Posts Tagged ‘Religion’

Jesus vs. Doctor Who

January 24, 2012

Heh. A kickass atheist, nerdy, Doctor-loving coworker forwarded this to me. It’s copyright 2007, so I’m assuming it’s made the rounds in the past, but I’ve never seen it and it made me lulz lots, so I thought I’d pass it on.

Seen at Unholy Office. Original material in two posts from Home on the Strange.

 

Creepy Purity Bear is Creepy

January 20, 2012

Wait – first read the YouTube description of this video:

This is a student made video saying that the best way to stay sexually pure is to wait until marriage. Having one partner is the God-approved way to enjoy sex.

God must have forgotten to tell that to Newt. Bah dah dum! Okay, heeeeeere’s Purity Bear:

Did anyone else pick up on the fact that Eve tempted Adam, and not the other way around? And that good, chaste Adam turned away the seductress Eve (gently, kindly, but with manly firmness and moral conviction that she’s lacking. Heh…”manly firmness”).

The video’s description contains a promotion for the Liberty Counsel’s Day of Purity. DOP’s website “offers those who strive for sexual purity an opportunity to stand together in opposition to a culture of moral decline.” The website urges young people to “be a part of the ‘counter-coulture’ – – be politically incorrect.” Do it! Or, wait…don’t do it! Or purity bear will come and judge you while sadly watching you have immoral, out-of-wedlock sex.

This (the video, purity bear and the DOP)  is hilarious, infuriating and sad. Yes, waiting to have sex (however you define that) until you are in a committed marriage (whatever that means to you and your partner) is a great way to to stay “sexually pure” (whatever that means). It’s also not very realistic. This video is an example of how religious indoctrination makes teens feel guilty about their normal, biological, sexual urges. And it’s an example of how religion seems to have trouble speaking frankly about sex to children and teens. I mean, who takes sex advice from a teddy bear? What do they know about sex? Well, unless they’re zoo-bound grizzly bears; they have promiscuous sex all year round to fend off the boredom. Hey! Nice role model you chose there, Liberty Counsel!

But, whatever. All I know is I want Purity Bear. He does look cuddly. Plus, I could put him on my bedside table so he can watch when I have sex. Poor bear could probably use some good ol’ voyeurism after this stint.

Seen over at Joe.My.God

The Way Things Used to Be

October 20, 2011

This one is going around teh Facebook today.

I like the reminder that we were not founded on Christian values as I’ve heard people put forth (e.g., “This country was founded on the Ten Commandments!“), and that our government documents used to reflect our shared secular values.

I’m not so much of a fan of the idea that we should adhere to the original values because they are the original values that were agreed upon around 200 years ago. As a progressive I understand that change is necessary as our interactions with and understanding of the world around us evolves. We should adhere to the secular values implied in the image below because only by keeping the divisive religious dogma of hundreds of different religious ideologies out of our government – the one thing that unites most of us in this country – can we live together in something that approaches harmony.

Text Reads:

Did you know?

The original Constitution of the United States that was ratified in 1789 had only one reference to religion: [Article 6] No religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.

The de facto motto of the United States, adopted as part of the Great Seal of the U.S. by an Act of Congress in 1782 was E. Pluribus Unum (Out of Many, One). Congress changed it 174 years later (1956) to “In God We Trust.”

The original ‘Pledge of Allegiance’ was written in 1892 by Baptist Minister Francis Bellamy who DID NOT INCLUDE the words “Under God.” Those were added by Congress 62 years later (1954).

The U.S. didn’t issue Paper Currency until 1861, and ‘In God We Trust’ didn’t appear on it for 96 years (1957).

Just after the Red Scare in the 1950’s, CONGRESS CHANGED the Pledge of Allegiance and our Nation’s Motto over the FEAR of COMMUNISM.

In a time when fear is traded like a commodity, and the word SOCIALISM is being used to create the same fear as the old word COMMUNISM, let’s REMEMBER that our country was NOT founded on fear. NO, OUR NATION was founded out of HOPE for a better world where all people were EQUAL – that we were ONE from MANY.

Let’s not let fear change our nation’s great tradition & direction again.

State-Encouraged Church Attendance

September 26, 2011

I saw this over at the ever-brilliant, ever-sarcastic Cafe Witteveen:

It’s official. Even police know what people like me have been saying for years … church is equal to punishment.

If you break the law in Bay Minette, Alabama, you can either serve time in prison or in church … your choice.

I never expected anyone to validate that church is punishment. I hope they seat these prisoners away from any bibles. I wouldn’t want them getting any ideas about God-approved baby killing or raping the women in the pews around them if they read it.

Just sayin’.

Okay…so Cafe Witteveen is using sarcasm and humor to address the situation. I’m more feeling this right now:

From WKRG.com News:

Operation Restore Our Community or “ROC”…begins next week. The city judge will either let  misdemenor offenders work off their sentences in jail and pay a fine or go to church every Sunday for a year.

If offenders elect church, they’re allowed to pick the place of worship, but must check in weekly with the pastor and the police department. If the one-year church attendance program is completed successfully, the offender’s case will be dismissed.

Bay Minette Police Chief Mike Rowland says it costs his department about 75 bucks per inmate per day. Rowland says the ROC program will be cost-effective and could change the lives of many people heading down the wrong path.

So far, 56 churches in North Baldwin County are participating in ROC.

Rowland says the program is legal and doesn’t violate separation of church and state issues because it allows the offender to choose church or jail…and the church of their choice.

Let’s take this apart. Just a little. Just a slightly harder look at some of the implications and assumptions being made here.

Offenders have a choice.

Let’s see… you can either go to jail and pay a fine, or continue about your daily routine and devote an hour or two per every 168-hour week to going to church. How is this a reasonable choice? If the offender has a family to support, or a job, or is in school, or has no money to pay fines, or don’t want a permanent criminal record, there is no choice here. In the video above Chief Rowland says that if he would have to choose between going to jail and paying a hefty fine or just going to church he’d certainly select church. Really? I’m shocked!

This isn’t a violation of church and state.

I don’t know if this would legally be considered a church-state violation, but it seems to me to be walking a fine line. A judge is telling offenders that their only options are go to jail and have a permanent criminal record or go to church and have your case dismissed. Go do something that is really, really painful for a variety of reasons or go to church. The judge is determining that what these criminals need is religion to straighten out their lives. There are no secular options – no community service, no counseling programs – for citizens who do not believe in God.

But don’t worry, there are a lot of options for different churches in Bay Minette and the surrounding area – 109 of them. You’ve got yer Baptist, yer Catholic, yer Methodist, yer Assembly of God, yer Presbyterian, yer Episcopal, a few of them Lutherans, and about a gazillion different house of worship with the phrase “of Christ” in the name somewhere. Why they even have themselves a Temple…for the Pentacostals. I mean if you can’t find yourself a house of worship in that list…what’s that? What’s a synogogue? Hell no, they don’t got any of them mosques down here. That’s a New York problem.

 Church “could change the lives of many people heading down the wrong path.”

Church will save you. You will get some of those morals thingies that non-criminals have if you go to church. You need God to be a good person.

In the video above, Chief Rowland tells us that 30-day drug and alcohol programs don’t work…that longevity of treatment is the key. He assures us that “long-term programs do work”. So why not extend drug and alcohol programs…why not have mandated attendance at post-program meetings, something that may address an underlying addiction? Or…there’s a invisible guy in the clouds, I guess.

People who commit crimes don’t attend church. If they start going to church, they won’t commit any more crimes.

I’m guessing that some of these misdemeanor criminals are already going to church. So, what you’re telling the good people of Bay Minette Alabama is…if you’re going to church and you commit a crime, there’s no punishment. You just keep going to church. You have just made misdemeanors easier to commit, Bay Minette. Good job.

This “solution” is small-minded and I will be shocked if it curbs crime in Bay Minette, Alabama. But let me know how that works out for you.

May 21st End Times Bus

May 7, 2011

My friend Ben (@deisum on Twitter) snapped a picture of the May 21st End of Days preachers. Apparently they showed up in Minneapolis today, just as I was driving down to Chicago. How come I always miss when the circus comes to town?

Quran Burning

April 5, 2011

So, a Christian extremist in Florida burned a Quran after “passing judgement” on it, and in response we have  the violent murder of 12 people by a mob of Muslim extremists in the Afghan city of Mazar-i-Sharif,  nine more dead in Kandahar, and violence and protests across Afghanistan.

My first response was, “Seriously? The lone actions of a backwater hick of a pastor from the United States didn’t respect a different religion’s holy book, and that justifies the storming of a UN-held building and the taking of human life in Afghanistan? And people wonder why I reject organized religion!”

But as was pointed out in Psychology Today and Salon.com, just writing this off as a spat between two different religious groups is simplistic; there are geopolitical, social, cultural and economic issues that, along with religious differences, probably contributed to the loss of life.

In fact, when some of these other factors are removed from the picture, that may be why moderate Muslims in the United States were able to have a more moderate response to this tragedy:

The Muslim community in the United States has declined to respond to such an act by Jones and his small group of followers.

“Terry Jones had his 15 minutes of fame and we’re not going to help him get another few minutes,” said Ibrahim Hooper, a spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

In the US we have the idea that you don’t get to tell me what to do with my Quran (if I owned one). This mass-produced item that I can pick up at any number of different bookstores is NOT holy; it is ink on paper which becomes my personal property when I purchase it. It is a replica of a holy item. I can dog ear it, highlight it, copy pages of it and throw those copies in the garbage when I’m done with them. And if my replica Quran gets water damaged or otherwise becomes unusable, I can throw it out or destroy it, run down to Barnes and Noble and pick up a new copy. Perhaps we –  and Terry Jones – see the burning of this Quran as a small symbolic gesture, that the Quran he burned was just one copy of millions out there. 

The angry Afgahni mobs probably didn’t go out and kill people just because Pastor Jones was a dick who destoryed a copy of the Quran – that would be ridiculous, right? We in the United States know that Terry Jones is a lone dinkus who doesn’t speak for the majority of us in Western World, but perhaps the Afghanis responsible for the rioting believe that enough of us in the Western world are complicit, that we as a whole – including our leaders – allowed this to Quran burning to happen because we are contemptuous of the Afghani people as a whole, and that we see their nation only as a resource to be exploited.

I don’t claim to understand what really drove one group of human beings to violently attack and brutally injure and slaughter other human beings in Afghanistan. I think it is right to be outraged and offended by the incitement to violence by Jones and the violence and loss of life by Afghani mobs. However, I don’t think the correct response is to simply write off the whole situation as a Christianity vs. Islam problem.

Regarding free speech aka “should we burn Jones at the stake for inciting this violence?”: The first amendment lets me be an asshole – I can burn an American flag, a Bible, a Quran or my bra and not be legally persecuted in this country for doing so. Don’t give me that “we’re in a war” crap. Go see Glenn Greenwald’s The most uncounted cost of Endless War and  Brendan O’Neill’s article Pastor Terry Jones is no more to blame for the Afghan violence than Martin Scorsese was for the shooting of Ronald Reagan for their thoughts on free speech in relation to this case.

When Logic Fails to Convert…

January 21, 2011

There’s always – MAGIC!

via chrisfhiggins

Pad Your Pipe, Young Man!

November 23, 2010

You’ve all by now heard that the Pope says condoms are okay.  Well…except for use as birth control.  But if you’re a prostitute it’s okay to use condoms to prevent spreading sexually transmitted infections. Not that prostitution is okay, no, no, no – that’s still a sin.  But it’s not as big of a sin as prostituting AND spreading disease.

This evening on NPR I heard the most precious analogy detailing the Pope’s true intentions of his recent comments.  I believe that the analogy comes from Father Joseph Fessio, S.J. who wrote an article for Reuters on the topic:

Muggers are using steel pipes to attack people and the injuries are severe. Some muggers use padded pipes to reduce the injuries, while still disabling the victim enough for the mugging. The Pope says that the intention of reducing injury (in the act of mugging) could be a first step toward greater moral responsibility. [snip] Of course, one may morally use padded pipes in some circumstances, e.g., as insulated pipes so that hot water flowing through them doesn’t cool as fast. And one may use condoms morally in some cases, e.g. as water balloons.

The Father is using an analogy involving padded pipes to describe condom use?

And dude also just said that using condoms as water balloons is moral???  Quick, spread the word to Christian frat houses across the land!

Bwahahaha!

But in all seriousness, the Catholic church is still telling women and families how to plan their lives, and as Greta Christina recently discussed at Skepticon 3, espousing the idea that God cares about who you have sex with and how.  I think that Father Fessio captures the big picture perfectly:

In sum, the Pope did not “justify” condom use in any circumstances. And Church teaching remains the same as it has always been—both before and after the Pope’s statements.

Yup.

Hey Homos, Quite Picking on Christians.

November 19, 2010

‘Cuz you all are.  Don’t you know that when don’t let others threaten you, deny you civil rights and discriminate against you, that you’re infringing on their intellectual and religious freedom?

Cardinal Giacomo Biffi is bummed out that a woman lost her position on an adoption panel because she was turning away gay couples because they were…gay. 

“Is it still permitted … to be faithful and consistent disciples of the teaching of Christ … or must we prepare ourselves for a new form of persecution, promoted by homosexual activists, by their ideological accomplices, and even by those whose task it should be to defend the intellectual freedom of all, including Christians?”

If you define being persecuted as being called on your shit when you discriminate against someone because they are different from you, or because they don’t honor your supposedly personal beliefs, then…yeah, prepare yourself for “persecution”. 

But you know what isn’t going to happen?  Those doing the “persecuting” aren’t going to try to interfere in your love life, your children’s life, your access to health care, your ability to serve in the military, your  ability to marry, visit your partner in the hospital, challenge your bequeathment wishes…  oh, right. 

Who is persecuting whom, again?

Story via RichardDawkins.net

Being Born Again is too difficult

October 24, 2010

I’m sitting here going through my camera phone photos when I find this gem from Friday night.  I think this post is located on the SW corner of Lyndale and Lake.

Does anyone know the significance of the 2/28/12 date?  I tried Mark 2:28, but I don’t think “Therefore the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath.” is relevant.  And everyone knows that the end of the world isn’t until 12/21/2012.