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Newspaper Article Reading Response

source: https://www.stcatharinesstandard.ca/opinion/columnists/2013/02/10/it-s-like-saying-bald-is-a-hair-colour.html

This article, “It’s Like Saying Bald Is A Hair Color,” is from the St. Catharines Standard Newspaper. Here is the article: https://www.stcatharinesstandard.ca/opinion/columnists/2013/02/10/it-s-like-saying-bald-is-a-hair-colour.html

Read the article and answer the following questions:

1. What did you like, dislike, and find interesting

2. Can you relate something you read to your own life?

3. Is a newspaper article a good form of writing to share these ideas?

4. Is atheism just another religion? Why or why not?

5. Should people be allowed to hand out bibles to school children? What about to their own children?

6. Should there be atheist texts in school.

7. Do you agree with the author that: “But our public schools are not there to create a captive audience for evangelists. That also means it’s not a soapbox for atheists to tell kids religion is ridiculous. There are better and more appropriate venues for both — at home, churches, bookstores, Youtube — but leave the schools out of it.”

8. Research Bonus Question: What does “putting your head in the sand” mean and does that description apply here to this author?

Secular Web Kids Crossword

Belief in living forever in a sky Disneyland
The rules of thinking
Believing/making predictions without evidence
The dog with all the questions
Thinking you can persuade god(s) to do stuff


1 The love of wisdom

2 Searching for reasons/evidence

3 Magic and Monsters

5 Information on which to base belief

7 Believing someone/thing has successfully cast a magic spell

9 Not believing in the supernatural

Young Darth Harley Had Some Doubts

(*****************sing to the tune of Old MacDonald Had A Farm)

(Verse 1)

Young Darth Harley had some doubts

A-questioning he goes

And with those doubts he questioned commercials

A-questioning he goes

With a “does it work?” here

And a “will it make me happy?” there

Here a doubt, there a doubt

Everywhere an “Ad” doubt

Young Darth Harley had some doubts

A-questioning he goes

(Verse 2)

Young Darth Harley had some doubts

A-questioning he goes

And with those doubts he questioned gods

A-questioning he goes

With “never a Zeus” here

And “never a Thor” there

Here a doubt, there a doubt

Everywhere a “God” doubt

Young Darth Harley had some doubts

A-questioning he goes


Random Passages:

Source: wiki, https://starwars.fandom.com/wiki/Jar_Jar_Binks

Darth Harley was snoring loudly at the back of World Religions class while Li’l Yoda took detailed notes of the class discussion:

Y: “Wake up, Harley!,” Yoda chirped, “You’re going to get in trouble!”

H: “Oops, sorry, what did I miss?”

Y: “Li’l Richard is arguing with the teacher again that Jesus never existed.”

H: “I like Li’l Richard, he’s so random! What passage are they arguing over?”

Y: Mark 4:11-12. “It’s weird:”

11 And he said to them, “To you has been given the secret of the kingdom of God, but for those outside, everything comes in parables; 12 in order that

‘they may indeed look, but not perceive,
    and may indeed listen, but not understand;
so that they may not turn again and be forgiven.’”

H: “What does Ritchie think it means?”

Y: “He says only those who were part of the Christian club knew Jesus was a mythical being who was never on earth, while maybe Mark was trying to trick the people who were not part of the club to think Jesus was a man killed on earth.”

H: “Well, I’m pretty sure it doesn’t mean that, because the club members wouldn’t be shown to be violent at Jesus’ arrest if they knew all along he was supposed to die.”

Y: So what do you think it means?

H: “It’s interesting, and really a random passage. I think it might have to do with the “guilt by association” of Jesus’s followers who were as guilty as Jesus was in the public eye. Think about the young man in Mark who was seen as guilty as the naked Adam:”

51 A certain young man was following him, wearing nothing but a linen cloth. They caught hold of him, 52 but he left the linen cloth and ran off naked. (Mark 14:51-52)

H: “But, in the tomb he was clothed in righteousness in God’s eyes because he followed Jesus who was not really a criminal but rather the holiest of holy men:”

As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man, dressed in white. (Mark 16:5)

** For an example of a scholar arguing Mark may be trying to trick outsiders (not followers) into thinking Jesus was a real person who was killed, see Dr. Richard Carrier, time 20:42 here

Darth Harley Recites a “Beauty” Poem

Harley stood nervously in front of his class and read out loud the quotation he had found:

** “In consequence, if the world is beautiful, that fact would be evidence for God’s existence.” (Swinburne, Richard, The Existence of God, OUP, 2nd Edition, 2004,)

“So,” Harley said, “for my reader response to this quote I would like to read a short poem I wrote.”

Harley took a deep breath, remembering as best he could, and recited his poem about The Fall Season:

Such a lovely time is Fall

Treats and pumpkins, masks and all.

Gorgeous colors on the trees

No doubt that God painted the leaves.

Or are the colors really masks

Secrets for someone who asks?

Such a lovely time is Fall

Playing in the leaves that fall.

Harley’s teacher thanked him, and mentioned his poem seemed to have a hidden meaning.  Harley chuckled and said:

“The only thing difficult about my poem was remembering all those lines!”

(5) Darth Harley Begins To Think About Christianity

(5) Darth Harley begins to think about Christianity:

Harley sat in his bed with his mom and talked about his day at school.

H: In Social Studies we started to learn about Christianity.  They think God raised Jesus from the dead and that he appeared to his followers.

M:  Do you think God cast a magic spell and raised Jesus from the dead?

H: I don’t know.  I think there are probably explanations that are better than supposing magic occurred.  Long ago they didn’t know what caused things to fall to the ground when dropped, but “magic” wouldn’t have been a good guess.

M: They say Jesus was missing from the tomb …

H Corpses can go missing from tombs without needing magic for an explanation.

M: They say the risen Jesus appeared to Peter, then the 12 apostles, then to 500 people a once …

H: It’s not uncommon for people to have unusual experiences when they are really hurting because of the loss of a loved one.  They may hear or see weird things, but that doesn’t mean it’s their loved one was brought back to life.

M: What about Jesus appearing to the 500 people at once …

H: It reminds me of the children predicting the miracle at Fatima, and then a huge crowd saw weird things in the sky.  I think it tells us more about how our minds plays tricks on us rather than thinking the Fatima miracle really happened.

M: They say the touched Jesus’ wounds …

H: Those were later stories that were trying to convince people Jesus really did die and come back to life. There’s no reason to think there were any early stories about people touching the resurrected Jesus.

Harley’s mom smiled: “So you’re not convinced Christianity is true?” she asked

“Not yet,” Harley replied. “Magic could have happened, but I think there are better explanations where we don’t have to use magic as an explanation to support our ideas.”