Friday, September 30, 2011

Happy International Blasphemy Day!

She spent too much
time in Malta.
In celebrating International Blasphemy Day I'd like to write about Malta. Malta, who valiantly resisted the Nazis during WW2, is a small group of islands in the Mediterranean. Recently the Catholic Church heroically fought and lost an epic battle against a nonbinding referendum calling for the legalization of divorce. (I know you are all gasping with shock that the Church would be campaigning against liberty.) However, the Vicar of Christ can rest with ease that the country still has laws against the denigration of religion and immorality.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Results From "Which candidate would do the most damage if elected in 2012?" Poll

The President of the United States possesses almost royal prerogatives, which he has not opportunity exercising, and the privileges which he can at present are very circumscribed. the laws allow him to be strong, but circumstances keep him week... - Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America
Today's office of President of the United States does have what seems to be imperial powers. For all intent and purpose he (or at some future point she) can declare war, and in dire emergencies the President is able to exercise remarkable powers. (According to a report issued by the Senate Special Committee on National Emergencies and Delegated Emergency Powers in 1973, there were at that time 470 provisions of federal law that delegated powers to the president in the event of a declared emergency) In the past, President Andrew Jackson ignored a Supreme Court ruling in order to ship the Creek, Cherokee, Seminole, and Choctaw nations, to reservations. With a stroke of a pen Harry Truman ended segregation in the military.

That is power.

Blasphemy Day 2011

I found this video made by the University of Northern Iowa's Freethinkers and Inquirers about tomorrow's Blasphemy Day on the Friendly Atheist. Enjoy.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

China Versus Reality TV

Here's a quick review on the definition of blasphemy from
1. impious utterance or action concerning God or sacred things.
2. Judaism .
a. an act of cursing or reviling God.
b. pronunciation of the Tetragrammaton (YHVH) in the original, now forbidden manner instead of using a substitute pronunciation such as Adonai.
3. Theology . the crime of assuming to oneself the rights or qualities of God.
4. Irreverent behavior toward anything held sacred, priceless, etc.: He uttered blasphemies against life itself
In the spirit of International Blasphemy Day on September 30th, I'd like to highlight a recent absurdity the self appointed keepers of the sacred and priceless (per definition #4) have done in China. You see, the popular TV show, Happy Girl has been canceled by the state authorities. It's crime?

Another Chat With The Kids About God And My Relatives

Pssst... the Catholic church
your parents bring you to
is EVIL.
Will, Ali, (9 and 6 years old) and I were driving to karate yesterday. The conversation turned to sphinxes. Yes, sphinxes. Will has beeen reading the Percy Jackson books which have the Greek gods as major characters.

Will: Dad, where can you find sphinxes?

Me: Well, there was the sphinx in Greece from the story Oedipus Rex who told the riddle...

I bit of pride swelled in me for recalling that bit of geek (Greek) trivia.

Ali: What was the riddle?

I was stumped, for some reason the riddle of the Sphinx always gets mixed up with the riddle Gollum asks Bilbo in "The Hobbit". Luckily Will saved me.

Monday, September 26, 2011

The Lieutenant Governor Of Florida Is Against Blasphemy

In the spirit of International Blasphemy Day on Friday, September 30th I offer up the Lt. Governor of Florida speaking out against the evils of secularism.* Note at 1 minute 22 seconds she speaks out against blasphemy of His name.

A Biblical Way To Choose The Next President

A Bronze Age method
for God to tweet his followers.
God has provided a sure fire way to know which candidate has been anointed by Him. The ancient Israelites had what amounts to a divine magic eight ball.

No, I'm not making this up.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Allah's Rules At School

To celebrate the upcoming International Blasphemy Day on Friday, September 30th I plan to turn the dial to 11 on the blasphemy amplifier. I'll be doing stories/jokes about the barbaric laws against free speech that plague many countries.

She really, really wants 
to ace that spelling
In light of the recent case of the 8 year old Christian girl who was charged with blasphemy for a spelling mistake in Pakistan, Allah has decided that schools in the Islamic state will need to enforce the following divine rules.

Every student is allotted with 100 words a day to use. To ensure that blasphemy is never uttered again in the hallowed halls of learning in Pakistan each student will be given one hundred words to use during school hours. Of course, the student's name will be considered two of the allowed words, but there is no guarantee that his or her name will be on the daily list. In case there is any confusion Mr Allah says to pray harder.

Each semester a national trivia contest on the Koran will occur and the winner will get their own AK-47 and grenade -- just like they do it in Somalia. 
Over the weekend, a Somali radio station run by the Shabab, the most powerful Islamist militant group in the war-ravaged country, held an awards ceremony to honor children who were experts at Shabab trivia and at reciting the Koran. The prizes? Fully automatic assault rifles and live hand grenades - New York Times
A change in the Science cirriulum: Monthly beheadings of scientists who hold pro-evolutionary views. Just as Dr. Usama Hasan had death threats placed against him after stating in public the following  inflammatory rhetoric.
Evolution "is not a matter of iman [belief] or kufr [disbelief]," said Dr Hasan, "and people are free to accept or reject a particular scientific theory." He also attacked clerics who made pronouncements about science they didn't understand, declaring that "any such fatwas about science from people ignorant of the subject matter are null and void." - The Independent
In the event that Pakistani scientists who hold evolutionary views can't be found, they will be imported from abroad.

Taco Tuesday has been banned. Mr Allah has decided that that the crunchy goodness of the taco is too heavily influenced by western thought. Who knows what will happen if the God fearing youth of Pakistan eat food influenced by alien philosophies? Once Pakistan is on that slippery slope can the legalization of bestiality be far away?

Luckily, we in America have never overreacted to anything like heretical food. Just listen to this informed, temperate opinion when Campbell's decided to make halal soup.
"Down with Campbell's. Up with the forces of freedom that fight tyranny and dhimmihood," added "Wellington."[anonymous nut job] "Would particularly relish some fine matzo ball soup made in the free and democratic Jewish state which multitudes of Muslims and leftists in the West despise so much." from WorldNetDaily

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Atheist Versus Christian Ads

There's been some controversy about a few atheist billboards being put up. I would like to compare some Christian and atheist ads.

One of ours.

One of their's depicting Peter the Hermit egging on Western European
barbarians to attack the Holy Land. 

Ironically, many Christians may consider this an example of
atheist militancy.

And this is a musical piece of propaganda
which supported American Christian/Mormon
views on race during the period.
Of course, every atheist is painfully aware of the state of music within our community.


Friday, September 23, 2011

Christian Rapper Evangelizes At A Public School

I found this on Left Hemispheres. This faith based rapping/brain washing event occurred at a public school in Jefferson, South Carolina.

Christians Hijack The Australian National Anthem

Turing does not like this one bit.
Private Christian schools in Australia have decided that their national anthem, Advance Australia Fair, needs more God in it. The original song was published in 1826 and then replaced God Save the Queen as the national hymn in 1984 (although God Save the Queen is still the Royal Anthem and is played when the visiting royal welfare recipients visit the island continent). Here are the lyrics to Advance Australia Fair.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

The Virtue Of Not Being An Atheist Dick

You need the right rhetorical tool
for the right rhetorical job.
"I was thinking of you the other day."
Oh-oh, someone thinking of me can lead to all manner adverse situations. I was thinking of something you can do for me. I was thinking how irritating you are when you do that particular thing . I was thinking you're not half as clever as you think you are. (In my defense my self deprecating humor is not a joke.) Seeing that it was my kids' martial arts instructor, Mario, talking to me, I was also thinking that he may have some story to tell about Will scratching his butt in class or Ali roundhouse kicking some other student. I think I could handle the latter better than the former. After all, Ali does have a good roundhouse kick for a 6 year old, and who doesn't want to show off every once in a while?

Jamey Rodemeyer's Suicide And Bullying

Jamey Rodemeyer committed no crime, except to the Lord and His divinely inspired crew of bigots. The fourteen year-old gay student took his own life  last Sunday and his body was found outside his home in Williamsville, NY.

Jamey had a history of being bullied in school and online.

He wrote about his problems for the world to see on his Tumblr account.
"I always say how bullied I am, but no one listens," he wrote Sept. 9. "What do I have to do so people will listen to me?"
On Sept. 8, he wrote: "No one in my school cares about preventing suicide, while you're
Then he posted the lyrics to a song by Hollywood Undead:
I just wanna say good bye, disappear with no one knowing
I don't wanna live this lie, smiling to the world unknowing
I dont want you to try, you've done enough to keep me going
I'll be fine, I'll be fine, I'll be fine for the very last timethe ones calling me [gay slur] and tearing me down."
His last post consisted of looking forward to seeing his dead grandmother and thanking Lady Gaga.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Jewish Taliban Women

We are all equal,
but some are more equal than
I was on Atheist Rabbi and reading the post Haredim Fight Modesty...You Read That Correctly. The Haredim are the utlra-Orthodox of Judaism, and the post was about how some haredi women are donning the Jewish equivalent of the burqa, the head to toe ensemble that covers every inch of a woman's body. It isn't just that adult women are wearing the public statement of second class citizenry, but are inflicting it on their 6 and 10 year old daughters. There are not many of these "Taliban women". It is thought that they are mostly new converts to the faith and are zealous -- so zealous that even the other zealots think they've crossed a line. In fact, a group of haredi rabbis are trying to stop the movement altogether,
The committee members are threatening to impose sanctions on the sect's women: "The people of Jerusalem and Beit Shemesh – we shall not abandon our brothers. We will boycott the women leading this rebellious sect and publish their names and addresses."
They are even accusing the women of "calling for a revolt by offering impure and forbidden advice and leading a group under the disguise of 'extra holiness.'"

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

God's Upcoming Smiting Of America

No,  not by this god,
by the real God.
Be prepared for disaster, my friends. This great Christian nation has officially signed its own death warrant. Over the years YAHWEH has been holding back his merciful, homicidal anger while Americans have been rebelling against His law by: allowing witches to live, working on the Sabbath, and Justin Bieber (his hair is an abomination to the Lord).

Why is God  going to smite us today?

I read this on Yahoo news this morning.

Repeal of a 1993 law that allowed gays to serve only so long as they kept their sexual orientation private took effect Tuesday at 12:01 a.m. EDT.
That's right, Don't Ask, Don't Tell has been thrown into the dust bin of history along with other divinely inspired regulations like: anti-miscegenation statutes, male only voting, and prohibition.

Be prepared for the worst! Here is a small list of possible damnations He may damn us with today.

"Natural" disasters  - You may laugh at the idea of this, because Pat Robertson blames every hurricane, stubbed toe, and stomach ache on God's ire. Don't be fooled by that fool! God may just go old school and send a grade A plague on us like a rainstorm of frogs (frogstorm?).

Making America a failed state - Just look at what He's done to Texas! Close to 30% of the population without insurance. An unemployment rate (Texas’ August 2011 unemployment rate was 8.5 percent, up from 8.4 percent in July.) that is higher than those godless people in Massachusetts (7.4%). Worst of all: an idiot running for president.

To sum it all up...

Monday, September 19, 2011

Education Rankings And The Khan Academy

I don't know what keeps you awake at night, if anything. One of my regular anxieties is of the US being drowned in a tsunami of stupid. The Reforming Education section from the recent Economist magazine has been able to illustrate the depth of the problem as well as the light at the end of the proverbial tunnel (of course, it could be an oncoming train).

First the bad news.
From the article The great schools revolution

These statistics were gathered by the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) at the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development). Academic progress of students in thirty two countries were studied.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Talking To The Kids About Divorce

The Wife and I decided to sit Will and Ali (9 and 6 years old) down this morning to let them know that a couple we are close to are getting a divorce. The couple, who are in the midst of splitting up, have a child a year younger than Ali. The children are close. Over all, we have been fortunate that divorce is not common amongst our friends. Sure, splits have happened, but they were either people that Will and Ali don't know very well, or had occurred long, long ago. 

The Amish Versus The Law - Absurdity Wins

Not as faithful as one
may think.
When people take their religion seriously and they talk about it, well, it's like peering into a strange, alternate reality. A recent example are the group of Amish men in Kentucky who have been jailed, because they believe God does not want them to have orange safety triangles on their horse and buggies.

Nine men in the western part of the state have refused to use them. They belong to the Old Order Swartzentruber Amish.
According to court documents, this sect follows a strict code of conduct, called Ordnung, which "regulates everything from hairstyle and dress to education and transportation." They believe that displays of "loud" colors should be avoided, along with the use of "worldly symbols." Swartzentruber Amish believe such symbols indicate the user no longer trusts fully in God. (from CNN's Belief Blog)

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Constitution Day: An Atheist Holiday

I haven't noticed any buzz today in the atheist blogosphere about it being Constitution Day. Too many times we give up ground to the Religious Right regarding patriotism (and in doing so make our own community seem strange and alien).  Here is but one reason why atheists should celebrate this as our holiday.

New Poll: Which Candidate Would Do The Most Damage If Elected In 2012?

The American voter.
The 2012 elections are coming whether we like it or not. If you are anything like me you will be: grinding your teeth, arguing with friends/relatives/that guy in line behind you at Starbucks and occasionally breathing a sigh of relief when a candidate does not dodge a question or say something overly simplistic as well as jingoistic.

It's going to be a long, hard slog for those of us in the atheist community. Every candidate will prostrate themselves at the public altar of the American God (He is American, after all), and mutter some nonsensical string of words like God bless the United States of America or America is a Christian nation.

I can already feel the vomit rising.

The question posed above, however, is not who will make the best President, but who will do the most damage. And damage is defined broadly. The harm could be economic, church/state separation, economic, etc. Whatever your thoughts are on this matter take a second to vote, and make the case in the comments why your candidate is the worst of all.

Why vote for the worst?

Odds are they will win the election.

This is Purgatory.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Jehovah Loves Tasers (It's Football Season!)

It was just a few days ago on 9/11  when the Jets were playing a preseason game against the Dallas Cowboys at the Met Life Stadium. President Bush was attending the game along with a thousands of fans.

Jehovah was also there stirring up trouble.

Jehovah didn't want Larry McKelvey, a 59 year old Jehovah's Witness, to stand during the national anthem. Perhaps He wanted Mr McKelvey to talk on his phone during the moment of silence for 9/11 victims. Only Larry and his imaginary friend know for sure.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

The Lone Star Atheist And Marijuana

My regular readers can appreciate my position here in Purgatory -- I cover a lot of subjects. Just today I was reading through 1 Samuel and preparing another post on YAHWEH's wackiness, wrote the post about FaceGlat and came up with a new poll (posting tomorrow, maybe tonight).

What I haven't written about in depth is my stance on the government's prohibition on marijuana. I'll be blunt (yes, pun intended) -- I find it difficult (though not impossible) for a skeptic to be anything but for legalization  the drug. However, I just want to point out that although I am in favor of lifting prohibition does not mean I smoke/imbibe it in any way. Just as I am in favor of keeping religion legal, *I do not use the stuff.

The Lone Star Atheist wrote an interesting piece on the issue: The Wolf and the Lamb. Here is a brief excerpt.

As an atheist, I believe the prohibition of marijuana to be a Christian attack on individual liberties that their religion doesn’t agree with, much like blue laws and dry counties for alcohol. But even their bible says their wrong because god couldn’t even prohibit a fruit from being eaten by two people, so one could even say that the bible doesn’t necessarily agree with the concept of prohibition. Most prohibition moments are started by the religious right.

* It's my assertion that religion is far more dangerous than the herb.


Has this man just been
What is FaceGlat?

A. Is it a futuristic stem cell based facial cream?

B. FaceGlat is a glat to the face. Glat is a onomatopoeia, like oink. In this case glat would be something like splat -- ergo FaceGlat is a glat to the face.

C. A kosher version of Facebook.

Sadly, the answer is C (although I'm interested in what a glat to the face would look like).

Monday, September 12, 2011

Four Reasons Why YAHWEH Is A Super Villain.

1. YAHWEH does classic supervillain monologues. We all know the classic super villain trait: they love to talk smack. Lex Luthor could have Superman bound with chains of kryptonite, but instead of administering the fatal blow Lex just talks about what a badass Lex is. Fellow Purgatorians, I give you YAHWEH talking a boatload of smack to one of His innocent victims .

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Sam Harris' Talk On Morality And Science

This is Sam Harris' talk at TED from 2010 on how science can guide moral judgements. I found this on The Absence of God blog and it's well worth the 24 minutes. Enjoy.

Atheists Had Nothing New To Learn From 9/11

The same old story retold
divinely inspired actors.
It's 9/11 here in the States. Yes, it's September 11th elsewhere in the world, but without the intimate knowledge on how aircraft were utilized as missiles by God's elect. I will contend that there were no knew lessons to be learned that day for the atheist community. God's fanatical henchmen will stop at nothing to achieve His ends. After all, how can one question divine edicts? As William Lane Craig, the great Christian humanitarian, argues,

He [God] is certainly not subject to the same moral obligations and prohibitions that we are. For example, I have no right to take an innocent life. For me to do so would be murder. But God has no such prohibition. He can give and take life as He chooses.
Whether the zealot is Christian, Jewish, Muslim or Hindu, their message is clear: We lowly humans are but property of  the divine to be dispensed with as He (or They) choose. It may be a dark picture, but the holy followers should harbor no resentment to the heavenly master(s), because their earthly entertainment will be persecuting and killing heretics, apostates and atheists.

I'm spending the day with my family.

I hope you all find some peace and comfort this day...

in Purgatory.

Friday, September 9, 2011

The World is Not 6,000 Years Old, and We Did Not Walk With Dinosaurs

Here is a guest post from a fan of Purgatory, Nadia Jones. Yes, you will notice the link to online colleges at the very end. And just as a point of reference I never get any kind of payment for people promoting themselves on the blog. I'm not against the idea of helping out other atheists in their business pursuits. 

For longer than I care to admit, I dated a girl raised in the Church of Christ. We finally split when she started having salacious dreams about her pastor, but during the time we went out, she tried many times to indoctrinate me—and when that didn't work, she contented herself by keeping me updated on the latest scientific discoveries from within the Church of Christ.

One particularly disturbing piece of news still stands out in my mind as constant reminder of why I remain a skeptic, and divorced from any religion.

Why Do Atheists Care About A God That Doesn't Exist?

A more benign
  mythical character.
I spend a lot of time talking with theists. Today I answered the "Why are you atheists so hot and bothered about a God that doesn't exist?" twice. Typically I try my best to answer that question sans comedy. However, I've written about this on the blog (and don't all theists read every post?)  before so my response was a bit more tongue in cheek.

I have no ill feelings for Lucky the Leprechaun, because Lucky's followers do not undermine morality, scientific progress or democratic ideals. Believe me, if they did I would vent some of my disgust towards Lucky the Leprechaun.
 Of course, the mythical YAHWEH and his followers are another kettle of fish altogether.

This is Purgatory.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

I Called Into A Radio Show Today And Talked About Atheism

I called a Boston area radio talk show today and got on the air. It was the Jim and Margery Show on  96.9FM that runs from 6am - 10am weekdays. Now the hosts are a pretty rational lot with Jim Braude who amongst other accomplishments was a Cambridge City Councilor, and Margery Eagan who writes for the Boston Herald. The topic they were covering this morning was the Pledge of Allegiance.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Marching For A Secular Europe

*Sigh* It would be nice if America had something like the upcoming March for a Secular Europe that is scheduled for September 17, 2011 in London.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Doublespeak, Religion And Faith

but a lot of crazy thinking.

I like CNN's Belief Blog. It's a great forum that allows theists a chance to talk about their faith and in doing so show how hollow religion is. The post I was reading through tonight was My Faith: Rep. Keith Ellison, from Catholic to Muslim. Representative Keith Ellison, (D -Minnesota) explains that the Catholicism he grew up with just didn't do it for him.
“I just felt it was ritual and dogma,” Ellison said. “Of course, that’s not the reality of Catholicism, but it’s the reality I lived. So I just kind of lost interest and stopped going to Mass unless I was required to.”
I love doublespeak, if nothing else it is a reminder how politics, religion and selling used cars, have many things in common. Sure, Catholicism is something akin to some empty Simon Go Says game, but not really. It just seemed that way in my own reality at the time. A lot of people like useless Jesus Go Says rituals, and that is good for their reality. So Catholicism has validity for many people, but not for Representative Ellison, because it isn't valid for him. Makes all the sense in the world.

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