Sunday, December 09, 2007

War on Atheism

It should come as no surprise to those of us who pay attention to what's going on, and use our brains, that the biggest threat to freethinking, civil liberties, freedom of speech, freedom of expression, and freedom of body is coming from the Catholic Church. We Atheists have been making a lot of noise the last few years, and we're really pissing off a lot of people. What many of you may not know yet is that the Pope has just recently come out with his latest encyclical in which he basically declares war on atheism.

Blaming Atheists for all the ills of the world, he goes on to essentially say that atheism is evil, thus equating the few people on the planet who don't subscribe to some sort of bloody, torture-filled theology, as evil. He says of atheism,
"It is no accident that this idea has led to the greatest forms of cruelty and violations of justice,". This is of course, ludicrous. I guess he thinks that Atheists were responsible for the Crusades, the Inquisition, the Conquistadors, to name a few. The Crusades, I'd like to remind Joseph Ratzinger, were sanctioned by the Church and Pope. They went on for 200 years and killed more people than any atheist body politic. The Pope mentions Marx and hints about Communism as being the great atheist evil. It needs to be pointed out that Communism didn't allow religion not for reasons of theology, but for the simple effect of demanding loyalty only to the state. There could be no division of loyalties between god and state. It should also be pointed out that Communism, as it pertains to Europe, is dead.

It's most hypocritical of Ratzinger to rail against atheism as a force of evil in the world, without acknowledging the atrocities commited in the Church's name during the Crusades and Inquisition. It's like he'd like the world to forget that those things ever happened, much like he'd like us to forget that he was once a Hitler Youth (yes, he says he was an "unwilling" member like every other German of that time - like every person in jail says they're innocent too). He'd like to ignore the role ordinary Germans played in the Holocaust. He'd like to equate the Nazi's with atheists, as he said during his visit to Auschwitz:
He then cast the war into a larger theological frame: that the Nazis' attempt to eradicate the Jews was an attempt by man to banish, and replace, God. Of course, this is not true, as Nazism was basically founded with Lutheran principals at its core, along with elements of mysticism and other beliefs. That fact is that Hitler and the Nazi party did not reject Christianity, only they did not want it placed above the Nazi party. They did NOT want to banish God.

The danger in the Pope's latest encyclical is that it promotes hatred and fear of atheism. If atheism is to blame for all the world's ills, then by God, let's get rid of it! Is it a stretch to imagine a persecution of Atheists? Not really, if one simply looks at the history of the Catholic church.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Guns Don't Kill People...

Of course by now everyone has heard about the mall massacre in Nebraska. The killer did it because, in part, he felt it would give him a moment of glory. He said in his suicide note that "now I'll be famous". One of the more disturbing things about our society now is this fascination with killing, in the media and in our "entertainment". Obviously Robert Hawkins felt that he would gain some sort of macabre immortality by his actions. When a main motive for killing is to be famous, that's a powerful symptom of a sick society.

The other really disturbing issue is the ease and access to high powered guns that any teenager working at a McDonald's in this country apparently has. This was a kid who had a previous felony drug conviction against him and several misdemeanor charges. How does a punk like this get a gun in the first place? I'll tell you how. Because of the NRA, and the gun-loving paranoids who support it. We all know that there will be fools on TV saying that "guns don't kill people..." like they always do after a tragedy like this. Yet the stark reality (imagine that, facts!) is that, yes, guns DO kill people. Guns kill people with incredible efficiency. If Hawkins has gone into that mall with a knife, a baseball bat, a bow and arrow, or a sword, do you think 8 people would have been killed? Would Seung-Hui
Cho have killed 32 at Virgina Tech if he didn't have easy and essentially non-controlled access to guns? Absolutely not!

How many more innocent people need to die before we all stand up and say "ENOUGH!"? We don't need guns as civilians. Not one person with a handgun has ever or will ever use that gun for hunting. The only thing a handgun is made for is killing people. We don't need assault weapons as civilians. If the time comes when our civilians will be fighting an invading army, or even our own military gone awry, assault rifles will be of little use against tanks, jets, and real soldiers. That scenario is nothing more than a paranoid fantasy, a Rambo-esque wet-dream for NRA, White Supremacist types who play militia in the woods while waiting for the end of the world. A civilian militia was important and a needed reality (there's that troublesome word again) back in 1776 when the nation was struggling for existence. It was important when the military weapons of the day were not effectively different than the guns farmers had and used for hunting. Colonists didn't have handguns - they had hunting guns, which could be pressed into service as weapons against the King's Army. Different times, different needs. Yet we still have many people who think that we have the same needs now.

Guns kill people everyday. This is 2007 and we don't need guns as civilians. The gun lobby is outdated by about 200 years and it's well past the time that we repeal the 2nd Amendment. No more should people like Hawkins and Cho have unrestricted (the laws are toothless - any felon can buy a gun) access to guns. As a nation, we need to show signs of maturity and move past some of the privileges afforded to citizens during the formative years of the country. We are established, protected, secure and supposedly civilized. It's time to start acting that way.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Stupidest Person of the Year?

I don't know who Sherri Shepherd is, as I don't watch much TV, and not 'The View' at all. But I saw this on Huffington Post, and it amused me on one level and disgusted me on many others. Since I could use a little break from all the shitty things and people in the world, I could use a little levity, and laughing at her boundless stupidity helps offset the anger.

The ignorance she displays is pretty astonishing. You would think that anyone with a high school education knows that Christ was born, oh let's say roughly 2007-8 years ago! And that there were people around BEFORE him, like Romans, Greeks, and Egyptians. And those people had their own sets of gods they worshiped. It really doesn't get more basic than this, does it?

Does that twit Sherri Shepherd know WHY this year is the two thousand and seventh? Has she given it any thought at all as Christmas approaches just what Christmas is a celebration of?

For a little further insight into the deep and probing mind of Ms. Shepherd, it's good to read about how she believes the world is flat. Yes, that's right, FLAT! I could forgive this if this were 1607, and maybe even 1707, but Jesus (and that's the Hispanic Hay-Soos) H. Christ, it's 2000 and fucking 7! And if any of you Flat Earthers are reading this and getting pissed - screw you! The earth isn't flat, and anyone that believes it is flat is a total moron. Hmm, like Sherri Shepherd.