Monday, March 10, 2008

The Atheist Who Came To Dinner

Atheists Need Not Apply posterOregonian columnist, Margie Boulé, recently wrote about Billie Sieg, an 80-year-old resident of Brookings, OR, who tried to join her local Elks club. Sieg had attended several social events with her friends who are members, and wanted to join in order to mingle with her peers in a non-tavern setting.

The Elks club is a private organization that requires its members to believe in God but during her interview, she didn't want to lie, so when asked, Sieg said no, she didn't believe in God. Within days, she received a rejection letter from the Elks who not only barred her from joining, but also denied her access to any social function as a guest, even though she had already attended several functions in the past.

OK, first of all: Ass Holes. Second of all: fine, keep the atheists out of your membership--but to not even allow an atheist as a GUEST? That's not very Christian charitable of you, Elks club. I guess it's just too threatening to allow other thought processes that might pollute your perfect eco-system of supernatural worshippers. I'm experiencing steam coming out of my ears, like a cartoon character; an atheist cartoon character. I'm guessing Bugs Bunny is an atheist. Possibly Daffy Duck as well.

Who else swims in the atheist pool? Anyone of note out there?

Ricky Gervais, creator and star of the original The Office; and Extras explains his argument with God in BestLife magazine.

Julia Sweeney, former SNL cast member, has mass-produced her one-woman show, Letting Go of God, into a CD, a film and DVD, book and blog. Good career move.

I'm taking a lucky guess and saying George Carlin is an atheist. Yup, he is.

Who else among us sees God as an illusion and cannot attend a buffet luncheon at the Elks club in Brookings, OR?
Lance Armstrong
Dave Barry
Noam Chomsky
Brian Eno
Penn & Teller
Harvey Fierstein (I knew it!)
Jodie Foster (I knew it!)
Christopher Hitchens (duh)
Angelina Jolie (interesting)
Diane Keaton
Barry Manilow (I love him)
Patton Oswalt
Gore Vidal
Ron Reagan Jr.
Keanu Reeves (surprising)
Howard Stern (not surprising)
Joss Whedon
Salman Rushdie
Eddie Vedder (Eddie!)
Gloria Steinam

And who in the past would have been banned from attending a dinner dance within the sacred Elks club of Brookings, OR?
Abraham Lincoln
Albert Einstein
Aldous Huxley
Isaac Asimov
Charles Darwin (duh)
Benjamin Franklin
Carl Sagan
Freidrich Nietzsche
Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain)
George Bernard Shaw
Richard Feynman
Kurt Vonnegut Jr.
Ingmar Bergman
Helen Keller
James Madison
John Adams
Frank Lloyd Wright
John Lennon
Sigmund Freud
Oscar Wilde
Susan B. Anthony
Vincent Van Gogh
Robert Frost

Robert Frost once said, "It's God--I'd have known Him by Blake's picture anywhere." (might be a good answer if you're ever trying to ace an Elks club interview).

Sources: The Last Bias: Elks lodge bans a woman because she's an atheist
Celebrity Atheist List
Famous Atheists


Tuckers said...

My Dad was a guilty Catholic and my Mom is a staunch Atheist! I read Richard Dawkins Book, The God Delusion last year. I would not have considered myself an Atheist until I read him. I just thought I was a spiritualist. But according to his definitions I am an atheist because I don't follow any of the major organized religions. In fact according to his definitions a lot of Tibetan Buddhism would be considered atheist. I was surprised to realize that there are many varying definitions of atheism and that it's not cut and dried as a concept either.

His book also brought home a concept I have been too tolerant to admit -- that organized religion has caused dramatically more harm than good in world, both in history and especially today. So for the benefit of the world, I've officially gone over to the atheist camp (though I think my beliefs would be poo pooed by many self-proclaimed atheists).

liberal constructionist said...

Gore Vidal is still around.

Lisa Mc said...

Thanks lc. I forgot to move Gore to the "alive" list last night. I appreciate the copy editing.

Tuckers: I will have to read the Dawkins book. Atheism is happening. I agree that there are many definitions to our spiritual or lack-of-spiritual thought processes. I believe we have a kind of genetic disposition to spirituality as a form of survival. Getting through hardships is slightly easier when you think it's a never-ending life-fest for us all. Buddhism makes the most sense to me as well, if only to not resent household chores on a daily basis.

LeeAnn said...

What if I believe in God, (don't think she/he cares what you call her/him/it) but am a little hazy on Jesus? What am I and could I attend the Elks? Maybe as a guest? (I thought Christianity was a religion of conversion-hard to convert us if ya don't let us in).

Billie said...

Billie Sieg speaking as of 7-28-10. I was just telling someone about my experience with the Elks and told him to Google me if he wants to know more. I'm quite surprised to see the additions and support. I have definitely moved on and now live in Sun City Palm Desert CA. My most fun thinking about the incident was when the Brookings Grand Elk himself showed me the lavendar national rules book where agnostics, communists and bootleggers are denied their esteemed company! You may contact me at if u wish.

Gary H. said...

Abraham Lincoln
Albert Einstein
Charles Darwin (duh)
Benjamin Franklin
Vincent Van Gogh
Helen Keller
John Adams
James Madison

None of the above were atheists

"In view of such harmony in the cosmos which I, with my limited human mind, am able to recognize, there are yet people who say there is no God.But what really makes me angry is that they quote me for the support of such views."
- Albert Einstein

"The Christian religion is, above all the religions that ever prevailed or existed in ancient or modern times, the religion of wisdom, virtue, equity, and humanity, let the blackguard Paine say what he will; it is resignation to God, it is goodness itself to man."
- John Adams

"Atheism is so senseless and odious to mankind that it never had many professors"
- Isaac Newton

So take the hint huh.

Or do you need a few 1000 other quotes from half the people on your deceptive list, before it starts to sink in?
Or are you like every other atheist I've ever met, with your closed and blinded mind "on hold"?

Either you're deliberately deceiving or have been deceived without taking the time to verify.

Why are most atheists such bold faced liars?

Get your facts straight and stop lying if you can.

Gary H. said...

Even Lincoln was no atheist:

"I can see how it might be possible for a man to look down upon the earth and be an atheist, but I cannot conceive how he could look up into the heavens andsay there is no God." -Abraham Lincoln

As I said before - Half those on your list were no atheists at all.

Stop lying.

Miss Lisa said...

“It was, of course, a lie what you read about my religious convictions, a lie which is being systematically repeated. I do not believe in a personal God and I have never denied this but have expressed it clearly. If something is in me which can be called religious then it is the unbounded admiration for the structure of the world so far as our science can reveal it.” - Albert Einstein, in a letter March 24, 1954; from Albert Einstein the Human Side, Helen Dukas and Banesh Hoffman, eds., Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1981, p. 43.

“My position concerning God is that of an agnostic. I am convinced that a vivid consciousness of the primary importance of moral principles for the betterment and ennoblement of life does not need the idea of a law-giver, especially a law-giver who works on the basis of reward and punishment.” - Albert Einstein in a letter to M. Berkowitz, October 25, 1950; Einstein Archive 59-215; from Alice Calaprice, ed., The Expanded Quotable Einstein, Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 2000, p. 216.

God is an essence that we know nothing of. Until this awful blasphemy is got rid of, there never will be any liberal science in the world.- John Adams, "this awful blashpemy" that he refers to is the myth of the Incarnation of Christ, from Ira D Cardiff, What Great Men Think of Religion, quoted from James A Haught, ed, 2000 Years of Disbelief

"The Bible is not my book nor Christianity my profession."
- Abraham Lincoln, quoted by Joseph Lewis in "Lincoln the Freethinker"

I didn't list Isaac Newton as an atheist, but I'll leave you with a quote from him. Take it to heart, Gary H., "The other part of the true religion is our duty to man. We must love our neighbour as our selves, we must be charitable to all men for charity is the greatest of graces, greater then even faith or hope & covers a multitude of sins. We must be righteous & do to all men as we would they should do to us."