Friday, March 09, 2012

Comedian Ricky Gervais: Atheism Not Offensive

Ricky Gervais is the star of one of my favorite movies, The Invention of Lying.
He also has a series, An Idiot Abroad. Originally on in the UK on Sky1 but recently on The Science Channel here.
Here's an excerpt from a recent interview with CNN's Piers Morgan where, as a Brit, he seemed to be underestimating the reason and reality quotient in the U.S. It must be hard for him to understand that, in America, particularly in the southern states, people do actually take offense to the fact that some people don't believe in god. To quote Gervais,
"When some one says 'Thank God', I don't get offended."

I think this is the most serious I've seem him. He's usually just a goofball comedian, enjoying life.

People don't realize it, but it is difficult being honest enough to admit that I don't really buy into religion. There are some bars in Tulsa where you shouldn't say, "I don't believe in god". You could get your ass kicked. Or, like when a family member asked me if I was atheist, I had to say, "Yep, I was born that way. I can't help it." I laughed, but he didn't. I don't talk to that side of the family much, but it's probably just as well.

It's good to see more celebrities like Ricky Gervais actually being that honest about the situation. It shouldn't be offensive, anymore than as if one were a Buddhist or Hindu or some other religion than your own. To be free to choose your religion should be extended to include not to choose one. Or would it be less offensive if one were to claim they are still "choosing"? There are so many to choose from.
Original shared link

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Tea Party Wacko – Freedom of Preach

Fortunately this guy is a parody. See his YouTube channel here.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Renewed Respect for America

Thomas Jefferson Tried to Abolish Slavery?
The more I learn about our founding fathers the more I respect their efforts to form a ‘more perfect union’. In my recent study of African American history, specifically the Tulsa Race Riot of 1921, I ran across the following excerpt from Thomas Jefferson’s early drafting of the Declaration of Independence. It shows that there was a segment of America, even in the beginning, that knew it was unconscionable to own slaves.

He (King George) has waged cruel war against
human nature itself, violating its most sacred rights
of life and liberty in the persons of a distant people
who never offended him, captivating and carrying
them into slavery in another hemisphere, or to incur
miserable death in their transportation thither. This
piratical war fare, the opprobrium of INFIDEL pow-
ers, is the warfare of the CHRISTIAN king of Great
Britain. Determined to keep open a market where
MEN should be bought and sold, he has prostituted
his negative for suppressing every legislative at -
tempt to prohibit or to restrain this execrable com -
merce. And that this assemblage of horrors might
want no fact of distinguished die, he is now exciting
those very people to rise in arms among us, and to
purchase that liberty of which he has deprived them,
by murdering the people on whom he also obtruded
them: thus paying off former crimes committed
against the LIBERTIES of one people, with crimes
which he urges them to commit against the LIVES of
[This version was removed from the Declaration of Independ-
ence after protest from southern colonies, and planted the seed
of the Civil War to come.]

This was reprinted in the prologue of the final report of the Oklahoma Commission to Study the Tulsa Race Riot of 1921. As a result of the report and the public's desire to know the truth about the past, Tulsa is erecting a monument and building a park to memorialize the events that took place way back then.

As a white man, I have struggled with my feelings about the cruelties and injustice done to African Americans in the past. I thought it was incredible that humans could standby and let such atrocities occur. But this revelation of Thomas Jefferson's early drafting renews my respect for the human race. At least some of the early thinkers were fair and honorable and I would like to think I am from that stock.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

The Truth About 2012

Friday, August 14, 2009

Les Paul Dies at Age 94

He was old when I started playing guitar 35 years ago. I remember seeing the distinct body style of a Les Paul guitar in a music store and seeing his signature on the head stock. That was my first introduction to the man and I remember at the time wondering who the heck is he.

Not only was he an amazing jazz and rockabilly guitar player, he has been credited with developing the first solid body electric guitar. He also was a pioneer in multitrack recording and amplification.

No matter what style of music you play, if you're a guitarist you owe the state of your craft to this great man. I can't say the same for his acting. He and his wife Mary Ford had a television program in the early 50s.

NY Times Last Word: Les Paul

Friday, August 07, 2009

What Did Maher Just Say?

I don't think it is in good form to blog about blogging or about a blog, but blog dammit! This guy is funny!

Sorry, I'll come up with something to add when I quit laughing.

"Now, the hate mail all seemed to have a running theme: that I may live in a stupid country, but they lived in the greatest country on earth, and that perhaps I should move to another country, like Somalia. Well, the joke's on them because I happen to have a summer home in Somalia... and no I can't show you an original copy of my birth certificate because Woody Harrelson spilled bong water on it."

Basically he said...
Smart President ≠ Smart Country

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

They Call Themselves Crusaders

Now it comes out that the private security firm "Blackwater", hired by the US Government to help police IRAQ, claims to be "Christian crusaders tasked with eliminating Muslims and the Islamic faith from the globe."

Read Article

No one expects the "American Inquisition"! Now that is some scary stuff. It's no wonder the terrorists hate us.

We have to stop these religious wars now. Enough of the my-imaginary-friend-is-better-than-your-imaginary-friend mentality. Please. For the survival of our species. Quit killing each other.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

State Preambles - Which god do they mean?

This post is in response to this email.

The original email makes the point that each state constitution has 'God' in the preamble. But the quote from Obama was, "We do not consider ourselves a Christian nation or a Jewish nation or a Muslim nation. We consider ourselves a nation of citizens who are bound by ideals and a set of values."

So I would ask the email's author which 'God' is in the constitutions. Is it the Christian, Muslim, or Jewish god? If it’s the Christian god, then is it Baptist, Methodist, Lutheran, catholic, or any of thousands of variations of protestant? Why couldn't the 'God' in those state constitutions be Hindu or Hopi? Why not the 'Flying Spaghetti Monster'?

Also in the State of Oklahoma's constitution, the very first line after the preamble is, "Section I-1: Supreme law of land. The State of Oklahoma is an inseparable part of the Federal Union, and the Constitution of the United States is the supreme law of the land." And the United States Constitution doesn't use any form of God.

The framers were very careful not to mix religion with politics. They knew what could happen in a government that had state sponsored religion. They remembered the Spanish Inquisition. I guess by 1907 when Oklahoma wrote their preamble, all the suffering from previous theocracies had been forgotten.

People that pass around emails like that are just trying to justify their 'Holier-than-thou' attitude. They want to pass laws that are based on their religion however unfair it may be to those who don't share that same religion. They are like the witch burners of Salem looking to root out anyone that may be different than them.

The problem is that many people around here have been too afraid to question their upbringing. They don't seem to have any doubt that the religion they were born into is the correct one. They have been preached at all their lives to believe what the preacher tells them. They believe the bible was written by god, because it says so in the bible. And they don't see any problem in that logic.

On this same topic, there was an interesting misconception that revealed itself the other day on FOX news. (Imagine that!). It seems that there are people who quote from the Declaration of Independence and claim it came from the US Constitution. Watch this video. Read this Open Letter to Fox News.

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” - The United States Declaration of Independence. (NOT THE CONSTITUTION)

The Declaration of Independence is NOT legally binding whereas the Constitution is.

And just to clear up one more misconception. Atheists are not trying to take god out of government. They are trying to keep god out of government. It was never intended for religion to have anything to do with the way we run our city, state and local affairs. When they added ‘In God We Trust’ to the money, there was much controversy, but evidently the secular politicians were outnumbered at the time. Now that god has crept into all aspects of our government, any attempt to restore the secular nature of our system is perceived as a threat. It should be the other way around.

Monday, July 27, 2009

New Spot on Jupiter

Jupiter's colorful atmosphere is 86 percent hydrogen and 14 percent helium, with tiny amounts of methane, ammonia, phosphine, water, acetylene, ethane, germanium and carbon monoxide. The chemicals are responsible for producing the different colors of Jupiter's clouds.

There's a new small dark spot on Juipiter. Maybe a comet.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Why is Bill O'Reilly Such A Dick?

Bill says he's not offended because he doesn't care about what "you guys" think, although he had Fred on his show and asked him a lot of questions. Bill says he thinks that religious people would be offended by the billboard because of the question "Why believe in a God?". But what Bill doesn't realize is that there are nearly 20 percent of Americans who deal with his prejudices daily. Atheists and "Humanists" have to contend with reminders everyday that they live in an oppressed nation.

Bill's smirks and constant butting in really make him look like an idiot. He is obviously not an intellectual ready to have a meaningful discussion about any opposing world views.

Oppressions and offensive displays toward non-religious people:

1. We have "In God We Trust" all over our federal notes. (A clear violation of the first amendment.) The United States was NOT founded on “Christian principles” as so many under-educated rednecks would have you believe. The phrase “In God We Trust” did not appear on our paper money until 1957 when the religious got involved in the propaganda campaign against the godless germans. The phrase appeared on coins much earlier during the civil war. Many intellectuals fought it at the time, but alas the vote was dominated by the flock. So now the non-religious people have to live with a constant reminder that they are in a country that is being overrun by self righteous hypocrites.

2. Presidential Prayer Breakfast. Congressional Session Opening Prayer. Prayer in School. All of which are violations of the separation of church and state. I know that they don't force students and attendees to pray, but they do have to stand there quietly and listen to the crap.

3. There are churches of every denomination on every street corner especially in the southern cities. And no where for non-religious people to congregate for fellowship, personal fulfillment and growth. (Except maybe the bars on every street corner.) Lately, there are some organizations growing locally that offer some relief, and one of those is the Humanist Association.

4. The Ten Commandments. Nativity Scenes. You would think a government building would be more appropriately displaying the Ten Ammendments, but people had to initiate law suits in order to get certain governers to take the monuments down. Still some states display the commandments. Reference

5. Business organizations. There are hundreds of groups like "The Christian Businessmen's Association" that strive to give advantageous treatment to others in the group. Kinda like a 'good old boys' network. And this is considered an acceptable practice, but if an "Atheist Business Alliance" were to form, it would be such a threat to the good old boys that it would probably get bombed like the abortion clinics.

6. Parochial Schools. The Texas Christian University comes to mind. There are lots of seminaries that take young people's money and train them to be preachers, but what if an Atheist College started up. It might be a good thing to educate the young people that atheism is not a bad word.

And Bill O'Rielly is worried that someone may be offended by one billboard that asks one question. What is he afraid of? And why is he such a dick about it?

More Christian Priveleges (Thanks Randomwitticism)

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Checkmate Dumbass!

This post is in response to This YouTube Video
"Trilobites, like this perfectly preserved specimen at South Dakota's Black Hills Institute of Geological Research, were among the most successful organisms ever to populate Earth. These familiar marine arthropods first arose about 545 million years ago in the early Cambrian and thrived throughout the world's oceans until they were wiped out in the Permian extinctions about 250 million years ago." - National Geographic

Checkmate dumbass!

It's guys like EdwardCurrent that I'm poking fun at, not good christians. He makes the claim that he has, "Ten absolute, irrefutable, God-approved proofs that Christians are right and atheists are dumb and deluded!"

(Wait... this is one of the funniest videos on YouTube ever. He's so ... um, dumbass looking and acting. Anyway. He's a satirist. No, I didn't say Satanist. His YouTube videos are parodies of what most fundamental christians base their belief on. Some funny stuff!)

The difference between my "checkmate" (points at fossil Duh?) and his Ten Checkmates is the evidence. He has no evidence to overcome his burden of truth. And you don't really need a preponderance of evidence. Just any evidence. To be taken seriously. I mean if you want to call it checkmate. And I do think he means it in the "I'm right, you're wrong" sense.

If you beleive his claims without any real evidence, here's a great site for you. UFOs, Ghosts, Bigfoot, Conspiracy Theories and More.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

The Classical and Elegant Gift From Carl Sagan

Monday, May 04, 2009

The Religous Favor Torture

I think there is an alarming number of people that would impress their will upon others, and go to any length to justify their actions. It’s the self-righteous that have no problem breaking their own god’s laws to force their agenda. They believe that in order to pursue the evil doers, you must step away from god. This alarming study would seem to validate my theory.

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The more often Americans go to church, the more likely they are to support the torture of suspected terrorists, according to a new survey.More than half of people who attend services at least once a week -- 54 percent -- said the use of torture against suspected terrorists is "often" or "sometimes" justified. Only 42 percent of people who "seldom or never" go to services agreed, according the analysis released Wednesday by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life.White evangelical Protestants were the religious group most likely to say torture is often or sometimes justified -- more than six in 10 supported it. People unaffiliated with any religious organization were least likely to back it. Only four in 10 of them did.

I had the opportunity to listen to some talk radio this week, and I heard a caller ranting about how other countries still torture their captives. He went on about how the North Vietnamese tortured our POWs back in the day, etc. As I listened to the caller’s thick country twang, I wondered if his mother ever told him, “Just because the other kids do it doesn’t make it ok for you to do it too.” Or, “If all the other kids jumped off a cliff would you do it too?” (This particular caller may have.)

I heard another caller say that the ‘water boarding’ that we did to the prisoners in Guantanamo was a ‘light’ form of torture, so it should be justified.

Also, evidence suggests that torture does not work. The intelligence gathered through torture is known to be faulty.

Some people just don’t get it. Torture is illegal, by the Geneva Convention. For our leaders to issue memoranda that essentially gave the green light to GITMO to engage in any kind of torture is reprehensible and the responsible parties should face war crime prosecution. It’s just another case that serves as an example of how the Bush administration approached matters in a totalitarian manner without regard to legality, human rights, or foreign relations. I’m so glad we got that party out of power.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Bush Lied

Well it's official now. Most of us knew that the Bush administration used the September 11 attack as an excuse to invade Iraq. Bush had personal reasons including greed for power and money/oil. Now there is the release of a senate investigation report stating Sadaam had no ties with Al Qa'ida. I knew it!
I feel sorry for our troops that died because Bush lied. This has me infuriated. It is my opinion that the power hungry right wing administration is who the terrorists hate, not Americans. I would be willing to bet that if Bush was not in office there would have been no 9/11 attack.
As a veteran I can't help but imagine the betrayal felt by the soldiers fighting in Iraq. When news of this senate report reaches the rank and file troops there will most certainly be an uproar. They have been told that they are fighting terrorism and making America safe. Now they know the truth that they are just pawns in baby Bush's tantrum. We need to impeach this president to show the world that Americans are not war mongering tyrants. We got duped. This pisses me off.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Statue of WHAT?

No, this $260,000 symbolic statement does not offend me. I'm not offended by this grandiose expression of one’s worldview. I find it rather amusing. People really believe that the United States was founded on Christian principles. The name of the idol is The Statue of Liberation Through Jesus Christ. That is funny to me. Our founders were escaping Tyranny and Religious Persecution when they came to America. I’ve learned by reading up on this news story, the original Statue of Liberty has been copied and altered in many other countries. So it’s not a particularly original idea. I would probably erect a much less expensive and not so grandiose statue and name it The Statue of Liberation From Jesus Christ. I would claim that it is a reminder to me that my fore fathers and my father’s father, and my father have fought to keep this country free from religious persecution.

The framers of the Constitution fought amongst themselves while deciding what exact words would attract people of all religions to agree on matters of law and government. They were very careful not to embed any symbolism of religious nature in their document. I think if anyone had suggested that we found this country on one religion’s set of ideals, Ben Franklin would have politely asked you to reconsider.

Amusing. Yes, I do hope no one gets too offended by the actions of Americans expressing their opinion. I will fight to the death defending the right of a man to erect a statue that states anything he wants it to, even if I disagree with most of it.

Article Fer It Article Agen It ‘nother good article

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Fugitive Polygamist or Persecuted Prophet?

The meek and humble Warren Jeffs was abducted from the privacy of his car and taken into custody for carrying on his fathers calling to the lord. Thousands of people have been dependant upon Jeffs to tell them what to believe and how to worship. The entire community is deeply affected by his incarceration. Prayer services and protest rallies are planned and we can expect to hear more on this story as it develops.

It is common knowledge that the fundamental Mormon sect (FLDS) has practiced polygamy for many generations. What we sane people consider perverted or just plain wacko is normal and expected behavior in their community. Warren Jeffs didn’t go out and prey on victims and create his following through charismatic leadership. He inherited it. Jeffs was raised in that lifestyle. To him, the world was evil and his flock threatened by outside persecutors. He tried to protect the children from learning anything that would take their interest away from the lord and their salvation. They have been instructed not to answer the door to any strangers. No outside music. No unapproved literature. Absolutely no TV. There are great dangers to religion in the secular world around them.

Rumor has it that Jeffs had 40 wives. Now that is impressive. I don’t think I would want more than about 10. Hugh Hefner only has 7 (girlfriends, not wives that would be illegal). But in a society like the one Warren Jeffs ruled over, your status as a man is judged on how big your family is. Their families are very structured. Everyone has a job to do. Small children are given the responsibility to look after smaller children. I believe this kind of society would cause young adults to mature at earlier ages. Perhaps that is why they marry at age 14. This appalls most of us. We Americans have already defined the age of consent to be 16 – 19 depending on the state you live in. So Warren Jeffs is pimpin’ children to old men. That’s just sick! Or is it just the norm for that society?

Freedom of religion. That is what we’re talking about. That is one of the primary principles upon which this country was founded. Should the government be able to dictate morality? What laws has this man broken? According to his beliefs, he is innocent.

No I am not a sympathizer. I believe that Warren Jeffs probably took his father’s kingdom and through power hungry drunkenness and greed, proceeded to pervert and exploit the fundamentals of his religion. Once he told a young girl that she must have sex with her (much older) husband or she could sacrifice her salvation. Some would say that this is a form of psychological or physical abuse, and that is why he is facing charges today.

LNTV Video Report LNTV Video Report

Monday, August 21, 2006

Public Stoning: Not Just for the Taliban Anymore

It's impossible to escape the religious tyranny in a theocratic society. It seems no matter where you go, there are god people trying to convince everyone that they are right. What's worse is the organized religious groups that have snowballed into very powerful lobbyists and activists for the sake of spreading their beliefs amongst the public sector including the government. I wish the non-religious (sane) people had such power. Every time someone dares mention that maybe the ten commandments shouldn't be hanging in a county courthouse, or maybe creationism isn't science class material, they are immediately labeled as evil, and the stoning begins.

Here is an interesting article about the trend towards religion in politics. It's pretty scary to think this is really going on in a 'free' society.

Monday, July 31, 2006

Tough Talk, Wimp!

The big bad creation/intelligent design advocate, William Dembski, made some pretty bold statements about how evolutionists are too chicken to testify in court about terms such as 'science', 'nature', etc. Then when time came to tell the truth, he withdrew from the case. Read an excerpt here.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Amazing Sand Painting

Sunday, July 23, 2006

New sport