an atheist viewpoint

thoughts from a non-theist

Atheism, a Religion? Yes, According to @PiltdownSupermn

Is the non-belief in gods a religion? Is the rejection of religious belief a religion in itself?

No, obviously atheism isn’t a religion, no more than ‘bald’ is a colour of hair…but that doesn’t stop our favourite fundie coward, Bob Sorensen from relentlessly claiming that it’s been judged a religion in court.

But what’s the case that led to this ludicrous, and wrong, judgement? It appears to have originated in 2005 when a prison inmate took the jail in which he was incarcerated to court over his right to form an ‘atheist group’, you can read the whole story here (not sure of how reputable a source World Net Daily is though), and it’s from that site that the following is taken –

“Atheism is [the inmate’s] religion, and the group that he wanted to start was religious in nature even though it expressly rejects a belief in a supreme being,” the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals said.

The court decided the inmate’s First Amendment rights were violated because the prison refused to allow him to create a study group for atheists.

What seems to have happened is the court ruled on religious grounds in favour of the inmate, because that’s the way he phrased his appeal
Extremely telling in the whole story is the reaction from the American Family Association (AFA), a right wing Christian group that has been criticised for it’s homophobia (amongst other things). Brian Fahling, an attorney for the AFA claimed that the result of the case was 
“a sort of Alice in Wonderland jurisprudence.” 
and that
“Up is down, and atheism, the antithesis of religion, is religion,”
going on to say that the result was

“further evidence of the incoherence of Establishment Clause jurisprudence.”

If you’re in any doubt that the AFA (a Christian organisation, don’t forget) thought the result was nonsensical, just read the following from Fahling – 
“It is difficult not to be somewhat jaundiced about our courts when they take clauses especially designed to protect religion from the state and turn them on their head by giving protective cover to a belief system, that, by every known definition other than the courts’ is not a religion, while simultaneously declaring public expressions of true religious faith to be prohibited”
Now, I’m going out on a bit of a limb here, but I think Bob Sorensen would most likely side with the AFA on most matters, as their views seem to chime with his. So why does he keep trotting this case out? Purely to ‘point score’ is my guess, he thinks that repeating the result of a case that even fellow Christians thought was bullshit makes atheists look bad in some way.
Well, I can play at that game as well! Is a foetus a person? NO, says a court! And another one agrees! Is Intelligent Design science? NOPE, says the courts! Take that Bob! Furthermore, the ID case carried far more weight that the 2005 felon case, but Bob ignores that.
Let Bob have his little point scoring case, it doesn’t alter the fact that atheism is not, and never has been, a religion.

EDIT: This one’s good – ‘Religion has no basis in fact’, rules judge! More about that one here!

“In the eye of everyone save the believer, religious faith is necessarily subjective, being incommunicable by any kind of proof or evidence,” 

Bob, I’ll agree that atheism is, as judged by a court in the US, a religion, if YOU agree that ID isn’t science, a foetus isn’t a baby, and religion isn’t based on facts. Fair?

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8 thoughts on “Atheism, a Religion? Yes, According to @PiltdownSupermn

  1. Why do believers so badly want to prove that atheism is a religion? So they can call atheists hypocrites of some sort? T'm genuinely tryung to understand why this seems to mean so much to them.

  2. A rough summary:     Atheists will insist that atheism is a religion when it suits their purposes. They will deny it when it works against their purposes. Christians will insist that atheism is a religion when it suits their purposes. They will deny it when it works against their purposes.

  3. Absolutely spot on, Pvb

  4. Solid point… I find it funny that the fundies will call atheism a religion then slap the mormons the face and call them a cult. I love it!!!!!! See you in church sunday! Hal

  5. What perverted statements from these Christians and others. How can anybody need something that never existed? If you want a delusion take some street drugs and at least enjoy it OK.Atheism is not a religion, or a belief. We don't have meetings where we gather to sing songs, out of tune, on a regular day (It's not even called God Day!).We don't come to your door at someone else's instruction to lecture you about the fact there is no God.There simply is no God. Just a fact, nothing else. If you provide evidence, real evidence of this God then please present it. If it is real every atheist would be glad to believe in it.But, until then, fuck off and shut the fuck up. Try nursery rhymes instead. Now they ARE real and true. I know cos Mum told me when I was little.To all fellow atheists, don't forget our secret oath and the meeting place. Messages in the classifieds of your local paper OK. But don't tell! I have bad news too I'm afraid. The end of the world is coming. You want to know when? In the future, Guaranteed. Again, silence.

  6. Dipshit Dan posted about that at the time. I tried replying but he just ignored me and gave a bunch of other useless "examples" that were already shot down by what I had said earlier. Dan repeats that claim laterThat second post is more interesting as some people like Matt and Kazim from the Atheist Experience post there, and you can start to see the effects that Sye has on Dan.

  7. Kazim tried to reason with Dan. You can read how it goes…

  8. Reading that was painful, credit to Kazim for trying

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