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Dan Barker is co-president of the Freedom From Religion Foundation. He was born June 25, 1949, and served as a Christian preacher and musician for 17 years, until he left Christianity in 1984.
He received a degree in Religion from Azusa Pacific University and was ordained to the ministry by the Standard Community Church, California, in 1975. He served as associate pastor at a Friend's (Quaker) Church, an Assembly of God, and an independent Charismatic church. To this day, he receives royalties from his popular children's Christian musicals, "Mary Had a Little Lamb" (1977), and "His Fleece Was White As Snow" (1978), both published by Manna Music and performed in many countries.
A successful musician, Barker has composed over 200 songs that have been published or recorded. He is the current co-president with his wife Annie Laurie Gaylor of the Freedom From Religion Foundation. He also co-hosts the weekly Freedom From Religion Foundation radio show with Annie Laurie Gaylor.
Essays by Dan Barker
Dan Barker media
- Dan Barker vs. Jason Gastrich - An informal "debate" (though Barker calls it more of a "conversation" between Dan and fundamentalist Jason Gastrich.
- Does God Not Exist? - Debate between Dan Barker and Richard Carrier vs. Hassanain Rajabali and Michael Corey
- Dan Barker v Hassanain Rajabali - Dan debates a Muslim, "Does god not exist?"
- "Faith is a cop-out. If the only way you can accept an assertion is by faith, then you are conceding that it can’t be taken on its own merits."
- "The very concept of sin comes from the bible. Christianity offers to solve a problem of its own making! Would you be thankful to a person who cut you with a knife in order to sell you a bandage?"
- "Not thinking critically, I assumed that the "successful" prayers were proof that God answers prayer while the failures were proof that there was something wrong with me."
- "How happy can you be when you think every action and thought is being monitored by a judgmental ghost?"
- "I have something to say to the religionist who feels atheists never say anything positive: You are an intelligent human being. Your life is valuable for its own sake. You are not second-class in the universe, deriving meaning and purpose from some other mind. You are not inherently evil--you are inherently human, possessing the positive rational potential to help make this a world of morality, peace and joy. Trust yourself."
- "You can cite a hundred references to show that the biblical God is a bloodthirsty tyrant, but if they can dig up two or three verses that say "God is love," they will claim that you are taking things out of context!"
- "I do understand what love is, and that is one of the reasons I can never again be a Christian. Love is not self denial. Love is not blood and suffering. Love is not murdering your son to appease your own vanity. Love is not hatred or wrath, consigning billions of people to eternal torture because they have offended your ego or disobeyed your rules. Love is not obedience, conformity, or submission. It is a counterfeit love that is contingent upon authority, punishment, or reward. True love is respect and admiration, compassion and kindness, freely given by a healthy, unafraid human being."
- -Dan Barker, "Losing Faith in Faith", 1992
- Dan Barker - Dan's bio on the FFRF site
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