Atheists Don’t Have No Songs

Steve Martin on Austin City Limits

“This video is no longer available due to a copyright claim by Capitol of Texas Public Telecommunications Council.”

Apparently “public” television isn’t as public as we all thought it was. Public television is paid for the members who support it, rather than by the sell of commercial airtime.  It is available for free to the public.  Copyright holders own certain intellectual property and do not give it away in order to make a profit.  It it’s public why is there a copyright claim to be made?

This is one of the best videos of any kind I’ve seen on the internet in a long time.  Unfortunately I can’t see it again nor show it to anybody else.  Thank you Texas, and the good people of Not-So-Public After All Television.

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Defecting to Faith

stain glass crossFirst, let me say that I’ve been reading several different blogs listed at SBC Voices, and will soon be adding some of those to my blogroll.  A button for SBC Voices appears in the sidebar if you would like to check it out; I’ve been introduced to some really good blogs over there including Confessions of a Recovering Pharisee, who shares the story below.

According to the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, often quoted by atheists to show how quickly religion is failing, children raised in non-religious homes tend not to stay that way.  The New York Times calls the situation “defecting to faith,” and reports that over half of those raised with no religious affiliation will choose one in adulthood.  Only 13 or 14 percent of those raised in Christian homes will defect.  And although atheism has large numbers of “converts” each year, it also has one of the lowest retention rates. 

Link to Kevin’s article here, with more stats and links.

Religion and Politics

Remember the 2000 Presidential election? The final results of that election day took weeks to become clear because the American public was so nearly evenly split between Democratic and Republican voters. Each vote in Congress is split nearly even because the Congressional leaders we select are nearly evenly divided, and very few are willing to “cross the aisle” in favor of the other party’s legislation. The word in politics these days is polarized. There is rarely middle ground that the majority of people can agree on.

This is the exact same thing I’ve been describing in the debate between theists and atheists. Atheists are no longer content to just not believe in God, but have launched attacks against faith itself. It’s like a war is being fought between people of faith and what now amounts to the enemies of the faithful. Becky Garrison suggests that we once all just played in our own sandbox, but the “New Atheists” want to throw sand in the face of believers.

It seems on almost every issue, everyone takes one extreme position or the other. There is no such thing as common ground anymore. We want hard lines on right or wrong, with zero tolerance for shades of gray. Life is not that simple. Sometimes there are no good guys or bad guys, there’s just guys. Historically, a few people on any issue took an extreme position, and the vast majority fell somewhere in between them. A bell curve suggests the probability of this phenomenon. I don’t know exactly when this changed, but the bell has been hammered out flat, more like a coin with 2 sides and no middle.