Saturday, September 29, 2012

Voting for “Judeo-Christian values” – A Freethinker’s worst nightmare

In an effort to down play the perception of Mormonism as a cult and non-Christian society of blaspheming scum among Evangelicals, Romney has avoided use of the term Mormon this election cycle and  now has taken up the tact of  appealing to the Religious Right with the more generic “shared Judeo-Christian values.”

Ah!!  Judeo-Christian values!  Well, that’s more like it.

Let's see: the Old Testament, the Jewish bible - the Tanakh - values genocide (except for the female virgins) for tribes who are non-believers in the god of Abraham; demands the cutting off of a woman's hand for grabbing the genitals of her husband's attacker; requires the killing of one's unruly children; endorses stoning homosexuals to death; and absolutely expects killing people for working on the Sabbath (that would be Saturday, not Sunday, by the way). 

On the other hand, "traditional" Christian values include the murder of indigenous peoples and the utter eradication of their culture to spread "the Word" and save them from themselves; torturous Inquisition against heretics; Holy wars; witch burning; intra-sect wars; 1700 years of anti-Semitism; stealing donkeys; causing the mass killing of pigs and destruction of fig trees; and turning father against son and mother against daughter. 

More recently, their values have expanded to include willful violation of the Constitution and Supreme Court rulings by promoting prayer in school and installing Judeo-Christian symbols on government property; persecuting American born children of illegal immigrants; denying scientific fact like global warming and evolutionary theory; opposing advancement in medical research; and promoting anger in the Middle East by broadcasting Xtian proselytizing satellite TV insulting Muslims on their own soil.,0,6912233.story

Yes - I can see how shared Judeo-Christian values would make Romney attractive to the extreme religious right; evangelicals; homophobes; Christian nationalists; anti-feminists; those who endorse torture and public school corporal punishment; promoters of the  imposition of Xtian beliefs; hawks for more war in the Middle East; and those bent on tearing down the Wall of Separation. 

Yes, professing Judeo-Christian values was a shrewd move by Willard. It should turn out the vote rather nicely in the Bible Belt, and among Creationists, Survivalists, Skin-heads, the KKK, the Minute Men, and those who see a Christian Taliban controlled Christian Nation in our future. 

Yes, a vote for Romney is a vote for Judeo-Christian values.  I’m glad he cleared that up.    

Monday, September 24, 2012

And now a political message from our sponsor: Reason.

 Election day is only a few weeks away.  I imagine some of you may be considering voting for a change.  After all, with all the opportunities we've had contending with the “greatest economic down turn since the Great Depression” over the past 80 years, you’d think we’d have had everything all fixed by now.
When you go to the polls and prepare to vote I don’t want you to be concerned with incidentals – those little things that might dissuade you from voting for Mitt.

Don’t worry about women’s reproductive rights and the potential of a Supreme Court nominee being one vote away from reversing Roe V. Wade, as is the Republican platform’s objective. It’s not like anyone in your family will be raped. Besides, if a back alley abortion with a wire hanger was good enough for grandma, it should be good enough for your grand children.

You can justify how it is right and proper for Viagra to be covered with medical insurance to treat male impotence; but that women’s contraception is simply against god’s will, thus not justified.

You’re probably ok that the majority of the Republican party perceive freethinkers/atheists to be less qualified to hold public office than a gay or a Muslim; and isn’t patriotic, or “possibly not even American” as George H.W. Bush so succinctly stated. They’ll tolerate us in their “Christian Nation,” for the time being.

It shouldn’t be a concern that the GOP plainly stated in 2010 that its first priority was not restoring the nation’s economy, or improving the unemployment situation, or even reducing the deficit.  It was to prevent that Negro in the White House from attaining a second term. Their congressional obstructionism is just good politics.

Don’t give lower income women’s health a second thought. Planned Parenthood is obviously a hideous waste of 0.008% of our federal budget. Besides, why would poor women need breast cancer screening...or even breasts? 

Forget about Romney’s peculiar inclination to get the US embroiled in the Syrian conflict, and his readiness to go to war with Iran.  Mitt  needs those initiatives to gain some military experience since his was limited to a tour of duty in Paris selling Mormonism to the French during the Vietnam war.

Pay no mind to the fact that the stock market is 7,000 points higher than it was four years ago, unemployment is lower, housing prices are recovering, banks are lending again, and the car industry is stronger than it ever was. Mitt says you’re fucked compared to 2008. Strangely, he doesn’t seem to be starving.

Assume that Romney has a secret plan to restore unemployment to under 4%. Anything else is just details. After all, he was a CEO.

Ignore the fact that he declared Russia our greatest enemy, or that on his first trip abroad as a presidential candidate he insulted our closest ally and belittled Palestinian culture as the cause for their economic strife. A veritable diplomatic genius.

Trust that maintaining tax breaks for the wealthy, and eliminating those pesky tax deduction “loopholes” for the middle class -  like mortgage interest, tuition costs, and health care expenses – while increasing military spending by $1 Trillion more than the Joint Chiefs of Staff asked for, will all somehow work out to improve the economy and reduce the deficit.  Chances are your mortgage is all paid up, and your kids are done with college, and you are self insured anyway.

No, don’t worry about any of this stuff. Give it not a second thought.  But when you reach up to pull that lever, or place that “X” in the box, or punch out that “chad”... I want you to remember this:   

Then remember this is the man who will guide the nation for the next four years, and have his finger on the button of the most advanced nuclear arsenal and strongest military force on the planet.  If you can sleep with that then indeed, vote for the Creationist in the magic Mormon underwear.
Am I preaching to the choir?  Then send this link to someone who could use a touch of reason. 

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Sam Harris is Wrong...Again.

Sam Harris is an icon of the atheist movement. We owe him much for his outspoken opposition to religious intrusion into our lives and the damage it does to society. I respect him immensely.   But Sam is not an icon of international diplomacy, nor is he infallible.  We’ll leave infallibility to the pope.

The same can be said for Chris Hitchens. He was and remains a hero of mine, but he was a misguided rabid supporter of the war in Iraq.  

I disagree with Sam Harris on a few things, not the least of which is his demonization of liberal Xtians.  You’d think a man of letters who firmly accepts evolutionary theory, would see liberal Xtians as part of, a stage in, the evolution of religion - leading ultimately to reason and the demise of religion over the long haul.  Sam, it seems, isn’t satisfied with that. 

To Harris liberal Xtians are cherry picking doctrine (and they are); accommodating myth with reality (which they do); creating a hybrid or bastardization of Christianity which prolongs religious belief (and it does) and enables fundies.  It seems that to Sam anything short of the immediate self extinction of fundamentalist belief, with no stage between total belief in myth and fable and complete atheism, is unacceptable and unworthy of nurturing or acceptance, but worthy only of disdain.  This is my summary interpretation of his perspective, not his precise words.

To me this is tantamount to despising Australopithecus for standing between his arboreal ancestors and the development of Homo sapiens. Heck, Australo was just delaying the inevitable.

Sam’s not much of a pragmatist in that regard, nor is he a diplomat nor politician if his latest screed is any indication. 

Today Sam Harris came out and accused the Obama administration of practicing “quivering lip diplomacy” based on the tweet issued by the US embassy in Egypt before the Libyan murders occurred, and based on subsequent government statements that seek to distance the US government from the act of a private US individual.

 But where Sam sees this as weakness I see it as diplomacy, civility, and an attempt to establish credible arms length distance between government involvement and private citizen's action; not at all indicative of an offer to relinquish our rights and freedoms or an admonishment against free speech by anyone of any kind.

Unfortunately, some Americans, Sam included, seem not to understand that every Muslim who lives in the Middle East lives in a culture where all media must be approved and sanctioned by their ruling government. It is unheard of for a private individual, under decades of autocratic / despotic rule, to be able to produce and air a film without government approval and blessing.  This then feeds the Muslim world’s assumption that this policy / reality extends to foreign countries because they know nothing else.  The failure to recognize this is symptomatic of the Western-centric mindset, and a failed educational system, or just a preference to remain ignorant of other cultural realities.  Mercifully, unlike Romney, McCain, Palin, my neighbor up the street and Sam Harris, the Obama administration understands this. 

If establishing that the US government does not endorse specific speech antagonistic to a billion or so foreigners, and seeks to maintain an arms length between a private citizen’s inflammatory speech and our body’s politic is some how weakness, it is only so in the minds of those who fail to understand this difference (or prefer to reject the difference ).  It speaks more to those Americans' knee jerk ethno-centric ignorance, or political agenda,  than to an administration kowtowing to Muslim indignation.

No...the private citizen does not speak for the US government.  His words and actions do not necessarily reflect our nation’s policy or perspective. While blasphemy, insult, and hate speech are our right, the government has no obligation to imply it endorses what is said, only to endorse our right to say it.   I'm glad we have an administration that knows the difference and did just that.  

That said:  Phuque the Profit Muhammad. 

(Note:  I was criticized by a fb friend for referring to Christopher Hitchens as "Chris" in this article, an abbreviated name Hitch despised.  A thoughtless oversight on my part. But I doubt "Hitch" is going to object. After all,  I've never received a complaint from Chuck Darwin)   

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Busy week among the religiously moronic, and it's only Thursday

I usually pick one theme for my blog articles- whatever catches my attention as being particularly worthy of my ire.  But this week has been so chocked full of religiously related idiocy I just couldn’t pick one. So let me send a few shout outs and see if I can at least provoke a fatwa against me.

Attention Muslims:
Evidently your pampers are all in a twist over a 3rd rate movie by one of your fellow countrymen of Xtian belief.  Seems to have caused you to run into the streets, attack, burn, destroy and otherwise commit mayhem in the name of the Religion of Peace.  Look, let me say this so even your backward minds can understand it: “Sticks and stones can break your bones, but calling your imbecilic pedophile militant fiend of a prophet what he was will never hurt you.” 

If your prophet Muhammad (piss be upon him, pictured above) is offended, and is as powerful and as close to Allah as you say, let him do his own burning, destruction and ranting. Calm your ignorant medieval asses down.  Free speech trumps your feelings, even though you have zero idea what free speech is since freedom of anything is alien to your religion and culture.  
(PS: Word has it you people can sniff a camel out from 100 miles away.  I live in NH. It shouldn’t be too difficult to find a dromedary among the population here, so few New Hampshirites actually have humps in spite of what you may have heard. But we all have heavy weaponry.)

Attention Mormon Presidential Candidates:
I don’t care that you think you’re going to be the god of your own planet when you croak.  I don’t care that you wear magic underwear, or that your kids are forced to wear them.  I don’t even care that you have a charlatan, liar, and convicted felon as your preferred religious prophet. That’s your cross to bear.

What I do care about is your taking advantage of a tragedy on foreign soil and using it for political attack purposes and making idiotic accusations about embassy issued statements before you even know when it was issued, in what context , and WTF is going on.

Not only is it proof of your cult addled brain being devoid of any concept of diplomacy, timing, dignity or is proof positive, once again, that you’re not presidential material.  Now go sacrifice a chicken to Joseph Smith, or whatever it is your cult does.

.Attention NASA Administrator Charles Bolden
 I understand Neil Armstrong was religious.  I understand the importance for people like you to mumble your praiseand acknowledgement to gawd; reference Neil up in heaven looking down; and do your Holy Holy Holy routine.  But the statement you made that:
“... [technological and scientific]
achievements are made possible through God's grace and guiding hand," while I’m sure is a sentiment that was received well by the religiously devoid of reason, it is beneath the position of  an administrator of the nation’s premier scientific exploration government entity. 

Yes...I get that you are a Southerner, a Christian, a Marine aviator, test pilot and that your science degree is in “science administration,” thus you’re not a genuine scientist.  Therefore we have no right to expect you to understand the difference between science and myth.  But at least feign some sense of reality and respect for human achievement.

Before you offer up a platitude that betrays your intellectual short comings, at least reflect upon the fact that if Gawd’s guiding hand determines discovery, that the psychopathic imaginary deity you worship and give credit to for the moon landing took a few hundred thousand years to inform humanity what causes know, simple  things like germs, bacteria, how to prevent and cure their infections- like telling them to wash their hands after they  wipe their butts.   Some super grace your god’s got there.

and finally...

Attention Pat Robertson:
Hey Pat, your latest suggestion that a man become a Muslim and move to Saudi so he can beat his wife into submitting to him as the ruler of the house, as women are meant to do by Gawd’s law was classic Pat Idiocy.  We all got a good laugh out of just another in an endless list of biblically driven misogyny, unthinking statements, and reinforcement of violence toward women (along with your well documented hatred of gays, liberals, feminists, atheists and anyone who embraces reason over fable).

But here’s the thing, Pat.  We can’t tell anymore when you’re tossing out a bad joke, and when you’re being dead serious. Which brings us to your health and the concept of “dead.”   Please, do the gracious thing and take that long over due dirt nap.  You give humans a bad name and exponentially increase the stupid Xtian quotient..

No shortage of religious stupid this week, and the week is only 5/7th over.  Reason have mercy!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Grateful to God for Rape: Extreme religious madness knows no bounds

Very little surprises me when it comes to the stupidity that flows from the mouths of the most religiously infected. But I must admit I was taken aback by a comment posted to a story in USA Today.

The story reports the conviction of Bishop Finn of Kansas City.  Seems he knew about priestly child molestation and/or a child porn collecting priest, and covered it up.  Nothing new there when it comes to the Cat-Hole-Lick Church.  But one of the comments left by a devout Catholic woman, a medical doctor, floored me:

  If I had not been sexually assaulted by a Carmelite priest in the past, I would be fully protective of the Church...”  “I am grateful to God that I had that sad experience, since it helped me to realize that there are some clergy that are abusing their position in the priesthood.”  Dr. Rosemary Eileen McHugh

Now, read it again.  Understand what’s going on there.  This woman was raped or molested by a priest and is grateful to her god for it.  What that means is god was the agent behind her being raped; he caused it or influenced it, or suborned it.  Catholics believe that all things occur because of god’s agency.  All things good and all things bad are part of this super being’s plan. Romans 8:28 “God causes everything to work together for the good.”

Thus, part of the plan this psychopathic mythical god thing has for this woman was being raped by a priest in order to help her “... realize that there are some clergy that are abusing their position.”.

Hmm, well, if this is true then perhaps all the children molested by priests all over the world are also the beneficiaries of her god's brilliant plan for their enlightenment. How nice for them.  How grateful they should be. Thank ya Jeezus!!!  I imagine the church is happy to have her thanking god .  It must beat taking the rap for it all alone. 

Of course there is an alternative.  Maybe, just maybe, her being victimized at her god’s direction wasn't necessary for her to come to the realization that priests take advantage of religiously cowed children because they are easy targets. Maybe her god could have just provided her with a newspaper from any country on the planet that has had the priest scandal...which is virtually  all western countries. Maybe she could have stumbled across such a story on her own.  

But this is way too logical for someone who is up to their neck in religious doctrinal idiocy.  The only way she can cope with the trauma now, and keep her connection to the very organization she was victimized by,  is by trying to put good face on the tragedy, assigning a “purpose” to her being violated.  It justifies her continued faith in her god's plan and protection.   It all makes as much sense to a rational person as someone thanking Zeus for being shot in the head for the purpose of teaching them that bullets hurt and some people are violent. 

This level of convoluted non-reasoning; this dependency on supernatural myth and this need to give “meaning” to the wanton act of a sexual predator is the only way she can salve her anguish and continue to justify her faith in an omniscient beneficent god thing that is anything but beneficent.  It transcends stupid. It goes beyond obscene. It verges on utterly insane.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Of Mars, Mysticism and Man

If you haven’t seen this animation of the Mars rover landing entitled “How to get to Mars,” do yourself a favor and spend six minutes in complete awe.

It boggles the mind: so much technology, such intricacy of systems, each being dependent on the other to function precisely as designed, remotely, millions of miles in space, in order for the mission to succeed. One faulty part, one badly printed circuit, one miscalculation of timing, one erroneous assumption and failure would be all but guaranteed.  

As I watched the animation I marveled at how far we have come as a species.  It makes it that much more baffling how, in this century, with these advancements, men's minds can still be enslaved to ancient myth, make believe and superstition. How is it possible that such a large proportion of our planet’s most advanced species can continue to reject the truths of evolutionary theory, of ancient earth, the reality of global warming for which the greatest minds have provided concrete and objective evidence, just as they have provided the greatest feats of technology ever known?

How does a resident of this world, in this century, turn their backs on the very people who have dedicated themselves to the unveiling of the mysteries of the universe?  How do they reject reasoned people who have devoted their life to scientific studies; demonstrated their breadth of knowledge; tested their hypotheses with methods that are neutral and uninfluenced by a preferred agenda; and provided results that are supported by varied and independent scientific disciplines and proven by the very real benefits with which their knowledge has endowed the human race? 

How do so many prefer to gravitate toward the polar opposite of these keepers of the flame of human advancement, investing their money and trusting their very lives to purveyors of nonsense and ghost stories who promise them that science is a tool of Satan; and that being sprinkled with holy water, doused in a river, mumbling prayers of praise, or being blown up in an act of terror is a good thing that makes an invisible super-being happy...which is all that matters?

How can so few of these people whose physiology is the same as yours and mine lack the drive to learn, explore, question, and advance beyond medieval precepts, while happily consuming and enjoying the fruits of the labors of the very people they distrust and reject as Satan’s henchmen at worst, or deceived by Satan at best?

There are religionists
who attribute to “God’s grace” man's ingenuity, the beauty of the scientific method, scientific discovery, and drive to question that which was once taken on faith.  Interesting how religion tries to co-opt science, and give their god credit for man’s scientific advancements when religion and their god are the very antithesis of science.

But that gambit is debunked by the Bible itself, the "inerrant testimony" that corroborates the fallacy promoted by their religious shaman. If, as Genesis states, their god punished his creations and their off spring for all eternity just for attempting to gain knowledge, then surely god didn’t want humans to have it.  Clearly knowledge is the purview of god and not man and their god meant to keep it that way.  Nothing in scripture revises or reverses god’s admonishment and punishment for that first taste of knowledge. Those religionists, like Gregor Mendel, who sought knowledge did so in spite of their religious affliction, not because of it.

Thus, those who now dare seek knowledge, who dare to explore and discover the secrets of the universe and disseminate that information to humanity – secrets and information that was once thought to be understood only by, and attributed to their God, are challenging their god’s omniscience. 

The result?  Never read scientific tomes.  Never investigate, never challenge, never accept as true any information that contradicts scripture. Distrust scientists and the educated.  What was the full realm of understanding of the universe of 1st century cultists, or Bronze Age nomads best remain unchallenged, lest god be made angry, or worse - made irrelevant.

I’ll proffer that one-hundred years from now the Mars landing technology will be viewed as quaint.  Just about the same time the remnants of religion will be seen as a hold over from man’s most pitiful stage - it’s minority adherents seen as mentally infirm.  Then will Man finally understand he has met god, and it is them.