Thursday, December 28, 2006

God Hates Shrimp

Leviticus 11:9-12 says:

9 These shall ye eat of all that are in the waters: whatsoever hath fins and scales in the waters, in the seas, and in the rivers, them shall ye eat.
10 And all that have not fins and scales in the seas, and in the rivers, of all that move in the waters, and of any living thing which is in the waters, they shall be an abomination unto you:
11 They shall be even an abomination unto you; ye shall not eat of their flesh, but ye shall have their carcases in abomination.
12 Whatsoever hath no fins nor scales in the waters, that shall be an abomination unto you.


Deuteronomy 14:9-10 says:
9 These ye shall eat of all that are in the waters: all that have fins and scales shall ye eat:
10 And whatsoever hath not fins and scales ye may not eat; it is unclean unto you.


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$93.2 billion given to religious organizations, $38.6 billion to education.

And we wonder why there are so many people who would seriously claim the entire universe is not more than 6,000 years old or throw the "theory" of evolution into the same category as fairy tales.


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Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Hindui Cruelty Results In 10 Year Old Girl Lose All Fingers

For those of you who are unfamiliar, Hindus traditionally believe in a "caste" system. Essentially, they believe that you are born into a certain live based on how you were in your previous life. So if you are born to wealthy parents, you must have been a good person in your previous life. If you are born to impoverished parents, that must mean you were a bad person in your past life. Same goes for people born with disfigurements and so on.

It's basically a really fucked up excuse to not care about anyone who is less fortunate than yourself. It's also worse than that. Some even use it as a fucked up excuse to not only not help those who are less fortunate, but to actually inflict harm upon people less fortunate in order to further punish them for their supposed bad deeds of their past lives.

An enraged landowner chopped off all five fingers of a 10-year-old girl's hand with a sickle after catching her stealing a few spinach leaves from his property in eastern India, a news report said Monday.

Khushboo, the daughter of lower caste laborers, was foraging for edible herbs near the railroad tracks of her village in Bihar state when she mistakenly entered the fields of upper caste landlord Pankaj Rai, The Hindustan Times reported.


Aside from Christians suppressing medical treatment and murdering doctors, and even aside from Muslims flying planes into buildings and expressing violence against anyone who speaks out against Islam, and even aside from Jews being violently cruel to people born a certain way...

The caste system that some Hindus still practice is just another one of those things that comes to mind when people ask why I actually actively oppose mythologies such as Christianity and Hinduism.


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Sunday, December 24, 2006

Original Pledge of Allegiance Didn't Mention God, Added in 1954

Quick fact, most still don't know:

In 1954, Congress after a campaign by the [Catholic organization] Knights of Columbus, added the words, 'under God,' to the Pledge.


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The Christmas Hoax: Jesus is NOT the "Reason for the Season" (Updated)

Along with all the griping going on about the so-called "War on Christmas," we've been seeing a lot of wagging fingers reminding us at every opportunity to remember the "Reason for the Season," and inevitably, these folks are referring to Jesus. The truth is, not very many of the traditions associated with Christmas are Christian- or have anything to do with the birth of Jesus.

So how did a raucous Pagan celebration become associated with Christianity? Very intentionally.* At the time the date of Jesus birth was officially assigned as Christ's birthday, Rome was pretty thoroughly Christianized, but the former pagans were more reluctant to give up the holiday than they were their gods. After brushing aside inconvenient facts (such as the bible's own accounts placing the birth of Jesus in the spring), the names were changed- but the holiday remained the same. Elements of popular Pagan nativities were borrowed to create a backstory fit for the new god, from the heralding star to the shepherds visiting the newborn in his cave.


Updated: I've changed the link to a much more well written article.


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Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Rate of Premarital Sex Has Remained Constant Since 50's

More than nine out of 10 Americans, men and women alike, have had premarital sex, according to a new study. The high rates extend even to women born in the 1940s, challenging perceptions that people were more chaste in the past.

“The data clearly show that the majority of older teens and adults have already had sex before marriage, which calls into question the federal government’s funding of abstinence-only-until-marriage programs for 12- to 29-year-olds,” Finer said.

“It would be more effective,” Finer said, “to provide young people with the skills and information they need to be safe once they become sexually active — which nearly everyone eventually will.”


Personally, I am shocked and appalled. How dare people choose to engage in healthy, enjoyable behavior. I, for one, think that we should not instruct young adults to use condoms. That way, when they inevitably engage this type of appalling behavior and have not been instructed to use any sort of protection, we can actually say it's unhealthy! That way we can mask our religious rhetoric under the banner of "health".

Those "liberals" are always trying to get me to instruct my teens to use condoms if they engage in sex. But that's just encouraging them to engage in dangerous sexual behavior! That's also why I never instructed my kids to use a fire extinguisher. That's just encouraging them to set themselves on fire! But that's just what those liberals want to happen!


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Haggard’s Church Launches Witch Hunt to Out Closeted Gay Staffers

The Soviet-style turn-in-your-neighbors pogrom has already produced results, with the announcement of the resignation of an associate pastor.

Just think: If Jesus had encouraged his apostles to rat each other out, perhaps he would have gotten wind of Judas’ scheme to turn him over to the Romans, and he could have avoided the whole cruxifixion, ascending-into-heaven thing.


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An Inconvenient Truth For Christians

This Christmas, let's not forget about this striking character of Greek Mythology. Let me first make it clear that Mithras significantly predates the story of Jesus.

  • Mithra was born of a virgin on December 25th in a cave, and his birth was attended by shepherds.
  • He was considered a great traveling teacher and master.
  • He had 12 companions or disciples.
  • Mithra's followers were promised immortality.
  • He performed miracles.
  • As the "great bull of the Sun," Mithra sacrificed himself for world peace.
  • He was buried in a tomb and after three days rose again.
  • His resurrection was celebrated every year.
  • He was called "the Good Shepherd" and identified with both the Lamb and the Lion.
  • He was considered the "Way, the Truth and the Light," and the "Logos," "Redeemer," "Savior" and "Messiah."
  • His sacred day was Sunday.
  • Mithra had his principal festival of what was later to become Easter.
  • His religion had a eucharist or "Lord's Supper," at which Mithra said, "He who shall not eat of my body nor drink of my blood so that he may be one with me and I with him, shall not be saved."

Monday, December 18, 2006

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Q & A: Why Are People Moral?

Why are people moral? If it wasn't for religion everyone would go out and murder people, but they don't, therefore God must exist!
-- Anonymous


In my experience, this is the most popular myth that theists use to try and explain why religion "must" exist. The most amazing thing about this myth is, in fact, the exact opposite is true. But before we get into that let me just cut to the chase and answer this question.

People are moral because, on a whole, being moral benefits us. People who are generally moral, have been the fittest. What we call "morality" is simply a set of behaviors that we believe, on a whole, will either benefit our prosperity or impede it. It is very important to understand that most people don't conscientiously think about it in this way. We don't have to conscientiously contemplate whether or not it is going to benefit us, on a whole, to go out and murder everyone we don't like, because our genes have done this for us. Our genes express this knowledge to us using emotion.

You see, people who were born that went on to murder everyone that they didn't like, or even committed lesser offenses, such as becoming thieves, simply did not prosper as well as those who participated in a 'give and take' relationship with those around them. That is not to say that there aren't exceptions. Certainly there are thieves who have prospered very well, murderers who got away with it and prospered, etc... However, on a whole, us 'give and take' folk outdid them.

Generally speaking, if you were a thief who went out and murdered everyone you didn't like, you would have a harder time finding people to help you hunt and get food, you would have a harder time getting laid, you would have a harder time receiving help in a time of need, and a whole host of other problems.

Your 'give and take' counterpart, however, would find it much easier to find a hunting partner, would find it much easier to get laid, would find it much easier finding people willing to help in a time of need, and so on and so forth.

What's to stop me, from coming to your house [and] killing you [and] killing your kids...[and] reproducing with your wife so my genes can get passed on. That's all part of survival [of the fittest].
-- http://youtube.com/watch?v=P7xcL0rezTc


The problem with that plan is the fact that on a whole, a group or community of individuals who participate in a 'give and take' relationship with one another are going to prosper better than your renegade family. If you've done that to one family, then other families would have a good reason to fear you might try to go after their family in the same way. Your renegade family would become outcast and more importantly you would become isolated. In the end a plan like that is very short sighted. Historically, people who behaved in such a way did not prosper -- at least not as well as their 'give and take' counterparts.

Now most people's genetics are programmed with the knowledge that such antics would be harmful to the prosperity of you and your offspring. So if most people where to seriously contemplate such a thing your brain would be flooded with a series of chemicals making you feel uncomfortable and unhappy in an effort to dissuade you from embarking on a spree like that.

See next Saturday's follow up article: Why are there people that are immoral?

Aside from the other points I've brought up, I find it to be a very self-defeating statement to say, "But for religion, people would not be moral." Are you saying to me that but for your belief in whatever religion you happen to subscribe to at the time, you would go out and murder people and steal stuff? Even taking into consideration a hypothetical world where there aren't laws and jail time for such offenses, you would seriously go out and murder someone you don't like?

Now getting to my earlier statement regarding religion actually causing people to actually be less moral; There are people who would answer "no" to the paragraph above, however, when they believe that a text such as The Bible is the infallible word of God, and God himself instructs readers to kill those who try to convince you of other beliefs (Deuteronomy 13:7–11), you end up with someone whom might have otherwise lived a moral life, but is being told murdering people who try to convince you of other beliefs is moral.

Naturally, the next question is usually, "Well then why isn't everyone moral?" I will be answering that next Saturday's article.

Updated Every Saturday: Question & Answer

I want to introduce this new section which will be updated every Saturday. Based on the questions I receive, the comments that are made on this very website, and even questions I've heard on TV interviews I've come to realize that the reasons that people believe in religion are really the simplest to explain.

I will be answering those questions here, every Saturday. Now I realize that most of my commentary contains some pretty profane language. With regards to these questions I will promise to simply be as cordial in my answer, as you are with your question.

With that said,

Send all questions to: articlesofreason@gmail.com.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Evangelicals Manipulating U.S. Military into "No Better Than Al-Qaeda"

Former Air Force officer Mikey Weinstein says evangelicals are trying to turn his beloved military into a "frickin' faith-based initiative."

I know the religious right would love to vilify me as a tree-hugging Northern California Sierra Club membership chardonnay-sipping liberal -- not that there'd be anything wrong with that, to wax Seinfeldian -- but I'm not. I'm a Republican. And my family has a very, very long and distinguished military history. We have three consecutive generations of military academy graduates, and my youngest son, who's at the Air Force Academy now, he's a senior, what's called a first classman, is the sixth member of my family to attend the academy.

Look, let's make sure your readers understand something, OK, put it in perspective: The U.S. military, which I consider a noble and honorable institution, is technologically the most lethal organization ever created by Homo sapiens. When you have the leadership believing that to be a good soldier, good Marine, good airman or sailor you have to be not just a Christian but the right type of Christian, we're no better than al-Qaida. And it's hideous, beyond belief. My kids were called "fucking Jews" and accused of total complicity, they and their people, in the execution of Jesus Christ, by superiors up and down the chain of command at the Air Force Academy.

Look, Sinclair Lewis said it best, in [the 1930s]. He came back from Germany, he was observing it for a number of months ... and he [said] that he had now seen fascism up close and personal, and he knew that when it came to America it would be wrapped in the American flag, carrying a cross. And you know what? He's right.


It doesn't end there. In an apparent display of Christian values:

We've had our tires slashed, we've had feces and beer bottles thrown at the house, we've had dead animals placed on the front door of the house.

I was in Topeka, on a book tour, and the local Episcopal priest came out to support me and five hours later his church was burned down. And the local synagogue in Topeka, where I was to speak that night, was desecrated with spray paint saying, "Fuck you, Jews"


His response -- and what, in my opinion, should serve and inspiration to us all?

So if this is a nice, Christian response, my response is take a number, pack a picnic lunch and stand in line, because we're not going to stop, we're not going to ever stop, we're going to lay down a withering field of fire and leave sucking chest wounds on these people that are trying to destroy our Constitution. This is not a Christian-Jewish issue, and it's also not a political spectrum, left or right issue, it's a Constitutional right and wrong issue. These officers, and what's happening in that video, simply by appearing in a video that is blatantly and vociferously sectarian, by simply doing three things in that video, they should be court-martialed.


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Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Christian Game Publisher: "There is no 'killing' in the name of God."

In an almost unbelievable statement, Troy Lydon, CEO of a Christian video game company argued the semantics of murder. I guess Christian values aren't just about hating people who are born a certain way or suppressing medical treatment, apparently it also involves supporting murdering cleansing those who don't accept your doctrine.

Left Behind: Eternal Forces is a teen-rated PC strategy game based on the wildly popular Left Behind Christian book series created by Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins.

The critics describe it as "a violent video game in which born-again Christians aim to convert or kill those who don't adhere to their extreme ideology."

"After you kill somebody you need to recharge your soul points and to do that you need to bend down in prayer...I think the message is extremely clear," said Clark Stevens, co-director of Campaign to Defend the Constitution.

"The reality is that our game perpetuates prayer and worship and that there is no 'killing' in the name of God," said Troy Lyndon, CEO of Left Behind Games.


Does "killing" yourself count? Because in that case, please remove yourself from our species' gene pool at your earliest convenience. Thanks.


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Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Militant Religious Extremists Continue to Control Military

No, I'm not referring to the middle east. I'm not referring to the Taliban or Iraqi insurgents. I'm referring to the United States military. Now don't get me wrong, I'm not anti-military. However, I am against any sort of military force, forcing religious views upon people -- regardless of whether they are in the middle east, or our own country.

A watchdog group that promotes religious freedom in the U.S. military accused senior officers on Monday using their rank and influence to coerce soldiers and airmen into adopting evangelical Christianity.

Such proselytizing, according to the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, has created a core of "radical" Christians within the U.S. armed forces and
Pentagon who punish those who do not accept evangelical beliefs by stalling their careers.

Weinstein compared what he said was radical proselytizing within the military with the Islamist militants U.S. troops are confronting in wars overseas.

"When we're facing a global war on terror against what we call Islamic extremists, it certainly doesn't help when we have apparently a viewpoint from the cognoscenti and glitterati, the leadership of the Pentagon, pushing a particular virulent worldview down the throats of people who are helpless to argue against it," Weinstein said.


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Christian Cruelty Destroys Another Life

In a tearful videotaped message Sunday to his congregation, the senior pastor of a thriving evangelical megachurch in south metro Denver confessed to sexual relations with other men and announced he had voluntarily resigned his pulpit.

"I have struggled with homosexuality since I was a 5-year-old boy," Barnes said in the 32- minute video, which church leaders permitted The Denver Post to view. "... I can't tell you the number of nights I have cried myself to sleep, begging God to take this away."

In their only talk about sex, Barnes said his father took him on a drive and talked about what he would do if a "fag" approached him.

Barnes thought, "'Is that how you'd feel about me?' It was like a knife in my heart, and it made me feel even more closed."


In what is becoming a catch phrase around here, this article also begs the question: WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH THESE PEOPLE?

Let me guess, since your old book doesn't talk about genetics, you can came to the conclusion that nobody is born gay. People make conscience decisions about who they are or are not attracted to. Including, but not limited to, a 5-year-old boy who would cry himself to sleep begging for god to take away his homosexuality.

Why? Because of hatred and cruelty Christians practice. Don't think any other religion is off the hook here either. Islam fairs no better when it comes to its treatment of people who are gay. In a previous article a Jewish group was threatening to chuck razor blade barbed apples at gay rights marchers.

That's not to say every religion practices this horrifically immoral cruelty against its fellow people -- but the major three certainly do.


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Monday, December 11, 2006

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Evangelical Christians Too Pathetic to Debate With Adults, Go After Children Instead



Irregardless of your feelings on abortion, this is an absolutely sick manipulation of children. One of the many examples of the abusive measures Christians are willing to go to in order to forcefully indoctrinate children.

For the record I feel that abortion is a philosophical and moral issue -- not a religious one. I do feel it is an issue worth debating, but on logical grounds, not on the bases of whose old book says what.

However, if you're so much of a fucking twat that you can't debate with another grown adult, indoctrinating a child is a pretty pathetic alternative. Good job buddy, you convinced a kid of your idea. You can convince a kid of any fucking thing, tooth faeries, the "boogy man", .... If you're such a pathetic douche that a little kid is the only one you can convince of your idea, do us all a favor, and stab yourself in the face.

And for the record, the guy in that video has got to be one of the creepiest guys I've ever seen.

More Articles of Reason (now with Videos)

Taxpayer Money Used For Religious Indoctrination

...the only way an inmate could qualify for this kinder mutation of prison life was to enter an intensely religious rehabilitation program and satisfy the evangelical Christians running it that he was making acceptable spiritual progress. The program — which grew from a project started in 1997 at a Texas prison with the support of George W. Bush, who was governor at the time...

The Iowa prison program is not unique. Since 2000, courts have cited more than a dozen programs for having unconstitutionally used taxpayer money to pay for religious activities or evangelism aimed at prisoners, recovering addicts, job seekers, teenagers and children.

Nevertheless, the programs are proliferating. For example, the Corrections Corporation of America, the nation’s largest prison management company, with 65 facilities and 71,000 inmates under its control, is substantially expanding its religion-based curriculum and now has 22 institutions offering residential programs similar to the one in Iowa. And the federal Bureau of Prisons, which runs at least five multifaith programs at its facilities, is preparing to seek bids for a single-faith prison program as well.


Whatever happened to the government spending our hard earned money on more useful things, like $436 hammers?


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Saturday, December 09, 2006

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Top Ten Bible Verses You'll Never Hear in Church

  1. 2 Kings 2:23-24 NKJV
    Then he went up from there to Bethel; and as he was going up the road, some youths came from the city and mocked him, and said to him, “Go up, you baldhead! Go up, you baldhead!” So he turned around and looked at them, and pronounced a curse on them in the name of the LORD. And two female bears came out of the woods and mauled forty-two of the youths.
  2. Deuteronomy 23:1 ESV
    No one whose testicles are crushed or whose male organ is cut off shall enter the assembly of the Lord.
  3. Ezekiel 23:19-20 NET
    Yet she increased her prostitution, remembering the days of her youth when she engaged in prostitution in the land of Egypt. She lusted after their genitals – as large as those of donkeys, and their seminal emission was as strong as that of stallions.


The funny thing about church is that even after years and year of attending you often end up hearing about the same ten or fifteen stories, only with a new twist on them each time. Or better yet the preacher has his own moral lesson he wants to teach and while he does it picks out individual lines here and there from the Bible. So you end up walking away with this idea that the Bible is mostly stories of "God's" love and how to be a good moral person.

Well that's because if anything other than those handful of cherry-picked stories were peached and the rest of the stories in the Bible were taught in their entirety, people would go, "Are these people insane?" and immediately walk out of the building.

Anyways, click "Read More" to see the entire list. It's pretty damn funny -- well until you realize people actually believe this stuff.


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Sunday, December 03, 2006

Scientist Fights Church Effort to Hide Museum's Pre-Human Fossils

Famed paleoanthropologist Richard Leakey is giving no quarter to powerful evangelical church leaders who are pressing Kenya's national museum to relegate to a back room its world-famous collection of hominid fossils showing the evolution of humans' early ancestors.

Leakey called the churches' plans "the most outrageous comments I have ever heard."

"Our doctrine is not that we evolved from apes, and we have grave concerns that the museum wants to enhance the prominence of something presented as fact which is just one theory," the bishop said.


You're fucking doctrine? Are you out of your minds?? (Wait, don't answer that) Let me try to get through this as calmly as possible here.

Where in the fuck do you people get off trying to act like you have a problem with one theory being presented as fact? How can one possibly use the phrase "it's not or doctrine" and seriously attempt in the same sentence to talk about your supposed problem with one theory being presented as fact.

First of all, first of all, what a strong theory you must have if you feel you need to censor information that contradicts your "theory". Second of all, stop talking about the word theory as though it's just something you can make up on a whim -- only religion holds that precious description.

If you're cult is pissed that someone is providing information that contradicts your "doctrine", fine, at least have the balls to admit it. But don't sit there for one second and try to pretend you have a problem with "one theory" being taught as fact. Don't for one second try to pretend like you're just being noble to step in and correct this erroneous practice of teaching one theory as fact and turn around in the same breath tell me that the Bible is the inerrant word of god and I'll burn in hell if I don't believe it.

These people are amazing. It doesn't get better than this folks.


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Send Your Atheist Friend an "I Told You So" Letter

Do you know someone who is in danger of being "left behind" because of a sinful life? Imagine if you could write a letter to a friend or loved one after the Great Day of Reckoning...This is where the Post-Rapture Post comes in. Just write your letter and it will be hand-delivered immediately following the exodus of the pure from the Earth.


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Friday, December 01, 2006

More Christian Terrorist Attacks

Few have been paying attention to that other ongoing terrorist threat

On September 11, 2006, the fifth anniversary of the terror attacks that devastated our nation, [Christian fundamentalist David McMenemy] crashed his car into a building in Davenport, Iowa, hoping to blow it up and kill himself in the fire.

Since 1977, casualties from this war include seven murders, 17 attempted murders, three kidnappings, 152 assaults, 305 completed or attempted bombings and arsons, 375 invasions, 482 stalking incidents, 380 death threats, 618 bomb threats, 100 acid attacks, and 1,254 acts of vandalism


You know, people often ask me how I can be a "devout" Atheist. Here's the thing, besides suppressing medical treatment and scientific research, nearly all religions are an incredibly violent force. You would think that after the years of Christian terrorist attacks, or at the very least the September 11th Islamic terrorist attacks people would get it -- but at last they don't.

Those people who are "moderate" (or at least moderate enough to ignore passages of the Bible or Qur'ān that tell you to kill those who don't accept your God) are giving validity to those who are crazy enough to believe the things in that book you proudly carry around.


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Thursday, November 30, 2006

Congressman-Elect Announces He Will Only Take Oath On Qur'ān, Chaos Ensues... (Updated)

Keith Ellison, D-Minn., the first Muslim elected to the United States Congress, has announced that he will not take his oath of office on the Bible, but on the bible of Islam, the Koran.

He should not be allowed to do so -- not because of any American hostility to the Koran, but because the act undermines American civilization.

First, it is an act of hubris that perfectly exemplifies multiculturalist activism -- my culture trumps America's culture. What Ellison and his Muslim and leftist supporters are saying is that it is of no consequence what America holds as its holiest book; all that matters is what any individual holds to be his holiest book


Okay, this just begs the question: Are you absolutely fucking kidding me? Well today is a bittersweet day. Because this can only mean that the problems of poverty, world hunger, and aids have been solved. That can be the only rational explanation when we are paying people over $400/day each to argue that all of America as we know it is going to collapse if some guy slaps his hand atop a Qur'ān when he is sworn into office.

Well, in a way, it's quite amusing. Think of it this way, for all the fighting to allow religion into the public sector -- it has finally come to bite those people in the ass. THIS IS WHY the "liberals" and other "evil", god-less groups of individuals have been fighting against religion being allowed into the public sector to begin with! If they could get their heads out their asses they would realize it's not an attack on "Christian values" it's to try to avoid situations exactly like this from ever happening in the first place!

It's astonishing to me what a one-way street all of their talk of getting rid of "PC" is. They're such hard-asses when it comes to not worrying about who gets offended, until they are the ones getting the short end of the stick. Yeah, right buddy, political correctness is destroying America until you walk into Walmart one day and get told "Merry Ramadan!"

Or god forbid some guy wants to put his hand on a "holy" book you happen to not subscribe to. If they could step back from their huge egos for two seconds and realize the the battle to separate church and state is not an attack on Christianity they wouldn't find themselves in these kinds of situations in the first place!

Update: My apologies folks, as a reader pointed out to me, it looks as though this entire issue was fabricated in an attempt to stir up trouble for Islamic Congressmen Keith Ellison. More details here.


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Wednesday, November 15, 2006

My Half-Year of Hell With Christian Fundamentalists

When Polish student Michael Gromek, 19, went to America on a student exchange, he found himself trapped in a host family of Christian fundamentalists. What followed was a six-month hell of dawn church visits and sex education talks as his new family tried to banish the devil from his soul.

"They also wanted to know whether I drank alcohol. I admitted that I liked beer and wine. They told me I had the devil in my heart. My host parents treated me like a five-year-old. They woke me every Sunday morning at 6:15 a.m., saying 'Michael, it's time to go to church.'"


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Gay Marriage Rights 'will invoke God's anger' (Updated)

For the sake of the peaceful future of this nation, members of this Parliament must stop provoking God to anger as the men of Sodom and Gomorrah did, and came under His judgment."

Meshoe said adultery, sexual immorality and homosexuality were grave sins in God's sight as they were a transgression of His law and defiled a marriage relationship between a man and a woman.


Update: The bill passed.


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Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Toys for Tots Program Rejects Talking Jesus Dolls

Bible-quoting toymaker surprised its offer of 4,000 dolls was turned down

According to one2believe’s Web site, the button-activated, bearded Jesus doll recites Scripture such as “I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again” and “Love your neighbor as yourself.”

Bill Grein, vice president of Marine Toys for Tots Foundation, in Quantico, Va., said the offer was turned down because Toys for Tots doesn’t know anything about the religious affiliations of the children who receive its gifts.

Grein said Tuesday, “Kids want a gift for the holiday season that is fun.”


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Pregnancy Centers Found to Give False Information on Abortion

So why is it we almost never hear in public about the lifelong traumas of going through an uplanned, unwanted pregnancy, which may well have happened in spite of a woman's best efforts at contraception or due to other circumstances beyond her control


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Monday, November 13, 2006

The Two Commandments

"Try real hard not to kill anyone -- unless, of course, they pray to a different invisible man than the one you pray to"

Letting Go of God

"And I thought, wow. For all of those people who believe every word of the bible is true, they can't even have read the first two chapters!"

"So I felt eager to finally read this book. This book that I always wanted to take the time to read, but I really never had. And I was happy to see that the Old Testament starts out with two conflicting stories about the origin of the universe. One, where Adam and Eve are created at the exact same moment -- and then in the next chapter, a second creation story where Adam is created first and Eve is created out of his rib after he gets lonely.

And I thought, wow. For all of those people who believe every word of the bible is true, they can't even have read the first two chapters...

I knew the Bible had nutty stories, but, I guess I thought they'd be wedged in amongst an ocean of inspiration and history. But instead the stories just got darker and convoluted...

So what if matters to you most is your own loving behavior? Should we be willing to give up our ethics for God?...

First off, Jesus is much angrier than I expected him to be. I mean I knew that Jesus got angry with all those money changers in the temple and everything, but I didn't know that he was so angry, so much of the time -- and very impatient...

And it was hard to stay on Jesus' side when he started to say really aggressive, hateful things. Like in Luke, Jesus says that he is like a king who says, 'Anyone who does not recognize me, bring them here and slaughter them before me.' Or in John, chapter 15 where Jesus says that anyone who doesn't believe in him is like a 'withered branch' that will be cast into the fire and burn. In Matthew he says, 'I come not to bring peace, but a sword.' And then in Luke, 'If you don't have a sword, sell your clothes and buy one.'

Then Jesus just starts acting downright crazy. Like in Matthew, chapter 21, when a fig tree doesn't have a fig for him to eat, Jesus condemns the fig tree to death. That's right, Jesus condemns, a fig tree to death. Not a parable by the way, just Jesus pissed off that the fig tree didn't have a fig for him to eat when he wanted one -- Not exactly the prince of peace who taught us to turn the other cheek.

The Bible, the 'Good Book', the 'Good News' -- I was so disillusioned with the Bible I didn't think it could get any worse, but it did...


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Top 10 Reasons Gay Marriage Should Be Illegal

  • Obviously gay parents will raise gay children, since straight parents only raise straight children.
  • Gay marriage will encourage people to be gay, in the same way that hanging around tall people will make you tall.
  • Straight marriage has been around a long time and hasn’t changed at all like many of the principles on which this great country was founded; women are still property, blacks still can’t marry whites, and divorce is still illegal.
  • Gay marriage is not supported by religion. In a theocracy like ours, the values of one religion are imposed on the entire country. That’s why we have only one religion in America.
  • Straight marriages are valid because they produce children. Gay couples, infertile couples, and old people shouldn’t be allowed to marry because our orphanages aren’t full yet, and the world needs more children.


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Atheism Is a "Faith"? Not So Fast... (Part 2)

I would like to offer this rebuttal to another commonly touted theist idea. They say, "Well atheism requires a certain level of faith. My religion requires a certain level of faith. Therefore, atheism is a faith and what we have here is a conflict of faiths."

Let me make this simple. Belief in absolutely anything requires a certain amount of faith. That does not make the belief in and of itself a faith.

If you were to pick something off the ground you have a certain level of faith that it will fall to the ground. Sure, you could tell me you don't have any faith in it because you've seen it happen before, so you know it will happen this time. But what if this time is different?

What's different between your faith that the object will still fall to the ground and a faith in the existence of faeries? Since both ideas require a certain level of faith, would it make sense to conclude that both ideas are equally valid?

OF COURSE NOT! This is the exact same thing Christians (or any theists) try to make you believe when they say to you things such as, "Well, since evolution requires a certain level of faith, any idea I have or am about to present to you is equally valid."

Imagine the laughter theists would receive if they started out with, "Well, since gravity requires a certain level of faith, any idea I have or am about to present to you is equally valid." Whether you believe in ideas such as evolution or not, that belief certainly shouldn't be hinged on that type of "logic". Granted gravity is more immediately observable (therefore requiring less faith), it is the same flawed "logic"!

Update: I should also point out that one is so much more certain that gravity exists over a belief in faeries due to the fact that belief in gravity requires less faith than a belief in faeries. We apply this thinking to most everything in life. It only makes sense. The exception being theists who somehow feel that deities and religions are somehow shielding from this type of logical thinking (and not even all religions, only the one they happen to subscribe to at the moment!).

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Atheism Is a "Faith"? Not So Fast...

People who do not believe in supernatural entities do not have a "faith" in "the non-existence of X" (where X is "fairies" or "goblins" or "gods"); what they have is a reliance on reason and observation, and a concomitant preparedness to accept the judgment of both on the principles and theories that premise their actions. The views they take about things are proportional to the evidence supporting them, and are always subject to change in the light of new or better evidence.

"Faith" - specifically and precisely: the commitment to a belief in the absence of evidence supporting that belief, or even (to the greater merit of the believer) in the very teeth of evidence contrary to that belief - is a far different thing, which is why the phrase "religious thinktank" has a certain comic quality to it: for faith at its quickly-reached limit is the negation of thought.


Read part 2 of this rebuttal here: Atheism Is a "Faith"? Not So Fast... (Part 2)


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Very Sad

Video Game Where Jews and Atheists Must Be Killed or Converted Due for Christmas

If the heathen won't convert, the player can kill them.

A video game about a Christian militia slaughtering Jewish and atheist New Yorkers who won't be converted in the name of a particular brand of Christianity will be on the shelves of more than 10,000 American retailers in time for the Christmas season, including Wal-Mart, Best Buy, Target, Circuit City, GameStop, EB Games, CompUSA, Amazon.com, Costco and numerous others. The video game is a spinoff of the wildly successful collaborative novels about "the rapture" by conservative fundamentalist minister Tim Lahaye.

In Left Behind: Eternal Forces, kids will assume the role of a member of a "Christian" gang wandering the streets of a post-apocalyptic Manhattan, killing or converting as many Jews, Atheists, and other unsavory types in the employ of the Anti-Christ as possible to get to the next level. If the heathen won't convert, the character can kill them.


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Why Not Adult Stem Cells?

In a recent article, an anonymous poster responded to a comment made by one of our users who asked, "Why not just use adult stem cells?" as opposed to using embryonic stem cells. The anonymous poster who responded to this comment did a very good job summarizing this important issue and this will hopefully clear things up for those asking the same question.

Adult stem cells are not a substitute for embryonic stem cells. Embryonic stem cells have the ability to become any other kind of cell; adult stem cells do not. If you want to study how the entire body develops and differentiates into different kinds of tissue, you need to study embryonic stem cells; there is no substitute.

Stem cells offer at least four avenues for new medical therapies:
  1. They could be used to grow tissue for transplant. This is very attractive since there aren't enough organ donors to meet current needs.
  2. Stem cells could be used for much more effective drug testing. Drugs can be tested on tissues grown from human stem cells rather than tested through animal trials (where results can be misleading) or through human trials (which are expensive and time consuming).
  3. Stem cells could be used to study diseases as [they] develop much more quickly and certainly much more repeatably than by observing the disease develop in a person.
  4. Stem cells could be used to tailor therapies to individuals.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Stem cells fend off lung cancer

Cancer vaccine harnesses similarities between embryos and tumours.

Embryonic stem cells, the controversial and versatile cells that seem able to do just about anything, have now expanded their repertoire into cancer prevention. A vaccine made from these cells shields mice against developing lung cancer.

The stem-cell injection protected 20 out of 25 mice from developing tumours, whereas tumours grew in all unvaccinated mice.


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We have moved! - ArticlesOfReason.blogspot.com

Thanks to everyone who has enjoyed this new blog over the past week. I am moving it to what I feel is a more fitting name, Articles of Reason. The new site will be using Google's new beta features. Once the posts and comments are tranfered it will be open for business!

Update: The move is complete! Please update your bookmarks/RSS readers!


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Could Science Ever Substite The Role Religion Plays In Lives?

A gathering of scientists and atheists explores whether faith in science can ever substitute for belief in God.

Much as Weinberg would like to see civilization emerge from the tyranny of religion, when it happens, "I think we will miss it, like a crazy old aunt who tells lies and causes us all kinds of trouble, but was beautiful once and was with us a long time."

[Dawkins] would not, for instance, try to talk a Christian on his deathbed out of a belief in Heaven...but it's unlikely he would be calling for a priest.

Hard for atheist author Sam Harris ("Letter to a Christian Nation") who likes to point out that people today believe in God based on no more evidence than the ancients had for believing in Zeus or Poseidon—with the result that in addition to all the mail he gets from Christians, he's now getting angry letters from pagans who claim he's insulted their beliefs, as well.


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Ex-pastor, Ex-wife, Ex-christian

I was a pastor’s wife. I lived a Christian life. I did the Christian things. I believed the Christian doctrine. I did it all. I believed it all. Now I am not a pastor’s wife. I do not lead a Christian life. I do not believe the Christian doctrine. This is my journey.


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Friday, November 10, 2006

Hatred Unites Jerusalem's Feuding Faiths

Police warn that some groups plan to pelt the marchers with apples jagged with razor blades

In a Holy City fissured by faith, finding a consensus on anything among Jewish, Christian and Muslim clerics is a near-miraculous occurrence. Yet Jerusalem's rabbis, priests and imams have united, however briefly, to stop the city's Gay Pride parade.

For some of their followers, the issue is worth spilling blood over: An unknown extremist Jewish group pasted up signs announcing a $500 "reward" for every gay man or woman killed during the parade, which is scheduled for Nov. 10. Several ultra-orthodox rabbis have vowed to mobilize more than 100,000 protesters to shut down Jerusalem on the day of the parade, and police warn that some groups plan to pelt the marchers with apples jagged with razor blades.


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Teach about sex education and evolution or close, Quebec evangelical schools told

The Quebec ministry of education has told unlicensed Christian evangelical schools that they must teach Darwin's theory of evolution and sex education or close their doors after an Outaouais school board complained the provincial curriculum wasn't being followed.


This is great progress that scientific ideas are assured in classrooms. I can imagine the droves of theists trying to say, "How is this different than forcing God in classrooms?" Well, my idea on the matter is that the ideas and theories that require the least amount of "just take our word for it"/"faith" are the ones that should be taught in classrooms.


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Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Controversial Religious Summer Camp Closed

Organizers of an evangelical summer camp for children featured in the documentary "Jesus Camp" are discontinuing the camp because of negative reaction sparked by the film and recent vandalism at the camp site in Devils Lake, North Dakota.


And as if to leave things open for a sequal,

"We have decided to hold different activities in future," Pentecostal pastor and camp organizer Becky Fischer told Reuters.


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Jesus: Historically Impossible?


Featured in Newsweek under the headline, "Imaginary Friend?"

"The problem is that we let religious people say stunningly false things and we consider it rude to question those beliefs. But we should be shunning those people" If that sounds intolerant, that's the point Flemming says, "I'm not tolerant of suspending reason."


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Letters to God found dumped off New Jersey coast

"I'm still praying to hit the lottery twice: first the $50,000," one man wrote. "Than after some changes have taken place let me hit the millionaire."

Another asked God to make a certain someone "leave me alone and stay off my back," while still another asks God to calm a woman who "call the Internal Revenue on me."

One woman complained that her husband always talks about sex, and another writer anonymously dropped a dime to God on someone cheating on his wife, complete with dates, times and locations.


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Free Will

Interesting commentary on an important paradox

You gotta love Foxtrot for asking these deep questions:


Complete omniscience (total knowledge of all past, present and future) requires God to know what choices is he going to make in the future before he makes them. All his actions must therefore be preordained, perhaps to his own plan, but fixed nevertheless. Any departure from the preordained sequence of choices God knows about invalidates his omniscience.


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Tuesday, November 07, 2006

A Dissent: The Case Against Faith

It is, of course, taboo to criticize a person's religious beliefs. The problem, however, is that much of what people believe in the name of religion is intrinsically divisive, unreasonable and incompatible with genuine morality.

A case in point: embryonic-stem-cell research is one of the most promising developments in the last century of medicine. It could offer therapeutic breakthroughs for every human ailment (for the simple reason that stem cells can become any tissue in the human body), including diabetes, Parkinson's disease, severe burns, etc. In July, President George W. Bush used his first veto to deny federal funding to this research. He did this on the basis of his religious faith.


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Saving Secular Society

This is Christianity as a total ideology—I call it Christian nationalism. It’s an ideology adhered to by millions of Americans, some of whom are very powerful. It’s what drives a great many of the fights over religion, science, sex and pluralism now dividing communities all over the country.

It’s like being a lobster in a pot, with the water heating up so slowly that you don’t notice the moment at which it starts to kill you.


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Bill Aims to Hamper Seperation of Church and State Lawsuits

This is still in the Senate!

The House passed a bill yesterday that would bar judges from awarding legal fees to the American Civil Liberties Union and similar groups that sue municipalities for violating the Constitution's ban on government establishment of religion.

"But we're watching it, because it is designed to do real damage to First Amendment protections," she said. "What the backers of this legislation are leaving out of the discussion is that fees are only awarded when we've been successful in showing that someone's constitutional rights have been violated."


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Monday, November 06, 2006

Bananas, An Atheist's "Nightmare"


The design of a banana proves that God exists and designed bananas. (No for real, these guys are serious)

Update: It was pointed out to me that to the right is Kirk Cameron from Growing Pains.

David Kuo's 'Tempting Faith'

New book accuses the Republican Party of using Christians for their votes

The Bush administration has denied accusations contained in the book that evangelical Christians were courted for votes but referred to dismissively behind closed doors.


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Vote Tomorrow!



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Atheist Evangelist

Atheist evangelist Sam Harris devoutly believes that religion is the root of all evil

Sam Harris doesn't target just the devout. Religious moderates, Harris says in his patient and imperturbable style, have immunized religion from rational discussion by nurturing the idea that faith is so personal and private that it is beyond criticism, even when horrific crimes are committed in its name.

His first book, "The End of Faith," won the 2005 PEN/Martha Albrand Award for First Nonfiction and sold more than 270,000 copies, making Harris a very high-profile voice of the godless. Now there is a follow-up, "Letter to a Christian Nation," a 96-page shiv inspired by the reaction to his first book


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Family rejects medical help for seven hours in favour of prayer - child dies

In 1998 two-year-old Harrison Johnson, shown here with his friend Megan, was stung 432 times by wasps while the family was visiting church friends in Tampa, Florida. His parents asked neighborhood children and fellow church members to pray for him, but did not call for medical help until more than 7 hours after the attack.


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Sunday, November 05, 2006

Religions don't deserve special treatment

It is time to reverse the prevailing notion that religious commitment is intrinsically deserving of respect.

It is time to refuse to tip-toe around people who claim respect, consideration, special treatment, or any other kind of immunity, on the grounds that they have a religious faith, as if having faith were a privilege-endowing virtue, as if it were noble to believe in unsupported claims and ancient superstitions. It is neither. Faith is a commitment to belief contrary to evidence and reason...


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Caution: ‘God Delusion’ might turn you atheist

A critical look at Richard Dawkins' new book, The God Delusion.

Few religious-minded individuals will likely read a book titled “The God Delusion.” But perhaps they should.

Many, perhaps rightly, have charged Dawkins with intolerance. He dismisses religion in general as “nonsense,” describes the Old Testament God as a jealous psychopath and blames organized religion for wars, genocide and homophobia. In one of his hyperbolic fits, he likens religious education to child abuse.


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Rev. Ted Haggard Confesses: "I Am A Liar And A Deceiver"

CNN's Wolf Blitzer reported Sunday on Late Edition that the Rev. Ted Haggard, currently embroiled in a gay prostitution scandal, has admitted that he did have sex with an escort. Previously, Haggard had admitted to contacting the escort, but denied that any sex took place. Haggard reportedly said that he is "a deceiver and a liar, and admits "I am guilty of sexual immorality."


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Christian Author Warns Of Growing Atheist Backlash

Atheists Become Organized To Fight Religious Influence

In an interview with a radio station in St. Paul, Minn., Guinness said he doubts that atheists have grown more numerous, but he believes they're now more organized and determined to press their case against religion and its influence in society.

He cited the best-selling books by atheists Richard Dawkins and Sam Harris. Both reject religion as an irrational delusion that indoctrinates children, poisons cultures and holds back science.


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The New Atheism

A band of intellectual brothers is mounting a crusade against belief in God. Are they winning converts, or merely preaching to the choir?

This is the challenge posed by the New Atheists. We are called upon, we lax agnostics, we noncommittal nonbelievers, we vague deists who would be embarrassed to defend antique absurdities like the Virgin Birth or the notion that Mary rose into heaven without dying, or any other blatant myth; we are called out, we fence-sitters, and told to help exorcise this debilitating curse: the curse of faith.

The New Atheists will not let us off the hook simply because we are not doctrinaire believers. They condemn not just belief in God but respect for belief in God. Religion is not only wrong; it's evil. Now that the battle has been joined, there's no excuse for shirking.


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