imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Calendar Publish RSS
Features
latest news
best of news
syndication
commentary


KILLRADIO

VozMob

ABCF LA

A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List

LAAMN List




IMC Network:

Original Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech

Surviving Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: canada: quebec east asia: japan europe: athens barcelona belgium bristol brussels cyprus germany grenoble ireland istanbul lille linksunten nantes netherlands norway portugal united kingdom latin america: argentina cmi brasil rosario oceania: aotearoa united states: austin big muddy binghamton boston chicago columbus la michigan nyc portland rochester saint louis san diego san francisco bay area santa cruz, ca tennessee urbana-champaign worcester west asia: palestine process: fbi/legal updates process & imc docs projects: radio satellite tv
printable version - js reader version - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

Atheist speaks at Montclair church

by Rockero Tuesday, Feb. 24, 2009 at 2:18 AM
rockero420@yahoo.com

Atheist speaks at Montclair church: Addresses censorship and church-state separation violation in Rancho Cucamonga February 22, 2009 MONTCLAIR, California -- Dan Barker, influential atheist and co-president of the Freedom from Religion Foundation, addressed a full house today at the Monte Vista Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Montclair, a quiet community on the western end of San Bernardino County known more for its shopping mall than as a bastion of religious tolerance and freethought. One topic on the minds of many in the audience was the recent controversy surrounding a FFRF-sponsored billboard reading "Imagine No Religion" in the nearby city of Rancho Cucamonga. Despite the foundation's contract with the billboard company to display the message for a month, the sign was censored after a mere five days. Legal action against the city is pending.

Atheist speaks at Mo...
imagine.jpg, image/jpeg, 608x900

Meanwhile, in the neighboring city of Chino, a group of right-wing evangelicals held a three-day conference that, according to the local paper, attracted thousands of people and focussed on "biblical prophecy." These evangelicals teach that economic troubles and violence in the Middle East are signs of the "End Times," often called the "Tribulation." Through these teachings, which also demonize Islam, feminism, secularism, and homosexuality, they bring about tribulations indeed: war, homophobia, sexism, domestic violence, closed-mindedness, and white supremacy are all part of the same system that seeks to monopolize religious "truth" and execute it through public policy.

Needless to say it was a relief to hear a voice of reason in these troubled times, and one whose prescriptions could very well help bring about a more tolerant, peaceful society. And it was even more encouraging to see that the lecture was so well-attended. Visitors filled the primary parking lot as well as the overflow lot, and every seat appeared to be taken.

The service began with Barker, who is also an accomplished musician, performing the song "Beware of Dogma" on the piano. "Did you know the tango was outlawed by the church?" he asked in a spoken interlude. "The tango was sinful, sensuous, evil. So what better reason to start with a tango?"

A member of the congregation led the service, and seeing the number of visitors present, began with a brief explanation of Unitarian Universalist beliefs.

"We believe in the freedom of religious expression; we believe in the tolerance of religious ideas. We believe in the authority of reason and conscience; we believe in the neverending search for truth. We believe in the unity of experience; we believe in the worth and dignity of each human being. We believe in the ethical application of religion. We accept and acknowledge, gays, lesbians, and transgenders, so welcome all."

After some announcements and opening rituals, including the lighting of the chalice, friendship time, a recitation, and a hymn, the service leader introduced the speaker, explaining his local connections. "Dan chose the life of a preacher, and from 1968-72, attended Azusa Pacific University. He was an associate pastor at churches in La Puente, Arcadia, and Standard, a town in the foothills north of Yosemite." And later, "On January 16, 1984, this pastor and accomplished Christian musical composer sent out a letter, from the mailbox in front of Chaffey High School in Ontario, by the way, to more than 50 colleagues, friends, and family members announcing his newfound atheism."

Barker began by talking about the growth in atheism and agnosticism. "Twenty years ago when I started doing these talks, and started working for freethought,I could count five or six groups around the country that were atheist, skeptic, humanist, whatever you want to call them. Today, the Secular Student Alliance [has] about 150 college groups that have sprouted up." He emphasized the spontaneity of the growth, as well as the increased demand for atheist materials. "The success of all these atheist books, Dawkins, and Hitchens and Harris and Dennett shows that there's a market, there's a hunger, there's a drive."

He described the foundation's activities, including a PR campaign called "Wake up America." "Let's try putting up some billboards around the country to to fight back, to have equal time. The first one we put up was a stained-glass motif, it was simple, it said, 'Beware of Dogma.'" It was the second billboard, however, which was placed in Rancho Cucamonga: "Imagine no Religion."

According to Barker, "someone in the city got complaints and called the billboard company and suggested that this 'Imagine no religion' was not appropriate. So the billboard company took it down, they refunded the money, and [...] destroyed the sign. We could've reused it!"

The foundation filed suit against the with the U.S. District Court on November 28, claiming the removal "conveyed a message that religion is favored, preferred and promoted by the city of Rancho Cucamonga," a violation of the establishment clause.

Apparently, Rancho Cucamonga is not alone in its intolerant attitudes toward atheism, as Barker went on to relate problems in other cities, including sites important to the history of atheism in the US such as Dayton, Tennessee (the site of the Scopes trial) and Dover, Pennsylvania, (where a judge ruled against the teaching of "intelligent design" as science).

The billboards are designed to show people that "[W]e atheists are not barging into churches and dragging people out of the pews and saying, 'you should stop!' When was the last time an atheist knocked on your front door? It's not what we do. We're live and let live. It's a free country, but we want a place at the table. We want to be part of that quilt, that fabric of America."

He went on to talk about how he became an atheist, which was an interesting voyage beginning in the evangelical mindset, heading toward moderation, and ending with atheism and advocacy. As an evangelical: "So, after a while I would turn and look at you, sitting on the bus next to me, and chit-chatting for a while, and 'Excuse me for saying this, but it seems to me that you are going through some real struggles in your life right now.'" Then, in the role of his unfortunate seatmate, and with a look of bewilderment on his face, "How does he know?? [...] You'd be surprised how many people fall for that. But I was that kind of person, and I didn't change my mind lightly."

But his work as a composer a musician exposed him to other types of Christians. "I started getting invitations from churches that were not as extremely absolutistic as I was, and it made me uncomfortable. I met other flavors of Christians, and that started me on a process."

He ended with some of the merits of atheism.

This enlightening lecture provided a welcome alternative to the extremist view receiving so much attention less than ten miles away.

Report this post as:

Dan Barker

by Rockero Tuesday, Feb. 24, 2009 at 2:18 AM
rockero420@yahoo.com

Dan Barker...
barker001.jpg, image/jpeg, 594x445

Report this post as:

Dan Barker

by Rockero Tuesday, Feb. 24, 2009 at 2:18 AM
rockero420@yahoo.com

Dan Barker...
barker002.jpg, image/jpeg, 594x792

Report this post as:

Freedom

by Rockero Tuesday, Feb. 24, 2009 at 2:18 AM
rockero420@yahoo.com

Freedom...
freedom.jpg, image/jpeg, 2472x3296

the other one said "Peace"

Report this post as:

"Imagine No Religion" - talk by Dan Barker

by Rockero Tuesday, Feb. 24, 2009 at 2:18 AM
rockero420@yahoo.com

audio: MP3 at 55.5 mebibytes

Report this post as:

LATEST COMMENTS ABOUT THIS ARTICLE
Listed below are the 10 latest comments of 2 posted about this article.
These comments are anonymously submitted by the website visitors.
TITLE AUTHOR DATE
Imagine No Religion sign in Hollywood SCHA-LA Friday, Feb. 27, 2009 at 7:59 AM
Imagine No Religion sign in Hollywood SCHA-LA Friday, Feb. 27, 2009 at 8:00 AM

Local News

CA Senate Bill 1303 would require an independent coroner rather than being part of police M10 2:08PM

Three years after OC snitch scandal, no charges filed against sheriffs deputies M10 1:57PM

California police agencies violate Brown Act (open meetings) M02 1:31PM

Insane Company Wants To Send Nuke Plant Waste To New Mexico A29 4:47PM

Change Links May 2018 A27 1:40AM

Worker-Owned Car Wash on Vermont Closed A26 10:37PM

GUIDE TO REBEL CITY LOS ANGELES AVAILABLE A12 5:39PM

lausd whistle blower A10 11:58PM

Website Upgrade A10 3:02AM

Help KCET and UCLA identify 60s-70s Chicano images A04 1:02PM

UCLA Luskin: Casting Youth Justice in a Different Light A02 11:58AM

Change Links April 2018 A01 11:27AM

Nuclear Shutdown News March 2018 M31 6:57PM

Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018! M29 7:00PM

Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018! M29 6:38PM

Spring 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert! M19 2:02PM

Anti-Eviction Mapping Project Shows Shocking Eviction Trends in L.A. M16 5:40PM

Steve Mnuchin video at UCLA released M15 12:34AM

Actress and Philanthropist Tanna Frederick Hosts Project Save Our Surf Beach Clean Ups M06 12:10PM

After Being Told He's 'Full of Sh*t' at School Event, Mnuchin Demands UCLA Suppress Video M02 11:44AM

Resolution of the Rent Strike in Boyle Heights M01 6:28PM

What Big Brother Knows About You and What You Can Do About It M01 3:30PM

Step Up As LAPD Chief Charlie Beck Steps Down F14 2:44PM

Our House Grief Support Center Hosts 9th Annual Run For Hope, April 29 F13 12:51PM

Don’t let this LA County Probation Department overhaul proposal sit on the shelf F13 11:04AM

Echo Park Residents Sue LA Over Controversial Development F12 8:51AM

Former Signal Hill police officer pleads guilty in road-rage incident in Irvine F09 10:25PM

Calif. Police Accused of 'Collusion' With Neo-Nazis After Release of Court Documents F09 7:14PM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

A new name for Journalism M26 5:02PM

Minnesota Racist Churches M26 7:26AM

Paraphysique de homo sapiens numericus M26 12:53AM

Pot-pourri des carcans culturels M25 7:36AM

Shame on Portland Indymedia M24 9:16PM

USA, A Nation On A Collision Course With Its Own Decadent Values M24 6:43PM

The Shortwave Report 5/25/18 Listen Globally! M24 5:10PM

32 page newspaper on Appalachian States continues M24 10:25AM

They Knew What They Did: Texaco in Ecuador M24 9:31AM

The real mission of fbi and cia M24 1:28AM

New York Singer is 'Lost in a Dream' After Winning ,000 Prize! M23 3:08PM

The Corrupted Nature Conservancy And Ecosia Search Engine M23 1:43PM

Paraphysique de l'intelligence M23 9:42AM

Fish Can't Scream. Their Decaying Flesh Is Neurotoxic, Radioactive, And Carcinogenic M23 7:37AM

The Montrose Peace Vigil at 12 Years M22 1:01PM

Famous Vegetarians, Vegans, And Fruitarians M21 4:03PM

Work and Digitalization and A Corpse Governs Society M21 3:14AM

Unity Archive Project M21 2:42AM

In praise of indigenous people M20 1:46PM

,000 Reward to Catch My Child's Killers M20 5:35AM

Hikikomori capitaliste M20 1:57AM

Psychonaut Michael Pollan And Psychedelic Therapy M18 1:47PM

Déstabilisation, infiltration, intoxication M18 1:06AM

The Shortwave Report 05/18/18 Listen Globally! M17 4:40PM

Dianne Feinstein's Promotion of War, Secret Animal Abuse, Military Profiteering, Censorshi M17 3:22PM

Trump is Old King Coal.. Multiplying Harm M17 11:46AM

Schutzstaffel le monde nazifié M17 1:42AM

Pentobarbital de sodium M14 8:43AM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2018 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy