News

The Pope’s gonna have a cow. Catholic Philippines gains its first atheist society.

Young members of PATAS who were brave enough to take their atheist message to the streets. Levi Monton is pictured second from right.

POPE Ratzinger clearly did not have his eye on the ball over Easter – a period he chose to berate Westerners over their widespread abandonment of faith. The pontiff said it sometimes seemed as if people in Western countries had grown bored of their own history and culture and the heartlands of Christianity were rejecting religion.

Professor Richard Dawkins pictured with PATAS chairwoman, Marissa Torres Langseth in the US.

Someone at this point should have tapped him on the shoulder and pointed out that the secularism he and Cardinal Keith O’Brien, head of the Catholic Church in Scotland so fear is spreading elsewhere in the once great Catholic empire – such as the Philippines.

I received a most heartening email today from young Levi Chui Monton, corporate secretary of the first legal entity launched in the Philippines to promote atheism and Agnosticism.

Wrote Levi:

Our organization’s name is Philippine Atheists and Agnostics Society (PATAS) and our main goal is propagating atheism and agnosticism through education and awareness.

Our group was established February 14, 2011, and our first activity was a “Good without Religion” feeding programme.

We are looking forward to let the whole world know our events and existence thus, I am asking if you could feature our group in your website. I believe that in this kind of gesture, people who is now browsing in your website with the same philosophy will be encourage to come out and spread the freedom from religion  message.

Our organization is also aiming for unity of all atheists in the whole world.

Since its launch, the society has hit the ground running. It has held two Atheists Come Out weeks, and the society also had a large presence at a March gay pride event.

Levi has created posted a large number of photographs of the society’s activities on Facebook. They can be seen here, here, here, here, here and here.

When the society launches its website next week, we will alert visitors, and add it to our blogroll.

47 Responses to “The Pope’s gonna have a cow. Catholic Philippines gains its first atheist society.”

  1. Levi Monton says:

    Philippine Atheists and Agnostics Society (PATAS) will have two upcoming events this month of May 2011. The first one is “Rapture Day Party” wherein we will debunk the newspread about the judgment day by a christian group. http://www.familyradio.com/index2.html , The second event will be a courteous “feeding and street education program” for kids in celebration of our beloved Chairwoman herself Marissa Torres Langseth on May 29, 2011.

    As part of our goal for education, our organization, PATAS will have Atheism 101, a curriculum about atheism for all atheists, agnostics, skeptics, critical thinkers, and those who are open to be educated of our programme.

    For contact:

    Levi Monton
    Corporate Secretary of PATAS
    levi@patas.co
    http://www.patas,co

  2. Tozza says:

    Good for them. May they LLAP.

  3. Broga says:

    @Levi: Congratulations. Well done. I’m really proud of you. Made my day.

  4. Broga says:

    Talking of cows, I see that Archbish man, Sentamu is happy for royals to have sex before marriage – rest of you stay celibate – and he said, “You want to taste the milk before you buy the cow.” The cow being Katie Middleton whose confirmation was fast tracked in time for the nuptials.

    This is about par for the hypocrisy course, C.of E., as the usual teaching is to keep yourself pure until marriage. They are rotten at their core and all the glitz and parading at the nuptuals cannot hide it.

    Suppose a prominent atheist, let’s say Richard Dawkins, had made that statement. Imagine the frothing at the mouth furore: promoting casual sex, values of society in meltdown, insulted the sainted Katie by calling her a cow, this is what happens without christian values etc.etc……… One rule for them; another for the rest of us.

  5. Daz says:

    Levi, keep up the good work! Congratulations on a good start.

    Re the facebook pages, I’m seeing a notice: “This content is currently unavailable.” Is that some sort of problem, or merely ’cause I’m not a member? Usually I get something like “You need to sign in” or some such, if it’s a private group.

  6. Marcus says:

    This is excellent news – well done, Levi et al. Keep on spreading the truth, guys!

    And who knows, one day the human race may actually be able to free itself from the millstone of its most cynical, sinister and divisive invention.

  7. Daz says:

    Marcus:

    And who knows, one day the human race may actually be able to free itself from the millstone of its most cynical, sinister and divisive invention.

    Nah, I’m pretty sure Daytime TV will always be with us…

    *BTW, above I meant ‘because I’m not a member of F/b.

  8. Thoreau says:

    Bravo!

    On a more trivial note, Richard Dawkins seems perhaps a tad aware that Ms. Langseth’s hand is mere inches from his old chap.

    Meanwhile, Daniel Dennett proves the existence of Santa.

  9. Pete H says:

    Fantastic stuff. Always good to see a new outbreak of rational thinking. Good luck to them.

  10. Graham Martin-Royle says:

    Well done all at PATAS.

  11. And, Indonesian Atheist Community still only exist in the net. Hopefully in the future this can happen to ours, too. At any case, good luck.

  12. Robster says:

    Seems that the catholics and all the other flavours of christian bull sh*t have much to worry about. The Philipines has always been a strong RCC country, many poor folk with little more than the horror of christian nonsense to hang on to. The fact that many are leaving and are prepared to advertise that, has to be bad news for the faith industry. Good!

  13. KKBundy says:

    “Our organization is also aiming for unity of all atheists in the whole world.”

    I really do wish you the best on this one, but my experiences in trying to get atheists to move in a unified direction goes beyond the old saying of herding cats. It’s more like herding rabid cats… with head colds… and dysentery. All that thinking for one’s self isn’t exactly conducive to joining a herd.

    Best of luck though. I’ll join at any rate.

  14. NeoWolfe says:

    Wait!!!! I thought the general consensus was that agnostics are trolls!!

    Well, there has been more than one occasion when I felt myself in a foxhole because I do not accept the hardline atheist concept. And then Daz says:

    “Levi, keep up the good work! Congratulations on a good start.”

    I think the appropriate response would be, “Go fuck yourself, you hypocrit”. Agnostics are either eligible to be freethinkers or they are not, in your mind. Personally, I don’t care what you think, but, I would wish to point out how I have been treated here.

    Just like the American Atheists “Calling all Agnostics”, oh yeah, you want to boost your readership and contributers, but then you call us trolls and treat us like intruders. Good luck with that.

    Since I came here, I have tried to appeal to your reason and logic, to point out that there are freethinkers who do not call themselves atheists. Ignored. Seems that Phillipinos figured out something that Brits are too slow to realize. I tried to open your eyes, but your religion obviously got in the way.

    NeoWolfe

  15. Marcus says:

    NeoWolfe: You tried to open our eyes? You arrogant little twat! In case you hadn’t noticed, the only thing you have done is get people’s backs up big time. Indeed, you have, in all seriousness, been nothing but a complete pain in the arse from the moment you arrived at this forum. What’s more, I have no doubt whatsoever that you have been personally responsible for Barriejohn’s disappearance – and I’m sure there are other regulars who have stopped contributing here as a direct result of that perceived intellectual and moral superiority of yours that you just love to crow about at every possible occasion.

    If you feel so unwelcome here, why don’t you just go somewhere else? Somewhere where the awesome speed and power of your intelligence will fit right in. You might want to try conceitedtrolls.com

  16. Marcus says:

    And another thing……

    As someone else pointed out to you a little while ago, the clue is in the title, NeoWolfe. At the top of this page you will see it says, ‘The Freethinker. The voice of atheism since 1881′.

    Did you notice that little word in there, Neo? Atheism.

    And while I would hope that anybody with a positive contribution to make to this forum would always be welcome, regardless of what they call themselves, you might just want to chew that title over a while before you once again start lashing out at people and berating them for being staunchly atheist on an atheist website.

  17. Levi Monton says:

    Hi Daz,

    You can provide your email address so i can also send you the pictures.

    I think you would have to be a member of Facebook before you can see the pictures.

    Watch out for more events and activities of PATAS.

    Thank you so much guys!

  18. tony e says:

    PATAS – well done, I hope you pave the way for a better society.

    @Marcus,

    I could not agree more. I also think nw may have contributed to Dr Harwoods disappearance from this site. His hatred for freethinkers comes through on every line. He is nothing but a mentally impotent christian troll.

  19. David B says:

    First of all, it’s good to hear that people are prepared to stand up and be counted in deeply religious societies. Good to see Levi here, too.

    Secondly, while discussions of what constitutes the best definitions of atheism, of agnosticism, of agnostic atheist, of agnostic Christianity, freethinking, whether babies are atheist or agnostic or whatever….can be mildly diverting on the philosophy fora of internet discussion sites, getting one’s knickers in a twist about a pedantic insistence that one’s view is right and everyone else’s is wrong seems to me to show a lack of sense of proportion.

    In a thread concerning good news, and welcoming someone here who is involved in that good news, It seems to me rather churlish to rattle on about a sense of grievance because people don’t bow before one’s pedantic skills like Neo.

    Again, welcome Levi, and all the best to PATAS.

    David B

  20. Anonymous says:

    I’m not sure why the links to PATAS’s Facebook page are bunk; you can find it all here:

    http://www.facebook.com/Atheistagnosticphill

  21. Anonymous says:

    TheLaughingMan:

    Indonesian Atheist Community still only exist in the net.

    That’s not what I read.
    http://www.thejakartaglobe.com/lifeandtimes/metro-madness-therapy-for-the-godless/397890

  22. Angela_K says:

    It is heartening to hear of people standing up for what they don’t believe in. I wish PATAS every success in freeing their fellow countrymen from the mind slavery of religion.

    Regarding this forum. This – what I believe the Americans call a “pissing contest” – is getting rather tiresome, robust debate yes, name calling and general bitching no.

    I miss Barriejohn, Broadsword and Dr Harwood, all of whom made some worthwhile contributions to this forum.

  23. Tim Danaher says:

    Excellent, Levi & Marissa, more power to you, and welcome to the forum!!!

  24. Daz says:

    Levi Monton:

    Thanks for the offer, but Anonymous’s link, upthread, seems to have solved the problem. And again, congratulations. While we have our own particular problems here in the UK, being unusual for having a non-belief is, thankfully, not one of them. I’ve a real respect for anyone who dares to stand up in a country where religion is as ubiquitous as it is in yours.

    As to the other matter, I’m going back to a policy of not biting. I suggest others do the same.

  25. Graham Martin-Royle says:

    “Indonesian Atheist Community still only exist in the net.

    That’s not what I read.
    http://www.thejakartaglobe.com…..ess/397890″

    This is also good news and I wish them well.

  26. Walter says:

    On a freethinking site every view should be interrogated, investigated, analysed etc., I would be surprised if everyone did have the same opinion. Unlike the Church with a creed. “I believe!” A freethinking site should have the opposite “I disagree!” and here is the evidence for my disagreement. Rational disagreement presented in a scientific way without the need to get personal.

  27. tony e says:

    Daz,

    Agreed.

  28. Stewart says:

    Always appreciate your posts, but am I the only one who thinks you have a slight captioning error this time? I don’t think that’s Daniel Dennett in the background there. The non-Dennett eyes and facial expression jumped out at me immediately, but compare with other pictures; Dennett doesn’t have nearly so much hair on top.

  29. Carasek says:

    I wish PATAS the very best of luck.

    As Yoda probably said: “Mighty oaks from little acorns grow.”

  30. David Anderson says:

    Stewart.

    Looks more like James Randi to me.

    Suerte PATAS

  31. Stewart says:

    It’s not Randi either. It doesn’t have to be someone we all know.

  32. Stewart says:

    Two away from him, just behind him on the right, is Greta Christina.

  33. Barry Duke says:

    Yep Stewart, I appear to have boobed. I compared the pic of the guy in the background with images of Dennett on Google, and he’s the dead spit. I checked again after your comment appeared, and sure ’nuff, Dennett does not have that much hair. I Shoulda gone to SpecSavers first. I have now altered the caption. So if it’s not Dennett or Santa, who is he?

  34. Stewart says:

    Well, the picture seems to have been taken on 8th April at the American Humanist Association conference. You can see a bunch of them, including our unknown in the background, as well a few more nice ones of just Dawkins and Torres-Langseth, here: http://classic.kodakgallery.com/lazukor/main/dawkins_at_aha_friday

    I used the mouse-over preview option to zip through that page and the other five I found, but found no evidence he was a presenter, though I could have missed something with that method.

    I have yet to find him somewhere where he’s named, but if one could find a list of those present… Or one could ask Greta Christina if she knows who was nearly next to her on the right.

  35. AngieRS says:

    Having a cow, eh? Hope it’s breech. Good luck PATAS

  36. Levi Monton says:

    I am too much excited for our upcoming “Rapture Day”. We will refute the responsible group who spread the fallacy. This Saturday, we will also be interviewing people and get their feedback about the rapture day.

  37. NeoWolfe says:

    Marcus said:

    “In case you hadn’t noticed, the only thing you have done is get people’s backs up big time. Indeed, you have, in all seriousness, been nothing but a complete pain in the arse from the moment you arrived at this forum”

    A very selective memory you have. The first time I said that I consider myself a freethinker, but I label myself an agnostic, and explained my reasoning, the word “troll” began appearing in multiple posts. Bjohn was the most outspoken. So, I think the pain in your “arse” stems from your collective attitude toward agnostics. So like a bully on the play ground, you wanted me to whimper and cower away. (I quote you: If you feel so unwelcome here, why don’t you just go somewhere else?) Instead, I bloodied a few noses, as I am doing to you now. I didn’t start it, I just made sure that everyone understood I was ready to finish it.

    You said:

    “‘The Freethinker. The voice of atheism since 1881′.
    Did you notice that little word in there, Neo? Atheism.”

    I did, and I am 99 percent atheist myself, but, what really caught my eye was the word, “freethinker”. And it does not belong to atheists. It applies to all facits of life, politics, morality, society, tradition, and, WOW, religion. And while the Filipinos are practicing real “freethought” where atheists and agnostics find their common ground, rather than call each other trolls, this forum shits on freethinkers if they don’t call themselves atheists. And Daz, says, “Levi, keep up the good work!” Painfully ironic, while looking down on agnostics as not up to intellectual standards. Which makes this quote of you even more ironic, to the point of absurdity:

    “and I’m sure there are other regulars who have stopped contributing here as a direct result of that perceived intellectual and moral superiority of yours”

    The stove or the kettle. Which one is black? Mind boggling!!!

    I will rest my case with a quote from tony e. which demonstrates: atheist + facts = truth:

    “I could not agree more. I also think nw may have contributed to Dr Harwoods disappearance from this site. His hatred for freethinkers comes through on every line. He is nothing but a mentally impotent christian troll.”

    LOL. I’m a christian???? And yes, Harwood left because of me, he said so. Because I caught him lying about how a bible verse read, and called him on it. I hate that shit. Tony e hates me because I caught him lying about results of scientific experiments, and called him on it. I hate that shit, too. And I seriously don’t know why BDuke hasn’t banned me, because I caught him misrepresenting the results of a survey, and called him on it. And, I still hate that shit. A couple threads back, I told all of you, if you wish to have a forum where you can lie to each other in peace, with impunity, cast your vote. No one spoke up. Do it, vote to silence the dissenting opinions like every other religion throughout history.

    NeoWolfe

  38. Marcus says:

    You just don’t get it, do you, Neo?

    No one here is anti-agnostic. They are just sick to death of you. Sick of your constant personal criticism; sick of you berating and ridiculing fellow contributors for being, to your mind, morally and/or intellectually inferior to yourself; sick of you generally acting precisely like the troll you have been repeatedly called.

    If all you want is a good theoretical argument about the ins and outs of agnosticism v atheism v theism, there are, as I’m sure you know, plenty of forums where you can do just that. But The Freethinker clearly has a different approach to lambasting religion, in all its shades and guises.

    If you really are, as tony e suggests, a christian troll who is here to disrupt and create discord, then I have to hand it to you – you’re doing a first-class job. If, however, you are what you say you are, then you should be ashamed of the damage you are doing and the resentment you are causing.

    You may well turn out to be 99% atheist and 1% agnostic, Neo. But I have no doubt that you are 100% detrimental to the health and longevity of this community.

  39. NeoWolfe says:

    Marcus said:

    ” But I have no doubt that you are 100% detrimental to the health and longevity of this community.”

    Actually, it is you and several others who do not “get it”. What you call damage is pressure toward change. Bigots in the southern states no doubt thought that the civil rights movement was damaging their ideal community. I have been pointing out that their are freethinkers, such as myself, who don’t call themselves atheists. BDuke and Bjohn have expressed their hatred of bigotry against gays, and rightfully so, and there are obviously many people who are offended by homosexuality, and who think that accepting them openly into society, and granting them equal rights would “damage” society. But, if I were to tell them to fuck off, then, I would have to tell you to fuck off, as well. Because all I asked is to be treated as a fellow freethinker.

    What has occurred in the Phillipines is monumental. But, it is not your victory, it is MINE!!!!! And pretending it is yours pisses me off, because what they have accomplished is what I have always supported, the alliance of freethinkers. I guess, that I would have been more pleased if they would have included humanists as well, but, a victory of any kind is good.

    I haven’t damaged anything. But, I have kicked your bigoted asses into line. You wanna be called freethinkers? A good start would be opening your fucking eyes.

    NeoWolfe

  40. NeoWolfe says:

    Addendum:

    Marcus:

    “But The Freethinker clearly has a different approach to lambasting religion, in all its shades and guises.”

    I hate religion to a degree that a psychologist would probably diagnose me with a pathology. But, you cannot accomplish your goals by spinning the truth. Trust is something that takes years to build, and is destroyed by a single lie.

    NeoWolfe

  41. Daz says:

    Guys, while my position on this subject is probably well-known, I think David B spoke words of wisdom, upthread. The OP of this thread is a story of good news. Please let’s not have this argument here.

  42. Marcus says:

    Sorry, Daz.

    Neo: …”victory, it is MINE!!!!!” I rest my case, you pathetic, ludicrous little man.

  43. NeoWolfe says:

    Marcus, I just owned you, and you call me pathetic? That’s what you wannabe freethinkers do, on mark. Like I said, I didn’t start it, but I damn sure finished it, didn’t I? Rather than logical counterpoints, you resort to personal insult. Actually I like those, because it exposes you for what you are. And it’s not a freethinker.

    NeoWolfe

  44. Marcus says:

    Neo: You ‘owned’ me? Ha, ha, ha! What the feck is wrong with you?

    Come back when you can actually speak English and put a rational argument together, will you. Because right now I feel like I’m arguing with someone who’s off their tits on drugs and actually doesn’t know what they’re saying.

    I didn’t think I’d ever say this, but I feel sorry for you, Neo.

  45. tony e says:

    Marcus,

    Sometimes it’s best to just walk away. I’m stopping any conversation with the troll, no matter how irritating he gets.

  46. Marcus says:

    tony e

    Thanks, I know what you say is right. But it irritates me to death when this moron is pissing people off so much that they feel like they have to stop contributing. For what it’s worth, I agree with your assessment that he is a troll. He reminds me for all the world of those spoilers who prowl forums such as whywontgodhealamputees and whose sole purpose is to frustrate and antagonise.

    I know I should walk away as I guess I am falling into his trap by doing precisely what he wants me to do. However, it is difficult and I for one think BDuke should step in and ban the horrid little man, as he has done with the likes of Hutton.

  47. NeoWolfe says:

    Here are Marcus’s intelligent couterpoints:

    “Because right now I feel like I’m arguing with someone who’s off their tits on drugs and actually doesn’t know what they’re saying.”

    and:

    “I know I should walk away as I guess I am falling into his trap by doing precisely what he wants me to do.”

    Well, that would make me rather clever and sober, but, you claim I didn’t own you, yet, you fear you are doing my bidding. Interesting intellectual contradiction.

    Wait, on the subject was your intellectual counterpoints. I guess all there is are more personal insults. The crowd can go home, nothing to see here.

    NeoWolfe