Tag Archives: Religion

Atheism vs China

The difference between being anti-christian and atheist is one simply does not believe in any god and allows everyone to worship whatever they want and the other tried to stomp out christianity as a way of worship.  A wide majority of atheist are *not* anti-christian.  Though many of us point out the inconsistencies as we see them with religions, at the end of the day we agree that people should be free to worship or not worship what they want.

Square this with our “most favored trade partner”, China.  They recently stole 300 bibles from a christian group who had arrived to give out bibles for free to whomever wanted them.  There was no theological argument here, no explanation of why this group could not give away the book they believe in, they just took the mother fuckers like thugs running free in post-apocalyptic Bangkok.

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Filed under Democrats, First Amendment, Free Speech, Politics, Religion, Republicans

“Christian” author announces that Obama is *not* the anti-christ

Isn’t this kinda like asking a guy, “when did you stop beating your wife”? The implication is that Obama has some of the criteria needed to be the boogey man of John’s revelation. And for me, it’s over the line… If asked this question the author should have rightfully scoffed and made a mockery of the questioner, that’s how absurd it is.

There are stupid questions people, and then there are smart statements made by supposedly “religious” people that are disguised as questions, whose aim is to injure a man’s integrity.

Way to follow christ Jerry Jenkins.

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Filed under Democrats, lies, Obama, Politics, Presidential Race 2008, Religion, Republicans

The “Blue Laws”

I was watching a documentary on Thomas Jefferson recently. It was a basic overview of his life, but useful. Of particular note to me was the reminder of how hard he fought to give Virginia freedom of religion through a separation of church and state. It reminded me of how, when I was growing up in Maryland we were not permitted by law to shop on Sundays. That’s right. There was a state law on the books that would not allow most businesses to open on Sundays. It began as a religious law, but the righties were able to dodge the supreme court by crafting the law in secular language stating it was “to provide a uniform day of rest for all citizens” on a secular basis and to promote the secular values of “health, safety, recreation, and general well-being”.

Of course the law was eventually overturned, but not without a fight.

Allow me now to bring Thomas Jefferson into the equation.

Here is an excerpt of Jefferson’s famous letter to Danbury Baptists explaining to them the concept of the separation of church and state and how it is guaranteed by the First Amendment of the Constitution:

“Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between Man & his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, and not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should “make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,” thus building a wall of separation between Church & State.”

Oddly, right-wing religious zealots still say things like, “the phrase separation of church and state never appears in the Constitution”- some ignorantly, some knowing damn well that the phrase was created by Jefferson using the principals of the Constitution and later cited by the Supreme Court of the United States beginning in 1878.

Likewise, James Madison used the phrase “separation of church and state”. Madison backed Jefferson’s “Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom” which was written in 1779 and voted in as law of the state in 1786. Here is a brilliant excerpt:

“… no man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship, place, or ministry whatsoever, nor shall be enforced, restrained, molested, or burthened in his body or goods, nor shall otherwise suffer on account of his religious opinions or belief; but that all men shall be free to profess, and by argument to maintain, their opinion in matters of religion, and that the same shall in no wise diminish enlarge, or affect their civil capacities.”

Of course Jefferson also wrote the following:

But it does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods or no God. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.

-Thomas Jefferson, Notes on Virginia, 1782

Question with boldness even the existence of a god; because if there be one he must approve of the homage of reason more than that of blindfolded fear.

-Thomas Jefferson, Letter to Peter Carr, August 10, 1787

I concur with you strictly in your opinion of the comparative merits of atheism and demonism, and really see nothing but the latter in the being worshipped by many who think themselves Christians.

-Thomas Jefferson, letter to Richard Price, Jan. 8, 1789 (Richard Price had written to TJ on Oct. 26. about the harm done by religion and wrote “Would not Society be better without Such religions? Is Atheism less pernicious than Demonism?”)

History, I believe, furnishes no example of a priest-ridden people maintaining a free civil government. This marks the lowest grade of ignorance of which their civil as well as religious leaders will always avail themselves for their own purposes.

-Thomas Jefferson to Alexander von Humboldt, Dec. 6, 1813.

And this final one is for those people that still believe wrongly that Thomas Jefferson was a devout Christian- he was not- he was a deist.

The whole history of these books [the Gospels] is so defective and doubtful that it seems vain to attempt minute enquiry into it: and such tricks have been played with their text, and with the texts of other books relating to them, that we have a right, from that cause, to entertain much doubt what parts of them are genuine. In the New Testament there is internal evidence that parts of it have proceeded from an extraordinary man; and that other parts are of the fabric of very inferior minds. It is as easy to separate those parts, as to pick out diamonds from dunghills.

-Thomas Jefferson, letter to John Adams, January 24, 1814

But again, incredibly, a lot of right wing Christian zealots totally distort Jefferson’s words and record on religion.  He was not anti-religion, nothing could be further from the truth, except, perhaps, those that state he was a Christian founding father.  All evidence aka Jefferson’s own words, point to the fact that he had a deep abiding respect for Jesus Christ as a moral leader, but doubted the resurrection and many other tenets of Christian faith.

Though Thomas Jefferson is a complex man not easily given to concise description, he certainly was not the man current right wingers pain him to be.

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Filed under First Amendment, Politics, Religion, Republicans, Supreme Court

Mr. T Threatens Violence on Those That Don’t Read the Bible?!

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Am I Becoming More Liberal?

I joined the ACLU tonight.  It was something I had thought about doing for a long time, but actually donating to them and putting my money where my mouth has been seems like a demarcation line.  What pushed me over the edge to go from supporter to member was their decision to sue if/when President Bush signs the domestic spying bill that gives amnesty to the phone companies for their role in abusing our Fourth Amendment protections against illegal search and seizure.

I guess I can’t really hold this debate with myself for your enjoyment without at least giving my views on key issues.  I’m not a big fan of blogs that have posts that reach epic proportions, so I’ll be brief.

Abortion:  This is tough.  I do believe a man should have some kind of say on the issue.  It seems patently unfair that a man’s rights/choice ends with the decision whether or not to use a condom or believe the lady is on the pill.  In a fair world the man would have equal say, but biologically that’s not possible, yet.  And courts have laughed men outta there when they have challenged with the “we agreed not to have children- now she’s pregnant- we’re not together- and you’ll force me to pay child support soon even though we agreed to have an abortion if this ever happened” defense.  In essence their take is they had unprotected sex based on an oral agreement (nice pun) that a child would not be bore even if the seed took.  So that aside, it is hard for me to legally force women to engage in an activity that can bring death.  Yes, thousands of women in the USA die every year having children.  In a country without abortion do these women’s family get to sue for wrongful deaths?

What would happen if it was illegal?  Would women use unsanctioned doctors/back alley butchers?  Is it worth that?  So I am in the “safe, legal and rare” camp.  Abortion is a medical issue and should be deliberated in the doctor’s & pastor’s office, not the halls of congress that is mostly filled with lawyers.  Not to mention, it goes against my principal of wanting government out of my life.  It’s simply not their decision to make- nor is it yours or mine.  It is solely the decision of the couple or lady to make.  These women know that the religious right believes they are going to hell, so spare me that argument.  Hell, Jesus decended to hell, so they’ll be in good company if that whole christian-myth thing turns out to be true.

First Amendment/Free Speech: It’s damn near absolute.  Conservatives often pick on the ACLU for defending opposite interests.  But that’s the point of free speech.  To truly be a backer of the first amendment you have to defend both the nazis and their right to talk their bullshit and the Jewish Defense Organization who say things like “death to nazis”.  I know the whole “fire in a theater” concept, but the bar to arrest someone for something they say must be set very, very high and the evidence must be overwhelming- anything short of that invites a chipping away of this right.

First Amendment/Religion: We have the right to freely worship just about anything or nothing at all.  No tax payer money should be spent on religious activity.  Ever.

Guns:  I am pro-gun rights.  I own and have owned guns for a very long time.  I haven’t hunted in a long time, but I highly doubt I’d have a problem dispatching some asshole trying to break into my crib.  It’s the sanctuary for my wife, son and myself.  Anyone trying to disturb that should first count the cost.  Sometimes ignorance can be painful.

Education:  I support free education for all citizens.  We keep hearing that America is falling behind other countries in science and math.  Well maybe the government should start a scholarship fund for those things.  Let people that major in math and science get free education up through their PhD.  It makes sense.  Some people claim that education isn’t  a right and should not be funded by the government, but think about our world without it.  You know how it pisses you off when a cashier cannot count worth a damn?  Imagine if they couldn’t count at all!  We’re a first world country because of education and for us to discontinue that would be disasterous for our countries morale, micro and macro-economies and our competitiveness in the world in just about everything.  If anything we should increase spending on academia and decrease spending on sports.

Immigration:  I want better public services for our citizens, but we cannot achieve that if we continue to allow undocumented people to stream across the border.  My main concern with them is their lack of paying taxes while soaking up benefits like health care, education and jobs.  People who have gone through the gauntlet of legally immigrating here deserve those things.  If I ran across the border into any country on earth I would not expect that country to take me in and give me and my child all the services provided to their citizens all the while not paying taxes.  If you want the benefits of citizenry in our country then you have to become a member by paying the dues.  Membership has its privileges.

The War on Drugs:  A huge waste of money.  No one wants to see children on dope.  But I also don’t care if the guy in my local convenience store tokes up after work.  I certainly don’t want him put in jail for the offense.  I’d much rather they took a small percentage of the *B*illions of dollars they have wasted on fighting drugs and sunk it into more education programs.  But not just the “don’t say no” type of things.  I want REAL drug education.  I was taught that cocaine was likely to kill me the first time I tried it- then I did.  It felt good.  I didn’t die and had a good time.  I would never condone cocaine usage and stopped long ago before I “reach bottom” or any such thing.  I just knew it was not something that would help me achieve my goals.  I rationally decided to stop using drugs and many people do.  Yet our drug programs often stress that something terrible has to happen before the user stops- it’s total bullshit.  Also, there are some studies that marijuana can help people.  It is a mild pain reliever, creates appetite and helps people sleep.  When my grandfather was going through kemo guess what he had trouble with?  The pain, loss of appetite and an inability to sleep.  If you cannot eat or sleep you cannot fight off most diseases, especially cancer.  It needs to be legalized ASAP.  At least for medical purposes.  And when we do legalize it, it needs to have the ever-loving shit taxed out of it.  Maybe it will lower my taxes?

Ok, I’m still under 1200 words.  Now you get a little insight into why I am registered as an independent and have a hard time voting.  Neither major party represents me.

Cheers,

Tom

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Filed under Drugs, Economy, First Amendment, fourth amendment, Free Speech, Gay Rights, Guns, Politics, Religion, Republicans, Second Amendment

The One Where He Talks About Gay Issues

I’m am pro-pro-pro-pro-gay rights.  As a Libertarian, I cannot in good conscious keep from any American citizen the rights and freedoms I enjoy, unless they fuck up.  Sure, if you drink and drive you lose your license, if you murder someone you go to jail (or worse), but being gay is not a crime, therefore there should be no restriction in civil law on them.  They should be afforded the exact rights and privileges that every other law abiding citizen in the USA is given- no more and certainly no less.  The blatant “secret” of the issue is the laws which restrict marriage to a man and a woman are religiously based and biased.  They have absolutely no place in our democracy.  If the right wingers want to establish a theocracy on Earth then maybe they should head toward the North Pole and fight the Russians for it, but they certainly should stop trying to claim that they are both pro-constitution and pro-god, the two cannot exist in the context they put forth.  Yes, a christian can be pro-constitution, but for them to do they must understand that laws must be based on what our diversified populace wants and not what their text, written by a tribal society thousands of years ago, dictates.  Us non-christians are about fucking tired of allowing these blowhards that believe in a mythological fairy tale to assert their power based on flimsy logic and a remedial grasp of history, civil duty and law.

That being said, check out the Equality For All website.

Note: If you don’t want to enter your email address on the opening page just skip it like I did.

Cheers,

Tom

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Filed under Gay Rights, History, Politics, Religion, Sex

Believe in Miracles?

James Randi is offering anyone that can produce a miracle under scientific conditions $1,000,000!

http://www.randi.org/

He’s confronted those frauds that use “cold readings” and call it speaking with the dead such as Sylvia Brown. She is absolutely fake. Fake, fake, fake. If you pay attention to how most of them do it you can see  the technique. Note the psychic normally does not come out with crystal clear info when she first talks to the living person. They say something like, “I’m seeing a person with a name I can’t make out- it starts with a T- do you know anyone with a name beginning with the letter T?” Well of course the person does. Statistics say 99.9% of people living in the USA know a person with a T in their name. It’s so fucking obvious.

And here is the reason psychics normally stay away from specifics. Here is Sylvia Brown telling a woman who lost her boyfriend in the 9/11 attacks that he drown! She then tries to play it off by saying this could have happened via the water used to fight the fire.

And here is one where Sylvia says a couple’s daughter was shot and she really just collapsed and died!?!?

Anyways, I have a question for those that believe in Christian healing. And this is serious. Why don’t faith healers ever have people who have lost their limbs come up on stage and have the limbs re-grow? That would be a very evident miracle. There really isn’t much us naysayers could do if just one of the thousands of faith healers would start performing that! It would be amazing and provided independent verification, I might just run to an altar.

Cheers,

Tom

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Filed under Religion, Science