This week’s Freethought Fridays and Variety Show features the rejection of religious beliefs.
1st Hour: Christopher Loren
Unspirituality – Permission To Be Human.
“Religion convinced the world that there’s an invisible man in the sky who watches everything you do. And there’s 10 things he doesn’t want you to do or else you’ll go to a burning place with a lake of fire until the end of eternity. But he loves you! …And he needs money! He’s all powerful, but he can’t handle money!” joked the late George Carlin.
Christopher Loren author of Unspirituality – Permission To Be Human, not only examines the delusions of organized religion, but goes even deeper, looking at the bondage of spirituality and mysticism. Unspirituality removes the delusion of the spiritual self and its story.
Unspirituality – Permission To Be Human strips away centuries of delusion. The spiritual story was once an answer to the anxieties of the natural world, but now has become a colorful cage in which humans are trapped. It is an insidious trance that has perpetuated needless suffering for our species up to the modern day. Unspirituality is a call to stand up and be proud to be human without the spiritual story.
“We have been led to look in the wrong direction. We have been bamboozled, beguiled, betrayed. We have been cheated for far too long. We have been led to believe our enemy lies ‘out there.’ We have been led to ‘believe,’” the book jacket reads. In our world with an increasing number of “nones” – that is, those who are no longer affiliated with religion – Loren sees an uplifting future for humankind, writing. “Our plight lies in the emotional investment of our identification with the image. I predict an awakening on this planet of epic proportions, where the realization of this conspiracy will spring to life. I see the long hardened road of religious and spiritual delusion coming to an abrupt end, like a domino effect, cascading across the globe.”
Loren’s interests lie in the subjective area of human experience as a natural phenomenon. He argues against the definitions handed down through esoteric traditions and his book is a reminder of who we are in the natural. Take a look at Christopher’s website and you’ll see raving reviews for Unspirituality. Robert Mark, Ph.D, who wrote the forward to Loren’s book, tells us, “Christopher’s treatise is a battering ram against the doors of illusion, repression, subjugation and subservience to the religious conspirators, religious mega-corporations, and religious power-seekers of our time.”
2nd Hour: Joe Zamecki and Paul Loebe
Is atheism a religion?
Speaking of those shucking the illusions, the latest is that “atheism is a religion.” At least that’s what the Department of Justice is arguing with respect to the tax exempt status of housing allowances given to members of the clergy under Section 107 of the tax code. Only religious personnel claim this exemption, which is sometimes abused. Other charities, which are required to file more onerous tax paperwork than churches, do not claim the tax-free housing allowance.
In a case brought by the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF), which requested a parsonage exemption in an effort to bring about a formal challenge to the fairness of the law, the Department of Justice argued in a brief requesting a motion to dismiss the FFRF suit that atheist leaders are in fact not currently excluded from the parsonage exemption.
At odds with the tax argument, the House of Representatives recently approved an amendment to the defense authorization bill that was designed to keep the Pentagon from accepting atheist chaplains. “The notion of an atheist chaplain is nonsensical; it’s an oxymoron,” said Rep. John Fleming, R-La., sponsor of the amendment. “It is absurd to argue that someone with no spiritual inclination should fill that role, especially when it could well mean that such an individual would take the place of a true chaplain who has been endorsed by a religious organization.”
What do the atheists say? Is atheism a religion – or a religious movement?
One of the respected voices in atheism is Joe Zamecki, a friendly activist who has been at the front lines of atheism causes for years.
Joe was the original co-host of the popular show, “The Atheist Experience,” back in 1997. He worked for American Atheists in New Jersey, and then returned to Austin where he served as the Texas State Director of American Atheists. In September 2009, Joe and two of his colleagues started a giveaway program for the homeless in Austin, Texas. Atheists Helping the Homeless has now grown to include regular giveaways throughout Texas.
We’re also honored to have Foxhole Atheist Paul Loebe join us the second hour to give his perspective on whether atheism is a religion, particularly in light of the move for Humanist chaplains contrasted with the aggressive efforts of the Evangelical base in the United States to force its brand of Christianity on those in uniform. We’ll also learn from Paul what some of the hot issues are facing the non-believers in the military and how we can help. Not only is Paul the American Atheists’ Military Director, but he also is the Executive Director of Rock Beyond Belief, started by Justin Griffith in response to Franklin Graham’s proselytizing at Fort Bragg.
Please note that although he is an active duty member of the Marine Corps, Paul is not speaking on behalf of the Department of Justice. His views and activism are his own.
We’d love to hear from you, too, on the topic of whether atheism is “a religion.”
Show Time: Friday night, September 6, 2013, 6 Pacific / 7 Mountain / 8 Central / 9 Eastern (Additional time conversions at the World Time Server).
To hear the show live and participate in the web-based chat room: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/god-discussion/2013/09/07/unspirituality-being-human-and-the-religion-of-atheism
How it works … When you visit the show page (linked immediately above), the podcast will automatically play out of your computer speakers when it is live. A SKYPE button will also appear that you can simply press and connect with the host (if you have SKYPE, that is). A web-based chatroom will be running contemporaneously with the show, where you can post questions and comments. To use the SKYPE feature and to participate in the chat room, you will need a free BlogTalk listener account (click the “Register as a Listener” option).
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