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When is Humanity Going to Get That We’re All in This Together?

Archive for February, 2007

Excellent Thoughts on the Dead-Jesus Broohaha

Posted by honestpoet on February 28, 2007

Here’s a post hubby found while researching about that alleged discovery of the holy family. I’m adding this site to my blogroll. I do enjoy the musings of a sound mind.

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Posted in atheism, Christianity, Jesus, ridiculous beliefs, science, skepticism | 4 Comments »

Violent Scriptures Increase Aggression in Study

Posted by honestpoet on February 24, 2007

Here’s a study we found online. It seemed pertinent. Now who’s gonna tell me religion isn’t toxic?

Public release date: 23-Feb-2007

Contact: Brad Bushman
bbushman@umich.edu
Association for Psychological Science
When God sanctions killing, the people listen

New research published in the March issue of Psychological Science may help elucidate the relationship between religious indoctrination and violence, a topic that has gained renewed notoriety in the wake of the September 11th terrorist attacks. In the article, University of Michigan psychologist Brad Bushman and his colleagues suggest that scriptural violence sanctioned by God can increase aggression, especially in believers.

The authors set out to examine this interaction by conducting experiments with undergraduates at two religiously contrasting universities: Brigham Young University where 99% of students report believing in God and the Bible and Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam where just 50% report believing in God and 27% believe in the bible.

After reporting their religious affiliation and beliefs, the participants read a parable adapted from a relatively obscure passage in the King James Bible describing the brutal torture and murder of a woman, and her husband’s subsequent revenge on her attackers. Half of the participants were told that the passage came from the Book of Judges in the Old Testament while the other half were told it was an ancient scroll discovered in an archaeological expedition.

In addition to the scriptural distinction, half of the participants from both the bible and the ancient scroll groups read an adjusted version that included the verse:

“The Lord commanded Israel to take arms against their brothers and chasten them before the LORD.”

The participants were then placed in pairs and instructed to compete in a simple reaction task. The winner of the task would be able to “blast” his or her partner with noise up to 105 decibels, about the same volume as a fire alarm. The test measures aggression.

As expected, the Brigham Young students were more aggressive (i.e. louder) with their blasts if they had been told that the passage they had previously read was from the bible rather than a scroll. Likewise, participants were more aggressive if they had read the additional verse that depicts God sanctioning violence.

At the more secular Vrije Universiteit, the results were surprisingly similar. Although Vrije students were less likely to be influenced by the source of the material, they blasted more aggressively when the passage that they read included the sanctioning of the violence by God. This finding held true even for non-believers, though to a lesser extent.

The research sheds light on the possible origins of violent religious fundamentalism and falls in line with theories proposed by scholars of religious terrorism, who hypothesize that exposure to violent scriptures may induce extremists to engage in aggressive actions. “To the extent religious extremists engage in prolonged, selective reading of the scriptures, focusing on violent retribution toward unbelievers instead of the overall message of acceptance and understanding,” writes Bushman “one might expect to see increased brutality”
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Psychological Science is ranked among the top 10 general psychology journals for impact by the Institute for Scientific Information. For a copy of the article “When God Sanctions Killing: Effect of Scriptural Violence on Aggression” and access to other Psychological Science research findings please contact Catherine West at (202) 783-2077 or cwest@psychologicalscience.org.

Posted in atheism, Christianity, Christianofascism, fundamentalism, Islam, Jews, Muslims, ridiculous beliefs, science, separation of church and state, terrorism, the Bible | 30 Comments »

My Plan for Poetry

Posted by honestpoet on February 24, 2007

I’ll say hello
to the world
and make her
my friend

then tell her
with the utmost tact
and compassion
to please

please

take her beautiful, beloved head
out of her fetid
thought-blocking
bottom.

Posted in poetry | 2 Comments »

It’s Hard to Keep a Good Mother Down

Posted by honestpoet on February 23, 2007

One of the purposes a blog can serve is to allow people to vent. So, please, allow me.

Argh. My body has been invaded by microbes, and right now victory is not exactly clear (I exaggerate). Actually, several weeks ago, that was the case, but this time I just have a cold.

So I’m not in fear of involuntarily abandoning my family at this point, just really frustrated. Because after battling a double-whammy cipro-resistant (thanks to anthrax-paranoid people overusing that heretofore-effective antibiotic) bacterial infection for two months, the home and garden have fallen into disrepair, and I was really psyched about getting out there on this beautiful day and really making change.

And instead I’ve lain in bed most of the morning, waiting for the Nyquil that I finally agreed to take in the wee hours (I hate that sort of medicine) to wear off. It has, but I still feel queasy (one of the symptoms of the cold both my daughter and husband are getting over, caused by massive post-nasal drip; yes, I have a belly full of snot) and not really up to digging in the dirt.

But I have accomplished the most important thing on my to-do list, and I’ll have to satisfy myself with that. And I am so glad: I finally got my best friend to schedule an appointment with her oncologist to plan her next round of chemo.

She’s been in denial. We found out she had stage-3 cervical cancer a few weeks before last Christmas. Her first round of chemo was rough, as they all are, though she didn’t lose her hair (not all of the agents do that). But the final radiological treatment, which involved her being on her back, in pain, in a lead-lined room, in a panic, with capsules of radioactive material stuffed up her hoo-hoo, for three days, was absolute torture. She had one of those sadistic doctors who seem to hate their patients. He denied her the medicine that my husband had prescribed for her to help her with the pain and panic, and then, at the end of all this, the doctor removed the capsules and gauze, which had fused to the walls of her vagina, with no anesthetic and no lubrication. She couldn’t help but scream. The nurses were aghast at the doctor’s cruelty. I’m not sure she went through with the complaint we urged her to file. I hope she did.

That was about six months ago. Since then she’s gained a nice bit of weight back. She’s been strong enough to start the next round of chemo (with a different agent…unfortunately, the mass was reduced by less than 50%) for a few months, but she’s been avoiding it. She feels well enough, but she’s got a little boy (my godson) who’s about to turn 3, and she’s been having fun planning his party and looking for presents. She’d rather not be out of commission again. It was hard on both of them.

Chemo is absolutely no fun. Not to mention sometimes it’s as deadly as the cancer. If I believed in the power of prayer I’d write a moving email and send it around the world. Or ask you, dear reader, to ask that allegedly benevolent being to heal her, or at least not kill her, yet. But I don’t. I believe in something much more effective: the power of will. I trust in the power of her mind over her body (since I know they’re not actually separate). She’s defied the odds before. She was supposed to have been dead years ago, from leukemia. But she fought that, and she’ll fight this, too, just like I fought death when it came for me. She’s got a very good reason to live. Like me, she’s got some very important work to do.

Posted in cancer, chemotherapy, friendship, illness, mothering, prayer | Leave a Comment »

Fear of Freedom

Posted by honestpoet on February 21, 2007

Hitler said that people would rather believe a lie than to be free. Of course he used that common human trait to the hilt.

Freedom is scary because it means you’re responsible. You’re responsible for your own actions. Every minute of every day.

I choose freedom. I think what feels true to me, do what feels true to me, even if that means defying convention or even the law. I can’t help it: it’s my nature. That’s why I call myself Honest Poet. I refuse to lie to be nice or get along. I won’t pretend that a lie is the truth.

I search for facts, and try to make good choices, try to judge what’s right at any given moment, doing my best to cause the least harm I can.

I see each human being for what she or he is: a human being, each with her/his own hopes and fears.

The world without blinders on dazzles, and sometimes terrifies.

Posted in atheism, secular humanism | 6 Comments »

Crazy Christian Chain-Emails

Posted by honestpoet on February 21, 2007

Thanks to Heathen Mommy for this delightful link, for all you who get tired of those sappy, hell-threatening emails.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

Solomon Wasn’t a King, He was a Pagan God

Posted by honestpoet on February 20, 2007

Now things make even more sense. Here’s a link that deals with the historical basis for the myth of King Solomon and his temple.

And here’s one that confirms the lack of evidence for any historical truth to Kings David or Solomon. And the article’s a review of biblical archeology, that was linked from Christian Century, not a tract from some atheist with an axe to grind.

Posted in atheism, Christianity, history, Jesus, Jews, politics, science, separation of church and state, the Bible | 18 Comments »

Solomon Never Existed

Posted by honestpoet on February 18, 2007

Here’s an interesting bit. I’d known that there was no evidence of the temple, but I didn’t understand why the fiction of the Old Testament would have been invented. This man makes it pretty clear.

So Solomon was a fiction. Abraham, David, Jesus, the whole lot. Just stories. Propaganda.

And now look at the mess we’re in. Men killing each other over stories.

It’s as ludicrous as people fighting to the death as partisans of Sleeping Beauty or Cinderella.

Posted in atheism, Christianity, history, Islam, Jews, Muslims, politics | 33 Comments »

Jesus Never Existed

Posted by honestpoet on February 18, 2007

Here’s a great link for facts about the real history of the Judeo-Christian religion.

Posted in atheism, Christianity, history, Jesus, Jews, ridiculous beliefs, Romans, secular humanism, separation of church and state | 13 Comments »

Sex toys, the pursuit of happiness, and Christianofascism

Posted by honestpoet on February 16, 2007

Yesterday we got a plain brown box in the mail. We’d ordered some nifty toys before Valentine’s Day (they got here a day late). We sure had a lot of fun last night. I’m thinking tonight’s going to be fun, too.

But hubby comes home from work today, and tells me he heard something really interesting on the radio. Apparently Alabama passed a law that not only makes the sale of dildos and other genital-stimulating devices illegal, but even the possession. And there’s a potential sentence of 10 years in prison. For having a dildo. Jeebus.

Here’s a funny Mark Morford editorial about the whole business. Apparently sex toys are illegal in my state, too. So I’ve been breaking yet another law and I didn’t even know it.

This is outrageous. There’s absolutely no way they can justify this law except with religion.

I’m pretty sure that what I do with my own genitals is nobody’s business but my own. If that’s not part of my inalienable right to the pursuit of happiness, I don’t know what is.

The Supremes (stacked as they are in the Christianofascists’ favor) say that they can’t deny a state the right to outlaw sexual acts, or before you know it states might make incest or pedophilia or rape legal. Right. What a crock.

First of all, as if.

Second of all, my using a dildo doesn’t involve anyone else. So how can it be compared to rape or incest or child molestation?

This is establishment of religious law, and it’s absolutely unconstitutional.

Posted in anti-establishment clause, Christianity, Christianofascism, fundamentalism, homophobia, mental illness, politics, ridiculous beliefs, separation of church and state, sexual freedom, states' rights | 18 Comments »