My heart sunk right into my toes when I read that Randy Newman was an atheist, just after I posted that he was not. But I see now for sure that he is, because he is listed on the Michael Nugent Famous Atheist Site. There's a lot of famous people there. For example, from the Nugent site (with my comments in brackets):
Douglas Adams (1954-2001)
Douglas Adams was an atheist British writer who wrote the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy [I liked that book], Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency and several episodes of Doctor Who. [HA! I knew it] He described himself as a ‘radical atheist’ in order to distinguish himself from agnostics. .....In his final book, The Salmon of Doubt, published in 2002, Adams addresses people who believe that God must exist because the world so fits our needs. He compares them to an intelligent puddle of water that fills a hole in the ground. The puddle is certain that the hole must have been designed specifically for it because it fits so well. The puddle exists under the sun until it has entirely evaporated.
[Whoa! What a devastating illustration! All you need do for it to be perfect is find an intelligent puddle of water]
Bjork (born 1965)
Bjork is an atheist Icelandic singer and actress whose first solo album, Debut, was named Album of the Year by NME. In 1994, she said
‘I’ve got my own religion. Iceland sets a world-record. The UN asked people from all over the world a series of questions. Iceland stuck out on one thing. When we were asked what we believe, 90% said, ‘ourselves.’ [sigh...of course] I think I’m in that group. If I get into trouble, there’s no God or Allah to sort me out. I have to do it myself.’
In 1995, Bjork said
‘I do not believe in religion, but if I had to choose one it would be Buddhism. It seems more livable, closer to men… I’ve been reading about reincarnation, and the Buddhists say we come back as animals and they refer to them as lesser beings. Well, animals aren’t lesser beings, they’re just like us. So I say f**k the Buddhists.’ [*'s mine]
Isaac Asimov (1920-1992)
Isaac Asimov was an atheist Russian-born American writer and professor of biochemistry, whose prolific output of over 130 books covered science fiction, mysteries, popular science, history and memoirs. In 1982 ,
‘I am an atheist, out and out. It took me a long time to say it. I’ve been an atheist for years and years, but somehow I felt it was intellectually unrespectable to say one was an atheist, [now it's intellectually unrespectable to say anything else] because it assumed knowledge that one didn’t have. Somehow it was better to say one was a humanist or an agnostic.....
[as I posted here, Asimov might have faired better had he become one of Jehovah's Witnesses]
Richard Branson (born 1950)
Richard Branson is an atheist British entrepreneur whose Virgin group includes more than 350 companies. He is also involved in humanitarian projects and holds world records in long-distance ballooning. Writing in his autobiography about one of these balloon trips,he said:
‘I do not believe in God, but as I sat there in the damaged capsule, hopelessly vulnerable to the slightest shift in weather or mechanical fault, I could not believe my eyes.’
Richard Dawkins (born 1941) and Sam Harris (born 1967)
Wow! Just look at that roster of atheists! They've got impressive people on their side! But it was my posts about Randy Newman and this blog in particular that led me to the Nugent site:
And guess who's in our corner? Well, maybe not in our corner, but at the very least not in THEIR corner. I'll wait...
Go on, guess...
It's in the title....
Randy Newman! Take a look. It seems his dad was a pretty outspoken atheist and he picked up some of it. You just never now who's gonna be on your side these days, do you?
Well....oh yeah?! Oh, yeah? OH YEAH?!!! Just look who we have on OUR corner:::
We've got Prince! HAH?! How about that?!! Prince, who played the half time show at last years SUPERBOWL, the most important football game in the whole wide world!!
And we've got Venus and Selena Williams!!! Did you reflect upon THAT?! The Williams sisters, who've dominated woman's tennis for years and who've pounded all challengers into MUSH!!
Mickey Spillane, the most-selling author of the 20th century! NOW I bet you're sorry you took us on, aren't you?!! His hard-hitting fictional private investigator, Mike Hammer, was the most graphically violent character of his time, and he became LESS SO after Mr. Spillane became a Witness in 1952.
Okay, okay, it's a bit juvenile, isn't it? I mean, in a world of several billion people, you don't think ANY group can claim some celebrities? And is it really so that having celebrities on your side somehow bolsters your case? Some of the silliest people to have ever walked the planet are celebrities (all of them, really, except our guys). They don't lead the same lives we do. They don't face the same pressures. Having them in your camp is not that big of a deal.
Actually, the three I've referred to are somewhat of an aberration. It's well known that the Watchtower organization discourages basking in this system's limelight in favor of low-key Christian activity. The above persons have never been in Watchtower print, but all the time we read of this or that character who forsook potential or actual fame so as to "have a fuller share" in service to God. Trust me, we are criticized for it from those who think achieving fame is the purpose of life, yet our stand is in harmony with the Bible, which matters most to us:
But we exhort you, brothers, ......to make it your aim to live quietly and to mind your own business and work with your hands just as we ordered you; so that you may be walking decently as regards people outside and not be needing anything. 1 Thes 4:10-11
The greater world's values and the Bible's values are pretty much opposite, so being prominent in the former usually poses unique challenges towards the latter. Generally, our people conclude they are not in position to attempt both. But not always, as the above examples show.
****** The bookstore