Monday, December 30, 2013

FOX News' War on Atheism: What exactly is this all about?

Fox News seems to have a fetish.  Not content with their annual imagined "war on Xmas", now they are "gifting" atheists with reasons God that we may better see the light and come to Jesus.

What's behind their and the Right's bizarre obsession with atheists? I think the reason is two fold.

First, they see their belief system as a target and they're scared.
Scared over reduced church attendance, over the drop in people calling themselves Xtian (76% now, down from 86% in 1998); over the growing ac
ceptance of gay rights/gay marriage which is unstoppable in spite of the efforts of their preferred followers and viewership.  They're scared of the dwindling influence of the religious-conservatives; over the refusal of school boards to accept Creationism as science, even in their southern strongholds. In short, they see their looming impotency, the end of the heyday of religious demagoguery as has already happened in the rest of the Western World. 

This fear is also palpable among the most outspoken conservative clergy.  Just this past week John Hagee, the Texas pastor whose anti-Semitic statements caused John McCain to back away from Hagee's endorsement of his presidential run, has called on atheists to "get on planes and leave the country."  If only the atheist threat would just go away!

Secondly, instilling fear and loathing of a minority has always been a way to rally support, and distract the majority population from real issues. 

Nazi propaganda films portrayed Jews as vermin, infecting society, working to destroy Germany from within.  More recently Pat Robertson outrageously claimed gays in San Francisco intentionally try to infect heteros with AIDS by wearing rings that will cut during handshakes, the easier to transfer the infection; and that they "recruit" children to homosexuality. In wars on the African continent, demonizing of minority tribes worked to instill a frenzy of inter-tribal mass murder, most famously in Rwanda by the majority Hutu's against the minority Tutsi. Between five-hundred thousand and one-million people died in just a few months. 

Declared atheists in the US represent only between 5% and 10% of the population.  To hear FOX News and the far right religious extremists tell it, you'd think we were the majority, or on equal footing with the 76% Christian population. But for their propaganda and obsession to work they simply need to imply, plant the seed, that the power of atheists is disproportionate to our popular representation... like the Jews of Germany, or the Tutsi in Rwanda. We become the vermin seeking to take power, to undermine the patriotic Christians, to work as agents of Satan to overthrow their God given moral superiority and condemn the nation to a godless hell of hedonistic immorality.  
preading the fear of atheist influence, as small as it is in reality, is a strong motivator to the FOX faithful ... not famous for their ability to think critically or discern reality from hype.  It works like a rallying cry, it cements support for the most extreme conservatives, never mind the fact that atheism is the least of the causes of what truly infects and affects this nation's stability and progress.

Indeed, it's the threat of progress itself that is the true demon to them, but that doesn't play as well among the religiously afflicted ditto heads of the Fox flock.

Friday, December 20, 2013

The Camel Weighs in on Ducks, Dipshits, and Douche-bags.

It's likely you've been Duck Dynastyed to nearly comatose. But I'm going to briefly weigh in on this issue. I just can't ignore it. 

To the religiously afflicted, which includes virtually all of the far right homophobes, the insipid utterances of this backward religious fanatic Phil Robertson of Duck Dynasty, are pure gold. The self-righteous defenders of the faith will flock around him and demand that the broadcaster rescind their suspension. (Whatever happened to the much espoused Conservative position of freedom of business to do as their conscience tells them?) .  Already they are screaming "Freedom of Speech", as if suddenly it was pulled out from under him. 

Yes, Mrs. Sarah "Africa is a country" Palin, and Gov. Booby "quick, call the exorcist"  Jindal your icon of homophobia is guaranteed the right of free speech.  But in your undereducated state of delusion and typical Conservative idiocy, you fail to realize that the 1st amendment  guarantees only that the government, Federal, State and Local, may not impede your right to express yourself.  Just as it protects the rights of  the KKK, the American Nazi Party, and the likes of Pat Robertson and the Westboro Baptists to freely express their hate and delusion  free from government interference and censorship, so too can your bearded backwoods bible banging Louisiana inbred moron.  But, what you, and your like non-thinking sheep fail to realize is  that  there is no right to expect ones hate, prejudices and intolerance to be applauded,  ignored, supported, or insulated from the interests of the business that airs their show. The right of private entities to reject, censor, or edit speech is sacrosanct.

Just because one's intolerance is founded in ancient religious ignorance doesn't give that ignorance any special weight that demands individuals, groups, or businesses endorse or tolerate it.  That goes for homophobia, misogyny, racism, the endorsement of witch burning, or the stoning of unruly children.

Yep, spew your religiously supported homophobia, exercise your freedom of speech all you like, just be prepared for the fall out from people who have embraced modernity and who disavow your grotesque simple mindedness - who see it for the obsolete obscenity that it is.   Just as the Christian Network isn't forced to give Modern Family a platform for their liberal ideology, so too does A&E reserve the right to reject that which offends its clientele, or is in opposition to their own perspectives. 

Cancel the damn show, I say.  Let this be a shot across the bow of backwardness, another volley of determined reason at obsolete non-think, a loud and clear affirmation that it ain't your Grand Wizard endorsing father's nation any more. 

Monday, December 9, 2013

Pope prays for God to suspend freewill on behalf of the poor. He almost got it right.

So the pope prayed before the graven image of Mary that people will remember the poor this Christmas. Nice sentiment.

I was deeply moved by the pope's prayerful appeal to god, for god to make people remember the poor this Christmas.  Evidently god suspended freewill at the pope's request because while standing in line at Tiffany's I prayed for the poor to all receive a platinum Rolex from Jesus. 

Wow, god really DOES act in strange and mysterious ways. Well, my work is done. Hallelujah!!!

Strangely, I neither need a god nor the pope's prayers to it for me to do the right thing and make a couple of contributions to the food bank in my town, like I have been doing for years, and through out the year. Funny how Xtians tend to require a prompting from their shaman and god to do what should come naturally as simple humanity and empathy.

Understand, I’m not criticizing the pope for hoping or wishing his followers do the right thing for the poor. Not at all…I hope they all do as well.  I criticize the need for him to pray to a graven image, to influence a non-existent boogie-man to suspend peoples' allegedly "god given freewill" to get people to do what they should be doing as civilized beings. And his not setting a real world example.

How much better had he said:

“I want every one of my billion plus sheep to give to the poor this Xmas…whatever they can, and in some meaningful real world way. And if necessary short change the collection plate in order to make a meaningful difference directly  to a person or family you know is in need.

Additionally, I vow to sell off $2 billion of the Vatican's golden trinkets and art work this year, and donate it directly to Doctors without Borders, Unicef, and two other secular institutions that will ease the burden of the poor and needy; and do so - annually & in perpetuity - incremental to our own Catholic charitable works.”

If he could only do that.  If he could only get off his knees and make an appeal not through some imaginary middleman but directly to his flock; then take meaningful action that would knock the socks off the hypocrites that infect his church, then he’d have credibility and my genuine respect.

But, as usual his prayerful appeal is getting the oohs and ahhs from his followers, as well as from easily fooled freethinkers, enamored over how wonderful this “humble man” is and how close he is to the common man. 

I guess expecting reality to rear its head and supplant make believe and imaginary third person intervention to get people to help the poor is a few hundred years ahead of the Church's time.  What else is new?

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Doing my holy duty per the Pope's request: Let us pray.

The pope has called on everyone to pray for the twelve nuns who have been abducted by Syrian rebels.

Evidently Christians there are viewed as being supporters of President Assad, or at least not sympathetic to the rebel cause (not surprising since the rebels include Islamic fundies, who likely would make life miserable for Christians if they controlled Syria). 

This is an unfortunate situation, and I hope they are released unharmed.  So, in response to the pope’s appeal I have written a note and burned it in a sacrificial fire laced with incense that it may more readily be received by god, and stand out among all the other non-documented / neutral smelling prayer mumblings of the faithful; you know, like having a resume that really pops.

Here it is: 

Dear father, and/or son, and/or holy ghost,

I hope this non-prayer finds you all in good health.  Oh, and before I forget, happy birthday!  What is it going to be now, like 2,009 years or 6,000 years?  I always get confused.  Anyway …

You guys know what's happening in Syria, right? About your brides who have been kidnapped? I mean, you know everything, and see everything, what with you being omniscient and all.  So there's probably not a lot of sense in anyone praying for you to do anything for the nuns, as suggested by the old white guy and your self - appointed representative on earth.

In fact, I suppose you see such appeals as rather presumptuous of your creations… like they can’t trust you to do the right thing without their sticking their noses in your business.  I mean, lets face it: you're either going to save those nuns of your own accord, or you're going to let them die a hideous death, contingent on your mood. But, either way, it's part of your "plan" right?

So, no prayer here; I’m just writing to let you know I'm on board with whatever you choose to do, or not.   No need to reply, I’ll just watch the news.

Your reasoned opposition loyal to reality,


There, I’ve done my part.  Gee, I feel so holy now.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Who does an atheist thank on Thanksgiving?

By popular demand (OK, one of my readers asked) I am re-posting my 2008 Thanksgiving blog.
It's as relevant now as it was then, and as it always will be.  Enjoy... and a wonderful, safe, and godless Thanksgiving to you and yours.

There are all kinds of stories, real and embellished, which speak of the earliest thanksgiving feasts in the 17th century. In 1863 Lincoln proclaimed it an annual event "…as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens.” Uh huh.

So, every fourth Thursday in November believers bow their heads, and presumably mumble some words of groveling thanks to their super being for allowing them to have their turkey, their homes, their jobs, their freedoms, their families, indeed everything that makes America good and life worth living.

As an atheist I mumble not.
I have no need of a single day of praise to thank a magical being whose non-influence due to his non-existence has had no effect on anything for which I am thankful. Instead, I have many days of thanksgiving:

- Every Election Day as I cast my vote, I thank our Founding Fathers for their bravery and foresight.
- Every Veterans Day and Memorial Day I thank every fallen comrade and every vet who ever fought to acquire and retain our freedoms.
- Every Columbus Day I am conscious of the contribution of that great explorer.
- Every Lincolns Birthday, and Martin Luther King Day I remember men whose words and deeds set people free.
- Every Independence Day I remember to thank those men and women who risked their lives, fortunes and sacred honor in order to bring this Great Experiment to fruition.
- Every family birthday, every anniversary, and each Thanksgiving Day I am thankful for my family… and thank them for being the people I love and who love me.

Yes, thanks are due, but not to some boogie man, not to some mythical sky being, not to some imaginary thing that hovers above, or within, or about, or below. Thanks are due to genuine human beings; real physical men, women, and children, past and present, whose sacrifice, foresight, commitment, dedication and love make our country unique, and our lives worthwhile. That’s who I’ll be thanking this Thanksgiving.

But, if you just can’t deal with reality, and must bow and grovel to some unseen god may I recommend Garuda, the Hindu bird god. He’s as close to a turkey god as you can get.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Prayer in the face of “Freewill”: The bugaboo Christians don’t want to hear.

I was reading about a Christian pastor who is imprisoned in Iran for promoting Christianity.  Naturally, the Christian community has been praying their knees to the bone for the past year or so for his release, with zero luck.  In fact, he was just transferred to the most hideous prison in Iran for their troubles. 

On the same day I read a tragic story about a Youth Pastor in California who lead a prayer meeting calling on god to end gun violence.  That evening he was shot dead in the street.

Both stories had reader comments explaining how it wasn’t the failing of prayer that has caused these unfortunate predicaments.  No, it is the fact that god gave man “free will,” and its man’s evil use of freewill that is the problem.

The religious always seem to have an explanation for why things don’t work out the way they wish / pray / or are promised they would. It’s easy to do because - unlike reality - the supernatural is as fluid as a puddle of mercury.  When in doubt, just make it up, who’s going to prove you wrong?    But this time they stepped into a pile of steaming prairie pizza that is inescapable. Here’s why:

If as Xtians say god gave man free will, then by praying for the incarcerated pastor to be set free they  are imploring the god thing to intervene and take back / over rule the free will of his Iranian captors.  Similarly, by praying for gun violence to stop, they are imploring their god to intervene in the evil actions of freewill-possessing-gun-toting-criminals.

Now here’s the paradox: If god thing can revoke freewill, impose his preference on man, based on prayers of the faithful then it's not free will at all; it’s simply an illusion of free will ... thus freewill is a lie.

On the other hand, if free will trumps prayers, and thus god doesn't / won’t intervene to change man's mind/behavior, then why pray for world peace, or pray for an end to abortion, or pray for non-believers to come to jebus, or pray for any condition that is controlled by human thought and action?

Now, reason tells us you can’t have it both ways. Prayer is either effective in getting god thing to cloud mens' minds and turn their unkind acts or alter their preferences; or prayer is ineffective in the face of freewill.  

When posing this problem to a believer one encounters only the usual mindless platitudes (i.e. “God is good ALLLLL the time!!!!!”); or the inevitable cry of “CONTEXT!!!”; or the endless quoting of some totally unrelated biblical verse in an effort to divert the issue.   I have yet to find a Christian capable of reasoning through this dilemma and rendering an intelligible response.   See if you can find one. Good luck.

But it’s not their fault. They are condemned by their mind virus to endlessly try and defend a befuddled, defunct, contradictory and utterly absurd doctrine.

Silly Christians.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Remembering Kristallnacht and what Christianity wrought

It’s a pretty safe bet most of us didn’t notice that Saturday, November 9th marked the 75th anniversary of the beginning of what is arguably the worst case of religiously inspired genocide ever recorded on the planet.

Seventy-five years ago in Nazi Germany, persecution of the Jews became officially sanctioned genocide when brown shirted Nazis and like thinking German civilians smashed windows of Jewish businesses’ (hence the name “glass night,” or more succinctly The Night of Broken Glass), burned seven thousand Jewish businesses to the ground as well as one-thousand synagogues, and destroyed Jewish homes and belongings; culminating in the death of at least ninety-one innocent German Jews.

The government of Germany did more than fail to prosecute the perpetrators of this supposedly impromptu, but well organized, act of antisemitism against their own citizens; they actually rounded up 30,000 Jews and sent them off to concentration camps. Kristallnacht marked the transition from Jewish persecution to Jewish extermination.   And so began the Holocaust.

Wait. Did I say that began the Holocaust?  I misspoke. No, the beginnings of the Holocaust can be traced back almost 1,800 years before Kristallnacht, and laid right at the feet of the creators of anti-Jewish thought: the Catholic Church and their doctrine of collective Jewish guilt for the supposed death of their make believe Man-god.

The New Testament is rife with anti-Jewish sentiment. Paul, realized the Jews weren’t buying the Messiah-ship of Jesus and weren't going to be the source of growth  of the new cult. Thus, in his effort to recruit pagan Romans to Christianity, he shifted blame from the Roman execution of a seditious Jewish monarchist onto the Jews themselves and away from the Romans, thus removing direct responsibility for Jesus’ death from his prime recruiting target. The rest is, as they say, history.

Shortly thereafter, with the growth of Christianity, Jewish lives were worth less than Christian lives.  During the crusades Jewish lives were barely more valued than Muslim’s lives. Good Christian knights slaughtered Jews wholesale as they rode to the Holy Land.  Jews were blamed for plagues.  They were banned from craft guilds; barred from Europe’s universities; forced out of their places of birth upon threat of death or torture; taxed for their Judaism; forcibly converted to Christianity on pain of death; herded into ghettos. Spontaneous cases of pogroms, Jewish persecutions and killings, became the norm throughout Christian Europe for centuries.  The list of atrocities and injustices is mind bending.  

That’s not to say The Catholic Church was the sole guilty party.  The Reformation bred protestant cults that hated the Jews just as much, or more… they used the same Bible after all. Martin Luther, the founder of Lutheranism, was a rabid anti-Semite and fanned the flamed of Jew hating.

Is it any wonder then that most of the monarchies of Europe, then Hitler saw Jews as just another pestilence worthy of extinction? Hitler after all was raised in the Catholic Church.  He knew the Church doctrine well. Thus, no coincidence that when the time came to purify Germany and cultivate the Aryan Race the Jews were the prime target.

In a recent poll of US Christians, 27% blame the Jews for “killing God.”  I’m surprised it’s that low.  In fact, I highly doubt that even scratches the surface.  While Pope Francis and some recent popes have professed Jewish collective guilt to be wrong; and the Lutheran church is embarrassed by Luther’s call for Jewish expulsion and persecution and murder - they can’t undo what the Christian bible says, and what the Church has so effectively implanted and cultivated in the minds of Christians and the world for nearly two-thousand years.

Until the New Testament is purged of the fable and hate it promotes (and while they’re at it they can fix the scientific fallacies and contradictions) the remaining 27% of Christians who openly admit they blame and hate Jews, and the perhaps the other 50% who are just too embarrassed to openly admit it, are the “True Christians.”  

I hope its 2,000 years more before the Jews forgive the Christians for the horrors and misery their mindless cult caused the Jewish people. Even then, it would be too soon. It would do us all well to never forget Kristallnacht for it is proof of what religion brings.  

Monday, November 4, 2013

Atheism, Arrogance & the Center of the Universe.

”Every atheist I have met has been a very arrogant person. Yet even in their arrogance, they have trouble believing that they are greater than God. So instead they just say that God does not exist. That way they don't have to deal with it and they can be the center of their universe.” – Vidmagic

This tiresome platitude filled analysis was proffered by a very confused religionist trying to make sense of why atheists are. Sad and remarkably silly, although he did get one thing right.  I attempted to set him straight: 

Arrogance? Perhaps. I'll admit to being arrogant at times. But my studied opinion after almost a half century of discourse with people such as you is that I have much to be arrogant about.

I doubt you have met many atheists, if any at all. I have over 2000 atheist friends (real and on fb), and belong to a number of national freethinker organizations. I've yet to hear even one atheist ever even intimate that they aren't greater than a god, yours, or any of the others. Man created his gods in his image, thus no god can be greater than man.  As human beings we're all greater than your imaginary supernatural being, Vidmagic,  because we exist.

I'm guessing you have no trouble perceiving yourself to be greater than Thor; greater than Isis; greater than Moloch; greater than all the thousands of gods man's inventive mind has created, save one. How hard is it then to take a tiny step forward into advanced thought and understand why an atheist would have no issue with expressing precisely the same degree of greatness over those gods plus the one god that you still embrace?  If you can muster some intellectual honesty you’d understand that, and wouldn’t need to go through such  convoluted gyrations of religious non-think.

As for the "center of the universe", what a peculiar and remarkably vapid statement. Neither atheists, nor theists, nor any imaginary omniscient god/gods are at the center of our world; humanity and nature is. If more people exalted humanity, our planet, our environment, and the other species we share it with - not some imaginary boogie man - earth would be a better more peaceful and verdant place.

Ruminate on that, in between your self flagellation, prayers, and denial of reason.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Why Zombies and Vampires are so Appealing to Americans.

I walked into the gun shop the other day and bought some gun powder to keep me busy reloading ammo over the winter.  The clerk, a friend, asked “Will that be enough to cover your needs for the zombie apocalypse?”  They also sell full color zombie targets, in various poses, genders and species, as well as a brand of ammunition specifically for Zombies. [ No, not kidding. Here: ]

Seems you can’t flip through the cable channels, or browse a book store without finding walking dead show, vampire show, or books on the same. The Twilight franchise has generated over $6 billion in sales. The Walking Dead’s new season episode drew in 16 million viewers, a cable TV record.   

With Halloween just around the corner it’s a good time to ask:
       “WTF is with American’s obsession with zombies and vampires?”. 
I’ve seen a few theories. The most touted is the sexual implications associated with Vampires …all that lust, and male on (mostly) female bare neck salivating and such. But it goes much deeper than that. Besides, there’s nothing too erotic about rotting corpses…well, at least to those of us who don’t practice necrophilia.  Other countries don’t obsess over the un-dead as much as America does. The Japanese for example tend to prefer giant city destroying lizards and insects, or spirits and ghosts out for revenge for some perceived wrong done to them in life. 

So what’s up with this American fixation? My hypothesis is that America’s fascination with the undead is tied to it being the most religious (read: Christian) Western / Industrialized nation on the planet.   


Christians have this thing about eternal life. They fear the finality of death, thus reject it for the promise of eternal life.  Anything that promotes the continuation of life after death is to be admired, embraced. Jesus created zombies by bringing back the dead, and was a zombie himself three days after death. If Jesus can do it then it must be good, after all he was perfect! 
But it doesn’t stop there. Less obvious, but equally important - zombies like to eat brains, the organ devout religionists find utterly superfluous. Its intended use  causes questioning and reason thus is an impediment to the blind acceptance and spreading of belief.  Christians voluntarily refuse to use their brains to reason so it atrophies from lack of exercise. Thus brainlessness is a Christian sacrament. [You'll recall Martin Luther’s quip on reason being the enemy of Christianity.]  

As for Vampires - Christians have been symbolically drinking the blood of Christ during communion ceremony for almost two millennium. It’s doubly important to Catholics who actually believe the wine IS blood. And think about the reason vampires are traditionally frightened by a crucifix is: if your leader was nailed to one would you want one thrust in your face just before dinner?  Drinking blood is like mingling your DNA with the  Eternal Zombie’s, a veritable guarantee of eternal life.  My proof of this?  … Have you ever seen a Christian come out of  church after mass, slap himself in the forehead and exclaim: “I could’a had a V-8!” ?   I rest my case. . 

Hey, what could be more appealing to Christian Americans than blood drinking, brain eating, pre-programmed and fully predictable eternally undead with limited vocabularies and utter disregard for reason? (try reasoning with the undead or fundie Xtian and see how far it gets you).

So when the Zombies and Vampires make their annual appearance at your door this Halloween, as you drop the candy into their bags be sure to tell them:  “Thanks, but I’m not interested in giving away my brain or bodily fluids, or reading The Watch Tower … lurch on.”  


Thursday, October 24, 2013

Tramped to Death for Allah & Islam’s Version of Respect for Life

Thus far this year 50 Muslim faithful have been trampled to death on their pilgrimage to Mecca.  But this isn’t so bad.  A few years back 244 of them were crushed to death while performing the ritualistic stoning of the Devil. 
The latter story included this wonderful quote from an Islamic cleric:

"All precautions were taken to prevent such an incident, but this is God's will."

It was Allah's will these people died in 2004 throwing stones at an imaginary Devil, and it was Allah's will that only 50 died this year walking around a big cube with tens of thousands of mesmerized people peeing in place.

The religious madness of this annual assembly, the self induced ignorance that subjects the faithful to play Russian roulette of self imposed human sacrifice every year, the cavalier attitude of the defenders of the absurdity and the waste of human life for the sake of superstition .. ..such are the wages of religious ignorance and delusion. It disgusts me, and anyone with a modicum of respect for life and reality.

The respect for life and reality isn’t something the devout Muslim values. I commented on this issue on the Huff Post’s story covering the Hajj, the annual pilgrimage to Mecca  (they fail to mention the deaths thus far, presumably as it seems to be something Muslims would prefer not be discussed).  In response to my commentary on the acceptance of this wasteful dance of death and Islam’s apparent disregard for or devaluing of life I received this reply from “OneTrueLight” who took exception to my perspective:

”Regarding respect for life. I tried to save a baby squirrel who was hit by a car today. It still weighs on my heart. She lay on her back in the middle of the road waving her arms around, I didn't get to her in time.

The Prophet said, ‘No human being kills a sparrow or something larger, without right, except that Allah will be asked why on the Day of Judgement.’”

Never mind that he screwed up that last sentence, I get the gist of it.  My reply was brief and to the point:  ”Save a squirrel, kill an apostate. Yup, sounds perfectly moral & sane to me.”

Three days and thus far and no retort.

I’d like to think he’s pondering that.  That he is wrestling with the incongruity of it all.  But that would be wishful thinking. My guess is he’s still thumbing through the Koran, or Hadith to find a pithy verse that will make that obscene in-congruence seem perfectly moral and reasoned. Maybe he’ll cry “Context!” like Xtians do when faced with an embarrassing biblical verse.  Or maybe I drove him to declare a fatwa on American camels, or behead an infidel, or beat his circumcised and burqua bedecked wife out of frustration. 

If you see a guy wearing a rag on his head,  giving CPR to a squirrel,  while toting an AK and carrying a sign saying “Death to apostates and those who don’t think Islam is the religion of peace” , please… give OneTrueLight the finger for me.

Friday, October 18, 2013

“I Hate Religion!” says the religionist. What’s behind this non sequitur?

If you spend any time following  Xtian news and the reader commentaries on line, you will eventually come across the hyper-religious fanatic who declares  “I hate religion too.”    You’ll even come across this absurd “God Hates Religion” message through-out the internet. 

This patently contradictory disclaimer makes sense to the fanatic because they are attempting, through word games, to separate their own flavor of religious delusion from the religious delusion, dogma, rituals and politics of established denominations.  They will even go so far as to admit the damage and horror religion has caused over the centuries. But this is a falsehood – either intentional or as a result of self delusion - for at least two reasons.
First, by definition their Xtian belief and acceptance and adherence to the belief system of Xtianity is by definition a religion.
 : the belief in a god or in a group of gods
 : an organized system of beliefs,
ceremonies, and rules used to worship a god or a group of gods

:  the service and worship of God or the supernatural

:  commitment or devotion to religious faith or observance

:  a personal set or institutionalized system of religious attitudes, beliefs, and practices

Note that while they’d like “religion” to be defined as belonging to an organized sect, or denomination, and boiled down to “… ceremonies, rules … or institutionalized system”   religion obviously means much more than that.  In fact as we can see, those elements are the least important aspects of the definition for religion. The meat and potatoes of the definition are a personal belief in god/gods, acceptance of the Xtian doctrine/set of beliefs, worship of said god/gods, devotion to and observance of that faith, and a personal set of religious attitudes, beliefs and practices.  This is precisely what the devout believer embraces. Thus, they are religionists / practitioners of religion.

Second, whether or not they identify with a sect or denomination and that sect’s  prevailing social or political perspective or the activism of some sects, if they perceive their scripture to be against homosexuality, and it prompts/guides/ justifies their homophobia, they don’t have to be members of notoriously homophobic denominations (Catholic, Baptist, Mormons for example) to be thus influenced by ancient scripture. Their perspective of this (and other) hot button social or political issues is in fact religiously driven…they are just “unaffiliated” or perhaps better stated: they are freelance religious bigot homophobes at god’s behest.   

Even if their interpretation is that scripture does not condemn homosexuality, if they are establishing their more liberal social perspective on religious scripture they are by definition religionists / practitioners of religion.

No, word games not withstanding,  there is no escaping being a religionist by cherry picking what parts of the definition of religion one prefers.  And if you’re a Xtian and  truly “hate  religion” you may be schizophrenic and in a love hate relationship with yourself.  Get some professional help.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Justice Atonin Scalia: More than a national embarrassment, he's just plain scary

No surprise that Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia is a religionist.  His frequent commentary, books, and interviews have made his devout Catholicism very clear. 

But in a recent interview Scalia espouses his total and unabashed belief in Satan, the Devil … not in abstract terms; not as a metaphor for human misdeeds; but as a genuine living breathing entity that goes out of its way to create evil and make life on earth in opposition to all the goodness his God-thing had intended.   

The whole interview here:

Of particular interest is this startling comment in response to the interviewer’s incredulous reaction:

”You’re looking at me as though I’m weird. My God! Are you so out of touch with most of America, most of which believes in the Devil? I mean, Jesus Christ believed in the Devil! It’s in the Gospels! You travel in circles that are so, so removed from mainstream America that you are appalled that anybody would believe in the Devil!”

I don’t know about you but that one statement sends shivers up my spine. It literally scares the beJebus out of me.

Let’s see if I have this right: Because some large percentage of people in this nation believes in the Devil, it somehow makes it more real, more valid?  As though when most of the Colonies accepted slavery as a natural condition, it made slavery right?  If most people 1000 years ago believed that a two headed calf was an evil omen, it made it so? This is how this life long appointee to the highest court in the land reasons?

Sure, lots of  Americans believe in the literal Devil; and my bet would be that a great many of them have intellectual shortcomings that places the Devil believing majority aggregate IQ below the national average. That's probably why the interviewer was taken aback by the Justice's belief... he expected better.
No doubt the highly religious marginally educated of Arkansas and Mississippi would be resoundingly in agreement with Scalia. To the more enlightened religionists the Devil is a metaphor, just like they prefer to interpret the creation story to be a metaphor for the Big Bang and evolution. Those are the people who have evolved past blind acceptance of fable as reality and are inching toward modernity.

But Scalia will have none of that.  To him, snakes talked, mules talked, Noah rescued two of every animal, and Satan walks the earth in human form…no doubt planning his next mass murder at a school, or encouraging homosexuality, or pushing people to accept a woman’s right to choose.

Scalia is a dangerous and ignorant man whose mind is ensnared in 13th century supernaturalism. He has made his position clear numerous times through his decisions and interviews, albeit, he'd obfuscate if asked straight on: to him the Bible comes before the Constitution. Period.  Scalia serves two masters, and the secular one invariably is taking it up the whazoo.

He'd make a great Supreme Court Justice, if the Supreme Court existed in the 13th century. What a narrow minded, stunted embarrassment to this nation.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Gawd gets credit for the Hump’s civility; Hump fights off instinct to jump ugly

I live in rural New Hampshire on twenty acres of pasture and woods.  Right behind my back ten acres is a snow mobile trail complex that runs right up to Canada, over 100 miles away.  As I get a tax break for allowing my property to be used for recreational purposes, I’m delighted that people use my land for hunting, snowmobiling, and horseback riding. Never had a problem.

A few weeks back early on a Saturday morning I received a phone call from the head of “Camp Good News.”  While unfamiliar with said camp itself, I know the phrase “good news” is a Christian one…i.e. good news = that Jesus has come and died and been resurrected  to give us all salvation so we can live forever in Candyland.  Hallelujah!

Seems they are based the next town north and were going to be holding a fund raising horseback trip from 10:00a.m. to 2:00 p.m. that included traversing the snowmobile trail adjacent to my property.  He had heard that I am something of a shootist, and have my own range which I use almost daily.  He inquired if I would mind not shooting that day since the noise might scare some of the horses who aren’t used to loud noises.  I assured him it would be no problem at all to refrain from shooting that day.  He thanked me profusely and closed with “God Bless you.”

Ok look… no biggie, but it was a little surprising since that was the first Christian phrase I’ve heard in the nine years I’ve lived here.

Fast forward to yesterday.  I received an envelope from “Camp Good News.” Inside was a handwritten thank you card with the camp name and the motto “Remember now  thy Creator” underneath. The card said: We were blessed to have had such a fun and enjoyable ride. God Bless.”  It was signed by about a dozen or so people.

Nice enough they sent a card, but who exactly were they thanking?  Did I bless them?  I don’t remember blessing them. Or are they crediting their enjoyable, peaceful and gun fire-less ride to God’s good graces? Was blessing me and crediting something/ones blessing to something or someone in simple speak mean “Thanks for your kindness”? Mrs. Hump took one look at the card, and then at me and knew there was something brewing in my head.

I was less offended than I was perplexed.  Does every Christian automatically assume that their God praising gibberish, or even the acknowledgement of a god, is always welcomed and positively received?  Even in secular New Hampshire? How presumptuous.  I certainly would never automatically assume that a stranger who did me a courtesy was an atheist, thus I would never sign a thank you card with “May your reason help dispel the ignorance of religionist non-think.”   
I did have the urge to write back identifying myself as a raving atheist author and anti-theist who found their card marginally annoying, presumptuous and insipid.  But I never put pen to paper.  I’m bigger than that.  I just considered the source and circular filed the card.

I think I’ll take a walk through the back woods this week, just to make sure they didn’t erect any “Mary on a Half Shell” statues, or crosses or whatever their cult / denomination might do.  It will make a big difference as to my shooting schedule come next year’s Christian camp fund raiser ride.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Kudos to a Pope. What Hath Reason Wrought?

  I’ve never claimed to be infallible...I’ll leave that imaginary condition to the Papal Office.  It’s entirely possible that I may have been wrong about Pope Francis.

[Pauses while gasps from readers die down]

OK…take a breath and relax.  I’m neither going soft on religion, nor handing out any accolades to the Cat-Hole-Lick Church.  But I had placed this pope in the same class as all other popes; unmoving, iconoclastic, a slave to historic doctrine, a foe of modernity, gays, women, heretics, and just about anything else that doesn’t conform to Catholic doctrine. 

Today the pope came out with an interview to America magazine, a Jesuit publication, in which he said the Church has been “obsessed” with contraception, abortion and gay marriage.  That maybe it’s time to move away from that emphasis and focus more on acceptance and love than staunch anti-activism (that’s my term, not his).  A few weeks ago he offered an olive branch to atheists, acknowledging one needn’t be a believer to be good or do good – that people can be “good without God,” as the oft invoked atheist slogan goes.  This is a far cry from the words of his predecessors.

Both stories here:

Does this mean the Church is going to suddenly reverse itself?  That it will countenance gay marriage, openly gay priests, a woman’s right to choose, condoms and “the Pill”?  Of course not.  It will take centuries for that kind of reason to migrate into the Church’s dogma. For the time being, it’s just words.

What it means, however,  is that the Cardinals screwed up. I doubt they intended to choose as pope who is not simply a robe wearing, pope mobile riding, drone, mouthing the same old Catholic script and digging in his heals against the changing tide of society and its evolving mores.  My guess is they are in a tizzy over this pope’s new tone and emphasis.

More importantly it also means that the Church has taken a baby step toward modernity, perhaps because of the pope’s realization that no society, culture, or religion lives for ever like a rock in a stormy sea - no matter how old or how venerated it cannot remain untouched by the world around it.  That they must either adapt or die the death of irrelevance and obsolescence.  

Pope Francis has set that adaptation in motion. Whether it has legs, whether it will out live him, whether it is embraced, nurtured and expanded upon by the next pope, the Catholic hierarchy, and the next generation of Catholic laypeople remains to be seen. But I know this… if this kind of reasoned heresy was uttered by a pope 500 years ago, he’d have been the unfortunate victim of an accidental ingestion of poison.

No, not willing to embrace the pope and kiss him on his fat face.  And I’ll remain skeptical as to where this will lead, if anywhere.  But I’ll give him kudos, and a tip of the hump just for having the sense and guts to realize the time has come to shake up the old guard to whom condemnation, persecution, and sex obsession is the Church’s  raison d'

Good for you, “Padre”.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Another tragedy, another call for useless prayer.

In the wake of the horrific, inexplicable and all too common tragedy at the Washington D.C. Naval Shipyard, predictably the religious have rolled out their call for prayers for the deceased victims. 

While I have nothing but sympathy for those victims, and their families, I’ve never understood this "praying for the victims" nonsense. Praying for them to do what, precisely?  To come back to life? To not go to hell? To go to heaven? To spend less time in purgatory? 

Hasn't their post life outcome already been predetermined either by their simple belief / faith in Jebus as god (or their lack of belief); and/ or their good works; or their good works alone,  depending on which contradictory verses and absurd doctrine the given Xtian  embraces?

Why would the god thing need or want its inferior creations to appeal to influence god thing’s decision on what to do with the dead victims in the afterlife?  Heck… he's god thing - he wrote the rules, no?  The deceased either met the god thing's criteria for this or that or they didn't.

Praying for the victims is simply another nonsensical meaningless platitude, like saying "god bless you" or the ever popular and grating "our thoughts and prayers are with you." Useless gestures by the pious meant to make them feel good and reduce their own feelings of impotence in the face of a violent world. Sort of like busy work for the religiously stupid.  

I suppose to them praying seems less insipid than just  "baaaaaaing" in unison. While the effect would be the same, the latter would be much more amusing.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013


Twelve years ago this day my eldest son had a brush with death, but happily escaped from World Trade Center Tower II in time.  Almost 3,000 of our fellow Americans weren't as lucky that day.

Remember that day.
Remember the fallen.
Remember our lost innocence.
Remember what religion and religious fanaticism breeds. 

I love you, Josh.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Fasting for Peace: A sure way to starve to death

The pope declared today September 7th a day of fasting and prayer for peace in Syria.  I’m going to go way out on a limb and guess it will have all the impact of sticking a needle in your eye to end child abuse by the Cat-hole-lick church.

Shouldn't the pope have been praying for peace everyday his entire life? Why haven't all Catholics, all Christians? After all, there hasn't been a single year in written history where a war hasn't been waged.

Funny how the faithfully deluded always talk about "free will" and then pray to implore their god thing to intercede in man's affairs and change man’s mind  - effectively eliminating free will. They never let that bother them though. Their whole belief system is a web of contradictions and confused logic. I even had one confused apologetic religionist tell me he doesn’t pray to god to influence humanity, he “prays to humanity to influence itself.”  Talk about the ultimate in polytheism! I wonder how that’s working for him.  

So, either they haven't been praying for peace all along; haven't been praying hard enough; or there is a more obvious and reasoned reason why prayer hasn't been effective in bringing peace, anymore than it has been effective in re-growing amputees' limbs.

So why wait for a missile crisis and chemical killing of civilians? Did it tip the scales thus implying their prayers would be more effective now...more than they have been when civilians were being killed by high explosives, or more so than than when people were being hacked to pieces with swords and axes?

As far as fasting goes: Super! Maybe it will reduce the line at the local Subway sandwich shop for the lunch time crowd...well, at least in the Vatican.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Islamophobic? Christian Centric? Republican? Southern and Stupid? Then Pass a Non-Law.

North Carolina has been developing a reputation for stupidity above and beyond the norm for the South. Their latest foray into absurdity involves having passed a law outlawing Sharia law in their state.
Let me be clear: I have no love for Islam; less or about the same love as I have for any of the Abrahamic religions. But the fact is NC's legislators, and the GOP in particular, are utterly mindless beyond all reason. They have become “Sharia-phobic.”

If they are concerned about religious, or ethnic, or philosophically based laws supplanting the law of the land then where is the NC law against the practice of Chthonic law, of Talmudic Law, of Lakota Sioux law?  What's that ? They never heard of those things but now will get to work on it right away?  I doubt it.

The orthodox Jewish community has been practicing Talmudic law in this country for generations. As an example: to get a divorce all the husband has to do is repeat “I divorce you” three times and it’s a done deal.  It’s called a “get.”  Not exactly in concurrence with any state law.  But if people who are Hassidic Jews, or Muslims, or Amish, or whatever want their lives guided by a series of traditional laws that have zero impact outside the confines of their culture and community then I couldn't give less of a bowel movement.

Naturally if the Jews started to observe the 613 laws of the Old Testament precisely, and started killing their children for disobedience, as is called for in the Tanakh , US law  would step in. But that doesn't seem to have been an issue thus far. Similarly, if Muslim women are subjected stoning for being raped, or girls offered up for marriage at age nine, then US Law would intervene as murder and pedophilia are in violation of US law.

So why haven’t North Carolina, and the handful of similarly knee jerk states that passed similar anti-Sharia bills, outlawing the practice of Talmudic Laws within the orthodox Jewish community?  We all know the answer to that. If in doubt re-read the title to this article.
In a nut shell the point is simple, so simple even a fundie Christian could understand it: passing a law against installing laws that would wholesale trump, supersede, replace or run counter to the Law of the Land of the United states and against the will of the people is already ...ALREADY... unconstitutional, and thus could not happen.  There is no way Sharia law, Talmudic law, or any other legal system, can be imposed on anyone anywhere in the USA. Thus NC has passed a law for which there is no possibility of violation.

Thank you North Carolina legislature. Without your leadership one might have gotten  the impression this country was heading toward sanity.