YouTube atheists unite against breast cancer

August 28, 2009

This Week In God 8.28.09

August 28, 2009

1. Phillip Garrido: kidnapper, child rapist, Heaven-bound-Jesus-lover – So Garrido and his wife kidnapped this 11-year-old girl in 1991, they imprisoned her in the backyard, he raped her repeatedly, he had 2 children with her (now 11 and 15 years old) who were also imprisoned for their whole lives, and of course he loves Jesus. In fact, some thought he was even going to start a church. Lovely. Oh, and he has–err, had a blog where he discussed Jesus.

2. 64% of people won’t be swayed by scientific evidence if it conflicts with their religious beliefs – That is frightening, though not entirely surprising. It’s like trying to convince an anti-vaccinationist that maybe their gut isn’t a better expert than the doctors.

faith healing3. Washington state law considers Christian Science faith healing to be acceptable medical treatment

Washington’s law specifies that a person treated through faith healing “by a duly accredited Christian Science practitioner in lieu of medical care is not considered deprived of medically necessary health care or abandoned.” Other religions are not mentioned.

prayerhardwork4. Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann’s solution to healthcare – I’ve talked about this fucktard before. Just about every word out of her mouth seems to make Sarah Palin look smarter by comparison. Case in point, her solution to the healthcare crisis:

“That’s really where this battle will be won — on our knees in prayer and fasting,” she told the listeners. “Remember: faith without works is dead. So we’re asking you to do all of it: pray, fast, believe, trust the Lord, but also act.”

Seriously, can’t we throw her out of office at this point?

Anti-vaccinationists show their cowardice

August 28, 2009

vaccine3The anti-vaccinationists over at SafeMinds were invited to participate in a panel discussion about vaccines and autism by MSNBC. The producer of the program informed them that the other panelists would be Dr. Anthony Fauci, NIH’s Director of the National institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and an unnamed vaccine manufacturer were also invited.

But when they heard that Dr. Nancy Snyderman, a strong critic of the anti-vaccination movement, was going to be the moderator, they backed out:

After much deliberation, SafeMinds declined the interview due to concerns with regard to Dr. Snyderman’s ability to objectively “moderate” this panel discussion.

This is a rather lame cop-out. This is  a topic where everyone seems to have a strong opinion one way or the other. So presumably, no matter who was chosen to moderate the discussion, that person would have their opinion on the topic. When has a moderator having actually thoughts and opinions of their own ever invalidated their position as a moderator? It’s not a conflict of interest. SafeMinds just wants to use this as an excuse to call the media biased because that’s proven to be an effective tactic among the brainless, even though the media has sadly been more on the side of the anti-vaccination movement for some time.

And it’s worth pointing out that given that no one has yet provided evidence for an evil conspiracy or for a link between vaccines and autism, it’s not even accurate to call Snyderman biased since she’s taking the null hypothesis. The fact that SafeMinds was invited at all was giving them more than they deserve because there is no legitimate controversy in the scientific community.

Then they have the audacity to libel Snyderman by claiming that she has an ideological approach and is demonizing parents, neither is true. But when you view mere vocal disagreement with your own ideology as demonizing parents, it’s impossible not to offend you.

So I hope MSNBC still does the panel discussion without any anti-vaccinationists defending a position for which they have no rational basis for holding.

News From Around The Blogosphere 8.27.09

August 27, 2009

1. Kentucky no longer protected by Yahweh – The state had somehow managed to pass a law requiring the Dept. of Homeland Security to recognize that Kentucky relies on the protection of the Christian god, making many wonder why they would even need the Dept. of Homeland Security. But it no longer matters because that law has now been overturned due to its extreme unconstitutionality.

2. Senator Ted Kennedy’s 1983 speech at Liberty “University” – Yes, that Liberty “University.” Of course Kennedy gave a very different kind of speech than what one would typically expect at the school, emphasizing church/state separation and liberal causes.

3. Those anti-healthcare reform protesters at the town hall meetings are classy folks:

Christian kid sent home from school for anti-Islam shirt

August 27, 2009

Last week, I posted a blog where I called Islam evil. A few days later, I revised and said religion was evil when Christianity illustrated how it could be just as repulsive. But it’s one thing to post that on an internet blog. It’s quite another thing, however, to show up to a public school wearing a shirt that says, “Islam is of the Devil.” This of course led to the student who did this being sent home from school, which I feel was an entirely appropriate punishment.

When the kid was interviewed, she admitted to not even really having any contact with any Muslims and that she doesn’t know why that is. Really? You can’t figure that one out?

Then Wayne Sapp, the senior pastor at Dove World Outreach Center and the man responsible for making the shirts, gives a completely ridiculous false analogy where he attempts to compare a shirt calling the religion of others of the devil to a hypothetical shirt declaring that your mom is really your mom. Cause obviously those 2 ideas are comparable in terms of their appropriateness in school.

And here’s Pastor Terry Jones of Dove World Outreach Center talking about the shirts:

Now the Friendly Atheist asks exactly the same question I would. You think these guys would defend a person’s right to wear a shirt in school that reads “Jesus is of the Devil”? Given how many times I’ve seen evangelical Christians overreact to even billboards that simple tell non-believers that they’re not alone, I find it very, very hard to believe these guys would so passionately defend the rights of someone to wear a “Jesus is of the Devil” shirt in school.

Now as much of a defender of free speech that I am, I wouldn’t defend either shirt. I agree with the hosts of the first video above. Promoting your love of Jesus is fine with me. Attacking someone else’s beliefs in school is unnecessarily divisive and can reasonably be censored within a school setting.

Google Monster

August 27, 2009

Someones arm

Someone's arm

The latest Google feature seems to be finding mythological monsters. Using Google Earth, a security guard found what he thinks is. . .wait for it. . .the Lock Ness Monster.

And while most would probably dismiss this as a blob of nothing, Adrian Shine thinks it warrents further study. Of course she also happens to be a researcher from the Loch Ness Project, so methinks she’s a little biased on the matter.

I found this paragraph particularly amusing:

Earlier this year it was reported that climate change may have killed the Loch Ness Monster. There have been “no “credible sightings” of Nessie for over a year.

Of course! Maybe climate change killed Nessie. After all, it killed all the leprechauns and unicorns, didn’t it?

News From Around The Blogosphere 8.25.09

August 26, 2009

Atheist comedian releases new albumKeith Lowell Jensen, known as the atheist comedian with the Co-Exist comedy tour, has a new album, To The Moon… Live at Luna’s, where he doesn’t actually discuss religion but does, from what I hear, mock my favorite moron, Jenny McCarthy. I haven’t heard the album myself, so I’m going on the recommendation of the Friendly Atheist.

Article on James Randi and the skeptical movement – Though I strongly disapprove of the author’s constant use of religious terminology to describe the reverence for James Randi, and I also disapprove of the quote describing skeptics as particularly distrustful of government. But otherwise, I feel this is for the most part, a great article.