Seriously? Religion targeting skeptics?!

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Evangelical group targets secular Portlanders
Credit: Getty Images
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by Nigel Duara, Associated Press
Posted on July 22, 2014 at 5:49 AM
Updated today at 12:49 PM
PORTLAND — An evangelical Christian group plans to try to convert children as young as 5 at Portland apartment pools, public parks and dozens of other gathering spots this summer – a campaign that’s got some residents upset.

They’ve banded together in recent weeks to warn parents about the Child Evangelism Fellowship’s Good News Club, buying a full-page ad in the local alternative weekly to highlight the group’s tactics.

“They pretend to be a mainstream Christian Bible study when in fact they’re a very old school fundamentalist sect,” said Kaye Schmitt, an organizer with Protect Portland Children, which takes issue with the group’s message and the way it’s delivering it.

CEF says Protect Portland Children is a shadow group run by atheists who seek to dismantle Christian outreach. The group said its methods are above reproach.

“Children are easy to manipulate, we all know that,” said CEF’s vice president Moises Esteves. “We don’t use any of the schemes and high-pressure tactics that we’re accused of. Nothing could be further from the truth.”

Esteves’ group decided to hold its annual summer mission program in Portland because of the area’s irreligious leanings.

Trying to reach young people in Oregon presents the group with two strongly secular demographics.

Gallup polls in 2008 and 2012 have consistently indicated that Oregon is among the least religious states in the country, with one of the fewest populations identifying themselves as “very religious.”

Furthermore, focusing on young people opens the group up to an increasingly irreligious demographic. Millennials, or those born in or after the early 1980s, are the least religious generation in U.S. history, according to Pew Research.

CEF has encountered controversy before.

It won a 2001 U.S. Supreme Court case that decided they could hold chapter meetings on school grounds.

The organization was also the subject of a critical book that asserts the group advances a fundamentalist agenda and uses public spaces like schools to make children believe such views are endorsed by authority figures.

In schools, the group obtains permission slips to speak with children, but it is not required to do so in public spaces.

CEF spent last week training its volunteers, Esteves said, and will span out through the area this week trying to reach children.

“We do teach that children are sinners, but we’re not nasty about it,” Esteves said. “If we were nasty about it, the kids wouldn’t come back.” He said that they don’t try to coerce the children, as “coercion leads to false conversion.”

At a park on Monday, the group laid out a tarp for children and chairs for their parents. A pair of volunteers led about 12 kids through Bible verses and songs that praised a Christian god.

“My heart was dark with sin,” they sang, “until the savior came in.”

Mia Marceau, a mother of two in the Portland suburb of Vancouver, Washington, said she was intrigued when the group approached her apartment complex pool last week. She said she, too, believes in Jesus Christ.

Within a few hours, however, she didn’t like what the group was telling her 8-year-old son and his friends: They were headed to hell, needed to convert their friends and were duty-bound to raise money for the organization.

“I raised a free thinker,” she said. “He didn’t buy in. All of a sudden, he’s having arguments with his friends over salvation.”

-From the Blogman…..I think that this bullshit will go over like a lead balloon as long as secular parents shield their kids from this shitty child abuse. Religion is gods that are made up, period, imaginary fairies that hold sway over common sense. Religion requires the willful suspension of critical and skeptical thinking in adults and the fresh slate of the child that has not yet been polluted by this asinine crap! Parents beware, and keep your children from this Grimm’s fairy tale amoral twaddle!

One small step for skepticism, one giant leap for Nashville atheists

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Originally posted on the moody atheist:

I’m so proud of my Nashville Atheist League friends. In a town where atheists don’t do anything to fight for reason (aside from internet commenting), these guys went down to the John Edward cold reading, help up signs, and handed out pamphlets debunking “psychic” readings. I was in Columbus for the SSA Conference, as you probably know from my last post, so I was unable to join them. But I did host the beer/pizza/poster making party at my house the week before.

johnedwardjoin

Here’s what Jon Collins had to say after the picketing:

“For those of you who missed the John Edward event, you missed a great time! What could be better than enjoying the nice weather, starting conversations with the locals, making the hotel event staff nervous (serves them right for hosting such a fraud, amiright?), and grabbing a beer at the end of the day?

Join us next time!”

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SkepSun #100 (07_20_2014)

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Originally posted on Skeptical Sunday:

On Freethought Radio, Dan Barker and Annie Laurie Gaylor celebrate the 166th anniversary of the Seneca Falls Convention called by agnostic Elizabeth Cady Stanton, then talk with newsmaker and freethought activist Dan Courtney, a Lifetime FFRF Member, who just became the first atheist to give an invocation in Greece, N.Y. — site of the governmental prayer dispute at the center of this spring’s Supreme Court ruling. Then we’ll hear two Skeptoid podcasts.  First, Brian Dunning looks at polygraph and other lie detection techniques and then at so-called “12-step programs.”  Then we’ll hear an address by Matt Dillahunty, co-host of the Atheist Experience call-in television show out of Austin Texas entitled “Theistic Reasoning: Fallacies and Faith.”

Matt Dillahunty, host of the Atheist Experience television program

Matt Dillahunty, host of the Atheist Experience television program

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The shit thru the fog.

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Well, dear reader, we have been assailed,yet again, by superfluous shit straight from the mouth of the very people who have nothing but corporate interest in mind! We have assholes on the border in Murietta, CA. hurling insults at children in busses, accomplishing nothing in an issue meant to distract us from the important bullshit that is benefitting the 1% of those that actually control politics! Yeah, fuckers! This is coming from me, the one person who still refers to illegal immigrants as such and doesn’t give a shit who cares. Yes, I know that the microeconomic impact of this problem is immense, but I also recognize that the powers that be are using this problem to distract people from the most important of social problems.
Today we have a version of socialized medicine placed before us, but don’t realize that the real problem was, in fact, socialized education. We had forsaken this for medicine, not realizing that education would have lead us to this and would have put us back in the innovation forefront, but this was not the intention of the handlers of the assholes that we put in office to represent the billionaires over us, the general public. The 1% have been carefully dismantling the public education system for the last 30 years in an effort to create the second class nation that we have today. We bitch and moan and pass bond measures that end in school closures anyway and blame the opposing political party for the failures. The truth of the matter is that if the general public used skeptical thinking, critical thought and logic to analyze what was transpiring, they would have come to the conclusion that they were being duped by a higher entity, and they would have worked to thwart this divisive bullshit. Instead they choose to fight each other and tie the answers up in the partisan politics of the Left and Right!
The divide of Left and Right has lead to the ultimate demise of the American dream and made it easy for the oligarchs to seize control of absolutely everything! The controllers have made it so that families are cared for by those complicit in the destruction of freedom! Those that dissent are dealt with swiftly and efficiently so that others believe that they were wrong to have a different opinion of how things should be! Totalitarian regime anyone?!
Wake up and understand that this could happen anywhere anytime! You have drones watching you 24/7 by YOUR OWN MANDATE OF LAW! You put this in place! Is your front fucking lawn and your 2.000sq ft house enough payment for the demise of the security you enjoyed under the sacrifice of your WWII soldiers? Most of our pHD candidates are foreign born, is that O.K with you?? Wake up an return control of this country to those who actually respect freedom! Quit paying attention to these divisive peripheral issues and give your kids a free education! Learning equals freedom, period!

Immigration DID make this country strong and continues to do so, but accepting hordes of unskilled workers from all over the globe is overwhelming the country’s ability to absorb those without training. Regulation IS needed to keep a steady, controlled flow of entrants to this country so that it can both employ and assist immigrants in a smooth transition into American society. Intentionally overwhelming the financial ability of this nation to process entrants amounts to the most foolish of undertakings that will eventually bankrupt the resources that were designed to help these people. With no financial resources to ease the transition, the immigrant population is left to spread over a penniless economy that can no longer suffer the burden. What is the outcome? Possibly assimilating into a society as bankrupt as the one that was left behind, to a life of hard scrabble just as bleak as the previous one? Where is the economic logic in this? Why would the oligarchs pit the opposing political parties against one another so that hands are tied and problems grow unchecked? Maybe the answers lay in the fact that these rich assholes are international and have no loyalties to any country and just milk a system dry and move on to the next growing super power.

Common sense dictates that unstable circumstances be brought under control, this includes the problem of immigration, this includes controlling dispersal of firearms, population control, and societal contributions to the less fortunate without contract to educate or eventually separate them from Federal and state assistance. As long as we have walls between nations and unchecked greed, we, as common people, need to have sensible controls agreed upon by all citizens regarding social contract, fair treatment under the laws and control of the population as to regulate and share valuable resources.

Right now we have warring political factions carrying out the mandates of people who live above the law and who use the public as pawns to achieve their goals, whatever the fuck their goals are! I assume that it lies in the halls of power and resource, because money is just paper that is used by many to purchase goods. It is backed by neither gold or silver and is just fancy paper with expensive ink and pretty pictures. The true controlling factions do not waste their time accumulating worthless pieces of paper and believing that they are wealthy, they corner resources and transportation networks to deliver those resources so that they can exercise true control. The Gold Standard hasn’t existed on the dollar for years.

The following is an explanation of the suspension of the Gold Standard meant to enlighten you a bit as to the insignificance of common power based on the money that we earn.

The Fed was formed in 1913, the same year the income tax was first allowed. As most readers know when the Fed was formed the American money was “Redeemable” in Silver or Gold, mandated by the U.S. Constitution.

In about 1917-1918 WW I broke out in Europe.
The U.S. got involved and the Fed began to issue way more dollars than the Treasury had in Gold { @ $20 per ounce} to pay for the war expenses.

When WW I ended there were way too many unbacked American dollars in circulation which led to a period called the roaring 20′s because there was too much money in circulation which caused stock prices to climb way up, by investors spending their extra dollars by investing in stocks.

In 1929 investors suddenly realized all the dollars in circulation couldn’t possibly be backed by Gold, which caused a mass sell off of stocks called the “crash”.

By 1932-33 the Treasury department realized that so many Gold backed American dollars had gone overseas, if the overseas people decided to cash them in for Gold the Treasury couldn’t pay off,,,which led to Roosevelt signing an excutive order confiscating all Americans privately owned Gold, to cover the Treasury’s shortage.

Later he changed the official value of an ounce of Gold from $20 an ounce to $35 dollars an ounce, where it remained until 1971.

In 1971 the world’s Gold supply & demand factor kicked in sending the European price to over $38 dollars per ounce, which caused Europeans to cash in dollars for Gold until Nixon decreed that the U.S. dollar was no longer redeemable in Gold.

Mass inflation followed in the U.S.

Congressman Ron Paul {elected in 1976} & Senetor Jesse Helms of North Carolina tried to reinstate the Gold standard by forming a group called the U.S. Gold commission. From the beginning the commission worked against them since other members of the commission were bought off by the Fed to oppose a re-instatement of the Gold standard, (and while I am describing how worthless our currency has become, I am certainly not endorsing the political party of the creators of The Gold Commission).

Currently the world is flooded with unbacked American dollars, bringing the value down, as it now takes many more of them to buy an ounce of Gold that used to be worth $20.

Now I know that there was an extended focus on immigration at the beginning of the article, but this was used as an illustration of the current divide in American politics and an example of the foolish policies adhered to by both the left and the right. The fact that the public is not reading cost analysis for many of these problems attests to the educational problems in this country. Intelligent informed skeptical thinkers would insist upon justification for Govt. policy BEFORE it was enacted, but most Americans lack even the basic understanding of their own Govt/Financial system and choose to remain with heads planted firmly in the sand. Why, in the medical field most pamphlets given to the public have been printed at the 3rd and 4th grade level due to the complete and abhorrent lack of general education and basic literacy! Most people are too busy watching American Idol, or that cavalcade of fucking idiocy Duck Dynasty, to fight for the preservation of a once great public school system! Skepticism is born of education and continued study throughout one’s life, not by pablumizing one’s mind with insipid nonsense fed to the masses by mass media in attempt to distract them from real and present dangers.

I speak on these peripheral nonsense issues and their power over the public at every turn, and actively sign petitions, give money and exercise my voice in an effort to change public focus to the issues that actually carry weight. I frequently ask the intelligent people to recognize divisive tactics in politics and to ignore distractions meant to pit people against one another. The key lies in common sense, reason, logic and skeptical thought. While many chase the Supreme Court decision over the Hobby Lobby case, the power brokers broker ever larger contracts for greater influence literally ‘fiddling as Rome burns.’ They don’t have to worry, they can move on, we, the common people are left to pick up the remnants of a shattered economy.

The key is education, and a quality, well rounded education that teaches one to learn from their past mistakes. Rebuild the school system and most of these problems will all of a sudden be recognized by fresh intelligent people. Dummy our children down and we can look forward to desperate uneducated masses grateful for  jobs paying shit wages from cradle to grave. Our choice.