left biblioblography: November 2011

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.