Monday, June 27, 2016

Sunday, June 26, 2016

A pimple on the ass of history

Dr. James Dobson recently uttered these words about Donald Trump.

"I believe he really made a commitment," said the highly influential evangelical leader. "But he’s a baby Christian. We all need to be praying for him, especially if there’s a possibility of him being the next executive officer.” - via The Daily Wire

Trump has been making Christian notices since he started his run for President. It is official. In order to secure Dobson’s vote Trump uttered the magic phrase and is now one of the good guys in the eyes of our decrepit evangelical leadership. He just needs “our prayers.”

Dobson referred to Trump as a baby Christian, which means he does not know how to speak about his faith yet. Which is also an excuse to cover Trumps unable to speak the language of evangelical Christians. Don’t worry folks. He’s one of us. Go ahead and vote for him and… don’t forget Obama is a secret Muslim.

I use the term pimple on the ass of history. It refers to both men separately. Each has earned the title for different reasons. Dobson for an endless stream of hate masquerading as Christian values and Trump for daring to aspire to an office that is well above his capabilities.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Did we really send bibles?

I’ve been reading a few books about the War in Iraq these past few months. One thing I find mentioned over and over, is that after taking Baghdad, we allowed Christian missionaries into the country to hand out bibles and to proselytize to Muslims. What the hell were we thinking? Did we really fight a war to encourage Christian proselytizing? Did we think of Iraqis as subjects to convert? We failed them in so many ways.

We did over and over. Shame on us.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Predisposed to believe in Jesus

As a skeptic, I work hard avoid lazy thinking. It’s not easy, especially when dealing with politics. Religion is easier. As a skeptic and atheist, my first thoughts are often, can you show me the proof?

When The Atlantic published a story by Ariel Sebar called The Unbelievable Tale of Jesus’s Wife, my first thought was, why is Sebar predisposed to the existence of Jesus? The article is a long look at the authenticity of a scrap of 1,300-year-old papyrus with Coptic text referencing the wife of Jesus. Many people think it is a fraud…

King (Karen L.) called the business-card-size papyrus “The Gospel of Jesus’s Wife.” But even without that provocative title, it would have shaken the world of biblical scholarship. Centuries of Christian tradition are bound up in whether the scrap is authentic or, as a growing group of scholars contends, an outrageous modern fake: Jesus’s bachelorhood helps form the basis for priestly celibacy, and his all-male cast of apostles has long been cited to justify limits on women’s religious leadership.

Sebar is a skeptic too. There is no mention of Jesus. He focuses on the authenticity of the fragment. He digs and digs into the story. It was fascinating.

The story is a great read. The fragment is questionable.

Bad Preachers on Youtube

I found this Youtube channel, Bad Preachers, via a comment on my blog. It’s interesting. Enjoy.

Hillary Rodham’s 1969 Wellesley College commencement address

I recently lost my mind over a discussion with a woman about thinking and ideas. She thought thinking was commenting on the ideas of people who are pushing a political or theocratic agenda. Her position on anything was always something thought of by other people. If President Obama did something, she would repeat, often by reposting a meme, his opposition’s opinions. These opinions, no matter how vile, became her opinions. She defended them as true despite obvious lies and half-truths.

In our discussion, I urged that she think for herself instead of accepting the words of others as fact. I suggested listening to speeches. Base thoughts and ideas off of original source material. Do research. It’s a refreshing change, but hard to do. I use this method to evaluate our 2016 presidential candidates and to assess the idea’s of President Obama and countless other politicians and religious leaders.

I do not think that I was able to get though to her. A few hours after our discussion, she posted something about Muslims that was blatant fear mongering and based on a half-truths. It may be too late for her.

I’m not a fan of Hillary Rodham Clinton. I’ve read too much about her first run for office and listened to many of her speeches to think kindly of her. I must admit that I do not know her well enough to reject her as a candidate. So, I’ve started leaning about her with fresh eyes and ears. It’s going to be her or Trump… and Trump’s words have already made him unfit for office in my mind.

My friend posted Hillary Rodham’s 1969 Wellesley College commencement address. I listened to it this morning. Enjoy.


Failing a Turing Test

Failing a Turing Test is a poem by poet Sean Wright. It was written to honor the victims who died in Orlando and I think it is beautiful. Enjoy.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

A call for Dan Patrick to resign

The photo, tweeted by the Lieutenant Governor of Texas Dan Patrick, in response to an act of terrorism at an Orlando nightclub, says it all.

Dan Patrick should resign. At least 50 of our citizens were murdered. It’s not the their fault they were gunned down. People do not deserve to die because they are gay.

Dan Patrick sounds like he belongs to the Christian version ISIS. He is saying that the those who were murdered derived to die. How is he different from ISIS?

His words encourage violence. He should be held accountable, but he’s from Texas, so they will probably throw him a parade.

Why Omar Mateen? Why?

I am tired of waking up to news of gun violence, murder and terrorism. Singer Christina Grime gunned down, the weekend Chicago shooting tally, an Orlando nightclub mass murder… It never stoops. I don’t understand it. Why take a gun and turn it on innocents? Why?

They’ve identified the Pulse nightclub shooter as Omar Mateen (OMAR MIR SEDDIQUE MATEEN). He’s dead. Shot by a police SWAT unit. I want to ask Mateen why. It’s too late now, but I still want to know, so I watch the news and despair.

I’ve heard the words, ISIS, ISLAM and ACT of TERROR used in connection to Mateen’s murder spree. Damn it. That’s a reason, but it points to a corrupt religious motivation. The why will get lost behind rhetoric.

What I don’t want to know is what some media outlets insist on showing us; like a grieving mother who obviously thinks her son is dead. Or, the same scene of a wounded man being carried down the street by others. I think I’ve seen it 30 times already. Hey look! A wounded and bleeding victim! This is news!

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Libertarians Reflect on Hillary's Nomination

Freedom of thought, conscience and religion

The United Nations warns that making children attend Christian school assemblies undermines humans rights. They are talking about Great Britain and its compulsory collective act of worship for children held each school day.

Britain must stop forcing children to attend Christian school assemblies because it undermines their human rights, a United Nations committee has said in a controversial new report. 

The authors called on ministers to repeal a law demanding a daily act of Christian worship at schools because it may contradict a child’s “freedom of thought, conscience and religion” -via The Telegraph.

The wording the recommendation from the report reads:

The Committee is concerned that pupils are required by law to take part in a daily religious worship which is “wholly or mainly of a broadly Christian character” in publicly funded schools in England and Wales, and that children do not have the right to withdraw from such worship without parental permission before entering the sixth form. In Northern Ireland and Scotland, children do not have right to withdraw from collective worship without parental permission.

The report was produced by the Committee on the Rights of the Child. It’s members are persons of high moral character and recognized competence in the field of human rights. Let’s just hope there are not pastors on the team.

it seems like a great idea to me.

Thursday, June 09, 2016

A List of Yoga Scandals

I found this yesterday and though I would pass it along.

The last few years have been awash with yoga scandals as well-known yoga teachers and gurus have fallen from grace.

I’m not going to add any commentary to this article, it’s simple a list of scandals that have happened over the years.  If you know of any that I’ve missed, please let me know in the comments and I’ll add it to the list.

Read more here.

Wednesday, June 08, 2016

Shame on you Ali Jimenez-Hopper

Ali Jimenez-Hopper is a GOP candidate for the House of Representatives in Minnesota. She gave a speech where she beat her chest over her Christian values while at the same time bringing up the race and sexual orientation of her opponent, Erin Maye Quade.

More on the story and some commentary can be found in a column titled, GOP candidate criticizes opponents LGBT ‘lifestyle,’ family by Andy Birkey.

We should not care if a candidate is male for female, gay or straight, married or single, liberal or conservative, nor should we care about a candidate’s race or religion. What matters are ideas and character. Are Hopper’s ideas good or bad? We know one thing for sure, Hopper has failed the character test.

Hopper chose to highlight her Christianity and in her first act, threw stones. She has lowered our standards and should be held accountable by voters. Do what can to hold her accountable and to support Quade. Write about Hopper and Quade. Perhaps you can chip is a few bucks to Quade. Do what you can to offset the evil evoked by the Christian racist and bigot Ali Jimenez-Hopper. (Ouch… that tag line sounds horrible.)

A call to war

We are at war with bad ideas. Ideas that could damage the fabric of our culture. There is no room for compromise. This is not an election issue. It does not matter if you identify as a Democrat. Republican or one of our various third parties. This election is about bad ideas and evil outcomes. We are morally obligate to fight against bad ideas and to fight against evil in all forms.

My choice of language is important. I say, vote against Donald Trump. I’m not saying to vote for anyone else in the race. Make your own choice. We must vote against Trump. Doing so is our duty. Don’t get caught up in the debate over who will be the Democratic candidate. Don’t lose your focus on the goal. The goal is defeating Trump. Anything else enables him.

Trump must be defeated. His ideas must be cast aside. He must not gain power. We must not let him. Do the right thing and vote against Donald Trump.