Total Living Network Finds
Backdoor Into Public Schools
Kris Nielsen

Graphic Rule

From: "Positive Atheism Magazine" <editor@positiveatheism.org>
To: "Kris Nielsen"
Subject: Re: TLN finds backdoor into our schools
Date: October 11, 2001 12:43 PM

I think it could be a healthy experience for some of these youngsters to later wake up and realize that they've been duped into compromising the letter and the spirit of the law of the land so that the greedy adults who are exploiting them can amass political power, ultimately to put themselves in a position to be able to force their own will upon others. Such exploitation will not escape the eyes of youngsters simply because they are young and inexperienced: we all, as humans, can detect gross unfairness when we see it; we all are able to recognize opportunism -- perhaps not right away, while it's happening, but almost all of us can eventually see that we've been had.

Over the past several weeks, as I hear about the various schemes being foisted upon youngsters for the purpose of placing these parasitic adults into positions of power, my response has begun to sound like a broken record: "This cannot but backfire! (Skip!) This cannot but backfire! (Skip!) This cannot but backfire!" I saw it happen during the closing years and the aftermath of the McCarthy Era of anti-Communist and anti-Atheist hysteria: a whole generation of kids did not trust their parents because some of what their parents told them was a big, fat lie (the McCarthy line, the anti-drug line, the pro-war line).

And that can be quite an interesting lesson indeed -- especially if there are other very visible groups of youngsters working with adults who are working to uphold the letter and the spirit of the law, and whose arguments about religious freedom can actually be defended under any context. The best we can hope for is that we are seen treating our kids (all kids we come in contact with) with respect and dignity, and that we never be found to have lied to them. When this comes out (and it will), all the kids who have watched how we deal with our kids will take note and, when grasping for answers simply from having been tossed into a raging sea of confusion wrought by exploitation, they might find (in truthfulness and anything else we held dear) some solid rock upon which to rebuild their lives.

Cliff Walker
Positive Atheism Magazine
Six years of service to
     people with no reason to believe

Graphic Rule

Graphic Rule

From: "Positive Atheism" <editor@positiveatheism.org>
To: "Kris Nielsen"
Subject: Re: TLN finds backdoor into our schools
Date: October 11, 2001 8:10 PM

I have, since The Texas Book Cover Flap, offered to allow our "Which Ten Commandments?" handbill to be adapted to book covers. The offer also holds for the "National Bible Week" poster (though some might question the appropriateness for youngsters of the Bible passages in the section "Uncut & Unsubtle").

But both can be adapted to a book cover with little trouble: "Which" might look better if it were retypeset (and I have complete typesetting software); "NBW" would look good converted to EPS and then placed as-is as the front and back surfaces of covers which would, of course, employ other decorations.

Cliff Walker
Positive Atheism Magazine
Six years of service to
     people with no reason to believe

Graphic Rule

Graphic Rule

From: "Positive Atheism Magazine" <editor@positiveatheism.org>
To: "Kris Nielsen"
Subject: Re: TLN finds backdoor into our schools
Date: October 12, 2001 8:00 AM

The point is that we can and perhaps should do something.

The tricky part is in what I've been saying all along: even to identify as an atheist is to suggest you are somebody who is anti-religion -- and anti-anything just does not fly these days. In identifying oneself as an atheist one must be very careful.

But there's always the option of doing things that we believe in, such as supporting science education and popularizing rational thought, which are not the exclusive domains of atheism. Thus, I think book covers which explain and promote Liberal Scientific Method could do a world of good. I would just love to be involved in a project designed to popularize the notion that nobody is the arbiter of human knowledge, that anybody is allowed to present evidence in an attempt to topple the dominant paradigm, that the whole point of science is to submit one's ideas to the scrutiny of one's peers specifically seeking that your own ideas be shot down if they have serious flaws in them, or that the flaws be routed if those they have are only minor. True, this would not be the exclusive domain of atheism -- but then, where does it say that what we do must be entirely and exclusively atheistic?

Cliff Walker
Positive Atheism Magazine
Six years of service to
     people with no reason to believe

Graphic Rule

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