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.
A BBC investigation into human sacrifice in Uganda has heard first-hand accounts which suggest ritual killings of children may be more common than authorities have acknowledged.
One witch-doctor led us to his secret shrine and said he had clients who regularly captured children and brought their blood and body parts to be consumed by spirits.
Meanwhile, a former witch-doctor who now campaigns to end child sacrifice confessed for the first time to having murdered about 70 people, including his own son.
Hey, he's just following the bible. Not his fault that he didn't read the whole passage.
*Apologies to Bob.
I don't follow professional sports. I sure as hell don't follow golf. I could really not care less about Tiger Woods, who he sleeps with, or whether his wife beat him up when she found out who he sleeps with.
I don't follow FOX News, or any of the talking-head shows on TV. What idiotic thing one of them says usually goes right past me without me paying the slightest notice - I expect *everything* that they say to be idiotic.
I really, really don't give a shit what particular flavor of religion any of these people follow - I figure most of them only choose one that they figure will help best with their careers, and flog that publicly in order to manipulate the rubes. That goes for sports figures who credit Jesus for that touchdown, news anchors who credit prayer with their cancer going into remission, all of it. It's just an act, unless they are actually even more stupid than I think.
But sometimes, one of these numbskulls will do or say something that even gets my attention. Here's a good one:
Caller: “Hey…I need y’all to come out to [motel] and take me to the airport.”
Me: “I’m sorry, I don’t think I’ll be able to do that.”
Caller: “Oh, and bring forty-five dollars.”
Me: “I’m sorry sir, I cannot come pick you up.”
Caller: “What? I just came to your crummy town for a weekend and now I gotta get back home. Why the hell aren’t you helping me? I just need a ride and forty-five dollars!”
Me: “Sir, I’m afraid I can’t.”
Caller: “Ain’t y’all a church? Why don’t you get off your lazy a** and come get me?”
Me: “Sir, I am not accustomed to meeting strange men at motels.”
Caller: “Well, it’s obvious YOU ain’t a Christian!”
Happy 2010, one and all!
Nice - there's now a website dedicated to making sure that all the places you shop use the proper gang signs:
Millions upon millions in our nation deeply value the great truths of Christmas and the holiday's inspiring place in American life and culture. We hope you will take a moment to "Stand for Christmas" by sharing feedback about your Christmas shopping experiences.
We're asking YOU to decide which retailers are "Christmas-friendly." They want your patronage and your gift-shopping dollars, but do they openly recognize Christmas?
Please post your rating and share your comments, which will go directly to retailers and appear on this site. Then, forward them to a friend!
Right, because the "Reason for the Season" is whether or not retailers flash the correct hand signals at the checkout counter.
Guess who is behind this glorification of the mighty dollar:
Now, through the magic of modern technology, you too can have your very own Camo Bible!!
This outdoor inspired edition of the New King James Version of the Bible comes in large print for easier reading with a ribbon bookmark and a handsome gift box. Bound in Mossy Oak® Break-Up® bonded leather with gilded-gold edging. Dimensions: 9.3'' x 6.7'' x 1.7''. 1728 pages
Yup. There I was, browsing through the latest holiday flyer from Bass Pro, and there it was: the Bible of My Dreams. How can I resist?
Christopher Hitchens, Archbishop John Onaiyekan, Stephen Fry and Anne Widdencombe, and mix?
It's the "Intelligence Squared" debate, which was held before a live audience in London this past weekend.
It's quite good, actually - and worth watching the whole thing. All four participants do a good job in presenting their position on whether or not the Catholic Church is a "force for good in the world."
What I found was telling was that at the start of the program, a survey was taken of the audience. About 35% said that the Church was a force for good, 55% said that it wasn't, and the rest were undecided. After the debate was over, the numbers were 13% yes, 86% no, with just a handful still undecided.
While surfing the shallow end of the internet gene pool today I decided to pay a visit to that long-lost lover of all things insane: Alan Keyes! Yeah, you can check out his wonderful website (motto: "WHERE FAITH GIVES REASON FOR CITIZEN ACTION"), where this is the latest posting:
Why Obama's Ft. Hood reaction seems so strange
There are times when even Obama's critics seem to have difficulty putting into words their reaction to his strange behavior. I think that's because they refuse to consider the simple premise that makes sense of it all: He feels no love for the USA. He seems in fact to feel himself to be no part of this country.
I've heard of Frank Schaeffer, even heard him interviewed and read some short pieces by him. But this afternoon a friend sent me a link to an excerpt from his latest book, and now I'd like to pass it on to you.
Schaeffer talks about how the whole "Left Behind" industry is really nothing more than the latest version of the crazy right-wing religious crap his father helped to start in this country. Here's a bit:
My mother is a great believer in forwarding emails of the Republican or Christian variety. I've seen most of them before, and generally I don't respond. Eh. My mom is awesome, but a little far right politically and religiously at this point in her life - and I'm too damned tired to start a war. Heh.
But when she forwarded this essay (quoted in it's entirety below the fold), and claimed it was written by our own curmudgeonly atheist Andy Rooney, I had to reply:
This was actually written by a sports writer by the name of Nick Gholson who worked for the "Times New Record" newspaper in Wichita Falls, Texas, back in 1999, NOT Andy Rooney. Andy Rooney is actually an atheist!
"Why am I an atheist? I ask you: Why is anybody not an atheist? Everyone starts out being an atheist. No one is born with belief in anything. Infants are atheists until they are indoctrinated. I resent anyone pushing their religion on me. I don't push my atheism on anybody else. Live and let live. Not many people practice that when it comes to religion." -Andy Rooney, Boston Globe, May 30, 1982.
"I am an atheist... I don't understand religion at all. I'm sure I'll offend a lot of people by saying this, but I think it's all nonsense." -Andy Rooney, from a speech at Tufts University, Nov. 18, 2004.
And as for agreeing with Gholson's essay below, obviously I don't. I think it's a pretty desperate argument to claim that "might makes right" like Gholson does here - especially in America! Adult Americans don't usually agree or use petty, childish, playground arguments like that. We usually stand up for the little guy, don't we? Defend those who need defending? We say, "I disagree with what you say, but I would die defending your right to say it!" Right??
Our Constitution and Bill of Rights are designed to counteract the sort of "tyranny of the majority" that Gholson is promoting, and to protect the rights of the minority from being trampled by all the frothing "Christian Nation" kooks in the majority who want to have MY kids pray to THEIR god in public schools paid for by my taxes. You can say your prayers any time you want - on the street corner, in church, in your home, heck, even at a football game! What you *can't* do is have public school officials lead *my* children in saying *your* prayers to *your* god, to the exclusion of all other religions, or non-religion - and then expect me to pay for the privilege!
Argh! It drives me nuts! :)
I love you Ma, and I'm really not trying to make you upset, but I think you're 180 degrees off-center on this issue. I hope you'll reconsider your position.
Ugh. I hate writing to my family about this stuff. It's going to make the holidays interesting, in any case! :)
The Lodi City Council has apparently "found their backbone" and has voted unanimously to allow sectarian prayers before City Council meetings in direct opposition to threats of legal action against the City of Lodi by civil rights groups concerned over the clear violations against the U.S. Constitution's Establishment Clause.
So, let's look forward in time a few months. Lodi's City Council has been rolling along offering prayers in Jesus' name for a while now. They knew that this meant - in an abstract way of course - that they may at some point have to allow a non-Christian prayer before the start of the meeting. So, a Mormon Bishop is allowed to pray. Then, a Rabbi. Finally, after much deliberation, an Imam offers a prayer to Allah.
People are tense, but things go well, and the sky doesn't split apart, so they try their best to forget it ever happened, while simultaneously patting themselves on the back for their "tolerance".
Then things start to go awry.
A Raëlian Priest, or "Guide" basically forces his way to the front of the meeting, ranting about God knows what. The Master at Arms throws him out, and the City Council members all have a nervous chuckle.
A Wiccan applies to lead the Council in a skyclad ceremony. The Council members look it up and deny the application.
A Pastafarian wants to dress and talk like a pirate while holding a delicious plate of spaghetti. Denied.
A Jedi Knight wants to have everyone close the blast shield and try to "feel the force". Denied.
Suddenly, a rain of lawsuits alleging First Amendment violations descend onto the City. Religious persecution accusations are flying thick. The Council members decide that the very next wacky non-Christian nutball who applies to lead a prayer, they'll approve.
A Church of Satan Magister applies. They swallow, and approve the application.
The day comes, and all nervously await the Magister as he sweeps into the chambers. The lights dim, and with eerily glowing eyes he begins the blasphemous words for a Black Mass:
"Thou, thou who, in my capacity of Priest, I force, weather thou wilt or no, to descend into this host, to incarnate thyself into this bread Jesus, artisan of hoaxes, bandit of homages, robber of affection- hear! O lasting foulness of Bethlehem, we would have thee confess thy impudent cheats, thy inexplicable crimes!. We would drive deeper the nails into thy hands, press down the crown of thorns upon thy brow, and bring blood from the dry wounds.
Cursed Nazarene, abstractor of stupid parities, impotent king, fugitive god! O Infernal Satanic Majesty, condemn him to the pit, evermore to suffer in perpetual anguish. Bring Thy wrath upon him, O Prince of Darkness, King of Filth, Emperor of Putridity, Dark Lord Satan, hear our demands!"
Cue the lightning and fog machines and wolf howl special effects.
People freak the fuck out, cats and dogs start living together, chaos ensues, council members start raping goats right in the chambers, pregnant Christian ladies give birth to deformed monsters.
You know, the usual.
And atheists sit back and laugh. "Look," we'd say with a chuckle, "we fucking warned you morons about this six months ago! Now, grow the fuck up, stop breaking the law, and try following the Constitution. Make the council meetings secular, idiots, and pray in your own fucking church, and this won't happen ever again."
(Maybe not in those exact words... Heh.)
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":
OK, I'd seen references to this elsewhere, but not the actual video. Just in case you too happened to miss it, here it is:
Another item from my recent trip to Pittsburgh . . .
We're happily driving across Illinois on I-70, making good time. It's been . . . well, decades . . . since I had driven through Effingham, and I wasn't in the slightest prepared for what I saw when I crested a particular hill. This:
Yeah, that's a real picture. See the size of the itty-bitty people at the base of the thing? From their website, the thing is said to be 198 feet tall.
It looms there, looking very much like some kind of alien construction, all shiny* and sharp edges. Surreal. There are very few instances when I viscerally feel my lack of religious belief, but this certainly was one of them. I almost drove off the road looking at that bizarre thing.
*No, not that kind of shiny, silly!
"It's OK if you are a Christian."
What is? Well, this:
LOUISVILLE — A mother is angry about a trip led by the head football coach at Breckinridge County High School. The coach took about 20 players on a school bus late last month to his church, where nearly half of them — including her son — were baptized.
Michelle Ammons said her 16-year-old son was baptized without her knowledge and consent, and she is upset that a public school bus was used to take players to a church service — and that the school district's superintendent was there and did not object.
* * *
But Superintendent Janet Meeks, who is a member of the church and witnessed the baptisms, said she thinks the trip was proper because attendance was not required, and another coach paid for the gas.
Meeks said parents weren't given permission slips to sign but knew the event would include a church service, if not specifically a baptism. She said eight or nine players came forward and were baptized.
Hey, remember the story of the nice Christian teacher who liked to impress the kiddies with the Power of the Lord by branding them with crosses?
Well, gee, guess what - the school district that used to employ him had to settle with one of the branded students:
MOUNT VERNON, Ohio—A Central Ohio school board has approved a $121,000 settlement with the family of a student who said his teacher burned the image of a cross on his arm.
School board members in Mount Vernon agreed Wednesday night to resolve a federal lawsuit by paying $5,500 to the boy and his family and $115,500 to their lawyers.
The family still has a similar suit pending against the eighth-grade teacher, John Freshwater.
So, we now know the cost: $121,000. Well, that and a small thing called the Separation of Church & State.
Oh, and just for extra fun: guess who else is suing the district? Yep:
Yup. No longer do you have to stand by and watch as the religious leaders fleece their flocks. You don't have to shake your head as the poor suckers hand over their hard-earned cash for "prayer rugs".
You, too, can cash in on the gullibility of the religious crazies - and the best thing about it is that you can do so in a completely above-board and honest fashion, maintaining your dignity and identity as an atheist.
By promising to save their pets when the rapture comes:
You've committed your life to Jesus. You know you're saved. But when the Rapture comes what's to become of your loving pets who are left behind? Eternal Earth-Bound Pets takes that burden off your mind.
We are a group of dedicated animal lovers, and atheists. Each Eternal Earth-Bound Pet representative is a confirmed atheist, and as such will still be here on Earth after you've received your reward. Our network of animal activists are committed to step in when you step up to Jesus.
the things which are Caesar’s, and unto God the things that are God’s."
Seems like some Christians could stand to re-read their bible:
Two Florida school administrators face contempt charges and possible prison time for saying a prayer at a school luncheon.
Frank Lay, principal of Pace High School, and Athletic Director Robert Freeman are accused of violating a consent decree banning employees of Santa Rosa County schools from endorsing religion.
They face a non-jury trial September 17 before U.S. District Judge Casey Rodgers. The statute under which they are charged carries a maximum penalty of up to six months in prison, subject to sentencing guidelines.
Of course, the folks at Liberty U, who are backing the accused, say that this is an infringement of their 1st Amendment rights:
Yeah, OK, I know I'm more cynical nowadays, but I think that even in my most charitable moods I would tend to see this as nothing more than a case of the Christian nuts being mercenary:
Citing a “serious budget shortfall” the conservative Christian group, Focus on the Family has been prompted to issue a special fundraising plea, and has also decided to hand over control of its contentious “Love Won Out” Ex-Gay program to another religious organization, a FotF spokesman said Tuesday.
Focus on the Family is looking at a $6 million short fall in its $138 million budget for this fiscal year- a budget larger than all national and regional gay-equality organizations combined.
From the Love Won Out website:
Republican mayoral candidate Anna Falling said Tuesday that putting a Christian creationism display in the Tulsa Zoo is No. 1 in importance among city issues that also include violent crime, budget woes and bumpy streets.
"It's first," she said to calls of "hallelujah" at a rally outside the zoo. "If we can't come to the foundation of faith in this community, those other answers will never come. We need to first of all recognize the fact that God needs to be honored in this city."
Falling, who has founded several Christian nonprofit groups and is a former city councilor, also said the next mayor needs to appoint people to boards, authorities and commissions who will "honor God."
"We will also look for people who want to characterize the origins of both man and animals in a way that honors Judeo-Christian science that proves God as the creator," she said.
Man, it must be nice that everything is so rosy in Tulsa that getting a creationism display in the local zoo is public priority #1.