Issues in the News:
Mississippi has passed legislation to encourage and further Christianity in that state, I guess taking second place to Alabama every other year in surveys of religious devotion, is not enough for them.
Specifically the legislation will allow students to vote to have prayer. Since this is Mississippi, lawmakers know that always students will vote for prayer and Christian prayer. Islamic prayer will never be voted upon and you can bet an atheist will never be allowed to speak at events like graduations or commencement speaches.
II. Green Street United Methodist Church in Winston-Salem, North Carolina has decided not to perform marriages until the United Methodist Church and the state government of North Carolina allow the right to same sex couples to marry.
While I hope the national United Methodist Church changes their mind on this issue (and I believe they will in time) that decision is up to them. But when the state of North Carolina practices discrimination, that is a fundamental violation of the rights of the people of that state. So I applaud this church in Winston-Salem, for the stance they have taken.
Speaking of the issue of marriage equality, I listen to conservative talk radio and I am aghast at the idiotic things that are said on the topic. One host stated that marriage was fine for urging people to have kids (but in regards to the question of gay couples raising kids) then marriage was not important in terms of raising them.
Another host complained about Republican Ohio U.S. Senator Rob Portman coming out in support of marriage equality, after Portman's son stated to him that he was gay The host stated that gay men/youths demand parents support same sex marriage, or that they won't love them.
He then stated that no anti-gay marriage youths demand that their pro-same sex marriage parents oppose marriage equality. By the way, read columnist Leonard Pitt's beautiful response on the Portman situation.
A few points on what the host said. One, there is hardly any children of pro-marriage equality parents who oppose same sex marriage, but there are a few.
Two, we are talking about the question of the identity of the young gay man or woman denied a marriage, not just some heterosexual supporter of the right. This does not equate to an anti-gay marriage opponent whose very ability to married isn't tied up in the issue.
Lastly, many gay youth and young people are very scared to come out to parents who they know are rabidly anti-gay and homophobic. Usually, but not always, these young people grow up in very religious/ fundamentalist type households. Often they are kicked out into the street, even before they turn 18.
That is why so many of the young homeless, are gay. To compare anti-gay youth arguing with their parents on this issue with those who risk alienation and even violence from their parents for stating they are gay, is a moral outrage. If you want to support the right to marry by gay couples, please think about supporting and donating to Equality California, which is a group fighting in the Supreme Court right now for marriage equality.
III. Finally, the book, Atheism for Dummies, is available from Amazon now. You might know some of the "For Dummies" books by such titles as Christianity for Dummies, 15 minute workout for Dummies and Time Travel for Dummies. They say that last one is a big seller when it is written in the future.
Since the average American, and especially fundamentalist Christian, seem very ignorant on the subjects of atheists, atheism, along with agnosticism, I am glad this book was written. Atheism by the way is not an absolute belief that there isn't a god. I am sure that is covered on page one.