left biblioblography: April 2014

Sunday, April 27, 2014

What Happens When The Religion Of Peace Meets The Religion Of Love?

Cross posted @ the Atheist Oasis


Wish that it was surprising.

Central African Republic's Seleka rebels call for secession amid sectarian war

Rebels in the Central African Republic are calling for the establishment of a new country as a radical solution to the worsening sectarian conflict.

The name – the Republic of Northern Central Africa – and a design for a national flag, are circulating by mobile phone in the dusty town of Bambari, which divides the CAR's largely Christian south from a northern region now controlled by the mostly Muslim Seleka rebels, according to Reuters. But the United Nations, the African Union, the former colonial power, France, and many analysts insist that this is neither likely nor desirable.

The call for partition echoes numerous secessionist movements across Africa, where arbitrary borders drawn by colonial mapmakers disregarded and cut across ethnic boundaries. South Sudan, the CAR's neighbour, gained independence from Sudan in 2011 – but is now embroiled in a civil war of its own.

Bambari has become a sanctuary for Muslims fleeing lynch mobs in the south; a convoy of French peacekeepers escorted 100 Muslims there last Monday from the capital, Bangui.

Such evacuations, which are continuing, are tantamount to accepting partition, the minister for reconciliation and communications, Antoinette Montaigne has conceded.

Abdel Nasser Mahamat Youssouf, member of a youth group in Bambari lobbying for the secession of the north, was quoted as saying: "The partition itself has already been done. Now there only remains the declaration of independence."

A colleague, Oumar Tidiane, said of the south: "They don't want any Muslims. Rather than calling their country the Central African Republic, they can call it the Central African Catholic Republic."

Militias known as the "anti-balaka" have driven tens of thousands of Muslims from the south, destroying mosques and virtually wiping out the Muslim population of Bangui. The UN high commissioner for refugees, António Guterres, has said the country faces "massive ethnic-religious cleansing", while Amnesty International has warned of a "Muslim exodus of historic proportions".

But there is no simple split. Before the crisis it was estimated that half the CAR's population was Christian and just 15% Muslim. David Smith, a director of Okapi Consulting, who spent several years in the country, said: "The number of Muslims in the CAR was small and now it is dramatically smaller. The number calling for secession is so small that it's hardly worth listening to them.

"There are some people who want to compare it with Sudan and South Sudan but that is completely off the mark.

"There are lot of independence movements all over this continent and most have more steam behind them than a group of young men in the CAR. It's coming predominantly from Chadians and Sudanese who want to have free rein in the region," he added.

Indeed, an independent north would play into the hands of neighbouring Chad and Sudan, whose mercenaries played a major part in a coup in March last year, sparking a backlash along religious lines that forced the Seleka to cede power in January. This is just one reason why partition is implacably opposed by the CAR's interim president, Catherine Samba-Panza. The UN secretary general, Ban Ki-Moon, has also warned of its dangers and the French president, François Hollande, has vowed to prevent it.

It is also unlikely to win much sympathy in the rest of Africa, where governments are resisting separatist movements everywhere from Angola to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, from Nigeria to Kenya, from Somalia to Zimbabwe. At independence half a century ago, the Organisation of African Unity (now the African Union) declared the borders immutable to prevent wars erupting.

It made a special case for South Sudan but is hardly like to do the same for the CAR. Koffi Kouakou, a foreign-policy expert at Wits University in Johannesburg, said: "The partition of the CAR is not likely to happen and is not desirable at political and economic levels.

"The social evidence on the ground shows that while the strife of ethnic cleansing is increasingly becoming a grave concern in many parts of Africa, mainly in central Africa, the partition of the CAR is a mirage at this stage.

"The international community will not allow it as a matter of course. A divided CAR is not feasible on international jurisdiction and on paper."

Kouakou added: "There may be an urgent need for a solution to isolate the warring populations for a while to help subside the violence. But it will not be in the interest of all parties to seek a secession of the mainly Muslim north away from the Catholic south.

"The partition of Sudan, a bordering country, is the evidence that the partition of a country is in fact not the solution to deep ethnic rivalries in Africa."

Smith said: "It's undesirable because the CAR as it stands is not a functioning state and has never been a functioning state. Cutting the CAR – which was the weakest part of French Equatorial Africa – in half will mean one half has virtually no infrastructure of any kind. If you don't have Bangui, you don't really have anything."

"It serves nobody's interest to create another basket-case state that requires aid from the international community."

Not all Muslims favour the move either. Ibrahim Alawad, one of a small band clinging to their homes in Bangui, said on Friday: "It cannot be just like that. You grow up in one country and you live in one place. We want to know what is in the minds of our fellow Christians.

"I don't want to see the country divided. Why not dialogue?

Because dialogue historically has never worked between religious factions. Look at the Crusades. The Goan Inquisition. The Albigensian Crusade.

For more topical examples, there is of course the Holocaust, the Yugoslav Wars…there seems to be an ongoing source even into the 21st century.

Religion is a mask that keeps humanity from looking at itself in the mirror.

Till the next post then.


Sunday, April 20, 2014

Happy Zombie Bunny Day!

Cross posted @ the Atheist Oasis

Special Agent Seeley Booth: “Voodoo! Who's gonna believe that stuff?”easter zombie jesus undead
Dr. Temperance Brennan: “It's a religion, no crazier than... well, what are you? “
Booth: “Catholic. “
Brennan: “They believe in the same saints you do... in prayer... what they call spells, you call miracles... they have priests... “
Booth: “We don't make zombies. “
Brennan: “Jesus rose from the dead in three days... “
Booth: “Jesus is not a zombie! “ – Bones, The Man in the Morgue

How the time flieth. It’s yet another Happy Zombie Day!

And yes, I am unconvinced by all the drive-posters over the years (and even some of the regular commenters for this site) that the mythical man-child Jaybus was anything else besides a zombie.

It seems I’m not alone. Why, there’s even a movie out about it. And the ever-hysterical Uncyclopedia has an entry for it. Why, there’s even a church for it!

Talk about getting a lotta mileage out of a meme. Wow. Wish I could take credit for it.

And amongst the wailing butt-hurt minions of said zombie, this explanation of how Jaysus wasn’t a zombie is among the more amusing.

It is unfortunate, that there is no objectivity gene: it would have spared our species a great deal of nonsense.

For the nerds and nerdettes out there, does anyone recall this bit of Space Opera?


If you were/are a Farscape fan, this bit of weirdness is vastly amusing.

Till the next post, then.


Saturday, April 12, 2014

Allegories Gone Stupid: More Homophobia Hiding Behind A Mask Of Love….

(Hat tip to the Friendly Atheist)choicestraight
Cross posted @ the Atheist Oasis

“The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully.”
― Richard Dawkins, The God Delusion

It is a continual source of amazement for those of us who aren’t entirely too jaded: here we have a malevolent, nasty, petty psychopath who for the entire duration of the Old Testament behaved in such a way that by today’s standards, would be put under heavy antipsychotic meds and locked up in an asylum for the criminally insane.

“But wait!” we are told, “these are New Testament times!”

So this gawd character forces himself on some woman, gets laid, has a kid, and suddenly he’s completely mellowed out?

How odd. How very….human.

And thanks to this outdated horse manure, we have the Christians to thank for polluting our children’s minds with anachronistic barbaric stupidity masquerading as heart-felt worry.

And here is the intro to the Day of Dialogue – a day where heteros get to gang up (nicely! with LOVE!) on LGBT folks.

As a high school or college student, do you wish your classmates could hear more of the story—like the truth about God’s deep love for us and what the Bible really says about His redemptive design for marriage and sexuality?

The Iliad has more authenticity than that wretched grimoire.

Wouldn’t it be nice if a deeper and freer conversation could happen when controversial sexual topics are brought up in your school?

It’s called Sex Education – something most religious parents veto when presented with a permission slip.

The good news is, it can—and that’s where Day of Dialogue® comes in. In contrast to the whole idea of silence, this is a day that encourages open dialogue.

Christlation: “We’ll force our beliefs on you in the name of looovvveee

Watch the Day of Dialogue video Focus on the Family firmly believes that the truth will rise to the surface when honest conversations are allowed to happen.

My anecdotal experience is, that religious folks tend to run in the other direction when confronted with any truth.

And that’s why we’re so excited that we’ve become the sponsor for this event. The Day of Dialogue gives you, as a student, the opportunity to express the true model presented by Jesus Christ in the Bible—who didn’t back away from speaking truth, but neither held back in pouring out His incredible, compassionate love for hurting and vulnerable people.

The mythical man-child who contradicted himself consistently? Where the fuck was he during the Holocaust, anyways?

His example calls us to stand up for those being harmed or bullied while offering the light of what God’s Word says.

Yeah, because being mythical means you don’t have to do shit.

And the event gives you a chance to express this balanced perspective in a loving and peaceful way.

By telling people that some imaginary friend is going to shovel them into a furnace? Yeah, rrriggghhttt…

This year, Day of Dialogue happens on April 10—so make plans to participate in your school or college.

There should be a law keeping these hairy-eyed fanatics OUT of our schools.

You can also join us on our Facebook page and on Twitter to get updates, as well as to check out students’ feedback and interact with Day of Dialogue fans.

Well, it’s a few days late, but what the hey. Maybe some of us should go to their Facebook page, and start another ‘dialogue’, one where their utterly infantile nonsense is exposed as witless ignorance, not the youthful sweetness they hide behind.

Even after the event, you can still keep the conversation going at your school and in your neighborhood with the D.O.D. Weekly Challenges and teen-friendly articles and accompanying conversation-starter questions. Get the Dialogue started!

It’s more like the Day of Dipshits. It’s more frightening that they are brainwashing children (don’t get me wrong, I like kids, but for the most part, they’re thick as shit and believe everything they’re told, which is why we as adults make decisions for them, and why they don’t get to decide their own curricula).

The resources and manpower spent on these ludicrous displays of infantile servility would be best served focusing on eliminating hunger, and house the 10 million-odd children gone homeless world-wide. But oh no, here in America, we spend our resources like a drunken sailor on leave on idiocies like homophobia and stifling women’s reproductive rights.

The sooner we’re done with this nonsense, the better.

Till the next post, then.


Saturday, April 05, 2014

More On The Madness Of Muslims–The Thought Police Wear Thawbs

Cross posted at the Atheist Oasis

jesusandmomisapprehensionTo speak specifically of our problem with the Muslim world, we are meandering into a genuine clash of civilizations, and we're deluding ourselves with euphemisms. We're talking about Islam being a religion of peace that's been hijacked by extremists. If ever there were a religion that's not a religion of peace, it is Islam. – Sam Harris

Is anyone surprised at this?

Saudi Arabia’s New Law Defines Atheism as “Terrorism”, Bans All Criticism of Government

Humanist and secular organizations, as well as civil liberties and human rights groups around the world, have responded with outrage to the news that a new law in Saudi Arabia equates “atheism” with “terrorism”.

The Penal Law for Crimes of Terrorism and its Financing criminalizes as “terrorism” all free expression on a vast range of topics, including advocacy of “atheist thought”, criticism of Islam as it is understood by the state, and any expression deemed to “insult the reputation of the state”.

Saudia Arabia is a current and recently-elected member of the United Nations Human Rights Council.

Details of the law

Article 1 of the “terrorism” law prohibits “Calling for atheist thought in any form, or calling into question the fundamentals of the Islamic religion on which this country is based.” The law was introduced by royal decree without judicial oversight.

Domestic “terrorism” is defined in the decree as “any act” (expressly including non-violent acts) which among other things is intended to “insult the reputation of the state,” “harm public order,” or “shake the security of society”. The terms are very broad, and and could be used to prosecute any criticism of the state, its king or officials, or the state conception of Islam.

The provisions of the “terrorism” law define and outlaw numerous acts and forms of expression as “terrorism”, including:

  • “Calling for atheist thought in any form”;
  • any disloyalty “to the country’s rulers”, or anyone “who swears allegiance to any party, organization, current [of thought], group, or individual inside or outside [the kingdom]“;
  • anyone who aids, affiliates, or holds “sympathy” with any “terrorist” organization as defined by the act, which “includes participation in audio, written, or visual media; social media in its audio, written, or visual forms; internet websites; or circulating their contents in any form”;
  • contact with groups or individuals who are “hostile to the kingdom”
  • and the article on “Seeking to shake the social fabric or national cohesion” prohibits all protest, without qualification as to its message or intent, by outlawing “calling, participating, promoting, or inciting sit-ins, protests, meetings, or group statements in any form”.

Unsurprising. Also un-fucking-believable. The hypocrisy of it all. This group has tried multiple times to get special compensation for their particular fantasies.

Imagine that. A group of people who believe

    1. That a pregnant camel popped out of a stone,
    2. That their ‘profit’ (peanut butter and jelly be upon him) split the moon in half, but only for a select few,
    3. That their ‘profit’ (peanut butter and jelly be upon him) rode to the moon on a winged horse with a woman’s face.

This then is the epitome, the culmination of all the accomodationists’ fuzzy wuzzy feel good nonsense –theocracy. The iron fist in the metal-studded glove. The booted heel (in this case, the sandaled heel) brought down on the neck of the poor and uninformed. It is our worst fears realized.

Till the next post, then.