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.
Bring On The Crazy
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:
Yay! Religious fervor leads to five women being paraded through town, stripped, beaten:
Police say that people in Pattharghatia believe that certain women in their village are possessed by a "holy spirit" that can identify those who practise witchcraft.
"These women recently identified five women from the same village as being witches who practised witchcraft and brought miseries to the area," a police official said.
Soon, an unruly mob broke into their huts, dragged them out and started beating them up.
There's even video of it there on the BBC site. Worth watching, if you need to be reminded just how insane religion is.
Or, perhaps it isn't completely insane. Maybe there is another explanation:
Experts say superstitious beliefs are behind some of these attacks, but there are occasions when people - especially widows - are targeted for their land and property.
Who, me, cynical?
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!
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.
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:
I'm sure you all remember this case:
WAUSAU, Wis. (AP) -- A central Wisconsin man charged with killing his daughter by praying instead of taking her to a doctor read from the Bible while testifying Thursday that he couldn't seek medical help without disobeying God.
"I can't do that because Biblically, I cannot find that is the way people are healed," Dale Neumann told the jury. "If I go to the doctor, I am putting the doctor before God. I am not believing what he said he would do."
So, either the bible is wrong, God lied, or He doesn't exist.
But your daughter is still dead.
From the same article:
A family in Saudi Arabia is tired of the harassment, tired of the violence, tired of the theft of property. They're not taking it lying down, and are going to bring the perp to justice. Who is this Menace 2 Saud-ciety?
Why, a genie of course.
A family in Saudi Arabia is taking a "genie" to court, accusing it of theft and harassment, reports say.
They accuse the spirit of threatening them, throwing stones and stealing mobile phones, Al Watan newspaper said.
Here's the best part:
A local court says it is trying to verify the truthfulness of the claims "despite the difficulty" of doing so.
I'm going to be really interested in what that final police report says. What happens if they have to take the genie to court? And what if it has to serve time? Do they make penitentiary lamps?
Originally posted at Bloc Raisonneur
. . . that all the good Christians who read this piece were just shaking their heads:
Abuja, Nigeria – In Nigeria recently, an angry mob demanded that police jail a goat. Vigilantes insisted the animal was a human car thief who transmogrified upon being apprehended. Nigerian law doesn't recognize magic, witchcraft, or voodoo. Yet, faced with an angry mob, police acquiesced, arresting the goat.
* * *
Not infrequently, police hear reports that a man claims someone cast a spell to capture his spirit. Tradition here holds that if you sleep in bed with your feet at the headboard, you are communing with witches. Criminals buy charms from witch doctors to become invisible and escape arrest. A hairdresser tells of a client of another customer who reported a snake in her house that turned into a young woman. When the girl was taken to a Pentecostal church service she turned back into a snake. The journalistic canon of having two independent sources to confirm a news story becomes irrelevant when an entire congregation insists "it really happened."
Would you pledge your soul as loan collateral?
RIGA (Reuters) – Ready to give your soul for a loan in these difficult economic times? In Latvia, where the crisis has raged more than in the rest of the European Union, you can.
Such a deal is being offered by the Kontora loan company, whose public face is Viktor Mirosiichenko, 34.
Clients have to sign a contract, with the words "Agreement" in bold letters at the top. The client agrees to the collateral, "that is, my immortal soul."
Mirosiichenko said his company would not employ debt collectors to get its money back if people refused to repay, and promised no physical violence.
No, they don't employ debt collectors. But they do have a standing agreement to outsource collections to the Dementors.
You know, this *almost* seems like a parody, but I recognize enough of the Westboro crowd in it to know that it is serious:
Well, I suppose I should have, since I was 'raised Catholic' and grew up listening to (and loving) The Beatles:
A book by Joseph Niezgoda - The Lennon Prophecy, A New Examination of the Death Clues of the Beatles - makes a good case for John Lennon making a pact with Satan in exchange for fame and fortune. The author is a first generation Beatle fan, has read every book out on the rock group, and admits conflict with his love of the music and the evil that he perceives surrounds it. His book - a 15-year project - was an effort, he said, to try to define or make sense of that evil.
In fact, this is the book I was always planning to write about the Beatles. Since I threw out my Beatles albums along with the rest of my rock music many years ago, I've been gathering facts about the clues and signs of a Satanic link, evidence of camaraderie with occultists and their dabbling with the occult. Believe me, plenty exists.
Man, it just gets better from there.
The Wichita abortion clinic run by a doctor who was shot and killed will remain closed permanently, his family said on Tuesday.
Dr. George R. Tiller’s clinic was one of the few in the country to provide abortions to women late in their pregnancies, and for decades, women had traveled there from all over the nation and from overseas. It was also the only remaining abortion clinic, even for first trimester abortions, in the Wichita region.
* * *
Even some abortion opponents, who had long devoted their efforts to closing down Dr. Tiller’s clinic, said they did not wish to see it happen under these circumstances. Last week, Troy Newman, the leader of Operation Rescue, had said that closing the clinic now would send a worrisome message. “Good God, do not close this abortion clinic for this reason,” he said in an interview with The New York Times. “Every kook in the world will get some notion.”
WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Late-term abortion doctor George Tiller, a prominent advocate for abortion rights wounded by a protester more than a decade ago, was shot and killed Sunday at a church in Wichita where he was serving as an usher and his wife was in the choir, his attorney said.
Tiller was shot during morning services at Reformation Lutheran Church, attorney Dan Monnat said. Police said a manhunt was under way for the shooter, who fled in a car registered to a Kansas City suburb nearly 200 miles away.
National anti-abortion groups had long focused on Tiller, whose Women's Health Care Services clinic is one of just three in the nation where abortions are performed after the 21st week of pregnancy.
Someone has been arrested. Who wants to bet that they did it "in the name of Jesus!"? To "save the little babies!"? To "stop the holocaust!"?