Saturday, February 5, 2011

Does "Reason" Dress Dirty or Something?

One of the most frustrating aspects of religion is that it commonly claims truth through personal revelation.  For example, reading through the scriptures, god will "speak" to someone and they will "understand" something that they did not before.  It's interesting though ... I typically read non-sacred books and end up understanding things better too ... but not because a god spoke to me.  I rely on critical thinking processes and reason to compare and contrast ideas, evaluating the benefits and the disadvantages, the truths and the mis-perceptions of each idea.  Religious folk tend to frown on critical thinking in general and attribute any gain in knowledge to a god that they can't see, touch, hear, taste, or smell - to them, Reason is just the driving force behind questions like "Mommy, how did Methuselah live to be over 700 years old before antibiotics were discovered?" or "Daddy, if God's creation is perfect, then why did he/she create the Ebola virus, which kills you after uncontrollable vomiting and bloody diarrhea?"

Reason has long been the bane of the theologian's existence - constantly prodding; questioning; forcing religious leaders to re-think their magical explanations because, as it turns out, there's a natural force that seems to be lurking behind anything at which we turn our microscopes or telescopes.  Although it can sometimes seem that the religious kooks that *you* have to deal with every day are the most zeus-awful ignoramuses that ever existed, take solace in knowing that ignorant and inflammatory religious figures are nothing new - religion has been practicing their aversion to critical thinking for quite sometime.  In fact, one of the most well-known religious leaders, the one who provided the intellectual and emotional vigor for splitting off from the Catholic faith and creating what we know today as Protestantism, spewed some of the most ignorant and vile stupidness long before we had Jerry Falwell or Pat Robertson.  I give you the infamous words of Martin Luther, from Works, the Erlanger Edition v. 16, p142-148:
Reason is the Devil’s greatest whore; by nature and manner of being she is a noxious whore; she is a prostitute, the Devil’s appointed whore; whore eaten by scab and leprosy who ought to be trodden under foot and destroyed, she and her wisdom… Throw dung in her face to make her ugly. She is and she ought to be drowned in baptism… She would deserve, the wretch, to be banished to the filthiest place in the house, to the closets.
Doesn't that just make you proud to be a protestant?!  And know that this sort of misguided thinking is not out of an unbiased evaluation of the concept of critical thinking or reason.  Martin Luther had a clear agenda:
Reason is the greatest enemy that faith has; it never comes to the aid of spiritual things, but—more frequently than not—struggles against the divine Word, treating with contempt all that emanates from God.
Aren't you happy that we don't live in the early 1500s, with Martin Luther as a King? Imagine if he were alive today ... he would burn us all at the stake because of our acceptance of the internet, vaccines, and goodness knows the gays!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Obama *is* Jesus

It's amazing how hypocritical many religious conservatives are, especially the evangelical Christian variety.  In fact, shouldn't the phrase "conservative Christian" be an oxymoron?  In what way would Jesus have been a conservative?  I mean, really.  The number of Christians who go to church and hear/read about the Beattitudes in the book Matthew are oftentimes the ones who go out and vote to disenfranchise groups of underprivileged people - is that really what Jesus would do?  The website Tea Party Jesus has done a fantastic job at revealing the hypocrisy of religious conservatives by taking old images of Jesus in many different settings and putting words in his mouth that are spoken from religious conservatives - it's hard not to cry sometimes at how abject the hypocrisy seems.

Of course, conservatives also like to turn our current president, Barack Obama, into a scary Marxist monster.  Conservatives have accused Obama of being too dark-skinned/muslim (the same thing in conservative speak), too socialist, too peace-making, and wanting to "give" away healthcare to the poor.  Religious politicians from the right have attempted character assassination, implying redistribution of wealth and universal healthcare to be terrible ideals ... of course, they think they know what Jesus would do.  This picture pretty  much summarizes my thoughts on the matter:

Thursday, February 3, 2011

It's Natural

In my limited experience, this is still the most effective argument to win people over and get them to understand that homosexual desires are as natural as fruit bat blow jobs during copulation or male Right Whales double penetrating a female under the midday sun.  Via wickedgayblog:

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Lanai Lookout

I have some relatives that live in Honolulu, Hawaii and love to go SCUBA diving every chance they get.  They send me pictures almost every week with awesome shots of underwater flora and fauna.  This week there are a few shoreline photographs from Lanai Lookout on the island of Oahu.  I want to share these because they are just so beautiful.  Can't WAIT to go back and visit myself!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011


Chik-Fil-A likes people to eat their chicken, but probably not if they're gays.  It's no secret that they're more Christian than other fast food chains.  They've been in the news recently for supporting antigay politicians in Pennsylvania, and the company gave money to the antigay group Focus on the Family in 2009.

This time they're excluding gay couples from a counseling camp in Rome, Georgia.  Chik-Fil-A funds the WinShape foundation which sponsors couples retreats for both unwed and married couples.

The foundation was asked if gay couples could attend and their response was (via Good as you Blog):
"WinShape Retreat defines marriage from the Biblical standard as being between one man and one woman. Groups/individuals are welcome who offer wholesome, educational conferences and programs that are compatible with Biblical values and WinShape's purpose."
In a follow up response Chik-Fil-A directly indicated that they do not accept homosexual couples at the retreat according to their contract.

Surprise, surprise: a Christian funded group is excluding gays from their couples oriented activities.  Which part of this is "hate the sin, not the sinner" mentality that I grew up with in the South?  Besides, Jesus never had a girlfriend.  And we all know that a man who's in his thirties but has never gotten laid is probably as gay as the day is long - especially if he wasn't laid by age thirty in the year 30 BCE, when people were marrying at age 12.  I know that god must have a soft-spot for gays anyhow - King David, one of god's favorites, had a raging hard-on for Jonathon for like half of the old testament.  Plus, god makes rainbows.  Ergo, god is gay.

So, biblical standard is what is important, right?  Chik-Fil-A wants to keep gay couples out because the bible says so?  Then maybe they should stop and think about whether or not they should abide by any more of the rules set forth in the old testament (or New Testament for that matter).  I bet they would let divorced couples attend the meeting - and it's clear that divorce is frowned upon.

But of course Chik-Fil-A doesn't care about this because their reasoning is not sound - it's just an excuse to bolster their own cultural discomfort in failing to understand something that's foreign to them.  You could try to reason with them, but I have learned in my old 27-years of existence that you're best not to do that: you can't reason someone out of something that they didn't reason themselves into in the first place.

Monday, January 31, 2011

New Podcast Episode Up

My friends and I have put up the 20th episode of our atheism podcast for Pascals Bettors - go take a listen!  We're pleased to say that we over 10,000 downloads already - so if you're one of our listeners, thanks!

Allah's the demolition guy, right?

Mr. Deity is back with the latest episode about how to create matter.  Will he go with the 6-7 day model, or will he favor the organic model?  Watch and find out: