Sunday, June 30, 2013

Such Christian Responses To The Atheist Monument

The first ever atheist monument to be on government property went up this weekend in Florida[1].

Hemant covered the events quite well[3].  And of course, there were protesters[4].  I've been at plenty of atheist events that had protesters, but never one with such blatantly racist protesters.

I think I'll just leave the response to Amanda Knief's tweets[5] on the matter since she said what I was thinking.

Only racists who don't know who won the Civil War could be the most ridiculous thing at a place Eric Hovind[6] was.


I love this picture for a number of reasons.  It illustrates how disrespectful Eric Hovind is.  It would be rude stand up there if it was a random bench and it wasn't David Silverman sitting there.  No matter who was sitting there, it would be incredibly rude to stand right next to their head.

It being a monument that was making history and the person sitting there being the head of the organization who made it happen makes it that much more rude.  The fact that it's an extremely rare thing for any religious view that isn't Christianity to get any positive attention makes it even worse for him to be so brazenly arrogant.

And still, he has the right to do it.

If only Christians were better able to show such respect[8].

It's incredibly disturbing how often I see Christians portray the Bible commandment against murder as the only thing keeping people from killing.

I guess that's better.  He's only threatening to beat us up instead of kill us.  But one more had something to say about killing.

Instead of threatening us, he's pretending we did the threatening.  But, ...

Exactly.  So, I'll leave it at that and move on the more fun comments.

Chris is right.  Plus, regarding tolerance see the tweet of Matt Dillahunty's that I shared above[9].

I wish I could expect that response to make the guy understand that being atheist doesn't make you a nihilist.

I also wish I could write off the hate as trolls.  But it's all consistent with what I see happen every time.  It happens online and in person.  Christian privilege in America leaves no room for anything else.  So they freak the fuck out[10] anytime anyone else exercises their rights.

This last one is one I really hope is a Poe, but sadly, that kind of crazy shit is sometimes real too.

Just a hunch, but I suspect this guy might be a tad racist.  Either way, I'm sticking with the idea that the crazier they get, the more it means we're winning[11].

7.  I lost track of who gets credit for the picture.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Bryan Fischer Being Unhappy Makes Me Happy

Unless this is the first thing you're reading after spending the entire day in a cave, you already know that the Supreme Court struck down a key part of the Defense of Marriage Act[1] and effectively upheld the previous overturning of California's ban on gay marriage, Prop 8[2].

These are both good things.  Unless you're a bigot.  If you're a bigot, you had a bad day.  If you're Bryan Fischer, you had a really bad day[3].

Yeah, equality is a real pain in the ass for the Constitution.

I care about my dogs[4].  The prospect of gays marrying does not make me want to fuck them.  It does not provoke any sexual attraction toward anyone I'm related to.  It also does nothing to change me from the complete lack of sexual desire I have toward children.  Maybe it's just Mr Fischer experiencing these changes.

Note, I didn't mention polygamy.  Because I'm cool with it.  So is the Bible, by the way[5].

The Bible disagrees with what he claims his god defined[6].


That's fine.  They'll just have to lose the hard way then.

That wasn't his stance when the ACA ("Obamacare") was up for review by the Court[8].  He called it tyranny when the Court upheld one law and tyranny when they didn't uphold another.  That's weird.  It's almost as if he's just calling everything he doesn't like tyranny.

This one was inevitable[10].  Apparently, to Bryan Fischer, having your ability to discriminate slightly diminished (but still left largely intact), is just like the systematic murder of millions.

And even after that, he got even more desperate in his ranting.

The more desperate they get, the closer we are to winning.  They don't have a choice.  The baby will cry and cry, but eventually the baby goes to sleep.


Some Links On The DOMA Ruling

Here's a few stories from today on the death of DOMA.

Atheist Reactions:

Atheists Celebrate Supreme Court Decisions on Marriage Equality (via @StillRichEnough)

What Secular Groups Are Saying About the Supreme Court Rulings (via @hemantmehta)


Minutes After Supreme Court Strikes Down DOMA, Immigration Judge Stops Deportation Of Married Gay Man (via @ChrisDStedman)

On Gay Marriage In Churches, Stances Vary Among Religions, Clergy, Members (via @HuffPostRelig)

Supreme Court ruling sets up new wave of gay marriage battles (via Perri)

On Right Wing Reactions:

The Five Craziest Reactions To The Marriage Equality Rulings (via Aaron & Science and Skepticism)

Westboro Baptist Church Freaks Over DOMA Ruling, Claims Hell Is Near (via Angie)

Religious leaders see tragedy and justice in Supreme Court gay marriage decisions (via @kathsstewart)

DOMA and Prop 8 are history. Tony Perkins is a sad panda. (via @jteberhard)

Head Of 'American Family Association' Says It's Now Inevitable That You Will Have Sex With Your Horse (via @BryanJFischer)

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

I Still Hate The Fourth of July

I love my country, but I hate the Fourth of July[1].  Why would I hate a celebration of the Declaration of Independence for the world's first secular nation?

She doesn't like explosions
This is why I hate the Fourth of July.

Fireworks went on sale this week.  They've been going off all night, and if this year follows the trend, they'll be going off every night for weeks.  Which means this dog will be scared every night for weeks, just because my neighbors want to blow shit up.

And she's the calm one.  There's an even more scared Great Dane alternating between pacing all over the house and hiding under things you'd never think a 140 pound dog could fit under.

Last year, I donated to the Wounded Warrior Project[2].  This year, I think it'll be the Nebraska Humane Society[3].


Monday, June 24, 2013

Christians Prove My Point About Secular Money

I've recently taken to saying that instead of contesting Ten Commandments monuments on public land, we should find a way to get Christians to fight with each other over which version[1] is up.  Some Christians have recently done a good job of illustrating why I think that would work when one found something on their money that they did not like[2].

The obvious guess is that this was done by a Muslim, but whoever did it appears to also have a problem with "In God We Trust" being on our money.  I'm one of those atheists who marks out "In God We Trust" from his money[3], but I like this because it makes my point even better than I do with the Sharpie because of how much the Christians hate Allah being on their money.
These are starting to show up all around our country!
After dinner she took a $1 dollar bill out of her purse and displayed it on the table. Underneath the words "In God We Trust" someone had stamped the dollar bill in red ink---
We asked her where she had gotten this dollar bill.  She said it was part of her change in Alamosa , CO .
We took a picture of her dollar bill. If anyone tries to give you one of these dollar bills as change, please refuse it and ask them to give you a dollar bill that has not been defaced.
Send this on to everyone you can. God bless our USA !
And, He'd better bless it quickly before what we know and love is forever gone!
They don't like someone else's religion being pushed on their money.  And, of course, some particularly despise Islam on their money.

Pity that so few of them get it.  The problem they have with Allah being on money is exactly why their god shouldn't be on it either.  At least one about a thousand people who found the post get it, even if it's less than the amount who liked the Islamophobic comment.

And that's why I only cross out the unconstitutional phrase instead of putting something atheist on it.  Because I'm not a hypocrite like the Christians whining about the wrong god being on their money.

It's supposed to be secular, with absolutely no mention of god, and this shit is why.

(Thanks to Meagan for the link.)


Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Petition To Restore The National Motto (Or Moto)

"In God We Trust" on our money is a minor thing to many.  Even many atheists don't care much about it.  I'm not among those people[1].  It's something I care quite a bit about, because I don't think it's an inconsequential matter.  It's too often used by Christians as their evidence of the completely false claim that we're a Christian nation.

Getting it fixed is not an easy task, but persistence on such matters is what gets things done.  It's why I carry the Sharpie (and have successfully gotten other to do the same).  And it's why I've signed this petition on[2].
Please restore the original moto "E Pluribus Unum" as well as placing in on currency again.
The current moto added to currency in 1864 and as the moto in 1965 only serves as to be a decisive point between different religions or the lack there of. The original moto meaning One From Many is much more fitting and celibates the cultural diversity that make the United States so unique.
Additionally this is a clear violation of the First Amendment which: "prohibits the making of any law respecting an establishment of religion"
Sure, it's got some spelling errors, and it's the wrong place to make such a request since it would require an act of Congress.  And, even if it were something within the President's power, it's not something we could realistically expect from Barack Obama[3].

But that's not the point.  The point is to keep pushing to restore our country to the secular nation it was founded as instead of the place where Christians are so comfortable pushing their religion into government they pass laws to allow people to say "Merry Christmas"[4] even though it wasn't at all illegal.  I'd rather be a secular nation than a nation that elects people into office who oppose abortion because they think fetuses masturbate[5].  Little things like this can actually make a difference if done often enough, by enough of us.

If enough people signed these things, even the terribly written ones like this one[6], they could have as much impact as atheist monuments[7].  After all, these petitions do sometimes make news[8].  Even for non-serious requests[9].

6.  We already know you don't need good grammar to get what you want from Washington.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

He Almost Became A Priest, Became Atheist Instead

Recent changes to /r/atheism[1] have resulted in a group of people upset to monitor the new posts[2] and downvote all posts that aren't complaining about the new changes.  A recent victim of the protests was a man who posted his story of almost becoming a priest and ending up atheist[3].  He gave me permission to share his story, but has since deleted his account for unknown reasons.
I thought I'd give a short introduction since I'm fairly new here.
My relationship with religion has been a very stormy one. I enjoy some of the cultural aspects (I'm probably unique in that regard on this forum.) But that's because I'm a professional musician and performed pretty much the entire English Cathedral repertoire at some point in my life. (Random fact: most choristers are atheist anyway.)
The storminess comes from the imprint that the fear of hell had on my heart from a very young age. My parents were very strict fundamentalists and had no difficulty telling me that people who did not hear about Jesus were going to burn for all eternity. When you're 8 years old, that's a rather traumatizing thought. It bothered me the first time my parents told me this, and it never stopped bothering me since. Even after liberalizing and dropping the doctrine of hell from my belief system at age 16, the fear persisted. What if I'm wrong? Then there were the question of the OT genocides, which bothered me from a young age as well.
My parents told me to read the Bible and it would strengthen my faith. Well, It's more likely that advice is what has led me here today. In college, because of my active participation in the church (Anglo-Catholic by choice), I made the decision to enter the priesthood. This was the first of three times I would made this decision, but I aborted every time, THANKFULLY! So I began reading the Homilies on the Book of Romans by St John Crysostom. If you ever want to deconvert someone, Crysostom is really the way to go. The man is a vile, misogynistic, homophobic, antisemite, and lots of other not nice thing. And yet he's one of the Three Holy Hierarchs, one of the three most important theologians in all history. I had to stop reading after about the 7th homily because it was so disgusting. (I don't want to make excessive comparisons, but in this case, I'm not sure excessive comparisons can be made.)
At this point I had been approved for sponsorship by my third parish. It's a very presitigious parish (eg. the rector has a knighthood) and I felt honored that they had selected me. But I had to put my studies down or else I was going to lose my faith. A year later I came out as gay. This was not a problem to my parish, but it was a problem to my more Evanglical fundamnetalist family. No matter how much liberal theology I had imbibed, I could not escape the fear of hell.
And then one day my mind went into a loop. "I'm going to go to hell. I deserve to go to hell. How could I not go to hell. What a terrible human being I am. I deserve every bad thing that has ever happened and more. Hell is clearly where I'm going. I'm going to go to hell." This loop lasted for almost four weeks. I could not get my brain to stop repeating these and similar words over and over again. (I was later diagnosed with bipolar disorder which may explain the loop.) I dropped into the deepest depression imaginable, and I'm already used to depression. It became nearly impossible for me to go to work and stay anywhere near concentrated. I had been gripped by fear, and the fear seemed totally reasonable. I had failed. I had fallen short. I could have done a hundred times better and I would still deserve horrible things. Worst of all I was gay. And while I had theologically reasoned myself out of believing that being gay was a sin, that's not what I was taught and what I was taught was taking over.
At the end of four weeks I said the wone thing that got me out of the loop. I said it so meekly, and I was so scared. But I already knew that I believed it. My entirely theological understand of god and of the world had been eroded down. And so I said it, "I am an atheist."
"I am an atheist."
"I am an atheist."
I was still terrified. But the loop in my mind stopped. And I realized I hadn't believed in god in years. Everything I had been doing was trying to create an image of myself that my parents could be proud of. Also, there were those cultural aspects of Anglo-Catholicism that I could have fun doing, even if it was pointless motions and dressing up. I mean, I have a campy side. But all of that fell apart quickly when I finally accepted reality for the first time.
I had never read any Dawkins, or Harris, or Hitchens. I'm not even sure I knew there names at the time. But the entire super-structure of my theological beliefs came tumbling down. There was nothing I could do to hold them up. I didn't want to anymore. I am an atheist. :)
PS Even my screenname here is a referece to that past as Sarum Blue was my favorite liturgical color. The papists will say it's not liturgical color but I really dgaf.
If you're familiar with the stories of Teresa MacBain & Jerry DeWitt[4], or any other graduates of The Clergy Project[5], parts of his story probably sound familiar too.  It also reminded me a little of Matt Dillahunty's story .

I hope this guy wasn't scared off Reddit by the protest downvotes.  His story is quite common, our society is rough on people in his situation.  I hope he ended up using the link I gave him for Recovering From Religion[7], as I think it would a great resource for him.

Studying religion has a way of turning people atheist, but disbelief is the expected outcome of people honestly investigating invalid claims.


Christopher Walken Reads From The Bible

The folks at Apostacon[1] somehow managed to get 'Christopher Walken' to read select passages from the Bible[2].

Like the man said, Early Bird pricing ends June 30[3].

It's the funnest thing we've done for Apostacon, since the Harlem Shake[4].  He may not be Kevin Pollak[5], but I think it's pretty good for a bunch of amateurs filming in our treasurer's basement.

5. (Thanks to Reddit user fiendlittlewing for the link)

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Apostacon Offers Free Admission to Grace University Student Suspended For Lesbian Relationship

You may already be aware of the shameful behavior of the administrators of Omaha school Grace University[1].  Especially if you're on Reddit[2].  If you're not familiar with it, a Christian school found out one of their students was gay and kicked her out.  They're apparently even refusing to even transfer her credits until she pays $6,300 owed because she had her scholarship taken from her.  She's since married, and her wife has started a petition to have the debt forgiven[3].

Today, Omaha Atheists posted that Apostacon has offered her free admission[4].  Apostacon had sent out the following:
Thursday, June 15th, 2013 — Secular conference “Apostacon”, formerly known as the Midwest Freethought Conference, is offering free admission for their September 20th – 22nd event as a gift to Danielle Powell, the former Grace University student who was kicked out before finishing her bachelor’s degree after it was discovered she was involved a lesbian relationship.
“We take pride in welcoming everyone to Apostacon, regardless of anything as arbitrary as their sexual orientation.” says William Newman, spokesman for Apostacon. “While it may not make up for the financial and educational difficulties she now faces as a result of Grace University’s ridiculous behavior, we hope to show her that there is a large population of the Midwest who welcomes the LGBTQ community with open arms. This conference will be fun while also educational, focusing on secular activism issues like separation of church and state, as well as social justice causes and more. The Flying Spaghetti Monster theme and logo embraces our sense of humor while reminding us to utilize science and reason in our daily lives.”
 “As a member of the LGBTQ community, I am saddened by the news that Grace University would exclude any student based on the antiquated laws of an ancient religion, rather than embrace diversity and promote equality,” says Meagan, Treasurer of Apostacon.
 “It’s clear that Grace University is falling short of its name,” said David Silverman, President of American Atheists and Apostacon headliner. “This is a textbook example of religiously motivated bigotry. I hope that Grace changes its policy to reflect compassion and acceptance, rather than discrimination and intolerance. It’s pathetic.”
Apostacon 2013 is hosting quite a few speakers supportive of the LBTQ community. Nathan Phelps, son of Fred Phelps from Westboro Baptist Church, is a board member of the organization Recovering From Religion. Mr. Phelps speaks regularly in support of LGBTQ causes and against his father’s “God Hates Fags” placards. AJ Johnson, founder of Be Secular, identifies as bisexual and speaks on the topic “God Really Does Hate Fags.” Also speaking will be Dr. Darrel Ray, author of books entitled “The God Virus” as well as his most recent, “Sex and God,” where he promotes broad and healthy sexuality outside of religious beliefs.
 If you’d like more information about this topic, or to schedule an interview with Apostacon spokesman William Newman, please contact Apostacon at or call (402) 522-6463, or visit the website at
The Christians in this story rejected Powell for being comfortable with who she is instead of repressing her identity to conform to their narrow view of what they say sexuality is  Now they want her to pay a debt she shouldn't owe because she only owes it because of their bigotry.

The atheists in this story would welcome her with open arms, no matter her sexuality.  Even if she shows up to the conference wearing a cross and proclaiming herself to be a devout Christian.  As evidence, our conference last year had two Christians on stage.  One of them, Fred Heeren, is someone I've spoken to since and is someone who has my respect.  He also opened ReasonFest[5], gets positive reviews from atheists[6], and goes with them to speak to governors[7].

There's a reason I'm so happy that I'm atheist instead of a fundamentalist of any religion.  A great number of people in my life do not conform to the narrow minded views of places like Grace University and too many other religionists.  If I were like them, I'd be forced to shut of a lot great people out of my life.  While Heeren, my new dialogue partner[8], and my parents[9] prove it's not an either/or situation, I'd still much rather be good without god(s) than a bigot with a god.


Saturday, June 1, 2013

Religion In Comics

It should be no shock to anyone who knows me that I read comic books as a kid.  I favored X-Men[1] and the 2099[2] series.  I don't recall it ever occurring to me care about the religion of any of them.  Nevertheless, someone cared enough to create a database of the religions of comic book characters[3].  I may not have cared then, but I've found myself amused by what I've found.

Atheists[4] are as underrepresented as you would expect,  but there are some noteworthy entries.  The character I was most into, Wolverine[5], is "sometimes atheist".  Henry Pym[6], who's due to get his own big screen film in 2015[7], is listed as atheist.  Both of them have been on the super hero team The Avengers[8], who are mostly various kinds of Christian.  But, The Avengers also include atheist The Wasp[9], lapsed Catholic[10] The Hulk[11], lapsed Russian Orthodox[12] Black Widow[13], secular[14] Nick Fury[15], and mostly secular, Iron Man[16].

Religion for The Avengers is an interesting thing.  Of its founding members[17], only Captain America[18] is overtly Christian.  I suppose that makes sense when another of them, Thor[19], is worshiped as a god[20] but is really from another dimension/planet[21].  Then there's a later member of the group, who is a god of a different non-Christian religion.  The Hercules[22] of The Avengers is the Hercules of Ancient Greek religion[23].

On the subject of atheists being faced with actual gods, there is the flagship character for Image Comics[24]Spawn[25].  He was atheist until he was faced with indisputable proof of the existence of Heaven & Hell.  Despite the religious aspect of their most famous character, Image Comics itself, appears to be very light on religion.  It's possible that has something to do with Todd McFarlane being atheist[26], but there were seven other founding members[27] whose religious views I've been unable to find anything on.  Savage Dragon[28], one of the company's other prominent characters, is atheist.

DC Comics[29] has its own peculiarities.  Batman[30] is a lapsed Catholic.  The first Robin, Dick Grayson[31], was raised Gypsy (Romani)[32] but apparently converted to a form of Christianity at some point after his parents' death.  Wonder Woman[33] is a follower of the same Ancient Greek religion[23] that provided the lore for her character.

Alien Martian Manhunter[34] follows the religion of his home planet[35].  Alien Superman[36] is Methodist[37] but also follows the Kryptonian religion.  His wife[38] is Catholic[10], and his arch enemy[39] is a lapsed Episcopalian[40] Nietzschean[41] atheist[4].

Marvel's[42] Fantastic Four is comprised of a Ben Grimm[43] (Jewish[44]), Reed Richards[45] (theist humanist[46]), and Sue[47] & Johnny Storm[48] (Episcopalians[40]).  The child of Reed & Sue, Franklin Richards[49], has godlike powers and is more powerful than those listed above who are actually called gods, but is Episcopalian[40] like his mother and uncle.

Under religion, some things that aren't really religions are listed.  Black Widow[13] was also listed as  "communist"[50].  X-Men member Colossus[51], who grew up in the USSR is listed as communist[50] atheist[4].  I wonder if the CW Show "Arrow"[52] ever addresses Green Arrow[53] being an agnostic[54] and a Marxist.

Many characters' religion is listed as Anthropomorphic Animal[55], which is more of a race/species than a religion, but it gave the creators of the site something to put for the Disney characters'[56] religions.

Also not a religion is LGBT[57].  Other than the glaring lack of gay characters, there's nothing particularly interesting from that page, other than the picture they used for Ace & Gary[58].

Lastly, there's Christian Knight Comics[59].  Their lineup[60], is almost entirely  Evangelical Protestant[61].  They have a character called Mr Christian[62], who's a former atheist[4].  And their only villain is also their only Catholic[10].  I'm sure the stories they tell are fascinating.

Thanks to Alyssa Milano[63] for sharing and to anyone who actually read this entire thing.


Morning Joe Addresses Declining Faith By Promoting Catholicism

Yesterday morning, Morning Joe was discussing the recent poll[[1] that had 77% saying they think the influence of religion declining in America[2].

Immediately prior to this segment, they had encountered some technical difficulties with their guest's sound, giving Scarborough the opportunity to joke about it being caused by demons and accuse their sound their sound guy of not loving Jesus enough.  They went to an unplanned break, with Scarborough exclaiming "Can we get someone who loves Jesus in here!?"[3].  I bring this up both because it was offensive and because it puts the opening comments of this video into context.  

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

The hosts, both Catholics, wanted someone to ask about why faith is declining in America.  So, they brought in a priest.  A priest who, when asked why people are leaving religion, barely mentioned the protection of child rapists that's happened by his employer.  You know, that thing that's often cited as the number one reason people leave the Catholic Church[4].

@ 0:48[5]
yeah. or the christian churches. i think the people feel sometimes alienated from religious institutions as they do from governmental institutions. when we get too fixated on ideological division i think in the churches we have seen some, certainly in the catholic church the sexual abuse scandal has disaffected many. and what the churches and the synagogues and mosques need to do is get back to the basics. in our case to preach the gospel. to focus on what we're most deeply about. i think people yearn for meet i -- meaning. they are yearning for some answers to very human, very deep questions.
Apparently, the key to getting people to stop leaving the church is for them to even further ignore the fact that the Catholic Church has made the protection rapists from prosecution a standard practice and simply preach the gospel.  A gospel, by the way, that teaches that we're all inherently evil and in need of the savior they say Jesus is.  Of course, the priest left that bit out.

@ 3:50
absolutely. i mean, you're right. that is the pew form of survey from last december. a fifth of all americans say they are not affiliated with any religious institution. i mean, a small portion of those are agnostic or atheist but most describe themselves as spiritual but not religious. that is they're seeking some answers. they're longing for something to touch their heart. they're longing for god and not finding it in any one particular religious institution. i think for anyone in the religion business like myself that it is a call to us to above all listen to that longing. they are longing for god. i think we do better when we listen first to what that longing is about and then share our tradition. let me go back to st. francis of assisi, the pope's patron saint. listen, i'm a jesuit priest. i'm proud to be a jesuit. he took the name of st. francis and it was st. francis who said, preach the gospel and only if necessary use words. to the extent that we are --
People aren't longing for god.  They're longing for answers.  God is simply something religion attempts to convince people is a legitimate answer to those questions.  It doesn't actually give real answers to those questions.  It just gives people an excuse to stop asking.

There's nothing particularly special or new about what this priest was saying.  It was all the standard stuff you would expect to see from a guy attempting to sell his religion.  I don't fault the guy for doing his preaching where he had the chance, as that's his job.

I fault this network, that calls itself news, for giving him that platform and free airtime to sell his scam, with no opportunity for any other viewpoint.  Not only did they give him that platform, they assisted him with the questions they asked.

@ 1:25
i'll ask you if you were a politician what are you about? what is the church mainly about? what is your mission that has been lost over the past 30 years?
@ 3:13
yes. i think like many catholics i watched the scandal unfold with great disappointment and discouragement as a catholic. but i still hold my faith very tightly. yet, father, you look at the numbers of americans who have no faith at all. i believe it's growing rapidly and it's one in five. one in five people in the american public. and a third of adults under 30 are religiously unaffiliated. how would you explain that? and is there room for the catholic church to do some work?
@ 5:23
it is so intimidating. i'm jewish and you are in an interfaith relationship but all the people in my sort of band are spiritual but not religious. that's the line they get all the time that father o'brien just said. they are so either intimidated by the church or the synagogue because they don't want to be part of some rote rhythm that doesn't feel like it has a real soul to it some people say. what do you say to the people that are searching but are so intimidated or don't really respect the contemporary approach of these institutions? i don't know how you get them back.
Here's  few other issues I have with this segment.

@ 4:58
steve large ent one time told me, steve is a very devout christian but he didn't go around, you know, he didn't wear it on his sleeve and he said his favorite saying was along these lines. he said, it came from mother teresa, which was, work as if there is no such thing as prayer. and pray as if there is no such thing as work. and that's the line -- lead by your example.
In other words, actually do shit because you are safe assuming prayer doesn't fucking work.  But pray anyway.  It would be good advice, if only it had stopped at behaving as if prayer doesn't work and not advised people to waste their time[6].

@ 6:58
it's interesting, father, the pope said something the other day about, that i think addresses what brian was talking about. he said atheists can meet the church and where they will meet the church is in good works. he said atheists actually can be, can find grace, which was a remarkable thing for a pope to say.
No.  Through my good works, I do not "meet the church".  And fuck you for saying so.  I do good works on my own.  Without a god.  Without a church.  You don't get to try give credit for my good works to your religion.  And I especially don't want credit for my good works to go the Catholic Church, an organization that protects child rapists from prosecution.

@ 7:14
absolutely. and, you know, other popes and religious leaders in the catholic church have said sometimes those nonbelievers or seekers do a better job at their faith rather than those who just go about speaking their religion but not living it out. those actions have got to be coupled with belief for us to truly be examples of faith.
I don't have faith.   Maybe that's why I, and the other atheists without any faith, do a better job of actually getting shit done instead of merely preaching or praying.  That sentiment might have actually been expressed on air if they had had an atheist on air for this segment about people losing faith.  I don't think that's an unreasonable request[7].

The entire segment reeked of an infomercial for Catholicism and their new Pope.  The only thing more offensive than a supposed news network aired this infomercial for the Vatican is how casually they mentioned the fact that the organization they were promoting has protected child rapists.

Are we really so desensitized to the issue of the rape of children that it has become a sidenote and an organization that facilitates is given a national platform?  I can't be the only one this confused about this.

3.  This is paraphrased from memory, so it's not necessarily a direct quote.  But the message conveyed remains intact.
5.  Quotations look the way they do because I copied them directly from MSNBC's transcript.  The only editing I did was some selective bolding.