Help us create the next big project...

Sapient
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Help us create the next big project...

Comment here instead of youtube, and upload a video to respond to ours if you can.

- Brian Sapient


Buy popular atheist books and support the Rational Response Squad at the same time on Amazon.


LunarShadow
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I am diggin on the Tax

I am diggin on the Tax exemption deal Brian

 

maybe call it something like "Stop the Exemption Challenge" I dunno just a thought. I mean how many RRS memebers are there and on top of that how many churches are in a 10 mile radius or any members home?

 

there is a lot of good that can be done with this idea imo. 


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I have a few questions

I have a few questions about these ideas.

1. How could I get my bible(s) to give to recycling?

2. Could you explain, in detail, about how getting information about a church "endorsing" a politician can remove them from being tax exempt? 


TreborBrotz
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A project or not

Hey RRS

This is not the greatest idea but I figured since

you are located in philly, I would inform you, if you

didn't already know so, of a little problem going

on with Philadelphia Community College (CCP). I

have been a student there for about 3 years and

atleast once a week or everyother, my fellow

students and I are subdued to the loud yelling of a

group of 2 or sometimes 3 men that stop by

outside the lunch room to preach the teachings of

Jesus and scream to us how we are all going to

hell! Not only am I offended by there rudeness but

also other students and some teachers. I have

also over heard that they also go to Temple Univ.

and do the same thing. Who sends them I don't

know but I believe it's a violation of my freedom to

sit outside peacefully and not have to deal with

people screaming damnation to those not of there

faith, sinners, gays, and my personal favorite,

masterbation. I have tried several times to

converse with these people about rationality but I

am neither a well spoken or that intellectual of an

individual. I have done this which isnt much but

hey it got some people thinking :

See this slideshow.

I don't know what you could do, I don't have

much info on them other than they play pictionary

with finger paint and relate it to GOD and they

show up out there atleast once every other week.

I would be in your eternal debt if you'd vanquish

them from the school and I would be willing to

help with whatever you'd need but anyway as I

said not really a project more of a plea. Figured

you should know if you don't.

Keep up the great work

Yours truely

Rob Brotz


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Recycling Bibles

I had a similar idea to the recycle your bible one a while back: sponsor a bible burning.  The two are very similar except I am not prepared to knock on peoples doors either.  So I figured I could do it on street corners (like those salvation army bastards, santa clauses or street preachers,) by setting up like a booth or a drum (for collecting bibles,) to firstly get people to pledge a certain amount of money per bible burned.  I was thinking AIDS charities (like the Bill Gates foundation since he's an atheist.)

The second reason to set up a booth is to convince people to go and grab their bibles from their homes, businesses, hotels etc. and bring them back to burn at a later designated date (like later on that night or on the weekend.)  You could make an event of it where the people sacrificing their bibles can meet the sponsors and discuss the reasons why humans don't need the bible to be "good people."  I was considering making a bonfire on the beach...or a bbq, just because it would make great film - watching a leg of lamb roast over the burning bibles.

The recycling idea is probably more justifyable ethically though since I really hate the idea of burning books (even the bible. )  And all those trees being cut down in vain makes me cringe too. But symbolically a burning pile of books is quite powerful imagery.  You could probably get a bit more money for stem cell research by getting people to pledge a certain amount per bible recycled though.

 

The other thing I was going to suggest was if you were wanting to do something specifically targeted at muslims, why not try a fatwa?  I don't know if you've seen this Australian tv show called John Safran Vs God but he did a piece "how difficult is it to get a fatwa on Rove Mcmanus?"  You might like to try getting fatwas on your friends, that is if you're brave enough to  go near these crazy clerics.

 

That's all I got for now!


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adding on to the tax-exempt status idea

I'd like to add onto Sapient's idea of tax exempt status...

 

Is it not true that churches are exempt from taxes because they are "charitable organizations" and they just happen to be religious?   Well... I was thinking with the whole atheist volunteering thing you all created maybe the RRS could get tax exempt status.  My first thought on this was maybe you all don't bring in enough to need it but I remember a while back you got a house donated which is pretty damn big.

 

Anyway, my idea would be using a slogan like 'keep charity tax free' or 'only good works should be free' or something along those lines.  (Okay, so my slogans aren't that great at 7 AM).  You could combine people going out and reporting political violations at their local tax-exempt religious organization with the RRS' own quest for tax exemption. 

 

Not only will it show people what the tax-exempt status really means (charity not prayer) but it's sure to gain some attention by annoying a few religious organization and it might even get you all a few more donations!


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Completely against the

Completely against the door-to-door part, just to say, NOOOO!. Sticking out tongue

I think you should definitely be giving incentives like you did in the blasphemy challenge, it might not even be much but it will be a little help, everyone loves free stuff. You could even get into contact with people interested in associating their works with the relevant project, like an anti Islamic or pro-free speech book for all those who enter the draw Muhammad, and after a set time there will be voting where the top 5 get a copy of hitchens and some other stuff. A pro-human/womens rights or anti-Islamic book for the burning burka challenge.

What I am -really- interested in though is Exemption Project, because seriously, that shit is fucked up and it would be important for someone to be keeping an eye on tax-free organisations during election season, it would require really devoted people brining cameras and recording devices into church, waiting for someone to slip up, and if some fundies decide to counter and take out a secular group breaking the rules then... great! If they want to take advantage of the rules then they better fucking respect them. I don't know what kind of reward to give to them, but it should be bigger than normal, taking down a church is a great thing. Sticking out tongue

Oh, and maybe everyone who takes part will get a little icon on the forum, a slither that states what challenge they worked on.

-----------------------
I'll get back to you when I think of something worthwhile to say.


shelley
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With regards to bible

With regards to bible recycling...

 

has anyone looked into if paper recycling actually profitable? 


jackal
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I'm going to address all 3

I'm going to address all 3 of these ideas:

  • Recycling Bibles

    Is it logistically feasible to make money by recycling paper products? Of course, we don't actually want people to go out and buy Bibles for this project, because that would give money to the Bible makers. Taking Bibles out of hotel rooms would lead to the same thing.
  • Islam - Drawing Mohamad

    I like this idea, but let's think about what happened when the Danes published their cartoons. I think the people who paid the most were the people in various embasses that got bombed in retribution. Are we willing to put other people at risk to make our statement? If we decide to go with this idea, I think it would be great if we drew picures that wouldn't be offensive if it wasn't Mohamad. Just drawing a stick figure and labling it Mohamad would be enough to piss off the Muslems, and it demonstraits just how irrational they are when it comes to their faith.

    Islam - Leaving Islam

    Do Muslims in non-Islamist countries care if someone leaves Islam? Would they care if someone converted just to deconvert? I don't know.

    Islam - Flushing the Koran

    If we buy Korans just to desecrate them we are funding the Koran makers. However, getting a Koran our of the local library and making a video of touching it to my thonged ass would offend without funding. Again, the retaliation might take form in the bombings of innocent embassies, and I don't want to put anyone else in danger for my offences.
  • Church Tax-Exempt Status

    I think this one could work, especially if we did it during an election year. Maybe next year we could each attend a random chruch, make a recording of the sermon, and if they endorse a candidate, we've got 'em. I wouldn't mind attending one or two chruches, but to make the most of this campaign, I think we should focus on doing it near the elections.

I've also got my own idea, but it isn't fleshed out yet: campaign for a top-free America. It is unconstitutional to bar women from baring their breasts where men are allowed to do it - gyms, beaches, public parks, etc. Unfortunately, we'd have to get the ACLU in on this in order to fund the legal aspect of the campaign. But look at the bright side: we'd get a ton of attention! We'd offend all kinds of conservatives, and breasts are a sexy issue, in this case, itteraly. Also, it's irrational to outlaw a woman's nipple: it looks exactly like a man's nipple, except maybe bigger. I bet if I got pictures of female nipples and male nipples and cropped and scaled the photos, people wouldn't be able to tell which were which.


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jackal wrote: Islam -

jackal wrote:


  • Islam - Leaving Islam

    Do Muslims in non-Islamist countries care if someone leaves Islam? Would they care if someone converted just to deconvert? I don't know.

it's my understanding that deconverting from Islam is punishable by death, according to the literal translation of the Koran, even if you were only a Muslim for an hour. granted that in doing so in the USA is probably fairly safe, but it's worth considering that a radical Muslim would take this offense very seriously.

www.derekneibarger.com http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=djneibarger "all postures of submission and surrender should be part of our prehistory." -christopher hitchens


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Islam - I do believe that

Islam - I do believe that to be a "muslim", all you have to do is recite the creed - "There is no god but allah...", possibly in arabic.

Only muslims are allowed in mecca. I've often thought of sneaking into the great mosque during hajj, and if i'm feeling really lucky, dropping a piece of pork or a star of david on the ground (then high-tailing it out of there, of course).

Other ideas:

1) Starting a fake religion, or just "discovering" a fake set of scriptures (a la mormon), and seeing how many people one can legitimately convert -- just to show how credulous and irrational people can be. The founders of the "religion" would have to agree in advance -- on record -- to reveal the fakery at some designated point, and return any capital accrued through the "religion". Something along the lines of James Randi's Alpha project.

2) Alongside the tax empty issue with religions - hold them to the same standard any other organization is held to. religions offer a "service" and ask for money in return. They should be required to demonstrate the authenticity of such services. For example, the catholic church should be required to prove transubstatiation is actual (prove that a consecrated host is different than a regular piece of bread), inasmuch as they charge for performing the service.

 

 

 

There are no theists on operating tables.

πππ†
π†††


aiia
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As for a video or videos, I

As for a video or videos, I think it might be fun to youtube some videos on passages of the bible that are just simply ridiculous (hmmm on second thought the entire bible is ridiculous isn't it).
Oh and it might work for the talmud and quran also.

People who think there is something they refer to as god don't ask enough questions.


The_Saint
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Although I commend your

Although I commend your ongoing creative efforts to keep the RRS in the public eye, I think that the ideas thus far are somewhat questionable, if not downright dangerous.

• The idea of recycling Bibles, then putting the profits towards some sort of Atheist agenda I think would be a failure, for a couple of reasons. First, I don't believe that recycling paper has any sort of profit margin which would allow the person submitting the paper to be recycled to receive money in return, but I could be wrong on that point. Second, while Christians hold the Bible to be sacred, we do not hold it up as a sort of idol unto itself--I don't think that recycling the Bible would be considered a form of desecration--unlike smearing it with dog poo.

• Drawing Mohammed - Not a wise choice, in my opinion. It's one thing to attack Christians and their beliefs, since with rare exceptions Christians do not tend to become violent to the point of murder when their religion is attacked. Protests, pickets, petitions, and even the occasional death threat, but rarely are such threats ever carried out by irate Christians. Not so with Muslims. Even the most mild criticism of Islam or portrayal of Mohammed has been met with murder and mayhem completely disproportionate to the action. Though Sapient makes light of it, there is the very real possibility that a person insulting Islam could find themselves quickly dead, and I certainly wouldn't joke about such matters unless you are truly willing to lay your life on the line to show the irrationality of Islam. Given that the purpose of these "stunts", according to Sapient, is to merely garner more publicity for the RRS, I don't see too many high-level members of this group taking the "Draw Mohammed" challenge. However, if Sapient an Co. want to really get the attention of Muslims, I propose challenge that will surely get them lots of media attention: Draw Mohammed taking it in the ass by a pig. That's guaranteed to make the world stand up and take notice.

• Tax Exempt Status of Churches - Given that the US Supreme Court has routinely upheld that the tax exempt status of Churches is not in any way connected to the Establishment Clause, it is unlikely that any effort to "narc" on churches that dare to support or oppose any given political candidate or position would have any effect. The reference given by Brian for Troy Newman as proof that tax exempt status can be challenged is true to an extent, however Sapient has left out the primary reason why the IRS has been investigating Newman, and it isn't for political endorsement. Newman has been under investigation for money laundering, fraud, and a host of other crimes that have nothing to do with endorsing political candidates from the pulpit.

In my opinion, the best publicity for the RRS is to do what they did with Kirk Cameron and Ray Comfort--approach nationally recognized Christian evangelists and apologists, and challenge them to public debate. If you're truly interested in challenging religious thought, then you need to be challenging the greater theological leaders of the Christian world. I fear that if you consistently resort to "stunts" in order to get publicity, fewer and fewer people will take you seriously as any sort of challenge to theism. Just my two cents.

The Saint


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Are we supposed to create a

Are we supposed to create a project that's supposed to offend people or something?


Sapient
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TreborBrotz wrote:

TreborBrotz wrote:

Hey RRS

This is not the greatest idea but I figured since

you are located in philly, I would inform you, if you

didn't already know so, of a little problem going

on with Philadelphia Community College (CCP). I

have been a student there for about 3 years and

atleast once a week or everyother, my fellow

students and I are subdued to the loud yelling of a

group of 2 or sometimes 3 men that stop by

outside the lunch room to preach the teachings of

Jesus and scream to us how we are all going to

hell! Not only am I offended by there rudeness but

also other students and some teachers. I have

also over heard that they also go to Temple Univ.

and do the same thing. Who sends them I don't

know but I believe it's a violation of my freedom to

sit outside peacefully and not have to deal with

people screaming damnation to those not of there

faith, sinners, gays, and my personal favorite,

masterbation. I have tried several times to

converse with these people about rationality but I

am neither a well spoken or that intellectual of an

individual. I have done this which isnt much but

hey it got some people thinking :

See this slideshow.

I don't know what you could do, I don't have

much info on them other than they play pictionary

with finger paint and relate it to GOD and they

show up out there atleast once every other week.

I would be in your eternal debt if you'd vanquish

them from the school and I would be willing to

help with whatever you'd need but anyway as I

said not really a project more of a plea. Figured

you should know if you don't.

Keep up the great work

Yours truely

Rob Brotz

 

Rob, did you send this to me before? Someone else has complained about CCP preachers in the past. I would be glad to go down there with a delegation. We'll need someone to hold the video camera, and Rook Kelly and I will gladly teach your annoying preachers a few lessons. By the way, here are two good signs:

"Anyone who says Darwin was a Christian is a liar and a Satanist"

"Anyone who says Darwin was wrong clearly must hate God"

Just some thoughts.

 

We want to go, we will go. Do you want to help with a few others who can be down there? Feel free to write me in private with your phone number so we can coordinate.

- Brian Sapient


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Sapient
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CrimsonEdge wrote: I have

CrimsonEdge wrote:

I have a few questions about these ideas.

1. How could I get my bible(s) to give to recycling?

We're still trying to figure that out. 

Quote:
2. Could you explain, in detail, about how getting information about a church "endorsing" a politician can remove them from being tax exempt?

Send a letter to the IRS.  (someone want to find the proper form again?)  If you find a church getting behind a political candidate, tell the IRS, they just broke their tax laws.

It's rather simple, the IRS does the rest. 

- Brian Sapient


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Yeah, the IRS LOVES

Yeah, the IRS LOVES money. If we can get it from a megachurch or two, we'll be happy as pigs in shit.

Imagine how much less of a burden the taxes would be on the average American family if we could just go after Benny Hinn and Pat Robertson and you can understand why I'm salivating at the idea of going after their millions.

As Sapient was asking about the form, it's a form 3949-A. Here's a link:

http://www.irs.gov/compliance/enforcement/article/0,,id=106778,00.html

As the enforcement office is based in California, you're more likely to get people looking at things on the West Coast. Just bear that in mind - as well as the fact that many IRS employees are also Christies.

From your friendly local (and unfortunately seasonal) IRS employee. 

"Like Fingerpainting 101, gimme no credit for having class; one thumb on the pulse of the nation, one thumb in your girlfriend's ass; written on, written off, some calling me a joke, I don't think that I'm a sellout but I do enjoy Coke."

-BHG


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How about a $10,000

How about a $10,000 challenge.  This won't involve raising money.  People could get $100 in ones and cross off the "In God We Trust" and show their cleansed bills on a Youtube video.  Just 100 people would need to cleanse 100 dollars each and the challenge can easily be met.  Then the people would but the money back into circulation.

 This isn't anything new but an effort hasn't really been organized or publicized.  When asked about it the history of the slogan can be brought up.  It's perfectly legal, the only crime is trying to alter the value of the currency which isn't what's being done.

I like the tax-exempt status removal but I'm biased.  Catholics for a Free Choice is also owed some credit for depriving Operation Rescue of their tax status (see Christians are good for something).

Here's the history of the Spirit One church:

http://www.maggotpunks.com/2007/2007-5-01.htm

I'm probably going to give out the Newman Report for free over the e-mail so if you want a copy just e-mail me cause I don't plan on updating it anymore.  I can also provide a copy of the IRS complaints I've sent out in case you want an idea of where and what to write. 


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The_Saint wrote: • Tax

The_Saint wrote:

• Tax Exempt Status of Churches - Given that the US Supreme Court has routinely upheld that the tax exempt status of Churches is not in any way connected to the Establishment Clause, it is unlikely that any effort to "narc" on churches that dare to support or oppose any given political candidate or position would have any effect. The reference given by Brian for Troy Newman as proof that tax exempt status can be challenged is true to an extent, however Sapient has left out the primary reason why the IRS has been investigating Newman, and it isn't for political endorsement. Newman has been under investigation for money laundering, fraud, and a host of other crimes that have nothing to do with endorsing political candidates from the pulpit.

The Saint

My complaint was about money laundering and improper use of tax exempt funds (namely to purchase real estate for commercial purposes).  The Catholics for a Free Choice complained about a political ad they purchased encouraging people to vote against Senator Kerry. 


The_Saint
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Quote: Send a letter to the

Quote:
Send a letter to the IRS. (someone want to find the proper form again?) If you find a church getting behind a political candidate, tell the IRS, they just broke their tax laws.

Brian,

A common misconception is that Churches must file a 501(3)C form with the IRS to obtain tax-exempt status.  This is not true.  Religious churches, whether Christian or otherwise enjoy automatic tax-exemption, without having to file any forms with the IRS.  It is also not true that any church that preaches to endorses or oppose a political candidate violates their tax exempt status.  According to the IRS website:

"Whether an organization’s attempts to influence legislation constitute a substantial part of its overall activities is determined on the basis of all the pertinent facts and circumstances in each case.  The IRS considers a variety of factors, including the time devoted (by both compensated and volunteer workers) and the expenditures devoted by the organization to the activity, when determining whether the lobbying activity is substantial."

It seems clear that speaking from the pulpit about politics, in and of itself, does not constitute violating tax exempt status.  In order to meet the substantive test, a church or other tax-exempt organization must have devoted substantial time and resources to political activism, and I simply don't think that the vast majority of churches engage in this sort of activity on a regular basis.

The Saint

 


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Quote: My complaint was

Quote:
My complaint was about money laundering and improper use of tax exempt funds (namely to purchase real estate for commercial purposes).

 And I fully support the removal of the tax exempt status of any religious organization (or otherwise) that uses that status to commit crimes such as these.  I merely wanted it on record that it isn't a violation of the tax exempt status for a priest or preacher to endorse or oppose any particular political candidate or legislation from the pulpit, especially where the tenets of Christian morality would be compromised.  

 

The Saint 


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I think a campaign to go

I think a campaign to go after the Creation Museum would be kind of cool.

 

Just a thought. 


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The_Saint wrote: And I

The_Saint wrote:

And I fully support the removal of the tax exempt status of any religious organization (or otherwise) that uses that status to commit crimes such as these. I merely wanted it on record that it isn't a violation of the tax exempt status for a priest or preacher to endorse or oppose any particular political candidate or legislation from the pulpit, especially where the tenets of Christian morality would be compromised.

 The Saint

The IRS disagrees with you about endorsing candidates.  Churches may address issues such as war, abortion, stem cell research, slavery in Africa that sort of thing.  However they are prohibited by their tax status from endorsing a candidate.

http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-drop/rr-07-41.pdf

Hence the reason Spirit One Christian Center is under investigation. 


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D-cubed wrote: The IRS

D-cubed wrote:
The IRS disagrees with you about endorsing candidates. Churches may address issues such as war, abortion, stem cell research, slavery in Africa that sort of thing. However they are prohibited by their tax status from endorsing a candidate.


Fair enough--the letter-of-the-law reading of the IRS 501(c)3 does indicate that any church or minister that endorses a candidate in an official capacity could lose their tax exempt status.  However, a further examination of the gargantuan IRS code reveals that when applying for tax exempt status, the organization must choose one of two options--the Insubstantial Part Test, or the 501(h) Expenditure Test.  Under the Insubstantial Part Test (which most Churches fall under), the IRS only requires that "no substantial part of the charity's consist of carrying on propaganda or otherwise attempting to influence legislation" in any given year.  Under this statute, Churches may engage in lobbying for or against legislation, so long as they do not devote the substantial amount of their time and resources to said lobbying.  When reviewing a churches activities, the IRS takes into consideration a host of factors, including the church's goals, success in achieving those goals, and the amount of time and resources allocated to political activism. 

Further complicating the issue are situations where the church in which the "offense" occurred is part of a larger unified religious body.  For example, if a Catholic priest were to violate the 501(c)3 tax exemption rules, how exactly is the IRS supposed to proceed?  The church building in which the offense occurred is not a stand-alone entity, owned and operated by the offending priest.  The church is the property of the Diocese, which is made up of hundreds of such churches, and is under the authority of the Bishop, who is in turn appointed by, and under direct authority of the Pope.  Since the offending priest is essentially an agent of Rome, assigned to live and work in property that is only one part of a larger body, how can the IRS revoke the tax exempt status of the entire Catholic Church, due to the offense of this one priest?

The answer is, it can't--primarily because the 501(c)3 code has no teeth.  The landmark case of Branch Ministries vs. Rossotti, in which the IRS revoked the tax exempt status of Branch Ministries of Pierce Creek, NY, actually exposed the weakness of the IRS in regards to enforcing its 501(c)3 Code against Churches that violate the statute.  In May 2000, the Federal Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia pointed out that under the IRS code, Churches are the only organizations that are not required to apply for federal tax exempt status--Churches, by their very nature, are considered de facto tax exempt.  The only reason that a Church may apply is for an advance letter ruling, which is primarily to protect the interests of the charitable donor, since in the event of an IRS audit, it is the donor who must provide proof that the Church is acting in accordance with the 501(c)3 Code.

The Appeals Court also pointed out that losing tax exempt status does not make the Church liable for the payment of taxes.  During the appeal, the IRS conceded that "the revocation of the exemption does not convert bona fide donations into income taxable to the Church".  In other words, if a Church raised $5 million in charitable donations before violating the exemption, that $5 million is still considered exempt, and not taxable.  The Court also noted that it new of no authority to prevent the Church from reapplying for the exemption, provided it renounces future involvement in political campaigns; since Churches are automatically exempt, simply refraining from engaging in political endorsements effectively restores the exemption.

Bottom line is, since revoking tax exempt status does not make a church liable for taxes, and since the status is essentially automatic for churches, (so long as they refrain from violating the exemption), it seems to me that working up a plan to revoke the tax exempt status of Churches would be a lot of effort, with no discernible pay-off for the RRS.

The Saint


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Was just on YouTube.  I

Was just on YouTube.  I want to say that Kelly's "Burn your Burqa" challenge is a golden idea.  I'm behind it

The Enlightenment wounded the beast, but the killing blow has yet to land...


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The Islam Challenge

I would love to see a political cartoon of Muhammad going door to door like the mormons or JWs and instead of handing out pamphlets, he would be handing out dynamite.  The mormons and JWs, 9 times out of ten are knocking on a Protestant or Catholics door trying to convert a christian to a perverted version of christianity.(If that makes sense?)  We would have Muhammad dressed up like a Mormon.(They are easily recognized, White shirt, black tie, back pack, etc.) Spreading the faith of Islam.  Instead of the suicide and car bombings over seas, we would do a mockery of a form of christianity and the realities of Islam at the same time.  Thats my thoughts on that.  I think it would have to be more like a comic strip.  It would take a couple of frames to convey the message.  I hope you like.. Later 

"We never respect stupidity in our society unless it is Religious Stupidity." -Sam Harris


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All good ideas.  I like

All good ideas.  I like the tax-exemption whistleblowing.  I like the Draw Mohammad Challenge.  I LOVE the Topless America idea.  Don't even show the breast.  Just flood sites like myspace with pics of nipples (male and female), since that is the explicit part. 

And some organization to the defacing of money thing would be nice.  I think many of us have tried to do that at some point.  It would be a lot more encouraging to see many people doing it together and maybe see the results of our work in circulation.

A daughter of hope and fear, religion explains to Ignorance the nature of the unknowable. -Ambrose Bierce


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I'd love to see an atheist

I'd love to see an atheist movie in the vein of Clerks. Nothing rallies people to a cause like a funny movie with facts mixed in.


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D-cubed wrote: How about a

D-cubed wrote:
How about a $10,000 challenge. This won't involve raising money. People could get $100 in ones and cross off the "In God We Trust" and show their cleansed bills on a Youtube video. Just 100 people would need to cleanse 100 dollars each and the challenge can easily be met. Then the people would but the money back into circulation.

I have to say I REALLY like this idea Smiling

"This is the real world, stupid." - Charlie Brooker

"It is necessary to be bold. Some people can be reasoned into sense, and others must be shocked into it. Say a bold thing that will stagger them, and they will begin to think." - Thomas Paine


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mindspread wrote: I think

mindspread wrote:

I think a campaign to go after the Creation Museum would be kind of cool.

Ashley of Ohio RRS is leading the way on that. It's already being done. It'll be an extensive debunking of every nook and cranny, but we're not looking at it as "the big project."

This was announced yesterday....

 

The Creation Museum Project: We need your help!

Please repost!

We all know that the Creation Museum that recently opened in Petersburg Kentucky (15 minutes outside of Cincinatti) has been a terrible tragety to the state of Kentucky. We do realize that it is their constitutional right to be there, and they are privately funded (even though they do have a state-funded sign leading to it on the highway). However this is besides the point. This so-called 'museum' is a slap in the face to science. They are portraying themselves as a scientific installation while not having a shread of scientific evidence for any of the claims they are making inside.

So what can we do?

We are not going to shut it down. Because it is privately funded there is nothing that we can do in reguards to that, and after all, it is their constitutional right. However, it is our responsibility and our consitutional right to show that it is bad science.

It is not science.

One of our members Dan came up with a pretty good idea that will help to educate children.

The ultimate goal is to be able to run tours through the museum with children and show them why the museum is bad science, along with educating them on what good science is. We will be teaching them to how to question everything by using critical thinking skills.

Additionally, we will be creating a website debunking all of the claims online. The website will have several resources, along with downloadable flyers for people to print out and take to the museum with them.

This is going to be a large project, and we need your help! Here is what we need/may need from people:

Research the museum's claims
Webdesigners
People in the Petersburg KY area & Cincinatti area to do tours through the 'museum'
Possible financial funding for a website debunking the claims (and to possibly cover the $15 that is the museum entry fee for the people running the tours.)
Advertising when we near completion and prepare to run tours.
Any other help you have to give!

We already have the support of the Secular Student Alliance, American Atheists Kentucky, and Camp Quest. We just need to start putting things into motion.

If you are interested in helping please contact us though our MySpace or by e-mail at OhioRationalResponders@yahoo.com. I can provide you with more details from there.

Please re-post this! We need all the help we can get!

Take care, and stay rational!


healthyaddict
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http://www.youtube.com/watch

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VpEJod3Wiiw

 

This is my idea for the next rational responce project. We have all heard about the folly and failure of so-called 'abstinance-only' programs and 'virginity pledges'. Well, my idea is to counter these lies and misinformation with a project I call the "no sex before I'm ready pledge". By promoting young people to learn about sex openly, without judgement and without religious bias we will undoubtly have a positive impact on teen pregnancy and STD rates. This is a real-world, testable case of rationality winning over mythology.


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Sapient wrote: mindspread

Sapient wrote:
mindspread wrote:

I think a campaign to go after the Creation Museum would be kind of cool.

Ashley of Ohio RRS is leading the way on that. It's already being done. It'll be an extensive debunking of every nook and cranny, but we're not looking at it as "the big project."

This was announced yesterday....

 

The Creation Museum Project: We need your help!

Please repost!

We all know that the Creation Museum that recently opened in Petersburg Kentucky (15 minutes outside of Cincinatti) has been a terrible tragety to the state of Kentucky. We do realize that it is their constitutional right to be there, and they are privately funded (even though they do have a state-funded sign leading to it on the highway). However this is besides the point. This so-called 'museum' is a slap in the face to science. They are portraying themselves as a scientific installation while not having a shread of scientific evidence for any of the claims they are making inside.

So what can we do?

We are not going to shut it down. Because it is privately funded there is nothing that we can do in reguards to that, and after all, it is their constitutional right. However, it is our responsibility and our consitutional right to show that it is bad science.

It is not science.

One of our members Dan came up with a pretty good idea that will help to educate children.

The ultimate goal is to be able to run tours through the museum with children and show them why the museum is bad science, along with educating them on what good science is. We will be teaching them to how to question everything by using critical thinking skills.

Additionally, we will be creating a website debunking all of the claims online. The website will have several resources, along with downloadable flyers for people to print out and take to the museum with them.

This is going to be a large project, and we need your help! Here is what we need/may need from people:

Research the museum's claims
Webdesigners
People in the Petersburg KY area & Cincinatti area to do tours through the 'museum'
Possible financial funding for a website debunking the claims (and to possibly cover the $15 that is the museum entry fee for the people running the tours.)
Advertising when we near completion and prepare to run tours.
Any other help you have to give!

We already have the support of the Secular Student Alliance, American Atheists Kentucky, and Camp Quest. We just need to start putting things into motion.

If you are interested in helping please contact us though our MySpace or by e-mail at OhioRationalResponders@yahoo.com. I can provide you with more details from there.

Please re-post this! We need all the help we can get!

Take care, and stay rational!


healthyaddict
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Come on Sapient and Healthy addict.  The Museum just opened plus its the Mount Everests 6000th birthday this month.  Let's try not to rain so hard on their parade... or not...

"We never respect stupidity in our society unless it is Religious Stupidity." -Sam Harris


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I can't say I understand

I can't say I understand your motivation behind wanting to provoke even more hatred your way...here's an example:

http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20070620/wl_uk_afp/britainrushdie

Intentional or not, my only advise would be to rethink your motives because this seems more of a looking for attention than it does to "educate" anyone and while I don't agree with what you do, I don't like to see anyone get hurt.  "Rational" means understanding discression as well.

What is faith? Is it to believe that which is evident? No. It is perfectly evident to my mind that there exists a necessary, eternal, supreme, and intelligent being. This is no matter of faith, but of reason. - Voltaire


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Sapient wrote: mindspread

Sapient wrote:
mindspread wrote:

I think a campaign to go after the Creation Museum would be kind of cool.

Ashley of Ohio RRS is leading the way on that. It's already being done. It'll be an extensive debunking of every nook and cranny, but we're not looking at it as "the big project."

This was announced yesterday....

[snipped for length]

 

Thank you Brian.  That looks interesting. 


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sorien

sorien wrote:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VpEJod3Wiiw

 

This is my idea for the next rational responce project. We have all heard about the folly and failure of so-called 'abstinance-only' programs and 'virginity pledges'. Well, my idea is to counter these lies and misinformation with a project I call the "no sex before I'm ready pledge". By promoting young people to learn about sex openly, without judgement and without religious bias we will undoubtly have a positive impact on teen pregnancy and STD rates. This is a real-world, testable case of rationality winning over mythology.

 I think this is a fantastic idea.  It's really important to get this information out and so many kids don't have access to it. 

If god takes life he's an indian giver


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I think the $10,000

I think the $10,000 challenge is a great idea since getting that money back in circulation means it would touch so many hands...  People could get together in groups of 10, do 100 bills each and get some sort of group prize for the challenge.

 

However, isn't it illegal to deface currency? 


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shelleymtjoy wrote: I

shelleymtjoy wrote:

I think the $10,000 challenge is a great idea since getting that money back in circulation means it would touch so many hands... People could get together in groups of 10, do 100 bills each and get some sort of group prize for the challenge.

 However, isn't it illegal to deface currency?

 No, it's perfectly legal.  According to the Bureau of Engraving there are laws that prohibit advertising on money and destruction of currency so it can't be reissued.

http://www.bep.treas.gov/document.cfm/18/104

Since the campaign would simply involve crossing out "In God We Trust" it is still able to be reissued. 


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Big Idea

Have auditions all over the country for the star of a RRS Ad.

There is no telling how many people could be made aware of "our" cause if greed was the motivating factor.

Then pick a winner and shoot a killer ad.

 The end.
 


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Is anyone familiar with

Is anyone familiar with this site?

http://earthsgreatestlawsuit.org/

Seeking to mount an actual lawsuit against organized religion 

There are no theists on operating tables.

πππ†
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Can I suggest something

Can I suggest something rather ambitious? A USA-wide (just because the problems seem so great there) concerted education campaign to dispel misconceptions about commonly contested issues? You could coordinate with local freethought/secular societies/organisations all over the country to set up information booths, just little desks with signs that say 'Ask me about Atheism' or 'Ask me about stem cell research' or 'The lies they tell you about evolution' (an ambiguous title might attract religious people who think you are arguing against the acceptance of evolution). You could do this in the afternoon on university campuses, or on weekends outside malls, in parks and pedestrianised streets, and other places where you would be easily seen and attract attention.

If you manned the booths with only the brightest, cheeriest most patient people, armed with all the information they needed, then you will have a better chance of people listening and thinking about what you say. Avoid all confrontation and just focus on getting the information out in a friendly way. You can give out little flyers with short corrections to the top misconceptions about each subject, like explanations of what stem cell research is (e.g. not killing babies), what atheism is (e.g. we don't eat babies) and what evolution is (e. g.we didn't 'come from monkeys' and it's got nothing to do with the big bang). If this was approached as an education-only venture, and not a campaign directed at changing people's minds by challenging everything they say and being confrontational, I think people will be more receptive and likely to read any material you provide them with. There are many sites all over the web to explain misconceptions - but how many people who are actively opposed to believing anything other than what their priest tells them are going to type into Google 'evolution misconceptions'? This would be a great way for us to simplify the information, point people to more information on the web (or books available from public libraries) and really get it out to them, even if they decide to ignore it.

If you can organise this to start all over the country at the same time (like on a weekend) and run it for a month or two then I'm sure people will notice what you are trying to do and you will get media coverage again. Even if you didn't get media coverage I think this is a great way to educate people, which is something we should really be trying to do if we care about those around us and the state of our societies. There are so many of us here, and so many people active on other forums and in other groups - I'm sure we can bring people together to do this on a large enough scale to have an impact. The kids over at freethinkingteens.com could be a huge help in a campaign like this by setting up desks with flyers in lunch periods at their schools!

I really agree people need to be bluntly challenged on their irrational beliefs, but the RRS shouldn't exclude itself from doing this sort of thing too. I'd really like to hear what the rest of you think of this idea!

"This is the real world, stupid." - Charlie Brooker

"It is necessary to be bold. Some people can be reasoned into sense, and others must be shocked into it. Say a bold thing that will stagger them, and they will begin to think." - Thomas Paine


Sapient
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sorien

sorien wrote:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VpEJod3Wiiw

 

This is my idea for the next rational responce project. We have all heard about the folly and failure of so-called 'abstinance-only' programs and 'virginity pledges'. Well, my idea is to counter these lies and misinformation with a project I call the "no sex before I'm ready pledge". By promoting young people to learn about sex openly, without judgement and without religious bias we will undoubtly have a positive impact on teen pregnancy and STD rates. This is a real-world, testable case of rationality winning over mythology.

 

I video responded to this one....

 

- Brian Sapient


Buy popular atheist books and support the Rational Response Squad at the same time on Amazon.


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The Christian problem of sexual reproduction

On the Married Christians Abstinance Pledge, Sapient stated that Xians should only have sex when trying to concieve a child. Chatholics pretty much already believe this. If you argue that the death of a sperm is the death of a human, then they should never have sex. No one could justify killing 7 million people just to make one. So, for Christian men: no ejaculation. Ever. No masturbation, no climax during intercourse, no "wet dreams." Since the testicles are always manufacturign sperm, the only way to ensure that Christian sperm will not be created just to die would be to castrate all male Christians. I think that should be our new drive. Christian Castration.

That leaves the problem of the ova. Women are born with all of the ova they will ever have in their ovaries. That's got to be thousands of humans that will never live - thousands of potential human deaths. We can't do anything about that once the female is born, so we'll just have to make sure Christian femals are never concieved. But that shouldn't be a problem if all Christian males are castrated before puberty.


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That's hilarious, Jackal

That's hilarious, Jackal dear. I second that. It would make it far easier for us to get rid of religion: Castrate all religious males.

 Who would be the first in line to become enlightened? I bet it would be all the Christians!

"Jesus -- the other white Moses" - Me.


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There's even biblical

There's even biblical justification for castration:

From Matthew 19. 

19:10 His disciples say unto him, If the case of the man be so with his wife, it is not good to marry.
19:11 But he said unto them, All men cannot receive this saying, save they to whom it is given.

19:12 For there are some eunuchs, which were so born from their mother's womb: and there are some eunuchs, which were made eunuchs of men: and there be eunuchs, which have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven's sake. He that is able to receive it, let him receive it.

Bold mine, from the SAB.  A eunuch is a male without testicles.

If I'm reading this right, what I get is this:  some guys are born without balls, some had their nuts chopped off, and some cut off their balls for the sake of Heaven.  Anyone who can do so, should.

Come on Christies, (especially people like Nonbobblehead) show your faith.  Cut off your nuts.

"Like Fingerpainting 101, gimme no credit for having class; one thumb on the pulse of the nation, one thumb in your girlfriend's ass; written on, written off, some calling me a joke, I don't think that I'm a sellout but I do enjoy Coke."

-BHG


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Rave wrote: Can I suggest

Rave wrote:

Can I suggest something rather ambitious? A USA-wide (just because the problems seem so great there) concerted education campaign to dispel misconceptions about commonly contested issues? You could coordinate with local freethought/secular societies/organisations all over the country to set up information booths, just little desks with signs that say 'Ask me about Atheism' or 'Ask me about stem cell research' or 'The lies they tell you about evolution' (an ambiguous title might attract religious people who think you are arguing against the acceptance of evolution). You could do this in the afternoon on university campuses, or on weekends outside malls, in parks and pedestrianised streets, and other places where you would be easily seen and attract attention.

If you manned the booths with only the brightest, cheeriest most patient people, armed with all the information they needed, then you will have a better chance of people listening and thinking about what you say. Avoid all confrontation and just focus on getting the information out in a friendly way. You can give out little flyers with short corrections to the top misconceptions about each subject, like explanations of what stem cell research is (e.g. not killing babies), what atheism is (e.g. we don't eat babies) and what evolution is (e. g.we didn't 'come from monkeys' and it's got nothing to do with the big bang). If this was approached as an education-only venture, and not a campaign directed at changing people's minds by challenging everything they say and being confrontational, I think people will be more receptive and likely to read any material you provide them with. There are many sites all over the web to explain misconceptions - but how many people who are actively opposed to believing anything other than what their priest tells them are going to type into Google 'evolution misconceptions'? This would be a great way for us to simplify the information, point people to more information on the web (or books available from public libraries) and really get it out to them, even if they decide to ignore it.

If you can organise this to start all over the country at the same time (like on a weekend) and run it for a month or two then I'm sure people will notice what you are trying to do and you will get media coverage again. Even if you didn't get media coverage I think this is a great way to educate people, which is something we should really be trying to do if we care about those around us and the state of our societies. There are so many of us here, and so many people active on other forums and in other groups - I'm sure we can bring people together to do this on a large enough scale to have an impact. The kids over at freethinkingteens.com could be a huge help in a campaign like this by setting up desks with flyers in lunch periods at their schools!

I really agree people need to be bluntly challenged on their irrational beliefs, but the RRS shouldn't exclude itself from doing this sort of thing too. I'd really like to hear what the rest of you think of this idea!

This would be quite an undertaking, but hey, count me in!

If god takes life he's an indian giver


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jackal wrote: On the

jackal wrote:

On the Married Christians Abstinance Pledge, Sapient stated that Xians should only have sex when trying to concieve a child. Chatholics pretty much already believe this. If you argue that the death of a sperm is the death of a human, then they should never have sex. No one could justify killing 7 million people just to make one. So, for Christian men: no ejaculation. Ever. No masturbation, no climax during intercourse, no "wet dreams." Since the testicles are always manufacturign sperm, the only way to ensure that Christian sperm will not be created just to die would be to castrate all male Christians. I think that should be our new drive. Christian Castration.

That leaves the problem of the ova. Women are born with all of the ova they will ever have in their ovaries. That's got to be thousands of humans that will never live - thousands of potential human deaths. We can't do anything about that once the female is born, so we'll just have to make sure Christian femals are never concieved. But that shouldn't be a problem if all Christian males are castrated before puberty.

That's great stuff. 

How about the Stem Cell Challenge: (Hope this wasn't mentioned anythwere in this thread.  Didn't see it).

If you honestly think Stem Cell Research is wrong on religious grounds ...stand up for your beliefs and add your name to the "No Stem Cell Medicine for Me" registry.

This registry keeps track of your name for all time and we help insure that you cannot benefit from any, current or future, life changing or life saving benefits from Stem Cell Research just as your deity would want you to do. 

There is nothing modern medicine has done that your local faith healer can't do just as well (and they don't even need all those years in medical school). Don't trade your mythical beliefs for the reality and promises of science.  Sign your name today... 

1.  Bush and family sign here!

2.

3.

 

"In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act."
George Orwell


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Next big project

First of all, thank you guys so much for looking religion in the face and bitch slapping it. That's about the only time I condone a good bitch slapping.

Run for president. That is a huge project, I know, but that would definately get some attention, just run on a platform of church/state separation and promise to reverse all laws that "...respect the establishment of religion, or prevent the free excersize thereof...". Don't want to be president? That's okay, you won't win anyways, people are to irrational.

The tax exempt thing is a good idea but what you should do instead is file an application for tax exempt status for RRS. Create an Atheist church so that rational teachings can be spread tax-free. Then I guess if you wanted to you could donate the equivalent to your tax liability to the government so that people won't bitch. Or don't and when people do bitch you can point out the retardedness of "real" church's not having to pay taxes and fight them. Might be a good instigator.


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razorphreak wrote: I can't

razorphreak wrote:

I can't say I understand your motivation behind wanting to provoke even more hatred your way...here's an example:

http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20070620/wl_uk_afp/britainrushdie

Intentional or not, my only advise would be to rethink your motives because this seems more of a looking for attention than it does to "educate" anyone and while I don't agree with what you do, I don't like to see anyone get hurt. "Rational" means understanding discression as well.

 

Here's the deal.  We don't give a fuck if Muslims get offended by Sir Salman's knighthood.  Frankly, they didn't ask us when they sentenced him - a British citizen - to death so the Queen doesn't have to ask them if it's OK to bestow an honour on one of her subjects.

I they don't like it then tough shit.   

Freedom of religious belief is an inalienable right. Stuffing that belief down other people's throats is not.


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AmericanIdle wrote: How

AmericanIdle wrote:
How about the Stem Cell Challenge: (Hope this wasn't mentioned anythwere in this thread. Didn't see it).

If you honestly think Stem Cell Research is wrong on religious grounds ...stand up for your beliefs and add your name to the "No Stem Cell Medicine for Me" registry.


I think it's important to be clear that Christians do not oppose all Stem Cell research as immoral or unethical--only research that uses embryonic cells. Since great advances are being made in Stem Cell research that do not use embryonic stem cells, I think that if you do a little research, you'll find that most Christians fully support research that utilizes the placenta and skin to create viable stem cells.

The Saint


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jackal wrote: On the

jackal wrote:
On the Married Christians Abstinance Pledge, Sapient stated that Xians should only have sex when trying to concieve a child. Chatholics pretty much already believe this. If you argue that the death of a sperm is the death of a human, then they should never have sex. No one could justify killing 7 million people just to make one.


That's not a very reasonable conclusion.  A sperm cell alone is not capable of producing a human, because a sperm cell, like an egg cell,  is the only cell in the human body that does not contain all 46 chromosomes.  Therefore, the death of 7 million sperm is not the equivalent of killing 7 million people.

Quote:
So, for Christian men: no ejaculation. Ever. No masturbation, no climax during intercourse, no "wet dreams." Since the testicles are always manufacturign sperm, the only way to ensure that Christian sperm will not be created just to die would be to castrate all male Christians. I think that should be our new drive. Christian Castration.


Another unreasonable conclusion, since sperm cells have a finite life span, even if they are never released.  Christians (Catholics specifically) understand that human sexuality is natural, beautiful and intended to be pleasurable.   The only caveat is that the sex act is meant only for a married man and woman who are open to the possibility of children.  This does not mean that a child must be the result of every act of coitus, or that the man and woman cannot make use of the woman's natural cycles (Natural Family Planning) to avoid pregnancy.

 More importantly, Christians understand that the process of human reproduction is purposeful in its design--sperm cells are supposed to die; ova are supposed to go unused.  Arguing that that the Christian's moral position regarding sexuality means that no Christian can have sex for fear of "killing" potential humans betrays a terribly shallow understanding of the scientific and moral issue.  I think that it is rational to conclude that since the purpose of sex is reproduction, it isn't a far leap to the moral conclusion that human sexuality should not be used merely for personal pleasure.

The Saint


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I'm just utterly amazed how

I'm just utterly amazed how this "no sex" thing that Brain came up with actually grew from nonsense to I don't even know what.  How...no why are things twisted to such extremes to make a foolish point?  I just about want to ask do you want to be taken seriously at all?

What is faith? Is it to believe that which is evident? No. It is perfectly evident to my mind that there exists a necessary, eternal, supreme, and intelligent being. This is no matter of faith, but of reason. - Voltaire