If you just got here … it’s almost time… and what is time anyway?
If you just got here … it’s almost time… and what is time anyway?
Days of the Theocracy
First they fight abortion,
Birth control is next,
Then comes sex if you're not married,
Finally, out goes sex.
Put the prayers back in the schools,
Allow for corporal punishment,
And then you've got it made!
We're going back, back
To the good old days,
When men were really men
And women knew their place;
Back, back a couple of centuries,
And welcome back the days
Of the theocracy!
The family is so holy
There must be no divorce.
And if a wife is not content,
She must adjust, of course.
And if he's forced to beat her
It's all for her own good;
She must know what her limits are
As any woman should!
The next to go is daycare,
It's all a commie plot!
What could be more fulfilling
Than a child, wanted or not?
The woman's work is housework--
God wanted it that way!
A salaried job degrades her, since
She never works for pay!
They teach us woman's lot
Is love, honor and obey,
And while their crusty notions
Seem like jokes to us today.
They're sitting in the Capitol,
They're voting on our lives;
If we don't stop them soon
Our freedom will not long survive!
No going back, back
to the bad old days,
When men were really masters
And women were their slaves;
Let's go ahead, ahead
For future centuries
And build a world that's based
On true democracy.
And build a world that's based on true equality.
-- Kristin Lems. (c) 1979 Keline Ding Music (BMI). All rights reserved. Used by permission. Special courtesy Kristin Lems from her album "In the Out Door," included in "My Thoughts Are Free." For more on Kristin Lems, visit kristinlems.
An excellent observation….
The Triumph Of Ignorance
By George Monbiot
29 October, 2008
How was it allowed to happen? How did politics in the US come to be dominated by people who make a virtue out of ignorance? Was it charity that has permitted mankind’s closest living relative to spend two terms as president? How did Sarah Palin, Dan Quayle and other such gibbering numbskulls get to where they are? How could Republican rallies in 2008 be drowned out by screaming ignoramuses insisting that Barack Obama is a Muslim and a terrorist?(1)
We are all responsible!
This time, not in Afghanistan or Iran or Pakistan but in the Canadian city of Toronto, a sixteen-year-old girl has become a victim of religious prejudice, veil, political Islam, and the compromise with it of the Western governments. This time, the killer is a father who kept pressurizing the neck of his daughter Aghsa (Aqsa Parvez) until the very last minute of her life.
We are all responsible for it.
How long are we going to witness thousands of women and children become victims of stoning to death, mutilation, burning, self-burning, and getting thrown off the balconies? For how long are we going to remain accustomed to this violence that has taken over us and our societies?
It’s a good thing to find one’s inner bigot…then one can enlighten it.
Perhaps humans are hard-wired for fear? It would explain the vicarious hero/god thing. It’s all so anti-humanistic.
“The anti-immigration issue that’s now sweeping the country in my view is no different than the movements that swept the country in the past. You look back at the Chinese Exclusionary Act, or the Know-Nothing movement — these were movements that encouraged Americans to fear foreigners, to fear something that is different, and to stop immigration.”
Rudy Giuliani in 1996
The time has come to move past religion
“Religion, n. A daughter of Hope and Fear, explaining to Ignorance the nature of the Unknowable.” – Ambrose Bierce, ‘The Devil’s Dictionary’
Most people thought Nietzsche was crazy before his time, 125 years ago, when his Madman ran through the village, lantern in hand, declaring that God was dead.
Well, if that diagnosis of the human enterprise was accurate _ and it was _ then it is just as applicable today as our endeavors persist in a world of our own making, despite our divine declarations to the contrary.
Betty Nassaka is the founder president of the Ugandan Humanist Effort to Save Women (UHESWO) which is affiliated to IHEU member organization UHASSO. In this personal account she writes about how she developed a critical and independent mind in a country where religion and tradition dominate and rarely give women the opportunity to grow.
What my Parents Taught Me
I grew up in a family that worships both God and gods. My father was killed in the war of liberation; my stepfather, who was a traditional healer, went to church with my mother on Sundays.
After noticing that most of my stepfather’s clients were victims of AIDS, I asked him one day why most of his clients would eventually die? He responded by asking me if he was God to be able to save their lives. On another occasion I questioned my mother on why she was going to church, and yet prayed to other gods too? She responded by asking if anyone was forcing me to go to church or to a shrine.
My parents were insensitive to my need to know and to understand. Whenever I asked them a question, I was
rewarded by another question. So, I stopped asking them and, instead, started on the path of thinking for myself and looking for logical answers to the questions I had.
Mark Rahner: 206-464-8259or email@example.com Copyright © 2007 The Seattle Times Company
“He is a firm believer, all right: That religion is evil, and that, perhaps on the eighth day, man created … By Mark Rahner Seattle Times staff reporter Christopher Hitchens’ omnipresence does not in itself refute God’s existence. But it is evidence that his pugnacious best-seller, “God is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything” (Twelve, $24.99), has struck a chord. I played devil’s advocate with the contrarian Vanity Fair columnist and busy TV pundit before his manifestation – uh, appearance, at Town Hall Seattle Thursday.
Keep on reading!
“What worries me about nice archbishops is that they make the world safe for the extremists. They have taught us that faith is a virtue. A virtue, unfortunately, that allows mad people to justify flying planes into buildings in the name of Allah.” — Dawkins
Atheists go on the political offensive in God-fearing US
By Tim Shipman in Washington, Sunday Telegraph Last Updated: 12:43am BST 07/05/2007
By day, Joe Zamecki works as a landscaper and valet in Austin, capital of George W Bush’s home state of Texas, which is regarded by many
natives as God’s own country.
In his spare time, however, he is quietly working to undermine the dominance of America’s God-fearing majority. He is one among a growing band of “out” atheists, and wants a US that is “one nation under no god”. On Thursday, while Christian Americans were celebrating National Prayer Day, Mr Zamecki, the state director of American Atheists, was leading a demonstration against the public display of the words “In God We Trust” in the state legislature.
Atheist groups from Los Angeles to Little Rock observed a National Day of Reason instead.
Premiers on Television May 4, 2007
[View the one hour show on-line at URL above]
Jonathan Miller, author, director, and commentator, recalls the origin of
his own lack of belief and uncovers the hidden story of atheism in A Brief
History of <http://www.abriefhi
highly acclaimed BBC series of three one-hour programs is available now for
the first time on public television in the United States.
New Mexico – Creationists get sneaker, but they loose anyways. If enacted, HB 506 (and its counterpart Senate Bill 371) would have required the state department of education to adopt rules allowing teachers strengths and weaknesses” of any “theory of biological origins” taught, and allowing students to “reach their own conclusions about biological origins.” If enacted, HJM 14 (and its counterpart Senate Joint Memorial 9) would have in effect asked the state department of education to comply with the requirements of HB 506 and SB 371, claiming (among other things) that “many credentialed scientists challenge certain aspects of evolutionary theory.”
[ed note: they never provide the lists of non-creationist scientists, because there aren’t any.]
Before the bills died, Dave Thomas’s op-ed “Intelligent design supporters find new, creative ways to get their message out” appeared in the March 13, 2007, issue of the Albuquerque Tribune. Thomas commented, “The measures would have also have given students the ‘right and freedom to reach their own conclusions about biological origins.’ We don’t encourage students to “reach their own conclusions” on how to add fractions. Why should we suddenly do so with the biosciences? Make no mistake, the only academic freedom involved in these measures is the freedom to teach creationism in science class,” adding, “Creationists aren’t going away. They’re just getting sneakier.”
Climate change unites science and religion
* 17:29 17 January 2007
* NewScientist.com news service
Laying down their swords over how we came to exist, leaders from scientific and evangelical communities in the US joined forces today in an unprecedented effort to protect what we have.
Speaking at a press conference in Washington DC, members of the newly formed group expressed concerns about planetary threats caused by humans including climate change, habitat destruction, pollution, and species extinction.
Originally drafted in June 2001.
Some history …
The first person to tell me there were no gods was my maternal grandmother, my Nana. She was a towering Scot, full of love and stories, yet she would not be fooled by anyone. She convinced me that logic and evidence was a far superior way of knowing about the world than was doctrine or revelation. Sadly, she was gone before I understood why she insisted upon a scientific method of viewing the world. And she warned me, “You will be old dust long before religion ever lessens its grip on human culture.” Years later Desmond Tutu said the same thing.
In stunning contrast was my paternal grandmother, Gertrude. Obedient to her Husband, her Pope and her God, she attended mass every day of her life and her stories were full of angels and devils and God’s will. Hell breathed into her warm kitchen every day, and heaven beckoned every night.
Nana would have none of that. The families ripped apart and the old Scot instilled in me a deep skepticism for any claim not based on observation, reason, and peer agreement.
Long before Darwinian theory, humans must have reasoned that humans were so special that divine creation was the only explanation that fit the observation. After Darwin, some communities gave up hoping and wishing for divine intervention, but most didn’t. I observed that in my community, believing was likely to get you further ahead than not believing.
I started to look for some scrap of evidence upon which to base what seemed to be the required faith. Without it I continued to have sweaty palms each time I attended any church, trying to fit in, my nervousness manifested by the silliness of worshipping the unknowable, the myth.
Is the civilization in which I live becoming ever more secular? I’d like to think so, but looking for Gods, with no bounds to the fuzzy thinking humans can manifest, seems all the rage today, daily public appeals to any one of any number of Godlikethingies; hoping and wishing something good would happen. Like some opaque overlay, faith in God is a background color in the community. Faith in a shared God is obviously required at the top levels of society. I remained to grub around at the bottom, separate, not quite equal, but always looking for some evidence.
I grew older, gave up on the wishing and hoping, and became ever more fascinated with the real nature of the cosmos in which we lived. I found others who didn’t buy into the God fantasy either. An unbeliever finding another unbeliever is a slippery slope of social faux pas in most places, including some of the internet. In her day, I can only hope my Nana was not totally alone with her unbelief. Perhaps she read much, maybe she was learning from science then, like I am now, despite her poverty and lack of an internet.
So, when one day in 1994 I found myself anthropomorphizing some purpose in evolution; “Look Ma, we walked on the Moon; we watched SL-9! ” Well, indeed humans were special, so special cause they could affect their environment on a cosmic scale, and nothing I knew about evolution could explain *that* observation. It was either back to church or back to the books.
After sweating palms on Sundays for a month or two, I unboxed the geology books and began my internet search for some hypothesis of my observation. Did we know that humans are hard-wired for space exploration? Was there a spacegene? (What was that 2 percent difference between cousin primate and Homosapien anyway?)
Being the one who doesn’t want to ask the stupid question, but at times open mouth and echo internationally, I sent a message off to an “ask a scientist site” at NASA. His reply doubted 300,000 years of evolution had anything to do with more than 4.5 billion years of cosmic debris fields in Earth neighborhood. He then speculated that I likely had a creative streak and a good science teacher. LOL
Then I learned about genetic algorithms. A machine analogy to how systems can become more complex. After reading more Sagan, Gould again, and some other resources it seemed clear enough to state that my very own genes carry our ancestor’s knowledge of icy plateaus and sabretooth tigers and rocks that fall from the sky.
Then it was September 11, 2001.
Some events will bring us back to the mud at our feet. For many, 911 was one of those events. Unfortunately, in 2007, the struggle to find more peace and happiness is mired in death in the name of the invisible, done by hawkish fundamentalists of many colors. The woo is ubiquitous, the minority of reason is drowned in the noise of control.
Personally, I began to get comfy with myself for the first time in my life, there wasn’t the time for ignoring the part of me who lived in a closet…. one where darkness equaled loneliness. It was a world in which the thought of the word lesbian was taboo in my own head. My new world order would hear the word lesbian come out of my mouth and flow from my pen.
Then I learned php/mysql … another language, another journey. A path Nana would approve.
And here we are today. Stay tuned… it’s bound to get even more interesting.
— tbc —