Friday, May 28, 2010

It's Not Just The Catholics!

http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2010/05/its_not_just_the_catholics.php

Bill Donohue will be so relieved. Here's a story about a youn girl being raped, her assailant protected by the church, and the girl herself getting all the blame…and it's the Baptists! Tina Anderson was raped by Ernest Willis, a Trinity Baptist Church member, when she was 15, and got pregnant. She accused Willis in the church, and here's what happened:

When the pastor heard Anderson's allegations, he told her that if she had "lived in the Old Testament," she would have been stoned to death for not reporting the attack sooner.

"He also said I had 'allowed myself to be put in a compromising situation,' Anderson said. The pastor decided she needed to be "church-disciplined."

"I was completely humiliated," Anderson said, her voice quavering at the memory. "I hoped it was a nightmare I'd wake up from, and it wouldn't be true anymore."

"Church discipline" apparently means sending the victim out of state and asking all church members silent, not bringing the matter to secular authorities. They stayed quiet for 13 years.

Meanwhile, Tina Anderson went on with her life, got married, had kids, and took a job as a music teacher at a Baptist college. When she was contacted by investigators tracking down the case, though, she did something remarkable: she woke up to how she'd been abused.

"I was kind of in shock, but I just answered his questions," Anderson said. "Everything is changing because I'm seeing the things I was taught for so many years are not necessarily correct. It's almost like I had blinders on, believing all of this was my fault."

This is beautiful; this is what it is like to free yourself of religion.

"If they're not dealt with, the cycle will continue," said Anderson, who resigned from the Baptist college the day before Willis was arrested. "I do not, anymore, unquestioningly obey authority, which is what they would teach."

You Are Not Special II - The Revenge

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Blind Belief Does Cause Harm (& Update)

Is Adultry Really A Crime/Sharia Law

Part One:


Part Two:

The Importance of Unbelief

Words of wisdom from Stephen Fry:

Question: What philosophers influenced you?

Stephen Fry: Philosophy is an odd thing. When we use the word in everyday speech you know you sometimes hear it hilariously. They say, “Oh, it’s never good to be late.” “That’s my philosophy.” You think that’s a generous description of that rather dull precept to call it a philosophy, but it’s odd how philosophers generally speaking, at least the ones I’ve read or the ones I you know value, don’t have in that sense a philosophy. There is no particular Socratic or Dimechian or Kantian way to live your life. They don’t offer ethical codes and standards by which to live your life. They don’t offer a philosophy to follow. They just simply raise an enormous number of questions mostly, so in the sense that you put the question is there a philosopher that’s important to me. Well I me I loved really the sort of the Bertrand Russell grand sort of tour of philosophy, the history of philosophy from the pre Socratics as they’re called, Zeno and so on through to Socrates and Plato and Aristotle. I never quite liked Aristotle. I think that’s partly… Although he was obviously a genius and brilliant and he invented logic, so what’s not to like. I think it was his influence on the medieval mind was probably rather pernicious and unfortunate and all those categories and things, but when it opened up with I suppose Spinoza and them, but then Kant and the enlightenment era. Oh and actually Locke. I did like Locke. He was a fine philosopher, but they don’t… I mean what is so great about them is that they just… They’re quite scary when you think of the word philosopher and especially if it’s logic and symbolic logic and it gets onto Hegelian philosophies, incredibly difficult to read I find and you follow it for about… Well it’s like trying to grab a salmon. You know the harder you clutch at it the more it springs, slips out of your hand and whoa, it’s gone and you chase it again and what was that and you feel very stupid, but the… I think the beauty of questioning and simplicity that you get from Kant in particular I think is just amazing because it’s like they say of simple mathematical laws that make fractals, the tiniest little elegant observation about or question about something just spins out these immensely complex things that make you rethink everything. So yes, I think philosophy is a really important dimension, but I think in our age we tend to be rather sloppy about it. We either think Buddhism is philosophy, which you know or some sort of eastern thing about being nice and spiritual and that will do, which it’s fine. I mean you know obviously I believe in kindness and niceness and lots of spiritual things, but the real intellectual rigor and quest of logic is something that I’m afraid takes incredibly hard work and we live in an age in which hard work is if not actively deprecated or denigrated it is run away from or ignored. It’s sort of people frown at you and say, “Well, that’s a bit dull and stupid. Why can’t we just short circuit it and talk about like spirit?” Well yeah, you can say spirit, but if you think that’s philosophy and if you think that’s good enough.

The most important philosophy I think is that even if it isn’t true you must absolutely assume there is no afterlife. You cannot for one second I think, abbragate the responsibility of believing that this is it because if you think you’re going to have an eternity in which you can talk to Mozart and Chopin and Schopenhauer on a cloud and learn stuff and you know really get to grips with knowledge and understanding and so you won’t bother now. I think it’s a terrible, a terrible mistake. It may be that there is an afterlife and I’ll look incredibly stupid, but at least I will have had a crammed pre afterlife, a crammed life, so to me the most important thing is you know as Kipling put it, to fill every 60 seconds with you know what is it? To fill every unforgiving minute with 60 seconds worth of distance run. You know absolutely, so that’s all I’m saying I suppose. Is that there is no point wasting time being lazy, though of course indolence in a divine way, actually has its advantages. Oh, shut up Steve. Okay, next one.

Question: What do you believe?

Stephen Fry: It’s interesting. Atheism comes into rather a bad press and I suppose I’d rather describe myself as a humanist, who human… I don’t believe in God. I don’t believe there is a God. If I were to believe in a god l would believe in gods. I think monotheism is the really ghastly thing. That is the absolutely staggering to me misapprehension. I can perfectly see why anybody might imagine that each thing, each thing that grows, each phenomenon that we… that accompanies us on our journey through life, the sky, the mountains, spirits of nature. I can imagine why man would wish to endow them with an inner something, an inner animus that they would call the god of that thing. I can see that. It’s a beautiful and charming way of looking at it and I can understand the Greek idea that there are these you know these principles of lightening or of war or of wisdom and to embody them, to personify them into a Athena or Aries or whichever god you want makes enormous sense, but to say that there is one only god who made it all and who is… Yeah, that is just… What? Why? Who said? Where? Come on. And I love how when people watch I don’t know, David Attenborough or Discovery Planet type thing you know where you see the absolute phenomenal majesty and complexity and bewildering beauty of nature and you stare at it and then… and somebody next to you goes, “And how can you say there is no God?” “Look at that.” And then five minutes later you’re looking at the lifecycle of a parasitic worm whose job is to bury itself in the eyeball of a little lamb and eat the eyeball from inside while the lamb dies in horrible agony and then you turn to them and say, “Yeah, where is your God now?” You know I mean you got… You can’t just say there is a God because well, the world I beautiful. You have to account for bone cancer in children. You have to account for the fact that almost all animals in the wild live under stress with not enough to eat and will die violent and bloody deaths. There is not any way that you can just choose the nice bits and say that means there is a God and ignore the true fact of what nature is. The wonder of nature must be taken in its totality and it is a wonderful thing. It is absolutely marvelous and the idea that an atheist or a humanist if you want to put it that way, doesn’t marvel and wonder at reality, at the way things are, is nonsensical. The point is we wonder all the way. We don’t just stop and say that which I cannot understand I will call God, which is what mankind has done historically. That’s to say God was absolutely everything a thousand or two thousand years ago because we understood almost nothing about the natural world, so it could all be God and then as we understood more God receded and receded and receded, so suddenly now he is barely anywhere. He is just in those things we don’t understand, which are important, but I think it just is such an insult to humanity and the Greeks got it right. The Greeks understood perfectly that if there were divine beings they are capricious, unkind, malicious mostly, temperamental, envious and mostly deeply unpleasant because that you can say well yes, all right, if there is going to be god or gods then you have to admit that they’re very at the very least capricious. They’re certainly not consistent. They’re certainly not all loving. I mean really it’s just not good enough.

You know if we empower ourselves with responsibility over our actions, responsibility over our destinies and responsibility for directing and maintaining and creating our own ethical and moral frameworks, which is the most important thing really isn’t it because perhaps the greatest insult to humanism is this idea that mankind needs a god in order to have a moral framework. There is a very clear way of demonstrating logically how absurd that is because the warrant for that logical framework, for that moral framework that comes from God is always tested against man’s own morals and it’s a complicated argument, but I mean that’s you know it’s the standard one which is pretty unanswerable, but the idea that we don’t know right from wrong, but we have to take it from words put down in a book two, three, four, five, six thousand years ago and dictated to rather hotheaded neurotic desert tribes is just insulting. It’s just no, I mean you know if there were a God he would want us to be better spirited than to take his word for everything. Wouldn’t he? If he gave us free will would he really want us to say, “No, I have to abide by everything that’s written in this book, all the laws of circumcision and of eating and of… and what to do with menstruating women?” I mean, “I’m going to obey those written down there.” “I won’t think for myself because that’s not required of me.” Come on. It’s just not good enough and you know I have no quarrel with individuals who wish… who are devout and who have faith. I don’t want to mock them. I really don’t, but damned if I’m going to be told by them what to do with my body or damned if I’m going to have the extraordinary battles won by enlightenment over the past 400 years, to have those battles abdicated by a new dark ages. It’s you know. The battle lines must be drawn.

Question: What is religion good for?

Stephen Fry: Music in its time, but I mean that’s a function of history you know. The fact is that composers always write for the power because… or power and money and it so happened that in the period when polyphony all the way through to the classical and early romantic era all the power and the money was with the church, so some great masses and some great choir music and some great oratories were written from obviously the Baroque age being the sort of pinnacle of that, but all the way through to Mozart’s final works and his requiem and Beethoven’s "Missa solemnis" and Mendelssohn and so on. There have been some marvelous religious works and in paintings similarly, but that’s because these were princes. They were princes of the church. They were prince arch bishops who employed Mozart. These were not spiritual beings who inculcated these composers with a sense of the divine that makes the music divine. The glory of Verde’s Requiem or Mozart’s Requiem or Bach’s pieces is that they are fantastic, incredibly human and like all great human’s thing they reach for the infinite. They reach for beauty. A religious person would call that the divine. You could call it the humanist. You could call it anything else, but certainly is that. Religion has been good for that and good for architecture because it is required that enormous… It required enormous buildings for the shepherding of people in, in order to do the services and they spend a lot of money on it and so they are rather glorious buildings. You’ve got to hand them that. Do they make the trains run on time? No, they didn’t do that. That’s about it really. And there are some kind individual people. I mean very kind people who give to the poor and look after the sick and so on, but it’s not necessary and sufficient as a justification for religion because there are plenty of people who are not religious who are also kind to the sick and good to the poor and care about people’s well-being.

Question: Are there religious leaders you admire?

Stephen Fry: Yes, very much so. I mean Trevor Huddleston and Archbishop Tutu from South Africa are two good examples who were both genuine men of their church, or let me see -- Huddleston is dead, but Tutu is still alive -- and who both fought a terrible injustice and used all the authority of their position amongst their believers and but very bravely spoke out and sometimes against the wishes of the church hierarchies. Some liberation theologist who are from, you know, some of them mad Communists, some of them just decent liberals who fought against the hideous doctrines of the Roman Catholic church for example, and there are individual voices who are raised in conscience against the bureaucracy and the dogma and the doctrine of the churches, and you know certainly of course individuals in, you know, Bonheoffer for example in Germany, the Lutheran minister who spoke out against Hitler. There are… Of course there have been good and fine religious people and the Dalai Lama seems rather charming. I don’t know. It’s terrible. I don’t want to come over as some terrible anti-ecclesiastical figure, but.

Recorded December 8, 2009

http://bigthink.com/ideas/17864

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Jesus Has Left the Building, Part 2 (Josephus and the Talmud)



The second episode in a series examining the historicity of Jesus Christ.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Fuck The Fred Phelps Klan (Dio Tribute)



It seems the folks of the Westboro Baptist Church aren't satisfied with pissing on the families of American Soldiers and on homosexuals. Now, they're going after us, who are heavy metal fans, by planning to picked Ronnie James Dio's funeral.

Here's the news article:
http://www.3news.co.nz/Religious-extr..

An Atheist Carol



A hilarious atheist adaptation of "A Christmas Carol."

Jacob Marley - coughlan666
Ghost of Atheist Science/Ghost of Christmas Past - Rhymemaiden
Ghost of Atheist Hedonism/Ghost of Christmas Present - Dudewheresmynapalm
Ghost of Biblical Errancy/Ghost of Christmas Future - ProfMTH

Scientology - The Circus of the Stars

Abolish Religious Exemptions from the Law?

Part One:


Part Two:


In the United States and other countries, religious institutions have traditionally enjoyed a privileged position, i.e., they have been granted exemptions from compliance with certain laws (including, without limitation, laws against discrimination in employment and laws requiring the payment of taxes). Is it appropriate or even useful for religion to have this privileged status?

Links:

1. Regarding Christian Legal Society v. Martinez--

--the decision of the federal district court in favor of the law school

http://www.alliancealert.org/2006/200...

--the decision of the 9th Circuit affirming the trial court's ruling

http://www.scotusblog.com/wp-content/...

--SCOTUS WIKI's entry on the case (lots of information and material)

http://www.scotuswiki.com/index.php?t...

2. Archbishop Donald Wuerl's talk entitled "Religious Freedom and Marriage"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nwN7RL...

3. Washington D.C.'s marriage equality and nondiscrimination law and related material

http://www.dccouncil.washington.dc.us...

http://www.dccouncil.washington.dc.us...

4. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964

http://www.eeoc.gov/laws/statutes/tit...

5. McClure v. The Salvation Army (the first federal appeals court decision to recognize a "ministerial exception" to Title VII)

http://scholar.google.com/scholar_cas...


1. Wisconsin Supreme Court's use of the "ministerial exception" to dismiss an age discrimination case against a Catholic school system

http://www.wicourts.gov/sc/opinion/Di...

2. New York Court of Appeals decision in Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Albany v. Serio

http://www.law.cornell.edu/nyctap/I06...

3. California Supreme Court's decision in Catholic Charities of Sacramento v. Superior Court (Unfortunately, I can't find a generally accessible URL for this decision. The citation is 85 P.3d 67 (2004).)

4. Jonathan Turley's Op-Ed piece entitled "When it comes to religious groups, who's really facing discrimination?"

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/...

5. Employment Division v. Smith

http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html...

6. Bob Jones University v. United States

http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html...

7. New York Times article on the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association case

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/09/18/nyr...

8. Part 1 of this video series

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G5TBxC...

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Carbon dating doesn't work -- debunked 3.WMV

My Open Letter to Thunderf00t and The Youtube Atheist Fanboys



Although I don't support religions and I strongly support human rights (freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom from religion, etc.), I feel that it's time that Thunderf00t stopped preaching to the choir and got back to making educational videos again. We have folks within the "rational thinking community", who have been sending death threats, false flaggings, and false DMCA's against other Youtube atheists for disagreeing with Pat Condell and Thunderf00t. The people doing this are being dicks and their fanboy mannerisms are hurting the atheist "community" of Youtube.

Remember The Sabbath

Are You Frickin' Serious???

Atheism makes you mentally old?

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

My Official "Draw Muhammad Day" Entry

Edward Tarte, former catholic priest, speaks about the sacraments



An atheist, who used to be a Roman Catholic priest (and one that doesn't sexually abuse children).

The Creepiest Christian Argument Against Abortion

Here's one of the most vile, and inhumane arguments I've ever seen against abortion:

"Atheists always use rape as an argument for justifying killing because they want to justify abortion. But is rape really that bad? It's a horrible experience but you get over it with time. If you use it to justify murder you're never going to get over it. Imagine you have a painful divorce. Would you murder your children after because they remind you of your ex husband? Of course not. I think any woman would easily tell you that a painful divorce is worse than rape but it's not an excuse to kill your baby, so why is rape?

Christian women can also take a lot more than atheist women. Maybe this is part of the reason that atheists get so hung up about this. Christian women can turn to Christ or worship God in their hearts and endure great suffering. I'm not belittling it but think about it, no amount of suffering from rape is as great as the suffering our Lord suffered on the cross for our sins. You are the one who has to ask more true Christian women about this. You're out of touch and trying to make a big deal out of something just for shock value."
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
This person is absolutely disgusting, and luckily, there are folks with enough empathy to see what's wrong with this person.

Here are the following comments that give me hope for humanity:

"Yeah, I mean, getting forcibly penetrated is a little inconvenient...but being forced to endure 9 months of medical risk, severe discomfort, stretch marks, lost wages, possibly lost job, 24+ of excruciating labor, 18 years of struggle and sacrifice, difficulty finding a partner who wants to help raise your kids, plus a lifetime of responsibility? That's bliss. It's what every real woman wants.

FACE-DESK.

You'd think people who pretend to think fetuses are babies with rights just like an adult would be more aware of the risks involved in a high-stress pregnancy- say, one where the mother has PTSD because she's just been traumatized by a psychopath. There've been all sorts of studies that show the worst thing you can do for a fetus epigenetically is to gestate through severe stress, especially PTSD. It raises fetal cortisol levels, which continues through birth and for years to come. Elevated cortisol is associated with high risk for anxiety disorders later on.

Just more proof that it's not about the fetus at all. It's about the idea that men own and can take control of the means of human reproduction with impugnity."

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"Yeah, I mean, getting forcibly penetrated is a little inconvenient...but being forced to endure 9 months of medical risk, severe discomfort, stretch marks, lost wages, possibly lost job, 24+ of excruciating labor, 18 years of struggle and sacrifice, difficulty finding a partner who wants to help raise your kids, plus a lifetime of responsibility? That's bliss. It's what every real woman wants.

Sorry but this isn't quite right.

You left out the social disgrace, opprobium, and criticism for being yet again...another unwed mother. Much of which would come from your good xian family, friends, and relatives. A slut.

As xians always remind us, it is the woman's fault for getting raped anyway. If she didn't have a vagina and could bench press 250 pounds, it wouldn't have happened.

What if the rapist had an STD? What if he was HIV+?"

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"Aren't these the same people who then shun a girl who has been raped because she is "unclean" and "used"? And the ones who call her a irredeemable slut if she didn't fight back hard enough to risk death rather than being raped? And yet it's "no big deal"??? The cognitive dissonance is sickening.

This is the kind of person you don't argue with…just walk away.

I am not a violent person, but I would be sorely tempted to spit on him first."

"And another thing:

"It's a horrible experience but you get over it with time."

I know women who have gone through terrible, painful divorces, and ones that have been raped. Let me tell you - the divorcees are able to "get over" their "horrible experience" far more easily. Most of the women I know who have been raped have never gotten over it, and continue to have issues trusting men, especially sexually, even decades after. Most of the divorcees, on the other hand, are happily dating if not remarried. To even imply that divorce is somehow worse than rape is not only ignorant but revolting."

Here are comments from actual rape victims:

"You think that's a good point, do you? I was whacked on the back of the head in a dark parking lot, dragged off, beaten, threatened, tied up and raped at knife point. I was one of the lucky ones, I got out of it with my life. A lot of women don't. If you think a divorce, no matter how acrimonious, is somehow worse, you've got a bit of problem with perspective. Thinking this way, you're also a huge part of the problem. Jesus fuckin' Christ."

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

"But is rape really that bad?"

"As someone who has been raped, I can answer this: Yes, it is.

This is the kind of person you don't argue with…just walk away.

This is the kind of person I give a good, swift kick inna fork to then walk away. Crispy fried Christ, what is wrong with some people?"

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

"Jenn,

You're a creepy person. As other people have pointed out, his underlying premises are creepy. Of course, never being raped, and not understanding how damaging it can be warps your thinking.

naddyfive,

I think stranger rape is unbelievably horrifying, but most women are raped by someone they know.

We've had the rape discussion before with the misogynist fuckwits who think that any manner of things are worse than rape, who have called rape a "temporary inconvenience," who just don't get being physically violated in such a way that what should be the best of human experience becomes an object of dread and anxiety. For the pitiful comparison of a divorce to being raped, I have to say that I would rather get divorced any day than be raped again."

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

"I want to puke. Rape is by far the worst thing I have experienced. I've never wanted to punch someone in the face so badly."

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"I want to puke. Rape is by far the worst thing I have experienced. I've never wanted to punch someone in the face so badly."
"I'm with you, Sister. I was raped by another man, once. Even considering the relative lack of violence during my incident (mostly because I was psychologically manipulating him into letting me go), the lasting feelings of violation are still having effects on me many years later. I hope I never learn who this asshat is or where he lives because I may then have means, motive, and opportunity for a violent crime."

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To undermine the pain of rape victims in such a disgusting and disturbing way is insanity to me. I've never been raped, and I don't ever want the experience. A woman should have the right to an abortion, whether she's a rape victim, her health is in danger, or if she's unprepared for motherhood in any way.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

The Value of Atheism (Response to Jack)

Comparing Jesus and Santa



This video answers the question...what is the difference between belief in Jesus Christ and belief in Santa Claus?

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Kissing Hank's Ass



A hilarious correlation between the cult of Hank and theistic religions.

William Lane Craig: The Artful Dodger



The first premise of the Kalam Cosmological Argument is that "Everything which begins to exist has a cause".

We are left wondering on what ground its proponents extend our concepts of the origin of existence of "things" to the Universe as a whole. Even if our physical realm in a larger multiverse has an origin, we get nowhere with this argument. Craig would have us believe that physical reality has some beginning, and that beginning obeys a common sense form of causality. Even in our own universe there are reasons to doubt our notions of causality.

The KCA is overly presumptuous and typical of religious arrogance. In the next WttU video, I will be discussing some of the weaknesses with jumping to conclusions about the origin of the Universe.

Calls for Separation of Religion and State in Lebanon

Your Children Will Be Tortured

Al Stefanelli

The Rantings of a Professionally Charming Curmudgeon

Your Children Will Be Tortured – Guaranteed

with 3 comments

I’ve been to hell. It’s in Alabama. In fact, it’s in all fifty states and probably in other countries, as well. But, here in the United States, we do hell like it’s nobody’s business. Well, OK, maybe not the REAL hell because everyone knows that the REAL hell is forever and ever and ever and it is REAL fire, torture and a place where there is constant weeping, gnashing of teeth and a place where the worm never stops turning. But, hey, we come damned close, if you will forgive the pun. We can actually SHOW you what hell is REALLY like and then explain to you how Satan is after your children, and how he wants to torture them for all eternity.

Satan wants your children to burn, so if you are the Christian parent of a rebellious child, then there is only one real choice to straighten your kids out. Scare the living shit out of them. And what better way to impress upon a young mind the love of god than a guided tour of hell.

This is the agenda that is behind the Christian “Hell Houses”. I’ve been to and hosted several of these while I was a minister and the theatrics and effort that are put into some of these rival modern horror movies. They are there to serve one purpose. If you don’t straighten up and accept Jesus into your life before you die, which can happen at ANY moment, then you are going to end up living on the Christian version of Elm Street. But Freddy Kruger is a wuss compared to Satan, of course.

Usually set up on the grounds of a larger church due to it’s many torture chambers….er…Sunday school rooms, as well as the availability of several other large rooms and a parking lot big enough to set up mock car accidents, some of these Hell Houses are really an awesome spectacle. Generally, there are five parts to a Hell House. Part one, guilt. Your child enters through a seemingly benign front door, but once inside, the fun begins. Christian ‘actors’ portray, in very realistic method, a variety of mortal sins such as drug use, prostitution, listening to secular music, sex of almost any kind and, of course, Atheism. These sins are acted out first to give your child warning by guilt if they should happen to be engaging in any of these things.

With guilt fully in place, part two. Fear. This is usually when they are herded outside to view a mock car accident. The church hauls in a couple of wrecked cars and places their actors in various locations with a heightened aspect of gory reality. Dismembered bodies, gallons of fake blood, smoke and often there is one unrepentant actor who is on the verge of death when the tour group arrives, only to die right in front of them with last words to the effect of, “No.. I am only fourteen…” or some such other tear-jerking comment. Next stop may be a mock hospital emergency room where the actor has just died. Onward to another scene of equally grisly portrayal of human pain and suffering, where the victim has died without knowing Christ, which sets the scene for volley number three. Hell, itself.

This is where these people really SHINE! While the tour group is making their way to the auditorium, gym or whatever large room the church has, the actors who have just died in the previous room scurry behind the scenes to take their places for their next role, which takes place in the church’s production of hell, complete with Satan and fallen angels. Satan, of course, is done up about as scary as he can be and the angels are not much better. Now, in my wry humor I would think it quite hilarious if a flash mob invaded this scene and broke out into Micheal Jackson’s.

But I digress…

The Hell Room is usually set up according to what the bible depicts hell to be. Plenty of shredded sheets soaked in fake blood, dry ice smoke, shrieks and moans emitting from high end sound systems, strobe lights and everything drenched in red lighting. The actors from the previous scenes of human misery on earth are now spotlighted here in hell, screaming and writhing in torture. One of them might look directly at your child with typical warnings about not receiving christ before you die, or right at the parent with an admonition for not yet making sure your kid is saved. Sometimes the now-dead-and-rotting-in-hell child actor will spout off something like, “Why didn’t my parents tell me about this place?! They could have told me about Jesus and I would not be suffering!”

Added in for effect are bodies lying on the ground close enough to the tour groups path so that occasionally an actor reaches out and grabs one of your kids legs and screams, “Help Meeeeee!” If this room does not cause a parent to take out a second mortgage to pay for the years of therapy that lie ahead, then the speech at the end of the Hell Room tour by Satan will. Basically, Satan pitches the usual evangelical shtick, but with a macabre twist. Statistics are sometimes cited about the rate of death amongst children and young teens, and how many of them died without knowing Jesus and how they are all down there with him, being tortured for fun and profit.

Just when the effects of the death, mutilation, sorrow, torture, lights, sound and speeches have got your kid scared shitless, it’s time for part four. The rescue. The group is ushered through a door into a room dark enough so that nothing in it can be discerned. Then, the lights come on. And they are really bright lights. White light everywhere. The set is made up to look like what the bible predicts heaven will look like, or as close as the budget will allow. Then, Jesus shows up. Usually a white guy with real long hair and a beard, flowing white robes and smile that would make a dentist have an orgasm. This is usually short, because the producers don’t want the group to forget about the shitstorm they just went through. Jesusdude explains that everything they just saw can be avoided if they just get to know him a little. Nothing complicated, just making him lord of your life and everything you do and accepting a life of credulous servility and joining him in brainwashing as many other kids as possible.

After a few minutes of this comes part five. The decision room. This is usually in the sanctuary where all the blissy stuff is. Huge cross, shiny chalices, candles and plush carpeting. Usually the youth minister oversees this, as the whole point of a youth minister is to attract as many youth as possible. He will probably be dressed in way that will be appealing to the youth. He will give a short sermon and ask if anyone wants to make a commitment or decision for Christ. At this point usually most, if not all, of the group are very enthusiastic about receiving Christ into their lives. Of course, at this point, most of them would eat a live insect covered in rhinoceros vomit if they thought it would keep them out of hell. Names are taken, information packets are given out and there are always ‘counselors’ on hand if anyone has any questions.

During Hell Week maybe a thousand people people go in the front door, eight hundred accept christ at the back door and the pastor tells the flock the following Sunday morning that they had an eight-percent success rate which just goes to show that a vast majority of our children are hungry for Christ. They are actually hungry for not dying in a horrific car accident and ending up in what amounts to be Tierra del Fuego in the middle of the summer wearing a ski jacket over thermal underwear and having Adloph Hitler as their host with the most.

Thus ends a week of church sanctioned child abuse that is supported by almost every adult in the church. Child abuse? Come on, Al, really? Well, yeah. Imagine this scene being portrayed in any other venue for any other reason other than evangelism and those who are responsible for it would be summarily arrested and parents would be calling lawyers so fast it would make your head spin. But this is religion, so it’s OK to poison your kids mental health.

These Hell Houses are horrifically damaging to a young mind and it is not the threat of torture that hurts them, but the actual torture of having to go through this, usually at the behest of their parents. Funny, Christian parents won’t let their kids go see an R-rated horror movie, but they allow them to participate in a theatrical presentation that would probably get an NC-17 rating. Just another example of how twisted the virus of religion is."


Al Stefanelli is the founder of the United Atheist Front and the author of the article above. As an atheist, this type of child abuse makes me glad that I never went to church and wasn't indoctrinated into any religion. If I were, I'd be seeking therapy from the time I step out of these Hell houses up until much of my adult life.


Making Sex Work



These Youtube ladies tell the truth about how fem-Nazis are not real feminists and how they're crusade against stripping, pornography, and prostitution is a violation of our human rights.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Dear Atheist "Community"......



It's bad enough that we catch flack from the religious fundamentalists for not worshiping a deity, now we have to turn on each other just for disagreeing with each other? This is petty bullshit and the fact that there are other atheists, who do petty bullshit and have the nerve to call themselves "free thinkers" or "rationalists", when they're only trolls, is disgusting.

Intelligence DID Guide Human Evolution.

"Credit where credit is due. WE did it. WE built the hospitals. WE care for each other. WE make the machines. WE erase diseases. WE figured out how we got here. WE have the lightning in our pocket.
If a kid broke every record at school and credit was given to their father, by everyone, how do you think that effects that kid's psychology? Well, THAT is what religion has done to our species. The most wonderful animal in the Universe (as far as we know) is us, is you. How did we ever forget it?" --Youtuber, philhellenes

Selling Doomsday



" Jehovah's Witnesses have an obsession with doomsday.

some doomsday peddlers came to my door today, in an effort to scare me about the future so that i will realise my need of God.... or something like that. to be honest, whenever the Jehovah's Witnesses come calling, i will entertain myself at their expense. they never seem to notice that my statements are gently mocking their belief. its amazing what you can get away with if you have a friendly demeanor and a smile." --Youtuber, gothafunk

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Correcting Christian Hypocrisy

Rebuttals to 'Betting on infinity'



"Some good old argumentation, refuting theists' criticisms of the video QualiaSoup and I made on Pascal's wager, entitled 'Betting on infinity'." --youtuber, ThermaninTrees

Larry, Mohammad, and Curly

Evolution is like a Box of Chocolates (More Golden Crocoduck nominees)

Hell - Pwnage Olympics (Geerup)



Sources
Bart D. Ehrmmans book God's Problem
The New Revised Version of the Bible with Apocrypha
Jewish Study Bible (TANAKH) - Oxford Press
Encyclopedia Britannica (DVD Version)

Sheol
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sheol
http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/vie...

TartaroĊ/Tartaros/Tartarus
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tartarus

Greek Mythology
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greek_my...

Olam ha-ba
http://www.jewfaq.org/olamhaba.htm
http://www.myjewishlearning.com/belie...
http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/vie...

Gehenna/Gehinnam/Gehinnom
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gehenna

Bosom of Abraham
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bosom_of...
http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/vie...

Alabama Ad Slams Teaching Evolution In Schools

Mrs. Palin, you suck as a historian



Sarah Palin sucks as a historian. Tell us something we don't know. The Constitution and the Declaration of Independence do not support Christianity at all.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Women's Rights Homepage Hot Topics * Reproductive Rights * Violence Against Women * Women's Health Why Do Women Have to Go to Special C

http://womensrights.change.org/blog/view/why_do_women_have_to_go_to_special_clinics_for_abortions

Natasha Chart at Open Left highlights a commenter's question: "why can't women just get abortions in hospitals or at the regular clinics they go to so the disturbed, whackjob protestors don't have such an easy and obvious target?"

Damn good question.

Chart's answer? To make it easier to shame those sluts -- it's a modern day scarlet letter.

Whether anti-choice protestors are on the milder side, asking women to "consider what the Lord would think," or if they're screaming about Satan drinking their babies blood, they're invading privacy and making assumptions out of disrespect for the female sex. Most (though definitely not all) claim to make exceptions for cases of rape, but never consider that they might be harassing a survivor. Nor do they consider that the pregnancy might pose a danger to the woman's life. Or that maybe the woman they're harassing isn't even going for an abortion -- clinics provide a range of other reproductive health services.

And of course it would be too much to expect them to trust women recognize and recognize that one in three members of the female sex are not murderers.

Then there's the severe danger to the doctors themselves in being isolated in a private, easy-target practice. (And given this, I wouldn't be altogether surprised if the whackjobs out there starting target women who have had an abortion as well.)

Reproductive health is health, and you should be able to access the entire range of reproductive health services at any hospital or clinic. No scarlet letter required.

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Report By:

Alex DiBranco is a Change.org Editor who has worked for the Nation, Political Research Associates, and the Center for American Progress. She is now based in New York City.

Purity Balls: Disempowering Young Women with Help from their Dads

http://womensrights.change.org/blog/view/purity_balls_disempowering_young_women_with_help_from_their_dads

"Purity Balls -- formal parties where adolescent daughters pledge to their fathers to remain virgins until marriage -- have been gaining popularity in the United States, with an estimated 4,000 such events held in recent years. At these balls, there's a formal ceremony, vows are given, and often rings are exchanged. Fathers then agree to keep their daughter's virginity nice and safe and locked up until she gets married, at which points he presents it to her new husband.

Notice, if you will, that these daughters never control their own virginity, their own sexuality. Apparently, that is too big a burden for their delicate, vulnerable female selves. Best to let ownership pass from man to man and never trouble her pretty little head (or vagina) over it. Yeah, right.

Why are we teaching our young girls that they aren't in sole possession of their sexuality and sexual choices? Chastity is a valid choice, but it is a choice that each woman needs to own for herself. Why does virginity have to equal dependence on men? I can't even begin to imagine asking my father to own my sexual choices for me at some creepy faux-wedding ceremony.

Furthermore, the families of these girls seem determined to shelter them from the world, believing abstinence-only education and a lack of exposure to the world will turn them into perfect little princesses on a pedestal. I have to ask, why is ignorance such a vital part of their life plan for these girls? Why do these people think education is so dangerous? In my life, I've often thought to myself "If only I had known better." But "If only I'd known less" has never crossed my mind.

Christian Anti-Kissing Propaganda



*FACEPALM*

http://camelswithhammers.com/2010/05/08/christian-anti-kissing-propaganda/

Friday, May 7, 2010

FOX News on Comedy Central: Religious Double Standards?

How do we know that Christians are delusional?

Q and A-Morality

Q and A-Monkeys

"All Homosexuals Should Be Castrated"- The Latest From The Homophobic Peanut Gallery

http://networkedblogs.com/3DDrD

"Homosexuals are brute beasts…part of a vile and satanic system that will be utterly annihilated, and there will be a celebration in heaven.” – Jerry Falwell

“As a mother, I know that homosexuals cannot biologically reproduce children; therefore, they must recruit our children.” Anita Bryant

“Many of those people involved with Adolph Hitler were Satanists, many of them were homosexuals — the two things seem to go together” - Pat Robertson

“Homosexuals are weak, morally sick wretches.” - Senator Jesse Helms

“Oh, you’re one of the sodomites. You should only get AIDS and die, you pig. How’s that?” – Michael Savage


"Need I go on? The attitude towards Homosexuals and homosexuality by some very powerful and influential people, both past and present is atrocious. The fact that this attitude is borne from religion, particularly the Abrahamic religions, and is supported by hundreds of millions of individuals is terrifying to homosexuals and horrifying to anyone who has an ounce of understanding about human biology, genetics and the animal kingdom in general. Yes, there still exists some debate amongst the scientific community as to the origin of sexual orientation, but scientists do not insult, discriminate, injure or kill each other for disagreeing. They just keep on researching. Religionists do not offer the same courtesy. The reason why verbal and physical attacks against homosexuals are defined as hate crimes is for the same reason similar attacks against particular people groups are. You cannot change who you are and should not ever be in fear of your safety or life because of it.

So, nature or nurture? The question on the table is whether or not people born straight, gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender. The search for a definitive answer needs to remain within the bounds of the sciences, and not within the pages of the bible or the koran. The scientific community recognizes that genetics play a significant role in determining sexual orientation, that one’s sexual orientation is natural. This is known as the “argument from nature”. Those who believe that human sexuality is determined by personal experiences is known as the “argument from nurture”.

Let’s get a little perspective on the veracity of these two arguments. The nature argument is based on the latest, most advanced cutting edge science. The nurture argument is based on a twenty-three-hundred-year-old philosophical belief known as tabula rosa, put forth by Aristotle, which suggests that personality and behavioral traits are entirely learned and that all of us start off in this world with a clean, blank slate with respect to personality. Latest science vs. ancient philosophy. Let’s examine this a little deeper.

First, some information from science and research. The argument from nature is being accepted more readily in the scientific community due to the increasing evidence that sexual orientation develops before birth. Here are just a few examples of those who support that homosexuality is genetically dispositional:

  • Author and respected geneticist Matt Ridley states that, “Nobody in science now believes that sexual orientation is caused by events in adolescence…Homosexuality is an early, probably prenatal and irreversible preference.
  • The Royal College of Psychiatrists stated, “Despite almost a century of psychoanalytic and psychological speculation, there is no substantive evidence to support the suggestion that the nature of parenting or early childhood experiences play any role in the formation of a person’s fundamental heterosexual or homosexual orientation. It would appear that sexual orientation is biological in nature, determined by a complex interplay of genetic factors and the early uterine environment. Sexual orientation is therefore not a choice”
  • Frederick L. Whitam, PhD, Professor in the Department of Sociology at Arizona State University, said, “During the past 30 years, a strong body of evidence has emerged to suggest that sexual orientation is biological. During this same time period, not a single bit of scientific evidence suggests that sexual orientation is learned has appeared.”
  • The Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance stated, “We recommend following the lead of most physical and mental health professionals, and consider homosexual orientation to be normal, natural, unchosen and fixed.
  • Kenneth M. Cohen, PhD, Lecturer in Human Development at Cornell University, wrote, “Recent scans of the human genome reveal that some gay males share a genetic marker for homosexuality on the X chromosome. One avenue through which genes regulate homoeroticism is by instructing the brain to develop in a sex-atypical manner.”

The argument from nature includes those who view homosexuality as aberrant or sinful and reject any scientific biological influences for homosexuality. These people view sexuality as something that can be changed, altered or suppressed. This has led to the advent of “gay rehabilitation programs” which science has debunked due to the devastating tolls these programs take on LGBT individuals. These rehabilitation programs have resulted in some horrific “treatments” which include aversion therapy, whereby gay men are shown pictures of naked men and simultaneously shocked with electricity; brain surgery in the form of frontal lobotomies; castration; intravenous infusion of animal-organ extracts, cocaine, estrogen and testosterone; gay men being forced to masturbate and then shown pictures of women just before orgasm and a host of other horrific and experimental invasions. In pre-aparthied South Africa homosexual men who could not be “cured” were chemically castrated or given sex change operations which resulted in an extreme rate of fatalities.

In Uganda, there is an Anti-Homosexuality Bill on the table that would introduce the death penalty for homosexuals, those who have previous convictions and those who are HIV positive. In fact, it provides the same penalty for Ugandan Nationals who engage in homosexual relations outside of Uganda, asserting that they may be extradited back to Uganda for punishment. There are even provisions for punishment in this bill for companies, media organizations, or entities that support LBGT rights.

This bill is borne out of Fundamental Christianity. Scott Lively and Rick Warren have a history of missionary involvement in Uganda and these two individuals, along with other Christian Fundamentalists, were influential in the shaping of public policy in Uganda. Richard A. Cohen, a Christian “conversion therapist” stated in his book the grossly untrue and damaging slander that up to forty-percent of homosexuals are directly linked to child molestationThis book given to prominent Ugandans.

According to FBI hate crime statistics, there were 7,163 reported hate crimes in 2005. 14.2% of which were based on sexual orientation. Most were violent in nature. In the U.S., 75% of students have no state laws to protect them from harassment and discrimination in school based on their sexual orientation. In public high schools, 97% of students report regularly hearing homophobic remarks from their peers.

And the beat goes on…

For more than twenty-five years, mental health practitioners and researchers have recognized that homosexuality is not a mental illness. Moreover, they are highly critical of attempts to change sexual orientation. These professional associations include the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Counseling Association, the American Psychiatric Association, the American Psychological Association, the National Association of School Psychologists and the National Association of Social Workers. These are not fringe groups. They represent roughly a half-million health and mental health professionals who support the fact that homosexuality is not a mental disorder and thus, there is no need for a cure. Furthermore, the American Psychiatric Association rejected reparative therapy as not only ineffective, but potentially destructive. The risks include depression, anxiety and self-destructive behavior.

The argument of sexual orientation from nature or nurture needs to remain within the bounds of science. Including religious tenets, doctrines and dogmas only furthers to incite further discrimination against homosexuals, including physical attacks that often result in murder. The ridiculous notion that homosexuality can be cured through reparative therapy is not based on science, but religious dogma. The reported success rates of the conversion of homosexuals to heterosexual orientation proves false under close scrutiny. These reports are from an ideological perspective on sexual orientation, not from the scientific perspective of genetics, biology and real mental health researchers. It does more harm than good and any attempt at sexual orientation conversion should be ethically questioned.

Homosexuals deserve unreserved participation in all aspects of American life and discrimination of any kind against our homosexual neighbors need to be relegated to the same status as racial discrimination, and not just on paper. Religious doctrines that spew hatred and intolerance toward homosexuality should be treated just as those doctrines that advocate slavery and the belief that black people are an inferior people group. Those who openly preach for the denigration and biblical murder of homosexuals should be arrested and imprisoned.

To any Christians or Muslims reading this: Everything you have been taught about homosexuals by your religious leaders and your doctrines is wrong. Period. End of story."

--Al Stefanelli, United Atheist Front

Restore Stephen Baldwin, he's a Martyr for Jesus.

Conservative Priest: Teens Spontaneously Gay

Refuting Isaiah 53 Again (A Reply to TrustinJC)

Q and A-Does Prayer Work.wmv



Does prayer really make a difference? Or are we praying to the "Law of Averages?"

They're At It Again

Islam Fail

Bad News Racists!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Dawahfilms: Science is not dogmatic



Another fellow Youtube atheist talks about the feud between Thunderf00t and Dawahfilms.

AronRa's guest appearance on The Atheist Experience #648

QI: David Mitchell on Pascal's Wager - Heaven For Atheists

FOX: Dan Barker vs. Father Morris Over 'National Day of Prayer'

Fred Phelps of Westboro Baptist Church Was Once Lawyer for Civil Rights in the 60s

http://www.cnn.com/2010/US/05/05/hate.preacher/index.html?hpt=C1

"You're born black. It's something you can't change even if you're Michael Jackson. God never said it was an abomination to be black," said Shirley Phelps-Roger, the daughter of Fred Phelps, the founder of the Westboro Baptist Church.

Well, Mrs. Phelps-Roger, you're born gay, too. I'm not gay, but what kind of double standards are you trying to set when you stand up for the discrimination of one minority, but turn around and discriminate against another?

The Best Argument Against Religion

Everyone's Entitled

A true christian follows ALL of the holy book

Rationalist Anthem

Robin Rice on Creationism