Saturday, October 31, 2009

Dangerous "fellow citizens"? YIKES???

(Chuck, I hope you don’t mind me using the title of your email for my blog post.)

Chuck A emailed this to me this morning. The links he provides are about “certain extreme wackos’ whose intentions are to work toward gaining enough power to rewrite the US Constitution.”

Chuck’s companion made the comment below at Austin Cline’s website in response to an article Cline has posted about this subject. And check out the link that she has provided in her comment.

Sojourner says: Here’s a group of fundies that have an opposite viewpoint. They think the constitution is a satanic document and want to rescind anything and everything in it that they have decided is not based in the commandments or the bible, period.

This group of nutcases is really frightening and truly deranged and delusional. They feel they are doing “God’s” work if they somehow manage to gain control.

Here’s an excerpt of one of my own comments that might be interesting to some here:

These people would stop at nothing if they could get away with it. They are seriously demented and frightening.

It’s very difficult to even read the page, but struggle through it, these people are the enemy within.

That is why we must prevail against those who want to destroy our country for their good and for their god.

These people are not some exotic citizens of a strange country. These are American Christians, whose very rights came from the same constitution they would destroy. I keep hoping this site is actually the rule of Poe’s law, but I don’t think it is. I think it’s all too real and disturbing. I suggest you read and make up your own mind.

This is the link:

A quote taken from Society for the Practical Establishment and Perpetuation of the TEN COMMANDMENTS
(Robert T. Lee)

Better is a dictator who rules every aspect of the lives of the people with true justice and righteousness, than a democracy wherein the people indulge in the evil and idolatrous freedom they desire.

As Chuck’s friend suggests, struggle through this lunatic's page. I have experienced others like him on several other sites on the internet and wonder just how many there are like Robert T.Lee in our country. Are they a real threat?

Nobel winner slams Bible as ‘handbook of bad morals’

We already knew the Bible is definitely not a very good guidebook for morals. The god of the Old Testament behaves totally opposite of human moral standards. He is jealous, murders infants, commits genocide, tortures and tests his creatures in cruel ways. One of the best examples of how awful this god of the Christian mythology is is when he makes a bet with Satan that he could torture the hell out of Job and he will remain faithful no matter what happened to him. Christians believe that this god is omniscient, all-knowing and knows the past, present and future. So why the need to test his creations and put them through unnecessary pain and heartache? Christians will answer "well we don't know or understand God's ways" but then on the other hand they continually claim that this god loves us and is merciful, kind, loving, and whatever else they want to believe about this imaginary being. Parents prohibit children from reading books with violence, sex, incest, murder, etc. but they will buy their kids a Bible and even encourage them to read it! All packaged in pretty little covers with pictures of doe-eyed Precious Moments people on the front. More and more of us are no longer afraid to speak up and state what we really think about this cherished book that contains as gruesome and grotesque stories as any other mythology, Greek, Roman, Egyptian, Mesopotamian, and most of the rest. Author Jose Saramago is the lastest critic of the Bible.

Nobel winner slams Bible as ‘handbook of bad morals’

LISBON (AFP) – A row broke out in Portugal on Monday after a Nobel Prize-winning author denounced the Bible as a “handbook of bad morals”.

Speaking at the launch of his new book “Cain”, Jose Saramago, who won the 1998 Nobel Prize for Literature, said society would probably be better off without the Bible.

Roman Catholic Church leaders accused the 86-year-old of a publicity stunt.

Anyone who is familiar with Jose Saramago’s works knows that this is not a publicity stunt on the part of this author. Saramago writes allegorical novels which present subversive perspectives on historic events, emphasizing the human factor. He is a proclaimed atheist as well as admitting himself to be a “pessimist”. You can read more about him at Wiki.

The news article goes on to say:

The book is an ironic retelling of the Biblical story of Cain, Adam and Eve’s son who killed his younger brother Abel.

At the launch event in the northern Portuguese town of Penafiel on Sunday, Saramago said he did not think the book would offend Catholics “because they do not read the Bible”.

“The Bible is a manual of bad morals (which) has a powerful influence on our culture and even our way of life. Without the Bible, we would be different, and probably better people,” he was quoted as saying by the news agency Lusa.

Saramago attacked “a cruel, jealous and unbearable God (who) exists only in our heads” and said he did not think his book would cause problems for the Catholic Church “because Catholics do not read the Bible.

Good burn — Catholics don’t read the Bible! And if Catholics and other Christians do read the Bible they read bits here and there and they all interpret those bits any way they want to.

“It might offend Jews, but that doesn’t really matter to me,” he added.

And we’ve heard this following comment many, many times from the believers who cling to this terrible book:

“Saramago does not know the Bible,” the rabbi said, “he has only superficial understanding of it.”

The god of the Bible is a not a good example of moral character.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Pleiades and Stardust

Credit & Copyright: Rogelio Bernal Andreo (Deep Sky Colors)

Explanation: Have you ever seen the Pleiades star cluster? Perhaps the most famous star cluster on the sky, the Pleiades can be seen without binoculars from even the depths of a light-polluted city. Also known as the Seven Sisters and M45, the Pleiades is one of the brightest and closest open clusters. Hurtling through a cosmic dust cloud a mere 400 light-years away, the Pleiades or Seven Sisters star cluster is well-known for its striking blue reflection nebulae. This remarkable wide-field (3 degree) image of the region shows the famous star cluster near the center, while highlighting lesser known dusty reflection nebulas nearby, across an area that would span over 20 light-years. In this case, the sister stars and cosmic dust clouds are not related, they just happen to be passing through the same region of space.

Fireball Meteor Over Groningen

Explanation: The brilliant fireball meteor captured in this snapshot was a startling visitor to Tuesday evening's twilight skies over the city of Groningen. In fact, sightings of the meteor, as bright as the Full Moon, were widely reported throughout the Netherlands and Germany at approximately 17:00 UT. Accompanied by sonic booms and rumbling sounds, the meteor was seen to break up into bright fragments, eventually leaving a persistent smoke-like trail. Even though there are bright fireball meteors in planet Earth's atmosphere every day, sightings of them are relatively rare because they more often occur over oceans and uninhabited areas.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Keep religious superstition out of health care reform bills

I just read this article which was posted at American Atheists on October 7th.

Atheists Oppose Christian Science “Faith Healing” Provisions in Health Care Reform Bills

“Faith-healing provisions in health care reform bills”? I knew the anti-abortionists were in a tizzy about provisions for abortion coverage, however I had no idea there were provisions to allow reimbursements for magical “medicine”!

An Atheist public policy organization today called for elimination of requirements in Senate legislation which would reimburse faith-based “healers” for their services.

Reimburse for what? If their imaginary friend is doing their healing, shouldn’t their imaginary friend receive imaginary “reimbursement”?

“Any adult in the legislative or executive branch of the federal government, or of any state government, who wants to use unproven, unscientific ‘remedies’ should be free to do so,” said Buckner. “But support for such irrational nonsense violates the separation of religion and government and the canons of good sense. Including faith-healing or other non-medical ‘treatment’ in health care legislation must be rejected.”

Dave Silverman, Communications Director for American Atheists, said that Christian Science and other faith-based healers already receive public money, and that the policy is not based on good science.

“We need to spend that money on providing solid, fact-based medicine. Reimbursing the faith-healing industry wastes precious resources, and violates the separation of church and state.”

It’s a damn good thing there are people paying close attention to these sneaky superstitious folks.

Good response by Illini — Voodoo Healthanomics?

Giving any sort of legitimacy to quackery, religious or otherwise, seems inherently dangerous to me. Especially dangerous and indeed often fatal to children of folks who take this stuff too far. While this particular amendment doesn’t seem to change the fact that killing a child with faith based denial of care is still generally illegal, it could encourage more of it and even reward those who attempt it and propagate irrational fears, distrust, or dismissal of proven medical treatments to those who might otherwise not know better. Of course empowering the government to decide what treatments should be covered is bound to cause even more issues along these lines. Will insurance companies or government programs be forced to pay for scientology thetan tests too? How about subluxation tests/treatment in the quackier side of chiropractic care which has roughly the same scientific grounding… i.e. none. Will we end up with a public option for prayer circle coverage too?

This religious nuttery in government and elsewhere is out of control. No wonder this health care reform bill is taking so long to pass! Too much bullshit to weed out!

Crazy Preacher Teacher!

Fundamentalist Christians whatever their denomination do not fail to keep us supplied with a steady stream of material to post about. Here is a story about a crazy fundie teacher at a public school in Arizona who is telling kids things creepy things that the devil tries to do. He also uses his platform for proseltyzing and encouraging the kids to pray, etc.

Teacher accused of telling devil tales could be fired

“Could be fired”? How about should be fired!

Tucson, Arizona | Published: 10.15.2009

A teacher accused of telling his second-grade students frightening tales about the devil is facing dismissal from Miller Elementary School.

Michael P. Corkery came under scrutiny last month when a parent sent a letter to the south-side school saying her child was being taught about Jesus, God and the devil.

The child said Corkery taught the students that the devil rapes little boys and “touches them where they don’t want to be touched,” according to the parent’s letter.

The student went on to say that the class was told not to tell the principal what they were learning because he could get fired and then he would miss them.

That is a tactic an abusive teacher used when I was in the fifth grade, but he didn’t play on our sympathies. He told us if we told the principal or our parents that he would “get us.” Unfortunately, despite complaints from the students and a few parents, this same monster went on to become co-principal of the school! Good thing times have changed and most parents listen to what their children are telling them.

The article goes on to tell more about this lunatic:

Miller Principal Mary Anderson placed Corkery on administrative leave and conducted individual interviews with 22 of the 25 students in the class.

Ten of the students interviewed made statements that were consistent with the allegations in the letter, said a complaint filed with the Tucson Unified School District Governing Board.

One student told Anderson that Corkery discussed the crucifixion of Jesus. Another said Corkery told the students to pray to God before they went to bed for protection of their families, the report said.

One student reported that Corkery told the children that if they lied, the devil would pull their feet while they slept, causing their feet to turn red.

Another said Corkery taught them to “never go on the devil’s side, never be the devil.”
Several students mentioned a devil doll that was kept in the classroom and utilized by Corkery, according to the report.

I hope that this insane man will never be allowed near children again.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009


Credit: STS-41B, NASA

Explanation: At about 100 meters from the cargo bay of the space shuttle Challenger, Bruce McCandless II was farther out than anyone had ever been before. Guided by a Manned Maneuvering Unit (MMU), astronaut McCandless, pictured above, was floating free in space. McCandless and fellow NASA astronaut Robert Stewart were the first to experience such an "untethered space walk" during Space Shuttle mission 41-B in 1984. The MMU works by shooting jets of nitrogen and has since been used to help deploy and retrieve satellites. With a mass over 140 kilograms, an MMU is heavy on Earth, but, like everything, is weightless when drifting in orbit. The MMU was replaced with the SAFER backpack propulsion unit.

And I thought Sears Tower glass balcony was scary!

Saturn at Equinox

Explanation: How would Saturn look if its ring plane pointed right at the Sun? Before last month, nobody knew. Every 15 years, as seen from Earth, Saturn's rings point toward the Earth and appear to disappear. The disappearing rings are no longer a mystery -- Saturn's rings are known to be so thin and the Earth is so near the Sun that when the rings point toward the Sun, they also point nearly edge-on at the Earth. Fortunately, in this third millennium, humanity is advanced enough to have a spacecraft that can see the rings during equinox from the side. Last month, that Saturn-orbiting spacecraft, Cassini, was able to snap a series of unprecedented pictures of Saturn's rings during equinox. A digital composite of 75 such images is shown above. The rings appear unusually dark, and a very thin ring shadow line can be made out on Saturn's cloud-tops. Objects sticking out of the ring plane are brightly illuminated and cast long shadows. Inspection of these images may help humanity understand the specific sizes of Saturn's ring particles and the general dynamics of orbital motion.

Friday, October 02, 2009

Trespassing Reason

H/T to our friend Christopher

Christopher sent me an email with a link to yet another crazy pastor in our area who, like Pastor Mondo I have written about a few times here, is allowed to write in a special section of the local paper called “The Pastor’s Corner.” (We have not yet heard back from this paper about a Secular Humanist section of the paper and probably never will.)

Christopher writes:

I think Mokena Messenger Meyer beat New Lenox Mondo this month. I read this article and felt I had to respond. This preacher tries to argue against space exploration; very badly. He should have just stuck with the claim that it is a bad return on investment.

Here is the link to Rev. Meyer’s protest against invading what he says is his God’s space:

Man in the trespassing of space

Meyer writes:

“Men who are ever learning but never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.” No matter how much man may explore the heavens above he will not learn to know God. Even the Russian Cosmonauts returned from a space flight some years ago and laughingly declared: “We didn’t see God up there.”

Mr. Meyer, space exploration is not meant to search for any gods. Space exploration is to take a further look into the cosmos to see what’s out there just as humans have explored the parts of planet Earth which were once uninhabited, wild and unknown. Scientists and astronauts don’t go out into the unknown to “know god”.

Interesting that Meyer brings up the quote of the Russian Cosmonauts. No, they did not see God up there. It was a humorous observation, not a conclusion of some hypothesis they were trying to verify. And we can conclude here on Earth from what we have observed, that no god comes, no god exists to take care of his creations here on this planet that too many believe was made specially for humankind.

Meyer asks a question then takes it upon himself to make up an answer for all of us:

So why do men continue to explore the heavens above? Because man is not satisfied with what God has given him. We are always searching, always looking, always seeking, and yet God has stated plainly, “the heavens are mine and I have given you the earth.”

Why do men and women continue to explore the heavens above? Because it is there and we want to know what is out there. Much of the technological advances we have today is because of the Space Program. Microwaves, cell phones, complex and constantly improving ways of communication are all because of scientific exploration into the cosmos.

As for the heavens belonging to a god and the Earth to humans, well you Bible Mr. Meyer was written by ancient humans who were ignorant of the world outside of their own…and even ignorant of the world in which they lived, for that matter. They might have imagined reaching to the heavens and that imagining eventually became reality. Much of what humans have achieved was only once imagined.

Also, if the world was made especially for humankind, it was not made rather crappily with the turbulent weather, unstable ground faults, volcanoes that erupt and spew molten lava down into villages and burying large numbers of homes and even people. Hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, tsunamis, wild fires, pestilence, disease, drought, tornadoes, microbursts, blizzards, don’t make for a very safe home that a loving creator would make for his creations.

I really like Christopher’s response to Meyer, and I am sure he won’t mind me posting it here:

Christopher writes:

Mr. Meyer

I would like to see the human race continue to discover, understand, and advance the world we live in. It saddens me to know that you cannot take pleasure in the idea of human potential, that you feel our best is following the words of ancient men and their story of a master creator that demands obedience in the name of love. Even worse, you influence people in our community, preaching a faith built on fear, teaching that a quest for learning and understanding is forbidden and punishable.

Of course you are free to believe what you choose and preaching is your job, but you cause significant harm to your friends and family, your community, your country and all of humanity when you attempt to shut people out of the human experience.

We need to encourage thoughtful, meaningful and advancing ideas for the sake of improving our day to day lives, for creating good jobs that stand up to foreign competition and most of all, driving to satisfy our human need to discover.

Mr. Meyer, I’m a weekly reader of this paper and I don’t make it a point to comment on your opinion column. I think your past articles speak to those that share your beliefs and I’m not writing to argue that your should reconsider those beliefs. This article of yours is different. It suggests a position dangerous to our ability to thrive. This article stands in opposition to what most would consider good for our understanding of the world. This article stands to diminish the pioneering of a more diverse community than which you recognize.

In regards to this topic, your god has no title, nor a deed to space, any space except by the claims written in your book. Our world is for all of us to explore and enjoy. Stand aside if you wish. Make a call that government money not be used to fund exploration and discovery. You can suggest leaving it up to the private sector but please do not think all of us want to live in the dark ages.

Well said, Christopher…an excellent and reasonable response. Too bad that Rev. Meyer and most of his followers won’t understand it.

I guess this is better than praying for the demise of liberals…

Liberty Council Prayer-In-Action Program

Since the landmark 2008 general election, there can be no doubt that a very large percentage of our Nation’s leaders have a liberal mindset. The undeniable fact is that the 111th Pelosi-Reid Congress and the Obama Administration demonstrate a far left political philosophy. And since the President nominates federal judges and Justices of the United States Supreme Court, the judicial branch of government could take on a decidedly more liberal bent as the Obama Administration wears on.

Liberty Counsel has therefore named this special new prayer-in-action program Adopt a Liberal. And that’s exactly what we invite you to do — adopt a liberal who is in authority for regular, intense prayer in accord with St. Paul’s admonition to his disciple, Timothy. In fact, we expect that many of our friends and supporters will choose to adopt many liberals as subjects of regular prayer!

What if their god loves liberals, since they are into helping the poor and sick, feeding the masses, saving the environment, and all that “evil” stuff like that?

And if you don’t have high blood pressurecheck this out: