Friday, January 27, 2012

"Christian America”: Where ignorance is a virtue, and intellect a vice

It takes more faith to be an atheist than a believer in Jesus Christ the Son of God the Father. Especially if you look at science!

Check out Wake up and use your brain instead of relying on All this garbage the world has fed you about evolution and self-worship.... Our society has indoctrinated us for so long through the lies fed us from school and gov't, we just swallow it cause it is in our textbooks, do some research and try to not assume what you "know" is truth. Revelation!! Peggy N Oceanside , facebook 1/26/12

The above quote was extracted from a facebook discussion thread. Initially I thought it was a “poe,” an atheist posing as a fundie Xtian to make a point and make them look even more foolish than there were up to that point. It was so classically Xtian insipid that it could be nothing else.

I was wrong. Peggy is a true believer. She has two favorite books: “Bible” and “The Bible”

But why should I have been taken by surprise by this quintessential example of Christian self imposed stupidity? After all we live in a country where willful delusion is a virtue while intellect, science and reason are suspect.

A land where the majority belief system is corrupted by people who see education and “book larnin” as elitist; learned experts as liars or fools; and who have never cracked the cover of the source materials they reject, even if they were literate enough to absorb it.

A nation where speculation and superstition is accepted as fact, and its degree of truth or falsehood determined not by investigative analysis but by the number of people willing to blindly accept it as fact.

A society that puts its faith in religious apologetics sites whose mission is to confuse their sheeple with religious doctrine disguised as science; to dismiss objective evidence for reality; turn fiction into fact; endlessly repeat patently silly and discredited suppositions (i.e. "Why are there still monkeys if..." , "How come there is no crocoduck if... ?"); and to massage scripture to suit their agenda of preserving the spell of a discredited book of nonsense.

A union that gives millions of dollars in tax breaks to build a creationist theme park as a veritable governmental endorsement of backwardness and Medieval Think, spitting in the face of modernity and reason. [Google: “Kentucky creationist theme park tax break”]

There wasn’t much to say after reading Peggy’s post. All I could do was thank her for her testimony. Peggy unwittingly did more in that one paragraph to demonstrate the fruits of the religious virus and give credence to my years of rants, blogs and books than anyone ever has or ever will.

Once again, thank you Peggy. If I could I would put you in a glass dome on a pedestal for the entire thinking world to point to and laugh at, eventually having you stuffed and preserved as a reminder to future generations of Americans just how far they have advanced.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

The Week I Wish Wasn’t / the Article I Wish I Didn't Have to Write

Long time readers will know that as a rule I don’t dedicate this blog to news stories per se, religious or secular. I’ll sometimes draw on current events and and use them as a catalyst for my commentaries, but typically I steer clear of playing religious news blog as there are many hundreds of such atheist blogs. I prefer to share my stream of [un?] consciousness and observations on the human condition as driven by religiosity as personal observations and the mood moves me.

Fact is, I don’t want to write this article; I've been putting it off for days. But there is no turning my back on what has been for me one of the most grotesque weeks of American religious idiocy in memory. Camel's have very good memories.

You’d have to have been in a virtual coma not have heard about the inspiring fight waged by sixteen year old Jessica Ahlquist. A Rhode Island high school student who sued to have her school's Judeo-Christian prayer banner removed, she was victorious. The courts found it violated the school prayer prohibition. A reason to celebrate.

In the wake of that decision, Jessica has been threatened with physical harm and death, harassed, bullied and abused in school, in the press, on the radio, and in front of the family’s home by the good Christian folk of Cranston, RI. She has police protection. How dare she work within the legal system to call out a constitutional violation? Apparently lynching, burning, rioting and setting crosses on fire is the preferred Xtian method of letting one’s concerns be heard, not using her right to petition the courts.

Nothing surprising there, it’s the Christian thing to do. Even the florists of that town conspired to refuse deliveries to her from supporters. The Freedom from Religion Foundation is pursuing legal action against them under the Federal Civil Rights Act. The FfRF also awarded her $12,000 in scholarship money, $10,000 of which came from their new “Atheist in a Foxhole Fund” which awards those who put themselves on the line to oppose religious intrusion into government. Learn more contributing to that fund, and about Jessica’s story here:

But here’s the worst part. Peter G. Palumbo (D-Xtian) a RI State representative went on local radio to discredit Jessica calling her “an evil little thing.” Needless to say to the sheeple of Cranston this was perceived as confirmation that making life miserable for Jessica and her family was sanctioned by their elected officials. Their comments on radio station pages and news blogs are hysteria filled hateful rants, religious gibberish, pseudo-patriotic outrage, and absurdly stupid misunderstandings of the law.

Rep. Palumbo has refused to apologize or retract his statement. Google him and you’ll find some half-million hits, mostly from outraged freethinking voices. You’ll also easily find his phone number and email address. I encourage you to use them.

If that was the only disgusting example of Christian inhumanity for the week it would be more than enough. But no, this was a banner week. The Kansas State Speaker of the House, Mike O’Neal (R-Xtian), emailed his endorsement of praying for Obama’s death, invoking Psalm 109. Part of the Psalm reads: ”Let his children be fatherless, and his wife a widow. Let his children be continually vagabonds, and beg: let them seek their bread also out of their desolate places.” O’Neal also defends his actions, and refuses to apologize or rescind his email.

How we doing so far, had enough? Wait ... not done yet.

Simultaneous with these events it came to my attention that some years ago Rick Santorum’s wife had a spontaneous abortion due to a massive infection of her uterus. The fetus would have died with or without the antibiotics she was given, and whether or not she had gone into spontaneous labor – which she did. The fetus died a couple of hours later. They brought it home for show and tell with their kids.

Santorum opposes abortion for any reason, even to save the life of the mother. Yet, when confronted with false reports of his wife submitting to induced labor to expel the fetus and save her life, he let this slip: “if that had to be the call, we would have induced labor if we had to,” under the understanding that the fetus was going to die anyway and intervening would save his wife’s life.

Of course Rick Santorum doesn’t in any way perceive that as an abortion. And in the classic use of the word, it isn’t. It would be, shall we say, agreed-upon-medical-intervention-to- provoke-early-termination-of- the-fetus-in-order-to-save-his-wife’s-life. Never mind that the intervention’s end result would be the same as the common method of abortion as far as that fetus would be concerned and if the fetus could think; to the Santorums this would have been a whole different thing. In fact, at a Catholic hospital in Arizona last year a nun administrator permitted doctors to do exactly what Santorum said they would have done under the virtually same circumstances. The nun was excommunicated for saving the life of the mother of three and not letting God and nature run its course. Santorum is a devout Catholic.

I wasn't my usual self this past week. This religiously induced stupidity, hatred, bigotry, distortion, and hypocrisy by good and true loving Christian politicians took its toll on me. I wanted it to just go away. I hasn't, it won’t. It weighs on me.

Tomorrow starts a new week in Idiot America and with it the promise of more uniquely American crazy religious shit. Maybe I need a drink to prepare myself. Maybe I need a vacation in freethinking and sane Scandinavia.

{Invitation to my loyal readership: while I love getting your emails of encouragement, or just to chat, if you have pertinent comments to share on my articles, things other readers would find interesting, or that adds to the story, I encourage you to read my articles on the actual blog site and posting your comments there. Just click on the subject title in the body of the email you receive and it will take you to the blog. I approve all comments before they are visible on-line. Thanks!- Hump}

Monday, January 16, 2012

“Touched by a ghost!” the Hump metes out a sound “Hitchslapping.”

“I have been touched by a ghost, in the small of my back at an install [in a house where a boy died in the late 1890's and has never left]. I never believed any of the ghost crap before that moment. Since then I have had to rethink a lot of things. That’s what "What if's" are in us for. If you are not open to believing every thing you know is wrong than you are not a free thinker.”

The above comment was posted by someone to a facebook friend’s article dedicated to Christopher Hitchens. Off topic, and completely out of context with the discussion, besides his obvious foolishness this person exposed himself to be another one of those self appointed editors of Webster’s Dictionary - compelled, it seems, to redefine words to better suit his perspective and agenda.

I decided there can be no greater tribute to Christopher Hitchens than to administer to this buffoon the educational “Hitchslapping” he so clearly deserved. Here it is, slightly revised and extended:

Freethinker does not imply entertaining the paranormal because a natural explanation for an event, real or perceived, cannot immediately be ascertained. A freethinker doesn't hear hoof beats in the night and think "Ah ha! Unicorn!" We begin by examining the most reasonable and likely explanation for cause, not with the premise that something for which there has never been any objective evidence is the likely cause. That's quite the opposite from how credulous, unscientific superstitionalists like you think.

To paraphrase Hitchens - as atheists / freethinkers we respect free inquiry, open mindedness, and the pursuit of ideas, but we distrust anything that contradicts science or outrages reason. No where does being a freethinker imply throwing reason out the window and “being open to believing everything” predicated on anecdote and stories. That’s not being open minded, that’s surrendering your intellect to myth, which is a reasonably good definition for “faith.”

Occam's Razor states that the simplest explanation is better than a more complex one, thus more likely to be the correct one. The complexity associated with ghosts, spirits, god/gods, et al, is vast. It is so absurdly intricate / complex that on the list of one-thousand possible explanations it would fall at the bottom, just below invisible aliens. Selecting ghostly encounter as your preferred explanation for this so called event is patently irrational.

You want to believe you were prodded by a ghost? Fine. But this thread is dedicated to someone who was the antithesis of mindless superstionalism. You add nothing to the conversation here except to exemplify the kind of stunted, backward, and archaic non-think that Hitchens fought against his whole life.

Finally (and I mean that literally since I have zero interest in prolonging discourse with those of limited intellect), if you are insulted by your dismissal and the ridicule heaped upon you by the thinking folks here, no one will shed a tear. You're entitled to the same respect as any other insipid religionist who places myth, faith and unsubstantiated belief before reason, reality, and the scientific method - which is to say no respect at all.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

I Love the Scent of a Burnt Offering in the Stadium

News flash: Associated Hump News Service, January 11, 2012:

Immediately following an 85 yard touchdown drive, quarterback Yahuda Ben Cohen takes a moment to send up a burn offering to Yahweh, and perform his patented "Ben Cohen Pose".

Outraged, the Christian fans began to chant "Kill the Christ killing Jew bastard, he's praying in public like the hypocrite Pharisees."

Ben Cohen was summarily stoned to death under a hail of beer cups, hot dogs, nachos, and pork rinds thrown by 105,000 enraged followers of the Prince of Peace.

CBS sports commentators roundly commend the crowd: "The hell bound heathen Jew had it coming. Everyone knows God doesn't hear the prayers of Jews. Besides, this is a football stadium, not some God damned synagogue!"

Film at eleven.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Form over Function & Promotion over Devotion: The Tebow Buffoonery

“Oh look! Little Timmy is praying again. He has assumed the position. He is so devout!”

“Tim threw for three hundred and sixteen yards against the Steelers - 316 - as in John 3:16, it’s a miracle, it’s God speaking though him!”

Tweets fill the airways exhorting Tim Tebow’s divinely driven drives. Pundits hail him as the missing link of the Trinity (the “Quad-rinity?”). Surely he is in Gawd’s good graces, for how else could a mediocre quarterback with an 8-8 record find himself in the play offs, facing the 13- 3 Patriots (other than due to the remarkably contrived NFL method of selecting play off finalists based entirely on maximizing the league’s post regular season financial revenues)?

I don’t care much about football. I’ll watch a few games a year and the Super Bowl, but otherwise who wins a sporting event is largely unimportant to me. What I do care about is having mindless, raging, ranting, religious idiocy thrust upon me on the radio, TV, internet, and newspapers every weekend, and through the week, day and night for the entire football season. The coup de gras was this display of mass "Tebowing" by the insipid CBS sports casters after the game.

I’m disgusted. Oh, not just the kneeling head on hand pose hype and its millions of imitators who by now should be considered as cool as a high five, although that’s annoying enough. It’s not just the speculation by talking heads and religious fanatics about how god favor’s the Bronco’s, and how it is guiding Tebow’s plays and destiny. Nope. I’m used to religious hysteria and fads adopted by the mentally deficient.

What really gets my goat is that no one seems to speak out on the one thing that should be obvious to any student of the bible, and certainly could not be lost on the Xtian clergy. It remains unspoken by the sports talking heads because they are ignorant, or afraid to brooch it. And the clergy won’t address it because they indirectly are beneficiaries of the whole silly fiasco.

What I’m talking about is this- Matthew 6:5-6, Jebus’ own words:
"And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.”

Tebow is the quintessential example of precisely the hypocrisy Jebus spoke of. Hell, how less private can you be than taking every opportunity to pray before millions of people to demonstrate your devout holiness? Tebow puts the hip in hypocrisy.

So, where are the admonishments against this obvious ignoring of their man-god’s directive? Where is the outrage from the bible banging fundies or from the clergy who should be chastising him for what is tantamount to un-Christian behavior and denial of the savior’s word? I’ll tell you where it is.

For the bible banging Christian fanatics it’s lost among the other things they cherry pick to accept or ignore. You know, like how they ignore the admonishments of Jebus to observe the 613 laws of the Hebrew Bible until his second coming and “all is accomplished”. They prefer Paul’s edict that those laws are no longer necessary... it’s easier. It’s ignored like they ignore the kosher laws Jebus said should be kept while they happily eat pig and shrimp; yet feverently cling hard and fast to the homophobic laws of the Old Testament. No surprise there, it's institutionalized Xtian hypocrisy.

Tebow is seen by his flock as a general in the army of this nation’s Xtian soldiers. The defender of the 76% Xtian population leading the good fight against the minority 12% - 16% godless heathens who have been “persecuting” them aided by "Obama's war on religion” Rick Perry touts.

As for the Clergy - they know the public prayer thing is not right. But much like the Islamic clerics who remain silent in the face of fanatic Islamic terrorist actions, the pastors and preachers see no benefit in standing up for scripture and against popular appeal. Afterall, what’s in it for them? Fact is, they love the advertising, the promotion of Xtianity that Tebow’s hypocrisy generates. It’s their business and they aren’t paying a dime for the national exposure. They are the Pharisees who epitomize hypocrisy by turning a blind eye to this trespass, while professing their love and respect for scripture... “God’s own word.” They will remain silent and laugh up their sleeves.

Tebow will go on with his pious showmanship born of his parents having steeped his brain in religious foolishness, that’s for sure. But how much longer will we have to endure the mimicry of his mindless followers; his being hailed as Jebus’ representative in the NFL; the invoking of the divine for every pass completion or first down by sports pundits; and his elevation to demigod by religionists whose entire familiarity with scripture is limited to whatever chapter and verse gets painted onto Tebow’s eye black?

That answer will be determined primarily by whether or not the Bronco’s get into and win the Super Bowl, and secondarily by whether my prayers to Moloch to have both his ACLs severed works out.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Teaching the religious their own religion: The thinking man’s burden

Religionists are a never ending source of amazement to me. From the least educated quasi-literate backwoods bible banger, to those who represent themselves as scripturally fluent and defenders of the faith, the degree to which they have avoided knowledge of the history of religion is remarkable. I’m not talking about other religions; I’m speaking of knowledge of their very own religion’s history and the variety of tenets it has spawned.

I imagine it comes from a profound desire to avoid education, a comfort within the narrowness of their chosen sect, or self imposed avoidance of any education that doesn’t come from their clergy, like minded sectarian authors or favored apologetics sites. Perhaps they have embraced the old saw: “Too much knowledge is a dangerous thing.” If so, they are definitely not in any danger.

A wonderful example of this recently came to my attention. A Christian, apparently irked by my amazon review of the NIV Bible, blessed me with this tiding:
“You and a lot of others who are against the words of God will burn in hell. I'll be on the other side laughing, while you cry in pain.”
– B. Bain

Nothing new there. It's all good. I’ve been threatened with, assured of, promised, and condemned to hell so many times by Xtian nutters that if there were such a place I’d probably get my room comped. I thanked him for proving my point, that the Bible’s hideous fables and obscenities has had its desired affect on him, since it is a trait of Abrahamic religions, most specifically Xtianity, to endorse torture and pain either real or imagined on those who eschew their philosophy.

And that would have ended that until one of the faithful, an early and vehement objector to my review and laughably vapid theist, provoked the subject of this blog article with this gem:

“You see how Bart always assumes everyone he doesn't like is a Christian? No bias or presupposition there huh? LOL” - Ob-Servant

“Assume” he is Christian? My retort was an assumption based on a “bias or presupposition?” Hmmm. Could it be that this befuddled dead Jew worshipper, so desperate to sling an invective at me simply has no understanding of the Xtian doctrine that speaks of those in heaven being treated to ring side seats of the eternal torture of the damned burning in hell? I mean, is it possible this could have escaped the purview of a self proclaimed observant Xtian and bible-phile? So it seems.

So I undertook to educate him citing Thomas Aquinas: "That the saints may enjoy their beatitude more thoroughly, and give more abundant thanks for it to God, a perfect sight of the punishment of the damned is granted them."

Citing Jeremy Taylor a 17th century Bishop of England: "Husbands shall see their wives, parents shall see their children tormented before their eyes...the bodies of the damned shall be crowded together in hell like grapes in a wine-press, which press on another till they burst..."

Citing Jonathan Edwards, referred to as “The American Augustine”: “Every time they look upon the damned, it will excite in them a lively and admiringsense of the grace of God...The view of the misery of the damned will double the ardor of the love and gratitude of the saints in heaven."

I could have gone on, as this interpretation of multiple bible passages is endorsed by many Catholics and Protestant sects. Thus, my reference to the hell wisher as being a Christian was anything but an assumption, bias, or presupposition since this belief is unique to Christianity. [Note: Islam may have similar doctrine but it’s doubtful a Muslim would be pissed about my review of the Bible. Koran, sure - Bible, no.)

Evidently this is something my antagonist never quite got around to learning. As a result his knee jerk accusation and obvious desire to paint me as a blind persecutor of his unfairly put upon martyred religion exposed him as both ignorant of his own religion, and a douchebag of epic proportions.

As I type this there is as yet no reply. I wholly expect it to be a half baked tap dance such as “That’s not what I meant, I knew that all along.”, or You misinterpreted my statement”, or the ever popular “You took my comment out of context,” because intellectual honesty amongst these folks is as rare as a MENSA member at an exorcism.

But, it makes no difference. I did my duty as a thinking person, imparting knowledge to the religiously afflicted about their religion. At least now he too will be able to titter in excited anticipation of watching Anne Frank buring in hell once he reaches his reward.

It’s the Xtian thing to do.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Hump is Chosen by God to Review His New Memoir.

From time to time, Simon and Schuster sends me a new book of the atheist genre to review on While they don't pay me, it keeps me in reading material.

Some of you will recall I reviewed "Oh God, No!" by Penn Jillette. It sucked, IMO... worthy of only two stars. But this time around I was delighted with "The Last Testament: A Memoir." The co-author, along with God Almighty, King of the Universe, is David Javerbaum who writes for the Daily Show. He is very talented.

So here's the four star review I posted on amazon. I'm sharing it with you for your information. If you're looking for a fun read about the God of Abraham, from the God of Abraham, unquestionably geared for folks like us, you'll like this.


It seems whenever a book of criticism, humor or sarcasm about the bible or religion comes out those religious fanatics who are so sure they know that a god exists, and who or what this god thing is, seem to get their panties all in a twist. The astute can use the one and two star reviews these humorless defenders of the faith invariably post as an endorsement of a good read. I know I do. That said...

As any objective student of the Bible knows, the god of the old testament comes across as a hideously psychopathic thing. While religionists prefer to deny this, ask them if they'd treat their own children that way and they simply fall back and cry "Context!", which of course means nothing at all. In The Last Testament this god readily admits he's got issues. Fact is, he admits that he and his staff of angels had no second thoughts about mass murder, cruel and unusual punishments and some really bizarre laws. But "God" explains it in a way that almost makes you want to forgive him his trespasses... almost. Sort of like the way you'd forgive a riotously funny comedian for running over your cocker spaniel while making a U-turn in your driveway. Oh, he's not repentant for the wackier things he's done, just reflective. After all, no one is perfect...not even god. How do I know? Because he says so in his The Last Testament.

I found myself laughing until my eyes watered. I kept dog earing the pages with the best lines to use as excerpts to read to my wife, and to use in this review. But it got to the point where almost every page was turned in so I stopped.

Yep, seems all of those self appointed/ self-righteous religious shaman got it wrong about a whole bunch of stuff. God sets it all straight with humor, snarkiness, and pinch of sanctimoniousness (hey, if anyone is entitled to be sanctimonious it would be a god). Everything you ever wanted to ask god about creation, life outside our solar system (yes, there is...lots of it), Muhammad, Jesus (careful you don't get "that look" from Jesus), HG (AKA Holy Ghost), his angel staffers, Moses and his smarter brother Aaron, how Joshua fit the Battle of Jericho, Abraham, Adam and Steve, just about anything you ever questioned is all laid out nice and neat and goddamn funny. Oh, but not the afterlife though. He just won't go there so don't ask.

The only reason I didn't give it a 5 star rating was that I found the book a tad long toward the last fourth and the biting wit cooled down. The prophecies for 2012 could have been left out entirely, tedious. But if you're familiar with the Bible (or think you are); are a freethinker, agnostic, atheist, moderate to liberal believer of any flavor, you'll get a kick out of this read.

On the other hand, fundamentalists, born agains, JWs, tongue talkers, snake handlers, biblical literalists, "Promise Keepers", imprecatory prayer devotees, the pope, televangelists, sellers of prayer towels, and gay-hating admirerers of Fred Phelps, Michelle Bachmann and Rick Perry will likely not get the same enjoyment. Fact is, they'll likely do what they have always done - not buy The Last Testament but give it one star, and rattle off a rant about blasphemy, how the author is going to hell, and then scourge themselves (or their wife or kid) as penance for even thinking about this book.

A Good read.