As an atheist, a lot of little things bother me-- two, in particular.

How often, after a tragedy of some sort, do we hear "Our thoughts and prayers are with the families"? How inane is that sentence? Yes, I realize it's meant to be wellmeaning and supportive, but is it really necessary? What else can be said? I heard it many times after my father died last month. I inwardly cringed and said thank you. But I wanted so much to say, please don't pray for me. 

Far worse than that is the phrase, "There, but for the grace of God, go I". The crippled, sick, homeless, poor, and all the rest of the unfortunate ones, are evidently not blessed with "God's grace". He must be very choosy. Michelled Obama used that phrase several times in a recent book about her. It ranks right up there with "a poor wretch like me" in "Amazing Grace". 

You gotta be thick skinned to be an atheist. We are assaulted everywhere. How 'bout "In God We Trust"? It's ubiquitously found on money and license plates.  Okay, my rant is over, and I feel better!

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Comment by Joan Denoo on November 2, 2015 at 2:22pm

Randy, you make me laugh! You find me jumping up all over the place. It appears you feel like wanting to Whack a Duck. Yes, I am verbose; always concerned about not being understood. Well, the remedy is simple. Go for it. 

Comment by tom sarbeck on November 2, 2015 at 1:23pm

Randall, I don't know your views on religion. I have only the words you posted.

I also don't know your views on whether the Obamas are intelligent people. Again I have only the words you posted.

You wrote that you can't understand how such intelligent people can swallow such malarky.

I cited Seneca to show you my doubt that the Obamas have swallowed the malarky.

I did not ask you for evidence of malarky.

I asked you for evidence for your statement that the Obamas have swallowed the malarky.

No sarcasm.

Are you a Republican who came here to attack the Obamas on religious grounds?

Comment by Randall Smith on November 2, 2015 at 7:48am

Tom, I hope you're being sarcastic when you ask for "evidence of malarky" (religion). Unlike Joan, need I detail?

Comment by tom sarbeck on November 1, 2015 at 4:39pm

I too think the evidence is clear where Obama's loyalties lay.

With bankers, investors, militarists, and the NSA.

(I wrote that before I saw Joan's well-researched post below. Thank you, Joan.)

Comment by Joan Denoo on November 1, 2015 at 3:54pm

I think the evidence is clear where Obama's loyalties lay. 

Comment by Joan Denoo on November 1, 2015 at 3:52pm

Obama, a black man, knows the religious traditions of the black people and how they were exploited and manipulated by white people. He got into office sounding like a black man and believing like a white banking man. When he named his financial advisors and cabinet, he chose from the banking community. Why didn't he choose Samantha Powers and Oh! I can"t remember that black man's name who is charismatic and clearly not thinking in terms of what is good for bankers. 

Let us not forget, his original financial advisors included:

Obama's Financial Advisors
March 31, 2009

Ben Bernanke: Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, central bank of USA. a South Carolina macroeconomist

Pete Peterson: businessman, investment banker, fiscal conservative, author, and politician. United States Secretary of Commerce, Chairman of the Council on Foreign Relations, Senior Chairman of the private equity firm, the Blackstone Group. In 2008, he was ranked 149th on the "Forbes 400 Richest Americans" with a net worth of $2.8 Billion. In 2008, he established The Peter G. Peterson Foundation

Henry Paulson: 74th United States Treasury Secretary, International Monetary Fund Board of Governors, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Goldman Sachs. Time magazine named Paulson as a runner-up for its Person of the Year 2008, saying, with reference to the Global Financial Crisis of 2008: "if there is a face to this financial debacle, it is now his".

Franklin Delano Raines: former Fannie Mae CEO, received $50 Million bonus, White House budget director under President Bill Clinton. His role leading Fannie Mae has come under scrutiny. former Fannie Mae CEO, received $50 Million bonus, White House budget director under President Bill Clinton. His role leading Fannie Mae has come under scrutiny.

Jim Johnson: former Fannie Mae CEO, received $35 Million bonus. managing director with Lehman Brothers, An Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight (OFHEO) report[1] 2004 found that, during Johnson's tenure as CEO, Fannie Mae had improperly deferred $200 million in expenses. This enabled top executives, including Johnson and his successor, Franklin Raines, to receive substantial bonuses in 1998.[2] A 2006 OFHEO report[3] found that Fannie Mae had substantially under-reported Johnson's compensation. Originally reported as $6-7 million, Johnson actually received approximately $21 million. Vice chairman of the private banking firm Perseus LLC, board member at Goldman Sachs, KB Home, a home construction firm, Target Corporation,Temple-Inland, UnitedHealth Group. Chairman of both the Kennedy Center for the Arts and the Brookings Institution, member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Friends of Bilderberg, the Council on Foreign Relations, the Trilateral Commission. Johnson a source of controversy when it was reported that he had received loans directly from Angelo Mozilo, the CEO of Countrywide Financial, a company implicated in the U.S. subprime mortgage crisis.[6] Although he was not accused of any wrongdoing and was initially defended by Obama on the grounds that he was simply an unpaid volunteer, Johnson announced he would step down from the vice-presidential vetting position on June 11, 2008, in order to avoid being a distraction to Obama's campaign.[7]

Rahm Emanuel: White House Chief of Staff to President Barack Obama. served on the board of directors of the federal mortgage firm Freddie Mac at a time when scandal was brewing at the troubled agency and the board failed to spot "red flags," entire board was later accused by the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight (OFHEO) of having "failed in its duty to follow up on matters brought to its attention.” Democratic member of the United States House of Representatives, representing Illinois's 5th congressional district, chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee during the 2006 mid-term elections. chairman of the Democratic Caucus, member of the New Democrat Coalition. noted for his combative style and his political fundraising abilities,he articulated his view on the role of government as a positive force to face difficult challenges and solve national problems, notably combating global warming through green energy policies and completely restructuring the healthcare system. Citigroup executive at the center of the current meltdown.

Chris Dodd: #1 recipient of Fannie Mae contributions

Larry Summers who pushed the repeal of the Glass-Steagal Act,

Tim Geithner who masterminded the bank bailout,

Robert Rubin, a disgraced Citigroup executive at the center of the current meltdown.

Alan Greenspan, Chairman of the Federal Reserve of the United States from 1987 to 2006.

Looks a bit out of balance to me

Comment by tom sarbeck on November 1, 2015 at 12:07pm

I just can't understand how such intelligent people can swallow such malarky.

Randall, it's easy to forget Seneca's "Religion is regarded ... by rulers as useful".

What evidence do you have that the Obamas have swallowed the malarky?

Comment by Randall Smith on November 1, 2015 at 6:57am

I've heard about atheists using a black marker to cross out "In God We Trust" on both money and license plates. Good idea, but futile. And I wouldn't do it on a police car. FFRF has a better idea--sue the crap out of the offenders. At least threaten to do so.

As for the Obamas, I just can't understand how such intelligent people can swallow such malarky. While he won't admit it, I'm pretty sure Bernie Sanders is a nonbeliever. Now wouldn't that be nice if he was president?!

Comment by tom sarbeck on October 31, 2015 at 9:13pm

This post can be about almost any religion. I will assume it's about xianity.

The "...thoughts and prayers...." line isn't meant to be well meaning and supportive; it's meant to be understood as well meaning and supportive.

If those who say it were to express an appropriate emotion they would feel bad. They need to feel good and xianity serves that purpose.

The other lines also help xians avoid emotional connections with people who are hurting.

Comment by tom sarbeck on October 31, 2015 at 8:37pm

The people who say "I'll pray for you" are wanting to say, "Don't ask me for anything."

If you want them to quit, reply with something like "I would rather you give me five cents."

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