Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Catholic Hypocrites

I'd like to see as much outrage towards perverted priests as there is against politicians who support women's rights by Catholics.

Anti-abortion group: Omit 'heretical' Pelosi from sacrament
Raw Story: Tuesday December 19, 2006

An anti-abortion group is lobbying a Washington, DC Catholic Church to stop Speaker of the House-designate Nancy Pelosi from attending mass, RAW STORY has learned.

Rep. Pelosi, the California Democrat who will become the first woman to be Speaker of the House, is scheduled to attend mass at Washington, DC's Trinity College on January 3, 2007, the day before the 110th Congress opens. Trinity is an all-women's school from which Pelosi graduated in 1962.

But the American Life League wants Washington's Archbishop Donald Wuerl to "prevent [Pelosi] from using the Mass for political gain," and has called on him to deny Pelosi Holy Communion. ALL argued that "Rep. Pelosi has been unwavering in her support for abortion and is downright defiant toward the Church's teachings on the sanctity of human life," and added, "it is shameful that Trinity College, a supposedly Catholic institution, has turned a blind eye to the heretical views Pelosi embraces."

The American Life League has previously called on the Catholic Church in the United States to deny Holy Communion to other politicians who favor preserving abortion rights. During the 2004 presidential campaign, anti-abortion advocates also encouraged the Catholic Church to deny communion to Senator John Kerry (D-MA).
This action should really shock "believers" out of their socks. But it won't.

Friday, October 06, 2006


GOP's Hold on Evangelicals Weakening
Party's Showing in Midterm Elections May Be Hurt as Polls Indicate Support Dropping in Base
By Alan Cooperman
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, October 6, 2006; Page A06

ANOKA, Minn. -- Lynn Sunde, an evangelical Christian, is considering what for her is a radical step. Come November, she may vote for a Democrat for Congress.

Sunde, 35, manages a coffee shop and attends a nondenominational Bible church. "You're never going to agree with one party on everything, so for me the key has always been the religion issues -- abortion, the marriage amendment" to ban same-sex unions, she said.

That means she consistently votes Republican. But, she said, she is starting to worry about the course of the Iraq war, and she finds the Internet messages from then-Rep. Mark Foley (R-Fla.) to teenage boys "pretty sickening." When she goes into the voting booth this time, she said, "I'm going to think twice. . . . I'm not going to vote party line as much as to vote issues."
Read more

Evangelicals Fear the Loss of Their Teenagers

Published: October 6, 2006
Despite their packed megachurches, their political clout and their increasing visibility on the national stage, evangelical Christian leaders are warning one another that their teenagers are abandoning the faith in droves.

At an unusual series of leadership meetings in 44 cities this fall, more than 6,000 pastors are hearing dire forecasts from some of the biggest names in the conservative evangelical movement.

Their alarm has been stoked by a highly suspect claim that if current trends continue, only 4 percent of teenagers will be “Bible-believing Christians” as adults. That would be a sharp decline compared with 35 percent of the current generation of baby boomers, and before that, 65 percent of the World War II generation.

While some critics say the statistics are greatly exaggerated (one evangelical magazine for youth ministers dubbed it “the 4 percent panic attack”), there is widespread consensus among evangelical leaders that they risk losing their teenagers.

“I’m looking at the data,” said Ron Luce, who organized the meetings and founded Teen Mania, a 20-year-old youth ministry, “and we’ve become post-Christian America, like post-Christian Europe. We’ve been working as hard as we know how to work — everyone in youth ministry is working hard — but we’re losing.”

The board of the National Association of Evangelicals, an umbrella group representing 60 denominations and dozens of ministries, passed a resolution this year deploring “the epidemic of young people leaving the evangelical church.”

Among the leaders speaking at the meetings are Ted Haggard, president of the evangelical association; the Rev. Jerry Falwell; and nationally known preachers like Jack Hayford and Tommy Barnett.

Genuine alarm can be heard from Christian teenagers and youth pastors, who say they cannot compete against a pervasive culture of cynicism about religion, and the casual “hooking up” approach to sex so pervasive on MTV, on Web sites for teenagers and in hip-hop, rap and rock music. Divorced parents and dysfunctional families also lead some teenagers to avoid church entirely or to drift away.

Over and over in interviews, evangelical teenagers said they felt like a tiny, beleaguered minority in their schools and neighborhoods. They said they often felt alone in their struggles to live by their “Biblical values” by avoiding casual sex, risqué music and videos, Internet pornography, alcohol and drugs.

When Eric Soto, 18, transferred from a small charter school to a large public high school in Chicago, he said he was disappointed to find that an extracurricular Bible study attracted only five to eight students. “When we brought food, we thought we could get a better turnout,” he said. They got 12.

Chelsea Dunford, a 17-year old from Canton, Conn., said, “At school I don’t have a lot of friends who are Christians.”

Ms. Dunford spoke late last month as she and her small church youth group were about to join more than 3,400 teenagers in a sports arena at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst for a Christian youth extravaganza and rock concert called Acquire the Fire.

“A lot of my friends are self-proclaimed agnostics or atheists,” said Ms. Dunford, who wears a bracelet with a heart-shaped charm engraved with “tlw,” for “true love waits,” to remind herself of her pledge not to have premarital sex.

She said her friends were more prone to use profanity and party than she was, and added: “It’s scary sometimes. You get made fun of.”

To break the isolation and bolster the teenagers’ commitment to a conservative lifestyle, Mr. Luce has been organizing these stadium extravaganzas for 15 years. The event in Amherst was the first of 40 that Teen Mania is putting on between now and May, on a breakneck schedule that resembles a road trip for a major touring band. The “roadies” are 700 teenagers who have interned for a year at Teen Mania’s “Honor Academy” in Garden Valley, Tex.

More than two million teenagers have attended in the last 15 years, said Mr. Luce, a 45-year-old, mop-headed father of three with a master’s degree from the Graduate School of Business Administration at Harvard and the star power of an aging rock guitarist.

“That’s more than Paul McCartney has pulled in,” Mr. Luce asserted, before bounding onstage for the opening pyrotechnics and a prayer.

For the next two days, the teenagers in the arena pogoed to Christian bands, pledged to lead their friends to Christ and sang an anthem with the chorus, “We won’t be silent.” Hundreds streamed down the aisles for the altar call and knelt in front of the stage, some weeping openly as they prayed to give their lives to God.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Does the Pope Poop in the Woods?

On Tuesday it was widely reported that the Pope had quite a bit of bad stuff to say about Islam and the prophet Mohammad.

"Benedict said Christianity is tightly linked to reason and contrasted this view with those who believe in spreading their faith by the sword."
Actually some christian theology is linked to reason (I will write about that some time) but he is way off by saying that Islam believes in spreading faith by the sword. He must be attending the Karl Rove school of propaganda or has some memory loss.

"...the Pope quoted, among others, the 14th century Byzantine emperor Manuel II Paleologos who wrote that Mohammad had brought things "only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached.""
Way to win hearts and minds there, Popey.

"Benedict several times quoted Emperor Manuel's argument that spreading the faith through violence is unreasonable and that acting without reason -- "logos" in the original Greek -- was against God's nature."
Man you could write a whole book arguing as to why the pope is talking out of both sides of his mouth there. Which god are we talking about anyway? The god of the old testament? The god of the new testament? Oh, the "logos", the creator, the word, the utterance of life! I didn't know anyone believed in that one. Silly me.

The Pope's handlers tried to explain what the pope meant.

"... Benedict used Emperor Manuel's views on Islam only to help explain the issue and not to condemn all of the Muslim religion as violent."

And "This is just an example. We know that inside Islam there are many different positions, violent and non-violent. The Pope does not want to give an interpretation of Islam that is violent."
Well you sure could have fooled me. Benedict was right however in stressing that faith needs to be partnered with reason but so far no mainstream religions have embraced that concept and stressed it to their followers. god forbid people should think for themselves

Apparently, Muslims did not find the Pope's speech an invitation to dialogue. Would you want to "dialogue" with someone who told you that everything you believed in was evil and that you are wrong and unreasonable?

In Today's NY Times: Muslim Leaders Assail Pope’s Speech on Islam
Muslim leaders around the world were very insulted by the Pope's comments and expect an apology. The pope's handler's insist that the pope didn't mean to hurt anyones feelings.

The Vatican just installed a new Secretary of State today. Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, 71, gets to start out in his new position by tackling the Pope vs Islam controversy.
Vatican experts in Rome spoke of a papal "slip" and suggested that future pope speeches may be checked by the Secretary of State's office to ensure they do not spark further diplomatic incidents of this kind.
I just knew that this was going to open a big can of worms.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Can religious and scientific teachings coexist?

From Newsday

The Rev. Ledyard Baxtor, pastor, Old Steeple Community Church, Aquebogue:

We need to promote the idea that they coexist. I'm distressed that the continuing attempts on the part of some to divide science from faith. There are at least four ways that historically, faith and science have been related through conflict, independence, dialogue and integration. ... Even Galileo said something to the effect that the Bible teaches us how to go to heaven and science teaches us how the heavens go. More recently [geologist] Stephen Gould had a clever saying: Faith is about the rock of ages and geology as a science is about the age of rocks. ... In a one-room schoolhouse, you would teach math and English, but you wouldn't teach them out of the same textbook. ... God created [heaven and Earth] and I believe that with all my heart and mind. But that's not science. Science is more about how the universe works, so there really need not be any conflict.

Richard Visconti, pastor, Caroline Church, Setauket:

The more we understand and the more we know about our world, the better off we are. ... Religion is an understanding of our relationship to God and how we understand our dependency upon God. And so there are two understandings ... we believe God created the world and he created us, and he gave us the minds that we have to investigate and to learn more about our environment. And, hopefully, others will benefit from our knowledge.

The Rev. Richard Anderson, pastor, Holding Out Hope Church, Middle Island:

We live in a secular society that's going to teach science, that we evolved, and obviously, I'm not for that and don't believe that's how we were created. And I know there was talk for a while about intelligent design and bringing that into play with understanding creation. I'm not for teaching evolution in school for our children, but the burden falls on parents. While we're forced to have our schools where they don't teach biblical principles, it's up to parents to know the word of God and the Bible and teach their children at home. ... I believe God gives tremendous knowledge to doctors and those in the medical field, with breakthrough cures and medicine that can absolutely change a person's life and give them great quality of life. ... As a pastor, I don't tell people not to see a doctor or get medication, but I do tell them that everything you do, you must do through prayer.

Rabbi Michael L. Kramer, Temple Judea, Massapequa:

The Torah consists of the historical narrative of our people, moral teachings and what God desires of us. And it's not a scientific text, and it's not interested in science. Therefore, there is no contradiction between religion and science and, furthermore, science only increases our wonder and amazement about God's universe. Reform Judaism is supportive of advancements made by science in the public good. I see no conflict because I don't believe it was the purpose of the Torah to give us any scientific knowledge. It's more interested in teaching us how to respond to the universe and what God demands of us.

Prakash Shukla, priest, Hindu Community Center, Hicksville:

Religion and science work together. With each and every thing, religion depends on science. Every 11th day of the Hindu month is fast day. Same thing with science. Resting your stomach makes your stomach healthy. ... Religion is one type of science. There is a coin. One side is science and one side is astrology. Science can't control everything. Science can't control a storm or an earthquake, but something's there. It's God. Until now, science couldn't make blood. What makes this? This is God. Some natural things just can't have been done by science.

The Rev. Mark Billington, pastor, Bellerose Baptist Church, Bellerose:

For the most part, I believe that religion can inform our views of science and provide ethical guidelines for our understanding of scientific procedures. Religion provides ethical guidelines such as that of mankind being created in the image of God as well as other guidelines. ... But any of those ethical understandings can help us in better determining where science goes too far. Religion informs values every day [on] topics such as abortion, euthanasia, genetics and even evolution. Because [you have a] religious understanding does not necessarily mean you cannot have a scientific mindset as well.

75% in Arkansas, Alabama believe Bible literally true

Sat Aug 26, 3:01 PM ET

Not surprisingly, the Bible Belt region lives up to its name with states like Alabama, Arkansas, Tennessee and West Virginia containing the highest percentage of those who believe the Bible is literally true. Alabama and Arkansas came out on top as 75% say they believe the Bible is literally true. West Virginia (70%) and Tennessee (68%) are close behind.

The northeast region of our map represents the other extreme. In Vermont and Massachusetts, only 22% of those respondents believe the Bible is literally true—the lowest percentages in all states surveyed.

Earlier this summer, a national survey found that 54% of American adults believe the Bible is literally true.

In Arkansas, the question proves to be one of the rare ones that doesn't cause divisions along party lines; 83% of Republicans and 75% of Democrats say the believe in the Bible's literal truth. Seventy-nine percent (79%) of women and 69% of men identify themselves as true believers.

In Alabama, Democrats and Republicans both share high levels of belief on the authenticity and literal truth of the Bible. Women again outnumber men, though by a smaller percentage, 79% to 72%. The states differ, though, when the question is dissected by respondents' ages. Percentages of those agreeing with the Bible's authenticity are in the high 70's across all age demographics for Alabama. In Arkansas, however, percentages are actually higher for younger voters. Eighty-one percent (81%) of those 18-29 and 83% of those 30-39 believe the Bible's literal truth and then the numbers drop off, hitting a low of 66% for voters ages 50-64.

In Vermont, 37% of GOP voters and only 14% of Democrats say they are believers. Along age lines, the highest percentage of believers are those ages 65 and older (36%.)

In Massachusetts, Republican believers again outnumber Democrats (39% to 17%) Surprisingly, among conservatives in the state, the percentage of those who believe the Bible is true (41%) is outweighed by the percentage who do not (44%.)

As expected, strong connections exist in most of the states surveyed between the percentage of those who answered affirmatively on the Bible question and their positions on abortion and same-sex marriage.

The national survey was of all adults. The state surveys consisted of Likely Voter samples. The results may not be directly comparable.

Rasmussen Reports is an electronic publishing firm specializing in the collection, publication, and distribution of public opinion polling information. (link)

Friday, August 25, 2006

350,000 Embryo's Trashed

If it weren't for fertility clinics, there wouldn't be so many unwanted "embryos" that are simply tossed when they run out of room. Those embryos could be donated to science to possibly cure one of your children or grandchildren. The Anything But Religious Right prefers to defend the embryo's right to life but does nothing about their being put to the trash bin.

Watch this "human life" literally tossed in the garbage when it could have been used to save lives.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Hostile Takeover

Today, on Air America you can listen to the national radio show, State of Belief.

Whether you are a person of faith or not, it is important to understand why and be armed with information pertaining to the takeover of America's churches by right wing politics. It is through faux christianity that our democracy is at stake. Right wing think tanks came up with the plan for the take over. Three guests, Dr. Bruce Prescott, Dr. John Dorhauer and Dr. Andrew Weaver will discuss how this politically motivated takeover was achieved.

There is more on this at Talk To Action.
How to listen to this show on the web, on the radio or how to download mp3 podcasts to listen at a different time: Air America

I urge you to become more involved in this issue, learn as much as you can and be prepared to fight back against 'christianists' who claim to be real Christians. If we do nothing but complain about it, many many Americans will continue to support the fascist regime thinking they are voting with Christ.

Please read "Religious Liberals Gain New Visibility" at the Washington Post for more on this issue.

"The wind is changing. Folks -- not just leaders -- are fed up with what is being portrayed as Christian values," said the Rev. Tim Ahrens, senior minister of First Congregational Church of Columbus, Ohio, and a founder of We Believe Ohio, a statewide clergy group established to ensure that the religious right is "not the only one holding a megaphone" in the public square.

You can also scroll down on this blog to Friday's post "Some Good News"
On May 22nd, Clergy for Fairness, a broad coalition of mainstream religious voices in America, will host clergy members and other religious leaders from across the country in Washington, D.C. to defend religious liberty and speak out against the discriminatory Federal Marriage Amendment (FMA).

Friday, May 19, 2006

Some Good News

from HRC email news.

National Coalition of Religious Leaders
Speak Out Against the Federal Marriage Amendment
Religious Leaders from Across the Country to Gather in Washington on May 22nd

WASHINGTON – On May 22nd, Clergy for Fairness, a broad coalition of mainstream religious voices in America, will host clergy members and other religious leaders from across the country in Washington, D.C. to defend religious liberty and speak out against the discriminatory Federal Marriage Amendment (FMA). The FMA is set for a vote in the U.S. Senate the week of June 5th.

Members of the clergy and other religious leaders from a wide spectrum of religious traditions will use May 22nd as a national day to announce a petition drive against the FMA and call on all like-minded faith leaders to speak out against the Senate’s impending vote on the Federal Marriage Amendment.

Clergy members in Washington on that day will come from many faith traditions including United Methodists, Reform Judaism, Episcopalians, Presbyterians, Lutherans, Unitarian Universalists, United Church of Christ, Disciples of Christ and American Baptists.

These faith leaders are united behind a common principle that religious liberty must be preserved and that discrimination should not be written into our Constitution. At a time when our country is facing critical issues, the United States Senate should not be focused on undercutting the separation of church and state and treating an entire group of Americans differently. They believe that people of faith and goodwill can and do disagree about what constitutes marriage, but that this amendment would endorse one religiously biased view over all others and impose it on all Americans by constitutional fiat.

WHAT: Press Conference of National Religious Voices Against the Federal Marriage Amendment
WHEN: Monday, May 22nd at 11:00 a.m. (EST)
WHERE: United States Senate Dirksen 430

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Ask Your OB/GYN for a Prescription Before You Need It.

Since pharmacists think that they know more than doctors and the religious fanatics refuse to consider science even though most of them rely on scientific and medical advances to keep their sorry lives livable, American gynecologists are fed up with all the political nonsense surrounding Plan B, Emergency Contraception, which as we know, is not an abortion pill.

Solution: Ask your ob/gyn for an advance prescription.

ABC NEWS -- "The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists today announced its "Ask Me" campaign, which encourages patients to obtain an advance prescription from their ob/gyn."

Monday, May 01, 2006

The War Against Science

As a mother and a woman I am outraged. Simply outraged at the politics that surround science in America, supposed land of the free, home of the brave. Actually I am nauseous after reading this piece, Political Science by Michael Specter of The New Yorker.

Merck & Co applied to the FDA for a license to sell a vaccine that protects women against the human papilloma virus, HPV, the most common STD in the United States. HPV is the primary cause of cervical cancer. This is a scientific breakthrough- a vaccine against a particular type of cancer. Our daughters may not be able to be immunized against HPV because some sick fucks in politics deem that the cancer scare will dissuade young women from having pre-marital sex, yet they do not take into consideration that perhaps when virgins marry, they may still contract HPV from their husbands.

Why don't they just invent a vaccination against one of the strongest human instincts (to procreate) that could be given to both boys and girls, while they're pre-pubescent. It has always been up to parents or their religious affiliations to teach children the value of abstinence. Many kids to try to abide by it until at one point, they don't. So we want to punish them with possibly a death sentence for a "transgression" that is purely natural and instilled in us by "the creator"?

From the article... even more chilling:

Religious conservatives are unapologetic; not only do they believe that mass use of an HPV vaccine or the availability of emergency contraception will encourage adolescents to engage in unacceptable sexual behavior; some have even stated that they would feel similarly about an H.I.V. vaccine, if one became available.

Why does the government even bother funding scientific research? It's a control issue. They want to make sure that we abide by their rules and conform to the Stepford lifestyle. Every scientific breakthrough has to pass the theo-fascist government of the United States. For stem cell research to continue, it must be funded by private donations. Cancer cures or vaccinations, HIV or AIDS vaccines or cures have to pass the holier than thou test of the fascists.

There is lots more in the article about how this government is waging a war on science. They want you to die for your sins. They must not have very much confidence in their God, since they have deemed themselves the almighty. It's letter writing time, folks.

Hat tip to Auntie Roo

Sunday, April 30, 2006

Sunday is A Fun Day To Talk About God

My Sunday Sermonette will try to answer Rabbi Marc Gellman's Trying to Understand Angry Atheists in Newsweek.

I like the Rabbi and I enjoy his column with Father Tim Hartman in Newsday every Saturday and television show when they appear as The God Squad.

Unfortunately after studying so much about the Christian/Catholic Church after earning my MDiv in 1992, I lost interest in religion all together-- possibly because it has such a violent history led by the supposed followers of Jesus who more or less like any other religious leaders sought to oppress the flock by using laws to squelch the human spirit and using fear to control the masses. Where was Jesus in all this mayhem that ensued? Why did they persecute the Jews so much when after all we wouldn't have Christianity if it were not for the Jews? I also believed with all my heart (but no psychology training) that most the saints and supposed "great Christians" were schizophrenic. The Catholic Church canonized people who should have been locked up in loony bins.

Rabbi Gellman wonders

"...there is something I am missing about atheists: what I simply do not understand is why they are often so angry."

"So we disagree about God."
Everyone disagrees about God. That's been the story since the beginning of recorded history. Great wars have been always fought in the name of God. That is why there are thousands of religions in the world. That is why the early Church split and that is why Martin Luther couldn't take much of the nonsense that ensued after hundreds and hundreds of years of christian bastardization of Jesus' message. That is why there were the Crusades, the Spanish Inquisition, passion plays, slave ships, the holocaust. How many versions of Christianity, Judaism and Muslim are there now? It appears that the "believers" have been the angriest in history and caused the most turmoil in history. Angry atheists aren't ruining the fabric of society.
"I'm sometimes at odds with Yankee fans, people who like rap music and people who don't like animals, but I try to be civil. I don't know many religious folk who wake up thinking of new ways to aggravate atheists, but many people who do not believe in God seem to find the religion of their neighbors terribly offensive or oppressive, particularly if the folks next door are evangelical Christians. I just don't get it."

Don't talk to Yankee and Red Sox fans during the season. They are not always civil and the rivalry leads to much heated anger. If people can't be civil regarding athletics, one certainly can't expect them to be civil about their core beliefs.

Perhaps Rabbi Gellman doesn't read the news as much as many of us do. In fact, many religious leaders in this country and the world are doing their darndest along with the fascists in governments, to take away our freedoms, to oppress women, homosexuals and minorities, to completely discount science, urging the flock to check their critical thinking at the door, to speak hatefully in a public arena and declare war, all in the name of God. That particularly angers a lot of atheists and true believers as well. In fact, Rabbie Gellman ought to consider all the hatred being spewed by God's supposed followers. Turn on the tv to one of the cable news shows and see how much hate and intolerance is regurgitated in the name of God.

They use fear to energize their followers into a hateful frenzy. You don't even have to be an atheist to see what a radical new movement has been gaining ground over the past 25 years or so. They are threatened by Darwin, women, critical thinking, science and tolerance. I was a Christian when I realized that true Christianity had been hijacked by fanatics. That's why I decided to study theology. I needed to know what real Christianity was, where it came from and how it compares and contrasts with other beliefs. Fortunately, I learned more about spirituality than anything written and taken literally in ancient holy books. I learned great mysteries that are not at odds with most thoughtful atheists. I also figured out that the Bible is a dangerous book in the hands of those who are mentally unstable. I excommunicated myself from Catholicism after I graduated.

"Perhaps their atheism was the result of the tragic death of a loved one, or an angry degrading sermon, or an insensitive eulogy, or an unfeeling castigation of lifestyle choices or perhaps something even worse. I would ask for forgiveness from the angry atheists who write to me if I thought it would help."

Perhaps it's true that the angry atheists had a terrible trauma that led them away from God and most likely it's because they had the wrong impression of God's existence in the first place. And whose fault is that? They expected God to do something and He didn't. How many religous people do we know who don't really love God, but fear His wrath? If you were God, would you want people to love you out of fear or love you out of respect? A sane person wouldn't want to be loved out of fear. (I'm assuming here that God can be personified as many people think.)

"Religion must remain an audacious, daring and, yes, uncomfortable assault on our desires to do what we want when we want to do it. All religions must teach a way to discipline our animal urges, to overcome racism and materialism, selfishness and arrogance and the sinful oppression of the most vulnerable and the most innocent among us."

A good civics class can teach people how to cooperate in society too. Does fear of jail or hell really need to be a part of living in a good society? Fear is merely a tool used by oppressors. When I taught religion to youngsters (yes, can you believe it?) I often strayed away from the religion book in order to teach the kids compassion... such as "How would you feel if someone did this or that to you?" and then I would go on to tell them that God wants us to think before we act and society wants us to do the same because it makes for a better world. I taught my students that we must learn to forgive those who hurt us and not repay them in kind because there would be nothing but anger and hatred in the world... it would make for a pretty lousy life.

Why oh why does believing in God need to encourage people to take off their thinking caps?

My belief system is that we are to look out for each other and love each other as we want to be loved. (It also happens to be what Jesus taught in a nutshell and is also the crux of the Old Testament.) I don't need to be religious or even believe in God to understand that universal cooperation, tolerance, love and compassion are the keys to a relatively happy existance on earth. We still have Mother Nature or Acts of God to endure and we really need each other in those times and that is when God or goodness really manifests God's or goodness' self to everyone including non believers.

Anyone can figure it all out with some critical thinking- if we all tried to be patient and tolerant, to try to come to compromises with each other, we wouldn't even need laws. Jesus thought so too. We wouldn't have maniacs like George Bush or Osama bin Laden waging wars to satisfy their mean streaks. At least we wouldn't allow them to.

I think that too many laws tempt people to break them, if nothing else. I am a prime example of that. Religions made stuff up that made people act worse towards each other than if they had just shut up and stuck with the Jesus theme. Their laws made us neurotic.

"Some religious leaders obviously betray the teachings of the faith they claim to represent, but their sacred scriptures remain a critique of them and also of every thing we do to betray the better angels of our nature. But our world is better and kinder and more hopeful because of the daily sacrifice and witness of millions of pious people over thousands of years."

Some religious leaders? Only some? I disagree. The ones who betray the teachings of their faith are the ones who are getting all the media attention and forcing politicians to legislate oppressive policies that alienate our most vulnerable, in order to get campaign funds and votes. That pisses off anyone with a sense of humanity. Everything good that happens in the world may be as a result of how God created us or maybe it's just a mutation in evolution. There is no reason to argue that point if everyone is trying to get along whether they believe in God or not. The anger that abounds from the Christian left, the Jewish left and the atheist left stems from their outrage at the crimes against humanity that are committed daily in the name of God.


I hope that helps, Rabbi Gellman.


Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Menu Blogging: Jesus Christ is Risen Today, Pass the Jelly Beans

We eat candy for breakfast on Easter Sunday. I started this tradition when my son was old enough to chew, because I could finally live out some of my childhood fantasies when I became the matriarch... so report me to the Pope, see if I care. I was merely trying to play down the Christian Blood Cult theme.

I also thought it might be interesting to have 'woast wabbit' for dinner with a side of Peeps, but no one was really interested in eating cute little bunnies, so we just pretended we were eating 'woast wabbit' with jelly bean sauce.

Check out this live journal with an hilarious photo recipe for disaster Chocolate Cake which replaces chicken eggs with Cadbury Cream Eggs. Mmmm.

What do you do with Easter Candy?

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

And the Lord sayeth, "Ask her about her sex life"

And Pat Robertson obligeth.

It just wouldn't be Passover/Easter season without an hilarious story told by Pat Robertson reacting to something the Lord directly asked him to do.

Pat Robertson and Rita Braver on CBS News Sunday Morning April 9th.

PR: ... Well-- well anyhow, they thought she was demon possessed. And these women are in the conference, and they said, "Go cast demons out of her." And I ignored it and ate dinner and went on to the meeting.

And then the next night, they had moved this poor woman out of the hotel. She was crying out for mercy and saying, "Oh God, help me," because she had such bad asthma. So-- I had to go see her. But fortunately I had my wife with her, so we went to another hotel-- in the heart of Jerusalem and knocked on the door.

And here, this haunting woman, she looked like-- she really looked like she was terrified-- very attractive-- striking brunette, 45 years old, you know thin, 5'8" kinda thing. And-- she had this look in her eyes. And-- so I went in, and my wife was with me. And they took the two chairs and I sat on the bed.

And I said, "Tell me about your problem." And she said, "I've got this asthma." And I said, "Have you been to the (LAUGHTER) doctor?" And-- and she said, "Yes. The doctor said my asthma was caused by praying with nuns." And I said, (LAUGHTER) "A doctor?"

RB: That sounds--

PR: "A doctor?"

RB: --that sounds like-- (LAUGHTER) you should've advised her, "Maybe go see another doctor."

PR: There was-- (LAUGHTER) well see-- the-- "A doctor told you this?" (UNINTEL) said, "Yes, that's what my doctor told me." And I says, "There is no way that praying with nuns is gonna cause you-- asthma." And then I prayed. And I said, "Lord, what's wrong with her?" I just prayed silently. And the Lord said, "Ask about her sex life." And--

RB: The-- the Lord said that to you?

PR: Yes, He said that to me. And I said, "There's no way I'm going to ask a strange woman about her sex life." So I said-- (COUGHS) "Excuse me for-- being personal, but would you tell me about your marriage."

She said, "Oh, I have a wonderful marriage." I said, "You do?" She (UNINTEL PHRASE), "A wonderful husband, wonderful marriage. It's just absolutely marvelous." I said, "You do?" She said, "Yes." So I prayed again. (LAUGHTER) I said, "Lord, what's the matter?" And she-- He said, "Ask her about her sex life."

RB: I-- it's hard to imagine the Lord--

PR: The-- the--

RB: --saying this to you--

PR: --the Lord say-- well He did. And I-- and I said-- "You know, please forgive me if I'm being personal, but tell me about your sex life." And she said, "I don't have any." And I said, "Well, I thought you had a wonderful marriage." And she said-- "I do, but I don't have any sex life."

And I said, "How long has that been going on?" And she said, "Two years." And I said-- "And that's when your asthma started, isn't it?" And she said, "Yes." And I said, "Well it's obvious that you're blaming yourself-- for this condition. What's the problem?" And she said, "My husband's impotent."

And I said, "You think it's your fault." And she said, "Yes. It's-- I think it's my fault." And I said, "Well it isn't your fault. And it may be that he's working too hard. He may be having a physical impairment. But-- there's something in his life, that this isn't your fault." And she said, "It's not?"

I said, "Absolutely not." And I said, "Okay, now let's pray for your asthma. And she said, "Okay." And we prayed. And God healed her asthma just like that. And--
RB: You-- you know that--

PR: There's--

RB: --that's a tough one for people to swallow.

PR: I was there. My wife was the witness. And thank goodness she was there. I never woulda done this otherwise. But that woman went on her ma-- her way rejoicing. And it took maybe max, 10 minutes.

Oh my Lord, was that just the most adorable story? Hallelujah, Praise Jesus, Amen...
The Lord is such a card... asking the second holiest person to ever walk the earth to probe into a woman's sex life only to find that she doesn't even have one (laughter)... and that was what gave her asthma (laughter) and she believed it was her fault that her husband was impotent (laughter) and I wonder how she got that silly notion? Probably the devil told her that (laughter). Sometimes the Devil is such a trickster... Wee doggies... whew... oh Lordie, I just popped another rosary bead from laughing so hard.
/snark attack

Monday, April 10, 2006

The Gospel Truth

This is an important commentary from Elaine Pagels regarding the Gospel of Judas and the National Geographic special which aired last night.

Snippet from The Gospel Truth

Yet those early Christians who loved and revered such texts did not think of themselves as heretics, but as Christians who had received not only what Jesus preached publicly, but also what he taught his disciples when they were talking privately. Many regarded these secret gospels not as radical alternatives to the New Testament Gospels, but as advanced-level teaching for those who had already received Jesus' basic message. Even the Gospel of Mark tells us that Jesus explained things to certain disciples in private, entrusting to them alone "the mystery of the Kingdom of God."

If so, Jesus would have been doing what many other rabbis did then, and most teachers do today. Many of the gospels not included in the New Testament claim to offer secret teaching: Thus the Gospel of Thomas opens, "These are the secret words which the living Jesus spoke, and Didymus Judas Thomas wrote them down." The Gospel of Mary Magdalene reveals what Jesus showed Mary in a vision, and the Gospel of Judas claims to offer a spiritual mystery entrusted to Judas alone.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

From the HFS Files On Modern American Christianity

Since the hell when did being a Christian give you a right to be an bigoted asshole in a secular country? This shit would never fly in NY. It would be laughed out of court.

Christians Sue for Right Not to Tolerate Policies
Many codes intended to protect gays from harassment are illegal, conservatives argue.

ATLANTA — Ruth Malhotra went to court last month for the right to be intolerant.

Malhotra says her Christian faith compels her to speak out against homosexuality. But the Georgia Institute of Technology, where she's a senior, bans speech that puts down others because of their sexual orientation.

Malhotra sees that as an unacceptable infringement on her right to religious expression. So she's demanding that Georgia Tech revoke its tolerance policy.

Man, what happened to civilized society? How dare this dame use christian faith as an excuse to be hateful?

With her lawsuit, the 22-year-old student joins a growing campaign to force public schools, state colleges and private workplaces to eliminate policies protecting gays and lesbians from harassment. The religious right aims to overturn a broad range of common tolerance programs: diversity training that promotes acceptance of gays and lesbians, speech codes that ban harsh words against homosexuality, anti-discrimination policies that require college clubs to open their membership to all.

The Rev. Rick Scarborough, a leading evangelical, frames the movement as the civil rights struggle of the 21st century. "Christians," he said, "are going to have to take a stand for the right to be Christian."
Oh now this is just wrong on all levels. Now you can't practice your christianity unless you can harrass those who think differently than you do? Sure that will win hearts and minds... of Nazi's.

This broad ought to get a job in a soup kitchen and learn a thing or two.

Friday, January 27, 2006

So Did Jesus Exist Or What?

Judge to Rule on Merit of Christ Case
By MARTA FALCONI, Associated Press Writer

VITERBO, Italy - An Italian judge heard arguments Friday on whether a small-town parish priest should stand trial for asserting that Jesus Christ existed.

The priest's atheist accuser, Luigi Cascioli, says the Roman Catholic Church has been deceiving people for 2,000 years with a fable that Christ existed, and that the Rev. Enrico Righi violated two Italian laws by reasserting the claim.

Lawyers for Righi and Cascioli, old schoolmates, made their arguments in a brief, closed-door hearing before Judge Gaetano Mautone in Viterbo, north of Rome. They said they expected the judge to decide quickly.

Cascioli filed a criminal complaint in 2002 after Righi wrote in a parish bulletin that Jesus did indeed exist, and that he was born of a couple named Mary and Joseph in Bethlehem and lived in Nazareth.

Cascioli claims that Righi's assertion constituted two crimes under Italian law: so-called "abuse of popular belief," in which someone fraudulently deceives people; and "impersonation," in which someone gains by attributing a false name to a person.

"The point is not to establish whether Jesus existed or not, but if there is a question of possible fraud," Cascioli's attorney, Mauro Fonzo, told reporters before the hearing.

Cascioli says the church has been gaining financially by "impersonating" as Christ someone by the name of John of Gamala, the son of Judas from Gamala.

He has said he has little hope of the case succeeding in overwhelmingly Roman Catholic Italy, but that he is merely going through the necessary legal steps to reach the European Court of Human Rights, where he intends to accuse the church of what he calls "religious racism."

Righi, 76, has stressed substantial historical evidence — both Christian and non-Christian — of Jesus' existence.

"Don Righi is innocent because he said and wrote what he has the duty to say and write," Righi's attorney, Severo Bruno, told reporters.

He said he told Mautone during the hearing that Righi was not asserting a historical fact when he wrote of Jesus' existence, but rather "an expression of theological principles."

"When Don Righi spoke about Christ's humanity ... he was affirming that he needs to be considered as a man. What his name is, where he comes from or who his parents are is secondary," he said.

Fonza said he countered that there have long been questions of Christ's existence and that the matter warranted discussion in the court.

"When somebody states a wrong fact, abusing the ignorance of people, and gains from that, that is one of the gravest crimes," Cascioli told reporters.

Righi's brother, Luigi Righi, attended the hearing and said his brother was "serene but bitter."


On the Net:
Cascioli's site:

Sunday, January 22, 2006

God, Why Hast Thou Forsaken Us?

Swiped from Simply Left Behind with the author's permission.

God, Why Hast Thou Forsaken Us?
December 25th, 2005
By Actor 212

No quotes, no headlines from articles. This post is from the heart.

Today we celebrate the birth of arguably the greatest Teacher in the history of this measly little rock in space (which brings up most of this article). Be he God, or God-like, or merely an unusually gifted man is irrelevant to that point: He has been more influential than any other inhabitant of this planet, ever.

And yet, we learned so little from Him.

If you believe, as I do, that Jesus was sent here by His Father to save us from our sins, then you have a lot of questions:

1) First and foremost, why? There are an awful lot of subqueries to ask here. A couple that spring to mind:

a) Why aren't we perfect in the first place? God made us in His image. Is He not perfect, then?

b) Why didn't God just wipe us all out like He did during Noah's time? After all, murder didn't go away when He flooded the planet, neither did theft, or lying or adultery, all of which are mortal sins according to Moses. Did God admit He failed the first time He created us? Then for heaven's sake, couldn't He have chosen a less sinful family than Noah's to repopulate the planet? I mean, you know, omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent...why a sinner like Noah? Did God run out of the clay He made us from in Genesis? And so quickly?

2) When is God going to get tired of these numbnuts who hijack His name for earthly purposes? The "War On Christmas," indeed! Can we expect another massive flood to level the planet?

3) If Revelation is accurate (a book written 300 years after Christ, by a stoned monk), then heaven only holds 144,000 souls. There are 6 billion people on the planet now, and since "souls" could mean anyone who's ever lived, we're talking about something on the order of ten billion souls. Heaven sounds harder to get into than a WASP country club for a minority.

4) Doesn't this behavior sound odd to you? A God who destroys (Noah) and humiliates His subjects (Adam and Eve, Abraham, David, Job...I could go on) in one book turns around and gives them a beautiful gift in the next? Was not an omniscient God in charge? Could He not see the failures of man ahead of time and prevent them? Didn't He get bored of running around behind us like a kindergarten teacher?

5) In fact, does not Jesus sound more like a Father than His Father does? I'm reminded often of the Star Trek (first gen) episode, The Squire Of Gothos, and that the Father is Trelane, and Jesus one of the beings that scolds him in the end. One can begin to imagine the conversation they must have had ahead of time.

6) And yet, even Jesus' teachings have failed where they count the most: the human heart. Who amongst us can claim to never have had a sinful thought?

7) Which leads me to the place Jesus' teachings should have succeeded wildly: the human mind. After all, the logic is impeccable. If you don't want to be screwed around with, don't screw around with someone else. You get what you put in. Every major religion and belief system has this at its core, this magic bank account where you deposit good will and you withdraw good will, but if you deposit ill will, you withdraw ill will (and in some systems, you even earn usurious interest rates on the order of three-fold!). Why have His teachings failed to impress the one place humans CAN control, their own minds?

Now, I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of Heaven and Earth, and His Son, Jesus Christ, who was born unto men, died for our sins, arose to Heaven where he will sit in judgement of the quick and the dead, and the Holy Spirits, the last leg of the Triune God.

I just don't believe in religion. I don't believe that man, any man, can tell me how to follow my God. Either God is so involved in the day to day affairs of each man, as He was in the Old Testament, that a priest or minister becomes superficial, that we each have a direct line to Him in our hearts, or God is so uninvolved in our lives that, through Jesus, he gave us blanket immunity from prosecution by just believing that Jesus died for our sins, in which case, priests and ministers become irrelevant (again) as we each must find our own path to salvation, that the most a priest can do for us is to point out what needs forgiving in God's eye.

A tale is told of the man who dies. He enters a large chamber, a vestibule of a sort, high vaulted ceilings bathed in white marble and white plaster ornamentation.

Across the marble floor from him are two doors.

The first door, grand white oak, with brass handles and two sentries posted in the finest guard uniforms, braided gold epaulets , which has a lonnnnnnnnnnnng line of people snaking forth from it, has an huge gilded sign over it: "Lecture On How To Get To Heaven."

The second door, perpetually open with many cobwebs across the entrance, musty, old pine, with a simple knob, is marked with a simple hand carved (by a Carpenter?) wooden sign: "To Heaven".

That doorway is empty.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

If I were god...

I were god, I'd smite a lot of those people who speak in My name. They make God out to be a mean, vindictive, jealous, spiteful SOB who most thinking people wouldn't want to be stuck-with in the afterlife... not to mention that the afterlife would be one dull, dreary place filled with penitent people in hair shirts.

"heaven, heaven is a place where nothing, nothing ever happens." -The Talking Heads.

Lately you have boobs who claim to speak on behalf of some god. And they even dare to say that the mining disaster was an act of god: "God rebuked nations who only turned to Him in their most extreme moments of need." Jesus H. Christ, do you think an all-loving God would bury people alive and slowly asphyxiate them with poisonous fumes?

There is another boob, a tv host of one of the Christian Comedy Hours whose show title indicates that only 700 people will be eligible for harps and wings in this invitation-only Rapture, who claims that Hurricane Katrina was revenge against sinners by this same, exclusivist, perpetually angry Creator and that Ariel Sharon's stroke was a punishment from God himself because God has nothing better to do than medically bitch-slap Jewish politicians. Oh, and let's not forget that 9/11 happened because of the existence of liberals, homosexuals and abortionists.

We have the biggest boob of them all living in the White House who was told by this vengeful, black-tie-and-white-Protestants-only god to be the president anointed to wipe out followers of the extremist Muslim persuasion. Yet the Muslims claim that a similar type of crabby, constipated, Allah-god told them to wipe out the American Christian capitalist pigs . And let's not forget that in this religio-wrestling card Christians are pitted against Christians and Muslims against Muslims. How many different factions of Protestantism are there now? Which one is right? When is God going to pull back curtain #1 and finally tell people which religion is the one true religion and stop getting His jollies with plagues, floods, nonresponsive governments and shifty claims' adjusters?

Frankly, I'd rather worship a nice God...a happy God...a sympathetic God. Not some creep who likes to play the cosmic version of the game of Chicken. Hey, I'll send you an earthquake and let's see how many of you can survive, heh. Then I think I'll smite a bunch of stupid poor people with a tsunami while I'm at it.

I was told that when we die, we will get the answer sheet to all the questions in the universe. Yawn. It would be nice to have the answer immediately as to what happens after we die, and I imagine we would get that information readily... but it's much more heavenly for me to connect the dots once I get some facts. Will I have a full-frontal lobotomy after I die? Because that would be a necessity if god really is planning on having a cosmos full of tee-totaling, weepy puppets that wear too much eye make-up.

After all, who wants to spend all eternity worshipping some perpetually pissed-off god? That's what I was told would happen in heaven. We would do nothing but praise the lord, with no bathroom breaks. The screwballs at the pulpits of Mega Churches all over Amerika have made their god out to be a total ego maniac. I can think of better things to do in heaven... being weightless and all... outside the constraints of time and space... I was hoping that I'd be able to dance and create music... maybe help figure out how to cure some of the diseases back on earth in my spare time outside time and space, of course. "Heaven" would be an active place, where we "make things"--like music, love, and art. A joyful eternally--in my unevangelical mind--is like a Demerol high where we spend the days doing good, making love, reconcilling with friends; not putting on a hospital gown and strummin' "What a Friend we have in Jesus" on a small lyre.

Some say that heaven is what you make it. Now that is more like it. I'll agree to spend some time in thanks and praise of the Lord if that is so... but not if I'm looking at spending eternity "in the basement," waist deep in boiling feces for running out of things to say "thank you" for. I'm not that much of an ego maniac. I would have to think pretty darn highly of myself to spend eternity thanking someone else for me, especially when there are so many other people who deserve help and intervention right now. Besides, just like EVERYONE else on Earth, there are parts of me that I am less than thankful that I hope are still under warranty when I get "up there."

If this god needs so much praise, why didn't he just cut to the chase and create us on our knees bowing down to him in the first place? Does god get a kick out of scaring the shit out of his creatures on earth with all sorts of disasters, diseases, and evil people like the Bush family who spend the majority of their waking hours making other people's lives hell while demanding their undying loyalty in heaven simply for not putting them through more hell? Quite frankly, I am not at all amused by these so-called "acts of God." What good is love and praise if they are really only fear masking itself? Surely an omnipotent god can tell the difference?

Why did god give some people brains and some not? Why do some people have the curse of critical thinking while others have the gift of ignorant bliss? Is this some sort of cruel versions of chicken? Does the lord in heaven get a burst of adrenalin when he sees perfectly sane people go bonkers when his faithful ignorami in bliss try to pass off some inane idea as sound doctrine?

If god is indeed a sovereign, then why do we even need world leaders? Why do we need clergy? Why doesn't He just come clean, come forward, come down here and rule the earth so that there are no questions as to how we are supposed to act? He could do individual smites with an explanation. That would make sense.

Here's another question: If God is all-knowing, then why did She/He create science and at the same time also create people who are too dense to learn it and comprehend it? He left it out of the bible. You would think that God would have at least given early humanoids some grasp of it.

Silly me. I am applying human qualities to god. God isn't human. It's just ridiculous to claim to think that god and I share the same type of logic and ideas about justice. It's God we're talking about. Not some mere mortal. He has his reasons for being so so playful with the emotions that he installed in his fragile creatures. Who the hell am I to even question his motives. Silly silly me. God can do whatever the hell he wants and bless us or fuck us over as much as he desires. He's God. He can just go on and keeping us guessing what sins that last hurricane were for.

Maybe one day when people stop sinning so much, god will cease to "act" upon us and we won't have to worry about the insurance company telling us that they won't pay for punishments issued by god. Then we humans can destroy the earth in his holy name based on some closeted guy's interpretation of the scriptures and then everything will be ok and the good people will be whisked away to heaven, naked and unashamed, willing to worship god for all eternity and not have to deal with that pesky 'free will' crap that was a bane to them when they were on earth.