Posts Tagged ‘atheism

07
Dec
08

Atheist sign stolen…later found in ditch.

The Freedom From Religion Foundation placed a sign in the Washington state capitol near a nativity scene. The sign read:

At this season of the winter solstice, may reason prevail. There are no gods, no devils, no angels, no heaven or hell. There is only our natural world. Religion is but myth and superstition that hardens hearts and enslaves minds.

So of course some douche comes along and steals the sign and tosses it in a ditch. Someone recovered the sign and took it to a country radio station in Seattle, which is about 2 hours from the Capitol. I have no idea what possessed them to take it to a country radio station that far away. I have to wonder if their hearts were in the right place, or if they figured that a country radio station would be able to provide the maximum amount of derision and ridicule toward the sentiments expressed on the sign.

This tool over at Political Machine posted and article saying that he’s glad the sign was stolen, and a bunch of dittoheads chimed in agreement in the comments.

Excerpt:

What irks me about the atheists’ display is that its sole purpose is to be dickish. That’s really my problem with atheists, too. They are every bit as annoying as the guys who ring my doorbell and try to sell me a creepily-drawn comic book masquerading as a magazine.
An Atheist believes there is no God, which is about as useful as believing there is one. Both sides insist that they know something that is currently unknowable. That’s why it’s called a belief, because you don’t know. But atheists will tell you all about their belief, whether you ask them to or not.

Another person exclaimed that atheists had “gone too far” with their sign.

I responded with the following:

I’m sorry, but you’re wrong. This isn’t “dickish” and atheists have not gone too far. Believe me, you’d know if we had. Have you seen an atheist group claim responsibility for a terrorist attack lately? Have atheists bombed any clinics near you, or shot any doctors who they disagreed with? Have atheists forced any legislation down your throat?
The nativity should never have been at the Capitol, period. That constitutes an endorsement of religion by the government. Put it on your church lawn. We had every right, and in fact the Constitutional responsibility to respond. I was not a part of this sign, but I fully endorse it and its message. If you want to call something a dickish move, how about we examine how Christians try to urinate a circle around every secular building with their marketing displays? THAT is a dickish move.
You are correct that no one can know for certain that there’s no God, or that there is, but that isn’t how we operate in the real world. You don’t know for certain that there isn’t a dragon who lives on the far side of the moon that controls Chinese people with telepathic waves, but you can be reasonably sure because there’s no proof. That’s all atheists are saying. Let reason prevail. There’s never been any proof of a God, so let’s assume there isn’t one, rather than guiding our lives and public policies around a being that in all likelihood doesn’t exist.

But then again, I’m just a dick that way.

-sJ

31
Oct
08

Atheists “lowest of the lows” according to Kay Hagan

“This would be the best of all possible worlds if there were no religion in it.” – John Adams, President and Founding Father

Why am I so outspoken on atheism? I feel that I have to make a vigorous stand in the face of the erosion of our Nation’s secular foundation. Atheists get a bum rap. In a certain respect, we’re lucky. There are no visible signs of atheism. We’re not a different color and we don’t have public behaviors that are easy to spot. We can stay under the radar if we choose. The one thing we cannot do is run for office. Not if we want to win, at any rate. An atheist can’t get elected dog catcher. Well, that’s not exactly true…you can in the most despicable and godless of all districts, The Bay Area. To date, there has been exactly 1 openly atheist congressman, Rep. Pete Stark D-CA. I am convinced there are many more secret atheists who have made a devil’s bargain, if you’ll pardon the pun, in order get elected. As Hemingway said, “all thinking men are atheists” though I suppose that could be taken a number ways depending on your view of Congress…and Hemingway. At any rate, it is politically safe to express contempt toward atheists in a way that we no longer tolerate when it comes to gays, or blacks or Jews or filthy awful Scotsmen.

The reason I’m writing about this now is that atheism is becoming a central attack theme in the race between Elizabeth Dole and Kay Hagan for Dole’s NC Senate seat. Dole is running attack ads calling Hagan “godless” for taking campaign money from the Godless Americans Political Action Committee. Dole’s people had this to say about GAPAC:

“Kay Hagan attended a fundraiser event in Massachusetts in September held in the home of two anti-religion activists, Wendy Kaminer and her lawyer husband, Woody Kaplan,” Dole’s attorneys said in a letter to Hagan’s lawyer.

They described Kaplan as a founder and advisory board member of the GAPAC. The letter said Kaplan and Kaminer were advisory board members of The Secular Coalition for America, which it described as “the national lobby for atheists, humanists, freethinkers and other nontheistic Americans with the unique mission of protecting their civil rights.”

Protecting your civil rights is a “unique” mission now? Weird. I thought everyone wanted their civil rights protected. Those rotten godless sonsofbitches! How dare they demand to be treated with the same rights as everyone else.

Alright, so Dole calls Hagan “godless” like it’s a bad word, and Hagan responds by calling this attack “the lowest of the lows”. Hagan claims to be Christian, and judging by the fact that she took thousands of dollars from a secular rights group and then threw them under the bus, I’d say she probably is. Lowest of the lows – really? Worse than a terrorist? Worse than a genocidal dictator? Worse than a serial killer? Child rapist? Wall street swindler? Worse than a wife beater? A drunk driver? Worse than someone who borrows your stuff and doesn’t return it? The religious tyranny in this country, and particularly in politics, is swirling into a furor that will likely result in witch trials if we don’t get a handle on it. This country was founded deliberately secular, and for the safety of freedom of its citizens it needs to remain that way. I’m tired of watching politicians try to out-pious each other. Our Founding Fathers would be supremely pissed off about this, if they were here to see it.

Speaking only for myself, and not on behalf of any political party or organization, it’s my view that people should be ashamed of their religion, not proud of it. Religious belief is proof of a flaw in ones ability to think rationally, not a virtue. People should feel a certain amount of embarrassment in admitting that they think the Earth was created a few thousand years ago by an invisible man in the sky who then destroyed it with a flood because he was angry but saved all the animals by ordering one man to collect breeding pairs on a homemade boat. You’re kidding, right? We can all agree that Norse or Greek creation myths seem far-fetched, but this is somehow plausible? And I should take comfort in electing someone whose belief in this nonsense is more steadfast than their opponent’s?

Clinging to superstition puts us all back in the dark ages. We have 99.999% of the answers that religion used to provide. We know the history of the universe going back several billion years. We know how the sun will one day destroy the earth, a few billion years from now. We know how mankind evolved from out of the muck. We know about heredity, and DNA. We know germs cause disease, not demons. We know about schizophrenia, rather than possession. We can make wires a single atom wide. We have vaccines and heart transplants. We have computers that can perform billions of calculations per second – while communicating with satellites – that fit in your pocket. What have you done for me lately, religion? There are a few dark corners where we still have to guess, but religion provides nothing better there either…just more unanswerable questions. Who created the Big Bang? God? Then who created God? We can endlessly regress these questions like toddlers pestering our parents, or we can accept the reality that there might be some questions that will just go unanswered, and emerge into the intellectual adulthood of our species.

Being godless isn’t a bad thing, and atheists aren’t the lowest of the lows. We’re just ahead of the curve.

04
Oct
08

An introduction…

I’d like to take a minute to make a quick introduction. I post under the name secularJihad because I am a fervent, some would say militant, atheist. I am out to destroy Christmas. I would prefer most churches be bulldozed or turned into all-ages rock venues, unless they have some intrinsic artistic, cultural or architectural value. (Most pre-fab box-built megachurces from the last 20 years don’t.) Religion is ridiculous. That’s my opinion. It’s the opinion of many other atheists, and it’s the opinion of most religious people as well…as long as they’re referring to someone else’s religion. People get defensive about their own particular brand of superstitious nonsense. The fact is that most people adhere to whatever religion they were raised in, unless they wise up and break free. Most don’t have any good reason why they believe what they do, its just what they’ve always known. Maybe it’s time to reconsider? I think so.

I’m highly critical, to the point of being insulting, to most faiths. Most religious people are as well, again, as long as their own diety isn’t being ridiculed. I don’t have any such restriction. The idea of Saturn eating his children is just as silly as the idea that Yahweh magically knocked up a young girl and then killed her offspring to teach us a lesson, or the idea that drawing a cartoon of a prophet somehow forfeits the artist’s right to exist. They’re all equally non-compelling mythologies to me. If you think Richard Dawkins is overly harsh toward religious people, you should probably avoid my posts. I think he’s about as gentle at his most annoyed as I am on an average day.

When I’m not pissing on other people’s most closely held beliefs, I enjoy a variety of pastimes. Most are music or computer related, or both. I’m an avid music collector, mostly focusing on grunge-era independent music, shoegaze, metal – from Black Sabbath to Mastodon, AMREP noise and various forms of electronic and experimental music – particularly Bill Laswell’s far reaching ambient collaborations and remixes. I’ve been a bass guitar player since I was about 13, and a so-so drummer since I was about 30 (had to wait until I was a homeowner for that one). I’ve played in several bands, with long-ish stints in a six piece noise metal band, an instrumental post-rock band, and a stoner/sludge metal band. I love most music, but loud and heavy wins out most of the time.

I record my own music, but not nearly often enough.

I’m also a digital artist, specializing mostly in 3D still illustrations. Most of these begin in either 3D Studio MAX or Photoshop. I was professionally employed as a digital artist and photographic retouch-er for over a decade, and have recently moved into the graphics software industry. I still do creative work on the side when the job sounds interesting, and when I have time. I also create images for a variety of royalty free and rights managed brands that are sold on-line.

Racism is bullshit, as are most forms of discrimination, and should be avoided.

I am a vocal opponent of most laws restricting personal freedom, especially when they originate from religious doctrine, or modern perversions thereof. One person’s freedom to follow their faith ends when it cramps my style. I am awkwardly Libertarian in that regard. I oppose the drug war, and support gun ownership. I’m pro gay marriage and pro choice. Basically, I don’t care what you do, that’s your business, and don’t tell me mine. In other respects I proudly support many Socialist principles, and so do you, whether you know it or not. Our grandfathers would have all been worked to death in soot-filled factories if not for Socialists. Socialists gave us the weekend, and the 40-hour week. Hard battles were fought to give us these benefits, and they’re being eroded. Don’t believe me? Check your Blackberry. I also support government health-care and public schools. I don’t mind paying a high tax rate for a government that provides for me in times of crisis, and ensures my basic needs will be met if I am unable to meet them myself. And I don’t mind if my taxes go to help someone else who is in this position. My odd mixture of political beliefs makes me unpopular at nearly every political round table, but more often than not, I identify with progressives and Democrats. I generally oppose war, but in particular I oppose open-ended wars against concepts, rather than targets.

I prefer medium-light bass strings.

I’m supporting Obama/Biden in ’08, and have donated a few hundred dollars to their campaign. (Though it pains me that Biden was such an ardent proponent of the drug war.) It comes down to this: Do I want to live in a bright shiny sci-fi future where we all float around in pollution free hovercars and everyone is happy and free to express themselves creatively, or do I want to live in a charred industrial waste-world where we are surrounded by a wall that’s piled high on both sides with flyblown emaciated bodies of those trying to get in, and those trying to get out? I personally choose the former, and while I don’t think Obama will magically transport us from Fuckedville to Utopia in 4 or 8 years, I do think that electing him could be something that future generations will point to as the turning point in taking us there. Regardless, the politics on this page are my own, and Barack Obama does not support this message.

Spicy food, FTW!

I like animals, but strongly prefer cats. A cat is happiest when she gets to just chill out and enjoy her space. I get this. Eat. Sleep. Stretch. Yawn. Pet me. Litter break. Bath. Repeat. Simple. I get it. Dogs tend to get all up in my business in a way that I find a little bit intrusive. They’re ok when they’re calm, or when I’m jacked up enough to want to actually play with them, but that’s almost never. Cats can be annoying little shits at times too, but in general my money’s on them.

I am tentatively embracing the Apple Mac platform, though I’ll probably always have a few home-built PCs around.

I started out blogging on MySpace, but moved to WordPress because MySpace’s blog implementation is amateurish and doesn’t syndicate well. I tend to blog on the topics of religion, politics, music and computing, which should be no great surprise if you read the rest of this post. I try to infuse a little dark humor into my caustic vitriol. I am an admirer of the late Bill Hicks, and in particular of his ability to cut through all bullshit and speak with equal enthusiasm on topics from pornography to music to politics to the great existential questions. There are a lot of unfunny black-hearted cynical fucks who like to think they’re a little like Bill. I’m one of them.

Steve Jobs is a cocky prick, but I do love my iPhone.

I spent most of my college and post college years, when I wasn’t at work or studying, getting high with friends. I had a great time. Though I don’t know if I’d do it with quite as much gusto if I had a second chance. I think I could have accomplished a little more if I’d been a bit less pacified and a bit more focused. I recently completed a 5 year period of total sobriety. I have to say that in some ways, my life got a lot better, and in other ways it pretty much blew. I’m a bit awkward socially to begin with, and being the odd man out at every social gathering wasn’t easy. At any rate, 5 years seemed adequate to prove a point, and I’m back to being party-optional. Though I’ll probably pass more often than partake. It’s hard enough for me to manage all my work and personal obligations without inhaling an additional handicap.

So that should be enough to start. Maybe too much. More to come…