Monday, August 29, 2011

Seditious Conspiracy, some charming Christians

This is "old news" but I didn't know about this group:

This insane idea keeps coming up in crazy rants from individuals but I had never heard of a group entertaining fantasies like this:

In an indictment against the nine unsealed on Monday, the Justice Department said they were part of a group of apocalyptic Christian militants who were plotting to kill law enforcement officers in hopes of inciting an antigovernment uprising, the latest in a recent surge in right-wing militia activity.

The "shot heard 'round the world" and the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand were catalysts but only because of seething tensions that were already brewing. Fantasies of kick-starting a war by blowing up a federal building, or flying planes into one, or shooting teenagers at a politically-oriented camp, or shooting cops.... they're just fantasies. The festering tensions they hope to ignite exist only in their own minds. They did not succeed in inspiring others, and only made people hate them. And yet, there are probably still more waiting in the wings hoping to gain credibility and followers via some outrageous violent act.

It's a common thread, and there seems to be a religious undercurrent there too. These people seem to know how to use the interwebs, so why haven't they figured out that they can't inspire loyalty this way?

Saturday, August 27, 2011

How do Atheists Prepare for a Hurricane?

The president of American Atheists answers loaded questions and parries with idiotic believers.  It reminds me a lot of conversations I've had with theists.  Pretty funny:

We get candles, but not votive candles ;-)

I'm not sure I'd answer these theists the same way but I'd call "We wish you well with your candles and batt'ries" a mocking statement!  And anyway, why would Jesus care about flooding?  He would tell believers to walk on the water, or else they're not true believers!


Thursday, August 25, 2011

And in other news...

The son of one of Michelle Bachmann's heroes says the Christian Right is anti-American:

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Ray Comfort on What Atheists Believe

Wow, can you say "Straw Man?"

"Atheists believe that gravityAtheists believe that gravity thinks intelligently, makes plans, and then creates the concept it has in mind."

uhhhhhh WHAT?!?!?!

"Perhaps you object to my saying that gravity must be intelligent to come up with the concept of the water cycle and then actually create it. Perhaps you think that gravity is mindless, and created it without thinking."

ohhhh okaaaay... it was a rhetorical device.  He really knows that atheists don't think that....

"I don't think so. I am in awe of the water cycle and couldn't imagine the most intelligent of human beings coming up with it."

uh oh.... here we go.  Psychological projection.  Because he can't imagine rain falling due to gravity alone, then nobody else can, either.  *sigh*  What a ninny.

"But according to atheists, gravity didn't create alone. Its partner was heat. The two of them came up with the concept of water, vapor, clouds, rain, rivers, lakes, waterfalls, snow, evaporation, air, condensation, and then created them and caused them to work throughout the earth in perfect harmony."

Well at least he knows there are two forces at work on water.  But now we're polytheists, believing in a gravity god and a heat god?  It's too bad there's no IQ god.  He'd smite Ray Comfort and his followers.

Atheism brings new meaning to the word "absurd."
 No, Ray Comfort.  You did that.

"Also, the concept of the god you don't believe in doesn't exist. He is a figment of your fertile and faith-filled imagination. The Creator is not your water-boy. Don't believe the television preachers that tell you that He will come running when you click your sinful fingers. He withholds the blessing of live-giving rain when a nation gives itself to evil and at the same time professes itself to be good."

uhhh non-sequitur much? So the OT God is still about, punishing nations for things he doesn't like, and you must believe this because the absurd alternative is a mischievous pair of physical forces that have to be intelligent because it's absurd to believe otherwise?

Does this mean that Texas is enduring the worst drought in years because God is displeased with it?   Is that why he didn't answer Rick Perry's prayers for rain?  I suppose it also means that Christians shouldn't send money to food programs for Somalia.  They should just let those starving babies die because God hate them.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Yet another Facebook funny

This was out of the blue from an old college pal who was very much not a mormon during college:

I believe in Jesus Christ.
I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and grateful for it's teachings!
One Facebooker has challenged all believers to put this on their wall. The bible says, if you deny Me in front of your peers, I will deny you in front of My Father.
Re-post if you're a believer.
Note, they don't capitalize "bible" or give credit to the speaker.  Note also, "it's"  grrrrr  If you're going to demand that people repost your post, it should at least have correct grammar!

Apparently Facebook is now the place for shouting from the rooftops what a great Christian you are.  Does Jesus have a Facebook account?  Is he keeping track of whether people repost this drivel?  Really?  Does he have that kind of time?

Maybe that's why babies are still dying and tornadoes whip through Christian communities.  Jesus should get off of Facebook and start answering prayers.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

The DM / Mabus Affair Explained

Check out this excellent summary of the take-down of infamous internet troll/spammer/nutjob/threat David Marcuse, also known as DM or Dave Mabus.

Case Study: How a Notorious Spammer Was Brought Down via Twitter

As a relative of a few mentally ill people, I feel for his family for what it must be like to live with him, but considering his obsessiveness, I do think he may be one of the rare internet nutters who could escalate to violence.  I hope he gets the psychiatric care he needs, and if not, at least he may have learned a lesson in the difference between protected speech (Canadian style) and illegal speech (death threats).

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

New Feminist/Atheist podcast "show"

I don't get into "feminism" in the academic sense but there are issues that affect women that don't affect men, or get their attention, so I'm glad to see this show, or hear it.  These "bitches" have been on The Atheist Experience call-in show and they're very eloquent and knowledgeable.

I like the term "egalitarian" for myself, which includes feminism, and being female I'll naturally see things from the female point of view.  We are all equal but we're not the same.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Another One Bites the Dust

Another gay-hating Republican law-maker turns out to be gay!  Is anyone keeping a count?  I can't keep up.

And this is one of the guys who co-wrote the bill to put "In God We Trust" on Indiana license plates!

Not only is he gay, but he's also stupid.  He answered a craigslist ad and then told the male prostitute that he was a lawmaker.  d'uh!

It's amazing the gay-hating agenda still has any steam considering how many of its leaders turn out to be self-loathing gays who are projecting their self-hatred onto others.  I wonder how many are also closet atheists.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

More Facebook Funnies

One of the stupidest c&p status posts ever:

When you carry a Bible, the Devil gets a headache. When you open it, he collapses. When he see's you reading it, he faints. When he see's you living it, he flees. And, just when you're about to re-post this, he will try and discourage you. I just defeated him.

How does he feel about having this drivel re-posted to an atheist blog for mocking?  Seriously, does the Devil read Facebook?  Wouldn't that be reason enough to stop using it?  Or does he read everyone's status updates because he OWNS Facebook?  Wouldn't he be pointing and laughing at the stupid post because that's just how mean he is?

And how the hell would the Devil get a headache?  He doesn't have a body, so he can't have blood veins in his head.   Wait.. he doesn't have head, either.  If he did, he'd probably get a headache from a facepalm.


OMG!!! Richard Dawkins Converted!!!


Sunday, August 7, 2011

Definition of "Marriage" vs. Definition of "Rights"

I think the argument from the Right that marriage can't be redefined because it's what it is by definition (a.k.a. "I believe marriage is between one man and one woman") is bogus.  Not only is it just plain stupid, but it doesn't take into account the question of whether marriage is a right.  Using your religious definition of something is pointless in defining civil law.  There's nothing that compels clergy or a religion to recognize a marriage if they don't want to.  My cousin had to convert to Catholicism to get married.  The Catholic Church (and his fiancee) did that, not the laws about marriage.

The Federal statutes are very specific:

Title 18, U.S.C., Section 245

Federally Protected Activities
1) This statute prohibits willful injury, intimidation, or interference, or attempt to do so, by force or threat of force of any person or class of persons because of their activity as:

  a) A voter, or person qualifying to vote...;
  b) a participant in any benefit, service, privilege, program, facility, or
      activity administered by the United States;
  c) an applicant for federal employment or an employee by the federal government;
  d) a juror or prospective juror in federal court; and
  e) a participant in any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.

You could possibly argue States' Rights, since this statute is about federal issues, but the Fourteenth Amendment would obviate that angle.

What they should be doing is making the case that marriage isn't a right but a privilege, like driving.  Civil unions take care of the issue of benefitting from government services, privileges etc.  Marriage would, too.  And officially calling two same-sex people "married" doesn't really change many other rights.  I'm all for same-sex marriage, but I don't think it should be that big of a deal.  If rights are clearly defined and marital status is one of the protected classes then what's the big deal?

TeH GayZ R dIsGuStiNg!!!!  Oh NOES!  It's about bigotry, plain and simple.  Straight people find sex with the same sex revolting which is what makes them straight people.  Then there are the people with homosexual urges who can't handle their own mental complexity.  Everything has to be black-or-white for these people.  If the law treats gays as equals then straights are less-than, because equality is impossible for some people.  If they're not dominant and oppressive, they're victims and oppressed.

The two religion clauses of the First Amendment pretty much guarantee that the idiotic Right will lose this battle in the Culture Wars.  The non-establishment clause guarantees that the government doesn't have to give a fuck what their sky-daddy thinks of teh gayz.  The free exercise clause guarantees that they can be bigoted if that really floats their boat, as long as they're not being bigots in subsidized programs.  That's the deal they make when they take money from the government.  They won't have to perform gay marriages.  They can deny marriages between man and man just as they deny marriage between Catholic and Protestant.  It's not like gays really want to belong to their narrow-minded churches, anyway.

They just have to grow up and accept that not everyone is a carbon copy of themselves and the world won't stop spinning (yes, it SPINS - the sun doesn't revolve around us, as it turns out) if gay people get married.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Original Sin and Original Christianity

From an old friend who is a former Catholic and now Eastern Orthodox.  I've known other Orthodox (the Original!) Christians but I never paid much attention to their theology, just their calendar.  She posted the following on Facebook, and I found it interesting but still just a fantasy.  Here's the original post and some of the (very short) thread:

For those of you who enjoy discussing Christian theology--are people born evil? Here's what I believe:

Original sin

In Eastern Orthodoxy, God created man perfect with free will and gave man a direction to follow. Man (Adam) and Woman (Eve) chose rather to disobey God by eating from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, thus changing the "perfect" mode of existence of man to the "flawed" mode of existence of man. This flawed nature and all that has come from it is a result of that "original sin". All humanity shares in the sin of Adam because like him, they are human. The union of humanity with divinity in Jesus Christ restored, in the Person of Christ, the mode of existence of humanity, so that those who are incorporated in him may participate in this mode of existence, be saved from sin and death, and be united to God in deification. Original sin is cleansed in humans through baptism or, in the case of the Theotokos, the moment Christ took form within her.

This view differs from the Roman Catholic (Augustinian) doctrine of Original Sin in that man is not seen as inherently guilty of the sin of Adam.[6] According to the Orthodox, humanity inherited the consequences of that sin, not the guilt. The difference stems from Augustine's interpretation of a Latin translation of Romans 5:12 to mean that through Adam all men sinned, whereas the Orthodox reading in Greek interpret it as meaning that all of humanity sins as part of the inheritance of flawed nature from Adam. The Orthodox Church does not teach that all are born deserving to go to hell, and Protestant doctrines such as Predeterminism that derive from the Augustinian understanding of original sin are not a part of Orthodox belief.

Me:  If God is all-powerful, why couldn't he just erase all that original sin? If he's a benevolent deity, why wouldn't he just forgive everyone outright without all the drama of the crucifixion? If he's omniscient, why didn't he know that Adam & Eve would make that wrong choice? (hat tip Epicurus)  and Question: if humans have the stain of original sin until baptism, then wouldn't abortion be the killing of a sinner, not an innocent?

Another poster: Sin is something you can't erase. . . . you just forgive. That's the key to understanding original sin. Sin separates. . . .the cross bridges the chasm between God and man. The effects are never gone until we get to heaven. That, in a nutshell, is your answer you are seeking.

Me:  If God is all-powerful why can't he erase sin?

My friend:  It would be kind of like forcing someone to love you. God gives free will to the humans He created, and sometimes we choose anything but love. God doesn't want us to be slaves. Free will is a wonderful, horrible thing.  Beyond that, I'm not a good apologist for Christianity. I can't express myself the way others do....these beliefs are too deep in my heart and soul for words. All I know is God is good, and maybe the answers you want can come from someone other than me.

I sent her a link to my post, Feelings Aren't Facts and asked her if it was okay for me to post this "discussion."  I think she is a perfect example of my theory that believers will believe because it makes them feel good, not because of any thinking.  Even though she knows some of the theology of her branch of Christianity, she falls back on "beliefs are too deep in my heart and soul for words."  If reason and rationality played into belief, there would be words for it.  Instead, it's culture, indoctrination, and neurobiology that makes a believer a believer.

I could have gone on and on... like, if God doesn't want us to be slaves why does he "reward" us for our good behavior by forcing us to sing his praises in Heaven for eternity?   Sounds like slavery to me.  Remember, there's no money in Heaven.  No OSHA either. 

The "argument" above about original sin sounds lovely. Poetic, even.  Almost like... what are those called?  Those stories with a moral to them but no actual basis in fact?  It's on the tip of my tongue...