I’ve been drawn into an interesting discussion on a few other blogs. It started the other day while watching the TODAY show as I dressed for work. Matt Lauer had his panel of “experts” addressing controversial topics of the day, and one of them involved “outsourcing” Christmas obligations, like shopping, card sending etc, and the propriety of doing so. In the course of the conversation, Nancy Snyderman said she didn’t like the religious element of Christmas, in effect, it’s what ruins it for her. It was a short exchange, not well fleshed out, but it was clear there was a disagreement between Star Jones, who felt “Jesus is the Reason for the Season” while Snyderman did not.
Welcome back, it’s a brand new year, but as usual when it comes to religion, everything old becomes new again. Religion is a meme, and as such without any conscious thought or intention, it continues to work feverishly to maintain its existence.
God has sent Christopher Hitchens to hell because he loves him.
This is clearly what happens when a perfectly viable human being is dropped on his head at birth, either by the doctor as he’s pulled out of his womb, or by his mother when she got a good look at him. His brains get scrambled, the synapses in his skull don’t fire as they are supposed to, information doesn’t get sorted properly, and stupidity, sheer idiotic lunacy, comes out of his mouth.
Over at Panda’s Thumb they are soliciting donations to be used to purchase at auction the film Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed, along with all the supporting documents, footage that didn’t make it into the film, and the other usual residue of film making.
That’s a question we atheists get from theists. Often. Almost constantly, when we point out a fallacy in their religious thinking, or try to substantiate why we support the 1st Amendment’s proscription against governmental religious displays, or when we simply say we don’t believe in gods. They want to know why we care that they believe in supernatural spirits, or miracles, or Biblical authority, or other unsubstantiated beliefs. What harm do their beliefs cause, and why are we so damn strident about our opposition to them?
Did you ever have a discussion with someone, usually someone disdainful of science, maybe one who believes in the literal Genesis story, and you found yourself feeling frustrated at not being able to adequately explain to them the theory of evolution? When you try to explain to them the way evolution works, they throw back at you ignorant Christian apologetics, such as “Evolution is just a theory” or “Evolution cannot explain the eye” or “I believe in micro-evolution, but not macro-evolution” (as if belief is relevant to or helps one to understand science), or similar nonsense? Well, feel frustrated no more!
Doncha love it when the day starts out just right?
On my way to work this morning, I found myself behind a car with the above emblem on its trunk. I actually didn’t notice it right away, because I was too busy tying to avoid the accident the driver almost caused when she cut out of her lane and into mine, forcing me to slam on my brakes. She didn’t even look. She must have just whispered a prayer, and hoped for the best. Her car was full, I was a little preoccupied trying to slow down my heartbeat, so, as I was muttering indecent epithets over my breath, I took more notice of the crowded car and the rosary beads dangling from the mirror, than I did of the trunk.
If two senators have a four-billion-year difference over the age of a rock, is it any wonder they can’t agree over anything else?
This is from an article published in the Mail Online by a British author commenting about America. The Mail Online, which I presume is the online version of the Daily Mail, looks more like a British scandal sheet than a legitimate news rag, but not as bad as say, our National Enquirer.
It’s coming on four years since the beginning of what’s now called the Dover trial. Kitzmiller v. Dover, or the Intelligent Design trial. We’ve all had that time to digest the impact of the decision. Since then, our Most Holy of Presidents has left office, the radical right is rudderless, and fundamentalist Christians no longer have the ear of government. The “New Atheism” is all the rage, and Rush Limburger and Sean Vannity are sputtering in their cups. An outside observer could even, with some validity, point to Judge Jones’ 139 page opinion as a turning point in the cultural war that’s been raging for some twenty or so years. Of course, as long term wars are apt to do, it’s probably not something to get too excited about, being no more than a slight ebb to the flow of the battle. But one can hope, can’t one?