A loving Christian writes . . .

12 02 2009

wow the fact that no one is afraid of a man that has not only been predicted to destroy the world more than once, and a beast of a man with power over the entire universe and rowlings, Harry Potter, idea of power, you morons are truly stupid. i do not suggest that witchcraft is real to anyone that is sane, but if you are fucked in the head, when a man presents himself as a god, with power he uses to control the universe and all in it, God himself will leave and you morons who do not think you can be touched will see the most terrifying things you have ever heard, no movie or book other than Revelation can cause me to be a little afraid. And the fact of the matter is, that the antichrist will be killed, revived, and when he is revived he will think he has become God himself and he will have all of Satans power without the need of anything else. if i were you guys stating that you know that athiesm and worshiping nothing besides selfish bullshit is truth, be very hesitant to what you say about Christ not being real. or you are screwed, and not even a pastor, or God can save you. i am not stupid enough to claim that obama is the evil one on the internet, but i do think he is a part of it, for good or bad. and if he gets killed by a dumbass, the entire world will attack us when the successor takes his power and screws up the economy, now the worlds basis of an economy. but there will be proof of the man before the rapture of the saints, so the ones of you that are calling the churchgoers crazy will see terrifying monsters and be forced to worship them unless you take charge of your stupidity and accept that there is a God and many things in this universe that nothing but spiritual realms can truly explain. so all i am saying is be careful with what you say against Christianity. and to a Christian, be careful what you predict.. it may, or may not come true

You have been warned, atheists. You’d better drop to your knees and start believing in Christianity, or Braden will sick his “terrifying monsters” on you.





I don’t know about you, but I don’t feel all that safe . . .

21 01 2009

. . . given the amount of rabid evangelical Christians in positions of authority in the US military, and who seem hell-bent on transforming it into one giant Jesus Camp. It seems the Military Religious Freedom Foundation has been receiving many emails from servicemen and women who were pressured into applauding Rick Warren’s invocation at President Obama’s inauguration. Chris Rodda at DailyKos provides one email from a Methodist serviceman who found, watching the invocation with his fellow officers, “who could not muster the courage to resist the pressure of his ‘serious and committed born again Christian’ commanding officer to applaud Rick Warren.”

Today, I watched President Obama’s inauguration on the television set up in our Brigade staff conference room. I attended as a member of (unit level designation withheld) staff along with over 40 other senior officers, senior enlisted an few senior Army civilian staffers. There had been much talk here about Pres. Obama’s selection of the evangelical pastor Rick Warren to give the invocation at the ceremonies.
Our current Commander is a very intolerant and “serious and committed born again Christian” as he always describes himself to all his subordinates. At every military assignment I’ve ever been to it’s always the same thing; if you are not a born again “serious” Christian you are branded as pretty much worthless. Read the rest of this entry »





Feel like bashing a disgusting religious apologist?

15 01 2009

Have a crack at Madeleine Bunting, who not only completely misses the point of the atheist ad campaign on London’s buses, but in the same breath manages to be excruciatingly patronising about religious working poor (but we’ll get to that).

At first I thought it just plain daft; why waste £150,000 putting a slogan on hundreds of London buses: “There’s probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life.” It managed to combine so many dotty assumptions – belief in God as a source of worry or as a denial of enjoyment – that I couldn’t see who it was supposed to convince. Besides, how can “probably” change someone’s mind?

What is the point of the campaign, by the way? Let’s take a look at the FAQ section of the campaign’s official website, which is more than Bunting bothered to do:

The campaign began when comedy writer Ariane Sherine saw an advert on a London bus featuring the Bible quote, “When the Son of Man comes, will He find Faith on this Earth?” [sic]. A website URL ran underneath the quote, and when Sherine visited the site she learned that, as a non-believer, she would be “condemned to everlasting separation from God and then spend all eternity in torment in hell”.

Incidentally, some Christians in the UK have complained to the Advertising Standards Authority that the ad—which reads “There’s probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life”—is “offensive” (while, presumably, ads condemning non-believers to eternal torment and hellfire are not offensive).

Anyway, Bunting continues:

Then I thought about how it might look through the eyes of some of the people who travel on the buses I use from Hackney. The ones who look exhausted returning from a night shift of cleaning. Often they have a well-thumbed Bible or prayer book to read on their journey. And along comes a bus emblazoned with that advert. A slogan redolent of the kind of triumphal atheism only possible when you have had the educational opportunities, privileges and material security of the British middle class. The faith of this person is what sustains their sense of hope and, even more importantly, their sense of dignity when they are confronted every day by the adverts of affluence that mock them as “losers”, as failed consumers. Ouch, I winced that we can be so blindly self-indulgent to this elitist patronising.

Yes, Bunting: how can you be so elitist and patronising—not to mention positively Straussian? Suggesting that while we middle-class types can afford the luxury of our non-belief, the poor benighted plebs with whom you are forced to share a bus, and into whose psychology you claim profound insight in spite of such a fleeting acquaintance, need a faith to cling to. And who do those mean and nasty atheists think they are, with their mean and nasty bus slogans, making her fellow passengers, whose inner life Bunting purports to know intimately, feel bad about themselves? Perish the thought that the atheist bus campaign might be directed at these passengers also. No, no, says Bunting: they haven’t the education to cope with that.

Madeleine Bunting is a textbook illustration of the argument that religious moderates give cover to religious fanatics. Not in the least because, like many other religious moderates, she seems more concerned with demonising non-believers than with combating extremism and fundamentalism. To a moderate like Bunting, secularism, not fundamentalism, is the real Enemy.

Oh, and she doesn’t miss the opportunity to scoff at atheists’ support for Obama:

The irony of course is that the trio of intellectuals roped in to launch the advert, led by Richard Dawkins, are in all likelihood going to be celebrating the presidential inauguration of a passionate Christian, Barack Obama, next week – a man commonly agreed to be one of the most intelligent politicians of our age. But what they might prefer to overlook is that he chose – after an agnostic upbringing with doses of atheism from a distant father – to become a Christian in his 20s. “I felt God’s spirit beckoning me and I submitted myself to His will, and dedicated myself to discovering His truth,” he writes in his book, The Audacity of Hope. You can’t do pick and mix on Obama: he is pretty forthright that Jesus died to redeem his sins.

There is no irony, of course, because simply being an atheist or a secularist does not preclude one from supporting public figures who have strong religious beliefs. (Even when they invite bigots such as Rick Warren to preside over the inauguration.) What matters is whether they advocate policies based on an appeal to reason, evidence and reality . . . and not on the basis of “because my sky-daddy says so.” And on that score, I’ll give Obama himself, c. 2006, the final word:

Democracy demands that the religiously motivated translate their concerns into universal, rather than religion-specific, values. It requires that their proposals be subject to argument, and amenable to reason. I may be opposed to abortion for religious reasons, but if I seek to pass a law banning the practice, I cannot simply point to the teachings of my church or evoke God’s will. I have to explain why abortion violates some principle that is accessible to people of all faiths, including those with no faith at all.





The Bill Muehlenberg Trophy: Muehlenberg (and his monkeys) on Obama

11 11 2008

Never let it be said that fundies are given to shrieking hysterics . . .

At a time of great financial crisis a nation turns to charismatic, eloquent unkown who preaches a better future for them as a country. USA 2008….Germany 1933….
Stephen White

[. . .]

Thanks Stephen

I know my critics think I am far too cynical and over the top already, but I can’t help but thinking that you are clearly on to something here with your interesting observation.

Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

HT: Memeplex Read the rest of this entry »





BOO-YA

5 11 2008

ABC News Online reports:

Americans have elected Democrat Barack Obama as their first black president, in a transformational election which will reshape US politics and reposition the United States on the world stage.

President-elect Obama, 47, will be inaugurated the 44th US president on January 20, 2009, and inherit an economy mired in the worst financial crisis since the 1930s, two wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and a nuclear showdown with Iran.

Television networks projected his victory over Republican John McCain after President-elect Obama solidified traditional Democratic states and cut deep into the Republican territory which his rival needed to control to win the White House.

President-elect Obama’s historic inauguration will complete a stunning ascent to the pinnacle of US and global politics from national obscurity just four years ago and close an eight-year era of turbulence under President George W Bush.

He will take office with Democrats holding a monopoly in power in Washington, after an epochal election which sparked a rare generational and political realignment and finally snuffed out an era of Republican control.

Read. It. And. Weep.

UPDATE: Arseclownery from The Australian. Said piece cites WorldNetDaily. Credible broadsheet? You decide.





It’s on!

4 11 2008

AFP:

WASHINGTON (AFP) — Americans opened the voting in their historic election on Tuesday, with front-running Democrat Barack Obama seeking to become the first black president and his Republican rival John McCain hoping for a poll-defying comeback.

After an epic campaign , voters could also spark a political realignment in Washington, with Democrats targeting big gains in the Senate and House of Representatives after eight turbulent years under President George W. Bush.

Polls opened in the northeastern state of Vermont at 5:00 am (1000 GMT), an electoral official at a polling station in the town of Bennington told AFP by telephone.

History’s longest, most costly White House campaign ended with Obama the hot favorite, enjoying wide leads in national polls and the edge in a string of battleground states which could swing the election either way.

[. . .] Read the rest of this entry »





He really is The Obaminator!

23 10 2008

Maybe I’m just nit-picking, but a glance at Obama’s campaign site suggests that he’s so far ahead of McCain that, from his perspective, next Wednesday morning already happened.





Is secularism about to get its groove back?

5 06 2008

Peter Canellos, Washington bureau chief at the Boston Globe, certainly seems to think so. He’s noticed a distinct trend across the 2008 election primary campaign, which started out with candidates wrapping themselves in the Bible, making antidemocratic utterances about freedom “requiring” religion, and generally embracing anyone able to pronounce the words “Gawud” and “Jeebus” with sincerity, but is “ending with candidates rushing to repudiate them. An election cycle that was supposed to usher in the marriage of religion and politics may be hastening its divorce.” Canellos continues:

From the evangelical ministers who questioned the fitness of a Mormon to be president, to the religious-right activists who denounced John McCain as godless, to the McCain-backing radio preacher who said Hitler was fulfilling God’s will, to Barack Obama’s longtime minister who blamed the United States for the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, to Obama’s Catholic adviser who last week mocked Hillary Clinton, the clergy haven’t just made a bad show of it: They’ve behaved like small-minded bigots.These preachers have managed the amazing feat of making all the politicians involved in the campaign seem, by comparison, more tolerant, more reasonable, and less self-interested.

It hasn’t been all clergy, of course. The vast majority of religious leaders have sensibly stayed out of politics – or, rather, above politics, where spiritual leaders function best. But encouraged by candidates and perhaps envious of the religious right’s influence on the Bush administration, many religious figures have sought to weigh in on the presidential election this year.

What they’ve discovered is that once they turn their pulpits into lecterns, they lose the deference that attaches to men and women of God. The rain of criticism has caught many by surprise, more accustomed as they are to nods and amens.

It ought to go without saying, but I’ll say it anyway, that among mature and enlightened citizens, zero deference should attach to people simply because their names are prefixed by “Father,” “Pope,” “Pastor” or “Reverend.” (Or “Imam,” or “Rabbi,” etc.) Perhaps, if Canellos is right, Americans are beginning to realise this, and are finally growing up. And (assuming Canellos is right) you have to wonder where this is coming from. Despite their (at times) mutual antipathy, secularists and religious progressives have for the past several years been pushing back against that noisome and toxic admixture of religion and politics known as the Religious Right. Maybe, even on the religious side (as journalist Christine Wicker argues), the slit in the burqa is widening, to borrow Richard Dawkins’ metaphor.





Quote of the week: Barack Obama

4 02 2008

Democracy demands that the religiously motivated translate their concerns into universal, rather than religion-specific, values. It requires that their proposals be subject to argument, and amenable to reason. I may be opposed to abortion for religious reasons, but if I seek to pass a law banning the practice, I cannot simply point to the teachings of my church or evoke God’s will. I have to explain why abortion violates some principle that is accessible to people of all faiths, including those with no faith at all.

Now this is going to be difficult for some who believe in the inerrancy of the Bible, as many evangelicals do. But in a pluralistic democracy, we have no choice. Politics depends on our ability to persuade each other of common aims based on a common reality. It involves the compromise, the art of what’s possible. At some fundamental level, religion does not allow for compromise. It’s the art of the impossible. If God has spoken, then followers are expected to live up to God’s edicts, regardless of the consequences. To base one’s life on such uncompromising commitments may be sublime, but to base our policy making on such commitments would be a dangerous thing. And if you doubt that, let me give you an example. Read the rest of this entry »








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