Tag Archives: anti-religion

No, you can’t kill your children

10 Oct

Two parents just let their 11 year old daughter die of diabetes. The judge gave them 6 months in jail and 10 years probation….. I don’t know about you, but this makes me furious. What did these parents do to help their child? They prayed. Prayed to their non existent god and the child died because instead of getting her medical treatment, they did nothing.

Parents should not be allowed to withhold life saving medical treatment from their children. I don’t care what your religion is, the child is below the age of making rational judgments, and therefore should not be put to death because of the parent’s beliefs. “Oh, but they’re good people!” No! They are not! They murdered their daughter in the name of cave man myths!

This girl had her entire life before her, she had so much potential, but all that will never be realized because her parents made the decision to let her die rather than go to a hospital where doctors could have saved her life. And the girl had no choice in this….

Sometimes I wish I had a religion

27 May

Sometimes I wish I had a religion, just to be able to claim all the crap modern religions do. For example, there is a scene in Angels and Demons where one of the Vatican police officers warns Robert Langdon to watch his tongue inside the holy Vatican city. Sometimes I wish I had a religion so I could do that. Imagine, being able to tell religious people that they must hold their tongues and be respectful inside a science museum! Damn that would feel good.

But unfortunately science doesn’t work like that. Science by nature wants you to question! Religions ask you to hold your tongue.

I wish that I could have special holidays that I could take off class/work, with party napkins and special cards, along with sales and “Happy _________” signs.

It would be nice to just  demand blanket respect for my views, and my restrictions on criticizing me put into law. I’d be nice to claim a monopoly on morality and influence the government to enact policies we deem acceptable. It’d be nice to have my faith on the currency and in the pledge too.

It’d be nice to have a list of holy sites and symbols, along with old and sometimes secretive orders. All this would be awesome. Especially the respect and influencing law part.

The OIC

22 Apr

Hey everybody, sorry I’ve been gone for so long. It’s the end of the semester and I’ve been extremely busy. I just thought I’d share a little work I’ve been doing. I had to give a presentation today in my comparative religions class on freedom of speech vs religion. As some of you might know, the Organization of the Islamic Conference is pushing an anti-blasphemy measure through the UN, trying to make it binding. The OIC is made up of 56 member countries. To get an idea of the type of people who are pushing this, I looked up every single country on the Human Development Index. The HDI ranks countries by life expectancy, literacy, educational attainment, and GDP per capita. Basically, the closer to #1 you are, the better life is in your country. Here is the list of all the members of the OIC and where they stand on the ranking:

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HDI out of 179

1st Quarter

27 Brunei 0.919

29 Kuwait 0.912

31 United Arab Emirates 0.903

32 Bahrain 0.902

34 Qatar 0.899

2nd Quarter

52 Libya 0.840

53 Oman 0.839

55 Saudi Arabia 0.835

63 Malaysia 0.823

69 Albania 0.807

71 Kazakhstan 0.807

76 Turkey 0.798

78 Lebanon 0.796

85 Iran 0.777

90 Suriname 0.770

3rd Quarter

91 Jordan 0.769

95 Tunisia 0.762

97 Azerbaijan 0.758

99 Maldives 0.749

100 Algeria 0.748

105 Syria 0.736

106 Palestine 0.731

107 Gabon 0.729

108 Turkmenistan 0.728

109 Indonesia 0.726

110 Guyana 0.725

116 Egypt 0.716

119 Uzbekistan 0.701

122 Kyrgyzstan 0.694

124 Tajikistan 0.684

126 Iraq 0.583

127 Morocco 0.646

4th Quarter

137 Comoros 0.572

138 Yemen 0.567

139 Pakistan 0.562

140 Mauritania 0.557

146 Sudan 0.526

147 Bangladesh 0.524

150 Cameroon 0.514

151 Djibouti 0.513

153 Senegal 0.502

154 Nigeria 0.499

156 Uganda 0.493

159 Togo 0.479

160 Gambia 0.471

161 Benin 0.459

166 Côte d’Ivoire 0.431

167 Guinea 0.423

168 Mali 0.391

170 Chad 0.389

171 Guinea-Bissau 0.383

173 Burkina Faso 0.372

174 Niger 0.370

175 Mozambique 0.366

179 Afghanistan 0.345

179Sierra Leone 0.329

Somalia 0.284

So, as you can see, the lion share of the countries pushing this are hell holes, a lot of them with human rights violations…..

White Jesus

31 Mar

The other day in religion class we watched “Jesus of Nazareth.” Something that caught my attention was just how white and European Jesus looked. Now I was raised as a christian, and every picture of Jesus that I had seen while growing up was of his as white and blue eyed.

white jesus 1white jesus 2

The movie took this to a new level, making his eyes glow blue. It was as if he was radiating white blue eyed-ness, like some subtle Nazi master race propaganda.

white jesus 3Blue eyes is a genetic characteristic native to Europe and sometimes Northern Africa, not the middle east where Jesus is from. People in the middle east would also have had a darker skin tone, something more akin to olive, not Caucasian white. And don’t forget, Jesus was a jew, so he would have had their genetic characteristics as well.

Not the wonderful white savior you thought eh? There is an interesting article on how they came up with the above likeness of Jesus here.

The BS idea of “secular society” in America

24 Feb

I hear the phrase “secular society” thrown around a lot. Usually the people I hear using it are saying it with a tone of disgust in their voice, as if the secular society was keeping their religion from breathing easy, free from scrutiny or any kind of restraints.

So what exactly is a secular society? Well when I asked google to define it, all it did was point me to ” Consumer Behavior: Building Marketing Strategy“, a textbook. According to the textbook, a secular society is

“A society where the educational system, government, and political process are not controlled by a religious group, and most people’s daily behaviors are not guided by strict religious guidelines.”

So does America fit that profile? Sorta. Currently the educational system in this country is under attack by the “Intelligunt [sic] Design” people, or christian creationists in wolves’ clothing. Instead of teaching our children critical thinking skills, they rather have them stop questioning, give up, and say “god did it.” They purposely misuse the word “theory” and have no testable hypothesis of their own….but I digress….

As for the government and the political process, while they aren’t official theocracies like Iran, religion plays a big role, especially since the days of the Reagan administration. While Article VI section 3 of the U.S. Constitution clearly states “no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States” none the less, religious tests specifically baring Atheists were written into the state constitutions of Arkansas, Maryland, Texas, Massachusetts, North Carolina, South Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Tennessee.  While the 14th amendment to the Constitution also prohibits these, it is damn near impossible for an Atheist to get elected to public office if they are open about their Atheism. (Only 1 congressman is openly Atheist, Rep. Pete Stark (D-Calif.) and I doubt he was openly Atheist when he was running)

According to a study done by the University of Minnesota in 2006, Atheists are the least trusted group in American society…..our “secular society”…. Perhaps the bible should read “It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for an Atheist to to get elected in America.

The funny thing about this “secular society” is that the majority of the people who make up society aren’t secular. According to the CIA World Fact Book , 84% of the country is religious, and of that 84%, 78.5% is christian! Of that 78.5%, over a full third go to church every Sunday!

The scary thing is that the Republican Party has been taken over by the christian right. Slowly ever since the Reagan years the christian right has infiltrated the party, moving it farther and farther into the right. We just go over 8 years of an Evangelical christian president, arguably one of the worst presidents in history. Just this past election season Gov. Sarah Palin, another christian fundamentalist, ran for vice president. Had McCain been elected, she would have been a heart beat away from running the most powerful nation on earth……this coming from a person who doesn’t believe in evolution, thinks the world is only 6,000 years old, and that the Iraq war is “God’s will“…. Even scarier, this woman, if you can call her that (her view’s about a woman’s rights are atrocious) isn’t going away any time soon. Something tells me she’ll be back. “Huckabee/Palin 2012″…..*shudders*

So what is “secular” in this “secular society”? Well the courts perhaps. They do require empirical evidence before they convict someone of a crime, and until then the people making the charge/claim have the burden of proof….so I guess that’s secular. You can’t really just walk in as say “I have faith that the defendant is guilty!” That type of reasoning might work with the religious, but not in the real world. Unfortunately, the same christian right that has taken over the Republican party has slowly been working to “infiltrate the profession [of lawyers and judges]” as the bigot Jerry Falwell pointed out when talking about “liberty” “university’s” “law” “school”.

The same logic and reasoning behind requiring observable evidence is the cornerstone of science, so I guess that makes science secular too. (But not if the ID idiots have their way) Science is everywhere in our society…well almost. It’s given you everything you use, from the computer you’re reading this on, to the fiber in your clothes, to your car, house, electricity, and medicine that makes you feel better and can even save your life. Yet nobody remembers that when they’re trashing our “secular society.”

Atheists and leading a proper life….

20 Feb

So today I had a short confrontation with my religions professor. After class she made a comment about how not believing in god gives you license to do whatever you want. I pointed out that this was not true, and wrote her the following letter, pointing out statistics of Atheists in prison, and divorce rates, along with religiosity’s correlation to the Human Development Index. The only license not believing in god gives you is the license to sleep in on Sunday….

Here it is:

Religion                                    % of Divorce
Jews                                                     30%
Born-Again Christians                 27%
Other Christians                             24%
Atheist/Agnostic                           21%

Source: http://www.religioustolerance.org/chr_dira.htm

As for the prison statistics: (in 2001)

76.6% – Christian                                                <———*
19.1% – No Religion/Refused to Answer
1.3% – Jewish                                                     <———-
0.7% – Other/Not Specified
0.5% – Muslim/Islamic                                         <———-
0.5% – Buddhist
0.4% – Atheist                                                    <———-*
0.3% – Hindu
0.05% – Native American
0.04% – Bahai
0.027% – Sikh
0.026% – Scientology
0.01% – Santeria
0.005% – Rastafarian

Source: American Religious Identification Survey, The Graduate Center, New York            http://www.gc.cuny.edu/faculty/research_briefs/aris/key_findings.htm

If you remember, one class I pointed out that there was a correlation between countries with low religiosity, and higher scores on the Human Development Index. I was referring to as study done by Dr. Phil Zuckerman, professor of sociology at Pitzer College in California. Here is his article about his study:

http://www.secularhumanism.org/index.php?section=library&page=pzuckerman_26_5

It is pretty long, so here are some excerpts:

“If this often-touted religious theory were correct-that a turning away from God is at the root of all societal ills-then we would expect to find the least religious nations on earth to be bastions of crime, poverty, and disease and the most religious nations to be models of societal health. A comparison of highly irreligious countries with highly religious countries, however, reveals a very different state of affairs. In reality, the most secular countries-those with the highest proportion of atheists and agnostics-are among the most stable, peaceful, free, wealthy, and healthy societies. And the most religious nations-wherein worship of God is in abundance-are among the most unstable, violent, oppressive, poor, and destitute.”

“The 2004 United Nations’ Human Development Report, which ranks 177 countries on a “Human Development Index,” measures such indicators of societal health as life expectancy, adult literacy, per-capita income, educational attainment, and so on. According to this report, the five top nations were Norway, Sweden, Australia, Canada, and the Netherlands. All had notably high degrees of organic atheism. Furthermore, of the top twenty-five nations, all but Ireland and the United States were top-ranking non-believing nations with some of the highest percentages of organic atheism on earth. Conversely, the bottom fifty countries of the “Human Development Index” lacked statistically significant levels of organic atheism.”

“Concerning international poverty rates, the United Nations Report on the World Social Situation (2003) found that, of the forty poorest nations on earth (measured by the percentage of population that lives on less than one dollar a day), all but Vietnam were highly religious nations with statistically minimal or insignificant levels of atheism.”

“Regarding homicide rates, Oablo Fajnzylber et al., in a study reported in the Journal of Law and Economics (2002), looked at thirty-eight non-African nations and found that the ten with the highest homicide rates were highly religious, with minimal or statistically insignificant levels of organic atheism. Conversely, of the ten nations with the lowest homicide rates, all but Ireland were secular nations with high levels of atheism”

“In sum, countries with high rates of organic atheism are among the most societally healthy on earth, while societies with nonexistent rates of organic atheism are among the most destitute. The former nations have among the lowest homicide rates, infant mortality rates, poverty rates, and illiteracy rates and among the highest levels of wealth, life expectancy, educational attainment, and gender equality in the world.”

As you can see, lack of god does not lead to free tickets to commit whatever crimes you want. If you recall, earlier in class I pointed out that the 10 commandments did not make killing, stealing, lying, and adultery wrong, they were wrong before they were ever written down in stone. Dr. Richard Dawkins goes into the evolutionary reasons for morality in his books “The God Delusion” and “The selfish gene”.  To save you a trip to the library I found a very short video of Dawkins explaining evolution’s role in shaping humanity’s innate moral.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qCL63d66frs

I’d also have to ask, if hypothetically life without god gives a person license to do anything, why don’t we see Atheists flying planes into buildings, or bombing abortion clinics, or stealing millions from gullible people like televangelists, or going on shooting sprees through the mall?

Anti-religion gone too far….

14 Feb

The other day an Atheist friend of mine told me about a friend of his who goes around pulling up crosses off of the highway. You know, the little white crosses placed by family members of someone who died there…That makes me sick. Religion gets on my nerves, but he has no right to do that. It’s so disrespectful to the family. Government placed religious monuments on public land is one thing, but personal crosses for a dead loved one? Give me a break….

An atheist’s lament

3 Feb

I’m an Atheist extremist. I guess there is no way around it. I think I might be crazy. If I’m not crazy then I must be wrong. At least that’s what everyone around me seems to be telling me. I don’t know what to do, I feel like a teenager again. People are telling me I’m wrong for reasons I can’t understand. What I think and believe seem common sense enough to me, but for some reason unknown to me, everything I think is apparently wrong.

My dream would be a world without religion, but I know that won’t happen any time soon. People on-line excluded, I’m the only person I know who really dislikes religion. I know other Atheists, but none of them are anti-religionists too. They just don’t seem to think religion is a negative, or don’t care.

I feel like the only one who looks around and sees all this bad shit that is happening in the world directly because of religion, but everyone else around me wants to just wants to ignore it all together. There were old men passing out bibles today outside my cafeteria. They weren’t even full bibles, only the new testament. I got really mad at them and when they offered me one I told them, “No thanks, fairy tales are for kids…” Am I the only one who gets upset at the idea of them filling people’s head with nonsense and superstition? Perhaps I’m just an evil asshole.

Sometimes I wish I could be religious. Sometimes I wish I could just give in and stop thinking. It would feel so nice to belong for once. To not be screamed at, have bumper stickers stolen, or to be given dirty looks. I really hate feeling like an outcast 24/7. Everywhere I look I see religion. It’s constantly in my face, and thus I am constantly reminded that I am socially unacceptable. It’s ok to pass out bibles, but it’s not ok to pass out copies of “The god Delusion.” Why? Why is it not ok? Because Atheists are wrong? Evil? Surely some flavor of the two. Sometimes I really hate being an Atheist…..

What are atheists to do?

23 Jan

Recently there have been some high profile consciousness raising efforts by Atheists, namely the Atheist sign in the Washington state capitol next to a nativity scene, Atheist billboard campaigns on busses and subway trains, and an attempt to keep “so help me god” from being said during the inauguration of president Obama. Someone in a forum I visit said “Don’t they see, this just makes people hate them even more…”

Well what are we supposed to do? Sit down and shut up? I’m sure they’d like that very much, if we’d just stop causing trouble and go away. But we can’t. Not when we’re treated as second class citizens in a nation that was clearly established with the separation of church and state. We can’t shut up and go away when the beliefs of 1st century tent dwellers are being used to try and legislate people’s medical choices. Not when people are flying planes into buildings or blowing up abortion clinics.

No, we won’t get any closer to our goals of a healthy, secular society by sitting down and doing nothing, yet I don’t know what we’re supposed to do if everything else just makes people hate us more….

Two years as an atheist, a reflection.

22 Jan

I don’t have the date written down, but sometime in the middle of January two years ago I officially decided I was an Atheist. It’s been a very interesting and difficult two years.

Before I realized I was an Atheist, religion didn’t take up much of my daily thought process, now it’s something I think about almost constantly. It’s been a stressor for the most part. The constant feelings of being a second class citizen, distrusted by the majority, hated by a good block of people, it’s difficult when you think about it and see it all the time.

I think this is were a religious person might suggest that I lie to myself, to feel better. How typical. Trying to fake something I’m not isn’t going to make me feel any better, in fact, knowing that I’m lying to myself would make me feel worse.

No, on the whole, I’m actually much happier as an Atheist. As a teenager, the same time I was extremely depressed was the same time I was extremely religious. Coincidentally, now that I’ve let go of the idea of god, I’ve been all and all happier. I know I’m responsible for my own actions and I can influence what path my life takes. It’s true freedom and control.

In the past two years I’ve also had a redistribution of my energies. Right before I became an Atheist I was extremely political. Unable to vote, yet I followed politics avidly. I went to the local democrats meetings, volunteered in campaigns, waged yard sign wars, the works. It was good fun and I met some interesting people.

My first year of college I almost became a political science major instead of a history major because I was toying with the idea of pursuing a career in politics. Perhaps not running, but working on campaigns. That whole house of cards came crashing down when after the 2006 elections nothing big changed. The democrats were still spineless and unwilling to stand up to Bush. I was really devastated and disillusioned about politics.

Luckily, at the same time I was learning about Atheism, and my energy shifted. I guess I have a thing for picking seemingly hopeless causes. I guess I like the underdog. Any who is the most distrusted minority for no good reason in the world? Atheists.

In those two years I’ve lost friends and made friends because of Atheism. I’ve gotten into multiple fights with family members and proselytizers over Atheism. I’ve joined online secular communities, printed various bumper stickers, and accumulated a nice little Atheist bookshelf. I was also lucky enough to meet a beautiful woman who happened to be an Atheist, though of a lighter, happier flavor than I.

The hardest part about the two years has got to be the feeling of alienation. Yes, the online communities help, but they can only do so much. Religion is still everywhere I go. I literally can’t get through the day without hearing about it or seeing it, and being reminded that I’m an infidel, an outsider, different. I’m trying to get over the rage I’ve developed but it’s hard. Just constantly having that in my face makes me so angry. Just all the ridiculousness, credulity, ignorance, stupidity, it makes me gag.

Despite all this, I guess it’s been a good two years. I have a much better appreciation for life and my fellow human beings than I did when I was a believer. I can also take pride in knowing that I have scientific, repeatable, provable evidence to support my beliefs, something no believer can claim.

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