Here is the story and the video:
Thursday, August 28, 2008
Fans not allowed to leave seats during singing of 'God Bless America'
The Catholics are crying persecution again over what they see as a blasphemous mockery of a symbol of “God’s love”.
The wooden cross was a bloody, gruesome execution device, people! Wake up!
ROME (Reuters) - An Italian museum on Thursday defied Pope Benedict and refused to remove a modern art sculpture portraying a crucified green frog holding a beer mug and an egg that the Vatican had condemned as blasphemous.
The board of the Museion museum in the northern city of Bolzano decided by a majority vote that the frog was a work of art and would stay in place for the remainder of an exhibition.
The wooden sculpture by the late German artist Martin Kippenberger depicts a frog about 1 metre 30 cm (4 feet) high nailed to brown cross and holding a beer mug in one outstretched hand and an egg in another.
Called “Zuerst die Fuesse,” (Feet First), it wears a green loin cloth and is nailed through the hands and the feet in the manner of Jesus Christ. Its green tongue hangs out of its mouth.
Pope Benedict, who is German himself and was recently on holiday not far from Bolzano, obviously did not agree.
The Vatican wrote a letter of support in the pope’s name to Franz Pahl, president of the regional government who opposed the sculpture. Pahl released parts of the letter, which said the work “wounds the religious sentiments of so many people who see in the cross the symbol of God’s love”.
Pahl, whose province is heavily Catholic, was so outraged by the sculpture of the pop-eyed amphibian that he went on a hunger strike to demand its removal and had to be taken to hospital during the summer.
“Surely this is not a work of art but a blasphemy and a disgusting piece of trash that upsets many people,” Pahl told Reuters by telephone.
“This decision to keep the statue there is totally unacceptable. It is a grave offence to our Catholic population,” he said.
Art experts defended the work.
“Art must always be free and the artist should not have any restrictions on freedom of expression,” Claudio Strinati, a superintendent for Rome’s state museums, told an Italian newspaper on Thursday.
I think this froggie is amusing, and think it’s even funnier how superstitious people get their panties in such a knot so as to make themselves sick over one person’s artistic expression. When they do this they draw even bigger attention to the artwork. I am sure the artist welcomes their public protests.
So very sad
Even if he would have lived, his life was doomed to be a circus freak show. 150,000 people swarmed the hospital hoping to get a look at him.
Bangladeshi boy with two heads dies
The boy, named Kiron, was born Monday by Cesarean section and died at home late Wednesday after developing a fever and breathing difficulties, paediatrician KS Alam told AFP.
Kiron had attracted such attention that 150,000 people gathered at the clinic where he was cared for after his birth in Keshobpur, 135 kilometres (85 miles) from the capital Dhaka.
Police were called in to control the crowds and Kiron was transferred to a hospital in nearby Jessore city.
But his parents decided, against doctors' advice, to take him home, Alam said.
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
America wants Randall Terry to STFU
A Terry comment from 1993 encapsulates his “Christian” worldview.
“I want you to just let a wave of intolerance wash over you,” he said. “I want you to let a wave of hatred wash over you. Yes, hate is good…. Our goal is a Christian nation. We have a biblical duty, we are called by God, to conquer this county. We don’t want equal time. We don’t want pluralism.”
And now he has brought his “Xian luv” to the 2008 Democratic convention:
According to news accounts, Terry and 12 others were arrested yesterday outside the Democratic Convention in Denver. His press release in advance of the event said he and other “Catholic and Evangelical Christians will peacefully ‘break the law’ to protest the slaughter of the innocent by abortion, and to call on fellow Christians to reject the Obama/Biden ‘Ticket of Death.’”
Pro-lifer activists like this asshat call on their fellow god botherers to protest abortion, but they never say what they will do for that child once they force the women to have these babies. What about the child after it’s born to a mother who cannot take care of it? What about the child who is born to an drug user? What about the child who would be born with fetal alcohol syndrome? What about the child who is born into some other dire circumstances because pro-lifers forced their mothers to have them? Few of these activists say what they will do for the child once it is born and no longer an infant (if it survives that long). We don’t see this kind of religious activism to call for help for the homeless, those who live in poverty, drug addicts, and others who live in desperate situations.
Many of us know pro-lifers who are adamant about their anti-abortion stance and believe that abortion is never an option. They will vote for the government to take away legalized abortion rights of others, yet what do they do to help children who are born into poverty and poor environments? They go off to their comfortable homes and good food while believing their “God is blessing them” while they spew out their rules they wish everyone else to live by. Most of them do not take their “work” to the inner cities and other areas where there is the greatest need.
LINK: Nightmare On Theocracy Street: America Wants Randall Terry To Get Lost
In the following video, Terry sounds eerily like Scientologist whackadoo Tom CruiseRandall Terry Gets Owned
Monday, August 25, 2008
Democrats open faith filled
church services convention
DENVER - At the first official event Sunday of the Democratic National Convention, a choir belted out a gospel song and was followed by a rabbi reciting a Torah reading about forgiveness and the future.
Helen Prejean, the Catholic nun who wrote “Dead Man Walking,” assailed the death penalty and the use of torture.
Young Muslim women in headscarves sat near older African-American women in their finest Sunday hats.
Four years ago, such a scene would have been unthinkable at a Democratic National Convention. In 2004, there was one interfaith lunch at the Democratic gala in Boston.
But that same year, “values voters” helped re-elect President Bush, giving Democrats of faith the opening they needed to make party leaders listen to them.
The result was on display at Sunday’s interfaith service, staged in a theater inside the Colorado Convention Center, and will be evident throughout the convention agenda and on the sidelines.
There will be four “faith caucus” meetings, blessings to open and close each night, and panels and parties run by Democratic-leaning religious advocacy groups that didn’t even exist in 2004 — not to mention protests from religious groups and leaders opposed to the Democratic platform.
And of course no atheist, agnostic or secular humanist on the list of speakers. If the intention was to show diversity amongst the Democratic party and unity of people from all walks of life, then that should include everyone. Unfortunately, to the believers, Democrats or otherwise, a coalition that supports nontheistic views is not welcome. But those who value the separation of church and state still made their voices heard:
In June, the Madison,Wis.-based Freedom from Religion Foundation, a 12,000-member watchdog group for the separation of church and state, erected a billboard near the Colorado Convention Center that proclaimed “Imagine No Religion.” In early August the sign was changed to “Keep Religion Out of Politics.”
During the convention, the foundation will fund mobile billboards asking for church-state separation and broadcasting its view that religion is divisive.
“Faith does not unite us,” Freedom co-president Annie Laurie Gaylor said. “And this is a time when we should be in unity behind our secular government.”
Most liberals still support Obama despite the religious mumbo jumbo he believes in and that is interjected into politics from both sides now, (me NOT being one of them because I do not trust him...but trust McCain even less...what to do,what to do!). One thing I am certain about is that no matter who your support or who is elected, we must continue to make our voices heard that separation of church and state must be upheld and to keep our secular government from slipping towards a theocracy.
Sunday, August 24, 2008
Richard Dawkins on purpose, design, and teleology
Grand Spiral Galaxy NGC 1232
Explanation: Galaxies are fascinating not only for what is visible, but for what is invisible. Grand spiral galaxy NGC 1232, captured in detail by one of the new Very Large Telescopes, is a good example. The visible is dominated by millions of bright stars and dark dust, caught up in a gravitational swirl of spiral arms rotating about the center. Open clusters containing bright blue stars can be seen sprinkled along these spiral arms, while dark lanes of dense interstellar dust can be seen sprinkled between them. Less visible, but detectable, are billions of dim normal stars and vast tracts of interstellar gas, together wielding such high mass that they dominate the dynamics of the inner galaxy. Invisible are even greater amounts of matter in a form we don't yet know - pervasive dark matter needed to explain the motions of the visible in the outer galaxy. What's out there?
Saturday, August 23, 2008
Why the Christian God is Impossible
Christians consider the existence of their God to be an obvious truth that no sane man could deny. I strongly disagree with this assumption not only because evidence for the existence of this presumably ubiquitous yet invisible God is lacking, but because the very nature Christians attribute to this God is self-contradictory.
Proving a universal negative
It is taken for granted by Christians, as well as many atheists, that a universal negative cannot be proven. In this case, that universal negative is the statement that the Christian God does not exist. One would have to have omniscience, they say, in order to prove that anything does not exist. I disagree with this position, however, because omniscience is not needed in order to prove that a thing whose nature is a self-contradiction cannot, and therefore does not exist.
I do not need a complete knowledge of the universe to prove to you that cubic spheres do not exist. Such objects have mutually-exclusive attributes which would render their existence impossible. For example, a cube, by definition, has 8 corners, while a sphere has none. These properties are completely incompatible: they cannot be held simultaneously by the same object. It is my intent to show that the supposed properties of the Christian God Yahweh, like those of a cubic sphere, are incompatible, and by so doing, to show Yahweh's existence to be an impossibility.
Before we can discuss the existence of a thing, we must define it. Christians have endowed their God with all of the following attributes: He is eternal, all-powerful, and created everything. He created all the laws of nature and can change anything by an act of will. He is all-good, all-loving, and perfectly just. He is a personal God who experiences all of the emotions a human does. He is all-knowing. He sees everything past and future.
God's creation was originally perfect, but humans, by disobeying him, brought imperfection into the world. Humans are evil and sinful, and must suffer in this world because of their sinfulness. God gives humans the opportunity to accept forgiveness for their sin, and all who do will be rewarded with eternal bliss in heaven, but while they are on earth, they must suffer for his sake. All humans who choose not to accept this forgiveness must go to hell and be tormented for eternity.
These attributes of God are related by the Bible, which Christians believe to be the perfect and true Word of God.
One verse which Christians are fond of quoting says that atheists are fools. I intend to show that the above concepts of God are completely incompatible and so reveal the impossibility of all of them being true. Who is the fool? The fool is the one who believes impossible things and calls them divine mysteries.
Perfection seeks even more perfection
What did God do during that eternity before he created everything? If God was all that existed back then, what disturbed the eternal equilibrium and compelled him to create? Was he bored? Was he lonely? God is supposed to be perfect. If something is perfect, it is complete--it needs nothing else. We humans engage in activities because we are pursuing that elusive perfection, because there is disequilibrium caused by a difference between what we are and what we want to be. If God is perfect, there can be no disequilibrium. There is nothing he needs, nothing he desires, and nothing he must or will do. A God who is perfect does nothing except exist. A perfect creator God is impossible.
Perfection begets imperfection
But, for the sake of argument, let's continue. Let us suppose that this perfect God did create the universe. Humans were the crown of his creation, since they were created in God's image and have the ability to make decisions. However, these humans spoiled the original perfection by choosing to disobey God.
What!? If something is perfect, nothing imperfect can come from it. Someone once said that bad fruit cannot come from a good tree, and yet this "perfect" God created a "perfect" universe which was rendered imperfect by the "perfect" humans. The ultimate source of imperfection is God. What is perfect cannot become imperfect, so humans must have been created imperfect. What is perfect cannot create anything imperfect, so God must be imperfect to have created these imperfect humans. A perfect God who creates imperfect humans is impossible.
The Freewill Argument
The Christians' objection to this argument involves freewill. They say that a being must have freewill to be happy. The omnibenevolent God did not wish to create robots, so he gave humans freewill to enable them to experience love and happiness. But the humans used this freewill to choose evil, and introduced imperfection into God's originally perfect universe. God had no control over this decision, so the blame for our imperfect universe is on the humans, not God.
Here is why the argument is weak. First, if God is omnipotent, then the assumption that freewill is necessary for happiness is false. If God could make it a rule that only beings with freewill may experience happiness, then he could just as easily have made it a rule that only robots may experience happiness. The latter option is clearly superior, since perfect robots will never make decisions which could render them or their creator unhappy, whereas beings with freewill could. A perfect and omnipotent God who creates beings capable of ruining their own happiness is impossible.
Second, even if we were to allow the necessity of freewill for happiness, God could have created humans with freewill who did not have the ability to choose evil, but to choose between several good options.
Third, God supposedly has freewill, and yet he does not make imperfect decisions. If humans are miniature images of God, our decisions should likewise be perfect. Also, the occupants of heaven, who presumably must have freewill to be happy, will never use that freewill to make imperfect decisions. Why would the originally perfect humans do differently?
The point remains: the presence of imperfections in the universe disproves the supposed perfection of its creator.
All-good God knowingly creates future suffering
God is omniscient. When he created the universe, he saw the sufferings which humans would endure as a result of the sin of those original humans. He heard the screams of the damned. Surely he would have known that it would have been better for those humans to never have been born (in fact, the Bible says this very thing), and surely this all-compassionate deity would have foregone the creation of a universe destined to imperfection in which many of the humans were doomed to eternal suffering. A perfectly compassionate being who creates beings which he knows are doomed to suffer is impossible.
Infinite punishment for finite sins
God is perfectly just, and yet he sentences the imperfect humans he created to infinite suffering in hell for finite sins. Clearly, a limited offense does not warrant unlimited punishment. God's sentencing of the imperfect humans to an eternity in hell for a mere mortal lifetime of sin is infinitely more unjust than this punishment. The absurd injustice of this infinite punishment is even greater when we consider that the ultimate source of human imperfection is the God who created them. A perfectly just God who sentences his imperfect creation to infinite punishment for finite sins is impossible.
Belief more important than action
Consider all of the people who live in the remote regions of the world who have never even heard the "gospel" of Jesus Christ. Consider the people who have naturally adhered to the religion of their parents and nation as they had been taught to do since birth. If we are to believe the Christians, all of these people will perish in the eternal fire for not believing in Jesus. It does not matter how just, kind, and generous they have been with their fellow humans during their lifetime: if they do not accept the gospel of Jesus, they are condemned. No just God would ever judge a man by his beliefs rather than his actions.
Perfection's imperfect revelation
The Bible is supposedly God's perfect Word. It contains instructions to humankind for avoiding the eternal fires of hell. How wonderful and kind of this God to provide us with this means of overcoming the problems for which he is ultimately responsible! The all-powerful God could have, by a mere act of will, eliminated all of the problems we humans must endure, but instead, in his infinite wisdom, he has opted to offer this indecipherable amalgam of books which is the Bible as a means for avoiding the hell which he has prepared for us. The perfect God has decided to reveal his wishes in this imperfect work, written in the imperfect language of imperfect man, translated, copied, interpreted, voted on, and related by imperfect man. No two men will ever agree what this perfect word of God is supposed to mean, since much of it is either self- contradictory, or obscured by enigmatic symbols. And yet the perfect God expects us imperfect humans to understand this paradoxical riddle using the imperfect minds with which he has equipped us. Surely the all-wise and all-powerful God would have known that it would have been better to reveal his perfect will directly to each of us, rather than to allow it to be debased and perverted by the imperfect language and botched interpretations of man.
One need look to no source other than the Bible to discover its imperfections, for it contradicts itself and thus exposes its own imperfection. It contradicts itself on matters of justice, for the same just God who assures his people that sons shall not be punished for the sins of their fathers turns around and destroys an entire household for the sin of one man (he had stolen some of Yahweh's war loot). It was this same Yahweh who afflicted thousands of his innocent people with plague and death to punish their evil king David for taking a census (?!). It was this same Yahweh who allowed the humans to slaughter his son because the perfect Yahweh had botched his own creation. Consider how many have been stoned, burned, slaughtered, raped, and enslaved because of Yahweh's skewed sense of justice. The blood of innocent babies is on the perfect, just, compassionate hands of Yahweh.
The Bible contradicts itself on matters of history. A person who reads and compares the contents of the Bible will be confused about exactly who Esau's wives were, whether Timnah was a concubine or a son, and whether Jesus' earthly lineage is through Solomon or his brother Nathan. These are but a few of hundreds of documented historical contradictions. If the Bible cannot confirm itself in mundane earthly matters, how are we to trust it on moral and spiritual matters?
The Bible misinterprets its own prophecies. Read Isaiah 7 and compare it to Matthew 1 to find but one of many misinterpreted prophecies of which Christians are either passively or willfully ignorant. The fulfillment of prophecy in the Bible is cited as proof of its divine inspiration, and yet here is but one major example of a prophecy whose intended meaning has been and continues to be twisted to support subsequent absurd and false doctrines. There are no ends to which the credulous will not go to support their feeble beliefs in the face of compelling evidence against them.
The Bible is imperfect. It only takes one imperfection to destroy the supposed perfection of this alleged Word of God. Many have been found. A perfect God who reveals his perfect will in an imperfect book is impossible.
The Omniscient changes the future
A God who knows the future is powerless to change it. An omniscient God who is all-powerful and freewilled is impossible.
The Omniscient is surprised
A God who knows everything cannot have emotions. The Bible says that God experiences all of the emotions of humans, including anger, sadness, and happiness. We humans experience emotions as a result of new knowledge. A man who had formerly been ignorant of his wife's infidelity will experience the emotions of anger and sadness only after he has learned what had previously been hidden. In contrast, the omniscient God is ignorant of nothing. Nothing is hidden from him, nothing new may be revealed to him, so there is no gained knowledge to which he may emotively react.
We humans experience anger and frustration when something is wrong which we cannot fix. The perfect, omnipotent God, however, can fix anything. Humans experience longing for things we lack. The perfect God lacks nothing. An omniscient, omnipotent, and perfect God who experiences emotion is impossible.
The conclusion of the matter
I have offered arguments for the impossibility, and thus the non- existence, of the Christian God Yahweh. No reasonable and freethinking individual can accept the existence of a being whose nature is so contradictory as that of Yahweh, the "perfect" creator of our imperfect universe. The existence of Yahweh is as impossible as the existence of cubic spheres or invisible pink unicorns.
Should any Christian who reads this persist in defending these impossibilities through means of "divine transcendence" and "faith," and should any Christian continue to call me an atheist fool, I will be forced to invoke the wrath of the Invisible Pink Unicorn:
"You are a fool for denying the existence of the IPU. You have rejected true faith and have relied on your feeble powers of human reason and thus arrogantly denied the existence of Her Divine Transcendence, and so are you condemned."
If such arguments are good enough for Yahweh, they are good enough for Her Invisible Pinkness. As for me and my house, we shall choose reality.
Friday, August 22, 2008
Swedish cowboy church
Swedish ‘cowboy church’ called abusive
MALMO, Sweden, Aug. 21 (UPI) — A Swedish church that operates out of a cowboy theme park is being accused by former members of being a violent religious sect.
The Kingdom Center’s pastor, Christer Segerliv, who calls himself the Sheriff of Lone Star, allegedly bullies members and their children to work long hours at the theme park and conference center. He also forces participation in extremist exorcism ceremonies, said former church members interviewed on a Swedish public service broadcast Tuesday.
One former congregation member who declined to give her name, alleged that Segerliv forced her to be part of one bizarre ceremony, The Local reported Thursday.
“He was supposed to pray for me but instead he threw himself on top of me and knocked me to the ground”, she said on the program. “It was very violent.”
Segerliv denied the allegations.
“They should have interviewed somebody who is currently a member of the congregation in order to get a fairer picture,” he said to the local newspaper Kvallsposten.
So, it’s like the saying about the grass being greener on the other side of the fence, it’s not. They’re everywhere.Check out the Swedish cowboys and cowgirls for God who want to spread their “kingdom” everywhere on earth. Yeeeehaaaaw!
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
Illustration of stupid on YouTube
Courts rule Nepal's living "goddess" can go to school
Nepal court in landmark 'goddess' rights ruling
KATHMANDU (AFP) - A Nepali tradition of locking a young virgin girl in a palace and worshipping her as a "living goddess" has been dealt a blow with the country's Supreme Court ruling she has the right to go to school.
The court said there was no justification for the specially chosen pre-pubescent girl, known as the Kumari, to be subjected to a practice that dates back centuries.
The current Kumari is nine-year-old Preeti Shakya.
The ruling comes barely three months after Nepali lawmakers abolished the country's 240-year-old Hindu monarchy, who received annual blessings from the Kumari in a ceremony designed to underpin the legitimacy of the royals.
The court's verdict was prompted by a complaint from local lawyers that keeping a young girl cooped up in an ornate but decrepit palace in Kathmandu's medieval quarter was a violation of her rights.
"The Supreme Court came up with a verdict... asking the government to take action to protect the rights of the Kumari," Supreme Court spokesman Hemanta Rawal told AFP.
"The court ruled there were no historic or religious documents that state the child should be denied the rights of education, movement etc. She should not be denied these things just because she is the Kumari."
Furthermore, the "living goddess" concept is facing redundancy given that Nepal is now officially a secular republic run by ultra-leftist ex-rebel Maoists keen to do away with the country's "feudal" practices.
And the usual retort by the believers no matter what religion...they sky boss told them to do it:
The people in charge of looking after her said they took orders from the heavens -- and not the Supreme Court.
Sound familiar? Of course our superstitious folks would say that they aren't taking orders from the "true" imaginary being.
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
LINK: Guess what? Military funds mind-reading science
LOS ANGELES - Here’s a mind-bending idea: The U.S. military is paying scientists to study ways to read people’s thoughts. The hope is that the research could someday lead to a gadget capable of translating the thoughts of soldiers who suffered brain injuries in combat or even stroke patients in hospitals.
But the research also raises concerns that such mind-reading technology could be used to interrogate the enemy.
Or whoever they deem as a “potential threat” to use this on, I am sure.
Armed with a $4 million grant from the Army, scientists are studying brain signals to try to decipher what a person is thinking and to whom the person wants to direct the message.
A waste of our tax dollars? Or valuable research for the future?
The scientists use brain wave-reading technology known as electroencephalography, or EEG, which measures the brain’s electrical activity through electrodes placed on the scalp.
It works like this: Volunteers wear an electrode cap and are asked to think of a word chosen by the researchers, who then analyze the brain activity.
In the future, scientists hope to develop thought-recognition software that would allow a computer to speak or type out a person’s thought.
“To have a person think in a free manner and then figure out what that is, we’re years away from that,” said lead researcher Michael D’Zmura, who heads UC Irvine’s cognitive sciences department.
I think it’s gonna be a long, long time and is a big waste of time and money.
Monday, August 18, 2008
"We're electing a president, not a national pastor"
I don’t see what good it will do for the American people to again hear the candidates spout pious platitudes about their favorite Bible verses or how devout they are.
“Candidates should appeal to the voters based on their qualifications for office and their stands on the issues, not their religious beliefs,” Lynn said.
I agree with Lynn that we have heard enough about the religious views of Sens. John McCain and Barack Obama and let’s get on to the real issues. Looking back at the ” Rick Warren Bible drill” I say now that that is over, let’s get on with debating and discussing the things without the distraction of personal religious convictions. We’re a country of diverse people, not an evangelical congregation.
“This event continues the campaign spiral into religious matters. Americans want to hear the candidates’ views on important issues such as constitutional rights, public education, the Iraq War and the economy.”
The Sunday after the forum was held, Warren told his congregation:
“I could not vote for an atheist because an atheist says, ‘I don’t need God,’ ” Warren said. “They’re saying, ‘I’m totally self-sufficient by [myself].’ And nobody is self-sufficient to be president by themselves. It’s too big a job.”
So, no matter how intelligent, level-headed, fair, and moral an atheist is, he is saying that an atheist cannot do as good of a job because an atheist does not have an imaginary “co-pilot”. And no one disputed that.
And Warren left out the fact that President can’t do his job with just the help of his/her imaginary friend. The President has advisors, committees, military generals, and other experts who help him do his job. No sky boss comes in and sits in at meetings and offers any advice. God is only involved when a president wants to use it as justification to invade a country, etc. If he says that God told him to do it, then the people cannot argue with that, right?
LINK: After Obama-McCain forum, Rick Warren sermon focuses on character
Saturday, August 16, 2008
Fundie GOP Rep says no need for "pesky environmentalists" . . .
GOP Rep. To Environmentalists: Jesus Already Saved The Planet
We like to keep track of the, er, intriguing sayings of Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, the Christian Right champion from Minnesota. But this latest is really out there — Bachmann says we don’t need pesky environmentalists like Nancy Pelosi around, because Jesus already saved the planet!
“[Pelosi] is committed to her global warming fanaticism to the point where she has said that she’s just trying to save the planet,” Bachmann told the right-wing news site OneNewsNow. “We all know that someone did that over 2,000 years ago, they saved the planet — we didn’t need Nancy Pelosi to do that.”
Other recent Bachmannisms include the claim that there isn’t actually any wildlife in the areas of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge where she wants more drilling, and the allegation that Democrats want high gas prices so as to force people to move into “inner cities” and “the urban core.”
Michele Bachmann Accuses Pelosi of “Global Warming Fanaticism”
Friday, August 15, 2008
More willful ignorance
Do they really think the Earth is flat?
In the 21st Century, the term “flat-earther” is used to describe someone who is spectacularly - and seemingly wilfully - ignorant. But there is a group of people who claim they believe the planet really is flat. Are they really out there or is it all an elaborate prank?
My grandfather was one of these people who believed the first flights into space were fake, and the mission to the moon was all fake. He said it was all created by Hollywood to fool the American people, but he could not provide possible reasons for going to such extremes to fool the public. There are still many people who would agree with my grandfather, that we are all being fooled. But I don’t think my grandfather thought the Earth was flat, yet there are some who still in 2008 who believe the Earth is flat.
On 24 December 1968, the crew of the Apollo 8 mission took a photo now known as Earthrise. To many, this beautiful blue sphere viewed from the moon’s orbit is a perfect visual summary of why it is right to strive to go into space.
Not to everybody though. There are people who say they think this image is fake - part of a worldwide conspiracy by space agencies, governments and scientists.
Welcome to the world of the flat-earther.
We may question if flat-earthers really do exist in these modern times of space travel and exploration, wondering how anyone can possibly still believe such things despite evidence to the contrary, but as BBC News reports:
Flat earth theory is still around. On the internet and in small meeting rooms in Britain and the US, flat earth believers get together to challenge the “conspiracy” that the Earth is round.
“People are definitely prejudiced against flat-earthers,” says John Davis, a flat earth theorist based in Tennessee, reacting to the new Microsoft commercial.
“Many use the term ‘flat-earther’ as a term of abuse, and with connotations that imply blind faith, ignorance or even anti-intellectualism.”
How many flat-earthers are still around?
Mr McIntyre estimates “there are thousands”, but “without a platform for communication, a head-count is almost impossible”, he says. Mr Davis says he is currently creating an “online information repository” to help to bring together local Flat Earth communities into a “global community”.
“If you will forgive my use of the term ‘global’”, he says.
And what about the vast quantify of evidence that proves the Earth is round, the photographs, the many men and women who have gone up in the space capsules and shuttles?
“The space agencies of the world are involved in an international conspiracy to dupe the public for vast profit,” says Mr McIntyre.
John Davis also says “these photos are fake”.
And what about the fact that no one has ever fallen off the edge of our supposedly disc-shaped world?
Mr McIntyre laughs. “This is perhaps one of the most commonly asked questions,” he says. “A cursory examination of a flat earth map fairly well explains the reason - the North Pole is central, and Antarctica comprises the entire circumference of the Earth. Circumnavigation is a case of travelling in a very broad circle across the surface of the Earth.”
Debating these flat-earthers seems like it would be even more exasperating than arguing with religious fundies. They make up answers for every question, and they reject the proven science and believe what they choose without scientific evidence.
Monday, August 11, 2008
Is being an evangelical atheist a bad thing?
“Richard Dawkins is at it again - trying to wean the non-converted away from religion this time in his examination of The Genius of Charles Darwin, on Channel 4.
Dawkins, in choosing a form of firebrand fundamentalist atheism over the discipline science, is no longer the champion of reason but rather a kind of evangelical against religion.
One obvious problem for Dawkins is that he battles to hold two rather inharmonious positions; at once he is the scientist - disciplined in observation and objectivity. But also he is the emotionally charged evangelical atheist.”
In my opinion, Dawkins and others, in order to be a champion of reason, must speak out fervently against religious and spiritual superstitions that threaten science education and scientific research.
“Since the release of his bestseller, Dawkins has been unable to separate the two positions. Gone are the days of the professor dissecting halibut in front of an audience of pre-teens divided into those who are averting their squeamish gazes and those who can’t for the life of them turn away. Now, even in his scientific capacity, Dawkins is belligerent.”
When religious figures speak out against non-believers and talk about how we all need a god in our lives, they are considered to be “passionate” and only wanting what they feel is the best for humankind, but when an atheist does the same thing, only “preaching” against religious superstition and oppression that threatens science, reason and freethinking they are accused of being “belligerent.” The religious folks just want us to be quiet, subdued and to not bring up things that might lead members of their flock to shed their delusional god beliefs.
Packman goes on to say:
It’s quite clear that what the New Atheists are doing is lumping all the religious together in one bundle, just like the religious fundamentalists would do to atheists.
In the fight against religious fundamentalism, atheists need to embrace the moderate religious community; they may well find they have more in common than they’d care to admit.
The “New Atheists” are lumping all the religious together in one bundle because all religious beliefs, whether one is a moderate god believer, or a radical god believer, no matter what their interpretation or individual church doctrine, they all still believe in the same god and Bible. If they choose to lump all atheists together, then that is fine with me because we all are the same in that we believe there is no evidence for the existence of god and while we are individuals in the way we choose to express or not express our atheism, we atheists are united in disbelief.
While atheists and the moderately religious may have everyday things in common, when it comes to superstitious sky daddy beliefs, we absolutely do not. While we may be able to “tolerate” each other, no matter how moderate the Christian, according to their beliefs we are to be pitied for not obtaining the imaginary heavenly rewards upon our deaths. And no matter how much they may “tolerate” us, we are judged in life according to their own set of religious standards and religious morals.
As for “embracing the moderate religious community”, I think Packman and others don’t realize just how dangerous the moderate religious are. The problems, as Dawkins see it is that “religious moderates make the world safe for fundamentalists, by promoting faith as a virtue and by enforcing an overly pious respect for religion.”
About being accused of being an “atheist fundamentalist” according to Wikipedia, “Dawkins rejects this label, saying that fundamentalism implies a belief system that is impervious to change, while his atheism is based on the scientific method of reasoning. He says that if new scientific evidence were found that disproved evolution, then he would willingly give up his belief in evolution and natural selection, whilst a genuine fundamentalist would remain firm in his/her belief no matter how much opposing evidence came to light.”
Sunday, August 10, 2008
Emergency Room Purgatory
Then there were a few times when having to wait caused more dangerous complications. My husband went into the ER in 2000 for severe abdominal pain. First I took him to the clinic and his doctor called an ambulance to transfer him to the ER. They plopped him on a gurney, put in IVs, gave him morphene (which didn't help a whole lot) and we were there for hours. I kept going to the desk to find out what was going on, what was wrong, what the plan of action was. Eventually, they did a CT scan and found he had some kind of blockage in the intestine, they didn't know what. They decided to admit him and were getting a room ready...for several more hours. He laid there on that gurney against a wall in the ER waiting for someone to come get him. No nurses came to take his vitals, and eventually he just lost consciousness from the pain. Turned out later that he had a blood clot in this intestine, and it killed 18 inches of the small intestine and that had to be removed.
My last visit to the ER last summer was not a good one either. I had the same waiting experience while going through a gout attack, a Lupus flare and fluid on the lungs (which they took a couple days to find after I was admitted.) They gave me pain meds and let me lay there for several hours, doing blood tests, and finally they took me for CT scan and showed I had a barely functioning and blocked gallbladder. They said they were going to admit me. I was put against a wall like my husband was and seemed like they forgot about me. I wanted more pain medicine and the nurses walked past me like I was invisible. And this is one of the better hospitals in the Chicagoland area.
Then my son was recently in the ER of UIC Medical Center in Chicago. Being a top university medical school, I thought he was in good hands. Well, it was horrible. Making our local hospital seem great in comparison. The first day he started with severe abdominal pain he went to UIC's ER, they did an old-fashioned x-ray and sent him home with laxatives, saying he was constipated. People do not get in this severe of pain from constipation. AND it says on every laxative label DO NOT TAKE IF EXPERIENCING SEVERE ABDOMINAL PAIN. They didn't just give him one laxatives, they gave him TWO kinds of laxatives! The next morning he was worse, and so he went back to the ER. They were being slow as usual, and they gave him pain meds. When I arrived he was burning up with fever and I told the nurse he felt very hot to me. She said "oh,let me take his temperature"...and did and it was 102! They finally sent him for a CT scan and they saw his appendix was inflamed and about to rupture...then they got him to the operating room fast, and removed the appendix. Idiots.
One time I went to the ER at another hospital for chest pain and sat in the waiting room so long that the pains went away, then I determined it must not be anything serious so told them I was leaving and they said "OK".
Friday, August 08, 2008
John Edwards admits to having an affair . . .
Yet another example of fine “Christian morals” and why we should have a Christian leader to set a moral example for all. (sarcasm) He looked like a nice family guy who loved his wife and someone who could really be trusted with that sweet baby face and talking about honesty and integrity, etc. Conservative Christians will start saying it’s the evil liberal influence, conveniently forgetting or excusing those Conservative adulterers who have sobbed their repentance on public television in the past.
Edwards admits to affair, denies fathering child
WASHINGTON - Former Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards on Friday admitted to an extramarital affair while his wife was battling cancer. He denied fathering the woman’s daughter.
Edwards told ABC News that he lied repeatedly about the affair with 42-year-old Rielle Hunter but said that he didn’t love her. He said he has not taken a paternity test but knows he isn’t the father because of the timing of the affair and the birth.
A former Edwards campaign staffer claims he is the father, not Edwards.
Hunter’s daughter, Frances Quinn Hunter, was born on Feb. 27, 2008, and no father’s name is given on the birth certificate filed in California.
The National Enquirer first reported on the affair in October 2007, and Edwards denied it.
“The story is false,” he told reporters. “It’s completely untrue, ridiculous.”
Deja vu…being in the public spotlight, when will they ever learn?
The Enquirer carried another story last month, stating that its reporters had accosted Edwards in a Los Angeles hotel where he had met with Hunter after her child’s birth. Edwards called it “tabloid trash,” but he generally avoided reporters’ inquiries, as did his former top aides.
In the interview, scheduled to air on ABC News’ “Nightline,” Edwards said the tabloid was correct when it reported on his meeting with Hunter at the Beverly Hills Hotel last month.
David Bonior, Edwards’ campaign manager for his 2008 presidential bid, said Friday he was disappointed and angry after hearing about Edwards’ confession.
“Thousands of friends of the senators and his supporters have put their faith and confidence in him and he’s let him down,” said Bonior, a former congressman from Michigan. “They’ve been betrayed by his action.”
Asked whether the affair would damage Edwards’ future aspirations in public service, Bonior replied: “You can’t lie in politics and expect to have people’s confidence.”
“I want to see our party lead on the great moral issues — yes, me a Democrat using that word — the great moral issues that face our country,” Edwards tells the crowd. “If we want to live in a moral, honest just America and if we want to live in a moral and just world, we can’t wait for somebody else to do it. We have to do it.” [said Edwards back in 2006]
Is this latest revelation going to make it more difficult for the Democrats in this campaign?
August 1st eclipse
Credit & Copyright: Catalin Beldea (Descopera Magazine)
Explanation: A train trip on the Trans-Siberian railway to Novosibirsk resulted in this stunning view along the edge of the Sun recorded during the August 1st total solar eclipse. The picture is a composite of two images taken at special moments in the eclipse sequence, corresponding to the very beginning and the very end of the total eclipse phase. Those times are known to eclipse chasers as 2nd and 3rd contact. Bright beads around the Moon's dark silhouette are rays of sunlight shining through lunar valleys at the edge of the lunar disk. But the composite view also captures solar prominences, looping structures of hot plasma suspended in magnetic fields, extending beyond the Sun's edge.
Thursday, August 07, 2008
WV fundie says atheists should be thankful we aren't killed
Our Readers Speak — Thursday, Aug. 7, 2008
A message for those who don’t believe
This is to all the atheists out there, you know who you are and so does God. First of all, be thankful you live in the U.S.A. or you could be killed for your beliefs.
It says in the Bible that the Jews are God’s chosen people and He will bless those who bless them. Do you think America is a “super power country” because we are all so moral and good to each other? No. It is because we have been Israel’s allies since Day One. God has blessed this country because of this.
If you think we have problems now, i.e. high gas prices, the economy, the housing crisis, think what may happen if we turn our back on Israel and God.
The presidential candidates need to keep this in mind when they campaign and ultimately become president. Barack Obama is on record saying he would welcome peace talks with the Mid-East. Who can reason with Hamas or Hezbollah when they kill innocent people in the name of “Allah”?
May God continue to bless this country and to those who don’t believe in God — may God help you.
In some places of our “modernized” country, time stands still.
And then I found this intolerant crap in several places while looking for an image to put with this post (click on image to enlarge):
And these people never stop to consider that you cannot force someone to believe something that they cannot. AND most importantly, they fail to realize that this country was founded on religious freedoms and that includes the freedom to choose to worship or not, to believe or not. Apparently there are places in this country were students are not paying attention in U.S. Government class, or they are being taught a warped version of it.
Wednesday, August 06, 2008
Godless jeans making a hit in Sweden
LINK:Swedish Designer Makes Waves With Satanic Jeans
He also plans to come up with an anti-Hindu logo as well as other religions, except for Islam because he says there are already enough anti-Islamic sentiments. I think he is just afraid of the outrage and potential for violence from the Muslims in Europe and elsewhere.
On one hand, this might not be such a good thing to intentionally anger the religious. One might say that we are angered all the time with religion shoved in our face at every turn. But when Christians put their symbols out there, it really isn't to anger anyone. It's just to try to win more converts to their religion. If we want to make people stop and question their beliefs, is this really the way to go about it? Then again, just wearing the atheist red A, or the American Atheist atomic symbol would be enough to anger most god believers.
What are your opinions about being this antagonistic toward Christians and other varieties of god believers?
Tuesday, August 05, 2008
Farrakhan Attacks Religious Neutrality In Schools
I just saw this at Americans United for Church and State:
LINK: Farrakhan’s Flub: Nation Of Islam Minister Attacks Religious Neutrality In Schools
According to Minister Louis Farrakhan, church-state separation is responsible for the education problems in America.
Hundreds packed a South Side Chicago church on Sunday to hear Farrakhan, the controversial leader of the Nation of Islam, speak on the “Educational Challenge: A New Paradigm for the 21st Century.” According to the Chicago Sun-Times, community activists and religious leaders met to find solutions for America’s “plighted education system.”
And Farrakhan’s solution? Inject religion into the public schools.
These god botherers will never understand what separation of church and state means.