Ten Commandments

Ten Commandments for Atheists: A Guide for Nonbelievers Who Want to Explore Their Values

Lex Bayer and John Figdor, authors of “Atheist Mind, Humanist Heart.” Photo via Kimberly Winston/RNS.

“There are lots of books out there about why you should not believe in God,” Bayer said. “But there aren’t any about what do secular people believe in. I think that’s the question John and I felt hadn’t been adequately addressed.”

In exploring that, the two men — both whom have studied philosophy and logic — came up with 10 essentials. For the extra-nerdy, there’s even “a theorem of belief” in the appendix that looks like something a mathematician might scribble.

The result is 10 “non-commandments” — the authors’ irreducible statements of atheist and humanist belief.

First up: “The world is real, and our desire to understand the world is the basis for belief.”

No. 2 on the list: “We can perceive the world only through our human senses.”

Halfway through, at No. 5, the authors conclude: “There is no God.” Once over that hurdle, the non-commandments become less controversial — an ethical society is good, as is moral behavior.

Museum of the Bible Aims for Timeless Name, Imagery

Exterior rendering of the eight-story, 430,000-square-foot Museum of the Bible. Photo courtesy of SmithGroupJJR/RNS.

Museum of the Bible.

That’s it.

The name of the museum under construction in Washington, D.C., is official.

“We don’t need more to tell people who and what we are,” said the museum’s founder and funder, Steve Green.

But, as always with the Bible, nothing is ever simple.

The high-tech museum, set to open in fall 2017, is four blocks from the U.S. Capitol and three blocks from a global tourism mecca, the Air and Space Museum. The new museum will feature standing exhibits on the history and impact of the Bible as well as interactive features to bring viewers into Bible stories and characters.

Atheists to Unveil First Monument to Unbelief on Public Land

Photo courtesy of Dave Muscato

The Bradford County Courthouse

After years of fights over religious monuments on public land, a county courthouse in Northern Florida will soon be the home of the nation’s first monument to atheism on public property.

On June 29, the group American Atheists will unveil a 1,500-pound granite bench engraved with secular-themed quotations from Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, and its founder, Madalyn Murray O’Hair, among others, in front of the Bradford County Courthouse in Starke, Fla.

The New-Jersey-based group, which has a membership of about 4,000 atheists, humanists, and other non-believers, won the right to erect the monument in a settlement reached in March over a six-ton granite display of the Ten Commandments on the same property.

Top 10 Reasons Why Christians Like Top 10 Lists about Christians

Ten Commandments Mosaic. Image via Zvonimir Atletic / Shutterstock

Ten Commandments Mosaic. Image via Zvonimir Atletic / Shutterstock

No, this is not some new Charlie Kauffman movie that folds in on itself, creating a perpetual feedback loop. I’m serious; Christians love Top 10 Lists.

No wonder Moses did only 10 commandments.

I noticed this recently when all of the top three most popular articles on the Sojo.net at the time were lists of this kind. So I went back and did a search of my own personal blog archive. Every one of the most popular pieces started with “10 Reasons,” or “Seven Things” or the like.

Are Christians obsessed with lists? What’s the deal?

I talked to a publisher years ago who told me that the key to a successful theology book was to include something akin to “six easy steps” in the title. I never took them up on that advice, but he knew what he was talking about. So after expending a little grey matter on the issue, I came up with this list of reasons why I think Christians love these kinds of lists:

#1. We don’t want to have to think too hard: Now, before you fire up your keyboard and rattle off a protest email, this is a broader truism across our entire culture....

‘Ten Commandments Judge’ Roy Moore Poised to Return to Ala. Court

Photo by Mario Villafuerte/Getty Images

Ten Commandments monument removed from the Alabama Judicial Building displayed in Texas. Photo by Mario Villafuerte/Getty Images

MOBILE, Ala.--With 98 percent of state precincts counted, Roy Moore held on to 51 percent of the vote in his bid to retake his former job as chief justice of the state's supreme court.

Moore received 279,381 votes to Mobile Judge Charlie Graddick's 139,673 votes (25 percent), and incumbent Chief Justice Chuck Malone's 136,050 votes (24 percent).

If Moore slips below the magical 50 percent mark once all precincts are reported, he would face either Graddick or Malone in a Republican run-off on April 24.

"I'm very happy at what we thought was going to happen. The people support me. So many tried to disparage me," Moore said after the vote on Tuesday (March 13). "My opponents are very good men, qualified judges. I've never made any disparaging remarks."

Moore is hoping to regain a position he lost in 2003 when a state panel expelled him from office for failing to comply with a federal court order to remove a 5,280-pound granite monument to the Ten Commandments that he had placed in the Alabama Judicial Building in Montgomery.

Ten Commandments Judge Wants His Old Job Back

Justice Roy Moore holds a Bible while testifying in a hearing. Via Getty Images.

Justice Roy Moore holds a Bible while testifying in a hearing, 2004. Via Getty Images.

MOBILE, Ala. — You might think a candidate's ouster from the post he is seeking to regain would play a central role in a statewide election.
   
Yet Republican Roy Moore's forced exit, almost a decade ago, as Alabama's chief justice over a Ten Commandments monument seems only a murmur on the campaign trail.
   
Voters don't often ask about it, and the other two candidates in the March GOP primary hardly ever talk about it.
   
Moore plunged Alabama into a showdown in 2003 when he erected a 5,280-pound granite monument to the Ten Commandments in the Alabama judicial building in Montgomery. A federal judge declared the monument to be a violation of the separation of church and state and ordered Moore to remove it.
   
When Moore refused, a special panel of retired state judges voted unanimously to remove him from office for violating a higher-court order.

The Conservative Radical: An Article by John Stott

1100728-johnstott[Editors' note: Rev. John Stott, one of the world's most influential evangelical figures over the past half-century, died this Wednesday at age 90. Rev. Stott served as a contributing editor for Sojourners magazine, when we were known as The Post American, and wrote this article for the November/December, 1973 issue of the magazine. We will always remember Rev. Stott for his profound contributions to our community and the Church.]

It seems to be a characteristic of the Anglo-Saxon mind to enjoy inhabiting the "polar regions" of truth. If we could straddle both poles simultaneously, we would exhibit a healthy balance. Instead, we tend to "polarize". We push some of our brothers to one pole, while keeping the other as our own preserve.

What I am thinking of now is not so much questions of theology as questions of temperament, and in particular the tension between the "conservative" and the "radical."

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