About Kazz

My name is Shawn Esplin and I am an advocate of Free Thought and general good sense and thought in general. To that end, I encourage people to seriously question the things that they have been taught, especially as children, because many of these things - religious and secular - are taken on faith until we actively choose to seriously examine them for ourselves.

Jesus says “Make war not love”?

According to Brother Jed, before he found Jesus he was a cowardly hippie having sex instead of fighting in Vietnam, but he would be killing people in Iraq today if he wasn’t so old. Is this really what Jesus would want, or did Jed get the wrong message?

Maybe converting to Christianity wasn’t the best thing for him. As little as I want to think of him making love, making war is much worse, and thinking that your killing is justified by the creator of the universe may give you a self-righteous feeling about your killing, but it doesn’t make your victims any less dead.

As Jed himself suggests at the end of the video, maybe he is a false prophet. Maybe we should think more broadly though and consider the likelihood that all “prophets” are false.

Brother Jed vs Normal Bob Smith – Round 2

March 16, 2009
10:00 amto4:00 pm
March 17, 2009
10:00 amto4:00 pm
March 18, 2009
10:00 amto4:00 pm
March 19, 2009
10:00 amto4:00 pm
March 20, 2009
10:00 amto4:00 pm
March 23, 2009
10:00 amto4:00 pm

3 years ago this month, as Brother Jed made his annual visit to ASU, the Secular Freethought Society invited Normal Bob Smith to provide some amusing opposition for Jed. The event was fun and successful enough that Bob and the SFTS decided to do it again!

All next week, and the Monday after, Brother Jed will be at ASU, and Normal Bob will also be there from Tuesday through Friday of next week. It should be a lot of fun, so if you have time to come out and see us next week, it would be a great time to do it.

We’ve already introduced Brother Jed, but Normal Bob Smith is something completely different.

Creator of such fun and infamous sites as Jesus Dress Up where you can dress a crucified Jesus in various funny costumes, Normal Bob has been dropping the hammer of humor on religion for nearly a decade.

Among other things, he dresses up as Satan and goes out to talk to people, as seen in his movie Bob Smith USA.

Bob will be out from 10 AM to 4 PM or later, Tuesday through Friday, and he will be showing his movie at ASU on Thursday night at 6:30, and in downtown Phoenix at the Anarchist Library on Monday night. The exact time will be posted when available.

In case of schedule changes (which have been a problem with Jed this year), check back here or look at Bob’s schedule and Jed’s schedule directly before you show up, and then just look for a leathery old preacher and Satan.

Yahweh? No way!

Those of you who have read the Bible, particularly the “Old Testament”, should be familiar with the character of its jealous, vengeful, cruel god. Even if you have never read the Bible though, you are most likely familiar with some of the more despicable actions supposedly taken by Yahweh, the god of the Bible.

Just to refresh your memory though, here are a few of Yahweh’s most infamous misdeeds.

  • He put a tree in the Garden of Eden which, being omniscient, he knew Adam and Eve would eat from, but he told them not to anyway. Then when they did, as expected, he condemned them and all future life on Earth to death.
  • Humans tried to build a tower to heaven, Yahweh got scared and destroyed it. He then messed up everyone’s languages so they couldn’t understand each other and scattered them all over the planet, guaranteeing an inability to understand each other and endless wars in the future.
  • He demanded that his “chosen people” mutilate their babies’ genitals and kill and burn countless animal sacrifices just because he liked the smell.
  • He also ordered them to commit genocide after genocide while taking “the promised land” by force in endless wars rather than using his omnipotence to whisk the “evil” people away and let his own people live in peace.
  • He destroyed the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah with fire and brimstone, and when one member of the single family he decided to save looked back at the horror show he was putting on, he turned her into a pillar of salt.

Oh yeah, and he also drowned the entire world (except for 2 of each unclean animal, 7 of each clean one and 8 humans…how kind of him to spare them).

All of this is just scratching the surface of the malevolence of this spiteful monster, and because of this and so much more the Bible’s god is supposed to have done, I say Yahweh? No way!

Are you brave enough for Leprechaun Jesus?

On Tuesday someone stumbled on our Let’s Get Hammered shirt and decided to unleash it on the social media site, Reddit. Their post was titled Even I don’t have the nerve to wear this! and so far, despite nearly 10,000 visitors, few have shown the sense of humor and balls to actually wear it.

Might it provoke a drunken Christian to take a swing at you? Sure, but if he doesn’t black out this is an image he won’t soon forget! Images like this may seem mean or distasteful, but they are meant to be taken as twisted humor, and if there’s anything that needs its more humorous side poked, it’s religion.

Today is the last day of our Saint Patrick’s Day sale (17% off $25 or more with coupon code MARCH19), and probably the last day to get a shirt before the holiday without rushing the shipping, so if you think you’re brave enough for Leprechaun Jesus, now is the time to show it.

For those of you considering purchasing multiple items to qualify for the sale, here are a few recommendations:

If you want something funny and you don’t care if you piss people off, we have the brand new design Yahweh? No way!, Pwned Jesus, and of course Let’s Get Hammered.

Those of you who want something more friendly that shouldn’t land you in hot water in most places might want to try Smile, There is no Hell.

If you’re not sure which way you want to go, Faith: Is there anything it can’t do? or Give up God for Lent may help you decide whether you’ve got the nerve for the more offensive end of the spectrum or not without being quite as blatantly offensive to Christians.

If you’re brave enough to face drunken Christians while wearing the crucified LepreChrist though, there really is no better shirt for Saint Patty’s Day.

Shocking Revelation: Other Animals Think Too

In their attempts to pretend that the species homo sapiens (human) is somehow not part of the animal kingdom, and is instead uniquely created very different from and above all other life on Earth, creationists often go to great lengths to convince themselves that all other animals are essentially automatons working purely on instinct. I’ve even heard some of them claim that animals do not think or make any decisions at all.

Of course this idea is ridiculous on the face of it, as anyone who has ever had extended and thoughtful interactions with animals can see, but due to communication barriers between us and other animals, the level of thought that they are capable of is difficult to discern, and nearly impossible to prove to someone who doesn’t want to understand. Even worse, many scientists have been very skeptical about the cognitive abilities of other animals, and obtaining the unequivocal evidence necessary to persuade them has been difficult.

That is why recent observations of the actions of Santino, a 31 year old male chimpanzee at the Furuvik zoo in Sweden, are so exciting. It is not that he is by any means alone in displaying the ability to think deeply, but his actions are very clear and easily identifiable, and most importantly well observed and documented.

So what did he do that was so special? During the season that the zoo was open, and only during that season, he collected stones while the zoo was closed and made piles of them around the side of the enclosure where tourists would gather to watch him. Later, when the zoo was open and people came to stare at him and annoy him, he would go back to his caches of stones and hurl them at the visitors!

He would even smash the concrete to get more good throwing stones, which became more important once the zoo keepers started confiscating his piles of rocks. Santino’s rock throwing may not seem nice, and we may be tempted to think it’s beneath us, but what would a human prisoner who wanted to look tough and get rid of the gawkers do in his situation? Probably the same thing.

The reason that this particular behavior was so important was that Santino was showing a very clear ability to remember and think about what had happened in the past, and then anticipate and plan for future events. This is an ability which had been widely thought to be exclusively human, but it’s time to either start calling chimpanzees human or admit that other animals may have much greater mental capabilities than we once believed.

Or maybe this is all a mistake and God was just using this poor dumb animal like a robot to stone the horrible sinners at the zoo for him, but more likely Santino just wanted them to leave him alone, and the stones were the best ammunition he had to encourage them with.

Sadly, if it was God using him, and if God had big plans for his future, those plans are probably doomed to failure now because Santino is no longer eligible to enter into the congregation of the lord since he has been castrated (Deuteronomy 23:1). It has curtailed his anger, but what a price to pay!

What’s the matter with you, Hat?

What’s the matter with you, Hat? is a song by Pink Munky which is basically just a bunch of samples of recordings of L. Ron Hubbard, creator of Scientology saying crazy, racist and just plain stupid things.

Did you know that not smoking enough causes lung cancer? I guess either Scientologists haven’t heard the more crazy things Hubbard said or they’re just so brainwashed that they have to try to explain away the most ridiculous parts rather than recognizing them for what they are and seeing the whole tapestry start to unravel. That seems to be the way it goes with a lot of religions/cults though…

15% Non-religious? Let’s pretend they believe!

I just watched a segment of Lou Dobbs Tonight talking about the decline in religious belief over the past decade or more, and I am very annoyed with the guests who were chosen and what they said.

The two guests for the piece were blowhard Bill Donahue, President of the Catholic League, and Tony Perkins, President of the vile Family Research Council. Did anyone actually expect to get a good unbiased view of the subject from these guys? Donahue is an enormous ass on the conservative end of the Catholic spectrum, and of course Perkins is off the deep end, and both are very opposed to us and most of what we stand for.

Neither of them was anywhere close to speaking for the 15% of people who explicitly stated in the American Religious Identification Survey that they were not Christians and not religious. Apparently 15% isn’t enough to get a voice on television. There are enough of us to get religious people on to talk about us and dismiss us, but I guess it’s too much to ask to have someone who even remotely represents our views there to defend us.

Essentially both of the guests tried to downplay the loss of faith, attempting to claim the large number of non-religious people who aren’t ready yet to say that there is no “higher power” as their own, and claiming that due to the bad economy, terrorism and other problems, people are going to come crawling back to them.

Bibles don’t stop bullets

Where are the miracles? Really, on the same show I saw that a man in Illinois had walked into a church, talked to the pastor and then shot and killed him.

The pastor tried to block the shot with his Bible, but of course it failed. If God’s most devoted servants can’t hope for his protection in His own house of worship, then where can we hope to see a miracle?

Maybe we can’t expect to see them because they just don’t happen.

It’s sad that that point is somewhat true, but the fact that they not only admit that this kind of suffering and hopelessness is what brings people to their business but seem to be proud and smug about it is disgusting. It’s like an undertaker rubbing his hands with glee as he hears about a horrible disaster because it will bring him business.

Most personally annoying to me was the fact that they basically dismissed atheists and even agnostics as inconsequential, and they could do it because none of us were there to defend ourselves.

They may not admit it, but they must know that the people who have fallen away from religion may very well end up as atheists or permanent agnostics, especially if we are brave and open enough to present our side, and they should know that there are many of us out there.

If you are an atheist or agnostic, or if you have any other minority view on gods and the supernatural, please don’t keep it to yourself. The majority needs to be challenged, and the people who are on the fence need to be informed about the serious debate on these subjects, not just indoctrinated by a new church without ever knowing another way is out there.

Let’s show people like Bill Donahue and Tony Perkins that we actually are out here, and that we will not be ignored and stepped on by them and their ultra-conservative religious agendas anymore.

Let’s Get Hammered

Ah, Saint Patrick’s Day. A time to celebrate the man with the dubious honors of spreading Christianity across Ireland and of ridding Ireland of the snakes it didn’t have to begin with. A day to celebrate our Irish heritage if we have it, and a day to drink like we do even if we don’t.

Patrick is also said to have used shamrocks to help explain the trinity to people, but it really doesn’t make any more sense if you’ve got a clover in your hand. Maybe that’s one of the reasons he is also said to have had such a hard time converting the Irish that his staff would grow roots into the ground while he stood there preaching at them.

Of course most or all of this is simply legend built up around an ancient missionary who may or may not have done much of consequence. Fortunately today St. Patrick’s Day is much more about celebrating the better parts of Irish heritage and having fun.

St. Patty’s Day is also a good excuse for a sale. From now through March 12th, 2009 you can enter the coupon code MARCH19 at checkout to get 17% off your order of $25 or more, so stock up on shirts for spring!

Saint Patrick’s Day designs will only be available through March 17th, so if you want to get hammered with Leprechaun Jesus this St. Patty’s Day, order now!

Here Be Dragons: An Introduction to Critical Thinking

Even those of us who have managed to divest ourselves of religion are not automatically immune to all forms of psychological trickery. This is an important point to remember, and it is very valuable to learn how to spot pseudoscience, logical fallacies and all manner of cons.

Although this is not something you can master in 40 minutes, the 40 minute movie “Here Be Dragons” is a good introduction to some of these issues. It may be too basic for some, but if you don’t already know the material it covers then it’s very much worth watching, and even if you think you know it, a fun little refresher course can’t hurt!