left biblioblography: December 2012

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Homophobia Gone Mental: And The Gays DON’T Have It.

Cross posted @ the Atheist Oasis
gaymarriageMore depressing news for the end of the year – it’s more pointy-hatted nonsense:

Pope Benedict signals inter-faith alliance against legalizing gay marriage

The pope’s latest denunciation of gay marriage came in a Christmas address to Vatican officials in which he blended religion, philosophy, anthropology and sociology to illustrate the position of the Roman Catholic Church.

The Vatican has gone on the offensive in response to gains for gay marriage in the United States and Europe, using every possible opportunity to denounce it through papal speeches or editorials in its newspaper or on its radio station.

Throwing the full weight of his office behind a study by France’s chief rabbi on the effects the legalization of gay marriage would have on children and society, he said:

“There is no denying the crisis that threatens it (the family) to its foundations – especially in the Western world.”

The family had to be protected because it was “the authentic setting in which to hand on the blueprint of human existence”, he added.

This is typical Catholic absurdity at its stupidest – note that it was ‘a’ study, not extensive studies, one single study. And boom! It’s a rush off to judgment.

And this is exactly why we need to point and laugh and denounce and shout this nonsense down: there’s no reasoning with the irrational. Courtesy only leads these idiots to think they have a valid point, even when the preponderance of evidence proves otherwise.

Denying a specific subset of the population the right that everyone else has is discrimination: as such, that is distinctly un-American. Marriage is a civil right – saying that two adults can’t do it because somebody’s imaginary friend prohibits it is forcing religious belief on others – a clear violation of SOCAS.

It’s too bad that gay couples in America can’t file a class-action suit against that pointy-hatted assclown in the Vatican. Or any of the other flatline idiots who try to foist their madness onto the rest of us.

Ex cathedra my homesick ass.

Till the next post, then.


Saturday, December 22, 2012

Have A Very Wicked Winterval, Y’all…

Cross posted @ the Atheist Oasis
And a kickin’ Kwanzaa to boot. catxmas

Been feeling pretty sanguine as of late, which explains perhaps why I’m not quite the angry blogger. This time last year, I was effectively homeless, and taking shelter at an old friend’s apartment. But still managed (sans any divine intervention, or crazy ass fairy begging) to bootstrap my tired old ass back into the saddle. Life is good these days. I occasionally dive-bomb the random fucknob on Facebook (you know, the assholes who like to post garbage like ‘God, why is there so much violence in schools? Signed, a concerned student. I’m not allowed in the schools, signed God’) or the sporadic homophobe who whines about his/her ‘opinion’ being just as good as anyone else’s, etc. etc. Ad nauseum.

But I am still a little bummed out that the Winterval meme still hasn’t taken off.

We need to start reclaiming these passages of time – not steal them forcibly (let’s face it – the Christians are ALWAYS on about something, to the point where their mulings are only worth a shake of the head and a sad sigh). It’s something of a peeve.

Births, marriages, deaths – these should no longer be the sole purview of the religious. We are in the 21st century now. These rites of passage are human in origin, and they should return to us, without the supernatural mumbo jumbo that the self-flagellants want to incant over them.  This also includes the quarterly celebrations that mark the passage of time and season.

The fact is, all any of us really want, is to be treated equally, to share and be shared with –something that that lot who keep declaring a ‘war on Xmas’ aren’t too crazy about.

Mind you I’m not even going to try to mince about changing the word ‘holiday’, regardless of its etymology: that’s a lost battle if ever there was one.

Having said that, I wish you one and all a safe and happy ‘holiday’, whatever you deem to call it, and try to keep the food and alcohol intake to safe levels.

And just for kicks and giggles, my all time favorite Robot Chicken Xmas spoof:

Till the next post, then.


Sunday, December 16, 2012

The World Is Ending On Friday? Oh Well, It’s Been Nice Knowing You All…

Cross posted @ the Atheist Oasis

mayan-calendar-humor-freak-somebody-out-somedayIt's the end of the world as we know it.
It's the end of the world as we know it.
It's the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine. – REM,  It's the end of the world as we know it

The world was supposed to end last year.

It was also supposed to be swallowed by a black hole created by the Hadron particle accelerator.

It was supposed to end in the year 2000.

The planets were supposed to align in March  1982, triggering mass earthquakes and massive flooding.

In 1910, Halley’s comet was supposed to release a poisonous gas called cyanogen into the atmosphere.

The number of pillars in the Pyramid of Giza number one thousand eight hundred and  eighty one, because Charles Piazzi Smith was convinced some biblical patriarch built it, all evidence notwithstanding.

Belaboring the obvious, all those predictions have two things in common. One is the end of the world. Two, they were all wrong.

This is one of those items that we skeptics find most infuriating: despite all the evidence to the contrary, other members of our species simply refuse to admit that they were not only wrong, but stupendously, incredibly, ridiculously wrong.

The end of the world is a common motif, one that predates Christianity. Because humans are trying to measure the universe in accordance with their own data subset, it’s just trying to put a square peg in a round hole. Our lives are brief, our mortalities imminent, and because our live begin and end, we think in terms of such: beginnings and endings.

But this idiocy should be ridiculed and laughed at roundly: we should never ever keep our peace when someone announces the ‘End Of Days!’ (regardless of how that has a great ring to it). It is, in its simplest form, mental pollution of the worst kind.

Why is that? Back in the days I was selling shoes (and taking too many drugs, and had a great deal vested in  nonsenses both occultic and religious), I made no efforts to work towards a future, because after all, if the world’s gonna end, why bother? Anecdotal it may be, but I’d hazard to guess that a great many people would echo that statement. There are folks out there I’d wager are simply not making any effort to enrich their lives or others. I overheard a grown woman last month at a Tai Chi class blathering about how she was going to ‘get her affairs in order’ because she actually believed this bullshit about 12/21/12 (why wasn’t it on 12/12? Who knows? Maybe the doomsayers wanted 9 more days). I stopped pushing hands, turned around, and carried on about it. At length. Most folks laughed. I dearly wanted to bet her a grand that the world wasn’t ending – a safe bet if it isn’t, right?

(As an aside, wouldn’t it be ever so fun to walk around the metropolitan areas with a sandwich board announcing in big block letters, THE WORLD IS NOT COMING TO AN END! RELAX! And betting anyone who stops to argue a goodly sum against it?)

So if it comes – it’s been n'ice knowin’ ya all. But if it doesn’t (and I’ll bet the rent it don’t), then I’ll see you next for our weekly drubbing of that ol’ time religion.

Till the next post then.


Saturday, December 08, 2012

More On The Madness Of Muslims: People Beating Themselves Up Over Nothing

ashurapictureApparently it’s that time of the year again – where loopy religious folks decide to hurt themselves simply because they exis

Afghan Shia Muslims flog themselves for Ashura festival

Hundreds of Shia Muslims in Afghanistan's capital, Kabul, flog themselves to mark the festival of Ashura on Wednesday. The festival marks the martyrdom of Hussain, the Prophet Muhammad's grandson, in the battle of Karbala in Iraq in the year 680. Shia Muslims mourn for a month as part of the festival.

And as if it’s not bad enough that a large percentile of the population flog themselves, there is of course the obligatory loss of life:

Bomb kills four Yemenis marking Shi'ite Muslim Ashura festival

SANAA (Reuters) - At least three Shi'ite Muslims were killed on Saturday in a bomb attack targeting the first public commemoration of the anniversary of the death of a grandson of the Prophet Mohammad in the Yemeni capital in half a century.

No one claimed responsibility for the attack, but al Qaeda and its affiliates, comprising Sunni Muslim militants, have targeted Shi'ites in the past.

I wish I could say that such events are surprising, but sadly they are not. It is hard to respect the opinions and beliefs of any person’s religion, when the inevitable result is bloodshed, horror, and oppression. When children have bombs strapped to them and women are slaughtered or horribly mutilated by men based on the merest misinterpretation of a look or conversation.

At the risk of tedious repetition: religion is the shadow in which the psychopaths cloak their nefarious deeds, where they conspire to force their fellow humans to wear the shackles they deem are necessary, where they sharpen their knives with bloodlust all the while insisting that their imaginary friend is whispering in their collective ears.

No more shadows. These people, these lunatics, should be shown for what they are and roundly shouted down, not mollycoddled for their sociopathic belief system.

And all I can really hope for, is that our species survives this century. That billions of words written on millions of blogs, along with petitions, protests, and the spread of education, will some day finally, in this long tedious war of attrition, raise the headstone of religious belief, as the primitive anachronistic religions are finally laid to rest on the shelves of history, to be only looked at and chuckled over, not taken seriously.

Till the next post, then.


Saturday, December 01, 2012

More On The Misogyny Of Muslim–It’s 2 PM, Do You Know Where Your Chattel Is?

Cross posted @ the Atheist Oasis
islamicsexistIt seems that these days, all one has to do is turn around, to find some disgusting fact about this alleged ‘religion of peace’. In this case, it’s Muslim equivalent of Wild Kingdom. Only in this case, we’re not talking about wild animals, but people

Saudi Arabia implements electronic tracking system to monitor women’s movements

In a country where women are denied the right to vote, are not allowed to drive, and are basically treated like children, Saudi Arabia has taken its next giant leap backwards by rolling out an SMS electronic tracking system that alerts male "guardians" by text message whenever women under their protection leave the country. The development has been met with outrage by reformers, who have turned to Twitter to voice their concern.

Saudi Arabia is a complete mess as far as women's rights is concerned. It ranks 130th out of 134 countries for gender equality — a nation where only 16.5% of women make up the workforce. As devout followers of Sharia Law, all women, regardless of age, require a male guardian and cannot leave the country without written consent.

And now, judging by a flurry of incoming accounts, it's clear that the country has covertly implemented a new system that will further serve to strengthen its control over women.

It all started last week when a Saudi man travelling with his wife began to get text messages on his phone from the immigration authorities alerting him to the fact that his wife had left the international airport in Riyadh (she was listed as a dependent on his national identity card). Concerned, he contacted Manal al-Sherif, a women's rights campaigner in Saudi Arabia, who then broadcast the news over Twitter.

For insanity and double-standards, all you need to do is look at religion. Especially Islam, where women are considered little more than chattel – because of course, no one would ever consider doing this sort of thing to a man.

And of course, the rationalizations come pouring in:

And as it turned out, the text messages weren't an isolated case. Similar accounts started to pour in, strongly suggesting that a new system had been rolled-out without so much as a peep from the Saudi authorities. It now appears that every guardian whose dependent has a passport is receiving a text after cross border crossings.

In response, the Ministry of the Interior has denied the allegations, saying it's not intended to connect women with their guardians. And according to the Riyadh Bureau, the system has been in place since 2010, but now the service works without having to register with the ministry. It claims that the system is part of a larger e-Government plan to use technology in order to facilitate access to its services — such as electronic travel permits (thus replacing the need for "yellow slips").

Pathetic. Women being treated as second-class citizens in any 21st century nation is an outrage, and should be criticized and denounced regardless of culture or heritage. Gender rights are one of those bridges we need to build, even at the cost of destroying anachronistic traditions.

Whenever any ideology proposes that some people should be discriminated against simply because they were born differently, that ideology needs to go. And if necessary, the hard way.

Till the next post, then.