The Sepember-October issue of The Moral Atheist is being distributed by postal mail and email (see the Table of Contents).
If you want to read the entire issue, including the cover article, letters, and back page editorial, just ask by email to email@example.com and we'll send it in PDF form — or printed if you'd like.
One our supporters, Tom Parks in Texas, sent a video he produced and hoped we would review it. Sure, why not? We have seen atheist videos beyond counting so we expected more of the same. The title wasn't encouraging: "An Atheist Prayer." There are a lot of atheist videos on You-Tube with that title. Oh, well, play it anyway.
That's where the mediocrity stopped and the creativity began that was astonishing for its originality. A better title would be "An Atheist Ultimatum" because in the end it was that and could hardly be called a prayer.
We're not going to say exactly what the video was about for fear of not doing it justice. It has to be seen. The production quality is as high as a video gets. The visuals are lovely. The narration is — well, not like any other we've seen. The narrator is an absolute delight. The case made for atheism is simple and profound.
You can order this video on DVD or Blu-ray. It costs $14.95 because the producers don't have access to an affordable mass production service. (You could manage this by doing a screening for a few friends, serve coffee and cookies and have them donate a buck or two to help cover your costs.)
Here's the order info:
Mail a check for $14.95 payable to:
4416 Briarwood Ave., #10, PMB 40
Midland TX 79707
You can contact the producers by email at:
(Tell them to change the title to "An Atheist Ultimatum.")
Some of you have inquired as to how the Supreme Court's decision in June in Trinity Lutheran Church helps us in our challenge to In God We Trust on our money.
The answer pertains to an issue that arose in our case during the oral argument on June 16. The main sticking point for the judges seemed to be whether plaintiffs in a Free Exercise or RFRA case need to demonstrate that to prevail there has been some penalty imposed by the government. In other words, if a government action interferes with an individual's free exercise of religion, but that interference does not impose any fine or imprisonment, is the government still prohibited from acting in a certain way?
To me the answer, at least under RFRA, is clearly yes, since the statute doesn't say anything about needing to show such a penalty. In fact, the Supreme Court has specifically stated (in the Hobby Lobby case in 2014) that "Congress mandated that RFRA 'be construed in favor of a broad protection of religious exercise, to the maximum extent permitted by the terms of this chapter and the Constitution.'"
Still the judges on some of the Courts of Appeals have been unpersuaded. Although the Supreme Court in Trinity Lutheran did not definitively answer the question for situations where the government's activities were secular, it did seem to answer the question when the government's activities target religion or religious belief.
The Trinity Lutheran majority opinion specifically noted that there is a key distinction between "neutral and generally applicable laws" as opposed to laws "that single out the religious. "Because the 6th Circuit (in a previous case heard en banc) has appeared to have acknowledged that "In God We Trust" singles out the religious and is not "neutral and generally applicable," Trinity Lutheran Church should strongly work to our favor.
We have completed the updating and expansion of our book, Culture Wars: The Threat to Your Family and Your Freedom. The book is now in the hands of See Sharp Press for formatting and getting all the paperwork done for sending review copies to organizations that review new books. It's a complicated process.
The most noticeable change for readers will be the title's subheading. That "threat to freedom" statement will be "A been there, done that political activist shows how to get rid of Trump, is mindless minions, and their dogma-driven laws that control our lives." It reflects the major changes in the book in that it goes into detail about how the political system works and how it can be changed. (Rather easily if people really want to change it.) The book is full of firsthand instances of how some things work and some don't. It names names and gives credit as well as blame.
This is the only book we know of that gives specific information one needs to effect change. It is all about taking the upstream approach and attacking the problems where they start — with the leadership of political parties. Other books are all about downstream activities — going to rallies, sending emails, making phone calls. Those are all excellent activities but they are like cutting off things that will just grow back when the need is to get control of the organization that produces them. It's more effective This book is about how to do that, how to take over a political party and put people in office who don't need to be lobbied.
The book has 12 chapters instead of 10 so more issues can be covered. More attention is given to public education now that it is in the hands of an advocate for taxpayer funds going to religious schools. There is considerable attention paid to the need for the anti-Trump resisters to get a positive message to the public. Just ranting about Trump isn't enough.
The Democratic party takes considerable hits for its willingness to roll over and play dead to placate religion. Examples are given and they are not encouraging for those who want a secular society.
We don't know exactly when the first review copies of the book will be available but we know some of you want them and we will get them to you ASAP.
In This Issue
A Report.MarieAlena Castle
Paranoia (Part 4 of 4) William Sierichs Jr.
So Many Gods: Which One to Follow?.Bill van Druten
The Best Policy Guide for a Religiously Neutral Secular Nation
The first full-size book by AFHR Communications Director, Marie Alena Castle, published by See Sharp Press, Tucson AZ, and written at their request. All proceeds go to support AFHR outreach activities. Available from Barnes and Noble in stores and on-line, and from Amazon.com.
Culture Wars is an engaging, compelling and important book. The public is so unaware how fragile our constitutional rights are. The book reminds me of our military men and women who return to the states as amputees and then speak strongly against intolerance because they understand that's what the fight was all about. — Andrew Dawkins, Minneapolis MN. Attorney, former Minnesota state legislator.
Culture Wars is brilliant, readable, to the point, and thorough. Marie Alena Castle has given us a timely book that deserves a wide and serious readership. — Cecil Bothwell, Asheville NC councilmember, author of The Prince of War: Billy Graham's Crusade for a Wholly Christian Empire.
Over the years I have read many books on this subject, but Culture Wars stands head and shoulders above the crowd. — Earl Lee, librarian, author of Libraries in the Age of Mediocrity.
I was amazed and entranced by Ms. Castle's breadth of knowledge, her passion and compassion, and clearheaded convictions. — Arvonne Fraser, former U.S. Ambassador to the United States Commission on the Status of Women.
The author's grasp of theology and understanding of its irrelevance to how we live are impressive. This is rare in books about religion. — Kirk Buchanan, former Roman Catholic priest.
Culture Wars is brilliant and the logic is solid. MarieAlena Castle links a logical chain of reasoning about the dangers of religion in society and then uses it to thrash the notion that religious beliefs are harmless personal philosophies. She makes the case that passive atheists should become assertive against religious extremists and I agree. — Chris Edwards, New Palestine IN. Author of Spiritual Snake Oil: Fads & Fallacies in Pop Culture.
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