Archive for the ‘religion’ Category

God’s Oscar Plan: Get Matty the Gold!
March 3, 2014

Matthew McConaughey thanked God for his Oscar, and attributed the “blessing” to actions of “no human hand”.

This was all part of God’s plan for him, see? You can see it, plain as day, if you think about it. It’s a pretty long term effort, all in all. Over 30 years of step by step manipulation to get his pal Matt that much deserved Oscar.  Here’s how I think it might have gone:

1) G gets crafty with it, creating HIV, a virus capable of crippling the human immune system and leading to AIDS, a condition where one’s collapsed immune response leaves him or her vulnerable to even the mildest infection.

2) Now for the dirty work.  Infect humanity with the virus, and confound efforts for a cure.  This part takes the most attention and effort, but hey, if it gets Matt that statue, it’ll all be worth it.

3) Take Plan Matty Gold to the next level! Allow pharmaceutical corporations to use their vast wealth to control the US’ Food and Drug Administration, keeping dying patients from exploring medicines which don’t line their pockets with cash. BOOYAH!

4) It’s all starting to come together now, bitches!  Because of the aggressive pursuit of the FDA, “Buyers Clubs” attempting to get unapproved medications into the hands of patients will collapse.

5) Hard part’s over! Big G on the home stretch. Simply wait around while over 30 million people are killed worldwide.

6) Give the idea of making a film about AIDS Buyers Clubs to certain filmmakers, and make sure the film gets made.  Easy peasy for the guy who came up with things like skin lesions.

7) Ensure the casting of My Boy Matthew.

8) Presto! Give that man his Little Gold Statue and DO THAT HAPPY DANCE!

Alright, alright, alright!  Not a human hand to be found in any of it.  God’s in the house and all is right with the world!

Congrats, Matt!

-JDC

Argentine Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio chosen as Pope
March 13, 2013

Today, Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio, a Jesuit from Argentina, was selected as the new Pope, taking the name Francis I.  He succeeds retired pontif Pope Benedict XVI, aka Joseph Ratzinger.

We all know about the constant scandal the Church has been mired in with Benedict, who organized the cover-up of child rape worldwide, and we can only assume this will continue with Francis.  At least until the Catholic Church starts turning priests involved with child rape over to authorities.  In addition to this, the end of the cover up of child rape, I think there are several things people with any sense would like to see from the new Pope of the Catholic Church:

1. End Priests’ Vow of Celibacy.  Let’s face it: this was always a bad idea, and is a huge part of the problem.  Let Priests marry, let them have relationships, let them have sex with men, women, ANYONE except the children in their care.

Prospects: Pope Francis is a JESUIT.  Their order takes a vow of celibacy of their own, and he is unlikely to suddenly feel it is a bad idea at age 76.  Nope, this one is not going to happen under this Pope, so Catholic kids remain at heightened risk.

2. Integrate Women into the Priesthood.  The Church seriously needs to join us in the 21st century and take this step to end their millennia of discrimination against and repression of women and start letting women join the men in leadership.  I know the book of Timothy expressly forbids it, but come on, they’ve found their way to reinterpret and work around other Biblical goofs and they can do it again.

Prospects: Ah, no. Not happening.  Jesuits are a very traditional order, and no way in hell Francis is letting this happen on his watch.  Sorry, ladies!  Of course, if you’re a woman still in the Church, you’re blind to the way they’re treating you anyway, so…no harm done.

3. Stop Condemning the Use of Birth Control.  Not only is this just a backward way of thinking, it’s done incredible harm worldwide, keeping masses of people in poverty and dying of hunger, as well as propagating the deadly AIDS virus.  In Africa alone, this aspect of the Church is, in my mind, tantamount to acts of genocide.

Prospects: Dismal and dismaller. Francis has campaigned against the use of birth control himself.  He is, ironically,  lauded as a champion of the poor, while this key stance is a deadly attack against them. And keep reading, it only gets worse from here…

4. Stop the Church’s Anti-Gay Stance.  Again, join us in the 21st century, where LGBTs are people and deserve to be treated with the same respect and love as the rest of us.

Prospects: No fucking chance.  Francis has campaigned against gay marriage, saying it will “injure the family”, against adoption of children by gay parents (the irony of which, a Catholic protecting children from supposed immorality, is so ironic it smacks you right in the face with irony), on the basis that it would “deprive them of the human growth that God wanted them given by a mother and a father”.  Right, because they’re getting so much human growth in the orphanage with no parents at all.  Genius.  Basically, this guy is a one man anti-gay army.

Sorry, folks, but it doesn’t look like the new Pope is any better for the woes of the Vatican than the old Pope.  It’s the old Popemobile Shell Game, where you keep the audience distracted while you shuffle things around and hope they never notice the bait and switch you pulled, resulting in no change at all.

Only the names have been changed to protect the guilty.

Why Can’t Atheists Stop Talking About Atheism?
December 19, 2012

I hear this all year ’round, but it’s particularly well-used around the holidays, when Christians in the US start to really feel their own privilege and attack just about anyone that doesn’t have Jesus tattooed on their face.

“Why can’t atheists just stop talking about atheism? Why do they have to be “in your face” about it all the time?”

I have several actual answers to this question, and then a follow-up answer on how you’ve imagined the whole damn thing.

Now personally, I live in Texas, where atheists are few and far between and we live in very hostile territory.  But even nation-wide, atheists are a rare breed.  Since we are so rare, it can be difficult to find others to talk to about our philosophy of following evidence and reasoning over superstition and ancient dogma. In fact, many of us believed when we were kids that we were the only ones.  I can remember getting kicked out of Sunday School because I kept asking questions and pointing out that the answers given made no sense.  Because of this loneliness and isolation, when we do find others who think like us, in person or in internet forums or social media, perhaps we overcompensate.  But it’s very nice to find you are not alone in what can, at times, seem like a crazy crazy world.

Some atheists are former believers who have come to realize that what they have been taught all their lives is simply a glorified mythology.  Those atheists experience a kind of conversion fervor, and just like religious converts, they feel so happy and right about it that they want to share that with others.  They want to talk about it and try to help others see what they have seen.  I can’t blame them for their enthusiasm, but I can see how it might annoy believers, just as believers trying to convert me would irritate me.  Look, I sympathize, but trust me, they’ll calm down eventually and settle in to their new outlook on life.  Be patient.

So there you go, a couple of reasons why you might hear atheists talking about atheism a lot.

Only you won’t really hear that.  More than likely, you’ll almost never hear it.  The reason you won’t hear it is because it’s drowned out by the non stop expressions on belief given by believers all day, every day, everywhere they go, and in every single thing they do.

When I wake up and check Facebook in the morning, I get to read the daily religious affirmations of every believer I know.  I turn on the television and am greeted by television shows with religious themes, commercials for Christian services, news showing political figures who are all believers and all discuss the effect of God on their lives.  Every radio show is brought to me believers who tell me every good thing that happens is by the grace of God.  This includes morning shows and musical broadcasts.  I pass churches on every street, with Biblical quotes and other affirmations.  Bumper stickers on a vast majority of cars are emblazoned with expressions of belief.  When I enter a business there are Christian samplers and religious symbols on the walls.  My local donut shop has an open Bible on the counter, turned towards me.  People wear religious t-shirts or carry expressions of belief.  They talk about it openly everywhere.  If someone sneezes, another person will say “GOD bless you”, sometimes putting a strong emphasis on the word ‘God’.  When I leave, I am told to have a blessed day.  Recently, I gave a co-worker of mine some advice she thought would really help her.  She told me I should be a minister.

I never stop to ask any of these people why they feel the need to be so “in my face” about their beliefs or why they talk about God non-stop.  That is considered normal and perfectly accepted behavior in society.  It is I who am the odd one.  I am afraid to talk about being an atheist or to let people know it.  I would never wear clothing that proclaimed it, and I wouldn’t DARE to show it on my car.  When my co-workers talk about God or church as they do every day, I can only smile and nod. I dare not give my opinion.  I don’t know any other atheists in my daily life, and it’s possible this is because others are afraid to say anything either.

Trust me, we are not going around talking about atheism all the time.  We bend over backwards to never be “in your face”
about it, while tolerating a never-ending onslaught of religion every day.  So if you happen to have found a tiny pocket, a safe haven where a few atheists feel comfortable finally lowering their guard enough to give their opinion on something, give them a break please.  We only want a tiny semblance of the comfort you have every day.  We’re not trying to take it away from you, and clearly, we couldn’t make a dent in the mountainous privilege you enjoy, even if we tried.

Sound fair to you?

More Than a Little Curious…
August 5, 2012

It’s here.

In just about six and a half hours’ time, the NASA rover Curiosity will land on the surface of Mars, joining its still-active brother, Opportunity, in exploring the red planet.

This time, though, we’re sending a complete organic chemistry analysis lab, capable of testing samples for the components, or remnants, of life as we know it.  For the first time, we’ll be in a great position to determine once and for all if Mars has ever supported living things.

Excited yet?

Let’s just say that drill goes down and pulls back something that tests positive.   What will it mean for us all?

My mom and I were discussing it today, and she commented “It won’t affect us.”

“Whaaat?” I said, “Of course it will! If we find even extinct life, it would mean for the first time we know life exists outside our world!  Our whole concept of the universe would change, our whole view of our place in it would change.  Science itself would be changed forever, it would be the biggest discovery of all time!”

“Well, yeah,” she added. “But that’s ALL…”

She’s a character, my mom.  But she went on to say that our daily life and experiences wouldn’t change.

IS she right?

Say NASA / JPL announce this week that Curiosity has found actual microbial organisms in the Martian soil.

How would your life change?

How would your views/beliefs change?

How would your understanding of what it means to BE alive change?

Would it be better to find out they are wholly unrelated to us and unique to Mars, or would it be better to learn we all came from the same comet strikes, or something of that sort?  Or would it matter at all?

How much more or less likely would you be to support space exploration?

Would you care at all? Or is it just something for us nerds to geekgasm over?

I can tell you that I, for one, will be watching tonight and hanging on every press release from NASA / JPL in the coming weeks. Who knows when or if such a discovery might happen / be announced?  Or it might not happen at all.  It might be that Curiosity finds nothing, except more rocks and dirt, yielding no doubt fascinating geological data, but nothing that would shake us to our philosophical and religious cores.

But that won’t stop us from wondering, and wanting to go out there more and more, and further and further, and see and touch and examine and seek and find all the secrets of the world and unlock each and every one of them.  At least, I desperately hope it doesn’t, don’t you?

Aren’t you curious?