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Sunday, March 29, 2015

Because The Bible Should Be In The Fantasy Section, That’s Why!

Cross posted @ the Atheist Oasis

gcarlinSOCAS“I believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute - where no Catholic prelate would tell the President (should he be Catholic) how to act, and no Protestant minister would tell his parishioners for whom to vote - where no church or church school is granted any public funds or political preference - and where no man is denied public office merely because his religion differs from the President who might appoint him or the people who might elect him.
I believe in an America that is officially neither Catholic, Protestant nor Jewish - where no public official either requests or accepts instructions on public policy from the Pope, the National Council of Churches or any other ecclesiastical source - where no religious body seeks to impose its will directly or indirectly upon the general populace or the public acts of its officials - and where religious liberty is so indivisible that an act against one church is treated as an act against all.”- John F. Kennedy

Maybe it’s just me, but garbage like this leaves me cross-eyed and…more than a little irked:

No religious text should be Tennessee's official book

Tennessee lawmakers have filed unconstitutional, divisive and misguided bills that would make the Holy Bible the official state book.

Both Tennessee and United States' constitutions expressly respect the rights of individuals to worship freely, but also prohibit the state from favoring one religion over another.

This protects all of us, whether we choose to belong to a religious congregation or not.

We can live peacefully in society without religious tests and choose which religious institutions to attend and which scriptures to honor.

Making a religious text the state's official tome isn't like the innocuous act of choosing a state beverage (milk), fruit (tomato) or rock (limestone). This sends a message of exclusion and divisiveness in a state that is becoming more and more diverse.

The bills filed by Rep. Jerry Sexton, R-Crossville, and Sen. Steve Southerland, R-Morristown, in addition to abridging Tennesseans' constitutional rights are unnecessary and tell non-Christians that they are unwelcome in the Volunteer State.

The co-sponsors include Rep. Jeremy Durham, R-Franklin; Rep. Terri Lynn Weaver, R-Lancaster; and Rep. David Byrd, R-Waynesboro.

Religious minorities already feel under attack by past legislation such as that involving the prohibition of Sharia law, which while on its face targeted radical Islamists, had the practical effect of demonizing all practicing Muslims.

During the course of the last few years, the community of Muslims and foreigners has grown significantly in Tennessee.

The Nashville metropolitan area has the highest population of Kurds (13,000) of any other in the country and significant numbers of Somalis, Egyptians and other immigrants or refugees from countries where Islam is the dominant religion. The foreign-born population, at 11.9 percent, is among the highest in the nation.

That has caused some confrontations between long-time residents and new Americans, who often came to this area as immigrants or refugees. Take for example the recent controversy of opponents trying to block the building of a mosque in Murfreesboro.

Some Christians may feel threatened by these newcomers because they don't share the same religious beliefs as they do.

However, many came here for the same reasons America's forefathers did: for freedom.

Consider the words in our state and nation's constitutions:

Tennessee Constitution, Article I

Section 3. That all men have a natural and indefeasible right to worship Almighty God according to the dictates of their own conscience; that no man can of right be compelled to attend, erect, or support any place of worship, or to maintain any minister against his consent; that no human authority can, in any case whatever, control or interfere with the rights of conscience; and that no preference shall ever be given, by law, to any religious establishment or mode of worship.

Section 4. That no political or religious test, other than an oath to support the Constitution of the United States and of this state, shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under this state.

First Amendment:

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.

Sexton and Southerland's bills stand antithetical to these documents.

Let's be clear that to oppose them is not anti-Christian in the least bit.

Respecting the right of Christians to worship freely is paramount to living up to the freedoms we enjoy, and Christians shouldn't feel they have to apologize for their beliefs.

However, neither should Muslims, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, nor atheists.

Remind our lawmakers that their job isn't to favor one religion over another and that they have a responsibility to protect the rights of those who share their beliefs and those who don't.

Passing this legislation would do the opposite.

And whadda surprise – it was spearheaded by Republicans! What a shock! [Snark off].

This is actually a compound fuckup – both constitutions forbid this sort of nonsense. As if that’s not enough, our culture is paying homage to a book that is nothing but fairy tales. Talking donkeys, a flood that never happened, a tower that never existed, an exodus that never took place – we as a species really need to break free of these childish fantasies.

Republicans – they lie, twice. Once when they proclaim ‘limited government’ and then proceed to tell adults which adults they can marry as well as restrict reproductive rights. The second, is that Christian ‘free will’ nonsense which they pay lip service to, but will sacrifice on the altar of their delusion if the ends suits the needs.

Till the next post then.

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Saturday, March 21, 2015

‘Slay The Gays’ Legislation?!? In California?!? Say It Ain’t So!

Cross posted @ the Atheist Oasis
homophobic logicMind boggling, to say the least:

Matthew Gregory McLaughlin, California Lawyer, Proposes Ballot Measure Allowing Execution of Gays

A group of California legislators has filed a complaint against a lawyer who is proposing a statewide ballot initiative that would allow gays and lesbians to be "put to death by bullets to the head."

Matthew Gregory McLaughlin, an Orange County attorney, filed the so-called Sodomite Suppression Act on Feb. 24 with the state's Office of the Attorney General. McLaughlin's proposed law would also ban gays — whom he refers to as "sodomites" — from holding public office.

Under his proposed law, people found guilty of spreading "sodomite propaganda" would be fined $1 million or see jail time.

But the state Legislature's LGBT Caucus is asking the State Bar to review McLaughlin, who is listed as active and permitted to practice in California. They believe he's violating the State Bar's requirement that attorneys act in "good moral character."

"We are shocked and outraged that a member of the State Bar would so callously call for the disenfranchisement, expulsion and murder of members of the LGBT community," the caucus wrote in its complaint dated March 10 and obtained by NBC News.

"We believe that this measure not only fails constitutional muster, but that such inciting and hateful language has no place in our discourse, let alone state constitution," it said.

Anyone can file a prospective state ballot measure at a $200 fee, and the public has 30 days to respond before the attorney general publishes a summary of the measure, according to state rules.

McLaughlin, who could not immediately be reached for comment Friday, faces an uphill task to actually see his proposal on a statewide ballot. The initiative must gather the number of signatures equal to 5 percent of those who voted in the last election for governor — or about 366,000 valid names.

Now I can’t seem to find any info on this McLaughlin clown (besides the furor he’s created), but I’m betting this blowhard is a Christian Republican. And while we all have a right to do something this repulsive (hey, it is a free country, file under free speech), we have options too: sign this petition to disbar this assclown. Yet another risible atavistic throwback to a more barbaric time, McLaughable is a shame to the country, his profession, and the whole damn species.

Man, these jackasses are tiresome – they can’t wait to shove their bankrupt ideologies down your throat in the name of their sky-daddy, and dictate the comings and goings (cough!) of our genitalia. Wait for your ‘gawd’ to come down and rain hellfire on earth – please. Because the brighter among us know that simply is not gonna happen.

Till the next post then.

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Sunday, March 15, 2015

More On The Madness Of Muslims: Heading Off The Blasphemers

Cross posted @ the Atheist Oasis

BeheadHardly a day goes by without some seriously bad press on the alleged ‘religion of peace’. This time, some brave person went out of his way to illustrate just how ruthless Islam is:

Saudi Man Sentenced for Tearing Up Quran and Hitting It With Shoe

A man in Saudi Arabia who posted a video of himself tearing up the Quran and hitting the shredded book with his shoe has been sentenced by state authorities; he will be beheaded for abandoning his Muslim faith in this manner. The unidentified man, who is in his 20s, was recently sentenced to death by the country’s Sharia Court on grounds of apostasy, which is handed down to any Muslim that fails to honour Islam, the official religion of Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabia’s interpretation of Wahabism demands capital punishment for a number of crimes, including rape, murder, drug smuggling and armed robbery. It is also meted out to those who involve themselves with internationally condemned crimes such as sorcery, idolatry, blasphemy and apostasy.

These executions are usually carried out in public in the witness of commoners.

According to human rights groups, the judicial system in Saudi Arabia suffers a lack of transparency as well as a proper process, which is why defendants are frequently denied basic rights, including access to suitable legal representation. While the government has made little to no reform with regards to its judicial system, it continues to insist how fair its practices are. No improvement has been seen in the number of people that are executed each year. In fact, in 2014, the number of executions carried out by Saudi authorities went up to 87 from 78 in 2013, with seven individuals being killed within the first two weeks of this year itself.

Wait – hold on: ‘It is also meted out to those who involve themselves with internationally condemned crimes such as sorcery, idolatry, blasphemy and apostasy.’

Sorcery? Are you fucking kidding me? Hasn’t it been well established that ‘sorcery’ and anything resembling it is just horse manure? This is just a case of one nonsense persecuting yet another nonsense. As for that ‘capital punishment for rape’, I’m betting that since they live in a rape culture, the victim is probably executed.

But as long as these assclowns are oil rich, nobody’s going to do anything about it. Religions like this tend to mostly favor sociopaths who use it to wield and manipulate the impoverished masses.

Till the next post then.

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Saturday, March 07, 2015

On The Chopping Block: The Sick Sikh And The Castrato Clown Choir

Cross posted @ the Atheist Oasis

For the male readership, this is…twinge worthy:swamicon

Mass castrations: officers crack code of silence of followers of Indian guru Ram Rahim

Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, a popular Indian guru and head of the Dera Sacha Sauda spiritual group, has allegedly tricked hundreds of his followers into being castrated.

According to the country’s Central Investigation Bureau, Ram Rahim manipulated about 400 of his followers into taking part in the mass castrations by convincing them it was the only way to personally connect with God, the Sydney Morning Herald reports.

The only victim to have come forward so far is Hans Raj Chauhan, who says the castrations began around 2000 in the state of Haryana in northern India. He said the castrations took place in a hospital run by the Dera organization, often described as a cult.

“They were told that only those who get castrated will be able to meet God,” said Chauhan’s lawyer, Navkiran Singh, according to the Morning Herald.

Ram Rahim has headed Dera Sacha Sauda, which boasts a following of about 50 million people, for more than two decades. In addition to his religious duties, he also dabbles in music and film, earning the moniker of “the guru in bling” for his gaudy, glittering outfits and extravagant lifestyle.

Ram Rahim’s latest endeavour is a feature-length film released in January, MSG: The Messenger of God, which depicts the guru as a god-like action hero who can walk on air and split logs with his bare hands. The film has drawn huge audiences, though it might struggle now that the castration allegations against the film’s star have become national headlines.

The case against Ram Rahim is over allegedly causing grievous bodily harm, though it is not his first brush with the law. He has previously been investigated for two murders, rape and stockpiling illegal weapons at his ashram.

Wow. If any of you guys are like me, you likely cringed and shuddered simultaneously.

Really – the religious fixation on sex and genitalia is quite distressing. Somehow, these bodies we have (which according to the crazed fundies of any ilk, are a ‘masterpiece’ created by their specific cosmic babysitter) are to be mistreated, neglected, flagellated, and sometimes mutilated.

And while I have some degree of sympathy pains for these 400 yahoos, I also am glad that these idiots can no longer reproduce. They actually strengthened the gene pool by their own removal from it. In fact, this might prove a beneficial rule: if you’re willing to put your gonads on the chopping block for some vague ambiguous promise from some hairy asshole in a tie-die robe, then likelihood is that you’d be an unfit parent.

Because those rights should be contingent on competence, not existence.

But this raging socio? In another class altogether. These evil shadows of days long past, the shaman dancing in the dark and the light, luring the innocent, the gullible – there should be a special punishment just for that. And lo and behold! Yet another gawd-talker that has a shady background. Now, what are that odds on that? Pretty fucking good.

Till the next post then.

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Saturday, February 28, 2015

Another Right Cross From Science–Creationism K.O’ed By Thermodynamics

Cross posted @ the Atheist Oasis

2ndlawsaturdaymorningThe second law of thermodynamics states that in a natural thermodynamic process, there is an increase in the sum of the entropies of the participating systems.

The second law is an empirical finding that has been accepted as an axiom of thermodynamic theory.

The law defines the concept of thermodynamic entropy for a thermodynamic system in its own state of internal thermodynamic equilibrium. It considers a process in which that state changes, with increases in entropy due to dissipation of energy and to dispersal of matter and energy. –Wikipedia

If anyone out there has spent any amount of time arguing with Young Earth Creationists (YECs), then you’ve undoubtedly heard this old hoary chestnut. You know, the one about how evolution ‘violates the 2nd law of thermodynamics’ (which of course, is blatantly wrong). And it is sometimes beyond frustrating when you have illustrated multiple times that this idiocy is wrong. Even the most elementary, dumbed-down, streamlined, paint-by-numbers explanations seem to fall on deaf ears. No amount of cogent coherent discussion ever appears to penetrate the thick skulls of the believers.

Now, there looks to be evidence that not only does T2L NOT violate evolution, it validates it:

God is on the ropes: The brilliant new science that has creationists and the Christian right terrified

The Christian right’s obsessive hatred of Darwin is a wonder to behold, but it could someday be rivaled by the hatred of someone you’ve probably never even heard of. Darwin earned their hatred because he explained the evolution of life in a way that doesn’t require the hand of God. Darwin didn’t exclude God, of course, though many creationists seem incapable of grasping this point. But he didn’t require God, either, and that was enough to drive some people mad.

Darwin also didn’t have anything to say about how life got started in the first place — which still leaves a mighty big role for God to play, for those who are so inclined. But that could be about to change, and things could get a whole lot worse for creationists because of Jeremy England, a young MIT professor who’s proposed a theory, based in thermodynamics, showing that the emergence of life was not accidental, but necessary. “[U]nder certain conditions, matter inexorably acquires the key physical attribute associated with life,” he was quoted as saying in an article in Quanta magazine early in 2014, that’s since been republished by Scientific American and, more recently, by Business Insider. In essence, he’s saying, life itself evolved out of simpler non-living systems.

The notion of an evolutionary process broader than life itself is not entirely new. Indeed, there’s evidence, recounted by Eric Havelock in “The Liberal Temper in Greek Politics,” that it was held by the pre-Socratic natural philosophers, who also first gave us the concept of the atom, among many other things. But unlike them or other earlier precursors, England has a specific, unifying, testable evolutionary mechanism in mind.

Quanta fleshed things out a bit more like this:

    From the standpoint of physics, there is one essential difference between living things and inanimate clumps of carbon atoms: The former tend to be much better at capturing energy from their environment and dissipating that energy as heat. Jeremy England, a 31-year-old assistant professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, has derived a mathematical formula that he believes explains this capacity. The formula, based on established physics, indicates that when a group of atoms is driven by an external source of energy (like the sun or chemical fuel) and surrounded by a heat bath (like the ocean or atmosphere), it will often gradually restructure itself in order to dissipate increasingly more energy. This could mean that under certain conditions, matter inexorably acquires the key physical attribute associated with life.

It doesn’t mean we should expect life everywhere in the universe — lack of a decent atmosphere or being too far from the sun still makes most of our solar system inhospitable for life with or without England’s perspective. But it does mean that “under certain conditions” where life is possible — as it is here on Earth, obviously — it is also quite probable, if not, ultimately, inevitable. Indeed, life on Earth could well have developed multiple times independently of each other, or all at once, or both. The first truly living organism could have had hundreds, perhaps thousands of siblings, all born not from a single physical parent, but from a physical system, literally pregnant with the possibility of producing life. And similar multiple births of life could have happened repeatedly at different points in time.

That also means that Earth-like planets circling other suns would have a much higher likelihood of carrying life as well. We’re fortunate to have substantial oceans as well as an atmosphere — the heat baths referred to above — but England’s theory suggests we could get life with just one of them — and even with much smaller versions, given enough time. Giordano Bruno, who was burnt at the stake for heresy in 1600, was perhaps the first to take Copernicanism to its logical extension, speculating that stars were other suns, circled by other worlds, populated by beings like ourselves. His extreme minority view in his own time now looks better than ever, thanks to England.

If England’s theory works out, it will obviously be an epochal scientific advance. But on a lighter note, it will also be a fitting rebuke to pseudo-scientific creationists, who have long mistakenly claimed that thermodynamics disproves evolution (here, for example), the exact opposite of what England’s work is designed to show — that thermodynamics drives evolution, starting even before life itself first appears, with a physics-based logic that applies equally to living and non-living matter.

Most important in this regard is the Second Law of Thermodynamics, which states that in any closed process, there is an increase in the total entropy (roughly speaking, a measure of disorder). The increase in disorder is the opposite of increasing order due to evolution, the creationists reason, ergo — a contradiction! Overlooking the crucial word “closed,” of course. There are various equivalent ways of stating the law, one of which is that energy cannot pass from a cooler to a warmer body without extra work being done. Ginsberg’s theorem (as in poet Allen Ginsberg) puts it like this: “You can’t win. You can’t break even. You can’t even get out of the game.” Although creationists have long mistakenly believed that evolution is a violation of the Second Law, actual scientists have not. For example, physicist Stephen G. Brush, writing for the American Physical Society in 2000, in “Creationism Versus Physical Science,” noted: “As Ludwig Boltzmann noted more than a century ago, thermodynamics correctly interpreted does not just allow Darwinian evolution, it favors it.”

A simple explanation of this comes from a document in the thermodynamics FAQ subsection of TalkOrigins Archive (the  first and foremost online repository of reliable information on the creation/evolution controversy), which in part explains:

    Creationists thus misinterpret the 2nd law to say that things invariably progress from order to disorder.

    However, they neglect the fact that life is not a closed system. The sun provides more than enough energy to drive things. If a mature tomato plant can have more usable energy than the seed it grew from, why should anyone expect that the next generation of tomatoes can’t have more usable energy still?

That passage goes right to the heart of the matter. Evolution is no more a violation of the Second Law than life itself is. A more extensive, lighthearted, non-technical treatment of the creationist’s misunderstanding and what’s really going on can be found here.

The driving flow of energy — whether from the sun or some other source — can give rise to what are known as dissipative structures, which are self-organized by the process of dissipating the energy that flows through them. Russian-born Belgian physical chemist Ilya Prigogine won the 1977 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his work developing the concept. All living things are dissipative structures, as are many non-living things as well — cyclones, hurricanes and tornados, for example. Without explicitly using the term “dissipative structures,” the passage above went on to invoke them thus:

    Snowflakes, sand dunes, tornadoes, stalactites, graded river beds, and lightning are just a few examples of order coming from disorder in nature; none require an intelligent program to achieve that order. In any nontrivial system with lots of energy flowing through it, you are almost certain to find order arising somewhere in the system. If order from disorder is supposed to violate the 2nd law of thermodynamics, why is it ubiquitous in nature?

In a very real sense, Prigogine’s work laid the foundations for what England is doing today, which is why it might be overstated to credit England with originating this theory, as several commentators at Quanta pointed out, noting other progenitors as well (here, here and here, among others). But already England appears to have assembled a collection of analytical tools, along with a sophisticated multidisciplinary theoretical approach, which promises to do much more than simply propound a theory, but to generate a whole new research agenda giving detailed meaning to that theoretical conjecture. And that research agenda is already starting to produce results. (See his research group home page for more.) It’s the development of this sort of detailed body of specific mutually interrelated results that will distinguish England’s articulation of his theory from other earlier formulations that have not yet been translated into successful theory-testing research agendas.

    Above all, as described on the home page mentioned above, England is involved in knitting together the understanding of life and various stages of life-like processes combining the perspectives of biology and physics:

    Living things are good at collecting information about their surroundings, and at putting that information to use through the ways they interact with their environment so as to survive and replicate themselves. Thus, talking about biology inevitably leads to talking about decision, purpose, and function.

    At the same time, living things are also made of atoms that, in and of themselves, have no particular function. Rather, molecules and the atoms from which they are built exhibit well-defined physical properties having to do with how they bounce off of, stick to, and combine with each other across space and over time.

Making sense of life at the molecular level is all about building a bridge between these two different ways of looking at the world.

If that sounds intriguing, you might enjoy this hour-long presentation of his work (with splashes of local Swedish color) — especially (but not only) if you’re a science nerd.

Whether or not England’s theory proves out in the end, he’s already doing quite a lot to build that bridge between worldviews and inspire others to make similar efforts. Science is not just about making new discoveries, but about seeing the world in new ways — which then makes new discoveries almost inevitable. And England has already succeeded in that.  As the Quanta article explained:

    England’s theoretical results are generally considered valid. It is his interpretation — that his formula represents the driving force behind a class of phenomena in nature that includes life — that remains unproven. But already, there are ideas about how to test that interpretation in the lab.

    “He’s trying something radically different,” said Mara Prentiss, a professor of physics at Harvard who is contemplating such an experiment after learning about England’s work. “As an organizing lens, I think he has a fabulous idea. Right or wrong, it’s going to be very much worth the investigation.”

Creationists often cast themselves as humble servants of God, and paint scientists as arrogant, know-it-all rebels against him. But, unsurprisingly, they’ve got it all backwards, once again. England’s work reminds us that it’s scientists’ willingness to admit our own ignorance and confront it head on — rather than papering over it — that unlocks the great storehouse of wonders we live in and gives us our most challenging, satisfying quests.

All I can truly hope for, is that little collective island of believers shrinks even more so – and that someday, we won’t be plagued by these fringe lunatics anymore.

The more we learn, the less we need religion. No more excuses, no more crutches, no more entreating the sky for aid that never arrives. We are on our own on this planet: more’s the reason we should take care of each other, but even more so, take responsibility for ourselves.

Till the next post then.

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Saturday, February 21, 2015

NEWSFLASH: Televangelist Doesn’t Know What The F***k He’s Talking About

Cross posted @ the Atheist Oasis

 AreYouInsaneAh yes, indeed. Again, we are pummeled with the mob’s madness, this time in the guise of a ‘preacher’ (whom nobody should listen to anyways). More ignorant lies flow out of a shaman’s mouth, this time it’s everybody’s favorite crazy assclown, Pat Robertson.

First, get a load of this:

'Demons are cursing Facebook ultrasounds of unborn babies', according to US preacher Pat Robertson

US televangelist Pat Robertson has claimed "demons are cursing babies through ultrasounds" in his latest controversial outburst.

Speaking on CBN, in response to somebody asking about posting ultrasound pictures to Facebook he said: "‘I don’t think there’s any harm in it, but I tell you there are demons and there are evil people in the world and you post a picture like that and some cultist gets hold of it or some coven, and they begin to muttering curses against an unborn child.’

Mr Robertson, has a history of controversial statements.

He has previously said gay people are "terrorists" and that homosexuals will die out because they can't reproduce.

Curses? Demons? Get a little more up to date, Slobertson. Try replicating either item in a lab environment (which of course, no one can) before you go spouting off about some voodoo bullshit. This isn’t Middle Earth, and there’s no such thing as either wizards OR the ability to conjure something out of thin air by pronouncing it so. These Christians definitely live in a comic-book world.

And then there’s this latest bit of codswallop:

Pat Robertson Suggests Companies Will Be Forced To Cater To Man-Dog Weddings

Conservative televangelist Pat Robertson slammed a Washington state judge's ruling that a florist's refusal to provide flowers for a gay couple's wedding had violated local anti-discrimination laws.

Robertson, who has made no secret of his opposition to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights in the past, condemned the decision as "just outrageous" and "crazy" in an installment of "The 700 Club" this week, according to Right Wing Watch.

He asked, “To tell a florist that she’s got to provide flowers for a particular kind of wedding? What if somebody wanted to marry his dog? She’s got to have flowers for that?"

Robertson then went on to note, "What if there’s a polygamous situation where a guy has five wives and he wants to have five ceremonies and she’s going to be forced by the law to provide them flowers?"

Bakeries, florist shops and other wedding-related venues have become an unlikely battleground for marriage equality and other LGBT-related issues in recent years.

On Feb. 2, the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries ruled that Sweet Cakes by Melissa owners Aaron and Melissa Klein had similarly violated their state's anti-discrimination laws when they turned away a lesbian couple who had sought a cake for their wedding in 2013.

On the flip side, Marjorie Silva, who owns Denver's Azucar Bakery, is now reportedly facing a religious discrimination complaint after she refused to bake a cake decorated with phrases like "God hates gays" written in icing.

Jeez, this windbag is a major turd. Animal weddings are strictly off limits in most countries (but surprisingly, there’s more of this going around than I’d originally thought, mostly in India), but this is what’s commonly known among the intelligentsia as a category error – a marriage between two sentient adults is not the same thing as some of these lonely people ‘marrying’ a pet. And polygamy is illegal, so that’s also a broken analogy.

Such idiocy is always incendiary for atheists. For one, the somber pronouncement of something so monumentally stupid, that flies in the face of general knowledge – these numbbulbs shouldn’t even be on TV, let alone influence thousands (if not hundreds of thousands). For two, as if isn’t bad enough that their entire bankrupt epistemology is composed of contradictory, a-historical trash, they pre-suppose everything and vomit it out on anyone within range.

Be that as it may, it’s high time we should picket these bozos, and start shouting the idiocy down.

Till the next post, then.

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Saturday, February 14, 2015

Judge Not Lest Ye Be - Oh Wait A Second…

Cross posted @ the Atheist Oasis

republicanidiotCONSERVATIVE, n. A statesman who is enamored of existing evils, as distinguished from the Liberal, who wishes to replace them with others. –Ambrose Bierce, Devil’s Dictionary

A day doesn’t seem to go by, where some obnoxious Rethuglickan pulls an opinion out of his (or her) ass, and tries to tell us it’s covered in chocolate. Case in point:

Roy Moore explains his stance on legality of same-sex marriage in Alabama

Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore sees his stand against a U.S. District judge's decision that struck down the state's gay marriage ban as neither political nor emotional.

"My stand is a legal stand on the Constitution and the principles of federalism, as well as the principle of dual sovereignty," Moore said Friday in an interview with AL.com. "It's a stand on the law of the state of Alabama."

On Jan. 23, U.S. District Judge Ginny Granade ruled that the Alabama Marriage Protection Act and the amendment that later enshrined it in the state constitution both were unconstitutional.

The relationship between federal and state courts is parallel, Moore said, and a lower federal court's interpretation is not binding for the state.

"For one district judge to overturn the laws of Alabama - she can't do that... because federal rules don't allow her to do that," Moore said.

District court rulings typically affect the people involved in a specific case instead of making a law that applies to the entire state. That distinction has also been noted by U.S. Supreme Court justices Clarence Thomas and Antonin Scalia.

Bans on gay marriage have been overturned elsewhere in the U.S. under similar circumstances. So if that isn't legal, as Moore argues, why has it occurred?

"It's happened in other states because nobody has stood up and said, 'Wait a minute, state court rulings on these issues are just as authoritative as federal court rulings,'" he said.

The New York Times' Emily Bazelon wrote this week that Moore's central legal claim of states' rights is ineffective. However, she wrote, his frustration with the process that led to gay marriage in Alabama has some validity.

"To contest the statewide application of [Granade's] ruling is a far more legitimate form of fist-shaking by a state official than contesting an order from a higher federal court would be," Bazelon wrote.

Moore said Alabama will be bound by whatever the U.S. Supreme Court ultimately decides when it takes up the issue of gay marriage this summer. It's "unfair to the people of the state of Alabama" for anyone to claim to have resolved the issue before that happens, he said.
Chief Justice Roy Moore on taking a stand, running for office Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore talks about taking a stand and what the future might bring in an interview Friday, Feb. 13, 2015, in Montgomery, Ala. (Julie Bennett/ jbennett@al.com)

Moore declined to comment further on Granade's decision because there is a case filed before the Alabama Supreme Court regarding the same issues. He said he will decide whether or not to recuse himself in the future on a case-by-case basis.

Moore stood by the administrative order he issued Sunday night, reemphasizing that probate judges are not bound by the decision of a single federal judge to issue licenses to same-sex couples.

Almost two-thirds of the state's probate courts are now issuing marriage licenses to all couples, gay and straight. In a ruling Thursday, Granade ordered the Mobile County probate judge to issue license to gay couples and, in turn, nudged many judges sitting on the fence to accept her earlier ruling.

Moore would not say how he would react, as chief justice, if same-sex marriage were legalized in Alabama.

He did say he currently has no plans to run for another office.

"It seems like every time you take a stand, every time you do something right, people start saying you're running for something because that's what politicians normally do," he said.

“Doing something right.” Yeah, pal, you keep telling yourself that little white lie. Its what the Christians seem to do best, especially the ultra-conservative ones. Moore is just another talking head puppet for the religious right. Despite the mountains of evidence contrary, he is one of those (perhaps unwitting) sycophants who have been brainwashed by the lie of Christian origins for this country. He has had several controversial moments, from having a Decalogue monument built (a clear violation of SOCAS), whilst babbling about sovereignty and his imaginary friend. Not to mention the ridiculous Constitution Restoration Act of 2004 (which luckily was defeated – WHEW!), or his anachronistic view of same sex marriages.

This is the sort of thing I’ve been railing against for the past decade. I constantly point out that people like this Moore character are inherently untrustworthy, not because they’re religious, but because their religion is an automatic default (though I’ve been accused more than once of wanting someone in office who agrees with me in toto, when I explain this).

Your oath to the Constitution should be total, and separate from all else. There should be no provisos, no escape clauses, no waffling. Freedom of religion stipulates freedom from religion. Undigested cake? Too effin’ bad, fella. Hypothetically, even if this country was allegedly built on Christian values (yeah? Freedom of religion? That doesn’t sound like something those jaysus-freaks would let pass), it has less standing in this day and age. Because the Constitution is a living document – it changes with the times, and besides, this country was built on slavery (ratified in the document itself), and we sure as fuck don’t keep other human beings as property anymore. Besides, Jefferson argued that America wasn’t founded on Christian principles, but English law (see his letter to John Cartwright).

Fact is, I’ve had this argument so many times (realtime as well as blogosphere), that it is almost a rote patter. It’s an old, tired argument rebutted once too often these days. But then again, children only learn from repetition, and the American gestalt is more akin to a toddler than a grown adult.

Till the next post then.

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