Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Ariel Castro gets off scot-free

Ariel Castro is dead. Cue all the happy theists who are certain he hasn't escaped punishment. I've already seen posts that are celebrating the idea that he will have to answer to god.

This is just another example of the comfort factor at work. Instead of realizing that life is extremely unfair sometimes, some people need to make excuses so that their sense of justice is not disturbed. Without a god, Ariel Castro just got off for his crimes. With a god, all he did was get an early start on his eternity of punishment.

And don't even get me started on the idea that I, as an atheist, am just as deserving of eternal punishment as Castro. Think about that. A guy that held three women as sex slaves for a decade will get the same punishment as a guy who just doesn't see evidence for a god.

As an aside, I think he was killed. Reports say he wasn't on suicide watch, but they were checking on him every 30 minutes. While he was in isolation. In a prison. Anyone else think he got the "Oz" treatment?

Sunday, May 19, 2013

20 Specious Arguments From the Far Right

So I was googling why conservatism doesn’t work(slightly longer story than I have time for here), and the second link from the top was to a nice little conservative website called Right Wing News. The link lead to an article by a charming young man named John Hawkins titled "Answering 20 Frequently Asked Questions About Conservatism" and I could tell I was going to be in for a treat. I was not disappointed. Check it out, it gives some insight into how some conservatives think.

Then I go to the front page and see something even better. An article titled "20 Reasons To Dislike The Democrat Party". I could tell this one was a gem, just by the title. Sure, calling it the Democrat Party instead of the Democratic Party is a petty tactic, and almost completely harmless, but it tends to speak to the agenda of the person using the term. Nothing left but to get into it. No better place to start than at the beginning.

The first reason on the list is a list itself, comprised of democrats(no, it’s not the same thing as calling it the Democrat Party) who’ve had scandals of some sort. Honestly, when I saw this list the first thought through my mind was “Bitch, please!”. I know, weird right?

I made my own list.

Larry Craig, Charlie Crist, Paul Babeu, Troy King, Robert Arango, Christopher Lee, Carl Kruger, Dan gurley, Bob Allen, Glenn Murphy Jr., Roy Ashburn, Edward Schrock, Phil Hinkle, Richard Curtis, Robert Bauman, Mark Foley, George Rekers, Newt Gingrich, Mark Sanford and David Vitter.

And that’s just a partial list of Republicans who’ve been caught in affairs, proffered prostitutes and other strangers for sex. They are all hypocrites who preach “family values” when they really mean “family values for you guys”. While there are a few democrats like James McGreevey, Barney Frank, Gerry Studs, and  Anthony Weiner, none of them were doing something that goes against one of their core principles. They didn’t campaign and vote against allowing everyone to do something they themselves were doing. It doesn’t exonerate them, but it’s not even on the same level.

His second reason is that 54 million babies have been killed due to the “Democrats’ beloved Roe v Wade”. This is just flat wrong. Most abortions occur during the stage when the thing inside the woman is not a baby. The ones that happen later on are health related. Women are not going through most of a pregnancy and then aborting because they change their minds. Women are not using abortion as a way to have as much consequence free sex as possible. Talk like this is what drives people like Scott Roeder to kill abortion doctors, to stop baby killers. It’s dangerous and highly irresponsible.

Reason three is that the worst three presidents are Obama, Carter, and Lyndon Johnson. C’mon, seriously? This is just partisan hackery.

Reason four(democrats booed god at the 2012 national convention) is just a straight up lie. And I have video to prove it.

The video clearly shows that the boos and anger are directed at the way the procedure was mishandled. They were mad because they thought the vote was much closer to 50/50 and not two thirds. At no point does anyone boo when god is or Jerusalem is mentioned.

Number five, I have to admit, is completely true. The Democratic Party's slogan was:

Dang, he got me. 
Wait, you mean that's not the full story? Color me surprised. 

What Hawkins left out is that the history of the two parties is slightly complicated. There was what is called The First Party System, the Democratic-Republican Party, which stood in opposition of the Federalist Party. After the presidential election in 1824, the two parties split. There is a difference between a Jeffersonian Republican and the Republicans of the Republican Party that was founded in 1854. You might be inclined to think that since the modern Republican Party was founded in 1854 and the ticket is from 1965, that Horatio Seymour was a liberal racist democrat. That is, until you realize that he ran against former Union war general Ulysses Grant. Which means the parties were still in the early stages of the big switch, and Seymour was a Democrat by name, but espoused the values that we see in Republicans today.

Number six is easy, The Governator is the reason California went bankrupt. He mismanaged the state from day 1, when he rolled back the Vehicle License Fee, taking 6.5 billion(annually) out of the loop.

Seven's easy too. In a nutshell, it says that when everything eventually goes really bad and we have no order, remember to blame the Democrats for bankrupting America. Republicans seem to think we can cut our way to prosperity. That doesn't work. The two wars Bush never put on the books are constantly being called Obama's doing since he was the honest one about it. 

Number eight(Democrats caused what is known as the Trail of Tears) is similar to number five. In 1938, Andrew Jackson, and later on Martin Van Buren mistreated(causing thousands of deaths in the process) many natives. This was back before the parties switched, making this the kind of thing modern day Republicans would do, not modern Democrats. 

I won't go any further debunking the claims, because most of the rest of them are false because the parties were switched. Also because he says things like, "Al Gore tried to steal a presidential election he lost in 2000".Oh, and he quotes Ann Coulter. Nuff said.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Family Matters...

I am a man without a country.

I watch as my relatives(I call them relatives because I damn sure can't call them family) talk with one another over social media. I watch as they give each other emotional support when necessary. I watch as they share jokes and stories both new and old. I watch, from a distance.

I don't have to wonder why things are the way they are. I understand that this is the price I have to pay for not staying silent. For daring to question something they were too scared or complacent to question. How dare I think for myself? It's amazing to see someone get mad at you because you asked a question they can't answer, or won't answer because they know the answer will force them to see something logically when they want the comfort that often comes with willful ignorance.

From my grandmother(who up until she found out I was an atheist was the sweetest woman in the world) who called me stupid and said I was doing a bad job raising my kids to my many cousins and aunts and uncles who questioned my parenting, morals, and sanity because I don't believe in something they can't prove to be true, I feel like I've been pushed out.

Sure, it hurts to be shunned for something you can't control, but what can be done about it? Contrary to popular belief, I'm not behaving like a petulant child, arms crossed, saying to god "Fine, you want to act like that? Well I don't believe you exist!"

I could probably go on for a few more pages, but I'll leave it at this: I've endured a lot of emotional trauma because some people value comfort over reality, and that's just sad.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Whoever spares the rod hates their children...

He that smiteth his father, or his mother, shall be surely put to death. -- Exodus 21:15

He that curseth his father, or his mother, shall surely be put to death. -- Exodus 21:17

I can't help but wonder exactly what part of the Bible 7 year old Roderick "R.J." Arrington failed to read that caused his stepfather, Markiece Palmer, to beat him so severely that he slipped into unconsciousness and died the next day. It probably wasn't one of the two verses above because most people like to pick and choose the "feel good" parts of the Bible and ignore the rest.

There's not much I can say about this story without getting upset, so I'll keep it short. These are rules set out by god for you to follow. They come right after the 10 commandments, so the old those were different rules for a different time argument won't fly.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

...and I'd also like to thank the Academy...

People keep telling me I should thank God for all he has done for me. So I started thinking. In addition to the Monday Madness feature I'm going to add the Thankful Thursdays to my blog.

We'll start off simple. I'd like to thank God for designing me so that I eat and breathe through the same tube, because it only causes 3,200 deaths annually. I'd also like to thank him for designing snakes with separate breathing and eating tubes, because it wouldn't really feel like it was God's work if he didn't show us that he could make us that way, but chose to work in more mysterious ways.

Invisibly yours,
The Unicorn

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

A Message to My Facebook Family and Friends(and well, I guess the rest of you people can read it too)

I was thinking about my recent barrage of Facebook posts, and how it might be perceived by my friends and family. I've already had one family member unfriend me, and while I can't claim with any certainty that I know how everyone else feels, I spend a great deal of time speaking with theists of all stripes and the responses are all very similar.

That being said, I don't want people to think I hate Christians, am angry at God, or have had a bad experience with religion somehow. None of what I say concerning religion or gods is based on emotion. I'm just looking at things from a rational and skeptical point of view.

Contrary to popular opinion, it is not rude or invasive to inquire about someone's view on religion. Of course, as with any other possibly controversial topic, there are times and places where it would be inappropriate to discuss religion but the subject itself isn't off limits.

If at times I seem agitated or angry about something, it's likely because it saddens me to see people I care about short-change themselves by giving the credit for things they accomplished to someone other than themselves. That and the way theists are allowed to pick and choose when it comes to events in their lives. From the athlete that spends countless hours training and learning to play a game only to thank God for letting him win the championship to the person who sees Tucson shooting victim Gabrielle Giffords' situation as a miracle when six innocent people, including a 9 year old girl are killed.

So I'm challenging that. I'm challenging the idea that your god, whoever it may be, is not to be questioned. I'm challenging anyone who says that their god is great. I'm challenging the idea that an omnipotient, omniscient, omnipresent being can even exist. I'm doing this because I want to hold as many true beliefs and as few false beliefs as possible.

This post will serve as my standard "go to" response when someone asks me why I do what I do. If I've sent you here to read this, consider it a starting point because this by no means encompasses the entirety of my belief structure.

Monday, February 21, 2011

New Feature! Monday Madness!

You know what's really confusing? John 3:16. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

It seems to me this central tenet of Christianity has some serious flaws. If Jesus was God's only son, it was because he only chose to have one. I think the only reason it's worded that way is because it pushes the sacrifice angle. If it was God sacrificing one of an infinite number of children, which an omnipotent being should be able to create, I don't think it would have the same effect.

Who was God sacrificing Jesus to anyway? Does God make any other sacrifices, ever? One might say that God was doing that for us but it doesn't add up. We broke HIS rules. He's at the top of the food chain, so to speak. So why couldn't he just forgive it? Just start over? He had already done it fairly early on in the history of humanity. Which brings me to another question...

Why wasn't the sacrifice enough? If Jesus was the sacrifice to pay for our sins, then why do we have to do something else just to get the benefit of that sacrifice? It's like someone giving you a birthday gift but telling you that you can't open it until you say "thank you". Gifts are not supposed to be conditional.

Of course, none of these issues can be addressed without evidence of Jesus' existence. That's a big hill to climb...