Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Teen plots to kill Jesus

Here is another example of how religion is dangerous when it goes from mild to full-blown whackadoo delusion.

Agent: S.C. teen accused in school plot wanted to kill Jesus

FLORENCE, S.C. - A teen accused of plotting to blow up his high school told police that he wanted to die, go to heaven and kill Jesus, federal authorities said Tuesday.

[Someone should tell him that the way to “kill Jeebus” is simply to stop believing]

Prosecutors argued in a federal courtroom that the statements are an indication that 18-year-old Ryan Schallenberger needs a psychological evaluation. The straight-A Chesterfield High School senior was arrested April 19 and faces several state and federal charges, including attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction. That charge carries a possible life sentence if he is convicted.

“His conduct is bizarre,” prosecutor Buddy Bethea told Judge Thomas Rogers III, who did not immediately issue a ruling. “I think it screams out in his conduct that he be evaluated.”

[All people who have imaginary friends should be “evaluated” so it won’t get to this point.]

And the mother really has her head up her ass . . .

Prosecutors also played a 911 tape of the teen’s mother calling police after he smashed his head into a wall two days before his arrest. On the tape, she says her son threatened to shoot police if they came.

“He’s not going to do it,” Laurie Sittler told the operator. “He’s just got a bad temper.”

Even though . . .

Schallenberger was arrested after his parents picked up at the post office a package addressed to the teen containing 20 pounds of ammonium nitrate. They got nervous and looked through his room where they found a cassette tape he wanted played after he died, which they took to the sheriff’s office, the agent testified. Authorities found his journal, which lauded the Columbine killers, after searching his room.

The 50-page journal contained notes on more than 10 types of explosives that Schallenberger experimented with and evaluated a year ago, the agent testified. It had a black cover and “Pisces” written on the front, and authorities have said it contained detailed plans to bomb Chesterfield High School.

And fundies will probably blame this on atheism or Satan or something.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

It’s that time of year again — National Day of Wishful Thinking

May 1st is National Talking to an Imaginary Friend Day where believers pray to their multiple versions of the Christian god. Never mind that “intolerant Religious Right groups are dominating observance of the National Day of Prayer”…there shouldn’t even BE a national day of prayer that is sponsored by any government official. Not only should the government not support intolerant religious groups, but should not be supporting ANY religious events or programs. This is total and utter nonsense.

National Day Of Prayer Showcases Intolerant Religious Right Agenda, Says Americans United

Government Officials Should Not Promote Dobson Prayer Task Force Events, Church-State Watchdog Group Says

Intolerant Religious Right groups are dominating observance of the National Day of Prayer and government officials should refuse to lend them support, says Americans United for Separation of Church and State.

The congressionally mandated National Day of Prayer scheduled for May 1 this year has been largely hijacked by the Religious Right and is being used as an opportunity to promote a far-right religious-political agenda.

“In many cases, this event is more about politics than prayer,” said the Rev. Barry W. Lynn, executive director of Americans United. “It’s just another excuse for the Religious Right to attack church-state separation.”

Many events around the country this year are being coordinated by the National Day of Prayer Task Force, a Colorado Springs-based Religious Right organization run by Shirley Dobson, wife of Focus on the Family Chairman James C. Dobson.

The NDP Task Force’s Web site claims it is the “National Day of Prayer Official Web Site,” but, in fact, the group has no official status. The Task Force states that its purposes is to “Foster unity within the Christian Church” and “Publicize and preserve America’s Christian heritage.” Non-Christians are usually prohibited from leading or speaking at NDP Task Force events.

The Dobsons require volunteer prayer coordinators to sign a fundamentalist statement of faith that declares that “the Holy Bible is the inerrant Word of The Living God” and that “Jesus Christ is the Son of God and the only One by which I can obtain salvation.”

In addition, the NDP Task Force Web site promotes “Drive-Thru History,” a home-school curriculum produced by pseudo-historian David Barton that promotes the idea that America was founded to be a “Christian nation.”

Despite its sectarian character, the NDP Task Force often draws support from elected officials. The Dobsons annually visit the White House for its NDP event, and public officials attend NDP Task Force events held at the U.S. Capitol.

This year, President George W. Bush’s official National Day of Prayer proclamation used the same theme as the Dobsons’ Task Force “Prayer! America’s Strength & Shield.” A large number of governors have also issued proclamations adopting the NDP Task Force’s theme.

“The National Day of Prayer Task Force doesn’t even pretend to acknowledge religious tolerance or our country’s great diversity,” Lynn said. “It’s time for the government to stop working with this group.”

Lynn noted that leading Founders such as Thomas Jefferson and James Madison opposed government proclamations of days of prayer. They believed such events constitute improper government intrusion into religious matters. [my emphasis]

Wrote Jefferson, in a Jan. 23, 1808, letter to the Rev. Samuel Miller, “I do not believe it is for the interest of religion to invite the civil magistrate to direct its exercises, its discipline, or its doctrines; nor of the religious societies that the general government should be invested with the power of affecting any uniformity of time or matter among them.

“Fasting & prayer are religious exercises,” observed Jefferson. “The enjoining them an act of discipline. Every religious society has a right to determine for itself the times for these exercises, & the objects proper for them, according to their own particular tenets; and this right can never be safer than in their own hands, where the constitution has deposited it.”

Madison, in his “Detached Memoranda,” warned that governmental religious proclamations “seem to imply and certainly nourish the erroneous idea of a national religion.” He warned that there would always be a tendency “to narrow the recommendation to the standard of the predominant sect” and that partisan political considerations would be likely to come into play.

“The last & not the least objection,” observed Madison, “is the liability of the practice to a subserviency to political views; to the scandal of religion, as well as the increase of party animosities.”

Monday, April 28, 2008

Convert To EVERY Religion (Just In Case)

Thanks to my friend, beaj (The Atheist Jew) for another good one. This is hilarious!

Prayer doesn't work, Rocky . . . nothing happens unless PEOPLE do something

:roll: This is just another example when things are beyond our control, humans resort to superstitious incantation, not only for weather and natural events, but now some god believers think that magical words can influence the oil cartels.

Choir director brings prayers for lower gas prices to SF

SAN FRANCISCO - A choir director who hopes prayer can bring down high gas prices is trying out his approach at some of the costliest pumps in the country.

Rocky Twyman of Washington, D.C., came to San Francisco over the weekend to stage a pray-in at a Chevron station. He is also calling on churchgoers to ask for God’s intervention where he says politicians have failed.

BUT, he also says:

. . . people praying for cheaper fuel should also walk more and use car pools.

No duh. He already is prepared for prayer not to work. Nothing happens unless HUMANS DO SOMETHING.


Here is a video about prayer

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Yoko Ono sues over illegal use of "Imagine" in Expelled

It would be great if this was enough to keep the film from opening. It appears that the makers of the idiotic Expelled film are being sued by Yoko Ono for using her husband, John Lennon's Imagine song without permission.

From No God Blog:

"Expelled the movie" is being sued by Yoko Ono, in what may be the best thing she ever did.

It seems our less-than-honest friends at Expelled not only lied to viewers about the intellectual viability of an invisible man in the sky, but they also used IMAGINE without permission. Lennon's song is anything but religious, and Yoko wants to make sure her husband's name is not used for such tripe.

Yoko Ono is suing the producers of a movie that challenges the concept of Darwinian evolution, saying they used the song "Imagine" without her permission and led the blogosphere to accuse her of "selling out."

Ono's lawsuit claims the producers did not ask for permission either because they knew they could not get it or because they did not want to pay for the rights. It objects to the way "Imagine" is listed in the film's credits, saying it suggested to members of the news media and others that the song's use had been approved.

"Internet 'bloggers' immediately began accusing Mrs. Lennon of 'selling out' by licensing the song to defendants," says the complaint, filed this week.

The lawsuit calls "Imagine" Lennon's signature song, saying it "has become closely associated with and is synonymous with John Lennon."

The complaint, which also names other firms involved with the movie, asks the court to stop the filmmakers from distributing, selling and promoting the movie, and it seeks financial damages. It was filed on behalf of Ono, Lennon's sons Sean and Julian, and EMI Blackwood Music Inc.

LINK: Yoko Ono Gave No Permission For Creationist Documentary’s Use Of Song

I bet the creationists are going to be whining and crying "WE'RE SO PERSECUTED" over this like they always do.

Pretty "Spiders"

Please click on image to enlarge
The Tarantula Zone
Credit & Copyright: Robert Gendler

Explanation: The Tarantula Nebula is more than 1,000 light-years in diameter -- a giant star forming region within our neighboring galaxy the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC). That cosmic arachnid lies at the upper left of this expansive mosiac covering a part of the LMC over 6,000 light-years across. Within the Tarantula (NGC 2070), intense radiation, stellar winds and supernova shocks from the central young cluster of massive stars, cataloged as R136, energize the nebular glow and shape the spidery filaments. Around the Tarantula are other violent star-forming regions with young star clusters, filaments and bubble-shaped clouds. The small but expanding remnant of supernova 1987a, the closest supernova in modern history, is located near the center of the view. The rich field is about as wide as four full moons on the sky, located in the southern constellation Dorado.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Why is Jonathan Falwell so down on America?

Well, it seems that Jerry Falwell's son, Jonathan is following in his father's footsteps of making illogical and idiotic arguments. Like so many fundies, Jonathan distorts the truth, pays no attention to history, makes claims with no evidence to support them. Too bad the legacy of bigotry and stupidity down in Lynchburg continues.

From Rob Boston of Americans United:

Falwell's faulty logic: Lynchburg preacher says we're all a bunch of crooks

The late Jerry Falwell’s son, Jonathan, is distraught over the state of our national ethics. In a recent column, he cited a report by the General Accounting Office (GAO) that found that some federal workers had illegally used tax funds to buy things like “Internet dating, tailor-made suits, lingerie [and] lavish dinners.”

No one in his or her right mind would defend such actions. The individuals who squandered these funds should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Interestingly, Falwell never actually endorses that idea. Rather, he uses the GAO report to launch into a tired screed asserting that America is dishonest, our country is terrible and on and on. He manages to blame all of this on court rulings upholding the separation of church and state and even manages to drag legal abortion into the discussion.

Why is Jonathan Falwell so down on America? Let him explain it: “First, I see the GAO report as being reflective of our nation’s continued departure from its Judeo-Christian heritage,” he moans. “This nation was founded on biblical principles, and those principles largely sustained us until about a half-century ago.”

He continues, “As our nation has turned away from (and even become hostile toward) the Ten Commandments and other biblical principles, we have seen our citizenry become progressively more dishonest and deceptive. Crime has risen, our schools have failed and our culture has become vulgar and crude. I believe it’s all related to the ouster of God from our schools, our media and our society.”

It’s nice that you believe that, Jonathan. How about some actual proof? Religious Right activists have for years blamed the school prayer decisions for everything from juvenile delinquency and divorce rates to alcoholism and the Kennedy assassination. They just assert it, never bothering to offer any evidence of the connection.

Anyone can play that game because correlation is not causation. I could point out, for example, that some the worst scandals to ever affect the federal government occurred during the latter half of the 19th and early 20th centuries, periods where conservative Christianity held sway over society. At that time, many public schools had government-imposed prayer, Sunday-closing laws were the norm and religious groups had the power to censor books, magazines and other materials they deemed offensive. Yet we still had the Whiskey Ring and Teapot Dome scandals.

In the modern era, religious groups have in no way been immune from scandal. Several TV evangelists have been caught up in sex or money scandals, all while claiming to speak for God. And it isn’t just TV preachers. Jack Abramoff worked with Ralph Reed and “Lucky Louie” Sheldon, after all. (Ironically, Jonathan can hardly look to his own father for a moral example. During the 1990s, no lie was too outrageous for Jerry Falwell to spread if he thought it would help bring down Bill Clinton.)

Look at the Bush administration, the most “faith-based” in history. Claude Allen, assistant to the president for domestic policy, was caught cheating department stories in a glorified shoplifting scam. Tim Goeglein, deputy director of the White House’s Office of Public Liaison, resigned after it was revealed that he had plagiarized several newspaper columns. Regent University graduate Monica Goodling, deputy director of public affairs for the Department of Justice, was implicated in the scandal surrounding the firing of several U.S. attorneys.

All of these individuals were known for their self-professed piety. That did not stop them from suffering legal and ethical lapses.

The sad truth is that at any given point in history, there is a certain segment of the population so blinded by greed that they will engage in illegal activity. Some of these people are religious, others are not. Most Americans are decent and honest. The tiny portion who are not is the reason we have prisons.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

First Freedom First: A Citizen's Guide to Protecting Religious Liberty and the Separation of Church and State

I just received an email from First Freedom First that this book is on sale now. I have ordered my copy. You can find it here at Beacon Press or

From Beacon Press:

A much-needed rallying cry for progressives concerned about our constitutional first freedom—to worship religion freely, or not at all.

The guarantee of religious liberty is the bedrock on which other freedoms in our nation were built. Religious liberty and its corollary of church-state separation make up our first freedom. That first freedom is now in trouble.

In First Freedom First, two of the most respected commentators on this vital national issue speak out. Rev. Dr. C. Welton Gaddy, a leader of the interfaith movement, explains how the protection of religious liberty will in turn greatly protect our very system of government, while Rev. Barry W. Lynn, a lawyer and religious figure, explains the legal history to show where we stand today. In his preface, Intel cofounder and former CEO Andrew S. Grove provides his personal story of coming to America after growing up Jewish in Hungary during the Nazi invasion and under a Communist government.

First Freedom First also includes a vital resource section with answers to frequently asked questions regarding this fundamental right and a list of easy and even fun activities readers can do to help protect religious liberty.


“This is a book for every American. Gaddy and Lynn have provided us with a volume that informs and challenges, as well as inspires and guides us, on issues of vital importance—our founding fathers' vision for religious liberty and their constitutional guarantee of separation of church and state. I applaud this book as a tool for preserving our democracy’s greatest treasure."
—Walter Cronkite

"If we forsake our freedom of religion, it's not the kind of thing we can ask nicely to have returned to us when we realize later how much we need it. First Freedom First explains why we ought to avoid this mistake, but, crucially, also how to avoid it—how respect for the First Amendment can unify even the most disparate elements in America's spiritual life."
—Rachel Maddow, Air America Radio

Catholics are morbid

We atheists recognize that Christianity is just a death cult in general, focused on life after death more than the here and now, but Catholics are especially morbid in the way they are obsessed with remains of dead people. Like the Golden Calf people made when Moses went up on the mountain and left them alone, since no god shows up to answer their prayers they turn then to dead saints to hear their prayers in hopes of the dead dude granting them like some genie in a cadaver. This is just more evidence that people make their own gods and put their hopes in things magical when earthly cures and answers are not found.

Thousands flock to exhumed body of saint Padre Pio

SAN GIOVANNI ROTONDO, Italy (Reuters) - The exhumed body of Padre Pio, a saint considered a miracle worker by his devotees, attracted thousands of pilgrims on Thursday when it went on display 40 years after his death.

Padre Pio is one of the Catholic Church's most popular saints and during his lifetime the Italian monk was said to have had the stigmata, the bleeding wounds of Jesus' crucifixion on his hands and feet

Among the stories that surround the monk, who died at the age of 81, is one that he wrestled with the devil one night in his monastery cell and emerged bloodied and bruised.

However, he was dogged by accusations of fraud. A book last year suggested he was a self-harming man who might have used carbolic acid to cause his wounds. Church officials have denied he was a fake.


I found the video on YouTube (YouTube has everything!)

“His face was reconstructed with a lifelike silicone mask of the type used in wax museums because it was apparently too decomposed to show when the body was exhumed.”

Reality store

This is just what kids need to learn more about -- reality and how real life works. A school district in our county is offering these mock exercises to show kids just how much things cost and how much they will have to earn to afford the things they dream of having. I think all school districts should make all students take the reality store course.


PLAINFIELD -- A few minutes after buying a luxury Grand Am, Katie Katchka returned to the dealer with the realization that she couldn't afford the payments.

"I spent a lot more on my clothing and my home than I should have," Katchka told the salesman at D'Arcy Pontiac, Buick and GMC.

"You're going to need to trade into a pre-owned economy car," Edward Goings, the salesman, suggested.

"But, I don't want an economy car. I'll take the used sports car," Katchka, the married mother of one, snapped back. Even after taking on a part-time job, Katchka needed to save $200 each month, and targeted her car payment at that price.

"That won't save you enough," Goings explained. "Your insurance rates will go up and eat into your savings with the sports car."

Ultimately, Katchka left as the not-so-proud owner of the economy car. The civil engineer who earns about $3,200 a month after deductions explained she would rather forgo a fancier car in order to buy nicer clothing from a department store, not a discount store.

"In work, you have to be presentable, but who cares what you drive to get there?" she said.

Katchka is a sophomore at Plainfield Central High School. In reality, she doesn't even drive, let alone own a car. Nor is she married or a mother.

But, her story is similar to those of her fellow students, who on Wednesday participated in a Reality Store designed to teach them how to budget.

"You need to buy groceries and clothing. You need to pick out your home and your car and pay for child care and utilities," said Barb Courter, the school's vocational coordinator. "The first thing they all run to is the car dealer. They want the Audi or BMW until they realize they can't afford it and have to return it for the beater with the heater."

Kendra Landfair, a 16-year-old sophomore from Joliet, chose not to purchase any car. The single mother purchased a $100-a-month bus pass instead. And instead of paying $350 a month for child care, she asked her grandparents to help. They agreed to watch her child after Landfair rolled a pair of dice and checked a corresponding list for their response.

The vendors were actual business leaders that helped students with their budgets. Besides the salesmen from D'Arcy, a Countrywide Insurance salesman helped with home and car insurance needs, bankers from Harris Bank helped with savings and retirement, a manager from Jewel helped with grocery purchases and representatives from Wal-Mart helped with clothing purchases.

Gayle Pande and Doug Potts, employment security service representatives with the Illinois Department of Employment Security, helped coordinate unemployment benefits for students who lost their jobs at the Budget Buster Wheel.

"It's called Reality Store for a reason," Potts said. "The kids realize they have to pay for some things that they have no control over, like gasoline."

Briilliant! Absolutely Brilliant!

Why do people laugh at creationists? (part 23)

Thanks again to Spirula for pointing to this one.

Put simply this man made a documentary on evolution, without actually knowing what evolution is.

Evolution doesn't say anything about the origins of life, but explains the diversity of life. LINK: Evolution on PBS

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Is this really 2008?

Bizarre is all I can say . . . .

Sorcerers accused of using black magic to steal or shrink men's penises
KINSHASA (Reuters) - Police in Congo have arrested 13 suspected sorcerers accused of using black magic to steal or shrink men's penises after a wave of panic and attempted lynchings triggered by the alleged witchcraft. Reports of so-called penis snatching are not uncommon in West Africa, where belief in traditional religions and witchcraft remains widespread, and where ritual killings to obtain blood or body parts still occur.

Rumors of penis theft began circulating last week in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo's sprawling capital of some 8 million inhabitants. They quickly dominated radio call-in shows, with listeners advised to beware of fellow passengers in communal taxis wearing gold rings.

Purported victims, 14 of whom were also detained by police, claimed that sorcerers simply touched them to make their genitals shrink or disappear, in what some residents said was an attempt to extort cash with the promise of a cure.

"You just have to be accused of that, and people come after you. We've had a number of attempted lynchings. ... You see them covered in marks after being beaten," Kinshasa's police chief, Jean-Dieudonne Oleko, told Reuters on Tuesday.

Police arrested the accused sorcerers and their victims in an effort to avoid the sort of bloodshed seen in Ghana a decade ago, when 12 suspected penis snatchers were beaten to death by angry mobs. The 27 men have since been released.

"I'm tempted to say it's one huge joke," Oleko said.

"But when you try to tell the victims that their penises are still there, they tell you that it's become tiny or that they've become impotent. To that I tell them, 'How do you know if you haven't gone home and tried it'," he said.

Some Kinshasa residents accuse a separatist sect from nearby Bas-Congo province of being behind the witchcraft in revenge for a recent government crackdown on its members.

"It's real. Just yesterday here, there was a man who was a victim. We saw. What was left was tiny," said 29-year-old Alain Kalala, who sells phone credits near a Kinshasa police station.

Above the Clouds

Click on image to enlarge Credit & Copyright: Serge Brunier (TWAN)

Explanation: From the windswept peak of Mauna Kea, on the Big Island of Hawaii, your view of the world at night could look like this. At an altitude of about 13,500 feet, the mountain top is silhouetted in the stunning skyscape recorded near dusk in early December of 2005. The volcanic peak rises just above a sea of storm clouds illuminated by a bright Moon. Planet Venus is setting near the Moon as the brilliant evening star. The scene also includes the faint, milky band of our own galaxy's disk of stars and cosmic dust clouds stretching from the horizon into the sky along the right edge of the frame.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

The Theory of Evolution Made Easy

Thanks to beaj (The Atheist Jew) for pointing creationist Lauren to this one:

Lauren and other ID supporters who are anti-evolution, you might want to watch this...seriously. Most of you are misunderstanding what evolution is.

Nearer, my God to thee

Here is a Darwin Award nominee . . .

Brazil priest carried aloft by balloons missing

SAO PAULO, Brazil - A Roman Catholic priest who floated off under hundreds of helium party balloons was missing Monday off the southern coast of Brazil.

Rescuers in helicopters and small fishing boats were searching off the coast of Santa Catarina state, where pieces of balloons were found.

Rev. Adelir Antonio de Carli lifted off from the port city of Paranagua on Sunday afternoon, wearing a helmet, thermal suit and a parachute.

He was reported missing about eight hours later after losing contact with port authority officials, according to the treasurer of his Sao Cristovao parish, Denise Gallas.

Gallas said by telephone that the priest wanted to break a 19-hour record for the most hours flying with balloons to raise money for a spiritual rest-stop for truckers in Paranagua, Brazil’s second-largest port for agricultural products.

Some American adventurers have used helium balloons to emulate Larry Walters — who in 1982 rose three miles above Los Angeles in a lawn chair lifted by balloons.

A video of Carli posted on the G1 Web site of Globo TV showed the smiling 41-year-old priest slipping into a flight suit, being strapped to a seat attached to a huge column green, red, white and yellow balloons, and soaring into the air to the cheers of a crowd.

I know ya’ll have fun with this one. :lol:

I can just imagine a flock of birds all pecking at the balloons while the priest yells “Meu deus! Meu deus!” and not getting an answer as he plunges to the earth below.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Another public school teacher with a martyr complex

Once again another public school teacher crying and whining persecution because he isn't allowed to bring his religion into a secular classroom. Clearly, as the article states, this teacher needs some refresher U.S. Government and History classes. And if he can't keep his religion to himself, he needs to go find a job at some mythology-based school.

From Americans United for Separation of Church and State

Martyr Complex: 'Persecuted' Ohio Teacher Should Follow The Constitution

Here we go again. There’s another public school teacher out there inappropriately bringing religion into the classroom. This time it’s John Freshwater, a science teacher at Mount Vernon Middle School in Ohio, who’s refusing to remove a Bible from his classroom desk.

This isn’t an innocent mistake by some blissfully ignorant teacher. The Columbus Dispatch reports Freshwater has a pattern of bringing religion into the classroom.

He was asked last week to remove the Ten Commandments from his classroom (a 1980 U.S. Supreme Court case prohibits their display in public schools) and has taught his students about “intelligent design”– the latest variant of creationism — and the alleged “holes in evolution.”

Freshwater believes the separation of church and state “is a fraud,” his spokesman told the Dispatch. Clearly this science teacher doesn’t understand his job or the Constitution.

Tasteless, I know...but an institution that provides refuge to sex offenders doesn't deserve respect . . .

More bacteriophages on Earth than any other life-like form

Click on image to enlarge
Bacteriophages: The Most Common Life-Like Form on Earth
Credit: Wikipedia; Insert: Mike Jones

Explanation: These small viruses are not clearly a form of life, since when not attached to bacteria they are completely dormant. Bacteriophages attack and eat bacteria and have likely been doing so for over 3 billion years ago. Although initially discovered early last century, the tremendous abundance of phages was realized more recently when it was found that a single drop of common seawater typically contains millions of them. Extrapolating, phages are likely to be at least a billion billion (sic) times more numerous than humans. Pictured above is an electron micrograph of over a dozen bacteriophages attached to a single bacterium. Phages are very small -- it would take about a million of them laid end-to-end to span even one millimeter. The ability to kill bacteria makes phages a potential ally against bacteria that cause human disease, although bacteriophages are not yet well enough understood to be in wide spread medical use.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Expelled EXPOSED! The claims and the TRUTH

Exposing Ben Stein's "Expelled" This video lays out the false claims made in the ID film Expelled, and then tells the TRUTH about those claims.

link: Expelled Exposed!

And here is the link to the website,

link: Expelled Exposed!

Quote from website

Expelled Exposed, a detailed look at the Ben Stein movie Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed. We'll show you why this movie is not a documentary at all, but anti-science propaganda aimed at creating the appearance of controversy where there is none.

To learn why the claims made in Expelled are false, find out The Truth behind the Fiction. For information on the producers and their actions, go Behind the Scenes. To learn more about evolution and intelligent design, or to see what other people thought of Expelled, view our links to other online Resources. To correct Ben Stein yourself, and win fabulous prizes, Set Ben Straight.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Spiritualists fear being asked to prove in court that they can heal people, see into the future or talk to the dead

Eenie meenie chili beanie . . . spiritualists are in a big tizzy over new laws in Europe that will hold them accountable for fraudulently taking people's money. But how is this any different than people giving money to churches and talking to a god that cannot be proven to exist? People blow their money on all kinds of crazy things. People believe all sorts of crazy things. If it comes down to making psychics, spiritualists, and mediums to prove they can speak to dead people, see into the future and cure people, then the next "frauds"in line to protect the public from are Christianity, Islam and all other religions where talking to an imaginary sky boss, talking to dead people, claims to cure sick and injured, and prophesying the future.

I speak out against crazy beliefs, but should we start taking away peoples' rights to participate in such activities forcibly by law? As much as I would love to see a rational and secular world, I am just not sure if this is the right way to go about it. Obviously, if spiritualists do such a booming business, it is just giving the public something that it wants to pay for.

What is your opinion?

Psychics see big trouble over new laws

LONDON (Reuters) - Fortune-tellers, mediums and spiritual healers marched on the home of the British prime minister at Downing Street on Friday to protest against new laws they fear will lead to them being "persecuted and prosecuted."

Organizers say that replacing the Fraudulent Mediums Act of 1951 with new consumer protection rules will remove key legal protection for "genuine" mediums.

They think skeptics might bring malicious prosecutions to force spiritualists to prove in court that they can heal people, see into the future or talk to the dead.

Psychics also fear they will have to give disclaimers describing their services as entertainment or as scientific experiments with unpredictable results.

"If I'm giving a healing to someone, I don't want to have to stand there and say I don't believe in what I'm doing," said Carole McEntee-Taylor, a healer who co-founded the Spiritual Workers Association.

The group delivered a petition with 5,000 names to the prime minister's office, although Gordon Brown is away in the United States.

With the changes expected to come into force next month, spiritualists have faced a barrage of headlines gleefully suggesting that they should have seen it coming


"By repealing the Act, the onus will go round the other way and we will have to prove we are genuine," McEntee-Taylor told Reuters. "No other religion has to do that."


Friday, April 18, 2008

Joking about religion and imaginary friend, etc.

This is great. I love the first guy who is talking to his hand imaginary friend.

More of Dylan Moran on Religion

This sky is protected

Click on image to enlarge
A Protected Night Sky Over Flagstaff
Credit and Copyright: Dan & Cindy Duriscoe, FDSC, Lowell Obs., USNO

Explanation: Yesterday marked the 50 year anniversary of the first lighting ordinance ever enacted, which restricted searchlight advertisements from sweeping the night skies above Flagstaff, Arizona, USA. Flagstaff now enjoys the status of being the first International Dark Sky City, and maintains a lighting code that limits lights from polluting this majestic nighttime view. The current dark skies over Flagstaff not only enable local astronomers to decode the universe but allow local sky enthusiasts to see and enjoy a tapestry contemplated previously by every human generation. The above image, pointing just east of north, was taken two weeks ago at 3 am from Fort Valley, only 10 kilometers from central Flagstaff. Visible in the above spectacular panorama are the San Francisco Peaks caped by a lenticular cloud. Far in the distance, the plane of the Milky Way Galaxy arcs diagonally from the lower left to the upper right, highlighted by the constellations of Cassiopeia, Cepheus, and Cygnus. On the far right, the North America Nebula is visible just under the very bright star Deneb.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Let's bounce this idea off of Pope Ratzi

And in the news today:

Pope says clergy abuse scandal sometimes 'badly handled'

By badly, he means mean it wasn't covered up enough . Need to keep it a secret because when these nasty scandals leak out and all those pesky arrests and lawsuits arise, the church loses MONEY and we all know that the Catholic church especially cannot operate without money. God needs lots and lots of moola!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Simply a matter of faith

This is an older video of the CBS Sunday Morning program, back in August 2007 featuring Julia Sweeney, Christopher Hitchens, and Ellen Johnson.

Julia's mother is an example of how god believers refuse to accept that some people just do not and cannot accept god beliefs. They want to believe that we will all one day "come back" to the delusion. Those who stay away from family members and friends who have gone from belief to non-belief just shows how fragile that faith is if just our mere presence bothers them. We are a reminder that life goes on with or without it. They cling to it because of their own wants and needs, not because of evidence. They don't need evidence, as Julia's mother points out. They just need to hold onto their "faith"

Once again, money wasted on superstitious belief

This time to dig up concrete to remove a piece of sew-together FABRIC! Just goes to show how utterly ridiculous some humans are. Humans are just naturally superstitious. It isn't because "religion is calling". It doesn't matter what it is...ghosts, goblins, devils, angels, gods, goddesses, blessings and CURSES. I know sports people have their superstitions and little "good luck" and "bad luck" beliefs, but this one is quite costly. What a waste of time and money.

Here's the video link: "Curse" is excavated

LINK TO STORY: Yanks unearth Sox jersey at new stadium

NEW YORK - So much for the curse. The New York Yankees have ended a construction worker's attempt to jinx their new stadium with a buried Boston Red Sox jersey.

Team officials watched Sunday as construction workers removed the jersey, with slugger David Ortiz's name on it, from 2 feet of concrete in a service corridor of the stadium that's under construction.

The team says a construction worker — who is a Red Sox fan — recently buried the jersey there while on the job. Two other supervisors found the tattered shirt Saturday.

The Yankees plan to donate the jersey to charity, and may pursue a lawsuit against the construction worker.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Bill Maher on Religious Cults, The Pope & Catholic Church

Bill Maher gets away with saying it like it is. It would be nice if more atheists were open and honest as he is in what they really think about religion. Believers try to disassociate themselves with incidents like this, saying it as "just another religious cult and not representative of moderate religion." Many will say it's just nutjobs taking religion too far. But that's the thing with religion. It is meant to control people. And too easy to get out of hand. People going off to organize by themselves is a dangerous thing, especially for the children involved. They think they are hiding them from "the world", but they are part of the world and religion and their god beliefs will not protect them. No god will ever protect the innocent children who are always the most hurt in all this crap. Once again HUMAN BEINGS to the rescue! (Thank human goodness.) And now the children have years and years of healing to do, with HUMAN INTERVENTION and guidance.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Suffer the little children . . .

This is yet more proof that fundamentalism in any form is a bad thing. And once again children are the victims of adults who imprisoned them and used religion to instill fear in order to keep these kids silent victims of horrible abuse. Can't leave the compound, can't watch television, can't have interaction of any kind with the outside world . . . but sex with old men is ok and justified with religious doctrine.
Sick . . . and sad, very sad.

Polygamist sect encouraged fear

SAN ANGELO, Texas - All their lives, the girls in the polygamist sect in the West Texas desert were told that the outside world was hostile and immoral, and that venturing beyond the brilliant white limestone walls of their compound would consign them to eternal damnation.

Now, if the state gets its way, hundreds of the girls could be put in foster homes, in what could be a wrenching cultural adjustment that may require intensive counseling.

"What they are up against is having to deprogram an entire community," said Margaret Cooke, who left the sect with seven of her eight children near the end of 1994. The children "are so naive and they have been sheltered to the point that they don't even trust their own judgment."


This is about what is happening (sigh)

So much for their ability to unite.
And now we have this to listen to them wooing the religious:

LINK:Clinton, Obama vie for the "faith vote"

Telling religious people what they want to hear in order to get their vote.

DALLAS (Reuters) - Democratic presidential candidates Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton will court the "faith vote" at a forum this weekend, seeking support from a sizable constituency with a major influence on U.S. politics.

Religion plays a much bigger role in U.S. politics than elsewhere in the developed world, reflecting Americans' comparatively high rates of belief and church attendance.

"It would be unlikely anywhere else to find presidential candidates who would feel compelled to answer questions from religious groups," said Matthew Wilson, a political scientist at Southern Methodist University in Dallas.

"In many European societies, many politicians are reluctant to discuss their faith convictions publicly but here we expect them to do so."

Only in America can we have greed, materialism, gas guzzling vehicles, destruction of the environment...and faith!

I will be glad when this shit is over.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Aquatic frog evolved backwards

This is interesting:

Lungless frog discovered
in Borneo

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A rare and primitive frog living in a remote Borneo stream has no lungs and apparently absorbs oxygen through its skin, researchers reported on Wednesday.

The aquatic frog has evolved backwards, re-acquiring a primordial trait, David Bickford of the National University of Singapore and colleagues reported.

Studying the frog could help shed light on how lungs evolved in the first place, they wrote in the journal Current Biology, adding that illegal gold mining in the area may threaten the unique species.

"The evolution of lunglessness in tetrapods (amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals) is exceedingly rare, previously known only from amphibians -- two families of salamanders and a single species of caecilian (blindworm)," they wrote.

"Here we report the first case of complete lunglessness in a frog, Barbourula kalimantanensis, from the Indonesian portion of Borneo."

The frog may be endangered because of mining activity, the researchers said.


Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Politicking from the pulpit? This survery says many evanglical leaders say NO!

Religion has been at the center of this presidential campaign like no other campaign I can remember since I have been old enough to vote. And recently churches have been investigated for preaching politics from their altars. Is this the norm for the majority of evangelicals? This recent survey of moderate evangelical leaders say NO! candidate endorsements and feel the "pulpit has no place for electioneering. Are they speaking the truth or is it just that they have a way of dancing around the legalities and getting their messages across in different ways? Maybe I am just a bit suspicious because of how evangelicals are so eager to tear down the wall between separation of church and state at every opportunity.

From American's United

Pulpit Politicking? Many Evangelical Leaders Say No (!) To Candidate Endorsements

A new survey of moderate evangelical leaders suggests they see no room for partisan politics in their pulpits. The National Association of Evangelicals (NAE) last month asked the CEOs from 60 evangelical churches, universities and affiliated organizations if their “churches advise parishioners who to vote for.”

The answer: “No!” (Most respondents, the article says, actually used an exclamation mark.)

NAE President Leith Anderson said in a press release that answers to such survey questions are usually across the board, “but this time was different.” Only one out of 60 respondents said he tells parishioners which candidate(s) the church supports.

Some respondents even squeezed in personal observations on the subject, even though the survey didn’t leave room for comments.

“We do not advise who to vote for,” one denominational leader wrote. “We continually endeavor to have a prophetic note in our preaching that addresses the various social issues….We leave it to each parishioner to evaluate the candidates and to make their own personal decision about who they will vote for.”

There is that little thing I was talking about . . . . getting their message across in subtle ways..."We continually endeavor to have a prophetic note in our preaching that addresses the various social issues….We leave it to each parishioner to evaluate the candidates and to make their own personal decision about who they will vote for.”

Yeah, okay.