Religion


Ricky Gervais: “Wow. No God. If Mum had lied to me about God, had she also lied to me about Santa? Yes, but who cares? The gifts kept coming. And so did the gifts of my newfound atheism. The gifts of truth, science, nature. The real beauty of this world. Not a world by design, but one by chance. I learned of evolution – a theory so simple and obvious that only England’s greatest genius could have come up with it. Evolution of plants, animals, and us – with imagination, free will, love and humor. I no longer needed a reason for my existence, just a reason to live. And imagination, free will, love, humor, fun, music, sports, beer, and pizza are all good enough reasons for living.”

Bill Gates: “Just in terms of allocation of time resources, religion is not very efficient. There’s a lot more I could be doing on a Sunday morning.”

Isaac Asimov: “If I were not an atheist, I would believe in a God who would choose to save people on the basis of the totality of their lives and not the pattern of their words. I think he would prefer an honest and righteous atheist to a TV preacher whose every word is God, God, God, and whose every deed is foul, foul, foul.”

David Cross: “Oh, so I was watching that show – uh, the fuck – the show where the, uh, there’s the guy on stage and then everybody in the audience believes that he, uh, has contact with the dead and spirits talk to him… Crossing…? No, no, no, no – it was church.”

Jodie Foster: “There is no direct evidence, so how could you ask me to believe in God when there’s absolutely no evidence that I can see? I do believe in the beauty and the awe-inspiring mystery of the science that’s out there that we haven’t discovered yet, that there are scientific explanations for phenomena that we call mystical because we don’t know any better.”

Ingmar Bergman: “When you die, you are extinguished. From beingyou will be transformed to non-being. A god does notnecessarily dwell among our capricious atoms.”

Douglas Adams: “If you describe yourself as ‘atheist,’ some people will say, ‘Don’t you mean ‘agnostic?’ I have to reply that I really do mean atheist. I really do not believe that there is a god – in fact, I am convinced that there is not a god, a subtle difference. I see not a shred of evidence to suggest that there is one. It’s easier to say that I am a radical atheist, just to signal that I really mean it, have thought about it a great deal, and that it’s an opinion I hold seriously. It’s funny how many people are genuinely surprised to hear a view expressed so strongly.”

Janeane Garofalo: “Organized religions and their dogmas only serve to indoctrinate the participants into sheeplike common behaviors. This type of blind assimilation promotes the popularity of top-forty count down radio stations and movie sequels. Skepticism towards groups, holy or otherwise, is enriching and makes you a far more entertaning person.”

Roger Ebert: “I hope to be spared as much pain as possible on the approach path. I was perfectly content before I was born, and I think of death as the same state. What I am grateful for is the gift of intelligence, and for life, love, wonder, and laughter. You can’t say it wasn’t interesting. My lifetime’s memories are what I have brought home from the trip. I will require them for eternity no more than that little souvenir of the Eiffel Tower I brought home from Paris.”

Katherine Hepburn: “I’m an atheist, and that’s it. I believe there’s nothing we can know except that we should be kind to each other and do what we can for each other.”

Brad Pitt: “I’m probably 20 per cent atheist and 80 per cent agnostic. I don’t think anyone really knows. You’ll either find out or not when you get there, until then there’s no point thinking about it.”

Joaquin Phoenix: “I don’t believe in god. I don’t believe in an afterlife. I don’t believe in soul. I don’t believe in anything. I think it’s totally right for people to have their own beliefs if it makes them happy, but to me it’s a pretty preposterous idea.”

Daniel Radcliffe: “I’m an atheist, but I’m very relaxed about it. I don’t preach my atheism, but I have a huge amount of respect for people like Richard Dawkins who do. Anything he does on television, I will watch.”

Frank Zappa: “The whole foundation of Christianity is based on the idea that intellectualism is the work of the Devil. Remember the apple on the tree? Okay, it was the Tree of Knowledge. “You eat this apple, you’re going to be as smart as God. We can’t have that.”

Sarah Polley: “I don’t have faith in anything but my fellow human beings and the world around me. I have strong faith in people, but not beyond people. The world is a beautiful place, it’s a beautiful enough place for me to worship and have faith in and – it’s enough for me.”

Lately everyone has been getting their panties in a bunch about a mosque or community center or whatever it’s called being built by one of the targets of the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001.  Let’s keep in mind that building a place to worship or a “community center” (whatever that means) is an awful lot different than flying a plane into a building.

Hitler was a formal member of the Catholic Church.  Based on the crazy logic people are using these days, there would be a lot of places in Europe that it would be insensitive to have Catholic churches.  Especially if you are Jewish.

Here’s something else for you to get all radical about.  The Pentagon, which was another target of the September 11th attacks, actually has a mosque in it.  It’s not two blocks away from the site.  It’s actually on the site.

Representative Jerrold Nadler, a New York Democrat, said the federal government shouldn’t put any pressure on local officials regarding the mosque. There is a mosque in the Pentagon, also a target of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, which hasn’t drawn any criticism, Nadler said.

You can check out the whole article here.

I, for one, would be all for working out a compromise.  Like getting rid of all of the churches near Ground Zero regardless of what people worship there.

I’m not exactly sure when I first remember hearing about this whack job, but it was within the span of a few years ago. The first thing I remember hearing about this guy is that he tried to claim bankruptcy, didn’t file his tax returns properly, and stated that his motivation for claiming that he wasn’t a United States Citizen and had no income or possessions was because everything he owned belonged to God.

That’s a little glimpse of the mental capacity of the man in the title.

Typically (sadly) this wouldn’t strike me as anything more crazy than I’d hear on an average day on the news. However, what captured my attention and I found particularly agitating was the fact that this man had his PhD. “Why does this bother you so?” you might ask. Well, it’s because someday I’d like to have my PhD (or at least my EdD), and this ass-clown is really devaluing the worth of a doctorate.

I’m sure by now you’re wondering how this one person could single-handedly destroy the value of the most prestigious academic achievement mankind has to offer. In order to better understand this, let’s dig a little bit deeper into the life of this big, dumb man-child and see what comes about. **Brace yourselves for large bouts of laughter, followed by immediate feelings of nausea and remorse, please.**

“Dr.” Kent Hovind completed his bachelor of religious education degree at Midwestern Baptist College in Pontiac, Michigan in 1974. He was awarded his Master’s degree in 1988 from Patriot University in Colorado Springs. By 1989 he founded the Creation Science Evangelism Ministry and by 1991 had earned a “doctorate” in Christian Education from Patriot University as well. Now the problem with all of these degrees that Kent was earning was that Patriot University was (and is still) a non-accredited university (accreditation is an award given to universities that prove the quality of their education through all kinds of different, rigorous measures. My alma mater is NCATE accredited, for example). It may be misleading if you go to their website, however, because they claim that they’re accredited, just not by the ‘government.’  It’s accredited by God.  Unfortunately for the graduates from Hillbilly U., God’s signature of accreditation is worth about as much as accreditation from Santa Claus.

Now, onto some other points of interest in Hovi’s life. Don’t worry, we’ll get back to his academic credentials in a hot minute.

For now though, let’s move onto another facet. A little place I like to call…

Dinosaurs! Adventures! All in the comfort of this creepy guy’s backyard!

Kent is also the creator of Dinosaur Adventure Land (DAL), a theme park based on creationism located behind his house in Pensacola, Florida. Yes, he’s serious. Read a little bit about Dinosaur Adventure Land here and try not to pee your pants as you giggle. Learn about dinosaurs, principles of science, and even how to make a paper airplane that can fly over 300 feet! Wow! I’m really excited about the paper airplane! I hope the Tyrannosaurus Rex teaches me how to make it! How this swindler made enough money to build a theme park in his backyard is well beyond me. Parents, this is precisely why you don’t tell your kids growing up that they can do anything. Because some of them may actually try.  And then be successful.

If you’ve already booked your flight to Florida to visit Dinosaur Adventure Land, however, you may want to check and see if you can get some vouchers for those tickets; DAL is closed indefinitely due to Kent’s federal tax evasion charges. Oh, and also because he didn’t obtain a building permit from the city of Pensacola before he built an amusement park in his backyard. There were 58 tax-related charges levied against him before he decided that he needed to try and save DAL for the children by deeding his theme park to his brother, Eric Hovind, and his equally zany partner in crime, Glen Stoll. Unfortunately, that’s illegal and is considered tax evasion. You don’t get points for trying and all you probably did was piss the federal government off more. They just want to seize your assets, Kent. And The Man gets what The Man wants.  Unlike your god.

“Ahh, first ones here! And you know why? ‘Cause we’re the Griswalds!”

Now, all of this wackiness isn’t really even what irks me the most about the guy; the federal charges, using God as an excuse as to why he didn’t file his taxes, the zany theme park he built for himself in his backyard (that does kind of bug me, actually. What a waste of money). What does bother me, however, is that this man refers to himself as “Dr. Hovind”, or, on his crazy-ass website, as “Dr. Dino”.  I’d like to preface what I’m about to show you with just how hard earning a PhD should be.

In a nutshell, on top of the coursework required by the university you attend, in order to obtain a PhD you have to create an original piece of academic research. Along the way you submit pieces of this research to publications so that, basically, everyone can bash it and you can see how well it holds up to the criticism of other professionals in the field. The peer review process is absolutely brutal, but necessary, to ensure the legitimacy of the research. After years of research, writing, rewriting, repeating, you submit your final thesis to be reviewed by a counsel that determines whether its an original, acceptable body of research or not.

I’ve seen this process bring some of the smartest, motivated people I’ve ever met to their metaphorical knees. But in the end, the collection of work submitted is (or should be) immense, compelling, and influential.

My interest was piqued about this crazy bastard and what kind of crazy, genius sociopath he was.  I had built him up to ‘Brain’ status from the Warner Bros. ‘Animaniacs’.  Simply diabolical.  How else could he get away with the shit that he got away with for so long?

I had built Kent Hovind up to this status in my head.

After reading his dissertation, I will tell you how:

People are dumb.

I tried to read Hovind’s work, but it’s like a dammed Shakespearean tragedy.  I laughed.  I cried.  Eventually I just wanted to give up and read the cliff notes.  If you’d like, you can check out his dissertation right here.

If you’re not feeling overly ambitious about reading some terribly written bullshit, let me give you the abridged version.  “Dr.” Hovind’s doctoral dissertation begins as follows:

Hello, my name is Kent Hovind. I am a creation/science evangelist. I live in Pensacola, Florida. I have been a high school science teacher since 1976.

Holy shit.  I feel like he just introduced himself at a speed dating convention.  After suffering through minutes of that man’s work, I value his doctoral status less than Dr. Seuss, Dr. Dre, and Dr. Pepper. All of whom I think are more qualified to lecture to anyone about anything more than Kent Hovind. At least Doctors Seuss and Dre are fun to listen to. Hovind writes like a dammed fourth grader.

Another favorite:

I will be quick to point out that “there is nothing new under the sun” Most of my ideas are the result of the input of hundreds of Godly men and women through the years.

God dammit.  I may wretch on myself.

I’m glad you’re admittedly writing your dissertation about nothing new.  That should really help advance the field of whatever the hell it is you’re rambling on about for pages and pages and pages.

Hovind is a charlatan of the worst caliber.  A stupid one.  A man trying to sell ketchup popsicles to as many ladies wearing white gloves as he can.  And then he has a stash of white gloves waiting in the wings.  And the ladies can see them.  But they still buy the popsicles anyways.  I would probably be a little less frightened if I thought this lunatic didn’t actually believe in the shit that he does, but I have a sneaky suspicion that he thinks the Earth is only 4,000 years old and that Jesus rode on dinosaurs while he was helping the blind to see again.

Yep.  He’s definitely one of those guys.  One of my favorite parts in that video has to be when he references a leviathan.

“Now what on earth is a leviathan?” he asks.

Hopefully you’re not wondering the same thing, because he answers his own question by saying, “I think leviathan is probably Tyrannosaurus Rex.  I don’t know.  I can’t prove this.  But I’ve read it many times and it seems to fit and it may or may not be right, but I’m preaching tonight so for tonight it’s Tyrannosaurus Rex.”

He does, however, digress into some interesting facts about T-Rexes though.  And I have to admit, they sound pretty awesome.  I hope he can make up some more shit about dinosaurs in the Bible.  In fact, from now on, let’s just call dinosaurs ‘leviathans’ instead!  Then, I’ll go catch a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow and sleep with my 75 virgins waiting for me after I save the Easter Bunny from the deadly clutches of Frankenstein’s monster.

Of course I can’t prove any of that is actually possible.

Thanks for diluting the field, Kent.  After listening to his pointless story about how his mom drug him behind their vehicle on his bike using a rope, I guess I kind of get an idea of the gene pool his family swims in.  I hope you enjoy prison, you dick.

This is the cartoon drawn by Lars Vilks that pissed extremist Muslims off in 2007. Seriously.

You may know Lars Vilks as the Swede who published a series of drawings depicting Islam’s prophet Muhammad as a dog. Apparently having nothing better to do, Islamic extremists around the globe threatened him with death, one organization even going as far as offering $150,000 for his murder. Of course, this reaction was exactly what he predicted and only furthered his point, which was that everyone in the world should be entitled to freedom of speech, regardless of how offensive it might be (I’m offended by the Bible’s condemnation of women and homosexuality – should I riot and attack anyone that preaches it?).

Recently, you may have heard about Vilks giving a presentation on free speech at Uppsala University in Sweden, where almost immediately he was assaulted by protesters who amount to little more than savages. Fortunately, only his glasses were broken before police stepped in. You can watch the entire ten minute insanity below.

In the final minutes of the film, the fools cheer with “unrestrained jubilation” at the announcement that the presentation will stop due to security reasons – perhaps not realizing that they only furthered the point of what Vilks was trying to convey: religion is dangerous to free speech (and society). Religion deludes the mind. You cannot possibly view this video and come to the conclusion that these folks are not completely delusional due to their religious beliefs.

They bullied to get their way with threats of violence and to “take him out,” meanwhile only furthering the resentment of their religion around the world for the hundreds of millions who already believe Islam to be a religion of hate, violence, and bigotry (which, for the vast majority of Muslims, it is not).

Days after this, Vilks home was set fire, windows were smashed, and bottles of gasoline were thrown in. Thankfully, it did not burn to the ground.

Sometimes, all I can do is sigh and shake my head.

“We didn’t, like, evolve from anything. That doesn’t make any sense. I mean, how can, like, an African American person evolve from a white person? We’re different skin.”

I’d like to make a joke about this, but Great Scott! – creationism has absolutely no place in the science classroom. If the school I taught at were to ever teach it in our science classes, I would fight it – while eagerly offering to teach a “World Religions” or “Religious Mythology” elective in its place – and if the fight were lost, I would resign without any hesitation. Teach the history behind Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism, etc. in a Global Awareness social studies class, and I’m fine with it, but there is no room for teaching mythology in a science class.

Scientology cannot cure stupidity. Yet.

Most organized religion is baseless rhetoric.  Other than the Church of Baseball, I don’t trust religions farther than I can throw them.  However, when Scientology came around, it raised the stakes to a whole new level.  Crappy science fiction author and completely insane person L. Ron Hubbard penned the doctrine for mindless lemmings to follow back in 1952.  It promotes concepts like ‘auditing’ (making the tax term seem much more reasonable in comparison), in which members of the religion pay to learn how to cleanse themselves of spiritual and physical toxins and ‘thetans’, which are souls that have lived on other planets before they made their ways here.

Needless to say, it’s a pretty nutty cult.

Recent revelations have taught the public just how insane these Scientologists really are.  After signing a contract for a (laughably) one billion years, when someone decides that they’ve finally had enough of the crazy Scientology shenanigans they dedicated themselves to, they have to go through an arduous ‘exit process’.  If they don’t go through the process in its entirety, they risk being excommunicated by their family, friends, spouses and even children.  This threat is used as the fear mongering carrot to entice Scientologists to stay in the weird Alice in Wonderland-type cult they joined.  When asked about this practice, Head Whackjob, known only as the supervillain ‘Mr. Davis’, said it was no different than practices by other religions, such as Catholics and the Amish.

Oh.  Well, I’m glad that makes it okay to cut someone off completely from their friends and family to help preserve your cult.  Dick.

More and more people are now coming out of the woodwork to share just how crazy this fictitious ‘religion’ is and hopefully it’s the start of some common sense striking  the ignorant masses.

Sources: 1, 2

According to Elton John he was.

“I think Jesus was a compassionate, super-intelligent gay man who understood human problems. On the cross, he forgave the people who crucified him. Jesus wanted us to be loving and forgiving. I don’t know what makes people so cruel. Try being a gay woman in the Middle East – you’re as good as dead.”

You know, he did hang out with twelve dudes all the time, never talked about ladies, and loved designer sandals.  Could you imagine the repercussions to organized religion if it turned out that Jesus was gay?  Ladies and gentlemen, the next big Vatican-conspiracy-led story by Dan Brown: Jesus and the Penis.

Jesus and the Apostles.

Source: 1

I really miss this guy.

I learned a lot from my third grade teacher.

Good thing that we have good rabbis like this to help us open our eyes. And to think, I almost wanted “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repealed until this man blew me away with such a logical, truthful explanation for what will happen if gays are allowed to openly serve in the military. Whew.

Sorry, I can’t take this guy seriously at all. What a nonsensical nut. Thank you Blag Hag for bringing this to my attention.

For those of you who don’t know the classy guy in the photo above, that’s evangelical preacher ‘Pastor Ted’ Haggard.  He’s a complete charlatan, by the way; he preyed on people who were too ignorant to think for themselves by stealing millions of dollars from the ones that attended his ‘church’ and bought his incredibly insightful literature, like The Pursuit of the Good Life.  This was all the while, mind you, that he had a three year affair with a prostitute by the name of Mike Jones, whom he not only banged, but solicited for methamphetamines.

People like Haggard make my skin crawl.  There’s not a sincere thing about this guy and watching videos of him and his bigoted propaganda spinning is truly disgusting.  This guy, as Mike Jones can attest to, however, does have balls.  After resigning from (or being fired from) all of his religious posts and exiling himself to heterosexual bootcamp, Haggard asked his flock for money so that he and his wife could attend the University of Phoenix online.  Yes, it’s very difficult to go to college full-time and manage the mortgage on a $700,000 house when you’re a recovering drug addict and massage-loving homosexual.  But, undoubtedly, people gave this idiot their cash.  God, I hope the IRS digs through this guy’s taxes.

My favorite part of this fraud’s nasty career as a minister of the good Lord’s message isn’t that he was preaching against homosexuality while banging male prostitutes, or that he was taking crystal meth, or that he, on the surface at least, believes that homosexuality can be ‘cured’, or that he went on Oprah and stated that his wife should divorce him (because who would want to go through one of the most difficult trials of their life with the person they committed themselves to spend the rest of it with, right?  How’s that phrase go?  “When the cat goes away…”).  The fact that this guy spoke to former President George W. Bush, while completely insane and disturbing, isn’t it.  That he attended Christian university Oral Roberts, while somewhat funny and ironic, isn’t even it.  No.  None of that is my favorite part of this guy’s story.

I most enjoyed watching his evangelical “friends” distancing themselves from him completely.

The religious leaders whom Haggard was friends with, left him high-and-dry after his revelation of recreational drug use and banging a male prostitute.  Close friend Dr. James Dobson said he didn’t have time to participate in restoring Haggard “from being gay to not gay.”  Sorry, Ted.  I guess your homosexual soul is doomed to burn in hell for all eternity.  Some of my other favorite burns included:

Some fellow conservative Christian leaders got in their digs yesterday. “We’re sad to see any evangelical leader fall,” the Rev. Pat Robertson said on his television show, “The 700 Club.” But, he added, it “just isn’t true” that the NAE represents 30 million churchgoers, as the association claims.

The Rev. Jerry Falwell, speaking Thursday night on CNN, said Haggard “doesn’t really lead the movement. He’s president of an association that’s very loose-knit . . . and no one has looked to them for leadership.”

Check out the original article citing some of Haggard’s good buddies here.

To me that shows not only what kind of people these incredibly compassionate ministers are (hopefully you don’t need to borrow any milk from them anytime soon), but what kind of person they knew Haggard was as well.  Someone that wasn’t worth spending five years with to make him magically not gay again.  And, there’s your religious leaders, folks.

Anyways, here’s Roy Zimmerman’s take on Ted Haggard here.  If you get a chance, check out Zimmerman’s youtube channel.  It’s absolutely hilarious.

There are very few times that I would consider punching a woman in the face. Had I been esteemed biologist and outspoken atheist Richard Dawkins during this interview, I am sure this would have been a time that it would have crossed my mind, especially when she constantly says CREE-A-TORE with that condescending smirk on her face. Mostly just out of pure evolutionary instinct. From Proud Atheists:

Wendy Wright is a creationist and President of Concerned Women for America (CWA), the nation’s largest public policy women’s organization. Miss Wright promotes legislation and international policies that are beneficial to women and families, briefs congressional and presidential staff on pro-family issues, and trains grassroots activists. She is frequently interviewed in national media on moral, social and political issues. Miss Wright was named among “The 100 Most Powerful Women of Washington” in 2006 by the Washingtonian Magazine. The National Pro-Life Religious Council awarded Wendy for her “continuous leadership in the cause of life.”

During the interview Wright constantly asks for the evidence that supports evolution while ignoring facts like fossils and DNA. Even though Wendy Wright is not a scientist in any field, her comments and replies to questions are very typical of many American Christians regarding evolution. Belief in mythology is not facts.

What I find to be totally ironic is how a creationist can demand evidence or proof of evolution and yet their belief has no physical evidence. They base their beliefs on illegitimate works of God.

Click on to see the rest of the 7-part debate.

(more…)

The entire world has witnessed the tragedy that has befallen Haiti. There are early estimates that the death toll may exceed 100,000 – and even if that isn’t the case, the devastation is still catastrophic. Despite the violence and looting that is taking place in the country, it is warming to see the international community and organizations coming together to do their best to provide aid and relief. In much of the country, fresh food is a near impossibility to get a hold of, as is fresh water. People are actually breaking open water lines so they can fill buckets with fresh water to keep them alive and hydrated. Even as people around the word donate money and bottled water and canned foods, the demand is just far too great.

There is one organization that decided to take some serious action in this time of suffering and pain though. They are sending Haitians exactly what they need more than anything: Bibles – and not just any Bibles, but the audio Bibles known as the Proclaimer, which are solar powered and can run up to fifteen hours before needing recharged. Despite the fact that gifts, by definition, do not cost money and they carry a price tag, the Proclaimer is, according to the website, “a gift from God” in which “inspiration for it came during three days of fasting and prayer.” Wow! Best of all, they have these in their native language of Haitian Creole. Who needs food and water when they can have the salvation of Jesus Christ?

They are doing this as their little way of “providing faith, hope and love through God’s Word in audio”. Oh, what’s that you say, Miss Haitian Who Lost Everything? Jesus’s salvation isn’t very filling? Well, know that after you die your long and painful death of starvation or malnutrition, there will be plenty of water and food waiting for you at the pearly gates. I also hear that they have some great recreational shuffleboard.

Or, we could just face reality. These people are morons. The Haitians don’t need audio versions of the Bible. These people need food. They need water. They need medical assistance. They need shelter. Besides the fact that these Christians are preying on the emotionally unstable (which should be an international crime), the amount of money being spent on these must be unbelievably high. 600 have already been sent and they are aiming for a total of 3,000. The company’s official website does not list the price of the audio Bible in Haitian Creole, so I called to inquire, but unfortunately they were closed and I received only a brief audio message talking about the hope that Jesus can bring me, when the only hope I had was that somebody could give me a damn price on one of these useless machines.

With that said, if this money that was being completely wasted was spent elsewhere (and I’m going to take a wild guess that one of these around in the $40-50 range, so you can do the math) it would certainly assist hundreds, if not thousands, of desperate Haitians. Unfortunately, these religious whackjobs are too busy promoting their religious beliefs. Or maybe, just maybe I am wrong and these will provide the Haitians with exactly what the FCBH website says: “God’s Word can demonstrate that God understands their situation and has not forgotten them.”

Right.

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