left biblioblography: March 2015

Sunday, March 29, 2015

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

Cross posted @ the Atheist Oasis

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

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

No religious text should be Tennessee's official book

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tennessee Constitution, Article I

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

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

First Amendment:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

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

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

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

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

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

Passing this legislation would do the opposite.

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

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

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

Till the next post then.


Saturday, March 21, 2015

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Till the next post then.


Sunday, March 15, 2015

More On The Madness Of Muslims: Heading Off The Blasphemers

Cross posted @ the Atheist Oasis

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Till the next post then.


Saturday, March 07, 2015

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

Cross posted @ the Atheist Oasis

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Till the next post then.