Young Men Behaving Badly

bibleforporn1[1] Recently the atheist student organization on the campus of the University of Texas – San Antonio held what I would surmise as a publicity stunt. In the public form of the school campus the group offered to exchange porn for bibles. There are several issues, most of which are associated with immature behavior and what I would term adolescent level judgment.

Offering to exchange porn for the Christian bible would almost be the equivalent of offering to exchange a Boston Red Sox fan a Yankees hat for outfielder Dave Roberts’ glove. Not only is this sacrilege and insulting it is structured to be an insult and to infuriate a group that they obviously disagree with. Based on the student’s response of holding prayer groups on the spot they have accomplished this task.

100303_rnc_screenshot_289[1] In breaking new we recently find out that the Republican National Committee has published and presented a PowerPoint presentation depicting our President and several members of the Democratic congress as comic book characters or children’s story villains. According to the reports this presentation was provided to the “large donors” of the RNC and was intended to be a scare tactic to drive contributions to the party and its members. In my view, there are very little if any differences in both activities.

Resorting to an extreme tactic to either make a point or drive donations simply shows poor judgment and an extreme lack of character. Poking someone in the eye and then insisting that they listen to your position or opinion is not only absurd it is a most telling sign of one’s mental capacity to engage in a civil disagreement.

Why am I disturbed by this behavior? Two reasons… one being this collage group is claiming to represent a position that I subscribe too and two they are resorting to tactics that insult not only the Christian position but the intellectual position of atheists around the world. “Drawing attention” to one’s self or agenda by acting like a group of school children should not be on the table as an option to pursue.

bibleforporn3[1] Intentionally engaging in activity you know is the most offensive activity you could possibly engage in to insult and degrade another person or group of people is always, in every instance, without exception a bad idea. There is no sociological, psychological, or anthropological evidence that this activity will lead to anything other than a fight, a war, or a terrorist attack. This is so egregiously wrong that it should be removed from anyone’s list of options that happens to have a maturity level above a ten year old.

Redeeming quality…

It has been suggested that anyone who would agree that the Christian bible is itself “smut” should back this campaign. There are variations on the definition of the word smut, none of which I would use to describe any theological text. Regardless of you opinion of the Christian bible, supporting a position that places yourself or a group in a position of advocating an activity that is the most insulting to someone you disagree with is simply absurd. One would expect that we could disagree without being disagreeable.

It has also been suggested that it is in fact the religions extremist are themselves responsible for the perception of the porn industry and thus anyone else who does not subscribe to their rhetoric would not find porn objectionable. This is simply an ill conceived argument. I am personally aware of people who follow no particular theological practice that find issue with many points the Christian dogma condemns.

Going after our own…

My position of displeasure and disappointment in this group as well as my vocal condemnation is a direct result of my position of “cleaning one’s own house”. I do constantly remind my Christian and Muslim friends that it is their responsibility to stand up against what they themselves claim is a bad representation of their own respective faiths. (Pat Robertson or Alhaji Mutallab for example…) If someone is misrepresenting, degrading or outright insulting or damaging a mutual position it is the responsibility of every person sharing that position to not only work to condemn the activity but initiate activity to counter the destructive activity itself.

To the students of the University of Texas – San Antonio atheist group, I strongly encourage you to withdraw from any future activity that even remotely resembles this type of engagement as well as issuing a full public apology not only the any religious theology you have obviously insulted but to the entire world of atheists who have now damaged by your actions.

- Peace, Chad

Complete Disarray – Well Almost Complete…

george-w-bush-john-mccain-photos[2] At the end of the Bush administration the country was ready for a change. “Change We Can Believe In” is what we wanted. And a very hopeful country along with a very charismatic personality that spoke to the issues we wanted to address stepped up to the podium.

The American people were so upset with the last administration that they cleaned out the Republican leadership across the board giving the Democrats full majorities in both houses. History has shown that when one party has the overwhelming majority in our government it usually turns out to be a bad thing. So what is the answer? Put balance back into the House and Senate?

Obviously there is a disconnect between our leadership and the middle of the road conservative / liberal. Both sides have their fringe from Tea Party to Blue Dogs. These groups simply make static and provide Glen Beck and Keith Olbermann with daily material.

In the first year our President seemed to have a single agenda, Healthcare. Even with the overwhelming majorities this one item could not gain enough traction to pass congress. Our President who gives the appearance that he promotes and strives to achieve bipartisanship seemingly had issues with controlling his how party members. During this entire process the economy was in the fast lane heading directly into the tank.

 

The bubble and economic roadmap…

I do agree that the issues with the economy were caused by the previous administration and the policies typically associated with the Republican economic road map. The major problem that I saw with the drastic change in our government’s leadership is that the Democratic approach to the business world and the economic agenda is so drastically different that it caused the creation of what could almost be termed a singular singularity in the US economy. While attempting to stop a financial meltdown that was caused by the unbridled activity of the financial world the solution to “save” some of the very institutions that caused the problem was in direct conflict with the natural order of a free market.

We were in the middle of an over inflated market that finally ran its course. We had a bubble in our housing market created by the fast paces economy and the, what I would term outrageous practices of the lending institutions and the insurance companies who were underwriting the risks. I believe any economist would have seen this coming. So the logical course correction would be that the bubble would burst and the markets would fall flat and the organizations responsible would have failed or been penalized to a degree that would have caused them serious pain.

That should have been the natural progression, but we had a change in leadership.

 

Save the world…

480px-Ben_Bernanke_official_portrait[1] While a rescue plan was in the works prior to the current administrations takeover, the massive recovery plan that was finally delivered was more in line with the Democratic approach to controlling the markets. There were obviously some companies that were allowed to fail while others were provided with the government’s financial support. Thus the bubble did not burst but was severely deflated. And with the wisdom of the Democratic leadership they have continued to pump resources into the market, print money, take interest rates to an all time low and even go so far as to force the restructure of some of the manufacturing sectors former giants.

Now we find ourselves with an economy that still resembles a “half bubble” but now has so many holes in it that even with all the stimulus packages and bailouts they do not stop the downward trends. The bad news there is that we will not be able to readjust the market until it reaches a flat plain and has the opportunity to reset “normal” rates, operating practices and trustworthy risks engagements. The government is simply postponing the inevitable.

 

No, look over here…

barack_obama-779027[1] With the almost certain failure of the healthcare reform and the economy still deflating the leadership in Washington seems to want to resurrect some of the old campaign promises along with a lot of activity to show the American people that they are focusing their attention on the unemployment rate and job creation.

While I do believe they should be putting energy into proposed unemployment strategies and job creations there are a couple of critical points that should be observed.

1. The government cannot create jobs outside of government controlled jobs. (Police, Firemen, Military…) There are programs that have in the past created mass public works projects but these are providing jobs through private industry. Thus showcasing the only real job creation is in the private sector and can only be controlled by the private sector. Primarily the small business.

2. With the implosion of the markets and the economy it leaves us with a surplus of manufactured goods and a services industry failing because the customer base no longer has expendable income. Regardless of how much money the government prints or stimulus packages they offer, the fact of the matter is this overwhelming surplus of goods has to be adjusted before any real progress can take place.

What this translates into is that the unemployment will not see any relief until the surpluses are adjusted. (Sold off, sold out, discarded…) And the markets cannot adjust until the manufacturing sector has recovered to a sufficient position that Wall Street has confidence that a real adjustment has been made to a “new normal” and a base for rebuilding is realized.

The administration has also resurrected the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell (DADT) issues with the military. While I fully support this activity it comes at a very suspicious time. I believe the President has lost some of his base with the GLBT community and now simply wishes to garner support with some of the smaller individual groups who supported him in his campaign. I am not saying the administration does not find this issue important only that the timing makes me suspect their motive.

 

Next steps…

I am predicting another change coming. With the upcoming elections I believe the balance of power will once again shift. I personally believe this is a good thing. In the current structure the Republican representation is so off balance that they have little say in anything that happens and when you have no say you have no responsibility or “skin” in the game. This is not only bad for having a balanced team, it reflects bad on the Republican minority when all they can do is oppose any solutions offered by their liberal counterparts.

Some of the most productive periods in our government’s history have been when the balance of power was close to neutral. One of the biggest handicaps this President has had to endure is the overwhelming takeover of the government by the Democrats due to the complete disarray the previous administration let the American people with. If my expectations and predictions are correct, the next two years of this Presidents time in office will be much more productive than his first.

Where in the world is Chad?

I find myself spending more time on FaceBook than running around the blogs.

I would like to extend an open invitation to anyone who wishes to join the conversations.

Chad S Wilson on FaceBook

Peace, Chad aka TK

Bankers “Tax” a bad idea

I am having some serious issues with administrations current move to address the public outrage over Banker Bonuses.bank3

This all started with the bail out. Thanks to the nonsense the republican legacy left us, and the current administrations acceptance of the proposed bailout plan we find ourselves in a situation where there is no answer.

I fully support free markets, a global economy and everyone’s right to screw things up. I would much rather see the banking industry unregulated and defending for itself over more government controls. The part of this story that makes my ears bleed is that once the controls were lifted by the last administration they turn around and bailed out the very people who screwed the whole thing up in the first place.

You have to pick a side. It is a free market and that means free to fail, or a controlled and regulated market that remains stagnant. Simple as that, there can be no in between.

This latest escapade with wanting to “Tax” the banks has got to be one of the most ludicrous ideas I have yet to see out of this administration. They actually think this will punish the financial industry? Or at least they think the public is stupid enough to think that it will.

Let me break it down for you…

Any taxation applied to the banking industry, regardless of the motivation, will simply be passed on to the consumer in higher rates and banking fees. Thus the end result is the government is taxing us without representation through a tax levied on the banking industry. The banks are not being punished. We are! And we are buying into this song and dance because someone told us “Those bankers have to pay.”

Pay attention people, it will all come back to your pocketbook sooner or later.

- Peace, Chad

What Atheism Is

An except from a book in progress… “Atheism - Being Happy Without Artificial Influences”

For the purpose of clarity and understanding one must provide a common ground on which to converse. This book is using the definition of atheism to mean; without theistic belief.

Am I a “true” atheist?automotivator

What exactly is a true atheist? I have seen this descriptor on other labels and always find it interesting. I get a lot of mail that I would qualify as hate mail from my writings and blogging. That is nothing new but when I point out that this mail comes from people who profess to be Christian I almost always get the same response. “Well, they are not a true Christian.”

Someone recently informed me that if I were a true atheist I would dismiss all religious teachings because they are based on a false premise. I believe this to be short sighted and even a bit close minded. I bring this up because this seems to be just another way to draw a line in the sand and say “we are special” or “we are right and they are wrong”.

I believe that Jesus, Buddha and even Mohammed had some great ideas. Promoting peace and love is always a great idea. When they or someone else throw in the nonsense about condemning others for their beliefs is where the whole thing gets side tracked. Well that and the fact that they teach a philosophy based on make believe characters or that you will be condemned for eternity after you die if you don’t follow their rules.

So what is a true atheist or a true Christian? Simply put it is a way by which we distinguish ourselves different from others who claim some common group, principle or idea. This allows one to still lay claim to some label yet discard the pieces we don’t agree with. Or put another way, it is an easy way to discount someone else for their particular belief or ideology.

From a psychological point of view, most of us like to think we are unique individuals with our own thoughts, ideas and personalities. While this may be true at some level I would argue that we are all the same in more ways than we are different. At a base level the majority of the human animal will want the same things. Food, shelter, good health, pursuit of happiness etc, etc… We all want to be happy. We all want to be loved and we all want to think we have some individual thought or idea that no one else has.

I certainly am not the first to claim the title of an atheist. I certainly am not the first person to think that religion and deities are based on myths. I am simply vocal about what I think. I recently have taken the position that if someone wishes to tack on the qualifier of “true” to any label they are unwilling to accept some particular view point of stance that is being provided and by using the adjective of “true” they have employed a short cut to discount whatever they do not agree with.

In our daily lives we are drawn to things we like and we veer away from things we find less than interesting or admirable or even with which we disagree. We find ourselves with so many different religions in the world that are based on a relative few or even single source of information because large groups of people wanted to separate themselves from some particular point of view or focus on one particular piece of teaching. The question that always seems to plague me when I look at this type behavior is’ why not take the parts that you disagree with out or the teaching or doctrine?

I am of a firm opinion that no single source of information has all of the best answers for any one particular situation. I would suggest and practice utilizing every source of information one can find to provide ideas and input into what should be the best possible answer to any number of questions or scenarios you encounter.

There is a lot of focus on the changes in our society regarding the homosexual lifestyles around the globe. This focus is caused by two primary groups, the Christian and the Muslim communities. Some might say that the focus is because the gay and lesbian agenda is pushing the boundaries of our socially accepted behavior, but I would point out that this is not the true because if it were not for the Christian and Muslim doctrine this would be a non-issue.

If you find yourself in one of these groups and you personally have no problem or issue with someone who is gay or the gay community wishing to have the same rights and opportunities as the heterosexual community, I would ask why not remove that from the teachings? Why would you continue to support a group or organization that you do not agree with or the doctrine, information, or bylaws that any one groups subscribes too?

Case and point, we have a local mega-church here in Houston that present a message of love, caring and devotion to a deity that they only use flattering descriptors to identify. Their leader/pastor always displays a positive and very well refined message that will focus on the positive aspects of their god and how those should be examples of how one should live their lives. They have even separated themselves from other Christian teachings by claiming the title of nondenominational.

Their pastor even publishes books on living a positive life and using the teachings of their loving god as a guide to do so. If information is positive and does not promote discrimination or violence in any way then I can support such a teaching. The fact of the matter is that this teaching is based on a single book that does not provide for a positive message as a whole. If you review this book in an objective light the less than positive information completely outweighs and positive conclusions one could glean from its pages.

So why keep this text as a basis for any philosophy? Why not edit the information to reflect the current culture and socially accepted norms and incorporate any additional philosophies the group might find as positive, supportive, or productive? Yes I am being a bit rhetorical. There is in fact a project underway by a Christian conservative group to do just that, edit the bible. Not being of a socially conservative nature I am not sure I will care for this version any more than the last but they are physically removing the information they do not agree with.

So what is atheism? If you do not subscribe to any theology or deity by definition you are an atheist. We may have differences of opinion on a whole range of ideas thoughts or teachings but if you and I lack a god, we are both atheist, no editing required.

More to come…

- Peace, Chad aka TK

Evangelical Atheist

In a discussion today, I was asked why I spend so much time talking about or promoting atheism and why an atheist would be “preaching” against Christians. If I don’t believe in God why do I spend so much time discussing the topic? I do get this type of inquiry often and felt compelled to address this question.

It is well known that the Christian and Islamic religions engage in efforts to proselytize others to their theological belief system. When my friends see my websites or Facebook pages they naturally draw a conclusion that I am engaging in the same activity as they, only in reverse.

My primary goal in my communications mediums is to simply explain what atheism is and how we live our lives without any deities and answer questions or more importantly correcting misinformation someone may have picked up. To a Christian or a Muslim it may appear that I am engaging someone to “recruit” new members into our way of thinking. I personally have observed some atheists who “evangelize” the atheist experience in a way that promotes atheism.

I however am not engaged in an effort to recruit new members, I simply encourage people to question and dismiss information or beliefs I consider to be false or more often than not harmful or dangerous. It is not that I want to convince you that you shouldn’t believe in something outside of yourself, just stop supporting and engaging in activities that give credence to people within those belief systems that are oppressive and or destructive. In most of my writings and information sharing I find myself dispelling myths or misconceptions about atheist more than anything else.

My interests have always been in the human animal, its psyche, its social interactions and the anthropological or sociobiological aspect of how and why we are here in this place and in this time. Having a very objective point of view of humans and the other living creatures on this planet simply fits very well with an atheistic belief system.

What I do try to promote is critical thinking and a holistic approach to any information one may encounter. If I told you that trolls lived under bridges and if you are not careful they will jump out and take you away, there is simply no logical reason to trollbelieve me. If you told me to prove my statement and I offered no facts or evidence to support the claim then you have no reasonable expectation to accept the information as true. If I then tell you that you have to prove to me that there are no trolls living under bridges you would simply dismiss my statement and go about your business. The skeptical approach to this and any information is what I am promoting.

From a critical thinking point of view, theism in general is an easy target. But I strongly encourage everyone to engage in reasonably critical or skeptical thinking with every piece of information they encounter. Not to the point that it becomes a philosophical quagmire such as “No one could actually KNOW that the sun will come up tomorrow” But to a point to where simply taking someone at their word is not the norm

- Peace, Chad aka TK

Sex Education the people who harm our children

Birth Rates by StateI received a text message the other night from a friend whom informs me that she has just learned; from her son, he was instructed to sit through a sex education presentation at his school.

My first thought is great, I fully support giving kids the information and facts around sex education. The more you know the easier it is to make reasonable and rational decisions when the time comes.

Now for the punch line. This was an abstinence only program.

I then asked if there was a notification sent to parents prior to this “presentation”. My friend informed me that she had not seen any such permission slip or request or letter announcing this would be taking place. To be perfectly clear, I would not stop my child from attending such a presentation, I would simply provide them with all the facts ahead of time and then follow up afterwards with questions and answers. I want my children to be fully informed and educated on all points of information, especially the false points so they may recognize them in the future.

As most of you know I tend to lean toward rational, logical, and reasonable approaches to knowledge, and information. I of course disregard or am suspicious of information that does not have any supporting evidence for a claim. We (society) know from the facts and studies conducted that abstinence only programs fail to achieve what they are designed to do. (stop children or young adults from engaging in sex) they are, in my opinion blatantly putting our youth in danger because they refuse to even acknowledge factually sex education information regarding how one may protect one’s self from sexually transmitted diseases or unwanted pregnancies.

This seriously makes me nocuous to think someone would intentionally withhold information from someone that could potentially help protect them or prevent something that could be devastating to our youth and their families.

Starting with the Adolescent Family Life Act of 1982, conservative Christians have been able to push through an agenda that has crippled sex education in America.

Obama is the first president in over a decade to say that we must teach our children the facts about their bodies and the options they have should they choose to be sexually active; Obama-as usual-is right on the mark.

Thankfully President Obama has cut funding for these types of programs and restored the rational approach to education that will actually teach our children something of value.

From one of the websites…

“Aim For Success: America's largest provider of sexual abstinence programs.

Aim For Success is an independent, non-profit, educational organization that promotes a lifestyle of excellence by encouraging the development of self control, self respect, and self discipline. Through live presentations students are encouraged to develop strong, responsible character as they deal with sexual pressure.

Through Aim For Success presentations, students learn the wisdom of committing to be sexually abstinent until marriage. Parents are inspired to raise responsible children who know their choices have consequences. Teachers receive creative ideas on how to implement the abstinence message into their classrooms.”

So let’s be perfectly clear on what the facts are and how reality works in our children's lives.

Studies published in a special issue of the online journal Sexuality Research and Social Policy by the University of California Press reveal that abstinence-only-until-marriage sex education programs fail to change sexual behavior in teenagers, provide inaccurate information about condoms, and violate human rights principles.

In sum, the articles show that abstinence-only programs contain medical inaccuracies, fail to help young people to change behavior, and conflict with ethical standards. Abstinence-only programs violate young people's right to accurate information—and also teachers' and health educators' rights to answer questions and provide medically accurate information. Many states have now refused to participate in the federal program (25 states as of August 2008) citing concerns about efficacy and accuracy of abstinence-only programs. The federal program provides funding for abstinence-only education and restricts information about contraception and other aspects of human sexuality.

If you have children, I would strongly suggest reading the full report

http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/pihhr/files/SexLies_Stereotypes2008.pdf

Texas and her conservative social order

Normally I would say beware if your child’s school district is teaching something that doesn’t use the most current information or is based on something completely ridiculous like teaching intelligent design in science class. But this… this is down right malice and harmful to our children.

In his book, America’s War on Sex, Marty Klein agrees that Abstinence Only programs don’t protect kids from disease, pregnancy, or broken hearts. That’s because they aren’t effective at postponing sexual involvement or at making kids safer when they do have sex…so abstinence programs don’t help kids.

But they do benefit adults—both emotionally and financially. “Abstinence programs help [adults] convince themselves that kids are less sexual than they really are. They get to maintain the illusion that kids aren’t doing it, are going to stop doing it, or aren’t going to start.” It makes some parents feel better to say that because my child doesn’t know about condom use, birth control or STI’s, they won’t be sexual.

And it is this emotional cowardice and flagrant dismissal of the parental responsibility that seriously gets under my skin.

This is a horrible false logic that screams at us when you look at the statistics:

  • In 2001, the National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy published a review called Emerging Answers: Research Findings on Programs to Reduce Teen Pregnancy. It concluded that “the evidence is not conclusive about the impact of abstinence-only programs,” and that “there do not currently exist any abstinence-only programs with reasonably strong evidence that they actually delay the initiation of sex or reduce its frequency.”
  • In 2005, The Journal of Adolescent Health found that teens who pledge abstinence until marriage are more likely to have oral and anal sex than other teens who have not had intercourse.
  • In 2007, a long awaited, federally mandated study that began in 1997 concluded that abstinence only programs do not keep teenagers from having sex. Neither does it increase or decrease the likelihood that if they do have sex, they will use a condom.
  • Of late, many states have begun to reject federal funding for abstinence only programs, or create a hybrid version that allows for full sex education

Grow up and take responsibility

You know and the youth of our nation know that sex is one of the most wonderful things on this planet. They see it in ads they see it on television and in movies. They talk about it with their friends and they hear some of the most absurd stories about it that you could imagine.

Our youth are a lot smarter than most people give the credit for. Having a conversation with your children about sex and the responsibilities of engaging in the activity is not only the right thing to do it is the ONLY thing to do. Talk your kids, they need to understand the responsibilities and the consequences of their decisions regarding decisions to have sex.

Lastly, talk to your school administrators, and leaders. Tell them you do not want abstinence only curriculums to be presented as the primary source of sex education in your schools.

Peace

Chad/TK

God in a cage, and two people of whom I am sure the Christians are proud

Some people want to put the Christian God in a cage, and they want it to be part of the exhibits at the Tulsa Zoo.

Republican mayoral candidate Anna Falling said Tuesday that putting a Christian creationism display in the Tulsa Zoo is No. 1 in importance among city issues that also include violent crime, budget woes and bumpy streets.

Mrs. Falling apparently thinks that creating new exhibits at the Tulsa Zoo is more important than any other of the current issues with which our country is being bombarded.

I know, next let’s push for a flat earth exhibit at the Smithsonian! Sounds perfectly reasonable to me.

"It's first," she said to calls of "hallelujah" at a rally outside the zoo. "If we can't come to the foundation of faith in this community, those other answers will never come. We need to first of all recognize the fact that God needs to be honored in this city."

But what about all the other gods? Shouldn’t they be honored too?

Falling's campaign has been overtly Christian-themed. But she said she wants to embrace people of all religions, not alienate them.

Oh, ok that makes me feel better. At least you aren’t alienating all the other gods. Wait, why did they all of a sudden decide they needed a Christian God exhibit at the Tulsa Zoo?

The exhibit was thought to calm down those who felt one religion was being honored over another because the elephant exhibition includes a statue of the Hindu elephant-headed god Ganesha.

Ah, so the Zoo was showing favoritism to the Hindu religion. Now I get it. But wait, wouldn’t the simple answer be to just remove the other statue?

I also wonder if the Zoo’s architects were thinking “Oh you know what? We can put a statue of Ganesha in the elephant exhibit and everyone will just think it is really cool, but we will really be promoting Hinduism. Oh we are so smart!”

Mrs Falling continues…

"We will also look for people who want to characterize the origins of both man and animals in a way that honors Judeo-Christian science that proves God as the creator," she said.

WHAT? What Judeo-Christian Science? There is no such thing as Judeo-Christian Science. There is Science and everything else is NOT science. And as far as proving that “God as the creator”, you first have to prove there is a God. Shesh, she can’t even make a fallacy free argument.

She continues…

"I'd love to be able to visit with them," she said, adding that there's common ground. "I know God loves them. I love them. This is an opportunity for us to be able to be friends and make a difference in this community."

Why you condescending little…. You know your god loves them? The common ground is your god loves them? Do you even know who the other gods are? Do you care if they love you? Do you care if someone else doesn’t even acknowledge the existence of your god? Mrs. Falling, now you just made me sick at my stomach.

Controversy over having a creationism display at the zoo dates to 2005, when it was proposed by Dan Hicks, a Christian activist.

As it turns out, Mr Hicks was visiting the Zoo with his son and, while enjoying all of the sites and letting his son gain knowledge of the animal kingdom, they happen to visit the chimpanzee habitat and ran across a bit of information that just didn’t seem to fit into Mr. Hicks way of thinking.

The sign said something to the effect of: "The chimpanzee is our closest living relative, branching off from a common ancestor four million years ago."

Hicks complained that the sign offended his beliefs, and zoo officials eventually removed it.

"I think the zoo staff believes evolution is truth," he says. "And they think I'm an absolute nut."

Well Mr. Hicks… if believing that the earth is only six thousand years old and that humans and dinosaurs lived together in the same time period on this planet, I think that qualifies you as a nut.

As it turns out, Mr. Hicks also provides services to the community…

Hicks, who lives in Tulsa, gives creationist-centered tours at the zoo, and last week he spoke to the media against a gathering of gay people and their supporters at the zoo.

So Mr. Hicks also provides a scientifically debunked OPINIONS of how the earth was created while providing tours of the Zoo AND speaks out against gay people. I take back my previous comment Mr. Hicks. You are not a nut, you are an idiot.

Conclusion

If you are a Christian apologist you should know that these are the people making the headlines. These are the people who are representing themselves as Christians and disseminating information they believe to be true. Regardless of your position on the issue of creationism, these people are representing themselves as Christians and that reflects on all Christians.

Personally I think everyone with the exception of the young earth creationist should be upset;

  • If you are not a Christian, then obviously Mrs. Falling and Mr. Hicks are pushing their singular point of view on both city government and the Zoological Scientific community.
  • If you are a believer of a differing religion, then your religion is being rejected in favor of another.
  • If you are a non-believer, then religious views are being pushed upon you without your consent.
  • If you are a political advocate, then you should be upset that someone is AGAIN attempting to inject “church” into “state”.
  • If you are a republican, then you have a lunatic claiming/representing your party.

My Opinion

Recently I have been accused (again) of not being accepting and understanding of other peoples views or opinions. Hmmm. Lets see, if someone told you that trolls lived under bridges and they would get you if you didn’t hold your breath when you drove over a bridge, would you begin holding your breath every time you traversed a bridge? If someone said they were Jesus Christ and they had returned to earth for the second coming, would you believe them? (David Koresh)

Of course you wouldn’t. Those people are mentally disturbed at best or complete idiots at worst. I don’t suffer fools, and I don’t have a problem calling an idiot for what they are.

Don’t push religious nonsense into our schools and communities, and I won’t push logical thinking and scientific process in your church. And for the sake of all that is sane, don’t let morons like these two get into positions of power or influence.

Sources
http://www.tulsaworld.com/news/article.aspx?subjectid=262&articleid=20090812_11_A11_Republ227159&allcom=1
http://www.tulsaworld.com/news/article.aspx?subjectid=11&articleid=050610_Ne_A13_Onema38279&archive=yes
http://www.examiner.com/x-8948-Dallas-Atheism-Examiner~y2009m8d15-Tulsas-mayoral-candidates-creationist-incentive
http://annafalling.wordpress.com/

Hypocrisy for the Masses

image The republican party is almost to the point of looking like a script from the Keystone Cops (see circa 1912 – 1917 film archives).  For the political party that has classified itself as the party of morals, character and traditional belief. It appears to be the party of comic relief, at best and at worst, a hypocritical grandiloquent machine that is crashing and burning.

How many government officials have been caught in moral high ground battle?

And these are just the ones I am aware of who have been caught. I do suspect many others who have yet to be discovered.

  1. Senator David Vitter R-La (2007) Caught in a scandal involving a Madam. And he is still in office I might add. What does that say about the “good” people of Louisiana who kept him in office? A right wing Republican who campaigned on “Family values” and was fully active in his church because he is “a man of god” . In a most recent story that can only be classified as purposeful Irony Vitter accused his current opponent Rep. Charlie Melancon (D-La.) of having a “Love fest” with fundraisers at a Martha’s vineyard fund raiser.

 

  • Gov Mark Sandford (R-NC) (2009) His escapade to South America to be with his mistress while railing against, gay marriage and campaigning on “family values.

 

  • Senator John Ensign (R-Nev) (2009) Who had an extra marital affair with a staffer and who’s family paid money to the woman’s family almost a hundred thousand dollars because they were concerned about them in these hard economic times. (WTF?)  AND who says he has no intention of resigning. Again I am sure making the good people of Nevada proud. The one thing that makes me laugh is he doesn’t seem to profess the whole “man of god” crap that most republicans seem to spew.

 

  • U.S. Rep. Chip Pickering (R-Miss) Pickering was in Congress and living in a Christian facility for lawmakers on C Street near the U.S. Capitol. He retired from Congress in January and joined a lobbying firm. Of course the obviouse joke here is the “Christian facility”. At least this guy had the decency to leave the house of representatives and take a job working for a consulting (lobby) firm in Washington. LOL

 

  • US Rep. Mark Foley (R-Fl) Resigned in 2006 over sexual text messages and emails sent to male congressional pages. I will give him credit for his support of hate crime bills. (no wonder, he’s gay) and his introduction of legislation on protecting children from child pornography predators. My issue was he touted the whole Catholic Christian “holier than thou” nonsense the Republican party has been screaming for years. “We ‘the Republicans’ are a party of God”

OK, whatever, Hypocrite.

  • Sen. Larry Craig (R-Idaho) arrested for homosexual lewd conduct in the men's restroom at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport on June 11, 2007.

and last but not least…

  • US Rep. Dan Crane: (R-Ill) Married, father of six, received a “100% Morality Rating” from Christian Voice. Had sex with a minor working as a US congressional page. On July 20th, the House voted for censure of Crane, the first time that censure had been imposed for sexual misconduct.

OK I know Crane was from the 80’s but he is one of my favorites just because of the “100% Morality Rating”

Now don’t get me wrong… Democrats get caught in scandals too. And the irony there is that they seem to get caught in scams that involve greed. Democrats who are always claiming to fight for the poor and neglected are chasing money, and the Republicans who have all the money are chasing sex. Interesting don’t you think?

Let he with no sin cast the first stone

I’m claiming no moral high ground here and those who know me know I live my life according to my rules or the rules of law. Ok most laws. My issue here is it has been proven over, and over, and over again, that you CANNOT legislate morality. and second anyone who claims the moral high ground better damn well know who they are placing in their leadership positions.

Lastly, the only morals that others have that even remotely concern me are the ones that affect my interaction and well being in our society. I couldn’t care less who you are having sex with, but you damn well better not be doing something to harm me or others.

 

Peace

Chad

Mythology

clip_image002On a recent vacation we stumbled across an old used book store. We love books, and especially old books. I enjoy old books because they provide a glimpse into the past and what we as humans may or may not have found to be true at the time.

J found a book Larousse Encyclopedia of Mythology. It was published in London in 1959. For the most part the book is simply what it says in the title, an encyclopedia. What caught my attention was one of the opening paragraphs.

“Mythology is the study of whatever religious or heroic legends are so foreign to a student’s experience that he cannot believe them to be true. Hence the English adjective ‘mythical’, meaning ‘incredible’; and hence the omission from standard European mythologies, such as this, of all Biblical narratives even when closely paralleled by myths from Persia, Babylonia, Egypt and Greece” and of all hagiological legends. “

Of course the part that I find interesting and most amusing is that the author admits to Biblical narratives closely paralleling other hagiological legends, but then states they will not be documented in this book.

The introduction continues;

“Myth has two main functions. The first is to answer the sort of awkward questions that children ask, such as: ‘Who made the world? How will it end? Who was the first man? Where do souls go after death?’ The answers, necessarily graphic and positive, confer enormous power on the various deities credited with the creation and care of souls – and incidentally on their priesthoods.”

The author specifically points out that the questions come from children. This would lead one to imply that once grown a person would not be asking such questions because reason and logic would provide the correct answers to replace the childish fairytales. Second the author specifically labels the questions as awkward. I find this interesting simply because it would be the grownup answering them and at some point the adult should have obtained the correct answers which they could then provide to the child thus rendering them “non-awkward” I’m not sure why this author finds these questions to be awkward.

The author continues;

“The second function of myth is to justify an existing social system and account for traditional rites and customs. “

This would lead one to believe that a society is using the myth to justify something that is not reasonable. If something is reasonable and serves a purpose then no justification should be required.

Conclusions;

One thing I have always maintained is that religious books should not have a separate place within book stores or libraries. At best they belong in a subsection of philosophy but I would rather see them shelved in the fiction section or a section for mythological studies.

The Biblical mythologies and all the documentation associated with them should be regarded with the same reproach and skepticism as is given to every other story of fancy and frivolity. For the most part the Jewish Torah, the Muslim Qur’an, and the Christian Bible are horrific accounts of human indecency inflicted by man upon man, with all the credit given to an imaginary monster. The perpetuation of these myths does little more than provide support and justification to the priesthoods that preside over said myths.

It is time to put away the childish things…

Peace

Blog Archive

About Me

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Houston, TX, United States
I live in Houston Texas, married to my best friend with two wonderful kids (both teenagers). I enjoy philosophy, psychology, theism – atheism, quantum computing. I work in the technology industry with focus on energy and computer theory. I love to engage in discussions of rationality, logic, and reasonability.

Introduction

Growing Up…
I had a great childhood. I had loving parents and a very easy life. I never wanted for anything. So I was never “mad at god”. I did have a lot of physical problems as a child but I never “blamed” them on anyone or anything. I was just born that way. I believe my parents were “religious” because of my physical birth defects. Because of these defects I spent a lot of time in the hospital as a child. Several times I was close to death. I believe this had a lot of influence on my parent’s belief system.

I have lost friends and family, I have experienced hardships. But that is just life as it happens. I did not have a great first marriage, but I did have two great kids come out of it. I am now married to the most wonderful woman on the planet and am very happy. For the most part life is good. Some have even told me that I have never “found god” because I have never truly suffered in life. That argument doesn’t hold water, but is interesting.

I begin questioning my Christian upbringing about age 10. I was asking questions and wasn’t getting satisfactory answers. I was raised in a small town in east Texas; this does not provide a whole lot of exposure to other religions. As I aged and begin to learn more I found it interesting that there were and had been so many religions and gods throughout the history of man. I begin to question why some believed in one god while others believed in theirs. I wondered how anyone could prove, or at the very least have some level of confidence they were worshiping the “right” god.

I can’t say I ever lost my faith. I never really had any. When I was young of course I didn’t know I was an Atheist. I just didn’t believe what everyone else was telling me. With my friends it never really came up that “I’m an Atheist”. When I told my mother I didn’t believe in god she just dismissed it as something I was going through. My father was indifferent to my proclamation. My closest friend is Jewish. I try my best to honor his belief system and he reciprocates.

Focusing Thoughts…
Once I realized that there were so many different religions it just seemed clear to me that none of them were real. Then I learned that there was a name for what I believed and it is called Atheism. Once I found others who believed as I did I begin to learn more about the religions and how they controlled so much of our lives. I wanted to know as much as I could about all of them. I even wrote an anthology paper in collage on how everyone could be worshiping the same god, just using different names.

I find it extremely easy and comforting to be an Atheist. Life is very simple, and so much less complicated. I follow simple rules for living; be nice to all living creatures, and the earth. Don’t think that you are better than anything or anyone else. I don’t think this is an original way of thinking or living but I don’t subscribe to it because it is part of some other philosophy, it simply feels like the “right” way to live.

I do tend to “pick on” Christianity more than other religions simply because it is the one that is most prevalent and intrusive in my life. While I think extremist or radicals in any religion are responsible for a large majority of the damage done to humanity, I also believe anyone who follows that religious teaching is responsible. You are responsible because you do not get to pick and chose which part of a religion you want to follow. Saying that you are against gay marriage while you are eating a bacon sandwich just doesn’t cut it with me. (If you don’t understand that last sentence look up the Christian bible and refer to the book of Leviticus.) If you only pick out the parts of a religion you want to follow you have just created a new religion.

I do make it evident in my life that I am an Atheist. I have a bumper sticker on my vehicle, I have sayings and quotes around my desk at work or around my house. I do this to let others know who they are approaching if they want to engage me in conversation or wish to ask questions. Just as others put “fish” on their vehicle or place religions symbols around their house.

Why am I an atheist? Because I ask questions and ask for the answers to be empirically evident. I consider my self to be a rationalist. I do not believe in faith, nor do I believe in statements like “we can not comprehend.” Do I have all the answers to life’s questions? Well of course not. It just means that we don’t have all the answers. I also believe that when we die, we just die. We are no different that any other living organism in the universe Wow is it really that simple? Yes it really is that simple. We just keep investigating the world around us as we have done throughout history. I have enough answers to get me through this thing called life. I will enjoy it while I am here and try to help those I care to help along the way. I will do so based on a moral compass in my heart, not one dictated by a religion.


Have a great day
TK

Fish