Theocracy thesis. Got books?

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Theocracy thesis. Got books?

Hey all.
I study Public administration. The problem is, I need to write a thesis to get my Bc. And choice of topics is very limited. I want to write about "Politics and Religion" on the Philosophy Cathedra but it must have something to do with public administration or it won't get approved. I just saw Aron Ra's speech on theocracy in America (Texas) and this is exactly a material I'd need with ISBN on it.
Link, in case that doesn't display properly: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rSjNg7nQvB0



If I write a thesis about the Christian infiltration into public offices in America and what is the mischief that they do , that would be great. (my school is very internationally and America-oriented)
However, I need BOOKS about the topic, it all depends on whether or not can I get books. The more books straight to the point, the better. I'd say 5-6 of them is minimum. I'd also need some documents on what kinds of local authorities there are in America, what kinds of position Christians like to occupy and how are these public offices defined in American law. I know these aren't the juiciest parts about the threat of theocracy, but I'll need the boring legal stuff to make it relevant.

For example, in Czech Republic we have the 128+129/2000 laws that define all about a municipality and a region (both are public corporations) and also 561/2004, the school law that does not include the academia. But apparently, we don't have a Board of education, that is an American thing and,
- I need to know where it is defined
- if possible, some kind of book that writes about it

I ask here because someone might know something, recommend recommend BOOKS, laws, and so on. Isn't there a single lawyer, officer or judge on the forum or in the broader atheist community? Are these all just outraged scientists?
What kinds of books there are on the topic? Obviously, I'm heavily e-book oriented, I can't afford to pay for paper book delivery and wait months for them to arrive. So it's Amazon, B&N or if possible some dirt-cheap suspicious online download stores. Also, something that describes the municipal/regional/state/federal positions that Christians like to occupy and lobby, that would be greatly welcome. 

These books might fit, although I'd need some more and also some law-oriented ones, if possible. You know what I mean, I hope.
http://www.justbookonline.net/In-the-Beg...t/p167183/
http://www.justbookonline.net/American-T...y/p350316/
http://www.justbookonline.net/God-vs-Dar...m/p236624/
http://www.justbookonline.net/Not-in-Our...s/p163552/
http://www.lulu.com/shop/anselm-davis/an...90301.html
http://www.amazon.com/Creation-and-the-C...002A1ZYZ8/



Probably not usable books:
http://www.justbookonline.net/The-Creati...m/p284116/
http://www.justbookonline.net/Multicultu...y/p354958/

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 I can help a little with

 I can help a little with the dry boring shit. It might be a little difficult because after the federal government you have the state level and all 50 states define the more local levels of government differently. Usually the definition for counties, townships, villages and municipalities can be found in the state constitution.

For example, here in Ohio you can find it at http://www.legislature.state.oh.us/constitution.cfm (you would probably be most interested in articles 6 & 10. The constitution of the state provides the general outline of government organizations in that state, some states have more detailed constitutions than others, some allow a lot of flexibility in the structure of local governments others force things to be more uniform. 

The details are usually laid out in the state code, for Ohio that can be found at http://law.onecle.com/ohio/ 

Title III, V, VII lay out the framework for counties, townships and municipal corporations respectively. School boards are defined in title XXXIII chapter 3313. 

In Ohio, municipalities choose their own form of government which is defined when they apply for a charter. For example, the Columbus city charter can be found here http://library.municode.com/HTML/16219/level1/CHTR_THECICOOH.html which defines the city government.

There can be a significant variety in the structure of municipal governments. For example, in Columbus the structure is a 7 member city council elected at large and a mayor with the legislative and executive powers separated. Some other cities elect their city councils according to geographic districts such as Akron. Others such as Sandusky use a commissioner system where a group of commissioners are elected and serve both legislative and executive roles. Municode will probably be a good site for you because it has the charters and ordinances of most major cities in the country in a format that makes it pretty easy to find what you are looking for. http://www.municode.com/Library 

 

As for books on the topic I can't really recommend any, it isn't something I really care enough to read about because imo it isn't nearly as big a problem as some pretend. There are over 3,000 county governments and over 18,000 city/municipal/village governments in the US so of course out of that number you are going to find the occasional story of some theist dominated city government that passes some stupid law- mostly in some small town. Then the story goes national and someone comes on RRS makes a big deal about it and everyone gasps at the "takeover" by the evangelical right wing. When you have over 21,000 governments your side is going to lose in some of them but the vast majority of governments in the US are nowhere near theocratic. 

If, if a white man puts his arm around me voluntarily, that's brotherhood. But if you - if you hold a gun on him and make him embrace me and pretend to be friendly or brotherly toward me, then that's not brotherhood, that's hypocrisy.- Malcolm X


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Thanks, Beyond.That's what I

Thanks, Beyond.

That's what I needed, the boring stuff. There seem to be two ways to write, either the low-level legal stuff and specific case of Texas local elections, or take a higher approach and write about religion and human rights in general American politics. I don't know yet which one is the best to take, might as well ask my fortune teller Smiling

Beyond Saving wrote:
 As for books on the topic I can't really recommend any, it isn't something I really care enough to read about because imo it isn't nearly as big a problem as some pretend. There are over 3,000 county governments and over 18,000 city/municipal/village governments in the US so of course out of that number you are going to find the occasional story of some theist dominated city government that passes some stupid law- mostly in some small town. Then the story goes national and someone comes on RRS makes a big deal about it and everyone gasps at the "takeover" by the evangelical right wing. When you have over 21,000 governments your side is going to lose in some of them but the vast majority of governments in the US are nowhere near theocratic.
All right. I'm going to need some juicy stories to make it sound serious, but I promise I won't mislead people into thinking there's theocracy brewing overseas. After all, USA is one of the oldest democracies in the world, there's so many presidents that it seems to me like everyone and their dog were a president of USA. Maybe my nation had been sort of kind of around in 800 C.E., but it's a democracy only on paper, it's firmly in hands of the tripartite union mafia.

Which makes me wonder, what do you think is the reason that theocracy isn't a threat? Why don't Christians just take over all the offices? Maybe they don't have to, they can do whatever they want anyway? Or they don't want to, not being into this boring legal stuff? Or are the people so democratized, that they consider such actions unthinkable? 
I took a subject at school called American Foreign Policy and I hear a lot of strange things in it. I heard Americans consider their country a purposeful enterprise that they are a part of, having a voice in decision-making, or at least an opinion. European countries are just places that exist, that need to be defended and funded so you have a place to stay, but there's no sense of purpose, so the teacher says.

 

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Luminon wrote:Which makes me

Luminon wrote:

Which makes me wonder, what do you think is the reason that theocracy isn't a threat? Why don't Christians just take over all the offices? Maybe they don't have to, they can do whatever they want anyway? Or they don't want to, not being into this boring legal stuff? Or are the people so democratized, that they consider such actions unthinkable? 

There simply are not enough of them to really take over and their influence is shrinking not expanding. Sure, there are a lot of christians but most of them have at least some respect for the freedom of religion and are more or less tolerant of other beliefs. Many American christians are christian solely by tradition- they go to church, pay lip service to god and then go about living their lives as if there were no god.

So when you consider the people who are fundamentalists and further narrow it down to those who are interested in being deeply involved in politics you have a distinct minority. It certainly is a vocal minority and they have the occasional political victory but as an independent political movement they are not overly powerful. In general, their policy ideas do not have broad support among the voting public. There are a few issues where they get a lot of support such as being against gay marriage, but even there the public is slowly becoming more pro gay marriage and the fact that we are even arguing about gay marriage shows how much influence the fundamentalists have lost- 30 years ago any politician that even suggested the concept of gay marriage would have been thrown out of office overnight. 

There are areas where the fundy christians still have significant influence, mostly in the deep south like Oklahoma, Texas, and Mississippi but what I've seen over my life is that the areas where christians have strong political control is shrinking. The state I am in used to have all sorts of religiously motivated laws banning alcohol sales, strip clubs, casinos etc. Now we have all of those in most areas. There are a handful of townships that are still controlled by christian moralists but really, who cares? You have some local ordnance that affects maybe 1000 people most of whom voted for it. You want to do those things, go somewhere civilized or get involved in your local politics to change things. The number of areas where the fundamentalists have that kind of political influence is shrinking and there is no indication that they are going to have any kind of resurgence in the near future.

Right now I am more concerned about those who desire to use government to impose a humanist morality. That group has been gaining more influence and has been successful in getting more of their policies implemented at the local and national levels.

Perhaps an interesting topic would be to compare the local laws in town controlled by fundy's to one that isn't. You could probably easily find a good comparison in Texas because there are many towns down there with high numbers of fundamentalists and some areas that are more mainstream. For example you could compare Dallas (a very religious area) to Austin or I'm sure some of our Texan members on here could point you to some areas that have ridiculous laws.

 

If, if a white man puts his arm around me voluntarily, that's brotherhood. But if you - if you hold a gun on him and make him embrace me and pretend to be friendly or brotherly toward me, then that's not brotherhood, that's hypocrisy.- Malcolm X


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 Hmmm.... There are some

 Hmmm.... There are some complications. The professor did not put out the topic I wanted officially into the school's information system. He can't talk to me until next week. This is a very annoying change of plans, since it will involve much more risk and red tape in my way. Me, being always the odd one out and always something extra special, "can't" have a normal topic of some aspect of some law like all other good little students. Instead I combine elements of my area (public administration) with the philosophy / sociology cathedra and there seem to be some politology elements. The school bosses are not going to like that. I hope I can sell it to them.

Anyway, if it works, I plan to get closely into the Texas Republican Party politics. I'll analyze the hell out of Rick Perry and all the offices he appointed (the most of all governors), Texas school board and GOP party programme. If that doesn't sound enough like a Public Administration thesis, I don't know what does. It's time for the school to show how truly internationalist and American-oriented it is and let me take a look at religion in Texas politics.

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Luminon wrote: Hmmm....

Luminon wrote:

 Hmmm.... There are some complications. The professor did not put out the topic I wanted officially into the school's information system. He can't talk to me until next week. This is a very annoying change of plans, since it will involve much more risk and red tape in my way. Me, being always the odd one out and always something extra special, "can't" have a normal topic of some aspect of some law like all other good little students. Instead I combine elements of my area (public administration) with the philosophy / sociology cathedra and there seem to be some politology elements. The school bosses are not going to like that. I hope I can sell it to them.

Anyway, if it works, I plan to get closely into the Texas Republican Party politics. I'll analyze the hell out of Rick Perry and all the offices he appointed (the most of all governors), Texas school board and GOP party programme. If that doesn't sound enough like a Public Administration thesis, I don't know what does. It's time for the school to show how truly internationalist and American-oriented it is and let me take a look at religion in Texas politics.

Well, I remain pretty involved in the workings of local politics here in Ohio so if you have any questions I will do my best to answer them or at least point you to a reliable reference. 

If, if a white man puts his arm around me voluntarily, that's brotherhood. But if you - if you hold a gun on him and make him embrace me and pretend to be friendly or brotherly toward me, then that's not brotherhood, that's hypocrisy.- Malcolm X


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Beyond Saving wrote:Well, I

Beyond Saving wrote:

Well, I remain pretty involved in the workings of local politics here in Ohio so if you have any questions I will do my best to answer them or at least point you to a reliable reference. 

Thanks! Please hold on. I'll see what the hell happened with the professor. Maybe the school officials didn't consider that topic posh enough and they made him take it back. I'm going to take a leap of faith and not sign in anything into the system until I can talk to the professor. I thought of talking to the school officials, but I can't until I've talked to him. I probably shouldn't worry so much. Maybe he just has some computer phobia or something.

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Beyond Saving wrote:Well, I

Beyond Saving wrote:

Well, I remain pretty involved in the workings of local politics here in Ohio so if you have any questions I will do my best to answer them or at least point you to a reliable reference. 

Hello again! I've started the work and I've got some questions I can't look up on the net.

What is a State Board of Education, in which law is it defined? 

How are its members appointed? What role does a state governor or other administrator have in this?

How long do they stay appointed?

What kind of powers do they have? (OK, I guess it'll be in the law)

Anything specific on the Texas SBOE?

It's for the 2nd chapter. The first chapter will introduce the reader to the magical world of american politics and Rick Perry's tax and other policy shenanigans. The second chapter will be all things school-related, the school board and its Texas policies, then the religious antics with biblical curricula and creationism in science. The third will describe the "reward" from GOP to the people - the political party program.

I want to paint a picture where a clear pattern will emerge.

 - With too much of oil drilling, tough times came to America, Texas in particular. People sought salvation in religion (since Reagan era) and corporations in tax breaks and oil wars in Middle East. Both converged in politics and started working for mutual benefit. The people give support to extreme right-wing politics of messianism and the politicians in return gain them religious privileges, tax breaks for nonprofits and of course support the corporations. This rewarding feedback is done through public administration, religious people appoint their fellow fundies into the office. 

Now, the fourth chapter shows that this needs not be, that if secular Americans can break this vicious circle, if they can take back the executive power that is essentially the administration, things will get better. There will be more space for social support, equality, transparency and peace in the foreign policy. 

 

Furthermore, can you give me any boring legal stuff on the nonprofits, 501(c)3 or 501(c)4, the organizations that are churches, yet they run fitness, child care centers and so on? The business that does not pay taxes, neither it declares its internal accounting? And where did it come from, who approved that? 

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Luminon wrote:Beyond Saving

Luminon wrote:

Beyond Saving wrote:

Well, I remain pretty involved in the workings of local politics here in Ohio so if you have any questions I will do my best to answer them or at least point you to a reliable reference. 

Hello again! I've started the work and I've got some questions I can't look up on the net.

What is a State Board of Education, in which law is it defined? 

How are its members appointed? What role does a state governor or other administrator have in this?

How long do they stay appointed?

What kind of powers do they have? (OK, I guess it'll be in the law)

Anything specific on the Texas SBOE?

It's for the 2nd chapter. The first chapter will introduce the reader to the magical world of american politics and Rick Perry's tax and other policy shenanigans. The second chapter will be all things school-related, the school board and its Texas policies, then the religious antics with biblical curricula and creationism in science. The third will describe the "reward" from GOP to the people - the political party program.

I want to paint a picture where a clear pattern will emerge.

 - With too much of oil drilling, tough times came to America, Texas in particular. People sought salvation in religion (since Reagan era) and corporations in tax breaks and oil wars in Middle East. Both converged in politics and started working for mutual benefit. The people give support to extreme right-wing politics of messianism and the politicians in return gain them religious privileges, tax breaks for nonprofits and of course support the corporations. This rewarding feedback is done through public administration, religious people appoint their fellow fundies into the office. 

Now, the fourth chapter shows that this needs not be, that if secular Americans can break this vicious circle, if they can take back the executive power that is essentially the administration, things will get better. There will be more space for social support, equality, transparency and peace in the foreign policy. 

 

Furthermore, can you give me any boring legal stuff on the nonprofits, 501(c)3 or 501(c)4, the organizations that are churches, yet they run fitness, child care centers and so on? The business that does not pay taxes, neither it declares its internal accounting? And where did it come from, who approved that? 

http://www.tea.state.tx.us/index3.aspx?id=1156

It looks like this site has most of the state specific information you are looking for. On the left side they even have a link "Education Laws and Rules" that will bring you to all the legalese, but a quick review looks like this site will answer most of your questions. In Ohio, we elect 11 people to the SBOE and the governor appoint 8 people, both elected and appointed get four year terms with a two term maximum, so obviously in Ohio those who support the governors ideology have a significant advantage. From what I can tell, in Texas all 15 are elected but they get six year terms and from what I can tell, there are no term limits. So again you have a pretty large difference between how states do things.

While they don't get the benefit of being appointed by the governor in Texas, I am sure they benefit from what is known as the "coattail effect" which is the theory that when voters support that candidate of a particular party for a powerful office such as President or Governor, they tend to support candidates of less powerful positions in the same party. While in theory candidates for school boards are "non-partisan" (they show on the ballot without party affiliation) it is generally known what each candidates affiliation is and they receive indirect support from their party.

School boards mostly derive their power from interpreting the law. They can't create law, but when the state legislature passes a law it tends to be very vague on the details. For example, the legislature might pass a law requiring that all 12th graders must pass a skills test in order to get a diploma, but the actual questions asked on the test are not defined in the law. The SBOE will decide exactly which questions are asked and therefore have significant control over whether the test is easy or difficult. The SBOE also decides the details as far as what is required to get a teaching license, what classes are mandatory for graduation, in what cases to suspend teachers etc. The devil is in the details, and the SBOE decides the details within state laws that are usually broadly worded. The SBOE also is given pretty wide discretion as far as where state funding goes, so they can, and do, offer funding to schools on the condition that they follow "non-binding" regulations passed by the SBOE. Either school districts fall in line with SBOE regulations and get the funding or they go their own way and lose that money.

A recent example here in Ohio is the SBOE passed a regulation requiring schools to notify parents if their child was put into a "seclusion room" which basically amounted to putting a child in a room separate from the rest of the class. Intended for children who might be violent or extremely disruptive, the school board thought too many kids were put there for punitive reasons only. The made the regulation, but it was "non-binding" which means each school district could determine whether or not they followed it. Those who adopted the rules were awarded with higher amounts of funding. http://stateimpact.npr.org/ohio/tag/seclusion-rooms/ So SBOE's routinely use their power of distributing funding to encourage schools to follow their edicts, because however you want to pretend, at the end of the day money talks.

 

As far as 501(c)3 and 4's, you will find the requirements to qualify and accounting requirements at http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p1828.pdf. Most churches qualify as 501(c)3's. The main difference between the two is that people who donate to 501(c)3's can use it as a personal deduction on their taxes so donating money reduces their personal tax burden. Donations to a 501(c)4 are not deductible on personal income taxes, so the organization is tax exempt, but the people who donate still have to pay tax on that money. Generally, 501(c)4's have looser reporting requirements and are allowed to be far more active in politics. Organizations that lobby heavily or only cater to a small demographic (such as home owners associations or volunteer firefighters) will only qualify under 501(c)4. Both were exempt under our first income tax law passed in 1913 (I can't find a free online version of the Underwood Tariff Act of 1913, I am almost there on my "History of US Economic Law" blogs so I will try to track down the whole law. For now all I have is http://books.google.com/books/about/The_Tariff_Law_of_1913.html?id=uSFzpwAACAAJ 

and http://www.givemeliberty.org/docs/TaxResearchCD/TaxActs/IncomeTax1913.pdf), but it was the Revenue Act of 1918 when they became known as 501(c)3 and 501(c)4 and were more specifically defined. http://www.givemeliberty.org/docs/TaxResearchCD/TaxActs/IncomeTax1919.pdf

Both laws were passed under the same President, Woodrow Wilson so for our purposes today it is fair enough to say that the exemption has always existed, although it has been redefined a few times throughout history in the exact requirements, the spirit of exempting religious and charitable works has always been there. At the time that the income tax was first passed religious organizations were extraordinarily powerful in the political arena. It wasn't long after this time when the 18th Amendment passed prohibiting all alcohol sales in the country(1920), mainly pushed by the extreme religious. I know from a European outlook us American's look pretty religious right now, but compared to what we were, we are downright secular now.  

I will review this post in the morning and if I think of anything else useful I will pass it along and let me know if you have any other questions. 

  

If, if a white man puts his arm around me voluntarily, that's brotherhood. But if you - if you hold a gun on him and make him embrace me and pretend to be friendly or brotherly toward me, then that's not brotherhood, that's hypocrisy.- Malcolm X


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 Thank you! I think I'll

 Thank you! I think I'll begin to integrate that on the weekend. You really know your stuff! Smiling 

I have a question actually. Rick Perry appointed lots of people. I'd say the most of all governors. So I'm surprised to see he doesn't appoint the school board. Maybe that would be too blatant in a nearly theocratic state like Texas, like letting a red state fox into hen house.

But who does he appoint? I see he appoints lots of heads of some boards on quite mundane issues. I wonder if governor is something like my president, he too appoints all the odd stuff... If you want something independently led, you let a president appoint it, that's the rule of the thumb. So National bank and courts yes, but not people like Ministry of Education. But that doesn't explain why so many boards. Actually, there's shitload of them, including gems like faith, acupuncture and human rights. And this:

Education Commission of the States

Education Coordinating Board, Texas Higher

Education, State Commissioner of

Education, Texas State Board of, Chair - looks like he appoints the chairman of SBOE. I wonder who picks other members, the chairman? Smiling

Educator Certification, State Board for

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Luminon wrote: Thank you! I

Luminon wrote:

 Thank you! I think I'll begin to integrate that on the weekend. You really know your stuff! Smiling 

I have a question actually. Rick Perry appointed lots of people. I'd say the most of all governors. So I'm surprised to see he doesn't appoint the school board. Maybe that would be too blatant in a nearly theocratic state like Texas, like letting a red state fox into hen house.

But who does he appoint? I see he appoints lots of heads of some boards on quite mundane issues. I wonder if governor is something like my president, he too appoints all the odd stuff... If you want something independently led, you let a president appoint it, that's the rule of the thumb. So National bank and courts yes, but not people like Ministry of Education. But that doesn't explain why so many boards. Actually, there's shitload of them, including gems like faith, acupuncture and human rights. And this:

Education Commission of the States

Education Coordinating Board, Texas Higher

Education, State Commissioner of

Education, Texas State Board of, Chair - looks like he appoints the chairman of SBOE. I wonder who picks other members, the chairman? Smiling

Educator Certification, State Board for

 

In many ways governors tend to be similar to presidents and appointments throughout the state are generally default to the governor. Usually they require confirmation in the state senate but such appointments are usually rubber stamped, especially for boards that don't have any real power, but from time to time the Senate might hold up appointments in an attempt to strong arm the governor or governor's party into making a concession on some other legislation.

How much power any given board has varies, some of them are created by state law and they have specific powers granted by the legislature (e.g. many states have boards the create licensing requirements, tests and power to revoke licenses for whatever activity the government decided should require licenses like selling real estate, life insurance or teaching) others are simply advisory boards which the governor creates through executive order and they have no legal power but might be responsible for crafting the actual verbiage and details of laws the governor plans to propose to the legislature.

Governors also have the power to appoint the heads of the various government agencies which control the day to day operations of providing government services, which in a state as large as Texas that has a land mass and budget larger than most countries makes for a lot of people to appoint. A good portion of the people who are appointed are selected by a committee appointed by the governor to recommend who to appoint- heck most governors probably appoint a person to choose who to appoint to the committee that recommends who should be appointed. It would be impossible for a governor to actually know, interview and vet for every position they need to appoint for let alone be able to make a wise and informed decision.  

For Texas, the governor only chooses the chairperson of the State Board of Education from among the 15 members who are all elected. The chairperson has a little bit of control in determining what issues the board focuses on, when they vote etc. I stumbled into a site that has a little bit of history of the Texas SBOE that might help you out. http://texaspolitics.laits.utexas.edu/1_9_9.html Apparently, the entire board was appointed for a brief period from 1984-1987 but in 1987 the issue was put on the ballot and voters overwhelmingly voted to make the board elected positions. 

 

If, if a white man puts his arm around me voluntarily, that's brotherhood. But if you - if you hold a gun on him and make him embrace me and pretend to be friendly or brotherly toward me, then that's not brotherhood, that's hypocrisy.- Malcolm X


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 Hello Beyond! You've been

 Hello Beyond! You've been very helpful. I am writing now the last chapter of the thesis and I wonder about one thing. What is the current state of atheist political program? Last thing I heard of that was AronRa in Texas pub after a conference, arguing about the name of the party. Atheist Party or Secular Party. There is also the National Atheist Party, which I haven't heard of and I don't recognize any of the chairpersons. What about Sean Faircloth, he was a legislator for many years, I can't believe he wouldn't be at the top of this.

Do you have any idea about attendance on conventions like FreeOK 2012 or Texas Freethought Conventions? I only managed to find there might be about 500-1000 people in the audience, but that's just the indoors or something. Are there any demographics, what kinds of age groups or something? I've heard of some teens calling on Seth's show about how awesome he was on stage (true!) and there were of course countless middle-aged men just like everywhere. But that's all I know. I haven't been there.

How did they get to know about the convention, anyway? Are they all the internet followers, Youtube, blogs, facebook, forums and so on? Or is there any other way for atheists to get together? Do they all watch Thunderfoot's channel?

Btw, once the thesis is done, I'll be sure to post the English resume at least. Maybe something more. 

 

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 As far as the National

 As far as the National Atheist Party it is dead on arrival. They are discussing changing their name, but I think that is pointless. They couldn't even raise enough money to have their convention and their tax filing status doesn't allow them to directly support candidates. The idea of an atheist party is problematic for a number of problems. Most importantly, American atheists don't all agree on political positions and there simply are not enough religious centered issues that are important enough for us to all ignore our other ideologies. If there was a law outlawing atheism or something then such a party might get support, but short of that do you really see me and Brian37 supporting the same candidate? The other challenge is that most Americans wouldn't knowingly vote for an atheist. There is only one open atheist in congress (Pete Stark).

No doubt there are several atheists who just don't bring the subject up. Politics 101, don't bring up an issue that isn't important if it might cause you problems. I did some work for the Jesse Ventura campaign when he got elected governor of Minnesota and he had to do damage control because he made comments about people believing in god being weak minded. It ended up being a target for his opponents to hit at for no useful purpose.

The Libertarian and Green parties tend to be mostly atheist in membership, but are not explicitly secular. I can't speak for Faircloth but my guess is that having spent time in politics he realizes that 3rd parties are generally meaningless. What good does it do to have a secular political party when no one is even going to know it exists and at most you might get a couple hundred votes?  

Afraid I can't help you with the conventions, I have never been to an atheist one and generally don't pay attention to them. I've been to enough conventions for business that going to one for entertainment doesn't appeal to me. I do know that some of them like TAM and Skepticon advertise in Reason magazine and I would guess probably other magazines.     

If, if a white man puts his arm around me voluntarily, that's brotherhood. But if you - if you hold a gun on him and make him embrace me and pretend to be friendly or brotherly toward me, then that's not brotherhood, that's hypocrisy.- Malcolm X


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Here I am back again. It

Here I am back again. It worked, I'm a Bachelor now! And happily busying at my Sociology studies!!! But I remembered my promise to post the English resume from the thesis. I hope you guys are proud at me. 

It's crazy, but I think the head of the thesis committee who led my examination, is a secret Christian fundamentalist. He claimed in my face that the American founding fathers were Christians. He said that Tocqueville's books on the Old Republic and Democracy in America are the proof. And that it's also proven in the Federalist Letters. I did not know any of that and I was extremely nervous, so I did not offer much resistance. I tried to stand my ground, saying that the sources I use definitely say that the Founding fathers were not Christians, and I even quoted some anti-Christian or anti-religious quotes from them. But I was shaking of course. 

Later I googled up Tocqueville and the Letters and I must say, according to Google, their link to Christianity and American statehood is dubious, tenuous at best. This and some question the professor asked were downright suspicious. And I think the two other members of the committee sort of silently agreed with me. I think they held me up. I think in the end they gave me a B to appease the professor instead of A, which I think I deserve, but that's why I wrote about this problem.

 

 

 

English resume

The subject of the thesis is centered around the influences of religious culture on public

administration.  By  definition,  public  administration  is  not  impartial,  but  embodies

interest of the society in public good and morale. The thesis aims to answer a question

of what happens when the public good and morale becomes defined by a centrally by a

religious  authority  instead  of  every  citizen’s  conscience.  The  state  of  Texas  has  been

chosen as an example of the most populous yet not the most religious state of the Union.

It shows the mechanism by which the religious public opinion slowly but surely altered

the  civic  life  to  its  own image.  The  religious  influence  intervenes  into  both  state  and

federal politics, courts, constitutional law, human rights and even in a revisionist way

into national history. These areas will be described in an extent necessary to understand

the context and ramifications for public administration in Texas, especially the financial

policy and entrepreneurship, education, curricula, public expenses and Republican party

policies.

The  thesis  gathers  a  pool  of  literature,  analytic  reports  and  other  sources  about

contemporary events in Texas. It employs the method of qualitative research to find a

relationship  between  religious  culture  and  specific  changes  in  management  of  public

affairs. The purpose of the thesis is to clearly identify the ways by which the religion

markedly influenced the exercise of public administration in Texas and to point out civil

initiatives, which may lead to renewal of secular impartiality in public sector, according

to the constitutional intent of the Church and State separation.

 

Beings who deserve worship don't demand it. Beings who demand worship don't deserve it.


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Good to hear about your

Good to hear about your success! Congrats!

I was wondering when you would finish. Too bad you had to deal with those issues concerning some one "superior" over you during that process.

I am not sure if I mentioned this previously, but I actually had a reverse happen to me during a final exam of Ancient Humanities.

I had this professor who was a militant atheist. He was in class talking about Moses leading the people away from slavery. He then said that they weren't slaves, that they didn't run away and that the Red Sea was never parted.

People in the class, especially the muslims, all went ape shit.

They had their say and the professor just threw up his hands and said, "religion is bogus and history shows it"

Well I wanted to stick up for other people and not that I believed those stories said, "Who are you to tell them their faith is wrong?"

Big mistake. Wrong question.

I took the final exam and I aced it, but I was shocked to see that my final grade was a C and my exam was a D.

Previously I had an A in the class. The only points I had missed was two points on a previous quiz and I even did the extra credit for an extra five points on my final grade. So I should have gotten at least a B for my final even if he failed me on the exam.

I caught up with the professor in the hallway later and asked him about letting me see the exam. I told him I didn't think I deserved the D or the C.

He replied that I got the grade he wanted me to have; that I deserved.

I was stunned. I asked why I deserved a D.

His reply was that he could do what ever he wanted. The exam was an essay and no one would believe me. That I should take the passing grade and leave.

I should have pushed more. I should have gotten all the other class mates together and took him to the dean of students. We could have really made a mess of his career.

I deserved and A in that class and because of a douche bag atheist I got a C.

 

Free will is an illusion. People always choose the perceived path of greatest pleasure.

-Scott Adams


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 Wow. I'm sure you thought

 Wow. I'm sure you thought about it from all angles. Thanks for the story, it kind of sets things into perspective, there is no black and white and even atheists can be fundamentalists... This is some weird world out there. Lots of irony Smiling  Power corrupts and professors have a kind of administrative power over students.

It reminds me of the saying: they all want only your good, don't let them take it!

Beings who deserve worship don't demand it. Beings who demand worship don't deserve it.


digitalbeachbum
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I didn't know he was an

I didn't know he was an atheist then, but many years later I realized it.

He was a total dick.

Luminon wrote:

 Wow. I'm sure you thought about it from all angles. Thanks for the story, it kind of sets things into perspective, there is no black and white and even atheists can be fundamentalists... This is some weird world out there. Lots of irony Smiling  Power corrupts and professors have a kind of administrative power over students.

It reminds me of the saying: they all want only your good, don't let them take it!

Free will is an illusion. People always choose the perceived path of greatest pleasure.

-Scott Adams