Tag Archives: Atheism

Irish Atheists Challenge Blasphemy Law

Here in the United States, it’s taken for granted that we are allowed to say/write more or less anything we damn well want, even if it annoys or offends someone else. ESPECIALLY if it annoys or offends someone else. Our inherent right to speak our minds is something we see as sacrosanct.* It is therefore almost unthinkable that in this current age, when speaking out against one’s government is considered almost a given, that something like Ireland’s new blasphemy laws exist, much less are to be enforced.

The laws have been in place but largely unenforced due to  nebulous wording for decades. Now, the laws have been updated and carry a hefty fine of up to €25,000, which comes to more than $35K for those of you following along in dollars.

Enter the group Atheist Ireland. They’re having none of it. On Friday Jan. 1, the day the law went into effect, the group published a list of 25 blasphemous quotes in direct response to the law that they find “silly” and “literally medieval.” I couldn’t agree more. This is something I would expect from Iran or some other overly religious state. But Ireland?  The new law states that someone can be found guilty of blasphemy if:

“he or she publishes or utters matter that is grossly abusive or insulting in relation to matters held sacred by any religion, thereby causing outrage among a substantial number of the adherents of that religion.”

The best if Irish luck to Atheist Ireland, who are running a campaign to amend the constitution and repeal this archaic, ill thought out law.

*Please note: that right is not as all encompassing as we US citizens think it is. ‘Free speech’ addresses a very particular type of speech. It refers to the ability to petition/criticize one’s government publicly without fear of redress. The first amendment specifically addresses political speech, not your right to bitch out some asshole who takes your parking spot at the local mall. It also doesn’t apply on private property. No, it doesn’t. No really. Private property, including the internet, is not covered under free speech. Check your ToS: you spew hate speech, get yourself tossed and see how much ice ‘Freedom of expression’ cuts with the powers that be.

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The Reason for The Season? Whatever You Want.

Last week, the darling man forwarded a meme laden Christmas spam letter. He and I had a lot of fun tearing apart the various little logical fallacies and appeals to emotion contained therein (I’ll go ahead and post it below). One of the things that struck me was how HARD the person who originally wrote this (if it wasn’t just spit out by some meme machine) tried to convey their outrage at their holiday being trampled… TRAMPLED I TELL YOU!… by the godless heathens who wanted their mid-winter holiday acknowledged, too. ‘IT ISN’T FAIR!’ the email seems to be screeching. They appear to be under the impression that by recognizing other cultures and religions, that somehow translates into THEIR religion being completely ignored.

First amendment aside (you remember. The one that says all religions are equally valid in the eyes of the law?), it’s a pretty selfish, uncharitable and distinctly un-Christian attitude to take. Jesus’ birth (which took place ’round about April for those of us able to count) was not the first mid-winter holiday. Nor did it supplant all others. We live in an amazing, wonderful time and place in which everyone is able to celebrate their own chosen mid-winter festival, whether it’s Christmas or any one of many others like the solstice, Modranect, Diwali, Yule, Sadeh, Rosh Hashana, the Saturnalia or even Festivus with the Costanzas. Whichever of these anyone celebrates, it is because it’s what is meaningful to them, not out of some desire to stomp all over someone else’s celebration. So have a cup of egg nog, kiss under the (pagan) mistletoe and get over yourselves already.

The email (complete with my and the dm’s responses):

Twas the Month Before Christmas

*Twas the month before Christmas*
*When all through our land,*
*Not a Christian was praying*
*Nor taking a stand.*

Give me a freakin’ break. Nobody takes a stand or jerks their knees *faster* than the “Christians.” If they even remotely perceive their precious traditions or “values” are being infringed upon, they start screaming from the rooftops about their rights and how they’re being “overrun,” despite being 85% of the population. I guess the “Christian” value of “sharing” just sort of fell by the wayside…

*See the PC Police had taken away,*
*The reason for Christmas – no one could say.*
Which is? Ditto. Cite?

*The children were told by their schools not to sing*

*About Shepherds and Wise Men and Angels and things.*

Let us make this perfectly clear. NO ONE is told they cannot pray in school. They are told they cannot lead others in prayer, and that the schools cannot endorse any religion. THAT is the state espousing one particular religion over others, and THAT is against the first amendment. Were the school or teachers to expect children to read from the Torah, wouldn’t you be howling the place down? However. For the sake of clarity, please see Everson v. Board of Education, here: http://members.tripod.com/~candst/tnppage/eclause1.htm

*It might hurt people’s feelings, the teachers would say*

And this isn’t because Christians are having their feelings hurt? Well. Only Christian feelings matter, after all…..everyone else is just a heathen…

* December 25th is just a ” Holiday “.*

It’s one of many…  isn’t it? And, not even the original mid-winter holiday. But that’s not important right now….

*Yet the shoppers were ready with cash, checks and credit*
*Pushing folks down to the floor just to get it!*

Makes you wonder where all the “Christians” who shop at Wal Mart got to…..

*CDs from Madonna, an X BOX, an I-pod*
*Something was changing, something quite odd! *
*Retailers promoted Ramadan and Kwanzaa*
*In hopes to sell books by Franken & Fonda.*

So…  this is a libr’l thing? Rush Limbaugh Is A Big, Fat Idiot is one of my favorite books….

*As Targets were hanging their trees upside down*

Do they get that the trees are a cultural symbol and not a religious one?  (Pagan tradition trumped again) OMG!! UPSIDE DOWN!?!?! Like an upside down cross??!! OH NOES!!

* At Lowe’s the word Christmas – was no where to be found.*
*At K-Mart and Staples and Penny’s and Sears*
*You won’t hear the word Christmas; it won’t touch your ears.*

Dude! That totally sucks that they’re the only stores in the entire country we can shop at! And it’s, like, really, RILLY important to me that they not acknowledge other holidays, because my god is the bestest and they need to, like, totally acknowledge that instead of attempting to cater to as many customers as possible and bolster their bottom lines, even if they are corporations.

*Inclusive, sensitive, Di-ver-si-ty*
*Are words that were used to intimidate me. *

They sound indignant… I hate it when people tell me to be all tolerant and stuff….Wait! What’d that guy in the New Testament say about tolerance? I forget….

*Now Daschle, Now Darden, Now Sharpton, Wolf Blitzen*

Ah…  more libr’ls… Yeah, but c’mon… Wolf Blitzer gets on my last nerve, too.


*On Boxer, on Rather, on Kerry, on Clinton !*

Because Democrats don’t have God on their side…. We have that scary science thing. We’re not allowed to have god. Apparently.

*At the top of the Senate, there arose such a clatter*
*To eliminate Jesus, in all public matter.*

Isn’t this a bit of an over characterization? Sadly, yes. But considering they had to make it rhyme, and couldn’t come up with a good one for national policy, it stretches. Sorta.

*And we spoke not a word, as they took away our faith*

Took it away?!?!  WTH??? Is your faith so flimsy that retailers not expressing your specific holiday sentiment will take it away?

* Forbidden to speak of salvation and grace*

By whom? When? Was the first amendment repealed and nobody told me?

*The true Gift of Christmas was exchanged and discarded*

Probably forgot to keep the receipt….


*The reason for the season, stopped before it started.*

Jesus’s birth?  I’m getting confused… Jesus wasn’t born now? He was. Just…not in December. I think Christians try very hard to ignore that. Let’s look at it logically (if that is for a moment possible). When Jesus was born, the shepherds were “watching over their flocks by night.” On the high steppes of Israel , there’s really only one time they do that, which is during lambing season, which is typically, y’know, Spring. Not December. The Eastern Orthodox church continued to reject Dec. 25th as “Christmas” til around 529 AD, and in 567, the Council of Tours proclaimed the 12 days from Dec. 25th to the epiphany as a “sacred season,” thus stepping all over the pagan mid-winter festival.

*So as you celebrate “Winter Break” under your “Dream Tree”*
*Sipping your Starbucks, listen to me. *

So….it should be called a “Christmas tree,” right? Because, renaming it is wrong, and totally goes against what the true spirit of the holiday means? K. Do me a favor, too. Right now, before you do anything else. Go find a bible and look up Jeremiah, ch. 10 verses 1 through 5-ish, and see what Jesus said about hanging out with people who put trees in their homes in mid-winter. Then get back to me about how changing the name of something doesn’t change the intent. You don’t even wanna *know* what mistletoe used to get you. Kissed would be putting it mildly.

*Choose your words carefully, choose what you say*

*Shout MERRY CHRISTMAS ,
not Happy Holiday !*

And show everyone that nobody’s allowed to have a holiday but Christians!!1!ELEVENTY!

Happy New Year, Everyone. Celebrate. The days are getting longer. I mean…for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere, I guess for people in Australia and New Zealand….ah, the hell with it.

Ohio Science Teacher Accused of Teaching Creationism In Hearing Today

Despite overwhelming evidence of a First Amendment violation, Mt. Vernon middle school was not allowed to simply terminate John Freshwater in 2008. The school has spent months and hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees, money that should have rightfully gone to educating students, in order to justify the termination to an independent committee.

Yet despite knowing exactly what he is taking from students and the school district, Mr. Freshwater has dragged out this hearing to a ridiculous length; 14 months and counting. He has lied multiple times during testimony. He has attempted to manipulate and misdirect. It is unconscionable and beyond the comprehension of this atheist how anyone could still call themselves a Christian while behaving in the manner this man has behaved.

Creationism and ID have caused nothing but confusion and detracted heavily from actual science. The insecurity felt by fundamentalists when confronted with scientific research in no way places a burden upon scientists to falsify data to satisfy religious dogmatic teachings.

John Freshwater has not demonstrated a single reason why he should continue to be trusted with the education of Ohio’s children and several as to why he should not. Sadly, instead of taking those children into consideration and simply accepting the termination, he seems intent on causing as much damage as possible.

Texas Atheists Host Kids’ Camp

Something encouraging is happening in the state of Texas. Children who would otherwise feel compelled to keep their religious beliefs to themselves found out they’re not alone. In a state like Texas, where God is a daily topic of conversation, that can be difficult to find. As a transplanted Californian coming from a place where religion is everyone’s choice not an expectation, I can state without hesitation that finding secular friends here can be daunting. I can’t even imagine how hard a 12 year old child must find it.

Another boy, 14, whose stepfather requested his anonymity, started home-schooling this year after enduring years of bullying for his open atheism.

This is simply unacceptable. We teach our children that people of other faiths should be respected. Why can that not extend to atheists as well? I will never understand the mind set that ignorance is a trait we should instill in our kids.

I’m thrilled this camp is here. We missed out on sending our youngest this year. Hopefully next year they will be doing a full week of camp, and he can meet some kids who not only share his love of science and the natural world, but don’t feel the need to insert a god into discussions about them.

Pope Blames Global Warming on Atheism

Thank you to the kind reader that sent this article to me. I’m as gobsmacked as you are. Clearly Catholic guilt is being taken in a new and exciting direction. For everyone else, I will now explain what I’m blathering on about.

After the Pope makes a public announcement or address, it is translated and released on Catholic.net. In his most recent speech, Pope Benedict said:

Is it not true that inconsiderate use of creation begins where God is marginalized or also where is existence is denied? If the human creature’s relationship with the Creator weakens, matter is reduced to egoistic possession, man becomes the “final authority,” and the objective of existence is reduced to a feverish race to possess the most possible.

Creation, matter structured in an intelligent manner by God, is entrusted to man’s responsibility, who is able to interpret and refashion it actively, without regarding himself as the absolute owner. Man is called to exercise responsible government to protect it, to obtain benefits and cultivate it, finding the necessary resources for a dignified existence for all.

So now, it’s the fault of atheists that we have global climate change. Never mind that until recently the church refused to acknowledge that such a thing existed. Now that it’s impossible to ignore, at least we can blame the atheists! It wasn’t C02 emissions that killed the ozone layer. It was a refusal to acknowledge God. The mind boggles.

I’ll Adopt Your Dog After the Rapture

As recently reported in the Telegraph, a group of enterprising atheists here in the states have offered to care for the left behind pets of Christians after the Rapture. Yup, for a small fee ($110.00) this thoughtful group of unbelievers will happily take care of your pet after you’ve gone up to heaven with Jesus.

You’ve committed your life to Jesus. You know you’re saved. But when the Rapture comes what’s to become of your loving pets who are left behind?   Eternal Earth-Bound Pets takes that burden off your mind.

Kind of a bummer they’re not here in Texas. I mean, talk about a natural market! I’m thinking about contacting them just to see what they say about expanding here. I’d even put fliers on doors. OOo! Maybe leave some business cards at the mega church up the street!

After all. Atheists love pets, too.

Scientists Visit Creationist Museum

The University of Cincinnati hosted the North American Paleontological Convention last week. In what appears to be a planned field trip, approximately 70 paleontologists, paleozoologists and geologists toured the Creationist Museum in Petersburg Kentucky. Apparently they were unimpressed, and who can blame them?

Many of the paleontologists thought the museum misrepresented and ridiculed them and their work and unfairly blamed them for the ills of society.

“I think they should rename the museum — not the Creation Museum, but the Confusion Museum,” said Lisa E. Park, a professor of paleontology at the University of Akron.

“Unfortunately, they do it knowingly,” Dr. Park said. “I was dismayed. As a Christian, I was dismayed.”

Sorry abuot that Dr. Park. I can only imagine what it’s like to have one’s life’s work completely taken out of context and abused and mangled in the way hers has been. But even sadder, I think, are those who visit the museum with the expectation and belief that what is being represented is not a point of view, but verifiable scientific fact. That it’s passed on to children as fact is even worse.

Terry Mortenson, a lecturer and researcher for Answers in Genesis, the ministry that built and runs the Creation Museum, said he did not expect the visit to change many minds. “I’m sure for the most part they’ll be of a different view from what’s presented here,” Dr. Mortenson said. “We’ll just give the freedom to see what they want to see.”

Dr. Mortenson and others at the museum say they look at the same rocks and fossils as the visiting scientists, but because of different starting assumptions they arrive at different answers. For example, they say the biblical flood set off huge turmoil inside the Earth that broke apart the continents and pushed them to their current locations, not that the continents have moved over a few billion years.

“Everyone has presuppositions what they will consider, what questions they will ask,” said Dr. Mortenson, who holds a doctorate in the history of geology from Coventry University in England. “The very first two rooms of our museum talk about this issue of starting points and assumptions. We will very strongly contest an evolutionist position that they are letting facts speak for themselves.”

I love it when religious people disagree with the fundamental conclusions of a scientific discipline but then try to use select parts of those conclusions to support their positions. It’s one thing* to reject science in favor of religion. It’s quite another to completely misrepresent science in order to force it to conform with your world view. The above statement is more than merely uninformed opinion, it’s intentional deceit. This man and the people working at the museum are intentionally deceiving the public in order to make their beliefs seem as though they actually have some bearing in scientific fact.

I’m more than a little amused that people who become so bellicose about science ‘making a mockery of religion’ are completely sanguine with the science fiction that is Creationism. It’s as if they thought to themselves that because science (in their opinions) belittles their beliefs, they now have the right to criticize science. Which seems somewhat arrogant and ignorant all at the same time.

What they don’t seem to realize is that science isn’t around specifically to disprove god or religion or anything of the sort. All science does…is explain our physical universe. Believe it or not my ignorant little theists, it is not necessary to even look at god in order to  do that. I do not need to invoke some unseen unknown inscrutable thing in order to know what conditions need to exist in order for lightning to occur. That isn’t a slight, no matter how badly you want to take it as one. It’s just that science sees that the simplest explanation is usually the best and most accurate. You need to get over yourselves. In short: science just ain’t that into you.

*Okay, yes, one very stupid thing.