jesus horse1

Is Facebook like religion?

So, I'm a part of a mountaineering forum and am currently in a rather active discussion. Another member commented that peoples' cars/climbing helmets/iphones/whatever else are now an extension of their Facebook pages and I chimed-in with, "Except those of us who don't have Facebook pages." After that, four more people stated that they were not on Facebook, either.

Then another member chimed-in and said that we were trying to be righteous about not having Facebook accounts. It is true that I used to have one. I only had it for seven months and deactivated it in July 2011 because I seemed to get aggravated with everything there (especially the fact that people seem to take that shit too seriously). I was trying to think of a parable or some kind of comparison that I can use to express why I feel the way I do about Facebook in general. The only explanation I could come up with is that I feel that it's too much like religion to me.

The way I see it, it seems like everyone and his brother is on Facebook. I did have a reason for joining at first; I wanted to reconnect with my old high school friends. I grew up in an extremely conservative area (a lot of military and religious influence), so it was like all of those old high school friends were still that way. I'm not. So, once I found that out, I no longer felt the need to keep my Facebook account since I had little in common with them.

Why be on Facebook if I no longer have use for it? That's how I feel about religion. And people take that shit WAY too seriously for my liking -- also kind of like religion. Some people feel that they need it. I don't, and I'm not going to simply be there because the rest of the sheep are there. I got along just fine without it before and I'll continue to get along just fine now that it's not a part of my life. All of these sentiments I can apply to both Facebook and religion.

Anyone else feel this way about Facebook? What other comparisons do you think can be made?
Heath smoking

Has anyone seen the latest racist ridiculousness by Sam Harris?

I really can't stand that this man is considered a great thinker in our community.


I’m more than a little appalled. Sam Harris defends racial profiling in airport security screening. I reject this categorically.

We should profile Muslims, or anyone who looks like he or she could conceivably be Muslim, and we should be honest about it. And, again, I wouldn’t put someone who looks like me entirely outside the bull’s-eye (after all, what would Adam Gadahn look like if he cleaned himself up?) But there are people who do not stand a chance of being jihadists, and TSA screeners can know this at a glance.

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Also, Hemant over at The Friendly Atheist is trying the fingers-in-ears approach to accusations of Harris racism. It's pretty shitty to watch, especially given Harris' assertion that people who "look Muslim" (like Hemant) should be HAPPY to be profiled, inconvenienced, treated like criminals and have their civil rights trampled on.

Crossposted to antitheism

It's a Religion of Getting a Piece

Egypt's National Council for Women (NCW) has appealed to the Islamist-dominated parliament not to approve two controversial laws on the minimum age of marriage and allowing a husband to have sex with his dead wife within six hours of her death according to a report in an Egyptian newspaper.

The appeal came in a message sent by Dr. Mervat al-Talawi, head of the NCW, to the Egyptian People's Assembly Speaker, Dr. Saad al-Katatni, addressing the woes of Egyptian women, especially after the popular uprising that toppled president Hosni Mubarak in February 2011.

She was referring to two laws: one that would legalize the marriage of girls starting from the age of 14 and the other that permits a husband to have sex with his dead wife within the six hours following her death.
jesus horse1

Rise of Atheism in America

I thought I'd share this article with the community. Here are few excerpts.

The rise of atheism in America
Why are so many people leaving religion?
It's primarily a backlash against the religious Right, say political scientists Robert Putnam and David Campbell. In their book, American Grace, they argue that the religious Right's politicization of faith in the 1990s turned younger, socially liberal Christians away from churches, even as conservatives became more zealous. The dropouts were turned off by churches' Old Testament condemnation of homosexuals, premarital sex, contraception, and abortion. The Catholic Church's sex scandals also prompted millions to equate religion with moralistic hypocrisy. "While the Republican base has become ever more committed to mixing religion and politics," Putnam and Campbell write, "the rest of the country has been moving in the opposite direction." As society becomes more secular, researchers say, doubters are more confident about identifying themselves as nonbelievers. "The collapse of institutional religion in the first 10 years of this century [has] freed so many people to say they don't really care," said author Diana Butler Bass.

How are nonbelievers perceived?
Most polls suggest that atheists are among the most disliked groups in the U.S. One study last year asked participants whether a fictional hit-and-run driver was more likely to be an atheist or a rapist. A majority chose atheist. In 2006, another study found that Americans rated atheists as less likely to agree with their vision of America than Muslims, Hispanics, or homosexuals. "Wherever there are religious majorities, atheists are among the least trusted people," said University of British Columbia sociologist Will M. Gervais. As a result, avowed atheists are rare in nearly all areas of public life. Of the 535 legislators in Congress, for example, only one — Rep. Pete Stark (D-Calif.) — calls himself an atheist. Few sports stars or Hollywood celebrities own up to having no religious faith.

Will atheism ever be accepted?
If growth continues at the current rate, one in four Americans will profess no religious faith within 20 years. Silverman hopes that as nonbelief spreads, atheists can become a "legitimate political segment of the American population," afforded the same protections as religious groups and ethnic minorities. But he's not advocating a complete secular takeover of the U.S. — nor would he be likely to achieve one, given the abiding religious faith of most Americans. "We don't want the obliteration of religion; we don't want religion wiped off the face of the earth," Silverman said. "All we demand is equality."

Andrew Copson (BHA) Discussing Crosses in the Workplace

(video link)

This time Cardinal Keith O'Brien, the representative of the Roman Catholic Church in Scotland decides to come out with the same BS that we've seen in the past. He says that Christians are being persecuted for wearing crosses in public.

0:31 Beginning of relevant report.
2:24 Interview with Andrew Copson on the issue.

Andrew Copson from the British Humanist Association strikes again. Once again he explains very clearly and diplomatically why the latest "Christians are being marginalised" story is BS. (His phrasing: "their claims have very little basis in fact" rather than "they are making s**t up".)

Also liking the new beard. :)

Cardinal O'Brien has previously claimed that when the New Labour government were in power there was "a systematic and unrelenting attack on family values". Why's this? The introduction of civil partnerships, allowing adoption by same-sex couples, allowing embryo research and not passing a law to lower the legal time limit in which an abortion may be carried out. He also referred to the Equality Bill as "legislation which would completely and permanently undermine religious freedom". And now he has the audacity to push the lie that Christians' rights to wear crosses are under attack. Ugh!
jesus horse1

It's gonna suck for students in TN to go to a public college/university out-of-state

Anti-Evolution ‘Monkey Bill’ Poised To Become Law In Tennessee
Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam (R) announced yesterday that he will “probably” sign a bill that attacks the teaching of “biological evolution, the chemical origins of life, global warming, and human cloning” by giving broad new legal immunities to teachers who question evolution and other widely accepted scientific theories. Under the bill, which passed the state legislature last month:
Neither the state board of education, nor any public elementary or secondary school governing authority, director of schools, school system administrator, or any public elementary or secondary school principal or administrator shall prohibit any teacher in a public school system of this state from helping students understand, analyze, critique, and review in an objective manner the scientific strengths and scientific weaknesses of existing scientific theories covered in the course being taught.
Although the bill is written to seem benign, as it neither specifically authorizes the teaching of creationism nor permits teachers to do more than criticize scientific theories “in an objective matter,” the practical impact of this bill will be to intimidate all but the heartiest of school administrators against disciplining teachers who preach the most outlandish junk science in their classrooms. Because the bill provides little guidance as to what constitutes an “objective” criticism of a scientific theory, any principal who reigns in teachers who force creationism or Pastafarianism upon their students risks finding themselves on the wrong side of the law.

In reality, of course, there are few, if any, “objectively” valid objections to the theory of evolution (or, for that matter, to global warming). Rather, as Travis Waldron explained when this bill passed a legislative committee nearly a year ago, “Scientists have reached a consensus that evolution is ‘one of the most robust and widely accepted principles of modern science,’ and as such, it is ‘a core element in science education.’”

Labour Councillor (UK) Announces That He Is An Alien From Outer Space

Town councillor Simon Parkes: My mum was a 9ft green alien

Town councillor Simon Parkes has claimed his mother is a green alien and extra-terrestrials abducted him as a child.

Parkes believes a 2.7m (9ft) lifeform stood next to his cot when he was a baby and ‘two green stick things’ appeared.

‘I thought “they’re not mummy’s hands, mummy’s are pink,’ Mr Parkes said in a YouTube video.

‘I was looking straight into its face. It enters my mind through my eyes and it sends a message down my  optic nerve into my brain, saying “I am your real mother, I am your more important mother”.’

The extraterrestrial is said to have had huge eyes and tiny nostrils.
Mr Parkes, 52, said another alien  encounter occurred when he was three and had chicken pox.

A 2.4m (8ft) ‘doctor’ dressed as a waiter offered to help after Mr Parkes’s mother left him at home,  it is claimed.

Three years later his ‘real mother’ took him on board an alien craft.

‘The reason why extraterrestrials are interested in me is not because of my physical body but what’s inside – my soul,’ he said.

Mr Parkes, a Labour member elected to Whitby town council in North Yorkshire last month, says his beliefs have not interfered with his work.

‘For many of the people who don’t experience it, it’s very hard to accept.

‘We are taught to only see and  believe what we can touch, but it’s acceptable to believe in religion,’  he said.

‘I’m more interested in fixing someone’s roof or potholes.’

He added: ‘I get more common sense out of the aliens than out of Scarborough town hall. The aliens are far more aware of stuff.’

Terry Jennison, a fellow councillor in Whitby and former mayor of the town, said: ‘I am completely in the dark about this.’

If you are interested in hearing more about Simon Parkes' bizarre delusions there's a video here where, according to the video notes:
Simon Parkes discusses his highly detailed and complex contacts with Extra & Interdimensional beings called Mantis, and the Greys and Reptilians.

(video link)

As you can see, above there is a brief point where he is questioning whether there is anything more strange about his beliefs and any religious belief. Okay, fair point, but we'd actually be pretty concerned if a politician in the UK started getting public about Rapture beliefs too.