The Uninspired Manifesto
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
We Hate Bush So There Is No God
Atheism is the chic on the cultural scene, according to an article in today's Washington Post.
Led by Mother Teresa-basher, Christopher Hitchens, the new atheistic cabal -- including Sam Harris, Richard Dawkins, and David Dennett, is creating a minor sub-culture devoted to selling books and applauding the ACLU in its attempts to strip the public square of any references to God and traditional religion.
Look for this movement to get larger before it gets smaller.
The primary reason for the recent spike in interest is George W. Bush. Yes, our Methodist, born-again President has created a frenzy among the non-believers at Oxford, Berkeley, and the upper West Side of New York City.
The books of Hitchens, Harris, Dawkins, and Dennett are much less a reasoned argument for the non-existence of a Supreme Being than a torrent of complaints about the influence of religion in politics and public policy.
Their "argument" goes something like this:
I don't like the way Evangelical religion has impacted public policy, say, the war in Iraq, or the choice of Supreme Court justices.
Religion, being a matter of faith not reason, should not be allowed in politics.
It's teachings being backward and irrational are contrary to enlightenment, progress, and modernity.
Therefore, since Bush and his religious friends are all stupid and led by superstitions, the only way to really show how stupid they are is to just go to the bottom line and say,
"Hey, there isn't really any God in the first place!"
What it all comes down to is, "We hate Bush so there there is no God."
Why is is so hard for fundamentalists to accept that their are legitimate reasons for a person not believing in god. Hudson can't even give legitimate examples to back up his stupid claims, just repeated mentions of Christopher Hitchens, and Richard Dawkins. If he had even read any of their books, he could at the least piece together some random sentences out of context in an attempt at looking credible.
There are plenty of logical reasons a person could become an atheist. Hating Bush and his theocratic reign is just a bi-product of that.
Monday, September 24, 2007
A Little Break
Saturday, September 22, 2007
Rachel Maddow on the Value Voters Debate
Friday, September 21, 2007
Religious Fliers At Madison Elementary School
A flier sent home this month in the backpacks of 2,000 Madison elementary students carried an unmistakably religious pitch: "Plant the Seeds of Faith in Jesus in Your Child at our Sunday school."
The Madison-based Freedom From Religion Foundation on Tuesday called upon the Madison School District to ban distribution of such fliers, saying "the district should not act as a PR machine for nonschool enterprises."
However, schools Superintendent Art Rainwater defended the district's policy, which permits organizations to send a wide range of fliers home with students.
The School Board, he said, intended to create "a limited public forum" when it devised the policy in the early 1990s and updated it in 2003.
"We believe our policy for distribution of materials is appropriate," Rainwater said. "And we stand by it."
The flier cited by the Freedom From Religion Foundation was sent by Grace Lutheran Church, 1 S. Rosa Road on the city's West Side, to promote a Sept. 9 "Back to Sunday School" rally.
"Don't Neglect the 3 R's," the flier said. "Religion, Relationships and Rejoicing!"
Rev. Theodore Gullixson, the church's pastor, said that last year the church began sending materials home through Madison schools, after hearing that other religious groups also used the backpack pipeline.
Each time, he said, the fliers were sent to about 2,000 elementary students attending several schools near the church, including Crestwood, Stephens, Van Hise and Shorewood Hills.
Why did they have to send it home with students in their backpacks? I wouldn't have even objected to the shit if they just had a little stack of fliers near the office or right outside, giving kids a fucking choice.
It's Not Like You Have To Be At Church...
Thursday, September 20, 2007
In Honor Of My 100th Post
10th Grade: Let me preface this by saying that I moved around a lot in High School. My parents had gone through a divorce, and I was moved back and forth between my mom and dad, which resulted in several different High Schools (five in total) before I eventually graduated. I spent the majority of my Sophomore year at a very small school in rural Louisiana, with no leniency in the way of religious freedom. The type of school in which, on my first day, I was called into the counselor's office, and asked if I belonged to one of the local churches yet. At this point in time, I was very firm in my atheism, though, not wanting to start something on the first day, I just politely told her I hadn't decided yet. I was immediately put off by how much religion was infused into the school. Having moved from a much larger inner city high school, to a place where the ten commandments adorn every classroom wall, and the Christian Student Union encompasses 90% of the students. This immediately led to me being the 'odd man out', especially when it surfaced I was an atheist, apparently the only one within a 40 mile radius.
A few months in, my first conflict (of many to come) came up when I began work on an atheist website, mostly covering news about atheists, much like this site, but also with stories about random students approaching me with tales of how jesus 'saved' them, and how he can help me too. Once it had been up and running for a few weeks, the website address had found it's way around the school, and by the following week, everyone had read it. Up to that point, only 15-20 people actually knew about my atheism, but now I was being approached by students I had never seen or met before, with promises of a better life as one of the flock. Let me put it this way. Have you ever had to deal with one really annoying christian; the type that can't understand your choice to be an atheist, and no matter how much you ask them to stop, they can't let it go... Now imagine that, except instead of one person, it's your entire high school, including the staff. Every morning when I walked into first period, for a few weeks straight after the website had gotten around, there was a different copy of the bible, and a hand-written note detailing jesus' love for me, and how I will be in their prayers. At one point, they actually started a letter writing camping, flooding my mailbox with their stupid messages of hellfire and damnation if I continued on my evil, secular path. Eventually the letters and free bibles stopped coming, mostly due to my dramatic burning of a stack of bibles with an acetylene torch in metal shop, and I was able to continue in relative peace for a short time.
The next incident, which involved the shutting down of my website, is where I became really vocal. It should be prefaced that I started the website as a class project. I was forced to take an introductory computer course (I arrived a few weeks into the semester and wasn't allowed to choose my electives) that was a 'work at your own pace' class. Since I was well enough versed in Microsoft Office (which is what the course covered) I breezed through a semester's worth of assignments in roughly three or four weeks, and had another month and a half to fill with whatever I wanted. This, at first, entailed spending the hour playing solitaire and minesweeper, before moving up to Runescape for at least two weeks. Then, my teacher told me I had to find something productive to do, and handed me a stack of books, one of which was an introduction to HTML. It took me a little over a week to write the code for the site, which, though simple, had pages filled with information about my atheism, and stories similar to the one above. My teacher, not caring what I did, as long as it wasn't an online game, didn't pay much attention to the site, so I was allowed to write pretty much anything I wanted. Once it had gotten around, though, she suggested I no longer work on it in class. So I gave that up, and instead started doing homework for other classes, though still updating the site on my home computer.
After my fireworks display with the bibles and torch a few weeks later, the 'flock' (the most empowered of the Christian Student Union, for which I became a testament of their devotion to the lord) tried to go about changing my mind in another way... by narcing. It was four of five days later when i was called into the principle's office for a little chat. Apparently the 'flock' had gotten their panties in a twist on a select few articles in which I divulged their names, and their annoying practice of leaving 'Jesus Love's You' notes taped to my locker. Now, my principle, a smart person, I'm sure, had it in her mind that simply giving out a person's name on the internet, regardless of the website, immediately opens them up to attacks from predators. Somewhere in the middle of our conversation about her insane notions, my atheism was brought up, in a very derogatory tone. (Something along the lines of, 'I know you're an atheist, but even you...') I remember the conversation that followed very clearly, because it was one of the first time I had gotten really mad at the bigoted comment someone made. Here's the gist of it:
"You have to understand, Nick, that you're endangering these people."
"I'm not endangering anyone. They only came to you with this because they don't like the website, and hate the fact that I'm an atheist."
"Now, I don't think that's true."
"Of course it is. Do you realize how much crap I've had to deal with (bare with me... I didn't swear in front of teachers during High School...) from these people? It borders on harassment."
"They're just trying to help you."
"I don't need their help, and I want it to stop. If you really want me to take down my website, I will, but only if you tell them to stay the hell away from me."
"Fine, I'll talk to them..."
We continued on for a bit before I went back to class, and deleted the site. I was called in the following day to make sure it was down, and she once again promised to talk to the 'flock'. Of course, she never did, and I just had to put up with it until I left, close to the end of the school year.
Well, that's all from 10th grade. I mean, there was more shit that went down, but you get the idea. I'll follow up with my senior year when I get the chance to sit down and chronicle it for you.
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
Pentagon Sued Over Mandatory Christianity
A military watchdog organization filed a lawsuit in federal court Tuesday against the Pentagon, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, and a US Army major, on behalf of an Army soldier stationed in Iraq. The suit charges the Pentagon with widespread constitutional violations by allegedly trying to force the soldier to embrace evangelical Christianity and then retaliating against him when he refused.
The complaint, filed in US District Court in Kansas City, by the nonprofit Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF), on behalf of Jeremy Hall, an Army specialist currently on active duty in Speicher, Iraq, alleges that Hall's First Amendment rights were violated beginning last Thanksgiving when, because of his atheist beliefs, he declined to participate in a Christian prayer ceremony commemorating the holiday.
"Immediately after plaintiff made it known he would decline to join hands and pray, he was confronted, in the presence of other military personnel, by the senior ranking ... staff sergeant who asked plaintiff why he did not want to pray, whereupon plaintiff explained because he is an atheist," says the lawsuit, a copy of which was provided to Truthout. "The staff sergeant asked plaintiff what an atheist is and plaintiff responded it meant that he (plaintiff) did not believe in God. This response caused the staff sergeant to tell plaintiff that he would have to sit elsewhere for the Thanksgiving dinner. Nonetheless, plaintiff sat at the table in silence and finished his meal."
Moreover, the complaint alleges that on August 7, when Hall received permission by an Army chaplain to organize a meeting of other soldiers who shared his atheist beliefs, his supervisor, Army Major Paul Welborne, broke up the gathering and threatened to retaliate against the soldier by charging him with violating the Uniform Code of Military Justice. The complaint also alleges that Welborne vowed to block Hall's reenlistment in the Army if the atheist group continued to meet - a violation of Hall's First Amendment rights under the Constitution. Welborne is named as a defendant in the lawsuit.
"During the course of the meeting, defendant Welborne confronted the attendees, disrupted the meeting and interfered with plaintiff Hall's and the other attendees' rights to discuss topics of their interests," the lawsuit alleges.
The complaint charges that Hall, who is based at Fort Riley, Kansas, has been forced to "submit to a religious test as a qualification to his post as a soldier in the United States Army," a violation of Article VI, Clause 3 of the Constitution.
The Military Religious Freedom Foundation said Defense Secretary Robert Gates is named as a defendant in the lawsuit because he has allowed the military to engage in "a pattern and practice of constitutionally impermissible promotions of religious beliefs within the Department of Defense and the United States military."
The lawsuit seeks an injunction against Welborne from further engaging in behavior "that has the effect of establishing compulsory religious practices" and asks that Gates prevent Welborne from interfering with Hall's free speech rights.
I'll follow this case as far as it goes, though I'm not sure how far that will actually be, and bring you updates when they come in.
Islam Leaflet School Bust
A Queens teen was arrested yesterday after placing fliers in his teachers' mailboxes asking them to convert to Islam - then made threats once he was caught, authorities said.
Yaseen Chowdhury, 17, of Woodside, wrote the fliers himself and put them in the mailboxes at the Renaissance Charter School in Jackson Heights, sources said.
When confronted there about the fliers, he made unspecified verbal threats, according to the sources.
Chowdhury was charged with aggravated harassment as a hate crime.
A Department of Education spokesman did not return a call seeking comment.
The student's religion was not immediately known.
First of all, the title of the article is the NY Post's, not mine. Secondly, why was he confronted in the first place. Handing out a few fliers doesn't seem that bad, especially when compared to the countless pamphlets I've received in my mailbox, on my car in parking lots, and even taped to my front door detailing local church events. Not to mention the times jehovah's witnesses banged on my fucking door, waking me up at 7 a.m. every Saturday. (until I threatened to call the police if it happened again... but up to that point, I was pretty courteous with my disinterest)
The problem here definitely isn't the kid with the fliers, though he is a nuisance, it's guarded pussy christians who feel that they shouldn't be exposed to anything or anyone that doesn't agree with them. It's a superiority complex that goes beyond thinking they're always right, to believing all dissenting opinions should be silenced, and want common law to reflect that.
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
Putting A Smile On My (An Hopefully Your) Face
Director Matthias Von Fistenberg’s Passio is a gay porno. With Jesus.
Matthias Von Fistenberg’s Passio will surely make a few Fox News anchors explode - and not in a good way. In fact, it is safe to say that even those non-acolytes of the “fair and balanced” network will be disturbed by von Fistenberg’s Jesus. This savior could care less about clothing the naked or feeding the hungry, unless the meal’s cock.
You got to give it up for Oscar Wilde like wordplay like that. (Props to me for throwing in a 'Clerks II' reference)
“My Jesus is gay, stunningly beautiful and sexy. He gets aroused like all of us,” explains Von Fistenberg, who describes himself as a Catholic. The director also admits his Jesus story can’t be found in hotel room Bible. “The movie is a gospel, passio, version of the Jesus story according to
If people are shocked and appalled by Von Fistenberg’s re-telling of the Gospels, he gently reminds us that theocratic rules aren’t our lot. “Luckily we don’t live anymore in times when the Church controls the media and courts,” Von Fistenberg says. “Under the protection of our freedom of speech law, all biblical topics are open to any interpretation. Now, maybe the Pope will excommunicate me or Fox News will have a field day, but they wont be able to take away this important step towards exercising fully the right to free speech and artistic freedom.”
I laughed so fucking hard when I read this, I spit the Sprite out of my mouth all over my monitor. I can't wait for a conservative site to pick this up...
Where Are Mulder and Scully When You Need Them
VILLAGERS in southern Peru have been struck by a mysterious illness after a meteorite made a fiery crash to Earth in their area.
Around midday Saturday, villagers were startled by an explosion and a fireball that many were convinced was a plane crashing near their remote village, in the high Andes department of Puno in the Desaguadero region, near the border with Bolivia.
Residents complained of headaches and vomiting brought on by a "strange odour," local health department official Jorge Lopez told Peruvian radio RPP.
Seven policemen who went to check on the reports also became ill and had to be given oxygen before being taken to hospital, Mr Lopez said.
Rescue teams and experts were dispatched to the scene where the meteorite had left a crater 30m wide and 6m deep, said local official Marco Limache.
"Boiling water started coming out of the crater and particles of rock and cinders were found nearby. Residents are very concerned," he said.
I got my money on alien virus, but so far no reports of men in black suits.
Crazy Statistics from Stupid People
God and the Constitution
On Sept. 17, 1787, after a long summer of argument and compromise, the Founders completed and signed what would become the U.S. Constitution. And despite popular misconception, it didn't include a word about the USA being a "Christian nation."
In fact, the Constitution doesn't mention Christianity, or God, at all. It is a secular document outlining the structure of what would become the new government of this nation.
Likewise, the First Amendment to the Constitution, which protects every individual's right to practice his or her own religion — bans government "establishment" or direct support of religion — makes no mention of Christianity.
Yet, 220 years later, an astonishing 55% of respondents to a poll released last week said they believe the Constitution "establishes a Christian nation."
More disturbing than the mistaken assumption of special status for one religion is a broader pattern evident in this poll, taken by a respected survey research firm for the First Amendment Center. The poll shows widespread ignorance of basic freedoms and a belief that many of the Constitution's rights apply only to some Americans, not to all:
98% said the right to speak freely about whatever you want is essential or important. But 39% would muzzle public statements that might be offensive to religious groups, 42% would bar musicians from singing songs others might find offensive, 56% would outlaw public statements that might be offensive to racial groups, and 74% would prohibit public school students from wearing a T-shirt that others might find offensive. * 97% said the right to practice the religion of your choice is essential or important, but only 56% said freedom of religion applies to all religious groups. 93% said the right to be informed by a free press is essential or important. But 37% would not allow newspapers to freely criticize U.S. military strategy or performance; 61% would impose government requirements on balancing conservative and liberal commentary in newspapers.
Just as the Founding Fathers didn't apply freedom of religion just to Christians, neither did they limit freedom of speech, freedom of the press or freedom of assembly just to those who behave politely or avoid offense. How could it be otherwise? If freedom of religion means anything, it must apply equally to minority religions. And if freedoms of speech, press and assembly mean anything, they must apply to all — most particularly those whose views might not be in the current mainstream.
In a democracy, if freedom is not available to all, then no one is truly free.
This country wasn't founded as a christian nation, but we're well on our way to a theocracy.
Monday, September 17, 2007
State Senator Ernie Chambers Sues God
State Senator Ernie Chambers is suing God. He says it to prove a point about frivolous lawsuits.
In the lawsuit Chambers says he’s tried to contact God numerous times, “Plaintiff, despite reasonable efforts to effectuate personal service upon Defendant (“Come out, come out, wherever you are”) has been unable to do so.”
The suit also requests that the court given the “peculiar circumstances” of this case waive personal service. It says being Omniscient, the plaintiff assumes God will have actual knowledge of the action.
The lawsuit accuses God “of making and continuing to make terroristic threats of grave harm to innumerable persons, including constituents of Plaintiff who Plaintiff has the duty to represent.”
It says God has caused, “fearsome floods, egregious earthquakes, horrendous hurricanes, terrifying tornadoes, pestilential plagues, ferocious famines, devastating droughts, genocidal wars, birth defects, and the like.”
The suit also says God has caused, “calamitous catastrophes resulting in the wide-spread death, destruction and terrorization of millions upon millions of the Earth’s inhabitants including innocent babes, infants, children, the aged and infirm without mercy or distinction.”
Chambers also says God “has manifested neither compassion nor remorse, proclaiming that Defendant “will laugh” when calamity comes.
I know it's just to prove a point, but I still want him to win... or get struck down by lightening. Either way.
Sexual diseases flourish in Mobile County
Last year in Mobile County, 4,629 new cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis were reported -- enough instances of the sexually transmitted diseases to account for one out of every 87 people, according to a Press-Register review of state and federal statistics.
That was about three times the rate in New York City and more than twice as high as Washington, D.C.
A lack of education weighs heavily on a county's rate, health officials said.
In Alabama public schools, students are taught abstinence-based sex education as part of a half credit of health education in high school. Students learn that "abstinence is the only protection against pregnancy, HIV/AIDs and STDs," said state Department of Education spokeswoman Edith Parten.
The subject of condoms, under the state course of study guidelines, is not broached, she said.
This is just a guess, but I'm willing to bet the population of Mobile County is no where near that of either Washington D.C. or New York City.
Friday, September 14, 2007
Assemblies of God launches national public school evangelism effort
From One News Now.
Thousands of teenagers have pledged to take part in a campus evangelism initiative that has been launched by the Assemblies of God. The initiative seeks to equip and encourage teens to become missionaries on their secondary public school campuses.
The initiative is known as "Dreaming 2015" and was unveiled at the recent meeting of the Pentecostal denomination held in Indianapolis. Jay Mooney, national youth director for the Assemblies of God, says the initiative results from a vision to reach one-million American teenagers and get them involved in a local church and a lifestyle of holiness and righteous living by the year 2015.
"We launched an event that we called 'Indy 07 - Experience the Dream' -- and basically what we were asking kids to do was to ask God [if he was] speaking to their hearts about them going deeper in him and wider in purpose," Mooney shares. "And God spoke to a generation and we saw 7,000 kids say 'I want to give one year of my life this next year to become a missionary to my secondary school campus.'"
Mooney emphasized that the initiative seeks to encompass and include all evangelical denominations in an effort to reach young people for Christ -- and it goes far beyond building youth group numbers, he shares.
"We don't want to see students being understood and identified [just] as 'I go to church.' We want them to be understood and identified as 'I'm a lifelong follower of Jesus Christ -- and this is my purpose in life,'" says the national youth director. "And you know, the only way that can be is that they have to be people who know who Jesus is."
This is the reason I support allowing children to bring tasers to school.
Thursday, September 13, 2007
Show Your Support -- Take These Fuckers Down
At first, RRS was just standing up for the rights of others, but after releasing a video exposing their illegal practices, well, I'll let them explain it:
"Someone" (the lawyers will have to figure it out) flagged our video exposing the criminal actions of the Creation Science Evangelism Ministry, and had our account pulled. Unlike false copyright complaints, we're unsure currently how we can have this rectified at the youtube level. We may in fact decide to stay off youtube and do as Gisburne has done, having you repost thousands of our videos over and over.
Our suggestion for right this minute is to upload as many videos as you can all over the internet exposing the illegal activity that the CSE Ministry has currently been engaging in. They want to silence critics, that is clear, to ensure that this doesn't happen you must become more critical of them than you ever have. DO SOMETHING!
If you don't have a video serving that purpose merely uploading a video critiquing Kent Hovind would be good enough. If you feel like acting as childish as "they"do, feel free to flag their videos like it's your business all day long. We don't condone restricting free speech, but since nobody at youtube seems to care about these egregious and vile actions it's up to us to do anything we can to get youtubes attention. (this account is the main account causing the problems - users are reporting that they are flagging these videos left and right). That they would allow such activity after dozens of warnings from youtube members is extremely horrible mismanagement at best. There are dozens of videos and thousands of comments from angry youtube members who are pissed off that it takes 1 minute for someone to pull down a video if they're willing to claim ownership but it takes 14 days, tons of paperwork, and lawyers to reinstate what is rightfully ours. We are pissed. The Creation Science Ministries picked the wrong people to fuck with.
You have just as much right to CSE material as they do, as they've made their videos public domain. They changed their website recently to reflect a change that will never hold up in a court of law. You can't make videos public domain, and then rescind the copyright. Not only have there been countless fraudulent DMCA take down notices, but tracks have been covered with more illegal activity (by attempting to rescind free copyright usage).
Creation Science Evangelism has submitted many copyright violations on youtube in the past few days. The owner of the ministries is Kent Hovind who over the last 20 years has been seen as a public liar. He has held many lectures where he spends hours making people more ignorant as to how evolution works. He now sits in a jail cell for having refused to pay $840,000 in taxes. His defense the whole time was that his money belonged to God and nobody else.
He has stated that none of his material is copyrighted, and so far all of the instances of videos that have been pulled would have fallen within the boundaries of fair use.
At this point, there are reports of up to 30 videos or more already removes by CSE Ministries, even with the countless complaints filed against CSE's criminal actions. If you've had your video pulled by Creation Science Ministries, post about is in this thread on the RRS site.
Even if you haven't had a video removed, help in the fight for our first amendment rights by exposing these liars.
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
Mormon Church Issues Apology For Sept. 11
From Desert Morning News.
CEDAR CITY — The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints issued a long-awaited apology today for the massacre of an immigrant wagon train by local church members 150 years ago in southwestern Utah.
Elder Henry B. Eyring of the Quorum of the Twelve read the church's statement on assignment from the church's governing First Presidency during a memorial ceremony at the grave site of some of the massacre victims at Mountain Meadows, about 35 miles northwest of St. George. The statement also places blame for the Sept. 11, 1857, massacre on the local church leaders at the time and church members who followed their orders to murder some 120 unarmed men, women and children.
"We express profound regret for the massacre carried out in this valley 150 years ago today, and for the undue and untold suffering experienced by the victims then and by their relatives to the present time," Elder Eyring said.
The article continues on with more apologies, but it never really explains why they killed the immigrants in the first place. According to Wikipedia, though, they were seen as "enemies who had participated in previous persecutions of Mormons or more recent malicious acts."
Here's the real question... Why the fuck did it take you 150 years to issue an apology?
Late Night Music
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
Clash of the Titans
That's right! 50 Cent Vs. Kanye West, Curtis Vs. Graduation. MTV News has more on this historic event.
While they were quiet enough onstage when they appeared together at Sunday night's VMAs — Kanye, after the show, not so much — both rappers have said their piece about the widely anticipated matchup between 50's Curtis and Kanye's Graduation. Fiddy recently insisted to MTV News that "I will be #1 on September 11," while the confident 'Ye has said the face-off was his idea in the first place.
But while each MC is probably envisioning himself as the chart-topper, how's the betting line shaping up? Let's take a look:
· Fif's 2003 debut, Get Rich or Die Tryin', has sold a hefty 7 million copies to date; the 2005 follow-up, The Massacre, has moved 5 mil.
· His initially leaked Curtis songs weren't so well-received, and first single "Ayo Technology" has only peaked at #18 on the Billboard Hot 100 — even though the track features another superstar, Justin Timberlake (and a rapping super-producer, Timbaland, to boot).
· 50 has hit a few obstacles lately: His pre-VMA poolside concert was cut short after it nearly became an underwater concert. In August, he trashed the G-Unit offices in New York after his Robin Thicke collaboration "Follow My Lead" was leaked. And, after promising to stop writing music if West beats him, he later got wet feet and reneged.
· 'Ye's 2004 debut, The College Dropout, has sold 2.5 million copies; 2005's Late Registration has moved roughly the same number. Yeah, Fiddy definitely has 'Ye's "number" in terms of album sales.
· But on the other hand, West has done a much better job tearing up the charts lately. His first Graduation single, "Stronger," is sitting comfortably at #2 on the Billboard Hot 100. "Barry Bonds," which was leaked in August, has also been getting strong reception.
· Apparently Graduation is both "whiter" and "blacker" — talk about expanding your demographic!
Kathy Griffin's Emmy Remarks Censcored
LOS ANGELES - Before Kathy Griffin won a creative arts Emmy last weekend for her reality show, "My Life on the D-List," she joked that an award would move her to the C-list.
She was right: "C" as in censored. The TV academy said her raucous acceptance speech will be edited when the event, which was taped, is shown Saturday on the E! channel. The main prime-time Emmy Awards air the next night on Fox.
"Kathy Griffin's offensive remarks will not be part of the E! telecast on Saturday night," the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences said in a statement Monday.
In her speech, Griffin said that "a lot of people come up here and thank Jesus for this award. I want you to know that no one had less to do with this award than Jesus."
She went on to hold up her Emmy, make an off-color remark about Christ and proclaim, "This award is my god now!"
The comedian's remarks were condemned Monday by Catholic League President Bill Donohue, who called them a "vulgar, in-your-face brand of hate speech."
It certainly doesn't sound offensive, but network and cable television have always been pretty strict on any mention of god or jesus that could be construed as anti-semitic. It's the same reason Adult Swim censored the phrase 'Zombie Jesus' from that episode of Futurama.
The problem is that this will continue to happen as long as corporations are allowing themselves to be strong holed by people like Bill Donohue for fear off pissing of a small percentage of christians. By the way, you want to hear some real hate speech? How about some of the comments you made...
Hollywood is controlled by secular Jews who hate Christianity in general and Catholicism in particular. -- [MSNBC, Scarborough Country, 12/8/04] “The gay community has yet to apologize to straight people for all the damage that they have done.” -- [MSNBC’s Scarborough Country, 4/11/05] Name for me a book publishing company in this country, particularly in New York, which would allow you to publish a book which would tell the truth about the gay death style. -- [MSNBC, Scarborough Country, 2/27/04]
David Cross; Heaven/Squagels
Ben Stein to battle 'anti-religious dogmatism'
Come next February, be on the lookout for "Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed."
According to Stein, his documentary - produced by Premise Media and marketed by the Westlake Village, California-based Motive Entertainment -- "chronicles" Stein's "confrontation with the widespread suppression and entrenched discrimination that is spreading in our institutions, laboratories and most importantly, in our classrooms, and that is doing irreparable harm to some of the world's top scientists, educators, and thinkers."
Stein hysterically points out that under a new anti-religious dogmatism, scientists and educators are not allowed to even think thoughts that involve an intelligent creator. Do you realize that some of the leading lights of "anti-intelligent design" would not allow a scientist who merely believed in the possibility of an intelligent designer/creator to work for him... EVEN IF HE NEVER MENTIONED the possibility of intelligent design in the universe? EVEN FOR HIS VERY THOUGHTS... HE WOULD BE BANNED.
I don't know about banned... there are still a lot of ID 'scientists' pushing creationism that won't shut the fuck up. Fuck, we already have TWO creationist museums. (Maybe one or three... I'm far too lazy to fact check this shit)
Also, I don't know how well the comedy aspect is going to come off. If Fox News' '1/2 Hour News Hour' taught us anything, it's that the conservative viewpoint doesn't lend itself well to comedy. Also, Kurt Long has terrible fucking timing and can't improv to save his life.
Monday, September 10, 2007
Lionsgate gave us the teaser poster for Religulous, the upcoming documentary from Borat director Larry Charles. The poster features Bill Maher’s face on a grilled cheese sandwich with the tag-line “Do You Smell Something Burning?”
For those of you who don't know about the film yet, here's a short description from IGN, since I couldn't find an IMDB page for it...
The documentary follows comedian Bill Maher as he travels around the globe interviewing people about God and religion. Known for his astute analytical skills, irreverent wit and commitment to never pulling a punch, Maher brings his characteristic honesty to an unusual spiritual journey.The film isn't set to be released until Spring of '08, according to Maher, but it's making it's premiere tonight at the Toronto Film Festival. If you're up that way, I highly recommend checking it out.
Bush Appointee Campaigns for Evangelicals
Two organisations, Veterans for Common Sense (VCS) and the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF), demanded an investigation Tuesday of Daniel Cooper, President George W. Bush's undersecretary for benefits at the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Their complaint stems from an appearance Cooper made in a fundraising video for the evangelical group Christian Embassy, which carries out missionary work among the Washington elite as part of the Campus Crusade for Christ.
In the video, Cooper says of his Bible study, "it's not really about carving out time, it really is a matter of saying what is important. And since that's more important than doing the job -- the job's going to be there, whether I'm there or not."
Veterans for Common Sense and the Military Religious Freedom Foundation believe Cooper violated the first amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which prohibits government officials from advocating a particular religion while on the job.
They also believe Cooper violated ethics rules that prohibit government officials from using their name, picture, or title for proselytising or fundraising.
"We're very concerned about this because hundreds of thousands of veterans are waiting for their benefits while Cooper himself says that promoting his religion is more important than helping the veterans," Veterans for Common Sense's Paul Sullivan told IPS.
Since Cooper was appointed the head of the Veterans Benefits Administration, the number of veterans waiting on their disability claims has increased dramatically, from 325,000 in 2002 to 600,000 today.
It's so hard to believe that this asshole thinks reading a fucking book is more important than helping injured soldiers. I've always supported The MRFF and their call for discipline against the military leaders in this video, but this is the first time I really want to get involved with the process.
Visit the Military Religious Freedom Foundation website to find out how to help the organization.
Sunday, September 9, 2007
We Win Again!
Associated Press has the results of a poll by Pew Research Center and the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, unofficially titled, "I Would Be Less Likely to Vote for a(n) _____ as President".
WASHINGTON (AP) — One in four people in the U.S. said in a recent poll that they would be less likely to support a presidential candidate who is Mormon, an ominous sign for Republican contender Mitt Romney.
Yet the survey found two groups, atheists and Muslims, were even less likely to win votes.
Sixty-one percent of those questioned said they would be less likely to support a presidential candidate who did not believe in God. Forty-five percent said the same for a Muslim contender.
Only 5 percent or fewer said they would be likelier to support candidates who were atheists, Muslims or Mormons, according to the poll by two nonpartisan research groups.
Only 39% of Americans would vote for an atheist candidate. That seems like it's significantly less that half of the country, as World Net Daily reported.
But I didn't post these poll results just to show up WND as liars, you can come to that conclusion yourself by visiting their homepage. I wanted to make a point about the religious influence on politics in this country. Regardless of a candidate's qualifications or politics, 61% percent wouldn't vote for them, just because they don't believe in god. It's that kind of single issue, close-minded bullshit that brought us eight years of Bush, and a slew of 20 candidates who can't answer a simple fucking question without bringing up how much they're influenced by their faith.
This brings me to a larger issue, and this seems as random a place as any to bring it up. Try to follow me on this one. I firmly believe we have come to the end of our evolutionary process, and this is why so many people regress with archaic ideas of god and the divine. We've arrived to a point in history where we no longer need to adapt to our environments, sparking the process of change within our structures, because we change the environment to fit our needs. We've become sheltered and weak, even compared to those who lived a relatively short time ago, maybe five or six hundred years. That's why so many people refuse to accept evolution. Despite the overwhelming evidence on the microscopic level, they can't even comprehend it translating to a larger scale. When your body builds up a resistance or tolerance for certain chemicals that are introduced to it, that's not god saving you, its a physical change, or evolution, if you will.
When I say we've come to the end of our evolutionary process, I don't mean it in the sense of technological advancements, because those will continue, but rather physically and biologically. Our immune systems continue to degrade, and our planet is quickly dieing to satisfy our ever increasing need to accommodate our menial lives, and it's this willful ignorance towards the state of our world that drives the religious to attempt to pull all their answers from a holy book. Religion is literally hold us back, and will continue to do so unless their is a clear separation from our political system, as well as our scientific community.
I know I've made a lot of generalizations to get my point across. My view of faith may not apply to you, and in fact it probably doesn't if you've ventured far enough to read this post. Still, it applies to a lot of fundamentalists in this country who make up a significant population and have far too much influence on politics, and more importantly, politicians. So, I'd like to leave you with this.
History, I believe, furnishes no example of a priest-ridden people maintaining a free civil government. This marks the lowest grade of ignorance of which their civil as well as religious leaders will always avail themselves for their own purposes.
-- Thomas Jefferson, to Alexander von Humboldt, December 6, 1813
The Athiest Delusion
Saturday, September 8, 2007
The Rise of Athiest America
The signs are everywhere. Many of America's top-selling books right now are angry, in-your-face, atheist manifestos. Judges try to outdo each other in banning references to God like the Ten Commandments and the "Under God" phrase in the Pledge of Allegiance. And nearly half of Americans, according to a recent Gallup poll, would be willing to vote for an atheist for president of the United States of America – a nation founded by devout Christians.
Really? Every poll I've ever read says different, but OK...
In earlier eras, atheists were on the fringes of society, mistrusted by the mainstream. Those few who dared to publicly push their beliefs on society, like Madalyn Murray O'Hair, were widely regarded as malevolent kooks. But today, Hitchens' No. 1 New York Times bestseller, which has dominated the nonfiction charts for months, boldly condemns religion – including Christianity – as "violent, irrational, intolerant, allied to racism, tribalism, and bigotry, invested in ignorance and hostile to free inquiry, contemptuous of women and coercive toward children."
Indeed, arrogant denial of God and condemnation of religious people characterize today's popular atheist books, which besides Hitchens' and Dawkins' bestsellers include "Letter to a Christian Nation" by Sam Harris, sequel to his earlier bestseller "The End of Faith," as well as "God: The Failed Hypothesis: How Science Shows That God Does Not Exist" by Victor J. Stenger, "Breaking the Spell: Religion as a Natural Phenomenon" by Daniel C. Dennett, "Atheist Universe: The Thinking Person's Answer to Christian Fundamentalism" by David Mills and others.
"How can this be happening?," you might wonder. "Hasn't America always been a Christian nation?"
No question about it. America was founded by Christians. Its very purpose for being was the furtherance of biblical Christianity, according to the Pilgrims and succeeding generations. The nation's school system was created for the express purpose of propagating the Christian faith. Almost all of the Founding Fathers who drafted and signed the Constitution were Christian believers. Even U.S. Supreme Court Justice David Josiah Brewer, in the high court's 1892 "Church of the Holy Trinity v. United States" decision, proclaimed what was then considered obvious to just about everyone: "This is a Christian nation."
Today, however, many Americans are infatuated with outright, full-bore atheism. In fact, Dawkins, the Oxford scientist who wrote "The God Delusion," is even selling young people "Scarlet Letter" tee-shirts with a giant "A" – for "atheist" – on his website (and bumper stickers too). Somehow, atheism – just like homosexuality, which used to be considered shameful and something to hide – is now becoming hip, sophisticated, enlightened, even a badge of honor.
Of course, I can't relay the entire article, because it's part of the latest issue of WND's 'Whistleblower' magazine they're trying to sell. In fact, while you're at the site, check out page after page, littered with the shitty merch they're trying to sell you.
What really pissed me off about this article, beyond the outright lies and bigotry, was the way they portrayed atheism as a fad; something people just wake up one morning and decide to do without ever thinking about it. No atheist that I know, or have ever met came to that conclusion overnight. I would write a letter explaining my disgust, but they're so fucking crazy over at that site, it wouldn't matter. Maybe someone out there who can relay an idea without using as much profanity could try instead.
Friday, September 7, 2007
Anyway, in my absence, a lot of shit happened, most of which I'm not going to cover because I'm lazy, and I'm not sure how long I have before this system crashes... it already happened once today... I'll just post whatever I feel like that occurred recently. More very soon...
*UPDATE*: You'll have to wait a little longer for new posts. IFC is airing R. Kelly's 'Trapped In The Closet' Ch. 1-22 tonight.