Pharyngula

Wake up, Denver!

There is a big rally for separation of church and state going on today at 3:30, beginning at the west steps of the Colorado Capitol building. Get out there and make your voice heard!

This is the information I’ve received about it:

Goals: To show support for a wall of separation between religion and government. To provide individuals and groups an opportunity to speak out against erosion of our legal rights on this front. To remind people of some of these issues one month before the elections.

The event is about separation of church and state in general, but we’ll also have some highlight issues in mind:

  • The 10th District Court’s ruling against Colorado’s ban on tax money going to pay tuition at colleges that discriminate on the basis of religion.

  • The “personhood” amendment that defines a fertilized egg as a human being, and would make some forms of birth control, in addition to abortion, murder under the law. (On our state ballot for November.)

  • On the national level, the Faith-based Initiatives that give taxpayer money to religious charities, so that they can provide social services instead of government (secular) agencies.

  • Eternally recurring battles over prayer in school, school vouchers, reproductive freedom, women’s rights, sexual orientation, health care, creationism being pushed into science classrooms, and other issues throughout the nation.

Denver Atheists & Freethinkers are sponsoring the event, and you should contact Jeanette if you want to know more.

Comments

  1. #1 SC
    September 28, 2008

    The “personhood” amendment that defines a fertilized egg as a human being,

    And a woman as…well, not quite one.

  2. #2 raven
    September 28, 2008

    The “personhood” amendment that defines a fertilized egg as a human being, and would make some forms of birth control, in addition to abortion, murder under the law. (On our state ballot for November.)

    The antiBC nuts are extremist hypocritical liars even by Death Cult standards. A women today with modern medicine and cheap abundant food can have 10 or 20 kids easily. Their leaders all have families within the US norm, Dobson 4, Robertson 2, Cheney 1, Bush 1, and so on. Obviously, like all sane, responsible people, they are using some sort of family planning.

  3. #3 BobC
    September 28, 2008

    battles over prayer in school

    creationism being pushed into science classrooms

    These wouldn’t be problems if there was more ridicule of Christian retards. More people need to point at Christians and laugh at them. The Christians need to understand their religion is a mental illness. With more relentless ridicule from more people, Christians will eventually learn how to shut up and keep their insanity out of our schools.

    Christians who don’t respect the Establishment Clause are traitors. They need to be told they belong in prison for treason, and they need to be told they belong in insane asylums. The Christian fundies are no better than Muslim terrorists and they should be treated like terrorists.

  4. #4 varlo
    September 28, 2008

    Twins only count as one?

  5. #5 raven
    September 28, 2008

    In the unlikely event that the cultist kooks outlawed abortion and birth control, it wouldn’t make too much difference.

    1. The rich and upper middle class would just fly to Europe for some shopping and medical care.

    2. The middle class would just travel to Canada and Mexico for shopping and medical care.

    3. The poor, many of whom are minorities would be the ones to get stuck with hordes of unwanted kids they can’t support well. Society would pick up the tab, either in increased welfare costs or increased police and prison costs when poorly socialized poor kids commit crimes and get picked up.

    Of course, the trend towards a nonwhite majority in this country would accelerate, California is already around 40%. I don’t have a problem with that but you can bet the christofascist wingnuts do.

    Be careful what you wish for, you might get it. At some point, there would be a backlash and if the wreckage of insane theocracy is great enough, it could get pretty ugly for the cultist kooks. The Reformation and the Enlightment (of which the USA is a product) were backlashes against demented, corrupt, stullifying religious control. Who knows, maybe there would be a Second Enlightment instead of an Apocalypse?

  6. #6 clinteas
    September 28, 2008

    raven @ 2 and 5 :

    //The antiBC nuts are extremist hypocritical liars even by Death Cult standards// and the other stuff you said :

    Exactly right ,on all points.

  7. #7 Tim
    September 28, 2008

    The separation of church and state is for their own good, the same way you wouldn’t allow your teenage children access to the whiskey bottle. If that sounds like I think the fundies are irresponsible, you heard right.

  8. #8 margish
    September 28, 2008

    Ah yes, the law which makes no sense to anyone with the least biological education. As over 50% of fertilized eggs are lost in a spontaneous menstrual flow, Colorado women who are fertile, could, by the wording of this horribly worded edict, be prosecuted for murder by throwing away their used tampons! I have suggested Coloradon women to save all this biohazard and present these zygotes to the pricks who support this obscenity. Women on periods= murder.
    How can we expect these retards to understand evolution when they cannot even comprehend basic physiology.

  9. #9 Greg R.
    September 28, 2008

    Thanks for posting this, PZ. In addition to Jeanette, here is a list of other people who have agreed to speak at this rally:

    Sean Curley (Humanist activist, board member of the Bounder International Humanist Institute (BIHI) and Humanist Celebrant)

    Lucia “Elles” Guatney (Of “Splendid Elles” fame)

    Brian Graves (Representative of “No on 48″ campaign)

    Mike Smith (Secular Activist, representative of “No on 48.”)

    Groff Schroeder (President of Freethinkers of Colorado Springs)

    Victor J. Stenger, PhD (College professor and renowned author)

    Marvin Straus (Activist, COCORE leader, co-founder of Boulder Atheists)

    Richard Berg (Board member of Humanists of Colorado)

  10. #10 calladus
    September 28, 2008

    The “personhood” amendment that defines a fertilized egg as a human being, and would make some forms of birth control, in addition to abortion, murder under the law. (On our state ballot for November.)

    Oh my, I’ve already written about what would happen in this possible future. Quick summary: “Handmaid’s Tale”.

  11. #11 Diana Hsieh
    September 28, 2008

    Regarding the Amendment 48 — which would grant full legal rights to fertilized eggs — you might be interested to read an issue paper recently published by the Coalition for Secular Government: “Amendment 48 Is Anti-Life: Why It Matters That a Fertilized Egg Is Not a Person” by Ari Armstrong and myself. It’s available at:

    http://www.seculargovernment.us/docs/a48.pdf

    We discuss some of the serious implications of this proposed amendment, including its effects on the legality of abortion, birth control, and in vitro fertilization. And we offer a strong defense of abortion rights based on the biological facts of pregnancy.

    Diana Hsieh
    Founder, Coalition for Secular Government
    http://www.seculargovernment.us

  12. #12 Jeanette
    September 28, 2008

    Thank you, PZ, for letting everyone know about our event. It was great. Not the turnout we would have liked, and yet still the largest event of its kind in Denver in years. It’s frustrating that it’s so hard to get our people out there. Hell, sometimes it’s hard to even get them to leave the house for pizza and beer.

    But our speakers were great, every one of them. (Even I surprised myself with my not-that-badness.) And so were the participants and volunteers for the event.

    We need to learn to be as outspoken as the Religious Right, if we ever want to have comparable power in this country, and to prevent them from turning it into a theocracy. They have influence as if they were some enormous majority of the population, but they’re not. And we’re not so few and far between; it just seems like we are because most of our people are living in hiding. But the more of us get out there, the more of us will be motivated and fearless about doing so.

  13. #13 Rich Orman
    September 29, 2008

    I would like to thank Jeanette for organizing this event. She certainly researched the rules of staging a protest on the steps of the state capitol building–from having event marshals in the orange vests to telling everyone where they were not allowed to stand–so as not to avoid pedestrian traffic. I counted something like 34 people in attendance. I have seldom seen a freethinking-type gathering in the Mile High City when free food or beer was not involved. All of the speakers were well prepared and had interesting things to say. I counted several tourist-type people who just happened to wander onto the grounds of the capitol that afternoon and seemed to be interested in what was going on–although one of them shouted something incomprehensible from the “Mile High Step” that might have been an attempt to heckle. For a while two strange guys carrying large Bibles watched. I was concerned that they might start an incident, but they ended up wandering off after 10 minutes or so, seemingly put off by the lack of fiery anti-religious rhetoric–although one of them videotaped the crowd in a sort of slow-pan Scientologyesque move.

    I also want to thank PZ. I would not have heard about the event (Or Jeanette’s meetup group) without PZ giving his blub this morning. Thanks PZ.

  14. #14 John C. Randolph
    September 29, 2008

    Hmm.. You’d think the bible-thumpers would be in retreat in Colorado since that tweaker closet-case got busted.

    -jcr

  15. #15 Robert Byers
    September 29, 2008

    Oh brother. And you guys wonder why your losing ground to the march of Christian truth in America.
    A wall of separation between church and state?
    Oh brother.

    If the state is engaged in attacking, diminishing, dismissing, the doctrines, the foundations, and the actual ideas and conclusions of religion then there is no separation by wall or ropes.
    In teaching evolution in science class and many subjects in other classes the state is teaching the bible and so Christianity is false.
    In not allowing a rebuttal by creationism the state is very insistant that the bible is false on origins and other matters.
    Otherwise the truth would be allowed or controversy over truth allowed.
    No allowance means the state has a opinion. Its teaching this opinion is settled truth.
    Therefore the state is saying the church is wrong in its beliefs.

    I can’t see where my reasoning is flawed.

    You just can’t say the state is not interfering with the church on conclusions that you say the church is interfering with the state if allowed in.

  16. #16 Zarquon
    September 29, 2008

    In teaching evolution in science class and many subjects in other classes the state is teaching the bible and so Christianity is false.

    Yeah, that’s Christianity’s problem in a nutshell. It is contradicted by reality.

  17. #17 raven
    September 29, 2008

    Byers the lying, crazy cultist:

    Oh brother. And you guys wonder why your losing ground to the march of Christian truth in America.

    The real data is the other way around. There is a backlash against fundie loons. They have seriously damaged the USA in their 8 years of power. A pointless endless war that has left hundreds of thousands dead, some American. An economy in its death throes with a few major banks failing every week. Wamu died on friday, the largest failure in US history, Wachovia is going down today.

    Even the old line conservatives of the Theothuglican party are fed up. The GOP used to stand for something besides stupidity, bigotry, and incompetence. They want their party back.

    The data is below. The Pew research organization is a highly respected polling organization.

    The Voters are also blaming the Death Cult fundies for destroying the USA and its economy.

    50% – More Conservatives Now Say Churches Should Stay Out of Politics Wed Sep 24, 12:00 AM ET
    Half of self-described conservatives now express the view that churches and other houses of worship should stay out of politics; four years ago, only 30% of conservatives expressed this view. Overall, a new national survey by the Pew Research Center finds a narrow majority of the public (52%) now says that churches and other houses of worship should keep out of political matters and not express their views on day-to-day social and political matters. For a decade, majorities of Americans had voiced support for religious institutions speaking out on such issues. The survey also finds that most of the reconsideration of the desirability of religious involvement in politics has occurred among conservatives. As a result, conservatives’ views on this issue are much more in line with the views of moderates and liberals than was previously the case. Similarly, the sharp divisions between Republicans and Democrats that previously existed on this issue have disappeared. There are other signs in the new poll about a potential change in the climate of opinion about mixing religion and politics. First, the survey finds a small but significant increase since 2004 in the percentage of respondents saying that they are uncomfortable when they hear politicians talk about how religious they are — from 40% to 46%. Again, the increase in negative sentiment about religion and politics is much more apparent among Republicans than among Democrats.

    Looks like there is a backlash against the Death Cults. These are nihilists who have only brought death and destruction during their time in power. Their latest victim is the US economy, the largest in the world at one time. Palin is one, a hardcore religious kook.

    It is no secret that she believes the earth is 6,000 years old and that god will show up any day, destroy the earth and kill 6.7 billion people. And that this is a good thing. She sacrificed her own daughter on the altar of her extremist views.

    McCain made a mistake with that choice. While christofascists will vote for her, many in the rest of the USA have had enough of these nutters and are appalled that what is basically a crazy mom is one old man away from the potential presidency.

  18. #18 raven
    September 29, 2008

    Byers the lying, crazy cultist:

    In not allowing a rebuttal by creationism the state is very insistant that the bible is false on origins and other matters.

    Most Xians worldwide don’t have a problem with evolution, Catholics, mainstream Protestants, Mormons and others. It isn’t the state that insists that fundie moron mythology is false, it is reality that does so.

    You fundie moron cultists don’t speak for all Xians, just your cults. The state schools teaches our current understanding of science without reference or concern about any of hundreds of creation myths.

    If your mythology is false, that is your problem. Science also contradicts the Greek and Norse creation mythologies but no one seems to care. Get over it.

  19. #19 Emmet Caulfield
    September 29, 2008

    In teaching evolution in science class and many subjects in other classes

    Horror of horrors, the state is teaching objectively verifiable facts and well-corroborated theories in science class! Shame on them!

    the state is teaching the bible and so Christianity is false.

    Indirectly, yes, but it’s not the State’s problem that Christianity and the bible are preposterous nonsense. The State cannot be expected to purge all truths from the curriculum that might contradict the whacky beliefs of some religious group or other.

    In not allowing a rebuttal by creationism the state is very insistant that the bible is false on origins and other matters.

    The State also does not allow rebuttal by proponents of the “Dream Time” story of Native Australians, the Noodly Appendage story of Pastafarians, and countless other creation myths. Why should the, equally nutty, creation myth of Christianity be privileged?

    I can’t see where my reasoning is flawed.

    That’s the problem.

  20. #20 Jeanette
    September 29, 2008

    Raven has a good point about mainstream religion, and one that’s often missed. Not that I’m validating any religion, but most Christians and Jews accept evolution by natural selection. It’s only the bible literalists that hold those nutty views and cause most of the trouble we equate with “religion.” They’re giving all religion a bad name by clinging to literal interpretations of obvious fairy tales, then attempting to impose their twisted ideas on everyone. If people could believe nutty things without bothering the rest of us in any way, it wouldn’t much matter and I wouldn’t much care.

  21. #21 Robert Byers
    September 29, 2008

    Some posters here admit that the state , by teaching evolution, is making a statement that the bible and so christianity for many is false.
    Well then.
    Its against the law to do this. The constitutional law that is used to keep creationism out of schools.
    yes they do say the bible can’t be taught as a alternative to evolution etc in science class. They say, and the host of this forum says, that its against the law.
    The law that says their is a separation of church and state.
    Therefore schools can not teach creationism.
    Well if the schools teach the bible is false then they are breaking the separation concept by logical analysis.

    Other points brought up are irrelevant to the law used to censor one side.
    As I said my reasoning is flawless.

    By the way. A poster here blamed Christians for iraq. Iraq was a Jewish neo conservative passion on behalf of israeli security and whim. Just like Iran.
    If this Kenyan guy wins and war with iran starts will you scapegoat Fundies?
    Don’t wait 20 years for a book to come out about these times before you figure out the motivations in small circles in high places.

  22. #22 Ichthyic
    September 29, 2008

    Some posters here admit [claim] that the state , by teaching evolution, is making a statement that the bible and so christianity for many is false.

    no, that would be you making that claim.

    nice try, Robert.

  23. #23 Ichthyic
    September 29, 2008

    Hmm.. You’d think the bible-thumpers would be in retreat in Colorado since that tweaker closet-case got busted.

    denial is a very useful psychological defense mechanism.

    likely, any creobots that even acknowledge that event took place have already buried it deep within their house of cards they call a mind.

  24. #24 Xavier
    September 30, 2008

    Regarding the re-definition of life as beginning at conception:

    The legal definition of death is associated with the cessation of brain-stem activity in the formerly living person. If said ‘person’ has no brain-stem, or indeed brain or central nervous system then that ‘person’ should legally be declared deceased.

    Does the law recognise resurrection or would the inescapable conclusion of the proposed re-definition be that all USians are brain dead? And have no human rights. And, since all their property would go into probate and eventually be seized by the government, penniless and homeless (again).
    I see what they are going for.

    (Slightly) more seriously, this re-definition will necessarily require a re-deifinition of death to exclude the need for a functioning brain/heart/body. That being the case turning off a life-support machine would be murder. What would be the status of ‘person’ with a neural tube defect of the sort that the foetus never develops a brain at all? Would the ancephalic body have to live out its entire ‘life’ until it dies of old age?
    And when someone dies…how will we tell?

  25. #25 Sven DiMilo
    September 30, 2008

    As I said my reasoning is flawless.

    Quoted for Hall of Fame-level cluelessness.

  26. #26 Rev. BigDumbChimp, KoT
    September 30, 2008

    Some posters here admit that the state , by teaching evolution, is making a statement that the bible and so christianity for many is false.
    Well then.

    /sigh

    The ethereal “Some posters” are not the state.

    The state is and should be in the business of promoting the best science available for science class. Something that is being done 100% by teaching evolution and ignoring creationism. If someone extrapolates from what they learn in science class and combines that with other information and data then coming to the conclusion of no god, then great. But that is not by any stretch directly what the state is promoting by supporting the best science available.

    So

    As I said my reasoning is flawless.

    Not even close.

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