Friday, December 4, 2009

Local Interest

I originally started this blog to have a place to showcase atheist news and views from the Rogue Valley, but once I started it, I found out that there just isn't very much going on around here in the news relating to atheism.

Today, we have this article from the Mail Tribune.

I'm a huge proponent of the separation of church and state, but for the most part, I really don't have much of a problem with holiday trees. However, when you put up a tree that you allow others to decorate, there is a very good chance that the decorators will put up things that turn it from a holiday tree to a Christmas tree, and it looks like that's what happened here.

We all remember what happened last year at the Wisconsin state capitol, when they let anyone who wanted to put up a holiday decoration. What a fiasco. I'm proud of Principal Michelle Zundel for keeping with both the letter and spirit of the first amendment. Children can celebrate the holidays at home with their family, we don't need another celebration taking valuable learning time away from our students. Besides, with the economy already shortening the school year immensely, we just don't have the time to spare.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

You are not alone

I suppose that it's because I work at a Catholic hospital that I feel very alone in my atheism very often. It's funny that everyone I associate with manages to have a theistic belief. Some of them are so close to atheism or agnosticism that you can barely tell the difference, but even they are the ones who recoil in horror when you tell them that you don't believe in any gods.

I just wanted to put this post out there for anyone in the Rogue Valley. You are not alone. You probably look around and find yourself surrounded by churches and their evangelizing minions and sometimes despair, but there are others here like you.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

An e-mail going around

My mother-in-law has this annoying habit of passing on every single chain letter known to man, and since I ended up on her e-mail list, I've managed to get every one of them at least once, if not multiple times. Some of them are cute, some of them are less than cute, and some just make me want to hit the "reply to all" button and give everyone on the list a piece of my mind.

This is one of those letters - I'll put my comments between brackets ([]) and in italics... Here we go!

----Begin E-mail----
This is a statement that was read over the PAs ystem at the football game at Roane County High School, Kingston, Tennessee, by school Principal, Jody McLeod

[I'd be interested to see if this was actually read by the principal, and if it was, I'd love to see someone smack him or her upside the head with a lawsuit, you'll see why in a minute.]

"It has always been the custom at Roane County High School football games, to say a prayer and play the National Anthem, to honor God and Country."

[The Star Spangled Banner does, in fact have the phrase "In God is our trust." I suppose it makes a little bit of difference that it's in the fourth verse. Do you know the fourth verse? No Googling, now.

Custom or not, in a public high school, paid for by public money collected from all brands and religions of people, prayer is unconstitutional. End of story. You can not use public money for sectarian things.

Due to a recent ruling by the Supreme Court, I am told that saying a Prayer is a violation of Federal Case Law. [Um, no. It's a violation of the FIRST AMENDMENT OF THE CONSITUTION!]As I understand the law at this time, I can use this public facility to approve of sexual perversion and call it "an alternate lifestyl e(sic)," and if someone is offended, that's OK. [You must not understand the law very well, which is probably why you're a high school principle and not a lawyer. What folks do in their bedrooms with consenting folks of their choice is none of the schools damn business. A school has no business teaching that either homosexuality or heterosexuality is or isn't moral. In my opinion, sex education should be kept to strictly biological and health contexts. Morality should play no part in high school sex ed. Period. That is the purview of the church and the family, and the schools can keep their abnormally large noses out of it.]

I can use it to condone sexual promiscuity, by dispensing condoms and calling it, "safe sex." If someone is offended, that's OK.

[Is there a law that says you have to hand out condoms in high schools in Tennesee? If there isn't, see my earlier comment. The school isn't planned parenthood or 7-freakin-11.]

I can even use this public facility to present the merits of killing an unborn baby as a "viable means of birth control." If someone is offended, no problem...
[Okay, now I know you need to be removed as principal, because I guarantee you'd have a lawsuit on your hands post haste with regards to this. See earlier comment about sex ed. Schools have no business preaching morality beyond the most basic. If it's illegal or against your school's policy, then it's something teachable and actionable. If not, fingers out of the pie!]

I can designate a school day as "Earth Day" and involve students in activities to worship religiously and praise the goddess "Mother Earth" and call it "ecology."

[Dude, you actually lead your high school kids in a maypole dance? Do you have them join an ancient fertility ritual? Run around with athames and swords while skyclad? Damn, I should have gone to school in Tennesee. All we did for earth day was watch some contractor plant a tree in the front lawn.]

I can use literature, videos and presentations in the classroom that depicts people with strong, traditional Christian convictions as "simple minded" and "ignorant" and call it "enlightenment."

[Well, I suppose you could, but I have to ask...why would you?]

However, if anyone uses this facility to honor GOD and to ask HIM to Bless this event with safety and good sportsmanship, then Federal Case Law is violated.

[Well, I suppose we could open it up a little more. How about we ask God (Krishna, Vishnu, Brighid, Thor, Loki, Zeus, Aphrodite, Allah, Ares, Apollo, etc.)? You mean Jehovah, don't you? But not just the bipolar sky-daddy, you mean his son...him...son...him...oh, whatever, him too. What about the Muslim parents in the audience? The Buddhist parents? How about we offer a prayer to their Gods, too? We saw how well being inclusive worked out for Olympia this year, didn't we?]

This appears to be inconsistent at best, and at worst, diabolical Apparently, we are to be tolerant of everything and anyone, except GOD and HIS Commandments.

[ You are to teach the children verified, verifiable, true facts, and leave religion and morality to the church and the parents.]

Nevertheless, as a school principal, I frequently ask staff and students to abide by rules with which they do not necessarily agree. For me to do otherwise would be inconsistent at best, and at worst, hypocritical.... I suffer from that affliction enough unintentionally. I certainly do not need to add an intentional transgression.

[And you're not praying...I applaud that! You're simply preaching, which is just as bad, if not worse. So, if you intend to abide by rules with which you disagree, shut the hell up or resign already.]

For this reason, I shall "Render unto Caesar that which is Caesar's," and refrain from praying at this time.

[Thank Goodness.]

" However, if you feel inspired to honor, praise and thank GOD and ask HIM,in the name of JESUS, to Bless this event, please feel free to do so As far as I know, that's not against the law----yet."

[Oh, there he is. I knew you were talking about junior, too. And it's perfectly fine for the folks in the audience to pray. What's against the law is you turning a football game into a freakin Mass!]

One by one, the people in the stands bowed their heads, held hands with one another and began to pray.

[Awww. How sweet.]

They prayed in the stands. They prayed in the team huddles. They prayed at the concession stand and they prayed in the Announcer's Box!

The only place they didn't pray was in the Supreme Court of the United States of America- the Seat of "Justice" in the "one nation, under GOD."

[Which, as we all know has only been "One nation under (that bipolar sky-daddy) God" since the 1950's.]

Somehow, Kingston, Tennessee remembered what so many have forgotten. We are given the Freedom OF Religion, not the Freedom FROM Religion. Praise GOD that HIS remnant remains!

[There can be no freedom of religion without freedom FROM religon. You are not truly free unless you have the ability to refuse.]

JESUS said, "If you are ashamed of ME before men, then I will be ashamed of you before MY FATHER."

If you are not ashamed, pass this on .

[I'm ashamed that my mother-in-law sent this to me. I won't inflict it on my mailing list.]

----End E-mail----

I'm still debating the "reply to all" has almost pissed me off enough.

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The interesting belief statements I find

Every now and again, I run across some Xian boards while I'm surfing. Generally, it's in response to something a fundie said. I was doing my daily surfing tonight, and ran across the "Rapture Ready" bulletin board. One of the posts is their doctrinal statement, and I found this just too good to pass up:


Because of the eternal purpose of God toward the objects of His love, because of His freedom to exercise grace toward the meritless on the ground of the propitiatory blood of Jesus Christ, because of the very nature of the divine gift of eternal life, because of the present and unending intercession and advocacy of Jesus Christ in heaven, because of the immutability of the unchangeable covenants of God, because of the regenerating, abiding presence of the Holy Spirit in the hearts of all who are saved, we and all true believers everywhere, once saved shall be kept saved forever. God is a holy and righteous Father and that, since He cannot overlook the sin of His children, He will, when they persistently sin, chasten them and correct them in infinite love; but having undertaken to save them and keep them forever, apart from all human merit, He, who cannot fail, will in the end present every one of them faultless before the presence of His glory and conformed to the image of His Son.
(Emphasis mine)

Basically, it's saying that once you're saved, you're always saved, and nothing that you can do will change that. Since I was at one point a Xian, I can do anything I want. I can blaspheme against the holy spirit all day long, then go out and rape little children, kill my neighbors, and finish it all up with a nuclear bomb and still go to heaven.

This kind of doctrine is exactly what I see as wrong with the Xian faith. Most people that I see following this faith in any kind of true sincerity are the biggest hypocrites I've ever seen. They consistently tell you that the religion is a religion of peace and justice, and yet they are some of the most vile, evil people. Check out Orcinus' list of baptist predators.

The news is full of televangelists and evangelicals who constantly rally against homosexuals, then later turn out to be not only homosexuals, but homosexual pedophiles, or homosexual druggies. I give you Foley and Haggard. What right do these people have to tell me how to run my life when I've dedicated my life to saving others lives and all they do is spout their hypocritical bullshit and get rich of the teats of gullible believers. Even getting caught in their hypocrisy doesn't matter. People just shrug and say "Eh, they're human!" This is just after the hellfire and brimstone service where they advocate, nay, celebrate the eternal torture of homosexuals.

But it's okay. They're saved, and they're still going to heaven...right? Right! Yeah...right.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Krismas

Image via

Merry Krismas (oh, and happy holidays) to all you seculars out there!

It's this time of year, especially lately, that I find myself looking at December 25th as just another day in the 365 days (or 366...) of our year. I still find it enjoyable to spend time with family, but for various reasons, my family really doesn't get together for Krismas anymore. It's usually just my me, my wife and her mother (who I don't really consider close family; she's just convenient). There is no real gift exchange between my wife and myself, no real magic to the day. In fact, today has turned out to be the sunniest day we've had in a week here in the Rogue Valley.

The only thing different about today is that everything is closed. I always thought the toy stores could make a killing if they'd stay open on Krismas, with all those kids with freshly-given gift cards and money in hand. Ahh, well.

When I have children, I'm sure I'll feel differently, as the magic of Krismas seems to apply to kids and those who have them more than anyone else. Until then, Happy 359th day of the year!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008


Image via

If you don't know Roy Zimmerman, you need to get acquainted. He's a wonderful musical satirist. Here's one of my favorites of his, it's called "Thanks for the Support."

As a veteran myself, I can definitely appreciate this song. We go out and put ribbons on Hummers and the Xians pray for the troops in church, but no one is really doing anything to support the troops the way we should, by taking them out of harm's way, out of this unnecessary war that the vindictive sky-fairy apparently told Bush to start.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

UPDATE: KY Atheist Group Sues to Revmove Religious Language from Department of Homeland Security


After the last story a few days ago, I wrote letters to the Governor, the Lt. Governor, the Attorney General and the Justice Department of KY. Hopefully at least a couple of those were read by someone who cares. It is nice, however, to see that someone in KY actually cares and is raising a stink about this.

Way to go, American Atheists!