Tuesday, April 3, 2012

CHURCH SIGN: God Prefers Kind Atheists Over Hateful Christians

Christians and atheists are typically at odds, at least when it comes to theology. So when a church posted a sign that praised “kind atheists” over “hateful Christians,” it’s no surprise the message gained a great deal of attention. While some were offended, many more were supportive of the sentiment the church was attempting to spread.
The United Methodist Church is reporting that Rev. Tom Tate of Rose City Park United Methodist Church in Portland, Oregon, chose to make the bold statement about the state of Christian character and the need for believers to be nice and loving to those around them. The church sign, which reads, “God Prefers Kind Atheists Over Hateful Christians,” has been spreading wildly via social media, prompting hundreds of calls to the church from across the nation and the globe.
Rose City Park United Methodist Church Sign About Atheists, Christians Goes Viral
Image Credit: UM Portal
While the message may be a tough pill to swallow for some Christians who believe that non-belief is a tragic societal occurrence — even more tragic than Christians behaving badly — Kay Pettygrove, an administrator at the church, says that positivity has been the predominate sentiment. Pettygrove claims that there has been 30 positive comments for each negative one and says that the church is “flabbergasted” over the response.
“I got an email from a young Mormon man saying, ‘Thank you so much. It made me rethink how I treat people,’” she explains. “Many atheists have said, ‘If there were more churches like yours, we would probably reconsider.’”

READ MORE at the Blaze

Word's Oldest Practicing Doctor Dies At Age 114

ATLANTA - Family members say Dr. Leila Denmark, who was the world's oldest practicing physician when she retired at age 103, has died in Georgia. She was 114.

Denmark died Sunday in Athens. A funeral is planned for 1 p.m. Thursday at First United Methodist Church in Athens.

Her grandson, Steven Hutcherson of Atlanta, says she became the first resident of Henrietta Egleston Hospital for Children when it opened in Atlanta in 1928. She also admitted the first patient at the hospital, now part of Children's Healthcare of Atlanta.

Denmark began her pediatrics practice in her home in Atlanta in 1931 and continued until her retirement in 2001.

Robert Young, senior consultant for gerontology for Guinness World Records, said Denmark was the world's fourth-oldest living person when she died.
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Egypts Ban On Pornographic Websites Is Being Met With Resistance

CAIRO -- An Egyptian court has ordered the government to ban pornographic Internet websites in order to protect society and its values.

The decision and a similar initiative in parliament has fed into fears by liberal and secular Egyptians that their country is moving down the path to fundamentalist Islam, following a sweeping victory by Islamists in parliamentary elections.

The ruling Wednesday came from a lower court and can be appealed. Three years ago a court made a similar ruling, but it was not enforced because at the time, officials argued filtering systems were not effective.

Human rights activists criticized the latest ruling and warned it was a violation of freedom of information in an already conservative society.

The pornographic website issue recently underlined the Islamist domination of parliament, when an ultraconservative lawmaker presented a query asking the government to ban pornographic websites because they endangered the morality of the country's youth. The lawmaker asked the government to introduce legislation banning sites that promote corruption and immorality.

Internet specialists said trying to ban pornography with a court ruling or legislation is ineffective. The use of parental controls is considered a more common way to curb access of minors to offensive content.

"It is very hard to implement and is ... a waste of resources," said lawyer Soha Abdel-Attie of the Egyptian Initiative for Human Rights. She said it was not clear if the new court order builds on the previous case or was a new ban.

Others said the ban is a violation of freedom of expression and information and could be followed by other steps to censor dissidents.
Read More From Huffington Post

Atheists Offer Porn To Students In Exchange For Bibles

Members of Atheist Agenda at the University of Texas at San Antonio (Photo by Brent Harris)

Annual "Smut for Smut" event on Texas campus attracts little attention this year 
A small group of students at the University of Texas at San Antonio spent two days last week sitting in the middle of campus next to bright red signs covered in large black letters. One said "Free Porn." The other offered "Smut for Smut."

The students, all members of Atheist Agenda, hoped to entice their classmates to turn in their Bibles in exchange for pornographic magazines - a provocative offer designed to shock and attract attention.

"The point is not to hand out porn, but rather the primary purpose is to get people to come talk to us so we can get our message out," Kyle Bush, the group's president, said. "We want to spread atheism and bring it more to the spotlight. We offer another alternative to people who might not fit in anywhere else."

The event caused an uproar on campus in 2008 and made headlines around the world. But this year, few students took notice. During the four hours Atheist Agenda members spent next to their signs each day, only about 30 people stopped by to get information about the club or start a debate. 

In addition to Bibles, the group offered to collect other religious texts, including the Quran, and any books written by prominent pastors, including Joel Osteen and Rick Warren. During the event, Atheist Agenda collected five Bibles, one Encyclopedia of Islam, and one Quran. The group plans to donate the books to a local library.
Despite the event's ability in previous years to attract attention for atheism, Bush said the group didn't have any financial backers outside its student members. The group raised all of the money needed to put on the event themselves, he said. One of the group's fundraisers included selling popsicles.
"A lot of the money comes from members," Bush said. "Like if we need posters, somebody will go and buy posters."
The group purchased 140 pounds of pornographic magazines for $30 from a seller on Craigslist.
Students who passed by the group's tables without stopping had mixed reactions. Mark Martinez said he wouldn't trade in his Bible but supported Atheist Agenda's right to hold the event: "It's their belief."

About 30 yards away from the tables, a small group of students stood in a circle, holding hands, heads bowed. The students, members of the campus vocal club Victory and Praise Choir, quietly sang worship songs between prayers.
The singers first gathered to protest the atheist event last year, Assistant Choir Director Tarvia Demerson said. They hope to show people walking by that the atheists aren't the only ones willing to make a bold, public statement about their beliefs. 


Michelle Obama Tells Children "Convince Your Grandparents To Vote For My Husband"

Michelle Obama, who has quickly become the Obama campaign’s tip of the spear when it comes to fundraising and vote-getting, is now stumping for children to convince their “great-grandparents” to vote for her husband. At an event at San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park – for which tickets cost at least $500 – Michelle said:

I mean, I can’t tell you in the last election how many grandparents I ran into who said, I wasn’t going to vote for Barack Obama until my grandson talked to me, until my great-grandson talked to me, and talked about the future he wanted for this country.

You can get out there with your parents. You guys can knock on doors. I had one young lady who brought me a petition — she’s already working. You can convince wrong people. Sometimes we don’t listen to ourselves, but we will listen to our children.