Friday, December 30, 2011

Why Evolution isTrue

I'm posting for you. You know who you are and you know I know that you come here often and never comment. I hope you will watch all of this video and give it some thought.
And for everyone else...well 'nuff said.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Christmas is not Christian

I got a call from a friend last night and she was laughing hysterically. She had received my Christmas card. You, sent a Christmas card? I can't believe it, she said. What, I said, I am not allowed to wish you a Merry Christmas because I am an atheist? Of course, she said, it is a Christian Holiday. No, it isn't.

The truth is that Christmas is no more owned by the Christians than the American government. Sure, there's some genuine Christian content to the holiday. Originally celebrated as early as 354 AD by the Christian church, it most definitely is a Christian holiday -- to Christians. Even so, modern Christians may not want to spend too much time pushing their own holiday's historical context. Through most of the Middle Ages, Christmas might have been a celebration of Jesus' birth in name, but it was a celebration of booze and debauchery in practice. It wasn't until the 19Th century that it became a child-focused family holiday

In a broader perspective, there has always been the needling realization by Christians in various times and places that very, very few of the traditional celebratory practices or images are about Jesus. They are much older, much more Pagan, and ultimately, at odds with the prevailing message of the Christian Christmas story.

To the Christians who claim there's a War on Christmas, here's the bitter reality: The only war is the one being waged by Christians trying to rewrite history -- again -- to make it seem like Christmas has always been some kind of love-fest for Jesus. American Christmas in particular has been almost the polar opposite. It was largely ignored until it became remade into a good story line for a children's movie -- not a movie about Christ's sacrifice, but a movie about a magical gingerbread house in the North Pole, and Jolly Old Santa, and Rudolph, and Frosty, and the Grinch.

Read more here.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Pervasive in our Society

Religion is so pervasive in our society that I am unable to go to the doctor without encountering some nut that starts “testifying” in the waiting room. I was quietly waiting for my turn when this woman began to tell us all about how her “god” had provided so well for her. She said we must refuse to be sick and then we would be well. She said that she had not had the flu in 7 years because she had “faith”. A gentleman to my right said that all the faith in the world wouldn’t stop the flu; if you got it, you got it.

She then proceeded to tell us how her mother had been very ill and she had “prayed” her well. I asked her why she was at the doctor’s office. Oh, just for a checkup after surgery, she said. Really? So the doctor must have had something to do with her recovery, I said. Oh you know, she said, my god works through the doctor. The gentleman to my right said, well; seems strange that an all powerful being would need the help of a mortal man. The lady on my left, laughed out loud.

I ran across an article today that I think deserves attention. I find it refreshing that more and more people are coming to reason against all odds. The pressure is great in the US; not so much in Europe or Asia but here: We are drowning in religion.

I’ll speak to this quote from the article:

“Until the beginning of 2003, I was a believer. The belief was not taught, but came naturally to me as a consequence of the environment I grew up in.”
What are we doing to our children when we “protect” them from reality in favor of tradition and superstition? It is time we grow up in this country. We do not need the myths of old; we need reason and rationality.

Our educational system is laughable when we are 25th in Math and 17th in Science. Look here if you doubt my word. I understand why we are behind Finland but South Korea? Come on, we haven’t had near the problems that country has had. In my mind it is only one reason: religion and its grip on our population.

From the above article:

“The nature of religious belief is so insidious, that it needs to pervade, to spread like a cancer away from its source. An astonishing majority of the population of believers is deeply busy in trying to disseminate their odious doctrine to others, and none-too-gently, too! It is more often ‘My religion is better than yours, so convert or die’ kind of treatment, or it is done on the sly – ‘Want medical care? Come to Jesus’ kind of way. Religious indoctrination has progressed to such ludicrous levels that the ‘faithful’ often pull out the ‘religious belief’ card at every possible instance to explain their intransigence and imperviousness to common sense. They are trying – very actively – to spread their brand of stupidity to education, healthcare, politics, and other walks of life. If this is not actively countered, it will end up destroying our basic humanity.”

Christopher Hitchens

Salman Rushdie wrote, "Goodbye, my beloved friend. A great voice falls silent. A great heart stops."

A great man died. I feel personally touched by his life and he will be sorely missed by many, the least of which am I. His words led me out of darkness and made me think; gave me reason to live by. For many of us he was the first we read on our journey out of religion. I will always think of him as having been the star of the new atheist movement. He was one of the four horsemen; and the best in my mind. I will miss him.

From PZ
Hitch is dead. We are a diminished people for the loss. There can be and should be no consolation, no soft words that encourage an illusion of heavenly rescue, no balm of lies. We should feel as we do with every death, that a part of us has been ripped from our hearts, and suffer pain and grief — and we are reminded that this is the fate we all face, that someday we too will die, and that we are all “living dyingly”, as Hitch put it so well.

As atheists, I think none of us can find solace in the cliches or numbness in the delusion of an afterlife. Instead, embrace the fierce strong emotions of anger and sorrow, feel the pain, rage against the darkness, fight back against our mortal enemy Death, and live exuberantly while we can. Confront mortality clear-eyed and pugnacious, uncompromising and aggressive.

It’s what Hitch would have wanted of us.

It’s how Hitch lived.