I was on an atheist website the other day when the following remark caught my eye:
Why is it that the only blogs which seem to moderate dissenting comments are Christian ones?
-Yunshui, on Superstition Free
That's one of the most inaccurate claims I've heard in the blogosphere, by far! Granted, there's no authoritative study on who censors speech more between atheists and believers, so of course people can only address this question from their own personal experience along with what they've heard from others, which makes our judgments subjective. Still, it's obviously beyond denial that Yunshui has seen a significant number of believers censor speech, else that comment wouldn't have been made.
Don't get me wrong: I agree that a significant number of believers practice censorship; I've seen it with my own eyes. This thread at DefCon is a perfect example, where the Desert Pastor deleted questions from PhillyChief, along with a supporting comment from SI, yet for some reason allowed Gideon's disparaging remark against PhillyChief to remain, even when DefCon's own "rules of engagement" state that "demeaning" or "insulting" comments will not be tolerated. Apparently, demeaning or insulting comments are tolerated, when made against atheists. So yes, I concur with those who point out that believers are prone censoring others, and I concur that it stinks.
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A white Chevy Silverado careened into my girlfriend’s black Mazda Protégé as she drove to school, ironically about a mile away from home just as the cliché demands.
It was an everyday inner-city traffic occurrence, just another random combination of blind physics and the natural human ability to misjudge. However, as opposed to accepting responsibility for the accident or even making sure the afflicted party was alright for that matter, after making his ill-timed left turn, this rather self-centered driver proceeded to reverse, finish the turn and flee the scene.
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So I went innocently enough to my email this afternoon, and there was a message whose subject read "Watch this video. Let me know what you think." Contained in the body of the message was a link to a thirteen-minute long video whose main character was Senator Barack Obama.
Not knowing anything about the video or its host site beforehand, and having nothing better to do, I hit play. What ensued further confirmed my near-unilateral rejection of American macropolitics, and further strengthened my argument that in the absence of a candidate one can endorse empirically, voting is immoral and dangerous.
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In 1802, representatives of the Danbury Baptist Association wrote to Thomas Jefferson inquiring about his refusal to follow in the footsteps of presidents George Washington and John Adams, who declared religiously-based national holidays of fasting and thanksgiving. Jefferson’s response referred to a symbolic “wall of separation” between religion and the state, a phrase that finds expression again and again in the debate over the extent religion should play in the public arena.
The institutions of religion and government have been noted in most every world civilization since the inception of recorded history, and for better or for worse most all societies have attempted to marry the two. Whereas Muslims and Jews, for example, both operate under systems of government that could be defined as theocratic or God-centered, one of the fundamental attractions to theoretical American democracy was its refusal to go this route: enter the outdated concept of religious freedom.
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