Category: religion

Interesting how churches are trying to stay relevant

So around the Metro area of Atlanta I note a number of different churches are proclaiming how all are welcome, including the LGBT community.

Look churches had their chance to be more inclusive and they failed miserably at it. As a result many churches are seeing attendance decline and they’re tripping over themselves now trying to be supportive. As if or Ut Si.

I walked away from Catholicism for two reasons, well three. First my studies in religion led me to realize it was a man made creation, not that of a divine being. The second was the anti-gay screeds by certain popes. And the third is the biggie, how they covered up the sexual abuse of kids And even today they keep trying to backpedal. Sorry that ship has sailed. Firstly I don’t need to get up early on a Sunday morning, nor do I need to tithe my money to any church.

As you may have guessed from this blog – I’m an atheist. Don’t believe in heaven, hell, god, Jesus, the whole of it even the devil. In fact I’m more a nihilistic atheist in other words one who thinks meaning, morals and everything are just human constructs not to be followed or believed. An old friend of mine said it, what we’re seeing now is the dying gasps of religion in general. They’ll go down either kicking and screaming or try to appear to by more accepting. It’ll fall flat. Just look at the rate of religious none in the different regions of the U.S. in the northeast a full quarter of the population doesn’t believe in religion. Even the region I’m in now the southeast where the none is 13-15% Belief is fading away.

West Virginia files suit against Catholic Diocese

Well men, women, boys and girls – it’s getting interesting for the old Catholic church. Seems they can’t keep burying the fact that priests in nearly every diocese are abusing kids.

You may have remembered I posted about Cardinal George Pell – now here’s the thing about Cardinals they are the Princes of the church. Seriously. It’s one step from there to being the Pope.

So the Republican Attorney General in West Virginia has filed a civil suit against the local diocese there. 

I’m hoping the time is up for the Catholic church. You can see little by little the armor being dinged and instead of remaining resolute, it’s severely denting credibility and ability to attract adherents to the church. Good.

Now let me be clear, I left Catholicism some 30+ years ago. I know the gig was up just through studies. Plus I didn’t respect a clerical collar. I understood the purpose of the uniform and knew that it was for intimidation not to mark a holy man. And what did I go to well atheism. I don’t need to get up early on a Sunday morning and tithe 10 or 15 percent of my income to the men of the church.

The bigots don’t stop just like a certain battery bunny

So this time it’s in Kansas where they’re trying to say the the LGBT community is a religion so that they can discriminate against the LGBT community.

First let me say I have to lookup that Bill and pick it apart here. But I knew that the religious bigots would never stop. Oh the more overt bigots have faded into the woodwork but they won’t stop. If the Bill passes it’s sure to be brought up on challenge before the courts. Thereby costing the State of Kansas money to defend bigotry. Interesting when you think of it like that.

This little whereas clause grabbed my attention:

WHEREAS, All religion amounts to is a set of unproven answers to the
greater questions like “Why are we here?” and “What should we be doing
as humans?

I can answer the first and second – why are we here? Simple it started just after the event called the big bang, you know when the whole universe was a hot, dense soup. Then anti-matter and matter started forming. Eventually some of those gases gathered together, compressed and ignited forming stars. And those ancient stars spewed their guts providing carbon, oxygen, hyrdrogen etc. to spawn new stars and the leftover matter that didn’t ignite becomes rocky planets, and gas that didn’t have enough mass the gas giant planets. You’re getting the idea here right? We’re here just because. Isn’t that enough?

As to what we should be doing as humans – that’s a good one – we should be caring for our brothers and sisters, should be sponsoring legislation that isn’t hateful or disgusting, and shouldn’t be posting bills like the above. In fact if you want to get technical, what was Jebus all about? Love one another – that was the key message that you missed when you got stuck in the Old Testament when God was an asshole. How do you like it?

WHEREAS, The sworn testimonies of ex-gays, medical experts,
persecuted Christians and licensed ministers demonstrate that there is no
real proof that a gay gene exists, that the idea that sexual orientation is
predicated on immutability is not proven and that sexual orientation is a
mythology, dogma, doctrine or orthodoxy that is inseparably linked to the
religion of secular humanism; and
WHEREAS, The United States supreme court found that secular
humanism is a religion for the purpose of the establishment clause of the
1st amendment of the constitution of the United States in Torcaso v.
Watkins, 367 U.S. 488 (1961), stating “among religions in this country
which do not teach what would generally be considered a belief in the
existence of God are Buddhism, Taoism, Ethical Culture, Secular
Humanism and others”; and

 

See that little block of text tips their hand. They’re trying to conflate being gay with secular humanism aka agnostics, or atheists like me.

Know what I say about the Bible – the KJV by the way if you didn’t learn that and you learned it through some other version you’re doing it wrong. :) And I have it on good authority that King James was a fellow homosexual. Interesting.

The whole bill spends a good portion of the WHEREAS clauses trying to tie the LGBT community to Secular Humanism but has no fucking clue what Secular Humanism is. It’s laughable. Go read the whole thing here and you’ll see what I mean.

In a nutshell as I alluded to earlier – this Bill doesn’t stand a chance. I’m assuming cooler heads in the legislature of Kansas will quash it sooner than later – or tie it up in some committee in perpetuity. And with a Democratic governor it’s sure to be vetoed which I believe requires a 2/3 majority in most state constitutions to override. But if by chance they do succeed in the override, be ready for court challenges out the wazoo. Seriously.

The bigots will be dragged kicking and screaming into the future.

Pondering the non-existence of God

Or at the very least, that the latest god doesn’t have the powers of omniscience and omnipotence. For it begins in Genesis 3.

Let’s break it down, when you think about it if the snake was the serpent was the devil let’s go back to who created the devil in the first place. It was God – so there goes omniscience. And God couldn’t stop Eve from being beguiled by the snake? There goes omnipotence.

My favorite verse is Genesis 3:22 “And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever:”

Now this is the Old Testament, there’s just God and the Holy Spirit. Is that the Us he’s referring to?

So in just this one little thought experiment we find this a puny god. It’s not omniscient and not omnipotent. So why call it a god at all?

Therefore god/God does not exist. That was easy.

Another dumb Christian says Rapture starts this Saturday

I think he’s channeling Harold Camping – the nitwit Christian who back in 2012 said the rapture was coming on not just one date, he then revised the claim and nothing came of it.

I suspect the same will happen with this guy. Even the Yahoo article points out he’s way off base.

You see it’s all because in the Bible they forecast the end times. But the thing is, being the Bible is entirely fictitious means that none of it is going to happen. And they’ve been expecting the rapture to happen ever since. So every year we get some ‘genius’ who says the Rapture starts this Saturday or some such.

It’s like clockwork. Look, the world will end in about 3-5 Billion years when the sun goes red giant. It’ll essentially be consumed by the sun.

Bryan Fischer on the Iran Accord

This is interesting.

Fischer says that his puny god will bless those who defend Israel and curse those that don’t.

But I don’t think he gets it. Part of those very accords with Iran made by the U.S. and other countries is that Iran dismantle a lot of it’s nuclear program. So if anything this is a blessing to Israel because who do you think one of the first targets would be for Iranian weaponry if allowed to continue the Iranian nuclear program? Yes, Israel. So this definitely falls in the blessing category. It’s just the Bryan Fischer is too stupid, too hoodwinked to be able to see that.

Vatican to crack down on Nuns in the U.S.

This is interesting stuff! Nuns have been on the front lines for some time so it doesn’t surprise me which side they come out in favor of when it comes to social issues.

Whether it be abortion, in which a Catholic Nun permitted an abortion to save a woman’s life, or to dignity in death, or even LGBT rights, most of the nuns are on our side.

But the Vatican doesn’t like it. Oh no, they must maintain the old boys club.

But I’m seeing more and more parish priests challenging Bishops here in the U.S., and then the nuns challenging the bishoprics too.

Then of course is the rise of the Old Catholic Orders, which support all the things mentioned above.

It is coming to the point where I suspect the U.S. Catholics will split from the Vatican at some point in the near future.

Because a few things have been amply demonstrated:

1) The Church lost a lot of credibility with the way in which it refused to handle abuse of kids at the hands of the priests.

2) The hierarchy is blindly out of touch with the realities of modern life.

3) The Catholic church is losing members at an alarming rate.

4) They are also having issues recruiting new priests and nuns.

All of this was bound to eventually happen as the body of scientific knowledge grew by leaps and bounds. It explains away the need for God, or any God for that matter.

But the nuns have decided, and rightfully so, that social justice matters. Bravo for them, I hope they decide to tell the Vatican to go get stuffed.

My rights trump your religion

That is correct. My rights mean I do not have to be subject to your religious dogma or edicts.

This all started when I read the post titled “Phony victimization ruining American Christianity” on Holy Bullies and Headless Monsters.

This whole thing with Michele Bachmann and her husband’s sham psych practice are really starting to irritate the shit out of me.

Why? Because the more I hear about it the more I come to the conclusion that the phrase “Religion is a force for good.” is completely and totally incorrect. Religion is a force against good is more accurate, or religion is a force against rights, I like that one better.

We’re being bludgeoned to death because of fundamentalist religionistas who think that their world view is to be imposed on the rest of us.

No it is NOT! You can practice your religion, but when it infringes upon my civil rights I start getting angry. And right now I’m really angry. From the murder of a four year old perceived to be gay, to the 13% increase in crimes against the LGBT community in 2010, I’m sick and tired of it.

Those acts I quote in the prior paragraph, they’re more than just infringements. They are an affront to the person, be they young or old.

How dare people act on their twisted interpretations of biblical texts. I encourage people to read the ENTIRE Bible. Because once you do so you start to see several inconsistencies. If you’d like I can highly recommend the Skeptic’s Annotated Bible, or perhaps a couple of YouTube channels that highlight the contradictions in the Bible.

Videos by DarkMatter2525 are pretty good at pointing out the contradictions.

And TaylorX04 does a good job too.

So read, watch and come back and tell me if it doesn’t shake your faith a bit. It shouldn’t just shake it but tear it to pieces.

As I often say, Keep your God out of my Government and I will keep my Government out of your God.

They Should Have Known

I was thinking back to my elementary and high school years. The signs were there early on that I struggled with the whole faith thing until the moment of clarity hit when I was about 15 years old and doing the confirmation classes.

That was when I point blank told the priest that I didn’t believe any of it. I was confirmed Catholic regardless.

Part of that had come from studying the Bible in a high school religion class. Yes, 12 years of Catholic schools. During the class I continually brought up the numerous inconsistencies and the fact that St. Paul aka Saul of Tarsus was a misogynistic and homophobic bigot. Also played the part of contrarian a number of times because by this point I knew that not just a chapter or verse was pure bovine effluvia, but the entire book. Everything. It’s all a fairytale.

I could do the whole sit/stand/kneel/make the sign of the cross by rote memorization. Basically an automaton. Even now I still recall the prayers and all the gobbledygook required in a Catholic mass.

Another one, they should have known that something was up when I rarely went to confession. I especially never went to confession when you could do it face to face with the priest. Probably a good thing too, known what we know now I probably would have been abused if I mentioned to the priest that a neighbor boy and I were getting it on.

It got to the point where later in life when I’d be at a wedding or funeral, when the Eucharist would be trotted out I’d step up. My little point of rebellion even back then. Then of course they switched to where the priest would lay the host in your palm. A few times I dropped the fucker on purpose. Caused all sorts of commotion, they altar boy would sweep up the dropped host and I’d get a new one.

Didn’t matter if I’d sinned or not. I knew that it was a cracker and that it didn’t magically turn into the flesh and blood of Jesus H. Christ once it hit my mouth. Actually I knew it turned to a sugar since the amylase in our saliva has that effect on certain carbohydrates.

Once I’d moved out of the parent house I never set foot in a church again other than for weddings or funerals. Then again even when I lived with the parents after 16 I never went to church. They tried dragging me to Christmas eve ceremonies but I did it once and that was enough.

I just don’t have a religious bone in my body. They should have known. All the signs and portents were there clear as day.

My father figured it out though. I recall one conversation during a car trip when he point blank said “You never believed in God anyway.” Yep, right on the nose.

As I like to tell people the mistake was sending me to Catholic schools starting in the period just after the approval of the Vatican II accords. It’s when the church got highly liberalized, priests and nuns doffed their garments and habits for secular clothing, the theology wasn’t as strict.

Another thing, being that the high school I attended was a college preparatory institution they taught logic and critical thinking skills. As I’ve said many a time, a dangerous combination is religion and logic/critical thinking.

An analysis of religious bigotry

And that is precisely what drives all of the opposition to GLBT people having full equality. The Southern Poverty Law Center does a nice job of showing the bigots for what they really are. By coaching it as special rights it devalues our cause. We cannot continue to let them get away with this. Expose them for what they really are Christians of a hypocritical nature. They cannot see the forest for the trees.

This paragraph grabbed me though:

Writing in support of DOMA, Bauer predicted that gay marriage would have dire consequences for Americans of faith: “If they succeed, all distinctions based on sex may fall, and the worst aspects of the rejected Equal Rights Amendment will be imposed. Homosexuals will gain the ‘right’ to adopt children; … churches will be pushed outside civil law; and government power will be wielded against anyone who holds the biblical view of homosexuality.”

I’d like to see Bauer’s explanation of the ‘worst aspects’ of the ERA. I think it’s just an anti-feminist attitude to be honest. The concept of women as equals is abhorrent to the religious bigots.

The use of single quotation marks shows Bauer’s attitude about what he things of civil rights equality. Because that’s what this fight is all about, that we are EQUAL to everyone else, not necessarily better than or lesser than but equal under the eyes of the law.

As to his claim of churches being pushed outside civil law, I’d welcome that. The churches had the better part of two millenia to get it right and they never did. So much so that Martin Luther tacked his 95 theses on the door of the church in Wittenburg. And of course in the U.S. you’ve got Methodists, Southern Baptists, Presbe…oh screw it you know many crazy ass sects are in the U.S. If even they can’t agree on basic doctrine what makes them think they can agree about equal rights?

I had to pin progress in civil right as starting in one era I’d say the industrial age is what propelled society. You can sort of see this going on in China right now as people flock to the cities where jobs are plentiful and money isn’t as short.

There was a poll on facebook about what was a better environment for kids to grow, city, suburbs or rural. I explained that the city was the best place. Cities mix it up. I made the same argument when the likes of Tucker Carlson moaned that people who complete a four year college are more liberal than others. Of course they are, you go to college and you meet people from other countries, states and cultures. You’re required to take what I term soft arts courses like sociology,l psychology. To charge those areas with a liberal bias is ridiculous, Studies of the humanities by their nature are liberal because they deal in truths about existence.

The same applies to social attitudes. I can remember when the area I live in was predominantly Italian. That only started to change in the late 1980’s. Now it’s Italian, Dominican, Puerto Rican, Lebanese etc. The signs on the church down the street and at the nearby supermarket are in English, Spanish and Italian.

But you mix it up. Granted we have a long way to go but it’s happening. It happened when my father of Italian descent married my mother who was predominantly Irish. And it happens today when my Irish descended friend’s brother marries a Puerto Rican girl. Over and over again. And that’s good. Good for the genome, good for society.

Enough of that. His reference to the biblical view is comical. If you’ve ever read the entire book you get a fairly schizophrenic read on the Bible. Contradictions galore. But the religious always say you can’t throw the baby out with the bath water. That’s an apples to oranges comparison. If the Bible is the inspired and literal word of God, don’t you think divorce is wrong? Or that people who eat shellfish are committing and abomination?

Of course not, the anti-homosexual bigots are taking things out of context in the Bible. The folks at the Skeptic’s Annotated Bible can only pull 38 quotes out of the entire Bible. Compare that to the 453 contradictions, or the 1,582 absurdities. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve read the entire book but the folks at Skeptic’s have done a nice job assembling it all for easy reference.