Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Please, Don't Forget To Add 'Hate' To The Back-To-School List

If you can make it through this entire video, you are either deaf or insane. I love how when we don't allow hatred to be taught in our schools, we are the ones being intolerant of the intolerant Christian buffoons.

Just a side note: when they ask "Is this what you really want your child to be taught?" my answer is "You mean tolerance? Absolutely."

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Glenn Beck, Martin Luther King Jr, And The Islamic Community Center

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

There has been a lot of criticism, half-truths, and outright lies surrounding the Islamic Community Center that is going to be built in the old Burlington Coat Factory in New York City. It is the constitutional right of all Americans to worship in their own way and to have places of worship where they want them (pending the area is zoned for said building). When right-wing talking heads like Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, and right-wing politicians like John Boehner, Newt Gingrich, Sarah Palin had lost the constitutional argument of the community center, they turned to the “feelings” of the nation.

“How does it make you feel that the people who destroyed the Twin Towers are going to build a military training outpost right next to the crater where the Towers used to be?” This is essentially the question that the right began to ask when they realized they had no constitutional ground to stand on. You had the likes of Rep. Eric Cantor give this somewhat stupid response to the community center:

I mean, come on! The guys are brown and don’t worship Yahweh. How can anyone take these guys seriously? There is no response that follows “The Muslim community has the constitutional right to build the community center.” There is no but, no however, and no “come on!” The end of the conversation has been reached.

I remember during the last presidential campaign that Sarah Palin said that the people who resided in the cities of the east and west coasts weren’t Real Americans™. Undoubtedly, all of the Real Americans™ resided in Texas, Alaska, and the Midwest. In the same campaign, Mrs. Palin had the audacity to speak about the World Trade Center as if it was something near and dear to her heart. I guess that it doesn’t matter that the Trade Center is in the fake American zone of this country when it is politically expedient. Now, a community center that is being built in the same fake American zone is being criticized because it will desecrate the memory of all those people who died on 9/11; or it will be used as a training center for al Qaeda; or it will be the new seat of power for the American Caliphate. No one can keep the arguments coming from the right straight.

There is also the ever-present background noise of Newt Gingrich who says that they (Muslims) can build a mosque at that location when we (Christians and Jews) can build churches and synagogues in Saudi Arabia. You know what I love about America? I love the fact that we aren’t Saudi Arabia. I thought that we prided ourselves on having freedoms that other countries like Saudi Arabia don’t have. The Saudi government can restrict whatever they would like, but (supposedly) in this country, we have the freedom to build houses of worship that the Saudi’s don’t have.

So I suppose that we, as a nation, are going to base all of our laws on the hurt feelings of people, constitution be damned. Fox News and their ilk are telling the people to go with their emotions and forgo the laws that we supposedly, but apparently not anymore, hold so dear. If Fox News wants the nation to operate this way, then why did Glenn Beck go ahead with his rally at the Washington Monument on the anniversary of the famous “I Have A Dream” speech by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr?

There were plenty of people disgusted with the idea of someone like Glenn Beck hijacking the legacy of Dr. King for his own nefarious purposes. Glenn Beck is supposed to be concerned with the feelings of the people of this nation. Why, under such intense opposition, would Glenn Beck go ahead with such a blatant slap in the face to the icon of the Civil Rights Movement? He did it because it gave him the highest visibility to disperse his message of insanity. I mean, he has the constitutional right to do so, but come on!

Glenn Beck, as repulsive as I may find him, has every right to give a speech wherever he can get a permit to do so. He can hold any kind of rally that and spew forth as many lies and as much hate as he pleases. He can do this because of the First Amendment of the Constitution, which is the same amendment that gives the Muslim community of New York City the right to build their community center and worship as they please. It doesn’t matter how someone may feel about the situation.

If it were up to me, no one would be allowed to build any kind of religious institution anywhere ever. Religion has done much more harm than good and it will continue to be the “dark matter” of our society, that invisible force that separates the fabric of our world community. However, the beautiful thing about this country is that it is based on the Law of the Constitution, my feelings and wishes be damned.

There is only one question that can be asked and only one answer that can be given: “Does the Cordoba House have a right to exist in the old Burlington Coat Factory, a building that they paid for?”


Wednesday, August 25, 2010

We Bringin' Guns

So, this church has decided they are going to burn a bunch of Qurons in Gainesville, FL. The Fire Marshal stepped in a said “no way.” So what did the church do? What all churches do! They decided to say to hell with the Fire Marshal and said they are going to burn the books anyway. Aside from circumventing the law and the images of the Nuremburg Rallies that may cross your mind, it is their right to do so. What isn’t their right is what has followed.

Dove World Outreach Center Pastor Terry Jones has accepted the support of Right Wing Extreme, which he said offered to come to the church with between 500 and 2,000 men on September 11. He described the organization as an armed civilian militia group.

"There is a need for this protection. It is absolutely necessary in light of the death and terror threats we have received," Jones said in an e-mail to CNN.

"We have met with the FBI who have warned us of the threats they have seen, not only against us but against other targets in Florida. We have personally received threats by phone and many by mail," he said.

Threats against these insane fundamentalists are unacceptable, but having an armed right-wing group that is actually called Right Wing Extreme to come “patrol” your stupid rally is, well, stupid! What do you think is going to happen when you have a bunch of crazed hillbillies with guns “protecting” a church group from protesters? I imagine the police are going to be there anyway. Hell, there are probably going to be a few tossing the books onto the pyre.

I await the body count.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Is Your Husband Queer?

There is a fine line between extremism and satire, as goes Poe’s Law. I am still trying to decide if this site, ChristWire, is real or if it is some genius satire of Christian Extremists. For example, there is a list on their site that instructs women on how to tell if there husband is gay. The content is so ridiculous that it has to be real, but it is too hard to tell. Some of the content is just outright hilarious.

1) Secretive late night use of cellphones and computers
Porn addiction is closely associated with homosexuality and a secretive nature implies he’s trying to hide something from you. Be on the lookout for a man who doesn’t want to web surf or answer phone calls in your presence. Texting is another favorite trick used by adulterers. For the sake of trust, a married couple should share everything, including phone logs, email accounts, chat friends and website histories.

Working late? Talking to people on the phone? Not giving a detailed breakdown of your phone and internet usage to your spouse? Queer!

2) Looks at other men in a flirtatious way
When you’re out in public, does he spend too much time looking at other men? Is he fond of winking at people? Does he get visibly upset when someone does not return a compliment about his physical appearance?

So if a man flirts with other men, he might be gay. Did you know if a man flirts with other women, he might be straight? This is so obvious that I can’t believe that a woman wouldn’t notice her husband making eyes and another man and think everything was ok.

3) Feigning attention in church and prayer groups
Have you noticed a lack of interest in spiritual issues? Does it ever seem as if he’s just using church as an excuse to spend time around young men? Does he volunteer to mentor in all-male groups?

How does this jump from being bored in church to spending time around young men? I guess that means that everyone in my family, church leaders, and the leaders of groups like Promise Keepers are all gay. On second thought, maybe they are on to something.

4) Overly fastidious about his appearance and the home
Natural men have a certain amount of grit about them. They sweat and they smell. Homosexuals often abhor this sort of thing and will also be incredibly particular about the cleanliness of the home. Does your man tweeze his eyebrows, trim his pubic hairs or use face moisturizers? Is he picky about brand name shampoos? Does he spend more time getting ready for a night out than you do?

This one just makes me laugh. Real men don’t shower or shave: we have long hair, unibrows, stained underwear, sweaty pits, and flakey dry skin.

5) Gym membership but no interest in sports
Gay men use the gym as a place to socialize and to have secret liaisons in the bathrooms. They like to work out their bodies without the competition of sports play. Afterward, they use the showers and steam rooms to engage in sexual activity beyond the prying eyes of women. If your man returns from the gym too exhausted to talk or have sex, that is a worrisome sign.

I think all of the guys at the gym I attend would be surprised to see this one. I wish there was sex going on in the gym bathroom. Alas, I have never seen this happen. Remember, don’t work out too hard, because an exhaustive workout is a sign of man-on-man “pressing”.

6) Clothes that are too tight and too “trendy”
Gay men don’t need words to communicate their availability for sex “hook ups.” They silently broadcast the news by showing off their lean, hard bodies in designer clothing labels. If your husband owns skinny jeans and looks at his buttocks in the mirror or if he wears an inordinate number of small-sized t-shirts, it is probably worthwhile to pay more attention to his private activities.

Oh yeah, you know, the hard bodies and tight asses… make me so horny… I mean disgusted.

7) Strange sexual demands
Fetishism is a sign that a man is seeking a harder thrill beyond the normal intimacy of heterosexual relations. The woman may not appeal to the deep desires that are coming to the surface as the marriage drags on. If there is a sudden interest in sodomy, sadomasochism, lubricants, role-play, sex toys or other non-traditional intercourse methods, this is clearly an indication of deep emotional abnormalities.

Imagine how boring sex would be if it was just straight missionary style. NEXT!

8) More interested in the men than the women in pornographic films
Pornography is a dangerous element in any marriage but there are many Christians who feel watching it does add something to their sexual lives. If you have gone down this road and find that your man perks up at the sight of the men in these sorts of videos, you should be concerned. If he selects films because of specific male actors, this is an obvious sign that he is suffering from a crisis of ego and desire.

This one made me laugh. I can only find one solution to this problem: all lesbian porn. But then, maybe the woman might become a lesbian. NOOOOOO!

9) Travels frequently to big cities or Asia
Some husbands will spend a great deal of money traveling far from home to hide their deplorable same-sex actions. Big cities offer indulgence of every kind. From gay bars and clubs to prostitutes and sex bathhouses, a man seeking encounters can find them easily if he’s so inclined. Is there ever really a good excuse for a husband to visit Thailand or San Francisco without his wife?

Visits to those foreign countries like Thailand or San Francisco. Come on, man!

10) Too many friendly young male friends
Someone who makes an extra effort to surround themselves with younger men should raise concerns in any community. If this is the case with your husband, ask yourself if he prefers their company to that of women. Do they touch each other or embrace in long hugs? Do they exchange expensive, personal gifts like scarves or cologne?

Wait, if a guy surrounds himself with all women, then the spouse shouldn’t be concerned that her husband is nailing one, or all, of them? Interesting.

11) Sassy, sarcastic and ironic around his friends
A man who is secretly engaged in homosexual activity with others may exhibit feminine qualities when they get together in a group. In a sense, he has “let his hair down” and this will be seen in excessive back talk and speaking with one’s hands.

Sarcasm = gayness.

12) Love of pop culture
It’s quite common for young men to enjoy the science fiction end of popular culture, but when your husband becomes overly obsessed with romantic and feminine shows, that is cause for alarm. Gossip websites, Glee and The Golden Girls are three well-documented icons of the gay movement that genuine heterosexual men avoid.

Also hilarious. They left out Mad Men, True Blood, and the 700 Club.

13) Extroverted about his bare chest in public
Does he go shirtless in the back yard or at picnics when other men are around? Does he wear a Speedo at the beach? Does it seem like he’s purposely standing right in the middle of a crowd to show off his chest and arm muscles, peppering people with questions about how strong he looks? He may be craving physical affirmation from other men and desperately looking for hints of shared desires in those around him.

This just described every redneck in the south. They have to put signs up on doors that say “No Shirt, No Service” because of the south. All rednecks are gay.

14) Sudden heavy drinking
Sometimes people dealing with an unbearable emotional issue like homosexuality will turn to alcohol to hide their distress. Does your man disappear on drinking binges for long hours without answering his cellphone? Is there a strange odor about him when he returns, some strange mix of cigarettes and gel? Does he cry frequently?

Can’t… stop… laughing. Does he cry frequently because he smells like gel and cigarettes? That strange odor is referring to the stench of anal sex I guess, although I have never found it to smell like a combination of either of these.

15) Ladies, have you dated men in the past who turned out to be gay?
This is an important question to ask yourself when your marriage starts to have problems. Statistics have shown that women who have encountered gay men romantically in the past are the most likely to repeat this mistake in future relationships. If you answered yes, you should ask yourself whether you’re honestly looking for a man or just a shopping companion. Is sharing gossip more important to you than raising children? Ultimately, it’s a question of getting your priorities straight!

I don’t know what to say. I hope this is fake because if it is real, then the other side is crazier than we originally suspected.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Simple, Quick, And Easy

Miss USA, Rima Fakih thinks the NYC Islamic Community Center should be moved.

The only questions I have: Does anyone give a fuck what Miss USA thinks about anything?

Friday, August 20, 2010

Unthinking Christians

What is more annoying: a fundamentalist Christian or a namby-pamby Christian? I think I may have found the answer. While fundamentalist Christians are definitely annoying and all-around bad people, at least you know where they stand. They take the Bible literally even though they live their lives hypocritically. I can deal with that because it makes it extremely easy to ridicule their idiotic actions. Namby-pamby Christians, on the other hand, are so wishy-washy that it is hard to tell what the next line of insanity that spews forth is going to be.

Did you know that as an atheist, you are actually a Christian? You are, you just don’t know it, at least that is the case according to Badir Awe, writing for Cayman News Service. In an article titled “Unconscious Christians” (which is incidentally how I like my Christians), Badir makes a case for atheists and agnostics being Christians without knowing it. This junk article is the Voltron of logical fallacies; a bunch of small ones that come together to make a big one.

They are probably not aware of it because I do not think that even Christians are really aware of it. There is one criterion by which one loves Christ and that is loving your neighbour. Whether you have faith in Jesus or not, if you love your neighbour, you ipso facto love Christ. It is one and the same. Many atheists and agnostics love their fellow human beings and do not discriminate or treat anybody unfairly, regardless of where they come from. Such ‘unconscious Christians’ are people who do not intellectually accept Christ, but effectively, they do. They love Christ through their hearts, if not their minds. They love their neighbours, and thereby love God.

Did you catch that? You are an atheist, but it doesn’t matter because you aren’t an atheist. God is real and he is going to save you because you care about humanity. I have a few problems with this as you might imagine. First, if you love your neighbor, you love Jesus? Caring about your fellow human beings has nothing to do with Christianity. There are plenty of Christians who couldn’t care less about their neighbor, especially if that neighbor is an atheist or *gasp* a Muslim. If I show compassion for my fellow crew members on Rocket Ship Earth, that doesn’t mean I love Jesus. It just means I care about people. So, if this is your line of reasoning, then you are ipso facto illogical.

Second, you can’t accept the cult of Jesus but not. You either do or you don’t. It’s like saying “I am a guy, but not”, or “I am not gay, but I am”. This is one of the rare occasions that there is no gray area. You either accept Jesus, or you don’t. I, for one, do not. I am reasonably certain that Jesus as written about in the Bible never existed and was an amalgamation of different folk heroes. A person named Jesus existed in that era in that part of the world in the same way that a guy named Jose exists in Mexico City.

Third, if you don’t have to believe in god or Jesus to make it to heaven, then why is everyone so damned obsessed with the death cult of Christianity? Why all the pomp and circumstance surrounding this backwards religion? Let’s just dismantle all religion and people will be allowed into heaven anyway. Stop wasting my time!

Logically, the concept of an ‘unconscious Christian’ makes sense because we know that human beings are made in the “image and likeness” of God. The human being alone among all creatures on earth is a self-conscious person. We are replicas of God, who is the eternal self-conscious Person. So because every human being is a replica of God, it follows that if you love human beings, you love God. This all makes sense.

No, we don’t know this. There are almost certainly no gods, so how could we have been created in its image? None of what Badir says makes any sense unless you first accept the fact that there is a deity. If you are an atheist, this entire rag is a worthless string of words. The word “logically” should not have been used in this article unless proceeded by the words “the author is not thinking”. If you start the critical thinking process with a falsehood, then it is no longer logical. “All unicorns are loving animals. A unicorn would never harm me.” That would be true if unicorns existed.

Now this view of things makes sense to our consciences and our minds, because we know that God is not a ridiculous and absurd God who would punish to all eternity someone who never heard about him. God is all loving, all embracing, and there are many sinners who will be in heaven (Matthew 22: 32).

The god of the Bible is not ridiculous and absurd except when he is. The author has obviously never read the Bible or is cherry picking the hell out of it. Do I have to quote Job? What about God commanding the Israelites to commit genocide, rape women, and dash babies heads against rocks? How about when Abraham scarred his son for life by almost stabbing him to death because God told him to? It’s your book Christians, not mine. I am just pointing out the logical inconsistencies in what Badir says and what the Bible says.

The second thing to realize from this is that only a Christian can love and believe in life with complete interior freedom. Christians have a truth that sets them free. An ‘unconscious Christian’ has to deal with this troubling issue: if the energy of the sun (and the entire universe for that matter) will one day dissipate, and all life die, what is really the point in loving my neighbour? Why not get what is good for me while I can? One who knows in the back of their minds that one day the earth will fail to be here can be tempted to be an anarchist, in the strictest and pejorative sense of the word. A Hitler. An anti-Christ. Life is absurd. A Christian, on the other hand, knows the effect of the cause. Loving each other will one day bring the earth to completion. Long before the sun fades away, humanity’s love for itself will intensify until it culminates in the love of God, and the New Jerusalem will descend from heaven, and God will “be all in all” (I Corinthians 15: 28).

The author is driving me to the brink of insanity. What he is saying is that Muslims, Buddhists, Wiccans, Pagans, Jews, etc, are not capable of love and freedom. What a bigoted remark to make. I would not want to be part of any group of people who felt this way about their fellow human beings. What the author is also saying is that non-Christians have to will to live, since the universe is going to end anyway. What the author fails to understand is that people who are good because of the thought of an eternal reward are bad people. Why can’t we just be good for goodness sake? I help my fellow humans because I hate suffering, not because sky daddy is going to give me an eternal cookie.

Accusing atheists of nihilism (not anarchy) is at best stupid. Just because our current understanding of the universe says that the universe will eventually die, that doesn’t mean that we should just end it all. On the contrary, knowing how lucky we are to have been the strongest sperm to make it to the egg makes life a lot sweeter. I enjoy my life because I know this is all I have and ending it prematurely would be ridiculous. In my opinion, religious people in general lead some of the most horrible and stifling lives. Religionists spend their entire lives ashamed for thinking (thinking!) “impure” thoughts, or for having human urges which are goddamned natural. Religionists sit around wringing their hands because they were born human and have needs and wants like everyone else. That, my friends, is the real tragedy. These people will never live their lives to the fullest because they are constantly worried about the galactic thumb coming to smash them into the ground. They think they have some afterlife, some kind of ethereal reward. Guess what: there is no proof, so why worry about it?

I also like the jab thrown in comparing atheists to Hitler, like that hasn’t been said a million times and debunked a million times. So for that, I will compare Badir Awe, Billy Graham, Jerry Fallwell, and every other religionist to Osama bin Laden. There is one of your fellow religionists you can be proud of. I don’t need any proof to do this, I just have to say it.

If there is an afterlife and it is filled with people like Badir Awe, then please, blink me out of existence. I don’t think I could handle eternity with such a boorish dullard.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Let The Water Fall

If I recall correctly, it says something in the Bible about idolizing things and how it’s bad. Well, that has never stopped Christians before. Now, to meet the demand of useless things that have no intrinsic value, a company in Jordan has begun shipping out water, from the supposed site of Jesus’ baptism, for the first time since the fall of the Ottoman Empire.
"We have pictures in our archives dating back to 1906, when wooden barrels were filled with water from the Jordan and exported to the United States and Europe where the water was used to baptize children," he said.
You know, if you baptize your child in water from the Jordan River, which is not the same water that was their when and if Jesus was baptized there (use your brain), then your child may become Jesus. Either that or they may get some horrible disease from the pollution.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Demon, Be Gone

What is it with people protesting non-issues? I give you Pastor Donald Crosby of Macon, GA. He is protesting the Warner Robins High School mascot because it is a demon. This is only one of about 4 million high school mascots that is a demon. So why is he protesting this demon?
"Demons aren't lazy, Christians are," he said. He said the city of Warner Robins must repent for its demon-praising.

Has there been an outbreak of poltergeist-like activity around Warner Robins High School that the rest of us are unaware of? Not at all. The pastor has a problem with the idea of having a demon as a mascot. I don’t see how this mascot is going to sway a person one way or the other. My high school mascot was a Viking, which did not lead to me sailing in a ship to take over new lands to rape, pillage, and plunder.

The pastor was arrested and was told that he couldn’t protest outside of the school unless he had a permit.
"I didn't know you had to get permission to voice your opinion," Pastor Crosby said.

Yeah, actually you do have to get permission if you are going to protest. It’s called the law. Religious people yet again feeling that the law doesn’t apply to them when it gets in the way of their ridiculous nature. This isn’t a civil rights issue, this is an issue about some crazy pastor protesting a high school for a stupid reason and not having a permit for it.

Perhaps if the good pastor would put that energy into protesting actual problems, maybe we could make some progress on race relations, religious relations, and ending an unnecessary war.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Best Buy v. The Catholic Church

Another perk of being a church: you can break all kinds of trademark laws, and then when they are brought to you attention, you can act indignant. Father Luke Strand of Fond du Lac, WI has done just that. He has a black VW Beetle with the logo “God Squad” printed on the side of it.

However, this is America. Do you think a major corporation like Best Buy is going to stand idly by while some priest uses their logo without their permission? Hell no!

The priest at Holy Family Parish in Fond du Lac is the recipient of a cease-and-desist letter that came from Best Buy's corporate offices concerning his "God Squad" vehicle.

As they should. Any corporation would do the same thing if anyone was trying to violate their trademark rights.

She [Paula Baldwin] went on to say in an e-mail to the Journal Sentinel: "This was a really difficult thing for us to do because we appreciate what Father Strand is trying to accomplish with his mission. But at the end of the day, it's bad precedent to let some groups violate our trademark while pursuing others."

Well, they are doing more for this priest than they would for anyone else. I suppose now we just sit back and wait for the cries of religious oppression.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

The Name Game

Imagine for one moment that you are a police officer. You catch someone speeding and pull them over. When you ask to see the man behind the wheels’ drivers’ license, you notice that the name reads “One Nation Under God.” Would you take it seriously or would you think this was a fake ID or you were possibly dealing with a lunatic?

A man in Waukegan, IL has changed his name to “One Nation Under God.” The story gets stranger, believe it or not. His name before he changed it? “In God We Trust.” Despite how insane this guy sounds, he has a perfectly cromulant reason for doing so.

Under God, 59, said he's making the name changes to draw attention to the need for the Christian "unity" America had in the 1950s and because of the loss of "religious freedoms" in the United States, including school prayer.

Ah yes, the good ol’ days of the 1950’s, back when blacks knew their place was in the cotton fields and in a different, more disgusting bathroom that was separate from the whites; when women were treated like property instead of like an equal human being; when the children could run and play in the streets because they knew that the Klan was watching over them to keep the black people out of the neighborhood. But everyone went to church every Sunday and atheists didn’t exist.

“ONUG” is not drawing any attention to the perceived loss of religious freedom, he is drawing attention to himself and the lengths he will go to prove that he is crazy.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Protesting With Tits

The strippers have had enough and they aren’t going to take it anymore. I am not sure if you remember the story a while back about a church that was protesting at their local strip club called the “Fox Hole”. What the church was doing was harassing the patrons and the employees of the strip club, taking pictures of the license plates of patrons and posting them on line, and in a few instances actually following people to their houses to confront them. Well, turnabout is fair play.

The owner of an Ohio strip club and some of his dancers have been protesting at a church that has done the same to them for four years. Women in bikinis sat in camp chairs Sunday outside the New Beginnings Ministries church in Warsaw, about 60 miles northeast of Columbus.

Oh my, I would love to watch that protest. Bikini-clad women out in front of a church on Sunday morning, holdings signs and jiggling about as Mable and Virgil hobble their old asses into the building. I am sure no one in the congregation has ever visited a strip club or looked at any of the strippers with a lustful eye.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Newspaper Bible Study And The Reprehensible God

Bible study in the newspaper: it strikes even our friends in Australia, with all of its inanity, non sequiturs, and asinine anecdotes. Most of these “lessons” usually revolve around someone dying or being abandon by God, only to discover that God had always been with them, even in their toughest times. The disgusting nature of these “lessons” are always lost on the writers. Here is an example of some of the more reprehensible messages put forth in the newspaper Bible study.
I too have felt that God abandoned me when I needed Him the most, and yet in my battle to find answers to the many perplexing questions that confronted me, I found that God was always with me, but because my eyes were blinded by demands that relied on my understanding, I could not see Him.

I remember when my husband was diagnosed with cancer. Despite our desperate prayers for healing the disease steadily progressed, and in my pain I would sometimes cry out to God “whose good does this promise apply to?” I do believe that God allows us to ask these somewhat arrogant questions in those times of deep pain, and also that we will receive an answer – when we are willing to listen to His truths.

Today I can testify that God’s promise that ‘ALL things work together for good’ has become my anchor. It’s the rock on which I stand when I feel that the boat I’m travelling on is being swamped in the stormy lake, and that I’m struggling with the storms of adversity on my own.

Recently my youngest son died of a brain tumour, but the journey through this storm was different – because I knew Jesus was in the boat with me, and if He was asleep, it was because He knew that our Father would keep us safe. It is in these times of darkness and overwhelming sorrow that we need to be fully assured of God’s unchangeable attributes, and that our loving heavenly Father will never allow anything to happen in our life unless it can be turned to good. Then we will be able to run into His outstretched arms of love and trust Him despite the circumstances.
Why must people feel that in the end, everything bad that happens to them because they didn’t “see” God like they were supposed to? If there was a god and his demands were incomprehensible and one of your family members died because of the misunderstanding, then that god is one evil bastard.

What the writer is saying in the opening paragraph is that bad things have happened to her (like her husband and son dying), and the reason that she couldn’t find the meaning in them at the time was because she required actual understanding. It’s amazing how quickly the search for answers can be given up for the old “Gods Will” canard.

I am sure the author has suffered greatly due to the loss of her husband and her son. I couldn’t imagine going through something like that. However, I also couldn’t imagine turning my mind over to a non-existent deity that seems to be content on letting my loved ones die horrible deaths. Of course, she isn’t content with identifying this as a belief, she has the ultimate knowledge.
The secret, I believe, is in the first three words of our verse ‘AND WE KNOW’. It’s in knowing God and His love for us that we become confident in His dealings with us. I do not believe we can or will see all things working together for good, unless we trust God with an intimate knowledge of His character of absolute love and absolute goodness.
That says it all. However, she was right about one thing; God’s attribute are unchanging. He was, is, and always will be a sociopath.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

"God In America" On PBS

There is going to be an interesting show coming to PBS titled “God In America”. From what I can gather, it is going to be a show about the misunderstandings between the religious and the non-religious, and the different religions in America.

I couldn’t embed the trailer form the PBS site, so here is the link.

I am going to have to watch this for a few reasons. First, it has Ben Linus from Lost in it. Second, I think that PBS is going to give the most critical view of the subject outside of the atheist community, so the chances of this being a religious handjob are smaller, but not out of the realm of possibility. Finally, it didn’t look like Barbara Bradley Haggerty had anything to do with it.

There was one part that really piqued my interest:
... it also involves the story of the attempts to convert Native Americans to Christianity. That's not just one story, says Marini, because different groups of Native Americans reacted differently. The general response from the indigenous peoples, says Marini, was passive resistance in the east, sometimes violent resistance in the west, and conversion and acceptance in the south, in what is now Mexico.
I think that is something that really overlooked in our history. Admittedly, I don’t know much about this subject either. Hopefully this will be a good introduction to the attempts to convert the native population.

The show will run in 3 two hour segments on October 11-13, 2010 on your local PBS station

Catholics And Seven Year Olds

In an article with Catholic News Service, Cardinal Canizares stated that children need to be prepared for receiving their first communion before the age of seven.
Children today are maturing so quickly and are exposed to so many different influences that it might be time to consider allowing them to prepare for and receive their first Communion even before their 7th birthdays, said the head of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments.

"A child's first Communion is like the beginning of a journey with Jesus, in communion with him: the beginning of a friendship destined to last and to grow for his entire life," wrote Cardinal Antonio Canizares Llovera.
I think seven is too young for a child to do anything other than play and go to school. However, following the path of religion, you have to “get ‘em while their young.” If you take these children and begin the brainwashing process early enough, you can guarantee that they will have life-long guilt problems and be fully indoctrinated into the church, forever guilty of being born human.
St. Pius said delaying the reception of Communion until long after the child reaches "the age of reason," generally accepted to be about 7 years of age, was the result of the erroneous belief that "the most holy Eucharist is a reward rather than a remedy for human frailty."
The age of reason is seven? I have a daughter who is nine and I still wouldn’t consider her at the age of reason. For that matter, I am not sure that I am at the age of reason. The idea that a child can understand what is going on when it comes to religion is laughable.

No word on if the age of rape is still six.

Monday, August 9, 2010

John Boehner: PWNed By Joe Scarborough

This is fantastic. You know, sometimes I would like to fight Joe Scarborough in the street, then he does something like this and makes me like him, just a very little bit.

Nothing makes me happier then seeing John Boehner getting the smack down, even if it is just an ad hominem attack.


Sorry to all three of you that I haven't been around for the past few days. I am having some personal changes going on right now and some great projects that I am about to start. I will do what I can over the next week to post every day. I think that the planned projects will be worth it.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Obnoxious Christian Conversion

Does Christianity Make Sense? Well, that depends on who you ask. According to English Professor Holly Ordway, of course it does. Ms. Ordway explains that she was once an academic, logical, intellectual, and an atheist. That all changed at the age of 31. {insert your own joke here} What is interesting is her view of atheists and how she acted when she was an atheist.
“Though she knew next to nothing about Christianity, she began to mock Christians and belittle their faith, intelligence and character.

"[I]t was fun to consider myself superior to the unenlightened, superstitious masses, and to make snide comments about Christians," Ordway writes.”

That doesn’t make you an atheist; that makes you a dick. If she was mocking a group of people she knew nothing about, then I am going to have to call her on being “logical and intellectual.” The person that would just start ranting at people they don’t understand strikes me as crazy; akin to the guy on the corner ranting at the street signs for being colorful.

Her problems with a naturalistic worldview didn’t end with her being a dick, as if the two are somehow mutually exclusive.
“One reason for her interest, she explains, is that her "naturalistic worldview was inadequate to explain the nature of reality in a coherent way: it could not explain the origin of the universe, nor could it explain morality."

"On the other hand, the theistic worldview was both consistent and powerfully explanatory: it offered a convincing, rationally consistent, and logical explanation for everything that the naturalistic worldview explained plus all the things that the naturalistic worldview couldn’t."”

Inadequate to explain reality in a coherent way? Could not explain the origin of the universe? Could not explain morality? Where does religion do any of this? Just saying “’cuz of God” doesn’t make it so. There have been better people than I to write at length about morality as an evolutionary condition, such as Sam Harris. As for the origin of the universe, “not currently able to explain” and “never going to explain” are two different things. This is one of those constantly moving goalposts. It went from the age of the earth to the age of the universe to how the universe came into being to the actual origin of the universe. Every time science answers a question, the goalpost moves a little further out. As for reality, you mean to tell me the idea of the invisible sky daddy who is his own son but not and killed himself on a cross 2000 years ago, but not really is somehow a more coherent explanation of reality? Wow.

To the points of the theistic world view taking care of everything, I would ask for evidence. No religious books are rational, convincing, logical, or coherent. They are stories that have been written down from hearsay about events that never took place on timelines that are demonstrably false. They are myths that don’t agree with each other even when talking about the same story.

Here is where the story begins to eat itself.
“"I don’t 'believe' because I like the idea and want it to be true. I don’t 'believe' because I think Christianity makes sense intellectually (although that was a necessary foundation to my faith). In fact, I wouldn’t say that I 'believe' in God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, or that I 'believe' I have a personal relationship with Him: I would say that I know these things to be true," the former atheist emphatically stated in a 2007 blog entry.”

Didn’t she just get done talking about arrogance and absolute knowledge? She doesn’t believe, she knows. That sounds more conceited and arrogant than any atheist I have ever met. This is where religious people always lose me. They talk about atheists as arrogant and all-knowing, then turn around and call atheists fools for not seeing the truth that was there all the time; the truth that they know.

She is still a dick.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Lamest. Show. Evar!

Man, I love the Jersey Shore. It is a commentary on modern society, a look into the lives of the mindless, and a train wreck of alcohol and bodily fluids. It is seriously one of the worst displays of "humanity" I have ever seen. Could there be anything worse?
A free concert promoting "PTL," or praise the lord, took place near where the cast of MTV's "Jersey Shore" enjoy "GTL," or the gym, tan and laundry lifestyle.

The Move the Earth ministry organized a "Jesus Shore" event Monday on the Seaside Heights boardwalk as an alternative to the "fighting and fornicating" organizers say the reality TV show celebrates.

Abundant Grace Church Pastor Anthony Storino says they're not against the TV program. But Storino says there's another side to the Jersey shore.

The concert featured Christian bands and a Christian-themed tattoo contest. Vendors also sold Christian books and T-shirts.

Well, I stand corrected. No word from the three people that showed up on how the show was.

Building Churches, Not Mosques

A Mormon church is going to be built in Philadelphia and the locals are restless. Massive protests ignited all over the city against the Mormons building their church in a city that has nothing to do with Mormonism.

Well, not exactly. As the fervor over the mosques being built in this nation grows, no one seems to care that the Mormons, an anti-gay, anti-women’s rights, anti-justice, crazy cult of Joseph Smith, are building a giant tabernacle in Philadelphia.

I know it is the LDS’s right to build their churches wherever they would like, I am just asking for some continuity. If the country is going to start shutting out Islam, then we need to stop construction of all churches or all religions, which is an idea that I am not that opposed to.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Islam And The Bill Of Rights

If there is one thing that the Bill of Rights has always been clear on, it is that everyone has the right to practice their religion freely; it does not pick a religion, it does not differentiate between religion and cult, it does not prescribe a god to worship, it does not force everyone to be religious, and it does not say that there are only certain places that people are allowed to worship. It is difficult to explain these facts to a group of people who claim to love the Constitution and claim to hold it in the highest esteem but clearly have no idea what it says. It does not protect people from being offended and it does not give one group of delusional religious people the right to dictate terms to another group of equally delusional religious people. However, if you listen to people like Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey (R-TN) and Pastor Bill Rench, then you may think otherwise.

I refuse to be forced into the position of defending something as vile as religion, however, the Bill of Rights is something that I do hold in high esteem and prefer it not be overrun by a group of people who have an imaginary friend in the sky. So, sometimes I get forced into the position of defending a group of people, not on the basis of religion, but on the basis of the Constitution. It does not matter what I think of someone’s religion, only that they are allowed to practice it freely as stated in the First Amendment. Yes, this also extends to Muslims who want to build places of worship. I am sure that the examples that I am about to bring up are not the first and will definitely not be the last, but religious freedom is something that must be defended. If Muslims are told they can no longer practice their religion, then it is only a short time before atheists are told they are not allowed to have no faith. I speak of course of the recent events surrounding the proposed mosques in NYC and Temecula, CA, and the Muslim community center in Murfreesboro, TN.

It seems to be a trend to hide behind national security when hating an entire group of people for, really, no reason. ‘Difference’ is the only thread that links all of the different forms of bigotry together. Take, for example, the Community Center that is proposed to be built in Temecula, CA. One thing to keep in mind when reading anything about this planned community center is that a mosque has existed in Temecula for a decade now. There has been no trouble out of the Muslim community there. They are currently performing their bronze-age rituals in an industrial building and have recently saved enough money to build a community center in a place that was zoned for religious buildings. The outcry from the community was simply stupid. The mosque is to be built in a cul-de-sac across from a Baptist church. Yes, the Baptists, those beacons of acceptance and tolerance. This lead to the sniveling “whoa is us” comments from the pastor of the church.

The reasons that the mosque shouldn’t be built at that location are easily shot down and uncovered to be what they truly are: an attempt to restrict the constitutional rights of one group of people because another group of people are ‘uncomfortable’. The first reason was snarled traffic in the area. On a recent radio show from Los Angeles, (Frosty, Heidi, & Frank), the Imam explained that Muslims hold their services on Friday afternoons, while Christians hold their services on Sunday. The issue of the traffic: ended. Then there was the idea put forth by the pastor that there may be some religious tension and possible violence between the church and the mosque. That part was very disconcerting for me, personally. This seemed to be a warning from the pastor that “if you come to our neighborhood, I can’t promise some of my congregation won’t go crazy on your building and congregation.” It was a very thinly veiled threat against the Imam. Again, the Imam explained that they held services on Fridays and were unlikely to see each other.

The final comments were ones that I am torn on, but not for reasons that may be clear until I explain myself. The Pastor told the Imam that he was worried about the mosque housing members of a terror cell, either knowingly or unknowingly. I agree that a terror cell in the area connected to the mosque would be horrible, however, the mosque has already existed in the community for over a decade. There have been no attacks on the community, no attacks on the nearby Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, and no attacks on Los Angeles. There has been no indication that there are any terror cells operating out of the mosque. On the contrary, the mosque has actually shown itself to be quite open. They allow anyone to view their services, as long as they remove their shoes and remain quite and their meetings are always in the open, free for anyone to visit. I would go further, though. I don’t think that every Muslim I meet has to apologize for September 11th just like every Catholic I meet doesn’t have to apologize for the Inquisition and every hillbilly doesn’t have to apologize for the KKK. Perhaps I should demand that all Christians apologize to me for Jerry Fallwell, Pat Robertson, and Fred Phelps. Try walking around Germany and demanding that everyone denounce the actions of Hitler or walk around Japan and demand that the actions of Hirohito be “refudiated”. I think that, at least in the US, the Muslim community has gone to great lengths to distance themselves from al-Qaeda. Again, the argument seems ridiculous.

The response from the community has been bigoted, but not surprising. They have even brought the local Tea Party on board. The community unified for one thing: stopping the mosque. The good people of Temecula have even went so far as to form a protest outside of the existing mosque on July 30, 2010, during the Muslim service. The protesters were encouraged to bring their dogs and to sing songs because, as one insane lady put it, “the Muslims hate dogs and songs.” Well, that may be so, and I thinking the idea that a dog’s saliva somehow makes you unclean is weird to say the least, the actions of the protesters are at a minimum mean-spirited. However, that is their right. We do not have a right in this country not to be offended. I do think this speaks volumes about the opposition to the mosque. It is exposed, once again, as simply a bigoted view that this is a Christian nation and therefore all inhabitants should be Christian. Well, I have news for the people of Temecula, this is not a Christian Nation and it hopefully never will be. As a side note, I am trying to figure out what the Tea Party is doing involved in this. I thought that the Tea Party was about fiscal conservatism and the constitution. If anything, they should be on the side of the First Amendment being utilized here. This is one of thousands of examples of the constitution being flexible in all parts except for the second amendment, at least according to the Tea Party. I sure am glad that the Tea Party isn’t the party of bigots.

My favorite case of the ridiculous nature of this argument that the country is having comes out of Murfreesboro, TN. I wrote about the Lt. Gov. who had some thoughts on whether Islam is a religion or a cult. Guess what Billy Bob; they are one and the same. All religions started as cults, and to be honest I still consider them all cults. The Lt. Gov. thinks that the first amendment is awesome and we should uphold it, but if Islam is a cult then it shouldn’t be protected. This game of making the Constitution fit your own religion, racist, or political (which is really three words describing the same thing) view is sickening. These are the same people who will tell you “I’m not a bigot/racist, but…” You can guess where this uproar is heading. There are already stirrings of protests of the community center. It’s the mentality of “You can have your own place of worship, just not here.” The Lt. Gov. and the yokels of Tennessee clearly think that Christianity reigns supreme and the Constitution is there to protect only their religion.

The most controversial out of these cases has to be the proposed Cordova House/Park51/Ground Zero Mosque/community center. First of all, there are a few things that need to be understood about this case. Foremost, the proposed community center is not going to be built on the site of the WTC. It is proposed to be built a few blocks from the site which, in New York City, may as well be in Chicago. The fact that you would be able to see the “Ground Zero” from the top floor doesn’t really mean anything to me. What if there was a mosque next to the site before 9/11; would they not be allowed to rebuild their mosque on that site? As long as there is a Bill of Rights in this country, people will and should be allowed to build their religious buildings where they please. This has a lot to do with the atheist community as well. Think about how many religious people would be happy to wipe us off of the planet. Imagine the uproar if the Charlotte Atheists & Agnostics were to put an office on Billy Graham Parkway or right next to a church. Even worse, imagine if the CAA bought an old church and turned it into a gathering place for atheists. Should we care about what the religious community thinks? Should we have our rights to assemble stripped from us because someone doesn’t agree with us? Of course not.

Second, there is this misconception that there is going to be a giant golden dome with the minarets and the call to prayer at the location. It’s a community center! This building is going to be 13 stories and will have things like restaurants, a gymnasium, classrooms, and also mosque. The idea that the al-Aksa Mosque is going to be recreated in the middle of NYC is stupid. No one complains about Jewish Community Centers or YMCA’s, why would anyone complain about this? Have you been to the Y? There are Bible verses on the wall. I haven’t been to a Jewish Community Center, but I can’t imagine it being any different. No one would suggest that the Y is a hotbed of Christian fundamentalism. That is what is most annoying about this. People hear the word “mosque” and automatically say that of course they are ‘jihadists’ and of course their goal is Sharia Law. Well, that may be their goal, but we have this thing called the First Amendment that protects peoples religious preferences and also stops the government from establishing a religion. When there are people actively trying to do this we can have a conversation.

Finally, there is this idea going around that this community center is going to be the new headquarters of al-Qaeda. This information couldn’t come from anywhere but the right-wing. There are people like Newt Gengrich who complain about the name of the foundation. The Cordova Foundation is named after a city in Spain where the Muslims set up a mosque after they conquered the country. My response to that is Billy Graham calls his self-masturbatory events “crusades”. Is anyone going to complain about that? Not likely. Then Newt says that “we will allow a mosque here when there are churches and synagogues in Saudi Arabia. I thought we were better than Saudi Arabia. It was my understanding that this was supposed to be a free country, which Saudi Arabia most certainly is not. Saudi Arabia is a theocracy. I thought the republicans were defenders of the democracy, protectors of this gaudy, self-indulgent society. Again, they are when it suits their bias, but when it’s something that ‘offends’ them, then we must stop and pass laws to stop the 6 million Muslims in this country from being able to practice their religion freely. Imagine if we passed a law that said “all churches must be Catholic. All other churches will be shut down. You are free to practice your religion, just not in public.” That would be interesting.

Is the community center in bad taste? I don’t know and I am not willing to make a judgment on that. Do I want them to build any of the places? I don’t want anyone to build any kind of religious buildings anywhere. I have to agree with Christopher Hitchens: religion poisons everything. Under the Constitution, do the Muslims have the right to build their community centers? Absolutely. This country is a place for all people and ideas to come together and, hopefully, exist without killing each other. As long as we allow these right-wing idiots and Tea Party bigots dictate the terms of people’s belief structures we are going to continue to have this problem of the American Theocracy.

This is a secular nation. The sooner everyone gets that though their head, the better off we will be.


Reference Material
- Temecula Mosque

- Tennessee Islamic Community Center

- NYC Mosque