Archive for category Atheism
Some time back, way back in the bronze age in internet time, as prop 8 was still being hotly debated (pre-vote that is), a few of us posted thoughts to the effect that in the long run it simply wouldn’t matter. Pass or fail, the youth support was for equality, and while it may take time the end result would be support. You know, after the bigots die out.
Two or three of the usual suspects (our own personal party of “no” commenters) yelled and screamed and stamped their little feet, and said that it was clear that it would never happen, and that our youth support was a figment of our collective and diseased imagination.
Since then, our imagination has produced many polls with shocking numbers. Read the rest of this entry »
This one is a winner. This is why America is deteriorating. Republicans are uninformed, vacuous people.
In a recent op-ed, Salt Lake Tribune writer George Pyle argued that:
Following no organized religion does not mean that individuals do not believe in God, or a higher power. It just means they are compelled to define and follow that power on their own, being responsible for their own decisions, not outsourcing their thinking to any Earthly leader. And that should make democracy easier, not harder.
When no single religion is in a superior position of power, participants in a democracy must find another common language, the language of civil society, in which to converse. Preferred policies must be argued in terms of rational facts, because no one can simply claim it is God’s will and shut down the conversation.
This assertion is not controversial and should not be controversial.
Paul Mero wrote a surprisingly arrogant response to Pyle’s editorial. Mero, for those who don’t know, is a leading Utah based recipient of Wingnut Welfare as head of the Sutherland institute. Mero’s main point is summed up:
. . . there is no civil society without religion. Religion is a basic human value; it is a human good. All but the secular mind pause to reflect persistently on the purpose of life. Not only is this reflection natural to every reasonable human being, it is a requirement for human excellence.
The Family Research Council (a group the SPLC identified as a hate group for its ongoing use of lies, distortions and untruths about glbt persons) and Liberty Institute, another right wing organization, recently released a study which they claim documents more than 600 instances of hostility toward religious liberty:
Liberty Institute attorney Justin Butterfield tells OneNewsNow what his group hopes to accomplish with the study’s findings.
“We want to raise awareness of the issue. A lot of people think that hostility because of people’s religious beliefs and attacks on religious liberty are things that happen elsewhere in the world, not in the United States,” he notes. “We just want to show that it actually happens with increasing and alarming regularity here in the United States.”
Liberty Institute President Kelly Shackelford and FRC President Tony Perkins are presenting the study before the Republican Party Convention platform committee to raise that awareness.
I’ve been very skeptical about claims made by the religious right concerning discrimination against and bigotry towards Christians. However, this report is based on an audacious claim – 600+ incidents of hostility towards religion? Documented and published? As a matter of due diligence I figured I owed it to myself to check out the report. I downloaded the report. It’s 135 breezy pages long consisting of short summaries of instances the authors identify as hostility to religion and citations (either the case information or links to online news reports). The report is helpfully broken down in sections based on what type of hostility the authors deemed to have occurred (i.e. public expressions of faith, in schools, workplaces, about monuments and public displays, etc.)
I picked a few cases at random. Read the rest of this entry »
A must read from Al Stefanelli at Free Thought Blogs:
Absent from the land of TV-make-believe were some real issues like back-alley abortions, rampant racism, epic discrimination against homosexuals and atheists, and a whole slew of other problems that were conveniently swept under the rug of ignorance. Of course, there are a significant number of American politicians in office today who would like to see us return to coat-hanger abortions, segregated schools and the virtual disappearance of homosexuals and atheists; a problem that many of us are painfully aware of.
How did the fundagelicals take over one of Amreica’s major political parties?
They used underhanded tactics, such as to tie up meetings for hours on end. They took this long so that people would get tired and just leave. Once alone, they appointed themselves leaders and proceeded to make important decisions. They repeated this process until they controlled the entire state. Their goal was to see as much of the Republican Party controlled by fundamentalists as possible. Pat Robertson then formed the Christian Coalition, which had over 100,00 churches as members and was headed up by Ralph Reed, Robertson’s main minion, and a political genius. They distributed Christian propaganda at astonishing rates, including voter guides that reached saturation with over 40 million distributed copies. Not to mention telemarketing campaigns. The stage was set, and when the World Trade Center got bombed in 1993, it was the perfect catalyst that the religious right needed.
As an aside, they’ve used similar tactics to paralyze the moderate and liberal churches – plunging every national gathering into some manufactured controversy, manipulating rules of order to sidetrack discussions and creating conflict rather than cooperation.
The last twenty years has seen the melding of Christian fundamentalism and National pride. Fundamentalist Christians see themselves as Patriots, protectors of what they erroneously call a Christian Nation, against the traitorous liberal, socialist Democrats. Within this group lie their sworn enemies; the godless, heathen, devil-worshiping, baby-eating atheists. The fact that atheism is not a political party and atheists come from a wide variety of world views is totally lost on these people.
“I consider nothing that is human alien to me.” Terence 195-159 BC
For a long time, for some reason, I thought Terence’s quote was actually Walt Whitman. It seems like something Whitman would have written. And its relevant.
I spent a most of my waking hours the weekend of the 24th either getting ready for, driving to, attending, driving from and showering after the 2012 Festival of Colors at the Sri Sri Radha Krishna Temple in Spanish Fork. Reports say 80,000+ people attended this year and I’m not surprised. The crowd was huge all day Saturday. I don’t think I’ve seen that many people in one place in Utah outside of a Utah BYU game. And it was amazing. Live music, lots of happy people. Lots of color. Oh my god was there color.
I’m going to be all over the map in this post. You may want to buckle your seatbelt. Read the rest of this entry »
“Atheist!” my mother cried, “atheist! Your father said last night that he wished you were gay, at least that is socially acceptable!”
Reality and Faux News, two paths that crossed once, and have ever since been running at 90 degree angles to each other…
According to blathering idiots babbling on Faux, gay marriage has no support, the majority are against it:
As the link points out, not so much. But then anyone who pays attention knows Faux is generally a clearing house for rightwing lies anyway, so no big deal. The reason I bring this up is slightly different.
Christmas is fast approaching and I am pleased to say my shopping is done and courtesy of several online retailers I have successfully avoided the stores.
Truth be told I get morose around the holidays. Christmas seems to me to be neither a convincing religious holiday nor a pleasurable secular one and the societal “script” feels as if we’re supposed to be happy even if happy is the last thing we feel like being. Between the conservative Christians whining that there’s a war on Christmas and that people are trying to prevent them from enjoying their religious festivities and the relentless drumbeat of corporate America trying to convince the rest of us we should bankrupt ourselves in a quest to buy the perfect present, the season seems more dreary than joyous. Read the rest of this entry »
Another post about faith – or more realistically, the lack thereof.
The enemy of faith isn’t atheism, it is information. Sustaining faith in God, as for example, relies on a lack of information which would disprove God. How do I know?
The piece in the Times (written by Bill Keller) included this passage:
. . . when it comes to the religious beliefs of our would-be presidents, we are a little squeamish about probing too aggressively. Michele Bachmann was asked during the Iowa G.O.P. debate what she meant when she said the Bible obliged her to “be submissive” to her husband, and there was an audible wave of boos — for the question, not the answer. There is a sense, encouraged by the candidates, that what goes on between a candidate and his or her God is a sensitive, even privileged domain, except when it is useful for mobilizing the religious base and prying open their wallets.