CHARLESTON, S.C. — Two months after the local atheist organization here put up a billboard saying “Don’t Believe in God? You Are Not Alone,” the group’s 13 board members met in Laura and Alex Kasman’s living room to grapple with the fallout.
The problem was not that the group, the Secular Humanists of the Lowcountry, had attracted an outpouring of hostility. It was the opposite. An overflow audience of more than 100 had showed up for their most recent public symposium, and the board members discussed whether it was time to find a larger place.
And now parents were coming out of the woodwork asking for family-oriented programs where they could meet like-minded nonbelievers.
The United States is a nation of religious drifters, with about half of adults switching faith affiliation at least once during their lives, according to a new survey.
The reasons behind the swap depend greatly on whether one grows up kneeling at Roman Catholic Mass, praying in a Protestant pew or occupied with nonreligious pursuits, according to a report issued Monday by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life.
Why worry about a budget impasse when you can spend more than a hour debating the value of new license plates? That’s what members of the Florida Senate did today, spurred by concern over amendments offered by Sen. Ronda Storms, R-Valrico, and Sen. Gary Siplin, D-Orlando.
This time the Freethinkers will meet on THURSDAY, APRIL 30 2009. (Note the change of date. The speaker is a co-host of True Talk which airs Friday mornings on WMNF 88,5 just before Amy Goodman’s Democracy Now program. ) The group will meet at the UU Church of Sarasota, 3975 Fruitville Road in the Jefferson Room at 10 a.m., as usual. The day of the week has been changed, just for this month.
Our program presenter will be Samar-Dahmash-Jarrah. Her topic will be: “The Question of Palestine: Origins and Solutions.” She is the radio co-host of “True Talk” on WMNF 88.5 every Friday from 11 a.m. to noon. Samar teaches Geo Politics of the Middle East at the Honors College at the University of South Florida. She has traveled widely in the Middle East. She is the author of Arab Voices Speak To American Hearts. Her philosophy is illustrated by her statement: “I believe communication between peoples breaks down barriers.” Following her talk there will be a Question and Answer period and a discussion. For further information, call Tom Dente at 921-1598.
The FFF has an opening on its “planning committee”. The committee meets approximately once a month to plan and organize upcoming meetings. If interested, call Tom Dente at 921-1598.
Don’t Sleep, There Are Snakes: Life and Language in the Amazonian Jungle
Daniel L. Everett
PantheonThe Pirahã are the “Show me!” tribe of the Brazilian Amazon. They don’t bother with fiction or tall tales or even oral history. They have little art. They don’t have a creation myth and don’t want one. If they can’t see it, hear it, touch it or taste it, they don’t believe in it.
Missionaries have been preaching to the Pirahãs for 200 years and have converted not one. Everett did not know this when he first visited them in 1977 at age 26. A missionary and a linguist, he was sent to learn their language, translate the Bible for them, and ultimately bring them to Christ.
Instead, they brought him to atheism. “The Pirahãs have shown me that there is dignity and deep satisfaction in facing life and death without the comfort of heaven or the fear of hell and in sailing toward the great abyss with a smile.”