DIAL A GAY ATHEIST (713) 880-4242 02 January 1994 Happy New Year from Dial-A-Gay-Atheist,

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DIAL A GAY ATHEIST (713) 880-4242 02 January 1994 Happy New Year from Dial-A-Gay-Atheist, a communications service of American Gay & Lesbian Atheists. American Gay Atheists, Inc., is a non-profit, educational foundation dedicated to promoting separation between state and church. All inquiries should be addressed, in writing, to AGLA, PO Box 66711, Houston, TX 77266. This is Don Sanders for Dial-A-Gay-Atheist. Ending a year which was basically devastating to Jefferson's concept of separation between state and church, two major American news weeklies closed out their 1993 editions featuring stories about angels. The December 27 editions of both "Time" and "Newsweek" featured stories of the ethereal beings. In fact, "Time" had a drawing of one of the winged figmentations on its cover. Oh, sure, it was the Christmas season and time to bring the celestial spirits from out of their closets. But according to both magazines, it seems that seraphs are on the minds of Americans throughout the year, not just at Christmas time. According to "Time," 69% of Americans say they believe that angels really exist, while 46% think they have their own personal guardian angel. And 55% believe that angels are agents of god who has bestowed upon them special powers. 49% percent also believe in the existence of so-called "fallen angels," that is, angels who have turned rotten, like god's former archangel, Lucifer, better known in America as "the devil." Of course, those of us who are critics of religion agree that Christianity, and most other religions, would be up a creek without a paddle without the devil. The devil is as much a necessary part of Christianity as is Jesus Christ, and perhaps more so. For, according to legend, the devil, or Satan, is the first of god's defective creations whose own pride and vanity caused him to be expelled from heaven, and it is that pride which has given the captain of the fallen angels the power to tempt humankind into committing such heinous "sins." Of course, without "sin," there would never have been a need for Jesus in the first place, and thus the need for Christianity itself. Thus, my reasoning for the devil's portentous role in Christianity. It was necessary, therefore, for Christianity to have created a devil, or some kind of bad guy, in order to make the religion fly. After reading the articles in both "Time" and "Newsweek," I sat down and popped off a letter to the editors of "Newsweek" about the article which they had just presented on the subject of angels. Here is what I said: Angels are simply personal gods or goddesses concocted by individuals to suit their needs for control over things that make them feel powerless. Unfortunately, many humans are unwilling to accept reality and opt instead for fantasy. It is especially distressing that well-educated citizens of the world's most technologically advanced nation are reverting to the mind-set of the Dark Ages as a new century approaches. What both articles showed quite clearly is that angels, like gods, are manifestations of human imagination. Just like god is a creation of the human mind, suited to the contemporary culture of the day, so are angels. Angels are more similar to the Jesus man-god. Like Jesus, they are very personal gods, having human characteristics and features, and are beings which allegedly act as protectors. As we move forward in time, inching ever closer to a new century, the forces of regression seem also to be working overtime in order to take us back and envelope us in superstition. The notion of the existence of angels also relates to the religious idea of the existence of a soul and life after death. In fact, many people believe that angels are the manifestations of their dead mothers and aunts, cousins and sisters. In other words, to many, angels are the spirits of the dead. Of course, like the idea of life after death, the belief in the existence of angels merely reflects the desire, on the part of many humans, for immortality. It also helps some people get through life without feeling a need to take responsibility for their own actions. If they convince themselves that a god is watching over them or that a guardian angel is there to protect them during times of danger or crisis, they can justify a risky and reckless lifestyle. This also explains the phenomenon of the mass murderer who, after being imprisoned and placed on death row for his crimes against society, suddenly "finds" Jesus and then claims all his bloody deeds have been forgiven. Stepping forward out of the dark and into the light of knowledge and reason is what we at AGLA are doing. Help us continue this forward-march by sending a tax-deductible donation to help keep this and other programs of AGLA in operation. Ask for a free sample copy of "The American Gay & Lesbian Atheist" newsletter. The address is AGLA, PO Box 66711, Houston, TX 77266. Watch for the American Atheist Television Forum in Houston over the Public Access Channel on your cable system. At the tone, tell us from where you're calling and what's on your mind. Perhaps your opinion will be played on a future Open Forum segment. Of course, call this American GAY Atheist again, anytime. *********************************************************************** * * * American Atheists website: http://www.atheists.org * * PO Box 140195 FTP: ftp://ftp.atheists.org * * Austin, TX 78714-0195 * * Voice: (512) 458-1244 Dial-THE-ATHEIST: * * FAX: (512) 467-9525 (512) 458-5731 * * * * Atheist Viewpoint TV: avtv@atheists.org * * Info on American Atheists: info@atheists.org, * * & American Atheist Press include your name and mailing address * * AANEWS -Free subscription: aanews-request@listserv.atheists.org * * and put "info aanews" in message body * * * * This text may be freely downloaded, reprinted, and/other * * otherwise redistributed, provided appropriate point of * * origin credit is given to American Atheists. * * * ***********************************************************************

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