Laura Pressley says opponent is ‘atheist’; Greg Casar says he’s Catholic

Dec 9, 2014

By Andra Lim

A mailer recently distributed by City Council candidate Laura Pressley’s campaign bulleted points on which she differs from opponent Greg Casar — including that she has a “strong belief in God” while he is a “self-admitted atheist.”

Pressley cited a paper Casar wrote during his college years about discussing Russian literature with youth at a correctional center. In the paper, Casar described seeing one of his students as “a symbol of hope … And perhaps a vessel for the God I no longer believed in.”

As someone who’s on record saying he doesn’t believe in God, Casar can’t legally represent North Austin’s District 4 on the City Council, Pressley told the American-Statesman. Pressley pointed to a section of the Texas Constitution’s Bill of Rights that says there are no religious qualifications for holding public office, provided that the official “acknowledge the existence of a Supreme Being.”

Cal Jillson, a political science professor at Southern Methodist University, said that provision was deemed unenforceable and unconstitutional in court years ago.

In an interview with the Statesman, Casar said he considers himself Catholic. The six-page paper he published three years ago as a University of Virginia undergraduate was more about finding spirituality than losing it, he said.


 

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29 comments on “Laura Pressley says opponent is ‘atheist’; Greg Casar says he’s Catholic

  • OP:

    a “strong belief in God”

    Apparently = ‘good’ as opposed to a somewhat wishy washy belief or even the the “God I no longer believed in” of her opponent? An opponent who is is now claiming to be Catholic.

    Let the pillow fight proceed at dawn.



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  • 2
    Miserablegit says:

    Of course it is easy to see how some people could confuse atheism with being Catholic, although you would have to be terminally stupid to do so.



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  • A “self-admitted atheist.”.

    Admirable; I can’t think of anything better.

    I wonder what Laura Pressley’s first language is; does she understand what, in this context, the prefix ‘A’ denotes in English?

    Does she realize, that to her opponent, her description of him, is in all likelihood, a compliment?

    Or, is she, perhaps, vote-mining; I’m in a rhetorical frame of mind this morning.



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  • Miserablegit Dec 10, 2014 at 12:59 am

    Of course it is easy to see how some people could confuse atheism with being Catholic, although you would have to be terminally stupid to do so.

    But apparently some Irish do not understand this!

    Interviewer: “Are you Protestant or Catholic?”
    “Oh, I’m an atheist.”
    Long pause.
    “Would that be a Protestant atheist or a Catholic atheist?”

    http://whyevolutionistrue.wordpress.com/2011/02/11/dawkins-a-protestant-atheist/

    I thought I’d heard every possible criticism of Dawkins, but Jackson has a new one: Dawkins, in his science, is unconsciously engaged in Protestant mythology!

    My problem with Richard Dawkins is not that he is an atheist. I admire that. It’s that he’s a Protestant atheist.



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  • 6
    inquisador says:

    From the above link: Texas Constitution, sec 4:-

    Sec. 4. RELIGIOUS TESTS. No religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office, or public trust, in this State; nor shall any one be excluded from holding office on account of his religious sentiments, provided he acknowledge the existence of a Supreme Being.

    Every atheist acknowledges the existence of an FSM surely?

    A typical prayer would be:

    “Let us all praise the benign beautifully useless undisprovable FSM. Blessed are his noodly appendages and may he be in aholy communion with his friends here on Earth by the ritual tasting of his metaphorical body, durum wheat crackers; and plenty of good vin de pays to go with them preferably a Pinot Grigio, but not too much. Oh and a bit of Parmesan if you can get it.
    Anon.”



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  • The first part of that declaration is lifted verbatim from the second amendment of the American Constitution, which ends: “…under the United States.”, thus, rendering that ending superfluous.

    But so what, apparently, religious faith trumps everything.



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  • rhetorical frame of mind

    Ok, I’ll bite, square or oval?

    first language

    I presume Texan.

    “self-admitted Atheist”

    No A (even for atheist) on her bullet points flier.

    Oh yeah, she is wearing a pearl necklace?!



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  • Bertrand Russell discusses this more or less at length, I think in his History of Western Philosophy.

    As a – definitely – “Catholic” atheist, I find the biggest problem with Protestant “atheists” is that they are way more Protestant than atheists – in their morals, ethics, epistemology, politics, psychology, etc, etc, etc, with the notable exception that they declare they don’t believe in god…

    Anyway, Ms Pressley is so wrong in so many levels that it is difficult to decide where to start – from the curious idea that someone who doesn’t believe in god is less apt for public service? from the weird notion that “atheist” is an insult? from the idea that writing “the God I no longer believed in” means that one no longer believes in god (instead of meaning that there is one particular, specific, God one has come to disbelieve)?

    Anyway, Ms Pressley managed to insult Catholics, by comparing them to atheists, atheists, by using the word as a term of insult… and, more worringly, Protestants, by involving them in her own, personal, brand of stupidity.



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  • If American atheists behaved as American fundies do, the government would declare an emergency and a threat to political stability.

    But the holier-than-thou god-botherers seldom see their hypocrisy, do they?



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  • I understand “Protestant atheist” completely. I grew up among traditionally Protestant people and picked up many cultural values in the process. I’m sure that the same is true of people who come from other backgrounds—and not just varieties of Christianity.—even if they no longer subscribe to the theology. As I have gone through life I have become more aware of the Protestant sources of my reactions and in some cases have applied a “rational override” to them. But it is a short step from the priesthood of all believers, a Protestant tenet, to the autonomy of the individual intellect that is essential to atheism.



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  • I think she doesn’t give a sh… about what her opponent really thinks concerning the existence of any (eventual) “supreme being”. Some underpaid assistant of hers dug out this bit of flimsy statement from university archives, and she just jumped on it, making up that big fuzz with one aim : scare his potential voters (“He is an undercover ATHEIST ??? omg !”). No more, no less.



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  • You heretic ! There is only ONE supreme Supreme : “dirty” Diana ! ! Mary and Florence are just secondary deities. In fact, you’re like these bloody backward catholics, who believe in what they call “the mystery of the (molly) trinity”. You’re an associationist ! Boo ! ^o^



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  • 25
    CdnMacAtheist says:

    I don’t really believe in the FSM, since I’m agnocchistic about divine pastas and dumplings.
    The Fusilli sects of the Starchies are too twisted for my taste, while the Rigatis are too holey.

    I’ve managed to resist most of the calorific temptations of the 1000’s of regional food deities.
    I’m Scottish, but I couldn’t even force myself to submit to their black pudding & haggis cults.

    Mac …. hello again to my RDFRS friends here …. 😎



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  • x-bone Dec 11, 2014 at 1:13 pm

    she just jumped on it, making up that big fuzz with one aim : scare his potential voters (“He is an undercover ATHEIST ??? omg !”). No more, no less.

    But worse than that!
    He’s an undercover intellectual! 😎



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  • I had several students in graduate school who wrote in a paper that some such person, ” . . . wasn’t a Christian, but a Catholic.” I always wrote in the margins, “Just what are Catholics if they aren’t Christian?” I don’t think any of them ever responded. Possibly they couldn’t conceptualize a Christian Catholic.



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  • attaaboy Dec 13, 2014 at 8:29 pm

    I had several students in graduate school who wrote in a paper that some such person, ” . . . wasn’t a Christian, but a Catholic.”

    To the narrow blinkered fundamentalist, the term “religion” means, “My religion”! All other gods, and varieties of interpretations of gods, are dismissed as “false gods” – and frequently with some confused denigration, without bothering with further study.

    I know of an Irish Catholic priest who described Protestants as “Pagans”!



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