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Old 25th November 2015, 10:01 AM
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Default Media Release: Dear Mr Turnbull - Godlessness is NOT the problem


Along with the vast majority of the world, the Atheist Foundation of Australia (AFA) utterly condemns the recent terrorist attacks in Beirut, Paris, and Mali.

That said, we are concerned that in recent media statements and again in Parliament on Monday, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has chosen to express those worthy sentiments in terms like these:
…blasphemy against Islam by godless terrorists

Addressing parliament after a 10 day international tour, Turnbull described the attackers as “godless ISIL murderers” who “we will not let win”.”
Dear Mr Turnbull: godlessness (including atheism) has nothing whatsoever to do with what happened in Paris, Beirut and Mali, or anything else that Daesh terrorists do or say.

They are patently not godless – they clearly profess belief in a god, and that they are acting in its name. That their actions are terrorist atrocities and crimes in no way changes those beliefs. That you think that their actions don’t accord with so-called “true” principles of a religion doesn’t make them “godless”.

AFA President Michael Boyd commented:
The Prime Minister’s language buys into the discredited stereotype that you can’t be good without God, which is unfortunate and unhelpful. Millions of atheists and non-religious in Australia and worldwide live fully ethical lives without recourse to religious morals or belief in gods. The example of avowedly secular Médecins Sans Frontières, still operating in the war zone despite being bombed twice, demonstrates that emphatically.
That’s not to blame Muslim Australians and their personal religious practice in any way for the criminal actions of a group of terrorists. We know that they share our horror and unequivocal condemnation of these and all similar atrocities, and that they don’t support Daesh. We do not want our words to be misinterpreted as any sort of support for bigoted, xenophobic views like those of Reclaim Australia and United Patriots Front.

But as the national representative body for atheists, and for the nearly 1/3 of Australians who ticked “No religion” or did not report a religion in the 2011 Census – we think that we (and they) deserve far better from their Prime Minister than to be denigrated by association by ascribing “godlessness” to the terrorists.

Whatever else is motivating them, it’s certainly not godlessness.


Michael Boyd

President
Atheist Foundation of Australia Inc
PO Box 1062
Lane Cove NSW 1595
Phone: (02) 8007 4503
Email: president@atheistfoundation.org.au
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Old 25th November 2015, 10:42 AM
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Default Re: Media Release: Dear Mr Turnbull - Godlessness is NOT the problem

Good to see the AFA picking up on this outrageous shift of blame.
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Old 25th November 2015, 11:34 AM
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Default Re: Media Release: Dear Mr Turnbull - Godlessness is NOT the problem

Awesome piece


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Old 25th November 2015, 12:35 PM
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Default Re: Media Release: Dear Mr Turnbull - Godlessness is NOT the problem

Our illustrious PM will be able to strike at the heart of godlessness at the next GAC in Melbourne. A mere matter of re-tasking some F-18's from Syria/Iraq to cluster-bomb atheist/skeptics/reason conferences. He is not only dumb, but a wimp.
Oooh, I could have sooooooooooo much fun with press releases!

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Old 25th November 2015, 06:29 PM
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Default Re: Media Release: Dear Mr Turnbull - Godlessness is NOT the problem

Nicely done. The speechwriter is obviously a holdover from Abbott's tea-party team, harkening back to the 50's mantra of 'godless commies'.
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Old 25th November 2015, 11:07 PM
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Default Re: Media Release: Dear Mr Turnbull - Godlessness is NOT the problem

Superb!
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Old 26th November 2015, 02:47 PM
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Default Re: Media Release: Dear Mr Turnbull - Godlessness is NOT the problem

Hemant Mehta (the Friendly Atheist) picked up and strongly supported this yesterday:

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendl...ss-terrorists/
Quote:
Unfortunately, <Mr Turnbull is> so afraid of linking these terrorists to Islam that he’s instead heading in the complete opposite direction.
...
In case you missed every story ever written about the terrorists, they’re committing these acts of violence in the name of Islam. We can have a debate about whether Islam actually calls for them to do this — most Muslims obviously say otherwise — but there’s absolutely no room for debate on which religion they claim to be following.
They’re not atheists. They’re not godless. Pleasing Allah is the very reason they’re killing people they believe to be infidels.
The Atheist Foundation of Australia condemned Turnbull’s irresponsible remarks yesterday...
...
The AFA is absolutely right and Turnbull owes atheists everywhere an apology for throwing them under the bus in an effort to discredit the extremely religious terrorists whose belief in God is what motivates them to continue these horrors.
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Old 26th November 2015, 03:12 PM
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Default Re: Media Release: Dear Mr Turnbull - Godlessness is NOT the problem

Come on people! Cut Malcolm a little slack! He does like new shiny sciency things! We will all be terrifical smart and innovative, and thus enjoy economic glory and prosperity! But selling all that stuff to his conservative mates is very difficult. So we must allow him to appeal to his Neander brethren with juicy tales of scapegoating and witch-hunting!
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Last edited by Darwinsbulldog; 26th November 2015 at 03:14 PM.
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