Saturday, May 30, 2009

Bill Donohue: Epic Failure of a Human Being

Looks like Bill Donohue of the Catholic League got splattered by an interview with an Irish reporter a few days ago. He was part of a three-way interview in which one of the victims of the recently-cataloged history of Irish reform school abuse was a participant. And this vile apologist for all abuses Catholic actually pulled a Bill O'Reilly and screamed at the abuse victim to "SHUT UP" about it, already. Disgusting.

Anyway, religious commentator Richard Sipe shreds Donohue with a casual brutality that would make any video gamer green with envy...

"William Donohue, the voice of the Catholic League, cites the reaction to the report as “Hysteria.” Donohue is a Bozo. I don’t know any other appellation that can adequately describe the uninformed, unintelligent, and frankly stupid reaction of a man who responds thus to the facts of abuse by supposedly responsible and trusted religious."
It gets better from there, too. Go. Read it.

HT: Pharyngula.

Olbermann: What DOES The Bible Say About War?

Recent documents have come forth showing that Donald Rumsfeld deliberately manipulated that Christian fanatic of a president of his into going into war with Iraq. Now, it turns out Bush left the president of France scratching his head, too...

"[There] are new accounts emerging from France describing how former president Jacques Chirac was utterly baffled by a 2003 telephone conversation in which Bush reportedly invoked fanatical Old Testament prophecy – including the Earth-ending battle with forces of evil, Gog and Magog – in his arguments to enlist France in the Coalition of the Willing.

“This confrontation is willed by God, who wants to use this conflict to erase his people’s enemies before a New Age begins,” Bush said to Chirac, according to Thomas Romer, a University of Lausanne theology professor who was later approached by French officials anxious to understand the biblical reference. Romer first revealed his account in a 2007 article for the university review, Allez savoir, which passed largely unnoticed.

Chirac, in a new book by French journalist Jean-Claude Maurice, is quoted as confirming the surreal conversation, saying he was stupefied by Bush’s reference to biblical prophecy and “wondered how someone could be so superficial and fanatical in their beliefs.”"
Wow. No wonder the right-wingers hate the French...they can smell bullshit when exposed to it.

Keith Olbermann recently had Dr. C. Welton Gaddy, president of the Interfaith Alliance, to talk about this. Gaddy basically says what us freethinkers have known all along--you can quote-mine the Bible to justify any position you want to take (except the fact that there is no God, but that's another discussion).

Via Friendly Atheist

The Jon & Kate Freak Show

I don't do much tv of any kind, let alone reality tv. (Well, OK...Cops). So I'd be in a hotel room someplace for my job and I'd run into this program with an Asian-heritage guy and his blond wife with a shit-ton of kids running around and wonder what the point of the show was.

Turns out the point of the show was to showcase an Asian-heritage guy and his blond wife and their shit-ton of kids running around.


Well, now that Jon-n-Kate are on the verge of sorting out divorce and visitation rights for 8 kids, Dan Savage has an excellent commentary over on Slog:

"Twice I've been offered—twice—a "reality show" about my family life. One was for the same fee Jon & Kate are getting: 50K per episode. All we'd have to do is allow camera crews into our home, allow them to follow the kid around, allow them to follow me around at work and Terry at home. "Insanely permissive sex columnist by day," went one of the pitches, "strictly traditional dad by night." I didn't have to ask the boyfriend: I turned both offers down flat. A reality show? I wouldn't do that to my boyfriend, I wouldn't do that to our kid, I wouldn't do that to myself. And if I had been tempted by the offers—it was a lot of money—just the look on my boyfriend's face when I told him about the first offer—an offer I'd already turned down—made it clear that my saying "yes" to a reality show meant saying "hello" to his Canadian divorce lawyer."
Smart guy.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Christopher Hitchens: Mother Teresa Was A Fraud

You didn't really expect him to pull any punches, did you?

"She was a fanatic, a fundamentalist, and a fraud, and a church that officially protects those who violate the innocent has given us another clear sign of where it truly stands on moral and ethical questions."
Now, this piece is about six years old by now, but it's still well worth checking out. Challenging conventions--gotta love it.

Quote of the Day

"People want to know why I write such gross stuff. I like to tell them I have the heart of a small boy... and I keep it in a jar on my desk."
--Stephen King.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Jesus' General on Mormons

There's a number of chains in this time line I'm skipping, but these two are completely relevant:

  • 2009 - California Supreme Court rules in favor of love segregation.
  • 1852 - At the request of Gov. Brigham Young, the Territorial Legislature passes a bill legalizing slavery in Utah Territory, thereby establishing slavery outside of the South and foreshadowing future Mormon exercises in God-ordained persecution of minority populations.

Irish Pristly Rape: Followup

The Archbishop of Dublin admits to their failure in this case:

"The church has failed people. The church has failed children. There is no denying that. This can only be regretted and it must be regretted. Yet “sorry” can be an easy word to say. When it has to be said so often, then “sorry” is no longer enough.

But “sorry” must always be the first word."

And this absolutely speaks to the heart of it:

"The first thing the church has to do is to move out of any mode of denial. That was the position for far too long and it is still there."

I might take a stronger stance on this by saying the clergy's denial has been in place for so long and to such an institutionalized degree that it could be considered criminal negligence, and in some cases outright evil. But I'll take denial, until I see further evidence of it, at which point I'll start hammering away with "evil" again.

Sadly, the admission by the Irish Church isn't stopping Ireland's political parties from scoring points on each other. And as this poor gentleman in this video points out, the longer that happens, the longer the day of some closure comes to the victims.

HT: Pharyngula and Friendly Atheist.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Monday, May 25, 2009

10 things you didn't know about orgasm

C'mon, you know you wanna...

(Note: this shows still, ultrasound photos of a friggin' fetus playing Red Rosie in the womb.)

Via Sullivan.

A Military Atheist Tells His Story

This is a wonderful essay by a man who flies jets off of aircraft carriers. He's the embodiment of the Home of the Brave...and he's fallen fundamentalist Christian turned atheist. He has a lot of things to say about how religious fundamentalism is intruding into the military because the fundies see their service as a way of fighting a holy war as part of God's army. But he also has a lot of profound things to say about his hope for America's future. Money quote:

"I am an Atheist. I am an American. Though I will never be perfect, neither will America. Ideas born within a free society are the closest we may ever get to sacred truth. Some ideas might even be immortal. Amen."
Somehow I think the "amen" at the end is completely genuine. And what a classy way to end an eloquent piece.

Happy Memorial Day, everyone.


Gay Marriage...Prayer Service?

California's Supreme Court is expected to rule on appeals to Prop 8 tomorrow morning. And what are some gay-rights advocates doing?

"Gay marriage supporters are holding a prayer service on the eve of the California Supreme Court's expected ruling on the legality of a voter-approved ban on same-sex nuptials.

The group Marriage Equality USA plans to hold the interfaith event Monday night at Grace Cathedral in San Francisco.

On Tuesday morning, the state's high court plans to rule on a series of lawsuits seeking to overturn Proposition 8."


The only good thing this does, IMHO, is help cut the rug out from under the religious bigots by showing that homophobia doesn't have to be a pre-requisite for being religious.

But it reinforces this notion that prayer does something, anything, other than waste time and energy that could be spent elsewhere. It doesn't. I'm not even going to go through any time and effort to research whether there have been scientific studies done on the question. If someone else can show me CONCLUSIVE proof that it works, the burden of proof is on you.

It's a token argument, anyway. Gay marriage is the way of the future. And I side with Penn Jillette of Penn & Teller when he says to those who say if we allow gay marriage, then polygamy must be next...I hope so. Otherwise we're not a free country.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Jesus Wept

One of the problems with blogging about the evil of the Catholic Church's aristocracy is that there's such a wealth of material it can be hard to keep up. And it's been a busy few days for disgusting behavior on the part of the Funny Hat Posse (aka Child Rape, Inc.). My outrage over the Catholic Church has been flaring up again, and I'm out of cortisone creme, so here comes the rant.

PZ Myers has been on a roll lately--documenting this stuff, commenting with a shameless ease to which I can only aspire and envy--and I can't add to any of it, but here's a summary:

  • Those rosary beads you're using? They might have been made by victims of rapist priests. In Ireland, no less.
  • The Catholic League's Bill Donohue basically says, "Oh, that was SO last year..."
  • The new archbishop of Westminster and his pal, cardinal Murphy-O'Conner respond to the crisis by saying the sources of all evil in the world are (brace yourself) atheists.
  • And in what can only be called a coincidence that almost makes me believe in providence, the Pope is now on Facebook and iPod. (Via Greg Laden)
"The walls of our churches are painted by the greatest artists of all time," (Rev. Paolo) Padrini said. "This means that the church has always invested in the culture of each period, using the best instruments available to communicate with people."
So, here is your homework, boys and girls: since the Vatican has come right out and said they want to communicate with the people, let's indulge them.

  • Let's ask Ratzinger why he thinks changing his name makes him any harder to see through for the evil face of this vile behavior that he is.
  • Let's ask him for clarification on his Crimen Sollicitationis ruling, which essentially declared any investigation of priest-rape to be confidential and not for publication.
  • Let's talk about the scandals among the diocese of Fairbanks, where the Jesuits have been dumping their two-legged predators on the Alaskan wilderness to rape the local natives without surcease.
  • Let's inquire about the letters that date back to 1952 by an insider, urging the Church Holy Roman Catholic and Apostolic to chuck these vermin out of their ranks because the investigator (correctly) stated they were incurable. Let's further ask why pope Paul VI ignored the same advice when that self-same insider spoke to him personally at the Vatican in the 60s.
  • And more to the point, let's ask him why the holy gibbering fuck the Church has any right to flinch away from criticism given this widespread and completely institutional reflex to suppress the scandal rather than deal with the problem!!!!! It's been going on for too long. You have no right to bitch anymore about people hurting your feelings.
And while we're at it, children, let's throw in a math assignment by laying odds about whether the really tough questions will ever get to Ratzinger in the first place. I lay those odds at about infinity+1:1.

(Unfiltered rant: I want to once, just once, see one of these criminal scumfucks who cover for the rapists go to prison. Not the rapists themselves, but the enablers and coverup artists who get promoted for it. I'm looking at you, Cardinals Law and George. And I want to see priests treated with open suspicion to their faces. Not rudeness, per se, but I want people to start asking a hell of a lot of hard questions until these creeps get the point.)

(looks placidly at the class)
Any questions?

The One True Religion!

From a well-written and articulate blog, Cure Faith:

And I totally want that cross-into-double-helix logo as a tattoo.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Bicycles vs. Cars vs. Buses

A beauty of a picture here:

From The Dish's description:

"Image via SUNY Stonybrook Department of Geosciences (h/t: Ian Swain, Martin Prosperity Institute). This poster, courtesy of the city of Muenster, Germany, illustrates the different amounts of space taken up by different kinds of transit.

  • Bicycle - 90 sq. m for 71 people to park their bikes.
  • Car - 1000 sq. m for 72 people to park their care (avg. occupancy of 1.2 people per car).
  • Bus - 30 sq m for the bus."
I'd love to hear what certain dimwits in the media have to say about this. George Will went on a rant the other day:
"Does (Transportation Secretary Ray) LaHood really think Americans were not avid drivers before a government highway program "promoted" driving? Does he think 0.01 percent of Americans will ever regularly bike to work? Intercity high-speed rail probably always will be the wave of the future, for cities more than 300 miles apart."
Matt Yglesias schools him:
"Will claims to find it unbelievable that as many as 0.01 percent of Americans would ever bike to work regularly. But rather than tossing off ridicule, he might have looked up the Census Bureau’s statistics on commuting patterns and seen that right now 0.4 percent of commuters normally get to work on bicycles. Now that’s a small percentage. But it’s forty times larger than a percentage that Will deems unrealistically utopian. This would be like saying Dwight Howard is 2 feet tall.

As for high-speed rail, San Francisco and Los Angeles aren’t that much more than 300 miles apart. Indeed, they’re about as far apart as Barcelona and Madrid, which are currently served by a very successful high speed rail link. What’s more, while metropolitan San Francisco is about the same size as metro Barcelona (4.2 million people, give or take), metropolitan Los Angeles’s 12.8 million residents is a much larger city than Madrid with its 5.3 million."

IOW, Will is becoming increasingly irrelevant. Which is a shame, because we need smart conservative commentators, not just those who can throw out pithy phrases about things they don't like.

More on Obama's Mother

This post received the following anonymous comment (all spelling and grammar left in the original):

"I am a member of the LDS church, and I just want to let you know that you are misinformed on this information. Baptisms for the dead is a sacred ordinance that is preformed, but those who it is done for have the choice of recieving it. We do not make them pay tithing, nor are any of the members of the church made to pay tithing. If you would like correct information about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, please visit or There are alot of crazy things that people have posted about our church that are not true."
My response follows:

Thanks for the clarifications. Let me offer one of my own: My remark about tithing was deliberately rhetorical, one might even say sarcastic. In the spirit of civility, I'll leave the sarcasm on a shelf at this point and address some points in a spirit of total seriousness:
  • You say that "...those who it is done for have the choice of recieving it." Bluntly speaking, I don't believe you. But let's assume you're telling the truth: What if the person to be posthumously baptised is unaware of your practice and does not consent before their death? My mother has been a devout Catholic all of her life. She has no love at all for Mormonism. If her name were submitted for baptism after her death, would my brother, as estate executor, be contacted for permission to do so?
  • "We do not make them pay tithing, nor are any of the members of the church made to pay tithing." It is my understanding that if you don't tithe, there are certain privileges to which LDS members are not privy. To wit: choosing not to tithe means you and your family are excluded from worshiping in the main temple in Salt Lake City. If true, this strikes me as passive blackmail. Please comment.
  • As I stated in my original post, there is a well-established practice in the Mormon Church of baptizing people of other faiths, even Jewish victims of the Nazi death camps. This article from last year (2008) states that Jewish groups were "...through trying to negotiate with the Mormon Church over posthumous baptisms of Jews killed in Nazi concentration camps, saying the church has repeatedly violated a 13-year-old agreement barring the practice." Does your Church still engage in these Holocaust baptisms, and what are your feelings about them?
  • You state that, "There are alot of crazy things that people have posted about our church that are not true." What things by what people? You don't offer specific examples of what people have written, therefore I cannot take your assertion seriously. My high school English teacher would have marked up my paper with the words "Wild, Blatant Generalization" if I'd turned in an assertion like that.
OK, serious questions over, back to sarcasm: As long as we're on the subject of crazy, what about the crazy things that your church alleges to be The Truth? I'm talking about the story of Joseph Smith's alleged epiphany. As I stated in my original post, "your faith was founded less than 200 years ago by a guy who claimed he found ancient Egyptian gold tablets buried next to his farm near Palmyra, New York, which said Jesus came to America for a little R&R after the Resurrection and in doing so told some schmuck that the Native Americans were the embodiment of evil (later translated to blacks and now gays), and that they should have as many wives and children as possible." Since you didn't address that assertion, I'm going to assume you're conceding that I have the basic facts correct. This, to me, is such an obvious con by a man obsessed with wielding power over men and having sex with as many women as he could get his "hands" on that anyone with any critical thinking skills should take it to task, especially given the lack of physical evidence (ie: the golden tablets with ancient writing). I feel the same about such stories as the virgin birth of Jesus, Moses talking to the burning bush, the talking snake, Mohammad wrestling with the angel, the Norse account of Ragnarok, and others too numerous to mention. Do you believe in the literal truth of this epiphany, and if so, please explain why?

And as long as we're discussing what I and other people have written about your church, there's a difference between being crazy and being critical. You can say what you want, but I'd be careful about tossing out the word "crazy" if I were you. My attacks on religion are quite justifiably based on the harm that religions do with a cloak of morality and righteousness to shield them. And even if your religion isn't guilty of as many atrocities as others, that doesn't mean it still isn't just plain nuts. Just because you don't like criticism of your church, that doesn't give you the right to call it "crazy" (whatever "it" is and whoever the writers are to whom you're referring...). I'm sure I could provide copious examples of people writing "crazy stuff" about your faith for you to rebut, if you're interested.

I await your response eagerly.

Cycle Ninja.

Quote of the Day

"If girls realized the consequences of sex, nobody would be having sex. Trust me. Nobody."
--Bristol Palin, poster-child for family planning in more ways than one.
Via Doonesbury Daily Dose.
Later: Greta Christina piles it on.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009


I confess I'm becoming a coffee snob. I currently have two excellent selections here at my desk at work, along with my own coffee maker. One is a delightful piece of love called City of Fountains Blend from Kansas City's The Roasterie (shout out to my brother, Mike, for the gift). Self-described "Bean Baron" Danny O'Neill has been roasting his own blends since he was an exchange student in Costa Rica. If you can't fall in love with java in that place, you never will.

The other is the remains of a pound of Cornwell Estate Pure Kona. My friends, Jim and Jen, visited the Islands for spring break, brought back a sampling of the stuff, and made me fall in love with my first taste. I subsequently told that story to a customer of my company's, who in turn surprised me with a pound of the stuff as a token of gratitude for services rendered (shout-out to Rose). IF there was a god, and he made anything better, he kept it for himself.

Starbucks co-founder Jerry Baldwin gets it right, though:

"A very important insight first articulated by Gordon Bowker is that all coffee companies claim that their coffee is fresh and of high quality. For some roasters, the claim is true, but beware. The real solution is less about being cynical than it is developing your own ability to discern the difference between freshness and its decline. Staleness is like obscenity. It's hard to define, but you know it when you experience it. And stale coffee is obscene."

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Dan Savage: Catholic Scene of the Crime

From a podcast of episode 379 of This American Life. It's an apt commentary of a man who says the mind keeps getting in the way of faith. Money quote:

"I go to church about as often as I go to Planned Parenthood for a pap smear."
It does, however, speak eloquently of how he still hopes to see his beloved mother in heaven. Savage's bit begins at the 37-38 minute mark.

Is God All In Your Head?

A new series by NPR seeks to answer that. Money quote from part 1:

"Sigmund Freud declared God to be a delusion, and others maintained that God, if there is such a thing, is beyond the tools of science to measure.

But now, some researchers are using new technologies to try to understand spiritual experience. They're peering into our brains and studying our bodies to look for circumstantial evidence of a spiritual world. The search is in its infancy, and scientists doubt they will ever be able to prove — or disprove — the existence of God."

Podcast is here. Oh, how I love science.

My Nephew's Wife is Awesome

I don't put a lot of personal family information in here, but I hope you enjoy this piece. It's from the Burlington, IA Hawkeye about my niece-in-law's jewelry business. Hand-crafted pieces that preserve history in them. Enjoy.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Andrew Sullivan on Torture

Apparently Pat Boone, who as we all know is the foremost expert on political ethics and foreign policy in this country, has yet another stupid screed saying--in essence--that the "terrorists" had it coming, and that he, Boone, had it worse growing up because his mother used a belt:

"May I tell you that my own mama inflicted more actual physical pain on me and my brother Nick – raising welts on our butts with a sewing machine belt when we got really out of line – than any of the techniques, including "waterboarding," that detainees of the U.S. military have endured. Sept. 11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed endured it supposedly 183 times, experiencing no lasting damage, but divulging information that has saved thousands of American lives. How can you compare his gasping feeling of drowning with the actual torture John McCain suffered in North Vietnam, breaking his bones and impairing him permanently? "
Andrew Sullivan turns his arguments to roadkill:
Some facts: John McCain disagrees with Boone that waterboarding isn't torture. And McCain broke his bones before captivity. The torture McCain suffered was the Vietnamese refusing to offer medical treatment for his injuries - something George W. Bush directly wanted to do with respect to the wounds of Abu Zubaydah. McCain was beaten repeatedly, also routine for prisoners under George W. Bush. McCain was also subject to solitary confinement - check - and roped stress positions. The stress positions Bush authorized were mainly not ropes, although prisoners were stretched from shackles preventing them from resting. President Bush refrained in his speech backing McCain's nomination in 2008 from describing McCain's treatment as "torture." He couldn't. He used the term "beatings and isolation". If he had used the term "torture", he would have been conceding that he believes the US committed torture under his command.

I do not know the details of Boone's childhood. But my best guess is that he was not stripped naked by strangers, thrown into a dark and cold cell for weeks, shackled so he could never rest, kept awake by insistent deafening noise, doused in water to induce hypothermia, told no one would ever see him again, and strapped to a waterboard and near-drowned scores of times."

Pat Boone is starting to look like chum in the water, and he doesn't have a bigger boat.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Welcome, Atheist Blogroll

As both of my readers can tell, I have a new link over on the right. It’s the Atheist Blogroll, and if you can’t figure out what that means, go back to Liberty University.

Anyway, my name is Paul, I’m a middle-aged skeptic from Ames, IA. I was a cradle Catholic who is every bit as nauseated by that particular cult as anyone in their right mind should be. I realized by the time I was in (Catholic) high school that I was having an awfully hard time rectifying all of the Church’s version of the truth with what my eyes and ears were telling me and how my mind was interpreting it. By the time I was a high school senior, I realized the Church was total bullshit. I quit for good four years later, having graduated from college. The two years I spent away from religion of any kind made me realize my life was no different, and I certainly didn’t miss the boring word-salad-sermons.

Subsequent years weren’t exactly rosy, but I won’t get into that. I have had more than one person equate atheism with personal dissatisfaction, to which I say simply, “Don’t confuse the issue.” And to those who wonder why atheists have to be so angry all the time, Greta Christina has the greatest explanation I’ve ever read as to why.

Welcome to Cycle Ninja. Fix yourself a drink, piss on the holy book of your choice, and be sure to tip the waitress.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Catholic Cardinal: Atheists "Not Fully Human."

Fuck you very much, Cardinal.

And yes, I know he's speaking metaphorically. Fuck him, all the same. This is the same type of slur the bigots have used against Jews, Arabs, Blacks, gays, and on and on and on since the beginning of human short-sightedness. If these ass clowns think they have any moral high ground anymore, they're beyond pathetic.

Via Pharyngula.

Quote of the Day

"Leave Sarah Palin in Alaska. Send Mike Huckabee there as well. Ron Paul can stay."
--Douglas Kmiec, giving unsolicited advice to the Republican Party.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Quote of the Day

"My decision to start using my bike to get to work is one of the best decisions I’ve made in recent history, right up there with ditching cable television and cutting bangs."
--Bicycling Magazine Blogger Liz DiFebo

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Jesse Ventura Wants to Waterboard Dick Cheney

I'd buy tickets to see this:

Jesse Ventura: I would prosecute every person who was involved in that torture. I would prosecute the people that did it, I would prosecute the people that ordered it, because torture is against the law."

Larry King: You were a Navy S.E.A.L.

Jesse Ventura: Yes, and I was waterboarded [in training] so I know... It is torture...I'll put it to you this way: You give me a waterboard, Dick Cheney and one hour, and I'll have him confess to the Sharon Tate murders."

Via Sullivan.

Quote of the Day

"Many of the questioners announced themselves as either students or faculty from Liberty, rather than from Randolph Macon which was my host institution. One by one they tried to trip me up, and one by one their failure to do so was applauded by the audience. Finally, I said that my advice to all Liberty students was to resign immediately and apply to a proper university instead. That received thunderous applause, so that I almost began to feel slightly sorry for the Liberty people. Only almost and only slightly, however."
--Richard Dawkins, on a reading of The God Delusion

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Priests + Psychoanalysis = Bad

Make up your own joke:

"I found this fascinating aside in a 1969 article on 'Psychiatric Illness in the Clergy' about a group of monks who underwent psychoanalysis, causing two thirds of them to realise they were "called to married life". The Pope immediately banned psychoanalysis from the priesthood as a result..."
Via Sullivan.

Did Jesus Really Exist?

I was perusing the Internet looking for trouble this morning :-). I found this piece by Jim Walker, originally penned/keyboarded in 1997, which suggests--loosely--that Jesus was a sort of messianic King Arthur. IOW, a creation of mythology and literary sleight-of-hand. The discussion essentially says that any "evidence" that Jesus existed is all hearsay, because the gospels were written by people thrice (or more) removed from the original events who had not spoken to eyewitnesses. Interesting take, and a long one, but very well written.

I frankly don't care whether or not Jesus existed (if he didn't then the Muslims at least have one up on the Christians--nobody doubts the historical existence of Muhammed.). What's important is what has been done in his name. To whit: terrifying gullible children with visions of eternal hellfire for being disobedient to parents. Setting up your priesthood as the representatives of God on Earth, setting up celibacy as the ideal of that priesthood, letting them rape little kids (boys AND girls), and then rather than doing the right thing, buying the silence of the victims and rewarding the people who effect the coverups. Persecuting gays when their sexual orientation is a biological trait rather than a conscious choice. Bilking your followers for billions annually, and then using their proceeds to buy off rape victims (no, I'm NEVER going to let it go). Advising people that using condoms is a sin, when AIDS is still a killer disease in the third world where your church is gaining influence.

In short, you are an outmoded belief system, and we who know better will never rest in holding you accountable.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Quote of the Day

I've been trashing religions a lot lately (with justification, IMHO). So I'll pass on some nice for once:

"(D)are to dream of the world as a better place, then work to make that dream a reality."
--Bishop Desmond Tutu.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Saudi Arabian "Beauty" Pageant

No bikinis in this one...

"'The idea of the pageant is to measure the contestants' commitment to Islamic morals... It's an alternative to the calls for decadence in the other beauty contests that only take into account a woman's body and looks,' said pageant founder Khadra al-Mubarak.

'The winner won't necessarily be pretty,' she added. 'We care about the beauty of the soul and the morals.'"


You care about craven obedience to a misogynist cult that treats dissent with violence and is nothing more than a dark-ages, testosterone-fueled hate parade with modern weapons and a stranglehold on the world's fuel supply.

Remember the bumper sticker, everyone...Well-behaved women seldom make history. Women like Irshad Manji are more my type, even if they are religious.

End of Bad Sex-Ed

In other words, no more abstinence-only sex education:

"The President's FY2010 budget was released this morning (you can search through all 1376 pages here) and among the proposed changes it includes is the elimination of Community-Based Abstinence Education (CBAE) funding. Under the Bush administration, CBAE grants went to programs that teach kids the only way to prevent pregnancy and avoid sexually-transmitted infections is to postpone sex until marriage. Budget language explicitly prevented those programs from providing students "any other education regarding sexual conduct."

As I explained in the magazine a couple of months ago, abstinence-only programs have not proven nearly as successful as approaches that combine the message that abstinence is a good goal for teenagers (see: Bristol Palin) with comprehensive and accurate education about contraception, disease prevention, and decision-making skills."

Dan Savage, appropos of his name, is more direct--it not only fails, it backfires spectacularly. (NSFW)

Via Slog.
Update: here's the Savage video with the "backfires" quote. This was recorded before Obama's budget proposal came out.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Bill Maher Splats Creationists

A little swine flu rant for your enjoyment...


Posthumous Mormon Baptism of Barack Obama's Mother?

[commence rant]

Ben Smith comments on a report from Americablog that the Mormon Church posthumously baptized Barack Obama's mother this past June:

""The offering of baptism to our deceased ancestors is a sacred practice to us and it is counter to Church policy for a Church member to submit names for baptism for persons to whom they are not related," said spokeswoman Kim Farah in an emailed statement. "The Church is looking into the circumstances of how this happened and does not yet have all the facts. However, this is a serious matter and we are treating it as such."

Mormons believe that souls cannot enter heaven without undergoing baptism and other sacraments, and that those sacraments can be given by proxy after death. The practice of posthumous baptism by proxy has caused controversy in the past, as when Jewish groups raised objections to the baptism of victims of the Holocaust."
Did you notice the qualifier, " whom they are not related"? I have little doubt that if kinship could be proven between Obama's mother and a real Mormon, everything about this would be just fine and dandy with them.

Seriously, these people scrounge through genealogical records to find the flimsiest of relationships to haul these hapless victims into their slimy membership ranks. Do they demand a tithe from the family's estate for the privilege?

It's in my will that these fruit bats shall not baptize me posthumously. I was baptized a Catholic without my consent, and that's enough for one lifetime.

I find it amusing the lengths to which some faiths will go to look legitimate. Look, Mormons, your faith was founded less than 200 years ago by a guy who claimed he found ancient Egyptian gold tablets buried next to his farm near Palmyra, New York, which said Jesus came to America for a little R&R after the Resurrection and in doing so told some schmuck that the Native Americans were the embodiment of evil (later translated to blacks and now gays), and that they should have as many wives and children as possible. And you think swelling your roster with people after they die is going to make you look less batshitcrazy? At best, it makes you look craven.

Oh, and BTW, your conduct regarding Prop 8 in California should merit your removal from tax-exempt status for a religion or church. You want to overtly meddle in politics? You should be made to pay for it.

[conclude rant]

Via Sullivan.
Later: PZ Myers unloads.
Update 2: My response to the comment of Anonymous below.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Andrew Sullivan on the GOP

This is why I love his blog:

"If today's "conservatives" spent one tenth of the time saying what they were for rather than who they're against, they might get somewhere. But the truth is: whom they hate is their core motivation right now. That's how they define themselves. And as long as they do, Americans will rightly and soundly reject them."

Quote of the Day

"How can he equate being homosexual with being a coprofiliac?"
--Pharyngula commenter Vorvadoss from Finland, on US Representative Steve King (R-IA)

King's comment actually took place on the fucking floor of Congress. He's openly comparing homosexuality to eating shit for sexual stimulation.

Don't take my word for it...

The Daily Show With Jon StewartM - Th 11p / 10c
Moment of Zen - List of Philias
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Economic CrisisPolitical Humor

*Mind Boggles*

Monday, May 4, 2009

Ari Fleischer Made to Look the Fool

Man, this video is something...

Former Bush Press Secretary/Liar Ari Fleischer made to look absolutely awful by Paul Begala on Anderson Cooper a few weeks ago...

I can't embed the video. Just go here to watch.

Trashing National Organization for "Marriage"

Ouch, this has got to sting...

"(H)ere's the thing: if it's a matter of your faith, you lose. Your faith cannot dictate civil rights, any more than it could when the southern states invoked Scripture to justify slavery during the Civil War. So please, be honest and let's just be done with this hate and bigotry."
I don't know who Nicole Belle is, but I'd hate to be her opponent in a debate.

Paid vs. Free Tech Support

I'm mostly book-marking this one for myself.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Obama beats UConn

Via Slog:

"I'd like to see Reagan do this: The undefeated UCONN Huskies women's basketball team took a trip to the White House and Obama took them on, and kind of kicked their asses a little bit, at a game of pig."

Yeah, but have you ever tried shooting in heels? (Uh, no, I haven't either, FYI...)

Friday, May 1, 2009

Quote of the Day

"According to a Washington Post/ABC poll, only 21% of Americans identify themselves as Republicans. That is getting dangerously close to the percentage of Americans who believe they have seen UFOs or alien craft or have been abducted by aliens. I think they may be the same individuals."
--Greg Laden