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The Moral Atheist
Bag and Baggage:
(The Moral Atheist, p.4)
The March-April issue of The Moral Atheist is being mailed and emailed. Below is an excerpt. This is an issue that any decent person should be able to support, but most legislators in most states don't. The insane religious belief behind it is just too precious to be interfered with, evidently.
If you want the entire issue as a PDF, just ask.
MARIEALENA, COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR
AN OUTREACH PROJECT TO THINK ABOUT
Our Moral High Ground project is unique in that we provide financial aid to people victimized by our religion based laws. This aid includes, primarily, assistance for women denied abortion rights, tuition aid for the LGBT community, legal aid support for Final Exit Network as it fights prosecution for giving advice on self-deliverance, and the efforts of Children's Healthcare Is a Legal Duty (CHILD) to repeal state laws (in all but six states) that accept faith healing as health care and exempt parents from prosecution when a child dies or is harmed severely.
You'd think repealing faith healing laws is a no-brainer, given the senseless harm it inflicts on children and the lack of a faith healing voting bloc large enough to stop repeal. However, it is difficult to be successful with this project because it requires questioning religious doctrines. Legislators never do this, because it opens up all religious beliefs to questioning.
Rita and Doug Swan, founders of CHILD, have been fighting for repeal for decades since losing their 18-month-old son to meningitis when they relied solely on Christian Science prayer to cure him. It was a wake-up call that has kept them going despite little support due to social, legal, and political reluctance to challenge religious doctrine.
But why can't the freethought community make it a national project to rid state laws of child-sacrifice statutes? Freethought groups exist in every state with enough members to get legislative attention, especially if they organize through political parties, where the power to nominate supportive candidates lies. Even the religion infested "pro-life" Republican party could support this.
We have readers of The Moral Atheist in almost every state, many belonging to local freethought groups. Can they ask their groups to join in a national effort to end this legalized insanity? The public would be supportive. Juries always impose punitive fines when the faith healing death of a child is litigated as a civil case rather than a faith healing-exempted criminal case. Read the health care chapter in our book, Culture Wars: The Threat to Your Family and Your Freedom, and the cover article in this issue for a larger perspective. After all, shouldn't a major function of atheist groups be to end religious barbarity?
In the March-April issue of The Moral Atheist
Atheists For Human Rights now certifies Atheist Wedding Celebrants
All-atheist authorization nationwide.*
We no longer need a contrived church affiliation to solemnize marriages.
Select one of our registered celebrants or choose a friend or family member to officiate at your wedding. We will provide that person with atheist certification at no charge.
We can help.Call 612-529-1200 or email Communications Director To Our Fellow Freethought Organizations:
We offer document templates and information at no charge so you can authorize your own celebrants.Create memorable weddings that reflect secular values.
The Best Policy Guide for a Religiously Neutral
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-- MarieAlena Castle, March 1994
-- Martin Marty, Lutheran theologian, Minneapolis MN,
28 April 1998
-- Lavanam, Atheist Centre, India
Atheists For Human Rights is a national, ethics-driven organization upholding an atheism that is confidently held, morally active, and vigorously opposes religions that are politically and socially predatory or harm innocent people.
As usual, we offer 3 free issues of The Moral Atheist full 24-page magazine, by postal or email, so you get a good idea of what we are all about. Just send your postal or email contact info to: Communications Director
Moral High Ground Project
The Moral High Ground project has chosen the following funds to provide support and protection for these groups and to counter the efforts of religious zealots to impose their religious doctrines through law (other funding mechanisms may be added as resources increase):
Like the other Moral High Ground funding projects, it is unique in the freethought community. Each year since 2002 AFHR has donated $500 to be awarded to a GLBT openly atheist student at Pfund's major awards ceremony. This has created visibility and respect for AFHR within the GLBT community.
Grants to poor women to help pay for abortions
At least $200 each is given annually to funds such as the Women's Medical Fund, administered by Anne Nicol Gaylor from Freedom From Religion Foundation in Madison, Wisconsin, and through the North Dakota WIN (Women In Need) Abortion Access Fund, administered by the Red River Women's Clinic in Fargo. These funds serve poor women in areas where religion-generated abortion laws are irrationally restrictive and punitive.
Support for physician aid in dying
As opportunities arise, we support efforts by physician-aid-in-dying organizations so the terminally ill who want to die with dignity on their own terms have the legal right to do so.
Protection for children harmed by faith healing
As opportunities arise, we support the efforts of CHILD (Children's Healthcare Is a Legal Duty) to protect children from harm where state laws define faith healing as healthcare and exempt parents from prosecution when they allow children to die by substituting prayer for medical care.
Atheists for Human Rights is focused primarily on reaching out to the public in morally active ways to advance the atheistic worldview.
We donate to secular charities that help young people and the homeless.
In 2005 we took on an Adopt-A-Highway cleanup project. The work is done three times a year in spring, summer and fall. Large highway signs identify AFHR as the cleanup crew for a 4-mile stretch of highway in Lakeville that passes many churches.
Minnesota Alliance Of Peacemakers
We joined MAP and have participated in several of their events urging peaceful solutions to world conflicts. MAP is a coalition of churches and secular organizations working together in the cause of peace.
AFHR is represented by invitation at regular interfaith gatherings hosted by Rep. Keith Ellison, the first Muslim elected to Congress, to find common ground in our common humanity to address the causes of social conflict and stress.
Since 2004, about three times a year, we have been invited to give presentations on atheism to educational and social service agencies for their diversity training programs. Videos of all speakers here.
These monthly discussions about atheist issues are occasions for socializing as well as developing ideas for further activism.
This major outreach project was begun in June 2006 and continues. The purpose is to show the public how atheists support our constitutional freedoms, seek rational solutions to issues of civic concern, and promote the common good. These events are heavily advertised in local newspapers and on Air America radio.
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Our videos are played in Minneapolis and St. Paul on public access stations.
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