17 February 2009


In my attempt to show that being religious
is not a guarantee of moral behavior,
this post is a part of my series of reports
featuring the bad behavior of religious people,
past or present....

Look for other posts showing the bad behavior
perpetrated by members of other religious groups.


In the December 2008 issue of Freethought Today, the Freedom From Religion Foundation published some of the lovely, heartwarming letters they received from Christians. You know Christians, those religious people who are kind, caring and compassionate, who love their neighbors and their enemies.

Spelling and punctuation have not been corrected:
(To Dan Barker) I hear on your interview with FOX News that you are shoveling snow today... if you are, please keep it up... Hopefully a rude, hateful, God hating sonofab***h like you will have a fatal heart attack.....One can only hope. Have a Merry Christmas you piece of sh*t. Mark Cooper

You poeple need to shut the f*** up.... I can show you the way to hell if you think their is no god! So... quit trying to ruin my christmas... People like you make me sick and I think you need to be kicked out of this country! have a great day!

Please find it in your atheist heart to go F*** yourselfs. In the midst of doing so please find a job. You’re spending entirely way too much of your GOD given time trying to get the word out about your pathetic org.

MAY YOU ALL BURN ETERNALLY... have a nice day.

“God bless you”... you bunch of idiots.

Subject: National Prayer Day
I think “F*** The Freedom From Religion Foundation in the Ass Until It Bleeds Day” would be a much better idea. Don’t you agree? Thanks and have a great day. Chris Goylan

And they wonder why some of us have chosen to reject their wonderful, friendly, loving, generous, and considerate religion.

Order a subscription, a sample copy, or a back issue of
Freethought Today at the FFRF website.


feeno said...


Hope you are well. Also hope you don't mind me stopping by. I read some of your stuff and it intrigued me. I was over at John's site at D.C.

I have heard lot's of stories like these. And I wont even try to pretend that they didn't happen. But I sure am curios about who these people are and what kind of church they attend?

Do you think this is normal Christian behavior?

I'm not trying to convince you that all "Christians" are good people. They might even be a minority among believers.

A quick example if you will allow me. My church teaches that the homosexual lifestyle is a sin. But we would never discriminate against anyone of them. They would be welcomed there anytime. And we would defend them against any personal attacks. Sure, because of what we teach they might be offended? But to call us hateful, bigots, rubes etc. simply isn't fair.

I could have been talking about abortion or Atheists, if you know what I mean?

On a personel note I can tell you, when I pray for the unborn, I always pray for the best for their Mom as well. I certainly am not trying to say I'm some good person, because I have a long way to go.

I guess I'm just trying to say that no group likes to be painted with such a large brush.

Thanks for the space. Have a nice night. feeno

C Woods said...

Feeno ---Thank you for stopping by my blog.

I am in no way saying that all religious people behave badly. My posts are in response to those who claim that people must believe in God and Jesus, in order to be moral. (I may also post some Muslims or Jews behaving badly, too ---so I am not picking Christians ---it's just that they are the ones I hear most often proclaiming their religion makes them moral.) in other words, being religious is not a guarantee of moral behavior.

In another post http://tirelesswing.blogspot.com/2009/02/is-religion-guarantee-of-moral-behavior.html
I repeatedly state this is not typical behavior. I believe that religious and nonreligious people behave in moral/ethical ways in about the same proportions. They behave badly in about the same proportions, too. Being kind, honest, and ethical has nothing to do with belief in God or being religious. Before Chrisitanity, everyone wasn't going around killing and raping each other, then suddenly stopped when Christianity became a religion.

In the U.S., surveys have shown that people will vote for a black, gay, Muslim woman before they will vote for an atheist. Do they think we worship the devil and wear horns? I contend, that if any religious person met me, as long as we didn't discuss religion, that person would have no idea that I am an atheist. I am a caring, honest, productive member of society. I admit to becoming rather testy when religious people try to force their religion on me, directly ---or even indirectly through government action. I want the government to be neutral in religious matters.

Now, to the matter of homosexuality. I know in the Bible it says homosexuality is an abomination. But it also says you should stone a disobedient child, that eating pork or lobster is an abomination, that women should not speak in church, that gold should not be worn in church, that women should not wear men's clothing, that planting two kinds of grain in the same field is an abomination. I am assuming you've never stoned you child. You and/or other members of your church probably eat pork and lobster. Most women wear pants. My question is, why is homosexuality one of the few Biblical laws/rules that people still think is a sin? Why aren't religious groups rallying against eating pork, wearing gold in church, women wearing jeans????? Why aren't they having ritual stonings of disobedient children? How has it been decided that some Biblical sins/laws/rules are no longer sins, but others still are?

The Bible says nothing about Lesbians. So is being Lesbian OK?

You personally may never openly discriminate against homosexuality, but I bet there are members of your congregation who would. There are probably atheists who would. By denying someone the permission to be who they are by saying their behavior is sinful, aren't you still discriminating, albeit passively?

I always try to look at another's point of view ---or see it from another side. What if roles were reversed? What if you lived in a society where homosexuality was the majority life style? What if you were ashamed to admit you liked to have sex with the opposite sex because people thought it was a sin? What if you were denied the right to marry the person you loved? How would you handle that?

I also think that when some people (not all) make rallying against "sin" their life's work, they become obsessed with it. Look at Ted Haggard, Jimmy Swaggart, Jim Bakker ---just for a few examples. They ended up doing exactly what they had been preaching against. Or is it that they knew they had "sinful natures" and thought that praying enough or being pious enough would cure them? Well, obviously that didn't work for them, nor for pedophile priests.

And of course, there is abortion. I am pro-choice but I would be happy if there were never another abortion. Unfortunately, many of the people who are against abortion are also against sex education, birth control, distributing condoms or other means to stop or limit abortions. It has been proven time and again that abstinence only programs don't work, especially with teens with raging hormones. So anti-abortion people want to outlaw it. When I was young, abortion was illegal ---but women still had them. So that probably isn't going to work. And look back at all the presidential candidates that claimed to be pro-life while campaigning (Reagan, Bush 41 & 43.) Did any of them ever make a sincere effort to change anything? No ---because they know that even though the majority of people would never have an abortion (about 50% because they can't, plus the women who wouldn't) the majority of voters believe it is a private decision.

feeno said...


How are you today' Isn't the internet great. It's still exciting for me to hear from new people. Thanks.

"Being religious is not an argument for moral behavior." You are 100% accurate. About a week ago there was a blog on John's Site D.C. that talked about that very thing. I believe it was something like a recent poll suggests that there's not much difference between Atheists and Christians. I agreed with John and agree with you now, but I did add a few things over there. If you get a chance, you might want to check it out?

I'm glad I can eat lobster, big fan. But I'm not a big pork guy, unless it's crispy bacon on my egg mcmuffin. But those rules were intended for the Jewish people who wanted to follow God. As far as women wearing pants that's o.k., the meaning behind that has something to do with them wanting to become a man? And I think lesbianism is addressed in Rom. 1:26-27?

Christians feel we are fighting a spiritual war. And when we see the 10 commandments being removed from govt. places or prayer being taken out of school or someone trying to get the local manger scene taken down and what seems like an all out assault on Christmas, that's where we get the idea of "evil Atheists" I don't believe the majority of Atheists are evil at all, but the are usually the driving force behind these movements.

You really gave me a good laugh this morning when I read about the guy in the pick-up truck with the gun racks and rebel flags a flyin'.
I know several guys like that. Most are harmless, some however are simply haters. What can I say.
Personally, I don't like those rebel flags, but I wont prejudge those who fly them. Like you said, that guys actions is what we can judge.

I know I didn't answer all your questions. Fact is, things like stoning a disobedient child does baffle me? I've known a few kids who probably deserved it, some might even point there finger at me. I was a little hell raiser.

I will hang up now (well you know what I mean) and check out some more of your writing.

Best regards, feeno

C Woods said...

Why do you feel you are fighting a spiritual war?

You can post a thousand copies of the 10 Commandments or put up dozens of manger scenes in your home, in your church, on private property. Why is it necessary to display them on public property in a country where the Constitution forbids government entanglement with religion? I can think of a few reasons ---because you want to break down the wall of separation between church and state, you want to force your own moral code or religious beliefs on others, you want to advertise your religion.

You can pray as much as you want at home and in church. Again, what is the purpose of allowing organized prayers or Bible readings in schools? And what prayer would you use? A Catholic one? A Muslim prayer? a Jewish prayer? a Buddhist prayer?

Atheists are often the only ones blamed for the removal of Bible reading and prayer in public schools. Yet, Presidents Grant and Theodore Roosevelt insisted that matters of religion be left to families and churches. In 1890, Bible reading was outlawed in Wisconsin schools after a lawsuit was filed by a Roman Catholic family. The 1963 ruling that barred organized prayer in public schools was filed by Madalyn O’Hair an atheist, but the same year Edward Schempp, a Unitarian, filed a case against Bible reading. The cases were consolidated and won at the Supreme Court level. In the early 20th century, S. Dakota, N. Hampshire and Massachusettes had already revoked laws mandating religious practices in schools. (By the way, none of these decisions prevent anyone from praying to oneself or reading the Bible to oneself in public schools.) The Supreme Court outlawed student-inititated prayers at high-school football games in 2000. The plaintiffs were Roman Catholic and Mormon families.

The largest church-state separation group in the U.S. today, Americans United for Separation of Church and State, is a Methodist organization.

Again I'd like an answer to why these things need to be done in the public sector when you can do them as much as you wish in other venues?

And I haven't yet received a good answer about why homosexuality seems to be a main focus of sin among the religious? I know some of the laws are old Hebrew laws, but so is 'homosexuality is an abomination'. Why do you continue to obey some but reject others?

A man named Floyd Cochran who was a former recruiter for a white supremacist group gave an interview in Philadelphia. This was in the 90's and I know things have changed for the better since. He said he could no longer go to public places and start ranting about black people to try to recruit members. But he could still go out and talk trash about gays ---and many would agree with him. He could then invite them to a meeting and gradually draw them in.

I am not saying Christians are racists, but I think, like the recruiter above, they choose hot button issues like abortion and homosexuality because those issues illicit emotional responses that get people worked up to rally around a cause.

When I heard the amount of money that was spent to support or fight against Prop 8 in California (I've heard several figures with the average around $70-75 million) all I could think was how many people could have been fed, how many homes saved from foreclosure, how many school rooms equipped, how many African villages could have safe drinking water, how many AIDs patients provided with medicine with that money instead of fighting against people who love each other?

feeno said...


Good Morning.

You have a lot of good points/arguments here. I will try to tackle them quickly. The 1st few will be easy to address because I can agree with you on the fact that it does seem unfair to have a particular view shown on public property. So in all fairness I probably don't have the right to "whine' about that.

And again on prayer in school, kids still can pray, just to themselves, which is a good thing.

I can only speak for myself on your question as to why homosexual lifestyle seems to be the main focus of sin? Quite frankly it is not. It's something that rarely even comes up at my church. The ones that are making all the noise are those groups who are desperately trying to make the church look like a bunch of hate mongers and intolerant rubes to discredit God and his word.(This is where the idea of fighting a spiritual war comes from Eph. 6:12)
Most Godly churches will teach all sin separates us from God, and if you broken one part of the law you have broken them all. James 2:10. The churches stance on that lifestyle is simply that is is a sin. Just like a bunch of other stuff mentioned in the Bible. And if it makes anyone feel better my church is filled with sinners, you don't have to look any farther than the one writing this post to find one.

Floyd Cochran and his followers sound like a bunch of losers to me and no real church supports these kind of people or there message.

People have the right to spend their money on whatever cause they want. And as much money as $75 million is that is an argument you'd have a tough time winning. You do realize what the Christian community has done around our globe don't you. We've built Hospitals, Schools, Housing, Factories and built wells and rebuilt torn down villages and cities. Not to sound "holier than thou" but just Sat. night Feb 14 (Valentines Day) at my little church we put on a benefit concert for a local inner city mission. In about 2 hours we were able to raise $1,000.00. All done by volunteers for a group of people who are mainly volunteers.

BTW I know there are also very generous Atheists, Agnostics and just random people who do good things that have no affiliation with the church.

You personally sound like a very caring and thoughtful person, and I try to be that way. But we both know that there are plenty of people who claim to be Christian/Atheist that are simply bad people.

Let's weed them out and focus our thoughts of justice solely on them?

Have a long and relaxing week-end. I might start mine right after lunch? Once again I appreciate your time. Peace out, feeno

C Woods said...

Reply to feeno:

If some of the more radical churches are making Christianity look bad ---and believe me, they are --- why don't the more liberal or moderate church leaders join together and speak up?

What Barack Obama once said about religion might be a starting point for more moderate religious leaders to begin a dialogue: “Somehow, somewhere along the way, faith stopped being used to bring us together and started being used to drive us apart. It got hijacked. Part of it is because the so-called leaders of the Christian right are all too eager to exploit what divides us...”

I mentioned in an earlier post that, in a study on atheism, some people claimed they turned away from religion because of the Religious Right, thus instead of attracting more people to Christianity, they are driving people away. I have been an atheist for 50 years, but I have become much more outspoken about the negative side of religion since the "Religious Right" ---or as I call them the "Religious Wrong" ---came on the scene.

This was an oversight on my part. I should have mentioned that Floyd Cochran did a 180 degree turnaround. In the interview I mentioned, he was explaining what he USED to do to recruit members of his white supremacy group. He now works against such groups. He was unhappy with the group for a while, but when his son was born with what the group considered to be a defect (a hare lip, I think) he was told because his son was not perfect, that he should let him die. That would set off a light bulb for any parent, I would think. At that point, Cochran reconsidered his life and priorities and soon left the group.

I never claimed the white supremacists were supported by churches. I said that, like Cochran's group, SOME religious leaders choose hot button issues to rally their congregations or recruit new members. But, you must admit, there probably are a few fringe religions who do support such groups.

You said no "real church" supports these kinds of people or their message. How do you define a "real church.' Every religion thinks it's "real" or "true." Who gets to decide? And, don't you think, some other churches and other religions think your church isn't "real" either?

Humorist Dave Barry once said that no matter what religion you are, everyone else's sounds crazy. Since I am an atheist, I guess they all sound somewhat crazy to me.

feeno said...


Good morning, hope your week-end went well. Mine was fine. Just to short.

I think a lot of those "radical churches" are a minority and they just grab all the headlines. Then when someone noble (that's my opinion) like Rick Warren makes a stance against an issue he's vilified. Even though a lot of people have the same stance.

What Obama said sounds great. But where's the beef? What issues is he referring to? Was abortion or the gay lifestyle accepted by the old faith? If you re-read what he's saying you'll find that he is pandering to both sides simply for votes/approval.

I'm glad you told me about Floyd Cochran, Thank you. It's unfortunate that it took that scenario for him to understand his earlier thought pattern. However, good for him that he did have a change of heart.

I'm sure Christians have been turning people away from the church for along time. Some justified and some just use it as an excuse. FYI I once heard that Bin Laden once said (when he was a young student, I believe at the Univ. of Colorado) "Christianity wouldn't be so bad, if it wasn't for the Christians."

When I wrote real church I was just being lazy. I should have said a church that really cares about people wouldn't condone or approve those types of actions.
However a real church, by my standards not necessarily the churches, is that a real church is one that teaches that Jesus was born of the virgin Mary, died on a cross and rose 3 days later. So I don't think my church is the right one. There's a number of "right churches" I do get what Dave Barry was saying though, it's true in a lot of ways.

Thanks again for the space, Peace out, feeno

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