Thursday, January 31, 2008
Too late for what?
"Too late for what?" I ask.
"Too late to repent!" they answer.
"What do I have to repent for?"
"Repent and ask forgiveness of your sins!"
"What sins do I need to be forgiven for?"
(pause while they think of a response)
"Only you and god knows what you need to be forgiven for, but you need to accept Jesus
Christ as your Lord and Savior."
"To save me from what?"
"Why would a god damn me eternally? I am a good and kind person."
"Because being good isn't enough. You have to say the magic words before it's too late!"
(they don't really say it that way, but it's what they mean.)
Many fundamentalists of various religions are so obsessed with an imagined end of times that they forget to live in the here and now and have an unnecessary pessimistic view of life and this world. There are those god-believing people who do try to help make the world a better place, but at the same time they are doing this they are preaching to people that this world is a bad place and that we all need to be "saved" from something. They say their god is good, but their Bible illustrates that this god is anything but good, and his wrath is only curtailed by killing someone...like his own earthly son. And all over a simple thing like humans using free will that they are given. This mythology is as bizarre as any other from the ancient past.
As this cartoon illustrates, fundies don't see how absolutely ridiculous they are when they go around preaching that the "end is near" using texts from an ancient books as their "evidence." Also, I think it is amusing when one religious group thinks they hold the "truth" while scoffing at another who believes something else when it is ALL equally absurd.
Wednesday, January 30, 2008
One of Hubble’s Latest Photographs of the Crab Nebula
Tuesday, January 29, 2008
Neil deGrasse Tyson's argument against "intelligent design"
And this is the continuation on cosmic perspective and the impact of science.
Religion: A Convenient Lie (The Reason Why Religion Exists)
Humans are afraid of death and cannot accept the fact that they one day will no longer exist (like all living things, even the stars and everything in the universe has a life span.) This video below says everything that I and other atheists have been saying. Religion is a false security blanket based on fear of death, and created because humans cannot accept what they cannot change or natural events they have no control over. Organized religion bolsters a community belief that might not be there if everyone else didn’t believe it, too. Despite the coming together as one, each individual still creates this image of god in their own minds, according to their own experiences, needs and desires. In other words, god exists only in the minds and imaginations of human beings. There is no evidence at all for the existence of a god any more than there is existence of a child’s imaginary friend.
Whether humans flock together in one big herd of belief, or whether we have individual faith in a supernatural being in a supernatural world, it does not prevent the inevitable. We all eventually die. Hopeless? No. New babies are born, the cycle of life continues. There is enough comfort for me in knowing that somehow the world will go on for as long as the Sun lasts, and it too will one day burn out and die and new stars will be born from its remnants.
I have a potentially life-threatening illness. (Lupus SLE) Am I angry? Sad? Will I run to find some comforting delusional beliefs to cling to delude myself that I will live forever in some imagined afterlife? No. I look to science to help me live for as long as I can, as comfortably and as healthy as I possibly can. But when the day comes when medicine no longer will help, will I whimper and turn to a false hope? No…I will look back upon my life with gladness. I am very glad to have been born, and to have lived to see all the wondrous things I have seen, and and glad for all my human experiences whether good or bad. How you live your life brings meaning, as the quote by Joseph Campbell at the top of my blog states.Now, here is the video. The music is “divine”.
Sunday, January 27, 2008
Saturday, January 26, 2008
Winter Night at Pic du Midi
Explanation: This dreamlike view looking south from the historic mountain top Pic du Midi Observatory combines moonlit domes, a winter night sky, and the snowy peaks of the French Pyrenees. Encroaching on the night, lights from the La Mongie ski resort illuminate the mountain slopes nearby while the glow along the distant horizon is from urban areas in southern France and Spain. The night sky features stars of the constellations Orion and Gemini with a bright planet Mars very near the top edge, left of center. The three prominent domes visible (from left to right) house a 0.6 meter telescope reserved for amateur astronomers, a 1 meter telescope that was used to support the Apollo lunar landing missions, and the new, Sun-watching CLIMSO.
Thursday, January 24, 2008
Martin Sheen burns a hypo-christian
Here is the text of the real letter here:
Dear Dr. Laura,
Thank you so much for doing so much to educate people regarding God’s Law I have learned a great deal from your show and I try to share that knowledge with as many people as I can. When someone tries to defend the homosexual lifestyle, for example, I simply remind him that Leviticus 18: 22 clearly states it to be an abomination. End of debate. I do need some advice from you, however, regarding some of the specific laws and how to best follow them.
A) When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it creates a pleasing odor for the Lord (Leviticus 1: 9). The problem is my neighbors. They claim the odor is not pleasing to them. Should I smite them?
B) I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as sanctioned in Exodus 21: 7. In this day & age, what would be a fair market price for her?
C) I know I am allowed no contact with a woman while she is in her period of menstrual uncleanliness (Lev 15: 19-24). The problem is how do I tell? I have tried asking, but most women take offense.
D) Leviticus 25: 44 states that I may own slaves, both male & female, provided they are purchased from neighboring nations. A friend of mine claims this applies to Mexicans but not Canadians. Can you clarify? Why can’t I own Canadians?
E) I have a neighbor who insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35: 2 clearly states he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him myself?
F) A friend of mine feels that even though eating shellfish is an abomination (Lev. 11:10), it is a lesser abomination than homosexuality. I don’t agree, can you settle this?
G) Leviticus 21:20 states that I may not approach the altar of God if I have a defect in my sight. I have to admit that I wear reading glasses. Does my vision have to be 20/20 or is there some wiggle room here?
H) Most of my male friends get their hair trimmed, including the hair around their temples, even though this is expressly forbidden by Leviticus 19:27. How should they die?
I) I know from Leviticus 11:6-8 that touching the skin of a dead pig makes me unclean, but may I still play football if I wear gloves?
J) My uncle has a farm. He violates Leviticus 19:19 by planting two crops in the same field, as does his wife by wearing garments made of two different kinds of thread (cotton & polyester blend). He tends to curse and blaspheme a lot. Is it really necessary that we go to all the trouble of getting the whole town together to stone them? (Lev. 24: 10-16). Couldn’t we just burn them to death at a private family affair like we do with people who sleep with their in-laws (Lev. 20: 14)?
I know you have studied these things extensively, so I am confident you can help. Thank you again for reminding us that God’s word is eternal and unchanging.”
I’m going to keep this one handy in case any fundies bring up the Leviticus bullshit as a reason to discriminate against gays.
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
Lewis Black - The Devil’s Handiwork
Skeptic Bible Study: Jesus Loves Slavery
Like John says, if you show this to a Christian, their common response is "that was the Old Testament, Jesus changed things with the New Testament". John does a good job of showing how Jesus condoned the practice of slavery, using the New Testament. And this is what people like Huckabee want to use as the "bedrock" of our society and to revise the Constitution to incorporate in the year 2008.
Tuesday, January 22, 2008
Yet another separation of church and state battle
Moore Baloney: Alabama ‘Commandments’ Judge Gives Two Thumbs Up To Evangelistic Film At Public School
Roy Moore, Alabama’s infamous “Ten Commandments judge,” has a penchant for misconstruing church-state law, and now he’s giving bad advice to school officials in Tuscaloosa.
and here is the trailer of the disputed film, “Facing the Giants“:
Officials at Paul W. Bryant High School have indicated that they will stop showing the film “until the merits of the complaint could be addressed.”
Moore wants school officials to reconsider. In a Jan. 18 letter, he claims that “the simple fact” is that school promotion of the “Giants” film does not violate the separation of church and state. The missive applauds the school for “showing their students an inspiring, family-friendly movie such as Facing the Giants” and again promotes Moore’s cramped understanding of the First Amendment. (He tags Americans United as a group bent on muzzling Christianity in the public schools.)
If school officials are serious about upholding constitutional principles, they will not take Moore’s legal ramblings seriously. The courts have long held that it is not within the purview of the public schools to evangelize students. Teaching about religion in an objective and academically sound manner is permissible, but showing students a film meant to convert them to a specific religion is not.
As Americans United Communications Director Joe Conn told The Tuscaloosa News, Moore’s “legal advice is certainly on the fringe. The school board should look to objective legal advice, not to Judge Moore.”
Sunday, January 20, 2008
Religious Right Watch
Found this at Americans United for the Separation of Church and State. Will this lunatic ever shut up and just retire already?
Citizen Cain: TV Preacher Robertson May Buy Local Newspaper – And Kill Its Critical Coverage
If you can’t beat ‘em, buy ‘em out. That seems to be Pat Robertson’s policy for press criticism.
After decades of operating a faux-news operation from his “700 Club” perch at the Christian Broadcasting Network, Robertson is now expressing interest in purchasing The Virginian-Pilot, a real news organ that has offered critical coverage of the TV evangelist.
“Although the price for The Weather Channel is a little rich for my blood, I am considering a potential bid for the Pilot and have asked my attorneys to look into it,” Robertson said in an e-mail sent by his assistant, G.G. Conklin. “It would be particularly helpful to provide internships for Regent University journalism students.”
I’ll bet it would be! Regent University’s motto is “Christian Leadership to Change the World”. A world dominated by Xian theocracy . . .scary!
Thursday, January 17, 2008
Thor's Emerald Helmet
Explanation: This helmet-shaped cosmic cloud with wing-like appendages is popularly called Thor's Helmet. Heroically sized even for a Norse god, Thor's Helmet is about 30 light-years across. In fact, the helmet is actually more like an interstellar bubble, blown as a fast wind from the bright, massive star near the bubble's center sweeps through a surrounding molecular cloud. Known as a Wolf-Rayet star, the central star is an extremely hot giant thought to be in a brief, pre-supernova stage of evolution. Cataloged as NGC 2359, the nebula is located about 15,000 light-years away in the constellation Canis Major. The sharp image captures striking details of the nebula's filamentary structures and also records an almost emerald color from strong emission due to oxygen atoms in the glowing gas.
Wednesday, January 16, 2008
I hate clowns . . . and I am not alone
Don't send in the clowns
LONDON (Reuters) - Bad news for Coco and Blinko -- children don't like clowns and even older kids are scared of them.
The news that will no doubt have clowns shedding tears was revealed in a poll of youngsters by researchers from the University of Sheffield who were examining how to improve the decor of hospital children's wards.
The study, reported in the Nursing Standard magazine, found all the 250 patients aged between four and 16 they quizzed disliked the use of clowns, with even the older ones finding them scary.
"As adults we make assumptions about what works for children," said Penny Curtis, a senior lecturer in research at the university.
"We found that clowns are universally disliked by children. Some found them quite frightening and unknowable."
Clowns are scary as hell. All three of my kids hated clowns. They are bizarre, creepy, hiding behind their make-up. There is nothing cute about them. The scariest clown for me is Wizzo from Bozo Circus. When I was a Brownie Leader, we took my daughter's troop to the Bozo Show at WGN studios in Chicago, I worried all the way there that Wizzo would be there. Lucky for me, it was just Bozo and Cooky, and that was it. If I would have had to walk past Wizzo during the Grande March, I would have cut ahead of everyone and run out the door.
Tuesday, January 15, 2008
“We the People of God, in order to form a more perfect theocracy”
Huckabee: Amend Constitution to be in ‘God’s standards’
David Edwards and Muriel Kane
I know we are all sick of hearing about Upchuckabee, but it’s important to keep making fun of him and making sure that he is as far from the nomination as possible because as we have seen with Dubya, we can’t take it for granted that people won’t vote for him.
The United States Constitution never uses the word “God” or makes mention of any religion, drawing its sole authority from “We the People.” However, Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee thinks it’s time to put an end to that.
“I have opponents in this race who do not want to change the Constitution,” Huckabee told a Michigan audience on Monday. “But I believe it’s a lot easier to change the Constitution than it would be to change the word of the living god. And that’s what we need to do — to amend the Constitution so it’s in God’s standards rather than try to change God’s standards so it lines up with some contemporary view.”
When Willie Geist reported Huckabee’s opinion on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, co-host Mika Brzezinski was almost speechless, and even Joe Scarborough couldn’t immediately find much to say beyond calling it “interesting,”
Scarborough finally suggested that while he believes “evangelicals should be able to talk politics … some might find that statement very troubling, that we’re going to change the Constitution to be in line with the Bible. And that’s all I’m going to say.”
Geist further noted of Huckabee that if “someone without his charm,” said that, “he’d be dismissed as a crackpot, but he’s Mike Huckabee and he’s basically the front-runner.”
Your help is needed
Berlzebub is organizing donations to help her get UV protectorant for her windows so she can move through her house, so if you've got a little bit to spare, please do contribute to a member of our godless community.
I, too have Lupus (and RA) and I hope I never have to go through what Possummomma is having to deal with. My heart goes out to her.
Friday, January 11, 2008
Polaris Dust Nebula
Explanation: Centered on North Star Polaris, this 4 degree wide field of view covers part of a complex of relatively unfamiliar, diffuse dust clouds soaring high above the plane of our Milky Way Galaxy. The combined light of the Milky Way stars are reflected by the dusty, galactic cirrus, the reflected starlight having the same blue tint characteristic of better known reflection nebulae. But this deep color image also records a faint reddish luminescence from the dust grains as they convert invisible stellar ultraviolet radiation to visible red light. Dubbed extended red emission, the dim cosmic glow is thought to be caused by complex organic molecules known as PAHs (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons), common constituents interstellar dust. On planet Earth, PAHs are widely encountered as the sooty products of combustion.
Thursday, January 10, 2008
Now this is REALLY crazy for God!
Most people, including Christians can agree that this was an insane act. But while Christians are calling him crazy, many of them consider the Bible to be the LITERAL WORD OF GOD. And this "literal word of God, in the Book of Revelations states:
"If anyone worships the beast and his image and receives his mark on the forehead or on the hand, he, too, will drink the wine of God's fury."AND
The book of Matthew also contains the passage: "And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell."
This story reminds me of the book I am reading "I Know This Much Is True" by Wally Lamb, about twin brothers and one of them is suffering with schizophrenia. At the beginning of the novel, the sick, Bible- obsessed twin cuts his own hand off at the public library. I don't think the guy in Idaho got his idea from Lamb's book. He got the idea from his "divine" word of his god. He believes in the Bible...literally.
Good thing most Bible literalists don't take all of the Bible literally.
Wednesday, January 09, 2008
A prominent evangelical writes about his change of heart
For those who don’t know who Frank Schaeffer is, he is the son of theologian and Presbyterian pastor Francis Schaeffer, “who was pivotal in the creation of the Religious Right.”
As John W. Whitehead of the Rutherford Institute wrote recently, “In fact, without the influence of Francis Schaeffer, who often was prodded into action by Frank, the so-called Christian Right of today would not exist.”
Frank Schaeffer once shared most of his father’s opinions and, as an adult he worked alongside him so he has had an ” insider’s view of the rise of the Religious Right.”
But Frank Schaeffer had a change of heart and a change in thinking. What does he think of the Religious Right now? Rob Boston, writer for Americans for the Separation of Church and State, in his article Appealing Apostate: Prodigal Son Frank Schaeffer Roasts Religious Right states,
Let’s just say he’s not a fan. He refers to Robertson as “a lunatic” and says Dobson is “a power-crazed political manipulator cynically abusing his followers.” He calls the late Jerry Falwell an “unreconstructed bigot.”
Here are some choice quotes selected by Boston:
* “What I slowly realized was that the religious-right leaders we were helping to gain power were not ‘conservatives’ at all, in the old sense of the world. They were anti-American religious revolutionaries.”
* “Pat Robertson…would have had a hard time finding work in any job where hearing voices is not a requirement.”
* “Dad could hardly have imagined how they would help facilitate the instantly corrupted power-crazy new generation of evangelical public figures like Ralph Reed, who took money from the casino industry while allegedly playing both sides against the middle in events related to the Abramoff Washington lobbyist scandal.”
* “Long before Ralph Reed and his ilk came on the scene, Dad got sick of ‘these idiots’ as he often called people like Dobson in private. They were ‘plastic,’ Dad said, and ‘power-hungry.’”
* “There were three kinds of evangelical leaders: The dumb or idealistic ones who really believed. The out-and-out charlatans. And the smart ones who still believed – sort of – but knew that the evangelical world was sh*t, but who couldn’t figure out any way to earn as good a living anywhere else.”
* “Dad seemed lost in a depressed daze. He had recently been saying privately that the evangelical world was more or less being led by lunatics, psychopaths, and extremists, and agreeing with me that if ‘our side’ ever won, America would be in deep trouble.”
In a recent interview with John W.Whitehead at oldSpeak, Schaeffer discussed his break with the Religious Right, remarking,
“I personally came to believe that a lot of the issues that were being latched onto by the Christian Right, whether it was the gay issue or abortion or other things, were actually being used for negative political purposes. They were used to structure a power base for people who then threw their weight around.”
And in that last comment, Schaeffer sums up the truth of what the Religious Right is honestly all about. I hope you have time to read the whole interview. It’s quite interesting.
As Boston says, “It’s always interesting when a high-profile Religious Right activist has a change of heart.”
Tornados in January
"Grandma a tornado is coming, what are we going to do?!"
"Don't worry dear, if we just sit here and pray, God will protect us from harm."
The new year has just begun and the midwest has already been hit with several devastating tornados. When tornados and other natural disasters happen and wipe out whole neighborhoods, it's irritating how some people think they are specially saved by an imaginary friend while many of their other god believing neighbors homes are destroyed. Do they really believe a god is sitting on a cloud somewhere and is controlling wild storms, diseases, wars, etc and protecting or not protecting the lives of billions of people, on all sides of the planet . . . in addition to taking care of the entire universe. It makes it seem as if this supernatural friend is up there playing some sort of cosmic video game.
It's 2008 and so many still have such dark age thinking. It's taking humans a long time to evolve.
Tuesday, January 08, 2008
Wooing the undecided
I can’t imagine growing up Catholic, much less growing up in a Catholic parish that displayed and worshiped a dead body!
In today’s news there is a little battle going on in Rome concerning the plans to dig up long-dead Padre Pio to put on display for all the “faithful” to wish on like some gory magic troll doll. According to the Yahoo news story, “Padre Pio’s popularity is hard to overestimate. A Catholic magazine once found far more Italian Catholics pray to him than any other icon of the faith, including the Virgin Mary or Jesus.”
Read more. . .
Plan to exhume Italian saint draws protest
Here is a clip I found on YouTube. I knew about “Incorrupt Bodies of the Saints” but had no idea there are so many of them. And most don’t look very “incorrupt” to me. Most are obviously ROTTED. Just bury them and make a statue to wish on if you must. But displaying a dead person in a glass case and making wishes on him/her is insane as you can get.
Macabre and morbid!
Saturday, January 05, 2008
Questions need to be asked and answered
As we have seen in Iowa, evangelical sheeple blindly flock to the polls, voting for a candidate simply because he is charismatic and who they think is the most "godly". Few stop to ask questions about where these wolves in sheep’s clothing stand on issues that will affect their everyday lives in many areas. A new ad campaign is being launched to remind people to ask difficult questions and to really analyze and scrutinize the candidates before making their choice. It is not a choice to be taken lightly. No candidate is a “savior”, no god is designating “the one” to lead us. WE THE PEOPLE are making the choice.
Here is an article from Americans United for Separation of Church and State:
On Eve Of New Hampshire And South Carolina Primaries, New Ads Press Presidential Candidates On Role Of Religion and Government
James Whitmore appears in a television commercial on behalf of FirstFreedomFirst.
For the first time in a presidential election and on the eve of the New Hampshire and South Carolina primaries a new series of television and newspaper ads is being launched to urge presidential candidates to protect religious freedom.
At a time when presidential candidates in both political parties are injecting religion into their campaigns at unprecedented levels, the new ads are designed to help provide a clearer understanding of where candidates stand on key issues at the intersection of religion and politics. The ads are scheduled to lead up to the New Hampshire and South Carolina primaries later this month.
First Freedom First, a joint project of Americans United for Separation of Church and State and The Interfaith Alliance Foundation, is launching the new print and TV ads to encourage voters to ask presidential candidates their positions on a wide range of issues, from end-of-life options to protecting the right of all Americans to worship…or not.
LINK TO FULL STORY
Also, an article from Yahoo today: ” US doomed if creationist president elected: scientists"
WASHINGTON (AFP) - A day after ordained Baptist minister Mike Huckabee finished first in the opening round to choose a Republican candidate for the White House, scientists warned Americans against electing a leader who doubts evolution.
Friday, January 04, 2008
The Milky Way at 5000 Meters
Credit & Copyright: Serge Brunier
Explanation: Climb up to 5000 meters (16,500 feet) above sea level, near Cerro Chajnantor in the northern Chilean Andes, and your night sky could encompass this cosmic vista. Recorded from that high and dry locale, the spectacular fish-eye image features the myriad stars and sprawling dust clouds of our Milky Way Galaxy. The direction toward the center of the Galaxy is near the zenith and center of the picture, but the Galactic Center itself is hidden from view, located far behind the obscuring dust. Brilliant Jupiter rules this scene just above the Milky Way's central bulge with the noticeably fainter, yellowish, giant star Antares to its right. Small and faint, near the right edge of the picture is one of the Milky Way's many satellite galaxies, the Small Magellanic Cloud.