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.
Well, shoot. There's 2 minutes and 5 seconds of my one and only life I'll never get back. I could almost feel my brain cells atrophying as I watched this. Creationist Chuck Missler takes evolution-denial to a hilariously all-time low.
I sure hope that we make it through the next few years because shit like this is just depressing.
That Pat told faithful viewers of his 700 club he was the recipient of yet another revelation from on high does not surprise me.
But how in hades will he splain his way out of this one when millions of Americans and cities are not destroyed in the latter half of 07.
I recall Oral Roberts left wiggle room when he claimed GOD would be taking him home less the faithful sent a love ransom.
Pat must have skipped his Prozac prior to the broadcast. That millions and millions of people who are otherwise able to engage in the ordinary activities of daily living accept the rantings of a fruit loop as gospel kinda explains why I own several guns.
Were a stray space rock to smack into the planet with enough girth to knock out civil living as we know it for a couple years its fellows like Pat that would rise from the chaos in hopes of establishing a new dark age in Jesus name.
Wow. This sure makes me feel better about having Christians in charge.
[link] Discussion over prayer at City Council meetings in Coatesville brought out some very ugly behavior.
One woman said she's even been threatened.
Council members recently approved a policy that would allow members to pray before their meeting technically begins.
But Margaret Downey, president of the Freethought Society of Greater Philadelphia, has been a very vocal opponent of the new policy.
The atheist said she has received two messages from a man who threatened to "make her life miserable."
Downey said she has contacted police and the American Civil Liberties Union.
(If you just want to get to the point and avoid much background bio, read just the first and last paragraphs.)
Now, I am not a philosopher, did not study philosophy in school or in college (took a logic course to satisfy that requirement), and have no formal or informal education in philosophy. What I have are my brains and my experience. I have noticed that in plenty of areas of life I have reached conclusions of personal philosophy about which people spent the time to write complete tomes. Anyone else here experience this?
Like Brent, around the age of 16, I abandoned faith as nonsense. It was a gradual procession throughout life but got a kick start with my father (the ordained, born-again, intermittently evangelical Presbyterian), when I was around 12 years, who said to me with no viciousness mind you, 'I've done what I think is right in bringing you up but you obviously can't accept faith as openly as I have. You have a different path to follow and you need to find that on your own.'
"HERE, I LOAN YOU, IN JESUS' HOLY NAME, THIS PAPER, BIBLE FAITH HANDERCHIEF FOR SOMETHING GOOD TO HAPPEN FOR YOU (Acts 19:11, 12)...
Here is what I ask you to do, in Jesus' name...(1) PRINT YOUR NAME AND YOUR MOST PRESSING PROBLEM, BY FAITH, IN THE CENTER OF THIS BIBLE HANDKERCHIEF. Yes, that's what I said...print your name, by faith, in the center of this church handkerchief AND THE NAME OF SOMEONE ELSE WHOM YOU REALLY LOVE THAT NEEDS GOD'S HELP. Print their name under yours. (2) Then, OPEN YOUR BIBLE TO THE BOOK OF ACTS, CHAPTER 19, VERSES 11 AND 12, if you have a Bible. If not, it's okay, God sees. (3) Then, LAY THIS BIBLE FAITH HANDKERCHIEF (with your name printed in the center of it) ON THIS SCRIPTURE. (4) Leave it there under your side of your bed for TONIGHT ONLY! If you can't, God will see your situation, but we would like you to sleep over it.
Recently the whole family got together for a nice dinner and a show. We ate at an Italian joint in Little Italy (Baltimore) and went to see Wicked. We always have a good time when we get together but my family often amazes me. Before the appetizer course came out my sister came out of the blue with a report from church. She relayed a story of someone who had a "God moment" during the ice storm we'd had earlier that week. One of the folks from their church, a slightly older gentleman, had fallen in the ice and broken his leg. His cell phone had been out of batteries but he still managed to call his wife to get help. That was what my sister gave god credit for. Allowing a previously out of charge cell phone to call for help...
more below the fold
A couple weeks ago, Brent wrote about a 'thought-experiment' conducted by Vox Day, considering his reaction to the instruction from God to kill toddlers. It was all nice and theoretical, a mental exercise about morality on the part of Vox Day.
Except it isn't just theoretical. There is clear research showing that religious sanction increases violence, particularly in believers, but even among ostensible non-believers:
Public release date: 23-Feb-2007
When God sanctions killing, the people listen
New research published in the March issue of Psychological Science may help elucidate the relationship between religious indoctrination and violence, a topic that has gained renewed notoriety in the wake of the September 11th terrorist attacks. In the article, University of Michigan psychologist Brad Bushman and his colleagues suggest that scriptural violence sanctioned by God can increase aggression, especially in believers.
Boy, if you thought that the recent Conservapedia stories were a good example of bad science, just wait 'til you see CreationWiki! It is like the self-organizing black hole of stupid. As they describe the project on their homepage:
Evolutionism is the belief in the theory that life on Earth is simply the result of random, natural processes, and ultimately attempts to explain the existence of humans by means other than divine creation. The theory of evolution (or general theory of evolution) is a philosophical perspective that stems from an atheistic worldview. In contrast, creationism is the belief that the universe and life on Earth were created through a supernatural act of God. The creation is described by cultures all over the world where one central theme is found to emerge - order from chaos.
Paul Campos, professor of law at the University of Colorado, agrees with Mitt Romney when Romney said,
"...we need to have a person of faith lead this country."
Prof. Campos writes about talking with his jack-Mormon friend Steve about the issue.
[Prof. Campos] Steve believes - correctly in my view - that in general the differences between religious believers are less important than the differences between believers and nonbelievers, and that this distinction is and ought to be relevant to political life.
In other words, atheists are vile, immoral people who shouldn't be allowed to fully participate in American politics. Second-class citizens that it is only right and just to criticize and discriminate against.
It's the same old bigotry wrapped up in a reasonable-sounding op-ed piece written by a quiet, unassuming law professor from Boulder. I mean, who could disagree with him? He even says that's it's OK to be a bigot towards atheists because, you know, there aren't any real atheists anyway. Or, at least, they are so rare that it might as well be that they don't exist.
Damned uppity atheists.
[Prof. Campos] Now among liberals, the knee-jerk reaction to such poll data is to condemn the intolerance it represents. Yet I think there are good reasons for refusing to vote for an atheist for president - subject to the caveat that I also believe genuine atheism, like genuinely orthodox religious belief, is actually quite rare.
So, there I was, calmly running through the comments on the Time blog about the new 'documentary' that James Cameron is working on, enjoying the back and forth between the believers and us heathens, when I came across this gem of a comment from one of the Christians:
God has no use for someone who refuses to believe in Him. God created humanity to serve Him. We are not to live a self-serving life. So those who do not commit themselves to Him are evil and will suffer eternal damnation - like it or not. It doesn't matter what you do, it is what you believe that will either save you are damn you.
Ah, the perfect example of Christain love and tolerance.
So, how long until someone posts here saying "That's not a true Christian..."?
Take a look at this news article from the UK. A devout Muslim man murders his wife and four young daughters because they were becoming too westernized. Burns them alive, then kills himself, all while his 17-year-old son is dying of cancer in the hospital. (the son died 6 weeks later, completely alone) This highlights the power and danger of organized religion.
Since (as you will quickly discover if you pay any attention to Ravin' Fundies who comment here or elsewhere) we atheists in the US are constantly accused of focusing our attention only on the Christian kooks, I thought I'd be an equal-opportunity heathen and see if I can stir up the Muslims a bit.
From this Reuters news item:
KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) - A Malaysian state plans to recruit "spies" from the public to snoop on unmarried lovers and report them to Islamic religious authorities, a newspaper said Tuesday.
The Terengganu state government plans to enlist the part-time spies to look out for un-Islamic behavior, such as unmarried couples kissing or holding hands, the Star daily said.
"Some of these 'spies' could be waitresses or even janitors at hotels acting as auxiliary undercover agents for our religious department," the head of the state government's Islamic and welfare committee, Rosol Wahid, was quoted as saying.
Yeah, I know, Brent probably gets stuff like this every day. But it's been years (probably since my Paint the Moon art project over 5 years ago) since I got a random bit of complete insanity like this. Given the content, I can only assume it had to be generated from material I've had here, so I thought I would share...
Hell is the best Place for you Red Neck bastard Devil Burn there for the rest of your Life with that bitch , Just Like your mother in Law , you will never get anywhere in your life beside suffering from cancer to mental reatardation.Suffer and Burn in hell for the Rest of your Life with Nop Peace of Mind. You have my Full blessing to suffer in Hell forever, because I run this Universe and I am the God of this Universe..
We won't tell. Get more on shows you hate to love
(and love to hate): Yahoo! TV's Guilty Pleasures list.
Gotta love the juxtaposition of the Yahoo! tag, and the inadvertant humor it creates.
A statue of Jesus Christ is causing a sensation at an art gallery after witnesses said they saw sparks shooting from its eyes.
Now, I owned an art gallery for 8 years. Good art should create a strong emotion in the viewer. But this sculpture goes beyond that:
Sculptor Burgess said: 'It began when one woman who saw the statue fell to her knees and began praying.
'She was transfixed for more than thirty minutes and when she came out of the trance she said she had witnessed sparks coming from the eyes of the Christ figure.
'Now the word has spread and we have hoards of people coming along to pray and venerate the statue and many of them have said they have witnessed these sparks too.'
...what we all know, here's the latest from Gallup:
If Your Party Nominated A Generally Well-Qualified Candidate For WH '08 Who Was ___, Would You Vote For That Person?
Yes No Catholic 95% 4% Black 94 5 Jewish 92 7 A woman 88 11 Hispanic 87 12 Mormon 72 24 Married for third time 67 30 72 years old 57 42 A homosexual 55 43 An atheist 45 53
Yup. Bottom of the list.
Now, someone tell me again how we're such a threat to the religious.
In his blog today, Vox Day has very logically and impersonally argued in favor the concept of slaughtering every child on the planet under two - if his god ordered him to.
It's obviously a thought-experiment, written in response to one of his readers' (a person who uses the handle "Jefferson") emails:
If your god revealed to you in a set of flawless communications you could not dispute that you should kill every child you see under the age of 2, would you?
Day's response is at the very least truthful.
[Vox Day] I don't see what the problem is, or why people were avoiding this last night. I mean, of course it's supposed to be a trap but it's a toothless one of no concern to any sufficiently intelligent individual. The answer is yes, and how would you possibly take issue with that position regardless of whether you believe in my god or don't believe in any god?
OK. If Day began killing children, I would indeed take issue with it. I just wanted to be clear on that. Regardless of whether or not he was ranting about "flawless communications from God", I feel fairly confident that the cops would put him down like a rabid dog, if some citizen who's child he just murdered for Jesus didn't do it first.
But that's not what this is about, really. I don't believe for a second that Day wants to go out and murder two year olds. Like I said, this is a thought experiment, a way to examine belief, faith, and the claims made by Day and other Christians as to the existence or non-existence of a creator. It's also a way to look at the nature of morality.
More below the fold...
The courts will sort it out. Or not. That's the way our system works. I don't have any problem believing that ol' Pat could say such a thing, given his history, but whether he did so in this particular case is completely beyond my ken.
But what I find interesting is the comments attached to the news story. It's a snapshot into the mood out there. A surprising number of people posting comments are either critical of the Christian Right movement in general, or Pat Robertson in particular. And the backlash, easily seen in this comment:
Another bogus non-story used to whip up the anti Christian nazis who jump at any chance to denounce Christ or anything remotely related to Christianity. Funny, you don't see these same fanatics ranting against real, actual, provable Islamic atrocities.
...into the land of "They don't *really* believe that, do they?", I present to you:
EARS: Evidence of Alien contact Revealed in Scripture
Yup, shades of Eric von Daniken, who I thought was fascinating - when I was about 12.
Modern day events such as UFO sightings and breakthroughs in technology help us "plug it in" and really see what it was designed to teach us. The book itself has been around for years, but reading it now, in the light of the current world situation, helps shed a new kind of understanding on its content.
In your journey through the following pages, I invite you to join me in taking a new look at the contents of the Bible. I'll present the evidence, you play the role of the jury. Most of all, I hope you enjoy the ride and at the very least collect some good food for thought.
Oh, I get letters alright...
The following is from a big fan of UTI, David Funkhouse. David took it upon himself to send me the following email. I took it upon myself to respond to his email and share it with you. My comments are interspersed throughout.
David Funkhouser wrote:
yeah its pretty cool that christians are the only ones allowed to be offended by everyone else,
Do you need permission to be offended David? Do you believe that there is some sort of "U.S. Department Of Religious Offense" that "allows" certain religious groups to be offended?
That's got to be one of the silliest things I've ever read.
More below the fold...