Institute for Creation Research blames the victims for atheist billboard vandalism

July 2, 2010

Christine Dao of the ironically named Institute for Creation Research knows who’s responsible for the constant vandalism of atheist and secular advertisements, the atheists themselves:

While vandalism should not be condoned, these recent events shed light on what some Americans will do when they feel that their freedom of speech is threatened. An atheist spokesman in North Carolina said their message is needed to “let people know we exist and that there’s a community here.”

Yet he failed to mention the concerted effort of atheist groups to stop religious Americans from freely exercising their religion. Not content with having the freedom themselves to worship or not as they see fit, militant atheists increasingly seek to shackle the beliefs of their fellow citizens through their own distorted interpretation of “separation of church and state.”

It is perhaps not surprising that some of those fellow citizens object.

Friendly Atheist sums it up nicely here:

I look forward to Dao’s next posting, where she says that rape is wrong, but if a woman wears revealing clothing, she’s just asking for it.

This bitch seriously has the audacity to say it’s the atheists’ fault because they should have expected Christian hypocrisy. Well I agree that we should expect Christian hypocrisy. I’m just shocked she would admit to it.

And as for the claim that we’re trying to steal their religion, that’s just asshole dumb. No one is stopping Christians from freely expressing their beliefs. Rather our goal is to protect the rule of law that keeps government bodies and public resources from being exploited to promote sectarian ideologies. Now if the religious were smart, they’d want to keep the separation between church and state because it keeps government from meddling in religious affairs. You see, it works both ways.

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Religion news lightning round

June 27, 2010

I’m really behind on my religion news, so here’s a quick list of some of the major reliigions stories of the last few days:

1. Pope more outraged over Belgian raids of Catholic Church than child abuse – Belgium officials seized nearly 500 files and a computer from the offices of a Church commission investigating allegations of sex abuse. Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the Vatican Secretary of State, said the Belgian bishops were left all day without food or drink even though that was a lie. The Catholic Church in Belgium has apologised for its silence on abuse cases in the past, and for some reason they seem to think that is sufficient justice.

Jeffrey Newell contemplates how many boys he can rape today

2. Sex abuse victim charges Catholic Church with fraud – Sixteen years after being molested by a priest for several years, the victim discovered his rapist, Rev. Jeffrey Newell, is still operating as a priest and his MySpace page lists a half-dozen teenage boys as friends.

That discovery led to a lawsuit filed Tuesday against the Los Angeles archdiocese alleging that church leaders engaged in fraud and negligence by allowing Newell to continue serving as a priest long after his alleged crimes were reported.

3. ‘One Nation Indivisible’ billboard vandalized only days after going up – Several days ago, I wrote about the billboard that the North Carolina Secular Association put up above the Billy Graham Parkway. Well, apparently this incredibly benign sign pissed someone off so much that they felt it essential that they break the law to further demonstrate why religion is evil.

4. But another one is going up in Florida

5. Fundies further crusade against the Friendly Atheist – Last year, I wrote several pieces about Laurie Higgins and her Illinois Family Institute’s crazy attacks on Hemant Mehta, the Friendly Atheist. Well, she’s back with some more wild accusations about Mehta, who responds to her latest attacks himself here and here.

6. Scholar suggest Jesus didn’t die on the cross – I’d agree on the grounds that Jesus never existed but historians but theologian Gunnar Samuelsson just says the text has been misinterpreted:

He claims the Bible has been misinterpreted as there are no explicit references the use of nails or to crucifixion – only that Jesus bore a “staurus” towards Calvary which is not necessarily a cross but can also mean a “pole”.

Mr Samuelsson, who has written a 400-page thesis after studying the original texts, said: “The problem is descriptions of crucifixions are remarkably absent in the antique literature.

“The sources where you would expect to find support for the established understanding of the event really don’t say anything.”

7. Detroit Catholics fighting for the right of rapists to go unpunished

Victims of abuse by Catholic clergy are expressing dismay at the strong lobbying the church is doing in Lansing to halt an effort to remove Michigan’s statute of limitations on sex abuse cases. In Michigan, victims must file criminal or civil complaints by the time they turn 19 — what some say is an unrealistic limit on kids who often are traumatized for years by the abuse.

The church maintains that removing the statute of limitations could open the floodgates to abuse cases that are a half-century old and could take money away from programs that benefit the poor.

Yeah, everyone knows that crimes cease being bad if you sweep them under the rug for long enough .

8. YouTube censors music video critical of the Pope

The alternative rock band Fuji Minx recently released a music video for their song, “The Music Made Me Do It.” The video was uploaded to YouTube and then taken down by YouTube without explanation after six days.

The video is dedicated to “Recovering Catholics Everywhere” and features the burning of a photo of the Pope with the word “Confess” written on it in red. There is also a photo of musician Sinead O’Connor in the video which is placed on a dresser covering a picture of Jesus. O’Connor made headlines a number of years ago by ripping up a photo of the previous Pope live on TV.

And you can find an embedded copy of that video in the link above. And the lead singer of the band, Greta Valenti, discusses the controversy in an interview here.

News From Around The Blogosphere 6.22.10

June 22, 2010

1. North Carolina Secular Association introduces great new billboard – I really like this one. It’s a bit subtle but it promotes humanist values, separation between church and state, and cannot reasonably be argued to be mean…cause Zeus forbid we’re a little bit critical in our ads.

2. The Penn is mightier than “The Word” – Outspoken atheist and skeptic Penn Jillette (aka the talking half of Penn & Teller) is coming out with a new book titled GOD, NO! SIGNS YOU MAY ALREADY BE AN ATHEIST AND OTHER MAGICAL TALES. I don’t know much about it yet but ya gotta love that title.

3. Snubbed Mississippi lesbian teen going to the White House – Constance McMillen, the Mississippi teen whose high school held the prom without her because of her open homosexuality, was scheduled to attend a Pride reception at the White House tonight where Obama is supposed to have been present and delivering a short speech. She’s also going to be a grand marshall at New York Pride this Sunday. Constance McMillen is having the best week ever. Congratulations!

4. Religious Right bigots protesting Home Depot – Yup, my old friends at the American Family Association are outrage…OUTRAGED that Home Depot signed on as a major sponsor of its 2010 Gay Pride event:

But simply financing the event wasn’t enough for the big box chain.

Home Depot also signed on as a vendor, conducting kid’s craft workshops for children in the midst of loud and boisterous gay activities.

OH NOES! Anything but kid’s crafts workshops! Everyone knows crafts lead to homosexuality, and that homosexuality in turn leads to the apocalypse!

Of course the AFA is launching a protest but it will likely be as effective as their Pepsi boycott that failed to get Pepsi to even acknowledge their existence, let alone cause the company to change its evil, evil, pro-LGBT ways.

News From Around The Blogosphere 12.20.09

December 20, 2009

1. Australian Catholic leader says cancer can be cured with prayer – According to the head of the Catholic Church in Australia, Cardinal Pell:

“Yes obviously (cancer can be cured by prayer),” Cardinal Pell told ABC Television on Monday.

“And there are quite a number of examples in the books.”

Cardinal Pell says that won’t give sick people a false sense of security because they realise cure by prayer is a “very long shot”.

So is “God” not all powerful or just usually a prick? Which is it? How about amputees? What’s “God’s” success rate at curing them?

2. Flying Spaghetti Monster or Cthulhu revealed in dining room table

3. The Onion lists the top 10 stories of the last 4.5 billion years – The Onion proves to be the ultimate cure for end of the ubiquitous year/end of the decade lists. My favorite on the list is “Sumerians Look On In Confusion As God Creates World”:

Members of the earth’s earliest known civilization, the Sumerians, looked on in shock and confusion some 6,000 years ago as God, the Lord Almighty, created Heaven and Earth.

According to recently excavated clay tablets inscribed with cuneiform script, thousands of Sumerians—the first humans to establish systems of writing, agriculture, and government—were working on their sophisticated irrigation systems when the Father of All Creation reached down from the ether and blew the divine spirit of life into their thriving civilization.

“I do not understand,” reads an ancient line of pictographs depicting the sun, the moon, water, and a Sumerian who appears to be scratching his head. “A booming voice is saying, ‘Let there be light,’ but there is already light. It is saying, ‘Let the earth bring forth grass,’ but I am already standing on grass.”

I’m also quite partial to these other two items on the list: “Woman Domesticated” and “Industrial Revolution Provides Millions Of Out-Of-Work-Children With Jobs.”

4. Solstice display goes up in Raleigh, North Carolina – The Triangle Freethought Society put up the display in Moore Square near a nativity scene. The display tells the real reason for the season.

Happy Solstice everyone!

News From Around The Blogosphere 12.8.09

December 8, 2009

1. Attack of the killer tomatoes -New research shows that tomatoes and potatoes are deadly killers…well at least to the same degree as Venus fly traps:

Botanists have discovered for the first time that the plants are carnivorous predators who kill insects in order to “self-fertilise” themselves.

New research shows that they capture and kill small insects with sticky hairs on their stems and then absorb nutrients through their roots when the animals decay and fall to the ground.

2. When quacks unite – It seems that those responsible for the placebo known as Airborne have united with the frauds known as Generation Rescue possibly to try and fund a “study” to compare vaccinated and unvaccinated populations. Of course, given Generation Rescue’s track record for studies and track record when it comes to honesty, one would have to be certifiably insane to take any “study” they produce seriously, especially if they’re teaming up with Airborne, a product that despite costing several dollars, is more useless than the pet rock.

3. Elected public official may be denied office because he’s an atheist – I blogged about Cecil Bothwell before. He’s the elected official in Asheville, NC who won despite his opponent trying to damage his character by telling everyone that he’s an atheist and wrote a book condemning Billy Graham. Well, according to the North Carolina constitution, atheists cannot serve public office. But given that this law is a clear violation of the federal Constitution, he has a basis for a legal defense should the state choose to enforce the state law.

4. Virgin Galactic unveils SpaceShipTwo

A spacecraft designed to rocket wealthy tourists into space as early as 2011 was unveiled Monday in what backers of the venture hope will signal a new era in aviation history.

The long-awaited glimpse of SpaceShipTwo marks the first public appearance of a commercial passenger spacecraft. The project is bankrolled by Virgin Galactic founder, British billionaire Sir Richard Branson, who partnered with famed aviation designer Burt Rutan, the brains behind the venture.

Can’t wait for Virgin to pop its cherry.

News From Around The Blogosphere 11.11.09

November 11, 2009

Jesus takes hostage1. Religion kills another one – Texas executed Khristian Oliver for a murder committed during a burglary:

While deciding whether he should live or die, jurors at his trial consulted copies of the Bible in a highly selective manner by using texts supporting the death penalty, thus calling their impartiality into serious question.Though Christians, they apparently ignored the teaching of Jesus on mercy, forgiveness and rejection of the eye-for-an-eye mentality.

Isn’t it so good knowing that life and death decisions are being made in courtrooms by a ancient Bronze Age mythology book?

2. Judge may fine Forsyth County in North Carolina $100,000 for violating separation of church and state – Magistrate Judge P. Trevor Sharp has argued that prayers citing Jesus and other deities before Forsyth County Commissioners  meetings are unconstitutional:

“The undisputed record shows that the prayers delivered at the outset of Board meetings from May 29, 2007 through December 15, 2008 referred to Jesus, Jesus Christ, Christ, or Savior with overwhelming frequency… No non- Christian deities are invoked… These prayers as a whole cannot be considered non- sectarian or civil prayer. They display a preference for Christianity over other religions by the government.”

naughty or nice3. The religious nuts at the Liberty Counsel are telling people where they should and shouldn’t shop this year – They’ve released their seventh annual “Naughty & Nice list” (PDF).

Also Friendly Atheist caught them lying:

This year, don’t you dare shop at Office Depot:

Web site: “Christmas” search only produced “Holiday” items such as “Holiday Cards.”

(Really? That’s not what I found.)

But Office Max is totally fine:

Web site: “Great Christmas and Holiday gifts.”

(Really? That’s not what I found.)

Their goal is to show that all these evil, godless, liberal stores are just out to steal Christmas and therefore, they should be punished. Of course the reality of it is that the true meaning of Christmas is Capitalism and its patron saint, Santa Claus. So smart stores evolve and embrace inclusive multiculturalism over exclusiveness because they want everyone’s business. So I’ve got a tip for the “Liberty” Counsel:  Find a successful business model for selling products (not religions) that involves alienating non-Christian customers, and stores will happily follow that model.

Me, on the other hand–I’m shopping at the stores they marked “Naughty.”

4. China hosting Robot Olympics in 2010 – Automated humanoids (two arms, two legs, no wheels) will compete in traditional athletic events like track and field, javelin throwing, and possibly synchronized swimming, as well as robot-specific events like cleaning things.

News From Around The Blogosphere 11.3.09

November 4, 2009

1. Atheist wins NC City Council seat – The other day, I blogged about Cecil Bothwell, the Asheville, NC City Council candidate who was being attack by his opponent because of his atheism and his scathing attacks on Rev. Billy Graham. Well, he won. Congratulations!

2. Dark Matter, Dark Energy: 95% Of Universe

A detailed picture of the seeds of structures in the universe has been unveiled by an international team co-led by Sarah Church of the Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology, jointly located at the Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and Stanford University, and by Walter Gear, of Cardiff University in the United Kingdom. These measurements of the cosmic microwave background — a faintly glowing relic of the hot, dense, young universe — put limits on proposed alternatives to the standard model of cosmology and provide further support for the standard cosmological model, confirming that dark matter and dark energy make up 95% of everything in existence, while ordinary matter makes up just 5%.

scientist-use-in-case-of-emergency3. Speed Limit To The Pace Of Evolution?

Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania have developed a theoretical model that informs the understanding of evolution and determines how quickly an organism will evolve using a catalogue of “evolutionary speed limits.” The model provides quantitative predictions for the speed of evolution on various “fitness landscapes,” the dynamic and varied conditions under which bacteria, viruses and even humans adapt.


What book are Christians burning now?

October 15, 2009

The Amazing Grace Baptist Church in North Carolina has decided to organize an annual book burning around Halloween. So yes, they are celebrating Halloween, only in their own fascist, Nazi-like way. Among the many books they intend to burn is the Bible. I’m not joking:

Yes, apparently “God” didn’t write the Bible; he just cribbed off of thousands of older versions and decided to copy it all into his native language, English.

Asheville, NC: The woo capital of the world

April 7, 2009

Asheville, North Carolina has bigger problems than a completely unnecessary “e” in their name:

From massage therapy to acupuncture to chiropractic, Asheville boasts one of the highest concentrations of alternative medicine practitioners in North Carolina and the United States.

But while the city is home to nearly 2 percent of all alternative medical practices in the country, these therapies have remained largely separate from traditional western medicine in the area.

Hmm, I wonder if my favorite North Carolina quack Rashid Buttar is near there.

News From Around The Blogosphere 01.11.09

January 11, 2009

Brunswick County, North Carolina:  Hellmouth of Stupidity – I apologize to all the smart people from this county, but huh, by now you must have figured out that you’re surrounded by morons.

God has ruled “there was absolutely no moral prohibition against the indiscriminate killing of civilians during a potential massive military offensive on Gaza aimed at stopping the rocket launchings.” I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again:  God’s an ASSHOLE!

Swayze vs. Crazy – Actor Patrick Swayze tells alternative medicine cranks to “Shut up.”  Well said, sir.

Anti-vaccination for animals too? – Now if I were a really huge animal lover this would really, really piss me off as much as the main anti-vaccination movement does piss me off. Promoting not vaccinating animals at all is infinitely worse on the animal cruelty scale than anything Michael Vick ever did.