A Blog of Reason From a Godless Liberal

Archive for April, 2009|Monthly archive page

Canada to Rename Alberta to North Texas

In Culture Wars, evolution on April 30, 2009 at 10:42 pm

Evolution Now Optional in the Great North

Parents in Canada now have the option of removing their children from classes where evolution or homosexuality may be brought up. The law requires parents to be notified in advance of “subject-matter that deals explicitly with religion, sexuality or sexual orientation”.

Naturally, this law brings with it concerns over Canada’s international image. America is embarrassed several times a year by the zany antics of our religious right, and some fear that Canada is opening itself up to America’s caricature. Brian Mason, the New Democratic Party leader in Canada said, “All they’ve done is make Alberta look like Northumberland and sound like Arkansas.”



Are Religious License Plates Constitutional?

In church/state, Culture Wars, editorial, religion on April 30, 2009 at 5:36 pm

Share Your Thoughts On Jesus Happy Flordia

I’m sure most of you have heard that the Florida Legislature is considering allowing people to buy (from the state) Christian themed license plates. There are two new novelty plates being proposed, one depicting Jesus being crucified and another depicting a cross in front of a stained-glass window.

The main problem I have with this is that if they are going to offer plates for Christians, there ought to be plates for Jews, Muslims, Hindus, and Pastafarians alike. Of course there are not, so I’m firmly against it. But my question is, what if you could get a plate with any religion on it? Should that be allowed? Is that more acceptable, or am I being too soft on the issue? Are these plates blurring the line between church and state? How about this, you can get any religion or a plate professing non-belief? Clearly any religious license plate would be so tacky that only a Floridian would want one, but since this is a rare occasion where I don’t have a strong opinion on it, I’m curious to know where other atheists come down on this.

The Right’s Swine Flu Conspiracy

In kooks on April 29, 2009 at 4:49 pm

Republicans Get History Wrong Again

Why hasn’t anyone in the GOP told her to stay off TV? Do they think she is actually helping their cause? Looks like she put highlights in her hair.

Am I Militant?

In atheism, editorial on April 28, 2009 at 1:02 am

Science is Great! Praise be Science! Behead Those Who Insult Science!

I was reading Pharyngula this weekend, when I read a post regarding the distortion of atheists’ goals by an English newspaper. I agree with Mr. Myer’s argument that the goals of the atheist community are being skewed by the Telegraph. Atheists’ views are misrepresented all the time, so I can’t say I was surprised by it. But something did stand out to me.

A church lobbyist in the Telegraph’s story used the term “militant atheist”,
and said that “militant atheists were attacking the children”. I’ve heard the term used before, but didn’t really think about it in depth until now. What exactly is a militant atheist? The word militant has a very strong; very negative connotation in today’s post 9/11, 3/11, 7/7, and Mumbai world. When someone says militant, what is the next thought in your head? I know for me it conjures up terrorist, extremist, guerrilla, and other less than desirable labels. The word is very much associated with violence and unrest. Naturally, this is done on purpose by the religious and the right to discredit and demonize atheists. Trying to define their opponents with a negative label, easily repeatable slogan or caricature has been their strategy for a long time. Anyone remember “tax and spend liberal”, or “flip flopper”? The fact is atheists aren’t militant in the sense we think about today, if anything they could stand to be more forceful in their rejection of faith (new atheism). What purpose do these negative labels serve? Well, from an academic stand point, it’s much easier to dismiss the militant atheist, or the Darwinist Dawkins, than it is to the Oxford Professor of Evolutionary Biology Dawkins.

Atheists and theists alike can agree the above mentioned terrorist attacks were all done by religious militants. Ever heard of an atheist terrorist attack? No. Large religious gatherings in the Muslim world often include burning effigies, anti-American chants, threats, and calls to violence against non-Muslims. Oh, and don’t forget the staple riotous mob. In using the term militant atheist, apologists want to stir up images of Dawkins igniting a crowd with fiery, Palin-esque speeches. (Christians pal-around with Satan maybe?) How about Christopher Hitches leading a mass protest/riot with an alleged “militant atheist” fringe, burning churches and attacking believers? During the annual American Atheists Convention, did the atheist take to the streets? Did they Burn effigies of the Pope? Were there calls to harm and indeed murder theist? The fact is, you will never see anything like that. Atheist do not display the raw hostility and hatred that is found in many theist groups. Hopefully by now you can see the point I am driving at here. Just because a theist group can have moderates, and militants, doesn’t mean this structure applies to all ideological organizations. There are no militant, terrorist, or extremist atheists in the modern world. There are forceful opponents of theism, and non-violent movements. Theists cannot make the same claim, though I’m sure they do as they live their whole lives making ridiculous statements, see Crocoduck. Going door to door, attacking someones faith at their home, and trying to convert them, now that is militant. Has an atheist ever came knocking on a Saturday morning? Maybe we should, but the sad truth is, we would be likely to be violently assaulted at one time or another.

Moving along, another question comes up, what is wrong with being a forceful opponent of faith? If I were to tell any given believer that I belong to the Church of the Tooth Fairy, I’m sure they would have numerous criticisms. No doubt, they would at least snicker at my belief system once we’ve parted ways. As they well should, the idea of the tooth fairy as a deity is absurd. However, the tooth fairy is just as a legitimate deity as any other. Is pointing that out militant? Or is it simply stating what in the atheists’ view, ought to be obvious? Why is it that a theist’s questioning of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster somehow less militant than the followers of His Noodlyness questioning the existence of Yahweh, Allah, Baal, Apollo, or any other of the thousands of gods that have come and gone?

In the Theist/Atheist system, only one can be said to militant. To suggest otherwise is at best a misrepresentation, and at worst an outright lie.

Michael Vick is a Neanderthal

In lol, neanderthals on April 27, 2009 at 4:59 pm

From Last Night’s Family Guy

Full Episode

Psh, Some Deity

In lol on April 26, 2009 at 5:35 am

Taken From Failblog

Atheism: A Rough History of Disbelief

In atheism on April 25, 2009 at 4:49 pm

Great BBC Documentary

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

This is How I React to Glenn Becks Garbage Too

In kooks, lol on April 25, 2009 at 4:43 pm

Weekend Video Dump: Glenn Beck’s Stupidity Almost Kills Guest

‘Why We Believe in Gods’ by Andy Thomson

In atheism, cool, Science on April 25, 2009 at 3:51 am

All Kinds of Cool Stuff Out There Tonight

At the End, There Are Some Pretty Nuts Creationists. Par.

In creationism, kooks, lol on April 25, 2009 at 3:24 am

Video Re-Posted From Wavefunctions

More on the Crocoduck from ‘Mike Seaver’