National Registry of Atheists

So there’s this pastor living in Florida that thinks he would like to make a national registry of atheists that would include names, address, and maybe a photo.  He would like to do this so all the “Loving Christians”, such as himself, would be able to spot them and boycott any businesses they may operate, and make them social outcasts wherever they are found.

This hateful man is Pastor Mike Stahl of Miramar, Florida and he writes in his blog:

 “Brothers and Sisters, I have been seriously considering forming a (Christian) grassroots type of organization to be named “The Christian National Registry of Atheists” or something similar.  I mean, think about it.  There are already National Registrys for convicted sex offenders, ex-convicts, terrorist cells, hate groups like the KKK, skinheads, radical Islamists, etc…”

And:

“Now, many (especially the atheists), may ask “Why do this, what’s the purpose?” Duhh, Mr. Atheist, for the same purpose many States put the names and photos of convicted sex offenders and other ex-felons on the I-Net – to INFORM the public…”

 And:

 “Frankly, I don’t see why anyone would oppose this idea – including the atheists themselves (unless of course, they’re actually ashamed of their atheist religion, and would prefer to stay in the ‘closet.’)

Talk about a slap in the face…he compares us to sex offenders, criminal felons, terrorists and other bad guys.  The atheists I know in person and the ones I “meet” through my writing this blog are some of the nicest and finest people in the world.  Most of them are pacifists towards war, and contrary to Christian expectations we do not generally rape and pillage every chance we get.

My experience with Christians is that most of them are very nice and sociable in person…this is from my admittedly limited contacts with them (I do not go to church of course), but the majority of the ones I come across on the web are truly hard to understand and I find that a lot of the organized ones such as Answers in Genesis, Creation Research Institute, and others just flat out lie and twist the truth and do anything they can to make their positions look better than they actually are.

Having originally come from the South, I am familiar with this sort of bigoted and hateful thinking in the religious communities.  There are millions of them and the pastors of their churches feed into their prejudices every Sunday.  The children are brainwashed and many are seriously lacking in common decency towards people that are not clones of themselves.  They are suspicious of book learning and “outlanders.” and of course those “Damn Yankees.” Don’t mess with their religion!!

I feel pity towards this Pastor and I hope he will eventually see the error of his ways and learn to accept humans who don’t believe as he does.

Update: The Pastor is apparently receiving to much attention as he shut down open access to his blog…you now have to be invited.
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Republicans always want to cut education funding

Obama Trashes Habeas corpus in America

Obama just keeps on trashing the American constitution (something that Bush started) and the Bill of Rights.  Ever heard of “Prolonged detention?”  This is a total trashing of the foundation of Habeas corpus, a concept that is part and parcel of civilized law in every enlightened country in the world.  We might as well be controlled by Nazi’s or Communists.

Is there anything we can do to stop this government from constantly encroaching on our human rights?  Do we even care anymore?

Jesus is a Hoax

Jesus is a hoax.  How can I say that? Pretty easily it turns out.  I can say that because I follow a chain of logic from a known fact.

Evolution is a fact.  Lots of people in America want to ignore this, and many choose to try and disprove it by using junk science and holding on to beliefs that were long ago discredited.  There are those who denounce and scream that it cannot be true because it removes the need for a God and His dogma, something they just know is right and true, despite the lack of any proof whatsoever.

You don’t get to vote on evolution…which a lot of evangelical Christians think they can do and make it go away. Evolution is real science and is not really a “theory” anymore, though the title ‘Theory of Evolution’ will remain because that’s the way science works.  The fundamentalist Christians attempts to discredit evolution and teach their phony alternatives, “Creation Science” or “Intelligent Design”, in schools is a total failure and it is recognized by most intelligent people as just religious doctrine posing as science.

Science moves forward on the basis of testable, repeatable, and reviewable evidence, religion however has no evidence behind it and depends wholly on the non-questioning faith of its adherents.  Any teacher who tries to teach faith-based dogma in a science class is clearly not suited to be a teacher. Our leadership in science and technology cannot be subservient to anyone’s religious persuasions.

Evolution today presents a major conundrum to Christianity and it’s dominate dogma of original sin and the blood atonement of Jesus.  Just believe in Jesus and your ‘sins’ are washed away.  Well that Jesus may or may not be reality.  We know that evolution could not produce a single parent couple through which we all descended; this is predictable from the way we know evolution works.  Additionally there is the DNA and archaeological evidence totally backing this up.

This is what gets the ball rolling.  These simple proofs that there was NO Adam and Eve is what gives lie to the whole Bible. If there is NO Adam and Eve, as described in the Bible and this is surely fact, then there is surely NO fall and the subsequent original sin, and it is original sin that the whole Christian shtick is based on.  If there were NO original sin then there is no need for redemption; if there is NO need for redemption then there is no need for Jesus, If there is no need for Jesus…what use is the story of a crucifixion and resurrection?  Besides lacking any contemporaneous proofs at all, the whole story reeks of Bronze Age myth.  Are we still to believe in gods that demand blood sacrifice?  Haven’t we grown past this medieval, dark ages reasoning?  I know I have.

Religions problems with science are many and varied. Evolution tells us the earth, biosphere, animals, and humans evolved in a certain way and on a schedule of sorts. It makes predictions of what is to be found and how things will work.  Genesis has stories that conflict with known science.  We know in fair detail how and when the universe came into being, how and when our earth came into existence, and how and when humans came to inhabit our planet.

If you claim to be an intelligent member of modern society do you still believe in magic and demons, witches, devils, imps, goblins, incubuses, succubus’s, wraiths, unicorns, etc.?  Christians do, and of course in the dark ages the churches killed people who they thought were witches or devils and such and those who denied some of the Bibles more egregious blunders.

The primal reason Evolution is giving Christians so much grief is of course that evolution says the Christian creation story is just flat wrong…it never happened that way and the first two chapters of Genesis are totally wrong…the story is not factual in any way.  We know how dinosaurs and other land animals, plants, insects, birds, fish, humans, etc. came into being and we know it was not by ex-nihilo creation by some Bronze Age god.

Evolution could not, did not, produce a single mother and father of all future humans, so there was no Adam and no Eve. And with this now known to be fact the Christians have to really rethink their beliefs and decide where they are to go from here on. There is no voting on this…we do not get to choose what we want to be reality.  What is real and true is truth, no matter what some goat herders wrote a few thousand years ago.

John Schneider, former teacher of theology at Calvin College in Michigan says it’s time to face facts:

“There was no historical Adam and Eve, no serpent, no apple, no fall that toppled man from a state of innocence. Evolution makes it pretty clear that in nature, and in the moral experience of human beings, there never was any such paradise to be lost. So Christians, I think, have a challenge, have a job on their hands to reformulate some of their tradition about human beginnings.”

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America Held Hostage

America Held Hostage to Two-Party Failure: Government of, by and for the Corporations
Thursday 28 July 2011
by: Michele Swenson, Truthout | Op-Ed

Washington rhetoric waxes Orwellian in proportion to inside-the-Beltway disconnect around cause and effect of the US economic crisis. Ranging from the Ryan Budget – “kill Medicare to save it” – and some Democrats – “cut Medicare and Social Security to save them” – to claims that deficit reduction (not jobs) is “what the people want,” to the “greed is good” creed that assigns entitlements in the form of taxpayer bailouts to wealthy financial institutions that take for granted the ability to shift risk for their liar’s loans and speculative transactions. “Austerity” and “shared sacrifice” are Washington code for preserving tax advantages and privilege for the wealthiest, while transferring private debt and risk to the public, onto the backs of the working/middle class.

Phil Angelides, chair of the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission, notes that 24 million Americans lack work and nearly $9 trillion in household wealth has vanished since the 2008 economic crisis. The commission’s January report detailed “the recklessness of the financial industry and the abject failures of policymakers and regulators that brought our economy to its knees in late 2008.”

Writes Angelides, there is “no correlation between who drove the crisis and who is paying the price.” The disparity of wealth is stark, as “compensation at publicly traded Wall St. firms hit a record $135 billion in 2010.” He notes that, in the face of overwhelming evidence of the causes of economic catastrophe, Wall Street and its allies are revising history, e.g., Republicans like Paul Ryan ignore the fact that “our federal budget deficit has ballooned more than $1 trillion annually since the financial collapse.” Instead of confronting the real causes of the deficit, budget shortfalls are conflated with “the long-term challenges of Medicare” as an excuse to shred the social safety net. Rather than rein in widespread lending abuses, Republicans seek to weaken the authority of the new consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Economist Joseph Stiglitz calls out the titans of finance, who continue to make mega bonuses for their companies’ mega losses, even after they set the global economy in a tailspin and shifted all risks for their unregulated credit default swaps onto taxpayers. He describes a nation of, by and for the 1 percent that enjoys 25 percent of economic benefits, largely purchased by Washington lobbyists. The Republican (Ryan) budget plan would cut $5.8 trillion from government spending over the next decade and reduce the corporate tax rate to 25 percent, while increasing next year’s Pentagon budget by $17 billion. The highly touted Bowles-Simpson proposal for deficit reduction is a recipe for a weaker economy, warns Stiglitz, as it will decrease jobs, and in turn, decrease revenues. A primary means to decrease the deficit is to increase jobs, a goal that ultraconservatives wrongly equate with large tax breaks for the wealthy – so-called “job creators” – never mind that the Bush tax cuts failed to provide jobs over a decade.

It is easier to destroy than to build democracy. Concerted assaults on democracy over four decades serve the ends of those who deem it their right to rule and reign: Republican religious ideologues and acolytes of Milton Friedman economics. Disaster capitalists precipitate crises by running up huge deficits (during the Reagan and Bush one and two regimes), followed by demands for balanced budgets and deficit reduction, as a means of drastically cutting domestic spending and gutting public education, government jobs and public pensions and shifting all wealth upward.

The political right has laid waste to democratic principles by sabotaging elections and the economy and auctioning government to the highest bidder. Some rightists deem it a “citizen’s duty” to challenge the legitimacy of the “ruling regime” by refusing to obey the law – i.e., “destroy the nation to save it.” Certain issues should be advanced “for the purpose of prompting a constitutional crisis,” pronounced law professor Russell Hittinger. The 2000 Supreme Court majority selection of George W. Bush reset the bar for challenges to the constitution, as did Citizens United vs. FEC in 2010.

The 1994 Gingrich revolution ushered in the large-scale sell-off of government to corporate interest groups. Corporate lobbyists were invited to write legislation to eradicate regulations for worker safety, labor rights and environmental protections – the so-called “Project Relief” part of the Republican agenda. Simultaneously, Republican House Whip Tom DeLay (“The Hammer”) pressured corporate political action committees (PACs) to contribute solely to the GOP, reasoning, “People that are pro-free enterprise should support people who are pro-free enterprise.”

In 1995, then-GOP Conference Chair John Boehner handed out tobacco PAC money checks to Republicans on the floor of the House, even as Newt Gingrich warned lobbyists, “For anyone who’s not on board now it’s going to be the two coldest years in Washington.” Republican leaders in a private 1997 meeting with 200 top corporate executives of the Business Roundtable demanded that all contributions to Democrats cease, or corporations would forfeit access to the Republican Congressional majority. Grover Norquist, riding herd over the “K Street Project,” demanded that big business hire GOP-credentialed lobbyists and fire those with Democratic connections. By the 108th Congress, it fell to Sen. Rick Santorum to reward party loyalty by vetting the hiring decisions of major lobbyists. “If you want to play in our revolution, you have to live by our rules,” pronounced  DeLay.

The “defund-the-left” campaign was abetted by Virginia Lamp Thomas, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas’ wife, and a key staff member for then-House Majority Leader Dick Armey, who compiled a hit list of liberal groups and nonprofit groups. More recently, Virginia Thomas reportedly received hundreds of thousands of dollars from groups that had expressed direct interest in the outcome of cases that came before her husband, including Citizens United vs. Federal Election Commission, which struck down any limitations on corporate contributions to elections, sealing the Republican deal to crush democracy.

In the ’90s, Democratic leadership, reinforced by such corporate-backed groups as the Democratic Leadership Council, turned increasingly to corporate money, away from working people. With both major parties in thrall to corporate money and influence, “we the people” has effectively become “the silenced majority,” discounted voices sought out only for votes during election years, an increasingly futile exercise as big money buys candidates and outcomes.

The majority (53 percent) of Americans who opposed the 2010 extension of the Bush tax cuts watched in dismay as President Obama started with compromise and met his Republican hostage-takers more than half way. Neither did majority popular support result in passage of strong financial regulation, importation of lower-cost drugs or government-payer universal health care.

The fatal flaw of Barack Obama’s presidency seems to be the compulsion to compromise with the likes of Norquist, bent on destroying democracy by “drowning government in a bathtub.” The deficit in public investment imperils us more than the budget deficit, observes former Labor Secretary Robert Reich, citing tax revenues that are less than 15 percent of the total economy, the lowest in 60 years. Large reductions in federal taxes affect state and local revenues, placing more locales on the brink of bankruptcy – thus fulfilling Norquist’s fondest wish for state bankruptcies and “bitter nastiness and partisanship” in state capitals.

The president’s failure to lead by using the bully pulpit to educate about the true nature of economic crisis and recovery has resulted in Democrats’ surrender to Republicans of the economic narrative around deficits, spending, taxes, health care etc. More than the Tea Party corporate shills, disingenuous rhetoric around the economy and the lack of any counter-narrative by the president discouraged voters from going to the polls in 2010 and will likely discourage them again in 2012.

In 1995, a highly secretive umbrella group of America’s right-wing leaders, the little known
Council for National Policy Action, circulated a confidential memo urging members to push for a governmental shutdown in order to force President Clinton to cave to their budget demands. Rep. Mark Souder (R-Indiana) was quoted: “This is our maximum point of leverage to insist that parts of the revolution are executed.” The brief government shutdown that followed failed to achieve their goals. Republicans have willingly upped the ante, holding the country hostage to the threat of economic catastrophe in order to achieve their long-time goal of gutting all New Deal and Great Society programs, while codifying tax cuts for the wealthy. Americans are again being held for ransom in a naked high-stakes grab for total wealth and power.

The majority of people are hungry for a truth teller/leader, like Sen. Bernie Sanders. Instead, corporate media reloops the one-note deficit propaganda of the right-wing sound machine, not seeing fit to even mention The People’s Budget, written by the Progressive Caucus. The People’s Budget would eliminate the deficit sooner than either the proposed Obama or Ryan Budgets and raise a $31 billion surplus in ten years. It would end the main budget deficit drivers – the Bush tax cuts and Middle East wars; restore progressive income and estate taxes; add negotiation of bulk drug rates to Medicare and preserve Medicare, Medicaid Social Security; eliminate tax subsidies for oil, gas and coal companies; close loopholes for multinational corporations; and tax speculative financial transactions. All are goals supported by the majority of people.

Likewise, Medicare-for-All would contribute substantially to economic recovery. Reich writes that expanding the Medicare risk pool to include all healthy young and sick elderly would save $58 billion to $400 billion annually and sharply reduce the budget crisis, while also permitting negotiation of lower rates with hospitals, doctors and pharmaceutical companies. Payment reform to reward quality not quantity care would provide additional savings.

Circular talk around the deficit short circuits meaningful action around the creation of jobs and financial and election reforms. Sorely needed to counter the corruption of money in elections are the Fair Campaigns Now Act, free media time for all serious candidates and other remedies such as instant runoff voting and reversing the notion of corporate “personhood.” Humboldt County, California, passed a county ordinance in 2006 to prohibit nonlocal corporate contributions to elections and also asserting that corporations cannot claim the First Amendment right to free speech. Counties nationwide should follow the lead of a number of counties that have drafted ordinances to deny corporate personhood.

The two main political parties are failing to serve the people, both locked in a dance of dysfunctional political posturing in service of power. In a candid moment this spring, speaking to Charlie Rose, some New York Times correspondents acknowledged the sorry state of our politics: Tom Friedman remarked that we are trapped in a “corrupt duopoly.” Crony capitalism is the norm in Washington, lamented David Brooks. Both expressed the wish for a reputable third party to break the Washington gridlock.

Now is the moment for voices that have been willfully ignored in recent years to come together to form a true grassroots movement to advocate for progressive change. Sponsored by over 100 groups led by MoveOn.org, “Rebuild the American Dream” house meetings across the country convened starting July 16 and 17, providing the opportunity for participants to begin writing a “Contract for the American Dream” to serve the people.

The time is a now or never to restore the promise of democracy stolen by the oligarchs.

http://www.truth-out.org/america-held-hostage-two-party-failure-government-and-corporations/1311345019


This work by
 Truthout is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 United States License.
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Republicans Sell Out Again

Well it seems the Republicans have sold out…again.  Now there are two different lords the Party must bow to…The Christian Right and the Environmental Destroyers who are paying off our Congressmen/women and Senators to loosen or get rid of environmental laws.  Yeah guys, we don’t need a future…today is all that matters.

“The virus that has undermined the GOP and is weakening U.S. democracy is corruption. Our Supreme Court has made the United States the only democratic nation where bribery is constitutionally protected, where corporations have the privileges of citizens but none of the obligations, and where money is equated with speech. Dirty Energy has bought the party of Lincoln and now calls the shots.”  CARL POPE, chairman of the Sierra Club. Read More:
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The Times Are Changing

Scientists say survival of the Kindest…not the Fittest.
Scientists at UC Berkeley are saying that we humans are not necessarily hardwired to be selfish, but kind and compassionate, and they have a growing body of evidence to back it up…we are evolving

 Fundamentalists Starting To Agree With Me…No Adam and Eve
Let’s go back to the beginning — all the way to Adam and Eve, and to the question: Did they exist, and did all of humanity descend from that single pair?

But now some conservative scholars are saying publicly that they can no longer believe the Genesis account. Asked how likely it is that we all descended from Adam and Eve, Dennis Venema, a biologist at Trinity Western University, replies: “That would be against all the genomic evidence that we’ve assembled over the last 20 years, so not likely at all.””

Hey, doesn’t the Venema guy have some connection to the BioLogos Christian blog?

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