Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Message from Christopher Hitchens to all American Atheists

I'm still on vacation, so here's something to fill the gap. It's an amazing and courageous message from Christopher Hitchens, who is dying of cancer. If ever there was any doubt about Hitchens' atheism, this should put it to rest. He's trusting to science, not magic, and says:
"[We] affirm life over the cults of death and human sacrifice and are afraid, not of inevitable death, but rather of a human life that is cramped and distorted by the pathetic need to offer mindless adulation, or the dismal belief that the laws of nature respond to wailings and incantations."
Hitchens demonstrates once again that atheism is a life-affirming view of the universe, one that puts real life above an imagined promise of the afterlife.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Child Denied First Communion Because of Cerebral Palsy

I'm on holiday this week, so I'll leave my faithful readers with this article.
Child Denied First Communion
The child has cerebral palsy, and Catholic law says that the person receiving communion must have "sufficient knowledge" of Christ. The priest decided that the child didn't qualify. It seems to me that anyone with "sufficient knowledge" of the story of Jesus would know that it's all a bunch of mythology anyway. But hey, I don't make the rules.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Philip Spooner - 86 Year Old Vet Speaking for Gay Marriage

An amazing speech by a true American hero. Pass it on ...

Friday, April 22, 2011

Koran Burning Preacher Wants to Protest Muslims - With a Gun in his Pocket?

The news about Terry Jones, the Qur'an-burning Baptist preacher, just gets better and better: now there's a "gun incident" for our amusement. Except that Jones isn't a very amusing guy.

This morning, Terry Jones was in court in Dearborn, Michigan trying to convince a judge and jury that the city of Dearborn should be forced to give Jones a permit to protest Sharia law outside a local Muslim mosque.

Can you imagine what the judge and jury will think when Jones tells them the "gun incident" isn't important?

Gun incident?? What gun incident? Why, the one where

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Paranormal Explorers: Serious Ghost Hunting!

Here's a bit of amusement for today: Paranormal Explorers. These guys are apparently serious. Got a ghost problem? Give 'em a call!

The site speaks for itself, so I'll say no more.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Muslim Women Not Allowed to Question Veils -- In Britain!

We're quick to criticize Muslim men in the Middle East for their terrible oppression of women. Women are denied educations, forced into marriages, not allowed to work, and occasionally even murdered with no consequences. In the most conservative Islamic countries, women aren't even allowed to be seen by any man but their husband.

But that's only in third-world countries far, far away, right? Surely Muslims in America and Britain don't subscribe to such sexist, oppressive nonsense. Right?


The Muslim Council of Britain has stated women must wear veils. Better yet, they're not even allowed to debate it. It is a "shortcoming" for a woman to show her uncovered face, and any Muslim who disagrees is rejecting Islam.

The Council cites a statement from the Holy Qur'an:

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

New Republicans: Tearing Down America

I'm short on time for a blog today, so I'll leave you with this must-read editorial from the New York Times: The New Republican Landscape:
"Six months after voters sent Republicans in large numbers to Congress and many statehouses, it is possible to see the full landscape of destruction that their policies would cause ... [Mr. Ryan's] bill would end the guarantee provided by Medicare and Medicaid to the elderly and the poor ... [the elderly] would be cut adrift ... cut food stamps ... increase hunger among the poor. ... And it would do all that while preserving the Bush tax cuts for the rich, and even expanding them."
Read the whole article. It's scary.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Dating Site Statistics: Gay Sex is Surprisingly ... Uninteresting

There are two fascinating items in the news today that once again illustrate how silly and misguided the religious right's anti-gay agenda really is. First, we find that gay dating is remarkably unremarkable, and second, we learn that in the Netherlands, the legalization of gay marriage had virtually no effect on the country.

The first news comes from, the new "high tech" dating site that appeals to the young tech-savvy crowd. In addition to connecting people with their soul mates, OKCupid has published a fascinating series of articles about the statistics of dating. For example, they're the ones who discovered that Atheists get more first dates, and that Atheists score higher on writing skills.

The newest study from OKCupid is even more fascinating. They compared gay-versus-straight dating habits, and found that contrary

Friday, April 15, 2011

Bad Creationism: 50% of US Meat Contaminated by Drug-Resistent Bacteria

There was yet another article on CNN this morning about the meat industry's use of low-dose antibiotics in farm animals. Scientists have been horrified by this practice, but until now the meat industry has ridiculed the scientists' predictions that it would cause the rise of "super bugs," bacteria that were highly drug resistant.

But this time there was some "meat" behind the grim message. A scientific study found that fully half of all meat sold in the United States is contaminated with drug-resistent bacteria. And not just one drug – in one quarter of the meat samples, the bacteria were resistant to three drugs.

This is a direct result of this country's religion-fueled anti-evolution, anti-science attitudes.

Evolutionists and biologists warned the FDA decades ago that feeding low-dose antibiotics to farm animals was a terrible idea, and have continued to sound the alarm ever since. In Europe (where science is respected) most countries banned the use of low-dose penicillin and tetracycline over thirty years ago.

But here in the USA, the FDA has consistently ignored the warnings of scientists and kowtowed to

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

They Found the Nails Used to Crucify Jesus!

Does anyone actually believe this stuff?
"Film claims discovery of nails from Jesus's cross"
Come on, people. This guy is going to lose his shirt on this film. Nobody could believe such baloney. Right?

But then I remembered that eBay auction that netted $28,000 for a ten-year-old grilled cheese sandwich with Jesus's image in the toast.

Sadly, nobody ever lost money underestimating the intelligence of the public, or overestimating their gullibility. And when it comes to images of Jesus and the Virgin Mary, religious people go crazy. They're starving for confirmation, for

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Me? A Male Hooker? If Glenn Beck Says so, it must be true!

Wow, I just learned that I'm a hooker! A male prostitute. Glenn Beck says so! And since everyone who listens to him believes everything he says, there must be millions out there who agree – Craig A. James, the atheist blogger and author, is a hooker!

Many years ago, I was in need of some family planning advice. I'll spare you the details, but the contraception I was using wasn't suitable for my needs. My family doctor wasn't much help, so I started digging around to find a real expert. My research led me directly to Planned Parenthood. They're the specialists. That's all they do. Every one of their counselors is well versed in all aspects of family planning and reproductive health.

Well, little did I know, only hookers go to Planned Parenthood!

Never mind that all the data show that Planned Parenthood prevents far more abortions than it actually performs. Independent research shows that

Monday, April 11, 2011

Blaming God for Earthquake? Even Buddhists Do It

Here's a story I missed about the Japanese Earthquake. This happened back in March, right after the quake hit.

Although I don't share Shinto and Buddhist beliefs about karma and rebirth, I've always had a lot of respect for Eastern religions. They don't have a nasty penchant for proselytizing, and their ideas about sex and sexuality are quite reasonable. Best of all, they value learning.

But apparently they share at least one bit of craziness with evangelical nuts like Pat Roberson: a belief that human failings anger the deities that run this place, and that said deities get pissed and send earthquakes and hurricanes as punishment.

Tokyo Governor Shintaro Ishihara was the latest celebrity to make the awful assertion that the Japanese 9.0 earthquake is our fault. He said,
"We need a tsunami to wipe out egoism, which has rusted onto the mentality of Japanese over a long period of time. I think the disaster is a kind of divine punishment, although I feel sorry for disaster victims."
According to the story on ABC News, Governor Shintaro later apologized.

I hope Governor Shintaro realizes the company he is now keeping. He is in league with

Friday, April 8, 2011

Banned Books: The Dark Side of Religion

Here is a great web site: The American Library Association's Banned Books List. It's a testament to the stupidity of religious morality.

From the top 100 books of the last 100 years, the great majority have been banned at one time or another. Looking at this list, I just don't get it. Almost to the last book, they strike me as great literature. But with religious "morality" one can never tell...
1. The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald
2. The Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger
3. The Grapes of Wrath, by John Steinbeck
4. To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee
5. The Color Purple, by Alice Walker
6. Ulysses, by James Joyce
7. Beloved, by Toni Morrison
8. The Lord of the Flies, by William Golding
9. 1984, by George Orwell
11. Lolita, by Vladmir Nabokov
12. Of Mice and Men, by John Steinbeck
15. Catch-22, by Joseph Heller
16. Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley
17. Animal Farm, by George Orwell
18. The Sun Also Rises, by Ernest Hemingway
19. As I Lay Dying, by William Faulkner
20. A Farewell to Arms, by Ernest Hemingway
So of the top 20 novels of the past century, only three were not the target of banning attempts! What were those three?
10. The Sound and the Fury, by William Faulkner
13. Charlotte’s Web, by E.B. White
14. A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, by James Joyce
OK, so maybe back in the 1940s and 1950s people were more conservative. Surely things have gotten better. Right? Wrong. Here are the top ten most-often-banned books

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

An Honest Christian: Faith in Jesus Christ is not at all logical

Here is a great quote from a Christian schoolteacher who is the advisor for her school's Christian club. When asked whether her club and the student atheist club should get together to discuss their beliefs, Mrs. Karen Harrell had this to say:
"My reaction is faith in Jesus Christ is not at all logical. When your beliefs are based on faith, you're believing something you can't see. Being able to prove that scientifically in a debate – it could be hard to win."
I have to confess that Mrs. Harrell may be the most honest Christian I've heard in a long time. I have a great deal of respect for her straight-ahead assertion of faith. Seriously.

I don't share Mrs. Harrell's beliefs, and I think she might find it enlightening to participate in that discussion with the student atheist group. But Mrs. Harrell is an honest Christian, one who has a strong faith. She doesn't pretend

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Koran Burning: What are Muslim Extremists Afraid Of?

Yesterday I called Pastor Terry Jones a coward and jerk. Jones is the one whose Qur'an burning in Florida triggered violent protests and more than sixteen deaths. Today I want to get to the truly guilty parties in these murders: the Muslims who rioted and killed those people.

I really don't understand this. How is it that a two-bit Baptist preacher in Florida is taken seriously by Muslims? This guy can barely scrape up enough money to maintain a small church and a pitiful congregation. If it weren't for the Muslim reaction, this guy would be nothing but a passing joke, another loser that could barely make the back page of the newspaper on his best day.

One of the things I've learned in life is that we give power to people who make us angry. When someone tries to hurt me, the worst thing I can do to that person is to not even notice. If someone launches a nasty attack on me, my best response is, "I'm sorry, did you say something? I wasn't paying attention."

On the other hand, if I respond to my attacker with a vigorous defense and counterattack, then my attacker knows that I've been hurt. He knows I actually care

Monday, April 4, 2011

Koran Burning Pastor: Where Does First Amendment End?

Pastor Terry Jones, the Koran-burning Baptist preacher, presents a real challenge to America. Is our right to free speech absolute, or are there limits? Is he to blame for several dozen deaths from riots that his actions caused, or are Muslim rioters entirely to blame?

If you know that exercising your constitutional rights will cause the death of innocents, should you do it anyway? When are our constitutional rights more important than human life?

These are not easy questions, and anyone who thinks there are black-and-white answers has his head in the sand.

Let's get the man himself out of the way: pretty much everyone agrees that Pastor Terry Jones is a complete jerk. Even those who defend his right to free speech think he's an ass. He's also a creepy old man, fixated on the bathroom and bathing habits of his students. But in America we're all equal in the eyes of the law, so we'll put our dislike for the man himself aside.

The real challenges to freedom and democracy don't come from easy cases. When terrorists fly an airplane into a building there are no