Sunday, September 13, 2015

The Sunday Planet - September 13, 2015

GODSPOTTING
I see god. I see his people godsplaining daily. 
At a recent anti-Iran deal event, we got to enjoy the crazy all in one day. Phil Robertson complained that he was told "god was dead in college, but he wasn't." From there he expressed his love for all things jewish; "You know why I love Israel? Because they wrote the bible, when god decided to become flesh 2015 years ago - just look at your calendar - he became jewish flesh." Robertson is a godly man, he's "anti-pulling babies outta women's wombs, he is anti-perversion" - that means you, gay people. He claims that "WE," which I gather includes you and I and everyone else, "are pro-god almighty, we're pro-gun, we're pro get-your-ass-out and go to work." In his words, "America isn't religious enough."
The Tea-Party anti-Iran rally was more of a church service then anything else. Glenn Beck is still alive, dammit, and he was as crazy as always.
Before he started his sermon, he got one quick anti-science jab in; you know, you can't have god without stupid. Beck says, "I've solved the issue of global warming, it's not our SUVs, it's that big flaming thing in the sky."
Then the sermon started.
"We live in a world that is suffering under the delusion of peace and prosperity..." he says. "The confusion comes from the abandonment of truth, a truth that has been chased out of our public square, out of our public buildings, out of the media, our universities, and quite frankly, out of many of our churches as well."
Tell me more about how truth/religion has been booted from public discourse jackass sitting on the lawn in front of the United States Capitol. Please. Then tell us the why peace and prosperity is a delusion, maybe religion?
The fun continues. "But god's timing is divine, if we fail to restore truth, god will do it for us... In this week's torah portion, we are told about the early Israelites, where moses stood at the edge of the promised land and commanded god's people to choose, life or death, light or darkness, or they would be swept from their promised land. Today we are faced with the exact same choice. Because something is happening in America, something is happening around the world, I believe we are no longer fooled by those who made good evil, and evil good. With Planned Parenthood and the slaughter of our police officers out on the streets, while we get into bed with bad guys... We realized we have been silent too long, we have been dulled, been dulled, into a senseless slumber. But there are millions of people waking up all around the world, they are shaking themselves, and their families, awake. They are turning back to eternal principles, because there is a hunger for truth."
Silent? If only bitches. Yep, I see you god. Truth? You can't handle the truth.
Politicians on the right seem to think getting all friendly and cozy with a myth is the only way to run a campaign.
I see Kim Davis holding hands with Mike Huckabee, a candidate for the president of the United States. I see the rallies for stupid at the jailhouse where she should still be locked up. Kim refuses to follow the law of the land, and this ties in with all the rest. Mike lets us know how "courageous" Kim is for standing up for her beliefs. She takes the stage with Eye of the Tiger playing in the background, (yeah, lawsuit coming). Raising her arms in the usual worshipping pose, she proclaims that "I just want to give god the glory. His people have rallied, and you are a strong people. We serve a living god who knows exactly where each and everyone of us is at. Just keep on pressing, don't let down, because he is here. He's worthy, he's worthy"
Oh crap, he was watching me again? God dammit, give me some privacy god. The anti-government terrorist group, the Oath Keepers," have offered to guard Kim from the state in case they try to arrest her again. Yes, make my day.
Although I like to joke about the stupidity, this is also about a horror that we cannot allow. As with the tea party rally, this is a call to the believers that only god's word is law, not man's. All these events have one thing in common, and that is to impose god's law on the land. Christian law, Sharia law; religion wants us to bow our heads to the idiocy that all holy books promote. The christian conservative right is losing the numbers they once had to promote their agenda, so now the war becomes more "in your face."
The attacks come in all manners, many are hidden.
In Tennessee a mom would like to ban a book on science. The mom, Jackie Sims,  thinks that "The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks" - which is a book about science, race, and ethics - is pornography. Prudes and the anti-education crowd all come from the same pot, religion. I like the ones who try to work around mentioning religion, but all the signs point in that direction. As I've said before, I don't care what someone wants to believe as long as it is not inflicting society as a whole. If she wants to keep her son uneducated, I guess she can. The problem here is that she wants to limit education to all the students in that school. It's not good enough that her son will be less informed, she wants all students to mire in her unenlightened view of the world.
This is how religion is fighting the demise of belief in the U.S. Fear and stupidity are always the main weapons used  in the battle, that hasn't ever changed. 
The godspotting will continue. 

Sunday, September 6, 2015

The Sunday Planet - September 6, 2015

HUMAN

Apparently being human can suck, or maybe it could be better defined as being improper being a humanist in some situations. 
Oh the pain, the suffering, the humiliation; I lost a "friend" on Facebook. 
Well, not really a friend, just a fellow atheist that happened to friend me over the years because we agreed that religion is, well, bunk. I've seen her posts over the last few years - mostly ignoring - but every so often offered an opinion. Last night I was tired, had a few drinks, and finally let her know how I really feel; and that is always a mistake in life. 
She is a writer of books and screenplays, and promotes herself heavily. No problem, good for her. Science Fiction is what she centers on, and hey, I've enjoyed that genre just about my entire life.  I've never read any of her novels or plays so cannot attest to her ability, but I have no reason to doubt it. She has a habit of posting scientific material that sometimes isn't scientific, but that can happen to most of us. No, I have no problem with errors, they're usually straightened out immediately.
So now that I've bored the living hell out of you, let me get to the point. She is one of those who is seemingly very anti-muslim. Like probably most that will read this, I probably agree to a certain extent. To be clear, I think any religion is harmful to society as a whole if left unchecked. To continue with the thought, I really don't care if someone wants to believe in whatever fairy tale grabs their fancy, as long as they don't use it to tell me how to live my life, have any effect on society's mores, or be used to govern; that's where the battles always begins. 
The heart of her muslim posts seem to center on getting rid of them. They are an evil that should be eliminated, Islam is a blight on humanity and must be stopped; the list goes on as it probably should. The last post though was in error again and was about the influx of immigrants, predominately from Syria, trying to escape into other countries, mostly European. The gist of her tirade was that that ungrateful muslims were throwing away food that was given them in Hungary. Hungarians are poor and they could of used that food, etc. 
The real story is that immigrants were tossing away the food because they were going on a hunger strike to protest not being allowed passage to other European nations. Quite a difference in my opinion. 
I see this as a humanitarian crisis of epic proportions, nothing more.
Yes, they're muslim. Yes, it seems that Europe has a problem with immigrants who refuse to integrate into society, I would as well. But yet, these are families escaping war and poverty, are trying to find safety for their children, are trying to find life; wouldn't we do the same? I just can't blame them for the attempt. When I see the photos of a dead child laying on the beach, when I hear the stories of a father's loss as his family drowns, I seem to not see the religion, but the humanity.
It appears I am at odds with many atheists. Maybe it would be better to force them into sleeping in the beds they made. This is all their own doing, they decided to embrace religion - a religion that sucks the morality out of life - why should we care? Maybe they'll destroy each other so we don't have to.
We have had prominent atheists - think Hitchens - who railed against Islam. What would he say if he still was walking this earth, let them die? Dawkins is not a friend, what does he say? The latest I see is that he thinks the richer Arab states should be helping, and in that I agree. With the way the muslim population currently acts in many European countries, I don't see it as being a boon to said countries. Integrate or leave is how I look at it. Become an asset or go home.
An ex-AU-member from the Middle East once explained a issue of morality that comes up every so often. When a country is hit by drought, or other natural phenomenon that makes it hard for the people to survive, they are taken in by neighboring states who support them until they can go back home. They do this because maybe next year it will be the opposite. It is survival. Possibly this should be treated the same way?
There are now over 4 million refugees out of Syria. Turkey has taken in almost half of them. This should be a problem that muslim states deal with, not the west. Yet if the Middle East is going to be up in flames for years, maybe the farther away you can run the better. Perhaps I am just too liberal in my thinking? Should a more conservative viewpoint be embraced?
I'm sure my European friends will be happy to explain the problem, please do.
Regardless, being human to me means that allowing other humans to suffer is immoral. At times it appears I may be wrong, but that's a problem I haven't come to grips with yet.
Being human at times can and does suck, but that's based on a selfish vision. To be a humanitarian would appear to be even much worse if the decisions you make are in error. 

Sunday, August 2, 2015

The Planet - August 2, 2015

JUMPSEAT JESUS

Jesus is always helping those in need; he's a standup kind of guy, always there when you need him. Unfortunately, he's not that bright and can't drive worth shit.
In Bellevue Ohio a nice lady decided it was time to pray while driving. Unfortunately, when she handed the wheel to jesus she must have forgotten that sheep herders just aren't that techie. Well, jesus ran over a 50 year old grandmother who was helping her grandchildren out of a parked car breaking her neck.
The driver was not under the influence of drugs or alcohol. She was not on her cellphone. She was under the influence of jesus. Although the story is sad enough as it is, it gets worse; she was charged with vehicular assault, but the apparently god-fearing judge decided she just needed probation and a fine, and maybe a little intervention. Remember this if you ever get in an accident, it might be fun.
In Fort Wayne Indiana, once more god was given the wheel. Pridona Hill told police that as she was driving down the road when out of nowhere god told her he'd take over, so she let him. Once again, the all knowing divine being just didn't seem to have the skills necessary to stay in between the lines. This time it was a motorcyclist who paid the price.
Not only did she run over the bike, she ran over the driver as well. Again, the "god defense" should be interesting. Pridona was charged.
What makes this slightly fun, is that the motorcyclist was thinking of god as he was being run down. He lived, she lived, I guess they are both blessed. What a capricious, fun, jackass, god is, you just never know what he'll do. Did he get a chuckle out of this? Was he like, "I'm going to run this bastard down, and then the man cried out to god, so god had to change his mind midstream?
In both of those states you could be locked up for smoking a fatty, but apparently if you're on a mission from god you can do whatever you want.

Friday, July 24, 2015

The Planet - July 24, 2015

IN GOD WE TRUST

Christians are a loud bunch, and their desperate cries make there way across the planet. That desperation circles the globe with their laments, desires, and their need to be forever victims. Although islam's cruelty for the moment is in most of our thoughts as they destroy any claim they may have had to morality, christianity is crumbling as well.
I hear the worry, and see the problems first hand, that other western countries see when they look at this country. To have such a warrior mentality bomb, mixed with a fuse that is the overabundance of religion, is scary. Heck, I live here and it scares the shit out of me also.
But these are the cries of the lost, of a forever child that resists maturing into an adult. 
Different states have different characteristics, some very secular, some very religious, and most a mix of sanity and crazy. Conservatives have allowed christianity to take over their politics to the horror of the majority. Christianity, money, and crazy; oh the joy of living in a free country. Well, we're only really free in our own minds.
When I leave Michigan I almost always cross Indiana in one direction or another. This state is the Mississippi of the north, and the crazy has taken hold. The most common plates you see say "In God We Trust." Not the only state, but one that will not let you put "jesussux" as a plate number if you have a different opinion. In states that do this, there are always those who detest combining church and government. There are legal actions pending to allow people to put whatever they want on their plate, a free speech issue, but that will not stop the insertion of religion into every hidden corner theists can find.
The latest, and in my thoughts, sneakiest insertion of religion into local government is in Missouri. Government owned vehicles they are now wearing "In God We Trust" decals. Not just any government vehicle, but police cars.
Now that raises so many problems. It won't be long before a third of this country does not belong to any religious or spiritual group. That's a lot of Americans to mess with. Then if you add non-christian groups, damn, you might be messing with a majority of constituents.
There is also the thought that our laws are not based on the bible, period. So now you have a police force that may be enforcing faulty biblical morality on its citizenry, a police force that gives the appearance that christianity guides their hands. This is in an area where evangelicals are the main religious force, and they grab what they like from both testaments; wonder if they'll close down all the Crab Shacks.
This is a direct violation of the Establishment clause and with any luck someone will sue them quickly. That is if someone is ready to be driven out of the state. Although I know this is one county in one state, the significance of this action cannot be dismissed. I went to the FB page of this police force and noticed all the positive responses from the scared populace of the area. Other counties in the area are being asked by the religious to do the same.
If this catches on and is not immediately addressed by the courts, we could have our own Sharia Law coming to a town near you. Rejoice Sinners!

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

The Planet - June 3, 2015

TRUTH
Atheists we are, and atheists we will more than likely be for the rest of our days on this earth. Every morning begins a new day of sharing this life experience with family, friends, and others that enter our sphere for a moment or two. Life is good.
Still, there's always a pit that awaits. Reality will be challenged at some point in the day, or week, or month; you can count on it. No matter how calmly you speak, smiles will turn to frowns, voices will be raised, friends will become enemies. Unless you smile and turn away, your life may head down a less desirable path. Truth becomes the enemy. It will lead you to a place where you may be shunned and derided. 
Yet there are those who will agree with you - not many - but an ever increasing number. Not enough to help though; it takes bravery to speak truth with a voice louder than a whisper. Most humans would rather not be confrontational. Those who take a stand for truth are few. The majority who enjoy confrontation seem to belong to groups who cling to misguided beliefs, who need the comfort of lies instead of the reality of truth. Those that scream their thoughts from the rooftops the loudest are those who are the most afraid. 
We all know there is a battle being fought. I am a fairly confrontational person, yet watching a well known atheist battle the Fox News pundits gives me the shakes. To confront the lion in his own den would seem to be foolish, yet over and over the attempt is made. There are those who fight for reality in the mainstream. Atheists owe them.
So how will you repay the debt? I think the "herding cats" simile when applied to atheists is an arrogant mantra that we kind of like, and need to let go. Yes, atheists are as different from one another as any other group, yet other groups can and do act together for the benefit of all. We have atheists groups all over the country, splinters of reality that need to work together. Even this network is an example of one of these splinters. These groups, large and small, are the nucleus of a needed movement to make life better for all the nons.
I think the time to unite is past due. If we work together we will create a substantial voting block. We should be supporting those who stand up for us. I have been a member of several different atheist groups, then let that membership drop. Yep, I'm a big ugly tomcat that does what he wants and doesn't care about what people think. Not misanthropic yet, but leaning in that direction. Humanity sucks at times, and at times is wonderful beyond belief. What we need is a road to acceptance, passing belief in truth's fast lane; destination reality.
The fight has been long, and has been strong. Just think of the bravery it took more than half a decade ago to protect our first amendment rights by challenging prayer in school. 
"Your petitioners are atheists, and they define their lifestyle as follows. An atheist loves himself and his fellow man instead of a god. An atheist accepts that heaven is something for which we should work now – here on earth – for all men together to enjoy. An atheist accepts that he can get no help through prayer, but that he must find in himself the inner conviction and strength to meet life, to grapple with it, to subdue it and to enjoy it. An atheist accepts that only in a knowledge of himself and a knowledge of his fellow man can he find the understanding that will help lead to a life of fulfillment." - Madalyn Murray O'Hair
Do you feel the joy I feel when reading this? That in 1959, someone in this country had the courage to challenge the powers that be with such a perfectly reasoned statement?
If you're not supporting your right to participate in society in whatever capacity you choose, you need to start; now. American Atheists, Freedom From Religion Foundation, Secular Coalition for America, etc. The list is long, pick one and give them a couple of bucks.
The World thanks you.

Monday, June 1, 2015

The Planet - June 1, 2015

GOD'S GREATEST
What does it take to be a believer? Humility, love, compassion, and maybe just a little generosity? Hell no.
In the "I pray daily" state of Oklahoma, a family is running from threats received by the good book club. A mother had the audacity to complain about bible giveaways in her child's public school, and as you know, jesus's followers are a bitchy lot. Her son felt pressured to go up front and grab a copy off the teacher's desk; it must be hard to be the only reality based person in the asylum. Easily a separation of church and state violation regardless of what the faithful are whining about.
Regardless, the threats seemingly have forced the family to move. Followers are such a gentle lot.
Just to the south, Texas has decided that pastors need protection. And no, we're not talking about any sexual activities that they more than likely partake in, we're talking about protecting pastors from having to act like loving human beings. Texas pastors will be able to refuse to marry same sex couples, and the bill would seem to allow the medical community to not recognize the unions as well. Yes, the religious community in the United States of Jesus needs legal protection to guard against the atrocity of humans loving humans.
The above stories are not really that amazing though. The south is jesusland and the crazies infest the land like an unkempt restaurant lodges cockroaches. It's a filth that needs to be cleaned. That filth extends it's tendrils across the land dirtying everything it comes into contact with.
In Michigan, an anti-gay pastor lost his job after he was outed for using an app called "Queerly" to find himself someloving companionship. It is always the same story, the most homophobic small-minded humans always partake in what they rail so mightily against. 
The problem doesn't rest on his desire to experiment, it rests on his hypocrisy. 
Back to the south, since nobody does jesus crap better than them. In South Carolina, a private school named Blue Ridge Christian Academy gave its students a "creationist" science quiz. Approved by Answers in Genesis, the proprietors of the Creation Museum, this test is guaranteed to produce a new generation of idiots; which in my mind should be illegal. The photos tell the story, and apparently snopes has validated the crazy.
We know that children have inquiring minds. The only way to raise them christian is to apparently satisfy that yearning with falsehoods and fairy tales. 
Christians are afraid. They're afraid of an ever-evolving enlightened world where the biblical tales of horror are considered to be no more than any other book of fiction. They can see the end game, and that game does not end in a win for the faithful. 
There is no doubt that at an increasing pace Americans are leaving the church. How can one respect an institution that ignores the fact that respect is earned? They are above the law, above morality, and the last bastion of a vile word. No matter how much I may love my fellow man, that love comes with a deep abhorrence of the fantasy that shrouds their religious minds in darkness. 
It is apparent that if the religious will not clean their own house, that if they refuse to admit that they are not above but part of humanity, they can only fail. 
Although there are always more stories to tell, I'll leave you with this horror. Christian parents in North Carolina educated their seven children at home. Always the number once choice of the certifiably insane. Six boys and one girl, apparently not a good mix for the faithful. All six brothers have been charged with raping their sister, telling her that if she told anyone she would go to hell. Apparently the parents knew but did nothing to stop it. When the parents caughtwind of the investigation, they ran to Colorado; didn't help. 
My only thought of the above stories is this; they all know there is no hell, they all know that there is no punishment after death, they all know religion is a scam. They all take advantage of the sickness they spread, and the false respect given.
Religion is a madness, a creeping illness that debilitates the human desire for happiness, comfort, and justice.
I believe in justice in this life, screw anything else.

Monday, June 30, 2014

The Planet - June 30, 2014

IN GOD WE TRUST
The religious have decided to go all in. In a mad rush to create a theocracy, they have doomed themselves, and apparently the rest of us. Their zeal to demolish democracy is unmatched, their inherent inability to think critically is their holy path to emulation.
The Hobby Lobby decision shows that religious freedom no longer exists. If you work for a christian company, you will follow christian dogma, if you work for a muslim company, you will be guided by the light of allah. No longer do you have the freedom to be religious, or non-religious, during most of your life. 
I did send a message to the SCOTUS godcocksuckers, it was the least I could do:
Dear Conservative Fools,
Thanks so much for hurrying the decline of religion in the states. The idiocy that religion brings to our daily lives will now finally end. As soon as Burkas are required in some businesses, and Pastafarians refuse to pay for prescription antacids - tomato sauce is holy fools - then we can finally place religion where it belongs, in the trash bin of history.
Thanks, you guys rock!
Neal
Then, still in a fit of rage, I sent a message to Hobby Lobby through the Becket Foundation for god botherers. Ah, it is fun to rant a little.
If you're not pissed, you better be soon. Do you think "theocracy" is a little overboard in this discussion? Here's what Hobby Lobby puts in newspapers every forth of July:
Nice. Sounds like they're an all inclusive bunch; not. These little footstools for fools have the money and power to change this country. As the inequality gap widens, those with the money can tell us how to live. 
There is an all out coordinated attack to repress the public. Women are at the forefront, they will be beaten back into submission if the radicals have their way. Just this year there have been 303 provisions enacted at state levels to prevent women from having the ability to make their own decisions in personal health care. Healthcare, burkhas, all the same thing. 
This is an affront to all freethinkers. If there was going to be a groundswell of opposition to conservative christianity, this is the time.