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

GayMarriageEvolution

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.

Posted in America's image, And now for something completely different, Gay Marriage, Marriage, Religion, Sexuality, Values | 6 Comments

Burn Baby Burn! Homophobes Gone Loopy!

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.

Posted in Absurdity, Bad God!, Boo-fucking-hoo!, Crazy fundies, Delusion, for fuck's sake!, Gay Marriage, Religion, Stupidity | 2 Comments

Imaginary Persecution–Last Gasp Of A Dying Ideology

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’.

Witness:

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.

Posted in Absurdity, Boo-fucking-hoo!, Crazy fundies, Delusion, for fuck's sake!, Funny, Religion, Stupidity | 5 Comments

Pascal’s Ignorant Wager–All Bets Are Off!

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.

So let’s see who among our readers can come up with the best elevator speech. The only rule is that it takes 15 seconds to say. (That should aid brevity, except in the case of the rapid speakers.)

Till the next post, then.

Posted in And now for something completely different, Bad God!, Crazy fundies, Religion, Science, Skepticism, Stupidity | 9 Comments

More On The Madness Of Muslims: The Rape Culture In Action

jesusandmosexReligion, in particular monotheistic religion, is inherently evil. It is sad in our day and age religious people demand the undeserved respect their primitive religion garners. If I want to burn a quran or draw pictures of Muhammad, why should I have to worry that Muslims throughout the world will act like animals and kill people? We live in the 21st century but unfortunately some people still live in the dark ages. If we are to advance as a species, we will need to put religion to the side. Is it a surprise that such a messianic regime such as the one in Tehran not only oppresses and terrorizes their own people, but threatens the existence of humanity with their messianic beliefs and quests for a nuclear bomb? These are barbaric messianic fanatics who rape our young women before executing them so that they are not “virgins” due to the reason that they believe virgins go straight to heaven….sickness breeds sickness. Just because Christians are less sick than Muslims, doesn’t mean they are still not sick. – Hitchens

And the horror continues:

Islamic State sex slave forced to recite Qur’an during rapes

They’d almost have you thinking that all this had something to do with Islam. They’d almost have you thinking that they’re aware that the seizure of Infidel girls and their use as sex slaves is sanctioned in the Qur’an.

According to Islamic law, Muslim men can take “captives of the right hand” (Qur’an 4:3, 4:24, 33:50). The Qur’an says: “O Prophet! Lo! We have made lawful unto thee thy wives unto whom thou hast paid their dowries, and those whom thy right hand possesseth of those whom Allah hath given thee as spoils of war” (33:50). 4:3 and 4:24 extend this privilege to Muslim men in general. The Qur’an says that a man may have sex with his wives and with these slave girls: “The believers must (eventually) win through, those who humble themselves in their prayers; who avoid vain talk; who are active in deeds of charity; who abstain from sex, except with those joined to them in the marriage bond, or (the captives) whom their right hands possess, for (in their case) they are free from blame.” (Qur’an 23:1-6)

“Family shuns Yezidi teen impregnated by ISIS,” Rudaw, May 27, 2015 (thanks to The Religion of Peace):

Harrowing accounts of the sexual abuse endured by women and girls at the hands of Islamic State fighters are being recorded by a young Swedish-Kurdish activist living in Kurdistan region named Delal Sindy.

Of all the tragic accounts Sindy has encountered, the case of a 17-year-old Kurdish Yezidi girl we’ll call Suzan has drawn the most online interest. A Facebook post about Suzan’s experience has earned over 10,000 shares.

Suzan’s story is more than just a heart-breaking story of cruelty, slavery and sexual abuse. It also underscores the social stigma that follows some of the abused women for the rest of their lives.

Suzan was held captive by an ISIS militant known as Al-Russiyah. He kept several women as sex slaves until he was killed alongside his bodyguards by Peshmerga forces nearby Shingal.

“He lined the three of us up naked every morning. He would then choose who he wanted for the day,” said Suzan, who added that the extremist would smell each of the young women.

After the leader made his pick, the bodyguards would select from the remaining women for themselves.

“They were terrible. They beat me and would come at least two together,” she said.

In fact, Suzan wished to end up with Al-Russiyah because he didn’t hit the women as the others did.

“It was like choosing between death and death,” she said.

Prior to being sold to Al-Russiyah, Suzan was held in a hotel in Mosul called Galaxy. She described a building full of women and girls, all half naked or semi-naked.

“The day me and my 10-year-old sister were sold was the last day I saw my mother. I will never forget when she started crying and pulling her hair when they took us.”

She was later transferred to the ISIS stronghold in Syria, Raqqa, where there she and dozens of other women were examined to determine whether they were virgins.

“The virgins were taken to a room with 30-40 men. They lined us up and pointed who they wanted,” she said.

“I thought I might be lucky, I was not as beautiful as the others”

Soon, however, she was bought by a man from Chechnya who purchased her and two other girls in a matter of 10 minutes.

Suzan gave horrific accounts of daily rapes by the man’s bodyguards.

“They forced me to say things from the Quran during the time they did their actions, and if I didn’t they whipped me.”

On an occasion Suzan resisted, they burned her thigh with boiling water.

“They took us to one of the villages near Shingal. [Al-Russiyah] and his bodyguards were wounded when they fought against Kurdish soldiers. He died immediately and the guards also. That was when we fled.”

Some girls who [sic] ran back to ISIS because they were afraid. As Suzan said, “another girl who tried to escaped [sic] had her legs cut off.”…

As I’ve mentioned several times in the past, civilization is best measured by the culture’s treatment of women and children. Which of course, renders Sharia ‘law’ a bundle of complete barbarism. Extremism (of any ideology) is usually snapped right up by some sociopathic asshole who thinks his imaginary friend is calling for blood. Personally, I’ve had about a bellyful of these assholes, and the temptation to line these rabid dogs up and shoot them is difficult to overcome.

Because in a world of equals, nobody deserves to be treated in such a manner. Rape is an unconscionable violent crime, and any worldview that espouses it either directly or indirectly, does not deserve to exist.

Till the next post then.

Posted in Crazy fundies, Islam, Religion, Stupidity, Superstition, Tragedy, Women's rights | 5 Comments

Because Religion Doesn’t Protect Children The Way Everyone Says It Should…

leavechildrenaloneIt’s enough to make one want to locate some of these short-eyed bastards, and administer some primal justice:

TLC pulls ’19 Kids and Counting’ off the air over molestation claims against Josh Duggar

TLC has pulled the plug on its long-running reality show, “19 Kids and Counting,” over revelations that stars Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar covered up their son’s molestation of his sisters and other girls.

The network has canceled all airings of the program from its schedule after Josh Duggar – the eldest son of the 21-member evangelical Christian family – admitted this week to “inexcusable” actions 12 years ago, when he was a teenager.

Police in Arkansas, where the family lives, said Duggar had fondled the breasts and vaginas of multiple young girls, sometimes as they slept, around 2002.

His father, a former Republican state lawmaker and failed U.S. Senate candidate, posted on Facebook this week, after the claims surfaced, that his son had “made some very bad mistakes” – but the experience had drawn the family “closer to God.”

Jim Bob Duggar said he disciplined his son and took him a year later with church elders to meet with a state trooper and family friend, Jim Hutchens, who gave the teen a “very stern talk” but did not take any official action.

Hutchens is currently serving a 56-year sentence for child pornography.

Producers for Oprah Winfrey’s show received an email tip about the abuse before the family was set to appear on the program in 2006, and they canceled the appearance and contacted authorities.

An investigation found multiple victims, including some who lived in the Duggar home, claimed Josh Duggar had molested them.

However, the three-year statute of limitations had run out and he was never prosecuted.

The 27-year-old Duggar resigned Thursday from his position with the anti-LGBT Family Research Council.

“19 Kids and Counting” began in September 2008, and the family has leveraged their fame to speak out against LGBT and abortion rights.

It’s not clear whether TLC knew of the allegations against the Duggars until this week.

Sources told TMZ, which first reported the TV schedule change, that no long-term decision had been made about the show, but a General Mills representative said it had removed “19 Kids and Counting” from the company’s advertising schedule.

Fuck these assholes. The book should be thrown at them (not the ‘bibble’), and this Josh character should be locked away for the rest of his sexually sociopathic life.

This is but one of the major issues we face with religion today – somehow, in a bizarre twist of thought, these feeble-minded drones get the impression that the world is a playground, and everything upon it a toy for the delusional onlooker. And this Duggar shithead (I don’t care that he was a child at the time, his ‘biblical upbringing’ didn’t seem to stop him from being a rapist) should be locked away in an asylum. Molesting sleeping girls? Yeah, that’s a few steps shy of becoming a Dahmer or a Bundy.

And still people hold up their imaginary sky daddy as some sort of shield from the consequences of reality. Josh Duggar is ‘closer to gawd’, inasmuch as he’s a rapist who helps himself to other people, which isn’t that far a stretch from the Old Testament psychopath who allegedly tortured his own ‘chosen people’. But then, that clown’s dad is a Republican, which is synonymous with ‘cowardly ideologue’.

So the next time you hear that trite old trope about how someone (or their entire family) being religious somehow bestows an ethical/moral superiority, point to these losers. Or any of the long, long list of serial killers who just so happened to be religious as well.

Till the next post, then.

Posted in Absurdity, Bad God!, Crazy fundies, Delusion, Ethical behavior, for fuck's sake!, Morality, Religion, Sexuality, Superstition, Tragedy | 5 Comments

And The Numbers Just Keep On A’Dwindling…

GallupImportanceReligion is something left over from the infancy of our intelligence, it will fade away as we adopt reason and science as our guidelines. – Bertrand Russell

It’s so rare that I get to actually feel optimistic about the decline of religious pomposity, but…YAY!

Evangelicals’ claims of conservative supremacy are overstated — and misread America’s religious landscape

NEW YORK (RNS) “The collapse of the Protestant mainline has been swift, steady, and self-inflicted,” Southern Baptist Theological Seminary president R. Albert Mohler wrote in 2008.

Mohler’s views align with many of his evangelical colleagues—including Russell Moore just this week—that essentially say liberal theology and politics is responsible for the decline of the once proud American mainline.

But is it really that simple?

According to a sweeping new study by Pew Research Center, the popular evangelical trope is not as true as some assumed. Yes, mainline denominations remain in sharp decline, and yes, evangelicals have fared slightly better overall. Yet many evangelical bodies have begun shrinking as a share of the population as well. Romans Catholics—also theologically and politically conservative—are also declining significantly. This, despite these groups’ evangelistic zeal, orthodox theology, and conservative political stances.

Consider:

  •     Liberal mainline denominations continue to decline. Over the seven-year period Pew surveyed (2007-2014), these bodies fell 3.4 percent as a share of the total population. But at the same time, evangelical denominations also dropped by approximately 1 percent of the total population. Given that evangelical denominations invest heavily in proselytizing, that can’t be overlooked.
  •     Mohler and Moore’s own Southern Baptist Convention (SBC), declined as a share of the population by 1.5 percent between 2007 and 2014—even more quickly than evangelicalism at large. The evangelical Assemblies of God, Church of Christ, Presbyterian Church in America, and Church of God failed to grow at all. The only evangelical body among the top 15 largest Protestant denominations that saw any growth was the Seventh-Day Adventists, and they only experienced a 0.1 percent increase as a share of the population.
  •     During this same time period, among mainline denominations, the United Methodist Church declined by 1.5 percent, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America declined by 0.6 percent, the Presbyterian Church (USA) declined by 0.2 percent, the United Church of Christ declined by only 0.1 percent, and the American Baptist Churches USA actually grew by 0.3 percent.
  •     America’s largest “denomination”—the Roman Catholic Church—further challenges the notions conservatives have been peddling. From prohibitions on contraception to resisting same-sex marriage, no body has held the traditional line more than Roman Catholics. Yet between 2007 and 2014, Catholics declined by 3.1 percent as a share of the population.

Simply put, almost all of America’s largest Protestant denominations are declining, regardless of political or theological alignment. Roman Catholics are declining at roughly the same rate as mainline Protestant denominations. The nation’s largest evangelical body, the SBC, is declining at roughly the same rate as the largest mainline denomination, the United Methodist Church.

These numbers tell us that America’s religious landscape is more complex than some evangelicals once believed. Conservatism does not necessarily lead to growth, it seems, and liberalism does not necessarily lead to decline.  The waters of change that once overwhelmed mainliners are now lapping at the toes of evangelicalism.

“If you look at the bigger picture of the evangelical or mainline tradition, we see some decline in both of these shares,” says Jessica Martinez, research associate for Pew Research Center. “Sure, there is a larger decline in the mainline share, but it is a more complicated picture than some assume.”

According to Mike Hout, a sociologist at New York University, evangelicals who want to blame the decline of mainline Protestantism on liberalism are simply not paying attention. He says that population data has always indicated that the mainline decline was mostly attributable to birthrates, a notion he published in an article in the American Journal of Sociology.

“Seventy percent of mainline decline as it was known in those days was due to the fact that evangelical women were having one more child on average than women in the mainline tradition,” Hout says. “This trend prevailed until right around the turn of the [21st] century.”

Hout adds that he believes evangelicals’ greatest weakness is what they’ve championed as their greatest strength: the marrying of political and theological ideology. The rise of the religiously unaffiliated—the “nones,” as in “none of the above”—dates back to 1990 when the Christian right was in full-on combat mode. As conservative bodies became more partisan, members who couldn’t stomach the political agenda waved goodbye.

“Among those who disaffiliated during this period, most were raised in evangelical denominations but were centrist to leftist politically,” Hout says.

The idea that the marrying of conservative politics and theology has had a negative effect on evangelicalism is echoed by Harvard sociologist Robert Putnam and Notre Dame political scientist David Campbell. After surveying various data points, they concluded that moderates and progressives were increasingly leaving the faith as it became synonymous with conservative politics. And because young people aren’t as conservative as their elders, they have led the religious exodus.

“To [Millennials], ‘religion’ means ‘Republican,’ ‘intolerant,’ and ‘homophobic,’” wrote Putnam and Campbell in Foreign Affairs. “Since those traits do not represent their views, they do not see themselves—or wish to be seen by their peers—as religious.”

But according to Martinez, it’s difficult to draw any conclusions about the religious effects of political views from Pew’s latest study; those figures will be released by Pew at a later date, she said.

Triumphalist evangelicals have missed the point. The biggest threat to evangelicals is not some form of liberal faith, but rather faithlessness itself. Most people aren’t leaving evangelicalism for more liberal expressions, but rather for nothing at all.

While conservative Christians were crusading against their more liberal brothers and sisters in the mainline, the real growth has been in neither camp—the share of religiously unaffiliated individuals in America skyrocketed by a whopping 6.7 percent.

Rather than taking pot shots at more liberal strains of Christianity, evangelicals would do well to focus on the threat that all Christians are now facing: the growing number of people who are apathetic or antagonistic to the claims of Christianity.

If evangelicals continue to treat current trends as a race to the bottom, they shouldn’t be surprised if that’s exactly where they end up.

The reason religion is waning (at least in this country), is that science ends up having a serious track record, when religion is just a trip down the bunny hole, with no appreciable side-effects beside a fuzzy-wuzzy feeling inside.

I look forward to the day that this infantilization of our species is done and gone, when the weak whispers of ghosts who were never there become first the joke of yesteryear, and then a dusty footnote in our history.

Yeah, I know. Not likely in my lifetime. But maybe I’ll live to see it drop down (in this country) to at least 50% before I die.

One can always hope.

Till the next post then.

Posted in And now for something completely different, Religion, Religious decline, Skepticism | 3 Comments