisms.According to one survey, atheists are 5 times more likely to watch pornography.Since watching pornography is NOT a favorable trait, does it mean atheists will be gone in succeeding generations? I never thought Darwin’s theory is discriminating againsts atheists like himself.

  • spidermean2

    stadtbear wrote “have the goodness to prove to me the existence of god..”For the sake of discussion, let’s forget about the Bible and let’s just talk about real science. All animals like bees are scientific creations. A bee won’t be able to move or fly if it defies a single scientific law like any laws of physics, chemistry, etc. A computer won’t function if a single equation defying science is added to it. Only a perfect science makes things work, whether it’s man made or how animals functions.INTELLIGENCE is the root cause why these plants and animals work perfectly. No complex system which works perfectly can exist without a guiding INTELLIGENCE behind it.IDIOTS CAN’T UNDERSTAND THIS.Im just wasting my time for these people and I hope these people start knocking their heads to fix them.

  • spidermean2

    ethicsbob88 wrote ” After gays, the last obstacle to total freedom will be an aethists in the Whitehouse.”This is a joke, isn’t it? You guys are clueless about the future.

  • demtse

    According to one survey, atheists are 5 times more likely to watch pornography.Since watching pornography is NOT a favorable trait, does it mean atheists will be gone in succeeding generations? I never thought Darwin’s theory is discriminating againsts atheists like himself.Dyed-in-the-wood religists and evangelical hyocrites, like Jimmie Swaggert might take exception to those remarks.

  • EnemyOfTheState

    RE:”According to one survey, atheists are 5 times more likely to watch pornography.”Not sure how this is even relevant to the argument at hand, but you gotta love Spidey’s weird observations about people.However – for the record, he may be right. I’ve got a couple of juicy porn sites in my bookmarks right now that would curl his hair.

  • spidermean2

    Enemyofthestate wrote “So – why is it so hard to accept the conclusions of biological scientists, the vast majority of whom support evolution? “Very simple. Evolution is NOT a science. There are too many fictional stories in it. Have you heard these people explain how life came into being? It’s as if a person with a monkey brain is talking to you. No wonder they think they came from monkeys.Just observe Persiflage rhetoric and see how scientific he discusses things. Too many flowers and no single substance. Are you really comfortable being bunched with these guys? Don’t you feel ashamed how these people think? As I’ve said, atheism is stupidity and that is scientific. The proof is when you hear them talk about science.

  • demtse

    ethicsbob88 wrote ” After gays, the last obstacle to total freedom will be an aethists in the Whitehouse.”I’m suspicious of anyone with a tag that contains the word “ethics”. Red flags go up, that they have major skeletons in their “closet” ;-)

  • demtse

    As I’ve said, atheism is stupidity and that is scientific. The proof is when you hear them talk about science. ROTFL!!! It this kind of diabolic ignorance that instills my support for atheism…

  • spidermean2

    According to one survey, atheists are 5 times more likely to watch pornography than evangelicals.Let’s say there are 200 people equally divided between atheists and evangelicals. If there are 120 who claims to watch pornography, the survey means that 20 evangelicals and 100 atheists watch it.I think the survey is accurate. While atheists consider pornography as NORMAL like eating food, evangelicals treat it as poison food.

  • spidermean2

    “It this kind of diabolic ignorance that instills my support for atheism… “Can the ignorant define what is ignorance? It’s not possible.

  • jyhume

    Spidey says: “INTELLIGENCE is the root cause why these plants and animals work perfectly. No complex system which works perfectly can exist without a guiding INTELLIGENCE behind it.”Spidey, you’re really barking up the wrong tree once you start arguing from the “perfection” of an organism’s design. What profound knowledge has brought you to the conclusion that these organisms and their systems are “perfect?”For starters, and just off the top of my head, you could learn something about the less-than-perfect problems of photorespiration in plants, and the rather vulnerable abdominal breach in male mammals (like ourselves) due to descended testes.Perfection? Really?

  • spidermean2

    stadtbear, I don’t think you can understand what I’ve stated if you have no love for algebra, physics, calculus, hydrolics, mechanics, etc. These sciences I’ve mentioned would crumble if there is a single false equation added to them.c ya later guys. Think harder. That’s a very good advice. It would serve you well and help you spring out from the stupidity you are under.

  • spidermean2

    hydraulics. sorry for the mistake.

  • spidermean2

    hydraulics

  • msw13

    Without a doubt, these are the most uninformed and uninspired comments I have ever seen on a Washington Post article. If you are children, well, good for you for reading the Post, and especially the ‘On Faith’ section. If you are adults, shame on you for the name calling and self-righteous proclamations of ignorance.Scientists are not universally atheistic, and atheists are certainly not universally scientific. Science uses naturalism as a method, *not* a world view. Science uses naturalism as a method because so far every accurate (accurate=able to predict the result of a variety of new experimental tests) description of nature has been based on constant natural laws. So far, not a single aspect of nature has accurately been described using supernatural forces or omnipotent, omniscient beings.

  • spidermean2

    jyhume, “build” a single organism first before you tell me what is perfection. Begin with a simple one. An ant? What are the sciences needed to make an ant and tell me what particular science is erroneous.c ya later.

  • jyhume

    Back to the Arkansas law…Lot’s of states have old laws that are now invalidated, but have never been officially removed. What I think is truly funny and worthy of ridicule will come when the Arkansas legislature fails to actually pass the bill to remove the old law. No one can claim that it’s an old, lost bill that was forgotten about. It’s in their face, it’s useless, they can get rid of it right now, but I bet they still won’t.

  • hfisher1

    So Arkansas is filled with religious imbeciles? An amazing discovery, that. Accompanying story: Dog bites Man.

  • EnemyOfTheState

    Spidey Says: “Evolution is NOT a science. There are too many fictional stories in it. Have you heard these people explain how life came into being? It’s as if a person with a monkey brain is talking to you. No wonder they think they came from monkeys.”Can evolution explain the ultimate cause of all life on Earth? Probably not. But as a template and a model for how life evolved once it was established, it is a solid explanation, backed up by the fossil record and genetics. We share more than 95% of our DNA with chimps. That bears repeating: ninety-five percent. The most likely explanation? Humans and chimps share a common ancestor.And, again, belief in evolution does NOT deny the existence of god. There are plenty of religious people who don’t see a conflict between evolution and god. Evolution is simply viewed as the mechanism for fulfilling god’s will.You can call the first coalescence of amino acids and complex proteins, which led to complex life on Earth, a “miracle” if you like, and you won’t get an argument from me. I don’t know if it’s a miracle from god, but it’s certainly awe-inspiring.

  • demtse

    Spidey might be 15 years old but he definitely has no more than a 5th grade education…

  • B2O2

    Good gumdrops, you mean there are still six states that have this law on the books? Red America is more backward than even I realized. The Taliban control more than rural Afghanistan, it seems. Their English-speaking brethren have hold of the rural south. We need to get those troops home soon so they can liberate Arkansas.

  • hfisher1

    What the religious believe is not important. As far as I’m concerned, they can believe in virgin births, people who rose from the dead, “creators” of the universe, and any and all fantastic absurdities that make them feel good. The important thing is to prevent the religious from imposing their idiotic ideas, which they euphemistically refer to as “teachings,” on the rest of us. This proclivity is shared by all of them, from the most wild-eyed moslem fanatic to “our” own bizarre tele-preachers. For some strange reason it’s not enough that the religious believe themselves to be “saved,” they insist everyone else must be “saved” too, or else. They used to kill people for “blasphemy” in the Western world, and that still goes on in primitive regions such as where the moslems rule. The only reason the religious can’t do that in the West is because their fangs have been pulled over the last few centuries. If we let them, the religious would be right back to “saving” our “souls” by burning our bodies.

  • stadtbear

    hfisher1 Very well said!

  • robguest

    spidermean2 says:Oh, Spidey, could you be any less convincing? The mind reels parsing the absurdity that spews forth from that dark place inside you.

  • spidermean2

    Enemyofthestate wrote “We share more than 95% of our DNA with chimps.”That doesn’t explain relationships. Bicycles share 100 percent of the materials they are built on with cars. The Windows operating system share 100% “materials” (magnetism) with Linux OS. They share the same basic science they are built on. The same science but no relationship whatsoever. They were built independently from each other.Evolutionists have no idea what is science. What they have are mostly fictional science. No bases whatsover. They have to understand first how DNAs form before they can speak about relationships.

  • spidermean2

    The relationship between religious extremists and atheists is that they worship the same god –the god of STUPIDITY. As a result, both are dangerous. Just look at how atheist communists rule their land. It’s almost the same how Bin Ladin ruled Afghanistan. They terrorize the people into submission. They terrorize the students into submission. Believe their stupidity or fail the subject.

  • Chops2

    Theres only one conclusion: Spidey is Jesus and the rest of us are just dumb f&*ks. Simple.

  • Arminius

    HFisher1 wrote,You imply that everyone that is religious is like the garden-variety street preacher, intent on ramming his/her message down your throat, or worse, like a terrorist. However, I, a liberal religious person, do agree that religious views should NEVER be imposed on anyone. Further, no one should get in your face and preach it. I guide my life (partly) by the following:”Preach the Gospel every day of your life, but use words only when necessary.””If you Christians would live like your Christ, instead of just talking about him, then everyone would want to be Christian.”In other words, walk the walk, don’t talk the talk unless asked about it.

  • moxford0

    I wonder if some of the good people of Arkansas went to church this morning and prayed to George Bush’s morning poop, the god of the Republican and the stupid south.

  • spidermean2

    As I’ve said, atheism is stupidity and dangerous. The people of Arkansas were just trying to protect this country. It may be “unconstitutional” (depending on how you interpret the constitution as to which counts heavier – religious freedom or letting the stupid rule).This is a grey area in the Constitution.

  • nourider

    So, all one need to do to get out of a subpoena in AR is claim atheism? Sweet! Bloody fools

  • persiflage

    CCNL – still blaming Bill Clinton for Bin Laden?I blame Newt Gingrich and company for the political charade of an impeachment that ultimately gave us 8 years of GWB – and Bin Laden is still on the loose. One thing hasn’t changed – republicans still fail to take responsibility for the current distress of our nation, and still blame Bill Clinton. All ye morally self-righteous should be thankful you don’t have Arkansas’s current favorite son, Mike Huckabee for your president. Prayer breakfasts and religious ceremonies at every White House staff meeting, creationism taught in every school, and the 10 commandments writ large at the entrance to every public building. Nice try – blame Bill Clinton, and be thankful that voter reason prevailed this time around. Unfortunately for the raucously religious in Arkansas, they now stand a pretty good chance of being shot by one of their fellow parishioners for making too much noise in church – I recommend silent prayer to preserve one’s health and well-being. What would Bill Clinton say?

  • spidermean2

    Maybe the people of Arkansas are just tired of atheists suing the government for stupid reasons. You can’t blame them if that is what they feel. Some people are just simply tired of too much stupidity floating around.

  • CCNL

    And then there are the paid voices of the Democratic Party who continue to preach “we can do no wrong”!!!!

  • spidermean2

    Persiflage, as I’ve said, atheism is stupidity. Since you are an atheist, then you are stupid. It is that simple.Study real science so you won’t be clueless. You are making a fool of yourself.

  • hfisher1

    spidermean2 illustrates my point vividly: “The people of Arkansas were just trying to protect this country.”I thought that’s what we have the military for, to protect the country. But spidermean2 is talking about a different kind of “protection” – namely against ideas, in this case atheism. Why, what would happen if Arkansas happened to appoint an atheist as the Commissioner of Transportation? Would there suddenly appear more potholes as a sign of divine wrath? Not even spidermean2 would assert such a thing, probably. In fact, there would not be a single concrete consequence of the absence or presence of religious sentiment on the part of the chief pothole-fixer.On the other hand, if Arkansas had a state religion like many European countries, it would be bizarre to appoint an atheist as Minister for Religious Affairs. The person in that position should at least pretend to some sort of religion in order to avoid adding an even greater level of absurdity to the situation.However, Arkansas does not have a state religion, per the Constitution, so the law against atheists is purely discriminatory. Not that the Arkansawyers had a problem with that.

  • solsticebelle

    Why are you fundies so threatened by those who don’t believe what you do?Do you think it earns you brownie points to discriminate against non-believers? You can have your sadistic, pathetic needy little god.

  • spidermean2

    Persiflage, the fool. So explain to me how the bees come into being? Do you understand that no engineer/s can recreate a bee despite the “advance” technology we have now? Bees, like many insects and animals, uses very complex science that is still unknown to man.So who made them, idiot? I presume you can’t even make a needle similar to a bee sting.You are a crazy man and you don’t deserve to be called American coz you make America a target for destruction. The law of nature is that it destroys stupidity. That is where Darwin made it right — elimination of the idiots/unfit. That makes nature as your enemy. Also, you endanger the lives of the people you infect.

  • tbrucia

    Hmmm… since I don’t believe in God, I don’t have to testify as a witness in any court in Arkansas… sweet deal! (Never could stand lawyers!)

  • actionjackson1

    I am an Arkansas resident and can shed a little light on the legislative process at work here. Worthy as this amendment is, it likely won’t get out of committee. State law allows the legislature to refer three proposed constitutional amendments to the voters every two years. There are more than a dozen competing proposals that are needed to change something urgent in state government, and the legislature must narrow the list down to three to send to the ballot. Because the current anti-atheist provision in the state constitution is clearly unconstitutional and not enforced, then the proposal to delete the provision would certainly lose out to three proposals that have to do with pressing government problems. Not to mention that legislators seeking re-election wouldn’t want to have opponents next time accusing them of supporting atheists. Unfortunately, that’s the way it is.

  • persiflage

    The scientific views of Spidermean, just below:’Bees, like many insects and animals, uses very complex science that is still unknown to man.So who made them, idiot? I presume you can’t even make a needle similar to a bee sting.’Very profound stuff – no wonder bee keepers are so very fond of their tiny swarms….they know something we don’t know that they don’t know. But wait! I’m having another one of those apocalyptic, psychic visions ala Stephen King – I see a small wizened man in dirty tights hunkered over a laptop far back in the dark corner of a terminal. Suddenly, a Greyhound pulls in to the passenger loading area and the door wheezes open. A huge leering troll in a very tight bus driver’s uniform lolls behind the wheel. The destination on the front of the bus is hard to make out, but the first two letters seem to be HE…An overhead arrival/departure sign high in the terminal begins flashing a hypnotic, pulsing message over and over – it reads, ‘Spidey, get on the bus’, ‘Spidey, get on the bus’, ‘Spidey, get on……Whew! This dark vision of the future finally concludes, leaving a somber trail of both fear and anticipation close behind. Will he take the bus to his alloted destiny, or will humanity continue to be plagued by; Spidermean, the failed genetic clone of that once great avenger of the weak and puny, and the mighty purveyor of justice for all, Spiderman. And the lesson? Our best intentions to replicate greatness often go awry…..for every Yin there is a Yang. So goes our moral fable for the day, from that famous book of the just remotely possible, ‘Beyond Belief’.Fiction or reality? You choose…..

  • EnemyOfTheState

    Spidey, you constantly brag that you are an ‘engineer’ and interested only in the facts of science.So – why is it so hard to accept the conclusions of biological scientists, the vast majority of whom support evolution? And, keep in mind, that to accept the concept of evolution one does not have to renounce god – there are plenty of religious people who have no trouble reconciling the evolutionary development of life and their belief in a higher power. Can’t god do anything? Why would evolution and natural selection, which teach the interrelatedness of all living things, be beyond his creative power?

  • B2O2

    Spidermean2 shared this gem with us:”Evolutionists have no idea what is science. What they have are mostly fictional science. No bases whatsover. They have to understand first how DNAs form before they can speak about relationships.”Hoowee. It’s a pity all those “evolutionists” who keep using the well-accepted theory to develop all our life-saving medicines and other treatments don’t just close up shop the next time Spidermean2 rolls into the ER. After all, these people don’t understand “how DNAs (sic) form”. How could they EVER have a clue how to treat Spidermean2′s medical issues?

  • Bios

    Looking at the title I was hoping to hear about a real atheist revival. I guess we’ll just have to wait a little longer.

  • EnemyOfTheState

    Sounds like Arkansas is finally joining the 20th century (we’ll give them a little more time to make it to the 21st century – - baby steps).It astounds me that there are still some states that maintain such an idiotic law on the books.In time, these will change too. Of course, it won’t change the fact that people who don’t espouse the dominant religious view need not apply for public office, but it’s a start.Peace.

  • jamesmmoylan

    Spidey says “Bees, like many insects and animals, uses very complex science that is still unknown to man.”Uh-huh?Just a slight revision mate,I think you should have stated: ‘Bees, like many insects and animals, uses very complex science that is still unknown to Spidermean.’You see, I have spent an awful long time at University educating myself. I’ve got a pretty fair handle on bees. It’s just the ‘Spidermeans’ in this world that can’t understand.But don’t go away. Reading your drivel does a lot for my ego.

  • AIPACiswar

    All of histories most despicable characters believed in God, Arkansas is exemplary of what is wrong with this country. Idiots.

  • Farnaz2

    Arkansas is fairly good evidence of the opiating function of religion, not the only purpose, but a noteworthy one surely. As the poor in very poor Arkansas get poorer, and as “globalization” continues, we can expect to see more gun-toting church-goers there, and, possibly, elsewhere as well.We are in the midst of a national “Great Awakening,” which, unlike the previous two or three, would more aptly be called a “Great Reactionary Exploitation of Religion,” the better to manipulate the masses. The current theocratic mood of the nation, supported by demagogues whose every other word is “God,” shows no sign of letting up.

  • FreedomRawks

    Spidey,I too am a mechanical engineer and have helped design custom products used by very large companies in the manufacturing field.I fail in every way to see the connection between being an engineer and believing in God. It’s quite the opposite actually. Part of what attracts me to engineering is my natural curiosity about how things work. There are still countless things in this world that I do not understand and so I am still constantly learning. The thing is, while I may not understand something, or have the means to come to an understanding, I do not automatically assume that it must be magical. Think about it this way.Lets say I wrote a sentence on the blackboard. Every other letter I write with a chalk that is only visible under a very small ranged wavelength of light(think blacklight markers). I tell you to read the sentence but do not give you any indication on how to read the letters you cannot see, or even that there are letters at all that you cannot see. Thus, you can only see this sentence. S i e ‘ a a i i m a e e l u h.You reach the conclusion that I am illiterate, mentally ill, both, or something else. It doesn’t make any sense, right? Do you automatically assume that God wrote it because you do not have the tools and knowledge necessary to understand it? It might take you years to figure out what you had to do to decipher it. If you finally did, you would read:Spidey’s fanaticism makes me laugh. God did not write it, you just did not understand how to understand it.

  • rpvt

    Freesinrawks:Extremely well put. I’ll have to remember that analogy the next time I am challenged about how science doesn’t have all the answers. (of course it doesn’t, if it did it would be boring).

  • rpvt

    I must have had a hand (or brain) cramp on that last post. It was meant to be directed to FREEDOMRAWKS.

  • willandjansdad1

    Freedomrawks….In the words of that great American, Montgomery Burns: “Excccelllent….”

  • twmatthews

    willandjansdad1,No, I live in Hendersonville — the belt buckle of the bible belt :-)The funny thing is I just got off the phone with the Boone town manager about some law they have on the books that prevents 3 unrelated people from living together in the same house. Two first cousins and a friend are fine. But three unrelated people are prohibited in areas designated as family.The person I spoke with was remarkably nice and talked about potential challenges to the law and why it was enacted. He was very forthcoming. (I have 3 sons — two of which are in college and the third is a junior in high school).Western NC is very very conservative except for little pockets where there is a dominant college. Asheville is very liberal whereas Hendersonville is not.Anyway, with respect to Spidey, I’ve decided to take the advice of ebleas and not feed the trolls.

  • asoders22

    So Arkansas has some similarities with Iran. You have to be religious. Odd state.

  • twmatthews

    I too, admire the post of FreedomRawks. Very good example.

  • jimarush

    Trying to convince someone that God exist or does not exist has to be the most ridiculous waste of time known to man. I believe in God, his son Jesus and the Holy Spirit and nothing or no one will ever convince me otherwise. I like Paine do not believe in religion nor do I believe in church.I cannot imagine an atheist changing his or her mind about the existence of God. If God wanted to change an atheist’s mind about him he would. God could care less about what I, an Atheist or a religionist believes as it regards him at this time (it is later that I worry about).Arkansas is a backwards state as displayed by its economic and educational status versus the rest of America. Why anything that state does does surprises anyone is what amazes me?

  • stadtbear

    B2O2 Author Profile Page:Spidermean2 shared this gem with us:>”Evolutionists have no idea what is science. What they have are mostly fictional science. No bases whatsover. They have to understand first how DNAs form before they can speak about relationships.”Yes, he does seem to be winning his battle against mental health.

  • EnemyOfTheState

    When I lived in Tennessee, almost everyone I knew was glad they weren’t from the neighboring state of Arkansas. Now I see why.

  • CCNL

    On 2/09/09, Yael noted that Farnaz aka Observer12 aka Observer31 aka Yael reported that she would no longer be making commentaries on the On Faith blog. So who is the Farnaz referenced below???

  • ggwalt

    I suspect that prior to the Bush years and rise of the Religious Right infusing itself into our public and political lives, atheist were fairly content to sit on the sidelines minding their own business. Since many of us who aren’t right wing evangelical Christians have come to feel under attack, especially atheists, a strong need has developed to push back. I recently took a politics/religion adult enrichment class. Every person in the class had grave concerns about the rise of the Religious Right and manner in which they were being allowed to influence our political discourse and public life. Our Founders got it exactly right when they laid the foundation to maintain a separation of church and state. Let’s keep it that way. Politics is bad for religion and religion is bad for politics.

  • halifar59

    Funny how atheism now includes all non-christian beliefs. “It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble, it’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so” – Mark Twain. My god’s the true god. No mine is!

  • limpscomb

    I have always wondered why I am happy enough to let believers of any religion believe what they want without criticism or censure.I have always wondered why they don’t allow me the same tolerance. It should be no skin off their teeth if I believe or do not believe, as we all seem to live our lives pretty much alike otherwise.IF there was a god, I would give thanks to it that I live in a section of the USA that apparently has a higher number of intelligent and tolerant group of both believing and non=believing people, and that I live no where near Arkansas.

  • willandjansdad1

    As a Deist, I get pretty darn sick of Christians that ask me after I claim no belief in the divinity of Jesus…”How can you be an Atheist?”Christians….It’s not all about you, despite you delusions of granduer.

  • willandjansdad1

    I had the distinction of being the only potential juror in my little NC mountain town not to swear my oath on the Bible. The 44 sets of eyes boring into me actuall felt reaffirming.I have been the only congregant…once at a Christmas service and once at a wedding to not partake in communion. My God doesn’t sanction human sacrifice; symbolic or otherwise.

  • willandjansdad1

    Spidey….Next time you tap into Jesus’ pipeline, could you ask him to smite some of his criminal, perverted, lying spokesmodels? They seem to be doing way more harm to your cause than any atheist.

  • jyhume

    I’m kicking myself for having been taken in by Spidermean2′s spot-on parody of a 15 year old, creationist nut-job. It’s now clear to me that he is just playing this persona as satire, in order to make real creationist nut-jobs look bad in the public eye.While it may not be a kind-hearted act on your part, Spidermean2, I must commend you on a job well done. You had me convinced for quite a while. It’s a brilliant acting job, so congrats!ps – don’t thank me or return any kind words, for fear of giving away your ruse. Just say something like, “You’re the parody, you idiot.” Or maybe, “Save your words, you stupid stupidhead.” That way we’ll both know that I know that you know that we all know what’s up. A little digital nudge-nudge, wink wink…

  • HillMan

    “I think the Church shooters were mostly atheists.”Simply not true. For instance, the recent killings a the Unitarian Church were done by a fundamentalist Christian that ‘hated the liberal movement’.

  • willandjansdad1

    “While atheists consider pornography as NORMAL like eating food, evangelicals treat it as poison food.”Spidey….With the track record of every major evangelical from Swaggart to the nearest Catholic Bishop, are you sure you want to go down this road? Even “squeeky clean” tele-pastors like Tele-Tubby Hagee and that mealy-mouthed Charles Stanley won’t acknowledge their sordid marital histories.The stench from far too many pulpits is overwhelming. If there were really a God as you envision him, there would be a smoking mound of ash and the after-lightning smell of ozone behind most pulpits.

  • willandjansdad1

    “I think the Church shooters were mostly atheists.”Simply not true. For instance, the recent killings a the Unitarian Church were done by a fundamentalist Christian that ‘hated the liberal movement’.The Unitarian Church killer told his cellmate in the Knox county jail that if he got free, he would do it again.The “Left Behind” video game has Christians killing “unbelievers” i.e. non-Christians. Get those extra points kids…Kill an unbeliever today!

  • willandjansdad1

    Spiderman claimed…Which set of Lionel trains is your favorite?

  • petrus_apianus

    Spidermean2 writes:>Since watching pornography is NOT a favorable trait, does it mean atheists will be gone in >succeeding generations? I never thought Darwin’s theory is discriminating againsts atheists like >himself.It’s possible you’re confused over what a “favorable trait” is under natural selection. If watching pornography leads to more frequent procreation and more offspring. It’s favorable.Natural selection is like gravity, it doesn’t make moral judgments.

  • willandjansdad1

    “Bees, like many insects and animals, uses very complex science that is still unknown to man.”Spidey…Is English your native language? I’m a humble retired truck driver, but even I am more familiar with English grammer than you are.Bees…uses? Third person plural noun does not agree with third person singular verb.Beware using that favorite “bon mot” of yours…”Stupid”. In the words of that great American Forest Gump: “Stupid is as stupid does”.

  • persiflage

    JYHUME – you’re probably correct – Spidermean is paid to stir the pot. Nothing incites a high response rate like blatant, prideful stupidigy. This has been going on for a year or more, and many of us take the bait on a regular basis. Since the theme never changes, the language usage never improves, and the IQ continues to flatline, this has got to be a clever ruse. Otherwise, and given the Spidermean ‘engineering’ profile, I fear for the fate of engineering schools everywhere. Folks that can’t conceive of what might be transpiring at the relatively mysterious but scientifically accessible level of DNA prefer the forever invisible and inaccessible realm of supernatural forces in order to explain life processes. Go figure! The concepts of evolution, common ancestry, etc. tends to undermine pre-conceived notions that allows the fundamentalist mindset a considerable amount of emotional comfort. Otherwise intelligent folks will fight you tooth and nail over the idea of evolution. The threat to their worldview seems to be very real. At another point in history, proponents of evolution would be burned at the stake for witchcraft. Spidey is only a common denominator for a sizable portion of the USA, sad to say. This is apparently the representative role he’s been selected to play.

  • persiflage

    Meant stupidity – but I like stupidigy just as well when applied to Spidermean.

  • twmatthews

    I suspect Spidey, that you are much closer to George from Seinfeld than you are a real engineer. George had a preoccupation envisioning himself as an architect. You envision yourself as an engineer.Based on the quality of your posts, I would say you are more likely a truck driver than an engineer. You fail to support any of your wild claims and you obviously have no ability to forge relationships with people.Reading your posts is a waste of time and energy and you haven’t the foggiest understanding of science or scientific methods.So continue on with your delusions of engineering occupation, George.

  • willandjansdad1

    “Based on the quality of your posts, I would say you are more likely a truck driver than an engineer.”Please Matthews, be a little more discerning in your posts. I am a retired truck driver and am more than willing to match wits with a sad, deluded basement dweller like Spidey. Don’t assume that a truck driver is more ignorant than an “engineer”.

  • truthmakesfree1

    I believe that the provision cited in Arkansas constitution probably disqualifies all current holders of any office there and would in fact prevent there being any office holders in Arkansas, should it be enforced. I’m sure many of us could name various Gods which almost any office holder there would quickly and vociferously deny the being of, thus disqualifying himself or herself. In fact the more strongly such person believed in his or her particular favorite God, the more likely this person would be to deny the being of these other Gods. Of course one might say that the whole thing might boil down to an argument over the definition of “being,” in that in some sense or other of that word it is possible that one could admit that since some people somewhere have enough imagination to improvise those other Gods than the ones the office holder imagines, that any and all of these artifacts of their imaginations have “being” in some useful since of the word. Then, of course, there is the issue of the definition of “denies.” What, if fact, might it mean to “deny” the being of a God? Is there any plausible meaning at all to that provision of the Arkansas constitution? Oh, I get it! What it means is that there are imperious types of ignorant people who look for silly ways to express their contempt for people who they believe think differently than they do about something or other and want to make a big deal of it and try to harm those other people in whatever way they can think of! And what more permanent way is there to be hurtful than to stick their smelly opinions into a constitution?

  • twmatthews

    jimarush said “Trying to convince someone that God exist or does not exist has to be the most ridiculous waste of time known to man.”On the contrary, religious beliefs throughout mankind has caused enormous pain and suffering. It has slowed the pace of scientific discovery, enabled laws to be passed throughout the world that are neither reasonable nor compassionate.In general, religion has been a net loss for humanity. The sooner we rely on science, reason and compassion and ignore the myths of humanity, the better for all. Convincing someone to change from blind faith to reason is a worthy albeit challenging goal.

  • twmatthews

    to willandjansdad1,My apologies. I wouldn’t trust Spidey with the responsibility of driving a truck — unsupervised. I should have said he’s certain no engineer and left it at that.

  • ebleas

    With regards to Spidermean2:”An Internet troll, or simply troll in Internet slang, is someone who posts controversial, inflammatory, irrelevant or off-topic messages in an online community, such as an online discussion forum or chat room, with the intention of provoking other users into an emotional response or to generally disrupt normal on-topic discussion.”Please don’t feed the trolls!!

  • Garak

    Could an Arkansan duck jury duty by claiming to be an atheist? Could he refuse to testify because he’s an atheist? Maybe in Arkansas, atheists don’t need to claim the Fifth Amendment.

  • twmatthews

    Many of the small towns in western NC, where I live, are similar to the one described in Arkansas. Up until the 70′s they still had laws on the books against inter racial marriages and even today, still have laws prohibiting low moral character (living together outside of marriage).It’s ludicrous to consider that because of religious beliefs, many of our laws resemble 19th century thinking more than they do 21st century. While the US ranks 26th out of 28 industrial countries in math and science understanding, many Americans cling to magical beliefs and reject science.I was discussing one day with a conservative friend of mine how much harm religion has caused humanity. If early scientists were not imprisoned or discouraged because of their beliefs, would we already have benefited from medical advances that are promised from technologies like stem cell research? There is, of course, no way of knowing. But if we had advanced by just 30 years over where we are today, is it possible that many of the diseases from Alzheimer’s to Parkinson’s would already be cured?

  • willandjansdad1

    Matthews…Do you live in Matthews? I live in Boone which is basically “Hippie Central” and I have had the following two experiences here…I had the distinction of being the only potential juror in my little NC mountain town not to swear my oath on the Bible. The 44 sets of eyes boring into me actuall felt reaffirming.I have been the only congregant…once at a Christmas service and once at a wedding to not partake in communion. My God doesn’t sanction human sacrifice; symbolic or otherwise.Western NC is a great area with pockets of sanity. Mighty pretty country. It’s opening up one mind at a time. This is a Blue County and our Representative, the evil Virginia Foxx, has carried the ditrict twice but has been soundly defeated in this, her home county.

  • julianoone

    Excerpts from: Gamlin, Linda. Evolution. (series: Eyewitness Science) London: Dorling Kindersley, 1993.

  • Skowronek

    willandjansdad1 : Which set of Lionel trains is your favorite?You mean which of Rev. William Awdry’s trains, right? You know, Thomas, James, Gordon, Skarloey… The wooden ones, with the clickety-clack track. I don’t think he’s permitted to play with the electrical or even battery-powered trains yet.

  • ceanf

    RJ2000, just because there are very few atheist politicians, and just because the majority of americans believe in god, does not mean you can deny an atheist the chance to run for office, just like you cannot deny a christian, jew, muslin or hindu from running. if the population does not agree with that person’s religious (or lack there of) choice, then they will not be voted into office. it is as simple as that. who are you to say someone should not be able to run for office just because they do not believe in a god? accepting that atheists exist, and that they have the same exact rights as those who believe in god is a part of religious tolerance. it doesn’t matter if you or most americans disagree with their choice, or if there are any atheist governors in america. ‘We hold these truths to be self evident, that ALL men are created equal’. Do you know where that is from RJ2008?

  • rj2008

    Why single out Arkansas, take a poll of Americans and the vast majority would say an atheist should not be elected to public office. I saw a poll in USA Today and 74% of Americans believe there is a heaven and a hell although no one was asked to specify where they are. 28 states already have concealed weapons laws so they can carry guns where ever they want. Alot of people have been shot in churchs than weren’t in Arkansas. I don’t live in Arkansas but Americans can hardly act like their state has any better laws on atheism or guns. Can anyone name a state with an atheist for governor?

  • acebojangles

    RJ2008:I believe Jesse Ventura was an outspoken atheist while he was governor of Minnesota.

  • inNebraska

    It’s also against the law in:TennesseeIncredible! As an ex-Christian I can tell you that it’s scary out here for atheists. It’s definitely something you don’t want Christians to know….or they’ll stealthily make you or your children pay the price for your honesty.

  • petercartledge

    Hi there,Interesting article. I’m an Australian citizen and have just come across this article. In Australian politics the question of a politicians belief never factors into the voting process. I’m amazed at the American fixation on religion. I’d also further like to note that I am amazed at the debate many of you are or were having with the character spidermean2.He seems to have an inability to use the English language effectively. From what I have read so far, his standard of English is very poor. I doubt very much he is an engineer and I agree he is alo most likely an adolescent trying to present himself as an adult.He also appears to have no comprehension of scientific methodology. It seems difficult to justify taking the time to even debate with him.

  • Ph4r40h

    I find this article very disconcerting. it worries me that there are so many people out there that are not tolerant. We may have semi overcome our race tolerance, but religion is another story. To Spidermean2, simply the fact that you consider all atheists stupid makes you ignorant. It shows your intolerance to diversity. I am not personally an Atheist, but I don’t believe in the Christian God, a “Loving” god that will ban you to eternal damnation if you don’t do as he says, this to me is a dictator, not a God. But, I am tolerant and believe that everyone, no matter how smart or “stupid” has something to contribute to our world. I even believe that it’s possible to combine Evolution and Creationism if necessary. How can one NOT believe that a Creator could not have the foresight to know what his creations would become? The human mindset is constantly evolving and changing, the way we interpret and view things is always shifting. This, in and of itself, is evolution.Without tolerance of everything, whether it be race, belief, sexuality, you name it, our world is doomed. We will never achieve what we are truly capable of, and, if there is truly a Creator, I’m sure that They would be disappointed. The separation of church and state was put in the Constitution to promote tolerance, to make true the line that “ALL men are created equal”. Our world is changing. We become more advanced every day. So why is it our mindset is still that of the dark ages? We need to have knowledge, understanding, and tolerance. So, I say fight. Not to suppress a belief or way of life, but to elevate it. Let everyone’s voices be heard. But most of all, let them all except each other, as brother, sisters, fathers, and mothers. But most of all, as people.

  • mizkane

    Everyone is an atheist. Judeo-Christians choose not to believe in the existence of a thousand gods. What does it matter if someone doesn’t believe in a thousand and one?

  • simian

    This is great news – it’s not great that the bill will probably die in committee, but it is great to see a nonbeliever standing up for the first amendment. The “guns in church” story is hilariously well-timed, since it highlights the hypocrisy of “Constitutional cherry-pickers” who love their twisted interpretation of the second amendment, but believe the first amendment only applies to people who believe in god.