Thursday, May 31, 2012

The Shaolin Temple Has Seen Better Days

This is a tree at the temple where the monks practice finger punching.
How badass is that?

I was reading this week's Economist magazine and came across this interesting piece Trouble at the temple -- Everybody was kung fu fighting--  Shaolin temple takes a hit. Like many of you who are my age or older I was first exposed to the Shaolin temple via the TV series starring the late David Carradine, Kung Fu. For those younger your first exposure may have been the Kung Fu Panda Movies, starring Jack Black. To tell you the truth I'm a fan of both, but the TV series holds a certain place in my heart because I spent many a Saturday afternoon as a kid watching Caine wander through the US and enjoying his flashbacks to his training at the temple.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Poll: Would You Buy A Gun If You Were Threatened By Religious Radicals?

Do atheists live in the shadow of a bullet?

I was over at Atheist Revolution earlier today, and read the post Christian Terrorism in Texas. The post related the story about an adjunct professor named Sissy Bradford who had successfully gotten a few crosses taken off a tax payer funded tower at the entrance of Texas A&M University. Afterwards she got a variety of death threats. She went to the police and didn't get any assistance from them. The harassment got to the point that some sympathetic students walked her to car after class. Unfortunately for the students, they became recipients of death threats, too. She later lost her job at the university.

Statement Of The Archdiocese Of Blefuscu Concerning The Most Pernicious Law

Beware the Third Law

This is the letter read to the parishioners of the Blefuscu congregation this past weekend.

The Archdioceses of Blefuscu echoes the concerns raised by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) over Johannes Kepler's Third Law of Planetary Motion. We advise every Catholic to write or call his or her legislator to ensure that this pernicious so-called "scientific law" is overturned as soon as possible.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Fatwa: Can A Woman Read The Qur'an For An Audiobook?

I've been posting fatwas from the Assembly of Muslim Jurists of America (AMJA). As usual, I'm not going to alter any part of the fatwa and let the question and answer speak for themselves.


May the peace, mercy and blessing of Allah be upon you.
To proceed:

We have a publishing and distribution company operating in the United States of America and we would like to put out Qur`an tapes recited by one of the sisters. Would this be permissible in Shari`ah and what are the rules that must be followed so as not to fall into anything that would anger Allah and His Messenger (may Allah bless him and grant him peace)? Please let us know and may Allah reward you well.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

The Deuteronomist Party Of America vs The National Atheist Party

One country under God

The Deuteronomist Party of America (DPA) has officially been born. Created in response to the ever growing popularity of the National Atheist Party as well as the tepid Christianity of the Republicans the DPA's intent is to bring America back to true Judeo-Christian morals.
The DPA lives and breathes by our Lord's words and teachings. Unlike many so-called Christian organizations the DPA believes that Jesus wanted us follow the Torah as well as the lessons in the New Testament. "Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them." - Mathew 5:17  In following Jesus' demand the DPA is dedicated to making America a Godly country.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Jerry Coyne's Paper on the Acceptance of Evolution in America

Purgatory's mascot, Turing,
likes peer-reviewed research papers

The inspiration for my post Danish Intelligence Uncovers Worldwide Faith-Based Plots was a research paper Jerry Coyne over at Why Evolution Is True was working on regarding the relationship between societies who accept evolution to be true and those who don't. It turns out that societies that are more dysfunctional are more likely to be religious and not accept evolution.

American resistance to accepting evolution is uniquely high among First World countries. This is due largely to the extreme religiosity of the United States, which is much higher than that of comparably advanced nations, and to the resistance of many religious people to the facts and supposed implications of evolution. The prevalence of religious belief in the United States suggests that outreach by scientists alone will not have a huge effect in increasing the acceptance of evolution, nor will the strategy of trying to convince the faithful that evolution is compatible with their religion. Because creationism is a symptom of religion, another strategy to promote evolution involves loosening the grip of faith on America. This is easier said than done, for recent sociological surveys show that religion is highly correlated with the dysfunctionality of a society, and various measures of societal health show that the United States is one of the most socially dysfunctional First World countries. Widespread acceptance of evolution in America, then, may have to await profound social change.
You can download the entire paper by clicking here.


Mark 9: 44-48

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Christian Reparative Gene Therapy

A group of researchers at Piltdown University have announced a breakthrough in gene therapy that will treat the pernicious genetic disorder known as Speculatio Sarcalogos. This genetic disorder is the source of misery for hundreds of millions worldwide and throughout history. The cause of Speculatio Sarcalogos is the mutation found in gene VMA1, which is responsible for a small chemical pump found in the pineal gland found deep in the brain. The mutation of VMA1 causes this chemical pump to deliver to the higher cortical regions élan vital. When élan vital is delivered to the areas of the brain responsible for logical thought, the substance wreaks havoc. Patients suffer from a variety of symptoms: hearing voices that are attributed to angels, saints or God, speaking nonsensically, hatred of homosexuals, violent behavior and a thought disorder that prevents an individual from realizing that they have a problem (similar to the Dunning -Krugger effect).

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

A Rabbi Explains Why Women Can't Sing In Front Of Men

Faith-based thinking at its best.

I was perusing through, which happens to be a site dedicated to the Jewish brand of religious insanity, and read through a piece in their Ask the Rabbi section. Seeing that I have been highlighting absurd fatwas on Purgatory, it seemed natural to have a few absurd teachings by rabbis. After all, Purgatory is the promised land of equal opportunity. I have shortened the reply from the rabbi, but if you wish to read it in its entirety click here.


Why can't women sing in front of men? And further - why is there a double-standard whereby women can listen to men singing? Shouldn't we have the same law for men and women?

The Aish Rabbi Replies

Psychologists attribute man's stronger sexual drive to many factors. The nature of their hormones, the constitution of their psychological disposition and their physical makeup are but a few of the explanations given. Whatever the case may be, the fact that men are generally more aggressively driven after their sexual impulse than women, is an uncontested fact no matter how you approach it.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Massachusetts Asks Southern States To Be Nice


                                                                                                             247 Park Place Blvd.
                                                                                                             May 21, 2012

Southern States
13A Christ Lane
Dear Southern States,
I’m writing you, my fellow states, in light of the verbal abuse that I suffer. Every single day the same old insults are slung at me. Massachusetts’ citizens are called Massholes. I am constantly called names such as Taxachusetts, Gayachusetts as well as Little France by states south of the Mason-Dixon Line. Please stop this. Contrary to what you may all think, life here is pretty good.
·         According to a 2011 Harvard study, while reading proficiency in Mississippi is comparable to Russia or Bulgaria, Massachusetts performs more like Singapore, Japan, or South Korea. Often better: Massachusetts students rank fifth in the world in reading, lapping Singapore and Japan, and needless to say, every state in the union. In math, Massachusetts slots in a global ninth, ahead of Japan and Germany. (Some international educational studies rank Shanghai and Hong Kong as separate countries; if this wasn’t done, Massachusetts would likely rank two places higher.)
·         Massachusetts has the lowest percentage of uninsured residents—5 percent… compared to 16 percent nationally, and a whopping 25 percent in Texas.
So why don’t we all bury the hatchet and simply stop the name calling? The country is in a big enough mess without states exacerbating our collective problems.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Some Thoughts On Dickishness

A closer look at being a dick.

I was asked to do a guest post over at the blog Reason Being. After spending a few days reflecting on what to write I decided to go with a favorite topic of mine -- dickishness. If you want to read my guest post just click and read Some thoughts on dickishness.


Friday, May 18, 2012

The Jesus Gene Has Been Discovered

Professor Canard

The Jesus gene has been discovered.  Earlier today Professor Andrew Canard from Kentucky's Country Creek College made the announcement. "I am happy to say that the companion of the God gene (VMA2) has been discovered. Gene VMA1 is responsible for placing Jesus into the heart of every man, woman and child." Professor Canard later had to retract his statement that VMA1 is the companion to VMA2, and that both genes are consubstantial, meaning that the two genes share the same substance and that one is not superior to the other.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

I Am Officially Against The Hat Day Tax

Every once in a while my kid's elementary school does Hat Day. On this august day my children are permitted to wear a hat in school for a meager fee of twenty-five cents. The last one occurred a few months ago, and they (Will, and Ali -- ages 10 and 7) were quite excited about the hat-enabled event. But I was a bit more, well, skeptical about the whole scheme.

"When did the students vote on having a hat tax?" I innocently asked the children over breakfast.

"Never," Will offered.

"Well, it seems to me that they are taxing you for wearing a hat when there was never a proper procedure. You are being taxed without having had proper representation. That's one of the reasons why America stopped being a colony of England -- there was taxation without representation and that was unfair," I said.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Footsteps: An Organization To Help Ex-Hasidic Jews

I was watching the Nat Geo channel and saw a show called Inside: Hasidism. It was an hour long show that focused on the lives of several Hasidic -- as well as ex-Hasidic -- Jews . Although I think the producers of the show gave the misogynistic, repressive cult too much positive press, I did pick up on an interesting piece of information. There is an organization called Footsteps  based in New York City that supplies support and services for those Hasidic Jews who have chosen to leave their community.

Here is Footsteps' mission statement:
Footsteps provides educational, vocational and social support to those seeking to enter or explore the world beyond the insular ultra-religious communities in which they were raised. People from the ultra-orthodox and Chasidic communities who choose to enter mainstream America currently do so as new immigrants in every sense. They face cultural disorientation and isolation coupled with a lack of practical and marketable skills. Founded in December 2003, Footsteps aims to assist individuals who choose to make this difficult transition.
Not only do these ex-Hasidic Jews typically lose all their family members when leaving the cult (and yes, I do consider all religions to be cults), but the average education level for a person who just left the Hasidic community is 5th grade.

Danish Intelligence Uncovers Worldwide Faith-Based Plots

A secular country has discovered an
insidious religous scheme.

A string of worldwide terrorist plots have recently been uncovered by the Danish Defence Intelligence Services (DDIS) otherwise known as Forsvarets Efterretningstjeneste (FE).  The DDIS Intelligence Risk Assessment 2011 was leaked to the general public, and revealed that not only are there a multitude of ongoing plots to destabilize the world, but these schemes have been going on for centuries.
The current situation in the Middle East is one of great instability. The Arab Spring, which had begun as a secular movement has now been co-opted by religious elements. These faith-based groups have one goal and one goal only: to cause the deterioration in the quality of life within their own societies.
The DDIS has uncovered secret communications between the Islamists of different countries. These communications illustrate a bold plan to orchestrate the degrading of the quality of life for their respective populations. Farms, schools, hospitals and other such non-religious institutions are to be made inoperable. Human suffering is to increase several fold.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Buddhist Priests Behaving Badly

One of my main goals here at Purgatory is to build a network of relationships with other bloggers who are very knowledgeable in their own fields. For example, the site Coin Laundry has helped me expand my knowledge about Judaism, while Mormon411 has done the same regarding the Church of the Latter Day Saints. Recently while I was on Twitter I met the writer of Views of Japan, Junpei Hayakawa aka James Kemlo. Views of Japan has many beautiful pictures of that country, and while there I found a very interesting article named Buddhaspeak of the Japanese Buddhist priests pt. one. The writer was a Buddhist monk (now an atheist), and this piece has some fairly shocking insights about the slang the priests use in public so that no one is aware of their dirty laundry.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Christian Scholar Says Judas Was A Homo

I found this on the blog Spewing Truth in the Face of Lies and had to share it. She states that Judas was a homo in the last 30 seconds or so of the video.


and be afraid. I'm sure this woman, and many like her, vote.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Famous Pranksters!

We all know at this point about Mitt Romney's pranks back in his school days. Here is Mitt taking his rightful place amongst the world's biggest pranksters.

Is Jack Black A Big Wussy For Sending His Kid To A Religious School?

See? It's kinda clean.

Jack Black is "kinda an atheist" as he stated on NPR recently, and I thought Wow, that's kinda good. There was some celebration in the atheist blogosphere about another celebrity being out of the atheist closet. But I wasn't celebrating. When people are kinda anything it makes me wonder how committed they are to what they are kinda saying. It's like when I'm talking to one of my kids.

Me: Is your room clean?

Ali (who is 7 years old): Yes, kinda.

Me: Are you sure it's a yes, or do you know it's a no.

Ali: I'll go and check.

Ten minutes later her room is now clean -- not kinda clean, but really clean

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

North Carolina Gives Gays Special Treatment

The dust is settling after North Carolina's historic vote against gay marriage. The public spoke and 61 percent of the votes were cast for the amendment to the state constitution declaring that marriage be defined as strictly between a man and a woman. North Carolina is now amongst the 30 states that have passed referendums against gay marriage.

More Don't Burn the Qur'an Memes

Al Qaeda's leader has urged Muslims to take revenge for the February burning of Quran Muslim holy books at a U.S. air base in Afghanistan. - CBS News 5/9/12

My response.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Fatwas About Owning A Dog, Pink Polo Shirts And Marrying Someone Who Works In A Bank

Yes, these three serious issues have been addressed on Assembly of Muslim Jurists of America (AMJA) site. As per my other posts concerning these fatwas I will simply copy the question and then the answer from the Islamic scholar.

I just want to warn you all, if you happen to be a guy wearing a pink shirt who works in a bank and  keeps a dog in your house, well, it doesn't look good for you. 

Is it allowed for a male in Islam to wear pink Polo shirts?

Sunday, May 6, 2012

South Carolina Has Nullified Evolution

Governor Nikki Haley vs Big Government's scientific laws

South Carolina has officially nullified Evolution. Bill S. 1472  has passed both houses and has been signed into law by Governor Nikki Haley. Nullifcation is the legal principle where individual states have the right to disregard federal laws, and was a tradition in the South before 1865. Governor Haley stated that she was was happy that South Carolina has continued its proud history in upholding nullification as a basic right.
South Carolina has once again stood firm against the encroachment of the federal government into our state affairs. This is similar to when in 1836 South Carolinians fought against the tyranny of the federal government concerning tariffs and again in 1860 over the issue of property rights. I am happy to say that Evolutionary Law will no longer harangue and belittle the people of South Carolina.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

What The Avengers Can Teach Atheists

Thor and Loki
 I just saw the new movie The Avengers yesterday, and it was a religious experience for me. Being a fan of comic books as well as Joss Whedon The Avengers was nexus point of geekdom, the shady intersection of a Venn diagram, well, you get the idea. What I found remarkable was the amount of people at the matinee showing I went to. I've been to matinee showings of popular movies on their opening weekend and have sat in near empty theaters. Not yesterday. I walked in about 10 minutes before the show (I was running late that morning, I typically arrive at the theater a half hour before a movie starts) and got suboptimal seating. No matter, I plan to see the movie again next week. By the time the movie started, the theater was 75% full, and that was at 10:50 AM on a Friday. From what I understand The Avengers pulled in 80.5 million dollars on Friday alone.  

But what can atheists learn from The Avengers?

Here are three lessons.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Poll: Have You Ever Ended A Friendship Because The Other Person Was Too Religious?

It's not uncommon to hear from atheists that they have lost friends and family members due to their godlessness. What is not commonly written about in the atheist blogosphere is the fact that some atheists terminate friendships because their faith-based friends become too much to bear. Now in complete honesty I have never stopped being friends with someone because of their faith. However, one can easily imagine where an old friend repeatedly preaches to a newly out of the closet atheist too much. Or perhaps a religious friend holds beliefs that are simply too barbaric for you to handle. I have friends who are religious and we get along well -- partially because they are willing to have honest conversations about faith or they avoid the topic altogether. But I have ended friendships because there are some personality characteristics I just can't stomach. For example, there is a certain amount of narcissism I can handle in another person, but when my own narcissism becomes totally eclipsed, well, there is trouble. 

Have you ever broken up with a friend because of their faith?

The poll is in the top left corner of the blog.

If you have a story to relate, then feel free to do so in the comments.


Thursday, May 3, 2012

SETI Discovers Intelligent Extraterrestrial Life

SETI, the privately funded organization searching for extraterrestrial life, announced a major break through: The first real evidence for intelligent outside of the Earth has been discovered. Professor P. Varicate stood before a stunned crowd of journalists, scientists and other concerned parties. "At approximately 2 PM local time the Parkes radio telescope in Australia picked up transmissions originating from  the Messier 78 nebula which is in Orion's belt. We are confident that an alien intelligence is the source of these signals."

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

God Wants Some Babies To Be Disabled -- A Rabbi's Musings

Blessed by God?

I was on the Huffington Post's Religion section, and came across this piece: Why Does G-d Allow Children to Be Born With Disabilities? Seeing that I have a minor (at one time not so minor) disability -- hypotonia -- as well as having 17 years of working with people who have disabilities, I clicked and read.

There are many types of faith-based insanity, my friends. There are the left leaning liberal types who really, really try to turn God into card carrying member of the ACLU, while the conservatives typically want us all to believe that God loves his steaks rare, and He eats them with with a M-16 (don't ask me how the Almighty eats steak by using the official assault rifle of the American military, He works in wondrous ways). The writer of Huffington Post piece, Rabbi Schmuley Boteach, is somewhat towards the latter part of the spectrum. While assuming his God is real, the rabbi understands that God can sometimes be a dick (my words, not his), and we are meant to have a conversation with the divine on what it means to be moral.

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