- "To kill an error is as good a service as, and sometimes even better than, the establishing of a new truth or fact" -- Charles Darwin
Proud to be
July 2017 S M T W T F S « Dec 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31
Ladies and gentlemen . . . . NEWT GINGRICH <crowd roars>:
“I have two grandchildren: Maggie is 11; Robert is 9,” Gingrich said at Cornerstone Church here. “I am convinced that if we do not decisively win the struggle over the nature of America, by the time they’re my age they will be in a secular atheist country, potentially one dominated by radical Islamists and with no understanding of what it once meant to be an American.”
He pre-empts the word “atheist” with “secular”, making certain everyone know what he is talking about, then pre-empts “Islamists” with “radical” indicating how extremely religious these people are. A bit oxymoronic if you ask me. Oddly, I’m not really a Gingrich-hater, he seems to be a pretty smart guy who, in his 20s, didn’t associate with any religion, until this (from Wikipedia):
While at Tulane <getting his PhD in the 70s>, Gingrich, who at the time belonged to no religious group, began attending the St. Charles Avenue Baptist Church to pursue an interest in the effect of religion on political theory (!); he was soon baptized (!) by Rev. G. Avery Lee. 
Again, an insane juxtaposition.
What annoys me here is WHY he said this. He was talking in front of a megachurch in San Antonio whose leader is John Hagee – remember him? – attempting to gain approval of those people. But he is doing it by seemingly mindlessly pandering to their greatest shared fears – atheism and radical Islam. What’s funny is that Gingrich himself recently converted to Catholicism and the leader of this church is known as a recently reformed Catholic-hater.
A study using census data from nine countries shows that religion there is set for extinction, say researchers.
Now there’s some good news for a change. Can I get a hallelujah? The countries:
Australia, Austria, Canada, the Czech Republic, Finland, Ireland, the Netherlands, New Zealand and Switzerland.
Of course, I’m so juvenile that I have to point out the name of the researcher cited in this article
“The idea is pretty simple,” said Richard Wiener of the Research Corporation for Science Advancement, and the University of Arizona.
What kind of a fucked up parents with the last name of Wiener name their son Richard? I suppose it’s better than Noah, but c’mon.
I just kind of figured it must have been some kind of a “wage two wars, get a third war free” promotion.
That question was posited by a guy named Chris on Jack Cafferty’s blog and it made me laugh, which is good since the rest of this pisses me off. No, wait, one more thing made me laugh. In this write up about a U.S. fighter plane that crashed in Libya during a mission (due to mechanical failure, not shot down) where both crew members ejected safely:
The pilot and weapons officer suffered minor injuries but landed safely in Libya, the military said.
I could just see those guys high-fiving each other, proclaiming: “Thank Odin, we’re safe and sound here in . . . . Libya.”
In related news, Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) calls the act of Obama sending fighter jets into Libya without congressional approval an impeachable offense. CNN later takes the story and says that Kucinich turned the accusation into a fundraising plan. I don’t think CNN likes him, but I like what he is saying. Should Obama be impeached? Probably not, but I think he ought to answer to this.
Also, why the fuck are we bombing Libya??? I’m calling Batman.
I LOVE the background of this photo.
Pathetic. Well, Ima change THAT trend. I’ll start with this crowd pleaser by Bernard Schweizer of CNN’s Belief Blog:
There’s a lost tribe of religious believers who have suffered a lasting identity crisis. I am referring to the category-defying species of believers who accept the existence of the creator God and yet refuse to worship him. In fact they may go so far as to say that they hate God.
No, I’m not talking about atheists. Non-believers may say contemptuous things about God, but when they do so, they are simply giving the thumbs-down to a fictional character. They may as well express dislike about Shakespeare’s devious Iago, Dickens’ scheming Uriah Heep or Dr. Seuss’ Grinch who stole Christmas.
For atheists, God is in the same category as these fictional villains. Except that since God is the most popular of all fictional villains, New Atheists – those evangelizing ones such as Christopher Hitchens and Richard Dawkins – spend a considerable amount of energy enumerating his flaws.
But someone who truly believes in God’s existence and yet hates or scorns him is in a state of religious rebellion so perplexing as to strain our common understanding of faith to the breaking point.
Fascinating subject matter. I am especially pleased with the author’s apparent understanding of atheists’ feelings. Furthermore, he goes on to say something that, for me, helps to answer the following question: “If there were no god, then why has Christianity/Judaism/Islam/etc. lasted so long?”:
At the same time, they are exercising self-censorship because they dare not voice their opinion openly. After all, publicly insulting God can have consequences ranging from ostracism to imprisonment, fines and even death, depending on where the blasphemy takes place (Ireland, for instance, imposes a fine of up to 25,000 Euros for blasphemy) and what God is the target of attacks (under sharia law, being found an enemy of God, or “mohareb” is a capital offense).
Not to mention that you get ostracized in this country for simply being atheist, let alone hating any of the Christian gods. We finally have a black president, but how long will it be before we have an atheist one? My guess is that would come AFTER we have a gay one.
The author then goes on to point out that certain writers displaying “misotheism” (the word that the author coined to represent people who believe in a god yet hate that god) are kept under wraps:
At the same time, these writers count on the reader’s cooperation to keep their “secret” safe. It’s like a pact between writer and reader.
And immediately following that, the author systematically outs them (this is the very next paragraph):
Zora Neale Hurston could write that “all gods who receive homage are cruel” without anybody objecting that “all gods” must necessarily include the persons of the Christian Trinity.
Or Rebecca West could write that “something has happened which can only be explained by supposing that God hates you with merciless hatred, and nobody will admit it,” counting on the fact that, since nobody will admit it, nobody will rat her out for blasphemy.
There lies, in a sense, the awesome, subversive power of literary writing, something that had worried Plato 2,400 years ago when he required that all poets be removed from his ideal “Republic.” Interestingly, though, while guardians of propriety have put Huckleberry Finn on the list of proscribed texts because of its liberal use of the N-word, few people have declared Hurston’s “Their Eyes Were Watching God” or Shelley’s “Prometheus Unbound” or West’s “The Return of the Soldier” as forbidden texts because of the underlying misotheism of these works.
And even where the misotheism is overtly expressed, as in Elie Wiesel’s “The Trial of God” or in James Morrow’s “Godhead Trilogy,” literature offers an enclave of religious freedom that is vital to the human spirit and its impulse to free itself of any shackles, even the commands of God.
Crazy. Finally, he ends with this nugget:
If people continue to believe in a God they find to be contemptible, then belief is such a powerful force that it cannot be simply switched off on the basis of empirical data.Thus, in the last consequence, the study of misotheism is a testament to the power of belief, albeit a twisted, unconventional form.
Who cares about facts, anyway. It’s all twisted, Bernard. What’s my point to any of this? I don’t know.
Ricky Gervais hosted – some say accosted – the Golden Globes this past weekend and is under fire for crossing too many lines. I of course didn’t watch the interminable show, but I did watch the highlights of Ricky’s bits and thought he was what he always is, hysterical.
But he accomplished more than just making me laugh and hurting the flimsy feelings of celebrities. He got the Hollywood Foreign Press to finally admit what we all already knew, that their awards are no less subjective than my list of favorite tv shows (see, I had a point with that one all along). Here is what they said after the show
“Ricky will not be invited back to host the show next year, for sure,” the HFPA member said. “For sure any movie he makes he can forget about getting nominated“
So the votes have already been cast against films Ricky Gervais has yet to make. Anyhow, here’s Ricky. Atheists should make it a point to listen until the very end
(All Time I say!)
A drunken conversation with my friends about my ten favorite South Park episodes eventually led us to listing our 10 favorite television shows. As insufferable a conversation as that sounds to have to listen to, here it is in written form! Enjoy.
Oh, and the qualifier is that there are no qualifiers. If you want to be a douche and list Sportscenter or Judge Judy, we allowed that. It’s why The Joy of Painting nearly made my list, had it not been for that horrible episode involving pea green.
Speaking of which, my list:
- The Wire
- South Park
- Coupling (the British version, of course)
That’s it. Four shows. Everyone else at the table had to try to narrow their lists down to ten. Me, only four. Which isn’t to say I don’t watch TV or I don’t have other shows I like. It just means I’m better than they are.
No wait. I enjoy Burn Notice and Psych and NCIS. The Sopranos was entertaining, at least the parts that weren’t dream sequences (so like 40%). I loved Deadwood for the first season or so. But a favorite’s list? I feel like that has to be something special. So The Wire made my list because it is something special. And South Park because it’s brilliant. And the other two made me laugh and I couldn’t think of anything I didn’t like about them (except maybe that episode where Jerry has an affair with the Super’s wife). And that’s it for me, really. If you notice, three of the four shows on my list are considered short-lived, by successful, television-show-standards. Coupling ran for just 28 episodes. Seinfeld ended Seinfield at the peak of its popularity. And The Wire was five seasons, all written before a single show was aired.
Hmmm. Maybe it just proves that unless you’re as brilliant as South Park, you should end on a high note and stop making your goddamn shows already, you douchey douchebags from Springfield, asshole motherfuckers. You’ve ruined the memory of a once great television idea. Aye Carumba! Or maybe I just didn’t have anything good to post about tonight. But I’m John, who the hell are you?!? And this is my list. Da Derp Dee Derp Da Teetley Derpee Derpee Dumb
about Westboro Baptist Church’s right to protest funerals. Well let me adjust that; since it currently falls within their free speech rights to protest funerals, I guess I am not. They are allowed to do it. Even allowed are their current plans of protesting the funeral of that 9 year old girl who was just killed in the “Arizona shootings.” But this may be an area where I might support a constitutional exception, similar to the idea of not being able to yell “fire” in a crowded movie theater – make funerals off limits for picketing/protesting. I don’t like the idea af haphazardly changing constitutional exceptions, but what would the ramifications of this type of change really be? Thoughts?
I stand at a constitutional crossroads.
They must read my stuff! :
Tucson, Arizona (CNN) — The Arizona State Legislature is expected to pass legislation Tuesday that will bar protesters at funerals from getting within 300 feet of services, a spokesman for the state Senate said.
The action, according to Senate spokesman Daniel Scarpinato, is in direct response to a controversial church’s announcement that it will picket the funeral of Christina Green, the 9-year-old who was one of six people killed Saturday during the attempted assassination of U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.
And for my next prediction, Westboro Baptist Church fights Arizona’s legistature in fedral court regarding the unconstitutionality of their “funeral protest” law . . . and will probably win. Woot!