Archive for ‘December, 2008’

A Sense of Hope for 2009

datePosted on 19:54, December 31st, 2008 by Kosmic Kurt

On New Year’s Eve people often look back on the previous year and make resolutions of action to take in the up coming year. This year will be no different. 2008 will no doubt be remembered for the terrible financial problems that have affected all of us. The world is a much different place than it was a year ago. Many of us are going to have even tougher times ahead as we all must adapt to our new set of circumstances. However, there is much to be happy and optimistic about, as well. 2008 is the year that Americans said “no more” to the horrors of the Bush administration. No more to the “war on science.” No more to endless military occupations of third world countries without any benefit for the American people. No more to the threat of stacking the Supreme Court against the beliefs of most Americans. And so on. 2009 holds great promise for many of us. We have the opportunity to recover from much that we have lost during the past eight years. Make no mistake though; we have a lot of work to do. The new administration may be more receptive to cultural equality and the rights of women and some minorities, but embracing atheists, agnostics, and other freethinkers is a whole other matter. Obama has openly endorsed right-wing religious fanatics (Rick Warren) and indicated he would continue to support faith based initiatives. The divisive and historically wrong idea that America was founded as a Christian nation is embraced by many. We, as free thinkers, must continue to be vigilant and fight to protect all of our constitutional rights. I encourage everyone to support action oriented groups such as The Freedom from Religion Foundation, American’s United for Separation of Church and State, and The Secular Coalition, to name but a few. With a little diligence we can make the United States the democracy it was intended to be. This year I resolve to make a difference! Happy New Year to all. May Darwin be with you.

Obama Scores a Big One with Science Team Announcement

datePosted on 20:41, December 21st, 2008 by Kosmic Kurt

Okay, I just got done blasting President-elect Obama on his poor choice of choosing right-wing evangelical pastor Rick Warren to deliver the invocation at his inauguration. And no, I do not take any of it back. It was a bad decision. However, Obama has recently made a very good decision. Four of them actually. Obama has named four brilliant and dedicated scientists to his President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology. This is a very welcome move that clearly indicates a new direction for the United States. President Bush’s “War on Science” has resulted in an incalculable amount of damage that will probably take several generations to reverse. In his weekly internet address, Obama outlined a clear and distinct path that science will take in his administration. This, to me, is the most encouraging and positive public announcement I have heard in some time. The United States used to be the leader of cutting edge innovations in all fields of science and technology. While the past administration was preaching religious doctrine and ignoring and ridiculing scientists, the rest of the world passed us by. Now perhaps we have a fighting chance to regain some of what was lost. Now that is real change. Good move Mr. President-elect. Keep it up!

Link to 12/20/08 President-elect Obama’s Weekly Address

Evangelical Pastor to give Obama Invocation

datePosted on 14:05, December 18th, 2008 by Kosmic Kurt

Rick Warren, the Pro-Choice, anti-LGBT, right-wing evangelical pastor will give the invocation at the inauguration of President-elect Barack Obama. Obviously I have a great deal of difficulty rationalizing this bigoted religious figure taking part in anything in my life, but to hold center stage in front of hundreds of millions of people worldwide is maddening. It’s clear as day that Obama wants to include the Religious Right, but this, to me, is way over-the-top. Obama may as well just say that everything the Democratic Party stands for irrelevant.

Why must we have an invocation or a benediction, for that matter, in the first place? There is plenty of “religion” to go around at the inauguration as it is. Most presidents say, “…so help me God” at the end of their oath. It is not required, yet they do it. Theodore Roosevelt said, “…and thus I swear.” Good Theodore! But Obama is no Roosevelt. He will utter the “G” word. Rick Warren will probably behave admirable and end of looking good. But it is a massive lie and a horrible injustice to all LGBT’s in the United States – not to mention women in general. Acknowledging Warren in any capacity gives credence to his archaic divisive hateful views.

Note to the president-elect: From those of us that look to you as a welcome change to make an attempt to unite our nation, you’ve just put a giant wedge right down the center. Not a great start. Shame on you!

FFRF Sues City After “No Religion” Billboard Taken Down

datePosted on 14:36, December 2nd, 2008 by Kosmic Kurt

The Freedom From Religion Foundation is suing the city of Ranch Cucamonga in Southern California for removing their billboard after alleged complaints and a phone call from city representative Linda Daniels. The billboards depicts the ubiquitous World Trade Center twin towers with the words “Imagine no religion” taken form John Lennon’s song Imagine (shown elsewhere in this blog). General Outdoor sign company removed the billboard after Daniels called and said the city had allegedly received 90 calls complaining about the billboard.

This is clearly a perfect example of a city giving preferential treatment to a religious majority over a non-religious minority. The Bill of Rights was created for the express purpose of preventing this from happening. The city is violating the rights of the FFRF and other non-believers. What’s more, this action reflects very poorly on the religious protesters.  Everyday I come in contact with religious billboards and religious advertising that I find very offensive. So, I look away or change the channel – or better yet, if there is an opportunity for me to express another view – I express it. Suppressing the opinions of any group because they differ from yours is very wrong. When the government does it, it is illegal.

From a philosophical point of view, the world would indeed be a much better and safer place to live in without religion. In recent memory I don’t recall any atheists bombing subways or flying airplanes into

buildings. Those acts belong to Christians, Muslims, and other believers. Apparently the people of  Rancho Cucamonga are so comfortable with their religious hatred and violence that they can’t Imagine life without it.

No religion’ billboard taken down after complaints

By The Associated Press, Associated Press

RANCHO CUCAMONGA, Calif. – Complaints have led to the removal of an atheist group’s “Imagine No Religion” billboard in this San Bernardino County city.

The General Outdoor sign company took down the Freedom From Religion Foundation billboard after the city said it received about 90 complaints and asked whether there was a way to remove it.

The Madison, Wis.-based foundation, which advocates separation of church and state, has billboards in eight states that include such messages as “Reasons Greetings” and “Beware of Dogma.”

The foundation’s co-president, Annie Laurie Gaylor, said the billboard is meant to encourage a debate about religion by evoking lyrics from a John Lennon song.

“The city has no business suggesting our billboard be censored,” Gaylor said. “They’re not allowed to interfere over religious controversy.”

The city’s actions are “dangerously close” to censorship and a violation of the First Amendment, said Peter Scheer, executive director of the California First Amendment Coalition.

“A city government has no business trying to dictate or influence the content of an advertising image, particularly one that’s political and controversial as this is simply because some people don’t like it and complained about it,” Scheer said.