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Gov. Jerry Brown rejects proclamation for freethinkers group

Lodi’s David Diskin, who organized Freethought Day, calls governor’s snub a ‘slap in the face’

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Posted: Saturday, October 22, 2011 6:49 am | Updated: 7:23 am, Sat Oct 22, 2011.

Last year, local and state politicians — including Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger — signed proclamations for the Sacramento Freethought Committee.

But this year, Gov. Jerry Brown’s office sent an email informing the group he would not issue a message for them.

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  • Ann Winters posted at 1:04 pm on Mon, Jan 28, 2013.

    Ann Posts: 27

    My faith and belief, bottom line, is that one day all will know the truth. Infinity will prove out the truth. I hope you the reader are on the winning team. [smile]

  • Darrell Baumbach posted at 11:43 am on Fri, Oct 28, 2011.

    Darrell Baumbach Posts: 9405

    Thanks David... The next time an atheist tells me that god does not exist... I will inform him/her that he/she is wrong and that I got that directly from you...

  • David Diskin posted at 9:15 am on Fri, Oct 28, 2011.

    David Diskin Posts: 185

    Being convinced that there is no god is not the same thing as saying that a god cannot exist.

    I'm convinced there is no tooth fairy, no Santa Claus, and no god. But I, nor would most atheists I know, ever say that a god cannot exist. We're certainly open to any evidence that supports the claim that there is one.

    We can never prove there is no god, of course. And we wouldn't try. But we can point out inconsistencies in logic, or where there are contradictions between faith and reality. We can say, with confidence, that the god of the Abraham religions does not and cannot exist. But that doesn't mean that there could be a supernatural being.

    If it helps you to understand, replace 'god' with 'unicorn' and I think you'll see where we're coming from.

  • Darrell Baumbach posted at 6:05 am on Thu, Oct 27, 2011.

    Darrell Baumbach Posts: 9405

    As far as Atheism and my understanding of it, if I misunderstand what it is, then so do many people who claim to be Atheists. Over the years, many people have personally told me that they are convinced there is no god. I have seen the argument that Atheist say there might be god, but see no evidence that there is one... that explanation to me is disingenuous as there is no possibility that the kind of evidence wanted would ever be made available. In other words, it is a convenient argument to deflect the thing Atheists cannot ever do, which is prove there is no god

  • Darrell Baumbach posted at 6:02 am on Thu, Oct 27, 2011.

    Darrell Baumbach Posts: 9405

    David... great post. Your enthusiasm and positive attitude was apparent.
    When I stated you must know why it was not signed, I thought you were being coy.
    Evidently I was wrong.

    In my view, you were seeking something you wanted from a long time professional “POLITICIAN”. These people do things and take action based on political considerations and not on what is in the best interest of society in general. If Brown had thought he could have gained politically, he would have signed whatever was placed in front of his face... that simple. If he signed Harvey Milk Day, it was only to gain votes from the group who wanted it. Evidently, he decided the political capital he would have to spend was too great to sign something an Atheist group wanted.. In other words, he would lose more votes that his signature was worth.
    That is what old time professional politicians like Brown do. Why would you expect something different?

  • David Diskin posted at 12:19 am on Tue, Oct 25, 2011.

    David Diskin Posts: 185

    Hello everyone. I'll try to address a few of the questions and comments on this forum. I'm only just now reading it, as I've obviously been busy this weekend. :)

    Darrell, I don't know why Jerry didn't sign it. I'm not sure if it's because he didn't have time, or if he never saw it, or if he disagrees with our take on the First Amendment, or if he didn't want to hurt himself politically. Maybe there's another reason.

    Regardless, we're not going for sympathy, just equal representation. When he signs a proclaimation for Steve Jobs Day, Harvey Milk Day, California Wine Month, National Day of Prayer, and dozens more this year alone but not ours, it's fair for us to ask why.

    Joanne, I would be happy to forward you the emails that I get which ask me to move to another country, get a life, shut up, or kill myself. You may not understand what we go through, but that doesn't mean it doesn't exist.

    Darrell, I do not "know" that a god does not exist. You misunderstand atheism. How do we prey upon others?

    Daniel, our proclaimation did not ask the governor to support atheism. Not god nor atheism was even mentioned, nor any religious ideals or the lack of it. Yet Jerry Brown was happy to sign an endorsement of the National Day of Prayer. Where does that leave your argument?

    I'm happy to say we had a wonderful event with over 300 in attendance. The positive feedback we recieved was outstanding, and we helped many people realize that there is a support network for those who do not believe in a higher power or the supernatural.

    Many people in this region are fed up with religion and intolerance, and our event gave them hope that things will change for the better.

    Thank you all for your comments.

  • Darrell Baumbach posted at 6:11 pm on Sun, Oct 23, 2011.

    Darrell Baumbach Posts: 9405

    Brian stated...Sorry Darrel, you're way off base.

    It would not be the first time Brian.... I think what I was responding to was her following statement...
    "If these people are "flaunting" their atheism (which should be no one's business but their own), then they should deal with the consequences of revealing too much personal information."

  • Brian Dockter posted at 2:28 pm on Sun, Oct 23, 2011.

    Brian Dockter Posts: 2865


    Good points. I really don't have to try to find things to disagree with Joanne on. It seems to me she is torn between taking a position on religion and atheism. So she tries to remain neutral even though she must realize how ridiculous it is for her to make the assertion her children were never or could have never been exposed to religiosity or lack thereof while in school. Sorry Darrel, you're way off base.

  • Darrell Baumbach posted at 1:14 pm on Sun, Oct 23, 2011.

    Darrell Baumbach Posts: 9405

    Andy stated...As an aside, atheism is not a belief; it is a lack of belief...

    Andy could be right... however, I have always felt that an atheist cannot prove there is not god. Therefore they must have a belief and faith that they are right. From that perspective, I think they do not have a lack in belief or faith.

  • daniel hutchins posted at 9:28 am on Sun, Oct 23, 2011.

    daniel hutchins Posts: 1342

    "Give us this day, our daily bread."

    Only with a belief in God can someone ask for this.

  • daniel hutchins posted at 9:15 am on Sun, Oct 23, 2011.

    daniel hutchins Posts: 1342

    The atheists want to have political recognition for their refusal to acknowledge God. While the State of California is dead in a corporate sense, the expression of atheism on paper can be achieved.

    Is there a corresponding believers proclamation? No, not possible.

    It is true that a void belief in spiritual guidance can be expressed on a piece of paper, which is also void in spirit?

    However, when an expression or belief in God is expressed on paper, it is only an expression, or an inspiration, or like, but it is not God itself. It is an expression of God. The word "love" is the best possible expression, while the word "love" is but a word on a sheet of paper. Ditto for the Bible.

    Another example: "Give us this day, our daily bread."

    This does not mean that God is going to give us a loaf of bread. It is an asking for our daily needs, including love, fulfillment, prosperity, and others.

  • Andy Crowder posted at 8:51 am on Sun, Oct 23, 2011.

    Andy Crowder Posts: 245

    Joanne, I think Christian belief is so ubiquitous in our culture, taken for granted really, that you don't notice its presence in your daily interactions. When your children were small, you never once had a conversation with someone wearing a cross? None of those families had fish decals on their vehicles? No one mentioned saying prayers for the family when there was sickness or death or some other difficulty? Never once was there a boy scout meeting, a youth social event, or a holiday performance at a church that your children or family was invited to attend? You were not compelled to attend a wedding, first communion, baptism, or funeral in a friend's church? None of your children's friends erected a creche in their home or on their lawn in December? Really? When your children went to sleepovers, you are certain they were not asked to pray at someone's dinner table or kneel before bedtime? I find this difficult to believe, and yet I do not think you are the sort to deliberately lie or distort the truth. Christianity is so pervasive in this culture that it is the expected norm, and your post demonstrates that very clearly.

    So, let me ask you, what do you mean by atheists who "flaunt" their "beliefs?" (As an aside, atheism is not a belief; it is a lack of belief.) If asked to attend a church event, is it "flaunting" to decline based on your lack of belief in the supernatural? (And let me add, that mentioning your atheist or agnostic leanings to a fundamentalist Christian family in Lodi when they invite your child to church is about the equivalent to stating that you practice small animal sacrifices in your basement and bay at the moon.) What about Christians displaying the fish on their cars and crosses around their necks? Is that flaunting? Do atheists have the same right or would you rather have them remain in the closet? Your posts do not reflect any sort of fundamentalist belief system whatsoever; in fact I generally find them erudite, respectful, and tolerant. It's difficult for me to understand why you would find the mere mention of someone's lack of belief in talking snakes, sky gods, the healing power of human sacrifice, and the need to symbolically partake in cannibalism rituals offensive or intrusive.

  • Darrell Baumbach posted at 8:24 am on Sun, Oct 23, 2011.

    Darrell Baumbach Posts: 9405

    Alex...Atheists ( in their minds) are enlightened and have no reason to pray. They “know for a fact” that there is no god or in Mauuel's perspective, see no evidence that there is one ...

    I personally do not pray, but appreciate and admire people who do. I consider people who pray as the enlightened ones. I many times see Atheists as ones who prey upon others.

  • Alex Kennedy posted at 7:46 pm on Sat, Oct 22, 2011.

    Alex Posts: 215

    I like to advise people to pray about whatever it is that is bothering them and ask the Lord to help the other party understand why it is so important to them....but these are atheists, so I'm kind of out of ideas.

  • Darrell Baumbach posted at 5:03 pm on Sat, Oct 22, 2011.

    Darrell Baumbach Posts: 9405

    Ms Bobin... very well said! Points made make very good sense.

  • Joanne Bobin posted at 1:20 pm on Sat, Oct 22, 2011.

    Joanne Bobin Posts: 4488

    At the very least, the headline for this article seems to be inaccurate and very presumptive of the governor's attitude toward "freethinkers."

    It should have more appropriately been titled, "Governor Brown declines....."

    It also puzzles me greatly that the atheists, et al, quoted in this article claim that they are rejected by their peers, i.e., other parents, because of their beliefs. I cannot recall one instance during my children's school years when the subject of religion or lack of it was brought up. If these people are "flaunting" their atheism (which should be no one's business but their own), then they should deal with the consequences of revealing too much personal information.

  • Darrell Baumbach posted at 9:20 am on Sat, Oct 22, 2011.

    Darrell Baumbach Posts: 9405

    Diskin said the empty frame at Sunday’s event is sure to get a lot of attention. “We really don’t understand why he didn’t sign it.”

    Unless Mr Diskin is living in a fantasy world, of course he knows why he did not sign it.
    I think Mr Diskin is simply attempting to gain some type of sympathy in order to
    improve his "political" objective. This is comical.



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