The Uninspired Manifesto
Monday, October 29, 2007
Updates Coming Soon
Other than that, the only thing I have to add is a visit from one of the local church 'community outreach' program things. (I don't know what they call themselves) Apparently, they're somewhat offended that I don't attend their church, and they wanted to know which church I did attend, most likely to determine whether or not I would jump ship and join them. I can understand the idea of community loyalty seeing as how my house is less than 100 yards away from the church in question, but it's still annoying as hell to wake up only a few hours after getting home form graveyard shift to tell a bunch of morons in matching 'I Love Jesus' jumpsuits to 'fuck off'. I was a little nicer than that, though it wouldn't have made much difference as I answered the door shirtless, sporting my (as I've been informed by friendly church-goers before) somewhat menacing tattoos. Still, after a brief conversation about how I did not attend any church, and had no plans to anytime in the near future, I managed to have my address removed from whatever list they used to terrorize locals.
It should be noted that I really have nothing against these people. They seemed nice enough, and had no idea I was so exhausted. The only reason I harbor so much resentment against them was their overbearing nature, and incessant pushing for a long dialogue about my lack of faith. I understand the teachings of the church direct christians to seek out non-believers and try to convert them, but it's just childish to believe merely discussing jesus and the bible will convert someone. Conversion from one faith to another, or to none at all requires a desire for change in the individual that can't be brought upon by a random verse from some book.
One more thing proselytizing christians need to understand; most atheists and agnostics (not all mind you) at one time or another belonged to some form of organized religion. I know a common misconception is that they don't understand god, or were never really true christians (can be substituted for any faith), but we did. We held our beliefs in as high a regard as you currently do... we just outgrew them.
Well, that's enough for tonight, and I better get back to my TV... Jessica just made the deal with Linderman to get her and Nikki out of prison. Why did they have to kill of D.L.
Sunday, October 21, 2007
Conservative Republican Bobby Jindal Elected Louisiana Governor
In a widely expected victory Saturday night, Bobby Jindal, a 36-year old Republican congressman, won the Louisiana gubernatorial election, becoming the nation's first governor of Indian-American descent and the youngest chief executive of any state. Jindal took 54% of the vote in the state's off-year open primary, the first since Hurricane Katrina in August 2005, and became the first non-white politician to hold the state's highest office since Reconstruction. Jindal, one of the few young rising stars in the GOP ran on a strong reform platform. "Don't let anyone talk badly about Louisana," he said during his Saturday night victory speech at a Baton Rouge Holiday Inn. "Those days [of corruption and incompetence] are officially over. There has never been a clearer mandate for our state."
I bring this up because of some disturbing comments I read in a previous Time article:
A Catholic convert who grew up in a Hindu household, Jindal has made his name by aligning himself with the cultural conservative wing of the Republican Party, fiercely opposing stem cell research and abortion while favoring the teaching of Intelligent Design in public schools. The strategy has helped his standing among the state's conservative Christian voters, and helped him overcome the twin liabilities (in some circles) of intellectualism and ethnicity — traits that arouse suspicion in some of Louisiana's rural stretches, and that many say also helped tip the scales against him in 2003.
I've talked about my time in Lousisana High School's before on this blog, and it serves to point out that only someone who has spent time in a rural Louisiana school knows how depleted the church-state seperation already is. To the point where the Biology teacher, whose class I sat in on occasionaly throughtout my senior year, started every lecture on evolution with "I in no way agree with this theory, but..."
If Jindal proposes a bill to introduce Intelligent Design into classrooms, there is no doubt in my mind that it will pass, and when it does, it will the first in a line of bill that will systematically break down scientific adanvcement throughout the state. There are far too many people in Lousisana, including members of my own fucking family (how sad is that), that believe religion should play a much more prominent role in public life. It's this kind of ignorance I fought so hard against in my schools, and whatever progress I told myself I made to get to sleep at night, will be wiped away by asshole fundameltalist politicians so they can get more votes.
At least I don't live there anymore...
Saturday, October 20, 2007
Dumbledore Is Gay!
That's right, Harry's mentor and father-figure would prefer a nice wizard to a hot witch any day.
In a surprising new Potter twist, author J.K. Rowling outed Dumbledore at New York's Carnegie Hall in front of 2,000 Potter fans during a question and answer session Friday night.
One major anti-Potter crusader is Laura Mallory, a mother of four from Georgia, who made headlines earlier this month when she told the Gwinnett County Board of Education that the series was trying to indoctrinate children into the Wicca religion. In response to Dumbledore's outing, Mallory told ABC News that the Potter series has "an anti-Christian agenda," and, "this only further supports that."
"My prayer is that parents would wake up, that the subtle way this is presented as harmless fantasy would be exposed for what it really is -- a subtle indoctrination into anti-Christian values," said Mallory. "The kids are being introduced to a cult and witchcraft practices.
"A homosexual lifestyle is a harmful one," she added. "That's proven, medically."
Not surprisingly, conservatives at Saturday's Values Voters' summit in Washington also had some thoughts on the now controversial wizard.
"I feel like children's books shouldn't be political -- they shouldn't have political ties, they're entertainment," attendee Katie Beach said. "I think it's pretty ridiculous for her to say that or to do that."
I've talked a few times on this blog before about the assholes that try to ban the Harry Potter series for whatever stupid reason they can think of, and for some reason the press has to look to them for comments whenever a new book or movie is released. It's not even like they have constructive criticism; they just spout the same hate filled bullshit over and over.
It's an incredibly simple concept that for some reason needs to be reiterated time and time again: If you don't agree with the book, don't read it. If you don't like the movie, don't fucking watch it. I never really enjoyed either, so I stay away from it. It's not that fucking hard.
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
Stephen Colbert is running for president of the United States... in South Carolina. The Associated Press has more.
NEW YORK (AP) — Stephen Colbert announced his candidacy for president on "The Colbert Report" on Tuesday night, tossing his satirical hat into the ring of an already crowded race.
"I shall seek the office of the President of the United States," announced Colbert on his Comedy Central show, as balloons fell around him.
His recent best-seller, "I Am American (And So Can You!)" afforded him the opportunity to mock the now-standard approach to a White House run, complete with a high-profile book tour.
Colbert planned to get his name on the primary ballot in South Carolina, where the comedian is originally from. Earlier this week, South Carolina public television station ETV invited Colbert to announce his candidacy on its air.
When recently asked what party affiliation he would adopt if he tossed his hat in the ring, Colbert replied: "Both. I can lose twice."
In a guest column for Maureen Dowd in Sunday's New York Times, Colbert wrote: "I am not ready to announce yet — even though it's clear that the voters are desperate for a white, male, middle-aged, Jesus-trumpeting alternative."
I was supporting Obama, but now I have to jump on the Colbert Nation bandwagon.
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
Have Scientists Been Wrong For 400 Years?
To anyone educated in the twentieth century, the "facts" seem clear. [Notice the word facts is in quotations marks; obviously something is up] The earth spins around the sun. Scientists call this theory heliocentrism. [It was painfully clear at this point they're trying to appeal to the lowest common denominator]
Wait a minute, you may be saying, "That's not a theory." [I'm copying this exactly as it's written in the pamphlet] Scientists as far back as Galileo in the 16th century proved the earth circles the sun. Not vice versa.
But did they really prove anything? [Yes. Conclusively. It was necessary to achieve space travel.]
Yes, new subjects are seldom easy to accept, [How the fuck is this new?] and this is especially true when scientific principles are involved. Or, when the subject appears not to be logical and easily grasped by what has come to be considered common sense.
After an opener like that, you would think they'd have at least some scientific research to back up these claims. Maybe an ostracized astrophysicist or someone with a theology doctorate and an interest in space travel. But no, all they can do is fall back on the legitimacy of the bible.
Literally dozens of Bible verses support the concept of the earth as a central point in God's universe. Even skeptical believers can find compelling evidence in familiar and lesser-known passages in Genesis, Exodus, Ecclesiastes, Psalms, Judges and more.
The mobility of the earth is the only place where science and the Bible have com into real conflict, [Really? I could think of a few more places] and is the starting point for all churches that have compromised the authority of Scripture.
What is the moral significance of these verses - and dozens of others in the scripture?
As R.G. Elmendorf wrote in the Biblical Astronomer pamphlet: "The philosophical consequences of the geocentric/heliocentric controversy are plain enough that if the earth is not fixed on center stage of the universe, then life on earth and man himself are essentially meaningless."
Rather than go into this long diatribe about how fucking stupid the idea of a geocentric universe is, I want to focus on the very last sentence. It represents the most ignorant of the fundies that take the bible so literally, life loses all meaning if any part of it is proven incorrect. Perhaps I'm just cynical, but I will never understand that kind of devotion to something, especially a fucking book.
Sunday, October 14, 2007
Debate Rages Over 'Lake Of Fire'
"Lake of Fire," currently on limited release in the United States, unwinds over more than two and a half hours of interviews with some of the leading figures from the pro-life and pro-choice camps.
But it is the graphic and disturbing depiction of termination procedures, filmed like the rest of the movie in black and white, that marks the film out.
One scene depicts a doctor sifting through a surgical tray after performing a late-term abortion, where the grisly residue of an arm, a foot and part of a face can be clearly made out.
"It's about as shocking as any motion picture can ever get. It's illegal to film someone being killed," said Kaye.
They may be the kind of images used by anti-abortion activists, but Kaye also doesn't shy from showing pictures of a kneeling and bent-over naked woman who died after performing a botched abortion on herself with a wire coat hanger.
Kaye worked for more than 15 years on "Lake of Fire" -- anti-abortion activist John Burt's description of the hell awaiting abortionists -- and said his goal when he set out was simply to show both sides of the argument.
"The concept was to make a film about the debate over the issue of abortion but to make it a non-propagandist way and to create a kind of war of words."
Of course, pro-life activists are concerned about the film's graphic portrayal of religiously inspired domestic terrorism. ABCNews.com has a detailed article on reactions to the film so far.
Audience members' reactions were equally mixed. Many told ABCNEWS.com that they thought the film was a balanced look at the issue, while others insisted it was largely "anti-abortionist" and some even said it was "very liberal."
More than a few viewers said they had to look away during the movie, which one person called "very difficult to watch."
"This was not a balanced portrayal of the issue," said Carol King, former National Organization for Women board member and abortion-rights activist, who has seen the documentary. "One of the things that has upset me more than anything else is the [comparison] of the anti-choice extremists to pro-choice activists. I have never encouraged in any way to kill people with whom I disagree."
"It's important for people to know what an abortion is," said Dr. Wanda Franz, the president of the National Right to Life Committee, who has not yet seen "Lake of Fire." "These graphic photos remind people that every abortion kills a living human and so for that reason, we think it's important for people to know the truth about abortion. Seeing it in a film like this is important for educational purposes."
When asked whether she thought extremist anti-abortion activists like the ones depicted in Kaye's film barricading doors of abortion clinics reflected poorly upon the anti-abortion movement, Franz said that sometimes such protests are useful to promote their cause.
"There are times that it's very helpful when [the protest] is in conjunction with political efforts," said Franz. "We're not represented in the movie and I think what you see in the film does not reflect our methods. We do other things — it's important to do education, legislation and political action."
King, who said she has witnessed several abortions and spent time as a "operation rescuer" whose job it was to ensure women were able to enter clinics safely, said that the methods used by anti-abortion groups have been discussed at length by abortion-rights organizations that have never been able to justify the use of images as graphic as the ones shown in Kaye's film.
I definitely take a pro-choice stance, but whether this film leans to one side or the other (which from what I've read, it really doesn't) it's going to be important to see, if only to be more informed on the issue. Of course, there are some legitimate reasons to disagree with abortion, but forcing your views, especially those based on your stupid religion, on others by fucking fire-bombing Planned Parenthood is not only insane, but much worse than anything going on inside one of those clinics.
Thursday, October 11, 2007
'Agent Of God' Sentenced To Death
In 1983, Frank Spisak was found guilty of three murders committed in 1982. A neo-Nazi and briefly also a transvestite, Spisak's trial was sensational to say the least and he's been running appeals of his death sentence ever since. The 6th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ordered a new sentencing hearing but the Supreme Court tossed that out and reinstated the death sentence for Spisak. Now the self-proclaimed warrior for God is waiting for an execution date.
Spisak's trial in June 1983 turned into a racially and sexually charged public spectacle in which he grew an Adolf Hitler-style mustache and carried a copy of Hitler's book "Mein Kampf." He said he was an agent of God in a war against blacks and Jews.
After the trial judge sentenced him to death, Spisak responded with a two-minute tirade about white supremacy, ending it with a vigorous "Heil Hitler" salute.[Source: Guardian]
I will never understand how anyone can take something so seriously, applying their own prejudice and hate to a random passage in a fucking book, justifying these horrible acts.
'God Is Not Great' Nominated For National Book Award
NEW YORK (AP) — Should Christopher Hitchens win a National Book Award, you can be sure he won't thank any higher powers.
The author, columnist and commentator was nominated for "God Is Not Great," a polemic with a self-evident theme. Hitchens' book received mixed reviews, but became a best seller over the spring and summer and continued a wave of anti-religious works, including Richard Dawkins' "The God Delusion" and Daniel Dennett's "Breaking the Spell."
It was the first National Book Award nomination for the British-born Hitchens, who wasn't even eligible for the prize until last April, when on his 58th birthday he became a United States citizen. He resides in Washington, D.C., and has well lived up to the title of his featured column on Slate, "Fighting Words."
A somewhat unflattering write-up, but still good to see that it's getting some more recognition. Of course, this will most likely lead to some sort of religious protest and several more articles about how the secular left is trying to eradicate god from this country, but that's nothing unusual.
Tuesday, October 9, 2007
"Government Paid Missionaries" For Christ
A new story on Truthout.org entitled Report: Pentagon Facilitating Christian Evangelism details new Military Religious Freedom Foundation findings on a Campus Crusade For Christ sponsored ministry that has been given access to set up religious education programs at two leading US military basic training facilities in Texas. A page from the ministry website states explicitly the goal ; to make US active duty service members into "government paid missionaries". The Merriman family, through their Campus Crusade For Christ supported Military Ministry, are not promoting Christianity in general but but a very specific, sectarian interpretation of Christianity: premillennial dispensationalist Christianity, and that is consistent with a pattern that is emerging from research findings by the Military Religious Freedom Foundation ; the pervasive presence in, and institutional favoring by, the Department Of Defense, of a warlike, apocalyptic interpretation of Christianity. The pattern can be construed as an unofficial institutional endorsement of what is at base a Christian theology of war.
The Merrimans have been granted access to the US basic training facilities at Fort Sam Houston and Lackland Air Force Base - where they evangelize recruits in basic training. The Merriman ministry, which is under Campus Crusade For Christ's "Military Ministry", has notable points of commonality with the organization described below, the Military Missions Network. As Truthout notes, both "count current and former high-level personnel from all four branches of the military as board members and use their relationships with base commanders to gain access to soldiers, according to documents from both groups."
This crusade for christ bullshit is getting out of control fucking insane. These hypocritical pieces of shit cannot claim to be any better than fucking islamic terrorists that blow up buildings when they talk about going to war in the name of christianity. Here's part of the report from Truthout:
Military Ministry boasts that it has successfully "targeted" basic training installations, or "gateways" and has converted soldiers to Christianity.
"Young recruits are under great pressure as they enter the military at their initial training gateways," the group has said, according to an archive on its web site. "The demands of drill instructors push recruits and new cadets to the edge. This is why they are most open to the 'good news.' We target specific locations, like Lackland AFB [Air Force base] and Fort Jackson, where large numbers of military members transition early in their career. These sites are excellent locations to pursue our strategic goals."
Fundamentalist Christian right "para church" ministries with apocalyptic theological views appear to have penetrated the United States military in a pattern, going from the Pentagon on down to the base level, by which evangelical :"military ministries", many of which are under the Campus Crusade for Christ, teach both that the Bible is without error and literally truth, and also dispensationalist, "Rapture" theology. Many of these ministries have been invited onto US military bases and even onto basic training facilities to - run "religious education" programs and evangelize recruits.
It's not only fucking illegal, but extremely dangerous when you brainwash young people into believing they're fighting to spread the word of jesus christ. They are literally copying islamic fascism and applying it to their own fucked up world-view.
Sunday, October 7, 2007
Intimidation, Anti-semitism... High School Football Sucks
A federal appeals court in Philadelphia this week heard arguments in a case involving a public school football coach who wants to pray with his team.
Marcus Borden of East Brunswick, N.J., claims he just wants to show respect for his players by going down on one knee and bowing his head while they pray. But court documents show that Borden has a long history of promoting Christian religious worship among students, cheerleaders and others. For many years, he either personally led prayer before games or brought in a minister to lead them.
This case has many disturbing features. Cheerleaders who complained about the prayers were tarred as “Jewish cheerleaders” and exposed to anti-Semitism. Borden, when told to stop praying with the players, arranged for them to take a vote on having prayer. Everyone knew where the coach stood, so of course the vote was in favor. One boy later told his mother that he opposed the prayers but feared being kept out of the game if he voted no.
Its sad this case had to go all the way to court in the first place, when the school should have taken care of the problem from the beginning.
Saturday, October 6, 2007
'Oral Roberts University' Is Fucked (Pun Definitely Intended)
Oral Roberts University President Richard Roberts, says God is speaking again, telling him to deny lurid allegations in a lawsuit that threatens to engulf this 44-year-old Bible Belt college in scandal.
Richard Roberts is accused of illegal involvement in a local political campaign and lavish spending at donors' expense, including numerous home remodeling projects, use of the university jet for his daughter's senior trip to the Bahamas, and a red Mercedes convertible and a Lexus SUV for his wife, Lindsay.
She is accused of dropping tens of thousands of dollars on clothes, awarding nonacademic scholarships to friends of her children and sending scores of text messages on university-issued cell phones to people described in the lawsuit as "underage males."
Richard Roberts, according to the suit, asked a professor in 2005 to use his students and university resources to aid a county commissioner's bid for Tulsa mayor. Such involvement would violate state and federal law because of the university's nonprofit status. Up to 50 students are alleged to have worked on the campaign.
The worst part of this isn't even their despicable actions, which are fucking terrible in and of themselves, but how many people will stand up in support of this prick before its all over. You have to hand it to the fundies; no matter what immoral fucked up scandal one of their own gets involved in, they'll stand behind them. Let's continue with the laundry list of allegations levied against Roberts.
The professors also said their dismissals came after they turned over to the board of regents a copy of a report documenting moral and ethical lapses on the part of Roberts and his family. The internal document was prepared by Stephanie Cantese, Richard Roberts' sister-in-law, according to the lawsuit.
An ORU student repairing Cantese's laptop discovered the document and later provided a copy to one of the professors.
It details dozens of alleged instances of misconduct. Among them:
- A longtime maintenance employee was fired so that an underage male friend of Mrs. Roberts could have his position.
- Mrs. Roberts - who is a member of the board of regents and is referred to as ORU's "first lady" on the university's Web site - frequently had cell-phone bills of more than $800 per month, with hundreds of text messages sent between 1 a.m. to 3 a.m. to "underage males who had been provided phones at university expense."
- The university jet was used to take one daughter and several friends on a senior trip to Orlando, Fla., and the Bahamas. The $29,411 trip was billed to the ministry as an "evangelistic function of the president."
- Mrs. Roberts spent more than $39,000 at one Chico's clothing store alone in less than a year, and had other accounts in Texas and California. She also repeatedly said, "As long as I wear it once on TV, we can charge it off." The document cites inconsistencies in clothing purchases and actual usage on TV.
- Mrs. Roberts was given a white Lexus SUV and a red Mercedes convertible by ministry donors.
- University and ministry employees are regularly summoned to the Roberts' home to do the daughters' homework.
- The university and ministry maintain a stable of horses for exclusive use by the Roberts' children.
- The Roberts' home has been remodeled 11 times in the past 14 years.
To build up this many infractions, this has to have been going on for quite a few years. Why the fuck has it taken until now to notice this shit? You would think that maybe after the eight or ninth home remodeling, a few eyebrows would be raised. Perhaps because of his status and reputation, people were likely to give him the benefit of the doubt, but the little fucker just got too greedy.
Thursday, October 4, 2007
Bakersfield trustees to consider "God" motto in schools
BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (AP) — A trustee in the Kern High School District wants to tack up posters bearing the motto "In God We Trust" in all of the district's classrooms.
Trustee Chad Vegas, a pastor who founded the Bakersfield Christian church Sovereign Grace, said the posters were intended to inspire patriotism, not to promote religious beliefs.
In God We Trust America, Inc., a nonprofit run by Bakersfield City Councilwoman Jacquie Sullivan, planned to donate the posters, which the group believes will not violate the constitutional separation of church and state.
"There are those that are trying to remove God from our public life, and I do not think that is right," said Sullivan.
Sullivan led a campaign to get the phrase "In God We Trust" posted in Bakersfield's city council chambers in 2002, and in 26 other cities in the state. But if the Kern High School District approves the measure, it will be the first in the state to do so, Sullivan said.
How the fuck would that not be a violation of church-state separation? Also, there's no one trying to remove god from your life, they just don't want you proselytizing to their children. It's so fucking simple; keep your religion at church and at home, and leave the rest of us the fuck alone.
The Fall Season
Why does TV have to fuck up everything I love... Anyway, I'm finally back to update the blog (I'm serious this time) and should have some more up either tonight or in the morning.