If TV News Existed in 1200BC

No doubt the populations at odds in the Jewish myth of the exodous felt a certain amount of umbrage for the actions of one another. However, in the story, how could have the Jews or the Egyptians known that the god YHVH was purposefully changing the Pharaoh’s mind each time that Moses demanded that his people be released from their servitude.

I, for one, really loved the Eye of Ra transition effect between the different segments of the video.

Well produced and in some ways it pokes satire at modern foreign affairs—although sometimes these occurrences are little laughing matter.

This satirical faux news show is worthy of the Onion News Network.

Link, via YouTube.

Penn Jillette: An Atheist’s Guide to the 2012 Election

If anything, revealing that President Clinton was far more overtly religious than President Bush is an interesting demonstration about how religiosity is reflected in our culture and among our politicians. Especially because we’ve seen a lot of propaganda attempting to reflect poorly on President Obama by claiming he’s a Muslim, and then shortly (almost in the same breath) blaming him for the wacko-crazy Christian church that he belonged to.

Politicians pander to people in the ways they believe they’ll respond to; religion is both a great divider and a powerful motivator.

Of course, we’re probably not going to see any sort of religious vs. non-religious schism in political frames since really most of the class and language warfare is reflected between the empowered groups and disenfranchised groups. It’s about groping around and holding onto power in the face of other groups trying to take it away — or, especially in the case of the Information Age, the Internet bleeding power away from concentrated groups who maintain themselves by attempting to indoctrinate their children (or citizens, or parishioners) by lensing them a false vision of the rest of the world.

May 21st, 2011

Starting 2,000 years ago, Christians picked up the Jewish tradition of predicting the coming Kingdom of God / judgement / end of the world / etc. In fact according to the Bible, Jesus himself is depicted as predicting its imminent arrival!

“…there shall be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom.”

- Matthew 16:28

We have records of hundreds of such predictions made by Christians since that time, and there were undoubtedly many, many more predictions made. Many if not all of these people seem to be very sure about their predictions. In fact the most recently famous prediction by Harold Camping came with billboards claiming that “The Bible Guarantees it”.

The truth is that it is possible to find numbers, patterns, coincidences and all kinds of things on which to base a prediction or other belief. When this is combined with a belief system like Christianity which teaches people to expect – even look forward to – the end of the world, you get one doomsday prediction after another, ad infinitum.

I will make one small prediction though, and I don’t think I’m going out on a limb here:

Anyone who predicts a date for the end of the world based entirely on the Christian Bible or other Christian teachings will be wrong.

Harold Camping, I am proud to induct you into the Hall of Fail for your incorrect prediction.

You could have looked at the long trail of failures behind you and decided not to needlessly embarrass yourself, but damn it, that numerology and bizarre Bible Math was just so convincing that you couldn’t hold your tongue.

I noticed that to cover your ass you claimed that this event was an invisible judgement that actually happened, and that the real end of the world is actually coming on October 21st, 2011. The second time around it gets even more difficult to weasel out of your failure, so I’m assuming you don’t plan to be around for that…?

Well, Godspeed ya crazy old bastard. Your senile ramblings will not soon be forgotten!

Child Witches Just Aren’t Funny

Unsurprisingly, organized modern-day witch hunts aren’t funny at all. In fact, they’re atrocities of the highest order and compelled and perpetrated by the superstitious and religious who place their religions above the rights and sovereignty of others. This is all-too-common a theme of not just when religions clash over cultural misunderstandings; but it’s also a symptom of a society that hasn’t grounded its morals and laws in defensible secular codes that accept the equality of human life.

Most religious ethics can barely agree on even very basic qualities of human life, arising instead from their tribal forbearers with xenophobic consequences. Often their arguments as to why some people are special and others are not relies on the supernatural or untestable qualities. This is the entire reason why “spectral evidence” has no place in criminal proceedings and is not admissible in a court of law in the United States.

And this is precisely why Christians in Nigeria are committing horrible, indefensible moral evils against children.

Before anyone condemns another human being, especially a walking, living, breathing child of something that could result in such hideous consequences—don’t you think that first we should provide a tangible test first? When was the last time that we treated someone for an illness without a single symptom or gone to repair a wall without observable damage.

Read Leo Igwe’s account of his most recent arrest after rescuing a young girl, Esther; and his subsequent treatment by police and the community for attempting to step in against this ignorant behavior. If you’d like to know more about the child witch phenomena and the religious and cultural background, Martin Robbins of the UK Guardian has an excellent take on recent events.

Don’t forget, people close to home behave in very similar manners as well and it’s our duty to keep them in check through laws and education; as much as it’s their duty to actually educate themselves and not do evil in the name of their religion. Immoral propaganda and campaigns of ignorance do much to provide foundations for these acts and we still see far too many of them lately.

The presenter in the video is R.K Watson from Skepchick.com. You can find more of her videos on YouTUBE.

Symphony of Science – “The Big Beginning” (ft. Hawking, Sagan, Dawkins, Shears, Tyson)

Another beautiful video in the Symphony of Science video series auto-tuning various physicists and scientists about the Big Bang event, a cosmological model that is often misrepresented and misunderstood by anti-science Creationists in their propaganda.

Park51, “Moque at Ground Zero” Video: Sufi’s Choice

BionicDance of YouTUBE paints a picture of discrimination and misunderstanding about the Park 51 "Islamic Cultural Center Near Ground Zero" and why a great deal of criticism of it falls short of actual enlightened discourse.

Today, the "Burn a Qur’an Day" envisioned–and ultimately cancelled–by Terry Jones has caused an equally stupid counter-reaction in Afghanistan where 10,000 people took part in a protest, that sparked violent riots, against what they perceive as America. I bring this up because during this week, as his event fast approached, he suddenly tried to hitch his horse to the Park 51 debate claiming he meant to do it to make the Sufi Muslims who planned the Park 51 community center to move it.

The Park 51 planners should be under no moral obligation to move anything: mosque, synagogue, church, temple, center for brain-slug worship, whatever.

Now all the Terry Jones’s of the world are being given the line that controls the Muslim world by the very people who spawn these counter-protests. When one troglodyte with a Twitter account and a Facebook page can make people go crazy, riot, and burn things, maybe it’s time for those people who are doing that to sit down and think about who exactly they’ve handed their leash over to–why are they wearing that collar anyway? Terry Jones isn’t the problem, churches and communities pull stunts like his all the time. He’s a troll: you’ve let yourself get trolled.

While religion, politics, lapses in critical thinking and morality certainly took part in the 9-11 event, it is not acceptable to paint every Muslim in the world with it. Just as it’s been a poor show by much of the Muslim world to throw up over everyone else in reaction to the stupid actions of Terry Jones’s congregation of 50 in Florida.

From the CNN article about the protest in Afghanistan, though, it makes me wonder if there weren’t other reasons for the protest and riots. Tens-of-thousands of disenfranchised people in a war-wracked country? Religious barbarism and fervor certainly isn’t even needed to get that to go sideways. Ultimately, the responsibility for their actions—riots, looting, burning their own city—falls squarely on their shoulders for not controlling themselves.

Everybody else. Let Terry Jones and his ilk crawl back into whatever hole he emerged from, I hope he didn’t see his shadow, because I really don’t want any further extension to this season of ignorance.

“Atheism is…” by Richard Coughlan

Atheism offers nothing to me
It never has, and it never will
It does not make me feel good
Or comfort me
It’s not there for me when I’m sick or ill
It can’t intervene in my times of need
It won’t protect me from hate or lies
It doesn’t care if I fail or succeed
It won’t wipe the tears from my eyes
It does nothing when I’ve got nowhere to run
It won’t give me wise words or advice
It has no teachings for me to learn
It can’t show me what’s bad or nice
It’s never inspired or incited anyone
It won’t help me fulfill all my goals
It won’t tell me to stop when I’m having fun
It’s never saved one single soul
It doesn’t take credit for everything I acheive
It won’t make me get down on bended knee
It doesn’t demand that I have to believe
It won’t torture me for eternity
It won’t teach me to hate or dispise others
It can’t tell me what’s right or wrong
It won’t tell anybody that they can’t be lovers
It’s told nobody that they don’t belong
It won’t make you think that life is worth living
It has nothing to offer me, that’s true
But the reason atheism offers me nothing
Is because I’ve never asked it to
Atheism offers nothing because it doesn’t need to
Religion promises everything because you want it to
You don’t need a religon or to have faith
You just want it because you need to feel safe
I want to feel reality
And nothing more
So atheism offers me everything
That religion has stolen before.

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.