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Black Holes Exist

Black holes exist. And one of them has a television show on Fox News. All reason, common sense, and rationality are sucked in and crushed to nothingness in a blowhard singularity. While some black holes emit radiation, this particular one emits bullshit and bigotry.

The first part is a little slow, and while I agree that the media often portrays things contrary to how they exist in reality, to state that the people on the edges deserve no voice is tyrannical. Of course, if you watch Fox News or CNN on a regular basis, you probably aren’t concerned with too many viewpoints other than those within your comfort bubble anyway.

GlennBeck copyIt’s only mentioned briefly in the video, but Glenn is so upset because of media attention that surrounded the use of the word “God” in the presidential oath of office. Old news, I know, but the principle is still important. He goes on to say that “89% of us believe in God” and “89% want the phrase ‘under God’ to stay in the Pledge [of Allegiance].” Unless two polls just happened to produce identical results, I think Glenn is making an incorrect inference. I know of several theists personally who dispute “under God”‘s presence in the Pledge of Allegiance, as it was added as an afterthought and does nothing to truly unify the people of this nation. Of course, what Glenn is really saying is that he doesn’t give a rat’s ass about the 11% of Americans who don’t believe in his definition of god.

Just another example of the elitist, blowhard babble to come from a talking head that claims to respect the voice of the unheard, except he takes the easy route by redefining the group of people that he think ought to be heard more.

Islam a Religion of Peace? Excuse Me While I Laugh

I am not a troll. I do not search out internet fora, Facebook and MySpace groups, or any other online community with the intention of creating inflamatory comments or rousing rabble of any sort. That doesn’t mean that I’m not tempted to do so from time to time. Usually, I just like to gain some perspective, see how people debate and support their positions (on all sides), and sometimes get some good ideas for blog posts.

I came across a doosie of a group a while back while browsing MySpace groups about Islam. There is a section devoted to the groups “rules”, some of which are very telling about not only the religion of Islam, but the sacred protection religion thinks it deserves in discourse.

The first few rules are reasonable enough:

  • No hate speech
  • No bigotry
  • No attacking another person’s religion

While I do not think that there is any such thing as hate speech in the way it is typically defined, I don’t think that every forum should have to be a stage for debate. No big deal so far, but the next few are quite revealing.

  • Non-Muslims are welcome and will be protected
  • Non-Muslims have the right to ask anything they wish. However if they abuse their privileges they will be banned!!!!!!
  • Anybody insulting my religion of Islam or my holy prophet Muhammad (saaw) will be banned !!!!!!!!!

It doesn’t say great things for your religion if you have to reassure non-adherents of their protected status when joining for discussion. Oh, and as for that discussion, ask anything you want, but don’t abuse those privileges. What the hell does that even mean? Is this like Scientology in that they will answer questions until one of the questions pisses them off or makes them reveal something embarrassing or heinous about their belief system? For instance, if I wanted to ask “How does the holy prophet Muhammad taking a child wife and consummating the marriage with intercourse when she was only 9 years old fit in to traditional Arab marriage roles during that time?”, I would probably be banned.

Even though it is a perfectly valid question whose basis is well document in the Hadith (Sahih Bukhari Volume 7, Book 62, Number 64), this question would almost certainly be seen as an affront to Islam. As a non-adherent, this is a topic on which I would like more information, and what better place to ask questions than in a forum of Muslims?

Well, thinking about all of this again got me wanting to visit the group and put forth my two cents. Having bookmarked the link, I clicked through only to find that the group is no longer accessible. The group still shows up in search results, but cannot be viewed, which could possibly mean that the group has been made private. I’ve included the link in case it should ever be accessible in the future.

Rationality Present Aplenty in Fiction

The above video is a clip from Firefly featuring a dialogue between characters River Tam and Shepherd Book, a preacher.

If only more people would take River’s stance in this clip. Unfortunately, most people take the view of Reverend Book.

“It’s not about making sense. It’s about believing in something, and letting that belief be real enough to change your life. It’s about faith. You don’t fix faith. It fixes you.”

Want to know how I read that? “It’s not about making sense. It’s about letting disbelief take over your better judgments, and letting your muddled judgment blindly guide your life. It’s about faith. You don’t trust your better judgment. Let faith ‘fix’ you.”

Happy Mother’s Day!

holy-motherFirst, I would like to wish all of the mothers out there a very Happy Mother’s Day! While I am personally a big fan of letting my mother know how much I appreciate her every time I speak to her, I am not out to rain on anyone’s mother-loving parade.

I would, however, like to rain on some theists’ nonsensical-beliefs parades.

I was listening to XM earlier, and instead of playing music, the DJ, who was blabbering on about shit that I could care less about, decided to close his verbal segment with some quotes about mothers. I don’t subscribe to XM to hear talk on a music channel, but I was too close to home to be channel zapping for alternate programming. One quote, as I’m sure you’ve guessed, stood out.

“God couldn’t be everywhere. That’s why he invented mothers.”

Yeah, I get it. You’re setting out to raise mothers to a godlike standard because they do indeed balance a frightfully heavy load when it comes to child rearing. But in repeating this, what every Christian is actually doing is impugning the omnipresence of their own Lord and Savior. For my Christian-troll readers, I don’t want to hear any of your, “It’s a joke you angry atheist! If you stepped down off your soapbox once in a while to stop persecuting people, maybe you’d have a sense of humor.” To responses like that I can only respond that this phrase does indeed lower God, and should be phrased so many of the other infinite ways it could be worded to give a boost to moms. Why, like so many other “cute” and “fun” sayings, has this caught on as an oft-repeated maxim without any critical thought given to its meaning?

It reminds me of a shirt, sign, or some other crap that I saw at Cracker Barrel that said, “And on the 8th day, God created chocolate.” No he didn’t. He just didn’t. There is no scripture to back this up, and instead of critically analyzing the natural processes that have formed every living thing on this planet, you instead create humor out of one of the most nonsensical leaps in logic in the world: the creation story. This gets repeated with many other things apart from chocolate: beer, Marines, tattoo artists, Legos, hairdressers, ad infinitum. Unlike moms, who deserve more than a pat on the back, these selfish people seek to create some kind of humorous inference related to the creation story that they are somehow special. Guess what? You’re not. You’re a sheep, and a dumb one at that.

Happy Mother’s Day! Unless you are a mother that stifles her children’s learning and discovery of the world by force feeding them bullshit stories from ancient, poorly-edited texts. If that’s the case, I hope the Mother’s Day Fairy leaves you coal in your apron.