Monday, June 30, 2008

More marketing to Christians - Virtue® perfume

All this expense and effort to maintain God belief. It’s such a struggle. :roll:

When I have writer’s block I can always count on visiting some Xian blogs to find something to bizarre to write about eventually. I ran across this and read thoroughly to make sure that it wasn’t some kind of parody or spoof. Nope…it’s the real thing. You can order your own bottle right here at

“We created Virtue perfume as a tool to assist people to accelerate their identification with the still, silent part of ourselves, and to assist those who have trouble holding in their awareness, this conscious connection to the formlessness of BEing Still. When we say it’s to remind you of God, we mean it helps a person refer their attention in any given moment, to the ‘Stillness and Presence’ of what we call God”


“I recently received a bottle of Virtue® from a friend. It was given to me in the midst of an inspiring and prayerful conversation. Virtue® has become part of a morning ritual for me, as I get ready to start my day. When I use Virtue® I associate the scent with my peaceful morning prayers that I walk in Faith and know I am in God’s hands. Throughout the day, the scent reminds me of those prayers and helps sustain me.”

Sincerely, Jill M.

“The concept is such a good idea, and I look forward to gradually associating that smell with my ‘Spiritual State,’ so that each time I get a whiff of it during the day, I’ll instantly feel that refreshment and reverence.”

Stephanie S.

“I wear VIRTUE® because of what it symbolizes in purity of intention, thought and deed. It is a beautiful fragrance with a higher meaning that I believe most human beings aspire to.

I have given it to my loved ones and strangers who have asked “What is that beautiful fragrance you are wearing?” The 6 years of biblical research to birth this fragrance is not only fascinating, but also an opportunity to share testimony with others.

The best use so far has been spraying it in my home, my children’s room or on their pillow before they sleep. To all of my sisters in Christ I say: A mother’s heart is like a deep well that bursts forth in tears when her children are in pain, who prays endlessly for love to guide them to a righteous path and blesses the broken road because their journey will end in strength, faith and a victorious life.

Ultimately, it is my desire to be a pleasing fragrance to God and that is why I wear VIRTUE® and have shared my testimony.”

Joanne A.

What it all really comes down to is money and marketing. Virtue® perfume is not very affordably-priced. It’s $80.00 for 1.7 fl. oz. in a bottle with 24 KT Gold Raised Lettering!
$42.00 for Virtue® Body Lotion w/Pomegranate & Resurrection Plant. :roll: ($99.00 when you buy both together.) Why waste money on feeding the poor or helping the homeless when there always will be poor and homeless and you can spend the money on yourself so you can keep yourself brainwashed while you are away from the rest of the "flock".

(There are no Virtue® products for men that I could see.)

In the Center of the Trifid Nebula

Credit & Copyright: Daniel Lopez (Observatorio del Teide )

Explanation: Clouds of glowing gas mingle with dust lanes in the Trifid Nebula, a star forming region toward the constellation of Sagittarius. In the center, the three prominent dust lanes that give the Trifid its name all come together. Mountains of opaque dust appear on the right, while other dark filaments of dust are visible threaded throughout the nebula. A single massive star visible near the center causes much of the Trifid's glow. The Trifid, also known as M20, is only about 300,000 years old, making it among the youngest emission nebulae known. The nebula lies about 9,000 light years away and the part pictured here spans about 10 light years. This image was created with the 0.8-meter IAC80 telescope on the Canary Islands of Spain.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

"By the power vested in me by the state of . . . "

In his recent post titled Marriage, American Style: Is It Past Time For Church And State To Get A Divorce?AU writer Joseph L Conn proposes that we apply separation of church and state principle to marriage.

Conn quotes Washington correspondent Rob Marus as saying:

“In all of America’s brouhaha over whether legalizing same-sex marriage will sully the institution’s sanctity,” Marus notes, “very few Christians are asking one important question: When – and why – did the government get into the sanctification business?

“When the preacher, at the end of a marriage ceremony, says, ‘By the power vested in me by the state of (fill-in-the-blank), I pronounce you husband and wife,’ is he or she acting as a minister of the gospel or a magistrate of the government – or both? How does that happen in a society with a First Amendment designed to guarantee functional separation between religion and government?”

In answer to that question, Americans United Executive Director Barry W. Lynn argues that the relationship between religion, marriage and government is rooted in history but has become quite problematic today. Lynn, an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ, says he has to apply for a license and become an officer of the court in Virginia to serve as an officiant at marriages there.

Lynn said it probably would be a good idea to separate religious marriages from the civil marriages (or civil unions) recognized by the state.

But then those religious folks are still not happy because it would be taking their personal beliefs out of government. Seems some even would love to force others to abide by their own individual traditions and beliefs.

Anti-gay crusader Maggie Gallagher whines:

“I’m not especially in favor of it,” she told ABP.

“A real alternative would be for government to recognize and enforce religiously distinctive marriage contracts so long as they serve the government’s interest – say, permanent ones for Catholics,”

PERMANENT for Catholics? Eeeghads! What about other denominations’ beliefs about marriage and divorce? How would government accommodate them all? And what is this “so long as they serve the government’s interest”???

Gallagher continues:

“But what people who talk about ‘separating marriage and state’ really propose to do is simply to refuse to recognize religious marriage contracts at all. This is not neutrality; it is a powerful intervention by the government into the lives of religious people.”

In response to Gallagher’s proposal, Conn writes:

It sounds like Gallagher would make a bad situation worse. Is she really saying that the government should forbid Catholics to get a divorce in keeping with the tenets of her Catholic faith?

That just illustrates why America might want to consider moving in the other direction. Gallagher and her Religious Right cronies want American civil law to reflect religious doctrine. In a nation that respects freedom of conscience, it should not.

The whole issue of marriage wasn’t so complicated until gays stood up and demanded their right to same-sex marriage and the religious folks have a problem with that.

A person in a comment thread at another blog offers this to think about to make the point that marriage is a legal joining by the STATE. God and ones personal beliefs are in addition to that. Think about what is involved to end a marriage...legally . . .

to end one,
you have to go,
not to the church,
not to the minister for your money back,
but to the secular legal system,
churches have no role in the marriage of two individuals

Friday, June 27, 2008

Bill Maher's Religulous

I can't wait for this one to come out on October 3rd, 2008. Religulous is a documentary that is being directed by Larry Charles and stars Bill Maher. The word "religulous" (if you haven't guessed) is derived from the words religious and ridiculous implying the satirical nature of the documentary that is meant to mock the concept of religion and the problems it brings about. From Wikipedia:
Known for his stance against religion, Bill Maher's views on the various world religions are explored as he travels to numerous religious destinations, such as Jerusalem, the Vatican, and Salt Lake City, interviewing believers from a variety of backgrounds and groups, including Jews for Jesus, Muslims, polygamists, Satanists, Hasidic scholars and even Rael of the Raelian Movement. In the trailer and documentary Maher also interviews research neuroscientist Andrew Newberg, MD, (author of Why We Believe What We Believe) who brain-scans people at the University of Pennyslvania as they pray, meditate and speak in tongues. The documentary was produced by Thousand Words and is being distributed by Lionsgate. Originally slated for intentional release date coinciding with the religious Easter holiday 2008, post-production delays resulting from a screenwriters guild strike pushed the release date back to July 11, 2008. Release has now been pushed back to October 3, 2008.

Annoying and ever-present FLIP-FLOP

North Pole Could be Ice-Free This Summer

Arctic sea ice could break apart completely at the North Pole this year, allowing ships to sail over the normally frozen top of the world.


The potential landmark thaw - the first time in human history the pole would be ice-free - is a stark sign of global warming, according to an article Friday on the web site of the The Independent, a London newspaper.

"Symbolically it is hugely important," said Mark Serreze of the U.S. National Snow and Ice Data Center in Colorado. "There is supposed to be ice at the North Pole, not open water."

Last year, the fabled Northwest Passage opened as Arctic ice retreated more than ever before.

There is no land at the North Pole, but as long as anyone has looked, it has remained a giant block of ice year-round. Scientists have been watching Arctic sea ice melt more and more each year. But each summer in recent years, the amount of ice has gotten thinner and thinner. Each winter's freeze, therefore, results in a thinner pack that, this summer, could melt altogether.

"The issue is that, for the first time that I am aware of, the North Pole is covered with extensive first-year ice," Serreze is quoted by The Independent. "I'd say it's even-odds whether the North Pole melts out."

Russia and other countries, meanwhile, have been arguing over who has rights to the region's resources, including potential oil reserves.

More oil to fight over...great.

Link to full story


The melting Arctic

Mayor Daley outraged at court's ruling in handgun ban

Video link: Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Gun Rights

Link: Gun ban ruling has Chicago thinking it's next

Chicago Mayor Richard Daley reacts to the U.S. Supreme Court decision to lift a ban on handguns in Washington D.C. With youth killing other youths, children shooting themselves, people shooting each other in a violent rage, guns to use in muggings, robberies...this decision is appalling.

This Supreme Court ruling is just going to make it that much more difficult, if not nearly impossible to control violence in our big cities. Further debate is coming over the meaning and interpretation of our second amendment rights.

It's easy to vote for a ruling like this when you are sitting in your upper-class home full of security devices and alarms, protected by police who will come to your aid in an instant.

Handguns are meant for one thing...killing people.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Stupid fundie signs perpetuating ignorance

On the way home from work today, my husband saw a sign outside of a Baptist church that made him groan loudly as he was talking to me on his cell said

"Come see the magical world of science."

He is going to try to get a picture for me to post tomorrow.

What the fuck is this dumbass war on science and the inability for some god believers to reconcile their god beliefs and science???

More “faith-based” initiative crap

Another typical stunt pulled by the Bush administration, once again subverting the taxpayers’ money to religious groups who have no business getting any tax money to support their blatant prosyletization efforts. Bush and his regime is going to push this faith-based bullcrap agenda as one commenter put it right “down to the wire, to the very last day and hour of being in power.”

Juvenile Injustice: DOJ ‘Faith-Based’ Grants Were Steered To Bush Allies, Says ABC

Thanks to a strong push by the Bush administration, the U.S. Department of Justice awarded part of a $1.2 million grant to an evangelical Christian organization, Victory Outreach, whose mission is to carry “the hope and message of Jesus Christ to the four corners of the earth,” ABC News has reported.

The other part of the $1.2 million was awarded to a consulting firm run by Lisa Trevino Cummins, who previously headed Hispanic outreach efforts for the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives.

According to ABC, “The grant was awarded over the strong objections of career DOJ staff who did not believe that Victory Outreach was qualified for the grant and that too great an amount of the funds was going to Cummins’ consulting company instead of being spent on services for children.”

In the end, the network reported, Victory Outreach rejected the grant because it was too large and the group did not believe it was qualified to carry it out.

A former DOJ official who spent 10 years awarding juvenile crime grants told ABC News earlier this month that “the agenda for children is not always a priority” in awarding the grants since J. Robert Flores took over as administrator of the DOJ’s Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.

ABC News reported that Flores has consistently ignored recommendations from DOJ staff, and instead has awarded grants to organizations that have “political, social or religious connections to the Bush administration.” He is now under investigation by the DOJ’s Inspector General.

There’s more:

The DOJ’s Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, which exists to prevent and respond to juvenile delinquency and victimization, is supposed to award grants to organizations performing services that will help meet this goal. It turns out it has become yet another chance for Bush to get his faith-based agenda some play.

In addition to Victory Outreach, $1.1 million went to an organization called “Best Friends,” which has a fundraising gala every year for a program that promotes teenage abstinence. “Best Friends” is run by the wife of former Republican Cabinet member William Bennett.

ABC News also reported that Flores turned down money to the program ranked highest in merit by DOJ staff because it provided sex education and condoms to at-risk teenagers in San Diego.

The report noted that in the six years Flores has been in charge, he has never approved grant money for programs that work with gay and lesbian teens, a group with a high risk for suicide.

But what Flores, and apparently Bush, believe will really help save the children is the half million dollars that went to the World Golf Foundation. Not shockingly, the group’s honorary chairman happens to be former president George H.W. Bush.

President Bush’s “faith-based” initiative has been a fiasco, and the examples now being reported are just the latest bits of evidence. The initiative has been riddled with partisan politics and favoritism toward political and religious cronies, and it has undercut civil rights and civil liberties.

Bush is reportedly scheduled to speak at a faith-based conference tomorrow. Wouldn’t it be great if he announced that the initiative has all been a horrible mistake and he’s shutting it down?

Shutting it down? Nice fantasy, but GW will never do that. Not in a million years. Hopefully the next president will do the job for him?

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

What is Hanny's Voorwerp?

Credit: Galaxy Zoo Project, ING

Explanation: What is that green thing? A volunteer sky enthusiast surfing through online Galaxy Zoo images has discovered something really strange. The mystery object is unusually green, not of any clear galaxy type, and situated below relatively normal looking spiral galaxy IC 2497. Dutch schoolteacher Hanny van Arkel, discovered the strange green "voorwerp" (Dutch for "object") last year. The Galaxy Zoo project encourages sky enthusiasts to browse through SDSS images and classify galaxy types. Now known popularly as Hanny's Voorwerp, subsequent observations have shown that the mysterious green blob has the same distance as neighboring galaxy IC 2497. Research is ongoing, but one leading hypothesis holds that Hanny's Voorwerp is a small galaxy that acts like a large reflection nebula, showing the reflected light of a bright quasar event that happened in the center of IC 2497 about 100,000 years ago. Pictured above, Hanny's Voorwerp was imaged recently by the 4.2-meter William Herschel Telescope in the Canary Islands by Matt Jarvis, Kevin Schawinski, and William Keel.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Dobson accuses Obama of `distorting’ Bible

Here they go again, those fundies making excuses when the reality of what the Bible (particularly the OT) says is brought up. Bible believers will say “it’s not what the Bible means”, or “that was meant for the people at the time it was written and times have changed” (except for those things they still choose to cling to that suits their own purposes and supports their own bigotry against other human beings, selfish imagined heavenly rewards, afterlife delusion, etc.).

(First, I want to make it clear before being accused of being a flip-flopper, I still retain my extreme skepticism of Obama and his promised "change" and that I feel those who consider him some sort of savior are going to be greatly disappointed. )

Obama makes nearly the same point we atheists have been making forever — Christians cherry-pick out of a book they most likely have never read. It will be interesting to hear what Obama has to say about Dobson's Focus on the Family broadcast criticizing him for "diminishing the idea that people of Christian faith have anything to say." That's just a bunch of bullcrap brought on my the Christian persecution complex kicking in after someone points out that their worldview isn't the only worldview. When fundies can't have it all their way, they start boo-hooing. Will Obama stand up to Dobson, or get all wishy-washy like most politicians do when doing anything to win an election?

James Dobson accuses Obama of `distorting’ Bible

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - As Barack Obama broadens his outreach to evangelical voters, one of the movement’s biggest names, James Dobson, accuses the likely Democratic presidential nominee of distorting the Bible and pushing a “fruitcake interpretation” of the Constitution.

The criticism, to be aired Tuesday on Dobson’s Focus on the Family radio program, comes shortly after an Obama aide suggested a meeting at the organization’s headquarters here, said Tom Minnery, senior vice president for government and public policy at Focus on the Family.

The conservative Christian group provided The Associated Press with an advance copy of the pre-taped radio segment, which runs 18 minutes and highlights excerpts of a speech Obama gave in June 2006 to the liberal Christian group Call to Renewal. Obama mentions Dobson in the speech.

“Even if we did have only Christians in our midst, if we expelled every non-Christian from the United States of America, whose Christianity would we teach in the schools?” Obama said. “Would we go with James Dobson’s or Al Sharpton’s?” referring to the civil rights leader.

Dobson took aim at examples Obama cited in asking which Biblical passages should guide public policy — chapters like Leviticus, which Obama said suggests slavery is OK and eating shellfish is an abomination, or Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, “a passage that is so radical that it’s doubtful that our own Defense Department would survive its application.”

“Folks haven’t been reading their Bibles,” Obama said.

Then typical responses we have heard all too often. Christians totally deny the book of Leviticus:

Dobson and Minnery accused Obama of wrongly equating Old Testament texts and dietary codes that no longer apply to Jesus’ teachings in the New Testament.

“I think he’s deliberately distorting the traditional understanding of the Bible to fit his own worldview, his own confused theology,” Dobson said.

Umm, excuse me Mr. Dobson, but that is exactly what Christians do, picking and choosing and putting together a nice little interpretation for themselves according to what suits their own purposes. You’re theology, your Bible is what is confused and distorted, Mr Dobson! So much so that Christians cannot even agree amongst yourselves on what that “traditional understanding” is.

“… He is dragging biblical understanding through the gutter.”

Which is exactly where your evil Bible belongs.

Americans more tolerant of other religions . . .

. . . as long as they involve some sort of afterlife delusion. :roll:

America remains a nation of believers, but a new survey finds most Americans don’t feel their religion is the only way to eternal life.

57 percent of evangelical church attenders said they believe many religions can lead to eternal life, in conflict with traditional evangelical teaching.

In all, 70 percent of Americans with a religious affiliation shared that view, and 68 percent said there is more than one true way to interpret the teachings of their own religion.

“The survey shows religion in America is, indeed, 3,000 miles wide and only three inches deep,” said D. Michael Lindsay, a Rice University sociologist of religion.

“There’s a growing pluralistic impulse toward tolerance and that is having theological consequences,” he said.

Illustrates my point that they make their religion to whatever they want it to be.

The report argues that while relatively few people — 14 percent — cite religious beliefs as the main influence on their political thinking, religion still plays a powerful indirect role.

Which, in a country of mostly Xians makes this following report a bit worrisome:

Americans believe in miracles, heaven, power of prayer: report

WASHINGTON (AFP) - Around three-quarters of Americans believe in miracles, more Americans believe in heaven than in hell, and nearly six in 10 pray every day, a report based on a survey of 35,000 US adults showed Monday.

Of those who pray regularly, around a third — 31 percent — say God answers their prayers at least once a month, and one in five Americans said they receive direct answers to prayer requests at least once a week, the report by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life said.

Seventy-four percent of those surveyed for the report, called the US Religious Landscape Survey, said they believed in heaven as a place where people who have led good lives are rewarded, while only around six in 10 believed in hell, where unrepentant evil-doers languish in eternal punishment.


Nearly eight in 10 American adults (79 percent) believe that miracles occur, the survey, conducted between May and August last year, showed.

But perhaps most striking in the report was the near unanimous belief in God, held by more than nine out of 10 Americans.


“Six in 10 adults believe God is a person with whom people can have a relationship, but one in four, including about half of Jews and Hindus, see God as an impersonal force,” he said.

And this part below puzzles me. Who the fuck were they interviewing? From the answers, it couldn’t be any atheists I know. Could be that the ones doing the survey believe what they want to believe, they hear what they want to hear.

Oddly, one in five of those who identified themselves as atheists in the survey said they believe in God.

“It may very well be that they don’t really know what atheist means. It sounds good so they answered it; we call that measurement error,” Greene said.

“But this also shows us the complicated way that people think about their faith. Many people who identify as atheists may not be telling us they don’t believe in God, but that they don’t like organized religion,” he said.

“In addition to having atheists who say they believe in God, we have people who say they are very committed to a religious tradition but don’t believe in God,” he added.

Someone should inform these morons that atheist means NO BELIEF IN THE EXISTENCE OF ANY GOD OR GODS. None, nada.

Monday, June 23, 2008

In Memory of George Carlin 1937 - 2008

"Gee, he was just here a minute ago."

Sunday, June 22, 2008

“Curse of the Fuwa”

This is almost comical. 2008 and superstition still prevails.

“Curse of the Fuwa” fulfilled by floods

BEIJING (Reuters) - Floods sweeping southern China seem to have fulfilled the final stanza of an Internet curse involving Beijing's Olympic mascots, but censors have been quick to remove postings that might fuel the superstition.

After a devastating earthquake struck Sichuan province last month, Internet users tied four of the five “Fuwa” mascots to the calamities that have struck China in the run-up to the Games, which begin in August. One Fuwa is a panda, the totem of Sichuan.

The others resemble a torch, reminding netizens of the protests against the international Olympic torch rally; a Tibetan antelope tied to widespead demonstrations in Tibetan areas; and a swallow that looks like a kite, linked to a deadly train crash in Shandong province.

The final Fuwa, sporting a fish, was left unexplained in the original superstition as a curse yet to come.

Unexplained, that is, until widespread flooding in southern and central China claimed dozens of lives in June.

“I am in Shenzhen. There is heavy rain for two days and no sign that it will stop… now the curse of the last “fish” has proven correct. What shall we do?” said a post by yellow_hades on Tianya, a popular online forum.

That and similar posts have disappeared quickly this week. China’s censors monitor the Internet carefully and remove any posts deemed inflammatory or not in line with government policy.

Major calamities, earthquakes in particular, were viewed in imperial China as a sign that a dynasty had lost the mandate of Heaven.

Although the Communist Party has tried to stamp out “feudal superstition” since it took power in 1949, the Beijing Games will start on the auspicious moment of 8:08 pm, on August 8 2008. Eight is a lucky number in Chinese.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Why people laugh at creationists

Many of you probably know this tool. VenomfangX has to be one of the biggest dumbasses on YouTube.

"I get laughed at" VenomfangX

No Good Choices

I am not the only one who is displeased with our choices this time around. I can't muster enough approval for any of the candidates...not even a third party candidates who are a bunch of kooks.

Friday, June 20, 2008

"Lord, make me chaste — but not yet."

Another sign that Obama's "change" rhetoric is bullcrap. I still predict: hopeful people will be greatly disappointed when their messiah turns out to be just like any other politician. How can we trust him when he turns his back on a church he supported for 20 years, turns his back on friends for political gain, changes his support for Palestine to a total support for Israel. How can we trust anything he says? And where does that leave us? Basically, still the same. With wimpy Democrats in Washington nothing has changed (we're only given excuses), and when Obama wins the White House...nothing will change. I would love to be optimistic, but I cannot. We don't know where Obama stands on anything...really. He could say one thing one day, then change his mind the next. You just never know. With McCain we know for sure nothing will change except in the death toll in Iraq.

Call me cynical, but we're basically screwed.

Here is the latest disheartening news:

Obama's money move lifts expediency over principle

Sen. Barack Obama's announcement Thursday that he won't participate in the public financing system for this fall's general election was no big surprise. He has been telegraphing the move for months. But it is disappointing nevertheless, particularly for a candidate who claims to be running as a reformer and a different kind of politician.

In this case, Obama is choosing to be different by becoming the first presidential candidate to spurn public financing since Richard Nixon's excesses led to its creation. That's not the sort of change voters expected when he pledged last fall to "aggressively pursue an agreement with the Republican nominee to preserve a publicly financed general election."


He's way ahead of McCain in that respect — but he's hardly the influence-free candidate he styles himself as. One-third of his money comes from the sort of big donors and bundlers whose influence public financing is designed to lessen.

Obama's pledge to reform the campaign-finance system after he gets elected reminds us of St. Augustine's famous prayer: "Lord, make me chaste — but not yet."

Real reformers don't do it just when it's convenient. The best way for Obama to support public financing is not to fix it later, but to participate in it now.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Whackadoo Ken Ham speaks at prayer breakfast at Pentagon

I found this over at Pharyngula today. It makes me a bit queasy that theguys with the big guns invited such a big nutjob to speak at their prayer breakfast (and that the US Military even has a prayer breakfast). During his speech, Ham starts talking about life on other planets and doesn’t think there is any based on the following “logic” (or lack, thereof).

The real world is the biblical world–a universe designed by God with the Earth at the spiritual focal point, not an evolutionary universe teeming with life. … Extraterrestrial life is an evolutionary concept; it does not comport with the biblical teachings of the uniqueness of the Earth and the distinct spiritual position of human beings.

So there you have it again, it’s written in their ancient mythology book, so it must be true.

Ham continues:

Jesus remains the “God man,” as he is our Savior. Jesus did not become a “Martian” or a “Klingon” or some other being—he became a human (as God).

So, it wouldn’t make any sense for there to be intelligent beings like us on other planets—they would be suffering from the effects of sin but can’t have salvation, as only descendants of Adam can be saved.

One day the whole universe will be wound up—the judgment by fire—and there will be a New Heavens and Earth. I always say that there can’t be intelligent life like us on other planets—the Bible does not say there is or is not animal or plant life on other planets—but I highly suspect not

Ok, where are my antacids? :roll: