“Striving for a better world by adopting secular values that promote a strong sense of moral ownership with a focus on human dignity and respect and having the courage to embrace reason, critical thinking, and science as the keys to knowledge and empowerment. These are the core principles that we wish to pass on to our children for a promising future, and to serve as a defense against religious dogma and intolerance.”

Allison & Rich- A Couple of Atheists

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Posts written by Allison are more personal in nature, as she loves to get out there and interact with the public. Rich’s thoughts are much more intense and sure to make you think… no matter which you prefer, there is something for everyone.


“What you do now matters.”

This week Amber Guyger was sentenced to 10 years in prison for the murder of Botham Jean. A white woman burst into the apartment of an innocent black man shot and killed him and wasn’t even taken into custody at the scene. I could go on and on about how lenient the sentence was, how it only happened this way because we live in a blue and white world that gives privilege to those that don’t deserve it, but I won’t. Instead I want to focus on the impact statement from Jean’s brother Brandt and the inappropriate behavior of Judge Tammy Kemp.

When addressing the court of the impact of Botham’s death Brandt spoke directly to Guyger. He stated that he forgives her, loves her as a person and wants only the best for her. In addition he stated that he didn’t even wish for her to go to jail but instead to give her life up to Christ. After stating the best thing she could do now is give her life to Christ he embraced her right there in the courtroom. I am not going to fault him for his reaction. He may truly believe that prison will not make the difference and Christ will . However as an Atheist I cannot imagine how devoting her life to Christ would in any way be beneficial. Clearly it did nothing to protect Botham, a youth pastor and active member of his church. The only thing his devotion to God could really do is possibly give hope to other believers that he is now in heaven, when in reality he is dead, killed for no reason, not even a martyr… just gone.

What really bothered me about the final moments of the sentencing phase was what the judge did. While overcome with emotion from the unprecedented act she had just allowed to occur in her courtroom, she decided to step far outside the bonds of our law. Judge Tammy Kemp left the bench and returned with a copy of the bible, she holds it out to Guyger and states “You can have mine. I have 3 or 4 more at home. This is the one I use every day. This is your job for the next month. Right here. John 3:16”. It continues on, in front of every member of Jean’s family she embraces Guyger, attempting to provide comfort to a murder while stating “I believe in Christ… you haven’t done so much that you can’t be forgiven. You did something bad in one moment in time. What you do now matters.”. Then she forces the bible upon Guyger who carries it out of the courtroom.

I cannot even process what just happened. I try to put myself there, having someone I loved taken away and having to watch a judge bring God into the courtroom and tell the killer that it’s what happens from this point on that matters. Does this mean that breaking into an innocent man’s apartment, shooting him, refraining from providing any life saving measures and then focusing completely on how it would affect you is totally meaningless? What kind of delusional world do these believers live in. I decided to look around at various sites to see what people were saying about the events and I must say it was unnerving. One exchange in particular caught my eye. While discussing the sentencing a person wrote “But if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”.

Someone, anyone, please tell me how this is a positive thing? Yes, releasing your conscious of the weight of hate and forgiving can be beneficial for a victim to move forward in life, but they shouldn’t have to do it because if not they will be punished by God. The next response to the thread stated “the bible states if we do not forgive, we cannot be forgiven.”. Seriously, think about that for a moment. The murderer repents and is forgiven by God but if the victims cannot find forgiveness for the killer they will be judged by God. The third comment states “That’s what a true Christian would do.” but what I wonder is, why would they do it? Are they doing it because it is what they need to move forward? Are they doing it to honor the memory of the one they lost so that hate doesn’t tarnish their legacy? Or are they doing it because if they don’t God will never forgive them?
Let us also not forget that there is a huge difference between a grieving brother expressing that faith may be beneficial and a judge assigning religious work to a criminal. What gull it takes to think that you can force your beliefs, a person who has power over you, using that power to direct someone to take on their belief system. Imagine the outrage our country would have had if they judge handed her a Koran. There would have been protests and shaming, an appropriate reaction, but only if it applies to the bible as well. As an Atheist, if I was told that my punishment included finding Jesus I would have to decline. I would accept a punishment that fit my crime as long as it was within the boundaries of our country’s laws, but never would I allow God to be forced on me.
God and religion have no place in our judicial system. Do not let a beautiful embrace and act of forgiveness take away from the fact that a judge forced religion upon a criminal. Don’t let it negate the fact that people are seeing this act as inspirational and the perfect way to not be punished by God. I am fortunate to have never lost someone to a tragedy such as this, I cannot imagine the pain and I won’t pretend I do. I respect the Jean family and all those that loved Botham and I will not criticize their grieving process. But please, remember that this is just another reminder that Christian’s feel entitled to force their religion on us at all times and it is because we let them get away with it… and we cannot keep allowing this to happen.

To the US Government: You cannot have my body




For as long as I can remember I have identified as pro-choice. I can remember attending a Clinton/Gore rally in 1992 and in front of me was our future president and behind me a group of protestors. I was probably in the second grade at this time but already I was becoming aware of what a divisive issue abortion was. The hostile energy that radiates from someone intent on taking away your rights is unmistakable, this small moment gave me a hint that my right to choose was precious and something worth fighting to for.


In my teenage years I didn’t have much direct experience with abortions but I did have knowledge of what one was. I knew that it was a medical procedure that was used to end a pregnancy, and that there were a number of reasons why a woman might need one. It was a nonissue for me until my senior year of high school when I started dating a guy that was 4 years older than me. We had sex and we also had a pregnancy scare. As much as my young mind thought I loved him, the way he treated me behind closed doors made me aware that I could never have brought a child into our relationship. I was with him longer than I should have been. Trapped in an abusive situation that I was lucky to get out of with just a scar on my lip and knowledge how fast things can escalate from bad to worse. I am thankful that I never had to make the choice of whether or not to abort because at that point in my life I was far too fragile to face something so serious. At least then I would have had the choice to not tie myself to an abusive man; our lawmakers want to make it so you have to stay.


October 2003, Sophomore year of college. I went to a party at a neighboring university. I arrived with three of my friends but walked home alone the next morning. At some point during the party I got separated from my girlfriends and I have no memory of the night, just what I experienced in the morning. I woke up in the bed of a man I did not know. I still had my tank top on, still had my boots on, but my jeans were just past my knees. I looked up at him and he said “don’t even say it, no one will care”. As I walked down Forbes avenue back to my dorm I remember the empty feeling inside that let me know I was never going to be the same. To this day it is something I have a terribly difficult time talking about. I can’t say the word rape because it makes me physically ill to do so. Even typing this out right now I keep questioning if I should talk about what happened that night. I cannot imagine what I would have done if I had become pregnant. I didn’t know his name, I didn’t want to know his name, and certainly I didn’t want to be connected to him for the rest of my life. The shame and regret I felt overpowered me to the point that I left that University when Sophomore year ended. When I think of all the young women in college right now that could easily experience what I did and could become pregnant; their only choices would be to keep a child born of a crime or to commit a crime by aborting the pregnancy.

the day I had my first "abortion"

Now that I am a mother you would think that abortion isn’t something I deal with when in fact according to my medical records, I have had two. After a perfect pregnancy that resulted in my beautiful daughter Arabella, I lost two babies to a gene mutation. With both losses I had to have a D&C procedure to remove the products of conception from my womb. This is not a procedure that every woman who miscarries needs. Depending on the circumstances they may be able to pass naturally, this was not the case for me. Both times it was traumatic, both times it was called an abortion. When we lost Lily the procedure helped me to heal a bit as I did not have a daily reminder that my baby was gone, with Riley it was much more graphic. Products of conception were left behind after the D&C leaving me with months of bleeding that resulted in me collapsing at work when I started passing massive clots and pieces of tissue from my vagina. In the ER the asked for a urine sample and the entire collection cup overflowed with blood. I cannot imagine our government forcing women to go through this when a pregnancy is lost. The emotional toll it takes on you is bad enough, but to have to physically experience it is torture, especially when there is another way. The men on the panel that passed the hideous Alabama law have never and will never have to look down and see the remainder of what was once a child they desperately wanted. No one should have the right to dictate what happens inside of another person’s body. It is wrong, it is just so wrong. I am fearful for what my daughter may have to deal with in the future.

I am not sure what fool spread the notion that an abortion is somehow a pleasant thing. Pro-lifers always make it sound so casual. They pretend that it is used as a form of contraception when in reality that is not the case. I know women who have had abortions.  Some felt a sense of relief, some felt shame but none of the woman I have ever talked to said it was a good experience. For some it is the absolute best choice under their circumstance and having the right to recognize that is so important. The laws our government officials are trying to pass will not stop abortions. What they will do is put women in an impossible situation that damages them physically and emotionally.

In my eyes losing the right to choose is the government of the United States of America telling me that I do not matter. We cannot let them break us. We need to share our stories because clearly people are not understanding that abortion is more than a graphic image on a protestors sign. Whether physical or psychological, abortion can be the difference between life or death for the woman that is pregnant… and I refuse to let the government kill the women of our country.

“I can’t shoot someone because in my mind they had a weapon.”

Yesterday the jury issued a verdict of not guilty in the case against officer Michael Rosfeld, the man who shot and killed Antwon Rose. As I followed the trial I noticed that much of what the defense was presenting came from what people thought and what they felt with little focus on what they knew. It brought me back to another high profile case where a 17 year old black boy unjustly lost his life. On November 23, 2012 Michael David Dunn shot into a car and killed Jordan Davis. In the first interview that Dunn had with detectives he made a point to say that he shot his gun because in his mind the occupants of the vehicle had weapons. One of the detectives responded with the most sensible statement I have ever heard; “I can’t shoot someone because in my mind they had a weapon”. What an amazing revelation. It seems some law enforcement officers still belief that it isn’t enough to think it, you need to know the truth before you kill someone that is not an immediate threat to your life. Sadly during the trial here in Pittsburgh the officer stated over and over that he thought he saw a gun and as it turns out those feelings satisfied the jury.

We live in a culture that is relying too much on what they feel rather than what they know. This is pretty much the driving force behind religions, blind faith, no evidence required. Sometimes I wonder if the adults that were indoctrinated as children are even capable of relearning critical thinking skills. If they have gone their entire life believing their future is set in motion by a higher power and that their is a judge higher than man. Will they always be comfortable saying  “well i can see why he felt that way” to justify actions that following the facts should never have happened? Will they say “he did what he had to do” because subconsciously they believe our actions are ultimately out of our control? If you are not able to set aside emotion and deal strictly with facts, can their be justice in the world?

Fact: Antwon Rose was in a car that was involved in a drive-by

Fact: Michael Rosfeld had no proof of this at the time of the traffic stop that resulted in the death of Antwon Rose.

People say that the officer was just doing his job, but was he? During a traffice stop he shot a teenager that was not an immediate threat  three  times in the back, then handcuffed him and left him on the ground as he gasped for breath. He did not feel the need to try to preform life saving measures, he just panicked and left the rest to the officers who arrived several minutes later. All we hear is that he thought he had a gun, he thought he reached for a gun, he thought he saw a gun. But guess what, ANTWON ROSE DID NOT HAVE A GUN. So these feelings he had are why Antwon is dead. People argue that Antwon should not have run from the car and I agree that it was not a wise choice, but running from a traffic stop does not warrant the death penalty. You would think that officer Rosfeld’s feelings at the time shouldn’t be a factor because the jury was able to view video evidence that showed Antwon running away. They could see that he  didn’t reach for anything and he didn’t turn around, in fact the shots came so fast I can’t imagine he’d have had time to. Luckily I don’t have to speculate, there is evidence that we can see and it is plain as day that a defenseless teenager was shot dead as he retreated. So how did a jury of his peers find him not guilty of all possible charges? It is because people become blinded by personal bias and after-the-fact information. I cannot tell you how many people have commented “He wasn’t innocent, he was involved in a drive-by earlier”. There are even people still listing Antwon as the shooter in the drive-by despite (once again) video to the contrary as well as a confession by the real shooter. Others have stated that Antwon had a clip in his pocket at the time of his death and therefore that makes him a criminal and office Rosfeld had the duty to protect himself and others. Yes, he did have the clip in his pocket, but it is a moot point because officer Rosfeld could not have known it was there when he shot and killed Antwon. We live in the United States and whether you like it or not, everyone has the right to a fair trial. The other boys that survived the event will all be charged and unlike officer Rosfeld they will likely serve time for their crimes. Apparently when you have the right combination of judge and jury you are allowed to be the executioner.

I have no idea when or if this epidemic will end, I am ashamed that my hometown has now contributed to the injustice.  All I can say is that I promise to do my part to bring awareness to the state of our society.  My thoughts and my heart are with all of the people that loved Antwon, he will not be forgotten.

R.I.P. Antwon Rose II

The Benefits of Atheism



“Imagine that the brain is a computer and that religion is a virus. Atheism is the wiping of that virus.” – Nick Harding[1]


What does atheism offer?”, “What good is it?”,  “What benefit can be gained from not believing in God?

Well that depends on how much you value intellectual honesty? How valuable is reason? And I say this without a hint of hubris or intellectual snobbery, although it is often taken to be the very height of just that by theists. But I mean this with the utmost sincerity born out of a genuine caring for people and concern for the future of my children and humanity as a species. For me, intellectual honesty and reason are incredibly important. I’d argue that progress as a person, a society, and as a species is contingent upon it. So when it comes to beliefs that shape our very lives, that provide the foundation from which we conduct ourselves and how we see the world, then nothing could be more important. Now before we delve deeper, let’s be clear, atheism is not a worldview, ideology, or philosophy[2]. Atheism doesn’t provide a foundation of it’s own. But it provides firm ground free of the debris of theism and clears out the religious weeds before they can crack through the foundation of rationality. Allowing instead for solid foundations to be laid. Well grounded foundations such as naturalism and secular humanism, for example. So then what good is it? Well provided that one accepts how rationality, knowledge, and human flourishing are of the utmost importance to the continuing development and progress towards the betterment of humanity as a whole, then one must also give consideration to how these are able to be derailed by bad reasoning, dogmatic ideologies, and faith-based beliefs[3], then the benefit of atheism becomes clearer. To make an important distinction, I’m not arguing that atheism is more rational than theism, I’m arguing that theism is irrational and must be rejected and/or removed from the methods of reasoning altogether. We even see this in the cases of credible scientists who are in fact religious. Those scientists who hold such a belief only hold to it when the white coat is off. They reason like atheists in the lab. Atheism in the context of this discussion is that acknowledgement. The crux of my argument is simply this… atheism clears the way for reason to properly operate.


There is a clarity in thinking that comes with having a foundation unfettered with underlying supernatural assumptions. Assumptions like a supernatural deity created the whole of reality and is pulling the strings. And that this deity has an ultimate plan and is watching everything with divine judgment. This foundational clarity allows for the methods of sound reasoning to build. We must be diligent in our efforts to be clear in our thinking and to be objective and honest in our analyses. It’s crucial to build our knowledge on a solid foundation. Even if it means arriving at conclusions that force us to abandon our most cherished beliefs. And the problems that are brought on board when one adopts a god belief chokes reason off at the root. These problems are found in the methods a believer must adopt of defending that belief at all costs. It’s in the fideistic attitude that reason is inadequate and ill-equipped or even an outright misology. It’s also found in the demonization of reason whenever reason challenges the belief in a god and the methods of attaining it. According to theism, faith trumps reason. The best reason can accomplish is to compliment faith. Reason serves to merely placate faith. Reason alone is the trickery of Satan or the product of a prideful fallen creation. Atheism, at this fundamental level, doesn’t allow for such manipulation to take hold. And thus allows for honest, critical analysis. That is all atheism needs to do. But let’s not think this as some trivial thing. Far from it.


“It is the absolutism of theism, its pernicious influence upon humanity, its paralyzing effect upon thought and action, which Atheism is fighting with all its power.” – Emma Goldman[4]


But there’s another, more personal reason how atheism can be a benefit. It must be acknowledged that many atheists were religious at some point in there lives. And given that religion is deeply ingrained in practically every society around the world. There’s no escaping it’s influence in some capacity. For those that escaped the grip of religion, or are constantly having religion shoved down their throats, atheism can be liberating. Many have witnessed first hand the harm these beliefs have on relationships and we are bombarded daily with news displaying the immense tension caused by religion in societies around the world. Many have been shunned by their community and ostracized by their own family. But consider those who live in regions of the world where harsh religious oppression is everyday life. Where religion isn’t a free choice and apostasy is punished. Where religious totalitarianism suffocates every independent thought of the people around you. Just uttering the words “I’m an atheist” is like a breath of fresh air. Even if it must done clandestinely behind closed doors out of fear of punishment, including death. It is a push-back against the unrelenting inculcation of dogma and religious extremism. Taking into account these two points discussed here, the necessity of atheism couldn’t be more apparent and its benefits are far-reaching. The fewer false, irrational, faith-based things we believe, the better we will be able to grasp reality and thus flourish. And atheism eliminates the biggest offender.





[1] Nick Harding, News Talk, January 25, 2016

[2] This isn’t to say that one’s atheology doesn’t contain philosophy, or the reason for one’s rejection of theism. But that’s irrelevant to the topic as atheism doesn’t require any. One can be perfectly justified in simply saying they have no place for a belief in a god belief in their lives.

[3] see my blog where I argue against faith and it’s incompatibility with reason… https://coupleofatheists.com/2013/11/05/unreasonable-faith/  

[4] Emma Goldman, Mother Earth, Feb. 1916

A Secular Response To Tragedy

I haven’t been able to find the words to express my feeling for the senseless loss of life at the Tree of Life synagogue. Perhaps it is because it happened just across the bridge from me as opposed to across the country. Maybe it is that the combination of Antwon Rose’s death, the pedophile priests and now a mass shooting, makes raising my children in Pittsburgh seem like an unwise choice. Running from all these issues isn’t the answer, I know that… so how do we stop this?

As a secular humanist my initial response is always to promote tolerance and respect. I may be an Atheist but that does not mean that I do not respect people of faith. I may disagree with their ideology. I may find them to be misguided. I may request that their believes are not forced into my life. Despite all our differences I never wish anything bad to happen to them. I don’t want to see a battle between the believers. I do not want anyone to lose their lives. Kellyanne Conway mentioned anti-religiosity when discussing the tragedy in Pittsburgh. Stating that this is not the time to remove religion from the public forum and that it’s not the time for jokes.

“The late night comedians. The un-funny people on TV shows. It’s always anti-religious. And remember, these people were gunned down in their place of worship’,” Conway continued. “As were the people in South Carolina several years ago. And they were there because they’re people of faith and it’s that faith that needs to bring us together.”

I do agree that this is not a laughing matter. Anyone making light of this horrible act of terrorism is an entirely different level of disgusting that I am unable to comprehend. What I do not agree with is that faith needs to bring us together. Just like politics will not unite us all, religion will always be divisive. These innocent people were killed while worshiping their God. The rest of the people within the Jewish community are going to grieve based upon their belief system. Is this really the best time for Christians to remind them that according to their beliefs, people who follow Judaism will not be going to heaven? Of course not. I am a firm believer that times of grief are off limits to proselytizing. Even if you are promoting a secular/atheist message, don’t do it while someone is in mourning, wait until they have a clear mind.

Their faith can’t bring us together or heal these wounds, but if their faith gives them strength, then we could show them that strength is found in unity. Despite what faith others might hold. I may not believe in an afterlife, but I can understand the psychological need for the comfort it brings. I may not pray to a God, but I do find the benefit in pouring all my feelings out into the void via writing. So, though we are not the same, we are still capable of relating to each other. Perhaps people could look inward and reflect on how thankful they are for the ability to worship as they wish. Maybe they could take that and bump it up to being thankful that we all have the right to worship as we wish. If they could just keep reminding themselves that it is the freedoms of others that allow you to be free, maybe then we could unite.

I still don’t have adequate words for the loved ones of the eleven people killed here in my hometown of Pittsburgh… saying I am sorry isn’t enough and neither is promising to keep you all in my thoughts and heart. Action is needed at this point and so I vow to continue fighting for our freedoms so that these deaths are not in vain… and I will vote on Tuesday to do my part to create a government that wants to protect the citizens of our country.

Burn Your Bible Instead


Our society is completely backwards. People are outraged because Nike included Colin Kaepernick in an ad and have decided to burn the products that they already paid for as a form of protest. They are outraged by a quote, a statement against intolerance… I bet it will be the hot topic at lunch after church on Sunday. Yes, we live in a society that will burn their shoes when someone stands up to police brutality but will put money in the collection plate when they learn that priests are raping children.

What did Colin Kaepernick really do that was so disgraceful that it warrants this type of outrage? He used his celebrity as a platform to peacefully protest police brutality. He wanted to stand up for those who lost their lives. Philando Castile, Michael Brown, Alton Sterling, Freddie Gray, Antwon Rose… those are just a few of the higher profile cases, but this is a problem that runs deep and if people with power don’t keep it in the public eye people will keep brushing it under the rug.

People try to say that kneeling during the anthem in memory of the victims of police brutality is somehow disrespectful to our troops. What is truly disrespectful to our troops is the way they are treated by our country once the government has taken all they need. Our vets that cannot get proper healthcare for the devastating physical wounds, that suffer PTSD and are dismissed, having to deal with a president that refers to a POW as a coward, and most importantly the ones who died in combat in wars that never had to happen. Colin Kaepernick is not the face of disrespect towards our troops, our politicians are.

Back to the outrage and misplaced anger…. Why are people so gung-ho to destroy the merchandise of this company? They haven’t done anything other than remind us that some people use their platform for good. Where was the burning of bibles when the priests were exposed for the monsters that they are? Where was the boycott of all churches for covering up the abuse? How is speaking out against a problem more severe than hiding one? What has happened to our world?

There are so many major issues happening right now. We are living under a corrupt government that wants to strip us of our rights. America is on the verge of being nothing but a joke and you are allowing yourself to be distracted by an ad. You have been so blinded that you don’t even see that by fighting against Colin you are risking your own right to speak out.  If you really think that defending police brutality is the place to direct your energy, I support your right to protest. If you want to ignore the real issues and burn Nike merchandise, just do it. But remember that this nonsense will not be without consequence and by the time you realize what is happening it may be too late.

God’s Divine Order Encourages Sexual Harassment.


Just a few days ago I wrote about the sexist attitude of religious men. How they talk down to me, call me things like “sweetie” and “honey” and they even try to make my existence as a sexual being part of the debate when clearly it has no place being discussed. I also made a YouTube video addressing how religious men wouldn’t dictate when or where I would breast feed my child. It was titled “my breasts are not your stumbling block” and it covered how these men like to sexualize everything a woman does and blame them when they cannot control themselves. Needless-to-say this is an issue all women face at some point in their lives, whether you are an “obedient wife” or a “heathen temptress”, religious men will find a way to blame you for their actions.

When I watched Bishop Ellis fondle Ariana Grande I was sickened… not surprised at all, but still sickened. You know that oppression of women in religion has hit an all time low when the pastor thinks it is okay to fondle a young woman, in front of millions of people while at a funeral. It is just mind blowing. Of course it is horrific no matter where or when it happens, but when we’ve reached the point that you think you can just touch someone’s body that way, knowing the rest of the world sees you, things are getting out of hand.


As of now Bishop Ellis still hasn’t apologized. He released a statement that he may have gone too far but at no point took responsibility for his actions, this is because he doesn’t believe he did anything wrong.  You see men in religion are taught from a young age that women are subservient beings. That men only have to answer to God. This is the type of dangerous teaching that I fear is being introduced to each generation of young men. Do you think it is a mistake that up until recently all of the priests, rabbis, pastors. etc were men? Men are second only to God and with that message we put all women in danger.

I have seen many people defending Bishop Ellis by blaming Ariana’s dress. To Ariana and all the women reading this, your dress is never the problem, you are never the problem. You have the right to dress any way that you wish and should be able to do so without fear that the divine order will make it okay for a man to touch you. We cannot let events such as this get brushed under the rug. We’ve all felt the chill of suggestive words or a hug that goes on for just a little too long. If you are not inviting someone to touch your body they have no right to do it. If you have invited them to touch your body and they go too far, stop and say something. We need to speak up, we need to make change, the indoctrination that women belong to men needs to be eradicated. #MeToo


To the believers, why does God hate children?


I want to pose a question to all of the believers. Why does your God keep abusing and killing so many children?

So many times, we hear of criminals that find God while in prison. For some reason it is only after the crime is committed that they can accept Christ into their heart. Some people go as far as to say that it was the crime itself that brought them to God, that he put them in that situation for the specific purpose that they needed a way to see God’s plan for their life. Fine, I can see where they are going with that. They didn’t believe in God, as a result they did wrong, the suffer the consequence and with that learn that they need God to live a life without sin. It is nonsensical to me, but I can at least follow the “logic”, but what about the victims?

There was a case here in Pittsburgh where a man named Matthew Franks killed a 12 year old girl named Tia Wright in a drunk driving accident. The driver was sentenced to 2 years in prison with 8 years of probation and that should have been the end of it. However, Matthew felt the need to push make this about his life and not the life he stole. At sentencing he stated “Throughout the past three years, I’ve become a very religious person,” and a believer in “divine intervention,” he said. “I believe that Tia Wright saved my life and was sent here to serve that purpose.”. That means that God, the same God you worship each day, created her only to have her suffer a gruesome, painful death right in front of her father and best friend. Just the thought of that makes me ill. Where is the compassion, the love that this God is supposed to possess for all those that worship him? How can you continue to support a God that creates innocent souls for no other reason but to cause them pain?

I suppose that up to this point the cases could fall under the no true Scotsman fallacy. That the Christian could say that these killers don’t have true a relationship with God. I don’t know how you could possibly prove that but for the sake of this argument I will let it slide. That being said I must ask what do you do when it is under your own roof. When the abuse is happening in the church. When the people committing the abuse are the ones that have found God, devoted their entire life to God, that have a relationship with God that the organization recognizes them as the people capable of delivering his message. How can you accept that most holy beings alive are the ones that take away the innocence of God’s children?

In the case of the recent ring of pedophile priests that spent years abusing, molesting and raping children, what did the children due to earn a lifetime of pain. Children whose only mistake was entering the house of God now have to live with trauma they endured at the hands of God’s most trusted servants. They have lost the ability to trust because not only were they hurt but when it was exposed, it was dismissed. If the God that they thought loved them could allow the ones he put in charge to cause this pain and the very highest leaders to pretend it never happened. How would it be possible to ever trust again? When the accusations are proven to be true and still there is no justice. There is not a punishment, no consequence for hurting innocent children, God knows the truth, and this is how he wants his leaders to proceed. Just today I had someone reply to this question with “God allows evil to happen to bring goodness out of evil.”. This explains a lot, of course the believers would be willing to cover up crimes and allow abuse to continue, in their minds they are actually benefiting from it. I find this disturbing and disgusting and so I have to ask again, how is this the reality that believers choose to live with.

I would really like to hear the reasoning. I would gladly listen to the justification. Please show me the evidence that makes you continue to believe in God despite all the pain he causes. How do you justify the suffering of children? How do you rationalize the pain? Feel free to message me or reply here, speak openly because if you’ve got an answer and the evidence to back to up I really do want to hear it.

Ignorance is Bliss and Sexism is Plentiful


A few days ago, my husband posted an article to our blog on the topic of religious versus secular ethics and why secular ethics is superior. I tweeted a link for anyone who might be interested and received one particularly ridiculous comment from a believer. The twitter user, Terry Stevens wrote “If Atheism is true then why can’t scientists explain the origin of matter?”. This comment made it clear that he had not read Rich’s article but instead what to play the part of the religious troll. He quickly showed that he was incapable of a coherent discussion and at one point flat out stated that he wasn’t interested in learning about opposing viewpoints. On top of that when I said that I enjoy learning what others believe and why they believe it he made a spectacle of himself going of the grid with by making a “reading list” of all of the propaganda he felt fit into his attempt to compare Atheism to hate groups. There was some terrible titles and yet somehow he left out all of the Christian hate… interesting, don’t you think? He even added me to a list called “Atheist Commies” which showed that he had no idea who I am or what I stand for. I asked him how he could possibly justify his own set of beliefs if he doesn’t know what he is against. Again, he said he doesn’t wish to educate himself and tried to deflect from the original discussion.

At one point another gentleman started to engage him in conversation. He was supporting my viewpoint and Terry responded with the sexist words “She’s not gonna shag you mate”. Implying that the only reason a man would agree with a woman is for sexual gain. Thankfully he simply dismissed the comment and moved on but still, it was a reminder that even in 2018 religious groups see women as inferior beings. If you check out the link to the twitter thread you’ll notice in the screen shots that Terry didn’t attack the other gentlemen until it was about me. There is nothing wrong with stating that you can’t make an argument and you want to bow out. In this case Terry not only felt the need to get the last word but called me “darling”. If you cannot engage in a respectful discussion just move on. Patronizing remarks are unnecessary unless you want to remind everyone that you aren’t just close minded but sexist as well.

Unfortunately this isn’t a new experience for me. I’ve seen it many times during religious debate, a woman is not worthy of the same respect as a man. We must explain our views tenfold. It happens a lot on the Facebook page that Rich and I share for all things related to Couple of Atheists. Since we share the account people don’t always know who they are speaking with right off the bat. There have been many times that halfway through a conversation they will realize which one of us it is and suddenly the tone completely changes. I am spoken down to. Suddenly Rich’s arguments have more merit… it’s bizarre to see. Personally, it doesn’t upset me, I know that I am just as capable as Rich is when it comes to defending the secular point of view. What does bother me is to think that there are women out there who have to deal with this every day. Women that stay in relationships, join organizations, work for companies that look down on them only because they hold faith in a God that say that is the way it is supposed to be.

If you are reading this and you are in an abusive relationship with God, please know that you are just as important as any man. That despite what you have been told you deserve the same respect as anyone else. If you are reading this and are the one that is abusing in the name of God, please know that by dismissing so many people you are cutting yourself off from full life. If you don’t treat the people that care for you with respect, eventually there won’t be anyone left that supports you. If you are the type of person that closes their mind to all other viewpoints you are missing out on a world of knowledge. You are making it impossible for you to truly understand the views you hold because you don’t even know what else is out there. Blind faith will lead you right off the cliff into a life of ignorance. And though it might be nice to not have to think for yourself, this bliss can only last so long. Eventually you won’t be able to hide behind God and you won’t know what to do. Educate yourself, that knowledge may be the only thing that truly saves you.

Religious Vs Secular Ethics: “Where Do I Get My Morality From?”


We cannot abandon the idea of human well-being and pretend that our moral discourse make sense.” – Philippa Foot[1]

“Where Do I Get My Morality From?” This question simply doesn’t seem to suffice. It doesn’t get to the crux of the matter. I think the questions that would be better suited are “what is the foundation of our morality” and even more importantly, “how do we develop our morality?”[2] In this blog I’ll attempt to briefly summarize my argument as this topic could easily take several books to cover. Here I argue that a secular moral framework is the only way to understand and develop a proper moral system. Whereas religion (or God as the argument goes) not only cannot provide the foundation for morality, but actually undermines it.
Broadly speaking, morality has a naturalistic foundation as we evolved as a social species that can reason. And how we develop our morality is from the recognition and reasoned reflection of the human condition we find ourselves in and the states of affairs that affect it. It is the critical analysis of the various data that inform us about the correct and incorrect actions that affect the current state of affairs in such a way that is most conducive to human flourishing, thus improving the overall human condition. Then we implement these principles in everyday human interaction, so much so that they can become character traits. This is then in turn passed on to the next generation. Our actions have positive and/or negative effects on other people. And by extension, these actions affect or create states of affairs that are either beneficial or detrimental to well being, societal health, etc. that are necessary conditions for overall human flourishing. This is an objective moral fact and what we mean when we speak of “morality”.
Now a common objection to this is to say that there’s no “authority” from preventing me from doing otherwise, that may be, but we have a word for that… it’s called “immoral”. To suggest that “torturing for fun is moral” is a nonsensical statement. The word “moral” has a specific usage (which I outlined above). It’s this basis of what we mean when we say “moral”. It’s also how we can judge acts and ideologies (such as religion) as “immoral” as they don’t conform to any sense of the term properly applied.
Another common objection isn’t really an objection at all, and that is to ask “why should I care about human flourishing?” But this is a different question than what we are addressing here. However, this question when applied to religious morality does expose the real nature of the religious moral framework as being a self-serving consequentialism. Because when we pose the question to the believer, the answer is typically along the lines of “because God knows what’s best for us” or “this is God’s moral law” and by following these laws there are rewards and disobeying these laws result in consequences. Whether the consequence for disobeying God is eternal torment in Hell, the complete annihilation of the soul, or simply not being in God’s presence and experiencing him.[3]

“For our values to have universal appeal, they must be rooted in our common humanity, not in the faiths that divides us.” – Minette Marrin[4]

This shallow, self-serving consequentialism is ultimately predicated on blind obedience and thus an abandonment of our rational faculties. It destroys the very foundation of ethics and the means in which we develop them. It provides a cheap and hollow understanding of morality that doesn’t provide a means to get to the core of the issues and cuts us off from delving deeper. And this deficiency of religious morality is revealed when we attempt to apply it to real world moral problems we face today.
Religion, being an authoritarian ideology (and the most widespread and thus influential), lends itself to the forming of beliefs that have metastasized in some of the most evil acts imaginable. It’s primary fault is the psychological consequences of the beliefs it fosters. It gives justification for attitudes and worldviews that often result in actions that are detrimental and corrosive to any civilized, modern society and on a global scale.[5] Given this, the believer can no longer make any moral judgments beyond “what did god command” or “is this in accordance with God’s nature”. Within a religious framework, we are left without the ability to weigh “goodness” against other “goodness” or “evil” against other “evil” as these terms no longer have a demonstrable foundation in humanity. Good and evil become an outside standard that you cannot participate in, only obey.

“We are discussing no small matter, but how we ought to live.” – Socrates[6]

When I use terms like “moral” and “ethics”, I am talking about something of substance, something demonstrable. Religion can’t make even this most basic of claims about morality. Whereas religion destroys the very foundation of morality and thus results in a deficient and shallow ethical system, a secular moral philosophy grounded in humanistic principles and informed by science provides us with a robust moral system with the ability to grow and develop as our understanding grows and develops. It provides the solid foundation necessary to make proper moral judgments and not a system of simply following “laws”. This makes it the only viable moral framework and eliminates the faith-based religious framework from contention. I take it as my duty to challenge such ideology as it undermines morality, and morality is arguably the most important topic we as humans need to understand if we are to continue to progress towards a better future for all of humanity, here now and for generations to come.


[1] Virtues and Vices, Philippa Foot
[2] I will use our instead of I as our refers to an objective standard that would apply to every human universally, whereas I would simply be referring to the subjective acceptance (or not) of this standard.
[3] There have been many variations on punishment as apologists have been attempting to reconcile the concept of an eternal Hell with a supposedly omni-benevolent God.
[4] Minette Marrin, Twitter, 02 Jul 15
[5] The argument isn’t about whether religion once was wholly beneficial to developing a society (which I reject) or not. Only that we see the problems that arise in today’s societies.
[6] Republic, Socrates