Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – Why climate change is a state/church issue

The Freedom From Religion Foundation has an excellent news release on this.  I am a member and I recommend that you be one too.

Trump has appointed an active climate change denialist, religionist Scott Pruitt, to head the EPA. The New York Times documents in an article boldly titled “Denialists in Charge” how federal posts are now filled with officials “who have a record of openly denying the established science of human-caused climate change.” These include the fundamentalist Christian Rick Perry, our secretary of energy, known for mocking climate science.

Denying anthropogenic climate change is based on the rejection of facts and reality in favor of blind faith, wishful thinking or willful denial. Many of the climate denialists in politics, such as Vice President Mike Pence, Sen. James Inhofe and former Senators Michele Bachmann and Rick Santorum, deny climate change for explicitly religious reasons.

There seems to be a correlation between religiosity and climate denial. While other factors, such as political party affiliation, race and ethnicity are stronger predictors of views about climate change, Pew Research found “it is the religiously unaffiliated, not those who identify with a religious tradition, who are particularly likely to say the Earth is warming due to human activity. . . White evangelical Protestants stand out as least likely to have this view.”

Sen. Inhofe, R-Okla., cited Genesis to bolster his denial of reality: “my point is, God’s still up there. The arrogance of people to think that we, human beings, would be able to change what He is doing in the climate is to me outrageous.” Inhofe, who wrote a 2012 book, “The Greatest Hoax: How the Global Warming Conspiracy Threatens Your Future,” serves on the Senate’s standing committee on science. That’s outrageous.

A few months ago, the conservative Christian radio host Bryan Fischer tweeted, “Jesus would be for whatever is best for the poor. A warmer climate—if it’s even happening—is better for the poor.”

– See more at: https://ffrf.org/news/news-releases/item/29062-why-climate-change-is-a-state-church-issue#sthash.omwVox8Y.dpuf

That last quote just takes the cake for pure selfishness, ignorance and stupidity.  I guess Jesus doesn’t give a f@ck about the islanders losing their homes, the folks on the coasts who will lose theirs, and suffer worse storms, etc.

Attend the March for Science in Washington, DC on April 22, 2017, or find one in your area.  Marches do work, perhaps not quickly or exactly the way you want but they do work.  It’s to support the sciences, widen the diversity of those in the sciences and to stand against the clown and circus in the White House.

 

Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – the flying spaghetti monster and a Christian walk into a bar…

It shouldn’t amaze me anymore, but it does.  The deceit that pastors and priest practice on their flocks knows no shame.

Recently, Dave, the pastor from a church in England who I have addressed before, has been on a tear to insist that atheists are wrong. As usual, an atheist can’t comment on his posts and they are evidently intended on preaching to his own flock, so that they don’t know what the facts are about atheists and atheism.  His latest couple of posts focus on a common point that many atheists make: that a Christian or any other theist, is an atheist to every other god claimed *but* their own.  These theists, for various reasons, deny the existence of gods that other humans have no trouble believing in at all.

The discussion starts out with Dave making an interesting claim, that no one can believe in his “one true God” without this god revealing itself to that person “belief in the one true God can only come through revelation as he speaks to you, reveals his true character and causes you to see your need for him”.  That certainly shoots the common, but not universal, Christian claim of free will. If I don’t believe, it’s not my fault, it’s this god who damns me to eternal torture just *because*. He claims that the revelation is in the bible, which does bring up quite a few problems; foremost that even Christians don’t agree on the true character of this god, what it wants, what it does, what parts of the bible are literal or not, and what it takes to be “saved”.   I do appreciate him in giving a pair of instances where the fact that Christians don’t agree and even this god can’t get them to agree is shown so well.

The pastor doesn’t seem to get the intent of pointing out that he only believes in one god and that he is atheist to ever other one.  This line of argument is to point out that, despite the fact that all theists have the same evidence for their god: none, they all insist that theirs exists and no others do.  When they claim that a non-believer in their god can’t definitively prove that their god doesn’t exist then so it *must* exist, they forget that this would mean that they can’t definitively prove other gods don’t exist either, and thus we have a bunch of theists who are stuck with believing in a lot of gods.  Claiming that they have a “one true god” is no more meaningful than the next theist claiming exactly the same thing.

Dave also claims that “the atheist would not want us to put his “no god” option alongside the 3000 “god” options for comparison and with good reason” which is not true at all.  It would be a bit silly since then one would be trying mightly to compare apples to oranges.  My conclusion that there are no gods, including the Christian one, is based on the fact that there has never been any evidence for any of the gods claimed to exist, and no evidence of any of the essential events that define these religions.  I can show that entirely different events happened rather than what is claimed in the myths of religions.  The claim of “potential truth” is nothing more than the Russell’s Teapot argument.  There is potentially a teapot in orbit around Jupiter, but that potential, aka probability is very very small.   When one adds more and more detail about the teapot, that it is an Edwardian silver tea set, complete with tea tray,  made by Oneida, and it has three sugar lumps in the sugar bowl, the probabiilty gets smaller and smaller.  In that the gods of most, if not all, religions have just as much detail, and those details can be examined and tested, the probability of those gods goes down too, until,  this god becomes some vague critter, living under a rock on Ceti Alpha 5, and nothing like the gods that humans claim to worship.  Continue reading

Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – a new poll indicating a more secular America, and a hardening of evangelicals

The Public Religion Research Institute has come out with a new poll on the religious attitudes in the US, specifically about gender and sex: “Majority of Americans Oppose Transgender Bathroom Restrictions”    It indicates that attitudes are changing, with white evangelicals losing ground for their claims of having a divine “truth”.   Curiously enough, this group voted overwhelmingly for Trump, a man who ignored them until it was politically convenient.  This does show how much a promise of returning people back to a time when they felt in control can get their support.

A Salon article about the research, says the following: “Despite all the conservative posturing about how their movement represents “real” America and liberal political attitudes are restricted mainly to the “coastal elite,” new research from the Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) suggests that, at least in political terms, most Americans are secular in their orientation. While many Americans may still hold conservative personal beliefs, when it comes to the issue of church-state separation, large majorities reject efforts by the religious right to use the power of the state to impose conservative Christian values on others. 

In fact, the polling data shows that there’s really only one group of Americans that rejects a secular society: White evangelical Christians. And this study is just further evidence that a lot of the political polarization in our country is the direct result of white evangelical Christians realizing that they are no longer dominant majority, and lashing out angrily in an effort to regain the levels of dominance they used to enjoy.”

The need for no change and obedience to their demands is what many Christian conservatives evince.  They need that external validation for their beliefs; the mere existence of anyone who doesn’t agree with them (and isn’t being punished by some god) shows that their beliefs are not quite what they claim.  If they do not get this obedience and agreement, they often seem to act out like a three year old who isn’t getting her way.

For additional information on the actions of those who need to imagine that they and theirs are in authority, I recommend Bob Altemeyer’s The Authoritarians.

Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – hmmm, God or Tyvek(tm)

This is Ray “Banana Man” Comfort’s latest little trick

Shucks, it’s a tract printed on Tyvek(tm) or some similar tear-resistant material.  So, poor ol’ Ray has to depend on modern science to try to pretend that there is something magical happening.  Funny how a pair of scissors or a nice knife can overwhelm this sad attempt at using parlor tricks to convince someone of a divine being.  Humans are pretty clever tool users.

Let’s look at the back, shall we?

Ah, always great to see TrueChristians depending on anything but their god.   Hmm, Ray, have you lied, oh, about how something can be torn?  Are you choosing to lie to try to trick people?  For all of the claims of hell, it seems that it’ll be full up with TrueChristians like Ray.  as for that last sentence “Then read the Bible daily and obey what you read (see John 14:21). God will never let you down.”  I wonder, how many people has Ray killed for breaking that Sabbath that Christians can’t quite agree on when it is.  Or is this just something that is too inconvenient to obey if you read it?  (and for observant readers who want to know what John 14:21 says, I’ll even give you a bit more: “20 On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you.21 Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.”) 

You can get a whole 5 of them for $7.  And indeed as Ray says in his newsletter, you’d better get out there and do something useless like put a tract somewhere and pay him for them, because, well, let’s have Ray say it himself “Are you going to leave a gospel tract somewhere today? Whatever you do, do something today. Tomorrow may never come.”

 

 

Not so Polite Dinner Conversation – a day without a woman

There has been talk about the protest action “day without women” as being somehow “elitist” because not all women can take a day off work.

If a woman cannot take a day from work without putting her job or family in jeopardy, that is the point of this protest. If a mom losing a day’s pay will cause her children to be without food, clothes, shelter or health care, then she isn’t making a living wage. If an employer will not allow her to be gone without punishing her, then she is being treated as little more than a slave.

Women often take the most low paying, but necessary, jobs e.g. health aides, housekeepers, cooks, cashiers, waitresses, clerks, thanks to various things: limits on education, often caused by having to have children and the resources going to them with nothing else left; having children limiting her to what jobs she can take, be it hours that she must work when she is not caring for them, etc. Single parents of any sex are limited to what resources they can get from friends and family. A soldier may go off to serve, and have to leave her kids with relatives, having no choice.   Even those families who do stick together, often find themselves working multiple jobs and hoping they can get child care that will let them work, an awful ouroboros continually eating its tail.

Everyone deserves a decent job at a decent wage. Women suffer disproportionately in this. This why it is important to show how necessary women are to the workplace.

Considering how many of my theists readers are convinced I’m a guy, I wonder how confused they’ll be with this post 🙂

Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – a gathering of thoughts about various recent events.

and this is the fellow that some atheists claim is a nice guy

and this is the fellow that some atheists claim is a nice guy

Vermin-in-Chief Ray Comfort, the fellow who tried to get atheists to take his book by giving out food gift certificates and was shamed in to giving said certificates to people who need food (still $7,000 unaccounted for), wants to tell his followers to tell the Jewish people that they are so very “angry” about the bomb threats and defacement of their cemeteries but hey, let me tell you about Jesus.”

Directly from the email that Living Waters sent out: “You can use these sick acts as an excuse to extend some extra love to the Jewish people in your life. With sensitivity and empathy, tell them how angry you were to hear of it. Lead the conversation into the Jewish Messiah who died on the cross, in fulfillment of the Holy Scriptures prophecies.”

Because it’s always good for Christians to use things to spread their nonsense and tell Jews, “Hey, you’re going to hell, but a shame about those tombstones.”

The Kellyanne Conway on the couch thing? Can you imagine on what the GOTP would have said if FLOTUS Obama would have done that?   We had enough comparisons of her to an ape from the usual deplorables. I wonder, does Conway know to take her shoes off before she climbs on the furniture? I think I learned that before kindergarten. Oh, it seems that some dickhead Democrat male made some comment about a woman kneeling. Jackasses on all sides, it seems.

Trump now wants to blame anyone and everyone for the failed military operation in Yemen, but simultaneously wants to claim it recovered very good intelligence, and now they have what appears to be a snipe hunt going on, with claims of “hundreds” of names that they are supposedly tracking down that they supposedly found during the raid. The vet who sits in the same room with me wonders about someone who blames the soldiers for something he approved over dinner and then ignored while it was going on.

Witches supposedly tried to cast a spell on Trump. Alas, no more effect than a prayer. Now where are those “real” spells so many Christian twits claimed that I would learn from playing Dungeons and Dragons?

Good article on what the EPA has done for the US, and how fucking stupid it is to think to dismantle it from Popular Science.

Good article on abiogenesis and how the RNA world model might not be correct.

All for today.  If you are a new reader or old, please do visit the Boss’s Office to see my stance on how I allow comments.  Bring your facts with you if you care to discuss things with me.

Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – three different Christians and questions answered

barker-creationist-quoteI’ve encountered a few very different Christians recently. We have Dave, a pastor, who believes in diversity, but also believes that Christianity supports violence as long as they benefit; Rina who says that she must take everything in the bible literally because if you don’t, what is to stop you from finding a resurrected dead guy to be ridiculous, but is sure that stars aren’t attached to a dome and can’t fall on the earth; and Scientific Christian (you can find his blog through clicking on his avatar in the comments here where he is *quite* prolific) who lies regularly , wants to physically harm those who disagree with him, insists that the bible and translators are wrong if they disagree with him and the very same ones right if they agree with him and very much wants my attention.

As you can see, Christians vary a *lot*, and this is only scratching the surface. I’m guessing that each of these three would have issues with what the other two claim to be true.

The following questions were asked at Dave’s church. On his blog, it seems to be the intent on giving the answers to them at some time in the future so you may wish to follow to see what answered are given. I’ll give my answers here. Unfortunately, Dave does not have comments open on his blog. I may be responsible for that, in asking too many questions that pointed out the problems in Christian claims.  If you are a regular reader here, you’ve seen this information before.

Why-indeed shelley quoteIf God wants us to believe in him, why doesn’t he make it obvious? Why does he seem to play hide and seek with us?

That’s a good observation. This god doesn’t make anything obvious, and if one is to believe that this god wrote or directly inspired the bible, one has to ask, why does this entity contradict itself repeatedly and make promises that are not fulfilled. Christians will claim that this god constantly does miracles as evidence, but when it is pointed out that lots of people who need these miracles don’t get them despite prayers e.g. when priests are raping children or when parents murder their children by not getting medical attention, then we get the excuses that this god doesn’t always do miracles, that this god will answer them only if that is the best answer according to it, or it may get around to doing the miracle later. However, if you read the bible, it doesn’t say this will happen. Prayers will be answered immediately (the mountain moves), positively, (a father would not give their child a snake if asked for a fish), and that any prayer will be answered as long as you ask it in JC’s name. Christians offer the caveat that the prayer must be what God intended anyway, which means a prayer is worthless.

There is also the problem that the essential events of the bible have no extra-biblical support for them. There are mentions of Christians in historical documents but not of the essential events in the bible. It is very hard to pin down when these events supposedly happened since even Christians disagree on what happened and when.

If God is the creator of all things, who or what created God?

Most Christians will try to claim that their god has always existed and thus does not need a creator. The first cause (cosmological) argument is based on the assumption that the Christian god is the only god, and that has always existed. Most, if not all, other religions make the same claim, which leaves us with a lot of competing gods and no evidence for any of them.  There is also nothing that says that the laws of physics can’t simply have “always existed”.

lightningIf God made a good world, why are there things like volcanos, earthquakes and floods that cause so much suffering?

Most Christians will blame the “fall”, which depends on a literal belief in the bible’s claims, something that they don’t always agree on.

Why doesn’t God act to stop all suffering?

One would think that an omnipotent, omniscient and omnibenevolent being would do this, eliminate all suffering. Christians disagree on the reason that their god seems to have no problem allowing it and indeed reveling in it. Some Christians are sure that humans deserve to suffer, that we all bear some responsibility for the “fall”. Some Christians claim that if there was no suffering we would not know what good was, which is a bit of a problem for their claims about heaven. Still others claim that suffering can lead to good, which is fine to argue when the actors aren’t omnipotent, but doesn’t work quite so well with an omnipotent and supposedly omnibenevolent deity. If this god cannot get things to work without evil, it evidently isn’t all-powerful. By definition there should be nothing that this god can’t do. Continue reading