Tag Archives: catholic

Atheist resistance

20 Apr

So living in Lynchburg Virginia, home of “9/11 is god’s punishment ” Jerry Falwell and his penitentiary of brainwashing and bullshit, “Liberty” “university”, religious stuff is all over town. Every other car either has a LU sticker, the christian fish magnet, or “Not I, but Christ” sticker. The local stores are also almost entirely owned by the LU octopus. Falwall and his ilk even have their own section in walmart that sells only LU gear, along with religious books.

So as a way to stay sane and get some cheap thrills, I engage in a little Atheist resistance. First up is my car. When you’re stopped at a red light, that’s your 30 second chance to get a message out to the three cars behind you. (Assuming you’re in the middle lane)

I love these things. I change them out every so often, depending on what’s pissing me off that week. Sometimes it’s political, like pro-choice signs (which are a real hit in the area ~_^), but most of the time it’s religious. Currently I’m blasting the catholic church for their 2000 yr + child pedophilia scandal.

I figure the “liberty” kids in Lynchburg are constantly confined to their nice little clean bubble of rich, white, conservative christian fanatics, it’d be nice to jar them out of their comfort zone and make them realize they’re not the only game in town. If I have to sit in traffic and put up with their stupid signs, they can suffer my 1st amendment rights to mine. Yeah, some could argue that it might look a little trashy, but if nobody stands up and says something, they’ll think that everyone is just like them, and thus their beliefs will be all the further reinforced.

Secondly is pamphlets. In Lynchburg there are pamphlets all around. The LU kids stuff them inside beer cases, leave them in shops, in mailboxes, on dining tables, under your windshield wipers, everywhere. I’ve put a few of them up here on my blog, and they all say the same thing: You’re a rotten person that’s going to burn in hell forever unless you buy our product. So I decided to make my own. Here is one that I’m currently circulating:



I can’t make the picture any bigger, so incase you can’t read it, the outside when you first open it just says something like “Hey, you’re ok the way you are, you’re not a sinner, nor are you damned to some eternal punishment.” Then it goes on about how the pamphlet isn’t trying to get them to join anything, or give any money, unlike other religious pamphlets. The inside just asks 20 simple questions to get people thinking about their faith critically.

I get a real rush putting out these pamphlets. I have to be all ninja like so I don’t get caught. Sometimes I’ll sit down at a table with my stuff, wait a few minutes, and get up, conveniently forgetting to take the pamphlet with me. I love to put these in the religious books sections of book stores, there I can really hit my target audience.

The bumper stickers in the car give me a bit of a thrill, but not so much as sneaking around with pamphlets. I guess I just feel safer with a physical barrier between me and them. Though I have been honked at, shouted at, and flicked off before while sitting at a red light. (How christian, eh?) There have been times when I’ve nervously expected a bullet to come through the glass behind me and kill me, or for my car to be rammed, or for someone to throw something at my windshield. That’s all a thrill too, though it does make me wonder about my opponents when I have to worry about being physically attacked and they don’t. What do you think that says about them?

Why get dressed up for church?

11 Apr

Growing up I hated having to get dressed nice early every Sunday morning for church. I would ask my mom why we had to get so fancy just for church and she would reply with something along the lines of “we have to look nice for god.”

At the time that made sense to me, but now, looking back, it’s not very convincing. Why does it matter to god if we get dressed up all fancy? He already knows how pious or impious we are in our hearts; fancy clothes aren’t going to fool him.

The reason everyone gets all dressed up for church is simple. It’s a display of wealth. For the longest time, church has not only been about religion, but it was the main social gathering. In ye olden days, people would go there to socialize, gossip, and meet potential spouses. Church was where you were most public, where you wanted to show your status in the community.

Religious leaders are no exception. The most obvious example of ridiculous wealth being used as a display of status is the Catholic Church.

Need I say more? (And yeah, that’s the extreme end of the spectrum, but there still is a lot of gold in regular catholic churches)

Now,  a big part of the protestant reformation was aimed against exactly this kind of opulence and shameless display of wealth. While most protestant churches are definitely much simpler and plain than catholic ones, they don’t get off the hook completely.

Mark 10:25 It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God

The Rape of the Virgin Mary

15 Feb

Rape is non-consensual sexual activity. If a man or a woman does not give consent, then it is rape. (Same if they are unable to give consent, like drunk or passed out)

In the annunciation god just announces to Mary that she is pregnant.

Luke 1:26-35

26 In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, 27 to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28 The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.”

29 Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. 30 But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. 31 You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end.”

34 “How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?”

35 The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called [a] the Son of God.

There was no asking Mary “Hey, do you consent to this?”, she had no choice, god just knocked her up and told her afterwards.

I can foresee people saying “Oh, but she was fine with it! How can it be rape if she’s ok with it?” Simple. Did she consent to being impregnated before she was impregnated? No. Then it’s rape. It does not matter if she is ok with it afterwards. I know a girl here at college that was drugged and raped by a guy she liked. She refused to press charges afterwards because she thought he was “a nice guy” but that does not change the fact that she was raped. Just like Mary.

Atheism is not Intellectual?

6 Feb

My girlfriend made a comment the other day that Atheism just wasn’t that interesting. Now I probably misunderstood her, but I’ve heard someone else say that there isn’t much to Atheism, not much to talk about. Somebody once told me that they didn’t see much point to Atheist forums where Atheists could gather and talk about Atheism. He imagine forum would be limited to “Hey, I don’t believe in god(s)” “Really? Cool, me too!” <end conversation/> There is plenty to talk about in Atheist forums and blogs (just look how long mine is and I still haven’t run out of things to talk about)

But yes, there is nothing more to Atheism than a lack of belief in the supernatural. I believe this simplicity is one of Atheism’s greatest strengths. Keep It Simple, Stupid!. There are no great mysteries of Atheism, no “problem of evil”, no dogmatic disputes, no rival denominations.(And that’s just a few, and only withing Christianity!)

There are so many topics in religion that just don’t make sense and/or don’t fit with reality, so many “mysteries of god”. Religion has developed a long tradition of trying to reconcile these differences. People from St. Augustine, to Martin Luther, to Paul Tillich have spent their entire lives working like lawyers on these problems, trying to rationalize any explanation. Volumes and volumes have been written on mysteries of faith, the trinity, the virgin birth, creation, etc. There are entire universities devoted to turning out theologians to tackle these problems.

There is none of that in Atheism. Atheism doesn’t need it. If you take the supernatural out of the picture, everything just works.

Now some might point out the strong “intellectual” history of religion in trying to solve their problems and say that since Atheism does not have these problems, Atheism lacks an intellectual tradition. That it is this tradition that makes religion “interesting”. Well, yes and no. Unlike theists, Atheists don’t spend time trying to workout the intricacies of Atheism. (There are no intricacies) If you look at all the Atheist books ever publish, like Dawkins, Hitchens, Harris, Dennett, etc, you will find that they deal with Atheist responses to theists.

While Atheism does not have an intellectual history of dealing with ultimately superfluous problems, it does have a history of intellectuals.  Here is something to think about. 93% of Scientists in the American National Academy of Sciences are Atheists. 97% of Royal Society fellows are Atheists. Now, is there a reason the vast majority of Ultra intelligent people are Atheists? Turns out there is a correlation. Dr. Richard Lynn, a researcher at the University of Ulster carried out an extensive study spanning 137 countries and found that the more intelligent you are, the more likely you are to be an Atheist. The reverse of that meaning the less intelligent you are the more likely you are religious.

Now I’m not saying religious people are all stupid or unintelligent. Many religious people are intelligent. (Just not as many as there are intelligent Atheists) People can find was to compartmentalize and rationalize anything. The intelligent religious are doing just that.

So yeah, Atheism might not have any “interesting” problems or internal debates, but it sure is interesting discussing how theists are affecting the world, and what Atheism’s response should be.

I got to talk to christians today

21 Oct

A little while ago I talked about a “skeptic’s group” hosted at my college by the Lynchburg Christian Fellowship in this kinda irate post. The entire day I was extremely nervous, not because I wasn’t sure in my reasoning or arguments, but because I hate confrontation.

I came up with a list of questions and walked into the place with my stomach in knots expecting a fight. The group consisted of myself, the pastor and his friend, an agnostic girl who was curious about christianity and helped organize this, and another guy who’s having a little trouble figuring everything out.

To my surprise, the place was much more relaxed than I thought it would be. I don’t think they figured out I wasn’t a believer into about 40 minutes into the session. Even after that they seemed pretty nice. If anyone is wondering, no I didn’t get converted :-p Not in the least. I think the best thing I took away from it was being able to interact in a friendly way with people who I completely disagree. Most of the interactions I have with christians, well, talking with them about religion, is on the internet, and that changes he discussion a little.

The main problem I had was that they kept deflecting my questions and not answering them. The pastor kept talking about how “well logic might say X, but we can’t really go with logic here”….. Logic is wrong? Really? <sigh>

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.

An Atheist’s take on Angels and Demons

15 May

*Spoiler Warning*

So I must admit up front that I didn’t read either of the books, just watched the movies. I went with some friends to see it this morning at midnight. It was kind of spur of the moment really, I was going to go see Star Trek with them, but we missed the movie time and decided to see this instead. I was really kind of nervous to see it with them considering how one of the friends I was with is EXTREMELY religious (albeit protestant).

I had a few fears entering the movie, namely that A) the movie would demonize Atheists and scientists (which looking back on it was a completely silly fear) and B) that Tom Hanks would “find god” by the end of the movie and stop being an Atheist, because we all know Atheists eventually come to their senses /sarcasm.

As the movie progressed, I started to think fear A was coming true. The “evil” illuminati Atheists were kidnapping and killing cardinals, and threatening to blow up Rome. I was really distraught, I kept thinking to myself “No! Humanists like the illuminati don’t do this shit! We don’t do the crap the religious do to eachother!” Needless to say, I was very happy at the end of the movie when it was revealed that the whole “scientists are trying to kill us and blow up the city” thing was really an inside job by Camerlengo Patrick McKenna (Ewan McGregor)

I was also happy that Tom Hanks didn’t “come to god” at the end of the movie. I can’t tell you how much shit like that irratates me. Atheists and skeptics are always villified in movies. In horror movies, the skeptic is usually killed off first, as punishment for not believing in the supernatural thing out to kill him, or eventually comes to believe in the ridiculous just like all the other characters. In none horror movies, they usually are “shown the light” and abandon their Atheists views by the end of the movie. (Like “I am Legend”)

So who wins? Religion or Atheism?

2 May

So in the great debate who wins? Religion or Atheism? Which makes a stronger case? Well obviously I side with Atheism, but why, when many more people side with religion.

Religion has no evidence to back up its claim that god(s) exist. The religious argue that surely we must have come from somewhere (see Unmoved Mover), but then make a completely unwarranted exception for god when someone asks where he/she/it came from, thus making the logic ad hoc. (The above link has a list of just about every argument for the existence of god(s) and rebuttals)

The religious also argue that things look designed, and therefore they are designed, presumably by their choice god who then takes a keen interest in his creation’s daily lives. Yet science has consistently debunked this idea:

(The “Made Easy” series has a LOT of really great educational videos that explain all types of scientific things on youtube.com, just search for them)

Religion also relies on its position of authority. Many of the religious were raised by religious parents, who in turn were raised by their religious parents. To them belief in god(s) is just natural, something they were raised with, and few ever think to question it. This position of authority is reinforced with elaborate costumes and large, imposing structures:

The whole point of these structures is to overwhelm the visitor with their grandeur, to make them think “Surely, the people who reside in this place cannot be wrong!” Yet they can be, for they are exactly that, people. The believers are also comforted in their belief by the existence of a great many like believers. (See ad populum fallacy)

So, what about Atheism? Well personally, I feel Atheism is strengthened through the weakness of the religious arguments, their total lack of evidence. The thing that really does it for me is the fact that science has a steady track record of discoveries and breakthroughs, religion has a steady track record of being proved wrong. Science has consistently provided natural explanations that are testable, repeatable, and thus proveable, whereas religion just makes claims based off of authority.

For some people, religion’s weak arguments and heavy reliance on arbitrary authority are enough, but for me and a growing number of people they aren’t.

The pope and condoms

17 Mar

Well, the pope is at it again. He’s in Africa preaching the evils of condom use. In the most AIDs ridden part of the planet he’s denouncing condoms as “not the answer.” This is appalling because condoms are the most effective strategy to fighting AIDs according to the World Health Organization. When used correctly condoms can prevent an infection 98-99% of the time!

The pope’s answer? Just don’t have sex. How realistic. Just come on in Africa and try to impose your twisted ideas of sex and morality of a people suffering from a humanitarian crisis. People are going to have sex. They always have and always will. That’s a fact! Ideally the pope would like all the Africans to have christian marriages, join the catholic church, have copious amounts of children, and pay as big of a tithe as possible to fill his coffers. Not going to happen.

What the pope is doing is nothing short of encouraging mass death and suffering in the name of his fucked up ideas on sexuality and his invisible make believe god. As such he should be arrested and tried for crimes against humanity.

What is it with sheep?

1 Feb

I had yet another religious pamphlet waiting for me on my car again today. (Like something telling me how I’m a horrible sinner and I need to buy their product in the form of converting to their church is going to make me see the “light”) Anywho, this pamphlet prominently featured a background image of sheep, with the big title “The lord is my shepherd.”

Now I get the whole “lord is my shepherd” thing. I was raised up to be a christian, so I know the prayer, and I know all the images of jesus holding a lamb and whatever. Yet, it’s like it’s a bad joke. The sheep as an animal is a really stupid, skiddish animal that just follows its herd unless it falls off a cliff and dies. Does everyone not see the play on words here? Calling a congregation a “flock”, making individual members “sheep”?  I know it fits nicely with the shepherd motif, but it’s really calling you a stupid, skiddish animal that can’t think for itself.

On second thought, it seems kind of fitting…. How many sheep fall victim to religious scams every year? How much money have sleazy fast talking televangelists in suits talked out of people? For centuries the church has been sucking money out of superstitious people by promising something they have no proof of and can’t deliver.

don't be a sheep


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