Monday, September 27, 2010

Donuts For Jesus

I find it extremely annoying when people give me things that have hidden messages. Like if I decide to stop at Cook Out, which is a local food chain that has excellent milkshakes, only to find bible verses printed on cups and on the receipt. If I am actually paying for something, keep your imaginary friends off of my products!

It’s a sneaky way that Christians try to push Jesus onto you. Some students at a Roswell, NM high school attempted to do the same thing recently by giving teachers donuts with bible verses attached to them. The students were disciplined for proselytizing, as they should have been.

"My son was showing kindness ... and he was punished? What did my child do that was so wrong?" she asked.

Your son was not showing kindness, your son was being obnoxious by trying to foist his idiotic beliefs onto someone else, all disguised as a donut.

The students behind this are part of “Church on the Move”, which specializes in hounding people for no good reason. This is the same group that handed out fetus dolls last year at school as a protest of abortion.

If these kids want to be obnoxious and bother people to this degree, then they need to learn that there is a time and a place of which school is neither. They also need to learn that not everyone is going to smile and take their bullshit.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Science Minister? You Mean "Science" Minister

Ireland is trying to become a safe-haven for crazy, at least that is how it seems when you see stories like this:
In pre-publicity material for the book, the author accuses Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens and other campaigners for atheism of having "sacrificed reason on the altar of chance, mutations and randomness".
This book is going to be a great read, I am sure. I am also sure that John May will also single-handedly overturn the entire scientific theory of evolution. If you can’t tell, I am not impressed.

What is annoying is this little tidbit.
Mr Lenihan confirmed on Tuesday that he will not attend the launch, but added that he thought that diversity of opinion was a good thing.
Diversity of opinion is a great thing when that diversity follows a possible path. When the diversity is between something that can be proven and some crazy old man ranting for 300 pages, then diversity of opinion is nonexistent.

If this is what diversity of opinion is, I am going to overturn the theory of gravity because a tree in my backyard said that it isn’t true. I will also say that Conor Lenihan is a carrot. No one can prove it otherwise, facts be damned!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Israeli Children Have No Choice

It is heart-breaking to see a child used as a proxy war between parents. Religious types are good at using their children for some kind of “upper hand” in the case of a divorce where one parent is religious and the other is not, so the latest out of Israel should not be too surprising.

The Israeli Supreme Court ruled that a child whose parents are divorced will receive a state-religious education against the will of the mother, who wants her son to receive a secular education. They ruled this way because…

The father, who comes from a renowned haredi family, objected the mother's wishes, and claimed the if the child studied in a secular school system, he will not be able to visit his haredi grandparents in Bnei Brak, because they would be disgraced and severe their ties with the boy.

The grandparents are insane if they will not visit the child because he is not being indoctrinated by some religious school, the father doubly so for even making this an issue. This is a child! This child is as religious as my dog. The fact that the father is forcing this kid to get a religious education so he can be screwed up for the rest of his life is mind-numbing.

Listen people: if you are religious, then you can be as deluded as you want. However, you need to leave your kids out of it. They need to make their own choice when they are old enough to understand what is going on. I have to agree with Richard Dawkins in cases like this: child abuse, plain and simple.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Catholics: Making Babies For Europe

You know what this world doesn’t need any more of? People. The larger that the world population gets, the more problems that we are inevitably going to have due to things like mass famine and global warming. So when problems like this are staring us in the face, you can count on the Catholic Church to be on the wrong side of the issue.

Father Piero Gheddo, who is supposedly some sort of member of the Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missionaries, has said in order to stem the tide of the influx of Muslims into Europe, Europeans need to make more babies.
"The fact is that, as a people, we are becoming ever more pagan and the religious vacuum is inevitably filled by other proposals and religious forces," he said. "If we consider ourselves a Christian country, we should return to the practice of Christian life, which would also solve the problem of empty cradles."
Of course he is talking about Italy, but this is pretty weird. Returning to the Christian way of life is dropping as many kids as possible? I thought that was something that all good Catholics could be counted on for. I am not sure about Italy becoming more pagan either, as I have not heard of a great public works project to erect May polls and build sacrificing centers.

There is a large influx of people from Muslim countries into Europe. Is that a problem? I couldn’t begin to say. However, I think when you start talking about limiting immigration due to country of origin or begging the public to have more white kids, you should start looking for the next Mussolini to run the country. I don’t think it has as much to do with Islam v Christianity than it does with White European v Brown People.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

What's All The Fuss?

Randolph A. Heine, the man that owns the land that the Dove Ministries is using to advertise their “Burn A Koran” day says he doesn’t know why people are so upset. “I don’t see what all the fuss is about”, he says.
Heine said he hasn't had a good relationship with the mosque next door to his property, the Hoda Center Academy and has a general mistrust of Islam. He said he doesn't support the plan to burn the book but vehemently supports the church's right to do it.

"He has the right to symbolically protest Muslims, so I don't know what the big fuss is," he said of Jones. "You have to stand by him if you're an American."
I agree, the church has the first amendment right to burn as many Korans as they please. It is as American as apple pie, burning the American flag, protesting soldiers funerals, and building an Islamic community center in New York City.

This church does not have the right to burn these Korans, however, because the fire marshal said no. It is against the law. First amendment rights must be protected, even when we don’t agree with them, but the law must also be respected, which is supposedly an American virtue.

I do not think for one second that Mr. Heine doesn’t know “what all the fuss is about.” Of course he knows, but it is his right to be a moron.

Sanctity Of Marriage, Indeed

Those who shout about the sanctity of marriage are usually the ones who somehow end up violating their own laws. An Anglican minister is being jailed for four years for performing sham marriages for the purpose of immigration.
The Reverend Alex Brown, 61, presided over 360 bogus ceremonies over four years at his small parish church on the south coast of England.

Over that period, the scam, thought to be the biggest of its kind in Britain, involved East European women being paid up to 3,000 pounds ($4,600) a time to help the men, mostly Nigerians, by-pass UK immigration laws and settle in Britain.

Destroying the institute of sacred marriage and making a shit-load of cash at the same time? Say it ain’t so, religious moron!

While the Anglican church has been one of the most forward-thinking cults on gay marriage (trust me, it makes me ill to say), they are still part of the larger religious community who scream about the sanctity of marriage while doing one of four things:

1) Having an affair
2) Raping a Child
3) Having gay sex
4) Shit like this.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The Catholic Kidnapper

It seems like every week there is a new story of some pious faithhead circumventing the law because they know better. Laura Maria Caballero, AKA Sister Mary, the leader of a Lake County, FL church, St Filumena Catholic Church, is being charged on multiple counts ranging from false imprisonment to tampering with a witness.
The Lake County church leader accused of taking a toddler to Argentina without permission believed she was acting in the child's best interest, according to a transcript of a phone conversation.

"The only thing we did was to make her happy," said Laura Maria Caballero, known as Sister Mary and head of St. Filumena Catholic Church in Eustis. "I saved that girl's life three times. And now, the thing that's happening is that the police (want) to create a child-trafficking case that doesn't exist."
I am pretty sure this fits the definition of child trafficking. This crazy Catholic lady kidnapped a child and whisked her away to Argentina. She also called a witness who notarized the paperwork to take the child out of the country (I hope this person will also be charged) and tried to talk her out of testifying.

It’s a recurring theme: church knows best, therefore church is above the law. If this child was truly in danger, then there is an agency that actually handles the case called the Department of Social Services.

This story takes a special twist at the end.
The toddler's father, Jose Juan Ochoa Avalos, admitted during a court deposition that he paid a smuggler $1,800 to sneak him into the U.S. He claims Caballero tried to use that information to keep their baby.

The documents also show that Caballero, who was present at the toddler's birth in January 2008, paid for the child's medical bills, bought food and diapers, and cared for her during long stretches when the parents couldn't.
Exploiting immigrants? I am glad that there isn’t some kind of anti-immigrant feeling in this country. I hope this women finds the true definition of pain, suffering, and persecution.

BBC v. The Catholic Church

The Catholic Church has their panties in a wad (again) over what they deem as “unfair” treatment by the BBC. I guess the news is supposed to have the right balance to it, such as saying that the child-raping priests must have had their reasons.
In a report in The Sunday Times O’Brien said research into the BBC’s news coverage of Christianity in general, and Catholicism in particular, and with an analysis of output by the Catholic Church, has revealed a "consistent anti-Christian institutional bias".

O’Brien also said he feared a documentary on the Catholic clerical abuse scandals, which coincides with the Pope’s visit, will amount to a "hatchet job" on the Vatican.

I know one good way to end the anti-Catholic reporting: do something about the institutional rape of children, end the anti-woman sentiment, bring yourself into the 20th century by trusting the science on AIDS and contraceptives, and drop the 14th century mindset that there is a god.

Something tells me that the Catholic church, and Christians in general, will not take anyone up on that offer. You know, because without a God, the Catholic church would just seem like some weird boys-only pedophiles club.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

South Carolina And Jesus Car Marker

If you live in South Carolina, I am sorry. Also, you are going to be able to get that “I Believe” license plate you have always wanted.

Nine months after a federal judge barred the state from making legislatively approved plates with the religious message, Attorney General Henry McMaster says a similar plate designed by a nonprofit group is legal. The plate under review at the Department of Motor Vehicles reads along the top. It features a golden sunrise and on the left, three crosses symbolizing the site where Jesus was crucified.

I am glad that all of South Carolinas problems have been solved. We can now tie up judges with stupid cases like license plates. Who cares? As long as the plates are privately funded, it does not matter what is put on the plate. They could have Jesus eating a baby for all that I care.

I am not sure why anyone would have a problem with their plate idea. Disgusting? Yes. Stupid? Yes. Laughable? Yes. However, South Carolina does have an “In Reason We Trust” plate that was sponsored by the Secular Humanists of the Low Country.

I wonder what it is like to live in the utopia that is South Carolina, where your biggest problem is what a death-cult wants to put on their plates with their own money. I guess that whole corrupt and hypocritical politician thing has been fixed.

American Sharia

The idea of Sharia law makes my stomach turn and by head get dizzy. Images of people getting their hands chopped off and women having their faces disfigured with acid run through my mind in waves of nausea. So, when I hear someone making the case to incorporate Sharia law into the American judicial system, my involuntary reaction is to scream, get angry, and spit on the ground.

Dr. Gene Davenport, Professor Emeritus of Religion at Lambuth University thinks that a weak version of Sharia law should be incorporated to help relieve the strain on the judicial system by allowing certain judgments to be given by Sharia courts.
The acceptance of Sharia courts in this country's legal system would not be without precedent. In some parts of the country Jewish courts (Beth Din) arbitrate in matters of small claims and millions of dollars, employee-employer disputes, breach of contract, inheritance, and matrimonial disputes. Such courts serve, in other words, as arbitration courts, the decisions of which are recognized by the secular courts as long as those decisions are in keeping with the Constitution and with the laws of the state in which the religious court resides. And decisions in religious courts always can be challenged in state courts.
First of all, I know about the Jewish courts and I think that they have made it possible for any religious group to have their own courts. I think it is disgusting. I do not care how overburdened the judicial system is. One way to free up a lot of the case load of the courts would be to legalize drugs, but that is a different story. The idea of allowing even a watered-down version of Sharia law, like England has, is wretched, disgusting, and stupid.

Arguments over mosques and their location in reference to a hole in the ground are diverting our attention away from real problems, like incorporating Sharia courts into the judicial system. I do not care what your religion says you should do or what laws you should live by. This is a country of laws, SECULAR LAWS.
Even various Christian denominations have arbitration systems that are recognized by the secular courts. In some denominations, if a group decides to break away from the denomination, the ownership of the church property is determined by church law and is recognized by the secular courts. (And one hesitates to mention the numerous courts on television such as that of Judge Judy.)
How does Judge Judy, and actual judge, compare in any way to religious courts? I admit that I am not a fan of parading the judicial system on TV like some sort of sideshow at the circus, but that doesn’t mean it should be compared to any kind of religious court. The last time I checked, as vile a person as Judge Judy may be, she still upholds the secular laws of this country. Also, respecting property rights is not a religious idea. I am fairly sure that property rights are part of the secular laws of this country.
In light of the attitudes of the majority of Muslims in this country today, it might be expected that the interpretation of Sharia in their courts would be enlightened, just and reflective of Western attitudes and values. Such courts certainly would relieve the current case overload in the secular courts.
You know what else would be enlightening? Having everyone that lives in this country abide by the laws of this country. It doesn’t matter if you worship the Sun, Jesus, or a pile of dirt, you are under the jurisdiction of the United States of America, not the Theocratic Kingdom of America. Saying that there are certain interpretations of Sharia law that would be reflective of western values is the same as saying that there are certain interpretations of the anarchist cookbook that are reflective of a dictatorship.

If you water down Sharia to any point, it is still a religious code that will apply to only a certain group of people. That is not what this country is about. That is why we don’t have Ten Commandment Courts. So remember this, all of you slack-jawed morons out there who think that we need no separation of church and state. Without the separation, there are going to be idiotic things like “liberal” Sharia, Jewish Law, Christian Law, etc. that are going to be absorbed little-by-little into the justice system. At that point, we can just change the name to the Injustice Department and give in to whatever theocratic dictator comes to prominence.

Sharia =/= Secular Values.


Thursday, September 2, 2010

Ken Cuccinelli: Overt Weirdo

Virginia Attorney-General-for-Jesus Ken Cuccinelli has written an opinion on overtly Christian symbolism being used for recognition of holidays. In his opinion, Cuccinelli wrote that

"... The county is free to communicate its own recognition of the holidays, including Christmas, as long as overtly Christian symbols are balanced with other religious and secular ones in a way that communicates to reasonable, informed observers that the county is not making a religious statement.

So the good people of Virginia can erect a manger scene, complete with live actors, paid for by the government, as long as they symbols are balanced out by secular symbols. How messy is this going to get? I have a feeling that the secular symbols the AG is speaking of are going to end up being Christmas trees and Christmas lights.

How “reasonable” is this policy going to be? Are there atheist groups in Virginia that are going to be able to put up knowledge-trees or a tribute to the Flying Spaghetti Monster for the holiday season, all while being publically funded? I doubt that any of the displays will be allowed to be displayed even if the groups themselves paid for them.

What are the public lawns going to look like with fifty different displays up for holidays? Are they going to also allow Muslims to put up displays for Ramadan or Jews for Chanukah? What about Buddhists, Hindus, Sikhs, Wiccans, Witchdoctors, or Pagans?

I think it would be easier to just not allow anything of the sort on public land, funded by public money. I am sure that Virginia has better things to spend money on, like getting Cuccinelli the clown out of office.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

A Whole Load Of Planets

I love astronomy. It is probably my favorite science-turned-hobby around. I try to follow news about space in general daily through sites like Universe Today and, when in a pinch, places like the NY Times Science section.

Anyway, it seems that astronomers have found a system that has the largest number of planets in it to date.
According to the ESO press release, the strongest gravitational signals come from planets with a mass roughly equivelant to Neptune, with orbits ranging from 6 to 600 days. Furthermore, Lovis said that his team has "good reasons to believe that two other planets are present," including one with a mass similar to Saturn and another that would be about 1.4 times that of the Earth's, making it the least-massive exoplanet discovered to date. The Saturn-like planet would possess an orbit of approximately 2,200 days, while a year on the smaller planet would last a mere 1.18 days.

I am most interested in the planet that is 1.4 times the mass of Earth; not because it is close to our size, but because this is the least-massive planet that has been detected. We are crossing the threshold into an era of finding planets the mass of Earth and smaller. I can't wait until we find these objects and start analyzing their atmospheres to see what is flying about through the air.

It is also interesting that there is no massive Jupiter-like planet in the system, just a bunch of smaller Saturn-like planets that crowd around the star at about the distance of Mars at maximum. I have no background to understand why, but I can form a few uneducated guesses (that do NOT involve a god).

This is great. This could either lead to us finding life, which would be awesome, or we could find out that we are truly alone, at least in this part of the galaxy, which would be a little weird, but awesome none-the-less.

Read Also: Universe Today's Coverage