1994: The Native American Code of Ethics

Wherever you come from and whatever your circumstances, I think that this code is something that we should all try and live by. It was originally published in the Inter-Tribal Times in October 1994 but it transcends time. Have a look and let me know what you think of this. How many of you are already living this code of ethics? Rise with the sun to pray. Pray alone. Pray often. The Great Spirit will listen if you only speak. Be tolerant of those who are lost on their path. Ignorance, conceit, anger, jealousy, and greed stem from a lost soul. Pray that they will find guidance. Search for yourself, by yourself. Do not allow others to make your path for you. It is your road and yours alone. Others may walk it with you, but no one can walk it for you. Treat the guests in your home […] Read More

2015: How Corporate America Invented Christian America

How one reverend’s big business-backed crusade altered the political landscape. The following is an adapted excerpt from Kevin Kruse’s new book,  One Nation Under God: How Corporate America Invented Christian America (Basic Books, 2015). In December 1940, as America was emerging from the Great Depression, more than 5,000 industrialists from across the nation made their yearly pilgrimage to the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City, convening for the annual meeting of the National Association of Manufacturers. The program promised an impressive slate of speakers: titans at General Motors, General Electric, Standard Oil, Mutual Life, and Sears, Roebuck; popular lecturers such as etiquette expert Emily Post and renowned philosopher-historian Will Durant; even FBI director J. Edgar Hoover. Tucked away near the end of the program was a name few knew initially, but one everyone would be talking about by the convention’s end: Reverend James W. Fifield Jr. Handsome, tall, and somewhat gangly, […] Read More

‘Pro Life’ GOPer Says It’s Fine For Kids to Die in the Name of God

Rep. Christy Perry says it violates parents’ rights if they’re required to treat their sick children. In a deeply religious section of Idaho, a Republican state representative says that the state has no right to protect children from their parents who refuse them needed medical treatment in favor of faith healing. “Children do die,” says Rep. Christy Perry. And it’s fine with her if Idaho children die in the name of God. Perry’s district includes many followers of a religious cult, Followers of Christ, that eschews medicine. She says that the sect’s members are more comfortable confronting death when it happens to their children. “I’m not trying to sound callous, but [people calling for reform] want to act as if death is an anomaly. But it’s not. It’s a way of life,” she says. Perry says that a proposed ban on faith-healing would violate the religious rights of her constituents. […] Read More

Huckabee Claims God Blessed Him, and Mormons Back LGBT Rights

No one has had a busier week than former Fox News host Mike Huckabee, who got a direct blessing from God to run for president so that he could fight off the “secular theocracy” atheists with no political power are imposing upon the American people. As if that was not enough, Huckabee has figured out how to end all school shootings—not with sensible gun control, but in form of a Christian theocracy in which your children pray at school. Speaking at an evangelical conference, Huckabee reminisced about his public school days, which he says were full of religion: “The Gideons would give us Bibles. And nobody got arrested. Nobody got sued. And by the way, nobody got hurt either. Because we were bringing Bibles to school, people weren’t bringing guns to school, except for the deer hunters who left them in their trucks. We prayed at my school. We prayed the first […] Read More

Gov. Bobby Jindal Is One of the Top Republican Islamophobes — and Also a Religious Extremist

Jindal may be against Islamic extremism, but his moves as a fervent Catholic promotes a religious agenda. Today Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal is in London, to give a speech about how to address Islamic extremism at the conservative Henry Jackson Society. While this topic has little to do with his current job, hysteria about Muslims is a rising topic among the crop of Republican presidential contenders, and the speech is a way for Jindal to court the Islamophobia among GOP primary voters. But Jindal is perhaps the most ironic figure to address religious extremism, given his own background. He has been a fervent convert to Catholicism, and has engaged in borderline abusive practices himself; as governor, he expanded the role of religion in public schools, blurring the divide between church and state. If anything, Jindal should take a look at his own messianic religiosity before criticizing others’. A Fervent […] Read More

My Horrible Right-Wing Past: Confessions of a One-Time Religious Right Icon

I was a religious fanatic appealing to political leaders. Today, the fanatics are the political leaders. I am a white, privileged, well-off, 61-year-old former Republican religious right-wing activist who changed his mind about religion and politics long ago. The New York Times profiled my change of heart, saying that to my former friends I’m considered a “traitorous prince” since my religious-right family was once thought of as “evangelical royalty.” Only in the Mafia, the British Royal family and big-time American religion is a nepotistic rise to power seen as normal. And I was good at it. And I hated it while hypocritically profiting from it; until, that is, in the mid-1980s, I quit. These days I describe myself as an atheist who believes in God. Ironically, I helped my father become famous in the religion sector. In the 1970s I directed and produced two film series featuring Dad with book companions that became evangelical bestsellers: How […] Read More

2014: Georgia Pastor Has His Mind Blown by European Atheists: ‘If There’s No God, Why Should I Believe?’

During a trip to secular Nordic countries, Baptist pastor Marty McLain was asked by one man: “If there’s no god, why should I believe in him?” A Finnish television network recently filmed a Southern Baptist pastor as he visited secular Nordic countries and struggled to come to grips with widespread LGBT rights and atheism. In an episode of Yle’s The Norden, Summit Church of West Georgia Lead Pastor Marty McLain tells the network that he is a creationist who believes in the story of the Garden of Eden and that there is a “literal Hell.” “The Bible does refer to — in the book of Revelations — the lake of fire,” he explains. In a trailer for the episode, McLain interviews people on the street in an attempt to find someone in the Nordic countries he visits who believes in God. “If there’s no god, why should I believe […] Read More

2014: Former Fundamentalist Exposes the Christian Right’s Bizarre PR Sham

Just watching their films shows their vile, heavy-handed tactics. “Millions of believers will suddenly vanish into thin air,” Willie Robertson, best known for his work on Duck Dynasty, exclaimed recently. He was promoting the new Christian movie ”Left Behind,” where he has an executive producer credit. “It’s a warning to those, if it happened today, would be left behind. And I believe that people are going to make the life-changing decision to follow Christ on the way home from the theater … opening the door to unbelievers has never been this fun.” I’m sorry to inform Mr. Robertson, but I watched “Left Behind” and spent my entire ride home only contemplating the two hours of my life back that I will never get back. The film proves that conservative American Christians have not learned an important childhood lesson: You can’t threaten, vilify or bully someone into liking you. In simpler times, stories of […] Read More

Learning to Think in a Society Ruled by Absurd Religion and Other Dogma

The following is an excerpt from Parenting Without God by Dan Arel. One important thing to teach our children is how to think critically. It is easy to tell them they should, but it is not as easy to teach them how, mainly because we may not be that great at it ourselves. How many atheists do you know who are anti-GMO or anti-vaccination? We know these can be smart people who took on a position that is full of emotion, misinformation or bad research methods. Think back to earlier discussions about vaccinations when those opposed were flooding you with links, not links to scientific studies, but to blogs or “information” sites by doctors who seemed to be selling a cure-all at the same time they were telling you to avoid modern medicine. This is a failure in critical thinking, and it’s usually the result of confirmation bias. If you start […] Read More