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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in The Angry Atheist's LiveJournal:

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Monday, April 21st, 2008
9:28 pm
[triestine]
Here's one for you
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080420/ap_on_re_mi_ea/israel_clashing_christians

By SARAH EL DEEB, Associated Press Writer Sun Apr 20, 3:49 PM ET

JERUSALEM - Dozens of Greek and Armenian priests and worshippers exchanged blows at one of Christianity's holiest shrines on Orthodox Palm Sunday, and used palm fronds to pummel police who tried to break up the brawl.

The fight came amid growing rivalry over religious rights at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, built over the site in Jerusalem where tradition says Jesus was buried and resurrected.

It erupted when Armenian clergy kicked out a Greek priest from their midst, pushed him to the ground and kicked him, according to witnesses.

When police intervened, some worshippers hit them with the palm fronds they were holding for the religious holiday. The Eastern Orthodox churches, including the Armenians and Greek Orthodox, follow a different calendar from Western Christians and celebrate Easter next Sunday.

Two Armenian worshippers who attacked the Greek Orthodox clergy were briefly detained by Israeli police. Scores of Armenian supporters then protested outside the police station during the questioning of the two, beating drums and chanting.

The Holy Sepulcher is shared by several Christian denominations according to a centuries-old arrangement known as the "status quo."

Each denomination jealously guards its share of the basilica, and fights over rights at the church have intensified in recent years, particularly between the Armenians and Greeks.

Father Pakrad, an Armenian priest, said the presence of the Greek priest during the Armenian observances violated the status quo. "Our priests entered the tomb. They kicked the Greek monk out of the Edicule," he said, referring to the tomb area.

Pakrad accused the Greek Orthodox Christians of trying to step on the Armenians' rights. "We are the weak ones, persecuted by them for many centuries."

The Greek Orthodox Patriarch in the Holy Land, Theofilos III, told The Associated Press that the Armenians are pushing to change the rules, challenging what he said was the dominance of the Greek church in the Holy Land.

"This behavior is criminal and unacceptable by all means," he said. "They wanted to trespass on the status quo concerning the order that regulates the services between the various communities."

The Church of the Nativity in nearby Bethlehem — where Jesus is said to have been born — also falls under the status quo arrangement. Last year, pre-Christmas cleaning in that church turned ugly when robed Greek Orthodox and Armenian priests went at each other with brooms and stones.
Wednesday, March 19th, 2008
9:41 pm
[kergillian]
Wednesday, February 13th, 2008
7:41 pm
[kergillian]
CALL FOR IMMEDIATE ACTION ON U.S. H. RES. 888
ARLENE-MARIE
MICHIGAN ATHEISTS STATE DIRECTOR
CALLS FOR IMMEDIATE ACTION ON U.S. H. RES. 888


U.S. H. Res. 888. "Affirming the rich spiritual and religious history of our Nation's founding and subsequent history and expressing support for designation of the first week in May as 'American Religious History Week' for appreciation of and education on America's history of religious faith."

This heinous resolution is designed to establish a Christian theocracy in America. It is preceded by seventy-five whereas's, many of which overtly distort American history or are obvious lies. To get the full story please see
http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/z?d110:H.RES.888:

When this resolution was first introduced in the US House of Representatives, December 18, 2007, it appeared that it had 24 co-sponsors. It now has 62 co-sponsors - three from Michigan: Peter Hoekstra, Congressional District 2; Thaddeus McCotter, Congressional District 11; Timothy Walberg, Congressional District 7. Obviously, our misguided US Congress is working hard to get this resolution passed.

Call to action:

1) Contact your US House Representative and urge him/her to vote no on this resolution.
2) Write an opinion article for your local newspaper to expose this heinous resolution.
3) This resolution has been referred to the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Chairman, Henry Waxman. Contact this committee by snail mail:
U.S. House of Representatives, 2157 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, D.C. 20515 Phone: (202) 225-5051, or go to http://oversight.house.gov/contact/ to send an E-mail.

Note: Please remember keep your comments to the media at 150 words or less. Please don't forget to send me a copy of you work.

It is unacceptable that our U.S. Congress distorts history to promote a Christian resolution that is divisive and unconstitutional considering the very first words in our Bill of Rights, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof."

Two examples of distorted history among the 75 whereas's in this resolution;

1) Whereas the first act of America's first Congress in 1774 was to ask a minister to open with prayer and to lead Congress in the reading of 4 chapters of the Bible.

If this whereas referrers to British ruled colonial America and the First Continental Congress why doesn't it say so? Obviously it's an attempt to mislead the reader.

Actually 1774 is two years before the Declaration of Independence, three years before the Articles of Confederation (our first Constitution) and thirteen years before the U.S. Constitution was signed. What was the real first act of the United States Congress?

On June 1, 1789, the very first act of Congress was signed into law by President George Washington. It was an act to regulate the time and manner of administering certain oaths. The Constitution contained an oath of office for the president. Article 11, Sec. 1, directs the president to take the following oath: "I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."

Basically this is the same oath of office our Congress members take today - to defend the Constitution of the United States which we know to be a secular document. Perhaps they need to be reminded of that fact.

2) Whereas upon approving the Declaration of Independence, John Adams declared that the Fourth of July "ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty";

Is the claim true? Somewhat. However, this was not a public declaration. It was in a letter to his wife, Abigail. http://gurukul.american.edu/heintze/Adams.htm

Also, it should be noted that John Adams signed the Treaty of Tripoli, which states that the United States was not founded on the Christian religion in any sense. While John Adams was personally religious, he was in favor of separation of state and church.

Additionally, there are 4 resolves attached to this resolution and resolve #3 is particularly dangerous; The United States House of Representatives state they, "reject(s), in the strongest possible terms, any effort to remove, obscure, or purposely omit such history from our Nation's public buildings and educational resources;" They are referring to the distorted history found in this resolution.

Together, we must make every effort to expose and block this resolution.


ARLENE-MARIE, Michigan State Director, American Atheists
amarie@atheists.org Cell: (313) 938-5960 michiganatheists.org
PO Box 0025, Allen Park, MI 48101

American Atheists is a nationwide movement that defends civil rights for non believers; works for the total separation of church and state and address issues of First Amendment public policy.
Wednesday, January 9th, 2008
4:40 pm
[kergillian]
Man sees 'mark,' cuts off hand
From http://www.cnn.com/2008/US/01/09/hand.cut.off.ap/index.html?iref=mpstoryview

HAYDEN, Idaho (AP) -- A man who believed he bore the biblical "mark of the beast" used a circular saw to cut off one hand, then he cooked it in the microwave and called 911, authorities said.

The man, in his mid-20s, was calm when Kootenai County sheriff's deputies arrived Saturday. He was in protective custody in the mental health unit of Kootenai Medical Center.

"It had been somewhat cooked by the time the deputy arrived," sheriff's Capt. Ben Wolfinger said. "He put a tourniquet on his arm before, so he didn't bleed to death. That kind of mental illness is just sad."

It was not immediately clear whether the man has a history of mental illness. Hospital spokeswoman Lisa Johnson would not say whether an attempt was made to reattach the hand, citing patient confidentiality.

The Book of Revelation in the New Testament contains a passage in which an angel is quoted as saying: "If anyone worships the beast and his image and receives his mark on the forehead or on the hand, he, too, will drink the wine of God's fury."

The book of Matthew also contains the passage: "And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for you whole body to do into hell."

Wolfinger said he didn't know which hand was amputated.
Friday, December 7th, 2007
3:33 pm
[kergillian]
Islam's Silent Moderates
I haven't posted here in a while, but after reading this, I got angry again.

So, if anyone tries to tell you that Islam is a religion of peace, tell them to get bent. They are not your friend.

Islam's Silent Moderates


by Ayaan Hirsi Ali, NY Times
Reposted from:
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/07/opinion/07ali.html

The woman and the man guilty of adultery or fornication, flog each of them with 100 stripes: Let no compassion move you in their case, in a matter prescribed by Allah, if you believe in Allah and the Last Day. (Koran 24:2)

IN the last few weeks, in three widely publicized episodes, we have seen Islamic justice enacted in ways that should make Muslim moderates rise up in horror.

A 20-year-old woman from Qatif, Saudi Arabia, reported that she had been abducted by several men and repeatedly raped. But judges found the victim herself to be guilty. Her crime is called "mingling": when she was abducted, she was in a car with a man not related to her by blood or marriage, and in Saudi Arabia, that is illegal. Last month, she was sentenced to six months in prison and 200 lashes with a bamboo cane.

Two hundred lashes are enough to kill a strong man. Women usually receive no more than 30 lashes at a time, which means that for seven weeks the "girl from Qatif," as she's usually described in news articles, will dread her next session with Islamic justice. When she is released, her life will certainly never return to normal: already there have been reports that her brother has tried to kill her because her "crime" has tarnished her family's honor.

We also saw Islamic justice in action in Sudan, when a 54-year-old British teacher named Gillian Gibbons was sentenced to 15 days in jail before the government pardoned her this week; she could have faced 40 lashes. When she began a reading project with her class involving a teddy bear, Ms. Gibbons suggested the children choose a name for it. They chose Muhammad; she let them do it. This was deemed to be blasphemy.

Then there's Taslima Nasreen, the 45-year-old Bangladeshi writer who bravely defends women's rights in the Muslim world. Forced to flee Bangladesh, she has been living in India. But Muslim groups there want her expelled, and one has offered 500,000 rupees for her head. In August she was assaulted by Muslim militants in Hyderabad, and in recent weeks she has had to leave Calcutta and then Rajasthan. Taslima Nasreen's visa expires next year, and she fears she will not be allowed to live in India again.

It is often said that Islam has been "hijacked" by a small extremist group of radical fundamentalists. The vast majority of Muslims are said to be moderates.

But where are the moderates? Where are the Muslim voices raised over the terrible injustice of incidents like these? How many Muslims are willing to stand up and say, in the case of the girl from Qatif, that this manner of justice is appalling, brutal and bigoted — and that no matter who said it was the right thing to do, and how long ago it was said, this should no longer be done?

Usually, Muslim groups like the Organization of the Islamic Conference are quick to defend any affront to the image of Islam. The organization, which represents 57 Muslim states, sent four ambassadors to the leader of my political party in the Netherlands asking him to expel me from Parliament after I gave a newspaper interview in 2003 noting that by Western standards some of the Prophet Muhammad's behavior would be unconscionable. A few years later, Muslim ambassadors to Denmark protested the cartoons of Muhammad and demanded that their perpetrators be prosecuted.

But while the incidents in Saudi Arabia, Sudan and India have done more to damage the image of Islamic justice than a dozen cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad, the organizations that lined up to protest the hideous Danish offense to Islam are quiet now.

I wish there were more Islamic moderates. For example, I would welcome some guidance from that famous Muslim theologian of moderation, Tariq Ramadan. But when there is true suffering, real cruelty in the name of Islam, we hear, first, denial from all these organizations that are so concerned about Islam's image. We hear that violence is not in the Koran, that Islam means peace, that this is a hijacking by extremists and a smear campaign and so on. But the evidence mounts up.

Islamic justice is a proud institution, one to which more than a billion people subscribe, at least in theory, and in the heart of the Islamic world it is the law of the land. But take a look at the verse above: more compelling even than the order to flog adulterers is the command that the believer show no compassion. It is this order to choose Allah above his sense of conscience and compassion that imprisons the Muslim in a mindset that is archaic and extreme.

If moderate Muslims believe there should be no compassion shown to the girl from Qatif, then what exactly makes them so moderate?

When a "moderate" Muslim's sense of compassion and conscience collides with matters prescribed by Allah, he should choose compassion. Unless that happens much more widely, a moderate Islam will remain wishful thinking.

Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a former member of the Dutch Parliament and a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, is the author of "Infidel."
Tuesday, August 7th, 2007
11:16 am
[kergillian]
Chuck Norris wants to Brand Atheists
http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=56107

Chuck Norris has jokingly suggested that if elected president he would:

Tattoo an American flag with the words, "In God we trust," on the forehead of every atheist.


I bet he wouldn't think it's so funny if atheists started making jokes about it being time to bring back the lions.


Lion Yawing
Lion Yawing
DECLAN MCCULLAGH PHOTOGRAPHY



Send Chuck Norris a picture of a lion, and see if he thinks it's funny!

His email is cnorris@wnd.com
Tuesday, July 3rd, 2007
10:23 pm
[kergillian]
Blog Against Theocracy
I'd like to draw everyone's attention to the Blog Against Theocracy going on right now and I'd like to encourage you to post.

I had actually made a anti-theocracy post last week when I posted the Edward Tabash videos (see my June 24th post)

Of course I believe that the separation of Church and State is important because God is a myth and I don't want people who believe in fairy tales having any influence in politics, but even if you are a believer, the separation is important, not only because it keeps religion out of government, but because it keeps government out of religion.

Seriously, do you really want these guys running your church?

So, anyway, the Blog Against Theocracy is going on now. Speak up and be heard.
Sunday, June 24th, 2007
1:09 am
[kergillian]
'The Present Threat of the Religious Right to Our Modern Freedoms' by Edward Tabash

&apos;The Present Threat of the Religious Right to Our Modern Freedoms&apos; by Edward Tabash
"'The Present Threat of the Religious Right to Our Modern Freedoms' by Edward Tabash" on Google Video
Edward Tabash gave this speech to members of the Center For Inquiry during a recent cruise in the Galapagos.


Q&A following the speech




Q&A after Edward Tabash&apos;s speech on the threat of the religious right
"Q&A after Edward Tabash's speech on the threat of the religious right" on Google Video
This is the Q&A session that followed Edward Tabash's speech during the Center For Inquiry cruise in the Galapagos.
Wednesday, May 16th, 2007
10:32 am
[kergillian]
Jerry Falwell, in my own words
My take on the Death of Jerry Falwell


I'm glad he's dead.

He died just like everyone else. There was nothing remarkable about his death, he just keeled over.

Normally I would mourn the passing of any fellow human being, but Jerry Falwell was a hate filled man. He hid his hate behind a smile and religion, but he quickly removed any doubt about his true feelings following the 9/11 attack.
"I really believe that the pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, People For the American Way, all of them who have tried to secularize America. I point the finger in their face and say 'you helped this happen.'"

Listen for yourself: Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell on the 700 Club.

During the Civil Rights Movement, Falwell was a supporter of racial segregation. He said:
"I do question the sincerity and non-violent intentions of some civil rights leaders such as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Mr. James Farmer, and others, who are known to have left wing associations."


Let that be his legacy.

Well, that and outing Teletubbies character Tinky Winky. He should be proud of that.
10:31 am
[kergillian]
The Death of Jerry Falwell
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 15, 2007

STATEMENT FROM AMERICAN ATHEISTS CONCERNING
THE DEATH OF REV. JERRY FALWELL

ELLEN JOHNSON, President of American Atheists issued the following
statement this afternoon regarding the death of televangelist Jerry Falwell.

"While we recognize and respect the grief of friends and relatives, it
must be acknowledged in the wake of Rev. Falwell's death that he and the
organizations he founded, especially the so-called Moral Majority, were
serious threats to our Constitution and, specifically, the separation of
church and state."

"Jerry Falwell was instrumental in galvanizing millions of American
evangelicals into an intolerant, sectarian and authoritarian political
movement. Gays, women, secularists, civil-libertarians and other groups
who did not fit in to his plan to construct 'One Nation Under God' were
stigmatized and attacked. Civil liberties were in jeopardy. Falwell
and other religious right leaders advanced their political agenda in the
name of Christianity, while demonizing their opponents."

"Perhaps the most ignominious moment in Falwell's career was his
appearance with Rev. Pat Robertson on a television program which blamed
the terrorist attacks of September 11 not on Islamic fundamentalist
fanatics, but on a wide swath of the American people -- women (because
of their support for abortion), gay and lesbian Americans, and
individuals and organizations like American Atheists which labor for the
separation of church and state."

"We cannot and must not lionize Rev. Jerry Falwell because he is now
dead. We expect that some politicians beholden to the religious right,
who perhaps owe their political careers in part to Falwell, will praise
him for his religiosity or avuncular style. The truth is, however,
that the Rev. Jerry Falwell was a dangerous man who opposed and worked
against many of the key values underpinning our secular American democracy.:

-- Ellen Johnson, President
AMERICAN ATHEISTS

AMERICAN ATHEISTS is a nationwide movement that defends civil rights for
Atheists; works for the total separation of church and state; and
addresses issues of First Amendment public policy.

American Atheists, Inc.
P. O. Box 5733
Parsippany, NJ 07054-6733
Tel.: (908) 276-7300
Fax: (908) 276-7402
Saturday, March 10th, 2007
4:42 pm
[kergillian]
Islam hates Women
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/columnists/guest_contributors/article1480090.ece

How my eyes were opened to the barbarity of Islam


by Phyllis Chesler

Once I was held captive in Kabul. I was the bride of a charming, seductive and Westernised Afghan Muslim whom I met at an American college. The purdah I experienced was relatively posh but the sequestered all-female life was not my cup of chai — nor was the male hostility to veiled, partly veiled and unveiled women in public.

When we landed in Kabul, an airport official smoothly confiscated my US passport. "Don't worry, it's just a formality," my husband assured me. I never saw that passport again. I later learnt that this was routinely done to foreign wives — perhaps to make it impossible for them to leave. Overnight, my husband became a stranger. The man with whom I had discussed Camus, Dostoevsky, Tennessee Williams and the Italian cinema became a stranger. He treated me the same way his father and elder brother treated their wives: distantly, with a hint of disdain and embarrassment.

In our two years together, my future husband had never once mentioned that his father had three wives and 21 children. Nor did he tell me that I would be expected to live as if I had been reared as an Afghan woman. I was supposed to lead a largely indoor life among women, to go out only with a male escort and to spend my days waiting for my husband to return or visiting female relatives, or having new (and very fashionable) clothes made.

In America, my husband was proud that I was a natural-born rebel and free thinker. In Afghanistan, my criticism of the treatment of women and of the poor rendered him suspect, vulnerable. He mocked my horrified reactions. But I knew what my eyes and ears told me. I saw how poor women in chadaris were forced to sit at the back of the bus and had to keep yielding their place on line in the bazaar to any man.

I saw how polygamous, arranged marriages and child brides led to chronic female suffering and to rivalry between co-wives and half-brothers; how the subordination and sequestration of women led to a profound estrangement between the sexes — one that led to wife-beating, marital rape and to a rampant but hotly denied male "prison"-like homosexuality and pederasty; how frustrated, neglected and uneducated women tormented their daughter-in-laws and female servants; how women were not allowed to pray in mosques or visit male doctors (their husbands described the symptoms in their absence).

Individual Afghans were enchantingly courteous — but the Afghanistan I knew was a bastion of illiteracy, poverty, treachery and preventable diseases. It was also a police state, a feudal monarchy and a theocracy, rank with fear and paranoia. Afghanistan had never been colonised. My relatives said: "Not even the British could occupy us." Thus I was forced to conclude that Afghan barbarism was of their own making and could not be attributed to Western imperialism.

Long before the rise of the Taleban, I learnt not to romanticise Third World countries or to confuse their hideous tyrants with liberators. I also learnt that sexual and religious apartheid in Muslim countries is indigenous and not the result of Western crimes — and that such "colourful tribal customs" are absolutely, not relatively, evil. Long before al-Qaeda beheaded Daniel Pearl in Pakistan and Nicholas Berg in Iraq, I understood that it was dangerous for a Westerner, especially a woman, to live in a Muslim country. In retrospect, I believe my so-called Western feminism was forged in that most beautiful and treacherous of Eastern countries.

Nevertheless, Western intellectual-ideologues, including feminists, have demonised me as a reactionary and racist "Islamophobe" for arguing that Islam, not Israel, is the largest practitioner of both sexual and religious apartheid in the world and that if Westerners do not stand up to this apartheid, morally, economically and militarily, we will not only have the blood of innocents on our hands; we will also be overrun by Sharia in the West. I have been heckled, menaced, never-invited, or disinvited for such heretical ideas — and for denouncing the epidemic of Muslim-on-Muslim violence for which tiny Israel is routinely, unbelievably scapegoated.

However, my views have found favour with the bravest and most enlightened people alive. Leading secular Muslim and ex-Muslim dissidents — from Egypt, Bangladesh, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Pakistan, Syria and exiles from Europe and North America — assembled for the landmark Islamic Summit Conference in Florida and invited me to chair the opening panel on Monday.

According to the chair of the meeting, Ibn Warraq: "What we need now is an age of enlightenment in the Islamic world. Without critical examination of Islam, it will remain dogmatic, fanatical and intolerant and will continue to stifle thought, human rights, individuality, originality and truth." The conference issued a declaration calling for such a new "Enlightenment". The declaration views "Islamophobia" as a false allegation, sees a "noble future for Islam as a personal faith, not a political doctrine" and "demands the release of Islam from its captivity to the ambitions of power-hungry men".

Now is the time for Western intellectuals who claim to be antiracists and committed to human rights to stand with these dissidents. To do so requires that we adopt a universal standard of human rights and abandon our loyalty to multicultural relativism, which justifies, even romanticises, indigenous Islamist barbarism, totalitarian terrorism and the persecution of women, religious minorities, homosexuals and intellectuals. Our abject refusal to judge between civilisation and barbarism, and between enlightened rationalism and theocratic fundamentalism, endangers and condemns the victims of Islamic tyranny.

Ibn Warraq has written a devastating work that will be out by the summer. It is entitled Defending the West: A Critique of Edward Said's Orientalism. Will Western intellectuals also dare to defend the West?

Phyllis Chesler is an Emerita Professor of Psychology and Women's Studies at the City University of New York


A very interesting article. Just as interesting are the comments from Muslims trying distance Islam from this type of behavior.

One commenter, Abdullah, from London, seeks to blame, not Islam, but everyone else:
It is shocking to hear these stories, but then what you find in poverty-stricken villages full of grossly ignorant men and women is that they live by their own laws. As a muslim its appalling that Prof. Chesler makes a generalised[sic] statement by labelling[sic] Islam as the problem rather than the sick Afghanis. We dont label christianity as a paedophilic[sic] religion just because a large handful of priests and bishops are prosecuted etc. Who is more tolerant?

Islam is being disgraced by those who have hijacked it as their label to press forward their own agendas. For every negative article there are many positives, but positive insight into Muslim lifestyles doesnt sell - only shocking and gripping news catches attention.


What he fails to address is that this treatment of women, though not quite expressly endorsed by the Qur'an, it is implicitly implied and accepted by the Qur'an. These so-called "poverty-stricken villages full of grossly ignorant men and women" are following laws that are as old as the Qur'an. Laws that, if they were opposed to the teachings of the Qur'an would have been addressed as such. What's more, is that these laws are not restricted to "poverty-stricken villages full of grossly ignorant men and women", but are found throughout Islamic countries. Iran, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Pakistan, and many other Islamic countries practice these same barbaric customs, and are supported by the Islamic authorities there. To dismiss these practices as limited to desert villages is to close one's eyes to the root cause of the problem. But Theists are apt at denying the evidence before them and dismissing critics as enemies of the faith.
Thursday, March 8th, 2007
12:04 am
[kergillian]
Noah's Ark: The Horror!

The true lesson of Noah's Ark!
Sunday, February 18th, 2007
2:05 am
[kergillian]
If you live in Texas... Why do you keep electing morons?
From The Houston Chronicle

Warren Chisum: Science is a religion, too


February 15, 2007
Warren Chisum: Science is a religion, too

Warren Chisum is a powerful and influential member of the Texas House of Representatives who hails from Pampa. He also clearly is a man of strong faith.
Last Friday Chisum circulated a memo to all members of the Texas House. Included were a cover page (see pop-up scan here) and a letter from Ben Bridges, a Georgia state representative (see pop-up scan here). The gist of the message is that teaching evolution in U.S. schools is unlawful. It is time, they say, for the "evolution monopoly" in schools to end.

If you have a reasonable understanding of science, this is all completely ludicrous, but let me walk you through the argument proposed by Bridges and Chisum anyway. In 2004 Judge John E. Jones, a Republican church-goer, ruled that teaching intelligent design in schools violated the constitutional separation of church and state. The central thesis of the Bridges-Chisum argument is that evolution science is also based on religion, and therefore is also unconstitutional. Here's a quote from the memo:

"All of that can now be changed! Indisputable evidence -- long hidden but now available to everyone -- demonstrates conclusively that so-called "secular evolution science" is the Big-Bang 15-billion-year alternate "creation scenario" of the harisee Religion. This scenario is derived concept-for-concept from Rabbinic writings in the mystic "holy book" Kabbala dating back at least two millennia."


I know, it's a completely overwhelming argument. However, if you're still doubting -- which I find hard to believe -- the Bridges-Chisum memo says all of the supporting information can be found on the Fixed Earth Web site, where you can also find indisputable evidence that Copernicus was wrong, and the Sun actually rotates around the Earth. (Phil Plait is ready to debate geocentrism, if there are any takers.)

This would all be really funny if the Texas legislature didn't have some sway over the State Board of Education (which is subject to the Sunset Law) and if Chisum weren't a powerful Rep (he's chairman of the Appropriations Committee.) The Texas House could pass a bill ordering the board to stop teaching evolution, or perhaps Chisum could easily enough lean on some of the board's more conservative members to take action.

The fact is Chisum and Bridges are not only wrong about the science, they're in a position to act upon their stunning ignorance of science. I'm all for religion, but suggesting that teaching evolution in "is causing incalculable harm to every student and every truth-loving citizen" strays much too far beyond the realm of faith into that of rational lawmaking.

(Memo provided by the Texas Freedom Network)


I pick on Texas, but, surprise, surprise, Georgia is part of this nonsense too.

I think the Bible Belt is a little too tight. It's cutting off blood flow to the brain...
2:04 am
[kergillian]
Science vs Faith
Science vs Faith
Saturday, February 10th, 2007
3:33 pm
[kergillian]
Rise of the Religious Reich

I've got to get this book...
5:18 am
[kergillian]
A great quote
“If you leave the Christian Bible outside, eventually the wind and the rain will destroy it. My bible is the wind and the rain.”
- Attributed to an unnamed Native American woman.
Friday, February 9th, 2007
1:40 am
[kergillian]
RantMisquoting Darwin just makes you look stupid
I've been debating with creationists over on youtube.

I can't believe how stupid some of these people are.

Case in point:

http://youtube.com/comment_servlet?all_comments&v=E_EXqdJ4L7I&fromurl=/watch%3Fv%3DE_EXqdJ4L7I

bman9089 is misquoting Darwin left and right. How many times do I need to spank these people before they realize that I can google any quote they throw at me and show it to be the deliberate distortion that it is? Don't they know that their lies only hurt them?

I'm sick of hearing about Darwin's "Deathbed Conversion." Guess what. It didn't happen.

From Wikipedia:
Lady Elizabeth Reid Hope (December 9, 1842–8 March 1922) was a British evangelist who is generally believed to be the Lady Hope who claimed in 1915 that she had visited the British naturalist Charles Darwin shortly before his death in 1882. Hope claimed that Darwin had recanted his theory of evolution on his deathbed and accepted Jesus Christ as his saviour.

Charles Darwin's family denied the story, and insisted that Lady Hope "was not present during his last illness, or any illness." The Lady Hope Story is generally recognised, even by many Creationists, to be false — or at least unverifiable — and if true, probably exaggerated. The story remains a popular urban legend, even though it stands in sharp contrast to Darwin's published and known views about Christianity.


More misquotesCollapse )
Thursday, February 8th, 2007
2:03 am
[kergillian]
Help! I'm being opressed!
CNN aired this segment on discrimination against atheists:



This seems to be a reasonably thoughtful segment.

But it was followed by THIS panel discussion, a panel that had NO ATHEIST on it:



If anything, it reinforces the point of the story. Some Theists are sick and twisted in their reasoning.
Thursday, January 18th, 2007
5:43 am
[kergillian]
1:40 am
[kergillian]
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Didgital Freethought   About LiveJournal.com