Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Last Word for 2011






Tuesday, December 20, 2011

A Final Incendiary Word on Christmas - ‘Cuz Now I’m Cranky

Something came to my attention that got my other wise good humored holiday prepped hump in a major twist and I’m not letting it go. So here’s a Xmas rant that I invite you to pass along to any Christians you think might benefit from it.

I read an article about a big brouhaha in Leesburg, Virginia, where ten displays were permitted on public property for the holiday season on a first come, first served basis. As a result, in addition to the usual crèche thing, a number of displays depicted a Pastafarian nativity scene (see picture above), an atheist pine tree, a crucified skeleton Santa as a protest to consumerism, and other non-Jebus / non-Xmas related contributions..

Evidently this created a firestorm among the good Christians of the town, outraged that their one belief isn’t the only permitted display like it has been for years. Here’s the whole story:

This one particular quote from an irate Xtian resident really irked me:
“The [Jesus, Joseph and Mary] creche is not religious,” Caulkins insisted, his voice trembling.“It is a belief symbol. You have to believe in something.”

It’s not? You do?

Whenever I read/hear comments like this, or the oft tried “the cross on public land isn’t religious, it’s just in memory of the fallen” I always wonder: are these people liars and frauds who think people are that credulous, or are they just so Christian centric they can’t see the outrageous absurdity of their statement? Either way, it speaks volumes about what religious fanaticism does to ones ability to think.

Here’ a flash for Christians that they can take to the bank: December is not owned by you, as much as you’d like to stake claim to it. You can have your fable, celebrate your preferred man-god myth to your hearts content, but the expectation of your holiday/belief being treated as some unique and necessarily singular claim holder to December, or to public property usage, ain’t gonna happen. Not now, not ever again. Those days are gone, dead and buried, just like your man-god, if he ever existed to begin with. Deal with it, get over it.

And that’s the last I’ll have to say about Xmas for this year.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Confession of an Atheist Camel: Hump’s house looks like Santa Land

Yes, Virginia... Hump’s house is decorated for Xmas. There, I admit it. It’s out in the open. But in my defense let me remind you, dear reader, that Mrs. Hump is quasi-pseudo-Episcopal Lite-going on Freethinker. That is to say, while she eschews supernaturalism she’s never quite been able to leave her childhood enthusiasm for Xmas and all its traditional secular trappings behind. And why should she?

There is something about the greenery on the porch rail, set with dignified small white lights; the ribbon tied wreaths on the doors; the miniature trees on the mantle and sills; the string of lights on the wreath that’s carefully hung over the moose antlers on great room’s log wall; the pixie elves perched on the window casement with their varied (and somewhat creepy) facial expressions; the Victorian soldier nut cracker, tiny sleigh, antique Santa, holiday candles, and tacky bubbling snowman in the kitchen that brings back a more innocent time and the comfort of childhood. Not necessarily my childhood but my wife’s. I’m comforted by the fact that absolutely nothing says fictional virgin of questionable morals, deluded not-so-wise men, baby Jebus man-god in training, or anything else that can’t be traced back to its pagan or purely commercial roots.

Bottom line - Hump’s house looks as though a flash mob of meth crazed elves ran amok turning it into a bad imitation of “Little House on the Prairie meets Santa’s Work Shop.” It makes Mrs. Hump happy. It’s her only fault.

Soon the sons and their better halves will make the pilgrimage north, bearing gifts and offerings of Xmas cookies and pastries from New York City’s finest Italian bakery. We’ll drink spiked eggnog around the wood stove, listen to classic carols, maybe observe the ancient and little known Xmas tradition of shooting machine gun at the range (weather permitting), chow down on honey smoked spiral cut ham, and retire late on Xmas eve with visions of whatever the Jack Daniels, vodka martinis, and appletinis cause to dance in our heads..

Bright and early (hangover permitting), we’ll gather together to dive into the mountain of gift wrapped treasures, evidence that Mrs. Hump considers it her personal mission to single handedly stimulate the economy. The charge card bills will be enough to make the baby Jebus cry. But that’s not till January, so for now family fun,food, and conspicuous consumption is the order of the day and the reason for the season.

At some point invariably one of my heathen sons will chide me and ask where the Lamb of God is. Without missing a beat I’ll reply with one of my two favorite retorts, either:
“The Lamb of God is where it belongs, glazed with mint sauce and cooking slowly in the oven at 400 degrees where it can’t harm anyone.” or “He’s in the loft getting a hummer from the Sugar Plum Fairy.” And we’ll all laugh ... well, not so much the girls. But we're used to their disapproving looks.

Ah, Xmas! I’m good with it.

Wishing you and yours a happy holiday, no matter what you call it.

Friday, December 16, 2011

In Memory of Christopher Hitchens

13 April 1949 – 15 December 2011

With the death of Christopher Hitchens we lose a torch bearer of reason, wit, and intellect. Even religionists with whom he debated, and always bested, have chimed in with their acolades of respect... a rare occurance in the scientific age where the battle between reason and faith has reached its zenith.

Death be not proud. Hitchens faced it head on and never stooped to supernaturalism in fear, desperation or weakness. Not many like him will come his way again.

We've lost one of the best among us. Goodbye old friend.

“Our belief is not a belief. Our principles are not a faith. We do not rely soley upon science and reason, because these are necessary rather than sufficient factors, but we distrust anything that contradicts science or outrages reason. We may differ on many things, but what we respect is free inquiry, openmindedness, and the pursuit of ideas for their own sake.”Christopher Hitchens, God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Camelize your friends and family: There's still time !


Unabashed marketing ahead. I have no shame.

If you're looking for a last minute something for your freethinking friends and family, or that believer on the brink, there's no better gift.

Autographed and custom inscribed copies of my books, priced below Amazon, are availabe to be shipped Priority Mail 2 - 3 day delivery, direct from the camel's barn now through Dec 20 - for the basic shipping charge.

Click on this link , make your selection, click on the "Add to Cart" button, and pay via Paypal, or with credit card. My camel elves will handle the shipping upgrade.

Hey, a Christmas/Winter Solstice/Hannuka without an atheist camel under your Saturnalia tree is like a mangod without the obligatory death scene. Enjoy, and thanks!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Trinity of Stupidity: The Hat Trick of statements of religious idiocy

I am usually subjected to doses of moronic theist statements spaced wide enough apart that they often fly under the blog article radar. But this past week was particularly noteworthy. I hit the trifecta, the trinity, the hat trick of religious stupid.

Episode 1:
Having run out of buffalo burgers, I made a run to “Elmer” my local bison farmer to pick up a few packages of patties. You’ll recall my friendly buffalo meat rancher as the guy who had a birthday party / church gathering and invited me as the token atheist earlier this year (see Aug. 1, 2011 blog).

After completing the transaction Elmer offered that he saw a news story about my Eternal Earth-Bound Pets post rapture pet rescue business in New Hampshire Magazine (news to me, I don’t subscribe.) and asked how business was. He apologetically explained that he only had this one cat and didn’t expect it to live long enough to see the rapture. I assured him that neither of them, nor anyone, will live long enough to see the rapture.

It was at this point he enlightened me: “I wouldn’t be so sure. They found papers in Noah’s Ark that ...” Oh boy.

Now, Elmer is 80 years old and losing it at an astounding pace. I could have had a field day mercilessly bombarding him with reality and heaping a few cubic cubits of ridicule upon him. But not wanting to exacerbate an already iffy mental condition I jokingly inquired if there was a 250 HP Johnson inboard/outboard on the Ark, or was it simply an electric trolling motor. A weak half smile flickered across his confused countenance. I thanked him for the burgers, wet my finger to test the wind, and weighed anchor for home.

Episode 2:
An internet news article reported that three Muslims were arrested in Sweden for plotting to kill the cartoonist who rendered a picture of Mohammed as a dog. The commentary from the readers was, as one would expect, almost unanimously supportive of their arrest and eventual prosecution; voicing support for freedom of expression and derision for the insanity of Muslim sensitivity to their pedophile prophet’s portrayal.

But one respondent, not so surprisingly named “Florida84” offered this brilliant piece of wisdom: “[The cartoonist] had it coming. When you insult someone’s religion you best be willing to pay for your blasphemy with your life.” I was able to detect a strong southern drawl, and even the genetic damage borne of a few generations of inbreeding, right through my laptop.

I proceeded to explain in my most erudite and civil manner that freedom of expression isn’t just for the protection of speech we agree with. Its true greatness, its power, is that it is meant to ensure that even things we find hateful or disturbing are protected. I summed up the lesson with the imagery of Mohammed, Jesus, the Virgin Mary, his mother, and his pet pig engaged in a frenzied carnival of carnal lust; leaving him with the suggestion that his irate jihad, fatwa, crusade or inquisition can be directed to my Langdon, NH camel ranch.

Episode 3.
I’ll be brief, as I discussed this at some length on my Facebook page. I just want it noted here for posterity. I hope my fb friends will forgive my repetition.

The Today Show, Ann Curry interviewing the parents of a model who walked into the propeller of an airplane resulting in the amputation of a hand, destruction of an eye, a crushed scull, massive facial injury and brain damage. Quote: "Do you think it was a miracle?" presumably intending to prompt the hyper religious parents to opine that Jesus opted to intervene and only let the props maim their daughter and destroy her otherwise promising life instead of letting it kill her outright.

I already know Curry to be the journalistic equivalent of a chimpanzee, but this nearly drove me to apoplexy. As one of my very astute fb friends so perfectly put it: “A miracle would have been if the prop gave her a beautiful haircut.” (kudos to “Far Left” for that perfect descriptor of a potential miracle). Any journalist possessing an iota of integrity, dignity and respect for their craft would have told the producer to shove that question up their ass. But not Ann, nope. She oozed that question out of her mouth with all the trademark fake sincerity she could muster.

Unfortunately, I do not have Ann Curry’s email, telephone number, or home address. Actually, maybe it’s just as well.

Yes, it was quite a week. Given the toll it took on my sensibilities I’d gratefully go a month without being subjected to any more theist stupidity. But if past is prologue I’ve probably got a few hours before it starts all over again.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Finally... Proof of God’s existence! Well, almost.

When one challenges religious precepts invariably there will be an outcry from some self appointed defenders of the faith. This happened last week when I posted my review of the New International Version of the Bible, giving it one star and highlighting a few of its ungodly verses. (see Nov. 30 blog article).

Incoherent religious babble; quoting of scripture; proffering pseudo-science; misrepresentation of history; total denial of documented fact, science and even scripture; blatant lies, and religious platitudes flowed like pus from a festering sore when a religious fanatic became enflamed over my disrespectful analysis, as though my single critical review of the horrid book would itself be enough to render it obsolete and impede its sale. If only.

You’d have thought I dug up Jesus’ corpse, dressed it in a prom dress, and brought it to the home coming dance the way he went on. If only.

Anyway, among the crazy statements and rants was this: “It’s easy to prove the existence of God, but atheists are too stupid to understand it.”
A couple of hours later it was edited to read: “It is easy to prove the existence of God (in the theist sense) is [sic] far more plausible than the absence of God, at least to rational people.”

Hmmm ... prove? As in “proof”? Super. Please, cast your pearls of proof before this stupid and/or irrational person. Favor me with your irrefutable evidence that I may be convinced beyond a reasonable doubt. Please, suffer a little waste of your time to permit this unworthy respecter of science and reason, this user of highfalutin – multisyllabic words to be enlightened by your objective evidence that it can be subjected to and sustained by the scientific method.

Oh wait ... proof “in the theist sense.” Uh-oh. I was unaware that proof has multiple meanings depending on whether it is invoked by theists or secularists. I promptly checked the old Funk and Wagnall’s. Nope. No such distinction exists.

Merriam Webster defines proof as the cogency of evidence that compels acceptance by the mind of a truth or a fact; the process or an instance of establishing the validity of a statement especially by derivation from other statements in accordance with principles of reasoning; something that induces certainty or establishes validity.

So...gimme some cogent evidence. Impress me with the validity of your proof predicated in reason. Lay upon me that which induces me to accept the existence of God with a certainty that cannot be invalidated. I shall try hard not to allow my stupidity and irrationality to be an obstacle to this enlightenment. I was primed and ready to receive what no theologian in the history of the planet has ever been able to provide. Alas, I was to be disappointed

No proof followed. Not even an attempt. I guess he rethought that sentence (for a third time.) Perhaps his “proof” of God's existence included things like the beauty of a rainbow, the silence of a forest on snow covered night, the existence of good, the perfect fit of a banana in a man’s hand, rain drops on roses and whiskers on kittens. Perhaps this is what he meant, and he'd be correct, that these things don’t quite constitute the same idea of proof of the divine to us stupid and irrational atheists as they do with his brilliant and rational fellow lemmings.

What religious freaks like this always forget while overcome with the fever and in the throes of their enthusiastic defense of delusion is that by definition “faith” in the supernatural should never, could never, and will never be supported by proof. That’s why it’s called faith.