Tuesday, November 30, 2010

New Atheist Billboard

Rt. 495 @ Kennedy Bvd (on the NJ side of the Lincoln Tunnel). November 27th.

The American Atheists website claims that:

The purpose of the billboard is threefold:
1) To address those atheists who “go along to get along”, and to encourage
them to come out of their closets
2) To attack the myth that Christianity owns the solstice season
3) To raise the awareness of the organization and the movement.

Predictably, the Christian reaction was swift and indignant. The Catholic League placed a billboard on the New York side of the tunnel on Novebmer 29th. Stating "You know it's real"

League President Bill Donohue announced a campaign in reaction to the American Atheist billboard. The league has sent "Hold Family Nativity Scene" creches to the 50 US governors along with a letter requesting that the creches be displayed in the capital rotundas.

American Atheists President David Silverman: "The fact that the League is paying for the crèches does not automatically make them constitutional. The governors will also have to welcome in a variety of secular displays -- and American Atheists feels that it is appropriate that they also have the opportunity to include something from Atheists and other non-believers."

OK, who is bored already? Anyone? I have been a non-believer for about 14 years now and I considered the Nativity story to be a myth long before that. When I was a Christian, I would have looked at the atheist billboard, chuckled, and went about my business. I would never have called it a "war on Christmas" or any other kind of war. It is simply a display of (unpopular) ideas. This is America and we have a few documents that protect that sort of thing. The Catholic Charities tactic of throwing money at the problem exposes their fear that they are loosing this struggle with reason. Maybe they are.

The American Atheist campaign does not accomplish they're stated goals either. Other than raising awareness, this sign does not attack the myth that Christianity owns the solstice season or encourage closet atheists to come out. I don't believe that it conveys the ideologies of atheists. It pokes the bear with a stick. It perpetuates the concept that atheists are smug and rude. Also, it does not account for the "Cultural Christians" who celebrate the holiday the same way most of us just celebrated Thanksgiving without a thought for the betrayal of the Indians. Sure we KNOW its a myth. I don't know a single closet atheist who plans to come out to their family over Christmas dinner. That's a tall order for a billboard, but these things do not occur in a vacuum.

I'll admit that I get a little satisfaction from the Christian outcry when their beliefs are openly questioned. It begs the question: If you had the market cornered on reality, why so serious?

As an atheist, I am not the least offended by religious iconography when the myth is the source of the holiday that also promotes goodwill. The term "Happy Holidays" was not our idea, but it is verbally economical since there are several holidays this time of year.
Really, who cares if faith is a crutch. Can't we all just relax and eat a candy cane?

Monday, November 29, 2010

Irreducible Complexity Cut Down to Size

Irreducible Complexity Cut Down to Size | Atheist Media Blog

via QualiaSoup*

*QualiaSoups videos are so excellent that they now have their own label.  I'm sure we'll be posting more in the future.

Monday Morning Stupid Quotes - Deepak Chopra

“It never occurs to skeptics that a sense of wonder is paramount, even for scientists. Especially for scientists.”

“No skeptic, to my knowledge, ever made a major scientific discovery or advanced the welfare of others. Typically they sit by the side of the road with a sign that reads “You’re Wrong” so that every passerby, whether an Einstein, Gandhi, Newton, or Darwin, can gain the benefit of their illuminated skepticism.”

“Western science is still frozen in an obsolete, Newtonian worldview that is based literally on superstition — and we can call it the superstition of materialism — which says you and I are physical entities of the physical universe.”

“There’s a lot of interesting science now that is suggesting… that our consciousness… that this part of us is not a product of our brain… …the evidence is pointing out that this consciousness is non-local, which means that it exists outside of space-time and therefore mathematically it is not possible to destroy this consciousness. “

“The mystery of life cannot be solved without answering one essential question. Why are human beings intelligent? In common understanding, we are intelligent because of our brains, our brains are intelligent because of the operation of brain cells, and brain cells operate because of genes. By this reasoning, either genes must be intelligent in their own right, or by some magic of chemistry, molecules that lack intelligence produce it when combined in various ways.

So, is this whole line of thinking false? To a materialist it must be true without question, and any attempt to find intelligence outside the brain--meaning outside DNA--is preposterous. Except that it isn't.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Banned Mormon Cartoon

UPDATE: I suspected as much and now have it on good authority that; while largely accurate,  this video was likely made by another Christian sect. The tone is definitely one which portrays it in a negative light.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Friday Link Dump - 11/26/10

Yep, that's right. We made a Friday Link Dump despite the holiday. That is how much we care. After all not everyone is American and has the day off of work. We aren't Amero-centric jack-asses here at LH. Please enjoy the links.

Speaking of ignorant, Amero-centric jackasses...

Have we found the universe that existed before the Big Bang? - Oh, so it is cyclical.  Like everything else.  Ok.  

"It Gets Better" - Love, Pixar

Vaccination rates drop, putting more kids at risk - Please know that if you choose not to vaccinate your child due to pseudo-science, irrational paranoia and listening to Jenny McCarthy you are a complete idiot and I despise you.  

Growing Slowly, Humans Outsmarted Neanderthals

U.N. Anti-Blasphemy Proposal Meets Firm Resistance - It is all over when you can’t speak your mind.  

UN votes against protecting gays from execution - What the hell is the UN doing?  This is unconscionable.  

The religious excuse for barbarity - We need to be much more self-confident in criticising religious claims. Your ideas do not deserve any special status because you say they came from an invisible, supernatural being.”  I could not have said better myself.  

Stem cells could help blind patients to see within six weeks - The previous quote from the last link also applies here.

Scientists Claim Breakthrough In Antimatter Hunt

Pope Says Science Can Unite Humans With God - Pope talks and people listen.  Why?


Catholic Exorcist Plies His Lonely Trade - "’The worst thing for me would be to become a celebrity,’ Thomas said. ‘That would be a great way to derail me; and that's exactly what the devil wants.’"

Asylum in a secular country for Kacem El Ghazzali ! - please sign the petition

Freedom for Waleed, irreligious blogger and activist - please sign the petition

I was supposed to work today but I took off to watch the Iron Bowl.
I'm going to be completely obnoxious here so brace yourself: 


Monday, November 22, 2010

Petitions to Protect Fellow Non-Believers

Please sign the petition to free Waleed Khaled Hasayen and a petition to grant asylum to Kacem El Ghazzali.  Their stories and links to the petitions are below.  

Freedom for Waleed, irreligious blogger and activist 

Asylum in a secular country for Kacem El Ghazzali !

To anyone who feels threatened that they cannot stand up and say they do not believe in a deity or rejects the dominant religion in their area please visit Blasphemers Wanted to tell us your story.  

How to Beat Your Slave

Thanks to: The Thinking Athiest

Monday Morning Stupid Quotes - Michael Steele

"God has a way of revealing stuff to you, and making it real for you, through others. And if that's part of the plan, it'll be the plan... If I run it'll be because that's where God wants me to be at that time."- Steele, explaining how he'll decide if he will run for president some day.

"I am a cause and effect kind of guy," he said. "So if I do something there's is a reason for it. Even if it may look like a mistake, a gaffe, there is a rational, there is a logic behind it. It's all strategic."

“Our platform is one of the best political documents that’s been written in the last 25 years. Honest Injun on that.” -January 2010

[The stimulus package] “is just a wish list from a lot of people who have been on the sidelines for years... to get a little bling, bling.” -February 2009

“...war of Obama’s choosing… This is not something the United States had actively prosecuted or wanted to engage in.” - July 2010, Regarding the war in Afghanistan

“I got the fried chicken and potato salad.” -July 2009 Refrencing the lack of republican votes from African Americans

“Now all of a sudden I’ve got someone who wasn’t a spouse before, that I had no responsibility for, who is now getting claimed as a spouse that I now have financial responsibility for. So how do I pay for that? Who pays for that? You just cost me money.” -May 2009 On health care for married gay couples.

"I'm the gift that keeps on giving."

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Sunday Morning Hate: Paul Washer

Hateful Rhetoric from Religious Leaders

This isn't meant to be a spoof and it is heartfelt.  That makes it much, much scarier.

For the Children: Are you Saved? 

Friday, November 19, 2010

Friday Link Dump 11/19/10

Have a good weekend everyone! 
The Nietzsche Family Circus - I weep for how awesome this is.  

Exoplanet found...from another galaxy! 

Child Abuse Rate At Zero Percent In Lesbian Households, New Report Finds

Hitchens on ABC Lateline

The absolute greatest future dystopia where liberals have won - This ranks right up there with Kirk Cameron movies for the ridiculousness.  If I were to watch this, it is quite possible I will be unconscious and foaming at the mouth by the end.  

US loses status as a 'colossus of science' - The slow erosion of knowledge and education in this country by anti-intellectuals is really, truly taking its toll.  

Space–time invisibility cloak could 'edit history'

Acoustic Archaeology Yielding Mind-tripping Tricks - I selflessly volunteer myself for additional experimentation in this matter.  FOR SCIENCE!

Jim Morrison May Get Posthumous Pardon - This link and my comment have nothing to do with this site, but I just wanted to say that I don't know when it became cool to knock The Doors and hate on Jim Morrison. I've noticed that lately and I have to say I don't like it. That is all.  /steps off soapbox

New state rep: Confederate flag 'a symbol of Jesus Christ.' - Can you believe this guy is from New York?  Ha just kidding, he’s from Arkansas.  

Copper load of this! Company digging mine in Afghanistan unearths 2,600-year-old Buddhist monastery

McCain Moves The Goal Posts Again On DADT, Now Claiming The Pentagon Study Isn’t Good Enough  - Ah yes, the old strategy of crapping on science while demanding new science on which to crap. Here is the study, by the way.  

Change the Pledge: One Nation Under Allah?

Vikings Possibly Carried Native American Woman to Europe - Iceland is in Europe now? 

Fox News: 'Heaven Is For Real' - I would love to rip on Fox for this even being a story, but other channels also broadcast this crap all the time.   Having said that this is so ridiculous I can barely contain my disdain.   

Humanists' 'holiday' ads attack God, Bible - Comparing atheists and the West Boro Baptist Church.  Seems like a bit of a stretch...

Trapped Antimatter Could Help Spill Universe's Secrets

The gorgeous microbiology movie that's taken the world by storm

Monday, November 15, 2010

Monday Morning Stupid Quotes - Michael Savage (UPDATED)

"It's a racket that is used to exploit primarily heterosexual, Christian, white males' birthright and steal from them what is their birthright and give it to people who didn't qualify for it." Regarding civil rights. Recorded on MLK day 2007

"Christianity has been one of the great salvations on planet Earth. It’s what’s necessary in the Middle East. I think these people need to be forcibly converted to Christianity.”

"Don't you understand what's a stake? ...Don't you understand the sick perverts [homosexuals] are killing all of us? ...unless this is stopped, unless the gay agenda is curtailed... you're not gonna have your own children eventually... your father would have taken a day off from pipe fitting and he would have gone in there with blood in his eyes... he would have gone crazy! ...That's how deballed you are, you're like a department store dummy most of you."

Liberalism is, in essence, the HIV virus, and it weakens the defense cells of a nation. What are the defense cells of a nation? Well, the church. They've attacked particularly the Catholic Church for 30 straight years. The police, attacked for the last 50 straight years by the ACLU viruses. And the military, attacked for the last 50 years by the Barbara Boxer viruses on our planet.

I'll tell you what autism is. In 99 percent of the cases, it's a brat who hasn't been told to cut the act out. That's what autism is. What do you mean they scream and they're silent? They don't have a father around to tell them, 'Don't act like a moron. You'll get nowhere in life. Stop acting like a putz. Straighten up. Act like a man. Don't sit there crying and screaming, idiot.' " July 17th 2010

“The White Race is being snuffed off the planet through immigration.” Wait...so illegal aliens are real aliens? How did I miss that?

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Sunday Morning Hate: Rev. Tom Brown

"All the evidence I have seen shows that homosexuality is actually an emotional, psychological disorder brought on early in childhood. I do not believe people chose those feelings, because who in their right mind would choose it, and thus be scorned by society."

"Same gender feelings are a psychological illness caused by three powerful and tragic events in a child’s life. Someone may be offended that I would use the term “illness” to describe homosexuality, but this term is meant to show the “helpless” of the injured party, not to stigmatize him. If someone is sick, we do not blame him, but rather, we look to find out the cause of the sickness so we could apply the cure."

"The American Psychiatric Association once considered homosexuality a mental disorder until 1973, but changed their view after being pressured by gay lobbyists; they claim to have come to their conclusion by consulting with professionals and experts in the field but it is clear that some of the “experts” were no doubt practicing homosexuals that convinced the APA to remove homosexuality from the list of mental disorders."

would like to point out that the American Psychological Association's (APA) DSM-IV specifically mentions that religion is not a form of delusion.  I could, by extending Rev. Brown's logic, state that the only reason why this is so is due to some of the APA members being practicing Christians and being lobbied by Christian groups to make that so.  Just saying....

From Homosexuality: Its cause and cure By Tom Brown

Friday, November 12, 2010

Friday Link Dump - 11/12/10

Twitter is run by the godless. Xtians had to start their own

Victor Stenger

            Why Religion Should Be Confronted  

            The Grand Accident 

Two active ministers say they no longer believe in God but no one knows. - I do not revel in their conflict.  That has to be frightening and stressful in a way that I only partially relate to.  I can understand what they are feeling, but not to that extent and not with that much of their lives intertwined in faith.  

Oklahoma Voters May Have Accidentally Voted Against Ten Commandments, Too - Aside from the fact that this law is unnecessary due to the First Amendment...I find this hilarious.  

Neanderthals Were Promiscuous, Finger Fossils Suggest - Where did they find the fingers?  (ah, cheap jokes)

Election 2010: Will GOP Victory Lead to Anti-Science Crusade? – Of course.  They love their constituency ignorant.  

Preacher Speaks in Tongues – In tongues?  Oh…I thought it was complete nonsense…

The Grand Reality – This makes my brain hurt.  I don’t know why everyone on Twitter gives this guy the time of day.  Stop feeding his persecution complex! 

Gamma Ray Bursts: Screaming Baby Black Holes? - I keep seeing this title incorrectly and it is wildly inappropriate.  

George W. Bush on voting for John McCain in 2008: “Not a chance. ‘I probably won’t even vote for the guy,’ Bush told the group, according to two people present. ‘I had to endorse him. But I’d have endorsed Obama if they’d asked me.’”  - Didn’t see that coming. 

Monday, November 8, 2010

Monday Morning Stupid Quotes: Rep. Steve King

In response to protesters who wanted an explanation as to why Rep. King would vote against the Tribal Law and Order Act; which was written to assist in the prosecution of violent crimes on reservations where one in three (!) Native American women are raped, King stated:

"They don't even know what they are talking about." 

via ThinkProgress 

"The president has demonstrated that he has a default mechanism in him that breaks down the side of race - on the side that favors the black person."
via CBSNews 

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Our 100th Post!

This is our 100th post.

The Atheist Delusion

Sunday Morning Hate - Pastor Martin Ssempa

Hateful Rhetoric from Religious Leaders

"Ha ha ha..the homos are scared to death that we have hard evidence of WHAT they do. They are mortally ashamed of the public knowing the totally deviant sexual activities which include the most unnatural, unhealthy and disease prone sexual activities..fisting, anal licking, scat (fecal) games, brown and yellow showers, etc all these are the acts they want to keep secrets." ~2/27/20 from Ssempa's blog

Pastor Ssempa has even resorted to showing gay porn to an congregation of 100 adults in order to gain support for an anti homosexual bill in 2009 that would carry strict penalties for anyone who engages in basically any homosexual activity in Uganda. Attempted sex with a minor would be punishable by death. The bill's aim: "to establish a comprehensive consolidated legislation to protect the traditional family by prohibiting (1) any form of sexual relations between persons of the same sex; and (2) the promotion or recognition of such sexual relations in public institutions and other places through or with the support of any Government entity in Uganda or any non-governmental organization inside or outside the country".

Friday, November 5, 2010

Friday Link Dump - 11/5/10

The link dump is gonna be a little light on the witty commentary this week. Not only was everything seemingly about the election, but I am sick as hell and, frankly, can barely function or care. 

Earth-Sized Planets May Be More Common Than We Thought - no shit. 

Bacteria make major evolutionary shift in the lab

10 Extremely Weird Religions - Why not all of them? They all have the same exact level of evidence and plausibility. I always cringe when I hear a Lutheran (for example) disparaging Mormonism (for example). Does 2,000 years help or hurt your credibility? 

Essay: 10 telltale sign you are on your way to becoming an atheist nerd - Hey, Conservapedia. Fuck you. 

Preaching that Anti-Evolution Propaganda

The Google Venn Diagram Generator - I am sure many of you have seen this. Make your own!

Christopher Hitchens On Suffering, Beliefs and Dying

Limbaugh: “Some people are just born to be slaves.” - Honestly, he’s not saying anything wildly untrue. However, the sentence that made the headline is insensitive given this country’s history and more importantly (and not for some PC reason) it is dangerous because if that type of thinking were to become policy it would create actual slaves. Again. 

Also, it reminds me of the first episode of Futurama and the “Fate Assignment Officers.” 

Obama Edges to the Dark Side - We’re just keeping it Fair & Balanced here...

Fox News Editorial: WikiLeaks employees should be declared “enemy combatants.” 

Hitchens vs. Ramadan: Is Islam a Religion of Peace? 

Neil deGrasse Tyson and Richard Dawkins: The Poetry of Science. 

Glenn Beck blames godlessness for America’s problems - Well well. Depending on his mood and medication we are either an insignificant minority who do not matter or we are to blame for America’s woes. Its OK, Glenn. We’re used to being scapegoats. When one of your ignorant and delusional followers finally kills one of your "targets" we’ll see how you like it.