Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Fiery's a baaaaaad girl

First off, a warm welcome to my newest lurker! Don't be shy, please say "hi!" :-) We're real friendly here! This post has a few references to previous posts, in order to bring you up to speed, I've linked the relevant bits in the story. ;-)

I drove by the fundies at the women's clinic... again *sigh* When is the 40 days going to be over?

I'm sorry Richard, I had no restraint today. But ohhhh did I laugh my guts sore. I think at one point I was literally bouncing up and down in the car at a traffic light, I'm sily that way.

I had driven by the clinic a bit earlier today and gave them the one fingered salute of universal disdain when I saw they were still standing at the clinic murmuring.

Not too long later, I had the oppportunity to drive by again, and I was really excited! A second shot at the fundies. What to do? What to do? Hmmmmmmm..... I didn't want to be boring and repeat myself, so I rolled down the window, trying to catch one of the old heifer's eyes. I swear all I was going to say was that they were being particularly "exasperating, annoying and inconvenient" in as few words as possible. Honestly!

Instead what came out was, "Go home ya fucking fundies!" yelled in my best revved up atheist voice, in addition to the appropriate finger gesture that left little to the imagination, hopefully.

Being bitterly disappointed that I had not communicated the true "exasperating, annoying and inconvenient" nature of the fundies to them, I turned and yelled the abbreviation back at them, really using the diaphragm on that one.

Did you know that when you yell that particular abbreviation at a stop light with three to six story buildings on all 4 corners it creates the most delicious echo? My opinion positively reverberated through the streets. Fargo resounded with my contempt, if only for a moment.

Come on StarHawk, let's get together and go razz the fundies!

Saturday, October 27, 2007

CONGRATULATIONS JOHNNY!!!!!

WOOOHOOOO!!!!!!!!!

(In order to read this properly... the correct pronunciation for over is "ova" and weekend is emphasized "weekEND".) :-D

The following cricket match results just in from Australia:
Mt Waverley Uniting 1st XI vs Toorak Prahran 1st XI

(1st XI means the top ranked team of 11 players from that cricket club.)

Leading off the bowling (pitching) for Mt. Waverley Uniting was our very own Johnny. And a fantastic job he did! In the second half of a match played over two weekends, Toorak faced Johnny with 4 wickets in hand. (They had 4 batsmen left who could score runs for their team.)

In a stunning display of talent and skill, Johnny took 3 of those 4 wickets in just 3 overs!!!!! (An over is 6 balls thrown to the batter before it is another batter's turn to try and score. Getting 3 wickets in 3 overs is even more impressive than a pitcher getting 3 up 3 down in baseball.)

Not only did Johnny do it in 3 overs, but two of those wickets were taken by hitting the stumps! Which is a feat in and of itself. But to do it twice WOOOHOOO!! (The batsman's job is to defend three sticks shoved in the ground and to score runs. The batsman can be ruled out if the ball he hits is caught in mid-air, if the stumps are tagged with the ball by a player as he is trying to score, or if the bowler hits the stumps while bowling to him- which is what Johnny did.)

The game concluded with Mt. Waverly winning by 260 runs. Johnny personally finished 4 for 25. (He was responsibe for getting 4 of their 11 batsmen out and they scored 25 runs off of him. In a game where the scores can get upwards of 150, only having 25 runs scored on you is AWESOME!!!!)

WAY TO GO Johnny!!!! You must be absolutely chuffed!

Friday, October 26, 2007

"How to Shut Up an Atheist if You Must" PART TWO

Authors Dinesh D’Souza and Robert Hutchinson skillfully answer, once again, the atheist’s pet questions about the existence (or non-existence) of God and how Christianity has allegedly made the world suck. Suck, for you thick atheists, is a slang word which means to make or to be really, really crappy (kind of like how our culture becomes anytime you guys mess with it).

These books will be especially beneficial for high school and college students to draw upon when their secular anti-God fuming delirious instructors start railing against God and Christianity.

For instance:

1. When the prissy anti-Christs tell you the Bible stands in the way of science, inform them that the greatest scientific geniuses in history were devout Christians—and scientists from Newton to Einstein insisted that biblical religion provided the key ideas from which experimental science could develop.


BWAHAHAHAHA! Does the image of a prissy anti-christ storming through the world hellbent on Armageddon strike anyone else as funny? Maybe he didn't mean the Revelations inspired "antichrist" but rather people who are against jeebus. Wow, it is hard to hold on to what he is saying.

"The mystical trend of our time, which shows itself particularly in the rampant growth of the so-called Theosophy and Spiritualism, is for me no more than a symptom of weakness and confusion."
- Albert Einstein

"The idea of a personal God is an anthropological concept which I am unable to take seriously."
- Albert Einstein

Yeah, Einstein was ALL about the jeebus factor in his work.

2. When the pissy God haters tell you the Bible condones slavery, you can remind them that slavery was abolished only when devout Christians, inspired by the Bible, launched a campaign in the early 1800s to abolish the slave trade.

Look pal, you obviously know how to use a thesaurus, I would love to know which one so I could predict your next randomly chosen derogatory term. Atheists do not hate god! Grab a dictionary, enlighten yourself. An atheist is a person who has looked inside themselves and said.... "Do I believe in god?" "Nope, no belief in god in me." That person does not then say, "I HATE GOD!" I'll tell you what a lot of atheists do hate though, is the IDEA of god. But that is a topic for another time. You cannot hate it, if it doesn't exist.

Despite the disappearance of slavery in Great Britain, slavery was a way of life in the southern colonies of America and the West Indian colonies of the British Empire.

First Steps to abolishing slavery, "By 1783, an anti-slavery movement was beginning among the British public. That year the first English abolitionist organization was founded by a group of Quakers. The Quakers continued to be influential throughout the lifetime of the movement, in many ways leading the way for the campaign. On 17 June 1783 the issue was formally brought to government by Sir Cecil Wray (Member of Parliament for Retford), who presented the Quaker petition to parliament. Also in 1783, Dr Beilby Porteus issued a call to the Church of England to cease its involvement in the slave trade and to formulate a workable policy to draw attention to and improve the conditions of Afro-Caribbean slaves."

Have christians EVER considered Quakers to be devout chrsitians????? Did you know you can be Quaker without being christian? lol And poor Porteus actually had to convince the Church of England to stop its INVOLVEMENT in the slave trade. But here in America.... what made the abolition of slavery even possible. Words, words floating in my head, "unalienable rights... life...liberty...pursuit of happiness" something foundational there. Something created in the very fabric of our society. Who... who wrote those words? It's not a name that is surfacing it is a religious affiliation. Deist. The deists wrote those words. What did the deists believe? That the universe was created by a supreme being who got the ball rolling and then LEFT IT ALONE!!!!!!! Hardly devout christians.

3. When the screechin’ teachers tell you the Bible has been proven false by archaeology, hark back and show them that each year a new archaeological discovery substantiates the existence of people, places and events we once knew solely from biblical sources, including the discovery of the Moabite stone in 1868, which mentions numerous places in the Bible, and the discovery of an inscription in 1961 that proves the existence of the biblical figure Pontius Pilate, just to name a few.

"Each year a new archaeological discovery substantiates"..... Wow. They must have HEAPS of corroborating evidence. Cool! What examples do they provide, "1868 and 1961" BWAHAHAHAHAHA!!! and what did they discover? a Moabite stone and that there was a dude named Pointius Pilate. OMG!!! The virgin birth MUST be true. Pontius Pilate LIVED!!!!!

4. When they get sweaty and tell you that the Bible breeds intolerance, refresh their memory with the fact that only those societies influenced by biblical teachings (in North and South America, Europe, and Australia) today guarantee freedom of speech and religion. Period.

Sweaty? As in perspiration? Do atheists get sweaty when they talk about the bible? I'd best refresh my anti-perspirant than. Sheesh, no sense stinking up my own blog. Does the bible teach intolerance?

black people bear the mark of cain and are inferior
homosexuals should be killed
witches should be killed
women should be seen and not heard
beat your children
slaves obey your masters
if a virgin is raped she must marry her attacker
if a woman doesn't yell loud enough when she is raped, stone her
if a woman commits adultery stone her but let the man live
if the wrong people are living in the land god wants you to inhabit, kill them all.

Yes, the bible is a hot bed of compassion and tolerance, loving kindness to others. As to the list of countries, sounds like parts of the British Empire to me.

5. When one of them queues up and quips that the Bible opposes freedom, smack ‘em with the fact that the Bible’s insistence that no one is above the law and all must answer to divine justice led to theories of universal human rights and…uh…limited government.

BWAHAHAHAH!!! The ideas for democracy came from ancient Greece and were suppressed in every way possible by the catholic church.

The following bible verses actively condone slavery... which is NOT a form of freedom.
Leviticus 25:44-46
Exodus 21:2-6
Exodus 21:7-11
Exodus 21:20-21 NAB
Ephesians 6:5
1 Timothy 6:1-2
Luke 12:47-48

6. When they tell you that Christianity and the Bible justify war and genocide, unsympathetically remind them that societies which rejected biblical morality in favor of a more “rational” and “scientific” approach to politics murdered millions upon millions more than the Crusades or the Inquisition ever did. Hello. “Atheist regimes have caused the greatest mass murders in history,” says D’Souza. Inside D’Souza’s book you’ll find little gems like, “The Crusades, the Inquisition, the Galileo affair, and witch hunts together make up less than 1% of the murders that have occurred during modern atheist regimes like Stalin, Hitler, and Mao.”

Stalin- raised christian political affiliation COMMUNIST
"Communism was a comprehensive, all-embracing religion and not simply a political party, political system or philosophy. This fact is illustrated by the numerous ways in which Communism embraced and attempted to promulgate peculiar quasi-religious (and often clearly anti-scientific) beliefs which had nothing all to do with politics or government. Although Communism typically touted itself as anti-religious and pro-science, it was, in fact, deeply anti-scientific and clearly a religion."

Hitler-
Hitler's Christianity. "In Mein Kampf, Hitler wrote: 'I believe that I am acting in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator: by defending myself against the Jew, I am fighting for the work of the Lord...' As a boy, Hitler attended to the Catholic church and experienced the anti-Semitic attitude of his culture. In his book, Mein Kampf, Hitler reveals himself as a fanatical believer in God and country. This text presents selected quotes from the infamous anti-Semite himself."

Mao-
I can only assume that "Mao" refers to Mao Tse Dung or Mao Zedong. And what can we learn about good old Mao? He founded Maoism, the Marxist Communist religion and ideology founded by Chinese dictator Chairman Mao Zedong.
Yeah, he sounds like an atheist as well. NOT!

This is just a smattering of the various 411 fun the Christian is going to get as they plow through What’s So Great about Christianity and The Politically Incorrect Guide to the Bible.

Wow if this is a sample, one assumes the best the book has to offer, I am unimpressed, uninspired and certainly unwilling to shut up. Try again.

Senior pastor, college pastor and youth pastor: do yourself and your congregants a favor and teach this stuff to your church. Equip Christians to stand against the BS (belief system) of the atheists. The culture war is heating up, therefore make sure your people don’t stand intellectually naked and neutered before these no-God numb nuts.

Sorry pal, you're still intellectually naked and neutered.
"no-god numb nuts" *snerk* name calling is sooooooooo 3rd grade school yard bully type stuff.

Lastly, comfortable and cocky atheists, you had better brace yourselves. Hundreds of thousands of Christians and authors are about to read these books and, as stated, systematically dismember your old and haggard arguments.

Ohhhhhhh dismembered in time for Halloween. *shivers* Whose arguments are old and haggard? Why do I hear school yard children chanting, "I'm rubber and you're glue, whatever you say bounces off me and sticks to you!"

In addition, everywhere I go and speak—be it in conferences, on the radio, on television or in print—I’m going to encourage the tens of thousands of Christians I address that every time and everywhere they get crapped on by an atheist with unfounded arguments to open their mouths and slam dance them with facts found in these two new brilliant books from Regnery.

Crapped on by atheists! Slam dance them. HA! Not with the tripe I've seen. Try again Regnery.

Tell the fat lady to sit back down on her humongous backside, false alarm!

As for you Doug Giles- you strike me as particulary exasperating, inconvenient and annoying. If only I knew of a short way to sum up that irritation, one simple easy word to convey my contempt for Doug Giles. That way I could say, “Doug Giles you are a xxxx”. I guess I will just have to reiterate that he is particularly exasperating, inconvenient and annoying. Doesn’t pack the emotional punch that I want it to have though. Rats.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

"How to Shut Up an Atheist if You Must" PART ONE

I was recently sent an article and did nothing with it for a few days. Just read it and let it simmer in the back of my mind, building until I had to write about it. Unfortunately when I got done writing the thing was MASSIVE. So I'm breaking it into 2 posts.

This particular article (read intellectual black hole) was forwarded to me by Richard, a big thank you to Richard for sharing something that made my eyes bleed and my brain hurt. *snerk*

It does however bear looking at because it is just one more example of the insidious nature of fundies to make arguments that SOUND reasonable until you actually break them apart and figure out what they are really trying to say. Much like Mark Cahill's book that I talk of in a September post, with similar physiological results. Maybe it's allergies.

When I was in 4th grade (year 4) the school administration decided to change the handwriting style taught from cursive to italics. I HATED italics and thus, for the remainder of this post, the fundy nonsense will be in italics. Mine will be in good ole ball and stick.

How to Shut Up an Atheist if You Must
By Doug Giles
Saturday, October 20, 2007


What a lovely christian sentiment expressed in the title. Note that it does not say, "How to Lead a Hard Core Atheist to the Light of Our Loving Father". Just how to shut them up if you must. Apparently atheists should just be... what? Ignored until they get to the unbearable point? What happened to spreading the word of god to all nations?

The atheist’s days of running circles around the Christian with their darling questions are drawing to a close. Yes, the fat lady just wrenched herself off her humongous backside, has cleared her throat and now is fixin’ to sing the finale on the atheist’s ability to have fun with their specious little fairy tales at the Christians’ expense.

Note the use of derogatory imagery, the eager little atheist "running in circles" asking "darling questions". Hmmmmm I can't think of a single question I would raise to a christian that could possibly be called darling.

Darling-(informal usage)- charming, adorable

First non adorable question that comes to mind, "What do you think of god's ordering the raping of all young virgins and the slaughter of every man, woman, child and infant?"

"Specious". Dear me, did he just describe an atheist argument as specious? That sounds quite serious, I'd best look into that....

Specious- seemingly attractive, true, plausible, or correct but actually not so; deceptive.

Ah, I see. Specious- an argument that sounds reasonable, might even bandy about scientific terms or historical facts, but something is wrong and twisted about it, something just doesn't quite ring true, and ends up ultimately being incorrect. I forget, who was specious again?

I wonder what type of "fairy tales" he is referring to? My favorite fairy tale is "Beauty and the Beast" particularly the retelling by Robin McKinley entitled Beauty. One of my favorite books ever.. Oh crap! I haven't put that on my profile yet. For shame. BRB. Must update my profile. ;-) Ok, all better now. Whew! So, where was I... oh yes.

Specius atheist fairy tales. Oh, oh! I know one....

Fossils are evidence of earth's natural history stretching back over millions of years.

Because the biblical scholars would have us believe that god planted those fossils just so that it would be even more difficult to accept the 6 day creation/ 6000 year old earth on faith.

Wait.... something is specious here. Which one is the fairy tale?

That is if the Christian will buy, devour, commit to memory and stand up and challenge the pouty anti-God cabal with the atheist-slaying facts found in two new books from Regnery namely, What’s So Great about Christianity and The Politically Incorrect Guide to the Bible.

The lead off most important thing for the christian to do? BUY THE BOOK. *snerk* Notice that the christian has to "commit to memory" the phrases necessary to shut the atheist up. The books aren't going to teach him to think for himself. And then he's off into another round of derogatory adjectives: pouty (I rarely pout), anti-God (ok you got me there), cabal..... crap I don't know what cabal is. Sounds Muslimish... Do I cabal? Am I cabal? Where's my dictionary....

Cabal- a conspiratorial group

WTF?!! There is an atheist cabal???? Why wasn't I told? I want to join!!! Where do I sign up????? DAMMIT!!!! I'm missing out on the clandestine meetings, the secret handshakes. *gasp* I wonder if they have secret code words. Oh I HOPE that I find out about the meetings like they did in Ultra Violet. WOO HOO!!!!!

Where was I.... oh yes... I was worrying about those "atheist slaying facts" that I will be presented with which will shut me up.

Authors Dinesh D’Souza and Robert Hutchinson skillfully answer, once again, the atheist’s pet questions about the existence (or non-existence) of God and how Christianity has allegedly made the world suck. Suck, for you thick atheists, is a slang word which means to make or to be really, really crappy (kind of like how our culture becomes anytime you guys mess with it).

"Pet questions" I have a few pet questions.
* What is the best way to introduce two adult cats to each other so they will be friends?
* Do cats scratch their ears on regular days or is it always a sign of ear mites?
* Why does my cat Chiana like to get in the shower with me and and stand under the spray drinking the water in the bottom of the tub?

Oh how exciting, they are going to provide evidence for the existence of god.... wait a minute. They didn't say anything about evidence. They said "skillfully answer...the existence (or non-existence) of god" Wow. Sounds like the authors have really nailed down a position on this one.

They will also address the issue of "how christians have made the world suck". I didn't know christians used the word "suck". Is that any way to talk? Doesn't using the word "suck" make the baby jesus cry?

*gasp* "thick atheists" is this a weight loss issue or a penile issue? Because it isn't politically correct to deride people about their weight, but they can talk about the latter all day. woo hooo!!!!!! Oh damn, that's just my mind in the gutter, they mean that we are stupid. *sigh*

Wasn't it thoughtful of them to explain the word "suck" to us, 'cause up until then I was thinking that the christians had created a low-pressure system in the world that was sucking all the life from it. Which... IS rather what they are trying to do isn't it? christians suck the joy out of life. Wait...it's ATHEISTS who are suppposedly ...how the hell did he put it??? I have to scroll an awful long way up, so I'll just copy and paste it again for a second look..."really crappy (kind of like how our culture becomes anytime you guys mess with it)".

Let's take a look at christians messing with cultures.
*When the church gets absolute control over society you get those interminably long centuries of the dark ages.
*When the church gets political power you get Inquisitions and the Crusades.
*When the church gets legislative power you get coat hanger abortions, dying from diseases that could have been cured with stem cells.
*When the church steps into charitable work you get women dying from AIDS because they are afraid of condoms.

Oh yeah. *shudder* watch out for atheist control of society.

These books will be especially beneficial for high school and college students to draw upon when their secular anti-God fuming delirious instructors start railing against God and Christianity.

I'm pretty sure that teachers aren't allowed to talk about god in public highschools (that whole pesky church and state thing), and students go to private highschools and college by CHOICE. If you don't like the instructor who is secular, OR anti-God, OR fuming, OR delirious why are you still in the class? Weird.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

there and back again



Got up at 6:30a.m. on the road by 7:30a.m. apparently the camera was a bit blurry eyed that early in the morning. Certainly wasn't the fact that I had no idea what setting to use, nope, nuh uh.


Even while yawning my head off I enjoyed this beautiful sunrise! The picture didn't quite capture the true fuschia colors of the sunrise. I wonder how to teach my camera how to produce the color fuschia. I bet if I spent more time with the instruction manual.

Normally I don't drink caffeine. Any significant quantity leaves me quite paranoid and white knuckle driving is the pits. However, after only about 4 hours of sleep the night before, an hour down the road I was getting blinky. Bottle of Dr. Pepper sipped on judiciously throughout the day kept me wide eyed and bushy tailed.



Little pond at the Devil's Lake rest area (our 2nd potty break). You might remember Devil's Lake, home of the infamous Jesus Camp.



Fall on the North Dakota prairie

Got to Minot by about 12:45p.m. had a delightful chinese lunch at the food court in the mall, picked up sundries with Mom at Target and then home again by 7:30p.m.

It was wonderful to see Mama & Papa Ewok again and I was chuffed that the pain behind her knee is gone.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Mama Ewok

About 6 months ago, Mama Ewok had a complete knee replacement on her right leg. She had an odd excruciating pain behind her new knee that was left untouched by all her pain meds, from the morphine she started with immediately after surgery to whatever script the docs handed her as the days turned to weeks and the weeks turned to months of undiminished pain.

Her doctor finally agreed that something should be done and got her scheduled for surgery. He went in, found the problem, and corrected the mistake he made 6 MONTHS AGO!!!!

To make a long story the same length, Mama Ewok is again recovering from surgery and would like to have my daughter in Montana to help during her convalescence.

Tuesday I will be driving to Minot to drop her off with them, then after lunch with Papa Ewok and Mama Ewok (if she is feeling up to the trip), driving back home again.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

CURSES!!!!!!

There has been some concern expressed over the use of the word "cunt" on my blog, specifically the phrase, "you are such a snide cunt glob!"

The association of disgusting and negative things by the use of slang sexual terms for emphasis, plays into a certain mindset that has arisen through religion.

While I fully agree that the religious have poisoned sexual activity with shame, guilt and inhibitions, I think the full context of the word "cunt" must be considered before this word is met with denigration or prohibition.

In Australia, "cunt" does not refer to female genitalia.

This website, Phrase Base, provides a significuntly concise definition:
Cunt: anything exasperating or annoying

Values Australia a website covering Aussie slang describes it thusly:

Cunt 1) Male or female who has caused mild inconvenience. 2) After more than five years of marriage, one’s spouse (of either sex). Often heard immediately before the slamming of doors or the throwing of dishes. (“Cunt!”). 3) Any person who cuts one off in traffic.

For further corroboration of Aussie usage of the word, here is the relevant portion of the wikipedia entry on Cunt- Usage in Australia.

Cunt even has a milder variational usage also covered in wikipedia:

Cunt is used extensively in Australia, Ireland and also in some parts of Scotland as a replacement noun, more commonly among males and the working classes, similar to the use of motherfucker or son of a bitch among some Americans in extremely casual settings. For instance, "The cunt of a thing won't start," in reference to an automobile; or "Pass me that cunt," meaning "Pass me that item I need"; or "Those cunts down the road," referring to people in the vicinity. When used in this sense, the word does not necessarily imply contempt nor is it necessarily intended to be offensive

So… when Johnny writes, “you are such a snide cunt glob!!” He’s not calling reg golb a snide vagina, he’s saying reg golb is snide, exasperating, annoying and inconvenient.

What Johnny ISN'T doing is making the remark in a gentlemanly manner: light tap of the glove to the face. Using cunt like this is a right hook smack in the kisser. And somehow, I think that was exactly how he intended it.

Friday, October 19, 2007

the clinic revisited

So... I'm driving through Fargo on Monday and wonder if the fundies are still at the women's clinic. And THEY WERE!!!!!!! Good grief they've even got men (in suits!)and children with them. Well at least one child. *rolls eyes*

Last time I just walked up and took pictures. This time I parked the car and got out with my son hoping to take a closer look at the clinic itself. When we got close enough they mutter muttererd their little prayers for the nonexistent babe in my womb whom they hope to save from imminent demise. I would have thought they'd have a pamphlet or SOMETHING to say to a person going in, but nada. Maybe I wanted them to say something too much. They probably saw the look in my eyes, I'm quite intense that way.

I was bummed to see that they were NOT standing in front of the door. Boy I wish they had been actually blocking the entrance. :-(

I went inside, and OHHHHHHH man they have security! The fundies have so intimidated the whole clinic that they have a security entrance and admittance is by appointment only. I had been hoping to have a chance to visit with someone who worked there, pick up a few brochures and basically be inside longer than the 2 minutes I managed to stretch it out to in the entrance way.

Funny thing was, the moment I got into the building, the fundies out front stopped their murmuring...er...praying and just started chatting! HA! Apparently they only pray when the godless are in sight. Out of sight, out of mind.

Ohhhh how I wish one of them had said something to me. But they didn't say anything so I didn't either.

I did however make eye contact with one while giving them the finger the next time I drove by. Yes, Richard, I know. It wasn't a classy thing to do. More of a spur of the moment show of contempt.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

introducing my big brother!

[Richard warning: occasional use of "piss" in the Aussie Vernacular]

Every now and again, I run across truly exceptional people. And a lot of them end up commenting on my blog! YAY! How lucky am I? One such individual is my adopted big brother Protium. The family resemblance is uncanny, poor bugger. ;-D

He's just recently stepped into the blogger pool and a cracking good show of it he has made. If you get a chance, step on over to Protium the Heathen and give it a once over. ;-) His second post- Two Ears details a rather horrific medical experience he had recently. But, not one to let an opportunity slide, he takes the piss out of some fundies by the end. WAHOO!!!! Wish I'd been there.

If you take a peek at the comments he even challenges me to translate some Aussie vernacular testing my knowledge of "the piss". Little does he realize that I have had 2 wonderful coaches in the mysteries of Aussie dialect, Sean the Blogonaut and for the last couple of months Johnny.

This was the translation challenge.

"Mate, I got hammered last night I was so pissed. Pissed I got a hangover this morning but. Swigged heaps of water so I pissed most of it out. Let's go and sink some more piss"

Wanna shot? lol Yeah, I figured you wouldn't, me... I can't let a challenge pass unattempted. I always did test well.

Skite, skite. Listen to Fiery skite.

Thanks again Protium and welcome to the blogosphere! *hugs*

And what does this have to do with anything? Not a thing, other than that I'm in a fab mood and wanted to post something light hearted.

Monday, October 15, 2007

religious taint

We are all born atheist. A fortunate few go through their whole lives never having believed in a super-natural being or phenomena.

I was not so fortunate. I was raised Lutheran and taught to believe in heaven and hell, god and the devil, original sin, prayer, divine intervention, and constant supervision by an all-seeing being judging not only my actions but my innermost thoughts as well.

I was also taught that god allows bad things to happen to test my faith, but that I would never be given more than I could handle. Bad things happen because the devil is at work in my life, but if I pray hard enough, anything is possible- if I have faith.

To this day, I find myself occassionally struggling with various fading remnants of my childhood indoctrination.

* I've found myself wishing, waiting, and hoping for someone to come to my rescue.
* If too many good things happen, I wonder how bad things will get in order to even it out.
* I find myself holding back from enjoying the really big things in life because I don't want anyone to know how much they mean to me, that way they won't be taken away from me.
* If I tell someone that I hope they are having a great day, I sometimes worry if that will jynx it for them. Then if they actually have a bad day, it is somehow my fault.

Some of these thoughts seem to be holdovers of the "Lutheran Guilt" that is taught so thoroughly and even made fun of in regional jokes. The reality is an ongoing battle with the idea that good is bad and bad is good.

Having reasoned my way to being an atheist, with no doubts lingering in my mind, I find myself frustrated with the emotional taint left behind by almost 25 years of indoctrination.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

god is impossible

This summation is taken from Harry Nads' blog Does the Christian God Exist? In his comments section for his first post he has a marvelous summation of the case AGAINST god. It appears to be a paraphrase from Positive Atheism, a site I will be checking out more thoroughly, from an article entitled Why the Christian God is Impossible by Chad Docterman.

I would love to hear any and all thoughts on this as I found it quite fascinating.


~~~~~~~

What did God do during that eternity before he created everything? If God was all that existed back then, what disturbed the eternal equilibrium and compelled him to create? Was he bored? Was he lonely? God is supposed to be perfect. If something is perfect, it is complete--it needs nothing else. We humans engage in activities because we are pursuing that elusive perfection, because there is disequilibrium caused by a difference between what we are and what we want to be. If God is perfect, there can be no disequilibrium. There is nothing he needs, nothing he desires, and nothing he must or will do. A God who is perfect does nothing except exist. A perfect creator God is impossible.

But, for the sake of argument, let's continue. Let us suppose that this perfect God did create the universe. Humans were the crown of his creation, since they were created in God's image and have the ability to make decisions. However, these humans spoiled the original perfection by choosing to disobey God.

What!? If something is perfect, nothing imperfect can come from it. Someone once said that bad fruit cannot come from a good tree, and yet this "perfect" God created a "perfect" universe which was rendered imperfect by the "perfect" humans. The ultimate source of imperfection is God. What is perfect cannot become imperfect, so humans must have been created imperfect. What is perfect cannot create anything imperfect, so God must be imperfect to have created these imperfect humans. A perfect God who creates imperfect humans is impossible.

The Christians' objection to this argument involves freewill. They say that a being must have freewill to be happy. The omnibenevolent God did not wish to create robots, so he gave humans freewill to enable them to experience love and happiness. But the humans used this freewill to choose evil, and introduced imperfection into God's originally perfect universe. God had no control over this decision, so the blame for our imperfect universe is on the humans, not God.

Here is why the argument is weak. First, if God is omnipotent, then the assumption that freewill is necessary for happiness is false. If God could make it a rule that only beings with freewill may experience happiness, then he could just as easily have made it a rule that only robots may experience happiness. The latter option is clearly superior, since perfect robots will never make decisions which could render them or their creator unhappy, whereas beings with freewill could. A perfect and omnipotent God who creates beings capable of ruining their own happiness is impossible.

Second, even if we were to allow the necessity of freewill for happiness, God could have created humans with freewill who did not have the ability to choose evil, but to choose between several good options.

Third, God supposedly has freewill, and yet he does not make imperfect decisions. If humans are miniature images of God, our decisions should likewise be perfect. Also, the occupants of heaven, who presumably must have freewill to be happy, will never use that freewill to make imperfect decisions. Why would the originally perfect humans do differently?

The point remains: the presence of imperfections in the universe disproves the supposed perfection of its creator.

God is omniscient. When he created the universe, he saw the sufferings which humans would endure as a result of the sin of those original humans. He heard the screams of the damned. Surely he would have known that it would have been better for those humans to never have been born (in fact, the Bible says this very thing), and surely this all-compassionate deity would have foregone the creation of a universe destined to imperfection in which many of the humans were doomed to eternal suffering. A perfectly compassionate being who creates beings which he knows are doomed to suffer is impossible.

God is perfectly just, and yet he sentences the imperfect humans he created to infinite suffering in hell for finite sins. Clearly, a limited offense does not warrant unlimited punishment. God's sentencing of the imperfect humans to an eternity in hell for a mere mortal lifetime of sin is infinitely more unjust than this punishment. The absurd injustice of this infinite punishment is even greater when we consider that the ultimate source of human imperfection is the God who created them. A perfectly just God who sentences his imperfect creation to infinite punishment for finite sins is impossible.

Consider all of the people who live in the remote regions of the world who have never even heard the "gospel" of Jesus Christ. Consider the people who have naturally adhered to the religion of their parents and nation as they had been taught to do since birth. If we are to believe the Christians, all of these people will perish in the eternal fire for not believing in Jesus. It does not matter how just, kind, and generous they have been with their fellow humans during their lifetime: if they do not accept the gospel of Jesus, they are condemned. No just God would ever judge a man by his beliefs rather than his actions.

The Bible is supposedly God's perfect Word. It contains instructions to humankind for avoiding the eternal fires of hell. How wonderful and kind of this God to provide us with this means of overcoming the problems for which he is ultimately responsible! The all-powerful God could have, by a mere act of will, eliminated all of the problems we humans must endure, but instead, in his infinite wisdom, he has opted to offer this indecipherable amalgam of books which is the Bible as a means for avoiding the hell which he has prepared for us. The perfect God has decided to reveal his wishes in this imperfect work, written in the imperfect language of imperfect man, translated, copied, interpreted, voted on, and related by imperfect man.

No two men will ever agree what this perfect word of God is supposed to mean, since much of it is either self- contradictory, or obscured by enigmatic symbols. And yet the perfect God expects us imperfect humans to understand this paradoxical riddle using the imperfect minds with which he has equipped us. Surely the all-wise and all-powerful God would have known that it would have been better to reveal his perfect will directly to each of us, rather than to allow it to be debased and perverted by the imperfect language and botched interpretations of man.

One need look to no source other than the Bible to discover its imperfections, for it contradicts itself and thus exposes its own imperfection. It contradicts itself on matters of justice, for the same just God who assures his people that sons shall not be punished for the sins of their fathers turns around and destroys an entire household for the sin of one man (he had stolen some of Yahweh's war loot). It was this same Yahweh who afflicted thousands of his innocent people with plague and death to punish their evil king David for taking a census (?!). It was this same Yahweh who allowed the humans to slaughter his son because the perfect Yahweh had botched his own creation. Consider how many have been stoned, burned, slaughtered, raped, and enslaved because of Yahweh's skewed sense of justice. The blood of innocent babies is on the perfect, just, compassionate hands of Yahweh.

The Bible contradicts itself on matters of history. A person who reads and compares the contents of the Bible will be confused about exactly who Esau's wives were, whether Timnah was a concubine or a son, and whether Jesus' earthly lineage is through Solomon or his brother Nathan. These are but a few of hundreds of documented historical contradictions. If the Bible cannot confirm itself in mundane earthly matters, how are we to trust it on moral and spiritual matters?

The Bible misinterprets its own prophecies. Read Isaiah 7 and compare it to Matthew 1 to find but one of many misinterpreted prophecies of which Christians are either passively or willfully ignorant. The fulfillment of prophecy in the Bible is cited as proof of its divine inspiration, and yet here is but one major example of a prophecy whose intended meaning has been and continues to be twisted to support subsequent absurd and false doctrines. There are no ends to which the credulous will not go to support their feeble beliefs in the face of compelling evidence against them.

The Bible is imperfect. It only takes one imperfection to destroy the supposed perfection of this alleged Word of God. Many have been found. A perfect God who reveals his perfect will in an imperfect book is impossible.

A God who knows the future is powerless to change it. An omniscient God who is all-powerful and freewilled is impossible.

A God who knows everything cannot have emotions. The Bible says that God experiences all of the emotions of humans, including anger, sadness, and happiness. We humans experience emotions as a result of new knowledge. A man who had formerly been ignorant of his wife's infidelity will experience the emotions of anger and sadness only after he has learned what had previously been hidden. In contrast, the omniscient God is ignorant of nothing. Nothing is hidden from him, nothing new may be revealed to him, so there is no gained knowledge to which he may emotively react.

We humans experience anger and frustration when something is wrong which we cannot fix. The perfect, omnipotent God, however, can fix anything. Humans experience longing for things we lack. The perfect God lacks nothing. An omniscient, omnipotent, and perfect God who experiences emotion is impossible.

~Chad Docterman via Harry Nads

Johnny- guest blogger: the value of life

Starhawk said, "From what you have posted, I am led to believe that you believe potential life has no value. If that is the case, I will have a hard time "getting" you". Life must have some sort of intrinsic value Starhawk, a topic, and being questioned on a topic, like this is a great opportunity to really gather your thoughts on things. I hope you didn't take my comments as having a go directly at you. The "getting" bit didn't mean anything other than I wasn't sure whether you were equating murder with abortion with the way you made that argument is all. The little ditty from Monty Python was actually aimed at globs "before conception" rubbish.

Having said that I still stand by what I have said and I do not believe that there is any intrinsic value to life whatsoever...I do believe life has value but it is strictly an extrinsic value. I believe life grows in value with the person.

Starhawk said, "I do not have children; I would very much like to someday. I know I am not financially or emotionally ready to have kids. No matter how much a part of me wishes to be a parent, it would not be good for them or for me right now. If I did unintentionally get a woman pregnant in the near future (which would be a feat given my lack of dating lately) I would wish to see the child to term. Right or wrong, it would put me too close to fatherhood for me to turn away from the opportunity. I'd just try to get my act together as well as I could."

Starhawk, I have been doing what Fiery has accused Richard of and that is arguing from deeply thought about philosophical standpoints especially re the use of words such as intrinsic and extrinsic but when it comes down to real life I am like you and I think most rational people are. It's ridiculous to me to think that if you legalize something like abortion then all of a sudden abortion will become "hip" and everyone will want one, same goes for euthanasia.

I have been in exactly the situation you have just described Starhawk and did exactly what you said you would do. It put me too close to fatherhood for me to turn away the opportunity and really there was no reason for us not to have our child, we both value life as most normal human beings do. Now I have a wonderful rational beautiful 11 year old whose life I now value more than my own.

It raises an interesting point too, as far as value goes. Intrinsically means that the life itself is valuable for no other reason than it being life (I believe the only intrinsic value that might be attributed to life is that it is a more perfect state to exist than to not exist I don't think that has anything to do with value though).

We talk about potential in life but potential can swing both ways people have the potential to be good yes but what about the potential for bad...was Hitler's life "valuable" or would the world have been better if he was terminated before birth? Is a doctors life more valuable than a bum's life? Is the life of someone suffering from an incurable disease that causes great stress and pain to that someone more valuable than ending the suffering?

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Boogers, Seeds, and Possibilties

I was driving through Fargo, ND minding my own business, on the way to the library actually, when I happened to glance to the left and see the Red River Women’s Clinic.

Downtown Fargo is working hard at renovating the old buildings, in an attempt to revitalize the community. They have redone a good portion of this block and I smiled with appreciation at the pretty new fa├žade they have put on the building.

Noticing the people out front I think, “Huh, there’s a line. The women's clinic must be busy today.”

Wait a minute. Those 4 women aren’t there for birth control. Those signs they are holding aren’t “take a number” and wait your turn. Those are protesters!!!!!!

I nearly slammed on my brakes in the middle of traffic.


“PRAY TO END ABORTION” their signs say. I was laughing with rage and smiling with fury.

Four fundies standing on the street murmuring their prayers to make the world a better place.

I was originally on my way to the library.

Now all I could think of was finding a parking space and confronting fundies.

Their goal is to stop the abortion.

Who will pay the medical bills for the pregnancy, birth, delivery? What about after the baby is born? How much do they care what happens then? Are they prepared to help financially with the burden of raising the children whose lives they "save"? Do they plan to adopt or foster any of these precious children?



I know there is little point in talking to fundies.

Especially the type of non-thinkers who will actually stand outside a women's clinic and say their rosary and pray to the saints to stop the slaughter of the innocents.

I know that no matter what I say to them, they won’t change their minds. But I could not simply drive by and allow them to think that my silence in any way condoned what they were doing.

I wonder how many women drove by intending to stop in and kept going.

I am sure the fundies count each one as a success.

But the clinic provides more than abortions.

It provides free and low cost birth control for people who can’t afford it and routine gynecological exams, pap smears and the like. Yet these fundies would rather a woman’s cervical cancer go undetected if it will also prevent another woman from terminating an unwanted pregnancy.



Pro Life = PRO SLAVERY

An embryo is a POSSIBILITY not a baby.

It is a seed and it can be cut out of the body with no further grief than that of having to remove a wart, a tumor, or a cyst.

Why should the meeting of one egg with one sperm condemn a person to the death of their entire future?

Going through 9 months of pregnancy, each new symptom a constant reminder of one mistake, one night that you will pay for the rest of your life.

Having your body slowly twisted out of shape, contorted and distorted- in most cases beyond recovery to its original state.

Giving birth after hours upon hours of torment, starting and stopping as your body prepares to expel its new master from its body

Deciding if you should now give up this wrinkly piece of flesh that carries your genetic code for someone else to raise.

Keeping the squalling mass and raising it even if you are emotionally unprepared for parenthood.

Raising a child when you were unable to prepare financially for the situation.

What kind of life is this for a child?

If a person is honest enough to say, “I’m not ready to have children” why force the issue upon them????

For crying out loud there are too many parents out there breeding irresponsibly and they say they WANT children. Should society not instead be bloody grateful that some intelligent few will say “Hell no, I can't raise a child properly!”?????

No woman should be condemned to a life of servitude because of a booger sized clump of cells.

“Doc, I’ve got a tumor and I need it removed.”

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Mac & Cheese- “In Toto”

It is amazing how many times in my life I find that the more I focus on something, the more I see it around me. For example, several years back my son decided that yellow was his favorite color and we began watching for yellow cars. At the time, I had never really noticed yellow cars before, now they were everywhere: yellow sports cars, cute little VW bugs, sporty pickups, work vans, all with varying shades of yellow from deep golden rod, to sunny mustard, to light lemon yellow. All noted, pointed at, and approved or dismissed by my son.

We see what we focus on.

Richard shared a comment on another post health update: Deadly Disease Targets Atheists that gives another great example of this.

A discussion grew up on the “deadly disease” post about the phrase “in toto” and since it had been used in a discussion so recently he was in the perfect position to notice the concept in action in his life.

His daughter (9) and friend (10) were making mac & cheese for lunch, a perfect learning opportunity for following directions and acquiring some basic cooking skills (like boiling water. Don’t laugh! Some people can’t even do that!)

Step 1:
STOVE TOP (BOIL):
1. Add pasta to 6 cups of rapidly boiling salted water (1 tsp salt). Cook, stirring occasionally, for 7-8 minutes until tender. Drain.

My first question is- who the heck came up with these instructions? Can you imagine trying to bake a cake following instructions on the box that say, “When cake is cooled on a wire rack from the 30-45 minutes of baking it received in a 425*F oven, depending on pan size, after of course having added 1 egg and 1/2 cup of vegetable oil and water and stirring until the clumps are removed, then pouring into a pre-greased 9x13” cake pan, stirred frosting is the best choice as it won’t tear the cake.”

WHAT?????? Not only is the cart before the horse, but the reins and hitching leathers are dumped somewhere to the rear of the whole mess.

Back to the pasta...Needless to say after reading those directions "in toto", the children were properly perplexed as to the order in which to proceed. They managed to get the water into the pot, and the pot onto the stove, but where to go from there?

The instructions ask you to begin by adding pasta, but said pasta is being added to pre-salted rapidly boiling water and the mental gymnastics this convoluted instruction entailed was too much for two pre-teens just learning the ropes of cooking.

The original instructions required full knowledge of the process of cooking noodles, and the reader had to be able to hold that full context in his mind for the duration. In other words, the EXPERIENCED chef would know that the first step was getting water into pot then adding salt BEFORE worrying about how many noodles to add to it when it boils.

It is possible that the person writing the directions for the macaroni felt quite proud of not dumbing down the directions for something as basic as boiling macaroni, but instead provided a bit of mental gymnastics for those who can’t make it on the fly and who actually need to be reminded how much salt to add to the water.

Effective writing is writing that embraces the context for which it was written and takes into account the audience that it is intended for. Basic cooking directions must needs be straightforward and make no assumptions about the cook's understanding.

In the case of the macaroni, a much more clear set of directions would have begun…

***
1. Place 6 cups of water into a pot. Place pot on the stove burner or element. Turn stove burner to high and add 1 tsp. of salt to the water.
2. When the water boils (bubbles rapidly) add the macaroni noodles to the water, stir often until the noodles have swollen. Remove one noodle on spoon, blow until cool and taste for smooth but not too soft texture..
3. Turn stove burner to low...
Etc.
***

Each step in the proper order, presented separately, able to be understood piece by piece and "in toto".

If I write "in toto" one more time the image of the little dog in Wizard of Oz is going to start doing funny things to my brain.

If writing is misunderstood, who bears the responsibility? The writer or the reader?

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

the evolution of the Atheist Homeschooler

I’ve been tagged by Poodles to detail the evolution of my blog. Most of these chain posts are lists of interesting tidbits about an individual, some of which can actually lead to a bit of soul searching if done thoughtfully.

This one is interesting in that it is asking for the story of my blog, through the use of 5 previous posts reflecting its evolution.

1. In the beginning I started my blog as a way to meet people. As I live in a very small town in Minnesota, my chance of meeting like-minded folk is slim to….well… none period, not much slim about it. Initially, I intended my blog to be a homeschooling blog detailing my journey as a homeschooling Mommy from the beginning to present day. I had intended to take as many blog entries as needed to explain the journey I was on. I remember worrying that blogging was going to be like the first day on a playground nervously waiting for the mean kids to come over and tell me to go home, that I wasn’t welcome here. That never happened. I have met some truly fantastic people through my blog, and my life has been enriched in ways I could not possibly have imagined when I began this adventure seven months ago.

2. The Dani debate started when I wrote a post decrying the evil nature of hell. It was the first time I had ever discussed my lack of belief in a written forum and found I rather enjoyed the process, in spite of the head banging frustration of debating a fundamentalist christian who kept going on about “the Truth” that was in her possession. From this debate, I picked up some of my most faithful readers *waves* “Hi guys!!!! Thanks for sticking around!” :-D

3. Shortly after the stunning finale to the Dani debate, thank you JohnGalt666, I got the idea for putting up an open forum to open the floor to topics people reading my blog wanted to hear about. This has been an incredible part of my blog and each time has generated an interesting discussion.

4. I even tried my hand at a bit of poetry. But, while I enjoyed the process immensely, it rather ended up falling by the wayside in the end. Still, life’s twists and turns are what make us who we are today. We are shaped and molded by the events in our lives, some we regret, some we treasure, but how to know which one will lead to our greatest happiness? What if the one thing we would change, is the one event that got us to where we are today? Because sometimes, just sometimes, paths converge into something truly spectacular. :-)

5. Presently, my blog exists as my favorite spot in the blogosphere, complete with an amazing group of people from around the world, a variety of backgrounds, some agreeing with me, some disagreeing with me, and all capable of having a rational discussion about emotionally charged issues. YAY MY BLOG!!!!!! :-D In keeping with that happiness, I will name this post as representative of what my blog means to me Flight of the Phoenix.

I am now supposed to name 5 people to detail the evolution of their own blogs. The people I would most like to name are

Johnny
Protium
Crazyman Bob
Richard
Xavier Onassis

Unfortuantely, 4 out of the 5 do not have blogs of their own. *sigh* They make hella good commentors on my blog though, so if having their own blog would distract them from mine, then the hell with having your own blog! I love that you are here!
:-D

And as for the Hip Suburban White Guy, Xavier Onassis, I wonder if he is too cool to participate in something like this? lol We’ll see.

Monday, October 1, 2007

open forum 6

September was infinitely better than August, but how could it not be? October looks to be a great month including some fabulous fall weather.

It has now become a tradition here on my blog that on the first of each month I put up an open forum.

There have been times when visiting other blogs that I wanted to ask the blog owner a question off topic, but never really knew where to put it. I didn't want to be just bust into an on-going comment-conversation.

So- This post is the opportunity for any of my readers to broach a subject, ask a personal question, bring up a topic, talk about whatever is on your mind...

It is after all an open forum, the mic is yours ask away!