Tuesday, December 1, 2009
The following blog post lays out some very disturbing observations about how Mike Huckabee released a homicidal monster from prison because his religious beliefs blind him to reality.
This blog post makes the case against President Palin. It contains a blistering, and completely accurate, dismantling of her ability by a conservative writer who claims to be a "fan" of Palin.
Friday, October 23, 2009
Monday, October 5, 2009
I am so stunned by this, that I can't even write much about it now. At first, I thought it was a parody, but evidently, it's authentic.
Sunday, September 20, 2009
I'm reading Bart D. Ehrman's book, "Jesus Interrupted." There are a lot of things in this book that should make fundamentalists very uncomfortable, but I particularly like this passage from the beginning of Chapter 4.
"Students taking a college-level Bible course for the first time often find it surprising that we don't know who wrote most of the books of the New Testament. How could that be? Don't these books all have the authors' names attached to them? Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, the letters of Paul, 1 and 2 Peter, and 1, 2 and 3 John? How could the wrong names be attached to books of Scripture? Isn't this the Word of God? If someone wrote a book claiming to be Paul while knowing full well that he wasn't Paul -- isn't that lying? Can Scripture contain lies?When I arrived at seminary I was fully armed and ready for the onslaught on my faith by liberal scholars who were going to insist on such crazy ideas. Having been trained in conservative circles, I knew that these views were standard fare at places like Princeton Theological Seminary. But what did they know? Bunch of liberals.What came as a shock to me over time was just how little actual evidence there is for the traditional ascriptions of authorship that I had always taken for granted, and how much real evidence there was that many of these ascriptions are wrong. It turned out the liberals actually had something to say and had evidence to back it up; they weren't simply involved in destructive wishful thinking. There were some books, such as the Gospels, that had been written anonymously, only later to be ascribed to certain authors, who probably did not write them (apostles and friends of the apostles). Other books were written by authors who flat out claimed to be someone they weren't."
I like this phrase: "It turned out the liberals actually had something to say, and had evidence to back it up." To how many areas of public discourse could that apply? Evolution? Global warming? Weapons of mass destruction? Health care reform? The list could go on and on. Because that's the real difference between liberals and conservatives: liberals value evidence, conservatives value belief. Liberals will change their views if evidence proves them wrong. Conservatives will stubbornly stick to their guns even in the face of overwhelming contradictory evidence. And liberals have a lot of evidence on their side. Look back through history, and you'll find that nearly every instance of social progress -- separating church and state, freeing the slaves, women's rights, desegregation, social security, medicare, clean air and water legislation, the list goes on and on -- was promoted by liberals and opposed by conservatives. And now, looking back, we celebrate those liberal accomplishments as milestones of a free society, and the conservatives who opposed them are at best forgotten, or at worst recognized for the narrow-minded zealots that they were.
Liberalism has a good track record. Conservatism, not so much. And liberals need to keep pointing that out. Like Frank Schaeffer said, we can't accommodate the village idiot. We have to let them stand on the mountain waiting for Armageddon while the rest of us get on with the business of making the world a better place.
Friday, September 18, 2009
Here's a segment of the Rachel Maddow show, in which she speaks with the author of the book "Crazy for God", Frank Schaeffer. Mr. Schaeffer, a former fundamentalist Christian who came to his senses, describes the extent of the insanity running through the conservative Christian ranks. I've been saying these very things for years, and people have always just sort of looked at me like I'd gone too many days without sleep. I think Mr. Schaeffer hits the nail right on the head. Enjoy.
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
I've always had a pet peeve about people crediting prayer and miracles and God for saving their lives when, in reality, it was modern medical science that did the job.
Sunday, August 30, 2009
So, Iraq wasn't a war against Islam? Had nothing to do with religion? All about weapons of mass destruction? Turns out George W. Bush contacted French President Jacque Chirac in 2003, and made no bones about the true nature of his plans:
Now out of office, Chirac recounts that the American leader appealed to their “common faith” (Christianity) and told him: “Gog and Magog are at work in the Middle East…. The biblical prophecies are being fulfilled…. This confrontation is willed by God, who wants to use this conflict to erase his people’s enemies before a New Age begins.”This bizarre episode occurred while the White House was assembling its “coalition of the willing” to unleash the Iraq invasion. Chirac says he was boggled by Bush’s call and “wondered how someone could be so superficial and fanatical in their beliefs.”
That's what a lot of us wonder over here, too. Read more, if you can stomach it.
Here's some inspriational teaching from Pastor Steven Anderson of Tempe, Arizona. Remember, his god is a god of love. And if this isn't enough for you, click here for more.
"The same God who instituted the death penalty for murders is the same god who instituted the death penalty for rapists and for homosexuals, sodomites and queers!That's what it was instituted for, okay? That's God, he hasn't changed. Oh, God doesn't feel that way in the New Testament ... God never "felt" anything about it, he commanded it and said they should be taken out and killed.You know why God wanted the sodomites in the Old Testament to be killed? You know why every good king of Israel, the Bible says they got rid of the sodomites in the land? You know, the good kings that came after the bad kings who had allowed the sodomites to infest their land, they had infiltrated ... King Asa got the sodomites out of the land, Jehoshaphat exterminated the sodomites that were left from the days of his father, Asa. Why? Because the sodomites are infectious, that's why. Because they're not reproducers, that goes without saying, they're recruiters.How are they multiplying? Do you not see that they're multiplying? Are you that blind? Have you noticed that there's more than there were last year and the year before, and the year before that? How are they multiplying? They're reproducing right? No, here's a biology lesson: they're not reproducers, they're recruiters! And you know who they're after? Your children. Remember you dropped off your kids last week? That's who they're after. You drop them off at some daycare, you drop them off at some school somewhere, you don't know where they're at. I'll tell you where they're at: they're being recruited by the sodomites. They're being molested by the sodomites. I can tell you so many stories about people that I know being molested and recruited by the sodomites.They recruit through rape. They recruit through molestation. They recruit through violation. They are infecting our society. They are spreading their disease. It's not a physical disease, it's a sin disease, it's a wicked, filthy sin disease and it's spreading on a rampage. Can't you see that it's spreading on a rampage? I mean, can you not see that? Can you not see that it's just exploding in growth? Why? Because each sodomite recruits far more than one other sodomite because his whole life is about recruiting other sodomites, his whole life is about violating and hurting people and molesting 'em."
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
A bunch of religious nuts are calling for a "revolution" on the steps of the Supreme Court. It happened two days ago, and I'm not surprised that I didn't hear a peep about it in the news. Here's my favorite idiotic quote from their press release:
"A call to Christian Revolution will be made at the steps of the Supreme Court. The Declaration of Independence was unanimously signed and proclaimed by our Founding Fathers on July 4, 1776. It was a call to obey God rather than men. When our Founding Fathers declared their independence from England's King George III, they were really declaring their dependence upon Almighty God -- the God of the Bible. They pledged their lives, fortunes, and sacred honor to proclaim-God is true."
That's so wrong on so many levels that it's not even possible to argue rationally against it. It would be like trying to explain quantum physics to your dog. The Declaration was written by a group of people who were largely not Christian, and who wrote many nasty things about organized religion. It contains no mention of the Bible or Jesus Christ whatsoever, and only the most passing mention of God ("endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights..."). It declared independence from a system that claimed the divine right of kings to rule, and that established Christianity as the official religion. And somehow, these morons twist that around in every way possible to mean the total polar opposite.
Friday, May 15, 2009
So, the Worcester, Massachusettes Telegram does a story about how the local Catholic church is dealing with concerns about swine flu, and they use the terms "communion wafer" and "wine" to describe the components of the communion ritual. A priest writes a letter to the editor to complain. Here's the funny part:
Second, the Roman Catholic Church doesn’t now, nor has it ever offered a wafer and wine as Communion. We do offer the body and blood of Jesus Christ, which in John’s gospel he proclaims to be our source of life in Him. To refer to the Eucharist as a wafer and wine is to demean the value of this sacrament, seemingly equating it to an evening snack.Ok, this is really getting ridiculous. Here's the explanation of transubstantiation from catholicapologetics.org:
Transubstantiation reflects Roman Catholic faith in the literalness of the words of the Bible. Jesus (omnipotent God) said: "This is my body; this is my blood." And again Jesus said: "I am the bread of life;" "My flesh is true food; my blood is true drink;" "He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood ...;" etc. Roman Catholics take Jesus at His word: the bread is his body; the wine is his blood. From the Apostles at the Last Supper until today, the bread and wine of Eucharist looks and feels and tastes like bread and wine in the eating and drinking. Similar to all of God's Word, faith is essential. Faith in what? In the words of Jesus even though the bread does not look, feel, taste like flesh; even though the wine does not look, feel, taste like blood.
Ok, three things:
- NOBODY really has faith in "the literalness of the words of the Bible." If they say they do, they're either lying or delusional. It's not possible to take the Bible literally; it's both self-contradictory and completely at odds with observation. If you're going to take this literally, then you'd better be prepared to believe a whole lot of (other) really bizarre stuff that goes along with it, and I know for a fact that you don't.
- It depends on what your definition of "is" is. Do Catholics really reject the possibility that Jesus (assuming for the sake of argument that he actually existed AND said any such thing) was speaking metaphorically? This is a classic case of missing the forest for the trees.
- Do you mean to tell me that if I visited a factory that produces these communion "items", that I would find boxes labeled "Twenty dozen cartons of individual pieces of the flesh of Jesus Christ"?
Believe what you want, I guess, but don't expect everyone else to automatically accept it as true. Get a grip.
Tuesday, May 5, 2009
Because there's just too much of THIS out there.
The part I love most is the fact that you have to purchase the "report". If you believed that you had evidence that the antichrist had appeared, and you knew who it was, and you could prove it, would you put that information up for sale?!? Wouldn't you just post the proof right on your website, to get the facts out there as quickly as possible? No, evidently you'd be more concerned about making some dough off it first. If even one person pays for this "report", they should be summarily lobotomized.
Check out this loon.
Here are a few choice exerpts:
"There comes the time when mortals' sin can go over the divine mercy line. Many biblical believers are concluding that the world is now experiencing God's wrath."
Join the countless ranks of loonies who have been shouting this since the dawn of religion.
"America has a President who claims to be “Christian” who in fact is Marxist Muslim. Those who contest that can contest it against the facts all they want. Their conviction that he is “Christian” flies in the face of his anti-biblical ethics."
A Marxist Muslim?!? I thought the most objectionable part of Marxism was its disdain for religion? And which biblical ethics are we talking about? The few parts where Jesus talks about love and compassion, or the overwhelming majority of the bible promoting rape, murder, genocide and slavery? And thank you for appointing yourself to determine who's a real christian and who's not.
"Obama has been raised a Muslim, in a Muslim school, admiring publicly the Koran's cadences, mothered by a woman who concluded all religions are the same, all gods the same. His relatives are Muslims in Kenya, one being an extremist politician who ran for the Kenyan presidency. When he did not win, carnage was set loose through the entire country."
This is 10% misleading and 90% total bullshit. Raised in a muslim school? Sure, from 1967 to 1971 while in Indonesia, a muslim country, he attended school. Hardy counts as being "raised" there. Raised as a muslim by a woman who taught that all religions and gods are the same? Doesn't sound like muslim teaching to me. Relatives are Muslims in Kenya? Sure, and don't you have "relatives" you've never met somewhere in the world that might have done some nasty things?
"When Obama does quote the Bible, it is usually politically opportunistic, not sincere."(Sound of irony meter exploding) And you know this because... you're a mind reader? And even if it were true, that would put Obama right in there with pretty much any public figure who quotes the Bible.
"Further, Obama works laboriously to erase the Christian heritage to this Republic. He will do everything he can to eliminate Christianity and thereby replace it with secularism. Secularism is his god alongside Allah."
Secularism is his god alongside Allah. So, he hates religion, but reveres Allah. Holy crap, do you even read what you write?
"In his inaugural address, Obama elevated atheism to the level of Christianity. No prior President would have ever thought of doing that."
Yes, by saying that "we are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus, and non-believers." Which is completely true. No president ever thought of that? Jeez, guy, you need to read the Founding Fathers. You'll burst an artery over their outright hostility to the church.
"The age in which we live reads like Noah's rebellious, stubborn, smart aleck clod. It appears we are now inhabiting a world on the verge of the flood, on the cliff edge of God's wrath descending. Hence the swine flu floodwaters increasing."Swine Flu is devine retribution for Obama's election?!? Is that the best you can do? So, god is so pissed about Obama that he starts by killing off a bunch of Mexicans who are probably mostly good Catholics?
I love these people who look around at a world better than any in history, where we are safer, healthier, more prosperous, and more free than ever before, and claim that our acceptance of people's differences is going to bring god's vengeance down upon us. That's no god worth worshipping.
I do think, however, that Mr. Swank should be a little nervous about all the false witness he's been bearing against his neighbor. I hear god put that in his top ten of no-nos.
Added to the Idiot Brigade.
Thursday, April 30, 2009
A Pew Research Center poll indicates that regular churchgoers are more likely than nonreligious Americans to support the torture of terrorist suspects.
So, why would this be? Is it a sort of "let God sort 'em out" attitude? Or simply that regular churchgoers in America tend to be politically conservative? Or is it that when an American Christian thinks about a terrorism suspect, he imagines an Arab in a turban, and thinks God's love doesn't apply? I'm not sure. But I do think it's evidence that the connection between Christian faith and compassionate behavior may, in fact, be an inverse relationship.
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Michele Bachmann has noticed a disturbing link between Democrat presidents and Swine Flu outbreaks:
"I find it interesting that it was back in the 1970s that the swine flu broke out then under another Democrat president Jimmy Carter. And I'm not blaming this on President Obama, I just think it's an interesting coincidence."
Holy crap. She cannot possibly be this stupid, can she? Can she possibly explain the cause of this alleged link? I doubt it. And actually, the earlier Swine Flu outbreak to which she refers began under the Ford administration, not Carter.
Sunday, April 26, 2009
Friday, April 24, 2009
If you want a clear example of the kind of batshit crazy that the religious right is pushing into positions of power, just spend some time with the Wikipedia entry on Michele Bachmann. Don't blindly trust the article itself, check out its cited sources. They're not making this stuff up.
- Holds a degree from Oral Roberts University
- Opposes phasing out incandescent light bulbs, believing that the government has no right to tell consumers what kind of light bulbs they can buy, but favors federal legislation banning online poker
- Claims that homosexuals suffer from sexual dysfunction and sexual identity disorders, and that gays are specifically targeting children
- Believes that evolution is unproven, and that intelligent design should be taught in public schools
- Belongs to a church that believes the Pope is the antichrist, but doesn't have the guts to admit that publicly
- Calls for the investigation of "anti-American" members of the Obama administration, and then, with no sense of irony at all, calls for armed revolution over environmental legislation
- And it just goes on and on and on...
Folks, this is what you get when fundamentalist morons get together in large groups and use their tax-exempt war chests to push their toadies into elected office.
Good god. Here's another one. Michele Bachmann (R-Minnesota) on carbon dioxide and global warming:
"Carbon Dioxide is Natural. It is not harmful. It is part of earth's life cycle. And yet we are being told we have to reduce this natural substance, and reduce the american standard of living, to create an arbitrary reduction in something that is a naturally occurring in the Earth."
Here's a test you can do, Ms. Bachmann, to determine how harmless carbon dioxide is: Take a plastic bag, put it over your head, tie it tightly around your neck, and breathe deeply for, say, 10 minutes. Let me know how that goes for you. Oh, by the way, you're an idiot.
Thanks to Greg Laden's Blog for this.
So, John Boehner (R-Ohio) goes on ABC's This Week, and says the following in response to a question about Republican plans to combat global warming:
"George, the idea that carbon dioxide is a carcinogen that is harmful to our environment is almost comical. Every time we exhale, we exhale carbon dioxide. Every cow in the world, you know, when they do what they do, you’ve got more carbon dioxide. And so I think it’s clear…"Oh, it's clear, all right. Clear that you're an empty-headed moron who slept through all his high school science classes.
- It's not that carbon dioxide is a carcinogen, it's that it's a greenhouse gas. Greenhouse gases trap heat and raise the average temperature of the earth. Has nothing whatsoever to do with cancer.
- I assume you're referring to cows farting, in which case you might be referring to methane, rather than carbon dioxide, but in either case, it's a complete non-sequitur. Animal life produces carbon dioxide, therefore it plays no part in global warming?
Boehner is an idiot.
Over at ThinkProgress.org, there's a post documenting Pat Robertson's idiotic on-air assertion that the report from the Department of Homeland Security, warning of increased recruitment of extreme right-wing groups, was written by someone "whose sexual orientation is somewhat in question." WTF?!? And then, he encourages his listeners to "jam up" the phone lines of the department by calling and complaining. What a pathetic piece of work Robertson is.
"It shows somebody down in the bowels of that organization is either a convinced left winger or somebody whose sexual orientation is somewhat in question. But it's that kind of thing, somebody who doesn't think that we should have abortion on demand, is labeled a terrorist! It's outrageous!"
No, Pat, what's outrageous is that you abuse your freedom of speech, and your organization's tax-exempt status, to spread hate and lies about anybody who doesn't send you money. You're an idiot.
Thanks to Ed Brayton at Dispatches from the Culture Wars for pointing us to this post from The Crossed Pond. A former Navy officer discussing his experiences of discharging gay servicemen and servicewomen under the Don't Ask, Don't Tell policies. He finds himself convinced that discrimination against gays in the armed forces has got to go, with which I agree. Apart from that, I find this section interesting:
"The next one was more disturbing. He was a hard working deck hand, a book worm, a loner, and a fundamentalist Christian. He made the mistake of leaving a moderately erotic drawing of a partially nude male on his rack in his assigned group berthing compartment. Someone took it, reported it, officers questioned him, and then we kicked him out. But along the way, I learned about self loathing. This young man believed he was demon-haunted and devil-tempted. He could resist these urges so long as we stayed in our home port, where he could attend nightly services at his small church, and pray for strength with the handful of other worshippers. But when we left home port, spending weeks at sea where he had no access to his support group, he grew weak, and would seek anonymous sex in the usual hang outs at the first port call. He hated himself. He comes to mind often; I wonder if he ever came to terms with his sexuality, if he still exists in his self imposed purgatory, or if he killed himself. My questions and doubts grew."An example of the damaging effects of a religion that teaches you to hate yourself because of your sexual orientation. A reminder that devout believers can be gay, too. An illustration of how gays can be driven to destructive sexual behavior ("...would seek anonymous sex...") by the fear and self-hatred imposed by their religion.
And I find myself dumbfounded by the fact that he was turned in over having a drawing of a partially nude male in his bunk area. What kind of bigoted asshole turns in a fellow sailor over something as harmless as that? So, the end result is that the "hardworking deck hand" is discharged, while the creep that turned him in stays to make more sailor's lives miserable.
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Control over our food supply is becoming increasingly concentrated in the hands of a few multinational corporations. Check out the links below:
Monday, April 20, 2009
Oh, how I wish I could attend this:
So, here's what gets me: one observable natural phenomenon like weather is evidence of God's design, but a different observable natural phenomenon (evolution) is not? Why do these people insist on keeping God in such a small box?
P.Z. Meyers, over at Pharyngula, makes a great defense of research involving the mixing of human and non-human cell material. Here's the best bit:
- "Look, Hughes, let's face up to reality. You aren't promoting this ban because you have any knowledge of the science; if you knew anything about the subject, you'd know that culturing cells of different species is common. Those cell lines to which George W Bush limited government-funded research? Many of them are grown on beds of mouse feeder cells. We could grow specific human cell lines on human feeder cells, but you'd freak out over that, too. There are gene mapping procedures that use fused rodent/human cells to produce cell lines with partial chromosomal losses. Monoclonal antibodies are made by combining immune system cells with immortalized cancer cell lines. And then there's the ultimate miscegenation: bacterial cells made with copies of human genes, to make human gene products, like insulin. You look old enough that if you aren't diabetic yourself, you probably have friends who are…and they're shooting up the product of a human-non-human hybrid. Are you going to ban those next?"
Click here for the whole post.
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
Iowans really need to get a grip over the gay marriage issue. Now that our state Supreme Court has invalidated the "one man, one woman" law, clearing the road for gay marriage in the state, the usual idiots and bigots (*cough Steve King cough*) are waxing apoplectic about the apocalypse that's sure to result. Oh, spare us, please. Some points to consider at your convenience:
- The ruling by the Iowa Supreme Court was unanimous. Surely you're not going to claim that they're all godless liberal atheists who hate the institution of marriage?
- If you think the supreme court overstepped its authority, and created legislation from the bench, you need a serious refresher in Government 101. Study up on the Separation of Powers and the Equal Protection Clause.
- People calling for a vote on the issue are totally missing the point. Can the people vote to overturn Constitutionally-protected civil rights? Brush up on "tyranny of the majority".
- The arguments being made against gay marriage are identical to those once used to oppose abolition, desegregation and interracial marriage.
- There's no threat here to "traditional marriage". Heterosexuals will go right on getting married at the same rate as before. My marriage is not suddenly meaningless now that gays can do it, too.
- If you're concerned about the Biblical condemnation of homosexuality, you may want to actually read the Bible. All of it. You could probably find 50 things you do that are condemned in there somewhere. You could also find justifications for all sorts of nasty stuff, slavery and genocide to name two.
- And even if the Bible DID condemn homosexuality clearly and unequivocally, so the hell what?!? Biblical pronouncements do not override equal protection under the law.
- If you believe that adherence to the rule of (secular) law will bring the wrath of God down upon the whole nation, maybe you should ponder whether a God like that is really worthy of worship.
- And has anybody considered why government should be in the marriage business at all? Why not let marriage go back to being a religious institution, and stop giving legal and financial perks to certain people as a reward for participating in a religious ritual?
...Isn't Buddhism a religion?
Well, that depends on how you define religion. And even if we decide that it is a religion, that still doesn't excuse it from the burden of rational defense. Additionally, there's the problem of using the term "Buddhism" as if it refers to one monolithic body of teaching. Personally, I think it's not a religion, because it doesn't concern itself with the existence or nature of a supernatural God, and I think core Buddhist teaching defends itself pretty well in the rationality department.
I refer you to this: http://www.buddhanet.net/nutshell03.htm