Scaredy-Christians

Okay. So you’ve got an omniscient, omnipotent god on your side who’s sent his only son (who is also himself) to die for your sins, thus saving you (from himself). Fantastic! You lucky, lucky bean, you. Your god has told you to go out and share the Good News™ about himself sacrificing himself to himself to save humanity from his own wrath. He tells you that all you need is a tiny speck of faith, and you’ll have the power to do battle with Satan and move mountains and stuff like that. Outstanding! Sharing that really Good News™ with people shouldn’t be hard at all, should it? And you’ve got the example of your god to go by – or maybe it’s his son, things are a little wobbly there, it’s cosmic and beyond our ken, etc. Anyway, you’ve got his example. He liked hanging out with the outcasts and crooks, the sick and poor, and he’d even have a drink with unbelievers. While he was kicking around Earth, he mucked about with the least powerful, and thumbed his nose at all the holier-than-thous. He told you to get out there in the world and get converting. Yeah! That’s what it’s about. Bring the sinners to the Lord! Hallelujah!

So you go to the library, where you see a mother with her children. [Read more…]

Really Terrible Bible Stories Excerpt: Introduction

Ready to dip into one of the most violent, sexually explicit, and immoral books ever written? Please pick up your Bibles and turn to Genesis.

I’m flabbergasted when people tell me they get their moral instruction from this tome. I’m even more astonished when they insist on shoving a copy into every child’s hands, then turn around and try to ban books from the library because they contain sex, violence, magic, or sundry other supposedly outrageous thing. Have those morality crusaders ever read their own Bible? It should be the very first book on their To Burn list! The bloody thing contains every single indecency they campaign against – and more!

 

Image shows Jackie Chan with his hands up by his head and a WTF face. Caption says, "What the actual fuck did I just read?"

Alas, this photo won’t be in the book. But I couldn’t resist including it here.

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Freethought is More Harshly Punished than Child Rape in Saudi Arabia #FreeRaif

A Saudi Arabian man starts a website for freethought and political debate. He’s arrested, threatened with the death penalty, tried for apostasy, and sentenced to 10 years in prison and 1000 lashes. An international effort to secure his release has so far been unsuccessful.

A Saudi Arabian man suspects his five year old daughter of losing her virginity. He forces her to get an examination, then brings her home, where he repeatedly rapes her, and beats her to death with a cane and cables. He crushed her skull, broke her back, ribs and left arm, and burned her in several places. The Saudi royal family prevents him from being released after only a few months in jail and a fine, and a court eventually sentences him to 8 years in prison and 800 lashes. However, he pays her mother blood money ($270,000 – a boy would have been worth double that price), and is released after only a couple of years. [Read more…]

Terrifying Thoughts About the Power of Bad Christian Books to Change Culture

My leisure reading lately has been reviews of Christianist crap, much along the lines of Das Mervin and Jenny Trout’s sporkings of Fifty Shades of Grey Abusive Bullshit. What I do for Christianist textbooks, sites like Heathen Critique do for Christianist films and books. It’s a nice way to unwind, if you’re an odd sort like myself. But sometimes, it gets bloody terrifying, and reminds me there’s a serious reason to push back against really awful religious propaganda.

Take, for instance, the Left Behind series, which Fred Clark reads so we mercifully don’t have to. You may be tempted to dismiss them as nothing more than hack writing, lazy dime store thrillers that are nothing more than empty entertainment. But there are people who really truly believe the shit LaHaye and Jenkins are writing is prophesied to come true, and will happen any time now. Fred, being an evangelical Christian himself, is able to get deep into their worldview and show not just how fucked up it is, but how it informs their attitude towards things like taking care of the environment (why bother when you’re gonna be raptured?), world peace (anyone advocating for it is aiding and abetting the Antichrist), and war (bring on those end times!!!). These books both showcase and reinforce the fucked-up worldviews of people who believe they are living in the End Times, are Real True Christians who will be raptured, and love to smirk at those of us who will be left behind to suffer plagues, famine, war and death by their asshole of a god.

Sometimes, it gives me chills, especially when I realize how these folks are trying to make their prophecies self-fulfilling. [Read more…]

Liberty University Pumping Creationists Into Public Schools

Sometimes, I wonder if my obsession with debunking Christianist textbooks is rather ridiculous. After all, how many truly committed creationists are there, really? Aren’t there more important causes I should be investing my time in? Surely I could be doing more on the feminist front, f’r instance. I could be pouring my time and energy into meatier posts about the magnificent science of geology. And I feel vaguely guilty that I let myself get distracted by the latest creationist outrages in textbooks that are foisted upon a mere fraction of the world’s children.

But then, I read survivors’ stories, and yes, I do think of the children: all those bright and curious minds stunted by the ignorant adults around them. I hope at least a few of them stumble upon this series, and find themselves jolted out of the confining creationist box and launched on an epic adventure in the science of their choice (even if it’s not one of the geosciences, although of course I think those are the best).

And there’s the fact we all learn some things about the earth sciences along the way, in what I hope is an entertaining fashion.

Not an inconsiderable consideration for me is that I’ve found so few women* debunking creationist nonsense, so it helps me feel like I’m doing my bit for diversity in the creationist nonsense debunking community.

Besides, Jonny Scaramanga recently said why creationism and the debunking thereof matters, so that’s told me this quest is not quixotic.

But when it really comes down to it, the main reason why I feel it’s bloody damned important to keep you guys informed as to what creationists are teaching their kiddies is because their kiddies are growing up ignorant, and then spewing that ignorance all over our public schools: [Read more…]

The Charlie Hebdo Massacre and Free Speech

I want everyone to consider what Giliell said:

No, folks, please, we’re usually better than that.

No, the cartoonists didn’t “have it coming”. Nobody should be murdered for publishing their shit and suggesting that this is to be expected does nothing but paint muslims as irrational beasts who just cannpt control themselves. It’s just two sides of the same coin.
But this “you don’t have the right not to be offended nanana freeze peach” is the same bullshit we’re constantly getting when discussing feminism. And people here are usually better than that.

We usually understand quite clearly that “equal opportunity offense” usually means kicking down the ladder.

I stand for the right of Charlie Hebdo to publish their cartoons, I stand against the people who murdered them. I also stand to my opinion that their cartoons were racist and misogynist. This is not incompatible. My enemy’s enemy is NOT my friend.

She summed up a lot of my thinking over these past several days.

In looking for Charlie Hebdo covers for my post on the massacre the other day, I noticed themes that I don’t support. There’s a definite taste of racism. There’s homophobia, and some things swerving awfully close to rape. I think that’s lazy, using knee-jerk cultural distastes in order to outrage people. I don’t know what the magazine itself is like – I don’t read enough French to have followed any of its issues. Quite possibly, in different times, I might have criticized them, not for publishing offensive cartoons, but for hitting down rather than up.

But no matter what tropes they employed, even if they were utterly despicable, those artists and journalists didn’t deserve to die. [Read more…]

Charlie Hebdo Journalists Murdered by Religious Fanatics

Ah, yes, adherents of the Religion of Peace™ peacefully protesting cartoons they don’t like by murdering cartoonists wholesale.

They want to terrorize people into silence. They will, if we allow fear to shrink us down to terrified little things skittering away at the slightest hint we may upset the religious sensibilities of men with guns. Well, I’m not interested in being a fearful skittering little thing today. I’m inclined to rub their noses in what they despise.

Cover of Charlie Hebdo. The man in the turban is saying, "100 blows of the whip if you are not laughing!"

Cover of Charlie Hebdo. The man in the turban is saying, “100 blows of the whip if you are not laughing!”

Like Yemmy says,

It would be a great idea to widely reproduce the images these barbarians killed people for. The world needs to say NO to this intimidation by these barbaric, bloodthirsty religious fanatics!

Cover of Charlie Hebdo for The Life of Mohammed, Part One: the Debut of the Prophet. Image is a goofy yellow man leading a sweating camel in a desert with rocky hills in the background.

Cover of Charlie Hebdo for The Life of Mohammed, Part One: the Debut of the Prophet.

I hope that Charlie Hebdo can continue on. I hope the magazine has enough staff members left to carry on despite the tragedy, and that cartoonists line up around the world to contribute their work. I hope a million Charlie Hebdos spring up around the world. Let the fanatics see that killing people who satirize their prophet will accomplish nothing besides making the killers and their enablers pariahs, giving a huge boost to apostate and progressive Muslims, and lead to most people in the world deciding that, no matter how many warm fuzzy feels they may have for religion, it needs some disrespect if its followers are willing to murder people over cartoons.

You want your religion to be respected? Use it to become the best people you can be. Make it something worthy of respect. Don’t think you can demand respect at gunpoint. And don’t think your religion can shield you from the consequences of your murderous actions.

Charlie Hebdo cover showing a Muslim man with crosses for eyes, holding a Koran in front of him. Both Koran and man are being riddled with bullets. The French captions say, "The Koran is shit. It can't stop bullets." The purple box says, "Slaughter in Egypt."

Charlie Hebdo cover saying, “The Koran is shit. It can’t stop bullets.” The purple box says, “Slaughter in Egypt.”

There’s nothing honorable or noble in what these people did. They aren’t honoring their god. They’re just proving that if it exists, and if it approves of this sort of brutality, it deserves nothing but our condemnation. They’d demonstrating that religion does not make people moral, and in fact, too often inspires murder. We must eradicate this inane idea that a deity is up there that cares so deeply about offensive cartoons that it demands artists be slaughtered.

My heart goes out to the survivors and the victims’ loved ones.

Moar Like This Newsweek Article on the Bible, Please

I think I’m in love with Newsweek. Seriously. Seeing a major national magazine carry an article exposing the Bible as the flawed book written and cobbled together by fallible human beings, full of interpolations and mistakes, is outstanding. Seeing it carry such an article without a sugar coating – amazing.

If you haven’t yet, go read Kurt Eichenwald’s intriguing exposé. Here’s a taste for ye: [Read more…]