Saturday, April 23, 2011

We're not trying to push our religion on you (we swear)!

A couple of months ago, a reader sent me a link to the Jack Chick tracts.  I had heard of them before, but had never actually visited the website.  Jack Chick is a Christian cartoonist, and young-Earth creationist dimwit, who publishes these small booklets containing Christian cartoons.  They're meant to be given to people that haven't "been saved", or to be left in public places to be found by random people.  They're extremely popular with Christians who want to spread their insanity, and his site claims to ship millions of them every year.

The site gives some suggestions on how to use these things in their "witnessing booklet", which you can find here. The booklet recommends that people order these and leave at least 3 a day in places such as:

- park benches
- bus stops
- public restrooms
- on gas pumps
- on ATMs
- on video arcade machines
- on mail boxes
- on public phones
- attached to doorknobs
- on newspaper dispensers
- at garage sales
- on school campuses
- at laundromats
- in taxi cabs
- in library books
- at swap meets
- in rented cars
- in bill payment envelopes
- in clothing store dressing rooms
- under windshield wipers of vehicles

I also remember that when I was a teenager, a guy used to shove leaflets similar to these into the pockets of our clothes left in the dressing room while we worked.

So what problems do we have here?  The first is that intentionally leaving paper trash in public locations, in private businesses or on an individual's private property is littering.  Leaving stuff outdoors of course means it gets blown around by the wind, which contributes to the street trash problem.

The second problem I have is that this represents quite clearly that religious people, specifically Christians in this case, ARE INDEED shoving their religion down our throats!  They not only want us to hear about it from our governments, but from our teachers and schools, while we're at the bus stop, using an ATM, walking in the park, eating out in a restaurant, or even to find them as litter on our fucking cars!  They insist that we involuntarily hear about their religion at all places and at all times!

So once again, if you're going to come here and claim that people of the Christian faith are not trying to shove their religion down our throats, and that us mean atheists should shut up and leave them alone, you're 100% wrong! So quit your bitching!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Whipping girls to death, blasphemy executions and offering daughter for sex with biblical support

I bring to you today not one, not two, but three, yes THREE stories of how religion has improved the world, and which demonstrate the important moral guidance people gain through religious faith.  As we know religious people frequently challenge us atheists on our lack of morality, I think there are lessons to be learned for us in these stories.  Let us now gaze upon the morals of those who get their morality through religious faith and be in awe of their clear superiority to our own.  At the end of this post, we must all ask ourselves, "How can we be good without (insert god of choice here)?"  Click the headlines to read the full articles.

14-year old Bangladeshi girl lashed to death for adultery (getting raped?):

Hena Akhter's last words to her mother proclaimed her innocence. But it was too late to save the 14-year-old girl.

Her fellow villagers in Bangladesh's Shariatpur district had already passed harsh judgment on her. Guilty, they said, of having an affair with a married man. The imam from the local mosque ordered the fatwa, or religious ruling, and the punishment: 101 lashes delivered swiftly, deliberately in public.

Hena dropped after 70.

Bloodied and bruised, she was taken to hospital, where she died a week later.

Amazingly, an initial autopsy report cited no injuries and deemed her death a suicide. Hena's family insisted her body be exhumed. They wanted the world to know what really happened to their daughter.

Pakistani man cleared of blasphemy charges in court of law gets killed by vigilantes anyway:

Mohamed Imran had been accused, jailed, tried and cleared: if anything, society owed him a debt as a man wrongfully accused.

But his crime was blasphemy. He was meant to have said something derogatory about the prophet Mohammed, so in Pakistan justice worked a little differently.

Two weeks after he returned to his small patch of farmland on the rustic outskirts of Islamabad, his alleged crime caught up with him.

Two gunmen burst into the shoe shop where he was sat talking to a friend..... the gunmen found their target and Pakistan's controversial blasphemy laws claimed another victim.


The curious part about this blasphemy case -- and many other such convictions and allegations under the controversial law -- is that they do not specify what the accused is meant to have said.

The first complaint delivered to the police in 2009 refers to a conversation Imran allegedly had with another man in a cafe, but says the exact blasphemous phrase cannot be repeated as that too would be an act of blasphemy.

Man allowed David Koresh to have sex with his 14-year old daughter:


Doyle sits in his cluttered living room, detective paperbacks, tomes on theology and Laurel & Hardy videos crammed on bookshelves. The only item that has room to breathe is a photograph of his 18-year-old daughter, Shari.

She was one of Koresh's "wives."


That Koresh bedded his daughter makes Doyle shift in his seat, and when he speaks of it, his jaw tightens.
Doyle says his daughter started having sex with Koresh when she was 14. Koresh fathered at least 13 children with sect followers and engaged in sexual acts with underage Davidian girls, according to the Justice Department, numerous affidavits of Davidians and interviews CNN conducted with survivors.

Davidian Kiri Jewel testified during 1995 congressional hearings on the siege that Koresh slept in a bed with women and children, and she believed that he had impregnated a 14-year-old. Koresh, she said, often talked about how the young girls at the compound pleased him sexually. Jewel described in graphic detail how Koresh sexually assaulted her. She testified that she wasn't afraid of getting pregnant; she was too young, she explained. She'd not even started menstruating yet.

Doyle insists that his daughter Shari, even at a young age, was capable of deciding whether to have sex with Koresh. The teen was also clearheaded, he says, when she chose to remain inside the compound despite having the chance to leave.

"She wanted to be with David and to hear and follow the message," her father says.

There is silence for a moment. Doyle knows that trying to justify Koresh having sex with underage girls incites nothing but outrage from nonbelievers. And, initially, when David began preaching a message that his holy seed must be spread to any girl he preferred, married or in pigtails, Doyle admits he was bothered by it.

"I wondered, I asked, 'Is this God or is this horny old David?' "

But Doyle's concern didn't last long.

"I couldn't argue because he'd show you where it was in the Bible."

Sheila Martin, too, condones Koresh having sex with underage girls. "In the Bible, if a girl is old enough to menstruate, then she can be a wife," she insists.

There are three crucial points to understanding the Branch Davidian brand of religion.

First, God can appear in the flesh as a man. Second, that man doesn't have to be a good person. Third, if you question whether that man is God, then you are questioning God. In other words, the devil is responsible for your doubt.

"Now," Doyle asks, "are you going to give the devil control?"

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Secular government is not acceptable!

I haven't posted for nearly a month.  I was traveling for a while, but had planned to post while I was away.  The problem is that mere hours after I landed in a certain good-ol' Christian Latin American country, my laptop was stolen right out of my hotel room, along with my camera.  That made posting difficult.  I'm sure the Christian who stole it simply had to ask for forgiveness from his imaginary friend to feel better, with absolutely no accountability at all to me or any attempt to make amends to the real live person it was stolen from.  Don't you love religion?

My journey took me through a couple of airports in the United States.  During my transits, I spent some time in the airport bookstores.  It had been a while since I lived in the USA, and I had forgotten just how much bitter hatred there is for fellow Americans of different political persuasions.  I actually asked the clerk if Americans truly do hate each other this much.  Titles in the bookstore included: Pinheads and Patriots by Bill O'Reilly (guess who the pinheads are), How to Talk to a Liberal If You Must by Ann Coulter, 365 Ways to Drive a Liberal Crazy, etc.  The political and social environment in the USA is pure poison, and I honestly felt a little sick being immersed in it even for the few hours of my transit.

The book that caught my attention the most was called To Save America: Stopping Obama's Secular-Socialist Machine by Newt Gingrich, the former Speaker of the House of Representatives and, alarmingly, a candidate for the presidency in 2012.  Can you guess my problem with his book title?  The word that most concerned me was secular, and the implication that a secular government is a terrible thing that must be stopped.

I'm not sure when secular became a dirty word, but it seems there is often a confusion about it in the minds of the ignorant general public.  The word secular means to not be concerned with matters of religion.  It takes no stance on religious issues, because it just doesn't care.  Newt argues in his introduction that a secular government would destroy people's religious freedom.  A secular government is not an attack on any person's religious faith.  My pen makes no statement about the existence of your god(s).  It has no religious logo or labeling of any kind.  It is a secular pen.  Is it threatening to your faith?  Do you require it to make a religious statement in order for you to feel you are free to practice your religion?

So if Newt doesn't want a secular government, what does he want?  Well, if a government is not secular, then it is either atheist or religious.  I'm going to go out on a limb and assume that Newt doesn't want an explicitly atheist government, one which declares as a matter of policy that gods do not exist.  So let's assume that Newt wants a religious government.  Which religion?  His, of course.  A Christian government for all.  But doesn't that infringe on people's right to be free from Christianity, and practice their own faith or none at all?  Isn't that what he wanted in his introduction, as described above?

Now here is the point, and what makes me so annoyed and angry.  How many comments do I get on this site, and how many do more popular atheist sites get, from religious people telling us that their faith isn't hurting anybody, that they're not trying to cram it down our throats, and to leave them alone?  I can tell you that it is a lot.  Most of these comments seem to come when the religious commenter has no rebuttal at all to the atheist's argument made in the post, but that is irrelevant.  The bottom line is that there are a shitload of religious people out there, some with large followings and who are running for presidency of the USA, who will not settle for anything less than a religious government.  They will not be satisfied with a government that takes no stance on religion, they must have it their way, and have their imaginary friend of choice forced on the rest of us through the policies of a theist government.  This is exactly why "I CALL BULLSHIT!" on all of those people who bitch and whine about how they're not trying to force their religion on the rest of us.  It is simply not true.  There are LARGE political movements out there which aim to do just that, and in many countries it is already a reality.