Monday, March 29, 2010

Let firebrands be firebrands, and to let diplomats be diplomats

Greta Christina, the popular lesbian atheist blogger has a great article titled ‘Good Cop, Bad Cop: Atheist Activism’. You can find it here: -


http://gretachristina.typepad.com/greta_christinas_weblog/2007/09/good-cop-bad-co.html


She also recently drew a very good comparison between the LGBT and atheist movement, here: -


http://gretachristina.typepad.com/greta_christinas_weblog/2010/02/what-can-the-atheist-movement-learn-from-the-gay-movement.html


Her basic advice is that atheists should encourage, ‘coming out’ as much as possible, but follow it up with support, not just on line, but by actually joining a freethought organization, going there and meeting new ‘out’ atheists.


The biggest downer she advises against is to ignore the non male, non white community. It’s excellent advice and worth the read. So, hug all atheists, but especially female, black, hispanic and aisian atheists. If you are a female, black, hispanic, or aisian atheist, then hug yourself. But not too much because you know every time you do, god kills a kitten.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Godless Evangelical Humour – Australian Style

The following is a link to a long email conversation between a ‘School Chaplain’ and a very sarcastic and hilarious parent in response to the below request.

http://www.27bslash6.com/easter.html

Trust me, if you enjoy laughter it’s worth the read.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

I’m On Another Blog!!!!!

My experience at the Westboro Baptist Church anti-protest is on Hemant Mehta’s blog, the Friendly Atheist. Check it out:

http://friendlyatheist.com/2010/03/20/peaceful-high-school-protest-against-westboro-baptist-church/

Friday, March 19, 2010

The Religious Just Don’t Get the First Amendment

On Thursday March 18th, Westboro Baptist Church protesters of ‘God Hate’s Fag’ fame were to picket a play at Dutchtown High School in Louisiana about the story of Matthew Shepard, a gay student who was brutally beaten and murdered in Laramie, Wyoming.



They didn’t show up… But 500 anti-protesters, including myself, did.


What was most amazing wasn’t merely the number of (mostly student) anti-protesters, but the sense of enjoyment, fun and frivolity that their signs portrayed. I applaud the brilliance of counteracting the hateful and nonsensical signs of “Fags Die, God Laughs”, “God Hates America”, “9-11 Gift from God”, “God Blew Up the Shuttle”, and “Pray for More Dead Soldiers”, with equally nonsensical but hilarious signs such as, “God Hates Signs”, “God Hates Homework”, “God is Lady Gaga”, “God Hates Fat Free Mayonnaise”, and “I was Promised Donuts”.



However, many of the anti-protesters didn’t get the point. Signs such as “God Bless Our Soldiers”, “Who Would Jesus Hate”, and “Love God, Love Your Neighbor”, legitimizes the Wesboro message as there’s just as much evidence for “God is Love”, as there is for “God Hates Fags”. The gay Big Easy Metropolitan Community Church lead by the Rev. Clinton Crawshaw were displaying logical and reasonable statements such as “Equality for All”. But this was NOT an event for logic and reason. The objective was to swamp the hateful Westboro message, one they’re fully entitled to make, with silliness, not an opportunity for debate.



The religious can’t help but take advantage of an opportunity to spread their religious beliefs of ‘stealth hate’ due to imposing their dogma of self loathing and dependence. Alas, even though I got the point and had nonsensical and funny statements, as a Godless Evangelist I also took advantage of the opportunity to make a ‘stealth hate’ dig at religion. See my pictures.



























Saturday, March 13, 2010

I’m Famous! Well, as Far as the Christian Fundies are Concerned

My Christian Funda-mental-ist friends made a video of me contradicting their vile message of “do as we do or be dammed” during Mardi Gras. I’m on YouTube here. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rVtByqYzKg4 (I love how they got my teeth showing on the video still.)

Notice we go on and on and on and…. about whether the holy babble say’s the world is flat or a sphere. They say “it’s in the book of Isaiah”. I assume they’re referring to Isaiah 40:22 which says:

(Isa 40:22 NRSV) It is he who sits above the circle of the earth, and its inhabitants are like grasshoppers; who stretches out the heavens like a curtain, and spreads them like a tent to live in;

The classic Christian argument is that the word “circle” implies sphere where anyone thats got past third grade could see that “circle” means “circle”. (I’ll pause for a while for the Christian fun-dim-mentalists amongst us to catch up.) Their excuse was that the Hebrew language didn’t have a word for sphere. However, there is a word for ball, that is used elsewhere, so wouldn’t that have been more appropriate than “circle”?

For an excellent in depth analysis of the babble’s flat earth philosophy go to http://www.goatstar.org/the-bibles-flat-earthsolid-sky-dome-universe/ .

Anyway, I have to admit the error of my ways… That is to get wrapped up in a useless meaningless argument with a bunch of common sense denialists. Their technique is to simply disagree with ‘everything’ to distract one from the obvious inanity and hurt of their religion. For example, see the following video.

video

I should learn to focus on religion’s problems such as instigating most wars, The Crusades, The Conquistadores, The Inquisition, condoning slavery, witch burning, oppression of women, (denying the right to choose while simultaneously opposing contraception), discrimination against gays, Priest child abuse, distortion of science, (imprisonment of Galileo, evolution denial, stem cell research, etc.), delusional ideas, (world created in seven days, Noah’s arc, born of a virgin, the resurrection and atonement), the right of death with dignity, anti-condoms even for disease prevention, and the child abuse of indoctrination and the threat of hell.

Did I miss anything?

Lastly, I’d like to point out that I resigned as one of the Directors of NOSHA due to personal reasons and also NOSHA, existing primarily for providing a community for free thinkers, was uncomfortable with ‘promoting’ atheism. As you can see, I don’t have that problem. I consider NOSHA to be an outstanding organization and thoroughly recommend anyone attending it’s monthly meetings. As it happens, Professor Peter J. Brancazio, author of The Bible From Cover to Cover, is presenting this month. Go to www.nosha.info for more information.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Godless Evangelism at the Highest Level

Sean Faircloth, the Executive Director of the Secular Coalition for America said that this is “Our Secular Decade” and has laid down his goals and tactics to achieve this end.

http://americanhumanist.org/HNN/details/2010-03-our-secular-decade-goals-and-tactics-of-the-nontheist

These include: -

1. Expand our issue base;
2. Increase our lobbying efforts in Washington;
3. Produce communications materials that connect emotionally;
4. Engage in more robust networking of secular and nontheist Americans;
5. Undertake a "50-state strategy" in which we spark a grassroots effort leading to active volunteer advocacy networks in all fifty states before December 2019;
6. Seek out the "apatheistic" and the functionally secular, expand outreach to women and younger people and bring our message to other potentially sympathetic groups, such as scientists, libertarians and LGBT nontheists (this effort will increase membership for our ten member organizations and strengthen our coalition);
7. Hold a secular policy summit that is narrowly tailored to policy and leadership strategy; and
8. Institute an internship program on Capitol Hill.

I personally don’t have any problems with these steps as my motto is “over, around, under, and through” as far as Spreading the Word of Reason.

I particularly liked his pep talk like statement at the end: -

This is our decade. 2010 is an exciting year, but 2019 will be even better because we will have achieved the secular goals that we have set for ourselves today. We believe strongly in a rational worldview, and our compassion and decency mandated by that worldview leaves no one out--even those with whom we disagree. This plan will lead Secular Americans to our rightful national leadership role.

Sean Faircloth and me at the NOSHA Banquit, New Orleans, September 18th, 2009.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Religious - No Longer a Protected Class

The following comment by Daniel Dennett appeared in the Washington Post on January 12th, 2010. I think it not only says it all but is an indicator that godless evangelism is making headway.

Q: Is there widespread media bias against Christianity? Against evangelicals such as Brit Hume and Sarah Palin? Against public figures who speak openly and directly about their faith? Against people who believe as you do?

There is no media bias against Christianity. If it appears to some people that there is, it is probably because after decades of hyper-diplomacy and a generally accepted mutual understanding that religion was not to be criticized, we have finally begun breaking through that taboo and are beginning to see candid discussions of the varieties of religious folly in American life. Activities that would be condemned by all if they were not cloaked in the protective mantle of religion are beginning to be subjected to proper scrutiny.
There is still a lot to accomplish however. We need to change the prevailing assumptions in the same way that public opinion has been reversed on drunk driving. When I was young, drunk drivers tended to be excused because, after all, they were drunk! Today, happily, we hold them doubly culpable for any misdeeds they commit while under the influence.
I look forward to the day when violence done under the influence of religious passion is considered more dishonorable, more shameful, than crimes of avarice, and is punished accordingly, and religious leaders who incite such acts are regarded with the same contempt that we reserve for bartenders who send dangerously disabled people out onto the highways.
I also look forward to the day when pastors who abuse the authority of their pulpits by misinforming their congregations about science, about public health, about global warming, about evolution must answer to the charge of dishonesty. Telling pious lies to trusting children is a form of abuse, plain and simple. If quacks and bunko artists can be convicted of fraud for selling worthless cures, why not clergy for making their living off unsupported claims of miracle cures and the efficacy of prayer? The double standard that exempts religious activities from almost all standards of accountability should be dismantled once and for all. I don't see bankers or stockbrokers wringing their hands because the media is biased against them; they know that their recent activities have earned them an unwanted place in the spotlight of public attention and criticism, and they get no free pass, especially given their power. Religious leaders and apologists should accept that since their institutions are so influential in American life, we have the right to hold their every move up to the light. If they detect that the media are giving them a harder time today than in the past, that is because the bias that protected religion from scrutiny is beginning to dissolve. High time.

Why isn’t the DMV, “GODLESS”?

I moved to Louisiana from California early 2007 and duly registered my car in my new home state. There’s a Department of Motor Vehicles website, http://www.expresslane.org/, where Louisianans can request a personalized license plate. The requested wording of the customized plate can be typed in and it immediately lets you know if the plate is available or if it is considered “inappropriate”.

I typed in the following personalized license plates and found that they had been taken and were therefore presently driving the roads of Louisiana. GOD4ME, ME4GOD, 4GOD, ALL4GOD, GOD4ALL, GO2GOD, 1WTHGOD, LOVEGOD, GOD4U, GOD, 4JESUS, JESUS4U, JESUS, CHRIST, and many more I’m sure. I just ran out of ideas. I’ve been an atheist all my life and coming from the very un-religious England to the very religious Louisiana, I thought I’d have some fun. I typed in, GODLESS, saw that it was available, and filed the application.

I received the following short email: -

“Your plate request cannot be approved.”

This made the secular hares on the back of my neck stand up. “Is this not blatant bias on the side of religion by the government run Department of Motor Vehicles of Louisiana, and therefore a violation of the Establishment Clause in the First Amendment and the Louisiana Constitution” I hear you cry? Bearing in mind the enactment of the Louisiana Science Education Act which is effectively a back-door attempt to include creationism in the science curricula, I’m sure the DMV’s answer would be, “Yes… so what’s your point?”

I wrote back to the DMV explaining the inequality of the situation. I also mentioned that I was a member of NOSHA. To my surprise, and I must admit, a little disappointment that the fight was over so soon, I received the following email: -

Your request for the prestige plate, "GODLESS", has been reconsidered and will be approved.

So, I’ve paid my SIXTY FIVE BUCKS, and after waiting the required SIXTEEN WEEKS, (I guess that’s par for the course for a government organization), I recieved my GODLESS plate. Three cheers for NOSHA and also for, if not a separation of church and state, at least equal treatment for theist and non theist alike. One would have hoped that all government organizations would be secular, but from the license plates stated above, that ship has long sailed.

I’d like to throw down the gauntlet to my fellow freethinkers and ask them to apply for similar theistically un-flattering license plates. You don’t have to buy them; just push the edges of the DMV’s religious tolerance envelope.

Some relatively tame and cryptic ideas are, OVERGOD, 4GETGOD, (forget god), ENUFGOD, (enough god), WHY GOD, Y JESUS, YY4 GOD, (too wise for god), 26E4GOD, (too sexy for god), 2QT4GOD, (too cute for god), GOD LOL, (god, laugh out load). Some more radical plates could read, I H8GOD, GODH8R, H8JESUS, H8FAITH, GODSBAD, GOD SUX, MAD GOD, CRZYGOD, CYCOGOD, DAMNGOD. Some suggestions that would probably be rejected on the grounds of vulgarity are are, FAWQGOD, FCK GOD, 4Q GOD, FU GOD, GOD WTF, (god, what the f***), GOD BFD, (god, big f****** deal), DOGKCUF, (read it backwards), but, what the hell?… I mean heck.

Or, if you can perform miracles, like getting the DMV to do the right thing, how about, I AM GOD?

Friendly Atheist Blog Appearance

My Mardi Gras activities are also on Hemant Mehta’s blog, friendlyatheist.com. Check them out at: -

http://friendlyatheist.com/2010/03/01/atheist-hits-the-streets-of-new-orleans-during-mardi-gras/