Monday, October 31, 2011

Why Christianity is in Trouble: Halloween!

Christianity is in trouble, with church attendance falling and faith weakening across the nation. What are they going to do to save the faith? Well, some of the more clever conservative Christians figured out a solution: Piss off kids on Halloween! Drop Bibles and religious tracts into their candy bags! Tell them they're sinners! Halloween is devil worship!

Yeah, that's sure to pull those kids into church next Sunday.

Seriously, they're doing this. USA Today is reporting that the American Tract Society (ATS) published Peek-A-Boo, Jesus Loves You! (Yes, ATS really exists ... I always wondered where all those tracts came from.)

But up in Calgary, they're going one better. Those

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Should Gay-Bashing Teacher Lose Job?

Do teachers have to give up their First-Amendment right to free speech when they take their first job? In a strange twist on free speech, the ACLU is defending an ultra-conservative evangelical right-wing Christian's right to gay-bashing hate speech. The case of high-school teacher Viki Knox, the self-described "Jesus freak," reminds us that free speech is a complex issue.

Ms. Knox's school posted a display on a bulletin board recognizing LGBT history month. Ms. Knox was offended and not afraid to say so ... on Facebook. She wrote (emphasis in original):
"Homosexuality is a perverted spirit ... Why parade your unnatural immoral behaviors before the rest of us? AND YOU ARE WRONG! I/WE DO NOT HAVE TO ACCEPT ANYTHING, ANYONE. ANY BEHAVIOR OR ANY CHOICES! I DO NOT HAVE TO TOLERATE ANYTHING OTHERS WISH TO DO."
I'm sure all of my readers will agree that Ms. Knox's comments are despicable, hateful, and should be an embarrassment to all civilized Americans. But ... what about free speech? Is Ms. Knox's hateful gay-bashing grounds for firing her? Don't teachers have a right to free speech?

Ed Barocas, legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey, says Ms. Knox shouldn't be fired: "The ACLU believes that the response to offensive speech is not the restriction of speech, but more speech." In other words, the ACLU says Ms. Knox's hate speech should not disqualify her from teaching.

I rarely disagree with the ACLU, but in this case I do. I can't see how

Monday, October 24, 2011

Global Warming Science Vindicated ... Again

It's time for everyone who jumped all over my previous blogs about global warming to eat some crow. And it's time to celebrate another victory for good science winning over opinions, faith and dishonesty.

U.C. Berkeley scientist Richard Muller, a climate specialist and self-described global-warming skeptic, headed a massive review of all global warming data at U.C. Berkeley. And better yet, his study was funded in part by the famous conservative billionaire brothers, Charles and David Koch.

And guess what? Muller's team confirmed that global warming is real. But even better, their results show that global warming is actually worse than the conclusions from the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change!

Got that? A conservative-funded review by a top climate skeptic and his team said that the mainstream reports were too conservative and that global warming is real.

What do you think will happen to the debate now? Probably nothing. Global warming deniers are

Herman Cain Happy to Usurp States on Abortion, Marriage

What ever happened to honest conservatives? You know, the ones that believed in minimal government, states rights and individual freedom?

It seems they're turning those tasks over to the liberals. When it comes to abortion, marriage, gay rights and religion, the Republicans are showing their true colors: the conservatives are one hundred percent in favor of taking away individual liberties and states' rights.

CBN (the Christian Broadcasting Network) got an exclusive interview with Herman Cain that perfectly illustrates how Republicans are advocating a federal takeover.
"Yes I feel that strongly about [a pro-life Constitutional amendment banning abortion]. If we can get the necessary support and it comes to my desk I’ll sign it. That’s all I can do. I will sign it. ... I think marriage should be protected at the federal level also. I used to believe that it could be just handled by the states but there’s a movement going on to basically take the teeth out of the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act ... we do need some protection at the federal level ... I would support legislation that would say that it’s between a man and a woman.
I just don't get how Republicans can talk out of both sides of their mouths with such ease. One minute

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Cain: No Abortions Allowed ... At All

At least Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain can't be called indecisive on abortion. He wants to overturn Roe v. Wade. In fact, he wants to outlaw abortion altogether.
"I believe in life from conception and I do not agree with abortion under any circumstances. Not for rape and incest ... Because if you look at rape and incest, the percentage of those instances is so miniscule [sic] that there are other options. If it’s the life of the mother that family is going to have to make that decision."
So, if a thirteen-year-old girl is raped by her stepfather, then neither she nor her mother can choose whether to carry that man's child? Even the very next day, when the egg hasn't even implanted itself in her uterus and has no spinal cord or brain cells?

Exactly. That fertilized cell, according to Cain, is a full human being with more rights than the girl and her family.

And why does Cain block abortions for rape and incest? Just because it's a rare crime. From what Cain says, it sounds like he might reconsider if rape and incest were more common. Does that make sense to you? Do you think it makes sense to rape and incest victims?

Monday, October 17, 2011

California Law Makes it a Crime to Plan to Gamble in Nevada!

Taking inspiration from H.R. 313 (the "drug trafficking" bill that makes it illegal to plan or discuss smoking marijuana in Amsterdam, even though it's legal there), the State of California today made it a crime to plan a trip to Nevada to gamble, even though it's legal to gamble in Nevada.

"We're tired of Nevada's gambling casinos ruining the lives of California citizens," said Governor Jerry Brown. "From now on, if a Californian wants to go see Wayne Newton singing at the Tropicana, and happens to drop a quarter in the slots on the way to the show, that's fine. But by golly, if they even think about gambling before they head for The Strip, we want them to know they're going to jail for violating California law."

Governor Brown outlined plans to question all motorists and airline passengers entering Nevada. "A system of airport security stations and highway border-crossing stations will be built to ensure that California citizens aren't planning to gamble," said the governor. "They're only allowed to think about gambling once they've arrived."

Several other states are lining up to criminalize the travel-planning business:

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Republican "Value Voters": Belief in Evolution Disqualifies Presidential Candidates!

I got busy and was going to skip blogging today, but this is too much. It seems that anyone who believes in evolution is unqualified to run for President of the United States!

At the "Value Voters Summit" this weekend in Washington, D.C., Bryan Fischer of

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The Tea Party Recession: Why Faith is Slowing Recovery

How can people lead the country when they are taught from youth to believe things that can't possibly be true? Does religion's insistence on faith over reason make a politician irrational and irresponsible?

According to a Baylor University Religion Survey released last fall, that's exactly what it does. The "Tea Party's Recession" that we're now facing may be an example of this phenomenon. Conservative Christian politicians' reliance on faith over evidence seems to be a direct impediment to their ability to accept plain facts. Their beliefs are based on their ideology, even when the facts are clear.

According to sociologist

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Why a Christian Nation would be a Disaster

There's a great article over at
Conservatives Want America to be a "Christian Nation" -- Here's What That Would Actually Look Like
I urge everyone to read it. In a nutshell, true Christian values, as defined in the Bible, would mean:
  • A King
  • Only theocratic law
  • No democracy, no voting
  • Slavery
  • No women's rights
  • Homosexuals would be killed
  • Enemies would be utterly vanquished without mercy
... and much, much more. Check it out.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Egyptian Christian/Muslim Conflict was Inevitable

What happens when parents of fighting children just tell them to shut up and behave rather than helping them work out their differences? The first time the parents leave the kids alone, the kids get into a fist fight. Instead of teaching them how to solve problems before they boil over, the parents put a lid on the pot so that the anger boils over and explodes.

What happens when a brutal dictatorship suppresses all dissent and prevents ethnic and religious groups from working out their differences, and then is overthrown by those same groups in a revolution? They attack each other (AP photo story) ... with deadly results.

My first (and still strong) reaction to the stories coming out of Egypt was, "This is why we need to get rid of religion!" How can anyone look at bloody rioters carrying crosses and throwing stones and not be

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

A Courageous Conservative: Listen to Scientists on Global Warming

Bob Inglis, a respected conservative columnist over at Business Week magazine, is calling out the Republican party for ignoring the massive scientific consensus on global warming:
"Normally, the country can count on conservatives to deal in facts. We base policies on science, not sentiment, we insist on people being accountable for their actions, and we maintain that markets, not mandates, are the path to prosperity.

When it comes to energy and climate, these are not normal times. ... Courage fails us when it comes to energy and climate. Fearing our economic circumstances, we've decided to channel the fear rather than to confront it."
These are strong and courageous words coming from a true conservative.

Inglis goes on to advocate one of the best free-market principles ever invented: charge the total cradle-to-grave cost of energy products. Don't just charge

"Ministerial Exception" - A Solution to Legalized Discrimination

The Christian Science Monitor has cast its vote on whether churches are allowed to discriminate on the basis of faith. Their answer, not surprisingly, is "yes":
"On Wednesday, the Supreme Court hears the case of a Christian schoolteacher fired in a dispute over a disability and church doctrine. The justices should be careful about allowing government to judge a faith's teachings when it is charged with discrimination."
(The fourth-grade teacher was fired because she took a disability leave, was asked to resign, and then filed a discrimination lawsuit rather that using the employer's Christ-based dispute-resolution process.)

The Monitor goes on to explain that some religions are so bizarre

Monday, October 3, 2011

Right-Wingers Threaten to Beat Health Teacher over "Bless You!" Ban

A health teacher wants his kids to stop saying "Bless you!" after someone sneezes. He reminds the kids that we actually learned about germs and stuff a century or two ago. A sneeze, it turns out, isn't your body's attempt to expel demons! To drive the point home, teacher Steve Cuckovich is deducting points from a student's score when the student says "Bless you!" in response to a sneeze.

Cuckovich sounds like a great teacher to me, one with a sense of humor and a way to drive a point home to the students. Maybe a bit idealistic, but his heart is in the right place. But the reader comments at the end article ... well ... I'm speechless. This has to go into the "quoted without comment" category. It speaks for itself.
redwhiteandblueuniverse: "Steve Cuckovich, Mind your own business and stop acting as though you have any authority ... Try pushing your personal beliefs on my child and I will beat your ass. Period, end of story."

rogers1756: "Amen. This teacher needs to be slapped off his mock pedestal of intellectual superiority. This is what the progressives would have if they had their way ... Typical Hillary fascist mind control ..."