Friday, September 29, 2006
Monday, September 25, 2006
Saturday, September 23, 2006
Feminists and homosexuals have taught us the value of consciousness-raising. A phrase like “One man one vote” either causes you to flinch, or is uttered with intent to make you flinch. It is nowadays almost impossible to hear the phrase with its original innocent meaning of “One adult person one vote.” Some atheists and freethinkers try to raise consciousness about, for example, the phrase ‘under God’ in the US Pledge of Allegiance. I am more interested in raising consciousness about something else: the habit, practised not only by religious people, of labelling children by the religion of their parents. This is a Catholic child. That is a Muslim child. I want everybody to flinch when they hear such a phrase, just as they would if they heard, That is a Marxist child. It is immoral to brand young children with the religion of their parents. At present, hardly anybody’s consciousness is raised to this. I would welcome suggestions, perhaps from those with experience of the feminist and gay campaigns, for the most effective ways to raise consciousness. I would like such consciousness-raising to be a particular project of this foundation.
For somebody who claims religion is a thought virus, this seems like an oddly naive hope. The only way to kill a virus is to quarantine it until it has no more carriers. And that, of course, smacks a little too much of a "final solution" and is completely unacceptable. I think we're going to be stuck with religion until the Singularity happens.
Thursday, September 21, 2006
Monday, September 18, 2006
President Bush said yesterday that he senses a "Third Awakening" of religious devotion in the United States that has coincided with the nation's struggle with international terrorists, a war that he depicted as "a confrontation between good and evil."WTF? He senses a "Third Awakening?" Senses it how? Coincided with the nation's struggle? WHAT STRUGGLE? Does he mean the struggle against American citizens who still beleive that America should befree? And how can Bush behave like this and expect to be considered the good guy?
Commentary more to my style from CorrenteWire:
And now we’ve got Bush telling The Base how to frame his campaign: As the Third Awakening.The problem with Bush is that it just doesn't matter that he's an idiot. The people who handle him and put words in his mouth are not idiots. Rove is a bloodthirsty master strategist. Over the years I have watched him in awe and disgust. He must be just laughing his cold ass off about this. This is pure evil genius, that's what this is. Third Awakening my ass. New Dark Age is more like it. We will be a nation of technologically advanced delusional dumbasses.
Enough to make you vomit. The greatest proof for atheism is that a just God hasn’t struck these people down.
"Once there was a time when all people believed in God and the church ruled. This time is called the Dark Ages." ~ Richard Lederer
"When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in a flag, carrying a cross." ~ Sinclair Lewis
Sunday, September 17, 2006
The third stage, “Arising and Standing Up,” will last from 2007 to 2010. Al Qaeda’s focus will be on Syria and Turkey, but it will also begin to directly confront Israel, in order to gain more credibility among the Muslim population.
In the fourth stage, lasting until 2013, Al Qaeda will bring about the demise of Arab governments. “The creeping loss of the regimes’ power will lead to a steady growth in strength within Al Qaeda,” Hussein predicts. Meanwhile, attacks against the Middle East petroleum industry will continue, and America’s power will deteriorate through the constant expansion of the circle of confrontation. “By then, Al Qaeda will have completed its electronic capabilities, and it will be time to use them to launch electronic attacks to undermine the U.S. economy.” Islamists will promote the idea of using gold as the international medium of exchange, leading to the collapse of the dollar.
Then an Islamic caliphate can be declared, inaugurating the fifth stage of Al Qaeda’s grand plan, which will last until 2016. “At this stage, the Western fist in the Arab region will loosen, and Israel will not be able to carry out preëmptive or precautionary strikes,” Hussein writes. “The international balance will change.” Al Qaeda and the Islamist movement will attract powerful new economic allies, such as China, and Europe will fall into disunity.
The sixth phase will be a period of “total confrontation.” The now established caliphate will form an Islamic Army and will instigate a worldwide fight between the “believers” and the “non-believers.” Hussein proclaims, “The world will realize the meaning of real terrorism.” By 2020, “definitive victory” will have been achieved. Victory, according to the Al Qaeda ideologues, means that “falsehood will come to an end. . . . The Islamic state will lead the human race once again to the shore of safety and the oasis of happiness.”
Saturday, September 16, 2006
Based on what he told police, David McMenemy's plan to destroy an abortion clinic worked out much differently in his head from what played out Monday in Davenport, Iowa.
McMenemy, 45, most recently of Rochester Hills admitted dousing the interior of his silver 2004 Saturn with gasoline he had in a Gatorade bottle and plunging the vehicle into a women's health clinic early that morning. And he told police he planned to die in the ensuing fire.
But the clinic whose lobby the native Detroiter drove into -- the Edgerton Women's Health Center -- doesn't perform abortions or even provide referrals for them. And the impact wasn't enough to cause a fire, so McMenemy had to pour more gas on the car.
And once it was ablaze, he scratched his plan to kill himself when he realized it was going to be painful.
No one was injured.
And yes, people: this is terrorism.
Friday, September 15, 2006
Thursday, September 14, 2006
Wednesday, September 13, 2006
Tuesday, September 12, 2006
Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go [and] sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come [and] follow me. ~ Mat 19:21
One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me. ~ Mar 10:21
Yet lackest thou one thing: sell all that thou hast, and distribute unto the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, follow me. ~ Luk 18:22
Does God Want Us to be Rich?
Um... no. But I guess that's a little beside the point now, isn't it? I find it extremely curious that none of the verses above appeared at all in the Time article. How is such an oversight possible in an article concerning the Bible's take on wealth? Prosperity Lite seems to me to be proof that religion (and by extension, God) is a creation of people. Funny how this new religion reflects the consumerist culture from which it sprang.
These megachurches preaching Prosperity Lite are, to me, a frightening product. Just as radical Islam takes advantage of our own freedom of religion to plot harm to us, under the guise of the same we are looking at nothing less than the rise of a new powerbase in America. They are using freedom of religion as an avenue to political power. This looks to me like the rise of a new class in America: the religious wealthy. Yes, we have had wealthy religious people before, but I can't help feeling there's something fundamentally (sorry, had to!) different about this new batch of praise-singers.
And yet, the more things change, the more they stay the same. Might makes right. Religious power is political power. These people will soon be running for office across the land, and they will win. Theocracy will have arrived at last. Dominionism will have its day. A new Dark Age will begin, but the majority of the people will not recognize it or even care, because a theocracy is what they wanted. Even if it isn't, moderate Christians will not speak out against it. You think I exaggerate? Time will tell. I would love to be wrong about this.
There is a counter-movement living closer to the ideal expressed in the verses above, but it will change nothing for obvious reasons: they have no money and power on earth. I actually kind of admire the new monastics. If I were a believer, I would be attracted to this ideal. One thing it doesn't do is overtake the government or impose itself on me. But unless they actively fight Prosperity Lite, they will be in the unfortunate position of benefiting from the actions of the evangelicals without having to do any of the work.
The church at the center of this "faith of prosperity" is the Lakewood church, linked above. You can watch what services are like here or below:
This isn't church—it's a broadway spectacle. Notice how there is no real learning or lessons, only entertainment and empty emotional appeals. The shared groupthink of the audience carries itself along on an emotional high mistaken for a spiritual experience.
What frightens me the most is how everybody holds up their right hand.