Sunday, January 31, 2010

Playing Hide-and-Go-Seek

Courtesy of, all sorts of Christians are playing hide-and-go-seek with other people's kids.

Round 1 - Mennonites

Round 2 - Baptists

"Ohhhh, yer goin' ter hell fer that one!"


Saturday, January 30, 2010


You may notice when reading this blog that there are more criticisms of Republican/Conservative politicians and supporters than Democrats/Liberals.  Although my personal political beliefs definitely skew towards liberal, with significant touches of hardcore capitalism (I have a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics and Political Science) and a dash of libertarian for flavoring, this blog is not intended to be a political blog.  Far from it - with the exception of this sentence, you will never read "Obama is not a citizen" nor "GW is the Anti-christ", even if I believed either of those ridiculous statements (President Obama was born in Hawaii, and Ex-President Bush cannot be the Anti-christ, just as he cannot be Zaphod Beeblebrox or Harry Potter).

I think the reason for seeing more comments relating to the Far Right is due to the marriage/collusion of the GOP and the Religious Right starting with Ronald Reagan and the (COUGH) Moral Majority, and continuing through today.  For example, a GOP candidate for governor in Alabama recently caught a lot of flak for daring to state that some of the Bible may be allegory.  To save his candidacy, he had to change his tune on bible literalism (see and  Would I be less critical of a Democratic candidate who made the same statements as Bradley Byrne?  Absolutely not.  Both would need to go back to school to learn a little history and science (but not in Texas...

Funny thing, though.  Had any candidate made the statement that "Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions" ( was the literal truth, they'd have been laughed out of the political arena.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Why Fundamentalists are Scary, Scary People...

So we find out today that Scott Roeder was convicted of 1st degree murder in the killing of a doctor who performed legal medicinal procedures that Roeder objected to. He was also found guilty of two counts of aggravated assault (which we will get to a bit later).

Why did he commit the murder of a man sitting in church? Roeder's god told him that his beliefs trumped all others' beliefs. His beliefs were of more importance than a fellow church-goer, more important than the patients of his victim, more important than the laws of the country that supported him his whole life.

He had options outside of cold-blooded murder to handle those conflicts. He could have talked with the patients, talked with the doctor, worked with lawmakers to change the laws. Roeder even had the option to LEAVE, to move someplace where his beliefs did not have those same conflicts. Based on what I have read, he actually did try to talk to those patients and the doctor, and may have even spoken with his representatives to discuss the laws he objected to.

But you know what? Those patients, that doctor, and those lawmakers had options, too. Options such as not speaking to somebody who tries to discuss legal medical procedures with them, or if they do agree to those discussions, not having their opinions of those procedures changed. Options such as continuing to perform those procedures. Options such as deciding that the laws either did not need to be changed, or feeling that the changes requested would be unconstitutional.

Roeder instead chose another option - blowing away a doctor while the doctor was in his house of worship. Roeder KNEW his particular flavor of god granted him the right to take the life of a fellow man. His belief was so strong that it trumped all activity seen in a polite society.

Another instance of this fundamentalist "I know what is right and all others are wrong" fallacy involves our ex-President. A story about GW Bush (as told to Terry Gross by a guest on her NPR show) concerned GW's belief in heaven. GW and his mother, Barbara, were discussing heaven, and who could get into heaven. Barbara believed that anybody who was good and lived a good life could enter heaven. GW stated that ONLY those who accepted his personal savior would make it. Even those little babies who never had a chance to hear of his particular flavor of god were damned. He was so adamant about this, even to his mother, that she had to resort to calling family friend Billy Graham to talk to GW about it.

Oh, and those two counts of aggravated assault Roeder was convicted of? They display his outright hypocrisy... You see, Roeder murdered the doctor, then ran. Rather than living by his convictions and accepting the penalties of his actions, he ran. He didn't run like a little girl who ran from a scary spider - no, he ran like a scared, guilty child who realized that he had done something wrong. How else do you explain his pointing a loaded weapon at two innocent parishioners who tried to stop him? They had never performed medical procedures Roeder's flavor of god objected to. He KNEW that he had done wrong, and he KNEW that he was in trouble, so he ran.

Some folks accuse atheists of being fundamentalists. There is a major difference between fundamentalists such as Roeder, and an atheist such as myself. His belief DEMANDED that others live by that belief, and if they did not, he could do what he wanted to the unbelievers. Me? Well, you will probably never convince me of the existence of a god... but I will never force anybody else become an atheist or die. I will never take one of my guns and put a bullet into the head of a believer simply because that person was a believer in a god. I may feel that belief is a silly one, and that sometimes those silly beliefs lead to unwise actions, but I will not take a gun, point it at somebody's head, and kill them in cold blood.

Thursday, January 28, 2010


I was always told that self-flagellation would make me go blind and grow hair on my palms. Pope JP-II must have had a great barber - you never saw a hairy palm when he was waving to the crowd. On top of that, he always seemed to be looking right at you.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The DaVinci Code

I love hearing about how The DaVinci Code was all sacrilegious, and full of falsehoods, and blahhh blahhh blahhh....

I grew up Catholic. I grew up learning from my Priest that Mary Magdalene was a prostitute who was saved by JC. Let's talk about falsehoods. MM being a whore is one, and the official Catholic story on her was, therefore, a falsehood. Even well after the Catholic Church declared that, well, maybe MM being a prostitute was just a biiiiiiiiiiiit of a fib in 1969, the local Priest spewed that nonsense.

Funny thing is - The DaVinci Code is fiction. It is ALLOWED to state things that are not true. It is called storytelling. But the Catholic Church is not supposed to be that way. Truth before the lord, and all that stuff.

But, bah, why does it matter. The Bible... The DaVinci Code... Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone... All fiction. All written by men or women to put forth an entertaining story. Only one has led to wars though.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Why did god smite 100k+ Haitians?

Along that same line, why did god smite 100k+ SE Asians around xmas-time a few years back? And why did god steer a hurricane into New Orleans, knowing that the city was so susceptible to flooding?

If I understand correctly, god (at least the Abrahamic version) would command that entire cities be wiped out due to the perception of evil, or perception of lack of respect, or because it was Tuesday (OK - I made that last one up, but it's god we're talking about here... what reason does god need?). However (and again with the Abrahamic version), I thought that after The Great Flood, god declares that it will not happen again. Well, it's god we are talking about again... and if god can place his son's picture in a grilled cheese sandwich (, I guess he can change his mind on smiting massive populations of innocent folks.

But we have still not answered WHY god would smite those groups. Of course, we are talking about god here.... The guy sent his own son down to earth to be brutally beaten, stoned, and killed AS A FREAKING PUBLIC RELATIONS MOVE! I don't know if trying to understand or figure out "why" is possible, if even desirable. Maybe if I watch more "Mad Men" I'll get a better grasp of the thought process behind "do whatever you want for PR."

Monday, January 25, 2010

The Book of Eli

Saw "The Book of Eli" the other day. It was an interesting movie, and entertaining. Without giving any spoilers, let me just say that it is not as action-packed as the previews suggest, but the "lack" of action is hardly a drawback. Some nice twists and turns.

In other words, a nice piece of fiction.

Unreasonable Faith strikes again

Read through to the end. It may be long, but the statements on how one religion interprets another ring true.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

The last 30 seconds are precious (NSFW)

NSFW - naughty naughty language. But worth watching, anyways.

It's a start

Apparently a church has been found to be spending too much time politicizing rather than proselytizing. Political animals have to pay taxes.

Next up - the Mormon Church:


Pump millions into a political activity and you're a political group, not a church eligible for tax-exempt status.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Bible Literalists

You know, I used to think that Bible literalists were absolutely insane. How in the world could somebody possibly believe that every word in a book published my many men (and maybe a woman or two) over the past few thousand years was 100% fact - including the stories of Adam and Eve, Noah and the flood, etc?

But then I spoke at length with somebody who is a Bible literalist. His simple words: "God was able to create the cosmos, the Earth, and man... Don't you think He could find a good publisher?"

Of course, that is still going under the assumption that a god of some sort created the universe. I still think they are wrong, and that the Bible is simply docudrama and a collection of allegories as factual as Aesop's Fables, but at least the phrase "bats**t insane" no longer comes into play.

Friday, January 22, 2010

In The Beginning....

I am an atheist. I have been for pretty much all my life. And though I do not believe there is a god, I believe very strongly in religious freedom. All of you who believe in a god my be wrong, but you have the right to be wrong in your own way. I will even fight for your right to be wrong*. Of course, I expect the same from you, too (your fighting for my right to be wrong).

I am not a "militant atheist" - last I checked, I had not firebombed a church, nor shot any doctors, flown any planes into any buildings, etc., nor are those actions part of any plan I have. I've never tried to convert somebody from belief in a god to atheism, nor do I think I ever will. I will debate beliefs with somebody if they bring it up, but pox on me if I ever go door to door to instruct people about the lack of god (and pox on those that do go door to door to instruct people about their god).

As an American, I grew up with the idea of the separation of church and state. The US government, as well as all the state and local governments, are in the business of governing, not proselytizing. I'm not a fan of "In God We Trust" being on our money, but it has been there for a hundred years, so that falls into tradition. I do want to see "under god" removed from the Pledge of Allegiance - it was placed there as an overreaction to "them godless commies". Besides, schoolkids recite The Pledge daily (at least here in North Carolina they do - it's the law), so it essentially becomes government-sponsored indoctrination of the existence of a god.

Religious fundamentalists/evangelicals worry me, and they should worry you, too. Anybody who feels they MUST push their beliefs on you and that you MUST believe the way you do lacks respect for others. And that is just wrong.

*However, if your belief system involved suppression of women, or others who may not be like you, or if it involved sex with kids, you are not believers, you are vile scum who should be prosecuted to the extent of the law.