Pat Condell – [It has] Nothing to do with Islam.
He nails it perfectly!
Pat Condell – [It has] Nothing to do with Islam.
He nails it perfectly!
I want Mr. Deity to fill you in on the details because he does such a fantastic job.
h/t Brother Jason, high priest of blaspheming and all things heariticy in San Jose, CA
WARNING: Very long post
I come from a rather large family with my siblings and their offspring scattered all over the country. While we are not really lovey-dovey close, we still respect and enjoy celebrating our familial bonds. To that end, we get together as a family (as many of us as is possible) every other year to spend time together and reacquaint ourselves with each other.
The last time we got together, we were at the beach in North Carolina. One afternoon, several of us were sitting on the deck of a house along the beach. One of my brothers and I were having a conversation about (un)intelligent design and I pointed out one of my favorite examples of piss poor design in the human animal – that being the use of the same passageway for both food intake and aspiration. I pointed out that it would greatly diminish the problems with choking and other hazards if there were separate passageways for each function. One of my sisters, who was reading a book a few feet away, piped up with her commentary saying “if that is such a superior design, why are there no successful examples of it in the world?”
Well!!! I guess she told me!
Um….err….well….uh….actually, no, she didn’t. All she did was expose her ignorance about evolution and her scientific illiteracy. Since natural selection relies on random mutations to produce slight changes that may or may not be successful, if a specific mutation never occurs, there is no opportunity for said mutation to prove its superiority or, for that matter, to fail. But even if it were to fail, it would likely leave a fossil record.
Now my sister is by no means a stupid woman – through hard work and determination, she rose from very humble beginnings to be appointed by the President to serve on the Federal Accounting Standards Board; become Vice-President of a Fortune 100 company by the age of 45; and become a fairly wealthy woman in the process. Not too shabby, especially considering her beginning circumstances. So a lack of native intelligence is definitely not one of her problems; critical thinking, scientific literacy, and highly developed intellect in certain areas may, but native intelligence is not.
I am not relating this incident to denigrate or humiliate my sister. I’m using it to make a point about what I consider the most insidious, truly evil aspects of religion. Anytime there is a discussion of the evilness of religion, most rationalists go for the low hanging fruit – 9/11, ISIL/ISIS, the Charlie Hebdo massacre, the Crusades, the Inquisition, modern hate groups like the Family Research Council and their ilk, and examples like that. No, the most dangerously evil aspects of the religion/god virus are much more subtle and insidious.
The first is the demand that followers be stupid. (I know, I know – the correct term is “willfully ignorant” but I prefer to use stupid because it is much more pejorative and better portrays my utter contempt for delusional assholes.) From the church in Ft. Worth with the marquee that proudly proclaimed “If ur faith is big enough facts dnt count” to theologians like Alvin Plantinga who say pretty much the same thing, to the bible itself that demands blind faith and obedience, religion, especially the Abrahamic religions, demand that true believers ignore facts and credible evidence and rational thinking to instead believe nonsense and ancient myths that they prefer to believe. And this happens even with people who are fairly intelligent otherwise. They compartmentalize and don’t carry their critical thinking skills and or their skepticism (if they have any) over into the area of religion.
Once the believer has entered into that mindset of willful ignorance in the blind acceptance of ancient fairy tales despite reams of evidence and compelling arguments disproving such myths, it is then just a very small step to the rejection of peer-reviewed science and verifiable, credible scientific evidence to instead believe pseudo science and nonsense that supports what they want to believe. Consider the evolution “controversy” – 47% of Americans believe in creationism and reject all types of evolutionary theory – a theory that has been more thoroughly tested and has more evidence supporting it than any other theory in the history of science. Not only that, but another 32% believe in an evolution guided by their imaginary friend rather than natural selection.
I used to have a “live and let live” attitude about this, with the feeling that whatever people wanted to believe was okay with me – as long as it didn’t affect me and mine and they left me (and other rational people) alone. Unfortunately, it is now at the point where it significantly does affect me and mine, and, in fact, every human on this planet because we have arrived at an undeniable existential crisis for our species. Actually, I shouldn’t say undeniable because these morons are doing a very good job of denying the reality of anthropomorphic climate change. (I just wish they would take Tim Minchin’s suggestion and “deny the theory of gravity and float the fuck away”). And the unfortunate reality is that their ignorant delusion could very well mean the extinction of our species. Perhaps not the complete extinction, but the end of human existence as we know it. We are, after all, one of the best species at adapting and so may survive in some significantly diminished way.
And it’s not only the issue of anthropomorphic climate change, but the interjection of delusional non-scientific nonsense into many areas of public policy, from science education to sex education, from reproductive freedom for women to public health issues, from stewardship of natural resources to………. Instead of following evidence-based public policy, we instead pander to the emotional desires of the delusional morons.
The second area of insidious evil, perhaps even more insidious and pervasive than the willful ignorance problem, is the subconscious acceptance of cruelty and misogyny. If the deity that you worship, that you hold up as moral perfection, the paragon of virtue, is a misogynistic, malicious, genocidal murderer, you can’t help but be inured to such behaviors. The resultant mindset makes it much easier to embrace ethically questionable policies like torture and capital punishment, aka state sanctioned murder, and public policies that negatively affect disadvantaged minorities, whether they be the poor, or racial/ethnic minorities, or sexual minorities. It is so much easier to accept injustice and cruelty when your penultimate standard of virtue is itself unjust and cruel.
This is where I think that the real evil of the religion virus lies in today’s interconnected world. Yes, there is much to be despised of bronze age sexual mores designed to further the aims of a patriarchal society; and the ridiculous Calvinist notion that suffering is good; and the misogyny that pervades all of the Abrahamic religions. But the pervasive, invasive mindset of willful ignorance and the acceptance of cruelty as the natural order is where the real evil exists.
Some of the optical illusions I’ve seen recently are simply stunning. Gaining in popularity these days is the “shake your head” illusion. There’s even a page on the intertubes explaining how to use Photoshop to create your own.
Here’s one that I found amusing.
Google “shake your head illusion” if you want to learn more.
A photo is making its upteenth journey through the intertubes recently that I thought was interesting in more ways than one.
Annette Kellerman promoted a woman’s right to
wear a simple, fitted, one-piece bathing suit 1907.
She was arrested for indecency
on a Revere, MA beach.
Along with the Poster of the Day comes this Question of the Day: would anyone like to venture a guess as to what group of people vehemently opposed Kellerman’s “promotion” and supported jail time for her “transgression?”
The Oxy/Viagra addict is at it again. Rush Limpbrain recently went on a ridiculous tirade because Idris Elba, a person of African decent, might play the role of James Bond in the movie’s next iteration. As utterly ridiculous as Rushbo’s tirade might seem, even better was Cenk Uygur’s take on Rushbo’s tirade. Oh, it’s a doozey. Check it out.
Cenk Uygur has a very unique style. He’s a “take no prisoners” type of news analyzer. If you’re not familiar with his work, I encourage you to check him out at TYT Network or on his U-Tube channel. I really enjoy his presentations.
Rushbo’s schtick (if I may legitimately call it that) parallels the mindset of everyone peddling a religious worldview. Each and every one of them share, to some degree or another, in a very (stubbornly) narrow interpretation of something that they have fixed in their minds. For this type of personality, deviating beyond those very narrow boundaries is nothing short of blasphemy, if not the height of insanity. If Rush was born in Syria, he undoubtedly would be an ISIL jihadist.
Let’s take a look at another classic example of this mindset, this personality type if you will. John Loftus recently engaged in a conversation with Bill Cunningham. Straight away, Cunningham admits that he was raised as a Roman Catholic and says that he finds the Catholic “philosophy” just fine and dandy these days because it’s no longer burning witches and cutting tongues out of so-called heathens and heretics. And with the Church pedophile scandal behind them and all now (yea, he believes that the scandal is just old news), he’s ready to fully embrace the clan. Makes me wonder if Bill has renewed his KKK membership now that that Klan is no longer lynching people on a nightly basis.
Despite all of the learned perspective and logic and reasoning that John is capable of heaping upon this fool, Bill’s immediate, simple-minded retort is “John, what if you’re all wrong and you’re gonna burn in hell for eternity?” Holy freakin’ shit! I nearly lost a gulp of Cabernet that I was about to swallow! Without any reservation, this was the second major clue that John was engaging in conversation with a died-in-the-wool moron.
But, being the “indefatigable” person that Victor Avalos describes John to be in his forward to “Christianity IS NOT Great,” John presses on without even a nanosecond of pause to heap even more logic and learned perspective his way. Bill’s response? “The birth of baby Jesus is just around the corner, the churches will be full and donations will skyrocket, so how can you deny that it’s all true!” Oh, dear gawd!
Cunningham is a living example of why one should never, ever try to engage in a thoughtful conversation with a moron; all they’re really capable of doing is dragging you down to their level and beating you senseless with head-banging stupidity. Cunningham’s final comments about John “coming around” if he discovered that he had terminal cancer, his “there are no atheists in foxholes” and “I’m going to pray for you” remarks were the comments that, at least for me, firmly put his name in the annuls of the Moron Hall of Fame.
You know what? I think the wingnuts in this country have gotten something dead right for once in their lives; it is really high time that we start putting “Christ” back in Christmas.
In search of ways that we may go about experiencing more of that “keeping-in” spirit, I went to the intertubes for a little inspiration in hopes of creating my very own Christmas card this year.
Here’s wishing everyone a safe, abundant and, of course, a very cheerful holiday season. FSM willing, I’m looking forward to experiencing more of the joy that you bring to my life in the year ahead of us.
Today begins a series of posters specially designed to help propel our readers to an ever higher state of enlightenment. Each poster will contain a passage from one of the many extraordinary articles found in the new anthology by John Loftus – Christianity IS NOT Great, How Faith Fails.
John’s newest anthology brings together, under a single cover, some of the most enlightened voices of our era. I highly recommend it.
The first chosen is from one of the most brilliant thinkers and physicists of our time – Victor Stenger.
In 2009 Victor Stenger coined the popular phrase: “Science flies you to the moon. Religion flies you into buildings” — a simple truth that cannot be denied.
Oh, this is a classic. The State of Florida is forced to honor the free-speech promises that it makes to its citizens and is now forced to permit a display erected by Satan’s special envoy in Tallahassee.
Score one for our side. And if I may tally it all up, the score is now: sane and reasonable human beings 1, fungelical lunatics 20134.
Whew. The future somehow looks at little brighter today. At least I’m chuckling…. and I suspect the real fun has yet to begin!
Happy Holidays, everyone!
Time to celebrate!
Florida Officials Agree To Permit Display By Satanic Temple At State Capitol Rotunda
Church-State Separation Watchdog Group Welcomes Reversal Of Policy
Dec 3, 2014
Americans United for Separation of Church and State today announced that officials in Florida have agreed to allow the Satanic Temple to erect a holiday display at the State Capitol in Tallahassee this month.
Although officials had previously labeled the display “offensive,” they reversed themselves after Americans United threatened to file a lawsuit on the Temple’s behalf.
The state has designated the rotunda as an open forum for private speech, and private groups in December often erect holiday-themed displays at their own expense. In 2013, the rotunda housed a nativity scene, an atheist-themed message, a “Festivus Pole” and a rendering of the Pastafarian Flying Spaghetti Monster – yet the Temple was denied access on the grounds that the proposed display was “grossly offensive.”
In an attempt to avoid similar problems this year, the Temple submitted its application in October, to give the Department of Management Services plenty of time to deal with it. Americans United, on behalf of the Temple, also sent a letter to the department explaining that rejection of the Temple’s proposed display would violate the Satanic Temple’s freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and right to equal protection under the law.
Americans United, which had been preparing to file suit on the Satanic Temple’s behalf, welcomed state officials’ decision but warned that the department’s written policy excluding “offensive” displays continues to present constitutional problems.
“Free speech is for everyone and all groups,” said the Rev. Barry W. Lynn, executive director of Americans United. “State officials simply can’t get into the business of deciding that some unpopular messages are ‘offensive’ and must be banned.”
The Temple’s proposed display depicts an angel falling from the sky into flames, accompanied by Bible verses and the message “Happy Holidays from the Satanic Temple.” The Temple describes itself as a religious organization dedicated to principles of empathy, personal autonomy and empirical reasoning.
In an email sent yesterday, state officials informed the Satanic Temple that its display may be erected Dec. 22-29.
“Although we are pleased that the state has finally agreed to allow the Satanic Temple’s display, our clients should not have been forced to find legal counsel and plan a lawsuit just to get access to an open forum,” said AU Senior Litigation Counsel Gregory M. Lipper. “The state can’t give itself the authority to decide whether certain religious messages are ‘offensive’ – it needs to allow everyone’s speech or no one’s speech.”