Hovind in the hole

Word is getting around the blogosphere that creationist Kent Hovind, currently doing time for violating numerous tax laws, has been thrown into solitary confinement, though reasons for this are obscure. One explanation is that Hovind has been trying to run his own prison ministry without approval, though to what degree that is true is up in the air.

Given Hovind’s penchant for portraying himself as an innocent martyr to the faith who’s being victimized by an evil government trying to silence him for preaching “the truth” about evolution, and the brainless eagerness of Hovind’s wide-eyed followers to parrot this self-serving delusion (seriously, check the comments in the link above, as well as some of those that have turned up even here), it’s likely any story that comes along as to why Hovind has been so incarcerated — if he even has — will have been thoroughly run through CSE’s distortion machine.

Naturally, I feel about as much sympathy for Hovind, let alone his claims of martyrdom, as I do for Paris Hilton. Neither an imaginary deity nor spoiled-brat celebutard status puts anyone above the law.

Atheist Experience #495-496 double feature

In the interests of catching up, two more shows for your pleasure.

Atheist Experience #495: 4/8/07. Ashley Perrien talks about god & evolution polls and the local $500 non-abortion incentive.

Atheist Experience #496: 4/15/07. Deconversion II. Tracie Harris continues to discuss the process through which believers become non-believers.

Austin’s Joe Zamecki interviewed in Telegraph article

The ACA’s Joe Zamecki is prominently interviewed in this piece in the UK’s Telegraph, which discusses the rise of atheism as a very public and politically active movement in the US, spurred on, of course, by the depradations of the Christian Right and the Bush administration in this decade. Congratulations to Joe, and it’s always great news to see the favorable coverage the growing trend towards godlessness has been getting in the media (even if you have to go out of the country to read it). As the article notes — and as we all know to our chagrin — there is a long way to go to overcome the sheer volume of religious ignorance in this country, as indicated by the recent Republican debate in which no fewer than three candidates proudly announced their stupidity for all the world to see by admitting they were evolution deniers. But it’s a start. The theocons know we’re out there, and they aren’t happy, which means, of course, we are. Reason may yet triumph over darkness one day after all. (Yes…the eternal optimist…that’s me.)

National Day of Prayer never had a prayer

Several more prominent blogs have already reported on this, arguably making its coverage here superfluous. But it’s just so hilarious that I couldn’t not remark upon it. In Washington D.C., no one bothered to turn up to the National Day of Prayer event on the Capitol lawn. They set up 600 folding chairs, and a podium with a huge PA system. But there were never any more than four seats occupied. The official spokesman for the International Bible Reading Association responded to this ultimate in flopdom by saying, cryptically, “This isn’t that kind of event.” What kind of event? The kind where people turn up at all, you mean, thereby making it an “event” in the first place? Then why set up 600 folding chairs?

Now comes the hilarious part. The aforementioned spokesman is one Jeff Gannon (real name James Guckert), best known for having the most unusual career trajectory in all Washington. Prior to finding his way into the White House press corps, where he was essentially a plant whose role was lobbing Democrat-bashing softball questions at Bush, he was offering his services for $200 an hour at HotMilitaryStud.com, a gay online escort service. Now he’s the spokesman for the International Bible Reading Association? Truly, the Lord works in mysterious ways. But then, I suppose He can afford the 200 bucks.

Jeff Gannon before…

…and after.

You think Jeff let Bush have that one on the house?

Praise the Lord and pass the KY!

I’m sorry. That was pretty bad. Even for me.

PS: The article goes on to state that a counter-rally for the National Day of Reason held nearby by the Beltway Atheists drew only five people (one more than the NDOP crowd!), indicating that the whole thing is, to the general public, pretty much a non-event. Which I’m pleased to see. The more that the efforts of the theocrats are met with blanket indifference by the public at large, to the point where even protest actions are seen as utterly unnecessary, the happier we’ll all be. Nevertheless, our own Don Baker reports that the NDOR gathering in Austin went over rather well, so perhaps we can persuade him to blog about it for those who couldn’t attend.

To Christians, it’s “common sense” to shove religion down our throats

The latest blow against religious freedom and diversity and in favor of theocracy was struck here in Texas, when the House voted by an overwhelming margin (of course — they want to get re-elected, after all) to add “under God” to the Texas pledge.

First off, it’s news to me that there was a “Texas pledge”. I don’t recall reciting one when I was a student way back when, so this must be a new development in the last decade or so.

Mirroring the current trend among social conservatives to force unanimity of thought as regards religion upon schoolchildren everywhere, the House had precious view members with the integrity and character to speak up against this bill. Lon Burnam, a Fort Worth Democrat, floated the idea that this just might, you know, impinge on the individual religious freedoms of students.

The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Debbie Riddle, R-Tomball, rejected that argument and said adding the words was simply “common sense.”

So there you have it. Suck it up, rationalists. It’s just “common sense” to go with the fundamentalist flow and shoehorn acknowledgment of an invisible magic being into a daily school activity. And now that that’s out of the way, this intelligent design stuff looks pretty nice, too, don’t it…

Here is Debbie Riddle’s contact information. Let her know, in polite but unflinching terms, how you as a Texas atheist feel about her bill. Tell her how proud you are that the legislature has done such a fine job of solving all of the state’s other pressing problems that they had sufficient free time to devote to Godding up the Texas pledge. And here is a choice quote, on another matter entirely, reflecting on Debbie’s loving, Christian nature.

  • “Where did this idea come from that everybody deserves free education, free medical care, free whatever? It comes from Moscow, from Russia. It comes straight out of the pit of hell. And it’s cleverly disguised as having a tender heart, [but] it’s ripping the heart out of this country.” Source.

Oh, this ought to be fun!

Ray Comfort, easily the lamest Christian apologist in the business this side of Jack Chick, is moist with excitement over an upcoming debate in which he claims he will prove, without recourse to the Bible, the existence of God. I wonder what it will be this time? A kumquat?

From a WorldNutDaily article:

“The network originally offered me only four minutes to present my case,” Comfort said. “After speaking with Kirk [Cameron, former Growing Pains and Left Behind series movie star] and conferring with the atheists, they settled on 13 minutes. I’m ecstatic. I can prove the existence of God in that amount of time.”

Well! There you have it. Ray Comfort will achieve in 13 minutes on ABC what no theologian or apologist or scientist or philosopher has done since the beginning of human civilization! I can’t wait! Sounds like must-see-TV to me.

Mark your calendars: May 9 at noon Central on ABC.com.

MST3K, please come back!

This is why we need you, Satellite of Love! Don’t let the floodtide of filth get me!

glumbert.com – Perversion for Profit: 1965 anti-porn film.

Okay, everyone: comments challenge! Let’s see who can come up with the best MST-ed responses to this. Bonus points for actually using Crow and Servo in your riffing.

Dug up a little more info on our boy George Putnam. An intriguing data point about the little masterpiece we’re streaming here is that according to the Wikipedia entry, it was financed by Charles Keating, who would go down in ignominy in the 1989 savings and loan scandal. Putnam, amazingly, is still alive and working in his mid-90’s, and has a right-wing radio talk show.

Here also is Wikipedia’s interesting entry about the film.

And then enjoy this to see how much fun you can have with editing software.