God Smites Jesus

datePosted on 13:37, June 17th, 2010 by Kosmic Kurt

 

 

How perfect is this? In the ultimate display of religious irony, a 62 foot statue of Jesus at the Solid Rock Church in Monroe Ohio was set on fire and destroyed by lightning on Monday night. Firefighters were helpless to stop the blaze from completely destroying the savior. I’m sure the church leaders were busy praying their fool heads off, but to no avail – Jesus was toast. Now if I were religious, and I witnessed a “sign from above,” the destruction of the object of my religious belief, I would probably want to re-examine my beliefs. Don’t you think? Perhaps Jesus is mad and the half million dollars, or whatever that went into making the statue, should have gone into helping those less fortunate. Or maybe there is no Jesus and Allah, or Vishnu, or Zeus, or Thor, or any of the other 200 gods that are worshipped today finally had enough and torched the false god. Or, even better yet, all the gods are real and they are beginning this huge fight and Jesus lost the first round. Either way, the last thing I would probably want to do is rebuild the statue. Well guess what? That is exactly what they doing. Yep. They are going to replace the statue that was destroyed from above with another one. Gotta love it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Paul Kurtz Resigns

datePosted on 15:31, May 19th, 2010 by Kosmic Kurt

The Center for Inquiry just announced that it has accepted the resignation of Paul Kurtz, the center’s creator. Over the past few years there has been a rift between Kurtz and Ronald Lindsay, the current President. Kurtz was replaced by Lindsay in 2008. Since that time the Center for Inquiry and its affiliate, the Council for Secular Humanism have been getting more involved in politics and First Amendment rights issues. There has also been a harsher tone that the Center has exuded than in the past. Kurtz originally posited the idea of Secular Humanism, and remains its loudest proponent. However, the current Humanism practiced by the Center for Inquiry is a strong departure from Kurtz’ original idea. The recent Blaspheme Day comes to mind. Kurtz has always maintained a more tolerant tone was necessary. The Council for Secular Humanism has always been seen as a “think tank” rather than an activist organization. One could argue that Kurtz’ original vision has been corrupted. However, there is another way of look at this too.

Over the past few years, both the Council for Secular Humanism and Center for Inquiry have participated in events with other freethought organizations. That is something that was never done in the past. What once existed as an esoteric elite “club’ is taking a stance on issues affecting freethinkers and is getting a whole lot more exposure. To me, all of this is good. I do not want to take anything away from Kurtz. Paul Kurtz remains one of the most important philosophers alive today. His accomplishments are legendary. Besides founding the Council for Secular Humanism, the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry, publishing Free Inquiry and the Skeptical Inquirer, Kurtz owns one of the largest independent printing companies in the word dedicated to publishing relevant works having to do with science and freethought. Paul Kurtz will always be remembered as a maverick that made a positive permanent mark on the world.

Almost two decades ago I read my first issue of Free Inquiry. It was the first time I had heard of the word Humanist. I was also introduced to authors like Richard Dawkins, and of course Kurtz himself. That one issue opened my eyes and my mind. I was no longer alone. The fact that there were other people who felt the same way I did about religion and morals and life in general, gave me a new sense of hope and of purpose. I thank Paul Kurtz for that. However, the times are changing. Albert Einstein once said, “Life is but one evolution after another. Not to change is to stand still and be passed by.” Kurtz’ vision of freethought centers around the world has been realized. But some of his archaic views and positions need to be updated. Educating the public that one can be good without a personal god is indeed of prime importance. But the dogmatic, violent religions still exist and still cause harm. The positive message of Secular Humanism cannot be heard over the shouts of the religious zealots. We do need to fight back. The current direction of the Center for Inquiry is not only correct, but necessary for its future survival.

It would appear that Kurtz’ departure was not amicable (at least for him). This is a most unfortunate circumstance. Just as I am grateful for his existence, I wish Kurtz the best in all of his future endeavors. And, with an eye toward the future I also applaud the center on its forward thinking direction and plan to be a part of the current revolution.

Official CFI statement can be found here.

New Supreme Court Justice

datePosted on 14:01, April 26th, 2010 by Kosmic Kurt

With the announced retirement of Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens, many of our constitutional rights are literally at stake. Since he was appointed in 1975, Justice Stevens has been one of the strongest supporters of our first amendment rights. He has consistently ruled in favor church-state separation whenever it was challenged.

It is critically essential that President Obama appoint a replacement for Stevens that shares his resolve for individual rights and freedoms. The Supreme Court is currently leaning to the right of center with many recent appointments and clearly supporting the religious majority in this country. This was not the intention of our Founding Fathers. Deplorable god-mongers like Scalia and Thomas have literally been preaching form the bench. Scalia has repeatedly stated that United States is Christian nation. He apparently has never read Article Six of the Constitution or the Treaty of Tripoli.

This appointment is the single most important decision that Obama has had to make in his presidency. It is a decision will carry ramifications for years to come. Depending on who Obama does pick, we should be ready to advise our senators to either confirm or reject the appointment. This one single appointment could very well mean the difference between continued religious freedom in this country or having things like prayer in public schools become law. I urge everyone to pay close attention to this matter of the next few weeks and act accordingly.

Religious Belief is Dumbing Down United States

datePosted on 11:40, April 15th, 2010 by Kosmic Kurt

In a truly remarkable move, the National Science Board edited a report indicating America’s science literacy. The edit removed any mention of how Evolution and the Big Bang are understood and perceived. The original report listed that the United States scored below most of the rest of the industrialized world in regard to the both Evolution and the Big Bang. The National Science Board oversees the National Science Foundation.

The board citied that the data was making people chose between science and religion and so they opted not to include it. In other words, religion now plays a dominant role in deciding what is not just taught, but what is reported, as well. This is absolutely incredible! Both Evolution and the Big Bang are scientific facts. Religion is a “belief.” A belief is something that does not have, nor does it even attempt to provide any evidence or explanation for the statements that are issued. People are supposed to suspend all rational inquiry and logic and accept whatever is stated by the religion as true – even if it is a fabricated lie. Currently the United States falls behind most other technologically advanced nations in our science education and in the general public’s scientific literacy. A report is compiled to explain this and now it is suppressed because it may “offend” the uneducated religious.

I urge everyone to call/write/email/whatever your representatives and let them know this is disturbing and that you are upset. Religion has no place what-so-ever in the formal education of our children. The incontrovertible fact that American education is failing should not be covered up. It needs to be exploited so that we can correct the damage before we devolve into a dark age of ignorance while the rest of the world passes us by. The removed chapter is available for download here.

For the record, 13.7 billion years ago everything that is now our observable universe came into being in a sort of explosion that we refer to as The Big Bang. The planet earth is 4.6 billion years old and the human species evolved from common ancestors that we share other species millions of years ago through a deliberate and specific process of evolution by Natural selection. These are facts. If you have a problem with these facts, then you or either ignorant or a fool. If you are ignorant, you can learn. If you are a fool, you are a detriment to society and serve no purpose other than to waste oxygen.

Stop Apologizing for the Pope

datePosted on 22:23, March 30th, 2010 by Kosmic Kurt

Enough already! Pope Ratzinger/Benedict/whatever is a malicious sadist. He willing allowed sadistic inappropriate behavior to transpire and furthermore covered it up. As has been pointed out by just about everyone on the planet lately; if he was shown evidence of abuses against children by Catholic priests and did nothing about it, he is guilty and culpable. If he did not understand what he was being shown or was ignorant of it, then he was, and still is, incompetent. He should not be in a position that has the power to influence millions of mindless sheep.  It’s not that difficult. This is an evil criminal that got busted. Plain and simple. Truly ignorant apologists like Archbishop Timothy Dolan, who recently compared Benedict to Christ in the way he is being persecuted, are idiots. Stop apologizing for your boss. He is a liar and pedophile enabler. Actually I take that back. I agree with Dolan. If Benedict is just like Christ, then perhaps we should crucify him. The world would be a much nicer place without him. Then again, keeping him alive will do more to discredit the Catholic Church then we could ever hope for. Maybe people will even doubt church doctrine and start using contraception in third world countries and lives could actually be saved. Tough call.

Court Upholds God in Pledge

datePosted on 10:24, March 16th, 2010 by Kosmic Kurt

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals formally rejected the lawsuit brought by Sacramento attorney Michael Newdow challenging the 1954 decision to add the words “…under God” to the Pledge of Allegiance. Judge Carlos Bea, who wrote the majority opinion, said that the 1954 addition to the pledge was to set America apart from the “godless” communists and was not a violation of the Establishment Clause. He also confirmed that people are not required to say the pledge by law. The truth is, you do not have to say the pledge or even stand for it (West Virginia State Board of Education V. Barnette, 319 U.S. 624). That’s well and good; however, suppose you are a grade school student and refuse to say the pledge. There is really good chance that your teacher and rest of the class will either coerce you into saying it – or you will be severely chastised. The decision is B.S. and Judge Bea is dead wrong. Further, saying “under God” as in one god, rules out polytheistic religions like Hinduism. Explain to me how this does not violate the establishment clause of preferring one religion over another.

In a second ruling the same court also ruled that the motto “In God We Trust” on our currency was also not in violation of the establishment clause either and stated, “the phrase is ceremonial and patriotic and has nothing whatsoever to do with the establishment of religion.”

I am deeply saddened by the courts decision. It is clearly not in the best interest our country. And I can only hope that someday when reason prevails, both decisions will be overturned. In the meantime I will most likely continue to refuse to say the pledge and inform my daughter that she does not have to say it in school, however, I will understand if she does.

On the positive side, it should be noted that a federal judge did originally rule in favor of Newdow in 2005, but that decision resulted in it going on to the appeals court. It should also be noted that the current decision was a split one. As non-theists it is critical that we continue to protest and let our voices be heard in this matter. The only way to change the discriminatory status quo is to keep pushing for absolute separation of church and state in the way our Founding Fathers intended.

Muslims Strike Back: The Sectarian Killing in Nigeria Continues

datePosted on 14:10, March 8th, 2010 by Kosmic Kurt

If you remember, this past January, Christians slaughtered at least 150 Muslims in the town of Kuru Karama and left bodies piled in heaps out in the streets after having burned all of the houses down to the ground. Today Muslims raided a town south of the city of Jos, Nigeria and killed at least 200 Christians (New York Times Report). The raiders were seen using machetes and hacked mostly woman and children to death. The fighting in Nigeria is based on the ethnic divisions that exist in a country that is primarily half Christian and half Muslim. In all fairness, there are a number of issues other than religion that contributes to the rising body counts. But the main division itself is clearly one between Christians and Muslims. Is this a preview as to what could potential happen on a global level in the future? Most assuredly, yes!

Today in the United States tensions continue to rise as Christian Right fanatics continue to bash Muslims, Jews, non-theists, and even other Christians. Unfortunately almost all theists are united in their hatred towards us atheists. Even though we are not the ones attacking and perpetrating violence, we are still vilified. That is why it is so important to stand up as an atheist and as an atheist that helps people and does good deeds. We have the potential to work and live with theists – we are doing it right now. However, theists apparently do not have the potential to live with us – or each other, for that matter. You want see what happens when different theistic groups try to live together? Look to Nigeria. Perhaps if we wait long enough all of the Christian and Muslims will kill each other. Then all we have to worry about are the militant Buddhist and Hindus, and a couple hundred other theistic sects.

Imagine no religion.

Great Time to be an Atheist

datePosted on 23:44, March 2nd, 2010 by Kosmic Kurt

How fortunate we are to be atheists at a time like this. The unprecedented meeting last Friday between the Obama administration and the Secular Coalition of America, along with many of it’s member organizations, marks an important milestone in our cultural development. The first time high ranking officials of the United States government actually sat down and talked to us! Wow! Some have argued that not enough was accomplished and that this should be the norm, not an exception. To people like that I say, “Wake up!” We live in a country that is currently dominated by superstitious dogma, by religious zealots who obfuscate reality and cause pain and suffering to millions. The fact that the event happened at all is a clear signal to theists, that, yes, we are a real force in this country. And, yes, we are getting the attention of those in power. What’s more, the ignorant theistic majority has labeled atheists as hostile, disruptive, unpleasant people (some would even argue we are not people at all). Check out the report on Hemant  Mehta’s blog and look at the smile on David Silverman’s (American Atheists) face. Does he look angry and disruptive? Quite the contrary. Collectively we are ecstatic to have an audience with the administration. It is long overdue, but now that it’s here, we embrace it. Hopefully this will mark the beginning of a turning point in the perception of non-theistic groups in this country. Do not let this opportunity pass. Now, more than ever, is the time to stand up and be counted. Now is the time for all of you closet atheists to come out and publicly embrace reason and denounce the dogmatic hypocrisy and hatred of religion.

Despite what we hear from Glenn Beck or Sarah Palin, we’re in a stage in history where millions upon millions of Americans share a secular perspective on American public policy. We think the real ‘silent majority,’ if you will, is the Americans who say, ‘Enough of this religious and even theocratic nature to American policy.’

—Sean Faircloth
—Executive Director of the Secular Coalition of America

More Meaningless Rhetoric from the Pope

datePosted on 12:07, February 8th, 2010 by Kosmic Kurt

Joe Ratzinger, AKA Pope Benedict XVI, has issued a formal statement condemning child abuse by Catholic priests. So what! The staggering amount of sexual abuse committed by these criminals is only now starting to come to light. The Catholic Church has been abusing children since its inception. Meanwhile everyone just looks the other way. The lip service form the Pope is just that – lip service. In the United States, a victim support group called Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests called the statement “meaningless and self-serving.” These priests should be treated like any other criminal and sentenced accordingly. As to the huge sexual-abuse scandal in Ireland, the Pope has done nothing than issue his meaningless statement and accept the resignation of one priest. It is typically the practice of the Catholic Church to “buy off” anyone making a claim against the them. All we can hope is that more and more people will continue to come forward and perhaps  inflict enough financial burden on the church to get them to curb their criminal behavior.

US Baptists Kidnap Haitian Children

datePosted on 15:11, February 1st, 2010 by Kosmic Kurt

No matter how hard you hope it will just stop and go away you just cannot seem to escape the fact that Christians care about no one but themselves and will hurt anyone, especially children for their own selfish agendas. And in Haiti – of all places!

I really thought that perhaps most religious organizations would put aside petty self interests and provide some much needed relief to the people of Haiti after their devastating earthquake. You know, forget the religious stuff, let’s just be good people and help. But then, we get this. A group of ten American Baptist missionaries have been detained for attempting to kidnap 33 children and smuggle them into the Dominican Republic. Not much is functioning in Haiti, but fortunately the border police are. The alleged kidnappers have stated that they meant no harm and were only trying to do God’s will. Let’s see, God’s will by rescuing orphans by inculcating them into their Christian sect and stealing them away. I guess they figured in all of the confusion no one would miss a few (33) children. Some of the children do, in fact, have parents and are not orphaned as the kidnappers claim.

As of this morning the missionaries have not been formally charged and the children have been temporarily placed in a Haitian orphanage just outside of the capital city. The missionaries’ Baptist pastor in Idaho has said that they went down to Haiti to help and not to kidnap. We’ll it looks like they got caught with their hand in the cookie jar. You want to help? Send money to organizations that provide food, water, and medical care. If you are a trained health care professional, then go down and treat the sick. If you are nothing but an ignorant, arrogant Christian missionary who is only capable of proselytizing – stay the hell away! Haiti does not need you type of help.

These missionaries are Americans. Stupid acts like this reflect poorly on our entire nation. At a time when the entire world is watching relief efforts in this most unfortunate country, we get American Christian zealots blatantly trying to steal children. In the event that the missionaries did get consent from parents to take their children, they still failed to do it properly. Their covert act is one typical of religious organizations. In the guise of offering a better life elsewhere, the religious will deceive naïve parents and convince them to abandon their children without realizing they will be converted into mindless religious Christbots. If the missionaries are found guilty, they should be punished to the full extent of Haitian law rather than deported where they will most likely go free.

The saddest thing is that these people probably truly believe that they did no wrong. Once again religion has blinded people into acting irresponsibly with the outcome of hurting the innocent. I should have known better. A religious organization that actually does something unselfishly to help people – not in this world.

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