Our friend Jammer is a frequent contributor over at Prairie Populists and Progressives. A recent post discussed a newer group of atheists who are are “insisting upon aggressively confronting religious ideas, whereas the older group favors working with believers.” I would contend that this “newer” group is actually the older group offshoot of the teachings of Richard Dawkins (not to be confused with Richard Dawson) and the like who equate religion with a form of mental illness.
In fact a USA Today article says that many atheists no longer want to be associated with those beliefs and actually profess that religion and the religious have a place.
The old atheists said there was no God. The so-called “New Atheists” said there was no God, and they were vocally vicious about it. Now, the new “New Atheists” — call it Atheism 3.0 — say there’s still no God, but maybe religion isn’t all that bad.
Tanner Leah wrote one of his tongue-in-cheek posts about one group, The Coalition for Reason, trying to promote the fact that Atheists shouldn’t feel alone by placing ads all over the NY city Subway system. I don’t think there is anything wrong with a group promoting the fact that people with like beliefs (or lack thereof) can come together.
However, you all know I hate bad statistics. The ad says “A Million New Yorkers are Good Without God. Are You?” In a NY Times article discussing the stunt, one of the promoters says they got to the “million” number by citing:
“the American Religious Identification Survey, released earlier this year, as evidence of a shift away from organized religion. Those checking “none” for religion rose from 8 percent of the population in 1990 to 15 percent in 2008, effectively making “no religion” the fastest growing religious identification in the United States.
De Dora said that the “million” New York nonbelievers mentioned in the advertisements is the result of an extrapolation based on the survey’s findings. With more than 8 million residents living in New York’s five boroughs, the organization projects more than a million potential atheist New Yorkers.”
Just because 15% of the population list themselves as having no religion, this DOES NOT equate to them being atheist or in fact not believing in some higher power. In fact looking at the American Religious Identification Survey results, show of the people who wrote “none” as a religion, only 5% of them identified themselves as atheist.
8.3 million New Yorkers x 15% writing “none” x 5% of that group identifying as atheist = 62,250 Atheists in NY City.
In response to my comment on the Prairie Populists that lack of belief in supernatural is still essentially a religion, someone wrote ‘But most atheists aren’t going to bashing on your door on a Saturday morning.” To which I responded, True and neither are most Christians. Personally I don’t mind either’s belief as long as they respect my own.”
But what if the next step in evolution of atheism is to actively recruit new “non-believers”?
Follow me via TWITTER updates. or help spread the “gospel” (hehe) by clicking below…
Want to help Midwest Mom promote the redesign of Hmm-Sweet-Splendid Wisdom? Go to her site and follow the instructions. In cooperation with the board of directors of WackSack.com we are donating a free t-shirt or tote bag for the cause that she is giving away. So get on over there.
Follow me via TWITTER updates. or promote the cartoon by clicking below.
So Fox Broadcasting and The Simpsons television show are having a contest for the next few weeks looking for submissions to create the newest character in Springfield. I entered some basic information for my character assuming that when I hit next, I would be able to flesh out the character. Much to my dismay, I was not and unfortunately you are only allowed to enter once.
So I need your help promoting Marie Flanders on Twitter, Facebook, StumbleUpon etc etc. so hopefully the powers that be at the Simpsons Production Office will take notice and make sure to give Marie a second look.
While not part of the submission I took the liberty of drawing Marie so you have a visual.
Here is the info requested by the Site:
Name: Marie Flanders
Known Aliases: Mary Jane
Age: 76 (now you may be wondering why the woman in the picture above doesn’t look 76. Remember that Ned is actually 60 but looks 40 so it is perfectly OK for his 76 year old mother to look 50.)
Occupation, if Any: Retired VW Car Dealer
Sex, if any: Female (of course I resisted saying ‘Yes Please’ to respond to this.)
Hair Color: Gray (or Grey for all my overseas friends)
Body Type: Voluptuous (more like a Jayne Mansfield type rather than heavy)
Blood Type: A- (she used to be an A+ but has been slipping in her old age a bit)
Distinguishing Features: Chest, Hips and Long Hair
Last Seen: Boarding a bus to a monastery to have her child Ned
Last Heard: Yelling “you’ll never see me again” to her parents
Known Catchphrase: Stuff It!, Peachy-Keen
Now after this they tell you to click next and I assume that I will be taken to a second page that allows me to input a more detailed description of who Marie Flanders is and why she would be a great addition. However all it had was the typical name, email entry info.
First a little background on who Ned Flanders believes are his parents. According to Wikia (not wikipedia)
Mona Flanders is the mother of Ned Flanders and the wife of Nedward Flanders Sr. She is a beatnik. She is seen in the episodes “Lisa’s First Word” when Ned introduces “Grandma Flanders”, where she is visibly aged and senile. A much younger Mona Flanders is seen in “Sweet Seymour Skinner’s Badasssss Song” when Ned has a flashback about his parents and Hurricane Neddy when she and her husband bring Ned to Dr. Foster. She is also referred to in “Lisa’s Date With Density”. It is assumed that by the normal Simpsons timeline that Mona Flanders, along with her husband Ned Flanders Senior, is deceased, likely due to her extreme old age.
Now the real story is that Mona is Ned’s Maternal Grandmother. Nedward and Mona brought up their daughter Marie in a strict household. Marie was a rebel and fought back at her parents the only way she knew how – she got knocked up at 16. Furious and to escape ridicule of the neighbors, her parents sent her to a monastery until Ned was born. Marie swore that if her parents put her on the bus, her parents would never see her again and after Ned’s birth he was returned to Mona and Nedward sans Marie.
Upset with losing their daughter, Mona and Nedward swore off their strict ways and turned into the most liberal of parents of young Ned (thus leading to the description above).
Marie lived up to her oath that her parents would never see her again. Only after their death does she turn up in Springfield to surprise Ned that his mother is indeed alive and she moves in with Ned and his family.
More on Marie.
Marie is an agnostic libertarian. She abhors any authority figure whether it be a boss, the government or the church. A direct reflection of the rebelling that happened as a teenager. However she is not against using her brains (and her body) to get what she needs. Mr Burns, Moe, Grandpa Simpson, and Duff Man all become potential love interests but only as much as Marie needs them for something. Even Bart falls for Marie seeing an older kindred spirit who would just assume tell authority figures to “Stuff It” rather than do what they want.
I see big things for Marie in Springfield for a long time. So help me out. Hit one of the buttons (or several below) Twitter, Stumble Upon, Facebook and spread the word about Marie. Maybe the executives at The Simpsons or Fox will be inclined to visit.
Follow me via TWITTER updates. or help spread the word…