Observations and inanities by a second-shift assistant supervisor in the Puppy-Grinding division of the Evil Atheist Conspiracy® (our motto: "Sure it's cruel, but think of the jobs!"), your host, Brent Rasmussen.
Liberal bias has become the single biggest distortion in modern Bible translations. There are three sources of errors in conveying biblical meaning:
* lack of precision in the original language, such as terms underdeveloped to convey new concepts of Christianity
* lack of precision in modern language
* translation bias in converting the original language to the modern one.
Of these three sources of errors, the last introduces the largest error, and the biggest component of that error is liberal bias. Large reductions in this error can be attained simply by retranslating the KJV into modern English.
As of 2009, there is no fully conservative translation of the Bible which satisfies the following ten guidelines:
What an amazing project. Because the bible isn't already enough of a fairy tale, these guys feel the need to rephrase it in a manner more suited to their politics. Howso? Well, it's right there on the site, but let me point to just one of the "ten guidelines":
This is what happens when you let religion determine health policy:
Teenage pregnancies and syphilis have risen sharply among a generation of American school girls who were urged to avoid sex before marriage under George Bush's evangelically-driven education policy, according to a new report by the US's major public health body.
So, will the next press conference Gov. Mark Sanford holds feature a "highlights of my sex life" video, or what? I mean, seriously, the guy seems to be going out of his way to see just how far he can push things before even the Republicans in his state get fed up. From yesterday's presser:
COLUMBIA, S.C. — South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford said Tuesday that he "crossed lines" with a handful of women other than his mistress — but never had sex with them. The governor said he "never crossed the ultimate line" with anyone but Maria Belen Chapur, the Argentine at the center of a scandal that has derailed his once-promising political career.
* * *
He said that during the encounters with other women he "let his guard down" with some physical contact but "didn't cross the sex line." He wouldn't go into detail.
Sanford said the casual encounters happened outside the U.S. while he was married but before he met Chapur, on trips to "blow off steam" with male friends.
"English only" moron Pat Buchanan talks with Peter Brimelow, bigot-in-chief of VDare.com under their new banner. I can only imagine what the two of them might be discussing. What I can tell you is that it is most likely something that is dangerous to America, morally repugnant, or both. Probably something along the lines of:
"We don't need no stinkin', uppity mesicans on our Supreme Court, by God! That job is reserved for white men!"
Did I mention that Pat Buchanan makes me want to vomit? Simply by existing? No?
Well, now you know.
(Tip of the ballcap to Think Progress.)
I'm kinda responding to my own comment in a previous post, A Pig in Poke, where I talk about conservative Christian bloggers who want to live in an echo chamber, and who delete all commments they don't like.
I compared them to progressive bloggers, PZ Myers, for instance, who lets every comment stand (except those made by an actual troll who attacks and harasses the other commenters), so that literally anybody can come and express literally any opinion, at virtually any length.
The point is that too many conservatives, like the sweet nitwit LadySheepdog who has commented here, simply can't stand opposing voices. The vision of Bill O'Reilly cutting off the microphone of guests he himself invited onto his show is the perfect example, but LadySheepdog apparently feels free to censor blog commenters simply because she disagrees with them.
Who lives more in keeping with real American values? Easy answer here.
As Republicans sort out the reasons for their defeat, they likely will overlook or dismiss the gorilla in the pulpit.
Three little letters, great big problem: G-O-D.
I'm bathing in holy water as I type.
To be more specific, the evangelical, right-wing, oogedy-boogedy branch of the GOP is what ails the erstwhile conservative party and will continue to afflict and marginalize its constituents if reckoning doesn't soon cometh.
Simply put: Armband religion is killing the Republican Party. And, the truth -- as long as we're setting ourselves free -- is that if one were to eavesdrop on private conversations among the party intelligentsia, one would hear precisely that.
OK, she still makes a bow in the direction of the alter, saying that private belief still makes people and society better. But the main thrust of her column is that religion has poisoned politics, particularly Republican politics, for the last generation.
An interesting examination of the linguistics behind Sarah Palin's assertions that Barack Obama "pals around with terrorists", from Anil Dash:
Sarah Palin has been unsurprising in her criticisms of Barack Obama's credentials and policies, fulfilling the traditional role of the vice presidential candidate being the most aggressive and pointed rhetorical attacker in a campaign. But a closer look at her deliberate use of vernacular and language reveals that she has gone far beyond any other candidate in vice presidential history in the dangerous and irresponsible implications of her attacks. She has phrased her attacks on Obama in a way that avoids accountability to the press while specifically addressing the subset of her audience who are most likely to advocate extreme actions against Obama.
* * *
Jeffery Lord, former White House political director during the Reagan Administration, knows why you're all worried about Sarah Palin possibly getting elected. And it is not for the reasons you might think.
[Jeffery Lord] Make no mistake. The vociferous attacks on Sarah Palin -- on her views of abortion, family, work, the environment, science, the role of women and all the rest -- are about much, much more than they seem. A lot of them aren't even about Sarah Palin at all.
Their real target doesn't even have His name on the ballot.
You get that? Being opposed to electing Sarah Palin to the Vice Presidency of the United States, for any reason...
...really means that you are a dirty atheist who hates God.
Do you see how very logical that is? Gosh! I certainly don't want to be a dirty atheist, so I'd better vote for Sarahbear and old whatshisname - you know, war hero guy. Because I want to be a Real Man™ like the First Dude.
Anyone know where can get a good deal on Sarah Palin glasses and snow machines? Does WalMart sell both?
OK, John McCain had the Republican nomination locked up, what, back in March? So since then he's had plenty of time to pick a running mate, get his convention all sorted out, be ready to put on a good show for the final two months of the election season when most people start really paying attention after Labor Day.
And this is what we get???
First off, the Palin debacle. Yeah, I know Brent's redneck friends think she's great. But seriously, think about how many different issues have popped up with her name attached this last week, alone. Troopergate. The Jet That Didn't Sell on eBay. Theocrat. Lies about the 'Bridge to Nowhere'. And that doesn't even touch on her questionable judgment as a parent and wife. Clearly, the McCain camp did not do the necessary background checks on this woman. No wonder they're now saying that they'll limit her contact with the press until the election.
I've got to make this quick. Recently, I received an invitation to make a pledge to reduce my use of bottled water. Seemed reasonable, especially since my events can go through hundreds of bottles in a day. Once I read the background information about how much waste is involved and the impact on the environment I decided to make the pledge. Plus there's a prize (trip to Glacier) that would be cool to win.
(See the pledge here: http://water.newdream.org/campaigns/water/register/3c730fecb0427c1674d5c...)
Rather innocently, I forwarded the invitation along to a list of past participants in the events I organize. I've gotten lots of great responses and one that scared me ...
I had never even heard of Sarah Palin until Vox Day picked her as the VP nominee two full days before it was announced by the McCain camp. (How the heck did you see that one coming, Vox?)
Now, a week or so later, I am a bit worried.
You see, like Mrs. Palin's future son-in-law Levi, I'm also a fuckin' redneck. I like to to camp, hunt, ride dirt bikes, shoot guns, and hang out with the boys. Like Todd and Sarah, I too have five kids. I worked in blue-collar, 12 hours a day, up-to-your-elbows-in-grease jobs most of my adult life. I like country music. I wear a cowboy hat. I ride horses. I drink Coors Light. I listen to the Blue Collar Comedy guys, and think Larry The Cable Guy is an unsung comedy genius.
Like I said - a redneck.
The one thing I don't share with my farmer-tanned brethren is god belief. I don't have any, but most of them do. This places me into a really weird position politically. For most of my life I voted Republican. Heck, I was a conservative Republican. But the overt and covert religiosity, and the growing dominionist, theocratic themes in the GOP turned me away. I switched over to the Libertarian Party - but it's not a great fit for me either. I don't think I'll ever be a registered Democrat. I just don't identify with enough of their platform. That's not to say that I won't vote for a Democrat though, or for a Republican for that matter, if I decide that they happen to be the best person for the job.
In any case, my point is that Sarah Palin could have stood up at the Republican National Convention and read the phone book (well, People Magazine, anyway,) and the redneck "Get 'er Done!" folks would have still voted for her - not McCain alone - in droves.
I am *already* hearing it from my redneck friends and family members. "She's just like us!" They exclaim. "That nice Levi boy is going to marry Bristol, and she's not going to kill her baby! And her mom supports her!" And what about "Iron Dog" Todd Palin, commercial fisherman, champion snowmobile racer, and oil field worker? "The First Dude is a real man - did you hear how he finished a snowmobile race with a broken arm? Very cool. I think it'd be awesome to hang out with him and have a beer." Not to mention the absolutely golden video of little Piper Palin licking her hand and smoothing down Baby Trig's hair was about the cutest thing they say they've ever seen.
Do not underestimate the redneck vote. They will rise up in a flurry of mullets and "Who Farted" hats and absolutely crush Obama and Biden if those two don't get their poop in a group and do something quickly. (Here's a tip, Barack my friend; I like you, but ease up on the anti-gun stuff, and please try to stop coming across like an Ivy League asshole when you talk to us regular joes. It's going to lose you this election if you're not careful.)
I don't know if McCain made this choice, or if it was orchestrated by Rove, but whoever did it thought it through. It is either an act of sheer genius that will sweep McCain into the Oval Office, or Palin will self-destruct even past the point where getting the redneck vote can save her. The Republicans are betting that she holds it together, obviously, and she well might.
If she does hold it together, then we might all be in a lot of trouble. Because make no mistake about it, she is a far, FAR right religious theocrat who has used her political power in the past to endorse her own wacky theology. She seems to believe that she was chosen by her God to do well in the political arena, spurred by her prophetic pastor's encouragement from his pulpit - and the VP nod is only going to fuel their conviction that she is being supported supernaturally by Binky The Magic Space Clown (or whoever she thinks made the universe with magic.)
In short, we've got to win this one folks. If we don't, we're screwed. McCain is just too damned frail to have someone like Palin sitting in the on-deck spot.
Your thoughts? What am I missing here? Is it as bad as I think it is?
Nah, not me. That's the title of a new Rolling Stone article by Matt Taibbi.
Taibbi went 'undercover' to attend an Encounter Weekend at John Hagee's Cornerstone Church in Texas. Hagee, you may recall, has been recently in the news for being batshitinsane, and oh yeah - for endorsing John McCain for president.
And Taibbi is not being metaphorical or ironic in his title. He is referring to the culmination of the Encounter Weekend, where:
One of our favorite guys, Rob Sherman, testified before the Illinois House State Government Administration Committee on Wednesday related to Gov. Rod Blagojevich's proposed $1 million grant intended for Pilgrim Baptist Church, and was blindsided by wackjob theocrat Rep. Monique Davis who seems to think that atheists don't have any right to exist, and that we are "dangerous to children".
[link] Davis: I don’t know what you have against God, but some of us don’t have much against him. We look forward to him and his blessings. And it’s really a tragedy -- it’s tragic -- when a person who is engaged in anything related to God, they want to fight. They want to fight prayer in school.
I don’t see you (Sherman) fighting guns in school. You know?
I’m trying to understand the philosophy that you want to spread in the state of Illinois. This is the Land of Lincoln. This is the Land of Lincoln where people believe in God, where people believe in protecting their children.… What you have to spew and spread is extremely dangerous, it’s dangerous--
Sherman: What’s dangerous, ma’am?
Davis: It’s dangerous to the progression of this state. And it’s dangerous for our children to even know that your philosophy exists! Now you will go to court to fight kids to have the opportunity to be quiet for a minute. But damn if you’ll go to [court] to fight for them to keep guns out of their hands. I am fed up! Get out of that seat!
Sherman: Thank you for sharing your perspective with me, and I’m sure that if this matter does go to court---
Davis: You have no right to be here! We believe in something. You believe in destroying! You believe in destroying what this state was built upon.
You can listen to the whole sordid thing here.
(Tip of the ballcap to Twitter and Hemant!)
I find myself conflicted. I have no ready resolution to my problem. As it says in my introduction on the sidebar, I'm a liberal libertarian with conservative leanings. What that really means is that I'm a registered Independant who doesn't concur with the party platform of the Republicans and Democrats. I am, with caveats, an Objectivist. I may address the hows and whys of those tenents at another time. I promised my conundrum though, and here it is.
These parents allowed their child to die because of their religious beliefs. They allowed a sentient being, a person with their whole life ahead of them, to perish because they believed that if their daughter was worthy, or their prayers fervent enough, she'd be healed by their magic sky fairy. They have murdered their daughter. I use that term, murder, intentionally. They have willfully denied their daughter medical care and because of that she is no more. This is especially tragic to me given that I'm an atheist. Without an afterlife to "live" for, or to transit to post-death, this result, death, is the worst outcome possible in my view. The parents failure to obtain proper medical care for a perfectly treatable condition is a travesty of both life and liberty.
The "State" is not necessary for many things. We are an over-regulated people in America. We have laws governing many of our behaviours. Of these laws, I believe most to be at best unnecessary, at worst intrusive. My conundrum lies in the straight fact that I'd like what these parents have done to be illegal. I WANT state intervention because I can't think of another way to handle such a case. This couple's daughter should be alive today. I'm not feeling my libertarian edge right at this moment and I'd like it back. Help?
Has anyone bothered to go see the new movie 10,000 BC? I know some people have because it's the #1 box office movie of the weekend, but that doesn't mean it's any good. I can't decide if it's worth the $67 ($9 for the ticket, $58 for the popcorn, snocaps and softdrink).
I wonder how many creationists have their panties in a wad over the title? After all, wouldn't that be like 6,000 years before gawd created the earth? How come Bill Donohue isn't protesting this movie?
Wooly Mammoths and Saber-Toothed Tigers in Egypt, huh? Going to movies like this is a little like believing in a religion, a willing suspension of disbelief is required. Doing this for a few hours is alright, but your whole life?
I just read this on Wired News:
The Florida Board of Education officially upheld evolution yesterday.
In a 4-3 vote, the Board accepted a proposed curriculum that makes evolution central to public school science education.
Until now, Florida's schools weren't required to teach evolution. The old curriculum guidelines didn't even mention it by name.
The 4-3 vote was obtained by including a last-minute amendment to the standards. Suggested last Friday by religious conservatives and dubbed the "academic freedom proposal," the amendment required that the curriculum's references to "evolution" be replaced by the "scientific theory of evolution."
The amendment's supporters called the language change a victory -- and it is, though not in the way they imagine.
So, last night I was listening to NPR, and I heard a long piece they did on Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee's religious references in his various speeches. Fine, fine, we all know Huck wants to put the Law of Heaven above the Law of Man, et cetera. Right?
Well, maybe, maybe not.
See, what NPR found out when they started asking people about Huckabee's use of those allusions was that most people just didn't get 'em.
Huh? We're an overwhelmingly religious nation, according to just about any poll or measure you can come up with. Something on the order of 80 - 85% of Americans self-identify as one variety of Christian or another. Yet here's an excerpt from the NPR report, where they have gone out onto the National Mall in Washington, D.C. and talked to people:
We started by recounting this story: In November, as Huckabee surged in the polls, a student at Liberty University asked him what was driving his startling success. Huckabee responded, "It's the same power that helped a little boy with two fish and five loaves feed a crowd of 5,000 people."
I've heard and seen much mockery focused on the Tom Cruise Scientology video over the past couple of days. (I apologize if that link no longer works, but the video has been on and off the net and that's the best link I can find at the time of this article.) The truth is, while I believe that atheists (especially agnostic atheists), in general, have a leg to stand on in this case, I don't think the rest of the godders, or innumerable other groups, do. Let's look at a few things that Cruise says.
Tom Cruise: ...I think it’s a privilege to call yourself a Scientologist, and it’s something that you have to earn because a Scientologist does... has the ability to create new and better realities and improve conditions. Being a Scientologist, you look at someone and know absolutely that you can help them.
"But that’s what drives me... I know that we have an opportunity to really help... effectively change people’s lives and I am dedicated to that. I am absolutely, uncompromisingly dedicated to that.
Replace the words “Scientologist” with the words Muslim, Christian, Hindu, Jewish, Nazi, Feminist, Vegan, vegetarian, socialist, communist, capitalist, geek, Sikh, or even self help guru and you'll see what I mean. This statement, minus the maniacal laughter, could have come from any of the groups I listed and a whole lot more. Let's move on to the next set; shall we?
more below the fold
And Onan knew that the seed should not be his; and it came to pass, when he went in unto his brother's wife, that he spilled it on the ground, lest that he should give seed to his brother. And the thing which he did displeased the LORD: wherefore he slew him also.
Gen.JC Christian, patriot, is on the job for Mike Huckabee:
The Mike Huckabee Center for the Liberation and Housing of Spermatazoan-Americans Opens
January 20, 2008 is a day that will live forever in the hearts of Americans, for it is the day the Mile Huckabee Center for the Liberation and Housing of Spermatazoan-Americans opened it's doors for the first time in the Pini Region of Second Life, http://slurl.com/secondlife/Pini/91/19.