It almost seems like atheists don't want to believe in God. Do you just simply not want to believe in God because you don't want to give up your own free will?

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~Dan.

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I remember going through that phase - I kept weighing my choices: "Blind? - Horny?" - "Blind - Horny?" So I finally stocked up on tin cups and pencils.

I still don't know where I found the balls to ignore the nuns' constant warnings that self abuse is a mortal sin and I would go to Hell.

I've heard those Nuns can be really strict --

I think that most of us have faith (!) that religion will slowly erode away on its own, based on its own lack of merit.  I don't think that many of us are interested in actively "recruiting" children to our cause through the same brainwashing tactics employed by the "other side" (that we often strongly deride).

That's why the separation of Church and State is so important - parents are free to teach their faith-based beliefs in the home or place of religious instruction, while schools are left free to teach facts.

Holy (you do seem dedicated to the cause of a new holy writ), ....

'Nuf said.

Holo, Jean Piaget and others have done research to learn what kinds of decisions children make as they grow up. Piaget explained his reasons for studying children when they were not accompanied by adults.

Do you have any info that supports your Children don't make up their own minds, adults do?

Just to add my own personal observations to that, Tom, I know that children - especially if their parents have given them reason to trust them - will buy into many, if not most of the opinions their parents hold, including religion, but at the same time, I know that they can, and do, hold opinions contrary to those of their parents on some matters.

Unfortunately, many parents do not encourage independent thought, taking some kind of validation/satisfaction in watching their children grow into little clones of themselves.

@Tom - Just remember the effect on Alfred Kinsey, by his father, a fundamentalist christian, tying his son's hands behind his back with a leather belt, so he wouldn't masturbate.

Suzanne, have you seen anything on the pain-inflicting devices that in the early 1800s were attached to boys' penises to prevent masturbation?

Can it be that verbal bullying sufficed to discourage women?

The xians who say America was founded on xian principles are not altogether wrong.

The early pages of Sex and Reason (1992, Harvard) by Richard Posner, a Federal appellate court judge and law professor, explain the origins of America's long hostility to sexual pleasure: early America's combined Puritanism (its strict practices and lax rules) and Catholicism (its strict rules and lax practices).

His stated purposes? To awaken the legal profession to "the rich multidisciplinary literature on sexuality--and to shame my colleagues in the profession for ignoring it."

Many straight folk I knew in San Francisco cheered LGBT liberation because we knew their winning freedom would increase freedom for all of us. The struggle continues.

"The xians who say America was founded on xian principles are not altogether wrong."

True, however it's nice to know that we have grown as a society past slavery, women subjugation, and burning people at the stake as 'witches'.  None of the civilized behavior that this country was based on has anything to do with the xian (or any other) religion.  Religion abhors freedom, free thinking and education and xianity was and still is definitely no different.

This country was much more built on Grecian principles of Democracy than anything to do with the puritan's religion that first settled here.

"This country was much more built on Grecian principles of Democracy than anything to do with the puritan's religion that first settled here."

Considering only ideas, not practices, let's review a bit of history:

In ancient Greece only free men voted. In America until about 1840, only white men who owned real estate property voted.

Keith, can you add any ideas that will justify your much more built on Grecian principles claim?

Now, briefly, let's consider practices and see a Puritan influence.

For people who questioned Puritan leaders, remaining in Massachusetts was dangerous to their continued existence.

Returning to Massachusetts after the Puritans had expelled them was more dangerous to their continued existence.

One history of early America said the Puritans stopped burning witches when the governor protested their intention to burn his wife.

Richard A. Posner, in Sex and Reason, made a stronger case than you have so far made.

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