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.