COMMUNITY NOTICE: If you are having trouble in your account access, please do send us a message at [email protected] for assistance.
Who are the atheists in your neighborhood
The night before brain surgery, I thought about death. I searched out my larger values, and I asked myself, if I was going to die, did I want to do it fighting and clawing or in peaceful surrender? What sort of character did I hope to show? Was I content with myself and what I had done with my life so far? I decided that I was essentially a good person, although I could have been better--but at the same time I understood that the cancer didn't care.
I asked myself what I believed. I had never prayed a lot. I hoped hard, I wished hard, but I didn't pray. I had developed a certain distrust of organized religion growing up, but I felt I had the capacity to be a spiritual person, and to hold some fervent beliefs. Quite simply, I believed I had a responsiblity to be a good person, and that meant fair, honest, hardworking, and honorable. If I did that, if I was good to my family, true to my friends, if I gave back to my community or to some cause, if I wasn't a liar, a cheat, or a thief, then I believed that should be enough. At the end of the day, if there was indeed some Body or presence standing there to judge me, I hoped I would be judged on whether I had lived a true life, not on whther I believed in a certain book, or whether I'd been baptized. If there was indeed a God at the end of my days, I hoped he didn't say, "But you were never a Christian, so you're going the other way from heaven." If so, I was going to reply, "You know what? You're right. Fine."
Allow me to confirm that yes, I am a diehard atheist, and have been since I was about 5 and discovered to my annoyance that there was no santa claus, no easter bunny, and no tooth fairy. well, that was it for me - I resolved then and there that no one was going to sucker ME into believing in any more invisible characters with superpowers! as I grew older, the more I learned about the histories of organized religions, the more convinced I became that (a) people around the world are extremely gullible, and (b) i need to get off my *** and start a religion of my own!
Here's a quote that was published in an online interview I did last year:
12. In an interview you did with Don Lemmon he asked you for three jokes and every one you told was religious in nature. What is your opinion of organized religions and why?
Ooooh… you don't wanna go there… I'm such an atheist it's not even funny, and I will punch holes into any religion of you give me half a chance. I think it's sad that people in this day and age can still be bamboozled into believing in "Holy Ghosts" and "Angels in Heaven" and the like. Everyone laughed at the Al-Quaeda idiots who believed they'd be getting 70 virgins when they got to heaven, but cripeys, Christianity looks just as silly to people of other religions!
Q. Where does Jodie Foster stand in the debate between science and faith?
A. I absolutely believe what Ellie believes - that there is no direct evidence, so how could you ask me to believe in God when there's absolutely no evidence that I can see? I do believe in the beauty and the awe-inspiring mystery of the science that's out there that we haven't discovered yet, that there are scientific explanations for phenomena that we call mystical because we don't know any better.
Frost: Do you believe in the Sermon on the Mount?
Gates: I don't. I'm not somebody who goes to church on a regular basis. The specific elements of Christianity are not something I'm a huge believer in. There's a lot of merit in the moral aspects of religion. I think it can have a very very positive impact.
Frost: I sometimes say to people, do you believe there is a god, or do you know there is a god? And, you'd say you don't know?
Gates: In terms of doing things I take a fairly scientific approach to why things happen and how they happen. I don't know if there's a god or not, but I think religious principles are quite valid.
The Onion: Is there a God?
Angelina Jolie: Hmm... For some people. I hope so, for them. For the people who believe in it, I hope so. There doesn't need to be a God for me. There's something in people that's spiritual, that's godlike. I don't feel like doing things just because people say things, but I also don't really know if it's better to just not believe in anything, either.
In May 2002, eight months after the September 11, 2001 attacks and after completing the fifteen remaining games of the 2001 season which followed the attacks (at a salary of $512,000 per year).  Tillman turned down a contract offer of $3.6 million over three years from the Cardinals to enlist in the U.S. Army.
Military servicePat Tillman
Allegiance U.S. Army
Years of service 2002-2004
Unit 75th Ranger Regiment
Battles/wars 2003 Invasion of Iraq
Operation Enduring Freedom - Afghanistan (OEF-A)
Awards Silver Star
He enlisted, along with his brother Kevin, who gave up the chance of a career in professional baseball. The two brothers completed training for the elite Army Ranger school in late 2002 and were assigned to the second battalion of the 75th Ranger Regiment in Fort Lewis, Washington. Both Pat and Kevin were deployed to the Middle East as part of the 2003 invasion of Iraq.
Tillman was subsequently redeployed to Afghanistan, where, on April 22, 2004, he was killed in action by friendly fire while on patrol. His unit, according to the Army, was attacked in an apparent ambush on a road outside of the village of Sperah about twenty-five miles (forty km) southwest of Khost, near the Pakistan border. An Afghan militia soldier was killed, and two other Rangers were injured as well. The U.S. Department of Defense concluded that Pat Tillman's death was due to friendly fire aggravated by the intensity of the firefight. It was later learned that, in fact, no hostile forces were involved in the firefight and that two allied groups fired on each other in confusion over an exploded mine or remote controlled bomb. U.S. Army Special Operations Command, however, initially claimed that there was an exchange with hostile forces. A later investigation conducted by Brigadier General Jones found that the Army was slow to correct the story of a hostile exchange of fire after learning that it was false.
Tillman was the first professional football player to be killed in combat since the death of Bob Kalsu of the Buffalo Bills, who died in the Vietnam War in 1970. Tillman was posthumously promoted from Specialist to Corporal. He also received posthumous Silver Star and Purple Heart medals. He is survived by his wife Marie.
Tillman's youngest brother, Rich, wore a rumpled white T-shirt, no jacket, no tie, no collar, and immediately swore into the microphone. He hadn't written anything, he said, and with the starkest honesty, he asked mourners to hold their spiritual bromides.
"Pat isn't with God, he said. "He's f -- ing dead. He wasn't religious. So thank you for your thoughts, but he's f -- ing dead.
Rolling Stones: 20 June 2002, Vol. 1, Iss. 898, pg. 52-58, by: Chris Heath, "The Private Life of Natalie Portman"
Of her religion, Portman says, "I'm much more like the product of a doctor than I am a Jew." She is uncomfortable about the concept of the afterlife. "I don't believe in that. I believe this is it, and I believe it's the best way to live."
0 · Share on Twitter