Showing posts with label Christianity. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Christianity. Show all posts

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Why Is Pat Robertson Still on TV?

It's time for the Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN) to follow EWTN's lead and "fire" one of its long-standing television personalities, who has lost his grip on reality.

Pat Robertson once again shows that he has no compassion for women and non-Christians.  He also displays his lack of respect for the institution of marriage, by condoning domestic violence.  His words are reprehensible.

In the video below, a viewer asks Robinson for advice on dealing with his wife, who "has become a real problem" and has "no respect" for him "as the head of the house."  Robinson's response is for her to move to Saudi Arabia so he can beat his wife.

Here's the video:

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Hate Crimes, Shootings, Guns, Domestic Terrorism, and the History of Ignorant Attacks on American Sikhs

The focus of this blog is most commonly the violence and hatred with which hypocritical religious individuals and institutions shower LGBT persons.  After last weekend's mass shooting at a Sikh gurdwara in Wisconsin, I am again made painfully aware of the violence and hatred that religious individuals and institutions are capable of hurling at those of other religions.  This shooting is another in an endless line of violence that results from the tragic combination of ignorance, hatred, religion, and weapons of mass destruction.  


Ignorance:  The Huffington Post article shares numerous quotes of those who perpetrated these crimes.  One murderer said: I'm a patriot and an American. I'm American. I'm a damn American," "I'm going to go out and shoot some towel-heads," "all Arabs should be shot," and his desire to "slit some Iranian throats."  There is a common pattern in the listed crimes: the Sikh victims were ignorantly assumed to be Muslims, specifically members of the terrorist organization al-Qaeda.  

Sikhs are not in any way Muslim, nor are they the members of al-Qaeda responsible for 9/11.  Neither are nearly 100% of the world's Muslims and/or Iranians.  Yet, innocent Americans of these backgrounds have now been the victims of eleven years of domestic terrorism perpetrated by self-proclaimed "real Americans."  Ignorance breeds hatred and violence.

Religion:  From what I've been able to research (I'm by no means an expert on Sikh beliefs.), the founders of the Sikh religion, the Sikh Gurus, did not believe in the exclusivity of their teachings or writings.  Contrast this with the founders of Judaism, Christianity, Islam, and Mormonism, who all believed that they had a divinely-inspired, exclusive claim to the one and ultimate truth.  In other words, our god is better than your god(s).  This is a recipe for violence in the name of one's supreme being.

Weapons of Mass Destruction:  Glock semiautomatic pistols and handguns have been usedin  the recent mass shootings in Oak Creek, Aurora, Tucson, and Blacksberg.  The high-capacity magazines that have been used with them have been created with one purpose only: shoot as many bullets in as few seconds as possible. The result is mass destruction, injury, death, and terror.

We live in a nation, where the right of a U.S. citizen to legally buy these weapons of mass destruction trumps the right of every other citizen to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.  After last weekend's attack upon the Sikh gurdwara, we again see that the right to bear weapons of mass destruction also trumps the right to peacefully assemble and the right to worship or not worship as one sees fit.

We accept many limitations on our rights.  It's illegal to drive at unsafe speeds, because the result might be death.  It's illegal to smoke at many indoor establishments, because the result might be cases of lung cancer for those standing nearby.  It's illegal to self-prescribe medications, because one might do harm by means of an overdose or uninformed mixing of drugs.  It's illegal to drink and drive, because one might cause an accident killing others.  

If we accept these limits on our rights to perform these actions, because the result of these actions might be injury and death to others, why can we not accept limits upon the right of citizens to purchase and stockpile the semiautomatic weapons and high-capacity magazines that have been the tools used to reap terror, destruction, hatred and death upon so many innocent Americans?

How many more times must the tragic confluence of ignorance, hatred, religion and weapons of mass destruction be allowed to occur before we legislate concrete, preventative measures to ensure the safety of all Americans? 

In the meanwhile, the ignorance of a few will continue to result in hate crimes perpetrated against the many.  



Here's what Lawrence O'Donnell had to say about the NRA after the tragedy in Aurora, CO:
Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Biblical Marriage & Traditional Christian Values

How can one argue with what's in the Babble?  

Come on, conservative Christians, let's stick up for "traditional" values and legislate these religious beliefs:
I came across this chart on Facebook.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Jesus Was Just as Wrong about the Rapture as Quack Harold Camping

"Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results."

     Fundamentalist Christian and multi-millionaire Harold Camping's doomsday prophecy was wrong.  Again.

     We're still here. As if there was any doubt.

     Robert Fitzpatrick, a retired transportation agency worker in New York, said he had spent more than $140,000 (£86,000) of his savings on advertisements in the run-up to 21 May to publicise the prediction. After 1800 passed and nothing had happened, he said: "I do not understand why... I do not understand why nothing has happened. I can't tell you what I feel right now. Obviously, I haven't understood it correctly because we're still here." 
     "I had some scepticism but I was trying to push the scepticism away because I believe in God," said Keith Bauer, who travelled 4,830km (3,000 miles), from Maryland to California, where Mr Camping's Family Radio is based, for the Rapture. "I was hoping for it because I think heaven would be a lot better than this Earth," said Mr Bauer, a tractor-trailer driver, who took the week off work for the voyage. 
     Other followers said the delay was a further test from God to persevere in their faith. 
     [Camping] has predicted an apocalypse once before, in 1994, though followers now say that only referred to an intermediary stage.
     How did other "mainstream" Christians respond?  According to the BBC, "Many Christian groups however dismissed Mr Camping's ideas, with some describing him as a 'false prophet.'"

     Here's the thing.  The "god is testing our faith" and "false prophet" arguments have been used by Christians for two-thousand years to justify the delay of the parousia -- $140,000 word for "the rapture," ArmageddonApocalypse Now (and Later), Judgement Day, the end of the world, eschatology or whatever you want to call it. 

     Mainstream Christians--you know, like Catholics--much like some of Camping's followers, believe that the world is in an "intermediary" stage.  But the Catholic Church has a fancy two-thousand-year-old "Tradition" to pimp up its explanation with "accepted" and "scholarly" theology.  

     Catholics believe in an "already, not yet" realization of their god's "Kingdom" here on earth.  Let me dust off my Master of Divinity from the oldest Catholic seminary in the United States to explain this.

     Jesus, his disciples, and Paul believed that the end of the world was going to happen in their lifetimes.  They instructed people to leave their jobs and families, to stop marrying and having children, and to give away all possessions.  This is in the scriptures --"the Kingdom of God [sic] is at hand," "Anyone who does not leave father, mother, sister and brother behind has no place in my Kingdom," and so on.  Harold Camping's doomsday claims were a time-tested Christian incentive to trick vulnerable people into draining their bank accounts and children's college funds or to leave their fishing boats rotting on the shores.

     Early Christians believed that the world would end within a generation of Jesus' death.  But, when it didn't, they had to revamp their eschatology.  The shock and fear of this realization is evident in the New Testament, as "believers" struggle to understand and accept the not-so-immanent coming of the "Kingdom."  Over the centuries the Catholic Church developed it's "already, not yet" understanding of the coming of the "Kingdom." When Jesus died and "rose" from the dead, the "Kingdom" was made known in the world, but was not yet fully realized.  That will happen when Jesus "comes again" and the end of the world.  

     There will be "false prophets" who will predict the end of the world, but believers should not give into the temptation to believe them.  (It seems the Church learned from the mistakes of its founders.)  All of this is one big "god is testing our faith" argument.  

     But today's mainstream Christians call Camping crazy.  They are revolted by these modern day quacks who predict the end of the world.   They need to take the "Kingdom come" plank out of their own eyes and look at the failed predictions of their Jesus and saints.

     Christianity has been wrong for two millennia about the end of the world.  One reason that Harold Camping made headlines is to justify the denial that Christians have about the inconstancies, fallacies, and failure of their own scriptures and savior.  If Harold Camping is a quack, then so was Jesus of Nazareth.

     I feel sorry not for the adults that were scammed by Camping, but for their children.  Frightening your children into believing the world will end, now that's child abuse.


     Perhaps instead of Harold Camping and his saved followers disappearing, it's time that the world's many gods disappeared.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

For Harold Camping...



Postscript:

     The world didn't end and guess who's millions of tax-exempt dollars richer? 

     CNN reports:
     At the center of it all, Camping's organization, Family Radio, is perfectly happy to take your money -- and in fact, received $80 million in contributions between 2005 and 2009. Camping founded Family Radio, a nonprofit Christian radio network based in Oakland, Calif. with about 65 stations across the country, in 1958.

Friday, May 20, 2011

REM Music Tribute to Harold Camping's Homophobic End of the World "Prophecy"

     Have you noticed the billboards around the world?  Be afraid!  "Judgement Day" is upon us.

     Again.

     I'm not talking family-values politician Arnold Schwarzenegger's spousal termination and judgment day.

     Tomorrow, May 21, 2011, is going to be the start of the five-month Christian "apocalypse."  The Christian making this absurd prediction is Harold Camping of  Family Radio.  
Don't forget to purchase your celebratory t-shirt.
     Of course, Camping long ago discovered the lucrative nature of rapturous merchandising. He wrongly predicted the end of the world to happen back in 1994.  Why anyone continued to follow him is beyond me.  I guess you just gotta "have faith."

     Guess which minority is being scapegoated as bringing on the "end times."   Ding.  Ding.  Ding.   Went the bell.  You guessed it: Gay Pride.  (Evil laugh.)  Check out homophobic Mr. Camping's incredible document, "Gay Pride: Planned by God as a Sign of the End."  Don't be surprised if FamilyRadio.com  has crashed.  What an omen that would be. 

     If you are a heretic, who will be left behind after the rapture for five months of unattended sin-time, don't worry.  You can join the half a million hellions who are attending the "Post Rapture Looting" party on Facebook.  Tonight, I'm camping out on Rodeo Drive.

Monday, May 2, 2011

While America Rejoices in the Death of Osama bin Laden...

     "Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that."* 

--Martin Luther King, Jr.
*See Correction

     If only we as a nation could show that kind of intelligence and control.  Instead, the likes of preacher-turned-politician-turned-FOX-personality-turned-politician Mike Huckabee continue the jihad of hatred by welcoming Osama bin Laden to hell.  

     What happened to "love your enemies and pray for your persecutors"?  

     Along with usury, caring for the poor, protecting children, and reaching out to those on the margins, many Christians in the U.S.A. have forgotten their scriptures.  The hatred spewing forth across the nation under the guise of celebration will only breed more hatred for the truly ugly American.

     Am I relieved the world is free of one more religious fundamentalist determined to kill in the name of his god?  Yes.

     But will I rejoice and boast?  This atheist will not.

     Get some class, America.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Visual Aid: If Marriage Equality Becomes a Reality What Will Happen?

     Here's visual aid concerning all those nasty claims and myths from right wing Christians, Catholics and Mormons concerning same-sex couples' civil-marriage rights courtesy of Political Ironing at the PBH Network.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Lawrence O'Donnell Blasts FOX's Bill O'Reilly and Glenn Beck for Their "Concerns" about Japan

     Here's Lawrence O'Donnell's reaction to Bill O'Reilly's claims that the news media is falsely "hyping" the tragedy in Japan, while O'Reilly's FOX compatriot Glenn Beck invokes Revelation, "these days," and the end of the world as we know it.  Beck's god "may or may not be" punishing Japan with the earthquake/tsunami and "may or may not be" coming to eradicate the human race.  O'Donnell blasts Beck's fear-driven eschatology and hate-based theology.  How refreshing to see reason over religion on the news!

Monday, February 28, 2011

Anti-Gay Christian Fundamentalist Rev. Grant Storms Arrested for Masturbating in Public Park while Watching Children

     Hypocrisy alert: Rev. Grant Storms, another outspoken, hate-spewing, anti-gay Christian cleric, goes down in a sex scandal involving children.  

     The Rev. Grant Storms, a Christian fundamentalist best known for his bullhorn protests of the Southern Decadence festival in the French Quarter, was arrested for allegedly masturbating at a Metairie park Friday afternoon...Storms told deputies that he was merely having lunch at Lafreniere Park, 3000 Downs Blvd., in his van when he decided to relieve himself using a bottle instead of using the restroom, an incident report said.
     But two witnesses said they saw Storms through the open windows of his van masturbating himself while watching children on the playground, the report said.
     Armed with bullhorns, Bibles and picket signs, Storms and a group of followers in 2003 protested against Southern Decadence, the gay three-day festival held over Labor Day weekend in the French Quarter. Storms' efforts prompted the New Orleans City Council to ban megaphones and other amplification devices.
     And we gays are the ones they're calling pedophiles.

Rev. Storms, Masturbator,
and Possible Pedophile

Friday, February 25, 2011

The Taliban and the Tea Bagger, Part MMMDCCLXIII: Loving Christian Republicans Laugh at Town Hall Question, "Who Is Going to Shoot President Obama?"

     Here's a follow-up to yesterday's post.

     Salon reports:
     Here's the latest evidence that nothing has changed in post-Tucson America: A person at a Tuesday town hall with Rep. Paul Broun, R-Ga. [Baptist], got up and asked, "Who is going to shoot President Obama?" 
     The exact wording of the question is not clear because, the Athens Banner-Herald reports, there was a lot of noise at the event. Perhaps more significant than the question was the response of the crowd and Broun, who is a member of the Tea Party Caucus and one of the most right-wing members of Congress. 
     The question prompted a "big laugh" from the crowd, in Oglethorpe County, Ga., according to the Banner-Herald. Broun, for his part, did not object to the question.  [Click here for the rest.]

     So much for any post-Tuscon civility.   On average, 34 Americans die from guns every day.  If you are looking for gun laws to change and a way to help bring down the statistics, check out Mayors Against Illegal Guns.  They are a bi-partisan coalition trying to do something about this gun-inflicted terror raging within our nation.

     As for the anti-union, anti-healthcare reform, anti-government GOP myth, how quickly they have forgotten their party's history.  Look at what a little bit of history reveals about Presidents Reagan, Eisenhower and Nixon (from the San Francisco Chronicle's article about the California Assembly recognizing President Reagan a few weeks ago):
     "Eisenhower supported unions, and Nixon advanced health care reform that was more ambitious than what President Clinton proposed and certainly more than what President Obama got," he said. "President Reagan was a member of a union. He was the first president to allow a black couple to spend an evening at the White House. And he even imposed taxes when he was the governor of California. He created the welfare program in California, and he did it not only as a Republican but as a patriot. It's important to recognize his contributions."
      The speeches prompted one Democratic staffer at the back of the chamber to quip, "Who's this left-wing nut job they're talking about?"
     The answer: someone they would threaten to shoot, were he president today.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

"Highlights" for Adults: the Tea Partier and the Taliban

     Here's a simple exercise reminiscent of the ones I completed in Highlights as a child, but this one is for adults.  What happens when a tea partier and a Taliban run into each other?

     Via BuzzFeed:

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Glenn Beck's Hateful Anti-Christ Theology, Bill O'Reilly's Tide Argument, FOX "News" or the Church of Rupert Murdoch?: a "Scientific" Explanation

     Here's Rachel Maddow's report on Glenn Beck's "reporting" about the connection between President Obama, the "antichrist," and the "end times."  Even ten years ago, this religious nonsense would have been laughed off as crazy by reputable news organizations, but now it's broadcast as "news."  If you don't think they're effective, you might be shocked to discover in the embedded report that 35% of the people polled in New Jersey--not Mississippi, Idaho, Arizona or Texas, but politically diverse New Jersey--think that Obama is either the "antichrist" or don't know whether or not he is.

     What Glenn Beck and FOX are doing is not reporting.  As I listened to him, I recognized his method; I learned to structure such a presentation in seminary, in my homiletics classes.  Beck  is preaching--admittedly poorly--the religious xenophobia of fundamentalist Christians.  FOX is not a news organization, but a church.  (Let's just hope Holy Father Rupert doesn't realize this and apply for religious tax exemption.)

     In other FOX "News"/Gospel preaching, Bill O'Reilly has been arguing for the existence of his god based on what he claims is humanity's inability to explain the rise and fall of the tides and the origin of the moon and the sun.  The Huffington Post reports:
     In a video for Premium Members of his website, Bill O'Reilly doubled down on his statement that the existence of the tides is definitive evidence that God exists.  
     The Fox News host took a lot of heat for claiming that science cannot explain why the tides occur in such a regular fashion when in fact the tides are the combined effects of the gravitational forces exerted by the moon and the sun and the rotation of the Earth.
     O'Reilly remains unimpressed:
     'Okay, how did the moon get there? How'd the moon get there? Look, you pinheads who attacked me for this, you guys are just desperate. How'd the moon get there? How'd the sun get there? How'd it get there? Can you explain that to me? How come we have that and Mars doesn't have it? Venus doesn't have it. How come? Why not? How'd it get here?'
     In fact, prevailing scientific theory is that the moon formed as the result of a massive impact with Earth; Mars has two moons; etc, etc. 
     And those who continuously say, "See it's just a scientific 'theory'!" need to learn the actual scientific meaning of the term before projecting their colloquial usage.  A scientific theory is a proven scientific hypothesis.  (We should have learned this in middle school science class or even sooner.)

     There's a great explanation of this middle-school wisdom on Wilstar.com.  Here's a clip:
     A theory is what one or more hypotheses become once they have been verified and accepted to be true. A theory is an explanation of a set of related observations or events based upon proven hypotheses and verified multiple times by detached groups of researchers. Unfortunately, even some scientists often use the term "theory" in a more colloquial sense, when they really mean to say "hypothesis." That makes its true meaning in science even more confusing to the general public. In general, both a scientific theory and a scientific law are accepted to be true by the scientific community as a whole.
     Here's the equation of the day.  Don't worry, it's easier to comprehend than E = mc2.

     Scientific Ignorance + Religious Fundamentalism = FOX "News" Hypotheses about the Tides, the Moon, and President "antichrist" Obama

Monday, January 31, 2011

Inhospitable Christian Sodomite Elder Bobby Harries Denies Entry of LGBT Homeless to Church Shelter

     Elder Bobby Harris is the head of the House of Mercy homeless shelter in Columbus, Georgia. If you're homeless or in need, his religious shelter is there to offer you refuge. Unless, of course, you happen to be gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender. If that's the case, Elder Bobby Harris has a few short words for you: "[Homosexuality] is not tolerated here at all."
     So much for that Christian obligation to help all who are in need. At the House of Mercy, there's apparently a sexual orientation and gender identity litmus test.
      Elder Harris spoke to WRBL in Columbus this week, after numerous activists (including over 1,000 Change.org members) wrote the shelter criticizing the House of Mercy's policy to deny gay homeless people shelter. Harris stuck to his guns, and reiterated his previous statement that the reason LGBT people weren't welcome at his center was because "of the Bible."
     In an irony of Biblical proportions, when I studied the Old Testament in seminary, I learned that mainstream scripture scholars concur that the actual "sin of Sodom" was failing to provide hospitality to those in need of a roof over their head.

     Thus, Elder Bobby Harris has revealed himself a true Sodomite.

     Many will argue that it's freedom of religion for Christians to discriminate against LGBT persons, the separation of church and state.  True.  They can use their money to be as cruel and mean to people in their pews as they want to be.  But guess where Elder Bobby Harris gets some of his funding?  You guessed it.  He's using U.S. tax dollars to discriminate.    Change.org continues:
     But as Alex Blaze uncovered at Bilerico, the House of Mercy sure looks like it receives some federal grant money, at least according to its 990 form. Moreover, Georgia's government approved a measure last year that earmarked $75,000 for the House of Mercy, via the state's Special Housing Initiatives program. That's an awful lot of taxpayer money to be giving a shelter that refuses to serve and shelter all who are in need.
     Harris' tax exemption should immediately be revoked.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Anglican Priest Show's up at David Kato's Funeral to Condemn Gay Mourners

     A gay civil rights leader is bludgeoned to death by a hammer in his own home after a local newspaper outed him and called for the hanging of all gays.  Terrified, shocked, and friends, family, and supporters bravely gather to mourn the assassination of their leader.  What would Jesus do?

     Ugandan police have escorted a priest away from the funeral of a gay rights activist after he told homosexuals to repent, sparking scuffles.  Anglican priest Thomas Musoke told mourners that homosexuality was "evil".
     Hundreds of people had gathered for David Kato's burial in his home village near the capital, Kampala...hundreds of people - friends, family, colleagues and diplomats - crowded outside Mr Kato's family home in the village of Nakawala in Mukono district, 40km (about 25 miles) from Kampala.  Many members of the lesbian and gay community wore T-shirts with Mr Kato's portrait on the front and the words "La luta continua [the struggle continues]" printed on the back.
     They were shocked when the priest started condemning homosexuals.  "You must repent. Even the animals know the difference between a male and a female," he said, before warning that they would face the fate of residents in Sodom and Gomorrah, the biblical cities destroyed by God.  Gay rights activists then stormed the pulpit and prevented the priest from continuing.
     An excommunicated priest who has in the past called for people to respect the rights of homosexuals then presided over the rest of the service.
     So, let me get this right.  The practicing Anglican priest, who is supposedly his god's vessel of grace on earth and guide to heaven, berated the mourners with death threats of Biblical proportion.  The excommunicated priest, who has supposedly been cut of from his god's grace and will be punished with an eternity in hell, reached out to the mourners, cared for them, and buried the dead.  It sounds like Anglican hell beats out Anglican heaven as the better place to be. .  

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Hypocrisy Today: Iowa's Republican House Goes after Same-Sex Marriages AND Anything Resembling a Domestic Partnership

     When the Religious Right and their anti-gay Republican (and sometimes Democrat) allies repeatedly claim that they're not against same-sex couples having equal civil rights as long as it's not called "marriage," they are lying.

     A proposed amendment to the Iowa Constitution in the newly-elected Republican-controlled Iowa House is proof.

     The Des Moines Register reports:
     The Iowa House Judiciary Committee approved a proposal Monday to amend the Iowa Constitution to prohibit same-sex marriages.
     The vote was 13-8, with Rep. Kurt Swaim, a Bloomfield lawyer, the only Democrat to join Republicans in supporting it. The resolution is now eligible for debate by the full House
     The amendment would not only prohibit same-sex marriages but also would deny state recognition to arrangements such as civil unions and domestic partnerships.
     The resolution reads, "Marriage between one man and one woman shall be the only legal union valid or recognized in this state."
      Once again, it's okay to lie and hit people with your god-stick, as long as Jesus is on your side.