left biblioblography: 2011

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Tuesday Twofer–Children’s Hospital

I just discovered this recently – it’s a very brief show on Adultswim, and it’s…well, it’s incredibly random humor. Sort of a Scrubs on mescaline.

An interview with Dr. Maestro gives you a good idea how odd the show is.

And here is (I kid you not) an entire episode. It’s a fast show. One of the funnier aspects, is that it always starts with “Previously, on Children’s Hospital”, and the clips from the last show never ever happened.



Sunday, December 25, 2011

It’s Starting To Look A Lot Like…War? WTF?

Cross posted @ the Atheist Oasis
Santa-ArrestedThere is a war between the rich and poor,
a war between the man and the woman.
There is a war between the ones who say there is a war
and the ones who say there isn't.  - Leonard Cohen, There is A War

This is getting really, really old. Every year, instead of ‘turning the other cheek’ (as they were advised to do by their own damn holy book), the religious nutjobs bellyache as if they had storm troopers dragging them out of their home in the wee hours, their bloody religious channels are being shut down, and churches are being burned.

None of which is even comparable (or occurring) to what they’re actually whining about. Witness:

‘War On Christmas’ Declared In America

Rows about the display of traditional Christmas symbols have broken out across the country.

But one of the pressure groups accused of being partly responsible has told Sky News it defends its campaign on behalf of non-Christians and non-believers.

The usual debate over whether it is acceptable to say ‘Merry Christmas’ or ‘Happy Holidays’ has exploded into a much wider disagreement this year.

Thousands of people took part in a prayer rally in the city of Athens in Texas after an atheist group took court action to have a nativity scene removed from outside the courthouse.

They claim it promotes Christianity and excludes non-Christians but a judge has so far ruled the traditional Christmas scene can stay.

The usual debate has become a much wider disagreement

Becky Paul, who was among those at the prayer rally, said: “Christ is the reason we’re here. I mean this is his birth, and that’s why we need to be celebrating and we just pray for the people who don’t believe.”

Carla Barron, another of those who turned up to show support, said: “It is not about the nativity scene, it is about Jesus. It is the reason we celebrate Christmas, Jesus is Christmas.”

The row in Athens is just part of a fierce nationwide debate about the right and wrongs of displaying religious symbols in public places.

The First Amendment of the US Constitution prohibits the government from promoting any religion but also prevents it from interfering in the practice of religion.

The issue has even featured in the race for the Republican presidential nomination.
Candidate Rick Perry produced a widely-parodied television commercial in which he said: “You don’t need to be in the pews every Sunday to know there is something wrong in our country.

“When gays can serve openly in the military but our kids can’t openly celebrate Christmas or pray in school. As president I will end Obama’s war on religion.”

The debate has taken a bizarre twist in Solana Beach City near San Diego in California – officials have removed the star from the top of the municipal tree just in case they get complaints about it.

The executive director of Americans United for the Separation of Church and State, one of the groups accused of being behind the “war on Christmas”, has dismissed the suggestion.

Barry Lynn told Sky News: “There is no war on Christmas. We have a dizzying level of obvious holiday displays. You can’t walk ten feet in any city in America and not realise there is a holiday called Christmas and that there is some kind of religious significance to it.

“I think what’s important is that at a holiday season it is not up to federal government, state government or city government to embrace one religion – Christianity – and its holiday celebrations over the many other religions practising in the United States and many non-believers.”

Seriously, how is this nonsense even news anymore? It’s over a decade old, which makes it ancient by media standards. What the real issue is, is that it’s a holiday that everyone can share in, and not everybody’s a Christian in the USA anymore. And like whiny children, the Christians are crying in their cups about the ‘good old days’, when you could get away with anything Christian-related, and nobody would say boo. Now it’s boo-fucking-hoo, why can’t we sledgehammer everyone with our religion whether they like it or not?

Hell, last Thursday afternoon I was getting a root canal (been through so many, it’s old hat – the biggest part of the inconvenience is sitting in the blasted chair), and my dentists’ office had this tape loop of Xmas songs, and the constant lyrics about ‘king of angels’, ‘jesus our savior’ and all that other tripe started getting to my stomach acids, especially after the umpteenth reiteration.

The persecution complex routine is getting stale. It’s kinda hysterical, that they tend to reserve all their charitability for one week out of the year, and the other 51 weeks they just behave like all the other assholes out there.

It’s a holiday. It’s a holiday that’s supposed to be about sharing – sharing yourself with others, others sharing themselves with you, and yet these folks (who all claim some sort of mysterious ‘higher road’ morality) don’t seem to get the reason for the season whatsoever.

Imaginary wars are usually the figments of some psychotically over-active imaginations.

Anyways, I wish all of our readers a very, very wicked Winterval, and remember: be good to each other.

Till the next post, then.


Tuesday, December 20, 2011

File Under ‘Things That Shouldn’t Be Funny But Are’

It should be sad, but it’s somehow despicably hysterical:



Sunday, December 18, 2011

The Road To Theocracy Is Often Littered With Broken Promises…

Cross posted @ the Atheist Oasispromise-keepers

“Brad showed us that we had permission to speak out about the Judeo-Christian values that we believe in, that we don't have to cower or back down, or we don't have to spiritualize everything. We have every right as Americans to say, 'I don't believe in same-sex marriage.' That's what Brad reminds us.”

One of the consistently scarier elements of the religious in this country, is how they seem to mount a movement almost right beneath one’s nose, and suddenly pop out of nowhere. Granted, I tend to live in an internet-induced bubble for the most part, but these cats? Serious heebie-jeebie time.

Promise Keepers is an international conservative Christian organization for men. While it originated in the United States, it is now world-wide. It is self-described as "a Christ-centered organization dedicated to introducing men to Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord, helping them to grow as Christians". Promise Keepers is a non-profit organization, not affiliated with any Christian church or denomination. Their most widely publicized events tend to be mass rallies held at football stadiums and similar venues. They also sell a variety of promotional products to "help men keep their promises," including clothing, books, and music. Dr. Bruce Wilkinson developed the widely-used video curriculum, Personal Holiness in Times of Temptation, as a part of “The Biblical Manhood” series for Promise Keepers.

‘Biblical manhood’? Talk about having a laugh.

Their statement of faith is fairly boilerplate. The ‘7 Promises’ is somewhat borderline worrisome. It’s obvious that they’re homophobic (while trying to appear to be anything but), as they vigorously oppose same-sex marriage. That right there places them directly in ass-clown county.

It was observed that they aren’t…quite right, as reported in this article:

However, critics of Promise Keepers charge its leaders routinely express views that are antithetical to the Bible's teachings, and outside the realm of mainstream belief. They claim it has an unbridled ecumenicism, a charismatic leadership emphasis, and relies on an anti-God secular psychology.
They say Promise Keepers mimics new-age male bonding and self-discovery therapies, and endorses a book which suggests levels of initiation rites to manhood. They decry its emphasis on phallic symbolism and the fact that Jesus is presented as a sexual male. They note that PK requires submission to leaders and employs a pyramid structure in its organization, that it intrudes on the privacy of a man's family life and sexual habits. They point out that the group encourages male domination of women, and is rooted in the Vineyard ministry, with strong links to the Kansas City Prophets -- a controversial cult claiming visions and revelations from God.
Critics say they do not presume to judge the integrity or the motives of all those in Promise Keepers or question the salvation of these men. They concede that many involved with PK are sincere. Instead, they say they are concerned with the doctrine of the movement and the ministry being promoted. They stress that any group that claims to represent Jesus must 1) preach a pure Gospel, and 2) address man's spiritual growth from an accurate interpretation of God's Word. Critics say Promise Keepers fails on both counts.
They worry that the vast majority of men who attend PK rallies probably know very little about the beliefs or church affiliation of the speakers who appear. The lecturers are accepted as authorities on Christian living simply because they say they are Christians and believe the Bible.
"Since the ministry of these teachers runs the gamut from compromising new-evangelicalism and charismatic error, to ecumenical liberalism, it is clear that they [are] introducing the Promise Keepers to unscriptural doctrines and fellowships," says Al Dager of Redmond, WA. "This is a very serious matter."
Rev. Gil Rugh, senior pastor of Indian Hills Community Church in Lincoln, NE. agrees. "There is so much theological diversity among those involved with Promise Keepers that no in-depth discussion of Scripture or what it means to be a Christian could take place without tearing the movement apart."
As one former Promise Keepers member remarked, "it's so diluted and deluded, you can't get very much out of it."

And here is a particularly chilling little bit:

Yet the religious right pantheon behind Promise Keepers consists of men who think the Republican party is too liberal. Founder Bill McCartney cut his political teeth speaking at rallies of the violent anti-abortion group Operation Rescue. In impassioned speeches — which are especially chilling when viewed on videotape — McCartney and company have said things like: men must be leaders and women "responders," lesbians and gays are "stark, raving mad," abortion is a "second Civil War" and participants must "take back the nation for Christ."

As Frederick Clarkson notes in "Eternal Hostility: The Struggle Between Theocracy and Democracy" (Common Courage Press, 1997), Promise Keepers aims to create "men of integrity" while its leaders model opportunistic double-talk. Honor your wife, but take back your role as head and master of your household. Seek racial "reconciliation" with hugs and tears among the biblically correct, but ignore racial injustice when it comes to education, jobs and housing. March on Washington, but assert it's not a political thing.

It is reminiscent of the way Promise Keepers backer Jerry Falwell claims he doesn't condone anti-abortion violence but paid $10,000 toward Operation Rescue boss Randy Terry's fine on a felony stemming from O.R.'s violent seige of women's health clinics during the 1988 Democratic National Convention in Atlanta.

Taking a page from Falwell's play book, a radical activist like McCartney insists his group itself is not at all political. Yet Falwell and other religious right doyens — Pat Robertson, Gary Bauer, James Dobson and Bill Bright — launched it financially, lent hundreds of staff members, continue to host and speak at Promise Keepers rallies, publish Promise Keepers books and sell their own politically packed treatises at Promise Keepers events.

Still not convinced? Try signing up as a Promise Keepers supporter, as an academic researcher did, and see if you, too, don't suddenly start getting mail from the Republican party that you never got before. Lurk online in a Promise Keepers chat group, as one journalist did, and see if you, too, don't note that abortion is the number one topic — not a woman's right to choose but an abortion opponent's right to kill women and doctors.

At this juncture, the Promise Keepers are relegated to little more than an historical footnote – they lost bundles, had major layoffs, and Joe (oops! I mean Bill) McCartney resigned in 2003, but returned in 2008 to become the chairMAN. So while not a big-time contender anymore (like the AFA, or Focus on the Family, or those other delusional fucks), they bear watching as well.

So keep an eye peeled. They may not be the barbarians at the gate we are accustomed to, doesn’t mean they’re not equally dangerous.

Till the next post, then.


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Wednesday Twofer–30 Rock

There’s fewer stranger yet funnier shows than 30 Rock.

Kenny questions the existence of god:

And for purely random hysteria, there’s nobody quite like Tracy Morgan:



Sunday, December 11, 2011

More Perry Tales–“Ya Gotta Have Faith!”

Cross posted @ the Atheist Oasis

You'll be so rich you can run for office without pretending to be a fundamentalist. - Gavin Volure, 30 Rock

One of the constants in any election for the past few decades (those that I can recall – elections, that is, not entire decades), is that most Republicans (and I’m sure there’s been a few Democrats too) see themselves as shepherds, and their constituency as sheep. Which is not too far-fetched. Reagan the Retard once stated that “Freedom prospers when religion is vibrant and the rule of law under God is acknowledged”, Bush Bonehead the Senior stating that, “You cannot be President of the United States if you don't have faith. Remember Lincoln, going to his knees in times of trial in the Civil War and all that stuff” (and the oft-quoted anti-atheist comment that bugs us all about citizenry), or George Bonehead the Junior and his declaration of : ”God told me to strike at al Qaida and I struck them, and then he instructed me to strike at Saddam, which I did, and now I am determined to solve the problem in the Middle East. If you help me I will act, and if not, the elections will come and I will have to focus on them.”

I’d like to think that these morons were just pandering, and likely snickering in the back room afterward, but it becomes abundantly clear they mean what they say. There’s way too much religious inanity bandied about on election campaigns.

Should someone be excluded because of their faith? Of course not. Should they be excluded if their faith takes precedence over their oath to the constitution? Damn straight. It’s blaringly obvious, especially after Dubya’s incredible declaration and subsequent invasion of the wrong country for all the wrong reasons, bundled with the obvious lies to justify it.

Here is a clip, from one of my favorite obscure movies The Contender, and the character is someone I would most definitely vote for:

It is of course a fantasy – the chances of an unapologetic forthright atheist getting that high in our government is nigh well impossible. At least in this decade.

But we can dream, can we not?

Till the next post then.


Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Wednesday Twofer–Random Humor

My roommate turned me on to these two last night. WARNING: can get stuck in your head!

And a singing Saruman? Cool!

Enjoy. (And you have been warned!)


Saturday, December 03, 2011

Oh Ye Of Little To No Faith–Better Keep One Eye Open As You Sleep

Cross posted @ the Atheist Oasis
popesyeviewYeesh. Just when I thought we were making some kind of progress (slow but steady wins the race is the saying), something like this crops up, spoils my optimistic mood, and activates my inner curmudgeon:

Atheists roughly as distrusted as rapists, UBC study finds

Atheists are distrusted to roughly the same degree as rapists, according to a new University of British Columbia study exploring distaste for disbelievers.

The research, led by UBC psychology doctoral student Will Gervais, found distrust to be the central factor motivating antagonism toward atheists among the religious.

"Where there are religious majorities – that is, in most of the world – atheists are among the least trusted people," Gervais said in a release.

"With more than half a billion atheists worldwide, this prejudice has the potential to affect a substantial number of people."

Researchers believe the negative perception of atheists may stem from some people's understanding of morality; a 2002 Pew poll suggests nearly half of Americans believe morality is impossible without belief in god.

For one part of Gervais' six-part study, researchers compared views of atheists, homosexual men and the general population, noting that the first two groups are "often described as threatening to majority religious values and morality."

Which is disheartening, to say the least. We are an ideological minority, which is why some folks like to suggest we shut our traps – a simple change of mind would help us fit in better. Never mind that discrimination is discrimination, regardless of abstract versus physiological differences. Never mind that we are as underrepresented in government as we are in prison (the former is sigh worthy, the latter YAY!). Or that the majority of criminals are usually fundamentalist delusionists. Or that the Crusades, the Inquisition (Spanish and otherwise), were perpetrated by Christians – let’s amp that one up, and say good god-fearing, praying self-flagellating Christians.

Because really, if you need to have someone (invisible or otherwise) peering over your shoulder and taking notes for future punishments to keep you in line, just how fucking moral are you then? Maybe it’s been done to death on the blogosphere, but it bears repeating. If someone’s invisible friend is suddenly absent (or proven to be absent), and that person became an atheist, just how often do we see headlines where someone has actually run riot with pillaging, rapine and murder? Has this ever happened? The recent stats show that there are approximately 4.7 million of us in America alone. So outside of the usual finger-pointing (“Look! That kid shot people because he didn’t believe! The economic downturn can be blamed on atheists! If there was more prayer in schools, children would be more moral!”), where are the numbers? Where are the press releases? If the scare-mongers are even CLOSE to being correct about atheism being a threat, where is the proof?

The simple answer: it’s not happening. Sure, there is the occasional crime committed by an atheist (we are all human, after all, there’s bound to be someone transgressing), but not even 1% of the approximated 4.7 million are rampaging through the streets threatening society at large. In fact, if we actually look at the drug cartels, the Mafioso, or any of the white-collar criminals of the last decade who stole and scammed millions of people, I’d bet we’re underrepresented there as well. The cartels as well as the Mafioso are predominantly Catholic. The white collar guys are likely Protestant.

It’s this concept of an invisible ledger that keeps track of all injustices that’s the real problem. Most people have this ridiculous idea that at some undefined point in life/time/the universe, all accounts will come due, be balanced, all scars and savagery healed and all bad guys will get their come-uppance. I’ve said it before: it’s a comic book perspective unfounded in reality. A lot of life’s villains died natural deaths in their sleep, and to go about believing that some nosy asshole in the sky’s going to take care of your injuries (real or imagined) is just a fantasy.

The afterlife concept. It’s poison.

Till the next post, then.


Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Wednesday Funny–Dr. Seuss And The Bible

Definitely a classic – the Kids In The Hall dish it out.



Saturday, November 26, 2011

Thanksgiving–Giving Thanks To The Living

Cross posted @ the Atheist OasisAn-Atheists-Guide-To-Thanksgiving

It’s generally accepted that of all the holidays, Thanksgiving in America is the least offensive of them. Halloween is Satan’s foot in the door to children’s  souls, somebody somewhere is waging war on Xmas, yeah yeah, somebody somewhere is getting stoked about something. It’s America, country of lawyers and hurt feelings.

But the title itself lends itself to some wide-open translation. Just who are we thanking, actually? For millions of Americans, it’s that God fellow, the imaginary sky daddy who somehow mysteriously provided the bounty at the table – regardless of all the hard work put in by the adults in the house who worked their fingers to the bone, the farmers who put in months of work to provide the turkey the butter the wheat for bread, the truck drivers who lost valuable hours of sleep transporting these items over long lonely roads, the furniture that’s sat on (regardless whether it’s handcrafted or from Ikea)…you get the picture, right?

The worst part is when we, the atheists, get strong-armed into praying at the table. This happened to me about four years ago, and when my mother passed, I was completely cut out of the funeral arrangements, the car promised to me was taken without a word or note – it was ugly. I haven’t spoken to my family for going on four years now. I had to take a stand. A painful stand, but hey…principles are principles, no?

It’s about respect.

If someone were to welcome a Muslim, a Jew, or any other denomination to their dinner table, it would be un-American to force them to pray a Christian prayer. Because freedom of religion is freedom FROM religion. Diverse ideology is one of the many freedoms granted to others. An atheist in America, however, is told to shut up and sit down. Come to think of it, that is the pat response regardless of situation or content.

I reject the supernatural, and find the action of prayer offensive to the extreme. You want to? Knock yourself out. Just leave me out of it. Please.

Sometimes the word ‘please’ just doesn’t work. You hear wheedling, cajoling, and if dealing with family, ‘can I talk to you in private?’ followed with a lot of whispered shouting.

It’s hard, but refuse. Raise your voice. Flat out refuse. If you’ve asked, implored, and otherwise rationally explained yourself in a calm tone, and nothing’s worked, then you may as well raise some hell.

It’s about principles.

You don’t drop your principles because they’re inconvenient, or make people uncomfortable. If you do, then they’re not principles, they’re lip service. The world has enough sycophants, yes-men and ass-kissers. So take a stand. Hold your ground. You don’t want to pray? Don’t. Say so. Out loud. No whispering.

Because this is America. If you force someone to pray, you’re violating the First Amendment profoundly.

Till the next post, then.


Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Wednesday Funny–Homer’s Evolution

This is an all time classic:



Sunday, November 20, 2011

Allegories Gone Wild: Satan Wants Your Children!


Cross posted @ the Atheist Oasis

It’s the clarion call of the Christian scaremongers: somewhere deep in the bowels of the earth, some dark thing conspires to control and warp not only the adults, but the children. Oh, think of the children!

If I have been unclear in the past, I shall reiterate: conspiracy theories are for the large part pure hokum. Not being a psychiatrist of any sort, I can only speculate why people become so heavily vested in them. There’s a wide variety out there. There’s the 9/11 wackaloons who are convinced that our government purposely brought down the Twin Towers, there’s the JFK assassination enthusiasts, then there’s the Bilderburg balderdash, the Zurich Gnome manure – the list is exhaustive, and many of you have heard these before. The huge percentage of these are in excessive violation of Ockham’s Razor. This is not to say conspiracies don’t exist – just that the cottage industry is glutted with so many entities, it boggles the rational mind. For the most part, it’s not a battle for hearts and minds. Pursuit of the almighty dollar? Most definitely. But intricate long-term plots to control the world? Please. People are greedy. Ergo, they pursue money, sometimes with a sociopathic fanaticism.

But above all others, the ‘occult conspiracy’ is probably the most pathetic of all. That shadowy taloned fingers are slowly inching towards your ‘soul’ to enslave and/or gobble you/it up? Honky, please.

We’ve all encountered these paranoid people before. Some of us may have relatives that will, without any prompting whatsoever, began slathering their blathering on anyone within earshot. It’s ridiculous. I could cover all the old worn ground like so many times before: the bible has no authority whatsoever, energy isn’t destroyed but proof that information somehow survives death is non-existent (as is the proof that there’s anything remotely resembling the ill-defined ‘soul’), etc. etc. ad nauseum ad infinitum..

If anything deserves ridicule, it’s this comic book conception of our ontological significance.

This garbage has a long history, dating all the way back to when our ancestors attained self-awareness while huddled frightened around primitive campfires, starting at bizarre noises outside the circle of light, and the slightest mishap could make one a predator’s meal. Introversive as our species is, it’s a small leap to assume the world at large has it in for us. And again, the entities multiply needlessly.

Even today, we hear about how playing D&D can lead our children down the path of witchcraft, Ouija boards are the gateway drug to demonic possession, and even how Harry Potter (a fictional person) can pollute our kids’ precious bodily fluids.

So I bring you this blast from the past: one Phillip Phillips (I defecate thee not), who, in the 1980’s, did this bit of idiocy (courtesy of Dribbleglass):

Phil Phillips is the author of Turmoil in the Toybox (1986), Halloween and Satanism (1987), Saturday Morning Mind Control (1991), and Dinosaurs: The Bible, Barney, and Beyond (1994). Turmoil in the Toybox is about how the Smurfs, Care Bears, My Little Pony, He-Man, Mighty Mouse, Cabbage Patch Kids, and Rainbow Bright are all WICKED DEVIL TOYS STRAIGHT FROM THE PIT OF HELL ITSELF leading our precious children into ruin! The other three book titles speak for themselves. Halloween and Satanism includes some perhaps unwitting but still overt anti-Semitism on display in the author's choice of images and captions.

Typical 1980s sensationalism for the Christian paranoia market. His books were sold in every Christian bookstore, on prominent display right next to those of Texe Marrs.

Phil and his wife Cynthia have since authored Miracle Parenting, on the subject of "Biblical parenting", and a book on Attention Deficit Disorder called ADD: Welcome to Our World. The book (also available in audio version) is based on Phil’s personal testimony of finding out, as an adult, that he was ADD.

Really? Seriously? Yes, seriously. The Smurfs were a part of some vast Satanic conspiracy. As were the Care Bears, He-Man, and…MIGHTY MOUSE?!?!?

Sad. Just sad. Can’t use the word pathetic often enough. I think the best illustration (and best summation) of this folderol was done by Robot Chicken:


So, if you’re ever within earshot of some wild-eyed stupid conversation about this topic, just do what I would (or will) do: point and laugh hilariously.

Because all opinions are not even CLOSE to being equal.

Till the next post, then.


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Wednesday Twofer - Futurama

This one’s about Futurama’s Schrodinger:

And a fantastic Windows Vista joke:



Sunday, November 13, 2011

A Fallen American Idol: Paterno The Pedophile Protector

Cross posted @ the Atheist Oasiscatholicpatermo

When my colleague posted this, I had no idea who this clown was.

Further research revealed more frightening facts. Continuous raping of minors. Eyewitnesses not coming forward. All sorts of parallels with the Catholic Church spring to mind.

Moreover, other evidence mounts in the case against religion. Paterno was  the all American ideal: he was a winning coach with enough awards to choke a horse. A philanthropist of sorts, he had a pretty good coaching record. He’s the father of five children, the grandfather of seventeen. To the normal Christian (prior to the scandal), he’d be the epitome of the American dream. Catholic, conservative, a friend and endorser of George W.

The whole problem is that he’s PROTECTING a child rapist.

Seriously, what the fuck is up with these people? There’s a mounting list of Republicans who are consistently two-faced shitbags, espousing religious sanctimony and the mythical ‘American family values’ while dropping their pants and indulging whatever sick whim they choose.

The hypocrisy is enough to wrench the stomach.

When is the American public going to get a clue, and realize the Republican party is a bad joke as well as shot through and through with sexual sociopaths?

To top off the idiocy, some nitwits are STILL hollering ‘gawd’!

My prediction is that, like rats deserting a sinking ship, his former pals will drop him like an old shoe. His poor family is stuck with him.

And it winds down to one of my old motifs. Religion: it improves no one.

Till the next post, then.


Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Wednesday Twofer–Family Guy And Jay-sus!

Standard classic: Jesus wasn’t all that magic after all:

And of course, Black Jesus!



Saturday, November 05, 2011

In WHO Do We Trust, Exactly? More Nonsense From The Religious Right

Cross posted @ the Atheist Oasis

allotherspaycashRecently, due to a bad run, I’ve had to move in with a friend while I scavenge at the bottom of the abysmal job market. And yes, he’s a Christian (and a creationist to boot), but he’s an old and dear friend. We assiduously avoid religious discussions (as they end in loud acrimony), but we co-exist, which is the way it should be. He’s thoroughly familiar with my position ona religion long before he agreed to help me out.

So Saturday morning, I’m awakened by his loud neighbors at 8 (why people feel the need to carry out conversations at the top of their lungs regardless of the hour, is beyond me. Nobody cares but them.), so I clamber off the inflatable bed in the corner and start cruising the channels (I didn’t have TV at the old apartment, so it’s kinda a treat), when I come across a listing on C-SPAN title ‘In God We Trust’. So I flip to it, with frighteningly predictable results:

Mind you, this is just a taste of an hour-long waste of our taxpayer dollars. And they pulled out all the old (re)tired tropes. Here’s a smattering of the oldies-but-moldies:

1. Our found fathers created this country because of their belief in god.

This is just a stupid argument: it’s an argument from tradition, and it relies on the deification of the founders as some sort of saintly GODSQUAD. The simplest counter? They also ‘believed’ in: slavery, leeches, that water was bad for them (a good percentage, likely 100, is that they were soused most of the time anyways), Benjamin Rush thought that being born non-white was a congenital defect  (he also used to tie down patients on a board and spin them, to cure what I don’t recall), Washington wanted to be king, Hamilton was a raging asshole (Burr did us a favor there) – the litany goes on. The point is that they were wrong about a great deal of things. They were correct about many other things. Why? Because they were human beings. We could go over an exhaustive list of their flaws, but for the sake of brevity, I shall move on.

2. The Declaration of Independence speaks of a ‘Divine Judge’, that every man is given their rights by their creator.

This is by far one of the more obnoxious of the litany of tropes. The word ‘Creator’ is obviously deliberately left ambiguous.Why? Because some of the founders were Deists. I couldn’t tell you the demographics of the period, i.e., how many Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, or Muslims were extant at that time. Obviously there were some around. That one of the rethuglickans actually interpolated the word ‘divine judge’ in his nonsense was offensive as well as egregious. By modern standards, I can claim my rights derive from my parents, fer FSM’s sake. I illustrated in one of my essays from 2007 that five of the big founders would not be elected by neo-cons today.

3. It’s on the walls, it’s on our currency, etc.

The first time the 'logo’ showed up was in 1864. I’m fairly sure that all the founders were deceased by then. So the founders argument flounders on this point, because that’s 88 years AFTER this country was founded. It didn’t even show up on our paper currency until 1964, which is 288 years after our inception. Republicans don’t fact-check. How is this not a surprise?

The other issue is that our actual motto (until Eisenhower passed that law in 1956, due to McCarthyism and the Cold War) was E Pluribus Unum, which was actually approved by the founders, and means "Out of many, one". Never mind the infamous Treaty of Tripoli, Article 11, which unequivocally states that, “As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion,—as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquility, of Mussulmen,—and as the said States never entered into any war or act of hostility against any Mahometan nation, it is declared by the parties that no pretext arising from religious opinions shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries.” This was also passed unequivocally by the senate in 1797, and signed by the president (Article 11 included).

(The argument usually used, is that this a sovereignty treaty, and therefore doesn’t apply. However, such treaties are as a rule represent the state of law in said country.)

The Constitution nor the Bill of Rights state any of the key points of Christianity: there is no declaration of Jehovah or Yahweh (or whatever ‘name’ the Christian would provide); there is no declamation that “Jesus is our lord”; nor is there any mention of the alleged resurrection. Those are the big three points, any of which being present would prove that this is a ‘Christian nation’. Historically, the Christians were excessively intolerant of other faiths, ergo there would be no First Amendment statement tolerating any other religion.

And the repercussions were ridiculous for the few who dissented.

“Fox Nation’ immediately posted the names of the nine people who voted against Resolution 13. Keith Ellison, the only elected Muslim representative, voted ‘present’, and abstained. He spoke to it later, stating that “We’re out of our lane.  We’re in their [The American People’s] private religious affairs, not doing what we’re supposed to be doing, which is getting the economy working.” (Good advice, I say.)

The rest of the nonsense can be found here, if you have the stomach for it.

What none of these pandering politicians get, is that the language is demonstrating an exclusivity in an inclusive society. When one stipulates “In God We Trust”, it is a clear violation of church and state: that in referring to “God”, it is clearly bent in favor of the Judeo-Christian deity: the Jews spell it “G_d”, the Muslims holler “ALLAH AKBAR”, the Hindus bring up Brahma, etc..

The free pass is over, folks. Your two hundred years of domination is over.  Time for a level playing field.

Get used to it.

Till the next post, then.


Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Wednesday Twofer–The Big Bang Theory

I adore this show – it’s about time nerds rocked the telly.

Sheldon, of course, is my favorite character.



Saturday, October 22, 2011

Happy Birthday, Mother Earth? No It Ain’t– It’s Just Their Imagination, Running Away With Them…


But it was just my imagination -- once again --
running away with me.
I tell you it was just my imagination
running away with me... – The Temptations, Just my imagination

For those of you unfamiliar with one James Ussher, Primate of All Ireland, this is the fellow who, using the Old Testament, claimed to come up with the exact age of planet Earth: the night preceding October 23, 4004 BC (BCE for those of you pedantic enough to point it out).

The Chinese took a swing at this, and claimed mama Gaea was 36,000 years old.

Most of the Greeks were ‘agnostic’ about it, but some guessed the world was eternal, and Plutarch recorded that some Tuscan sages claimed the world was re-created every 25,868 years.

The ancient Egyptians put it at somewhere around 39,670 BC.  The Babylonians/Sumerians put it at a few hundred thousand years before them (but they also had kings who ruled for thousands of years, so it’s kinda sketchy). The Arabians put it as 6174 BC, the Mayans claimed it was August 11 3114 BC, the Hindus guessed somewhere around 158.7 trillion years (way to overshoot!), and we won’t even go into what the Zoroastrians claim (mostly because that cosmological gibberish gives me a brain ache).

As always, these estimates weren’t made via scientific observation, but extreme guesswork and were skewed by whomever was in power in that culture at the time.

Of course now we know that it’s all rubbish. Or most of us do. Some folks still have no clue. Scarier still is that some of them are running for office. As if that’s not enough, we have all sorts of creationist idiots taking a run at the presidency.

It is a sad, sad statement about our species that these fairy tales are still taken seriously.

(Oh, and as an aside, wish me a happy 53rd birthday.)

Till the next post, then.


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Wednesday Twofer–Sterling Archer

I absolutely love this animation. I don’t care what anyone says.

And to emphasize the utter disregard Archer has for other people and their feelings:



Saturday, October 15, 2011

Allegories Gone Wild: The Sky Is Falling…Why? Because It Was Predicted


Cross posted @ the Atheist Oasis

Ah, hell, Shepherd, I ain't looking for help from on high. That's a long wait for a train don't come. – Malcolm Reynolds, Serenity

As my colleague Ray Garton has pointed out (more than once), the inmates are trying to run the asylum. And they’re protected by a built in customer base (religion), a political correctness that borders on fascism (don’t discuss religion or politics at the dinner table), and some serious misinterpretation of both law and the idiocies of their ‘holy book’.

(My neck is tired from all the double-takes: nothing these people do really surprises, any more.)

As this article points out, it’s not enough that these clowns oppose quality-of-life issues like abortion, same-sex marriage, or stem cell research. But exactly why are these puppets rabidly anti-environmental?

Forty-five senators and 186 representatives in 2003 earned 80- to 100-percent approval ratings from the nation's three most influential Christian right advocacy groups -- the Christian Coalition, Eagle Forum, and Family Resource Council. Many of those same lawmakers also got flunking grades -- less than 10 percent, on average -- from the League of Conservation Voters last year.

These statistics are puzzling at first. Opposing abortion and stem-cell research is consistent with the religious right's belief that life begins at the moment of conception. Opposing gay marriage is consistent with its claim that homosexual activity is proscribed by the Bible. Both beliefs are a familiar staple of today's political discourse. But a scripture-based justification for anti-environmentalism?

Many Christian fundamentalists feel that concern for the future of our planet is irrelevant, because it has no future. They believe we are living in the End Time, when the son of God will return, the righteous will enter heaven, and sinners will be condemned to eternal hellfire. They may also believe, along with millions of other Christian fundamentalists, that environmental destruction is not only to be disregarded but actually welcomed -- even hastened -- as a sign of the coming Apocalypse.

If ever there was a clear and present danger from Christianity, this is a sign (no pun intended). There has always been a consistent destructive fantasy among the delusionists (this goes for Muslims, religious Jews, and yes, even Falun Gong practitioners) that someone somewhere is keeping track of all transactions good or bad on some invisible ledger somewhere, and all accounts (and everyone’s hash) will be settled in full at the appropriate time. Let’s never mind that this has never happened: let’s disregard that this has been predicted multiple times beyond count (and not happened): let’s ignore the obvious signs that this will never happen.

It’s disastrous wish-fulfillment of the worst kind. It’s proof that belief in an afterlife poisons everything.  

Am I scare-mongering? Uh-uh:

We are not talking about a handful of fringe lawmakers who hold or are beholden to these beliefs. The 231 legislators (all but five of them Republicans) who received an average 80 percent approval rating or higher from the leading religious-right organizations make up more than 40 percent of the U.S. Congress. (The only Democrat to score 100 percent with the Christian Coalition was Sen. Zell Miller of Georgia, who earlier this year quoted from the Book of Amos on the Senate floor: "The days will come, sayeth the Lord God, that I will send a famine in the land. Not a famine of bread or of thirst for water, but of hearing the word of the Lord!") These politicians include some of the most powerful figures in the U.S. government, as well as key environmental decision makers: Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.), Senate Majority Whip Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Senate Republican Conference Chair Rick Santorum (R-Penn.), Senate Republican Policy Chair Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.), House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.), House Majority Whip Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft, and quite possibly President Bush. (Earlier this month, a cover story by Ron Suskind in The New York Times Magazine described how Bush's faith-based governance has led to, among other things, a disastrous "crusade" in the Middle East and has laid the groundwork for "a battle between modernists and fundamentalists, pragmatists and true believers, reason and religion.")

Nervous yet? I certainly am.

And those politicians are just the powerful tip of the iceberg. A 2002 Time/CNN poll found that 59 percent of Americans believe that the prophecies found in the Book of Revelation are going to come true. Nearly one-quarter think the Bible predicted the 9/11 attacks.

Fifty-nine percent? That number is way too high.

Like it or not, faith in the Apocalypse is a powerful driving force in modern American politics. In the 2000 election, the Christian right cast at least 15 million votes, or about 30 percent of those that propelled Bush into the presidency. And there's no doubt that arch-conservative Christians will be just as crucial in the coming election: GOP political strategist Karl Rove hopes to mobilize 20 million fundamentalist voters to help sweep Bush back into office on Nov. 2 and to maintain a Republican majority in Congress, says Joan Bokaer, director of Theocracy Watch, a project of the Center for Religion, Ethics, and Social Policy at Cornell University.

It is enough to make one weep.

Because of its power as a voting bloc, the Christian right has the ear, if not the souls, of much of the nation's leadership. Some of those leaders are End-Time believers themselves. Others are not. Either way, their votes are heavily swayed by an electoral base that accepts the Bible as literal truth and eagerly awaits the looming Apocalypse. And that, in turn, is sobering news for those who hope for the protection of the earth, not its destruction.

It’s very much an acknowledged fact that global warming is a reality: you’d have to be in severe denial to say otherwise. Even Rupert Murdoch, he of the Fox News and overt Republican idiocies, admits this.

Sure, we’ve all known this for some time: the question is, what are we doing about it? We should do more. I personally engage people regularly (in person) when religion is brought up. I point out the inadequacies, the wrongnesses, the weirdnesses and wackiness of their holy book. It’s tedious: more often, when bracing a ‘true believer’, the dialogue goes a little paraphrase like this: “The bible contradicts itself regularly. The biology in the bible is completely wrong: the historicity of the bible is not only questionable, it’s risible. The bible is short on anything resembling facts, and long on imaginative whimsy.” The TB™ only hears “The bible blah-blah-blah. The blah-blah in the bible blah-blah-blah.” So I introduce it as this: “I refuse to recognize the bible as an authority on ANYTHING.” On occasion, I quip that “I’m short on TP, could I have your copy?”

But these individual efforts are, to quote the bard, “taking arms against a sea of troubles,” or in more modern lingo, a drop in the ocean. Sites like ours do have some impact – a site like Undo Jesus is having impact as well. We can write letters to our respective representatives (in droves, hopefully) informing them that this scabrous textbook is only unsuitable for as an operator’s manual, it’s not fit for children to even read in any context.

So we need to get out there more. Besides the armchair scholarship of blogging. It is doing something, to be sure, but to borrow some terminology, it’s easier to preach to the choir than upbraid a mob.

Till the next post, then.


Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Tuesday Twofer – George Carlin

Here’s a man I miss terribly – George Carlin.

Religion Is Bullshit:

Old GC on the 10 Commandments:



Sunday, October 09, 2011

Wait–We Have A Holiday For WHO?!?!? A True Christian From The History Books…


As an atheist, I’m no big fan of holidays. In fact, we have far too many of them in this country. Luckily, Groundhog’s Day doesn’t interrupt the mail service, Valentine’s Day is a paean to lovers everywhere (even though it’s allegedly based on secret Christian weddings in the bad old days of pagan Rome), Saint Patrick’s day is an excuse to get hammered, wear green and sport buttons that say “kiss me, I’m Irish”, and one of them is even a fun holiday to play pranks on people.

But Christopher Columbus? You gotta be fucking kidding me.

I grew up (as most of you probably did also) hearing about how this cat set out to discover the Far East, only to get somewhat hampered by the intervening continent in his way. Hell, I’ll bet you even remember that old mnemonic, “In 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue.”

For the most part, very little was ever mentioned about these voyages except that they were harsh (scurvy was a constant threat), and that some crewmen died en route. When I was a kid, there was absolutely no mention of this ass-clown’s subsequent behavior.

So let’s recap, for those of you familiar, and for those of you who aren’t, be prepared to be horrified.

Good old Chris, on his first voyage:

Columbus called the island (in what is now The Bahamas) San Salvador; the natives called it Guanahani. Exactly which island in the Bahamas this corresponds to is an unresolved topic; prime candidates are Samana Cay, Plana Cays, or San Salvador Island (so named in 1925 in the belief that it was Columbus's San Salvador). The indigenous people he encountered, the Lucayan, Taíno or Arawak, were peaceful and friendly. From the 12 October 1492 entry in his journal he wrote of them, "Many of the men I have seen have scars on their bodies, and when I made signs to them to find out how this happened, they indicated that people from other nearby islands come to San Salvador to capture them; they defend themselves the best they can. I believe that people from the mainland come here to take them as slaves. They ought to make good and skilled servants, for they repeat very quickly whatever we say to them. I think they can very easily be made Christians, for they seem to have no religion. If it pleases our Lord, I will take six of them to Your Highnesses when I depart, in order that they may learn our language." He remarked that their lack of modern weaponry and even metal-forged swords or pikes was a tactical vulnerability, writing, "I could conquer the whole of them with 50 men, and govern them as I pleased."

And then:

Columbus also explored the northeast coast of Cuba (landed on 28 October) and the northern coast of Hispaniola, by 5 December. Here, the Santa Maria ran aground on Christmas Day 1492 and had to be abandoned. He was received by the native cacique Guacanagari, who gave him permission to leave some of his men behind. Columbus left 39 men and founded the settlement of La Navidad at the site of present-day Môle-Saint-Nicolas, Haiti. On 13 January 1493 Columbus made his last stop in the New World. He landed on the Samaná Peninsula where he met the hostile Ciguayos who presented him with his only violent resistance during his first voyage to the Americas. Because of this, and the Ciguayos' use of arrows, he called the inlet where he met them the Bay of Arrows (or Gulf of Arrows). Today the place is called the Bay of Rincon, in Samaná, the Dominican Republic. Columbus kidnapped about 10 to 25 natives and took them back with him (only seven or eight of the native Indians arrived in Spain alive, but they made quite an impression on Seville).

He just took people against their will. Whatta sweetheart, ey?

Buckle up kids, it gets worse:

On 22 November Columbus returned to Hispaniola, where he intended to visit Fuerte de la Navidad (Christmas Fort), built during his first voyage, and located on the northern coast of Haiti. Columbus found Fuerte de la Navidad in ruins, destroyed by the native Taino people.

Among the ruins were the corpses of 11 of the first 39 Spanish to have attempted New World colonization. Columbus then required from the Taino that each adult over 14 years of age was expected to deliver a hawks bell full of gold every three months, or when this was lacking, twenty five pounds of spun cotton. If this tribute was not observed, the Taínos had their hands cut off and were left to bleed to death. Columbus then moved more than 100 kilometers eastwards, establishing a new settlement, which he called La Isabela, likewise on the northern coast of Hispaniola, in the present-day Dominican Republic. However, La Isabela proved to be a poorly chosen location, and the settlement was short-lived.

Another good Christian who’d never heard of ‘turning the other cheek’.

Prince Charming had even more tricks up his sleeve:

Columbus returned to Hispaniola on 19 August to find that many of the Spanish settlers of the new colony were discontented, having been misled by Columbus about the supposedly bountiful riches of the new world. An entry in his journal from September 1498 reads, "From here one might send, in the name of the Holy Trinity, as many slaves as could be sold..." Since Columbus supported the enslavement of the Hispaniola natives for economic reasons, he ultimately refused to baptize them, as Catholic law forbade the enslavement of Christians.

He had some of his crew hanged for disobeying him. A number of returning settlers and sailors lobbied against Columbus at the Spanish court, accusing him and his brothers of gross mismanagement. On his return he was arrested for a period (see Governorship and arrest section below).

Even in an age of gross barbarism, this guy stood out. And get this – on his fourth voyage,  he ended up getting help from the same people he supported enslaving:

For a year Columbus and his men remained stranded on Jamaica. A Spaniard, Diego Mendez, and some natives paddled a canoe to get help from Hispaniola. That island's governor, Nicolás de Ovando y Cáceres, detested Columbus and obstructed all efforts to rescue him and his men. In the meantime Columbus, in a desperate effort to induce the natives to continue provisioning him and his hungry men, successfully won the favor of the natives by correctly predicting a lunar eclipse for 29 February 1504, using the Ephemeris of the German astronomer Regiomontanus.

To top off his ‘accomplishments’, he was arrested and detained after being a governor:

The Court appointed Francisco de Bobadilla, a member of the Order of Calatrava, but not as the aide that Columbus had requested. Instead, Bobadilla was given complete control as governor from 1500 until his death in 1502. Arriving in Santo Domingo while Columbus was away, Bobadilla was immediately peppered with complaints about all three Columbus brothers: Christopher, Bartolomé, and Diego. Consuelo Varela, a Spanish historian, states: "Even those who loved him [Columbus] had to admit the atrocities that had taken place." Columbus before the Queen, imagined by Emanuel Gottlieb Leutze, 1843

As a result of these testimonies and without being allowed a word in his own defense, Columbus, upon his return, had manacles placed on his arms and chains on his feet and was cast into prison to await return to Spain. He was 48 years old.


According to an uncatalogued document supposedly discovered very late in history purporting to be a record of Columbus's trial which contained the alleged testimony of 23 witnesses, Columbus regularly used barbaric acts of torture to govern Hispaniola.

Delusional? You tell me:

While Columbus had always given the conversion of non-believers as one reason for his explorations, he grew increasingly religious in his later years. Probably with the assistance of his son Diego and his friend the Carthusian monk Gaspar Gorricio, Columbus produced two books during his later years: a Book of Privileges (1502), detailing and documenting the rewards from the Spanish Crown to which he believed he and his heirs were entitled, and a Book of Prophecies (1505), in which passages from the Bible were used to place his achievements as an explorer in the context of Christian eschatology.

A Christian explorer using cherry-picking to justify himself? What are the odds? (Pretty damn good.)

As if these horrors aren’t enough, these excerpts from Lies My Teacher Told Me should be enough to enrage our readers to write to their representatives in Washington to get this holiday off the books altogether:

"Christopher Columbus introduced two phenomena that revolutionized race relations and transformed the modern world: the taking of land, wealth, and labor from indigenous peoples, leading to their near extermination, and the transatlantic slave trade, which created a racial underclass" (60).

"When Columbus and his men returned to Haiti in 1493, they demanded food, gold, spun cotton--whatever the Indians had that they wanted, including sex with their women. To ensure cooperation, Columbus used punishment by example. When an Indian committed even a minor offense, the Spanish cut off his ears or nose" (61).

"..attempts at resistance gave Columbus an excuse to make war... For this he chose 200 foot soldiers and 20 cavalry, with many crossbows and small cannon, lances, and swords, and a still more terrible weapon against the Indians, in addition to the horses: this was 20 hunting dogs, who were turned loose and immediately tore the Indians apart" (61).

"Columbus.. initiated a great slave raid. They rounded up 1,500 Arawaks, then selected the 500 best specimens (of whom 200 would die en route to Spain. Another 500 were chosen as slaves for the Spaniards staying on the island" (62).

"Spaniards hunted Indians for sport and murdered them for dog food. Columbus, upset because he could not locate the gold he was certain was on the island, set up a tribute system... The Indians all promised to pay tribute.. every three months... With a fresh token, an Indian was safe for three months, much of which time would be devoted to collecting more gold... the Spanish punished those whose tokens had expired: they cut off their hands" (62).

"Columbus installed the encomienda system, in which he granted or "commended" entire Indian villages to individual colonists or groups of colonists... On Haiti the colonists made the Indians mine gold for them, raise Spanish food, and even carry them everywhere they went" (63). An Spanish observer wrote that "As a result of the sufferings and hard labor they endured [under this virtual slavery], the Indians choose and have chosen suicide. Occasionally a hundred have committed mass suicide. The women, exhausted by labor, have shunned conception and childbirth... Many, when pregnant, have taken something to abort and have aborted. Others after delivery have killed their children with their own hands, so as not to leave them in such oppressive slavery"" (63).

"Estimates of Haiti's pre-Columbian population range as high as 8,000,000 people... a census of Indian adults in 1496.. came up with 1,100,000... "By 1516," according to Benjamin Keen, "thanks to the sinister Indian slave trade and labor policies initiated by Columbus, only some 12,000 remained." Las Casas tells us that fewer than 200 Indians were alive in 1542. By 1555, they were all gone" (63).

".. one of the primary instances of genocide in all human history" (64).

"Columbus not only sent the first slaves across the Atlantic, he probably sent more slaves--about five thousand--than any other individual... other nations rushed to emulate Columbus" (64).

"As soon as the 1493 expedition got to the Caribbean, before it even reached Haiti, Columbus was rewarding his lieutenants with native women to rape. On Haiti, sex slaves were one more prerequisite that the Spaniards enjoyed. Columbus wrote a friend in 1500, "... it is very general and there are plenty of dealers who go about looking for girls; those from nine to ten are now in demand"" (65).

"Columbus is not a hero in Mexico... Why not? Because Mexico is also much more Indian than the United States, and Mexicans perceive Columbus as white and European. "No sensible Indian person," wrote George P. Horse Capture, "can celebrate the arrival of Columbus." Cherishing Columbus is a characteristic of white history, not American history" (70).

"The worshipful biographical vignettes of Columbus in our textbooks serve to indoctrinate students into a mindless endorsement of colonialism... the Columbus myth allows us to accept the contemporary division of the world into developed and underdeveloped spheres as natural and given, rather than a historical product issuing from a process that began with Columbus's first voyage" (70)

There will be plenty of Christians who will deplore these acts as barbaric and savage, and rightly so. But the majority of them will rationalize that old Chris was not a ‘True Christian’. Unfortunately for them, he was. A simple in-depth reading of the Old Testament (and some of the New) will amply demonstrate that these were common (and sanctioned) acts based on their holy text. Slavery is a biblical injunction, and the mistreatment of non-believers par for the course. Genocide is not only justified in the bible, it’s also smiled upon as an act that was directed by their deity, and in some cases perpetrated on the ‘chosen people’. Even rape isn’t beyond that tome of horrors.

So yes, old assclown Columbus was most definitely playing by the set of rules put forth by those Iron-age shepherds of yore.  Every single act he perpetrated fits neatly into the superstitions of the day, and the words written in that Necronomicon of old, the Wholly Bibble.

He was an evil fuckwad, whose only just  deserts are that people should urinate on his grave. He was a pimp, a slaver, a butcher, a tyrant, and an idiot.  That anyone has a holiday for this bozo is not just a wart on the face of this country, but full-blown metaphorical melanoma.

Till the next post, then.


Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Wednesday Funny–MADTV

This is absolutely hilarious:

I’ve heard the occasional story about clowns like this, but have never met one. Have you?

Anyways, enjoy.


Saturday, October 01, 2011

I Believe

Cross posted @ the Atheist Oasis

No man ever believes that the Bible means what it says: He is always convinced that it says what he means.jesusandmoblasphemyday – Shaw

Can you count how many times you’ve heard someone express their opinion with “I believe that!”  or an “I don’t believe that!”? Unless you’re a hardcore atheist like myself, you might not have noticed how prevalent it is. Sadly, it is ubiquitous. I cannot count on my fingers and toes (even if I was the some Hindu goddess even) how many times this has been uttered in my presence. And if you are anything like me, you likely wince inwardly (or outwardly) or perhaps roll your eyes at the cliché.

And now we actually have a Blasphemy Day (thanks Sue – I hadn’t even known), where we can actually shout it from the rooftops if we so wish, when once upon a time, this would be grounds for execution (and in some countries, it still is).

As PZ Meyers points out, this is no big whoop, as every day is Blasphemy Day. But it does feel pretty good, does it not? I take every opportunity I can to undermine and blaspheme religion (void where prohibited, heheheheh) on the proviso that it’s in an appropriate setting or proper timing. Alas, my filters aren’t all that good, and I do upon occasion blurt out an instant response (I have a close friend who told me the other day, that I have the “ability to say exactly what I’m thinking” – much to my own detriment sometimes).

Belief is such a tricksy word. And the religionists play word games, word salad games, and try to infer/imply that somehow our confidence in evidence is equivalent to their superstitious wishes, when clearly it is not even on the same playing-field.

I agree with G.E. Berrios who states that “delusions are genuine beliefs and instead labels them as "empty speech acts", where affected persons are motivated to express false or bizarre belief statements due to an underlying psychological disturbance. “

Because no doubt you’ve overheard conversations that were running out of steam, and someone inserts “but [insert deity here] has a plan for you!”, which in my not-so-humble-opinion are efforts to keep said discussions running (for whatever reason the speaker has). And a word like ‘God’ is fraught with meaning only because it’s a placeholder and an open receptacle for any definition (obviously not an operable one) that the speaker wishes it to have.

So join me in chiming in, on every Blasphemy Day (that’s 365 days a year), when you hear that empty phrase “I believe that!” (or the other one), step up and say:

“It doesn’t matter what you believe.”

Mind you, do that on a case-to-case basis; it might not be advisable to burst into a mosque or a revival tent and blurt that out.  Just sayin’.

Till the next post, then.


Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Tuesday Funny–‘A Fistful Of Darwin’

Welcome to the Survival Of The Fittest Saloon:



Sunday, September 25, 2011

More On The Madness Of Muslim: Moammar Is Biting The Dust


This is mixed news: it’s wonderful that the Libyans are finally (after all these decades) ousting that wretch Gaddafi from power, but it’s a heartbreak that so many lives are being shed like water.

Libya's NTC troops enter pro-Gaddafi city of Sirte

Libya's interim government forces have made major progress in their attack on Sirte, one of the last strongholds of Muammar Gaddafi' loyalists.

Gunfire was heard and black smoke was seen rising as National Transitional Council (NTC) fighters moved to within 1km (0.5 miles) from the city centre.

The troops regrouped as night fell, preparing for a new assault in the morning, a BBC correspondent says.

Sirte is Col Gaddafi's birthplace, but it is not known if he is in the city.

The city has always been a hugely symbolic target for the NTC, and it seems close to being won, reports the BBC's Alastair Leithead, who is with anti-Gaddafi forces in Sirte.

Most of you are likely familiar with this maniac, but for those of you who have a cursory knowledge of this particular despot, Muammar Gaddaf  is:

commonly known as Muammar Gaddafi or Colonel Gaddafi, was the autocratic ruler of Libya from 1969, when he seized power in a military coup, to August 2011, when his regime collapsed. In August 2011, as a result of the 2011 Libyan civil war and the creation of the National Transitional Council, his government lost most of Libya by a NATO-backed opposition force. By the end of August 2011 Gaddafi had lost almost all domestic and international political recognition as well as the majority of Libyan territory. His 42-year rule prior to the Civil War makes him the fourth longest-ruling non-royal leader since 1900, as well as the longest-ruling Arab leader. He variously styled himself as 'the Brother Leader', 'Guide of the Revolution' and the 'King of Kings'.

After seizing power in 1969, he abolished the Libyan Constitution of 1951 and imposed laws based on his political ideology. Gaddafi formulated an ideology, calling it the Third International Theory and publishing it in The Green Book. Gaddafi and his relatives took over much of the economy. Gaddafi started several wars, had a role in others, and acquired chemical weapons. The United Nations called Libya under Gaddafi a pariah state. In the 1980s, countries around the world imposed sanctions against Gaddafi. Six days after the capture of Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein by United States troops,[9] Gaddafi renounced Tripoli’s weapons of mass destruction (WMD) programs and welcomed international inspections to verify that he would follow through on the commitment. A leading advocate for a United States of Africa, he served as Chairperson of the African Union (AU) from 2 February 2009 to 31 January 2010.

Like most of history’s villains, he did a little good here and there:

During Gaddafi's period of rule many of Libya's human development indicators improved significantly. By 2010, Libya had the highest GDP per capita, Education Index, and Human Development Index in Africa as well as some of the best health indicators in the continent.

But like most ham-fisted tyrants, he over-estimated himself and overreached, bringing him down to his current situation:

In February 2011, early in the Arab Spring, a protest movement spread across Libya. Gaddafi responded by dispatching military and plainclothes paramilitary to the streets to attack demonstrators. The unrest quickly spiraled out of control and deteriorated into a civil war. On 23 August 2011, Gaddafi lost control of Tripoli, and effective control of Libya with the rebels' capture of the Bab al-Azizia compound.

The International Criminal Court issued arrest warrants on 27 June 2011 for Gaddafi, his son Saif al-Islam, and his brother-in-law Abdullah al-Senussi, concerning crimes against humanity. Interpol has also issued an arrest warrant for him for crimes against humanity. The United Kingdom, United States, Germany and France have recently unfrozen total amount of US$6.6 billion of his assets and assigned them in humanitarian aid for Libya.

Oh, how the mighty asshole is fallen!

His resume is a house of horrors, enough to gag the strong of stomach. Name a human right, he’s violated it. From quelling dissent to modern day ethnic cleansing. His imposition of Sharia law is not for the faint of heart:

Libya's society became increasingly Islamic during Gaddafi's rule. His "purification laws" were put into effect in 1994, punishing theft by the amputation of limbs, and fornication and adultery by flogging. Under the Libyan constitution, homosexual relations are punishable by up to 5 years in jail. A Westerner was shocked in 2005 to see Libyan society, saying it was:

... a country without alcohol, where the population abides by strict codes of male-female conduct that require both sexes to stay virgins until marriage—there are no dance clubs, no bars, no young couples strolling down the street, holding hands...I go in search of the town hotspot and discover it to be the local internet café, where crowds of young men play video games, enter English-language chat rooms, and examine—however surreptitiously—Western porn sites. It takes me a few minutes to notice that there’s not a single woman in the place. Away from the progressive cities of Tripoli and Benghazi, women stay largely in the home, out of sight. A local man, Mahmud, tells me that women here aren’t allowed to see or interact with males outside of their immediate family, including any would-be husband."

And the usually milquetoast UN has actually issued a warrant for once:

The UN referred the massacres of unarmed civilians to the International Criminal Court. Among the crimes being investigated by the prosecution was whether Gaddafi purchased and authorized the use of Viagra-like drugs among soldiers for the purpose of raping women and instilling fear. His government's heavy-handed approach to quelling the protests was characterized by the International Federation for Human Rights as a strategy of scorched earth. The acts of "indiscriminate killings of civilians" was charged as crimes against humanity, as defined in Article 7 of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.

This guy was simply everyone’s nightmare except his own:

On the Muslim prophet Muhammad's birthday in 1973, Gaddafi delivered his famous "Five-Point Address" which officially implemented Sharia. Gaddafi's ideology was largely based on Nasserism, blending Arab nationalism,aspects of the welfare state, and what Gaddafi termed "popular democracy", or more commonly "direct, popular democracy". He called this system "Islamic socialism", as he disfavored the atheistic quality of communism. While he permitted private control over small companies, the government controlled the larger ones. Welfare, "liberation" (or "emancipation" depending on the translation), and education was emphasized. He also imposed a system of Islamic morals and outlawed alcohol and gambling. School vacations were canceled to allow the teaching of Gaddafi's ideology in the summer of 1973.

Would you be freaked out living there? I sure would. Here’s some more crazy shit:

Gaddafi is known for erratic statements, and commentators often express uncertainty about what is sarcasm and what is simply incoherent. Over the course of his four-decade rule, he accumulated a wide variety of eccentric and often contradictory statements. He once said that HIV was "a peace virus, not an aggressive virus" and assured attendees at the African Union that "if you are straight you have nothing to fear from AIDS". He also said that the H1N1 virus was a biological weapon manufactured by a foreign military, and assured Africans that the tsetse fly and mosquito were "God's armies which will protect us against colonialists". Should these 'enemies' come to Africa, "they will get malaria and sleeping sickness".

And just to emphasize how nuts this assclown is/was:

Gaddafi has been an unabashed supporter of Islam, often with blatant disregard for religious tolerance. He said that Islam is the one true faith and that those who do not follow Islam are "losers". On another instance, he said that the Christian Bible was a "forgery" and that Jesus Christ was a messenger for the sons of Israel only. In 2006, he predicted Europe would become a Muslim continent within a few decades as a result of its growing Arab population. He endorsed the concept of a peaceful Muslim nation-state. Gaddafi expressed violent hostility towards Israel and the Jewish people throughout his career. At first, he expelled Jews from Libya and sided with Arab states for the elimination of the state of Israel. He funded and supported governments and paramilitary organizations that fought Israel. He said Arab nations that negotiate with Israel are "cowardly", and on multiple occasions, he has encouraged Palestinians to rise up against Israel. He believes in conspiracy theories that Israeli agents had assassinated John F. Kennedy and that Barack Obama's foreign policy was influenced by fears of being assassinated by Israel. Since 2007, he has suggested a single-state solution to the Israeli–Palestinian conflict, at first saying "This is the fundamental solution, or else the Jews will be annihilated in the future, because the Palestinians have [strategic] depth". In 2009, he moderated his proposal in a New York Times article, saying a single-state solution would "move beyond old conflicts and look to a unified future based on shared culture and respect."

I don’t normally advocate harsh measures, but the sooner this asswipe is in the ground, the better off the world will be. Or, as old Billy Shakespeare put it, “nothing became his life like the leaving of it.”

Till the next post, then.