Much of the world has been lauding the red-caped-club for their “enlightened” decision to make Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio their new leader. Bergoglio is the first Pope from the Western Hemisphere. World leaders are rejoicing. They declare, “The Catholic Church has finally broken with tradition and put someone different in charge.” “The reign of Benedict the Horrible is finally over.” “The Church will now reach out to the disenfranchised and begin to rebuild its institution for the betterment of society.” Maybe the world will actually become a better place. If you believe that, please stop reading now. You don’t deserve that privilege.
Let’s review some facts. About 17% of the world claims to be Catholic. However, many of those Catholics are not good Catholics. Not good, in the sense that they do not follow the directives of their leaders very well. Fact: The Catholic Church prohibits contraception, abortion, and homosexuality. Fact: Many Catholics use contraception, do not oppose abortion, and accept gays. Now consider the fact that many Catholic priests have been convicted of raping and sodomizing young children. In the past few decades the Catholic Church has been besieged with lawsuits for the impropriety of its leaders. The sex abuse scandals that have surfaced are so large that many dioceses cannot even sustain themselves due to the settlements and convictions made against them. Case and point: The Milwaukee Archdiocese recently declared bankruptcy to avoid having to pay their unfortunate victims any restitution. Many Catholics are losing faith in the Catholic institution and are choosing to leave their churches for something else. They are disillusioned and feel betrayed by the very institution that is supposed to guiding and nourishing them. In other words, the sheep are finally waking up and leaving their flock for greener and less harmful pastures.
The Catholic Church is aware of the mass exodus of its parishioners. However, rather than adapt to reality and its newly enlightened members, the Church has chosen to do as it always does and ignore common sense and common decency and continue to spew its anachronistic, hurtful, virulence at those who it should instead be embracing. The election of Bergoglio is no exception. For starters, let’s just make a couple of things clear. The Catholic Church will never allow abortion, gays, or anything else that it feels will loosen its controlling grip on the asinine sexual morality it preaches. That said; let’s look at the new Pope.
Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, DBA Pope Frances, is a church conservative on many issues. Like all of his costumed predecessors he believes women are the source of original sin. It is doubtful if he would ever support women priests. He has also been quoted as saying,
He has referred to the pro-choice “movement” as a
Really? “Lighten up Frances!” He has also repeatedly opposed the free distribution of contraceptives in Argentina.
As freethinking, rational, non-believers, we must be extremely vigilant not to allow the misinformation and ill-begotten pretense of reform to obfuscate the truth that, new pope or not, the Catholic Church is, and most likely will remain, a divisive, harmful monster that prevents people from living good, moral and meaningful lives.
Yes, it is official. The Republican Party is the party of rape and religion. Today, Indiana Senate candidate Richard Mourdock actually stated that when a woman becomes pregnant during a rape, “that’s something God intended.” The real kicker is that the Republican Party stood by Mourdock’s asinine remark. Why are there female republicans? Are they that insecure, that ignorant, and that masochistic that they cannot understand that their entire sex has just been marginalized to that of sub-human status?
Almost every stupid, misleading, and untrue remark made by republicans invokes God! When moronic Vice-Presidential candidate Paul Ryan was asked his opinion on abortion during a debate, the first words out of his mouth were, “I’m a Catholic.” Really? Who cares? No one asked you for your religion. Your religion has no place in our government! The current batch of Republican candidates are so ignorant about United States history that most even deny that Thomas Jefferson was the one who pushed to keep religion out of our government. Jefferson explained that the First amendment states that the government of the United States shall, “”make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,” thus building a wall of separation between Church & State.” Jefferson’s wall has protected the rights and freedoms of both the religious and non-religious for over 200 years. But apparently today’s Republicans no longer want that protection.
The late, conservative Senator Barry Goldwater predicted the demise of the Republican Party decades ago, “Mark my word, if and when these preachers get control of the [Republican] party, and they’re sure trying to do so, it’s going to be a terrible damn problem.” Well, his worst fears have been realized. We have a terrible damn problem. The Republican Party is the party of God. Almost every Republican candidate feels they must invoke an imaginary friend to respond to even the most basic of questions. And for those of us that do not believe in gods, the Republican Party has effectively shut us out. But that apparently is not enough. It is very clear that women have no place in a Republican Party world either.
In addition to Mourdock’s remark, there was Todd Akin, Republican Senate nominee from Missouri, who said this past August that pregnancy as a result of “legitimate rape” is rare as “the female body has ways to try and shut that whole thing down”. What planet does Akin live on? Perhaps if he studied biology instead of reading abusive, violent, anti-woman BS scripture espousing the propaganda of an insane, malevolent monster of a god, he may have not made such a stupid remark. However, he did make the remark. Mourdock, Akin, Ryan, and most other Republicans hate women. They might not come right out and say it, but their actions and words betray their intent. Republicans hate women. That is the fact, and for the life of me I cannot understand how any woman, regardless of her lack of education or experience could, even from a fleeting moment, entertain the idea of voting for a Republican. That is, unless they truly relish the idea of surrendering all of their freedoms and they support a world where safe and affordable health care and reproductive choice are illegal and society accepts rape as a legitimate action sanctioned by God.
Dear angry Muslims,
Please stop killing innocent people. Then again, maybe you shouldn’t stop. By killing innocent people, you Muslims are providing a textbook example of why religion is deleterious to your health. So, maybe I should thank you for helping to prove my point – religion kills!
To recap: A whacked-out Christian fundamentalist posing as a whacked-out Jew made a distasteful movie mocking the Islamic prophet Mohammad. Then you super whacked-out Muslim fundamentalists took offense and decided to escalate your war against the United States, and actually started killing Americans! Now you, along with most other theists, are blaming the crazy Christian fundamentalist and the United States, for all the violence. Really? It doesn’t matter if the movie is in poor taste or not. The movie itself is irrelevant. It’s just a movie! When I saw The Passion of Christ it made me sick. It was the most distasteful B.S. I had ever seen. All the Jews should have gone out and killed Mel Gibson for making that piece of crap. But they didn’t. It was just a movie.
You say that Islam is a peaceful religion. I am so sick and tired of Islamic apologists saying that. It is not peaceful to slaughter innocent people because you don’t like a movie, cartoon, book, or anything that may be offensive to your crazy myopic reality-phobic worldview. All religions are silly and all religions can and should be mocked. You don’t like it, too bad. Grow up! What’s the matter? Your centuries-old religious dogma can’t survive a little fun by a harmless movie?
The murders you Muslims committed this past week in the name the “peaceful religion’s peaceful prophet” need to be answered with swift and, if necessary, deadly force. The murder of innocents never “okay.” And just to clarify, I’m not suggesting that the United States declare war on Libya or Egypt, or any other Muslim country. The Libyan and Egyptian governments did not attack the embassy or commit murder. Those acts were carried out by you, the Muslim fundies; the same Muslim fundies that too many people here in the United States back down and actually defend. We need to put an end to this over-sensitive politically correct garbage. Freedom of speech means that the people, all people, even the whacked-out Christian fundamentalist nut-jobs, have a right to make a movie mocking the super whacked-out Muslim fundamentalist s nut-jobs’ prophet. People need to chill.
To all you semi-rational theists, think about this: Imagine going out and killing someone just because you’re upset at something that happened across the world that had absolutely nothing what-so-ever to do with the person you just killed. What would that make you? It would make you a murderer. And murderers need to be punished. So do these terrorists. Stop apologizing for criminals and terrorists, and saying we need to respect their different world views. Personally I hate Christian fundies as much as I hate Muslin fundies; and I’m not trying to defend the silly movie, but technically the movie isn’t illegal – or even hostile. It’s just a movie. We don’t need to kill people over it.
I thank Darwin that none of my fellow atheists go on killing sprees in the name of reason. Because if they eliminated all the unreasonable people, there wouldn’t be a whole lot people left.
Below is a brief recap for those that missed the event and a reminder for those that did attend as to why we were there in the first place.
If you weren’t there, what did you miss?
In a word, everything! The reason Rally was the largest non-theistic convention ever. Never before have so many people and so many diverse groups within the freethought community come together for a single event. Officially there were just over 20,000 people – give or take, according to the National Parks facility people. Make that, just over 20,000 people on our feet for ten hours in the rain! We also all came together as atheists.
What did we see?
Leaders from all of the sponsoring organizations like David Silverman, Dan Barker, and Ron Lindsay
To show our representatives in Washington, and the world for that matter, that we exist. We exist and we vote. Even in the rain, we stayed. We expressed our convictions and concerns. We also came together as a unified community. We put to bed that asinine saying that, “Getting non-believers together is like herding cats.” FFRF with AA with AHA with CFI, oh my! Everyone put aside personal differences and bad histories and came together for reason, logic and a god-free lifestyle.
For those of us there, it was a profound emotional experience that none of us will ever forget. In the next few weeks there will be much commentary, blogs, reports, YouTube posts and more. Check it out and see what you missed. Whether you went or not, buy the video. It will help support the event which was funded by the organizations themselves along with a matching donation from Todd Stiefel (we love you Todd!).
Time to kick ass. Everyone left motivated and pumped. We need to take that energy and translate it to action. The American Atheists “Come Out” campaign is all about atheists coming out. There has never been a better time. We have the numbers and the abilities to influence public policy on all levels. We need to do that. We need to run for all public offices. Atheists need to be on local school boards, and in state assemblies. We can no longer sit on the sidelines while our country goes to hell (excuse the religious pun). The religious right has been infiltrating our government since they came to power in the early 1980’s. It’s time to take back our country and restore “real” American values of moral decency. As Penn Jillette so very eloquently expressed, “We are the just and moral ones. We must take the high moral ground and force the religious to rise to our level.”
What did you do this past weekend? Me, I can to Washington DC, I saw the largest gathering of rational people in history, and I participated in the event that will go down in history and the beginning of the new enlightenment for the United States. I came, I saw, I conquered.
I have advocated before and will continue to encourage people to stand up for their rights and be true to their own world views. The sooner one acknowledges that they no longer believe in fairy tales and reside in the real world, the better. However, now really is the time to speak up and be counted. On March 24, 2012 the entire secular community is coming together for an unprecedented event: The Reason Rally. Never before have all major national organizations come together for such a gathering. Sponsoring organizations of the event include American atheists, The Center for Inquiry, the Atheist Alliance of America, The Freedom from Religion Foundation, the American Humanist Association, Camp Quest, United COR, Secular Coalition of America and others. The list of featured speakers is unprecedented: Richard Dawkins, James Randi, PZ Meyers, Adam Savage, and more. There will also be music by Tim Minchin and Bad Religion
The Reason Rally takes place at the National Mall in Washington DC. The event will be the single largest gathering of rational non-theists in the history of the world. If you are an atheist, humanist, or any type of non-theist, you need to attend this event.
We talk often of imagining the day when atheists will no longer be looked down upon, the day when atheists will be respected and are able to really hold political offices in all states. We talk about a future world where superstitions and age-old dogma no longer poisons the minds of humankind. That day may be a long way off, but this event will take us one giant step closer. Think of how it will feel to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with fellow freethinkers. Image how, many years from now, you will be able to tell your children, or grandchildren, that you were there. You were at the rally. Many of you have attended national convections and know how much of a charge you get from that. Now imagine something like that only one hundred times bigger. Yes, there will most likely be tens of thousands of atheists from all over the world attending. One of them will be me. I encourage each and every one of you to join me, join your fellow freethinkers and show the world that we exist. Stay tuned for more updates.
Posted on 23:37, September 10th, 2011 by Kosmic Kurt
Today, the entire nation is “celebrating” the tenth anniversary of the terrorist attacks.
Once again the nation will come together in prayer. Pray to God, the real god. The god that, oops, forgot to lift a finger to help save any of the thousands of innocent lives that were lost; the god that failed to do anything to prevent the billions of dollars of damage that was done. Yes, that god. The god that the late comedian George Carlin called, “Incompetent at best.” As I continually remind all of those that I know, it was religion that caused the destruction of the twin towers. It was religion that took the lives of many innocent people that day. It was a complete and unwavering dogmatic belief in a flawed worldview based upon misinterpretation of poorly written millennia-old nonsense that caused the events of 9/11. It was the exact same belief that caused millions to perish in crusades and inquisitions. It is the same belief that today takes the lives of children denied proper medical care or cause them harm by torturing them for being born in the first place. Islam, like Christianity, is guilty of causing death and destruction.
It’s easy to say, and many do, that it was Allah, not Jesus, that was responsible for 9/11. Yes, the terrorists were followers of Allah. The terrorists were adherents of Islam, and in their mind, they were carrying out their god’s will. But today, millions of Americans will pray to Jesus (and some to Allah, Yahweh, Vishnu, whoever) for thanks. Hello? Any of you lemmings ever consider what you’re doing? Thanks for what? For messing up and allowing people to get killed? If God was in the work-place, he would have been fired! Do not pray to an ineffectual, sadistic monster. Rather, how about we have a moment of silence to reflect upon how we lead our lives. Rather than pray to non-existent deities, why don’t we all make a pack with each other to treat each other with love and respect. Instead of praying to God to help prevent disasters (already proven that it doesn’t work), let’s look to ourselves. Let’s begin a new chapter in human social development and hold people accountable for their actions and look to the one proven entity that has the power to make the world a better place to live – us.
Ten years have come and gone since the tragic events of 9/11 and most people still miss the point. If religion had no stronghold, the twin towers would still be here. Only religion could motivate someone to commit such atrocities. And only religion can cause the current wave of hatred that spreads through our country like wildfires, accosting those who have divergent views from the masses. The world has many problems. But prayer is not the answer. Prayer is the problem.
Only we have the power effect changes. Forget the praying and do something constructive and positive. Remember 9/11 for what it really is. A blatantly powerful example of what religion is capable of.
When government becomes entangled with religion, disaster is the only result. This simple fact has been demonstrated time and time again. There are no winners – only losers. Recently I have been directly involved in a church and state abuse in my own community. Today is voting day for the recall elections in Wisconsin. I will not be one of those voting as I was forced to vote earlier by absentee ballot. The abuse I had to endure during my last voting experience precludes me from voting at my designated polling station. As I wrote about in an earlier post, St. Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church in the Village of Brown Deer put a Christian cross on the wall in the voting room between portraits of Presidents Washington and Lincoln. I complained to the Village Manager who did respond very cordially and promised to correct the problem. I was happy and satisfied. Well, at our most recent public election, not only was the cross still there but I now had the displeasure of looking at a “Happy Jesus Face” as well. This time I complained on the spot and was belittled and rebuffed in front of my neighbors by the president of the church. He emphatically declared that he would not remove anything and that no one could make him do otherwise. The entire experience was very unsettling to me and caused me a great deal of discomfort. So began the emails from me to the village board and the village attorney. I reached out to FFRF, AU and the ACLU for help as well. To date, only FFRF has written a letter on my behalf. The emails I have sent have been met with mixed responses; some cordial, some not so cordial. Nothing has been done to move the election site yet, but I am told that options are being considered. So I voted by absentee ballot and vowed not to enter St. Paul’s again. The hardest part of my ordeal is explaining to people why church and state should be kept separate. So many people just don’t get it. So many foolish people really think that the United States was founded as a Christian Nation. To those misguided individuals I offer the following:
The United States was founded by people who left England because they did NOT want to be told that they had to belong to the Church of England. The Church of England had long since severed ties with the Roman Catholic Church and had created its own brand of Christianity. Our founding fathers wanted to make sure that people could choose which, if any, god to pray to. Thomas Jefferson put it best when he wrote,
People who are ignorant in the matter of Jefferson’s Wall really need to stop preaching their nonsense and start thinking. The whole point of the First Amendment is to protect the rights of all citizens. It protects churches from being told what to do by the government. It protects individuals from being told which church they have to belong to. It states categorically that the government will not endorse one religion over another. By keeping church and state separate everyone one wins.
Below are pictures of the debacle at St. Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church where voting for my district takes place. If anyone would like to contact the Village of Brown Deer the website is listed below. I would ask that if you do contact the village or any officials please be courteous and polite. I am engaged in dialog with the village and this my community where my family and I reside. Rather than spewing negative rhetoric, I am working hard to crate a positive change that will benefit everyone.
The latest foolishness in the bin Laden saga is that Muslim clerics in Saudi Arabia, and elsewhere, are complaining that the United States did not follow appropriate Islamic procedures when the body of bin Laden was dumped into the sea. Well I got news for all of the ignorant wining Muslim clerics, “too bad, none of your F’n business.” A killer was killed and disposed of in accordance with common sense – much more important than your silly outdated customs. I applaud the United States military in the handling of the disposal of their trash. Actually I would not have even announced to anyone how or where the body was disposed of. Bin Laden is already seen as a martyr by many. Having his body around for inspiration would be a colossal disaster. The body should just have been destroyed. It bothers me that our government would even make such a stupid statement that “the body was handled with respect.” Why? Perhaps because we want to show the world that we are not barbaric animals like the thug bin Laden was. Or maybe because we want to show the world that we respect others religious customs.
Well it’s done. Perhaps we can move on and deal with the fact that bin Laden or not, religion (Islam in this case), is still a dangerous threat to the security of all humankind. Bin Laden was evil. However, his evil was easily justified by his religion. Just as Thomas Aquinas justified torturing and killing millions of innocents, just as Moses justified committing genocide against the Midianites. All this and more done in the name of religion.
Yesterday French police arrested two women who violated the new French law prohibiting full veils being worn in public. The law officially does not call out burqas, the traditional Muslim garb which denigrates women to second class citizens in most Muslim countries, but rather carefully refers to covering ones face. From a security point-of-view the French most certainly have a right to request that one’s identity can be clarified. Terrorism is something that we Americans have very little first-hand knowledge of. In Europe it is a much different situation. The law requires that anyone wearing a full facial veil or mask in public must remove it when asked to for identification purposes. I feel the law is reasonable. But more importantly, from a Humanist point-of-view, full facial veils, specifically the burqa, when worn for religious reasons, are an intolerable attack upon women. Islam is one of the most cruelest and inhumane religious when it comes to the treatment of women. The French pride themselves on individual freedoms. Although, at first, it may seem counterintuitive, the ban on the veils is correct. The less-than-one-percent of the French Muslim women who insist on wearing a burqa in public can be subject to arrest and a fine of 250 Euros. Other European countries are considering similar laws. Here in the United States it is doubtful that anything of the sort would ever happen. But then again, there are decency laws which prohibit inappropriate clothing – and lack of clothing, in public places. It is not okay to wear clothing with vulgar or profane pictures or language – especially in public places where children may be exposed to it. But then, what is considered vulgar and profane may differ from one area to another. Either way, the burqa is offensive against women and provides a security risk. I support the French.
Brown Deer is a small Milwaukee suburb of about twelve thousand people. Today as I went to vote at the Lutheran church that had its community room transformed into a polling center, I was keenly aware of the paper crucifix proudly thumb-tacked to the bulletin board between the cutout pictures of George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. My leering gaze was interrupted by a cordial salutation from one of the volunteers who knows me by name. I smiled and said, “Good morning.” As my gaze returned to the offending icon, representing thousands of years of oppression and bloody killing, I was interrupted again by another smiling face issuing another genuinely friendly salutation. Should I stand out of the line I was in and make a scene and demand that the offending 12” piece of paper be removed. After all it is the principle of the matter. I was genuinely offended. On the other hand, this is my community and these simple people meant me no harm. Why should I ruin their day and by the angry atheist? In the end, I decided not to say anything. I went and voted and promptly left the church.
Those of you who know me, know what a difficult position I was forced into by the ignorant Christian majority of Brown Deer. I suppose I justified my inaction by rationalizing it was a matter of degrees. Had the cross been larger, had there been someone preaching in the room, I would have been forced to take action. But the little paper cross was so small. And yet, it was large enough to offend me. I decided I will send a letter to the Village President and perhaps someone at the state election board just so they are aware of the situation. Legal precedent would not be in my favor if I filed a formal complaint. Curious if anyone else has had a similar situation?