Tuesday, April 29, 2008

AOTD4 by the revered Dan Savage

Dan's column this week, titled I Want to Marry Someone Younger I've Never Dated. What Do I Do?, features this:

When two dudes get married, the marriage-is-between-one-man-and-one-woman brigades crap their collective pants, vomit up 10,000 press releases, and run in circles screaming about all the hurricanes and earthquakes and unattractive haircuts that Our Loving Father is gonna rain down on our heads if we don't pry Adam off Steve right fucking now.

Well, the one-man-and-one-woman crowd has been strangely silent about this polygamist sect all over the news. It appears that the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints has been organizing marriages/statutory rapes between one man and dozens or more women and/or girls. "Where's the outrage?" writes a reader, which prompted me to go looking for some outrage at the reliably outraged website of Concerned Women for America (cwfa.org). There are more anti-gay-marriage press releases packed onto CWFA's website than there is fudge packed into all the homos in all the Sodoms in all of North America. But there's not one single word that I could find about these straight men in Texas violating the holy and sacred one-man-and-one-woman rule. What gives?
Simply love that man.

AOTD3: ScientologyTube

Scientology: We Can Use YouTube, Too

AOTD2, but first, a parody

Just a Picture of a Baby?

A Tampa, Florida, woman today took a picture of her infant son chewing on his feet, and saw exactly what she'd photographed.

"It really freaked me out," said mother of three Brenda Tosh.

She showed the picture to her brother Abe Sampson, himself a father of two who has taken his share of baby pictures.

"I was expecting to see something cool," said Sampson. "Like a the weeping Holy Mother, crucified Jesus, or maybe the ghost of some Rennaissance-era queen or something." But instead he saw a perfectly normal image of the infant Jason, slobbering on his toes. "As soon as I saw it, I was like, whoa."

Nothing in the photo vaguely resembles any common deity, saint, or anything supernatural. There were no dragonflies in the shot to create a "rod", no reflections to show the spirit of a deceased, nor any water in the background with a blurry image of a sea monster.

Tosh said she also found it strange that when you rotate the picture upside down, "the baby still looks just like a baby, and not like Mother Theresa."

Doctors say the baby looks to be in good health.

Some people are encouraging the mother to print the photo and put it in an frame, but she has not decided wether or not the image is display worthy.

"It just seems so ordinary. I mean, it doesn't even tell me whether I'm going to have a good day, or what lottery numbers I should pick Thursday."

Brother Sampson agreed.

He added that it's been business as usual with the family lately with work, normal weekend activity and school for the kids.

"I guess it's just another day. Weird."

AOTD: Did Jesus Appear In An Ultrasound?

AOTD: Atheists in Uniform

Soldier Sues Army, Saying His Atheism Led to Threats

As staunchly anti-bigotry as I am, I tend to give the armed forces a LITTLE bit of slack. For the hardest job in the world, stationed solidly on a foundation of trust in your fellow soldiers, well...you get a little more time to come up to speed.

Having said that, I DO expect the Army to come around after not too much longer. Hey, they had to let in black people and women, atheists have gotta be next, right?

Thursday, April 24, 2008

First Drafts of the Parables of Jesus

Okay, these are just fucking funny.

AOTD, and a little prayer of thanksgiving

Why Lord, O why dost Thou continue to drop these most excellent articles straight into the lap of Thy detractor? Anyway, thank Thee, Lord, and keep up the good work. Ramen.

Church Group Urges Prayer for Lower Gas Prices. Do we even need to read the article / listen to the audio?

Bonus: An excellent article (I got the link from secularearth.com) entitled "Atheist Faith?". By the way, that's something that annoys the crap out of me...Christians banging on about atheists not having faith. That's kind of the POINT, isn't it? Kind of like criticizing vegetarians for not eating enough meat, really...

Edit: Okay, I just can't stop. Here's another one...Texas is disallowing a Dallas-based organization to offer a master's degree in creationism. Well, there's a point for the Lone Star State!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Ok, the real AOTD: Eroding Evolution in Florida

Senate Passes Evolution Bill

TALLAHASSEE, FL -- Teachers are one step closer being able to openly criticize the theory of evolution in the classroom.

In a vote of 21 to 17, Florida's State Senators adopted the evolution education bill, also known as the "Academic Freedom Act."
I swear, if a bill were written in support of some sort of localized genocide, they'd name it the "Citizens' Freedom of Militant Expression Act".

AOTD: A note from the little guy

Craigslist has a rants and raves section. It apparently attracts the intellectual elite. Enjoy.

Edit: The link isn't working for some reason, so here's the rant in full:

Rant: God & Weather Rave: Me (Highland Park)

Reply to: pers-653921123@craigslist.org
Date: 2008-04-23, 7:49PM CDT

Yeah God, you keep trying to pummel my beautiful gorgeous hot sports car with your bullshit asshole hail, and every time you do, I pull it under something and YOU LOSE. I know you're gonna try again tonight, but you can go suck a fuckin cock you faggy whore.

Monday, April 21, 2008

AOTD: Miracles and Science

Here you go.

I'm not much of a believer in miracles of course, but I'm strangely agnostic on several other subjects (like the supernatural in general). This probably comes from a combination of things: being interested, but not highly educated in the sciences (undergraduate physics really doesn't much count), my background in christianity and foreground in skepticism, and a general love of fiction. It sure WOULD be neat if unicorns existed / there is life after death / I won the lottery.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Manly Men's God

Don't ask me why I'm reading this Christianity Today article, I don't know, entitled "A Jesus for Real Men", but this is amusing to me, a la "Buddy Christ":

The aspect of church that men find least appealing is its conception of Jesus. Driscoll put this bluntly in his sermon "Death by Love" at the 2006 Resurgence theology conference (available at TheResurgence.com). According to Driscoll, "real men" avoid the church because it projects a "Richard Simmons, hippie, queer Christ" that "is no one to live for [and] is no one to die for." Driscoll explains, "Jesus was not a long-haired … effeminate-looking dude"; rather, he had "callused hands and big biceps." This is the sort of Christ men are drawn to—what Driscoll calls "Ultimate Fighting Jesus."
But then of course, it's gotta get scary:
...women believe the purpose of Christianity is to find "a happy relationship with a wonderful man"—Jesus—whereas men recognize God's call to "save the world against impossible odds." Moreover, he claims to have history on his side. While the church was masculine, it fulfilled its purpose. But in the 19th century, women "began remaking the church in their image" (and they continue to do so), which moved the church off course.
Now, this article is dissecting a movement here, but man, that movement sounds scary. Yes, let's save the world from itself. We could start by asking a lot of questions? What could we call this, a Questionarium? No no, how about an Inquisition? Yeah sure, I jumped straight there without bothering to look both ways first, but my underlying point is solid: I fear when anyone with a cause decides to turn their attention to the rest of the world.

AOTD: Porn Pastor (not what you think)

'Porn pastor' brings Jesus to Exxxotica

In short: This pastor goes to porn conventions to hand out bibles. They don't preach while there or hassle anyone, they just hand them out. I got no problem with that.

I STILL have a problem with the idea that porn is bad. So bad, in fact, that it deserves a whole lot of time and effort to counsel people away from it. Is it just that gambling is so much less sexy (metaphorically speaking) that it doesn't deserve the same attention?

Edit: I sometimes forget to think from the point of view of the people I'm writing about. Duh, commandment #whatever, Don't lust after your neighbor's wife. I'm guessing that random women who pose nekkid in magazines or perform sex acts on the internet count. So of course porn is more important to Christians (so to speak) than gambling. Now, to the comments...

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Second Glance at a Podcast

Hm, I remembered giving the Humanist Network News podcast a not-so-stellar review. It's better than I remembered.

I've listened to a few podcasts now, and they're really good. News and interviews with celebs, activists, politicians, etc. Go listen to it, go now.

Their website (http://www.humaniststudies.org/) seems pretty cool to. I'm particularly interested in Education Programs at IHS. But I'm tired now, so I'm gonna go sleep.

A Short Trip to Hate

It's really true that introducing a new idea is very difficult while altering an existing idea is easy.
Look at the IRS as an example. Back when it was formed, there were those who understood this very well, and rallied against us allowing our income to be taxed. The IRS made the point that it was only taking a very tiny percentage so nobody would really miss that money. And they were right. So under that premise, the IRS was formed and as you can see, the concept has changed quite a bit since then. They're not only taking money that you definitely miss, they've got the power to ruin your entire life.

Now let's transfer that to religion. The purpose of religion is to be exclusionary. It's a club where you exclude those who don't agree with you. And once you bite that apple it's really easy to expand your exclusions to all sorts of things/people that have nothing to do with your original intent.

A perfect example is my mother. We were talking this morning about this commercial on the internet we saw last night where this girl's parents ended up eating a cucumber that she had been jacking off with... it's actually pretty funny. And my mom said that they needed to take that kind of stuff off the internet because it feeds child porn. Fucking What? OK, I'll spare you the specifics, but let's just say I handled that in a way that set her straight.

Then we got to talking about child abuse... I'm not sure how exactly, but she said...
"Like there's this guy overhere, he was black of course, who they arrested because he threw he baby up against the wall for crying."

So why is that "of course"? Black people are predisposed to throwing babies? Why, are they shaped like spears or something? I thought they were only predisposed to liking fried chicken. I read that in an encyclopedia. (if you didn't get that, it's a Dave Chapelle routine... just fucking hilarious)...

But now that she's a mega-baptist she's used to excluding all kinds of things. She doesn't like porn on the internet, or people who throw babies, or apparently black people. Now, I happen to know she's not a outright racist, but there's definitely something going on there that wasn't going on before she started going to a country church every sunday. And thinking back, a lot of xtians are racist. And I don't know why because the original intent of their religion is to exclude people who don't believe in God... make that, THEIR God. But nobody is more religious than the coloreds. And they sing really well too. So what do the xtians have against them? Well of course I'm sure it's because they're not like them. Religion is giving them an excuse to hate and now it's much easier because they're already opened their minds to the fact that everybody's not as enlightened as they are. So now it's just a short trip to hating on race, or geography, or dress size, or even how they like their filet mignon or whether they can tell their shrimp fork from their escargot fork.

Star Wars hit it right on the head. When the emperor was trying to get Luke to hit him; to let his anger out. That's all it really takes is to give in to your anger. The rest is fairly easy. Those are some pretty small bridges to have to cross because you've already let your bad side get the best of you. It doesn't change with religion. They've already given in to their bad side, now choosing more people to hate is just a row of cotton away.

So inventing, designing, and building the gun was hard, but pointing it at different people is easy.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

You Poor Fuckers

It never ceases to amaze me what a fabulous con religion is. Here you've got something that you never have to prove and you can makeup the rules as you go along, and even change them at will. And all you've really gotta do is kill some people to prove how serious you are about it and you're in.

I just keep thinking how lost and lonely these people have to be to buy into this shit for so many centuries. What is it you poor fuckers are looking for? I get it to a degree though. Your kid is about to die and you feel like you need to DO something. So not being a doctor, you pray. At least you're out of the way, right? But people don't like to be helpless. Your wife dies, you have to believe that she went to a better place. Nobody wants to think that we're here and we just die and that's it. Perhaps we wouldn't take up so much room with cemetaries if we could come to grips with the fact that we're all just glorified mulch.

So you buy into the bullshit because the cost is too expensive not to. That and you were raised with it and pretty much anything you're raised with is what you're going to stick with. It takes a special kind of thinker to turn their back on something so ingrained as religion. I've had some classes on child abuse (hey, I might as well learn to do it right) and some of the worst atrosities known to man have been committed on children. Kids have been set on fire, beaten, tortured, chained up, molested, ridiculed, and even dismembered by their own parents. And do you know what something like 8 out of 10 of these kids wishes for when asked? They wish they could spend time with their parents. Is that fucked up or what? But if that doesn't tell you something about human nature nothing will.

Religion is abuse... nothing more, nothing less. It hinders everything that is productive in society. And being recently (within the past few yrs) unsaved, I can tell you that the more I go through life now, and the more I read, the more I actually feel like I was abused all these years. I'm actually angry that I was put through all that bullshit for so long. We tend to make fun of people who fall into cults. Cults are evil, cults do nothing but rip you off, cults brainwash you. Hmm, sounds kinda like mainstream religion to me. At this moment I really can't find any real differences between a cult and mainstream religion. There are a couple minor differences in how they deal with their members' families, but that's about it. So as far as I'm concerned, all religions are nothing but a cult of abuse and deceit.

But that's the first step to actual recovery, isn't it? You've got to actually put a name to the offense that was committed against you. And mine is abuse. Religion is abuse and there's no way around it. It's like Stockholm syndrome. They kidnap your senses, your logic, and your freedom of will and get you to thank them for it and even defend them. It's like when they say that children who've been abused grow up with no real sense of fairness. Religion does that to everyone it touches. How else can grown people commit the atrocities that they do and consider it right, and fair? It's all done in the name of religion. So right now I'm coining the term Religious Stockholm Syndrome because that's what we all have whether we admit it or not.

It's a sweet gig if you get get it though. To have that kind of control over that many people has got to just be the bomb. You can decree anything you like, and even fuck anyone you like and as long as you do it in the name of the lord it's all good.
But just think about the whole earthly riches thing. The church actually has people believing that they'll be rewarded in heaven and all they've got to do is give up everything they own now. Give it to the church. So the church can get fat, and the guys who run the church can get fat, but it's better if you suffer. What about them? Wouldn't they want their reward in heaven too? Why do they want theirs now instead of in heaven? Could it possibly be that they know that it's all bullshit and they'd better get theirs now? You can't really blame those poor fuckers though. They've got to believe that their situation is better than it is. Take slaves for example. Why is it that with all the shit that's been heaped on slaves that they're more religious than anyone else? Why is it that the poorest, most starving fuckers on the planet are always the most religious? Because in both cases, they've got nothing else to live for. They've got to believe that they'll come into theirs. It's the rich man's way of making you nothing but poorer and poorer and making sure you're happy about it. Because when you've got the kind of poverty we've had in the world throughout history, you've got to do something to keep them in line. They have to be happy about their situation or you're going to lose your wealth fast. And creating a powerful church with promises of a rich afterlife is just the ticket.

I mean, pretty much any half-decent priest on the planet can piss in their mouths and convince them it's Kool-Aid.


I wish I could find a print online of the Bloom County strip where Opas was to meet his intended mother-in-law for the first time...he practiced several variations on "Madam, may these blossoms be a blessing from the bottom of my bloomers" and so on. So of course when she finally shows up, he just shouts "BLOSSOMS BOSOMS BLOOMERS!"

Anyway, it's what I tend to think of when someone says something about blessing something. Someone told me recently to be blessed. My preschool son says Bless You whenever I sneeze (again, must've picked that up at school. I say Gesundheit.)

Intersting: Bless, "Etymology: Middle English, from Old English blētsian, from blōd blood; from the use of blood in consecration." Somehow I don't think "May God consecrate you with blood!" is nearly as catchy as Bless You. No no great mystery why they don't say that. It'd be a nice rejoinder, though.

- Bless you!
- May God consecrate you with blood, too!
- What??

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

My Fellow Atheist of the Day

Free Mind Joe appears to be a great blog, and this is just great:

But even if the Pope was a buddy to homosexuals, was ordaining women as fast as he could, and was passing out condoms with one hand while harvesting stem cells with the other it is my opinion that he would still be worth a good protest.
Random note: While reading that blog, every time I read "Joseph Ratzinger" I saw "John Ratzenberger". Now, HE'D make a really interesting Pope. "Well ya see, Norm, it's like this. A herd of buffalo can only move as fast as the slowest buffalo..."

Update on religion in the lexicon: Wow.

More email forwards

Sometimes these blogs just write themselves.

You may remember from my March 29 post, "Email Forwards That Make Me Scream", that I nicely asked my sweet young relative Shelly not to forward me Christian schadenfreud emails masquerading as inspirational messages (God is Love, God is Love, God will GET YOU God will GET YOU...)

Today I got another email forward from Shelly's mom, a VERY sweet lady whom I love very much (let's call her Cora). This time it's The Room. You don't have to read it...summary: Right before a kid died he wrote this great essay, which talked about that kid's Heavan being a file room of everything he ever said, did, and thought...a lot of it was bad, he was ashamed, Jesus read everything and paid the debt for his sin.

Anyway, Cora prefaced the email with a short note of tolerance. She wants me to be able to see her perspective. I have no problem whatsoever with this, and I said so. I do have a problem with people practicing Christianity, but I recognize that (within bounds) it's an acceptable lifestyle, and you can be a good person while enjoying the religion of your chioce. There are a number of things that fall within that range for me: I'm not crazy about it, but if you personally can do okay, then okay.

But a few things come out of this for me.

1) I have decided to be more of an evangelical atheist. If my Christian friends and family insist on sending me Christian writings, in an effort to at the very least get me to think about things, there's no reason I shouldn't do the same. I'm not going to be an asshole about it. I'm just going to start RESPONDING when these things come around. I don't know why I've been so timid about speaking my mind before now.

2) To simply reprint part of what I wrote to Cora:

I think this particular email forward illustrates the importance of living a considered life. It's good to be mindful, to remind ourselves of the cumulative effect that little things we do have on ourselves and others. But I disagree with the idea that a person's life is at base a shameful thing. That's one of the big problems I've come to have with a lot of religious teachings; a good many of them say that a person is worthless without Christ. They say that we are sinners, and that's the DEFINITION of a person. "You are BAD, and you should be ASHAMED." No, I think we should be ashamed when we do something really bad, hurt someone (as everyone is bound to do within a lifetime). We should strive to be good people, helpful and considerate, and be justly proud of ourselves when we succeed. That's what I believe.
Hell, there it is again: Be excellent to each other.

3) I'm not going to make a huge deal about this, but I do have to note that several websites point out that the teen in the email, Brian Moore, really did die as noted in the email, but didn't actually write the essay as reported. He plagarized it. This point isn't against Chrstians in particular, but against email forward originators. They'll say freaking ANYTHING to tap the heartstrings and guilt you into strong emotions about...whatever the central message is. It's a common thing: something horrible happened to someone, and we told you about it, so you'd better pay attention to what they did/said/wrote.

Oh and as a side note, I've been slow to catch on: Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed is the movie Richard Dawkins was talking about (story). That's the movie they're talking about that tries to pin the holocaust on atheists (where did I see that reference?) Sounds like fun fodder for the blog, but I'm not paying theatre prices to see it.

Biblical Disasters

We're watching a History Channel show entitled "Biblical Disasters". We got quite a laugh when the first segment ended and the announcer said, "Biblical Disasters will return after this commercial break." Well FUCK THAT, I'm not watching THIS show any more!

Today's Morality

OK, I had a post planned today until I read Faithinate's post. So now I have to stick my nose in.

I'm just going to comment on a couple of the things she said as I read through it on my other monitor.

Illegal drugs:
I'm not sure I'd classify this as immoral because drugs are drugs. It doesn't matter that the current laws classify a drug as illegal or not. You have to realize that when they first came out, every single drug that we control now used to be available for open sale. In the early 1920's (there abouts) you could buy heroin from Sears and Roebuck through the mail. They would send you a bottle of heroin with a fucking needle in a nice little case. I saw a Discovery special on it. Extasy used to be used by therapists to put couples in a cooperative state of mind for their sessions. And on that note, sniffing paint is illegal, but it's not illegal to lock yourself in a room and paint a chair with that same paint. The fumes are still all around you and you're still sniffing it in, but the fact that you're doing it with a chair in front of you makes it legal. But still just as harmful.

And how about abusing legal drugs? Again, drugs are drugs and abuse is abuse. So what about abusing cough syrup or sleeping pills, or even diet pills? Is that covered in the immorality clause?

Excessive Drinking:
Again, not immoral in the least. The fact that drinking causes liver disease is a harmful side-effect of something that's bad for you, but not illegal nor immoral. You can drink as much as you want and the law can't touch you as long as you don't leave your house. So just because something is bad for you that doesn't make it illegal. Look at over-eating. There are some pretty fat fucks out there bloating their fat asses with everything under the sun. Now that causes more health problems than drinking ever thought about, but do you see any xtians rallying against it? Of course not! How about smoking. Sure, it's bad for you, but you don't hear nearly as many of them calling it a sin. Though there are some that do though so ok.

And how about lifting with your back? That's pretty bad for you, but it's not a sin. How about running up so much fucking credit card debt that your entire family will suffer for decades to come? That also seems like it's pretty bad for you and everyone in your house, but no xtians are calling that a sin either. And here's my favorite. What about putting yourself in the fucking poorhouse because you sent some TV preacher fuck all your money? You're definitely harming yourself, but I would be you they don't consider that a sin either.

The bottom line is everything that's bad for you isn't a sin. And everything... and I mean everything... is bad for you if you use it in excess or in the wrong way.

Sex Stuff:
Yeah, as far as the sex stuff goes, I agree with Faithinate. You fuckers need to get over yourselves. Fuck all of you tightass fucks and quit telling me where to put my cock. If I want to rub all the skin off of it with my own hand that's my business. If I want to abuse the extremely expensive free-range organic chicken I bought at the treehugger store, that's my business. If I want to stick it in some guy's loving asshole and pump away until we're both grinning from ear to ear, then that's my business. And if I want to turn off the lights, pull the covers up over my head and take my wife as quickly as possible so we can both just get it over with (catholic reference there), then that's my business too. Just stop being so concerned with who everyone else is fucking and mind your own backyard.

Yeah, this is a tough one even for athiests. However, I'll point you to a cool article I found last night. Here it is. But it's bullshit like this that's going to put us behind in the stem cell race. There are other countries doing more with stem cells than we are because Bush, that fake xtian hypocrit fuck, has allowed the other fake xtian hypocrit fucks to tell him what to do so it's mostly banned. They're trying to throw us into another dark age and we're letting them. Yeah, let's throw away science and go back to prayer and see what happens. Ignorant pricks!

I think everyone knows my views on foul language so I won't go into it. But laws and morality don't always match-up. Morality looks to concern itself with your personal dealings, while the law concerns itself with your public dealings... making sure that you don't step on anyone else while you're doing your own thing. But it's not considered less moral to keep your fucking nose out of other people's business when it doesn't concern you. And believe me, you don't want my cock to be your concern. Cock.

Boy do I feel better!

Monday, April 14, 2008


I think I can second SurferJesus' contention that most (if not all) morality really can boil down to, Be excellent to each other.

I'm reading up on some Christian viewpoints of atheism, and I stumbled across a gem on Conservapedia:

In regards to atheism and morality, the Barna Group also found that those who hold to the worldviews of atheism or agnosticism in America were more likely, than theists in America, to look upon the following behaviors as morally acceptable: illegal drug use; excessive drinking; sexual relationships outside of marriage; abortion; cohabitating with someone of opposite sex outside of marriage; obscene language; gambling; pornography and obscene sexual behavior; and engaging in homosexuality/bisexuality.
First off, "The Barna Group conducts opinion polls, which are generally interpreted from an evangelical perspective, and often cited within evangelical circles." Well duh, of course we're gonna use research from a sympathetic firm. But let's talk here anyway...

  • illegal drug use - okay sure, on the surface doing something illegal can be considered immoral simply because you're supposed to follow the laws period. Social cohesiveness and all. But if we ignore the obvious - hey, just because it's a law doesn't mean it's a moral matter - we can probably agree that most illegal drugs are bad, mm'kay?

  • excessive drinking - it's unhealthy, and can be dangerous when mixed with youth, bad judgement, cars, Kennedys, etc etc etc. But actually immoral on its own? Sure, why not, we'll give you that one.

  • sexual relationships outside of marriage - now hang on a minute! Who the hell said (besides the Christians) that the Christians are the gatekeepers of morality? We can easily agree that murder is bad, because, well, nobody wants to be murdered. Murder is NOT excellence to the victim. But sexual relationships outside of marriage are (a) consentual, and therefore victimless, but also (b) quite excellent to each other, provided you're doing it right.

  • abortion - I get that this one's debatable, within and without religion.

  • cohabitating with someone of opposite sex outside of marriage - I know you seperated the two with "abortion", but why don't we just lump cohabitating with premarital sex? And while you're at it, quit trying to church it up...it's LIVING TOGETHER. Cohabitating, indeed.

  • obscene language - WTF? F-bombs are immoral? And don't try to make the argument that I don't swear around my kids, so it's bad...I don't fuck my husband or take a dump around my kids either, and Christians don't think those things are immoral. This is an entirely seperate post (of the FUTURE), so we'll leave it for now.

  • gambling - again, you're the one saying that gambling is immoral. I think it's odd to make up your own rules, then try to pull GOTCHA! on people when they aren't playing along. Exclusionary Calvinball.

  • pornography and obscene sexual behavior - again, legal porn is pretty victimless. The participants are consentual, the consumers are happy. Why is touching your private parts in private, immoral? As for obscene sexual behavior, well now well now...it depends on what we're talking about. Anything consentual with above age partner or partners isn't immoral, for the same reson that nonmarital sex is okee dokee.

  • engaging in homosexuality/bisexuality - see all the sex talk above.

I realize I'm proving their point. But there's an assumption here that needs to be put to words: These things are bad, atheists tend think they're not, so atheists are bad. It's a given, like god is a given. I know, I know, they HAVE to think that way, just like I have to think that knowledge is good. It just pisses me off that they think EVERYONE has to think that way.

I dunno, I've got my own point of view too, and I'm pretty militant about it. I think the difference is that you can try and argue that I'm immoral for supporting homosexuality, but I can PROVE that you're stupid for supporting Intelligent Design. And the talking snake thing. And so on.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Thinking About Atheist Jewelry

I've been very busy the past couple of weeks while changing clients. My current coworkers seem initially far less religious than my last group.

For some reason I got to thinking recently about how lots of Christians wear cross or crucifix pendants around their necks that just happen to pop outside their shirts all the time and naturally imagined the opposite, so I'm looking at jewelry online and considering buying a Darwin fish, Flying Spaghetti Monster or other such emblem to wear around my neck and see what kind of response I get. Hey, if the Christians can be subversively evangelical, why can't I?

I'm actually concerned about how different clients might react, so I doubt I'll have the cojones to wear it to most client sites I visit.

God's Favorite Country

The one thing (yes, only one) that really gets to me is how fast the religion model breaks down when you think about what it really means.

Since xtianity doesn't have the concept of multiple lives (modern xtianity doesn't anyway), you're pretty much stuck with the life you have and whatever afterlife you put yourself in by your belief in God.
The problem really comes when you look at the sad state of some countries. America is truly rich no matter how you look at it, and some other countries really aren't... no matter how you look at it. You don't have to go any further than say Africa (I know that's not a country, but I'm making a point here) to see just how poor and miserable the human condition can get.

So why are some people born in these horrible conditions while others like us are born privileged? And you really have to agree that pretty much everyone in America is extremely privileged compared to everyone else on the planet. Anyway though...

The usual xtian explanation for misery and happiness is that God is either punishing us for something or rewarding us for something. If something goes wrong in your life, it's probably either because you've done something wrong, or because you're being tested.

And since xtians don't believe in past lives, then where does that leave us? Why are some of us born to live in excellent conditions and the rest are left to suffer their whole lives? Why does God choose to put some of us here and others of us there? It makes no sense whatsoever. Since you haven't even been born yet, you couldn't possibly have done anything so what are you being punished for? And since there's nothing around you and no way to change your situation, then you're not being tested because the only way to test someone is to give them an out to their situation that they can achieve once they meet some specified condition. And in places like Africa that just isn't the case. So there's no way people in Africa are being tested.

And why me? Why do I get lucky enough to be in America? What makes me so special? Am I just lucky enough to have nobody in my family tree to have ever taken it up the ass so there's nothing to punish me for? Does that mean that everyone in Africa is being punished for the anal sins of their ancestors? Bullshit.

So the whole model breaks down pretty fast when you really think about it. Being born in a good country is definitely luck. We all could have just as easily been born in Bosnia or Pakistan. And it has nothing to do with God because that argument can't carry very far at all.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Dan Savage's mother died

So sorry, Dan.

If you don't read Dan, you should. He wrote a lovely eulogy, no, thank you note to his mother in this week's column.

But I posted about it here to note that I've never heard of PFLAG ("Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays"). I'm always pleased to hear of organizations in support of badly maligned groups, so here's PFLAG's shout-out from us here at the GD.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

AOTD: Principal defends teacher's sexuality remarks

Article here.

A sex ed teacher decided to tell her students that yes, she is indeed gay, so quit asking. Good for her. Double and triple good on the principle for backing her up.

Before classes began that day, Rowe sent an e-mail to her colleagues at South, telling them of her plan to notify her students she was gay.

"I am doing this because I want to live more authentically and be an example of someone happy and healthy for youth faced with sexual orientation issues within their family or beyond," she wrote.
GOOD FOR YOU! Major applause. I also give major respec' to the article author, Christena T. O'Brien, for making the article about the teacher, students, and principles, and not about the religious groups that (I'm sure) are raising hell about this. Not one single mention of Christians, church, god, nothing. Wow. Wow-wow-wow. Give that woman a raise, a Pulitzer, and a day in the sun.

Or to put it like the old Budweiser ads, You go, Mrs. Who-Give-a-Crap-What-the-Christians-Think-of-This!

Pokeman Bible

OK, so I've been going through some of the xtian blogs today and what a fucking beating. And the ridiculousness of it all always just makes me laugh.

I've always thought of the bible as the same as say those Pokeman competitions they used to have. All these people gathering together to demonstrate their knowledge of these mythical creatures and what does it really matter whether someone knows that a peekachu is or how long it lives, etc?

So when I see these xtians arguing over whether someone follows the 'REAL' teaching of their religion it just seems like Pokeman to me. Who cares how many useless facts about God or the bible you can memorize. It's all made up anyway. And Pokeman is actually much better than the bible because there's only one version of it so whatever you bother to learn is actually the truth in that world because it's the only source. You can memorize and learn anything you like in religion and depending on who you talk to you'll still be wrong more often than not. And you can't prove anything anyway so what's really the big deal?
I just love it when these guys get on there all pious and start claiming that someone doesn't know the real teachings. What a fucking joke. Oh yeah, well that's not how long peanut butter dragons live, they live for 2500yrs, not 300. You're stupid.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

My Other Tangent

In my other post I got off on a tangent and forgot my original point.
It was simply that my ex (the mega-xtian) let's my daughter see all kinds of movies that are way too old for her.

I think it's funny that she's the one who's morally superior and I'm the one who doesn't want to corrupt the kid. However, I suppose that she has better insight into morality than I do and any time I do something right it's either by chance or through her influence.

What the fuck ever.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

A Glance at Some Atheist Podcasts

I'm a big fan of the podcast concept, and I currently have, let's see...99 casts from 22 casters on my computer (only 7 are subscribed, the rest are on a trial basis). So this week I thought, oh hey! I bet there are atheist podcasts out there too! And yes, there are. Here are a few I downloaded and tried out:

  • Atheist Nation - From what I can tell, it's a couple of high school kids doing their very best to sound intelligent. I'm sure it's thought provoking for high school kids, but it's not for me. The reviews on iTunes say the same.
  • Atheist Viewpoint from American Atheists - Can I just say I can't STAND podcasts that take forever to get started?? On the cast I heard (#592), these guys had a full 67 seconds of music before leadoff. These guys talk atheist and religious news. It was okay, better than Atheist Nation, but still not for me. Very long and drawn out, not terribly well put together, iffy production values, and did I say rambling?
  • The Better Atheist - This podcast gets RIGHT to the point, and I love that. The casts seem okay, but I haven't made it through one yet. Plus, there are only four out that I can see, two from early last year.
  • Ex-Christian Monologues - This is put out by Dave, the webmaster of http://exchristian.net I'll take a closer look at this site later. This show has high ratings, and on brief inspection seems to be the kind of show I'd like. I'll stick with it.
  • Godless Heathen - I haven't been able to download it, I keep getting an error. I like their website (http://www.modernatheist.com/) slogan "A gathering place for those immune to the religious disease". Sounds very promising, eh?
  • Humanist Network News - Oh sure, it doesn't SAY "atheist", but here: "The Institute for Humanist Studies (IHS) promotes humanism, a nonreligious philosophy based on reason and compassion." What I heard sounds pretty promising. Intelligent conversation, done up like radio (in segments). Website is http://www.humaniststudies.org/
  • Scientific Atheism - The episode I heard (#2) starts with a commercial, which is fine by me, then a looong intro (1 min, apparently caged from The Hulk). THEN a long clip from Fight Club, which would be fine, but you just spent 2 1/2 minutes on random crap. This guy has a voice distorter, which is also fine. But OH MY GOD WITH THE "UM"S. You can't Um your way through a podcast, you just can't. I skipped ahead to the middle, and the background music and the pauses and Ums continued to kill me. I can't give it a fair shake. In my defense, this also got horrible reviews.

So there you go, three out of seven ain't bad.

AOTD: This one's a humdinger

Commissioner warns of homosexual "social and sexual agenda"

In essence, a gay/lesbian group has organized a little event to draw attention to the harassment and bullying to which gay/lesbian students are subject. And some district commissioner is opposed because "no group of citizens should be given government sanction and support to promote their social and sexual agenda upon the rest of us and especially, on our children."

From the Christian point of view, being gay is like being a meth user. It's something you choose, something you can overcome if you want to and work at it, and it's horrifically bad for you. Oh, and it's really, really attractive to your poor innocent children. Reefer Madness comes to mind here.

Okay, let's leave aside here the question of whether you choose to be gay or not (xtians say yes, I say no way). How petulant, how very 3 year old of him (/them, because many xtians would agree I think), to say "I don't give a shit that my precious little snowflake is beating up your little fag...we don't want to SANCTION that kind of SINFUL LIFE". You are in essence saying that gay kids deserve to get beaten up and harrassed.

Am I the only one who remembers how hard it was to be a kid? And I wasn't even gay, or black, or anything particularly targeted. (Being a geek doesn't much count.)

And he makes a particular point that the school won't allow a "moment of silence for God". Um, dude? Teach your kids to pray all day long, every hour on the hour and extra at mealtimes. God doesn't need awareness of Him raised in school, that's your job.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Who Gets the Credit for Prayer?

OK, I was kinda busy last week so I didn't get a change to post as much as I would have liked, but I'm hopefully back now.

I was talking to my daughter (9yrs) on the way to school this morning and she busts out with "Now, I know you think this is stupid, but I did what my mom said and prayed."
I said, "Honey, you don't have to justify anything to me. You can do whatever you want and make your own decisions. It's ok to pray or not to pray (notice I didn't split my infinitive?)".

Then I said... but just do me one favor while you pray. just keep tabs for yourself on how often it works. You don't ever have to tell me what you decide, but for yourself, just keep track of whether your prayers get answered.

She said she would.

And I said. OK, because here's the main problem I have with prayer... God always scoops in and takes the credit for normal events. OK, he's given the credit by xtians, but there's no reason he shouldn't take it. He does so little in the world that I'm sure he could use the P.R. Anyway... I told her my main problem with prayer is that God gets the credit for normal events. Then I gave what I believe to be one of the best examples EVER. Here it is...

I said, so you probably want your mother and me to stop fighting, right? She said yes. I said, ok, so do you think we'll probably fight all through your high school career because we both want you to live with us? She said yes. I said OK, so do you think that after you graduate we'll still fight? Because we won't have any cause to deal with each other anymore and you'll be an adult so there won't be any reason for us to fight will there. She agreed. So after you graduate we probably won't fight anymore if for no other reason, we won't be forced to deal with each other anymore, right? She said yes.

OK, so let's say you pray for us to stop fighting and God ignores your prayers for years for whatever lame reason those assholes always give like he's testing you, or he wants to see how much you really want it, or you're being punished for whatever... etc, etc, etc. But then, one day, you graduate and we stop fighting and God chooses right then to answer your prayer. Gee, that's pretty convenient timing don't you think? But that's how prayer ALWAYS goes. God completely ignores you until the situation naturally changes and then when the work is done, he gets the credit. That is unless it's all part of his plan to begin with. To allow you to get out of high school and pass all of your tests just so that he can answer your prayer in 10yrs instead of doing it while it could actually do you some good. Because when you're an adult it won't really matter anymore.

Anyway, I don't blame her. She's trying things out. She's being told that God is everything and that he answers prayer so she's giving it a try. We've all done it. That's how we all know it's bullshit. When I was a kid I prayed for things for years and they never even came close to true. Then years after I was an adult and denounced God, they finally happened. Maybe God cares for me even still. Or maybe, just maybe, he's just trying to take the credit for a natural event.

So after that uplifting talk with my daughter, I decided to call and start a fight with my mom. She's not equipped to discuss religion as she's never read anything other than the bible, and I'd be surprised if she's ever even read much of that. She's just listens to her preacher man and brings the potato salad.

So I devised another perfect situation that I'm rather proud of. After explaining the impossibility that prayer would help my daughter in the above situation, I gave her a scenario for her to think about on her own. But that's how you do it right? You lead them one step at a time until they're in a corner and they can't back out and start claiming God. Because I got her to agree that my daughter would graduate and that we probably wouldn't fight after that because there was no need to. She agrees that all of that is destined to happen. It's a logical progression that anyone can see. Then I said, ok, so if she prays all of these years for us to stop fighting, and it finally happens when she graduates, did God answer the prayer or was it a natural course of events? And of course her head spins and the fallicy of prayer smacks her in the face, but she can't admit it so she just says 'whatever'.

Anyway, that's not her situation, this is...

So my daughter, like many other divorced kids, wants me and her mother to get back together. And she probably prays for it too. So I asked my mother if God was going to answer that prayer. She said "NO". I said why not? She said, "Because you and your wife are perfect together. You're made for each other. And you hate your ex."

Ahhh... so there's the problem right? I asked her...How do you know God isn't just testing our love for each other and will eventually bring us back together?

She said, Because there's no love there. You have to have love there to begin with.

I said, but wouldn't God put love there if he wantes us to be together for our daughter's sake?

No, it wouldn't happen because you're perfect for your current wife. It couldn't happen.

I said, So you're telling me now that you know exactly what God's plan is and you know for a fact that he's not going to put us back together. (you have to understand how much my mom hates my ex)

She said, No, because God wouldn't split you up from your wife. You guys are perfect together and he wouldn't do that to those little boys.

I said, Oh, I see... so God will kill millions of his chosen people (through Hitler), but he refuses to break up a marriage and make a couple little sad for a few years? He'll let innocent children get hit by cars or molested and dismembered but he won't break up a marriage? What the fuck?

She said, but you guys are perfect for each other and God wouldn't do that. Those boys would be destroyed and he wouldn't hurt a child like that.

I said, But he did it to my daughter! He broke me and her mother up and she was innocent and she's still suffering. Why wouldn't he do it to my boys too?

Anyway, it just went on and on like that for a while and went nowhere further. It's pathetic the lack of reason xtians display when faced with real logic. And not really all that complicated logic either... And mind you, she's not really equipped to deal with such things, but no xtian is. She's in good company. Bad logic is always bad and no amount of spin doctoring can make it work. You may be able to confuse people for a while, but eventually things will come to light.
This is the same logic that allows judges to award a settlement to a burglar who hurts himself in your home while breaking in. There's no amount of logic that can allow that to be right, yet it happens. But any sane person reading the ruling would be enraged at his lack of logic.

And that's the problem with religion. They not only only take credit for natural events they fuck you up and convince you that they're really helping you. You can't punch someone in the stomach and call it a massage.

Anyway, that's all I've got today.

Bonus Article of the Day (Yesterday)

We bash Christianity a lot here, let's give some of the other kids a chance to play. Health Insuarance illegal: Islamic body

Funny, I'm currently reading in The God Delusion how religion encourages ignorance. God thrives in the gaps [of scientific knowledge], to paraphrase Dawkins. Here we go you one better!

Article of the Day: Sun is Hot, Water Wet

Kids' Dress-Up Day Draws Christian Ire

Really? Something made a Christian talk radio show mad? Boy, am I suprised.

"We believe it's the wrong message to send to elementary students," said Jim Schneider, the network's program director.
Um, allowing kids to dress up as part of Wacky Week is hardly an endorsement of crossdressing. And even if it were, why do Christians think you can "turn" kids? It takes a good solid brainwashing to get them to be Christian; the occasional glance in the direction of alternative lifestyles is hardly going to make a bunch of fifth graders into raging homos. (Yes, I recognize that crossdressing and homosexuality are two completely seperate things.)

Humorous Pictures

By the way, I get most of my news from Fark.com. I would just like to note and applaud their Spaghetti Monster references:
You may wonder just how a girl would get her bellybutton ring stuck in her nose. After reading this article, you still will. But by FSM, she did

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Article of the Day: Reasons to Become an Atheist

Uncyclopedia article on Reasons to become an atheist, including:

...you'll get to believe this stuff!
...you'll have a worldview that is scientifically supported by scientific science! Scientifically!!
...you'll get to believe that fishes can have monkey eggs!
...that there isn't a omniscient God that loves us yet creates some of us knowing we will fail him and go to Hell for eternity. Is that Love? Who wrote this shit?
I love the warning: "This page may contain blasphemy. You can help it by burning in Hades."

Saturday, April 5, 2008

YouTube Vid of the Day: Nice "Gambling on God"

He makes a few points I've heard before in ways I haven't heard before.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Article of the Day: Suicide Machine

German suicide machine.

Now, why exactly do you make it illegal for me to decide when I get to end my life? Help me out here guys, is this the domain of the religious, or are there atheists who get in a twist to say that think you shouldn't have control over your death?

Thursday, April 3, 2008

I Bitch, Therefore I Am

God has prevented me from posting lately because of those damn gays and abortionists. He also made a bird poop on my car. Man, those gay people and family doctors piss me off. See what they made God do?

Or, perhaps I've just been busy. Either way, I'll get back on the ball sooner or later.

Oh, a coworker gave me one of those little church booklets today. I haven't read it yet. Something about "the greatest gift". I'm sure there's a lot of Jesus death in it. I wonder if it'll be the good-person-burns-in-hell types or something more endearing? I haven't thrown it away yet thinking I may make fun of it here, but I'm not in the mood to open it now.

Nother article of the day: McCain


Good and Bad

We made the Atheist Blogroll, yay!

Faithinate does not like the flu, boo.

Everyone else, have a lovely day.

Edit: You knew I couldn't leave it there, didn't you? Article of the day is a follow-up to the Spaghetti Monster article from, what, yesterday.

In spite of their best efforts to appear as the objective, rational party, those opposed to Intelligent Design and the influence of religion upon the state have shown themselves to not be so “neutral” after all.
Well whoever started trying, or claiming, to be objective in the Spaghetti Monster movement is just being silly. The whole point of it is to be nonobjective, to take a (rather lighthearted) stand against the foolish "reasoning" behind support for Creative Design. Anyone in any group that has anything to do with religion or atheism is taking a personal stand based on his/her opinions, and that's the opposite of neutral.

The original stated intent was "to represent the discourse between people of all different beliefs". The writer of today's article/editorial takes offense to the idea that nonXians would want to "mock or belittle" Christians. Back to Dawkins again, who questions WHY religion is sacrosanct...why are we forbidden from criticizing religion, when nearly ALL religious people do is bash sinners, atheists, homosexuals, feminists, liberals, and essentially anyone who doesn't go to THIS church and tithe to it.

Now I get the idea that the TN government shouldn't necessarily participate in this back and forth, but let's be fair: they ARE the ones that put the statue of Jesus carrying the cross on their front lawn.

Interesting side note that I know a lot of people have made before. Jesus is their hero, partly because he's such a good guy but mostly because he died, thus enabling all the faithful to get into Heavan. But why on EARTH do we have to harp on about the cross? Sir William Wallace was/is a hero to the Scots, but you don't see them displaying pictures of the man being drawn and quartered, or wearing hangman's noose pendants. The crucifix is even more morbid than we, who've been desensitized, even recognize. Anyway.

The point is that I think the Spaghetti Monster statue should (and has) do as intended. It's promoted discourse on religious differences. And as a bonus, it leveled the playing field a bit. Or at least the front lawn of that TN courthouse.

"The spaghetti monster unveils the secular myth of neutrality when it comes to politics." May I say again that I certainly never claimed to be neutral? Did you? Okay, who claimed neutrality... It isn't the goal here. Certainly religious folk wouldn't claim to strive to be neutral on any of a number of issues, e.g. abortion, gay rights and so forth. So accusing people of not being neutral in the context of religious debate and free speech isn't much of an insult. "Oh yeah?? Your eyes are BLUE, HAH!" Ummmmmkay.

Why Religion Exists

I've been reading Dawkins lately and he's talking about why religion exists from a Darwinian perspective. He says that nature doesn't allow anything that doesn't further the species so religion has to have had a reason otherwise it would have been thrown out.
I can't say that I entirely agree with that. As a higher species we can get away with things that others can't. I seriously doubt that football or spas have much to do with survival.
I saw this show on Discovery once talking about this very thing. Not in the sense of religion though, but still. They said that early on in our species we were special not necessarily because we could stand upright (though that's pretty cool), and not because we noticed things like wind, rain, death, etc... but that we were the first ones to ask 'why'. And it seems to me that without any knowledge of science or even the capacity to understand it yet, religion is a logical byproduct of such a question. Being the egocentric creatures that we are, it always seems like everything is happening directly to us. It's always about us personally. We're really very selfish that way. So there's no reason for early man not to believe that the storm came because of something he did. It's really quite simple in my mind. Now, maybe I'm simple and stupid and I just don't get it. I don't know. But when ignorant people start asking questions that they can't even hope to find answers to, there's no other answer than someone up there controlling it. And when someone dies, that same someone did it and has a plan.

Now, as the centuries grew, so did our knowledge and our social structure. And several people saw the direct benefit of continuing this farce because they saw how well it controls the masses (no pun necessarily intended). It's really that simple. Religion is for controlling people. And in these religions, God concerns himself with things that no god would truly be concerned with. Whether a girl licks another girl's pussy, or whether some celebrity is a fag or not. Funny, God doesn't mind that Brittney Spears runs all over town doing everything but taking care of her kids, but if her tongue touches another girl's, then he's gonna rip an entire city to shreds to teach her a lesson. Or bring down a couple buildings maybe. If there were a God how do we know that Katrina happened because of fags and lezbos? Maybe he was punishing a local college football team for losing, or an insurance company for charging too much, or a surgeon for killing his patient. Or maybe he was punishing the city planners for ignoring the levy situation. Of all the things for a god to concern himself with, why does he care so much where I put my tongue? He doesn't.

So I don't necessarily agree with Dawkins on this one. We asked why, and we answered it as best we could. It's really that simple. If you wan't a Darwinian answer for it, we're curious beings. Our minds need to stay active. I think that was something else that came out of my discovery special. Our minds need to stay occupied to be healthy. So maybe asking why and thinking about the answer just gave us something to do in an environment with such a lack of intellectual stimulation. It gave us something to think about while hunting, making food, building shelter, etc.

And since I only said pussy once, here it is again: Pussy.
And cock.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Articles of the Day: I'm SO HAPPY

First: Flying Spaghetti Monster Lands Outside Tennessee Courthouse As they said on Fark, Ramen. Ironically, I'm about to finish my lunchtime plate of spaghetti. I have GOT to get hold of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster Bible... And, bonus:

The Flying Spaghetti Monster sits alongside an Iraq war memorial, chainsaw-carved monkeys and a sculpture of Jesus carrying a cross.
DOUBLE BONUS!! FSM car emblem!!

Next up: "Saudi king: Let's get Arabs, Jews and Christians together in Riyadh and peacefully talk about God. Saudi top religious figure: Sure,but not Jews"