Archive for ‘September, 2008’

Remember 9/11 – Without the Prayer Please!

datePosted on 14:59, September 11th, 2008 by Kosmic Kurt

As we remember those who lost their lives in the terrorists’ attacks of 2001, let us do so without prayer. For it was belief in a god that caused the tragedy in the first place. Here is a quick history lesson for those who have forgotten. Seven years ago a bunch of educated, highly trained (they would have to be in order to fly the airplanes) brave men hijacked four airplanes and crashed them into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and a field in Pennsylvania. These men were not fanatics; they were devoted religious followers fulfilling their god’s plan. Their god may not be the mainstream god in the United States, but a god nevertheless. They were doing what they believed their god wanted them to do.

Many other atheists have argued , and I fully concur, that only religion and faith in a deity could have motivated these people to commit such terrible acts. Their belief was so strong that they killed innocents and took their own lives in the name of their god. Killing in the name of a god has been, and continues to be a common practice (The Crusades, The Inquisition, Northern Ireland, Iraq, etc). And it is an acceptable practice (depending on whose side you are on).

The events of 9/11 were horribly tragic and my thoughts go out to the survivors of the innocent victims. But I also want to remind everyone that there is an important lesson to be learned from this. It was faith that killed these people. It was faith that motivated the religious faithful to kill. No matter how you look at it, praying is a ridiculous and counter-productive effort. If you believe in the existence of many gods, then the Islamic one is obviously more powerful and your prayers to the Judeo-Christian god accomplish nothing. If you believe there is only one god then you are praying to the very god that caused this catastrophe in the first place – WTF? Finally, if you doubt that any god could or would change the laws of physics and take action based on your futile supplication, you are obviously wasting your time. So why bother?

Rather than embracing the agent that is responsible for this tragic event, we should move on to question whether we, as a society, want to continue to support an enterprise (religion) that fosters this type of bloodshed. I say NO! Do not pray for the victims of 9/11, remember them the next time religion asks you to do something that causes harm to others. Let the unfortunate victims of 9/11 serve as a painful reminder of what true unquestioning faith is capable of achieving.


 

 

Biblical Education in Public Schools

datePosted on 16:26, September 4th, 2008 by Kosmic Kurt

WorldNetDaily Exclusive
Texas to teachers: Bible will be taught
Plan requires instruction in both Old and New Testaments


Posted: August 29, 2008
8:17 pm Eastern

By Bob Unruh


WorldNetDaily


The Bible history and literature will be taught in Texas public schools

The Bible’s history and literature will be required to be taught in public schools in Texas under a new law that has been clarified by the state attorney general to mean exactly what it says.

“This is a huge victory for the people of Texas and, I think, for people across the country for academic freedom,” said Jonathan Saenz, a lawyer for Liberty Legal. “There are 1,300 references to the Bible in the works of Shakespeare alone. Over 60 percent of the allusions studied in [advanced placement] English come from the Bible. Students are going to be better academically and culturally when they hear about the Bible.”

The decision is a result of work by the state legislature as well as an opinion from Greg Abbott, the state’s attorney general, in a letter to Education Commissioner Robert Scott. House Bill 1287 was approved by state lawmakers in the spring of 2008, and it was signed into law by Gov. Rick Perry. It states all school districts must offer the course as an elective at the high school level by the 2009-2010 school year.

Rep. Warren Chisum, R-Pampa, the author of the plan, said if 15 or more students express interest in the course, districts must provide it.

(Story continues below)

“A lot of schools don’t know they can have the course, and this bill notifies them that the Supreme Court ruled school districts can offer it,” Chisum said earlier in advocating for the plan. “School districts should know they can offer the course because it better prepares students for college literature and history classes.”

Kevin Franck, of the People for the American Way, told the San Antonio newspaper his group isn’t necessarily opposed to the plan, but will be watching its implementation.

And Chisum said the legislature specifically addressed the Bible, not the Quran or any other religious writing, because “the Bible as a text … has historical and literary value.”

“It can’t go off into other religious philosophies because then it would be teaching religion, when the course is meant to teach literature,” he said.

Saenz told WND the actual curriculum – whether schools use only the Bible or another text – is left up to the local school district boards.

“Students more and more have been demanding the courses,” he said. “The problem has been that school districts have been threatened [by activists] for offering the courses.

“Now they’ve got the state board of education’s clear guidelines, and support from the attorney general,” he said.

He said his organization has been involved in the adoption of the law from its beginning. Counting members of both houses in the legislature, the vote in Texas was 167-3 for the plan.

Liberty Legal, a group committed to defending religious freedoms and First Amendment rights, had been asked to submit a brief on the issue of requiring schools to teach the Bible.

Saenz told WND the requirement allows such education to be either in a regular class or a separate class.

He noted that in one school district close to Dallas, already 160 students have signed up for the class.

Among the subjects that must now be taught in Texas are English, math, science, social students, health, physical education, fine arts, economics, technology and “religious literature, including the Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament) and New Testament.”

“A school district must, of course, offer instruction in the subject matter … ‘as required curriculum,'” said the attorney general’s opinion, confirming for state education officials the legislature’s intent. “The Legislature did not mandate that this curriculum instruction be provided in independent courses.’

One group, the Greensboro, N.C.-based National Council on Bible Curriculum in Public Schools, promotes its curriculum as the only one that uses the Bible as its primary textbook. Supporters include the conservative American Family Association, Eagle Forum and Plano-based Liberty Legal.

Council President Elizabeth Ridenour said the group’s material already is being used in 54 Texas school districts. There also are other curriculums that use their own textbooks.

I don’t necessarily have a problem with offering biblical studies in high school providing it is a literature course. I suspect that many religious teachers will exploit this opportunity and preach, rather than educate. This law also elevates the Judeo-Christian Bible above other “holy” books. I would also questions Saenz’s logic about all the references made to the Bible.  There are a great many references made to our Constitution.  So where are the Constitution classes in our schools?

Palin: Another Uneducated Right Wing Fanatic.

datePosted on 16:20, September 4th, 2008 by Kosmic Kurt

I did not intend this blog to be a political blog. However, with the mess brewing on the campaign trail I feel compelled to point out some important facts. It’s not hard to find information on Republican Vice-President nominee Sarah Palin. She has made quite a name for herself as a strong proponent of creationism. She clearly demonstrates that she has little or no formal education in science. Along with her running mate John McCain, she has stated she is in favor of introducing a constitutional amendment to make abortion illegal. Palin supports Jews for Jesus’ David Brickner in blaming Israel’s problems on their lack of belief in Jesus. This woman is bad news all the way around.

McCain Selects Anti-Choice Sarah Palin as Running Mate

Selection of anti-choice Palin shows just how extreme McCain presidency will be

Washington, D.C. – Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, said that Sen. John McCain’s selection today of Alaska Governor Sarah Palin as his vice presidential running mate is further evidence that a McCain presidency will be just another four years of the same old Bush-style anti-choice policies. Just like McCain, Palin opposes a woman’s right to choose. Palin has also stated her opposition to abortion even in cases of rape or incest.

“John McCain’s choice of Sarah Palin as his running mate proves just how rigid and extreme his administration would be when it comes to a woman’s right to choose,” Keenan said. “For 25 years, McCain has opposed a woman’s right to choose, and we know that he will continue to push anti-choice policies in the White House. McCain’s pick of anti-choice Sarah Palin is further evidence that his White House will be just another four years of Bush-style policies. Any remaining doubts about McCain’s extreme anti-choice position should be put to rest when voters learn about the combined anti-choice records of Sarah Palin and John McCain.”

Palin, a member of the anti-choice group Feminists for Life, said during her campaign for governor that she is opposed to abortion, even in cases of rape or incest. [Juneau Empire, “Abortion Draws Clear Divide in State Races,” accessed 8/29/08 and Anchorage Daily News, “Governor’s Race: Top contenders meet one last time to debate,” 11/03/06.]

“Sen. McCain’s selection of Palin as his vice-presidential running mate is especially troublesome for the unique audience of women voters NARAL Pro-Choice America is targeting: Independent and Republican pro-choice women in suburban andAmericans are tired of the kind of divisive anti-choice policies that Sen. McCain and Gov. Palin have pledged to continue to support. The contrast between pro-choice Sen. Obama and anti-choice Sen. McCain is clear. Voters are looking for a leader who respects women’s freedom and privacy. Barack Obama is that leader.” S exurban swing districts. These women play a pivotal role in the presidential election. Recent polling confirms how, once these voters know McCain’s extreme opposition to a woman’s right to choose and family planning, they will switch parties to support Sen. Barack Obama.

NARAL Pro-Choice America, which tracks all choice-related votes in Congress and ranks all 50 states on the status of women’s reproductive rights, classifies Sarah Palin as anti-choice.

Information about the polling can be found here. Learn more about NARAL Pro-Choice America’s actions to educate voters on McCain’s anti-choice record at www.MeetTheRealMcCain.com.

Contact:
Kathryn Prael, 202.973.3032


Jewish voters may be wary of Palin

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0908/13098.html

‘Creation Science’ enters the race

http://dwb.adn.com/news/politics/elections/story/8347904p-8243554c.html