Becky, Mike and Sam catch up with David Williamson of the Central Florida Freethought Community, after their literature distribution day at Florida public schools. We also talk about the end of Exodus International, as well some news and correspondence.
There are show notes.
David Williamson recently wrote an Op-Ed piece in the Orlando Sentinel about what we talked about today.
News Stories We Covered:
Exodus International to Close
Exodus International, a ministry dedicated to “curing” homosexuality with prayer and religious observance, will close after 37 years. Leader Alan Chambers renounced the idea that homosexuality could be ‘cured,’ apologized for the shame and trauma the group had inflicted. Chambers said that gays had been wrongly made to feel rejected by God, and that Christians should accept them even if they believe homosexuality is a sin.
TIME Magazine Cover Story claims humanists don’t engage in service work
Reporter Joe Klein of TIME Magazine has claimed that organized groups of secular humanists aren’t seen doing disaster relief or service work. This week’s feature story “How Service Can Save Us” focuses on giving returning soldiers a sense of purpose through service work to ameliorate symptoms of PTSD. His comment focused on soldiers providing support in the wake of Oklahoma Tornados. Apart from special and ongoing campaigns by secular humanists to do charity and service work, the following were specific responses to the OK tornadoes:
4,300+ people donated more than $120,000 for the family of Rebecca Vitsmun (she promised to donate to charity whatever money she doesn’t need).
Foundation Beyond Belief raised over $45,000 for Operation USA and the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma.
Atheists Giving Aid raised over $18,000 that will be given to local relief groups in Moore, Oklahoma and directly to families that need help.
Members of the FreeOK atheist group helped families who needed wreckage removed from their property
FreeOK teamed with Panera Bread and Krispy Kreme to get breakfast to cemetery clean-up volunteers with Frontline Church in Moore, and to volunteers working through the Moore Community Center in the first week of response.
Oklahoma Atheists, Atheist Community of Tulsa, the Lawton Area Secular Society, Norman Naturalism Group, and the Oklahoma State Secular Organization have organized volunteers, resources, and blood drives.
FreeOK conference organizers held a book drive to benefit schools affected by the tornadoes.
Obama says religious organization can separate people, Many Catholics go Insane
In a recent trip to Belfast, President Obama drew criticism and offense from Catholics who saw a statement of unity as an assault on religious schooling. In addressing mistrust between Catholic and Protestant communities, Obama suggested that segregated towns and buildings discourage empathy and cooperation. His words have spurred the group Catholics Vote to start a petition that refers to Obama’s alleged growing hostility toward American Catholics.
And the quote from what must be Bill Donahue’s pod person:
There are plenty of reasons to be critical of President Obama’s policies as they relate to the Catholic Church…But the reaction on the part of conservatives, many of whom are Catholic, over his speech in Ireland, is simply insane.Obama was not condemning Catholic schools – he was condemning segregation…where social divisions exist, the prospects for social harmony are dimmed.