Archive for November 2008

Vatican Sex Abuse Doc: Keep It Secret

November 29, 2008

An oldie but a goodie? A 1962 Vatican document, sealed by the Pope and marked confidential, instructing bishops around the world to keep sex abuse cases internal to the church, asking victims to take a vow of secrecy, and threatening excommunication of anyone that speaks out. Not real moral, is it?

Guardian Article

PDF of entire document

Should “under God” be in the Pledge?

November 29, 2008

Should the phrase “under God” be in the Pledge of Allegiance?

Go vote

Great Zombie Jesus!

November 29, 2008

This is cute.

Let’s Have a Little Respect, Here

November 27, 2008
It's funny cause it's true!


To Blog About Jim Jones, Or Not … That Is the Question

November 27, 2008

It is the 30th anniversary of the infamous Jonestown massacre. On November 18, 1978, 918 people died in a religious centered community in Guyana. When I was younger the incident shocked me. It seemed like a freak event.

Honestly, I can’t really say that I’m really all that shocked at the Jonestown incident anymore. It doesn’t seem like any sort of mind control or freak cult attitude. After all, the communities biggest leap of faith in following Jim Jones to their death had already been taken well before they even met him. They believed that any death they would meet would only be a temporary one and that they would wake up rewarded in paradise. All Jim Jones had to do was to instill a bit of paranoia into the equation. And I see plenty of that in churches now.

Face it, anyone that can turn off their mind and never question anything that’s said to them in church or on the street is one step away from drinking the Flavor Aid. The only thing keeping it from happening more often is that most preachers aren’t that charismatic and most people are too lazy to to move to Guyana.

Best band name inspired by the event: The Brian Jonestown Massacre

Health Care for ALL!

November 23, 2008

Here’s an excellent and informative article about our current state of health care in the US. We really need to know where we are at if we are ever going to make any improvements. Points made:

  1. We DON’T have the best health care in the world
  2. We are already paying for our own insurance
  3. Private insurance has really high administrative costs
  4. The current system is dysfunctional and in need of reform
  5. Most American are ready for a change. Now!

Link to Article

Visit Health Care for America Now, and sign up for the email updates on how you  can help

If you are in MN, you can help out by signing up for the Minnesota Health Plan, an org fighting for single payer health care coverage in MN. I think this is close and may wind up being a pilot state that shows the rest of America how it’s done.

Turns out, Keeping God Out of Gov’t is a Social Necessity

November 22, 2008

According to this study, societies are much better off when religion is kept at bay. Societies with strong religious beliefs and practices have much higher rates of murder, suicide, abortion, and sexual promiscuity.

This isn’t surprising to me at all. There often seems to be a correlation between strong religious behavior and a refusal to take personal responsibilities for your actions. Of course, you do have to keep in mind that correlation does not necessarily imply causation. It could be that the high instance of social ills winds up driving people to religion. But, it would say that an increase in religion definitely does not improve anything.

My own view point, scientific or not, it that any form of non-humanist religious behavior would be inherently damaging to society. Social ills can’t be improved through inactivity. Effort has to be performed, i.e., giving to charity, volunteering. Many religious groupd do this (as do many atheist groups), but the ones that practice retreating from society and praying instead of acting will not be benefitting anyone.

Kansas pastor defends Mulsim President sign

November 22, 2008

Why would anyone follow this guy?
If he feels just fine lying on signs, why would he tell the truth on the pulpit?

He may not feel Obama is a christian (he apparently has a very narrow view of Christianity that would probably wind up excluded quit a few Christian sects), but he never explains why he thinks he’s a Muslim.

I also find it odd that these churches speak against separation of church and state when it comes to shooting their mouths off, but are just fine with it when it comes to not paying taxes.

Nova: The Bible’s Buried Secrets

November 20, 2008

PBS played a documentary on the Hebrew bible on Tuesday night from the stance of “what the archeology really says”. Not too bad. Not great, but pretty good. I would say that it takes a kid gloves approach to critical analysis of the OT and it panders to religion a bit too much (in an effort not to offend, I suppose). It would probably be a good first step for for the odd person teetering on atheist/agnosticism. Or someone that doesn’t know that they are allowed to question three thousand year old mythology. Netflix it and play it for your mom. Look out for a documentary called the Exodus Decoded, though (done by James Cameron, sadly). It’s pseudo-science gone wild. On the plus side, it seems to piss of Christians as well as atheists since it takes the faith out of the exodus.

Israel Finkelstien has a book called the Bible Unearthed that covers the same subject, but a bit better IMO.

Finally, A Message From Up Above

November 18, 2008


Colorado Springs,long known by some as the The Protestant Vatican, will be seeing some signs that are not from god.

On Monday, billboards that say, “Don’t Believe in God You are not alone” will wind up peppering the Colorado landscape, one in Colorado Springs, and ten in the Denver area. Inspired by the recent bus sign campaign in the UK, The Colorado Coalition of Reason is renting the billboards for four weeks. Meanwhile, the Freedom From Religion Foundation is funding an even larger campaign to put up atheist billboards in 46 states.

Most of us drive by several Christian billboards on our way to and from work. It is nice to have at least a few of them that speak to us atheists, even if they will only be up for a short time.

No doubt, cries of persecution will be heard.