Friday, July 30, 2010

Sharron Angle: Comparing Rape to Lemons and Lemonade

So we already knew that Sharron Angle has some pretty fucked-up super-conservative opinions about abortion. Well, here's some more of the same, in case you weren't sure. In a radio interview last month, she took on the issue of rape, and even specifically incestuous rape resulting in pregnancy, refusing to back down from her hard-line stance even in such an awful situation.

"I think that two wrongs don’t make a right. And I have been in the situation of counseling young girls, not 13 but 15, who have had very at risk, difficult pregnancies. And my counsel was to look for some alternatives, which they did. And they found that they had made what was really a lemon situation into lemonade."

Really? That's how it is? Being a teenager, raped and then forced to carry a baby you didn't want, plan, or even know what the father's genetic contributions are (or worse, know that they're your father's), is akin to making lemonade? Well sign me up, because I fucking love lemonade!

Heartless bitch. Obviously she has no compassion, or common sense. And hopefully voters will be so disgusted by her lack of concern for other women that they keep her out of the Senate. 

Angle: Rape victims should use their pregnancies as a way to turn lemons into lemonade.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Operation Enslave America

Operation Rescue/Save America was having a convention in Charlotte, NC this past week. During the week, their festivities consisted of protesting abortion clinics, Planned Parenthood offices, and at least one other anti-choice church because, you know, they aren’t against abortion enough.

The group snarled traffic and made people sick with their vile pictures of aborted fetuses. The set up shop outside of a Chick-Fil-A, dressed as cows, and marched around with pictures of aborted fetuses (To their credit, Chick-Fil-A denounced the group, which I don't believe for a minute). I have heard numerous stories of people going to eat lunch, only to be confronted with the disgusting pictures. One person was having a business lunch and was called a “fornicator”, for what reason I am not sure.

I wonder how effective these actions are. From what I gathered from talking to different people around the city, all this group did was infuriate passers-by with their ridiculous material and basically make themselves look like a group of morons, which they are. These people are operating on, you guessed it, a religious code that has no place in today’s society.

I hate that these groups are called “pro-life”. They are anything but “pro-life”. What they are in favor of is taking away a woman’s right to choose what goes on with her body. Groups like OSA are not interested in circumstances surrounding a pregnancy or health issue because of a pregnancy. This is a common thread that most conservative Christian people share. In their eyes, there is no gray area; there is no room for context or circumstances. If a 9 year old girl was raped by a relative and became pregnant, then she would be forced into carrying the child to term, if that was possible without the death of the mother of the fetus, if OSA had their way. What about the people who practice safe sex, but still get pregnant? I guess that they should have gone against all human nature and not had sex in the first place.

I cannot stomach the thought of these groups calling themselves “pro-life”. Anecdotally speaking, these people are generally in favor of the death penalty, the war, and giant military spending. There is a lot of crossover between these groups and other religiously fanatic groups like the Tea Party or militia groups. What have they contributed to society other than civil unrest? In the words of Jim (and I am paraphrasing): “How many of them have adopted or fostered children? None that I have seen.”

These groups exist for one purpose: to impose their belief structure on everyone else. They are no different than al-Qaeda. I would go as far as to call them part of the American Taliban. The pictures that these hypocrites hold up do not further their cause, they only annoy the people whom they are trying to appeal to. The spread lies about abortion and expect to go unchallenged. These groups should be called by the names that fit them best: Fascists. Hate-mongers. Anti-life. Anti-choice.

Abortion rights are a major achievement for women. If these rights were repealed, then women would be forced to find other means to terminate an unwanted pregnancy. These groups are trying their hardest to drag us, as a nation, back to the dark ages where women would drink poison or use an array of objects to perform an abortion that could end up seriously injuring or killing the mother in the process. I am sure that members of the OSA would have no problem with that. I guess the women would be getting what they deserved.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

You Can't Wear That Here

Have you ever talked to a religious person and had them look at you like you are crazy when you tell them that all religions are the same? Me too. I usually tell them that they are all wrapped up in crazy with fundamentalist nonsense and the same rules universally apply when it comes to things like sexuality.

Well, the Vatican has now formally banned what they call “inappropriate attire” while in the “country.”
“The new decree, particularly targeting those in shorts and shoulder-revealing shirts, sent several tourists trudging off to local stores to buy shawls, scarves, and pairs of trousers.”
Oh no! Shoulder-revealing shirts and shorts! The next thing you know, people while be showing their *gasp* ankles! This could be a generous move for a “country” that is largely a tourist trap. Think about it, they could just set up a store right outside of the gates to the “country” selling clothing approved by the Pontiff himself. Economic stimulation, baby!

It is lovely how a group of people who dress in night gowns are in the business of telling people what is “appropriate attire.” Maybe the Pope should decree that metal clamps be put on the genitalia of the inhabitants of the Vatican to stop them from raping children. Just a thought.

Only A Matter Of Time

Professional crazy man Mel Gibson is trying to show remorse for his crazy, racist, womanizing ways by throwing himself back in to his crazy, racist, womanizing church.
"Mel Gibson built the church in 2003 and its daily mass follows the actor’s “traditionalist views.” According to reports, mass is performed in Latin and women must wear head coverings.”
This sounds a lot like Islam, just in a different language. This is a pattern that we see a lot with public figures like Tiger Woods throwing himself back into Buddhism or any of the multitude of political figures who have sex with men, then throw themselves back into church.

I am waiting for an atheist to get caught doing something just to have him/her say “Yeah, now I am going to fully devote myself to atheism.”

Monday, July 26, 2010

Islam In TN? Not For This Guy.

Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey (R, TN.) has a new interpretation of the First Amendment. His problem isn’t really a problem for him, just all of the Muslims in this country. The Lt. Gov. doesn’t think that Islam is protected by the First Amendment because he doesn’t see Islam as a religion. I’ll let him explain his position.
"Now, you could even argue whether being a Muslim is actually a religion, or is it a nationality, way of life, cult whatever you want to call it," Ramsey said. "Now certainly we do protect our religions, but at the same time this is something we are going to have to face."
No, no you can’t argue that. Islam is a religion. It is as much as a religion as Christianity, with the same ridiculous trappings, séances, rituals, and dogmatic beliefs. It is not a nationality. I would agree that it is a cult, just like I agree that Christianity, Judaism, and Hinduism are cults. What the Lt. Gov. is saying is that “Now certainly we do protect our religions, as long as we are defining the term “religions” as the separate denominations of Christianity. And the Jews can practice too, I guess.”

The idiocy spewing out of Tennessee is undoubtedly the result of the plan to build a Muslim community center in Murfreesboro, TN. The town already has a mosque, so the issue revolves around the community center.
"Now, you know, I'm all about freedom of religion. I value the First Amendment as much as I value the Second Amendment as much as I value the Tenth Amendment and on and on and on," he said. "But you cross the line when they try to start bringing Sharia Law here to the state of Tennessee -- to the United States. We live under our Constitution and they live under our Constitution."
You know, I actually agree with the Lt. Gov. here. If Muslims are trying to impose Sharia Law onto anyone living in the US, then they should themselves be jailed for trying to subvert the Constitution. The same goes for any Christian or Jewish group that would attempt to impose the Ten Commandments as the law of the land. So yes, if that were happening, I would support the Lt. Gov. in his fight against Sharia Law.

One problem with this is that there is no indication that this community center is going to become the seat of the Great Sharia Court of Murfreesboro, TN. The First Amendment allows anyone to practice their religion. That freedom stops (supposedly) when it begins to interfere with the constitutional rights of others. Just as Christians are allowed to practice their particular brand of bullshit, so are Muslims, Hindus, Jews, etc.

Another problem is that the First Amendment actually does apply to cults. Look at Scientology, the Mormons, Wiccans, Satanists, Jehovah’s Witnesses, etc. All are allowed to practice freely in this country.

I do not agree with any religion. I think the world would be a better place without the existence of narrow-minded bigots that seem to fill the pews on Sundays, the prayer rugs on Fridays, and the Temples on Saturdays. However, the First Amendment allows for freedom of religion. Just because you don’t agree with someones invisible god doesn’t mean you can stop them from worshiping said invisible sky daddy. If anyone is willing to say Muslims can’t build their community centers where they please, just like every other religion is allowed, then be prepared for your religion, or lack of religion, to be next.

-Via TPM

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Natural Disasters And Gods Wrath

Disasters happen and there must be a cause. It couldn't have anything to do with random geological or meteorological events, it must have been God's Wrath™ visited upon the offending nation. This line of reasoning reminds me a lot of when rape victims are blamed for getting rapped because they "had it coming".

Out of all places in the world, I found an interesting article from the Salt Lake City Tribune about natural disasters and people feeling that it is Gods Wrath™ for allowing gays to live amongst them, or for passing healthcare reform, or for promiscuity. I hope that I will never be able to follow the logic of someone who thinks that the natural actions of the Earth are punishment.

Does anyone else think this is reminiscent of throwing a virgin into a volcano to stop it from erupting?

Friday, July 23, 2010

Burning For Jesus

Setting yourself on fire is never a good idea. I am not sure if it matters if you are a stuntman or not. Add Jesus to the equation and realize that we are on a one-way crazy train into the side of the nearest mountain.

The 63-year-old stuntman revs through an 80-foot jump featuring an eight-by-14-foot wall of fire all to “illustrate our walk of life.”

He says the gap he flies over represents the pitfalls of life, while the wall of fire is a metaphor for the Gates of Hell.

The ramp he lands on has a white cross painted on it, which stands for eternity, something Sullivan says all humans are promised if they walk – or ride – the path of God.

I guess it’s true: you can make up bullshit life lessons out of any stupid activity. I think the “gap” that Gene flies over represents the vast chasm where his brain should be.

Jebus Don't Like No Climate Change

I don’t understand people. They are so willing to do nothing about a subject that would lead to the demise of the entire human race. In a response to a letter written to the Sunday Patriot News on July 18, reader Chris Hicks takes exception to the idea that we can’t ignore the issue of climate change anymore.
Her list of growing natural calamities and the shift of migration patterns of birds is laughable. These alarmists actually believe that we need to help God out because apparently He didn't consider our use of fossils fuels when He created the earth.
The science is not ambiguous: the earth is experiencing climate change and it is manmade. The question that is being considered now is “Can we do anything about it?” I am perfectly willing to have that conversation. What I won’t do is even acknowledge people who make statements like this that show how ignorant they are about a subject.

If there is anything laughable about this situation, it is the grasp on reality of Chris Hicks.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

September 11th Was Not Religiously Motivated?

Even after 9 years, the events of September 11th are still fresh on most peoples’ minds. Most of us can remember exactly what we were doing when the first plane smashed into the WTC tower. Most of us also remember the events that followed on the heels of the terror attack; Osama bin Laden and al Qaida claiming responsibility for the attacks in the name of Islam and the ensuing wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. However, according to Hadia Mubarak, who is a doctoral student at Georgetown University in the Islamic Studies department, has informed us that the events of September 11th were not religiously motivated. Let that sink in for a moment.

Her evidence for this fact is that when the WTC was attacked, a lot of different people died, including Christians, Muslims, etc. While I do agree that many different kinds of people died in the WTC attack, the underlying cause was a group of people that believed that they were ordained by “God” to attack the Great Satan. These people were Muslims doing their horrible deed in the name of Islam. When people like Pat Robertson makes stupid comments about the people of Haiti deserving the earthquake that decimated their country or that Katrina was divine retribution for the gays in New Orleans, no one questioned that what he was doing was in the name of Christianity. No one argued that Pat Robertson wasn’t a Christian. The silence from the Christian community about his comments was unspoken approval for what he said.

One point that I tend to agree with Ms. Mubarak is that the Muslim community has not done enough to distance themselves from the actions of extremists, especially in America. Usually when something horrible is done in the name of anything and the following response from said community is a deafening silence, it is seen as tacit approval of the horrible action that was committed. Look at the deafening silence from the crazy militias after Timothy McVeigh blew up the FBI building in Oklahoma City. No one came forward to denounce the act, there was just a vacuum. However, when the government raided the Branch Davidian compound in Waco, TX and the compound at Ruby Ridge, you couldn’t think straight from the noise of the uproar from the militia community.

This is a recurring theme with most groups out there. You have silence when something is done in their name that they agree with and riots when something is done against them. Where are the Muslims who disagree with Islam being “hijacked” by people like Osama bin Laden and Iman al-Zawahiri? In this case, silence speaks volumes. Ms. Mubarak argues that violence is explicitly against Islam, but to people like bin Laden and Zawahiri it is. That is the problem with religion as a whole: the “holy books” are so stupid, vague, contradictory, that anyone can take away a message of violence, a message of peace, a message of racism, or a message of equality. You would think if the Quran or the Bible were divinely inspired, they would not be so ambiguous on important subjects like murder and terrorism. People take the crap put forth in the Quron and the Bible seriously! It’s not real though. It’s all musings from different people to fulfill some sort of agenda. I have no use for the Quron or the Bible and would prefer to see the paper put towards something that is actually true, like science and math books.

This article was written to say that the Islamic Center that is being built in New York should be allowed to do so because Islam was not the cause of the September 11th attacks. It did raise some interesting points about the political implications involved in the suicide bombings, such as the US support of Israel while it is crushing Palestine, or the Russian incursion into Chechnya, or the US involvement in Afghanistan. That is an interesting discussion that I am sure everyone has an opinion on and I could write for days on, but to say that religion didn’t play a major role in the WTC attacks is disingenuous at best and an outright lie at worst. I wouldn’t (and shouldn’t) expect anything else from someone who writes for the Washington Post, though. I think Ms. Mubarak is trying to find justification for her ridiculous beliefs.

Democrats Are Gutless

I hope everyone has heard about the recent flap over a racist USDA official who was fired by the Obama Administration because of her racist comments coming out of her racist mouth that were taped and aired on Fox News. This racist was being racist against a white farmer in her racist position at the Federation of Cooperative/Land Assistance Fund. Way to go, Fox News! Take that racist woman down like you took down that racist/pedophilic/whorish organization ACORN.

Wait for it.

The video that supposedly showed how racist this racist lady is was… EDITED TO MAKE HER LOOK RACIST. Who could have seen that coming? This is a pattern with Republicans/Teabaggers: if you can’t find evidence of wrong-doing, just make the shit up. Take a video of someone and then edit it to make them look like a pedophile, a pimp, or a racist. Seriously, we should have all seen this coming and expected no less from the likes of Andrew Breitbart.

The lying liars in the GOP/Teabag party don’t really piss me off that much, as I expect to see stuff like this from them. What pisses me off is the cowardice of the Obama Administration. See, before this tape really even hit the media, Shirley Sharrod was asked to resign from her position at the USDA. The Administration actually asked her if she could text her resignation in since she was traveling when this all went down. Shortly after, the NAACP condemned Shirley Sharrod for her racially racist acts and comments. All the GOP/Teabag party had to do was mention what they were about to do and the Administration rolled over like Old Yeller.

Why would they have taken the time to investigate when they could just cave in to an edited video? That sounds like a lot of work! Besides, Andrew Breitbart had already done the investigating, so… mission complete? Why do the democrats continually believe anything that the right-wing says? This whole event is an example of the democrats as a whole: never back any of your own people up and bow down to the republicans every chance you get. I am afraid that it is quite clear: the Democrats are completely under the control of Fox News and the Republican Party. It’s the same old song and dance. The Democrats folded under pressure about the public option and gave way to much power to the health insurance industry. They caved in when it came to “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”. They caved in when it came to financial reform. All of this because Fox News and the GOP/BallGagger’s said they were socialists.

Let me tell you right now: I am a socialist and I wish we had a socialist government. However, I would settle for an administration that had the people’s interests in mind and a president that wasn’t a fucking ball-less bitch.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Arguing With Idiots II

I received a letter from a rather distraught and illiterate military member about the North Carolina billboard campaign that is a roller coaster of crazy.

To whom it may consern,
I am a US Marine & today i stumbled across your anti-American website. I use that term because it seems corrosive to the very thing your trying to claim part of. So you are wanting to change the national anthem & dollar because you have no relegious beliefs. The people who designed those, the creator of those items also are the ones who created America, defended her, & gave you the protection to be able to complain about it. To slander thier work seems anti-patriotic. They were smart enough to create the a governing system that lasts till this day and felt it important to put "ONE NATION UNDER GOD" in thier work. Words that acknowledge the founding fathers who came for religious freedom, words that bond those who've fought for her. "There has never been an athiest in a fight hole" is a saying I've heard my whole carrier and to this day remains true. I have yet to see any human in an extreme time of need/combat not ask for help from a none physicly presence being, a god. I would fight to my death to defend my country and honor her the way my forefathers made her. I'm proud of what they've created. On a physcological perspective believing in God is not wrong, its inspiration. If your beliefs are correct then we are all doomed and theres nothing worth fight for, worth dying for. Anarchy would be the only logical solution and in that world I know even you would pray for protection, a group bounded by a stronger moral belief. I belief in there being a purpose for life, a greater existance. A savior called God. Please quit attacking my country and the beliefs of those willing to defend her.

God Speed & Semper Fi
T DeBruhl USMC
p.s. how can u be proud or put work into claiming you feel theres no meaning to life.

Now for the response from Jim.

Dear Mr. DeBruhl,

I've decided to respond to the email you sent to my good friend William Warren. You see, he has fielded so much of this kind of email that I've chosen to step in to help him answer some of the concerns you have expressed.

First, I am very proud of the United States and daily express my gratitude that I live in a country where I am free to choose how and what I believe. I am so proud of this country that I've studied its history closely. It would appear that I've studied that history a bit more closely than you have. If you had studied it, you'd know that the folks who came to this country to escape religious persecution weren't trying to avoid atheism or Islam. They were trying to escape the persecution brought upon them by Christians who didn't care for their particular brand of Christianity. It is for this reason that the Founding Fathers were so dead set against the establishment of a state religion. It was so important that when they framed the Constitution (which you have sworn an oath to protect), they made it the first of the Bill of Rights.

Those Founding Fathers weren't the God fearing Christians so many historical revisionists would paint them to be. In fact, Thomas Jefferson, the author of the Declaration of Independence wrote the Jefferson Bible, a version that removed the miracles and divinity of Jesus Christ, leaving only what he considered the correct moral lessons of Christ. In a letter to John Adams written on April 11, 1823, he wrote, “And the day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus, by the supreme being as his father in the womb of a virgin will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerve in the brain of Jupiter.”

Jefferson wasn't alone in his disbelief. Thomas Paine wrote, “As to the book called the bible, it is blasphemy to call it the Word of God. It is a book of lies and contradictions and a history of bad times and bad men.” And Benjamin Franklin wrote, “When a religion is good, I conceive it will support itself; and when it does not support itself, and God does not care to support it, so that its professors are obliged to call for the help of the civil power, 'tis a sign, I apprehend, of its being a bad one.” He also said, “Lighthouses are more useful than churches.”

Probably most damning to the idea of the United States being a Christian nation comes from the Treaty of Tripoli, signed on November 4, 1796 and ratified on June 10, 1797. In Article XI, it states, “As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion...” This was signed by then president John Adams.

That's it for the history lesson.

Now for civics. The United States Constitution is a remarkable document guaranteeing the liberty and rights of all of its citizens; not just the ones you like or agree with but all of them. If you can't bring yourself to embrace this concept, you are unworthy to wear the uniform of any of the armed forces of this country.

When I was in the Air Force and took my oath, I swore to “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.” I'm sure your oath contained something similar. That Constitution is a double edged sword, my friend. It defends everyone's rights to believe as they choose to believe or even if they choose not to believe.

If you choose to live in a country where one religion dictates everyone's lives, you might have a problem. You see, we're currently at war with at least one of those countries so you'd have to switch sides... and religions. Do you think this war is about anything other than religious ideologies?

Despite my disagreeing with your particular religious followings, I do want to express gratitude for the service that you and those serving with you provide to this country. It is my sincere hope that you are safe and secure as you guard the safety and security of those at home and abroad.

Yours faithfully,

Jim Craig
Former sergeant, USAF

PS Please forgive me for not addressing you by rank but you omitted it in your original email to Mr. Warren.

Well Said, Jim.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Pope Still Trying Desperately To Alienate Any Rational Catholics Left In Church

So, the Vatican apparently thinks that women donning the priests' robes is an offense as heinous as pedophilia and heresy. All are punishable by excommunication (the gravest of Catholic punishments that they're allowed to get away with these days, if you don't count ruining millions of kids' childhoods and all that) according to a revision of Canon Law announced yesterday.

Somehow this is part of the Catholic Church's "effort" to tighten up the rules in response (I feel like there should be bunny ears all over this thing but I have to stop somewhere) to growing outrage over the fact that they're doing nothing about the rampant sexual abuse. I'm not sure how banning women from the priesthood has anything to do with male priests abusing children--male and female---but maybe I'm confused because of my tiny woman brain, fashioned out of the spare parts of a man.

Vatican makes attempted ordination of women a grave crime

Catholic News Service if you're a from-the-horse's-mouth kinda person

Here's the Vatican making weird excuses: Women priests and sex abuse not equal crimes: Vatican

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Republican God

The Washington Post really has nothing better to write about. In this travesty of an article in the “Faith” section, Elizabeth Tenety asks the logical question of “Is God a Republican?” Sometimes, I just want to scream.
God, if you believe His messengers, also spoke to Sarah Palin, George Bush and Norm Coleman, calling them to public office.
Why does God always pick a group of idiots and assholes as his representatives in Politics? I don't think I would be proud of a deity that planned for Sarah Palin, George Bush, or Sharron Angle to run for anything.

The simpler answer here is one that we know: The only thing these politicians in the GOP are doing is using the idea of the invisible sky daddy to get the slack-jawed yokels of the nation to vote for them. There is no god, and the sooner people realize that, the better off we will all be.

Islam Killed This Man

In what can only be described as a heart-breaking case, a Maldivian man named Ismail Mohamed Didi committed suicide on Tuesday by hanging himself from a Male` Air Traffic Control Tower in The Maldives. The reason is because he was bullied for being an atheist.

Didi had attempted to gain asylum in the UK because he feared for his life. See, in a Muslim country, atheists aren't tolerated. Of course, some people had a problem with this, but not for the reasons you would think most sane people would have.

“This is an issue that a Muslim government should consider,” the website said. “Because when these types of people die, they are buried in the same [cemetery] where Muslims are buried. Their funeral prayers and body washing are also conducted as for Muslims. It is questionable as to whether this is allowed according to Islam.”

Instead of being concerned with people who are “apostates” being treated like crap, threatened, bullied, and killed, these people (and I do use that term loosely) are concerned with him being buried with Muslims.

That's not all! When the ATC company that Didi worked for found out he was an atheist (he inadvertently came out at work), they referred the case to the Ministry of Islamic Affairs. Of course, they found that he wasn't spreading an atheistic message and a representative of the ATC company said no one had ever said anything bad to or about Didi.

The religion of peace in action once again. I am sure he wasn't mistreated. Those death threats and the harassment that Didi spoke of in his letter to an international humanitarian organization were just figments of his imagination that drove him to suicide.

If you decide to read the entire article, I would recommend staying away from the comments, as their stupidity and monstrous nature will make your brain bleed.

Packin' Heat For Jesus

Bobby Jindal (R, Old West) has pushed forward a bill that would allow the good people of Louisiana to carry guns... to church. Why? I don't know, and no one else can seem to give a good answer.

The thought of a gunfight breaking out in the middle of a sermon makes me laugh and also frightens the hell out of me. Imagine one of those really good preachers, you know, the ones who say things like “Someone should kill atheists” or “Someone should kill Muslims” or “Someone should kill liberals.” Can anyone else see where this is going? Maybe I am just overreacting.

Then again, maybe not. Pastor Welton Gaddy also has a problem with the law (I know!). He raises some very interesting points such as

Frankly, despite frequently infusing his civic rhetoric with the language of faith, Jindal, like others, shows a surprising lack of knowledge about the essence of faith and priorities of faithfullness. Why would civic leaders not want one of the last institutions devoted to peace-making to continue that important work in a society addicted to violence and fascinated by guns? Of course, anytime government becomes involved in religion, we should expect distortions and problems that can compromise its integrity. The founders of our nation knew the reality of that development well and sought to prevent it. It’s a crying shame that contemporary leaders have either forgotten or chosen to ignore it.

This is a pastor that I can work with. It sounds like he wants the church to remain separate from government. What a coincidence! So do I! We need more people in the religious community to stand up to, frankly, idiotic laws and idiotic governors.

A Glimpse At Hell

I found this great description of what Hell is going to be like. The all loving, all powerful god of the Bible has a place for people like you and I, the non-believers (also included in this title are Muslims, Jews, Hindus, Nazis, Communists, Dogs, Cats, Babies, and Unicorns). It's going to be terrible.
Every creepy, crawly thing one hates in this life — snakes, spiders, centipedes, etc. — will be knee deep. The veins in your body will feel like liquid fire. Whatever you liked to do in life instead of seeking God, such as dancing, car racing, bull riding, etc. you will have to continue doing for a few trillion years, even though you are dead tired.
Lovely image, but how does this person know any of what he is saying? Does someone have video of this that I am not aware of? I find it slightly more frightening that the image of hell that this guy paints is something he has actually sat around and actively thought of.

What until I tell this guy what Darvogan is like, which is a place that I just made up but has the same validity as Hell.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Let Me Count The Ways

The good people at Human Events (oh, conservatives) have released a list of the “Ten Ways To Make Atheists Cry.” So, lets take them one-by-one.

1. Well, we know that Human Events doesn't like aliens (rimshot). But seriously, even if we are the only creatures in the universe (which is unlikely and largely unprovable), that doesn't mean that there is a god, it just means there were some special events that took place here and gave rise to life. I know that conservatives don't like to think and hate science as much as atheists, but there are a lot of limiting factors that would prevent communication between civilizations across the universe like, say, the enormous distance. I know, facts have never stopped conservatives before.

2. Who cares about an IQ? I know a lot of people who have high IQ's are wrapped up with IQ points, but, again, there are way too many factors that go into intelligence that make the IQ test stupid. Someone could be good at tests but be a complete idiot. A high IQ score and $3.50 will get you a cup of coffee at Starbucks. Mensa arguably has some of the most dysfunctional people in the world amidst their ranks, no offense to the galactic brains at Mensa.

3. Of course a Christian conservative would try to trick someone to make a point. This is an age-old argument of who has killed more people, Christianity or atheism. It is a stupid argument that doesn't get anyone anywhere. However, the awesome part about this little trick is a) the numbers of people killed that was slowly wenched out of the authors ass, and b) the fact that the numbers of people killed by the Inquisition was pitted against all of the people killed in the imagined name of atheism. Following that logic, I could say “you know, Pol Pot killed less people than died of the Black Plague.

4. This one is just stupid. First of all, who gives a shit about Margaret Sanger? I have never read anything of hers and still manage not to commit genocide. Second, she founded Planned Parenthood, so she did something good. If you are going to use Planned Parenthood as an attack, you need to find a different group. Something tells me that the parallels between “Mein Kampf” and “The Pivot Of Civilization” are about the same as the parallels between the Bible and “Mein Kampf”.

5. William F. Buckly was a douchbag. Next!

6. Yeah, having lots of children and further straining our infrastructure will show us.

7. I love the idea of having readings of Darwin's work.

8. Who gives a shit of Keynes was an atheist? Isn't it the conservatives who are wedged tightly between the ass cheeks of Keynes?

9. Knowledge of philosophy is lost on conservatives. It makes their brain hurt. You know, all atheists are nihilist and follow Nietzsche literally.

10. Hey, I will take a free lunch from a Christian! Please, assault me with charity! While you're at it, you can pay my mortgage and my utilities. I could also use a new car. I also love the comparison between the Indian untouchables and atheists.

Here is your assignment, my friends. Lets see if we can come up with a list of the “Ten Ways To Make Christians Cry.” I'll post them all on here after picking the best.

One Nation Under Bigotry

The Virginia Christian Alliance, which sounds like an Idaho white supremacist group, has released an article about how we are one nation under god. The subheading of this pile of dung says it all.

“Refuting foreign cultures, legal precedents, languages and religions in opposition to Christianity.”

Well, at least they aren't beating around the bush about it. So if you are someone who is not Christian, then off with your head. Unsurprising in this time of religious fundamentalism. They want to overturn legal precedent, and the Constitution for that matter, to suit their view of what the law should be. Are they going to take on a Hasidic form of law? Are they going to stop mixing the fabrics that they wear? I would be interested to know.

But what in the hell are they talking about when they say “languages in opposition to Christianity”? Would that be anything other than Hebrew? What about Aramaic? Greek? Oh, That's right. Obviously the language of good Christians is English. Jesus was white and the Jews, those dirty, dirty Jews, killed Jesus. I wonder if Mel Gibson is a member of this group.

Check out the introduction:

While, in this day and age, it is difficult to see the United States as a nation under God, it was once commonplace for politicians to consult their Bibles,

I don't think there is a politician in congress right now (other than Pete Stark) that doesn't at least feign a consultation of the Bible. To be a politician, you have to cater to the lowest common denominator, so of course they still shake their Bibles in the air every time they are asked about how they are going to vote on a particular issue. I am surprised that Eric Cantor hasn't renounced Judaism to placate the Virginia Christian Alliance.

for children to pray openly in schools,

Who has stopped anyone from praying openly in school? The last time I checked, the only stipulation was that the teacher cannot lead the class in prayer. If some kid wants to shout at the sky before the day starts, who is stopping him? No one!

for the Bible to be taught in public schools,

I have no problem with the Bible being taught in public school.. I had to (re) read the Bible in 12th grade English class along with a few other works of mythology, which is how it was taught. Have at it. Taught as fact? Never.

and for the court system to reference the Bible for guidance.

I am pretty glad that the court doesn't rule with the Bible, otherwise this country would look a lot like Saudi Arabia. Which parts of the Bible should we use for reference when it comes to law? We can start with no eating shellfish, pork, and cross-pollinated plants. Then, we can take womens rights away and reinstitute slavery. I don't think the VCA would have a problem with that part.

I love how most of these theocratic groups harken back to the “good 'ol days” before the 60's when those dirty liberals destroyed the nation. Don't believe me? Well, I'll let them tell you.

These times have passed. The 1960s brought rampant change to American society, and years since have struck even heavier blows to our nation's Christian heritage. Something integral to our nation has been lost, and it must be found again if America is to endure as its founders envisioned.

Oh, the terrible rampant change in America, like civil rights. Oh, the horror! Why did those liberals have to treat black folks like they were people? Who said women should have the same rights as men? Why can't we continue fighting wars that would otherwise have no end (Oh, wait. Even the “liberals” caved on that one a la Afghanistan & Iraq).

I am not going to make it to the “substance”of this piece of garbage. It's the same old crap about how George Washington was really a fundamentalist preacher from Jesus' side and Thomas Jefferson was a devout Christian who didn't mean what he wrote about the “wall of separation”. There is also some crap in there about liberals trying to make the US fall under international law. Enjoy reading that.

Whenever I am asked why I oppose religious groups running the nation, I have mountains of material to point to of why it would constitute an epic fail. I guess I can stick this right near the top.

Update: After checking out the VCA website, I found a treasure trove of bat-shit insanity.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Spartanburg, SC Heads Down The Prayer Path

Does anyone remember when John F. Kennedy had to prove to the nation that his religion (Catholicism) would not interfere with his governance? Neither do I. Neither does the rest of the country. Now, everyone is concerned with their elected leaders wearing their religion on their foreheads like some sort of moronic billboard. It looks like Spartanburg County, SC is about to have their own religious battle for, you guessed it, prayer before county commission meetings.

There is a quote from Chairman Jeff Horton that is very telling about what happens when you mix governance and religion. (emphasis added)
“He prays for all council members and everyone in Spartanburg, and always includes our fire personnel and police officers and our military personnel. He doesn’t try to convert anybody to Christianity in our service, I mean our, um, meeting."
Even that guy is having trouble distinguishing the meeting from church. But, I have to say I love the reason that this even became an issue.
Prayer in the public square has been under increased scrutiny since March, when Councilman O’Neal Mintz — filling in for Chaplain Jerry Clevenger — opened a council meeting with a prayer condemning abortion and same-sex marriage. Clevenger, a Sheriff’s Office employee, typically gives the opening prayer and uses less controversial language. But he does close his prayers “in Jesus’s name.”
Damn, that guy is bold. What do you expect when you let hillbillies run rampant at public functions where they can gain points with the flock of Jesus? It gets better. Horton says:
“But as a Christian, I cannot ask anyone not to say Jesus’ name.”
Yes you can! What you do is stop praying at government functions! This guys is flat out telling everyone that being a Christian supersedes his oath of office. So one night, when this guy hears the voice of God tell him to enact Christian Sharia Law, then he will because Jesus told him to.

The best way to avoid this situation is to stop praying before meetings. Stop praying at government functions. Keep your prayer to yourself. By the way, didn't that Jesus guy that these people seem to not be able to stop talking about have something interesting to say about prayer?
"But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly." - Matthew 6:6
I guess they overlooked that one.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Rules of Engagement

I often find myself debating a wide variety of topics. More than occasionally, I find that my opponent in a debate will violate some basic rules I apply to myself. I've decided to codify my personal rules for debating:

  1. Although I may disagree with others' beliefs or perspectives, I will respect their rights to hold these beliefs unless they are used to harm, harass or oppress.

  2. When engaged in debate, I will argue against ideas, not people.

  3. I will not respond with violence or threats of violence.

  4. My words and ideals will be reflected in my daily affairs.

  5. Whenever and wherever possible, I will support my statements with concrete, independently verifiable evidence.

  6. I will not confuse opinion with fact.

  7. When citing a source, I will not use selections designed to misrepresent the intent of the author.

  8. If the opposing side in a debate concedes a point, I will not belabor that point nor will I consider it to make their entire position invalid.

  9. I will try to remember at all times that although my opponent may not be right, I might be wrong and that there may be alternatives that neither of us has considered.

  10. I must accept that silencing an opponent doesn't mean that he/she has been convinced.

So, here's the deal, folks. If you wish to engage in debate with me, follow those rules. Otherwise, we've got nothing to discuss.


North Carolina Legislature Wastes Time On Prayer

History repeating itself is boring. A pastor who had honorary chaplain duties for the North Carolina House of Representatives was relieved of his dutieswhen he refused to take the name of Jesus out of the end of his invocation.

"I was made to feel like a second class North Carolinian when I was told that my services would no longer be needed if I could not offer the opening prayer in the manner prescribed by the House of Representatives, rather than in the manner my Biblical faith requires," said Pastor Ron Baity.

Waa, waa, waaaaaaaaaaaa! I know that being a pastor in North Carolina must be a horrible thing what with all of the religious people here. However, the problem I have with this whole story is not that this pastor wanted to pray to Jesus, it is that the NC Legislature is wasting time on prayer!

Why does the Legislature need to pray before getting down to business? Why can't these pious politicians pray before they show up to the meeting? I would prefer that the business of the state be taken care of with as little ancient mysticism as possible. Imagine if someone sacrificed a lamb on the steps of the House before every meeting. It would be a disgusting display and a waste of time that would have no bearing on the business of the State.

Just like prayer.

Talking To Idiots

I have recently been in contact with one of my sisters' friends. She felt the need to send me a message (via Facebook) to voice her opinion about me over the billboard issue. I am going to post the conversation (so far) here to let you see the kind of people that we deal with daily here in the South. I have left off her last name so as to not break the law. I apologize for any gushing I do about the military here, but there was a purpose for it. Enjoy!


The title of her message was "remember you grew up believing both"

Brandie ***** ****** July 7 at 11:42pm Report
praying for you
...Please remember that only two defining forces have ever offered to die for you...JESUS CHRIST and the AMERICAN SOLDIER. One died for your soul and the other for your freedom.
Sent via Facebook Mobile

William Warren July 8 at 5:00pm
I am not sure what this message is supposed to mean. I am not sure if you know, but I actually served 5 honorable years in the Marine Corps. Believe it or not, there are quite a few atheist serving the country (and dying). I lost many friends who died serving people who obviously can't tolerate their existence. Tell me, when did you serve the country? I gave up 5 years of my life to do so. What have you done?

The statement of Jesus dying for our sins is making some pretty bold assumptions: a) Jesus was actually divine, b) Jesus was a defining force in my life, and c) we have a soul. Remember, you are making the claim. Since you are making such a claim, I suppose you have an overwhelming amount of evidence. And by evidence, I mean something that would hold up in a court of law, not a "feeling" or "what the bible says". If you have no evidence, all you have is opinion and I would prefer you to keep that to yourself.

As for praying, I would prefer you do something useful. I have never understood that when something bad happens (which being an atheist is not), people hit their knees and start praying instead of actually getting up and going to do something. I would also direct you to your bible, which you hold so dear, to Matthew 6:6 which says "But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you." Again, prayer is an assumption for which there is no evidence. Keep it to yourself.

William Warren July 8 at 5:31pm
P.S. I just noticed the title of this message. I also grew up believing in Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny. What's your point?

Brandie ***** ******* July 8 at 9:16pm Report
Hey I'm not the the one all over tv expressing "my views" I have strong feeling about my views and so do you. There is a 50% chance I'm right if I'm wrong, know lost. But if I'm right I hate it for you. But just the same I will still say a pray I have found worst things to waste time on. Like reading all that other mess you typed.
Sent via Facebook Mobile

William Warren July 9 at 2:48pm
Yeah, I have been on TV expressing my views of "equality" and "acceptance". What a horrible concept. You need to remember the fact that you sent me a message, I didn't contact you.

You have still avoided the questions that I raised to you that were brought up in your message. Did you send me the message merely to antagonize me? Do you know how many christians I have contacted to try to make them feel bad for their beliefs? None. Zero. For you to attempt to appeal to my childhood and family is down right despicable.

I know the rest of the "mess" that I wrote was horrible for you. It may have made you think. This proves to me that you had nothing to say, just accusations to make. I'll say it again, if that is all you are trying to do, keep it to yourself.

P.S. I am still waiting on the answer to what have you done for the country.

Brandie ******** *********** July 9 at 9:55pm Report
I didn't send the message to antagonize you. I'm not going to debate religion with you. As for my country I respect what it stands for. What did you do its not like you were out fighting for your country . Did you not say a prayer everday and whats on your dog tags? If the usa military and millions of people pray it looks like you are the one attacking our views. With that sign! you just might not say it to there face. Sorry to have bothered you.
Sent via Facebook Mobile

William Warren July 10 at 10:58am
So your definition of someone doing something for this country is going and pulling a trigger or being shot at? You do realize (of course you don't) that there are roughly 2 million members of the military, of which 80% (that's 1.6 million) never see combat? Oh, my dog tags said "USMC" and "Atheist". What do your dog tags say? Oh that's right, you didn't join the military. I am not saying that you have to have been in the military to have done something for this country, but when you say that it's not like I was fighting for my country, I have to know what your definition of defending the nation is? When did you become an expert on the military? I hope the other 1.6 million members of the military whose good names your are disgracing right now can somehow find their way into the graces of "Brandie, Military Expert." I guess I have been forced into a position of justifying my military service to someone who has reasoning problems. Oh, and no, I did not say a prayer every day; or any day for that matter.

Your ridiculous views of "just because so many people do it, it must be right" are laughable. I suppose you think slavery should have been kept around because, you know, all those white people in the majority liked the idea of having black slaves. Read a book and get back to me, because your knowledge of, well, anything up to this point has been somewhat less than a four year old.

If you think putting up a billboard is attacking your beliefs, then your belief system must be as weak as hell. I have to remember though, dealing with thin-skinned people can get a little dicey sometimes. So putting up a billboard is attacking your beliefs? So then I am sure you would agree that someone vandalizing said billboard (which is private property) would be equivalent to all out war? I hope I never see the day when people like you are left in charge. Of course I shouldn't expect you to have even a cursory knowledge of the Bill of Rights, because that would require "learnin'".

What am I afraid to say to someones face, that I think people should be treated equally? I have said a lot worse directly to someone. I don't appreciate being called a coward. I consider the coward the person who would rather bitch at someone over Facebook than call them directly. I am not afraid, nor have I been afraid to speak my mind to anyone. I would consider the long list of death threats from good Christians like yourself to be the ultimate indicator of that. That's the problem though; religious people don't want equality. That is something that I will not tolerate.

You have bothered me a great deal. It has been like talking to an irrational wall. But as long as you keep replying with your child-like retorts, I will continue to spend time trying to decipher what you are trying to say and respond.


That is as far as we have made it. I am not sure she will reply and could honestly care less. What do you think? Would you have handled this situation any differently?

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Mike Huckabee: Destroyer Of Worlds

I have heard some comments as of late about atheists shoving our agenda down the throats of the nation. We have been accused of rewriting history. I, personally, have been told that I am destroying the nation. We have been called offensive and vile. What did we do to deserve this treatment? We let everyone know that we exist.

It is interesting how atheist letting the public know that we exist is shoving our "agenda" down the throats of the nation, but when Christians tell us to shut up and let the majority rule over us, well that is just democracy. There are two problems with that. 1) The Bill of Rights. The Bill of Rights were put in place to protect the minority from the persecution of the majority. 2) History. We have been accused of rewriting history, but when you look into issues like "under god" in the Pledge and "in god we trust" on our money, you will see who is rewriting history. The idea that this is a Christian nation is as ridiculous as this being Muslim of Jewish nation. This is a Christian nation is as much as there are Christians that live here.

The problem is is that the people who think this is a Christian nation are politically active. They vote in insane assholes like Mike Huckabee, who recently insinuated that atheist should be happy that they aren't being shot for being atheists.

If people want to spend their money to tell everyone they don't believe in God, the joy, beauty, and incredible greatness of America is we let them do it and don't shoot them for it.

Is he not merciful? This guy is also not a fan of the gay.

I do believe that God created male and female and intended for marriage to be the relationship of the two opposite sexes,” Huckabee said in a recent New Yorker profile. “Male and female are biologically compatible to have a relationship. We can get into the ick factor, but the fact is two men in a relationship, two women in a relationship, biologically, that doesn’t work the same.

The ick factor? Well, I am glad he isn't infusing his opinion into the matter. He really isn't. I'll let him tell you.

I’m an Evangelical Christian, so I have a strong biblical world view, and that’s where I come. It’s not a matter of me having any kind of animosity towards anybody or any group and what people do individually, is to me, their business,” he said. “I’m not going to judge you or judge anybody else because I know there are so many loving people who are in same-sex relationships and they have adopted children and they love those kids. I’m not going to judge them. I’m simply not going there.

You're not going to judge? Yes you are. YOU JUST DID!

People like Mike Huckabee are the problem. They are dividing the nation between those who are hate-filled, bigoted, ignorant homophobes and the rest of us. Listen to people like Mike Huckabee and tell me who is destroying the nation. Tell me who is offensive and vile. Tell me who is rewriting history.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Why People Laugh At Creationists

No one has ever been able to put it better than Thunderf00t. Enjoy, if you haven't seen it already.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Lessons From The Billboard Campaign

I have learned a few lessons the hard way, which seems to be the only way I am able to learn anything. The billboard that we put up in Charlotte on Billy Graham Parkway was one of those hard-lessons-learned. I found out some depressing, interesting, and wonderful things about our fair city, which can be described as having one foot in 2030 and one foot (and the brain) in 1330. The city seems to want to march towards the future, destroying all of its old landmarks to make way for the new. The religious, however, are stuck. Their religion doesn’t change. It doesn’t progress. It feeds on the hopes of good people and turns them in to scared, irrational, and hate-filled pawns. So, I guess you could say the first thing I learned was resolve. I will wear my atheism on my sleeve and will not let anyone scare me back into hiding.

The people of Charlotte had always seemed a mixed bag to me. I knew that there was a huge religious population here, but I also knew that there were some very loving and understanding people. I thought, somewhat naively, that our message would be seen for what it was: a positive message to let the city know that we, the Charlotte Atheists & Agnostics, are here. However, our mere presence in this city is seen as an affront to all religious people, which brings up the same old question of “What is it about atheist that people hate so much?” So, my second lesson that I learned is that people don’t often act as we hope, they are more likely to act as we fear.

There were some horrible things said during this billboard campaign. We were told that we weren’t real Americans; we were told that we should leave this country and go to Russia, as if that were some sort of utopia to strive for; we were told that we were bad people, not because of our actions but because of our existence; and we were told by others in the atheist community that we had brought this one ourselves by being vociferous with our obviously offensive sign. Some of our members received death threats of a nature too brutal to mention in detail. Their security was threatened and their children were threatened. My third lesson is that people are depraved and willing to kill over belief and that which scares them. Not fear in a tangible sense, like having your family’s life threatened, but in the sense that everything they believe could be wrong.

There were some wonderful messages from across the country in support of our message. Christians, Hindus, even one case of a man who described himself as a devout Muslim, came out and said “We agree with your message and it needs to be said.” The support from the religious community has been surprising and welcome. My fourth lesson is that there are a surprising number of religious people who understand the issue of church-state separation. The people that understand this issue need to grab the reins of power from the god-fearing, hate mongering leaders of their community if they wish to be taken seriously. Living in a 1330 mindset is going to do nothing more than expose the frauds of the religious community to be nothing more than rabble-rousers, inciting good people to do terrible things.

Our community here has grown tremendously since the message went out that there are atheists in North Carolina. Membership in the Charlotte Atheists & Agnostics has grown to over 800 members. I have heard countless stories of the “I thought I was alone” or the “I couldn’t imagine other freethinkers living in North Carolina” type. When you hear the relief in the voice of someone who knows that there is a community of people who will accept them, it makes the whole campaign worthwhile. There are people who had given up on finding others like themselves, feeling forced to smile and nod at the religions that were foisted on them every day. They now know that there is a place for them to vent, and place to be happy, and a place to find support when dealing with the mega-church that is Charlotte. My final lesson is that hiding our true nature leads to a solitary life, which is no way to live. People need to be comfortable with who they are without someone in a pointy hat telling them they are bad for thinking, or some guy in a turban telling them they need to cover themselves, or someone in a suit and tie telling them they are going to burn in hell for being human.

This campaign was a success. It was worth every bit of hate-mail, every late-night call from some 13 year old girl reciting the pledge of allegiance, every death threat, and every bit of vandalism. We have made it through an interesting time and are stronger for it.

We are atheists, agnostics, humanists, secularists, and freethinkers. We are here to stay.