Chuck Norris – ignorant douchebaggary

July 22, 2009

Chuck Norris is a religious moron. Nor only have I written about his epic stupidity but I’ve written to him before. And even though I wrote in a very civil tone, I never got a response. And back then I pointed out the irony of his proudly quoting Benjamin Franklin in an article accusing those who don’t worship his god of being unpatriotic.

Now he’s ranting against the Freedom From Religion Foundation’s (FFRF) lawsuit to prevent the separation of church and state from being clearly violated with an engraving of “In God We Trust” in the Capitol Visitors Center after it passed unanimously in the Senate and the House voted 410-8 in favor of it.

Sadly, Norris doesn’t seem to have learned anything about patriotism, the constitution, or American history since last I wrote him:

I’m a fighter for the freedoms of speech and religion. They are our constitutional rights – what the First Amendment is all about. But those freedoms don’t give atheists the entitlement to eliminate or revise America’s religious heritage in the new $621 million taxpayer-provided Capitol Visitors Center, or CVC, in Washington, D.C.

Norris’ whole response is citing all the other violations of church and state as precedent. And in doing so, “The Texas Ranger” illustrates what I’ve been saying for a long time. The motto, the pledge, the congressional acknowledgment of Christmas, all the congressional prayers, etc, etc.–they’re not small issues that aren’t worth our time to challenge. Every issue that gets written off as something secular Americans shouldn’t be wasting their time on are used against. Every time Christians try to force Jesus into the public schools or into government, they will always cite all these little things as precedent. They’re say, we already in god in our motto, on our money, and in our Pledge of Allegiance, so why not ____?” You give these assholes an inch of rope and they will hang you by it.

Also, I think those who voted against the engraving deserve to get recognized:

Rep. John Conyers (D-MI)
Rep. Donna Edwards (D-MD)
Rep. Mazie Hirono (D-HI)
Rep. Michael Honda (D-CA)
Rep. James McDermott (D-WA)
Rep. Ronald Paul (R-TX)
Rep. Robert Scott (D-VA)
Rep. Fortney Stark (D-CA)

But let’s hear more from “The Texas Ranger”:

How could anyone have anything against the engraving of our nation’s motto, which is above the very speaker’s rostrum in the House of Representatives? How could anyone have anything against the same for the Pledge of Allegiance, which has been recited each day since its inception in both houses of Congress?

Actually Chuck, the “Under God” part wasn’t added to the Pledge until 1954 as a McCarthyist way of saying “FUCK YOU” to the godless Commies. But thanks for playing.

“Th-th-th-that’s all folks!”


Atheist News 7.14.09

July 15, 2009

shredding-constitution1. The Freedom From Religion Foundation is suing over the use of “In God We Trust” at the Capital Visitor Center.

Last week, the House and the Senate passed resolutions directing the Architect of the Capitol to engrave “In God We Trust” and the Pledge of Allegiance in prominent places in the Capitol Visitor Center, which is “the entrance for the thousands of tourists who visit the Capitol every day.” The engraving project is expected to cost up to $150,000…

2. “Imagine No Religion” billboard in Alabama angers Christians – You know your faith is strong if the mere suggestion that you imagine no religion is a legitimate threat to your beliefs.

3. Atheist writes a new version of Dante’s Inferno that places the evangelicals in Hell and where Mark Twain is the guide.


Hypatia’s story hits Cannes

May 18, 2009

I’ve blogged about this before. But now Alejandro Amenabar’s historical epic film, Agora, starring Rachel Weisz as Hypatia, the last currator of The Library of Alexandria, has premiered at Cannes.

Hypatia was an atheist, a mathematician, astronomer, philosopher, and librarian working in a man’s world in 4th century A.D. Egypt before the dark times came, before the Christians. She struggled to preserve scientific knowledge amid militant Christianity. But she failed. The Christians declared her a witch, stripped her, dragged her body through the streets, and burned her at the stake before destroying the library, leading the Western world into a thousand years of darkness. She died a hero and a martyr for science and atheism.

Of the role, Weisz had this to say:

“Really, nothing has changed. I mean, we have huge technological advances and medical advances, but in terms of people killing each other in the name of God, fundamentalism still abounds,” Weisz said. “And in certain cultures, women are still second-class citizens, and they’re denied education.”

As for the title of the film:

“Agora” — named for the great square at the city’s center — is far from a dusty treatise, though. A lot of stoning and sword-skewering goes on in “Agora” as Amenabar intersperses Hypatia’s philosophical musings with bloodletting in the streets.

Every year, in her honor, the Freedom From Religion Foundation hosts the Lake Hypatia Advance in Alabama.


Freedom from Religion Foundation partially redeems itself

February 14, 2009

Just the other day I blogged about my frustration with the recent activities of the Freedom from Religion Foundation, namely their atheist “display” in Olympia, Washington and their recent, poorly conceived “Praise Darwin” billboards.

But now they’ve got a pretty good set of ads that will be going up in Madison, Wisconsin buses to run for the next couple of months:

Now these are ads that I can get behind. I still prefer some of the ones that came out last year but these are pretty damned good. . .no pun intended.


Dan Barker’s second strike out

February 10, 2009

Atheist advertising (or athvertising as I call it) is popping up everywhere these days. And I’m happy that we’re becoming more visible. But some of this athvertising I think is working against us, and that’s the material that’s been coming out of the Freedom from Religion Foundation lately. Don’t get me wrong. I really appreciate everything the organization has done for atheists but I feel like recently it’s suffering from poor decisions from the top.

Religious rhetoric has shifted in recent years to embrace a more Orwellian Newspeak. Here are some examples of the pattern we’re beginning to see:

Science is Religion

Religion is Science

Religion is Cult

Christianity is just a relationship with God

Creationism is Intelligent Design, teaching the controversy, or teaching the weaknesses of Evolution

Evolution is the religion of Darwinism or the religion of atheism

Darwin is the messiah of atheism

Origin of Species is The Bible of atheism

Richard Dawkins is an evangelical atheist

The head of the organization is Dan Barker, a former evangelical minister, who I’m starting to think someone was right in describing him as having converted from an evangelical Christian to an evangelical atheist.

Dan Barker lately seems to be feeding into these negative labels. First it was with what I think was the indefensible holiday  “display” in Olympia, Washington 2 months ago. Here atheists had the opportunity to send a positive message like with the Tree of Knowledge display put up by the Freethought Society of Greater Philadelphia. Instead the opportunity was wasted on a sign (not a display) that basically just insulted believers. It showed no effort or thought at all. And when defending the indefensible sign on news shows, members of the Freedom from Religion Foundation just came off as dishonest or just out of touch with how the general public would view the displays.

Now the Freedom from Religion Foundation is putting up a new billboard around the country in areas where famous evolution trials were fought with the slogan:

“Praise Darwin:  Evolve Beyond Belief”

The slogan is meant to be read ironically. The problem is that the general public isn’t in on the joke and will likely just read this as comfirmation that atheists worship Charles Darwin like a messiah and that evolution really is the religion of atheism. It’s just going to feed into the anti-atheist and creationist propaganda, not counter it.

So I cannot endorse this sign. It does not speak for me and I am baffled that enough people at the FfRF thought this was a good idea long enough for it to get to this stage.


News From Around The Blogosphere 12.2.08

December 3, 2008

The Royal Society of Chemistry is looking to take the work “chemical” back from the pseudo-scientists - For too long they’ve allowed the advertising and marketing industries to associate the word with “poison.”

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) recently defended an advert which perpetuated the myth that natural compounds are free of chemicals.

The truth, as any right-minded person will say, is that everything we eat, drink, drive, play with and live in is made of chemicals – both natural and synthetic chemicals are essential for life as we know it.

And now the Royal Society of Chemistry, perhaps taking a cue from James Randi, is offering up a million pounds to anyone who can present any material that is 100% chemical-free.

“Should anyone do this, we will see thousands of years’ worth of knowledge evaporate before our eyes. We would have to tear up the textbooks, burn the degree certificates and retrain the teachers.”

Update on yesterday’s story about the Cincinnati Zoo terminating their agreement with the Creation “Museum” – Apparently, it made Ken Ham of Answers in Genesis sad. Awww! When a bunch of creationists succeed in affecting policy by writing in mass complaints that’s just fine but when the same tactic is used against him, it’s written off as. . .

. . .the zoo received hundreds of complaints from what appear to be some very intolerant people. . .

You got to love the inconsistency of his position.

“These people basically worship Darwin–they worship evolution and cannot tolerate anyone who doesn’t agree with them!”…”Sad that someone with an atheistic agenda can cause a business relationship to be dissolved”…”they resort to censorship and underhanded campaigns”…”we are used to such integrity bashing.”

Where exactly is his righteous indignation when fellow Christians bitch and complain in mass. . .ALL THE TIME?! But then of course comes the bravado where he feigns gratitude to his enemies for giving him publicity (yeah, bad publicity and if we knew you wanted it all you had to do was ask. You’re most welcome):

Thank you, P.Z. Myers, for thousands of dollars’ worth of media promotion for our Bible-upholding museum! Actually, this will benefit the Creation Museum much more in the long run.

The Freedom From Religion Foundation gets an atheist sign put up next to a nativity scene in Washington - I love you, Dan Barker! And the text on the sign is outstanding:

At this season of the Winter Solstice may reason prevail. There are no gods, no devils, no angels, no heaven or hell. There is only our natural world. Religion is but myth and superstition that hardens hearts and enslaves minds.

Oh, and the added bonus is this surprisingly seems to have pissed off Bill O’Reilly. Sweet!! And he proves once again to be the master of the false analogy. He even gives out a phone number to complain. . .which begs the question: Will Ken Ham condemn this mass complaining and call O’Reilly an intolerant bigot? How about it, Ken?

Secular Coalition for America’s Year-End Report – And it’s been an awesome year for separation of church and state. Keep up the great work, Lori and everyone else at the SCA!

Christianity: The Ultimate Death Cult - a new museum exhibit called:

Celebrating the Lives and Deaths of the Popes includes a full-scale replica of Pope John Paul II’s crypt, an exact reproduction of the coffin used in the funerals of three previous Popes as well as replicas of other Papal vestments by the tailor shop that has made the vestments of the last seven Popes.

Okay, now where’s the “Lives” part? Creepy!

Campus Crusade For Christ to target preschoolers? - Or is it satire? Read the story. Decide whether you think this is fact or fiction. And then read on to find out if you’re right.

Last month I blogged about the most recent study that the media was tauting as proof that racy television watching leads to more teen pregnancy before. And I think he did a fairly good job, albeit briefly of illustrating how all the same flaws that existed in similar studies in the past were still there. But here is basically a much lengthier version of what I said but coming from others.

WHAT’S THE HARM?

groin-kickMan says God ordered him to ram vehicle at 100mph – God apparently told him “she needed to be taken off the road.” And in a delicious bit of irony then, Bexar County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Kyle Coleman said:

“God must have been with them, ’cause any other time, the severity of this crash, it would have been a fatal.”

God’s a bit schizophrenic, don’t ya think?

AND NOW FOR A MOMENT OF SCIENCE:

scientist-use-in-case-of-emergencyAntioxidants Unlikely To Prevent Aging? – “Diets and beauty products which claim to have anti-oxidant properties are unlikely to prevent aging, according to research funded by the Wellcome Trust. Researchers at the Institute of Healthy aging at UCL (University College London) say this is because a key fifty year old theory about the causes of aging is wrong.”

Cell Phones Powered By Sound Waves? – “Imagine a self-powering cell phone that never needs to be charged because it converts sound waves produced by the user into the energy it needs to keep running. It’s not as far-fetched as it may seem thanks to the recent work of Tahir Cagin, a professor in the Artie McFerrin Department of Chemical Engineering at Texas A&M University.”

Creating ‘Handedness’ In Biological Molecules – “The basic molecules that make up all living things have a predetermined chirality or “handedness,” similar to the way people are right- or left-handed. This chirality has a profound influence on the chemistry and molecular interactions of living organisms. The inception of chirality from the elementary building blocks of matter is one of the great mysteries of the origin of life.”

Virus In Lemur Could Shed Light On AIDS – “The genome of a squirrel-sized, saucer-eyed lemur from Madagascar may help scientists understand how HIV-like viruses coevolved with primates, according to new research from the Stanford University School of Medicine. The discovery, to be published online on Dec. 1 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, could provide insight into why non-human primates don’t get AIDS and lead to treatments for humans.”


News From Around The Blogosphere 10.4.08

October 5, 2008

The Freedom From Religion Foundation is suing President Bush and many others over making the National Day of Prayer a federal holiday.

A man in Tuscon allegedly ran a house of prostitution camouflaged as a church.

Is Age of Autism telling Jenny McCarthy to back away from a fight? – Ah huh. They say they don’t think McCarthy should debate Amanda Peet because–are you ready?

“. . .this war between two young non-doctor icons really cheapens the debate over the safety of vaccines.”

Really? YOU JUST FIGURED THIS OUT?! So I suppose you guys will no longer be pushing Jenny as your spokesperson anymore then, right? Oh, and here’s what they wrote in their open letter to Amanda Peet:

“Whether one mom is right or wrong about how to raise our children should not be up for public debate. You were right for your child and I am right for mine.”

Um, you are aware that Jenny and Amanda are making too diametrically opposed claims, right? If one is right then the other is wrong. And funny again how you suddenly started kissing Amanda’s ass now that there’s talk of a possible debate. It seems to me that if your evidence was so strong you’d welcome the debate since you’ve been pushing non-doctor icon Jenny McCarthy as your big champion. I’ll say the same thing I said about the Republican Party when they wouldn’t release Sarah Palin to the press for interviewers. What are you so afraid of, guys?

Roger Ebert gave Religulous three and a half stars! – I just saw it today myself and plan to write a review tomorrow. So stay tuned.

The Smithsonian has recently put a set of photos from the 1925 Scopes trial on Flickr.

Stephen Hawking tells us why we should go into space.

And on a related note, The Money Shot – From Space – Very soon Virgin Galactic will launch its first tourists into space. But this week, an “unidentified party” offered Virgin Galactic $1 million, up front, to film a sex-in-space movie aboard SpaceShipTwo. Virgin Galactic rejected the offer. And follow the first link to learn about the complications of sex in space. Apparently, it’s not as easy as it looked in the the movie “Supernova.”

In Defense of Militant Atheism – Part 1


News From Around The Blogosphere 9.12.08

September 13, 2008

PALIN TV:

Palin on abortion, guns, gays, and stem-cell research:

Countdown w/ Keith Olbermann:

Co-president of the Freedom From Religion Foundation and former Assembly of God preacher (Palin’s denomination) Dan Barker sheds some light on the church’s theology. BTW, Dan Barker’s new book, Godless: How An Evangelical Preacher Became One of America’s Leading Atheists, is now available!

Gina Gershon Parodies Sarah Palin here.

Comedian Doug Stanhope is SAVING BRISTOL.

CREATIONIST NEWS:

cdesign proponentsists are yet again claiming their “scientists” were fired by the evil “Darwinist” authorities. I suspect it’s as much a load of shit as all the other alleged firings of teachers because they didn’t accept “the religion of atheism.”

Reverend Professor Michael Reis, Director of Education at the Royal Society in the UK wants to “teach the controversy. Also, timesonline.com covered the story and included this gem of a quote:

‘”Just because something lacks scientific support doesn’t seem to me a sufficient reason to omit it from a science lesson.

Well actually, IT IS!

Greek hackers attack the Large Hadron Collider – It’s really kinda fucked up that had they done any real damage they could have set back major scientific discoveries of our universe by many years.

Age of Autism, in traditional delusional fashion, ignores the constant onslaught of conflicting evidence to declare this year a great year for their movement – Here is their Top 10 reasons why. Notice that not one of the items on the list has anything whatsoever to do with medical research findings or actual evidence for their case–just their PR campaigns. And after naming Jenny McCarthy’s activities number 1 on the list, in a delicious bit of unintentional irony, they declare Amanda Peet’s comments against them a victory for them because — WAIT FOR IT. WAIT FOR IT:

“Soon after Paul Offit announces Every Child By Two’s newly planned PR initiative involving Amanda Peet, a vapid actress with no dog in the fight, what happens?”

Wow! And they stupidly reveal their plans for misinformation for the next several months to help us prepare better to counter their arguments. Thank you Age of Autism! And thank you, mommy instinct!

Joe Rogan: comedian and all around conspiracy nut – It turns out he’s a moon-hoaxer. And even though Phil Plait owned his ass on Penn Jillette’s radio show, Rogan’s decalring it a victory. You know, I used to like the guy. I saw a clip from YouTube of him demolishing the arguments of a creationist who believed in the Noah’s Ark story. Then I started to come across his videos promoting the use of psychodelic drugs to experience “altered consciousness” and gain a greater understanding of the universe. Altered consciousness? Give me a break! It’s called CAUSING BRAIN DAMAGE! And it’s not something you should be doing often. The hallucinations are the result of your brain when it no worky so good. So I should have guessed that this red flag would lead him to some conspiracy nonsense. It had to have been either the moon hoaxer, 9/11 Falser, Ickeist, or New World Order crackpot.

Okay, so Joe isn’t doing heroin but I love this old PSA:

UFOs to reach the Alabama on October 14th? – That’s what Australian actress, writer, and part-time “psychic channeler” Blossom Goodchild. I can see the post-hoc rationalizations to explain away an epic fail already.

When religion interferes with medical education:

“The BMA said it had received reports of Muslim students who did not want to learn anything about alcohol or the effects of overconsumption. “They are so opposed to the consumption of it they don’t want to learn anything about it,” said a spokesman.”

“The GMC said it had received requests for guidance over whether students could “omit parts of the medical curriculum and yet still be allowed to graduate”. Professor Peter Rubin, chairman of the GMC’s education committee, said: “Examples have included a refusal to see patients who are affected by diseases caused by alcohol or sexual activity, or a refusal to examine patients of a particular gender.”

“Some Muslim medical students are refusing to attend lectures or answer exam questions on alcohol-related or sexually transmitted diseases because they claim it offends their religious beliefs.

Some trainee doctors say learning to treat the diseases conflicts with their faith, which states that Muslims should not drink alcohol and rejects sexual promiscuity.

A small number of Muslim medical students have even refused to treat patients of the opposite sex. One male student was prepared to fail his final exams rather than carry out a basic examination of a female patient.”

WTF!

BEHOLD! The poster for Bill Maher’s upcoming film “Religulous.”

American Atheists Names New President – It’s a shame Ellen Johnson stepped down (or was forced to step down–who knows?) But hopefully Dr. Ed Buckner will prove to be a good replacement.

Oh my GOD! He’s really not coming?

The real secret behind crop circles

And click here to see a whole new side of global warming. I would have included the photo on this page but it’s copyrighted.

AND NOW FOR A MOMENT OF SCIENCE:

Extinct Species Had Huge Teeth On Roof Of Mouth – “When the world’s land was congealed in one supercontinent 240 million years ago, Antarctica wasn’t the forbiddingly icy place it is now. But paleontologists have found a previously unknown amphibious predator species that probably still made it less than hospitable.”

Good Luck Gave Dinosaurs Their Edge – “The researchers examined the evolutionary pattern of dinosaurs and crurotarsans in the Late Triassic. Using a very large dataset of anatomical characters – nearly 500 features of the skeleton – and a new family tree of the entire archosaur group, they measured evolutionary rates and morphological disparity (a measurement of the range of different body plans and lifestyles that a group has). They found no difference in the rates at which dinosaurs and crurotarsans were evolving. This was surprising as, if dinosaurs were truly ‘superior’ or ‘out-competing’ crurotarsans in the Triassic, they should be expected to evolve faster. Instead, crurotarsans were keeping pace.”

Robot Scout: Fly Me (Safely) To The Moon – “Keller is deputy project scientist for a robotic scout that will reduce the risk that comes with these daring landings – NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, or LRO. “LRO’s instruments will work together to build a complete, detailed picture of potential landing sites,” says Keller.”

Nano-sized ‘Cargo Ships’ To Destroy Tumors – “Scientists have developed nanometer-sized ‘cargo ships’ that can sail throughout the body via the bloodstream without immediate detection from the body’s immune radar system and ferry their cargo of anti-cancer drugs and markers into tumors that might otherwise go untreated or undetected.”


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