left biblioblography: June 2015

Saturday, June 27, 2015

And The World Changes A Little More For The Better..


As you all likely know, a profound change for the better has happened in this country. Gay marriage is now legal.

It is a pivotal instant in history, one that will have tremendous impact on our lives. One more piece of religious tomfoolery has been removed from our culture, one less evil excuse for tribalism, one more level of civilization has been added.

Let’s do a tally. I wonder what that fuckwit from last week is up to? Soaked thoroughly in kerosene, contemplating dropping the match while he belts out “Closer my lord to thee?”

No such luck. All mouth and trousers, tra-la tra-la. Still waiting for the bonfires, but self-immolation was apparently merely incendiary rhetoric, what a surprise (yawn).

More of the what-the-FUCKs!

Conservatives, however, reacted angrily, with nearly every Republican candidate for president excoriated the ruling. Perhaps the strongest condemnation came from Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, who just declared his candidacy. He said the decision would lead to an “an all-out assault on religious freedom guaranteed in the first amendment” and later suggested eliminating the Supreme Court entirely.

“The Supreme Court is completely out of control, making laws on their own, and has become a public opinion poll instead of a judicial body,” he told an Iowa crowd during a speech.

“If we want to save some money, let’s just get rid of the court.”

Seriously, I want this fuckwit out of office. Right now. Because this is what the Rethuglickan party is: a bunch of selfish, narcissitic incompetent fools, who throw fucking temper tantrums whenever thwarted. Nobody anywhere has demonstrated that this would infringe on anyone’s freedom. In fact, demanding an adherence to one particular rule from one particular religion is called…? What? Can’t hear you. That’s right: a violation of Separation of Church and state. so basically, these assholes have been infringing on the public’s freedom of (or from) religion. So boo-fucking-hoo, guess what? They’re the violators.

But enough of that. It’s a better world today than it was a week ago. Today, two consenting adults are allowed to marry. Religious discrimination has taken a mighty blow: that we might topple it with many more.

Till the next post, then.


Saturday, June 20, 2015

Burn Baby Burn! Homophobes Gone Loopy!

Cross posted @ the Atheist Oasis

christhomophobeHard to believe but true:

Texas pastor Rick Scarborough is willing to be burned to death to oppose gay marriage

Move over, couple who promised to get a divorce if gay marriage was legalised, because one Texas pastor has taken his opposition to marriage equality one step further.

Rick Scarborough, a Baptist pastor and Christian political activist, has said he would be willing to be burned to death in his fight against gay rights.

He made the bizarre pledge while speaking to EW Jackson, a right-wing minister and politician, on the National Emergency Coalition show, a podcast linked to Jackson's group, Staying True to America's National Destiny (STAND).

Speaking about his commitment to traditional values in the face of public condemnation, Scarborough said: "We are not going to bow, we are not going to bend, and if necessary we will burn."

Scarborough did not specify whether he was talking about self-immolation, or being burned for his views by other people.

On the same show, the preacher made another pledge to sacrifice himself for his views, this time talking about the 'persecution' of lay Christians who oppose gay rights - such as the Oregon bakers who refused to make a cake for a gay wedding.

He said: "The preachers need to get out front, the leaders need to get out front, out front of these ordinary citizens and say: 'Shoot me first.'"

When not making boldly suicidal claims on internet radio shows, Scarborough can be found running Vision America, an organisation that aims to "inform, encourage and mobilise pastors and their congregations to be proactive in restoring Judeo-Christian values" to America.

He has previously called AIDS "God's judgement", and is the author of the 2006 book, Liberalism Kills Kids.

Oh wow. Talk about stupid hate-mongers. I’d like to attend that (if he went through with it that is: I’d never tie a human being to a stake and set them on fire, because I’m a secular humanist, not a homophobic shitheel), if only to chuck Molotov cocktails into the flames. It would be nice if these nincompoops martyred themselves en masse: saves time, money, resources, protect the children and the gay people from the rantings of hairy-eyed fanatics.

But one of the facets of any civilization is that dissenting voices should not be stifled, that even that obnoxious jackass Scarborough gets to have a say, however repugnant and ignorant his opinion may be.

But maybe someone should pelt this moron with a water balloon filled with urine, or something like that. Before you object, remember this asshole?

So pretty much, let them talk, let ‘em squawk, but take no shit off these losers. I’m more and more tempted to go out in the field and start shouting these delusional panderers down.

Till the next post then.


Saturday, June 13, 2015

Imaginary Persecution–Last Gasp Of A Dying Ideology

Cross posted @ the Atheist Oasis

Christian PersecutionNo doubt we’ve all seen it before (or had it brought up): this ‘poor little me! Pander to me! Don’t criticize!” And when that particular sympathy fuck doesn’t work, let’s whinge on about how their ‘minority’ is ‘persecuted’.


Pastor Fears America Will Start Exterminating Christians, Nazi-Style

Christians love to think of themselves as the quintessential victims. Nowhere is that reality more apparent than on the conservative media outlets like Fox News.

During a recent segment on Sean Hannity’s program, a panel attempted to respond to a very popular clip from Bill Maher that outlined how the ‘War on Christians’ is little more than a matter of perception, and self-martyrdom.

As part of the panel, a pastor Hannity brought onto the show said:

“This isn’t imaginary, it’s real. And sure, it doesn’t rise to the level of having your head chopped off by Isis in the Middle East, but it’s all the same attitude that allows for those attacks.”

He wasn’t done there though, Reverend Robert Jeffress needed to take this comparison all the way back to Nazi Germany.

“I want to remind people that, you know, the Nazis weren’t able to take the Jews to the crematoriums immediately. The German people wouldn’t have allowed for it. Instead, the Nazis had to change public opinion. They marginalized the Jewish people, disparaged them, and make them objects of contempt.”

As I write this, I’m turning on my lamp with the cover made out of Christian skin, and am remembering all the Gaswagens I saw on the road today coming back from my martial arts classes. Last night, the Amerikan Gestapo rousted my Christian neighbors and hauled them to concentration camps in the middle of the night. The sky blackens from the dark smoke roiling up from all the burning churches that litter the Amerikan countryside, soon to be ash.

The above paragraph is, of course, utter bullshit.

So what are the maroons proposing? Thought police, to keep people courteous? Yeah, so much for that fucking free will nonsense, which the Christians pay lip service to but never espouse.

And people dying for a cause, does not validate the cause. Lives laid down are just that, laid down. If we were to accommodate this idiocy, then by that logic, Mani was just as correct as the assholes who brought down the Twin Towers.

And man oh man, don’t you wish there was a Godwin’s Law for television media? (Not that anyone takes Fox News seriously, anyone with a brain anyways.)

Maybe they’ll marginalize themselves out of existence. Irrelevance is their medium, after all.

Till the next post then.


Saturday, June 06, 2015

Pascal’s Ignorant Wager–All Bets Are Off!

Cross posted @ the Atheist Oasis

Pascals_wagerSince a choice has to be made, let us see which is of least moment to you. You have two things to lose, the true and the good; and two things to wager, your reason and your will, your knowledge and your happiness; and your nature has two things to shun, error and unhappiness. Your reason suffers no more violence in choosing one rather than another, since you must of necessity make a choice. That is one point cleared up. But what about your happiness? Let us weigh the gain and the loss involved in wagering that God exists. Let us estimate these two probabilities; it you win, you win all; if you lose, you lose nothing. Wager then, without hesitation, that He does exist.

Certainly, this old trope has been sufficiently dealt with on the Interwebs over the last few years, to the degree that it’s probably added to the list of PRATTs we’ve all grown to know and hate. But it helps to brush off the dust on these apologetics, if nothing else to have a quick debilitating retort to have it come crashing down.

Let’s tackle the ‘nothing’ part:

Let us estimate these two probabilities; it you win, you win all; if you lose, you lose nothing.

Well, according to Edward Gibbon (in his famous work, The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire:

… the Roman Empire succumbed to barbarian invasions in large part due to the gradual loss of civic virtue among its citizens. They had become weak, outsourcing their duty to defend their empire to barbarian mercenaries, who then became so numerous and ingrained that they were able to take over the Empire. Romans, he believed, had become effeminate, unwilling to live a tougher, "manly" military lifestyle. In addition, Gibbon argued that Christianity created a belief that a better life existed after death, which fostered an indifference to the present among Roman citizens, thus sapping their desire to sacrifice for a larger purpose. He also believed that Christianity's comparative pacifism tended to hamper the traditional Roman martial spirit. Finally, like other Enlightenment thinkers and British citizens of the age steeped in institutional anti-Catholicism, Gibbon held in contempt the Middle Ages as a priest-ridden, superstitious Dark Age. It was not until his own era, the "Age of Reason," with its emphasis on rational thought, it was believed, that human history could resume its progress.

Well, I’d say contributing to the fall of the Roman Empire is hardly ‘nothing’. And 10% of a person’s income for an entire lifetime? Some asshole in the Vatican is living high on the hog.

Next up:

Your reason suffers no more violence in choosing one rather than another.

Reason? Was he serious? Apparently he got the Cliff’s Notes version of the Crusades. Or the Inquisition for that matter.

And as for this:

You have two things to lose, the true and the good

This is subliminal presuppositionalism at its worst. It presupposes that there is actually something of worth to lose, while most of the nonsense claims there is actually no loss either way.

Now, Blaise Pascal may very well have been a premier physicist and mathematician, but (just like Isaac Newton, or Descartes), he was a result of his age. If you think there’s too much religion embedded in our culture now, imagine how bad it was in the 17th century. The big problem is that somehow religion tends to blind even brilliant people due to confirmation bias. Or as a friend of mine once eloquently stated, ‘just because you’re smart, doesn’t mean you’re not stupid’. And as history has amply demonstrated, being an expert in one field doesn’t make one an expert in others.

Now (as we are all aware), the short version of this is: “Doesn’t hurt anyone, why care?” followed by casual hand-waving.

It’s superstitious drivel, that costs more than it’s worth, helps steal money from people, and distances the mind from reality. And that’s just for starters. Usually I start with that, and wait for the reaction before going any further. Pick your battles, and all that.

Till the next post, then.