Showing posts with label fundamentalism. Show all posts
Showing posts with label fundamentalism. Show all posts

Sunday, 9 November 2014

Game of Thrones is Too Much for Turkish Army

A scene from Game of Thrones
I've admitted it before. I just haven't watched any of that naughty Game of Thrones program. In above link, a Christian preacher informs us that every time we watch this program, Jesus gets recrucified, or cherubs cry, or puppies die, or something. I'm not sure how it could possibly be this good, but people assure me it really is. So as soon as I have time, I'll give it a watch.

However, there will be no nudie programs in Turkey. Well, at least in the army!
The Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) reportedly updated its secondary education regulations and added a new article to the chapter titled “the protection of students.” The new article bans the screening of productions like “Game of Thrones” on the grounds of protecting students from “sexual exploitation, pornography, exhibitionism, abuse, harassment and all negative behaviors.”
Thanks, mom. Sex and nudity scenes -- I do not believe it is hardcore -- are really too much for soldiers in training, but presumably war will be just fine. I mean, are they not being trained to kill people? These are adults -- over 20 -- we're talking about here.

Apparently, four officers were disqualified from being in the military for watching this television program in 2012. 

Turkey is an ostensibly secular nation. I've seen it often touted as the most successful secular democracy in the region. Well, it turns out that the military will be instituting new courses on Islam. Elective... for now.
The new regulations also lay ground for the introduction of elective classes on Islam in military schools for the first time. The new classes will be based on “basic religious education, the Quran and the life of the Prophet Muhammad,” the report said.
Gabriel Bell over at Vocativ sums up the bigger picture here -- an understandable fear of increased fundamentalism in this so-called secular state.
Though nominally secular, Turkey is trending ever closer to Islamic theocracy—something underlined by the Turkish Armed Forces’ recent banning of HBO’s Game of Thrones series at military schools. Their new policy aims at keeping students away from anything involving, “sexual exploitation, pornography, exhibitionism, abuse, harassment and all negative behaviors.” Granted, anyone who’s seen the show knows that Game of Thrones is categorically guilty of all the above—in a fun way. Nonetheless, the extent to which the TAF is adopting a more fundamentalist stance is worrisome.
I wonder how close the violence in this program is to the barbarism of war -- both in modern times and in the days of Muhammad?

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Will Canadian Muslims 'Own' The Radicalization of their Youth?

Syed Soharwardy (source)
I never learned how to play a musical instrument with any sort of proficiency -- although I am very good at whistling. So the musical component of my highschool days was choir. I intensely disliked it but it lead to an interesting observation.

Each group had their own leader or leaders. There was always a single soprano, perhaps a few altos, a single tenor and bass who would always be heard. They often had this revoltingly contrived British accent and would over enunciate constantly. Everyone else would sort of follow their lead and quietly mumble as if they were at church.

Last year, I wrote about an enlightening discussion panel over on NPR about taking the slam out of Islam with feminist and author Asra Nomani. This was in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombing and Asra was bravely declaring that Muslims everywhere needed to own the problem of extremism within their community.
... And I believe that inside of our Muslim community we haven't completely owned up to the real issues of extremism that is laying claim to our young boys.

... To me that means, in fact, acknowledging that we do have ideologues and we have websites and we have awful, awful indoctrination campaigns inside of our communities, well funded, that lay claim to these boys. It's not enough to say they're outside of our community. They are part of us. And we have to take ownership over that. Just as African-American community has had to confront the issue of gangs, we have ideological gangs in our community.

... I think that means identifying and clearly stating that we have ideologies that are called Wahhabism, Salafism and Deobandism that are indoctrinating our kids and our communities, that we have Uncle Mishas inside of our communities, and we all know who they are and we need to point at them - and they are just like the gang leaders in neighborhoods who take the hearts of young boys - and we need to isolate them. And that is how then the entire Muslim community will not be judged, because they will see that we are cleaning up our own community, and that is our responsibility, I believe, as citizens of this country and this world.

... there are wounds in every community and every society, and I think that the idea is that terrorists are wound collectors and we in our societies and our families and our communities have to make it so that folks can have legitimate nonviolent solutions to their grievances and their wounds and not turn to these violent means, and religion should not be used as a means of sanctioning that kind of violence. And we have to take the slam out of Islam. That's very bottom line for me.
I believe we need more brave people like her. In this day of ISIS the situation of youth radicalization in places like the United States, the UK and Canada demands that everyone on the side of a free and democratic secular society -- where all religions and no religion may flourish -- work together. 

One of the most prominent imams in Canada is Syed Soharwardy who is head of the Canadian Supreme Muslim Council and Muslims Against Terrorism. Back in August, he began speaking out against the alarming uptick in Muslim youth radicalization - in particular, the serious number of young recruits to ISIS from Canada, mainly Calgary, his own backyard.

Back then, I noticed a conspicuous lack of this owning that Asra Nomani demonstrated so clearly in the NPR piece. It seemed like he was asking the Federal government to work harder to clean up this problem but I just didn't see anything he or other imams were doing within their communities. It was a shame because Soharwardy seemed to be in the perfect position to make calls to action and bring Muslims together for this cause.

Randy Tyson and I discussed this over the mysterious backchannel that is Facebook. He shared a Facebook exchange he had with Soharwardy on his podcast The Legion of Reason where he asked this very question -- why not own the problem and tell us what the Muslim community is doing to fight radicalization?
Hi Randy, No doubt the Muslim community and leaders work with the RCMP and other law enforcement agencies to help in making Canada secure and safe. If I know any terrorist or a potential terrorist I will report. However, the people who are violent and creating terrorism do not attend my congregation. We follow SUFI tradition and the violent people follow the WAHABI / SALAFI sect.

Goverment has to go after them. I can just educate Canadian and the Canadian govt. about the root cause of terrorism which is a Wahabi ideology. It has nothing to do with Islam and Muslims. Thanks
I can recognize that lumping all Muslims together into a single group is simplistic and counterproductive and his response does point out the very same groups Asra Nomani identifies. However, if you are going to go by the label Muslim then I think it's wise to own the problem of fundamentalist Islamist ideologies translating to violence. I mean, isn't that the right thing to do? This is what Nomani is calling for.

These people are terrorising and dying in the name of -- what they at least call -- Islam. Listen, this atheist isn't terribly interested in which sects are responsible -- this mess is inside the Muslim community, from this vantage point. To this atheist, who's read the Quran at least once, violence does seem to follow rather well from a very literalist, fundamentalist interpretation of the book.

However, whatever your opinions about this, surely those in the best position to combat this sort of violence are those within the broader Muslim community! We're talking about people's children running away to join ISIS here. Surely, this is the most serious thing.

To Soharwardy's credit, he does seem to be the only imam we ever hear about who is at least speaking out strongly against this religiously-motivated insanity.  In the past, he's even reached out to other religious (and non-religious) communities as well. So even though he's wrong about the whole God and religion thing, he appears to be an otherwise reasonable guy. It was rather disappointing though to see him not quite go all the way, to own it.

Then I see this recent update on his Facebook page. Emphasis is my own.
The two faces of “so called” Muslim leaders make me very angry and frustrated. There are Muslims leaders when they speak privately they recognize/identify the sources of radicalization of Muslim youth but when they appear in the media or speak in public they become diplomatic and do not tell the whole truth. Only condemning radicalization and not identifying the source of radicalization is hypocrisy in my opinion.

There are other Muslim leaders who condemn radicalization publicly but privately they are the one who preach the ideology of radicalization. 

Unfortunately, majority of Muslim leaders are like this. So, keep on harvesting what are we sowing. May Allah save Islam from Muslim hypocrites. Ameen.
Now that's better! I mean, it's a start, right?

If only he could rouse some of the other members of the choir to sing a song of truth and shine some real light on this problem. If only I could hear anyone else singing at all!

Friday, 31 October 2014

Jordan Cancels Halloween


Just a few days ago, the holy holiday of Halloween was under dire threat from Muslim clerics and government officials in Malaysia. Now it makes me sad to report that our atheist plot to make all theists in Jordan godless has apparently been thwarted.

Additionally, the Government of Jordan recently announced that public celebrations of Halloween and public appearances in Halloween costume are prohibited.  U.S. citizens should expect police reaction, including arrests, at any public Halloween-themed event.  The U.S. Embassy advises that U.S. citizens traveling from their home to a Halloween party, or vice versa, cover up their costumes while in public or in a car.
The theory is that Islamic government are trying to appease local fundamentalist conservative religionists by taking a tough stand on people dressing up for Halloween.
“This seems like a convenient easy concession, like a bone to throw the Islamists, when the government is struggling a little with its Islamic credentials,” said my friend Alex Simon, a Jordan-based Fulbright scholar who studies the regional impact of Syria’s civil war. “It falls within a broader process of Jordan trying to maintain a tricky balance between in theory being a moderate Islamic country, but still with a relatively conservative population.”
It let's the government appear to be defending their values against Western influences while being allies with the West.

Meanwhile, it's party goers who have to suffer. Oh, I mean Satanist party goers.
This isn’t the first time Halloween has been contentious in Jordan. In 2012, arsonists set fire to the entrance of a West Amman cafe that had hosted a Halloween party the night before; the local Muslim Brotherhood chapter subsequently issued a statement calling the Halloween event a gathering of “Satan worshippers.” This year, the government itself started condemning Halloween celebrations before they began. A spokesman for the Ministry of Interior, Ziad Zou’bi, said such parties were not in keeping with traditional Jordanian values.
So I guess us atheists are running the show in Malaysia while the Satanists are taking care of things in Jordan. Who knew?

Thursday, 30 October 2014

Rising Atheism Identified as 'a Key Challenge' facing Egypt


Egypt has had many challenges recently, like the Arab Spring or that whole military coup back in January.

For mercy sake, the country is still reeling over that televised belly dancing competition, which surely shook society to its very limit! With all these belly dancers on television, is there any hope? Does anyone have any time to consider the political situation in Egypt when pelvises continue to oscillate on national television?

Keep calm, though. Even with belly dancing not completely resolved, the Egyptian government and senior clerics have bravely identified the rise of atheists as truly the largest, most dire threat to their entire civilization.
 In a sign of unprecedented concern, Egypt’s top Islamic official recently warned against the spread of atheism in the traditionally religious country.

“Atheism is no longer a marginal issue,” Shaikh of Al Azhar, Ahmad Al Tayeb, said on Egyptian state TV. “It has become one of the many challenges facing the country. There are agencies and institutions in the country concerned about this issue.”
And because education, employment, healthcare, poverty, secularism and democracy are 'just fine thanks', the Ministry of Religious Endowments and Ministry of Youth have teamed up to ensure young people are 'thinking right' and 'believing the right.'
The ministries of Waqfs (Religious Endowments) and Youth have said they will launch a nationwide campaign to tackle atheism in the predominantly Muslim country. The planned drive will recruit the efforts of moderate clergymen, psychologists, sociologists and political specialists to address the youth, according to local media.
I guess there are two positive  points here. It's obvious that atheism is making some progress in Egypt and it appears to be at least moving the discussion towards a more moderate point. They've even taken to banning fundamentalist Islamic clerics from giving sermons, which seems rather overbearing and unconstitutional to me, frankly.

Like lots of religious people who do not understand atheists, a Christian representative thinks this whole atheism business is some sort of rebellion against tradition.
“After revolting against the political regime, attention is turned to rebellion against the family’s authority and then the religious authorities represented by clergymen. Some people believe that as long as the ruler of the country is deposed, why not depose the chief of the world too.”
Also according to him, high unemployment and materialism is also a cause. Shouldn't the government be concentrating on the unemployment situation? Maybe a little materialism might help in coming up with concrete solutions to jobless rates rather than these pie in the sky witch hunts against belly dancers and atheists.

Apparently, there is an estimated 2 million atheists in the country out of nearly 90 million which is hardly a sizable minority.

If you're caught, you get up to five years in prison as well. That should be the real story here. Maybe Egypt should also concentrate a bit on their human rights and freedom of conscious problems as well.

Saturday, 25 October 2014

Saudi Grand Mufti discovers Source of all Evil and Devastation!

(source)
Finally, someone has figured out what's wrong with the world! It's been Twitter all this time.

The Saudi Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdul Aziz al-Sheikh -- voted 12th most influential Muslim in the world -- revealed this important news on his Monday television programme Fatwa. What a great name for a television show!
... according to Saudi Arabia's top Muslim cleric, Twitter is "the source of all evil and devastation".

Sheikh Abdul Aziz al-Sheikh, the grand mufti of Saudi Arabia, made the comments on his Fatwa television show earlier this week.

"If it were used correctly, it could be of real benefit, but unfortunately it's exploited for trivial matters," he said about the social networking site.

"People are rushing to it thinking, 'It's a source of credible information' but it's a source of lies and falsehood."
According to the Mufti, people are using the site for trivial things -- like posting how they are feeling!  Not acceptable! Well, Twitter is enormously popular in Saudi Arabia, there was a mini revolt against the cleric's declaration.
One user tweeted: "People need an outlet to express themselves, to start to disclose what's hidden and drop the masks, without fear or commands, or censorship from anyone."
Of course Twitter can be used for good. I use it myself to promote things I'd like others to see. However, after reading some of the inanity on social media, I can almost sympathize with the Mufti.
 "These are not the high morals that Muslims should have and I call upon all people to contemplate seriously what they write before they post their tweets."
Think about your tweets, people!

Just kidding. Twitter isn't the source of all evil afterall! He's just wrong, that's all.

 Perhaps the Mufti could focus on all those people getting their heads hacked off for trivial things or all the slave labor and human rights abuses? Instead, the country has been monitoring Twitter to combat witchcraft and gay people. What a waste of resources.

Tragically, I was unable to find a Twitter feed for him or his programme.

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Another Christian Preacher Thinks Ebola Is God's Wrath

Berean Baptist Church Pastor Pastor Ron Baity (source)
First, I posted about Rick Wiles, now Ron Baity.

What is going on? Why do these preachers spew such hateful nonsense and why do people sit in the pews and listen and presumably believe? I mean, I am obviously not a fan of religion but I generally believe that we're all human beings doing our best to make the world a better place. People like this guy really stretch this theory though, a lot.

NC pastor comes unglued over coming gay weddings: ‘You think Ebola is bad now, just wait!’

I mean, is this guy using ebola -- the suffering of thousands of innocent (and mostly not gay) people in Africa -- to prop up his own sick and twisted idea about what he his God thinks about LGBT people? How sick is that?
A Baptist pastor is warning that God will escalate the Ebola crisis when North Carolina begins performing same-sex marriages.

During his Sunday sermon following a series of court actions that effectively struck down North Carolina’s constitutional ban on marriage equality, Berean Baptist Church Pastor Pastor Ron Baity suggested that homosexuality was a sign of the End Times.
He worships this God? What kind of maniac would worship a being that murders whole populations of people because of what the Supreme Court did? Not that I disagree with the Supreme Court, but this fellow's apparent beliefs are the vilest thing I've come across in months.

And the fear-mongering, the targeting of a portion of the population, makes me extremely nervous.
“Listen, folks, it’s on,” he announced. “You might as well get ready for it. It’s on. It’s just a matter of time when they’re going to say to the churches… It’s just a matter of time before our constitution in our churches will be overturned like our state constitution just been overturned this week. I mean, it’s coming.”
In an almost incomprehensible rant he seems to compare gays and lesbians to cows slobbering each other.
“There was never a cow going around slobbering on another cow, sending a signal that I’m in love with this cow,” he said. “And when the bull got in the pasture, we didn’t have to give them a course in bullology or cowology. They had an inborn nature, they knew exactly and precisely what they needed to do to make sure that the Baity family had cows 20 years from now.”
Yes, he reduces human beings to cattle and base sexual nature. Perhaps this is his worldview -- sex. Maybe this is why he cannot seem to get over the basic fact of nature that a percentage of all animals, including people, are gay. They are attracted to those of the same gender by nature.  If he has a problem with this, he can take it up with his God.
“I would hate to think that two skunks in the backyard was smart than a judge that supposed to have studied the laws of the land,” Baity remarked. “Listen, we’re not getting wiser, we’re getting dumber! We’re not getting smarter. My friend, we are meriting, we are bringing the judgement of God on this nation as sure as Sodom and Gomorrah was destroyed, don’t be surprised at the plagues. Don’t be surprised at the judgement of God.”
Finally...
“You think Ebola is bad now, just wait. If it’s not that, it’s going to be something else. My friends, I want you to understand, you can’t thumb your nose at God, and God turn his head away without God getting your attention.”
Do people believe what this person says? How can they live with themselves? What sort of devilish dehumanization must go on within their minds to even allow this?

To think, Tony Perkins at the Family Research Council presented this man with the organization's highest honour in 2012, the very same year he described LGBT people as maggots.

What is wrong with these people?


Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Duck Dynasty GOP Candidate Exposes That Atheist 'YOLO' Saying


That Zach Dasher related-to-Duck-Dynasty-GOP-candidate guy has this podcast where he said things and keeps saying things. The podcast is a goldmine. Back in 2012, he said something a little like this over on his Facebook page.
YOLO right? About a year ago I started to notice all this YOLO business. YOLO on T-shirts, YOLO on wrist bands. YOLO stands for YOU ONLY LIVE ONCE. Rap artist Drake made the phrase famous with his number one hit titled, guess what....YOLO. The lyrics are pornographic so I would not recommend you download it. But what about the message in the title? Do we only live once? If the atheist is correct then yes, you only live once. You have about 80 years if you are lucky. And then it's six feet under you go to push up daisies. If this is all there is I have a bit of advice for you. Go get after it. Consume as much as you can for tomorrow you die. The most dangerous part of YOLO is not the porn lyrics but the clearly atheistic message that has brainwashed a generation. But I have a message for the YOLO generation. A new T-shirt, a new wrist band, a new song, and a new way. IT's YCL2. YOU CAN LIVE TWICE! If the historical accounts of the resurrection are true, then we have proof that our 80 years here are just the first life. We have proof that there will be a 2nd life. It you only live once, live for the moment like an animal driven by instinct. But if you can live twice, use your rational ability to plan for that second life. Folks the bottom line is this, Drake and Little Wayne are wrong and Jesus was right. YOU CAN LIVE TWICE!
Ah yes, The Atheist(tm). That over-generalized guy made entirely of straw who's destroying our youth with vile messages like you'd better get the most of this life because it's the only one you've got.

I'll admit that I've likely only heard this song playing in grocery stores or perhaps in passing. So I don't really recall it. Apparently the saying has gotten flak for being too facile and a catch-all excuse people use for doing stupid and irresponsible things.

Anyway, according to Wikipedia, the phrase goes back much further than this rapper guy, Drake.
The phrase "you only live once" is commonly attributed to Mae West, but variations of the phrase have been in use for over 100 years, including as far back as (the German equivalent of) "one lives but once in the world" by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe in his 1774 play Clavigo and as the title of a waltz, "Man lebt nur einmal!" ("You Only Live Once!") by Johann Strauss II in 1855.
Anyway, all this nuttiness fits into Dasher's religious worldview like peanuts in a Snickers bar. It's no surprise they are there, but it just wouldn't be as delicious if they were gone. The whole production makes for a fascinating and amusing treat. So, I think it's a stretch for Rawstory to refer to this as an atheist conspiracy. Dasher is merely pointing out an evil secular, atheist, secular humanist atheist culture which he sees as pervading the music industry. Nothing new here coming from The Fundamentalist Christian(tm).

Still, what's so wrong with seeing this life as the only one and not wasting it? I'm not talking about doing stupid stuff and then justifying it by yelling YOLO like an idiot -- although, hey, whatever you want -- I'm talking about making the very most out of every day. It's actually a pretty positive message. Even in the unlikely event you do make it up to the pearly gates, what do you think old St. Peter would think if you didn't make the most of this life you were given?

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

South African Pastor Now Tells Congregation to Eat Floral Arrangements

Maxwell Klinger eats a jeep on the television program M*A*S*H: "See? I'm crazy. I'm eating a jeep and I think it's tasty. What could be more crazy than that?" Nom! Nom! Nom!
Remember Maxwell Klinger on M*A*S*H? He would try any stunt to prove to his superiors he was insane so he could be discharged from service in the Korean War? One episode, he decided to eat a jeep to prove he was clearly insane and who wouldn't agree that there are some sort of psychological issues there? Well, this sort of thing doesn't appear to be mental illness to the congregation of one Lesego Daniel, who previously had his congregation eat grass, then ostensibly drink 'pineapple flavoured' gasoline -- he's got religion, so he's a prophet.

This time the pastor is advising his flock to graze on the floral displays around the church.

Pastor Daniel’s flock eats flowers

People started munching on daisies at his command.
“Eat this one,” said Daniel to one of his ushers. The woman ran to the flowers her pastor was pointing to and started chewing off the heads of the daisies and the leaves.

Others started running to the stage to get a taste of the flowers. At first the woman refused to share but Daniel told her to welcome others to also take part in “what the Holy Spirit was doing”.

Soon the whole stage was filled with people chewing away at the flowers.
Well, that must have been a sight. I am relieved, though, that Mr. Daniel chose flowers this time, as some of them are actually edible as far as science is concerned. So there is no miracle there if people didn't get sick -- assuming they are edible flowers. European daisies are at least are edible.
This daisy may be used as a potherb. Young leaves can be eaten raw in salads or cooked, noting that the leaves become increasingly astringent with age. Flower buds and petals can be eaten raw in sandwiches, soups and salads. It is also used as a tea and as a vitamin supplement.
It's pretty apparent he's now simply trolling for attention.
“I’m making news,” Daniel said standing over his congregation as they fought over the flowers.
*sigh*

Maybe it's not a scam though. Perhaps this is just the way South African mega church pastors lose it completely.
On Sunday, he told his congregation that media reports claiming that his private life was falling apart and that he owned luxury cars and huge piece of land where not true and are only attempts to discredit him.
If so, then I suppose this is not really that distinguishable from Maxwell Klinger's situation. Well, on the outside, at least, both cases look insane to us. It's interesting that when religion is involved, stunts like this seem to increase faith and devotion in the congregation, while without religion, in Klinger's case, it was all part of an intentional ploy to draw on as much discredit as possible.

Has anyone seen Pastor Daniel eat the flowers?

Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Jessa Duggar Writes Something Else On Her Instagram


It was only one day and already Jessa Duggar -- from the Nineteen Kids & Counting quiverfull-type-evangelical-homeschool-Christian-unreal-reality-television-family fame... Well... Listen... She's gone done written something else on her Instagram!


It's not so much the image, which is a haunting picture of children in a Nazi concentration camp. Nope, it's Jessa's description of the image that made people upset. (Emphasis mine.)
I walked through the Holocaust Museum again today... very sobering. Millions of innocents denied the most basic and fundamental of all rights--their right to life. One human destroying the life of another deemed "less than human." Racism, stemming from the evolutionary idea that man came from something less than human; that some people groups are "more evolved" and others "less evolved." A denying that our Creator--GOD--made us human from the beginning, all of ONE BLOOD and ONE RACE, descendants of Adam. The belief that some human beings are "not fit to live." So they're murdered. Slaughtered. Kids with Down syndrome or other disabilities. The sickly. The elderly. The sanctity of human life varies not in sickness or health, poverty or wealth, elderly or pre-born, little or lots of melanin [making you darker or lighter skinned], or any other factor. "If thou faint in the day of adversity, thy strength is small. If thou forbear to deliver them that are drawn unto death, and those that are ready to be slain; If thou sayest, Behold, we knew it not; doth not He that pondereth the heart consider it? and He that keepeth thy soul, doth not He know it? and shall not He render to every man according to his works?" (Proverbs 24:10-12) May we never sit idly by and allow such an atrocity to happen again. Not this generation. We must be a voice for those who cannot speak up for themselves. Because EVERY LIFE IS PRECIOUS. #ProLife
First off, she has a pretty horrendous picture of what evolution is all about. I've heard it before from the evangelical crowd. Regardless of what the Nazis used to justify their atrocities, evolution is as close to proven fact as any theory in science can ever get. It's right up there with the theory of gravity and the theory of relativity.

However, it was her apparent equation of the murder of millions of self-conscious human beings during the holocaust with the termination of pregnancies -- not self-conscious fully-formed human beings... often not even close -- has offended many of her followers, some of whom were already getting over her anti-atheist comments the day before.
I love you and you are a sweet girl. But I am Jewish and I can't even understand why you would compare the Holocaust to abortion. Women have abortions because their life style or body is not fit for a child. Do you think women feel good after killing an innocent child? It was what they had to do to save a baby from a miserable life. The Holocaust was when 9 million innocent and defenseless people who were deemed 'less than human' were slaughtered. Please don't ever compare those two again. Again I say, you are a lovely girl, just don't compare slaughter to selflessness. -- _mya_butoryak_
Abortion is not murder if you look at science. A fetus isn't viable or alive within the time abortion is allowed. Comparing that to the Holocaust is horrendous. Those people were alive and slaughtered. They were put through hell. To say something that isn't alive is going through the same thing is unjustified. I hope your child does not grow up with the same prejudice and narrow-minded approach to life. Shame on you, @jessaseewald. God forbid you're raped. Would you want that reminder of the attack? And putting a child up for adoption? Well, there are 109,000 children in the foster care system in the United States alone. And millions of ALIVE children around the world waiting for a loving family to adopt them today. I pity you and your lack of compassion. -- mayniacmeg
Ironically, comparing the holocaust with abortion -- many of which are performed when pregnancy is under 12 weeks -- is sort of extra dehumanizing, I think, for the victims of the holocaust. As the last commenter pointed out, these people -- who were completely aware of their situation -- were made to suffer in the vilest and cruelest ways over extended periods. The suffering was totally unthinkably gruesome and horrifying. To say that's the same as abortion belittles the event.

Look, I'm no big fan of abortion. Who is? However, in many situation it's the lesser of several evils and, in the end, it must remain a woman's choice over her own bodily autonomy.

Some of you may wonder why I'm even covering this story. Well, Jessa is the product of her upbringing. It is a cloistered, sheltered evangelical Christian homeschooled upbringing that is anti-evolution, anti-climate change, (anti-science), anti-choice etc. So, this is apparently what you get. It's not Jessa's fault -- by all indications she appears to be an intelligent woman who's simply working with what she's got.

Another reason is that, apparently, half a million people follow this Instagram. It's sad, but these people are looked up to by thousands if not millions of young people. Her words may have more effect on some than all the teachers and public speakers out there.

Friday, 26 September 2014

Americans Sure Are Talking About Those Atheists These Days!

This whole situation's gone to the Birds.
I usually shy away from commenting about all the really interesting things going on in the United States. Usually, I feel ill-equipped to make any sort of useful commentary and Hemant Mehta or Jerry Coyne usually cover it really well anyway. Sometimes, though, I cannot help but point stuff out -- sort of like your clueless Canadian uncle come down to the family reunion who, with the patience of a saint, must explain that our bacons are in fact identical. A man who refuses to pronounce house or boot incorrectly.

I'm working off less than four hours of sleep here, so I will not stumble to the point. It seems like people are talking a whole lot about atheists in the U.S of A. these days. I mean, I'm not able to even keep up with folks telling us all to stop behaving like Dawkins or Maher, or telling us we all should be Kirks instead of Spocks or that Sam Harris has turned us all Buddhist or that being atheist makes you an anti-Christ! Just look it all up on Google! Who can keep their food down these days? It's pretty wild.

We're surrounded on all sides! Troop morale is at an all time low as they peck at our eyeballs while simultaneously complaining they're the most persecuted group in the country! Barricade the doors! Stock up on canned beans! The irony meter has burst past Defcon 5 and we should all retreat soon cower in our bomb shelters or under staircases!

No doubt, the release of Nicholas Cage and Left Behind will spell the end of all of us. We'll all likely facepalm ourselves to death,but until then we have these two devastating occurrences -- prophesying much worse future calamity.

First off, there is this man in the United States who shares DNA with Duck Dynasty star Phil Robertson. We can remember Phil as being the guy who kept saying wild and irrational things about the gays and who very recently suggested that ISIS needs to be converted to Christianity under threat of death -- a point of view remarkably similar to the folks over at ISIS.  Well, his nephew, Republican House Candidate Zach Dasher, very obviously shares the bits of DNA that control brain-mouth functions with his uncle Phil.

GOP House Candidate: ‘Atheist Agenda’ Caused Sandy Hook Shooting
“He was made in the image of God,” Dasher said of the shooter. “But somewhere along the way he believed what the atheist says. He reduced humanity to nothing more than a collection of atoms, to be discarded like an old banana peel. I guarantee you, now this is my hypothesis, that even saw himself as nothing more than chemicals.”
Let this sink in for a moment. He's saying that an atheist cannot help but have a reduced view of humanity and that they must also see themselves as being depraved or sub human. This seems to be a common and highly concerning point of view among theists. I cannot help but think that it's dehumanization like this that can lead to some pretty gruesome actions. Oh, and did I mention this guy is running for the House? I thought I would repeat that to emphasize the absurdity of this situation.
He also said those who blamed the shooting on loose gun laws or mental illness were missing the point: “To blame the acts of a mass murderer on mental illness, for one, is a slap in the face, I think, to reason. It’s the equivalent of blaming lung cancer on coughing.”
No, instead he's implying that anyone who doesn't believe in his god becomes depraved and sub human enough to commit mass murder. I cringe to think what might happen if he should ever try to stop all this mass murder at its root. I wonder how that might go down.

The only thing I can agree with this guy on is his disdain for postmodernism! Well, that's a relief.

In second place here is Jessa Duggar, one of the 19 Duggar children whom Ken Ham recently praised for visiting his Creationism Museum. She had something to say about atheism too.

Jessa Duggar News 2014: ’19 Kids & Counting' Star Angers Fans With Atheism Rant On Instagram


(Nevermind the video on that page, it's just an advert for her new book.)
In her post, Duggar wrote, "Atheism - the belief that there was nothing and nothing happened to nothing and then nothing magically exploded for no reason, creating everything and then a bunch of everything magically rearranged itself for no reason what so ever into self-replicating bits which then turned into dinosaurs. Makes perfect sense."
Magically, eh? I'm not sure why she would have such a problem with that since the family apparently is all for the magic thing according to a new book she wrote along with 3 of her sisters.
"Magic, sorcery, witches, spell-casting and the like are all part of the demonic realm that God wants us to stay away from. One specific thing that our parents have always been careful about is magic, which often shows up in children's movies. As harmless as it may seem, it's not a joke in God's eyes," sisters Jill, Jessa, Jana and Jinger in their book, Growing Up Duggar.
Yeah, seems like anything goes in a belief system like that, while atheist types quite often rely on this thing called science. Did Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar not teach their kids science when they were home schooled? How am I to take her post about atheism seriously at all if she believes in witches and spell-casting and demons?

Jessa, why not pick up a copy of Why Evolution is True? Or any university level course might do.

Why does our culture put such value on those who have such a blatant and open disdain for science?

Thursday, 7 August 2014

Christian Radio Host: Ebola May Solve America's Atheism Problem

Rick Wiles (source)
There's this guy on TruNews Christian radio who keeps on saying these really false and offensive things -- most likely to get attention. Recently he was going on about Gay Nazism.

His name is Rick Wiles, and he just said this:
"Now this Ebola epidemic can become a global pandemic and that’s another name for plague. It may be the great attitude adjustment that I believe is coming… Ebola could solve America’s problems with atheism, homosexuality, sexual promiscuity, pornography and abortion."
"If Ebola becomes a global plague, you better make sure the blood of Jesus is upon you, you better make sure you have been marked by the angels so that you are protected by God. If not, you may be a candidate to meet the Grim Reaper."
Holy cow! Fourteen hundred people have gotten this disease and suffered brutally and over 800 have died. We have orphaned children because both parents have died. Or is that his solution? I suppose if we were all dead we wouldn't have any of those things Wiles is against. Seriously though, wishing a plague on those who you do not approve, really?

Oh, but it's not him... God did it, right? Is he not aware that a large proportion of the affected populations are Christian? Does he even care about those people over there?

In fact the only two Americans infected with the disease so far are both Christian missionaries! Ebola case count in gay San Francisco: zero.

As for having the blood of Jesus upon you, whatever the hell that means, it would appear that the only effective treatment so far is purely scientific. Oh, and then there is the new experimental drug ZMapp being developed by scientists. Wiles can keep his Jesus blood, I'll go for the medical treatments, thank you.

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Republican Candidate & Former Chaplain: Exorcise The Atheists!

Gordon Klingenschmitt. Future member of Colorado State House? (source)
I usually let other blogs cover the American news and try to keep this one more focused on Canadian or international stories. Sometimes, though, the cray is so intense from down there, I just cannot ignore it. Take, for example, the recent comments by Colorado state house Republican Candidate and former military chaplain Gordon Klingenschmitt.

Klingenschmitt was reacting to the US Supreme Court's refusal to hear an appeal brought forward by a Wisconsin school district. The district was successfully sued by Americans United for Separation of Church and State for holding its graduation ceremony in a church.

Anyway, Klingenschmitt thinks that what whiny atheists need is a good old fashioned exorcism to chase out the demons with which they are obviously possessed -- why else would they be atheists? Then they'd stop complaining about having to sit in churches.
"If the atheist complainer is so uncomfortable when they walk into a church that there's something inside of them squirming and making them feel these feelings of hatred toward the cross of Jesus Christ, don't you think it's something inside of the atheist complainer that's wrong?"

"I have a solution," he continued. "Let's do an exorcism and cast the Devil out of them and then they'll feel comfortable when they walk into church..."
Although some atheists may feel uncomfortable in churches -- due, perhaps to real trauma -- many have no problems with this. I think churches are magnificent buildings. I just have problems with public schools endorsing a particular religion, that's all.

Also, some atheists may not be keen on Jesus, while others have no problem whatsoever with him. Being an atheist doesn't mean you hate Jesus, or God. It means you don't believe in gods.

Isn't it also nice the way he suggests that there is something flawed or wrong with 'the atheist?'

Then there's the brilliant solution of forced exorcism. Half joking? Suggesting? Planting the idea of gross human rights violations?

I'm pretty sure he's not really serious. Although this could be a good case study for why atheist chaplains are required in the US military.

Hypothetically though, dragging people to get excommunicated reminds me a little of some countries that will throw you in jail if you don't observe Ramadan. Just sayin'.


Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Rick Santorum's New Sci-Fi Movie About Hobby Lobby & 'Decaying' Religious Freedoms


Thank you, America!

The movie offerings just keep coming and coming lately. The new Left Behind (with Nicholas Cage's face!), God is Not Dead, Dark Dungeons! The Principle? I simply do not have enough time in my day to suck in all of this. I feel like a kid trying to drink from a water hose.

Well now after a craft and hobby store has won a Supreme Court case that has resulted in corporations having freedom of religion (!!!!) -- brace yourselves, fellow Canadians, we cannot be too far behind! -- we get this glorious piece of poop from Rick Santorum that looks so bad it must do a complete wraparound and be absolutely fantabulous: One Generation Away. Skip below to see the trailer.

(edit 2014-07-02: The movie does seem to contain an interview with Dan Barker. I hope creative video editing and cutting doesn't misrepresent what he has to say.)

It's set in an alternate universe where the Christians in America risk losing all their religious freedom. Nay, they are only one generation away from being completely stripped of all their human rights.  Like that band of patriot rebels in Red Dawn, (the original with not-yet-cray Charlie Sheen, not the crappy remake), friendly national retail chain, Hobby Lobby, stands as a brave defender of Religious Freedom(tm).

It's the same kind of religious freedom that is often called upon when Christians do not wish to sell wedding cakes to 'the gays' or take their pictures. This is the God given right to deny some forms of birth control coverage to their employees -- because: religion! Right now, it seems sort of fuzzy exactly which forms will be allowed and which won't. But hey, now that the door is open, why not take away all forms of contraception? Who decides? Well corporations are people, so I guess they will.
The Supreme Court on Tuesday confirmed that its decision a day earlier extending religious rights to closely held corporations applies broadly to the contraceptive coverage requirement in the new health care law, not just the handful of methods the justices considered in their ruling. (AP)
Oh well.

Anyway back to the alternate universe now. Are they not oppressed?!! What, will it be back to lions in the Coliseum next? Such intense paranoia and victim playing of a group that is still clearly and utterly dominating. The scents of Christian privilege are strong and pungent like a runny French cheese.

Really now, Is this not a fine piece of science fiction? And such amazing timing too.

The movie trailer even features soundbites from the patron saint Ronald Reagan. And, of course, they pull out the Nazis, which I guess will rise again and take over if corporations aren't allowed to valiantly tighten their grips -- ever more slightly -- on women's uteruses. Oh, it will be a treat.

I am of course being sarcastic. For a Liberal observer like me, looking in from the outside, what I see is increasingly disturbing yet also so intensely ridiculous that I must laugh so as to not fall into a deep depression.

Saturday, 28 June 2014

Chuck Norris Roundhouse Kicks Liberal-Minded Architects' Secular Conspiracy!

Badass
Before I proceed with this post, I have to come clean. When I was growing up in the 80s, I thought Chuck Norris was pretty badass and awesome with his amazing roundhouse kick etc. etc. This got me thinking though. I used to love the Dukes of Hazzard and lived for the next episode of Knight Rider. These days, I can't bear to sit through even half an episode of that tripe. Same for Chuck Norris, but his recent post in Town Hall was pretty entertaining in a confusing way.
Mrs. Superintendent, there's no surprise or mystery here. The problem is not the software but those programming it. As long as you have liberal-minded architects across the spectrum who only want to steer kids in their own particular secular and progressive direction, changing Internet filters all day long isn't going to change the educational outcome; students will be prohibited from conservative education. Website accessibility is no different from choosing textbooks or instructors in classes; if liberals are in control, liberalism is the education.
If creationists are in control then religiously motivated pseudoscience is the education. Sure, call the programmers liberal-minded architects across the spectrum -- what does that mean?!? -- who wish only to subvert children to be progressive. Wait, is that all they're being accused of? Oh, Chuck, if only that were true I would be a happier man.

Anyway, Norris is talking about a curious case down in Connecticut where a student tried to look up a bunch of horrible  conservative websites and was blocked by internet filters. I actually agree with Norris that this is bad, indeed. How is anyone supposed to access both sides of the argument and make an intelligent well-informed conclusion?

Well, I for one am sick and tired of being sick and tired of these progressive schools preventing students from consuming conservative clap trap and demand they follow the lead of conservative, fundamentalist Christians who have a wonderful track record of not censoring any views contrary to their own... nope... never... never, at all...
National Rifle Association website -- blocked. The Republican Party website -- blocked. National Right to Life website -- blocked. Pro-traditional marriage websites -- blocked. Vatican website -- blocked.

But here's what wasn't blocked in his continued Internet search: pro-gun-control websites, the Democratic Party website, the Planned Parenthood website, an LGBT website and an Islamic website.
I can't believe it, but I must say that Chuck is right. None of that stuff should be blocked. You may be thinking: 'How long can Chuck Norris remain the voice of reason?'

Well! Norris concludes that this is all a sign of the impending doom of American public schools. They are being turned into progressive indoctrination camps! --- Red Dawn! Or was that Invasion USA?
A high school's prohibiting conservative views isn't shocking to any of us who for decades have watched the dilapidating state of public education. It's just one more sign that public schools are little more than secular progressive indoctrination camps.
Then, with surprising elegance -- incorrect elegance -- he brings the founding fathers in like some kind of commando unit. Then he sings the praises of public schools and how these blocked websites show that students are only being fed one side of the issue and that true education doesn't fear alternative views or even falsehoods. 

I'm sure you know where this is going. He's using Internet filters and picking the bones of the founding fathers to call for intelligent design to be taught in public schools.
Jefferson was exactly right, too. Regardless of whether our views define truth and reality, an open education is about presenting every side of the coin -- no matter how ignorant or idiotic we believe another's views are or appear to be. That is why teaching about "intelligent design" and religion should be an integral part of every curriculum.
I know, why not during mythology class or perhaps religion class? Because it's not science! The vast vast majority of biologists agree.

No wait, while we're at it, let's learn about the geocentric universe. How about flat earth? What about a course of leeches to rebalance our humors? This article is increasing the bile in my system.
There is also no doubt about this: When we fear alternative views to the extent that we eliminate them from curricula, we have reduced education to nothing more than tyranny and indoctrination.
There is no fear of alternate views. There is concern that if these ridiculous unproven theories are taught alongside real science there will be even less time devoted to science. It's rather that these alternate views are not science and should not be taught in science class. Teach them in social studies.

Oh, and scientists(!) get to determine what's considered good science based on the scientific method. Who says a medical school should teach homeopathy and blood letting alongside accepted medicine? But the only reason we do not hear the likes of Chuck Norris proposing this is because he hasn't a horse in this race -- namely his religion compels him to try to hijack science to prove his God theory.

Speaking of god theories, Norris ends his piece with an appeal to see the movie God is Not Dead. He believes this movies addresses the very heart of this academic issue. Based on what I've heard about this movie, it in no way reflects reality in your average college philosophy setting.

You know, he's sort of like a male version of Victoria Jackson. By the way, she's running for office and I hope Chuck does too -- (and nobody votes for them)!

Sunday, 15 June 2014

Oh Thanks, I Never Thought of It That Way!


While listening to a Classic Interview on The David Pakman Show - if  you're a liberal progressive like me you should give them a listen and support them with a membership - I heard Harold Camping follower, Allison Warden, talk about what May 21st 2011 would bring for all those unsaved people like me (and probably David Pakman too).

During the interview, she expressed a very important point that I had not previously considered.  She also pointed out that during the Deluge, it rained for forty days. This, ultimately meant, I suppose that some people had all forty days to attempt to save themselves.
Entering that five month period of judgment it's obviously... the Bible describes it as weeping and gnashing of teeth... it's going to be an extremely devastating realization to know that the Bible was true, God was real, Salvation isn't possible. Uhm, and.. essentially, sort of like Noah's Day with the flood where you have forty days of rain the water... you know people didn't drown... [inaudible]...
I had never considered this. Why don't they make a movie about this?

Presumably the mothers and fathers of this time were not so evil as to neglect their children or the species would cease to exist. So I could imagine mothers and fathers clinging on to their babies and going for days upward ever more to the highest peak in the land. Moving constantly with nothing to eat. Mothers' milk going dry with stress to the frustration of hungry newborns. At the end, after two, ten, fifteen or forty days, they would no doubt stretch their arms out and lift their babies up in desperation as the water flooded into their mouths and nostrils robbing them of life. Their babies would, of course, drown moments later. And God would be watching approvingly to every second.

What a wonderful picture. I wonder how long it took?  How many days and weeks of fear and suffering - before every single person breathed their last breath? How can anyone hold such a graphic image in their minds and believe in and love this God?

Thank goodness this is no more than a dreadful myth.

It's a mystery to me.

Thursday, 12 June 2014

Pattison Outdoor's Latest Grody Billboard Choice Gives Greenpeace 'Hey, Wait A Minute!' Moment

(source)
I'm sure you've all been keeping track. Last year, the big God-fearin' always-puttin-up-controversial-anti-abortion-billboards company, Pattison, rejected CFI's signs in Vancouver.

Then, more recently, they put up an absolutely ridiculous climate change denial advert. This evil deed was for - winner of the most Orwellian named organization - Friends* of Science. Why not do a little light reading about how much this group is allegedly in bed with energy companies (and here too)?

Now the latest oily leak to come, bubbling and gushing out of a pipe somewhere soiling upon the pristine widesky prairie, hearkens back to 2012. Back then, Pattison decided - for no discernable reason - to reject an anti-oil, pro-solar energy Greenpeace ad in Edmonton.  You know, when you think about it, it's sort of the same thing as the Friends ad but in reverse! Friends of Science is sort of like the Yang to Greenpeace's Ying, or something.

Well Greenpeace sees the similarity here and they don't like it. Understandably miffed, they are complaining and pointing out a bit of a double standard, a pattern that's as plain as day to see. Well, us atheists got the message awhile back.

(source)
Greenpeace sees Pattison accepting Friends of Science billboards as:
... from the anti-science, oil industry funded, front group ‘Friends of Science.’ In addition to the ad being inflammatory, factually incorrect, the billboard is likely the last message, the most carbon polluting Province in the country,needs to see, yet there it is up on Pattison’s billboard in Calgary.
It's true. For one thing, they claim Earth is to scale with our sun in the picture, but the distance is all off.  I don't think we'd have to worry much about global warming or what sorts of billboards get put up if we really were that close to the sun and completely burnt to a crisp and all, eh?  ---- Oh and then there's the tiny point that this billboard patently flies in the face of the overwhelming scientific consensus that humans are the primary driving factor for climate change. Succinctly put: it's a crock of shit.

Beyond being fucking annoying, what a huge counterproductive mistake that was - for humans to be doing, in general, I mean. Think of the carbon footprint involved in putting up these things!

Now, Greenpeace are left 'to wonder if there isn’t an agenda that (Pattison Outdoor) are trying to promote.'

Gee, you think so? Company owner, Jim Pattison appears to be nothing more than a science denying, big oil supporting, anti-atheist/humanist evangelical Christian. No surprises there.

(source)
HuffPo digs a little further. They provide a 'totally convincing denial' from Pattison Outdoor that there was any sort of discrimination at all.
Pattison Outdoor president Randy Otto told the Calgary Herald that the decision not to run the billboard was "a business decision relating to Greenpeace," although he did not specify the issue.
Oh well, silly me. That clears everything up.

The same HuffPo article even has this infuriating quote from Len Maier on Tuesday.
"First of all, our message is backed up by peer-reviewed science. Secondly, we’re getting an excellent response from around the world.”
Wow.

Did you just lose a bit of your lunch or supper? Well, some of mine just tried desperately to come back up but I was able to keep it down by thinking nice thoughts about the latest episode of Cosmos I watched. Yes, must keep thinking nice thoughts. Must not become enraged and break something.

When it comes to the peer reviewing, I could only imagine this must be 2% of so-called climate change skeptic scientists reviewing the remaining %1 while the rest of the scientific community -- 97%-- stand by helplessly wretching uncontrollably and nearly facepalming themselves to a pulpy death.

If you feel like pounding your forehead until it bleeds, you can read and watch the Friends' 'excellent response.' Go ahead, have plenty of napkins nearby and lock your windows and knife drawers first. Maybe consider a quick pop over to a notary public to make sure your living will is in order.

Saturday, 24 May 2014

Frank Turek & 'Natural Marriage' Is Naturally Ridiculous


Hey kids, want to read some ridiculous bullcrap about natural marriage and how it's better for everyone to because - biology?

Frank Turek
is seems committed to let us all know just how dangerous the gay agenda is to everyone. He has authored pieces with titles like Freedom: Another Casualty of the Gay Agenda and has written this trilogy all about same-sex marriage.

Same Sex Marriage: Stealing Rights From God

Natural Marriage is Not Bigotry, It's Biology

Same Sex Marriage: Stealing Heresy From God

In part the first, Turek asks whether same sex marriage can truly be a right. I will admit that I mostly skimmed through it, but it seems like nobody can have their rights unless they first ask Turek's god. Since this god doesn't appear very often to people, has stopped releasing memos since the first century and hasn't gotten the hang of mass media, we have to rely on people like Frank to let us know what his god wants us to do with our junk and whom we should get hitched with.

Frank says we should absolutely not get hitched with people who have the same junk downstairs as we do. Hey, don't blame him - we get our rights from his god and he's just telling it like it is.

God also hates shrimp, mixed fabrics and any number of other things -- I'm sure he meant to also forbid slavery and racism but was too busy with the seafood and clothing etc. etc. to get to it.  Turek probably realizes we never got permission to marry people we love from his god and, in the end, isn't it much more important to prevent people from getting their rights because of your own interpretation of a 2,000 year old book? Of course it is.

In part the second, Frank spells out the sad truth. Not only can we not have the right to marry people whom we love with a certain sort of genitalia - because: God - but we also can't do it because: Biology (aka Science!) You see, it's never him, it's just God and Science. Sorry!
If all of these observations make you mad, don't blame me-I didn't make up the facts of nature. I didn't make up the fact that men were made for women and that babies only come from their unions. I didn't make up the fact that mothers and fathers are different and bring unique parenting skills and benefits to their children. I didn't make up the universe in such a way that children tend to turn out better when raised by a biological mom and dad. I didn't make up the fact that we all have desires we ought not act on, regardless if we are born with those desires or acquire them in life. These aren't "my" truths or my morality. They are self-evident truths. They are not hard to know-just sometimes hard to accept.
Men were apparently made for women - or was it women made for men? - I can never remember my Bible. I'm guessing it has to do with penises and vaginas. I'll let Turek correct me about what his god tells him is the correct case.

Babies do, of course, come from men and women having intercourse - when God doesn't miscarry them 20% of the time. Fooey. What about heteresexual couples who cannot have children? Should they be denied marriage? It sounds like their union would be unnatural and so illegal.

What of the noble institution of adoption? My wife and I are on a waiting list to adopt and we've heard plenty of stories of children who were not better off with their biological parents. How about putting the children into homes where they will be loved and not abused?  What a freaking concept.

Last time I checked, like single-parent families, gay and lesbian families do have access to 'father figures' or 'mother figures'. The child isn't snatched in the night and put on a plane to a lesbian compound where they will have no access to older role models.

There is in fact no scientific evidence of same-sex parent families producing worse outcomes for children. Furthermore, these self-evident truths of Turek's are his alone - no matter how self-consciously he denies this. When you limit the rights of other human beings you require more than just a declaration of truths which just so happen to coincide with your narrow religious world view. You need to demonstrate real and actual harm to other people before you start taking away rights and making peoples' lives miserable.

In part the third, we learn about the gay mafia who have utterly and completely destroyed the constitution.
This new right is so powerful it has completely wiped out the old rights that our founding fathers enshrined in our Constitution: freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom of association.
What is this horrid new right? It must be pretty terrifying to have done such damage to the American democracy. It's... gay people getting married!

IS THAT IT? I think we have actual problems to deal with on this planet.

Yep. What the hell's wrong with folks like Turek? How could he possibly think that his right to believe his nonsense, spout it on his website and in publications like Christian Post etc. is at all threatened by consenting adults marrying the ones they love?
Liberals can't justify why same-sex marriage is right. Nevertheless, they want to legislate it as a right and will convict you of heresy if you fail to bow to it. Florists, bakers, photographers, Internet CEOs and speakers like myself have all discovered personally that the people who say they are fighting for "tolerance" are often the most intolerant. In the name of "inclusion and diversity," those of us who have a diverse view are being excluded because we don't exhibit lock-step conformity to their intolerant agenda. We are being fired and fined for exercising our real God-given rights. How can this be? We can't work because of our political views-views that are firmly rooted in the biological facts of nature. Is this still America?
Florists and bakers are perfectly welcome to post their views of homosexuality on their front doors. Perhaps they could all submit themselves to an online registry so that gays and lesbians along with pro-equality folks like me would know whom to avoid like to the plague. In return, they would never need worry about baking cakes or providing flowers to filthy homosexuals. I can't take credit for this idea, Dan Savage proposed it on his podcast.

My father-in-law was black. He was alive at a time where black families who wished to drive in the United States and Canada had to purchase a Negro Motorist Green Book so as to know where they would be served by shops, gas stations etc. Imagine you're driving down a road having eaten something that has not agreed with you and it wants to come out. You see gas station restroom after restroom go by - each one reminding you of your place - but your book tells you you must drive on for 20 miles. Oh, but it's their right to discriminated. It's what God wants, I'm sure.

As for the Internet CEO. He doesn't appear to like the gays getting married. This is a view that is growing increasingly repugnant to a larger and larger portion of society. The consumers let Mozilla know and he resigned. Such is unfettered capitalism. This is not a limitation of rights. Is Turek not into capitalism?

Why stand in the way of people's happiness? Why make it hard on parents and children? Why not do something good and spend your time trying to reduce suffering rather than spread it?

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Toni Braxton: My Son's Autism Is God's Payback For My Previous Abortion

Toni Braxton in Romania, 2012 (source)

Ever since it was posted on this blog's Facebook Page today, I've been dying to comment on this outrageous story.

Toni Braxton laments son’s autism as ‘God’s payback’ for abortion

It's all in her upcoming memoir, Unbreak My Heart.

Back in 2001, Braxton got pregnant but was taking Accutane for her acne, which has been known to cause birth defects. She also decided it wasn't the right time to have a baby. Hence, she had an abortion. I don't see a problem with this, but Braxton was raised in an uber cult-like Christian family and so apparently still feels immense guilt for this.
Braxton notes in her book that she grew up in a very strict household where she was forced to fast for two weeks during Lent, could not wear pants, and often had to neglect her homework in order to memorize Scripture. At the church where she and her family attended, students were forced to memorize at least 25 Scriptures per week.
What paints her God as a horrendous monster is that she honestly wonders whether her parents' divorce was caused by her abortion. Presumably God inflicted great pain and suffering onto her parents because of something she did.
She also believed that God may be punishing her with a diagnosis of lupus and her parents' divorce.
Because he wasn't done yet, apparently this God also decided that her son be autistic. Oh no, sorry, he let him have autism.
‘I have sometimes wondered whether God was punishing me for the abortion I had years ago by allowing my son to have autism. Or by giving me so many health issues’, she writes.
I honestly wonder what this says about her thoughts of autistic people as well. I know autistic children and adults and this kind of talk - of an affliction - can be seen as rather offensive. My own son and wife are both autistic and I do not see them as punishments from some (non-existent) God.

On top of this, jerk-God decided to also give Braxton Lupus. What a dick. And just how many abortions has he let happen recently?

Among women who know they are pregnant, the miscarriage rate is roughly 15-20%. Miscarriage may occur for many reasons, not all of which can be identified. Some of these causes include genetic, uterine, or hormonal abnormalities, reproductive tract infections, and tissue rejection. Miscarriage caused by invasive prenatal diagnosis (chorionic villus sampling (CVS) and amniocentesis) is rare (about 1%).
Not to mention being strangled by their own umbilical cords!

Although she's been through a lot and it's not easy. I notice a common thread in all of these cases; they all point back to Toni Braxton and something she did. This can be either seen as rather self-centered of her or a symptom of way way too much guilt and ownership of a bad situation. This appears to be an unhealthy condition and the cause is a twisted up guilt-ridden religious view that attaches unproven consequences onto unrelated actions. Being ex-Catholic, I think I might get some of it.

I hope Braxton can try to get over this and realize it is not anything she did, but that will require getting over the sort of abuse it looks like she had to endure. I think she owes it to her kids to try.

Oh, and it is infact, even worse than it sounds. In her upcoming memoir, Braxton also mentions that her second son's Autism symptoms just so happened to coincide with the MMR vaccine. If you're going to go off the superstitious conspiracy theory deep end, you may as well go for broke.
"Maybe it's just a coincidence that after my son's first MMR vaccine, I began to notice changes in him," Braxton noted in the book.

Monday, 19 May 2014

Did You Miss "God Loves Uganda" on PBS Too?


What a freakin' let down. Although I am up here in Canada, my cable package still has a PBS option. Unfortunately, the option in question is one of the affiliates that does not seem to carry Independent Lens, which is the documentary program that's airing God Loves Uganda in its entirety right now.

But, if you're like me, you may be able to catch it when it's released in full episode form on another PBS affiliate. I've got my eyes on WNET 13 in NY. We'll see how that goes.

If all that doesn't pan out, I've got it at May 21st at 7:30pm Eastern over at World Channel.

And finally, I could be an honest man and pony up the money to buy the DVD from the actual movie makers!

All in all, I probably ought to watch this film and I think you should too!