May 21, 2011

According to televangelist Harold Camping and his multitude of billboards, the end of the world is coming tomorrow, May 21st, 2001. He has previously given an incorrect date for “The Rapture”, but this time he is REALLY SURE about it, and he’s spent a lot of money on advertising, so we’d better take him seriously.

Maybe Harold made some kind of deal with Jesus for a special appearance? A reunion tour with the zombie apostles perhaps? Jesus hasn’t put anything out in millenia, so his funds must be running low. Who knows, maybe he’ll even open up a can of Divine Judgement on our asses just for fun!

So, since we’re so sure that Jesus will be here tomorrow, what are you doing in the last day before Judgement Day?

Are you making sure the house is clean for him? Looking for a hotel in case he tries to crash on your couch? Are you giving everything away to your heathen friends who won’t be Raptured? Are you the heathen friends, and if so are you fervently begging for forgiveness just in case?

Most of you are probably just like me, not worrying in the least. Perhaps I’ll spend the time writing about Christianity’s long and fruitless history of such predictions for you to read when the world doesn’t end tomorrow.

…but hey, if you want and excuse to party like it’s Judgement Day Eve……

Dr. Eugenie Scott – “Creationism, Evolution, Education – and Politics”

April 17, 2011
2:00 am
2:00 am
2:00 am
2:00 am
2:00 am
2:00 pm

Americans United for Separation of Church and State is bringing Dr. Eugenie Scott, Executive Director of the National Center for Science Education (NCSE), to talk about “Creationism, Evolution, Education – and Politics”.

Dr. Scott is an intelligent and good speaker, and there will even be an opportunity to have dinner and talk to her after the event at Los Olivos Restaurant, 7328 E 2nd St, so if you are interested in this subject, the event should be well worth attending!

Scottsdale Civic Center Library Auditorium
3839 N. Drinkwater Blvd.
Scottsdale, AZ 85251

Brother Jed Week at ASU: Monday thru Friday, Feb 21st – 25th

February 21, 2011
11:00 amto5:00 pm
February 22, 2011
11:00 amto5:00 pm
February 23, 2011
11:00 amto5:00 pm
February 24, 2011
11:00 amto5:00 pm
February 25, 2011
11:00 amto5:00 pm

It’s that time again! Time for Brother Jed, aka George Smock, to appear at Arizona State University. This annual event provides enough hostility for the student body immunity to run on for the next year. It’s much like Black Friday for ASU’s immune system when it comes to “old fashioned values” like misogyny, bigotry, and xenophobia. Although he seems to be wearing rather thin, he continues to grace our campus with his presence and he’s brought one his daughters with him this time.

He stated out today by gathering something of a crowd.

As for the big events today, Brother Jed decided to give a long screed about how Muslims don’t fit in with Christian principles—harmless enough, except for when he started wearing his misogyny on his sleeve and pointed out how, “Muslims obviously have much better ideas about how to control their women…” and cherry-topped it with one of his old-dinosaur routines about his wife. He likes to introduce these sorts of narratives and sometimes pointed phrases designed specifically to raise the hackles in the audience. He will sometimes pepper otherwise non-offensive speeches with elements such as, “Well, the women best remain quiet anyway,” in order to get a rise out of the crowd rather than to make any sort of actual point.

Earlier in the day, not entirely related to Brother Jed, a member of the Resistance who posts on this blog, Gadfly, was approached by a female ASU police officer and told to remove her sign. The sign in question, which read “BUTT SEX 4 JESUS” in black block letters on a neon green background, according to the officer was “too aggravating.”

Gadfly felt disinclined to acquiesce to her request and declined the invitation to remove her sign.

Continue reading

Second Friday Science Café: Obama Administration’s Science Initiatives

May 8, 2009
7:00 pm

From the Phoenix Atheist Meetup group:

“Join us Friday, May 8, 2009, 7pm to discuss the Obama administration’s new science and technology initiatives and policies with Clark A. Miller, Associate Professor in the Consortium for Science, Policy & Outcomes and the Department of Political Science, Director of the Project on Global and Comparative Knowledges, Associate Director for Outreach and Education for the Center for Nanotechnology in Society at ASU and founding co-organizer and member of the Steering Committee of the Science and Democracy Network…

…Second Friday Science Café’s casual meeting place in the East West Coffee & Tea Lounge, plain language, and inclusive conversation create a welcoming and comfortable atmosphere for people with no science background to interact with and ask questions of scientists in our community.”

The event is being held at:
East West Exchange Coffee & Tea Lounge
2051 W Warner Rd
Chandler, AZ 85224
(480) 855-6010

Friday, May 8th @ 7PM

This event is part of the ScienceCafes.org network. Science cafes are a nationwide movement to link scientists and the general public.

Mill Avenue Resistance – April 2009

April 4, 2009
8:00 pm
April 10, 2009
8:00 pm
April 11, 2009
8:00 pm
April 17, 2009
8:00 pm
April 18, 2009
8:00 pm
April 24, 2009
8:00 pm
April 25, 2009
8:00 pm

We’ve been getting lax lately, and the Mill Avenue preacher scene is heating up again. Not only are some new (and very unpleasant) ones coming out, but some of the old ones who had stopped showing up are back for more. For the moment it appears that we can expect to find one or more groups of preachers out most if not all Friday and Saturday nights, and some of them are horribly obnoxious.

With the previously dwindling preacher population, it is easy to see why many of us felt our weekends were better spent on other activities, but those of you who have been involved and still believe that what we’re doing is worthwhile should seriously consider coming back.

In the interest of balance and sanity, I would encourage people not to show up to every event, but to find the ones that will fit into their schedules and come out when they can. We don’t need an overwhelming mass of people every time, but we do need to consistently have enough people to counter preachers, present our message, and deter violence.

This last issue has not been a big problem in the past, but recently an angry Christian hobo decided it would be a good idea to walk up to one of our female members, rip up her sign and hit her in the face with it. She was (perhaps unwisely) out alone before anyone else showed up, but incidents like this did not happen when we regularly had enough people to make thugs like him think twice.

Even as recently as last Saturday one of our long-time members was pushed and repeatedly threatened by another belligerent believer who claimed to be coming back with friends to beat him up. It was most likely an empty threat, but we can’t afford to take chances with things like this.

We need to rejuvenate the resistance. We have to show these people that they can’t push us around, and we should be showing the preachers that they still cannot renew their assault on Tempe’s citizens and visitors with impunity.

If you want to coordinate with us, send a message through the contact form or talk to us in the forum. Otherwise you can just show up on your own or with your own group and join in any time you want!

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.

First Friday – March 2009

March 6, 2009
7:00 pm

Has it been a month already? It seems like only yesterday that some nice, moral religious people stole, shredded, stomped and destroyed one of our signs, leaving only the word “God?” untouched. I don’t have absolute confirmation, but my sources tell me that some of the kids from the ASU Campus Crusade claimed responsibility.

Whoever it was, if you read this then think about coming over and trying to defend your beliefs with words and evidence rather than theft and vandalism, or have you realized that your religion is indefensible but you just can’t give it up? I know it was tough when mommy had to admit that there really was no Santa Claus, but you got over that…didn’t you?

If you want to give me more evidence to show people what immature thieving cowards you are, then by all means try to steal and destroy another sign on Friday, but if you’re ready to step up and take your best shot at destroying our beliefs rather than our signs, then we’ll be waiting.

Just to be clear, I am not asking for a physical fight. You may well be physically brave enough to punch or even shoot me, and I am not interested in hurting you or becoming a martyr. What I don’t think you’re brave enough to do is put your beliefs on the table and critically examine them with an open mind. I don’t think you’ve even got the guts to state your beliefs and hear them refuted.

So please, search the Bible for good arguments and evidence, explore the nutty Creationist web sites and anything else you think will help you, then come out and prove me wrong.

Mill Avenue Resistance – March 2009

March 7, 2009
8:00 pm
March 14, 2009
8:00 pm
March 21, 2009
8:00 pm
March 28, 2009
8:00 pm

The usual preachers still seem to be attempting to bore us to death, but this month we saw some of the younger ones trying to organize their own groups and a few others coming in from other areas and even other cities.

These guys were a mixed bag. Some of them were nice and relatively reasonable people who were willing to have civil discussions with us, and others were attempting to overpower us with their insufferable preaching at high volumes with as little interaction as possible. Apparently they haven’t learned yet that they can not hope to win this way, and the people who they want to convert appreciate it even less than we do.

So if any of you guys are reading this right now, come out and preach if you must, but remember that the more annoying you are, the stronger your opposition becomes.

Brief February 27th-28th report:

I was out on Saturday, and the preachers we saw were relatively sedate, but a couple of them seem to have slipped away down the street. We’ll have to keep a closer eye on them next time and find out which new areas they’ve found to annoy.

The night was livened up a bit though by an appearance from our friends Omar and Jim who had some interesting discussions with random believers and a Mill Avenue regular who holds some strange beliefs about the Nephilim and UFOs. I also met a fellow atheist who stayed around for most of the night and plans to come out again, so overall I would say it was a good night.

Friday, from what I hear, was a little different. I couldn’t make it out that night, but I wasn’t really expecting it to be too busy either, so I was surprised to hear that there were over 30 preachers out from at least two different groups.

One of the groups holds pretty silly beliefs (including that the King James version of the Bible is itself divinely inspired and perfect), but for the most part they are fairly nice people. The other newer group of obnoxious and childish young people on the other hand attempted to use their speaker as a weapon to assault the ears of our members by holding it up right by their heads and yelling at them.

It sounded like the few Resistance members who stumbled onto this managed to hold their own though, despite being severely outnumbered, but it looks like as the weather warms up, Friday nights are heating up too. I guess the Friday lull is over and we’ll have to stop slacking, so be ready to put more Friday nights back into the schedule.

I don’t plan to officially schedule Friday nights quite yet, but even if the nights aren’t listed, don’t assume that we won’t be there. I intend to go back to checking Mill out more consistently on Fridays, but whether or not we stay depends largely on the presence or absence of preachers.

Workshop: Planetary Biology and the Anti-Capitalist Revolution

February 28, 2009
3:30 pmto5:00 pm

In addition to the table we will have at the Local to Global Teach-in at ASU this weekend, our friend Ezra Niesen will be conducting a workshop titled Planetary Biology and the Anti-Capitalist Revolution.

I’ll let him explain it to you:

Scientists have been hard at work studying global environmental unsustainability for 40 years, which includes the evolutionary origins of human psychology (www.clubofrome.org, www.clubofbudapest.org). The War on Terror, the war in Iraq, the greenhouse effect, the immigration crisis, and the energy crisis are all various effects of humanity’s over-exploitation of the environment. 15 years ago, in the Mexican state of Chiapas, a global revolution against America’s economic imperialism began, which no one ever talks about in the commercial media in America (chiapas.indymedia.org, www.indymedia.org). The scientists who discovered global unsustainability have been saying from the very beginning that if global environmental disaster in the 21st century is going to be prevented, radical social change is necessary. Now the War on Terror is being used to equate radical social change with terrorism. Now environmental activists are being accused of terrorism, including 8 organizers of the protests at the Republican National Convention last fall against the Republicans’ complete disregard for environmental science (rnc8.org). The biggest reason these problems aren’t getting solved is because so many powerful people are spreading so much disinformation about science to mislead the public. Even President Obama promised to violate the Laws of Thermodynamics in his inaugural address. This is a crash course on pivotal discoveries that have been made and how to reclaim the future by reclaiming the public education system. An accurate understanding of how the world works is the rightful property of everyone.

Oh, and did I mention that there will be punch and pie? Okay, maybe not punch and pie, but there will be some type of free food at the event, so come out and see us if you can. It will be fun, and most importantly educational!