Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – now just where does it say “you shalt not do your job” in the bible

So… we have an entire bunch of clerks in Tennessee that have resigned their jobs rather than even have a chance of granting a marriage license to someone they don’t like, that being folks who want to marry whom they want, and not whom the clerks want them to marry.

It’s great that other people who don’t hate so much can get now some decent jobs (22% population below federal poverty level).  But where does it say in the bible that you don’t do your job or obey the government?  The bible repeatedly says obey the government.  Why?  Because the Judeo/Christian god put every government in place and every king or leader in place and this god doesn’t make mistakes.  It doesn’t say only follow it when you feel like it.

If the clerks want to cite not being yoked with others, well, they’re a bit late in that since I can be pretty sure that they’ve associated with plenty of people who have gotten divorced and remarried, Christians they don’t share beliefs with, etc.  As for calling on the “commandments”, I’m sure that the clerks don’t follow all of them though they are quick to claim that the bit about homosexuals is all-important.  How many people who work on the “Sabbath” have they murdered, in God’s name, of course.  Makes it hard to go out for lunch after church, doesn’t it?

Considering that there must have been a lot of prayers going up to prevent same-sex marriage and those failed, one can make some guesses about what was going on:

This god is fine with same-sex marriage and indeed supports it.

The Christians praying were doing it wrong.

There is no God.

Buh-bye, Pope, Bell and Butler.  Don’t let the screen door hit you on the bum on your way out.

Post-script – in a amusing turn, we have a TrueChristian(tm) Colorstorm, being unable to quote his bible in support of the clerks, and himself, but claims that Thoreau’s “Life Without Principles” supports what the clerks did.  You can see the discussion in comments.

Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – marriage and a lovely example of TrueChristian hysteria

Remember this. credit - Greta Christina

Remember this.
credit – Greta Christina

Whoo-hoo, marriage for all!   I hope that everyone who chooses to get married is as happy as my husband and I.

Rather than reviewing the SCOTUS decisions since others have done a better job than me, I found a typical opinion piece by one of the horrified TrueChristians, or as he puts it “orthodox Christians” (not to be confused with Orthodox Christians, of the eastern varieties). It’s much more fun to watch the schadenfreude and hypocrisy that such people create and reap for themselves.

First, a few thoughts though on the decision. The reason rights are enshrined in the Constitution is because states shouldn’t have that power. We fought a war over that. We’ve constantly been adding classes of people who get to enjoy those rights.   The dissenting justices were amazingly unprofessional sounding in their writings and ended up using nothing more than personal attacks and the logical fallacy “appeal to tradition”. All of their arguments would have been just great in defending slavery or denying women the right to vote. It strikes me as they lost their minds as soon as their religion was under fire for simply being wrong. They aren’t special snowflakes any more. Another thing that these idiots can’t quite get is that there are churches that have no problem with people who are gay and lesbian. All they want to do is enforce their particular religion on everyone.

Now, let’s get to the fun bit. An opinion piece out on the Time magazine website was written by Rod Dreher, a writer for the magazine The American Conservative. For a bunch of people who claim to hate big government, they sure want it when it can force their religion on others. We wouldn’t expect anything less. Dreher is the person who claimed that the Roman Catholic Church wasn’t at fault for allowing priests to molest children, it was the gays!

This post is full of sarcasm. Anything that resembles agreeing with these twits isn’t.

At least the fellow is smart enough not to claim that the sky is falling, at least “not yet”.   It’s always so embarrassing when “orthodox Christians”, and Orthodox Christians (not the same), and evangelical Christians, and Protestant Christians, and Catholic Christians, etc ad infinitum fail repeatedly in their predictions of how their god is going to get us, honest, really soon now.

We’re supposedly now in “post-Christian America.”  Funny how that seems to be not the case because there are churches still on many corners, still hundreds of media outlets that are entirely Christian, my local screaming preacher on street corner is still there.  Bibles are in every library and every bookstore.  Scads of websites and blogs, and golly, Mr. Dreher is still writing his very own and very TrueChristian opinions on the Time magazine website!  You know you are persecuted when you are in Time. Continue reading

A Gay Dad Sounds Off on the Terror Threatening to Be Unleashed on California Families

A Gay Dad Sounds Off on the Terror Threatening to Be Unleashed on California Families.


Unsurprisingly, there are still more attempts to legitimize the actions of conservative theists.   The Westboro Baptists aren’t the only ones that bear watching and confronting by pointing out their actions and showing them for what they are.

Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – Evidence and personal experience

atheist evidenceRecently, I’ve been crossing swords with some Christians. A Calvinist, an evangelical American Christian fundamentalist, a Christian whose God doesn’t really punish people for sins by sending them to hell, a Quaker who doesn’t like to call himself a Quaker, quite a motley lot. They are all very different in what they claim is the objective truth of Christianity, and also quite sure that their version is the correct one. If they weren’t, they’d not be the type of Christian that they are, eh?

(as usual, this is a riff on some themes I’ve discussed before. You have been warned  :)  ).

The Christian, equippedcat, whom I met on Hessian With Teeth’s blog, was indignant that I asked for evidence from Christians and claimed that I wasn’t presenting evidence for what I supposedly believed (the whole very long discussion can be found in comments here). I had presented this evidence, but it got me thinking, what evidence would my opponents consider valid? EC said that he was looking for “universally valid evidence” too. I wondered what that exactly was to him. He of course has not yet explained what that is. I’ve invited him here to do so. ( and he has which I do appreciate.  See down in the comments).

Evidence is considered at its base “something which shows that something else exists or is true       ( You can get more refined with what a court might consider evidence, but for my purposes, I think this is a pretty good definition. Many Christians claim that their personal experiences should be considered evidence, as valid as anything else. However, let me present a situation: Drugs can give hallucinations. Someone near and dear to me had hallucinations that there were giant mosquitos attacking him after taking lithium. I, after smoking salvia, saw the entire world as constructed out Twizzlers (yes, the candy). Now is this evidence? And evidence for what?   Well, it *can* be considered evidence, no doubt about that.   The hallucination shows that *something* occurred. The question is what was that *something*? Continue reading

Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – my thoughts on “A History Of God”

Why-Believe-Something-Without-EvidenceOver on Hessian With Teeth’s blog, the authors have watched a documentary and asked for comments about it. The doc is “A History of God” based on the book by Karen Armstrong of the same name. Armstrong is a theist who wants to have her god but who doesn’t want the baggage it comes with.

The following is my stream of consciousness kibitzing written while watching it. It was going to be just a comment on the blog, but it quickly got out of hand.  :)

Well, the first thing that struck me is that the doc, and probably the book, assumes that everyone believes in a singular god and we’re all just one happy family, which of course is not true, the reality being much more complicated. It’ strikes me as the same bs when Christians want to claim that everyone “really” believes in their god, in an attempt to co-opt every good and decent person in history to their “team”.

Ms. Armstrong makes the claim that we “can’t” worship like our ancestors. That is of course not true. There are plenty of people worshipping quite like their ancestors, and there are people worshipping as close to their ancestors as they can get. There has indeed been a change in worship for some people, like Ms. Armstrong, who do their best to redefine their god so they don’t have to be responsible for what their religion has done, and so they can ignore that their religion is based on just as many ridiculous things as those “pagan” religions were.

Hilarious that the one Lutheran fellow says that Agnes was a saint for breast cancer when that was entirely invented. Funny how he forgets that the Church claimed that sickness was from being unright with their god.

It does do a decent job of showing how belief in gods is nothing more than human fantasy and that the idea of Israelites as culture always separate is nonsense. If the OT claims are wrong, then there is little reason to believe in a god invented from that culture.   Armstrong’s attitude seems to be a bit condescending, rather like patting an ignorant child on the head.

It is interesting that the rabbi says that sacrifice is for when you really mean it, which does indicate that the resurrection is rather meaningless. It’s also rather amusing that the wrestling with God is now magically just a metaphor, but there is nothing to show this is what was thought by the authors.   It’s the usual invention by modern theists to claim that they know exactly what the ancient authors meant in one case, and claim to not know in another. Continue reading

Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – Schadenfreude, tasty, tasty schadenfreude

Considering the name I’ve taken for this blog, it’s no surprise that I enjoy watching people suffer by their reaping the results of their willfully ignorant choices and claims. I like to watch people who insist that they are so pious that no one can question their actions fail in their claims of divine perfection and divine protection. I like to watch people who claim that their opinions are the objective will of the some magical omnipotent being tear their clothes and wail piteously when their opinions are thrown into the dung heap of history as nothing more than very human ignorance and hate. There is no shame in applauding when willful ignorance and hate fail.

This is why I am happy that the folks in Ireland stood up against the ignorance that has been fostered by religion, especially the Roman Catholic Church, for so many years. They have cast away the fear that religion has tried to shackle them with and embraced their fellow humans. I take pleasure in watching the excuses and complaints flow from those who would insist that anyone but them is less than human. They’ve failed again and I am happy for that.

This is why I am happy that secular law has been used to show the hypocrisy and harm that religion can do by the revelation that the hyperpious Duggar family is anything but good and honest. I am deeply unhappy that humans can be so harmed by religion, in this case all of the Duggar children, because they were told that they and only they were right and “right” means that women are less than human, and believers are above justice and responsibility. These actions and the constant problems that religion has with abuse of other shows that religion makes no one good and religions’ gods do nothing. If only religion was decent and humane, and no one had to be hurt and be an object lesson in how faith fails. That is not the case.

This is why I’m happy that the idea of “reality” TV shows that are no more than a reincarnation of freakshows are under fire. Everyone who watches such shows is complicit in rewarding such behavior.

I do not feel a sense of schadenfreude for those who are hurt through no fault of their own but for those who now are displayed as hypocrites, who caused harm to themselves by their own actions. I do condemn those theists who lend their voices, tacitly or vocally, to the belief that religion and their faith is some holy cow that can never be questioned.

The little good religion does can be also found in other sources.   Countering religion may not remove all of the harm in the world, but it can get rid of some of the most pernicious sources of it.

all images thanks to

all images thanks to

Incidentally, both instances show that prayer is rather pointless. How many prayers do you think were offered up for God to change the vote or for the abuse to stop?

Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – review of “Faith vs. Fact”; no pussyfooting allowed

This is Pussyfoot, a Warner Brother character that I find far too cute.

This is Pussyfoot, a Warner Brother character that I find far too cute.

I just finished Jerry Coyne’s new book “Faith vs. Fact”.   It was a great deal of fun to read, even though I know, and have used, most of the arguments in it. Dr. Coyne does an excellent job of stating a premise, carefully defining terms, and then proceeding to support it with evidence, likely a habit gained from writing research papers. One of the parts I liked best about it is the plethora of quotes presented, a fair number that I had not encountered before.   I would recommend it to anyone who wants to have one quick resource on how to respond to theist claims of evidence and to accomodationist claims that there are no real conflicts  between science and religion. Each claim and excuse is carefully dissected and addressed. Dr. Coyne does an admirable job of showing how pussyfooting around the contradictions and baseless claims of religion does no one any good in clear straightforward language, and with no apologies for showing the emperor has no clothes at all. In addition, there’s almost thirty pages of notes and references, something I love for any nonfiction book.

I’d like to make an offer to any of my theist readers that if they agree to read “Faith vs. Fact”, I would agree to read a book of their recommendation. We could both then discuss the books. Of course, a discussion will quickly reveal if the books were actually read or not.

As I was reading this book, I have been discussing religion with some of its adherents. Over at the HessianWithTeeth blog, Hessian wrote about how many Christians want to tell non-Christians “just believe”. A Christian, Skinbark, came on to say that other Christians are wrong for saying that and that “real” faith depends on “solid understanding” of this person “God” because the bible said so. This is a good example of the problems that Dr. Coyne explores when comparing faith with fact, especially when it comes to what faith means to a believer and what “God” means to a believer. Christians cannot agree whether they want a “person” as their god, intimately involved with every aspect of their lives and having definable goals and desires, or the vague deity that can’t be pinned down. Unsurprisingly, when asked why other Christians didn’t agree with them and where exactly did the bible say understanding was important, Skinbark responded in that time honored fashion, accusing anyone of asking questions to not be truly interested in the answers, so they don’t have to provide any.

Not surprising at all that fact and faith are incompatible.   :)

Just noting that Pussyfoot is doing anything but pussyfooting around, considering the expression of Marc Antony the Bulldog