Posted by honestpoet on April 27, 2007
Here’s one of three excerpts from Christopher Hitchens’s book, God is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything. I haven’t read the other two yet, but this was so good I had to post it here.
A little bit to whet your appetite:
While some religious apology is magnificent in its limited way—one might cite Pascal—and some of it is dreary and absurd—here one cannot avoid naming C. S. Lewis—both styles have something in common, namely the appalling load of strain that they have to bear. How much effort it takes to affirm the incredible! The Aztecs had to tear open a human chest cavity every day just to make sure that the sun would rise. Monotheists are supposed to pester their deity more times than that, perhaps, lest he be deaf. How much vanity must be concealed—not too effectively at that—in order to pretend that one is the personal object of a divine plan? How much self-respect must be sacrificed in order that one may squirm continually in an awareness of one’s own sin? How many needless assumptions must be made, and how much contortion is required, to receive every new insight of science and manipulate it so as to “fit” with the revealed words of ancient man-made deities? How many saints and miracles and councils and conclaves are required in order first to be able to establish a dogma and then—after infinite pain and loss and absurdity and cruelty—to be forced to rescind one of those dogmas? God did not create man in his own image. Evidently, it was the other way about, which is the painless explanation for the profusion of gods and religions, and the fratricide both between and among faiths, that we see all about us and that has so retarded the development of civilization.
Posted in anti-establishment clause, atheism, Christianity, Christianofascism, fundamentalism, Islam, Jesus, Jews, misogyny, Muslims, politics, prayer, religion, Richard Dawkins, ridiculous beliefs, secular humanism, separation of church and state, skepticism, terrorism, witchcraft | 18 Comments »
Posted by honestpoet on April 18, 2007
Ugh. Don’t look at this unless you’re not squeamish. It’s a video of a calf born in Costa Rica with a mutation the vets there believe was caused by pesticides. The poor thing has two tongues, two noses, and a severely truncated jaw. It’s owner fears it won’t be able to chew, though who knows? Life usually wants to stay badly enough that it can often make do with a flawed vessel.
Either way, I think we need to seriously rethink our use of these chemicals.
ps — Don’t think that John McCain ad up top is any sort of endorsement from me, though he’s not at the bottom of my list, at least.
Posted in ecology, pesticides, sustainable agriculture | 20 Comments »
Posted by honestpoet on April 18, 2007
For those of you who haven’t read it since civics class (or who’ve never read it at all), here’s the United States Constitution, on which so much depends. During a conversation elsewhere about the second-amendment right to bear arms, I realized that many really don’t know what it says.
Posted in anti-establishment clause, politics, religion, separation of church and state | 3 Comments »
Posted by honestpoet on April 15, 2007
Here’s an article for all those neocon dolts who insist that global warming is some sort of liberal conspiracy to make Bush look bad (or whatever ridiculous belief causes their resistance to the truth). It’s about Inuit hunters and other indigenous folks of the far north (and the wildlife they coexist with) having trouble with the thinning ice.
QALUIT, Nunavut – Inuit hunters are falling through thinning ice and dying. Dolphins are being spotted for the first time. There’s not enough snow to build igloos for shelter during hunts.
As scientists work to establish the impact of global warming, explorers and hunters slogging across northern Canada and the Arctic ice cap on sled and foot are describing the realities they see on the ground. Three of them recently spoke to The Associated Press.
“This is really ground zero for global warming,” said Will Steger, a 62-year-old Minnesotan who has been traveling the region for 43 years and has witnessed the impact of warming on the 155,000 indigenous people of the Arctic.
“This is where a culture has lived for 5,000 years, relying on a very delicate, interconnected ecosystem and, one by one, small pegs of that ecosystem are being pulled out.”
It’s time to get serious about ameliorating our impact. Go here and sign a petition to encourage caps on emissions. Let’s reclaim our planet for all its inhabitants.
Posted in ecology, global warming, peace, politics, ridiculous beliefs, science | 6 Comments »
Posted by honestpoet on April 11, 2007
Here’s a good one from the American Atheist newsletter (I get it emailed to me).
President George W. Bush was scheduled to visit the Episcopal Church
outside Washington as part of his campaign to restore his poll
Bush’s campaign manager made a visit to the Bishop, and said to him,
“We’ve been getting a lot of bad publicity because of the president’s
position on stem cell research, the Iraq war, Katrina, and the like.
We’d gladly make a contribution to the church of $100,000 if during
your sermon you’d say the President is a saint.”
The Bishop thought it over for a few moments and finally said, “The
Church is in desperate need of funds and I will agree to do it.”
Bush showed up for the sermon and the Bishop began:
“I’d like to speak to you all this morning about our President.
George Bush is a liar, a cheat, and a low-intelligence weasel.
He took the tragedy of September 11 and used it to frighten and
manipulate the American people. He lied about weapons of mass
destruction and invaded Iraq for oil and money, causing the deaths of
tens of thousands and making the United States the most hated country
“He appointed cronies to positions of power and influence, leading to
widespread death and destruction during Hurricane Katrina. He awarded
contracts and tax cuts to his rich friends so that we now have more
poverty in this country, and a greater gap between rich and poor, than
we’ve had since the Depression. He instituted illegal wiretaps when
getting a warrant from a secret court would have been a mere
administrative detail, had his henchmen lie to Congress about it, then
claimed he is above the law.
“He has headed the most corrupt, bribe-inducing political party since
Teapot Dome. The national surplus has turned into a staggering
national debt of 7.6 trillion dollars, gas prices are up 85%, and
vital research into global warming and stem cells is stopped cold
because he’s afraid to lose votes from some religious kooks.
“He is the worst example of a true Christian I’ve ever known.
But compared to Dick Cheney and Karl Rove, George Bush is a saint.”
(Thanks to Monty Gaither in Arizona for this – ed.)
Posted in anti-establishment clause, atheism, Christianity, Christianofascism, fundamentalism, global warming, impeachment, military, neuroscience, politics, religion, separation of church and state | 8 Comments »
Posted by honestpoet on April 9, 2007
Thanks to Homeyra for emailing me this link. Here’s a blog that’s got the right idea: let’s send messages to the folks behind the scenes who are agitating for war, telling them to “think again.”
As I commented over at my friend Monte’s blog, the resistance to the invasion of Iraq marked the first time in history that the people have protested a war before it even started. Maybe we’ll actually be able to stop one this time.
I don’t know about my fellow Americans, but I for one am not going to stand silently by while my government bombs more brown people for profit. This fascism has to end. So many have commented about the German people’s tolerance of Nazism. How is history going to paint us?
Posted in blogging, Christianofascism, fundamentalism, Islam, military, Muslims, peace, politics, power of love, religion, separation of church and state, terrorism | 2 Comments »