MargaretDowney's blog

More Letters Regarding NCC/ BSA Protest

Below is the response I received from NCC and further down is my follow-up response:

Dear Ms. Downey:

Thank you for your recent e-mail, protesting Scout Days at the National Constitution Center. We appreciate the strong concerns raised by this program. As an institution, the National Constitution Center does not examine the policies, preferences, and beliefs of individuals or groups that visit the Center. Because this is the National Constitution Center, everyone is welcome to come here. Our mission as an institution is to educate people - particularly young people - about the Constitution and our rights and responsibilities as citizens.

The scouts are one group among a diverse array of organizations that we encourage to use our museum and participate in our programs. We are not "honoring" them by providing this program, but simply treating them as we do other organized youth groups. We have offered to provide the same programming to "Scouting for All," a group committed to diversity in scouting.

Sincerely,

Steve Frank
VP Education & Exhibits
National Constitution Center
Independence Mall
525 Arch Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106

Bible Class

In Sunday school, Sister Mary asked the class: "What part of the body goes to heaven first?"

In the back of the class, nasty Billy waved his hand frantically, but Sister Mary, suspecting a wrong answer, turned to another child. "Yes, Susan?"

"The heart goes to heaven first because that's where God's love lives."

"Excellent," said Sister Mary, "and you, Charlotte?"

"The soul, Sister Mary, because that's the part that lives beyond death."

"Very good, Charlotte," said the Sister, as she noticed Billy's hand still waving in desperation."

"OK, Billy, what do you think?"

"It's the feet that go first, Sister, the feet."

Sister Mary says, "That's a strange answer Billy. Why the feet?"

Billy answered, "Because I saw my mom with her feet up in the air, shouting, 'God, I'm coming, I'm coming!'"

This information reposted from the notes section of Margaret Downey's facebook, where she is currently most active.

Kittens

One day, a priest was walking along the street and saw a little girl with a box full of newly born kittens.

"Child, what kind of kittens do you have there?" The priest asked the young girl.

Seeing a possible sale the child replied, "Why, these are Catholic kittens. Would you like to buy one?"

The preacher, nods no, but smiles and walks along--his chest full of pride and arrogance.

Two weeks later he comes across the same girl with the box full of kittens and asks, "How are those Catholic kittens doing?"

The little girl smiles at him and says "Oh, they're not Catholic kittens anymore."

The preacher, shocked by this disclosure exclaims, "What... why not?!?"

The little girl says, "Well, ya see, now that their eyes are open they are atheists."

This information reposted from the notes section of Margaret Downey's facebook, where she is currently most active.

Protest Letter

National Constitution Center
525 Arch Street
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19106

To Whom It May Concern,

On Saturday, March 14, 2009, the National Constitution Center (NCC) will be honoring the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) with special programs, workshops and activities. Information posted on the NCC website states that BSA will “enjoy a fun-filled day learning about our country while you meet requirements or work toward badges!”

NCC will feature activity tables, workshops, and shows just for Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts! BSA is invited by NCC “to explore the entire museum” and to “earn a commemorative National Constitution Center Fun Badge.”

NCC is offering Scout leaders and parents a Scout packet and agenda to lead them through the day’s activities and events. On that day, Boy Scouts can participate in several activities to earn credits toward American Heritage and Citizenship in the Nation merit badges.

Best Atheist Joke of the Century

Three men on a business trip experience the breakdown of their car on a dark country highway. They walk to the nearest farmhouse and ask the farmer to put them up for the night. The farmer consents, but says, "I only have room for two of you. One of you must sleep in the barn."

After drawing a short straw, the Jewish man retreats to the barn. A few minutes later there is a knock on the door. They open the door to find the Jewish man standing there. He emphatically states, "I can't sleep in the barn. There is a pig in the barn!"

Drawing the next short straw, the Hindu man retreats to the barn. A few minutes later there is a knock on the door. They open the door to find the Hindu man standing there. He says, "I can not sleep in the barn. There is a cow in the barn!"

The atheist man then volunteers to sleep in the barn. A few minutes later there is a knock on the door. They open the door to find the pig and the cow.

This information reposted from the notes section of Margaret Downey's facebook, where she is currently most active.

Statistics taken from the new American Religious Identification Survey (ARIS)

Percentage of people who call themselves some type of Christian has dropped more than 11 percent in a generation.
almost all religious denominations have lost ground since the first ARIS survey in 1990.

So many Americans claim no religion at all (15 percent, up from 8 percent in 1990), that this category now outranks every other major U.S. religious group except Catholics and Baptists.

Baptists, 15.8 percent of those surveyed, are down from 19.3 percent in 1990. Mainline Protestant denominations, once socially dominant, have seen sharp declines: The percentage of Methodists, for example, dropped from 8 percent to 5 percent.

The percentage of those who choose a generic label, calling themselves simply Christian, Protestant, non-denominational, evangelical or ""born again," was 14.2 percent, about the same as in 1990.

Jewish numbers showed a steady decline, from 1.8 percent in 1990 to 1.2 percent today. The percentage of Muslims, while still slim, has doubled, from 0.3 percent to 0.6 percent. Analysts within both groups suggest those numbers understate the groups' populations.

Speech Subjects

• Discrimination at the Hands of the Boy Scouts of America
• Rearing Freethinking Children
• Combating Superstitions
• The Life and Work of Thomas Paine
• Women’s Suffrage Movement
• Media Training
• Tree of Knowledge Project
• Unity Convention: Is it possible in the nontheist movement?
• What is atheism?
• The Importance of Keeping Religion and Government Separate
• Saving Ourselves from the TAR Pit of Society
• Celebrating a Secular Life

This information reposted from the notes section of Margaret Downey's facebook, where she is currently most active.

Pet Ten Commandments

1. My life is likely to last 10-15 years. Any separation from you is painful.

2. Give me time to understand what you want of me.

3. Place your trust in me. It is crucial for my well-being.

4. Don't be angry with me for long and don't lock me up as punishment. You have your work, your friends, your entertainment, but I have only you.

5. Talk to me. Even if I don't understand your words, I do understand your voice when speaking to me.

6. Be aware that however you treat me, I will never forget it.

7. Before you hit me, before you strike me, remember that I could hurt you, and yet, I choose not to bite you.

8. Before you scold me for being lazy or uncooperative, ask yourself if something might be bothering me. Perhaps I'm not getting the right food, I have been in the sun too long, or my heart might be getting old or weak.

9. Please take care of me when I grow old. You too, will grow old.

10. On the ultimate difficult journey, go with me. Never say you can't bear to watch. Don't make me face this alone. Everything is easier for me if you are there, because I love you.

Thanksgiving joke

A young man named John received a parrot as a gift. The parrot had a bad attitude and an even worse vocabulary. Every word out of the bird's mouth was rude, obnoxious, and laced with profanity.

John tried and tried to change the bird's attitude by consistently saying only polite words, playing soft music, and anything else he could think of to "clean up" the bird's vocabulary.

Finally, John was fed up, and he yelled at the parrot. The parrot yelled ack. John shook the parrot, and the parrot got angrier and even ruder. John, in desperation, threw up his hand, grabbed the bird, and put him in the freezer. For a few minutes the parrot squawked and kicked and screamed.

Then suddenly there was total quiet. Not a peep was heard for over a minute. Fearing that he'd hurt the parrot, John quickly opened the door to the freezer.

The parrot calmly stepped out onto John's outstretched arms and said, "I believe I may have offended you with my rude language and actions. I'm sincerely remorseful for my inappropriate transgressions and I fully intend to do everything I can to correct my rude and unforgivable behavior."

Alex

On this very, very sad day, I am honored that Holly, Blair and Roxanne requested that I say a few words. It is an especially sad day because grief for the loss of a child is hardest to bear.

When an old person dies we may grieve, but we can accept more readily that a life has been lived and has drawn to its inevitable close. But when a young person dies, we mourn not only the life that was, but also the life that might have been.

It is right and natural that we should grieve, because sorrow is a reflection and measure of the love, the happiness and the intimacy we shared with the one who has gone.

In a way too we grieve for ourselves, because we know that our own lives will never be the same without Alex.

Many of you have asked, “Why -- why was Alex taken from us so young? He was so good, so honest and so wonderful?”

I will tell you why. Every human tragedy is an act of nature. Nature does not know good from bad.

Nature does not know right from wrong. In nature there are never rewards nor punishments. There are only consequences.

Death is as natural as life. All that have life have beginning and end. Nature is what is permanent in this world.

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