Saturday, June 29, 2013

“God Created Marriage!” Seriously, how hard is it for Christians to just READ some history?

This may not be the best kept secret on the internet, but I despise Michele (“Let my Husband Cure your Gayness”) Bachmann. Despise is probably too genteel a descriptor for my true feelings. To put it in perspective let’s just say I hate her 100 times more than I hate Nancy (“No Blink”)Pelosi, and Chucky (“Where’s the Camera?”) Schumer. For those of you who may not know, or forgot, I am an Independent and a moderate. Thus, I eschew both of the extremes. But I digress.

The Supreme Court got two decisions right the other day: striking down the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) signed into law by Bill (“Lemme Stain Your Dress”) Clinton; and allowing the lower court decision to stand on California’s Prop 8 – the attempt by Mormons, Cat-Hole-Licks, and other assorted nutters to outlaw gay marriage in California. A good day for civil rights.

Quick on the heels of the decision the religionists, understandably apoplectic, took to FOX News, and other right wing media outlets to decry the Court’s rulings.  Of particular note was Michele Bachmann’s laughable and totally fallacious religious testimony. According to Mrs. Bachmann:
”….[the Supreme Court] attacked something that they have no jurisdiction over whatsoever, the foundational unit of our society, which is marriage. That is something that God created. That is something that God will define. The Supreme Court, though they may think so, have not risen to the level of God."

Hmmm… God created marriage? What god would that be? It wouldn’t take more than five minutes to research the history of marriage, which goes back to prerecorded history. Evidence indicates that as long as 20,000 years ago the concept of monogamy, a precursor to formal marriage, was formed.

The ancient Hebrews did not have a religious ceremony to bond couples; it was strictly a secular/societal/tribal convention for continuity of the tribal unit. So too was marriage among the American Indians, early Egyptians, ancient Greeks and Romans. Indeed virtually every ancient, pre-Jewish/Christian society had some form of marriage…all of which was a contract for societal, financial, or political reasons. *

The first mention of marriage as a religious rite was late by civilization’s standards. The Hebrew prophet Malachi disdained divorce and said it pisses God off. Period. But again, for societal/legal purposes, as were so many of the early Hebrew edicts. “From the early Christian era (30 to 325 CE), marriage was thought of as primarily a private matter, with no uniform religious or other ceremony being required.” *

Paul in 1Corinthians 7:10-11 (1st century CE) and in Matthew 19:6 (written in the late 1st or early 2nd century CE) mentioned a bond endorsed by god, albeit, there is no documentation of a formal religious marriage ceremony. If marriage is something their Judeo-Christian God created, evidently no one told the Egyptians, Babylonians, Canaanites, Romans, Greeks, Vikings, Mayans, Sioux, Eskimos, Chinese, and thousands of pagan religions and societies.

Bottom line is this: anyone with ½ a brain and the instinct to use it, who isn’t a mind captive to the Christian religious rites that are Johnny Come Lately to the institution of marriage, can discover the roots of marriage; that marriage pre-dated Christian ritual and involvement, and even the Hebrews. That it had no religious root. That it was practiced by pagans, for millennia for sound social reasons. If it was created by a god, then it would have had to have been a pagan one that predates even El, Baal, or Molech.

No, Michele, and Christian nutters in general - your god didn’t define marriage any more than it created the universe. It was and continues to be a secular institution. It changes, evolves, and develops as do so many societal mores and institutions. That’s why the Hebrew’s polygamy is no longer practiced in the West. Or why one doesn’t have to marry their dead brother’s wife. But you are too stupid, too vapid, too religiously afflicted to take the time to do a little research; or prefer not to because it contradicts your delusion.

Now, go … gnash your teeth, cross yourself, handle your prayer beads, invoke a imprecatory prayer against Obama, and get the heck outta the way… societal advancement stops for no mind slave.


Sunday, June 23, 2013

Doing death defying stunts for God. Oh ... and the money of course.

Tonight Nik Wallenda will take his high wire walk across the Grand Canyon. Nik has a lot of balls.  He also is a Christian.  He credits god with his skill, credits god for his successfully performing other death defying stunts.  He thanks god for his success every time. To quote Nik from a recent Huff Post story:   "Everything we did was for the glory of God."

Really?  Hmmm... seeing as how the family business has supported some three generations of Wallendas, one might think they did it for their livelihood. After all, they don't do these things for free. Nik is going to have a major pay day tonight.

But OK, for the "glory of god"...  fine.  Too bad his preferred god doesn't seem to return the favor to the Wallendas, what with three of the family dying in falls and one permanently paralyzed.  I imagine the religionists such as Nik will say that was god's way of testing their faith. Or without god more of them would have died or been paralyzed for life.  What a god.

On the other hand Nik is pragmatic. In a Christianity today story, he said: "There's a lot of people that have amazing relationships with Christ that lose their lives in a car accident. Does that mean they didn't have a good enough relationship with Jesus? No. Life happens and God created us all in his image, but we're all our own people. We're not robots. We make decisions."

Now there's a dilemma. He thanks god for his surviving these stunts, but admits Jebus doesn't always come through in a pinch.  Sounds almost like he's saying: "I believe in God, and that he'll protect me, but hey...shit happens."  Might as well put a rabbit's foot and four leaf clover in his back pocket for that matter. At least a big furry foot could help break the fall.

I hope he makes it across safely tonight.  If he does it will be because of his very unique skill, understanding of physics and wind currents, and decades of practice, not because some imaginary boogie man who killed his family members as "part of a plan" decided he didn't want Nik to perform for him and his angel fans in heaven. Nevertheless, he'll do what the religiously afflicted always do... credit his boogieman with his success  because he is just a worthless sinner. 

On the other hand, if he doesn't make it I doubt his family will blame god.  Indeed, their god will get the credit for his death being "part of a greater plan."  The platitudes of god having called Nik home to that eternal circus in the sky will be proffered for all believers to to tear up over and nod in delusional approval. It's always a win-win for their imaginary god being.  And on it goes...foolishness fed by ancient nonsense.

Break a leg, Nik

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Prayer in School!! Why the heck is this still a discussion?

It seems Christian inspired stupidity, confusion, and self interest never seems to go out of style.  For fifty years prayer as part of the school curriculum, or school endorsement, has been deemed unconstitutional. For twenty years the Supreme Court ruling declaring school sponsored prayer at graduation ceremonies illegal has stood.  And yet this insipid “debate” rages…with the religious demanding prayer be brought back, Christian prayer of course.   Here’s the latest story with stats:

Bottom line is 57% of Americans disagree with the Supreme Court decision.  Substantially skewing the number is the South, where 73% of people want prayer…Xtian prayer mind you… brought back to public schools. Well, what a surprise.  Not surprising, the Northeast and far West have the highest percent, the majority, of people agreeing with the Court's decision.

More than seven-in-ten Southerners disagree with the Supreme Court. This from the region whose majority endorsed slavery; who fought integration through more than half of the 20th century; whose majority believed inter-racial marriage was a sin well into the 70’s; where a disproportionate number of legislators think pregnancy is a rarity among rape victims, and that women have no place in deciding their reproductive rights; whose residents eagerly drop to their knees in flocks when their elected Governor-Clergyman asks them to pray for rain; and who have a disproportionate number of homophobes versus the rest of the nation.

The region that has, on the aggregate, the most poverty, highest teen pregnancy, worst unemployment, lowest average income, the lowest education, lowest standard of living, highest religiosity, and among the highest crime rates in the nation - ... they "disagree with the court decision."

Whew... good thing they do. If they agreed with it I'd have to rethink MY position.

Oh…have I previously mentioned I hate the fuckin’ South?  If so, please forgive the repetition.  It just seems to keep coming up over and over again through no fault of mine. 

Monday, June 10, 2013

“So remote I can’t even imagine the odds!” OK…can you imagine the odds for THIS?

Recently I found myself reading a Xtian's position on Creationism, employing the usual litany of how all the conditions and ingredients necessary for life to exist on Earth couldn’t be by chance.

Relying on well versed talking points from one of many Creationist websites, he regaled me with the complexity of the Big Bang; the absurdly remote probablity for Earth to be in the habitable zone of our sun; the formation of the moon; the inexplicable development of complex life forms from inert chemicals; all the while sprinkling in the necessary scientific jargon and theories to make it sound like he knew WTF he was talking about.

Then, to sum it all up and slam the door on the improbability of the Big Bang and evolutionary theory he tossed out this insightful gem:

”I can’t even begin to imagine the odds of all those things coming together by chance that would result in our existence.”

Well, neither can I. I also don’t know what the odds are for life to exist on other planets, among the billions of solar systems in the universe. Nor do I know the odds of how many of those billions of planets are the right distance from their sun to permit life as we know it. Nor do I know how many more billions of solar systems have gone extinct, extinguishing any life forms they may have once sustained.

Sure… if there were only one solar system, in a finite and closed system, the odds for all the things coming together to allow life to develop and flourish on one of its eight planets (Pluto got demoted remember) may well be in the realm of impossible. Then again…maybe it is in the realm of very probable... 1 in 8. We’ll never know since that criteria doesn’t exist.

But none of that really matters. What really matters is the question I proffered in response:

”How much easier is it for you to calculate the odds on the formation and existence of a creator god being who was never himself created but who has existed for all time?”

I’m still waiting for his considered reply... with the supporting worksheet. I won’t hold my breath.