Stuff I Care About

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Quote of the Day

Today, I decided to post a quote in respect of Howard Zinn, who recently passed away. For what it is worth, I consider his book "A People's History of the United States" one of the most salient pieces of literature in the last century. In my most idealistic fantasy, that book would be a mandatory textbook in public schools. And, Fast Food Nation would be too, but that is a whole other blog.

Anyways, years ago, when I was reading his book and finally understanding what he was saying about the importance of conceptualizing history from many viewpoints, I loved this quote. Looking back, I see that it was one of the defining moments in accepting that I was an atheist. Here it is;

"And in such a world of conflict, a world of victims and executioners, it is the job of thinking people, as Albert Camus suggested, not to be on the side of the executioners."

A girl can dream can't she? Anyways, thank you Mr. Zinn.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Reason #3- The Bible is Highly Inaccurate.

The Bible is not a reliable guide to Christ’s teachings. Mark, the oldest of the Gospels, was written at least 30 years after Christ’s death, and the newest of them might have been written more than 200 years after his death. These texts have been amended, translated, and re-translated so often that it’s extremely difficult to gauge the accuracy of current editions—even aside from the matter of the accuracy of texts written decades or centuries after the death of their subject. This is such a problem that the Jesus Seminar, a colloquium of over 200 Protestant Gospel scholars mostly employed at religious colleges and seminaries, undertook in 1985 a multi-year investigation into the historicity of the statements and deeds attributed to Jesus in the New Testament. They concluded that only 18% of the statements and 16% of the deeds attributed to Jesus had a high likelihood of being historically accurate. So, in a very real sense fundamentalists—who claim to believe in the literal truth of the Bible—are not followers of Jesus Christ; rather, they are followers of those who, decades or centuries later, put words in his mouth.

If first hand eyewitness testimony is not credible within a court, why are people using a book that was written thirty years after the fact? You would think that if people, at the time, are deviating from Judaism because they believe that he was the Messiah that they would write everything down, neurotically, as it happened. Not so, which will tie into Reason #1 later on.

Friday, January 22, 2010

It Is Time to Discuss Lilith

The best way to talk about Lilith is to quote an essay from Stephanie Erricson. Here, she provides a little insight into who she was:


The cruelest lies are often told in silence. —R.L.Stevenson

Omission involves telling most of the truth minus one or two key facts whose absence changes the story completely. You break a pair of glasses that are guaranteed under normal use and get a new pair, without mentioning that the first pair broke during a rowdy game of basketball. Who hasn't tried something like that? But what about omission of information that could make a difference in how a person lives his or her life? For instance, one day I found out that rabbinical legends tell ofanother is woman in the Garden of Eden before Eve. I was stunned. The omission of the Sumerian goddess Lilith from Genesis—as well as her demonization by ancient misogynists as an embodiment of female evil—felt like spiritual robbery. I felt like I'd just found out my mother was really mystepmother. To take seriously the tradition that Adam was created out of the same mud as his equal counterpart, Lilith, redefines all of Judeo-Christian history. Some renegade Catholic feminists introduced me to a view of Lilith that had been suppressed during the many centuries when this strong goddess was seen only as a spirit of evil. Lilith was a proud goddess who defied Adam's need to control her, attempted negotiations, and when this failed, said adios and left the Garden of Eden. This omission of Lilith from the Bible was a patriarchal strategy to keep women weak. Omitting the strong-woman archetype of Lilith fromWestern religions and starting the story with Eve the Rib has helped keep Christian and Jewish women believing they were the lesser sex for thousands of years."

Is is true? Did Adam have a first wife who was omitted from the Bible during the Canonization process? I am sure that there are people out there who already know this. If you don't, search for yourself. Here is a start;

Reason #4- Christians Come To My Door To Preach

No Jew or Muslim has ever knocked on my door to tell me what is best for me. Enough said.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Reason #5- God Makes You Very Cruel

While the torture and murder of heretics and "witches" is now largely a thing of the past, Christians can still be remarkably cruel. One current example is provided by the Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kansas. Its members picket the funerals of victims of AIDS and gay bashings, brandishing signs reading, "God Hates Fags," "AIDS Cures Fags," and "Thank God for AIDS." The pastor of this church reportedly once sent a "condolence" card to the bereaved mother of an AIDS victim, reading "Another Dead Fag."They are also known to picket the funeral of soldiers. Christians are also at the forefront of those advocating vicious, life-destroying penalties for those who commit victimless "crimes," as well as being at the forefront of those who support the death penalty and those who want to make prison conditions even more barbaric than they are now.

But this should not be surprising coming from Christians, members of a religion that teaches that eternal torture is not only justified, but that the "saved" will enjoy seeing the torture of others. As St. Thomas Aquinas put it:

In order that the happiness of the saints may be more delightful and that they may give to God more copious thanks for it, they are permitted perfectly to behold the sufferings of the damned . . . The saints will rejoice in the punishment of the damned.

Stupid JD Quote of the Day

Here is another gem found from this doofus;

The Founding Fathers here in the US adhered to the "constrained" theory and put checks and balances in place in our system of government to help prevent tyranny.

Wow, sounds good. How did George W Bush slip through those "checks and balances" then? Let me guess, he does not think that he was a tyrant.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Stupid JD Quote of the Day

Because a certain "Christian" blogger (JD) likes to call me out and places my arguments out of context, I have decided to use certain quotes of his to my advantage. Here is his thoughts on poor people voting. Spoken with true compassion and humility indicative of any true Christian. If you find it hard to believe, then here is the link so that you can look it up yourself. I will give him more than he gives anyone, and you can actually read the entire thread and place his ignorance into proper context;

Where do we draw the line? Heck, let everyone vote. Unless you receive public assistance then throw your voter registration card out the window because all you're going to do is vote yourself a "raise" each and every time.

Reason #6- God Teaches us to Accept Tangible Evil, but Makes us Afraid of Fairytale Evil

Christianity is masterful at making us accept the status quo and all of the social evils that accompany it. It diverts attention from real problems by focusing attention on sexual issues, and when confronted with social evils such as poverty glibly dismisses them with platitudes such as, "The poor ye have always with you." When confronted with the problems of militarism and war, most Christians shrug and say, "That’s human nature. It’s always been that way, and it always will." One suspects that 200 years ago their forebears would have said exactly the same thing about slavery.

This regressive, conservative tendency of Christianity has been present from its very start. The Bible is quite explicit in its instructions to accept the status quo: "Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God; and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation." (Romans 13:1–2)

Is it no wonder then that many people fear the Devil, yet they continue to shop at Walmart? Or, they fear the Rapture, but are complacent about globalization? Nope, makes perfect sense to me.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Reason #7- Because God Hates The Gays

Christianity is homophobic. Christianity from its beginnings has been markedly homophobic. The biblical basis for this homophobia lies in the story of Sodom in Genesis, and in Leviticus. Leviticus 18:22 reads: "Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination," and Leviticus 20:13 reads: "If a man lie with mankind as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them." And, again, notwithstanding the historical context of homophobia in The Bible.

While the Greeks were openly homosexual, the Romans were not. While the world of the ancient Greeks seems to have tolerated homosexuality (as seen in the poems of Sappho and the dialogues of Plato), that of the Romans was more cautious. Romans in the period of the Roman Republic and early empire tended to perceive the Greek acceptance of male homosexuality as less than male and, thus, literally unvirtuous (Vir being the Latin word for man). Indeed, a Roman term for effeminacy was “Graeculus”—“a little Greek!” In 312, this father of the emperors Constantius II and Constans had reached out to Christianity as the basis for his authority. Throughout the next 25 years of his reign, Constantine supported Christianity and gave financial help to the Church and legal sanction to some of the bishops’ powers. As his sons came of age in an increasingly Christian society, they and many of their advisors would have grown up with Biblical strictures. Thus, the pronouncements of the Book of Leviticus (18. 22, 20. 13) against male homosexuality as an abomination punishable by death in God’s eyes would logically have influenced writers of imperial law. Such strictures were reinforced in the New Testament (Romans 1. 24-27). So, it would appear that the growing influence of the Bible in an increasingly Christian Roman empire led emperors to condemn homosexual unions.

Fast forward 2000 years, and homosexuals have to fight for their basic legal and civil rights in what we call a "civilized" era. Bullshit.

Here is an interesting article. It is about how the Quebec government is supporting writing laws to actively combat homophobia (which would legally make it much simpler to press hate law charges against any religious institution who uses their platform to preach hate), and how these idiots, 2000 years later, are still keeping these backward beliefs. Sad, and this is one of the biggest reasons why I am atheist.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Quote of the Day

Here is a real gem from Pat Robertson.... This guy, along with Mike Seaver and Ray Comfort really need to head down to the local sperm bank and donate away. The world just needs more of this choice DNA to spread around.

Mr. Robertson is really feeling the need to empower people. And, instead of using positivity, he decides to make his followers feel helpless and victimized. And, he exploits one of the worst tragedies of the twentieth century to do so. Because Christianity is losing its grip on the mainstream, because people are tired of the "moral majority", he likens modern day Christians to this;

"Just like what Nazi Germany did to the Jews, so liberal America is now doing to the evangelical Christians. It's no different. It is the same thing. It is happening all over again. It is the Democratic Congress, the liberal-based media and the homosexuals who want to destroy the Christians. Wholesale abuse and discrimination and the worst bigotry directed toward any group in America today. More terrible than anything suffered by any minority in history." –Pat Robertson

Friday, January 15, 2010

Reason #8- God Makes You Incredibly Selfish and Self Centred.

Christianity, in particular, projects the belief that God is involved with all lives of every individual on Earth.

Therefore, it is no great leap then that many Christians believe and imagine that God has a "master plan" only for them, and that God directly talks to, directs, or even does favors for them. Hmmmmm.... This egocentricity lends to making followers very selfish with an inflated sense of righteousness. How many people have tried to convert you? How many times have you went to a wedding and it has been assumed that you will pray? And, how many times have you heard people say that God will right wrongs for them? How many times have you had religion imposed on you through no fault of your own? How many people have assumed that you are a religious person?
The whole thing is absurd, and best summarized by Richard Dawkins:

"A God capable of continuously monitoring and controlling the individual status of every particle in the universe cannot be simple. His existence is going to need a mammoth explanation in its own right... Worse, from the point of view of simplicity, other corners of God's giant consciousness are simultaneously preoccupied with the doings and emotions and prayers of every single human being.... (which makes him have to) decide continuously not to intervene miraculously to save us when we get cancer."

I call this unhealthy and sick, that is why I am an atheist. I am really boring and uninteresting and feel quite comfortable being a face in the crowd. Besides, I am not interested in having a belief in something that knows everything that there ever is, ever was, and ever will be about me. That really creeps me out, like stalker following you after dark kind of creepy. Not for me. What is the point anyways? If I am not on his radar, he will not help me with cancer.

Here's to living well while I am here, thinking about other people, and random acts of kindness just for the hell of it.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Quote of the Day

Another gem from Pat Robertson. And, in continuation with Reason #9-

"(T)he feminist agenda is not about equal rights for women. It is about a socialist, anti-family political movement that encourages women to leave their husbands, kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism and become lesbians." –Pat Robertson

Reason #9- God Hates Me Because I Am A Girl

Misogyny is fundamental to the basic writings of Christianity. In passage after passage, women are encouraged—no, commanded—to accept an inferior role, and to be ashamed of themselves for the simple fact that they are women. Misogynistic biblical passages are so common that it’s difficult to know which to cite. From the New Testament we find "Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church. . . ." (Ephesians 5:22–23) and "These [redeemed] are they which were not defiled with women; . . ." (Revelation 14:4); and from the Old Testament we find "How then can man be justified with God? Or how can he be clean that is born of a woman?" (Job 25:4) Other relevant New Testament passages include Colossians 3:18; 1 Peter 3:7; 1 Corinthians 11:3, 11:9, and 14:34; and 1 Timothy 2:11–12 and 5:5–6. Other Old Testament passages include Numbers 5:20–22 and Leviticus 12:2–5 and 15:17–33.

And, it did not end here. These wonderful traditions started 2000 years ago continue to escape the critical filter of today, despite the fact that women predominately appear in all aspects of our society. And Reason #10 also fits here too. The misogyny when placed in proper context, makes sense. The Greeks were notoriously and openly homosexual, keeping women in their dwellings solely for reproductive purposes. When the Romans colonized the Greeks, they destroyed what parts of the culture they did not like, and appropriated what they liked. History shows us that they certainly favoured Greek art work, architecture, urban planning, sanitation systems, and cultural ideas such as misogyny, etc. The Romans created the First Christian Empire, and keeping women complacent fit the bill for what they were deciding to do.

Nevertheless, because the Bible mainstreamed hatred against women, we still feel the repercussions today. Perhaps if the Greeks had been a matriarchal society, things may have been different. Sadly, though, we have idiots today on the airwaves that we all share who see fit to interfere with reproductive rights and make wonderful comments such as this;

I know this is painful for the ladies to hear, but if you get married, you have accepted the headship of a man, your husband. Christ is the head of the household and the husband is the head of the wife, and that’s the way it is, period.

PAT ROBERTSON, The 700 Club, Jan. 8, 1992

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Top Ten Reasons As to Why I am an Atheist- 10

I am going to a top ten list as to the reasons why I choose atheism. Here is reason number 10.

This is best summarized by a snide quote that I found from Mark Twain.

And, this is what I have come to understand. The Bible is a historical document that was created to contain and support the historical, political, legal, educational, psychosocial, and sociocultural agendas of its time. These issues are not relevant to me, and they should not be to people in modern times. When placed in its proper context, the Bible is a good fairytale at best.

Monday, January 11, 2010

This is Interesting

I found this article today in the National Post. The Canadian Jewish Congress is very critical about the "sainthood" of Pope Pius XII. They have concerns because he remained silent during the Holocaust, as did many Catholic officials. In fact, many Christian churches (with a few rare outliers) did not publicly denounce the actions of the Nazi Party. Nevertheless, they are not happy. Here it is, interesting stuff.

And, for anyone interested in finding out more about how Christian churches enabled the Nazi's, here is a great article summarizing why they kept their silence;

Saturday, January 9, 2010

The Ontario Government Better Get On This Loophole

I have not had a chance to post in awhile because I have been on vacation for the past week. But, I found this this morning.

The Ontario Government has launched a new educational program called the "Equity and Inclusive Education Strategy" which has been designed to create a broader spectrum of tolerance within the province. This also includes tackling homophobia within the classroom. Sounds good, however the government will not specify whether this agenda will extend to Catholic schools, nor does it specify whether they can teach their "version" of homosexuality, or the government's mandated curriculum. Smells like upcoming controversy to me. Here is the link, check it out, interesting stuff;