Thursday, January 13, 2011

Mind Control


This week I was indirectly prodded back to the ol' blog by an old friend; inspired by the need to vent, if you will. Using this online avenue had always been a great source to dislodge the burs in my saddle and, having come to grips with the irresolvable polarity of most of the issues, the year long hiatus resulted. After all, what's the harm in differing opinions?
Bottom line for me: Don't get it. Don't buy it. Just giggle at the fundies. Roll my eyes at the prayer warriors. Shrug my shoulders and move on.

Alas, I cannot. Why? What harm is there?
  • Because I can't resolve that a supposed just and merciful God exists?
  • Because of a flawed "historical" narrative?
  • Because of a disbelief in the suspension of the laws of nature?
  • Because of the identical nature of creation/atonement/resurrection lore throughout history?
  • Because of actual evidence debunking a 1st century text written by desert nomads?


Nope.


From all of the above I have sufficiently moved on. Stripping away all of the nonsense, I've finally discovered my CONTEMPT.

Make no mistake about it, when an authority figure in a child's life communicates a concept as truth, that person is implanting an indelible idea. To a child, Santa Claus, SpongeBob, Jesus Christ, and the hairy scary monster in the closet is the same.

Wikipedia defines an argument from authority (also known as appeal to authority) is a fallacy of defective induction, where it is argued that a statement is correct because the statement is made by a person or source that is commonly regarded as authoritative.

The most general structure of this argument is:
1. Source A says that p is true.
2. Source A is authoritative.
3. Therefore, p is true.




It's simple. When you teach a child that he is born corrupt and sinful, that his choice of belief determines his eternal body temperature; then you're forcing the child to fear and live in guilt. I lived it. For 10 long years.

Indoctrination and brain-washing.

The irony of it all is this. As a known infidel, I've been prompted with the question,
"But what will you tell your kids? Won't you do the same thing?"

Quite the opposite. The answer to me is, "Son, I don't know the truth. And you should question anyone who says they do, because they're full of poo-poo"

By all means go to church. Let them learn the stories. All stories.
Weigh the evidence. All evidence.
Expose them to all beliefs.

Question the most basic of claims. And if it doesn't add up logically then shrug your shoulders and move on.

But, the day a child becomes one of the following kids, that child has been given a full scholarship to the University of Nonsense.



Monday, December 20, 2010

Not an official "question," but one I'm often asked....

Why are atheists so angry?

There's a short answer and a long answer to this question...which are you prepared to consider?

Short answer: We're not "angry," we're just disappointed.

Long answer:

Just because someone references Jesus/Mohammad/God/G-d/Whatever in a conversation doesn't mean that you have to get your serious-face-armor on immediately. 

Atheists aren't angry at you, they're angry at the piety to which you subscribe.

We are angry because we can't have a conversation with you that doesn't end up with you presenting some circular logic bullshit about the bible that we have already heard 8 million times.

We're angry that you don't "get" where we are coming from because you're delusional, solely because nothing "too bad" has happened in your life to challenge your faith, or you were just too delusional to see the fact that your mother/father/sister/brother got cancer/died in a car wreck/was murdered wasn't an act that was "according to God's plan," but a bullshit fact of life that sucks.

We're angry because we can't empathize with you when you're asking for prayer...because we know it's bullshit.

We're angry because you think we aren't charitable and that we don't consider the welfare of humanity an important aspect of current day life (because we have no basis for having any kind of morals whatsoever).

We're angry because we buy an ad on a bus to tell you we're here, and your idiot champions pay for a bus to follow us around telling us the God we don't believe in still loves us anyway.

We're angry because we can't make/help you understand the logical fallacies surrounding the FACT that the world isn't only 4,000 years old, and "Adam and Eve" are Hebrew words that carry the meaning of "humanity."

We're angry because you take the word of people like Jim Bakker, Ed Young, C.S. Lewis, and Billy Graham as absolute gospel fact without looking into what they are saying for yourselves.

We're angry because you're behind us. Intellectually. Spiritually. In general.

We're angry because you purport and spread shit all over the world that limits the evolution of our minds, and therefore our species.

We're angry because you can't feed the hungry or help the poor without bringing your precious savior into the mix. (Hungry people don't give a shit about the God that has abandoned them and left them homeless, FYI)

We're angry because you laugh when a champion of reason like Christopher Hitchens is dying of cancer.

We're angry because you are all so self-centered and living the dreams and prophecies of people you've never met and who couldn't even speak our language.

We're angry because you're ignorant. YOU ARE IGNORANT. And worse, you're okay with that.

Are we superior? I would say yes. I'm an angry, arrogant heathen who has used the last bit of tolerance I have within me and I cannot stand to placate your bullshit delusions of grandeur any longer.

WE ARE NOT THE CENTER OF THE UNIVERSE.
WE NEVER HAVE BEEN.
WE WERE NOT CREATED BY SOME GOD.
THE BIBLE IS A COLLECTION OF HUNDRED-FOLD TRANSLATED STORIES.
THE BIBLE IS NOT HISTORY.
GOD IS AS IMAGINARY AS SANTA CLAUSE. AND SATAN. AND ZEUS.

That's why we're angry.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Ask an Atheist: from CyberKitten

"Did you become an atheist after a crisis of faith or have you never believed in God?"

Thanks for submitting the first question! I cannot access your blog, but from your profile, I can see your an inquisitive person (perhaps that is the reason you have Kitten in your name?)

I am glad to write about my "de-conversion," and have done so before. Here are some posts I've written in previous years that might give some insight...
Ask Me Why
Confession of a Former Church Camp Counselor

While both of those posts may seem to indicate a crisis of faith, I would instead say I had a realization of my incapacity for faith (in a religious sense). Being raised Methodist, I don't really recall it being a super important message that Jesus was a deity. I remember the service, fellowship, and missions more than anything.

Sorry this took me a few days to post for you, let me know if that answered your question, or if you want to "discuss" further. :)

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Ask An Atheist December Blog-a-Thon

I don't claim to be an expert on "proving" my lack of "faith," but I would like to open the doors to "Hell" for everyone during the month of December. If you have a question about atheism, being atheist, why we don't say "I'm AN atheist," why atheist isn't capitalized, what we do for "Christmas," or anything else, shoot me a Facebook message, reply to my Reddit feed, or comment on this post. Anonymous questions won't be considered for discussion, and hate mail will be published throughout the month for all to see, so play nice. I'd love to have a question a day, but we'll see how it goes.... Stacy

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Dembski got Hitch slapped...but who am I to judge??

My editorial nonsense and opinions on the "debate" between Dr. William Dembski and Christopher Hitchens from November 18, 2010 at Prestonwood Baptist Church in Plano, Texas.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I don't regularly attend any social functions with atheists. I don't have an overabundance of atheist friends. I don't have t-shirts or bumper stickers that tell everyone what I don't believe in. But...if you're reading this, you know I don't need any of those things to let you know. I don't have a habit of being secretive about being atheist. I do not believe in any god. I do not possess the "gift" of faith. If there was a word like "atheist" that meant without faith (afaithiest?), that's what I would be. I know a lot of people (in fact, most of the people I know) who have this "gift" of faith.
But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. Hebrews 11: 6(NKJV)   (whoops)
Stop getting antsy. I'm getting to the debate....

I heard that Hitchens was going to be at PBC during Muse in the News on 1310 The Ticket (thanks, Gordo!) the day before the debate. I couldn't believe I didn't already know about it...then I remembered that whole thing about few atheist friends, yada yada yada. I immediately ran to the kitchen, even though we don't allow running in the house, and told Jared. It took 2 seconds to decide we were going.

 Atheism isn't a choice I've made lightly.
Hitchens isn't my favorite author to read, but I do love hearing him speak...something about the British accent. I didn't know who Dr. Dembski was, but as the opposition, I assumed he was a Christian...and being a doctor, he was obviously someone who had been able to hold on to faith, despite his knowledge of science. People like that fascinate me. Being that I found out the day before the debate, I didn't have time to do any research on or read anything written by Dr. Dembski. Of course, I have read God Is Not Great... by Hitchens. Great book.
Heathen reading
And, ironically, the only white book on the heathen shelf.....hmmmmm...

As we entered the sanctuary at PBC, a place I have been only once before to see a Nicole Nordeman concert, we were directed to the top rows...the lower section was completely reserved for students, as well as the first 7 rows of the top-middle section. The sanctuary seats 7,000 people, and by my estimation, it was at about 90% capacity. (If you're interested, if every person in the sanctuary had to buy the $5 ticket, PBC made about $30k off that 3 hours...I'm not sure what they paid the debaters...plus if you wanted to PDF of the laughable debate guide, it was $35.)

As my friend Chris said, "Call me naive, but it never dawned on me that there would be 20 minutes of hymns before the Hitchens debate."  The first hymn was, appropriately, called "Just the way it is." No better way to start a debate on the existance of God/god. The praise team proceeded to sing 2 or 3 more songs, and it became apparent during this time that there were approximately 2 non-belivers in our section, and maybe 40-50 elsewhere in the sanctuary. Four songs, two prayers, an introduction...and finally the speaking began.

Hitchens went first with the opening statement. He was mild, and we began to wonder if he was holding back because he was looking into the faces of THIRTEEN year-olds as he was speaking. He spoke in layman's terms, briefly visited the Big Bang theory and personal experience. I thought his opening was rather weak, compared to the Hitchens we're used to hearing.

 *side note, Hitchens was diagnosed with metastatic esophageal cancer back in June of this year, a fact that the XIAN crowd obviously had not been made aware of, as they laughed when he wiped at and blew his nose during the debate*

Once Hitchens finished his opening, which again, I would say was pretty innocuous, Dembski shuffled his papers and began reading. Yes, reading. I was TRULY disappointed in this. A prepared opening statement. To be read. Verbatim. The kicker to this opening was that Dembski's ENTIRE opening was about Hitchens and what he believes. He also prepared some sciency statements, much of which left me utterly confused as to what he was talking about. While sciency Christians fascinate me, I didn't think there was any need for the sciency-ness, as Hitchens is not a scientist. He's a social commentator and contributing editor for Vanity Fair. He uses science that you can see on Discovery, not science you have to be able to understand the mind of Hawking to get...

I did take some notes, and here is what I have written down from Dembski's opening remarks:

Complexity = Intelligent Design
Theists have more options, atheists MUST believe in evolution
youtube.com - video of cell complexity
Analogy - Murder : Design :: Natural Causes : Non-design
Complex scientific principles (i'm lost here??)
evolution advances the atheist agenda (what is our "agenda"?)
Junk DNA book

I did find Dembski's references to Boethius interesting - he was cited as presenting that the problem of evil may be that of Christianity, but the problem of good belongs to atheism. Boethius was born sometime during the 5th or 6th century, but I'm interested in finding some of his writings.

Here are some other notes I have from Dembski's orations (click to enlarge)

Vaginal mutilations...??
Now, don't go getting upset about that vaginal mutliators bit. I guess it's true...apparently there are more people in communities who practice vaginal mutilation as a form of contraception than there are secular folks in the western hemisphere. Although, I'm not sure what that has to do with anything about God/god. ??

The circular logic of God defining good, therefore he can't be anything but good, and anything bad that happens isn't him being bad, it's just a plan we don't understand...yeah, that whole idea....maybe I'd bite on it if I were sheepish, but I think Dembski thought he was debating to an audience of believers only (see above, vaginal mutilators vs. secular westerners).

Toward the latter part of the debate, Hitchens sparked up (he claimed Starbucks). He was spot on. Game on. Don't mess with the Hitch. He was challenged to define morality without God or the Bible. It's called Humanism. Love your fellow man. Do things that promote the survival of our species. How does this not make sense to Sciency Dembski? We're all humanists...some of us just need divinity to define why we are so.

I'm not saying a lot of what Hitchens said because he mostly described his personal feelings of Christ, Christianity, and morality in response to Dembski. It's difficult to debate a Christian as an atheist, because the matter of God/god isn't really debatable in your mind. Hitchens was trying to prove that morality can exist without God/god, and that there are other explanations for how we got here, and all Dembski did was try to prove Hitch wrong with God as the proof. It was kind of sad.

I am surprised that PBC hosted this event, specifically for their Prestonwood Academy students. Baptists do have a tendency to be a little, shall we say, uppity about their faith. I would love to have the opportunity to talk to the students who sat through the debate. I can't imagine how my life would have been different if I had heard Christopher Hitchens speak when I was 13, going to ho-hum Methodist church. I can imagine he had some impact on the students - if nothing else, enough to get their noses out of the Bible and realize there is a big world out there to explore, and a large number of people who don't agree with their doctrine.

Aside from Hitchens' rant on Mother Teresa, my favorite line from him was what I will leave you with:

"Don't think of that [absolute authority and salvation] as a gift. Think of it as a poison chalice. Push it aside, however tempting it is."

On Monday 11/22/10, you will be able to see the debate online, sponsored by PBC at http://www.pcawebcast.com/2010debate/

Thanks for reading, it's been awhile. :)


**update, debate can be viewed on this youtube channel:  http://www.youtube.com/user/CRUClEFICTION#g/c/A11B0F4796D09263

Thursday, January 7, 2010

A moment of Silence...


All we are saying, is "give repeat a chance."

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

The music may sound different, but the message is the same




1981. Sonseed wasn't THE pioneer of "new" Christian music, but their one line of lyrics (the title of this post) has proven to become a movement in its own right.


I know the allure, I was captivated by it. The church choir has morphed into the "praise band" or "praise and worship team." Lights, camera, action! I've heard everything from U2 to Macy Gray sung on stage at a church service.


If there's one thing I miss about being a Christian, it's the music. Jennifer Knapp, Katy Hudson (now known as Katy Perry), Chris Rice, and Michelle Tumes still have a special place in my heart and in my music collection. Notably, though, none of these singers are ones who trick up the music (i.e. the music may sound different, but the message is the same)...all are pretty classic, soulful, acoustic, and truly vocally and lyrically talented. I don't love the Jesus or God they sing of, I love what they have done with music.


Some artists I remember who were contemporary trick masters..the Benjamin Gate, Audio Adrenaline, DC Talk (followed by their solo acts), and who can forget WOW! Hits and Worship collections. I know of some Benjamin Gate songs that you wouldn't think twice about if you heard them played in dance club amidst the strobes and sweaty ecstasy whores.


I think "alternative" Christian music had an honest beginning - in that there were Christian people who liked to rock (ie Petra, the Greek word for "rock") and didn't care for 'The Old Rugged Cross' being sung by the old lady with the waddle in church. If you're musically gifted, and you can pull it off...more power to ya. But it seems in the last 10 years or so, the Christian music industry has become a single-handed way to save souls who otherwise would tell you where to shove it. Couple music that sounds like Pearl Jam with a hot Christian guy singer...you might as well be in the 60's worshipping The Beatles. (I wonder what the world would be like if The Beatles had been a Christian group??)


So, to my Christian friends...what is your favorite "worship" music? Do you like the "new" stuff, or do you stick to the classics? What's on your ipod?


To my de-converted friends...do you miss the music like I do? :)


Peace.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

"Freedom" of Speech abroad


Having Irish roots, I'm glad whoever from my family left Ireland whenever they did.

I think most Americans take our freedom of speech right for granted.
The Irish Constitution defines and protects freedom of speech as
(Article 40.6.1(i)):
The State guarantees liberty for the exercise of the following rights, subject to public order and morality:
i. The right of the citizens to express freely their convictions and opinions.The education of public opinion being, however, a matter of such grave import to the common good, the State shall endeavour to ensure that organs of public opinion, such as the radio, the press, the cinema, while preserving their rightful liberty of expression, including criticism of Government policy, shall not be used to undermine public order or morality or the authority of the State. The publication or utterance of blasphemous, seditious, or indecent matter is an offence which shall be punishable in accordance with law.

Currently, the "punishment" for blasphemous, seditious, or indecent talk is €25,000-($35,800). It would cost me more for one week of Facebook status updates than I make in an entire year.


All this talk has come about due to the squeaky wheel Atheist Ireland who have started a grassroots campaign for a secular constitution. The nerve!

What I think is awesome about Atheist Ireland is that they give a damn. I know that there are atheist groups in America who daily campaign for a secular constitution and other civil liberties, but they're not called Atheist America...they're called American Atheists.
Are we really American THEN atheist? I think atheism defines who I am moreso than being American. I think the Irish think the same way. (Maybe my Irish blood is stronger than my American blood!) But, we in America so SO hung up on our individuality. I am not excluded...it's how we're raised. I would like to say I am part of atheist America, but I have to settle for "being a member" of American Atheists.
Atheist Ireland has stirred up controversy this week by posting 25 blasphemous quotes...some by the lord Jesus himself. I wonder if the government of Ireland is going to get them for is €625,000?
Here's the controversial list, reproduced by written permission on their website. (the link is the google.com cached version of the page - the actual link isn't working at the time of this post).



List of 25 Blasphemous Quotes Published by Atheist Ireland


1. Jesus Christ, when asked if he was the son of God, in Matthew 26:64: “Thou hast said: nevertheless I say unto you, Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven.” According to the Christian Bible, the Jewish chief priests and elders and council deemed this statement by Jesus to be blasphemous, and they sentenced Jesus to death for saying it.

2. Jesus Christ, talking to Jews about their God, in John 8:44: “Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him.” This is one of several chapters in the Christian Bible that can give a scriptural foundation to Christian anti-Semitism. The first part of John 8, the story of “whoever is without sin cast the first stone”, was not in the original version, but was added centuries later. The original John 8 is a debate between Jesus and some Jews. In brief, Jesus calls the Jews who disbelieve him sons of the Devil, the Jews try to stone him, and Jesus runs away and hides.

3. Muhammad, quoted in Hadith of Bukhari, Vol 1 Book 8 Hadith 427: “May Allah curse the Jews and Christians for they built the places of worship at the graves of their prophets.” This quote is attributed to Muhammad on his death-bed as a warning to Muslims not to copy this practice of the Jews and Christians. It is one of several passages in the Koran and in Hadith that can give a scriptural foundation to Islamic anti-Semitism, including the assertion in Sura 5:60 that Allah cursed Jews and turned some of them into apes and swine.

4. Mark Twain, describing the Christian Bible in Letters from the Earth, 1909: “Also it has another name - The Word of God. For the Christian thinks every word of it was dictated by God. It is full of interest. It has noble poetry in it; and some clever fables; and some blood-drenched history; and some good morals; and a wealth of obscenity; and upwards of a thousand lies… But you notice that when the Lord God of Heaven and Earth, adored Father of Man, goes to war, there is no limit. He is totally without mercy - he, who is called the Fountain of Mercy. He slays, slays, slays! All the men, all the beasts, all the boys, all the babies; also all the women and all the girls, except those that have not been deflowered. He makes no distinction between innocent and guilty… What the insane Father required was blood and misery; he was indifferent as to who furnished it.” Twain’s book was published posthumously in 1939. His daughter, Clara Clemens, at first objected to it being published, but later changed her mind in 1960 when she believed that public opinion had grown more tolerant of the expression of such ideas. That was half a century before Fianna Fail and the Green Party imposed a new blasphemy law on the people of Ireland.

5. Tom Lehrer, The Vatican Rag, 1963: “Get in line in that processional, step into that small confessional. There, the guy who’s got religion’ll tell you if your sin’s original. If it is, try playing it safer, drink the wine and chew the wafer. Two, four, six, eight, time to transubstantiate!”

6. Randy Newman, God’s Song, 1972: “And the Lord said: I burn down your cities - how blind you must be. I take from you your children, and you say how blessed are we. You all must be crazy to put your faith in me. That’s why I love mankind.”

7. James Kirkup, The Love That Dares to Speak its Name, 1976: “While they prepared the tomb I kept guard over him. His mother and the Magdalen had gone to fetch clean linen to shroud his nakedness. I was alone with him… I laid my lips around the tip of that great cock, the instrument of our salvation, our eternal joy. The shaft, still throbbed, anointed with death’s final ejaculation.” This extract is from a poem that led to the last successful blasphemy prosecution in Britain, when Denis Lemon was given a suspended prison sentence after he published it in the now-defunct magazine Gay News. In 2002, a public reading of the poem, on the steps of St. Martin-in-the-Fields church in Trafalgar Square, failed to lead to any prosecution. In 2008, the British Parliament abolished the common law offences of blasphemy and blasphemous libel.

8. Matthias, son of Deuteronomy of Gath, in Monty Python’s Life of Brian, 1979: “Look, I had a lovely supper, and all I said to my wife was that piece of halibut was good enough for Jehovah.”

9. Rev Ian Paisley MEP to the Pope in the European Parliament, 1988: “I denounce you as the Antichrist.” Paisley’s website describes the Antichrist as being “a liar, the true son of the father of lies, the original liar from the beginning… he will imitate Christ, a diabolical imitation, Satan transformed into an angel of light, which will deceive the world.”

10. Conor Cruise O’Brien, 1989: “In the last century the Arab thinker Jamal al-Afghani wrote: ‘Every Muslim is sick and his only remedy is in the Koran.’ Unfortunately the sickness gets worse the more the remedy is taken.”

11. Frank Zappa, 1989: “If you want to get together in any exclusive situation and have people love you, fine - but to hang all this desperate sociology on the idea of The Cloud-Guy who has The Big Book, who knows if you’ve been bad or good - and cares about any of it - to hang it all on that, folks, is the chimpanzee part of the brain working.”

12. Salman Rushdie, 1990: “The idea of the sacred is quite simply one of the most conservative notions in any culture, because it seeks to turn other ideas - uncertainty, progress, change - into crimes.” In 1989, Ayatollah Khomeini of Iran issued a fatwa ordering Muslims to kill Rushdie because of blasphemous passages in Rushdie’s novel The Satanic Verses.

13. Bjork, 1995: “I do not believe in religion, but if I had to choose one it would be Buddhism. It seems more livable, closer to men… I’ve been reading about reincarnation, and the Buddhists say we come back as animals and they refer to them as lesser beings. Well, animals aren’t lesser beings, they’re just like us. So I say fuck the Buddhists.”

14. Amanda Donohoe on her role in the Ken Russell movie Lair of the White Worm, 1995: “Spitting on Christ was a great deal of fun. I can’t embrace a male god who has persecuted female sexuality throughout the ages, and that persecution still goes on today all over the world.”

15. George Carlin, 1999: “Religion easily has the greatest bullshit story ever told. Think about it. Religion has actually convinced people that there’s an invisible man living in the sky who watches everything you do, every minute of every day. And the invisible man has a special list of ten things he does not want you to do. And if you do any of these ten things, he has a special place, full of fire and smoke and burning and torture and anguish, where he will send you to live and suffer and burn and choke and scream and cry forever and ever ’til the end of time! But He loves you. He loves you, and He needs money! He always needs money! He’s all-powerful, all-perfect, all-knowing, and all-wise, somehow just can’t handle money! Religion takes in billions of dollars, they pay no taxes, and they always need a little more. Now, talk about a good bullshit story. Holy Shit!”

16. Paul Woodfull as Ding Dong Denny O’Reilly, The Ballad of Jaysus Christ, 2000: “He said me ma’s a virgin and sure no one disagreed, Cause they knew a lad who walks on water’s handy with his feet… Jaysus oh Jaysus, as cool as bleedin’ ice, With all the scrubbers in Israel he could not be enticed, Jaysus oh Jaysus, it’s funny you never rode, Cause it’s you I do be shoutin’ for each time I shoot me load.”

17. Jesus Christ, in Jerry Springer The Opera, 2003: “Actually, I’m a bit gay.” In 2005, the Christian Institute tried to bring a prosecution against the BBC for screening Jerry Springer the Opera, but the UK courts refused to issue a summons.

18. Tim Minchin, Ten-foot Cock and a Few Hundred Virgins, 2005: “So you’re gonna live in paradise, With a ten-foot cock and a few hundred virgins, So you’re gonna sacrifice your life, For a shot at the greener grass, And when the Lord comes down with his shiny rod of judgment, He’s gonna kick my heathen ass.”

19. Richard Dawkins in The God Delusion, 2006: “The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully.” In 2007 Turkish publisher Erol Karaaslan was charged with the crime of insulting believers for publishing a Turkish translation of The God Delusion. He was acquitted in 2008, but another charge was brought in 2009. Karaaslan told the court that “it is a right to criticise religions and beliefs as part of the freedom of thought and expression.”

20. Pope Benedict XVI quoting a 14th century Byzantine emperor, 2006: “Show me just what Muhammad brought that was new and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached.” This statement has already led to both outrage and condemnation of the outrage. The Organisation of the Islamic Conference, the world’s largest Muslim body, said it was a “character assassination of the prophet Muhammad”. The Malaysian Prime Minister said that “the Pope must not take lightly the spread of outrage that has been created.” Pakistan’s foreign Ministry spokesperson said that “anyone who describes Islam as a religion as intolerant encourages violence”. The European Commission said that “reactions which are disproportionate and which are tantamount to rejecting freedom of speech are unacceptable.”

21. Christopher Hitchens in God is not Great, 2007: “There is some question as to whether Islam is a separate religion at all… Islam when examined is not much more than a rather obvious and ill-arranged set of plagiarisms, helping itself from earlier books and traditions as occasion appeared to require… It makes immense claims for itself, invokes prostrate submission or ‘surrender’ as a maxim to its adherents, and demands deference and respect from nonbelievers into the bargain. There is nothing-absolutely nothing-in its teachings that can even begin to justify such arrogance and presumption.”

22. PZ Myers, on the Roman Catholic communion host, 2008: “You would not believe how many people are writing to me, insisting that these horrible little crackers (they look like flattened bits of styrofoam) are literally pieces of their god, and that this omnipotent being who created the universe can actually be seriously harmed by some third-rate liberal intellectual at a third-rate university… However, inspired by an old woodcut of Jews stabbing the host, I thought of a simple, quick thing to do: I pierced it with a rusty nail (I hope Jesus’s tetanus shots are up to date). And then I simply threw it in the trash, followed by the classic, decorative items of trash cans everywhere, old coffeegrounds and a banana peel.”

23. Ian O’Doherty, 2009: “(If defamation of religion was illegal) it would be a crime for me to say that the notion of transubstantiation is so ridiculous that even a small child should be able to see the insanity and utter physical impossibility of a piece of bread and some wine somehow taking on corporeal form. It would be a crime for me to say that Islam is a backward desert superstition that has no place in modern, enlightened Europe and it would be a crime to point out that Jewish settlers in Israel who believe they have a God given right to take the land are, frankly, mad. All the above assertions will, no doubt, offend someone or other.”

24. Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, 2009: “Whether a person is atheist or any other, there is in fact in my view something not totally human if they leave out the transcendent… we call it God… I think that if you leave that out you are not fully human.” Because atheism is not a religion, the Irish blasphemy law does not protect atheists from abusive and insulting statements about their fundamental beliefs. While atheists are not seeking such protection, we include the statement here to point out that it is discriminatory that this law does not hold all citizens equal.

25. Dermot Ahern, Irish Minister for Justice, introducing his blasphemy law at an Oireachtas Justice Committee meeting, 2009, and referring to comments made about him personally: “They are blasphemous.” Deputy Pat Rabbitte replied: “Given the Minister’s self-image, it could very well be that we are blaspheming,” and Minister Ahern replied: “Deputy Rabbitte says that I am close to the baby Jesus, I am so pure.” So here we have an Irish Justice Minister joking about himself being blasphemed, at a parliamentary Justice Committee discussing his own blasphemy law, that could make his own jokes illegal.

Finally, as a bonus, Micheal Martin, Irish Minister for Foreign Affairs, opposing attempts by Islamic States to make defamation of religion a crime at UN level, 2009: “We believe that the concept of defamation of religion is not consistent with the promotion and protection of human rights. It can be used to justify arbitrary limitations on, or the denial of, freedom of expression. Indeed, Ireland considers that freedom of expression is a key and inherent element in the manifestation of freedom of thought and conscience and as such is complementary to freedom of religion or belief.” Just months after Minister Martin made this comment, his colleague Dermot Ahern introduced Ireland’s new blasphemy law.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Mojoey & The Atheist Blogroll

We've been added to The Atheist Blogroll. You can see the blogroll in my sidebar. The Atheist blogroll is a community building service provided free of charge to Atheist bloggers from around the world. If you would like to join, visit Mojoey at Deep Thoughts for more information.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Not even FAKE SNOW?! How offensive...

Comment Date: Dec 15 2009 11:02 PM
Rating: Christmas-Offensive
Comment: The Gap has been intentionally offensive to Christmas for years. I remember about 4 years ago they decided not to decorate their stores during the holiday. Not even trees or fake snow..just completely ignore the season. It is weird for a retailer to take such a bold approach, after all it is a time that they make money! My family decided not to shop there that year. I would not shop there now, ...


I've never been a fan of "Focus on the Family." I'm pretty sure James Dobson had absolutely nothing to do with my personal upbringing...so I, even in my Christian heyday, did not feel it necessary or remotely tempting to invite him into my home to help me with my family.

This Christmas, good ole James has done an excellent job of 2 things:
1. Wasting money on a comment-monitored public website
2. Bringing the most ignorant (we'll call them less fortunate from here on out) Christians out of the woodwork.

Before I did any Christmas shopping, I visited FOTF's "Stand for Christmas" website to check out how Christmas-Friendly, Christmas-Negligent, or Christmas-Offensive some of my favorite retailers are. Boy, am I glad I did! I can't imagine the embarrassment that would come with giving a Christmas gift from Banana Republic! And I can't even bring myself to say or write The G-P anymore. 80% Christmas-offensive...oh the horror.

I'm not linking to this site because I don't want a bunch of track backs to my blog. I'm sure if you google "Stand for Christmas," it'll be the first choice on the list.

*note: all typos following "Comment" are [sic]able, but I'm just not gonna go there. All comments were CTRL+C --> CTRL+V straight from where they were posted

Some Christian-Offensive reviews of some of the biggest stores around:

The G-P tops the list at 80% offensive:

Comment: Some businesses just don't get it. Why would you offend the majority to please the minority? Most americans celebrate Christmas...Wake up. You've lost my family's business forever!
Comment: Their Holiday commercial was very offensive with the message celebrate what ever you feel like. Including Solstice. I dont plan on ever shopping there unless they change their message.
Comment: I will NOT buy anything else from GAP (which I am a HUGE fan of). By ignoring Christmas and offering "Happy Solstice," a WICCAN witch-warlock acknowledged dedicated day, they have GROSSLY OFFENDED not only ME but the MAJORITY of Americans. I will get the word out to others as well.
Comment: The commercials are horrendous. They are completely uncalled for and are most definitely a defiant attack on Christmas....
Comment: ...no Christmas displays. They want the Christmas $$$, but why--- you don't celebrate
Comment: ...Don't you guys understand that taking Christmas out of your store is discriminating against most Americans?
Comment: ...offensive that they would compare the BIRTH of our SAVIOR to other "holidays"....

Best Buy comes in at 74% Christmas-Offensive:

Comment: As a Christain and a freedom loving American patriot I was extremely offended by Best Buy choosing to with the Muliums a happy holiday and have yet made any attempt of wishing the Christians a Merry Christmas in their ad campain which I am checking weekly. I went into the store and shared my opinion as well as with their 1-800 number. They lost my business and I have encourage all my family and friends to do the the same. Merry Christmas to you all!
Comment: We have been watching the Stand for Christmas website and we are very disappointed to see where Best Buy's ratings are. As much as we love that store - we AVOIDED Christmas shopping there this year and kept them off our Christmas wish lists to others.
Comment: I was just about to purchase a lot of gift cards from best buy for grandchildren,but heard Bill O'Reilly's report on Christmas Friendly stores.I decided to ONLY shop CHRISTmas friendly stores..
Comment: Absolutely nothing anywhere about Christmas..not even a tree outline, wrapped gifts, etc. You can tell they are going out of their way to get your money but steer clear of Christmas. I was wished a "Happy Holidays" when I checked out. This will be my last trip to Best Buy until they reverse this anti-Christmas (and in my book, anti-Christian) attitude. See ya later BB.
Comment: I went to the Best Buy in Thousand Oaks today to buy Christmas gifts. There was not one sign it was the Christmas season. I left my gifts there. On the way out I asked the man at the door were their Christmas signs were. He said "We don't do that." Well I don't need to spend my money there. They want your money but they can't put out any Christmas decorations. I will not be back. Hello Costco, Target or Walmart
Comment: Was not playing Christmas music. Employees said happy holidays instead of Merry Christmas. After reading here, I decided to take back the two camera we bought on black friday. It is not worth the 30.00 total savings.


And to balance the scales...I present the most Christmas-Friendly retailer in the history of all of the world.

...Drumroll please.....Christians, I think God will forgive you if you keep your tithe to it spend at......

BASS PRO SHOPS!!

Comment: I love Bass Pro, their Christmas village makes me incredibly happy. I had to stand for 2 hours to get my daughter to see Santa but the elves were so helpful with keeping her entertained and even when we left the village we were still told Merry Christmas
Comment: Huge Christmas village set up w/ activites for children
Comment: I love your store santas village is just the best thing i have ever seen a retailer do! My kids have something positive to do every weekend and FOR FREE! ...Just wanted you to know how great it is that you celebrate not only Christmas but families! You are to be congratulated for reaching out to the WHOLE family!
Comment: I was very surprised and very pleased to hear the Christmas carols with all verses over the P.A., even the lyrics celebrating Jesus being born as the Son of God!
Comment: Bass Pro goes all out for Christmas. It is almost worth going to the store just to look @ the decor.
Comment: Front page CHRISTMAS sale! Yay!
Comment: In last Sunday's paper, it was one of only two retailers who had "Christmas" prominently displayed throughout the entire ad. They have a Christmas village set up inside the store (not a "holiday" or "winter" village), and it's an old-fashioned Christmas village where kids can get a free photo with Santa (who sends a letter to the child in the mail), lots of free games to play, and employees dressed as elves. I give this retailer the highest rating.


In closing...you're welcome, Christians. Now go shopping and stop reading.

I didn't pick and choose the most awesome comments...they're all basically the same as what I've selected to post here. So for all you humanists and godless heathens that care about people's feelings...all you have to do to garner the Christian happy sparkly eyes and almighty dollar during this holiday, er, Christmas season is 1)Say MERRY CHRISTMAS! (as many times as possible), and 2)Set up a "Christmas" village, Christmas tree, play Christmas music, and give out free pictures with Santa. I bet free candy canes would be a super bonus.

Oh yeah...and hey Jesus, Happy Birthday.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Menopausal atheists?



Just a standard side-bar ad on a random site ...of course the giant, albeit white, Dawkins-style A caught my attention...



Jesus Junk and Xian Privilege



I think this shows that Christians can get away with just about anything...Wonder if these ethically challenged companies pray for forgiveness?



"I think you have a real tension between the legal department and the PR department," he said. "(Large companies) are very sensitive to looking like they are anti-Christian, so they are very restrained in going after the wrongdoers."


Seriously? Apparently Xians have all the money and influence in this "democracy" we live in. I bet they buy this shit in bulk at the mega churches for their highly unnecessary book stores and internet cafes.


I still haven't bought a truly "offensive" anti-Christian shirt to wear in public...maybe I should. Although, I did take my Jesus ashtray to play poker a few times, back when you could smoke in local bars...there wasn't much warmth at the table those nights.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Atheism and Cheap Books

I wasn't sure if I should be pleased or upset today when I ventured in to my local Half Price Books store and found that the "Agnosticism/Atheism" section was gone. Totally gone. I wandered around the "Religious" section for a bit, then over to "Science and Mathematics," and there was simply nothing to be had. No Dawkins. No Hitchens. No Barker. No Russell. No Ehrman. Nothing.
I went to a clerk to ask where the section was relocated. "It was relocated into non-existence." WHAT?! He showed me the "Comparative Religion" section - 3 copies of Letter to a Christian Nation just doesn't count for an atheist presence on the shelf. (And who sells that book anyway? Christians who were fooled into reading it?) I found one copy of "Breaking the Spell," and though I've not read it, we only have the paperback copy and the hardback was $12, so I bought it.
So, should I be upset that "Christian Fiction," the mother of all "duh" sections, took up not one but 6 bookshelves, and not even one shelf was set aside for my precious disbelief? Or...should I be pleased that atheists buy good books and don't sell them for pennies on the dollar to sit at a store where cheapos like me go to get a quick fix?
I'm not even sure what I was looking for, but I'm 99% sure I didn't find it.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Sybil's Sagan

My most beautiful cousin, Sybil (affectionately "Shay" as kids, although we have never met), posted a Carl Sagan quote on Facebook the other day. Sadly, it got lost in the mix of notifications and vodka...so I am just now getting around to commenting. :) I promised a blog post, so here goes...

Carl Sagan was a brilliant scientist who died almost 13 years ago. He is well known for his work in the field of astronomy, including the SETI project (although he was not a "believer" in E.T./UFO's specifically.)

Sagan claimed agnostic in the realms of god/God and religion. (agnostic = a-gnostic = (a)lack of (gnostic) knowledge. He was a giant force in the publication of photographs of Earth from deep space (which showed us just how small we are).

I can't even begin to do the great Carl Sagan justice with any sort of homage here on my measly blog, but he was a genius of the highest human caliber.

Sybil's Facebook quote: "Skeptical scrutiny is the means, in both science and religion, by which deep thoughts can be winnowed from deep nonsense."

I am posting for Sybil because she posted in a comment that she didn't know what to think of the quote, and was hoping someone (probably me) would open up the discussion. (Do you know any other heathens, cuz? :) )

I must say that I am jaded...I have read so many Sagan quotes, and I do own his book "Cosmos: A Personal Voyage." I have picked it up and read it here and there, random pages and ideas. The man was brilliant, and I am a lowly "smart." WAY beyond me, but I love trying to figure it out, nonetheless.

The most famous quote from Sagan that atheists like to use is, "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence." I love this quote, and believe in it, not just in debating theism, but anything in life. If I say the sky is blue, well...duh, look up, it's blue. If I say the sky is purple...we've got a discussion on our hands.

In order to continue on with this post, I must present a few other Sagan quotes:

"Life is but a momentary glimpse of the wonder of this astonishing universe,
and it is sad to see so many dreaming it away on spiritual fantasy."

"It means nothing to be open to a proposition we don't understand."

"I maintain there is much more wonder in science than in pseudoscience.
And in addition, to whatever measure this term has any meaning, science
has the additional virtue, and it is not an inconsiderable one, of being true."
.....

So, Mr. Sagan. What of God/god?

I think it takes a big person of high intelligence to admit that they don't know something.

One thing that bothers me about being an atheist is that the term "agnostic" is considered separate.
Trust me, I've read comments from "baby atheists" (probably rebellious teens) who don't understand
the correlation.

A = without
Theism = belief in God/god
Gnostic = knowledge

Agnostics can be atheists, or they can just be agnostics. Regardless, we are all claiming ignorance or insufficient proof..
I claim ignorance on all sorts of things; quantum physics, open heart surgery, how a steam locomotive works, why Ivy grows and grows,
only to be eaten by some weirdo green caterpillars....it just means "I don't know enough to say
"I don't believe/understand."" An atheist is a person who thinks they have enough information to say
they have no belief in a god. It doesn't mean I think I can disprove the existence of God/god, or that
I KNOW God/god isn't real...it means that *I* do not believe in God/god.

So, the quote in question... "Skeptical scrutiny is the means, in both science and religion, by which deep thoughts can be winnowed from deep nonsense."

I think the point is, THINK. Think deeply and with purpose. Faith and thinking are not related. Faith is not a catalyst of the thinking mind, and the thinking mind will stump faith out like a 4-minute old Marlboro. Do I think I am superior? Absolutely not. But, I have allowed "outside the box" thinking, whereas some don't.

Do you think God ever wonders, as we do, where He/he came from?
Do you think it absurd that we dismiss Thor, Zeus, Titan as man-made gods, but if you question the lord/Lord almighty, may you be damned to hell?

I wonder who the last person on earth to believe in Zeus was. What kind of ridicule did that person go through? How was that person separated from everyone else in the world that realized that Zeus was a man-made god (like all gods)? Who decided that Yaweh/Jehovah/Jesus/God was any different? Because a "man" "walked" "named" "Jesus?"

The History Channel has a great series called "Clash of the Gods." Historical stories of the "gods" that people have worshiped throughout history. I highly recommend watching it. It's not the first time I've been presented with the similarities between Jesus Christ and ALMOST EVERY OTHER GOD IN THE HISTORY OF CIVILIZATION.

Sybil's Sagan quote is probably one of the most poignant reasons I choose to believe what I do. I think. I question. I relinquished the bible as a source of authority some years ago. As you cannot define the word "red" by using the word "red," you cannot discuss Christianity using the bible. The bible isn't proof of anything. The bible isn't an authority. The bible is a collection of stories that have been censored, whittled down, and made to suit the purpose of the church for centuries.

Simple thought: Pascal's Wager. So eloquently described by many, but summed up in one bumper sticker: "If you're living like there's no God, you'd better be right!"

Please.

All I truly ask is that any religious person who wishes to discuss the merits of their religion, their God/god, their opinions...at least give me more than I can get from Kirk Cameron. Educate yourself. Don't be afraid of the dark side...if you are truly faithful, I can't drag you to my side, and you're safe. Don't cap your mind off with religion. Let yourself be the curious being that you are. Read. Study. There are SO many incredible minds who have left a mark on our world because they dedicated their lives to finding the truth. Listen to what they have to say with respect...they are God's creatures. They are the lightbulb of the world

Don't see yourself short. Think about it.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

I hate god on Facebook


When this blog was created, we knew of nothing called Facebook. Yes, there was Myspace...but that's a different animal. I love Facebook. I love knowing what my "friends" are doing and going thru. I love getting invitations to parties and MMA fight watching parties...

Status updates are my favorites, and I have several favorite friends that I troll Facebook for daily to check out what they're doing. My friend COLIN always writes in CAPS and always likes his own status. His status updates are usually pretty random, and he suggested that I go as "Sexy Abraham Lincoln" for Halloween to counter all of the 30-something slut costumes. My friend Holland has the best kid anecdotes ever. Her son is a funny little guy that I'd love to spend time with. My friend Tracy has great tits and everyone on Facebook knows it. My friend Dre (Andrea back in the day) hates it when you tag her in pictures that are pre-2000. My friend Amanda drops her kids on their heads and has pajama parties, and my friend Jamie paints wine glasses and hates her job. (By the way, Jamie is painting me some wine glasses just in time for XMAS with the American Atheists logo...I'm sure she's taking orders, so if you want some...email me and I'll get you in contact with her).

Then...there are status updates that make me crazy. Now, I don't mean to offend anyone (haha), and if you want to delete me from your friends list, please feel free to do so, this is America.

"Pray for me"
"Pray for my dad"
"Pray for my sister"
"Pray for my dog"

Seriously?

Facebook is not a coven of saints. (Trust me, I know *wink*)

Today, my (I love you) Mom tried to stick it to me when I posted a Freud quote about the absurdity of religion with a quote from Einstein about "God." My cousin followed with a quote from Ravi Zacharias. (Boo).

Here's my issue. I'm "out" as an atheist, but I don't think that people know what the word means. (a)=without (theist)=belief in a god. I don't hate Christians. I don't hate Muslims. I don't hate Jews. I just don't believe in a god. Why is this so hard to understand?

Likewise, why is it that Christians that I know have a hard time reconciling "Religion" with "god." (ie. my mom's quote from Einstein about "God" had nothing to do with religion, because Einstein didn't subscribe to any traditional religion).

Facebook has minimalized the word "friend."
If I knew you in high school, but I haven't spoken to you in the 14 years that I have been out, you probably aren't my friend. I have very few real friends.

I will continue to voice my heathenism on Facebook status updates, because I am one, and I hate christmas (as opposed to those who love Christ-mas)...the holidays have resurrected the infidel in me. I am not ashamed to be a non-believer.

What do you do, though, when you have "friends" who post this:

"Let's see how many people on f/b aren't ashamed to show their Love for God and admit that Jesus is their Savior. We need to get God back in America. If you are not ashamed copy and paste this in your status"

Dislike button, anyone? My only recourse was to ask if God lost his green card. I dunno.

So, with my first sporadic post (forgive me as I get back into the groove), I leave you with this bit of humor:

From: Pace, Stacy US-HSP
Sent: Monday, November 16, 2009 10:02 AM
To: Wang, Jennifer (US-HSP)
Subject: I've always wondered where he likes to party...

UPS Delivery Date / Time: 12-November-2009
Delivery Location: FRONT DESK
Signed by: JESUS

Shipment Detail

Ship To:

MGM GRAND-LAS VEGAS




From: Wang, Jennifer (US-HSP)
Sent: Monday, November 16, 2009
To: Pace, Stacy US-HSP
Subject: RE: I've always wondered where he likes to party...


NICE! Jesus <3’s> Sin City!




I am of peace, always.











Tuesday, November 17, 2009

1 year, 11 months, 14 days

...That's how long it has been since any of you have officially heard from the Stacy & Jared duo. What have we been doing? Let's see...

Stacy got a new job and a promotion a year later.
We moved into our house together.
We've played in probably over 500 games of poker and double that for scrabble.
We've watched every season of House.
We've watched every season of Dexter.
We've watched every season of Mad Men.
We've watched every season of Rescue Me.
Jared has beaten 6 different games on XBox 360.
We got a Wii, and we are obese.
We've had pee-wee football, pee-wee t-ball, youth soccer, and dance classes to attend.
Our kids have grown to almost-5, 7, and the dreaded 12.
Jared built a deck, 3 arbors, and a tree house in the back yard.
We have extricated 4 Crepe Myrtles from our property, and had a dead oak tree removed.
We've consumed approximately 14,000 oz of beer, 50 bottles of whiskey, 50 bottles of vodka, and 90 cases of redbull and diet coke.
We've been to Oklahoma, New Orleans, southern Mississippi, Los Angeles, Cabo San Lucas, and Cancun.
We've gotten a collective 6 new tattoos.
We've won over $600 in scratch-off lottery tickets.
We've taken guitar lessons and written our own lyrics to silly songs.
We've laid on the roof and looked at the stars thru standard binoculars.
We've read dozens of books, and listened to the 50-CD audio book of Atlas Shrugged.
We've done 98 New York Times Sunday Crossword puzzles.
We deleted our myspace accounts.
We opened facebook accounts.
Jared completed the new Cowboys Stadium project.
We've made new friends, and lost touch with old ones.
We've hung out with atheists and felt out of place (how is that possible?)

And now we're back, older, wiser, and as steady in our disbelief as we've ever been.
Looking forward to catching up, renewing our spot on blogrolls, and having blogger-comment conversations with people we wouldn't normally get to talk to.


Here's to Redux!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

God is a Traitor

Where do I start?

First of all let me say that this is a huge shock to my system. I spent my entire childhood thinking my beloved Cowboy franchise was “God’s Team”. Now He goes out and trades for a REDSKIN defensive back to fill His 'starting safety' position.

Well, God, let me tell You something! Free agency may have changed the way we view the National Football League today but YOU, sir/ma’am, have crossed the line this time.



Your loyalty is definitely in question now. You tell Jerry to pass on Randy Moss and his record 17 TDs in the 1998 draft – FOR CHARACTER REASONS – and now You pull this bonehead move? I mean, he was great, but a REDSKIN?!?

Unbelievable.


Hell, I didn't even KNOW you had your own franchise! I can tell you that Landry will not put up with this nonsense.


So, God – who did you replace at the position? I can only assume it’s this guy:

I'll tell you THIS -- You better leave T.O. and ROMO alone! Or else we're gonna close that hole in the roof so you can't watch anymore!

Friday, November 16, 2007

Big Fat Liars

I've not written in a while for a couple of reasons. One being that I broke my arm and it's hard to type without some sort of elbow support. The other is that I've just about realized the fruitlessness of debating theism, christianity, jesus, god, etc with theists because theists, especially christians (because of the sheer mass of christianity) are completely deluded by the biggest lie ever told in the history of the world.

Harsh? Maybe...but even as I explain this idea to you, you don't have the ability, capacity, or motivation to REALLY take it to heart and see it for what it is, for it would require you to admit your sheepishness and blind faith, and might even bring the walls of your life crumbling down. Scary.


Now I'm not going to rewrite the whole
book here, but I will quote a brief passage from the formerly linked review that I think sums it all up nicely (emphasis is mine)...
Harpur, formerly the religion editor of the Toronto Star and author of many books on faith subjects, believes that originally, there was one primal, central myth which emerged Undoubtedly in Egypt. All the other ancient sacred stories flow from there.

The big difference between the Jesus legacy and other mythological traditions like that of the Egyptian god Horus, was that devotees of the other religions never viewed their divinities as historical figures or their sacred stories as actual facts like Christians did.

The Pagan Christ is forthright in declaring that counter to precedent, Christianity launched a hostile takeover of the ancient salvation myths. Many early church fathers, in an attempt to declare exclusive rights to this mythological Jesus, made him an historical biblical person.

Once these ancient antecedents to Jesus were assimilated into what became Christianity, the pagans and their mythological sources were declared heretical. Since heretics and their books were determined to have no rights, they and their writings were viciously tracked down and eliminated by those who claimed to stand for the newly defined "orthodox" Christianity.
Does that interest you if you're a christian? It should. It should very much. To this day, I have a saying that resonates in my mind. It was spoken by Ed Young of Fellowship Church in Grapevine, Texas.

"If the resurrection isn't real or true, then we're all in trouble."

I can't cite a source on that because it's something I distinctly remember him saying in a sermon. I'd bet he said it more than once, only because it's so clear in my memory. I think that if most pastors were honest and forthright, they would have to agree with his statement. If they read Harpur's book, they'll find that they're in trouble.

Inertia. Fellow blogger how to live dot org has put that word into my mind. (These are my thoughts about the word.) If inertia is what drives your life, you might as well not be living. You're a robot. Christianity is inertia driven. Most religions are. Christianity isn't bold; it's just purported to be. Pastors and preachers are gifted speakers who are trained to pass on the message. You'd think they would understand the message in it's entirety before passing it along, but, like "ordinary folk" christians, they too are lead by blind faith.

The history of religion is fascinating. The parallels between Jesus and every other idol or god worshiped throughout history are astonishing, especially if you're someone who believes that Jesus was a real man who really lived and really died and really performed miracles and was really resurrected. Really.

Today's christianity is based on the lies of early priests and teachers. Jesus may have been a real man in history, but I don't think it's likely. I certainly don't think it's at all possible that he did everything that is ascribed to him in the gospels. If he did, we should consider him a clone of the Buddha. And Horace. And Dionysis. And Mithras. And Osiris. And Baal. And Krishna. And Thor. And others.

The good thing about Harpur's book is that it identifies christianity as a myth that has been retarded into a fact, and then goes to explain how even the myth is valuable, and how the "Christ within" is still a real and important concept. This book will not demolish your christian faith, but it may change the way you look at it.

I won't say any more as far is in this post. I'd love to discuss, but more than that I'd love to see people read Harpur's book. I think we got our copy at Barnes & Noble in the Christian section. You can find a link to it in the "Books We're Reading Now" section in the sidebar on this page. I plan to fully review the book soon, and I believe Jared does as well.


Iron Maiden Friday

It's Iron Maiden Friday, kiddos. Why? A world that needs a reason to rock out is not one in which I want to live.


You're welcome.