Friday, March 30, 2012

Dust That Sings

via philhellenes

Friday Link Dump 3/30/12

Happy Atom made by an
Alabama Atheists & Agnostics member
Reason Rally Pics & Quick Thoughts I still don’t feel like I can process the whole experience, but damn it I was just so happy that we were all there together!

FFRF sues over Pennsylvania’s ‘Year of the Bible’ A lot happened this week with the Reason Rally and all, but I am excited about this. It helps that the Left Hemispheres crew is involved.

Please take a minute to complete our Survey. We’re just trying to get a feel for our readership (since y’all rarely comment and are a bunch of lurkers).

NOM and the Race Card  “They have proven that they are willing to be immoral to preserve their morality.”

Pop-Theology & Profoundly Empty Quotes “To believe something is true based on faith means one could believe anything.”

Howard University Trayvon Martin "Am I Suspicious?" Campaign Video

The Niggering of Trayvon Martin This post is short and succinct. And brutally true.

Congressman Gets Kicked Off House Floor For Wearing Hoodie For Trayvon Yes, it was breach of House etiquette, but it was a protest. Besides we all know that the Republicans wear white hoods.

Reason Rally Pics and Two Short Videos Of Reason Rally Protesters As I said in my brief recap, Adam and I met up with Andy from Laughing in Purgatory. He even gave us nicknames.

Occupy the Westboro Baptist Church Adam met and talked to a dude from this group.

A Massive Reason Rally Recap (with Videos and Behind-the-Scenes Pictures)

10 Best Signs at the Reason Rally in DC Actually kind of a weak list but #4 was awesome. Apparently he stayed in character all day and was screaming about Cthulhu.

I’m in USA Today! That sign was epic and got a huge roaring laugh when it was on the big screens.

Why Are You Atheists So Angry? 99 Things That Piss Off the Godless Buy Greta Christina’s book. Support fellow atheists and their endeavours. In this case you can't go wrong.

Atheism In The Public Sphere And The Reason Rally – Richard Dawkins On Up With Chris Hayes

Why I Still Use Facebook There are people in the closet who do not feel comfortable coming out. Those of us out of the closet do them a service by being open in so many ways.

BILL HICKS: A positive LSD story

Don't Burn The Qur'an Memes I got a kick out of these.

Pray With Me Great post by one Martin S. Pribble.

Religion Is A Clown Costume Philhellenes is, by far, my favorite YouTube Vlogger.

John Boehner Appoints NOM Founder To Religious Freedom Commission I want someone to explain to me how the Democrats are as bad as the Republicans. The false equivalency in our society needs to stop. I’m not even a Democrat and this shit is out of hand.

Types of Extremists

Did you know that the Age of Consent in Vatican City is 12 years old? Why would a bunch of repressed ‘celibates’ even need an age of consent?

The most charitable thing we can say about faith...

Political correctness run amok as New York City schools ban terms like 'dinosaur' and 'Halloween' on tests  Other words banned in order to not offend religious nutjobs: science, geology, biology, bipartisanship, democracy, separation of church and state, vagina, contraception, reason, reality, education, etc...

Hide That Naughty Word from All the Christians! Seeing the word "vagina" in print makes Baby Jesus cry. However, the word "penis" he's totally cool with.

First Listen: High On Fire, 'De Vermis Mysteriis' I love this band.

Evidence is piling up for water flowing on the surface Mars

Is It Snowing Microbes on Enceladus?

Tacocopter Aims To Deliver Tacos Using Unmanned Drone Helicopters Included here solely for the line: "Honestly I think it's not totally unreasonable to regulate something as potentially dangerous as having flying robots slinging tacos over people's heads ... [O]n the other hand, it's a little bit ironic that that's the case in a country where you can be killed by drone with no judicial review."

Yup, that's a burn.

The NSA Is Building the Country’s Biggest Spy Center (Watch What You Say) Scary, scary stuff. Read this and share it.

Neil deGrasse Tyson On Being A Meme They said there would be gifs. I want gifs!

Neil deGrasse Tyson and Pluto Beyond Awesome.

Planet starship: runaway planets zoom at a fraction of light speed

Moon Rock Analysis Casts Doubt on Lunar Origins

FFRF National Ad Spot to Air on Sunday 3/25/12

The God Hypothesis Victor Stenger! “Theists claim that the parameters of the universe are fine-tuned for human life. They are not. The universe is not fine-tuned for us. We are fine-tuned to the universe.”

Barton: Intolerance of Gays is a Sign of Spiritual Revival David Barton! *shakes fist* (it’s been awhile)

The evolution of the human face

Frothy Fears The Devil

Thursday, March 29, 2012


NOM and the Race Card

The National Organization of Marriage is a hate group.  They claim to be  a  “nonprofit organization with a mission to protect marriage and the faith communities that sustain it.”  By “protecting marriage” they mean preventing  the sinful gays from getting one.  Steve and I dismantled their anti-gay marriage talking points from their own website way back in 2010 when this blog was just getting started.  They had more than a few dirty tricks employed in their proposed talking points such as:  

Language to avoid at all costs: "Ban same-sex marriage." Our base loves this wording. So do supporters of SSM. They know it causes us to lose about ten percentage points in polls. Don’t use it. Say we’re against “redefining marriage” or in favor or “marriage as the union of husband and wife” NEVER “banning same-sex marriage.”

They are well aware of the influence of language and know that outright stating that they are against someone else’s marriage will sound too much like denying someone a civil right.  They need to specify that they are for the traditional institution not against a particular minority's ability to participate in that institution.

Recent documents have come to light in the state of Maine as part of an investigation into the campaign finance activities of NOM.  These documents have exposed a blatant attempt to be divisive and manipulative.  They have sunken to a new low to promote their theologically inspired bigotry.

“The strategic goal of this project is to drive a wedge between gays and blacks—two key Democratic constituencies. Find, equip, energize and connect African American spokespeople for marriage, develop a media campaign around their objections to gay marriage as a civil right; provoke the gay marriage base into responding by denouncing these spokesmen and women as bigots…”

Turn the minorities against each other.  Find an African American to speak up against Same Sex Marriage (SSM) and provoke the Pro-SSM crowd to call them bigots.  This is exactly what they did in California with the 2008 Proposition 8 campaign.  They targeted the African American community who were voting in record numbers.  They appealed to religious sensibilities regarding traditional marriage.  Incidentally, the same doctrine commands a husband to stone his wife on her father’s doorstep if she is not pure on their wedding night (Deuteronomy 22: 13-21).  This strategy almost certainly involves African American religious leaders to serve as pawns to spread the agenda.  These individuals who would be “energized, equipped and connected” would face the consequences of accusations of bigotry.  They will of course bear the criticism proudly.  Their compassion insulated by dogma and the protests by reasonable people  marginalized and dismissed as an aspect the persecution stratta of Christian theology.

Another disturbing passage was identified regarding Latin Americans:

"The Latino vote in America is a key swing vote, and will be so even more so in the future, both because of demographic growth and inherent uncertainty: Will the process of assimilation to the dominant Anglo culture lead Hispanics to abandon traditional family values? We must interrupt this process of assimilation by making support for marriage a key badge of Latino identity - a symbol of resistance to inappropriate assimilation.”

Now that immigration has taken a backseat in the political  scene, the culturally protected racism against Latin Americans has diminished somewhat.  NOM knows their sociology.  Any immigrant minority will wrestle with ethnic identity vs assimilation.  By highlighting the dissonance and attacking the very concept of SSM being  acceptable in Latin American communities, NOM is attempting to dictate a minority’s identity.

Aside from their minority status, these two groups share a high religiosity and a sense of community that typically revolves around religious activities.  NOM’s bread and butter has always been their invocation of dogma and religious indoctrination.  I hate to play the broken record here but every argument against SSM can be condensed to the ick and/or the icon.  Either the thought of gay sex is so yucky that we have to stop them at all cost, or the creator of the Universe disapproves of two adults of the same gender promising to spend the rest of their lives loving each other.

These are our champions of family values.  NOM is just one example of a small but powerful group  with the ability to sway public opinion to embrace bigotry by tearing down the brotherhood of civil rights from within.  These are just a few documents found in one state outlining a dishonest and (I’ll say it) downright racist tactic to achieve their goals.  These documents were never intended to see the light of day.  They expose these despicable individuals for who they are.  They have proven that they are willing to be immoral to preserve their morality.  Just imagine the paper that is being shredded behind NOM’s doors right this minute.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Neil deGrasse Tyson On Being A Meme

This is only tangentially relevant to this blog—at best—but it is too awesome not to share.

Reason Rally Pics & Quick Thoughts

I just have a few thoughts to share since I really haven’t yet been able to formulate a larger thesis to follow-up on the rally. Adam and I travelled down to D.C. with some friends from Pennsylvania and we all met up with Andy from Laughing In Purgatory. The weather was obviously a drag, but as others have noted it wasn’t a factor since everyone either came prepared or just stood in the rain and got wet. No big deal.

My big take away from the Reason Rally was for people in the closet to get out of the closet, for those already out and doing something to continue to do so and ratchet it up (get involved in local meet-ups, charities, run for office, etc.), and of course ensure that our voices are heard so we do not let our rights and the rights of our religious family, friends and neighbors slip away. Yes, there was a good deal of antitheism at the rally (which I was totally fine with!), but the crux of that last point is that while we find religion to be ignorant and damaging we just want to ensure that religion does not intrude upon government, education, science, etc. Because clearly that is what many in the religious community want and it never ends well. For anyone.

Earlier today I tweeted the pic from one of the fundie protesters that said “Atheist. Drunk. Liar. Thief. Sexual Pervert. Religious Hypocrite. HELL FOREVER.” Someone tweeted back that they were kind of glad that they couldn't go because that hatred makes their heart heavy and they didn’t want to feel that. I responded that it was ok because the Christian protesters were actually a very small contingent and, more importantly, being with so many atheists made it irrelevant. It was neutered into a sideshow for our amusement. Related to that, we ran down to the area where the Westboro Baptist Church was protesting and right when we got there the WBC had packed up and driven off. I don’t know their reasons, but I would like to think that it was because they weren’t getting the usual reaction. They simply weren’t making anyone mad. It was another sideshow from people that are, in all actuality, irrelevant. They couldn’t hurt any of us because everyone there doesn’t recognize religion as a good thing to begin with. They aren’t corrupting it. They have just taken it to its conservative, logical extreme. That’s why Christians not associated with WBC get so mad at them. It may be a funhouse mirror of them, but it is still a mirror.  

In conclusion, the best part of the Reason Rally was the realization that I was around so many people

And it was fucking awesome.

All pics are by Adam, myself and friend of LH; Jason aka @themorbidslayer.
 Pics are after the jump.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Religion Is A Clown Costume

via philhellenes

At the Reason Rally

We're at The Reason Rally today. Hopefully we see some of you heathens there.

Remember: any babies left out in the open are not for comsumption. We're trying to set a good example and a positive image for freethinkers and atheists. Besides, it's probably just a trap by "The Man!"

Stay tuned for posts and pics.

Friday, March 23, 2012

FFRF National Ad Spot to Air on Sunday 3/25/12

Friday Link Dump ~ 3/23/12

Reason Rally tomorrow!!  The forecast calls for rain.  I’ll bet my eternal soul that some apologist will say that the rain is a sign of God’s disapproval...Because everybody knows God hates reason.

Reason Rally official schedule Yeah, each speaker/event is spaced 5-15 minutes apart.  It will take a biblical miracle for them to actually keep this schedule.

Reason Rally Bingo | Friendly Atheist Games to go along with all the hugs!

Random Frothy Quote: People That Don't Vote For Me Aren't Religious Enough

Santorum’s bad porn science He says, “a wealth of research is now available demonstrating that pornography causes profound brain changes in both children and adults, resulting in widespread negative consequences.”  Only there is no actual evidence of this.

Santorum and the New Catholic-Evangelical Alliance BE AFRAID.

The Good Book

Mars Attacked: Planetary Scientists Vent Frustrations over Proposed Budget Cuts I’m generally OK with Big O, but cutting 300 million from NASA’s planetary science division is like literally taking a dump on the American Dream.  The mission to Mars is the kind of project that creates a burst of innovation and technology.  Aside from inspiring a generation of children to want to be scientists, it also lends itself to advances in multiple fields.  Who do you think is working on alternative fuel tech and more sophisticated solar power cells?

Random Quotes of Conservative Whining

Is Free Will an Illusion? “Harris predicts that a declaration by the scientific community that free will is an illusion would set off "a culture war far more belligerent than the one that has been waged on the subject of evolution."

Faith is a Virtue?

To rule out god, first get to know him “Secularists would also do well to recognise the distinction between the "popular religion" that comes easily to people's minds and the convoluted intellectual gymnastics that is theology.”

Privilege Has Its Rewards — How Longevity Will Become The New Class Inequality

The Sagan Series Pt. 1-9 (UPDATED 3/19/12)

Gay marriage is not a 'human right': European ruling torpedoes Coalition stance

Atheist group offers to send members to church for charity | The Crimson White

Scarlet Letter - Atheist Documentary Trailer

Silly Ladies Don’t Know What Rape Is, Suggests Idaho Legislator Who wants to be furious with a misogynistic elected official?  I do!  I do!

Jesus Christ: Violent Communion

Student Freaks out in class discussing evolution This isn’t fundie humor.  It’s probably a psychotic break triggered by cognitive dissonance.

A Perfect Circle - Judith

Adam Savage - How simple ideas lead to scientific discoveries (TED)

Gay Awareness Leads to Rape This man drops more logical fallacies and hateful statements in 2 minutes and 16 seconds than most people do all day.

See you at the Reason Rally!!

via Lady Atheist

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Random Quotes of Conservative Whining

"I’m pleased to report that my name was included on a list of pro-family, Christian leaders. Others on the list include Chuck Colson, Tony Perkins, Jim Daly, Don Wildmon and Robert George. That’s pretty good company! So, what is this list? It is a media 'black list' drawn up by the GLAAD as part of its so-called 'Commentator Accountability Project.' GLAAD is working hard to silence conservative, pro-family, Christian voices in the media. My friends, the culture war is real. This is just the latest example of the radical left’s intolerance and its assault on free speech. That is why Fox is under attack and why advertisers on the Rush Limbaugh Show are being threatened. It is more evidence of its efforts to force faith and conservatism out of public arena and into the closet."
                                                                                                    - Gary Bauer

Typical conservative bullshit. They bang their nationalistic drums, wave the flag, and say ‘the Constitution this’ and ‘the Constitution that,’ but they don’t actually understand it. If they did, they wouldn’t say anything about the left’s ‘assault on free speech.’ The left, or the right, have a right to say whatever they want. The right, or the left, have a right to disagree with it, argue it, and make every attempt to convince others of their point of view.  This is not the government censoring your speech or banning your ability to protest. It is not a free speech violation. These conversations and ideologies are in the marketplace of ideals. That ‘free market’ the right is always going on and on about. Yet, again, when the going gets tough and they begin to lose, conservatives whine louder and more pathetically than anyone else.

Oh and for the record: ‘It is more evidence of its efforts to force faith and conservatism out of public arena and into the closet.’

Guilty. As. Charged.  

Yes, the culture war is real and you’re on the losing side. Go home now. Lick your wounds and shut the hell up. America is quickly growing sick of you.

Quote seen on Joe.My.God

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Random Frothy Quote: People That Don't Vote For Me Aren't Religious Enough

Asked why he doesn’t seem to be gathering more of the Catholic vote, Frothy guesses that it’s because people aren’t religious enough!

“I think the bottom line is that we do well among people who take their faith seriously, and as you know just like some Protestants, some Protestants are not church going, they are folks who identify with a particular religion but don’t necessarily practice that from the standpoint of going to church and the like, and I think, you know, with folks who do practice their religion more ardently I tend to do well.”

And there you have it. If you don't support Santorum you don’t love Jesus enough. Well that explains me, but does it explain the Christians that don’t like him? No. No it does not. Of course I could (and have) criticized liberal and moderate Christians for a variety of doublethink, but it actually gives me hope that the majority of Christians think this dude is an asshole.
Thumbs up guys!

This is a prime example of why secular government is so important. It might not be your idea of a just religion that becomes dominant.

Now, back to our regularly scheduled programming of antitheism…

Saturday, March 17, 2012

The Good Book

The pink tabs are for murder, the purple for human or animal sacrifice, blue for rape, yellow for slavery, and green for misogyny.   

I wish I knew who give credit for this, but I don't. It was a random post on a public board. 

Left Hemispheres Has Been Tagged!

made by the Mighty Troythulu
Left Hemispheres has been tagged by the mighty Troythulu.  Here are our answers to his vile questions.  We are humbled that anyone would be interested in our thoughts and opinions off the typical topic of our blog.  We tried to make ourselves sound as interesting as possible.  

[1] What is your fondest memory from your childhood?

Adam: Exploring the forest alone in my back yard as a child.  It seemed to go on forever.  So did my imagination.

Steve: Playing in streams and picking blueberries in the mountains with my mother and younger brother.

[2] If you could be one species, real or fictional, other than human, which would it be, and why?

Adam: Something immortal.

Steve: Q

[3] If you could take the place, assume the role, of any historical figure, who would it be?

Adam: Galileo

Steve: Ya know, I thought about it and I honestly can’t answer it. I’ve watched too much sci-fi and the concept bothers me as I’m afraid to contaminate the timeline. Plus, I think the question is weird. I really don’t want to be someone else.

[4] If you could have one comic book superhuman power, which would it be, and what would you do with it?

Adam: My favorite super power has always been telekinesis.  You can use it for everything.  Flight, surgery, could pull that eyelash out of your eye or you could pull Chilean miners out of a well.  Also, it is the world champion power for the physically lazy.

Steve: My favorite comic book heroes (Batman, Iron Man) don’t have superpowers. I wish I had the ability and means to create the Iron Man suit. I would use it to help in disasters and crush tyrants like Assad, et al.

[5] What is your favorite genre of fiction, if any?

Adam: Fantasy, sci-fi, steampunk, and lately Raymond Chandler detective novels...And of course the bible.

Steve: Sci-fi, absurdism, dystopian, and comic fantasy. Adam answered these first so he beat me to the “religion” punchline. I mostly read non-fiction.

[6] Who is your favorite comedian, and why?

Adam: George Carlin.  I memorized entire monologues as a teenager.  He didn’t just tell jokes he dropped knowledge.

Steve: Bill Hicks. Like Bruce and Carlin before him and Louis C.K. after, he wasn’t afraid to to make a joke out of anything no matter how fucking uncomfortable or offensive.

[7] What is your favorite movie?

Adam: Pulp Fiction, Fight Club, Casablanca, Batman: Under the Red Hood

Steve: Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas.
Honorable Mentions: Star Trek and Dawn of the Dead (both versions).

[8] Which, if any, is your favorite genre of music?

Adam: Hip Hop, Jazz, Blues, Alternative (whatever that means), Classical.  Steve gets credit for me actually adding Metal to the list.

Steve: Metal.

I actually listen to a lot of various music genres including rock-n-roll, hip-hop, classical, blues and jazz, but my first and greatest love is metal. \m/

[9] If you could live anywhere else in the world, at any point in time, where and when would it be?

Adam: Europe at the beginning of the 17th century as the Renaissance gave way to the Scientific Revolution.  Or America 20 years from now.

Steve: c. 2560–2540 BC to watch The Great Pyramid being constructed. Then I could tell these ‘Ancient Alien’ dipshits to go pound sand. Never underestimate humans.

Also, never underestimate humans ability to do great works and assign that credit to some bullshit external agent.

[10] If you could keep as a pet any one kind of mythological beast, which would it be?

Adam: Fire.  Breathing.  Dragon.

Steve: Pegasus. Wait...would feed be cheaper than gas?

[11] What is your favorite form of visual art, your favorite artist, and why?

Adam: I get cravings for images: Abstract, photographs, paintings, drawings etc.  I love Pablo Picasso’s Blue Period and Cubism.  I gravitate toward dark themed art.

Steve: I am by no means an art connoisseur. I’m pretty ignorant on the subject as I tend towards words and music, but I like pictures of astronomical phenomena; dark, horror themed images; and fractals.