Archive for September 2009

Criminal Prosecution for Offending Religion

September 20, 2009

OMFSM, British law getting fucking stupid. A Christian couple is being criminally prosecuted for offending a Mulsim woman’s beliefs.

A Christian couple have been charged with a criminal offence after taking part in what they regarded as a reasonable discussion about religion with guests at their hotel.

Ben and Sharon Vogelenzang were arrested after a Muslim woman complained to police that she had been offended by their comments.

They have been charged under public order laws with using ‘threatening, abusive or insulting words’ that were ‘religiously aggravated’.

Even if the couple were abusive (always a possibility), they shouldn’t be prosecuted. They would just be jerks. Plus, insulting religion is far from difficult. If offending religious beliefs was universally viewed as a crime, the Pope would have been in jail long ago.


Here’s a link to an article by Richard Dawkins about the incident.

Bill O’Reilly – In Favor of the Public Option

September 20, 2009

I”m a bit shocked to say that I’m starting to cozy up to Bill O, a bit. Not that I agree with his politics (in general), I’m just finding him a lot more agreeable lately than I have in the past. Personally, I think it’s because I now have Glenn Beck to compare him to, so he is now the lesser of two evils.

The Huffington Post (that really needs to watch their celebrity blogger bullshit), has posted a little blurb saying that Bill O’Reilly actually supports the “Government Option” in health care. His exact words, “if the government can cobble together a cheaper insurance policy that gives the same benefits, I see that as a plus for the folks”, which sounds quite sound to me.

The bill before Congress now is not a bill for a Canadian style Universal Health care like the TEA baggers seem to thing. It is merely supply an option that people can sign up for if it proves advantageous (if, for example, their employer offers a poor insurance plan, or if it’s too expensive, etc), and this is supposed to help provide the competition that is virtually non-existent today.

Another Priest Fathers a Child

September 19, 2009

Another “celibate” Catholic priest, David Dueppen of Miami, has fathered a child. It would be old news, except for this wonderful quote from the mother:

“He is the devil,” said Hernandez, 42, of Miami, who provided DNA test results naming Dueppen as the father. “He is the devil dressed as an angel.”

She is referring Dueppen’s attempt to strangle her during a fight. Perhaps the lord was guiding his hands?

But, It’s not like the church itself was trying to cover anything up. What? Oh, they did know about it?

The couple’s past relationship was well-known to the church. Three years ago, the archdiocese paid Hernandez a settlement stemming from their long-running affair, which started seven years ago.

Not to sound like a broken record, but if they didn’t require celibacy, they wouldn’t be getting weirdos as priest and thus avoid most of these problems. Plus, since the priest’s sex lives would have nothing to do with their position, any conflicts they had in their personal lives would be entirely their own issues to deal with instead of scandals the church needs to cover up, often by buying their way out. (I wonder how it makes Catholics feel when they realize their lifetime’s donations to their church may have been used to pay hush money to a priest’s hoochie mama?).

Of course, they would have to give up on their apostolic succession jive, but not even Catholics buy that bullshit.

Religious Right: Racist? or just Crazy?

September 18, 2009

Can Christianity be rescued from Christians? Are Fundamentalist Christians Crazy?

We’ve all seen some pretty bizarre behavior from a sub-set of the right since election day: marches on Washington, cries of poverty from people driving expensive SUVs, louder cries of discrimination from the largest religious movement in the country, cries that the President is not a citizen even though it has been as conclusively shown that he is, cries during … well, a lot of crying. And very little in the way of facts. No facts at all, in fact. Why? What explains all the anger and baseless accusations?

Frank Schaeffer, author of Crazy for God, in an interview on the Rachel Maddow show says they’re either racist, or crazy, and he thinks crazy is the better explanation. They do, after all, see everything as being a sign of the “end times” that was predicted two thousand years ago.

Best quote: a village cannot reorganize village life to suit the village idiot.

Truthfully, there is a real inability to ever reach these people since they assume any fact that opposes their world view is made up by Satan. It’s almost like they just have to be ignored until they decide they want to be part of society again.

Round Round, Get Around, She Gets Around

September 17, 2009

Jesus never really bothered extending his travels to teach his message anyplace outside of walking distance of Galilee, (unless you’re Morman, of course). But, his mother is making up for that. She’s just turned up in Samoa.

A week after Samoans prayed en masse for a safe switch to driving on the left, a vision of the Virgin Mary has appeared.

The Pacific nation stopped this week as hundreds of Catholic believers gathered to worship an image they say is Mary.

At one time, more than 500 people worshipped the vision, which appeared on the wall of a Congregational Christian Church building in the capital Apia on Tuesday.

Believers say the wavering form, shaped like a Coca-Cola bottle, is clearly that of Mary with a rosary in her hands. Others say it looks more like Christ.

Mary Coke

I think it does look more like a Coke bottle, but that’s probably just the Holy Spirit playing tricks on me..

Jimmy Carter: Wilson’ Outburst Racist

September 16, 2009

Mr. Deity and the Skeptic

September 16, 2009

9-12 TEA Party Footage and Interviews

September 15, 2009

Intriguing (scary?) footage of the 9-12 Tea Party march on Washington DC. I’m not sure how these people got to the capitol, because they seem to be just shy of brain dead. Really. Not only do they believe that Fascism and Socialism are the same thing, but they seem to have come to the rather unlikely conclusion that Glenn Beck is a man to be trusted.

“Tea Party” Leader Calls Obama Muslim Thug

September 15, 2009

“Tea Party” leader Mark Williams calls Obama an “Indonesian Muslim Turned Welfare Thug” on CNN and then has the audacity to defend saying it. Quit frankly, I think the guy is a bit of a weirdo. He’s vague about everthing he says, so much so it’s hard to even question him on topic.

He even claims that everything they’re protesting is actually just a metaphor (thereby removing any responsibility from him or his followers to help construct better solutions). I hate to be the one to tell him this, but you can’t make laws based on metaphor. If he has problems being specific, then perhaps he should step down from his leadership position. Teenage agnst is not a position, it’s something you’re supposed to grow out of.

Why can’t he say what all this is a metaphor for? If I were to wager a guess, I think it has something to do with the “supremacy” of his particular ethnic identity.

God of the Week: Hermes

September 14, 2009

God of the Week 9/14/09: Hermes


More than just a messenger boy, Hermes eventually became merged with the Egyptian god Thoth to form the basis of his own Hellenistic religion. Hermeticism originated in late antiquity along side Gnosticism and Christianity and was revitalized during the Renaissance.

Son of Zeus, Hermes was the Greek messenger of the gods, as well as the god of shepherds and travelers. He escorted the souls of the dead to Hades . He is featured in the Homeric works The Iliad and The Odyssey, as well as  The Hymn of Hermes (in which he had the titular role). His major temple was in Arcadia, though he was worshiped all over Greece.

In Hermeticism, Hermes Trismegistus was believed to be merger of Hermes and Thoth who left his wisdom in the Corpus Hermeticum. Hermeticism was sometimes used as a mystical philosophy in conjunction with other religions. Plutarch mentioned Hermes Trismegistus in the first century CE and some Hermetic writings were found along side Gnostic writings in the Nag Hammadi library.

Hermes carried a short serpent entwined staff known as the caduceus and (along with the rod of Asklepius) it is commonly used as the modern symbol of medicine.


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