Did you know there are Christian nudists? Quite a few of them actually. See:
How about that? How lovely a reply to those who want women to be in burkas. How awesome in its support of those who made the photo revolutionary calendar, where the courageous efforts of Aliaa Magda Elmahdy, who posted nude photos of herself to protest sexism in Egypt, are thereby acknowledged and praised. See:
Now it can be revealed. My Helen and I were practicing nudists until her death in 2010. We went on three nude cruises and attended various nudist camps. In these adventures, we encountered several Christian nudists. One memorable event was when we had a cottage next to that of another couple. He was a thoracic surgeon and she was an ordained Presbyterian minister. It is difficult to describe the sensation of dancing, at a group dance, with a female Presbyterian minister who was wearing nothing but sandals, sparkles, and a smile.
We also met a totally naked former nun who had kicked the habit.
There is nothing sexual, by the way, about organized social nudism. This truth can only be understood by experiencing it. And if you have a poor body image, here is the sure way to overcome it. At any nudist gathering, you are going to be treated to visions of fellow nudists whose bodies are in far worse shape than yours. Guaranteed.
Oh, before you get too horrified at the idea of atheists informing the world that they are also nudists, please know that Benjamin Franklin was a nudist. How about that?
Now, here is perhaps an area where atheists and Christians might be able to find some small parcel of common ground.
How about an atheist-Christian clothing optional cruise?
This may be an idea whose time has come.
Edwin Kagin © 2012.
This was written a dozen years ago. At the turn of the century. My, how things have improved! We now have a law requiring citizens to acknowledge that the security of the Commonwealth cannot not be achieved without reliance on “Almighty God.”
Superstition is being taught as fact. Answers in Genesis’s Creation Museum is being praised by lawmakers. Freedom of religion is being understood as the rights of some to force their religion by law on others. You must come out if you do not believe. For your own safety’s sake.
THE STATE OF KENTUCKY’S LAWS
IN THE YEAR OF OUR LORD 2000
Kentucky lawmakers have turned a mineral
Into Kentucky’s own official state rock
And they’ve made a rock our official mineral
And offered even more nonsense to mock
They want schools to teach the history of religion
And compare religions in tales and in song
So long as teachers made it very clear
That every religion but one is wrong
Female public nipples are to be covered
But a newly sought law will impale you
If you are a man who is seen out in public
While concealing discernibly turgid genitalia
Proffered law will let schools teach evolution
So long as teachers do not postulate
That humans came from something not living
Or evolved from animals into human state
Laws are sought to protect the civil rights
Of those who would have us publicly pray
And would let church and state discriminate
Against the godless and the gay
It’s desired we protect as fully human
Every fertilized egg and every fetus
Perhaps we need laws protecting humankind
To ban coitus incompletus
So see wisdom perish in Kentucky
Watch the retreat of common sense with awe
As these fools and their proposals
Create self-righteous stupid law
This was written a few years ago when the BVM visited Cincinnati. Isn’t it good to know how much things have changed! Here we now are, free of such childish superstitions.
ON THE VISIT OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY
P.T. Barnum, the great showman supposedly said, “A sucker is born every minute.” As proof, and for profit, Mr. Barnum reportedly filled a large fish tank with water, added some castles, shells and such, and posted a sign, “Amazing, Invisible Fish From Afghanistan.” Folks paid their fee, pushed their noses against the glass, and announced “There’s one,” “I see one,” “Yea, honey, I see it now,” “Sure enough, there one is,” and “Ain’t that something?”
The Virgin Mary is a mythical construct of Christianity. Mary, a Jewish girl of questionable virtue, gave birth to Jesus, the god figure who gives salvation if one believes he was martyred as a sacrifice for sin and then came to life again and was taken alive by the chief god, Yahweh, his father, into a supernatural place called Heaven. While in Christian belief, Yahweh is the only god, clearly Jesus, and Mary his mother, are prayed to and treated, if not like gods, like demigods, who can get to Yahweh for them. Hence, the chant, “Holy Mary, mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death.” or “in Jesus’ name we pray, amen.”
The reverence for Mary is because of the belief that Mary had conceived Jesus without sex, a motif popular at the time for the birth of gods. The earliest Christian writing, the letters of Paul, do not mention the conception of Jesus by divine fiat, or that his mother was asexual prior to his birth. The belief grew later, probably to compete politically with myths of other religions.
Some Christian subdivisions give more importance to Mary than others. There are even divisions of theology known as Maryology. According to the “Catholic” division of Christianity, Mary remained a virgin forever (a basis for an anti-sex platform that still does great mischief) and, like Jesus, was transported bodily alive to Heaven. What one does with a body in a place otherwise peopled with bodiless souls, angels, and such is not explained. Mary is venerated and worshiped, and has, from time to time been reported to have appeared one way or another to earthbound believers.
These visits have been in obscure places, to children, or other limited audiences. Never, to my knowledge, has she or any other Christian god figure who seeks belief as a condition of salvation given their message by interrupting every radio and television program on the earth simultaneously, in the language of every hearer. Such a happening could end much debate and save many a hell-bound skeptic’s soul. In any case, alleged divine wisdom greater than mine has limited the appearances to forums smaller than Times Square on New Year’s Eve.
Now we have been treated to a special appearance of the Blessed Virgin Mary (hereinafter BVM) in our area. An unnamed “visionary” in Greater Cincinnati revealed the BVM would appear Monday, August 31, 1992 at 12:00 midnight in St. Joseph Church, Cold Spring, Kentucky. (The city name is appropriate for a virgin).
The vision was widely reported in the press, and, while doubted by many, was believed by many. Thousands made the pilgrimage to Cold Spring. Vendors sold BVM statutes and medallions.
But the important part of this story is that while my Helen and I were on vacation in Canada this August, as I sat by a lovely lake, the BVM appeared to me. I knew it was she. She looked just like her pictures: a blond, blue-eyed Jewish girl dressed in blue, red and white. She spoke softly and said unto me, in English, “Arise, Edwin and go unto Northern Kentucky and its suburb Cincinnati. Go and say unto them that I have visited thee, and have told thee this telling of my visit to Cold Spring is not true, but is verily the work of Satan to deceive the faithful. For I do not make scheduled visits, for only the Father Yahweh makes my schedule, and of this I know naught until it is accomplished. Warn that those who believe and attend this Satanic visitation are surely damned,” and then she vanished in soft peace from my view.
When we returned home, I contacted friends in the media and proclaimed this vision and message. But they did not print it. Here was I, recipient of a private revelation of the BVM and the press ignored it. I was willing to go public, yet they chose to print the Satanic message of an anonymous oracle. I could only guess at the fate awaiting those who planned to attend. Why wouldn’t they listen? How could anyone not believe a lawyer?
Helpless, I turned to other things. Perhaps a BVM world tour tee-shirt, listing various stops, Lourdes, Fatima, Guadalupe, Medegoria, Cold Spring (with a question mark after the latter). I was told such an idea would be blasphemous and that my revelation was blasphemous. Blasphemy is the crime of making fun of ridiculous beliefs someone else holds sacred.
The appointed time came and passed. Some said they saw the BVM in the trees. Some took photos of the sun (never look at the sun, especially through optics) and said a door in the sun opened and the BVM started toward Kentucky Highway 27. These folks can probably pass polygraphs on their revelations, as can their fellow travelers who have hitched rides on UFOs. Most people didn’t see anything. The Bishop of Covington said nothing happened.
Thus, my vision of the BVM (which is a lie) was true and that of the “visionary” was false. That’s how it is with private revelations. The press reported the whole thing as an actual, possible happening, sounding like it was a jump ball whether the BVM would appear or not. The press did not report it as a hoax or delusion. They didn’t say there is no BVM to appear, or that Jesus’ mother, if any, has been dead going on 2,000 years.
Those who saw her will believe, as did their grandparents who saw P.T. Barnum’s fish. And these people are permitted to vote and sit on juries. They also want to tell us what our morals should be.
This whole problem would never have happened if only people had listened and printed my vision of the Satanic nature of the event.
Too bad if you went.
Before too long, this whole Freethought Blog stuff may be against the law.
Ernest Perce, Pennsylvania State Director for American Atheists, has exposed an incredible situation in our land of free speech.
What would Robert Williams do, or have done?
What are we going to do?
While we still can.
Here is the story and a most correct editorial opinion on this absurd situation:
Free speech under fire
Western nations appear to have fallen out of love with free speech and are criminalizing more and more kinds of speech through the passage of laws banning hate speech, blasphemy and discriminatory language.
By Jonathan Turley
March 9, 2012 Page A 17
The recent exchange between an atheist and a judge in a small courtroom in rural Pennsylvania could have come out of a Dickens novel. Magisterial District Judge Mark Martin was hearing a case in which an irate Muslim stood accused of attacking an atheist, Ernest Perce, because he was wearing a “Zombie Mohammed” costume on Halloween. Although the judge had “no doubt that the incident occurred,” he dismissed the charge of criminal harassment against the Muslim and proceeded to browbeat Perce. Martin explained that such a costume would have led to Perce’s execution in many countries under sharia, or Islamic law, and added that Perce’s conduct fell “way outside your bounds of 1st Amendment rights.”
The case has caused a national outcry, with many claiming that Martin was applying sharia law over the Constitution — a baseless and unfair claim.
But while the ruling certainly doesn’t suggest that an American caliphate has gained a foothold in American courts, it was nevertheless part of a disturbing trend. The conflict in Cumberland County between free speech and religious rights is being played out in courts around the world, and free speech is losing.
Perce was marching in a parade with a fellow atheist dressed as a “Zombie Pope” when he encountered Talaag Elbayomy, who was outraged by the insult to the prophet.
The confrontation was captured on Perce’s cellphone. Nevertheless, Martin dismissed the charge against Elbayomy. Then he turned to Perce, accusing him of acting like a “doofus.” Martin said: “It’s unfortunate that some people use the 1st Amendment to deliberately provoke others. I don’t think that’s what our forefathers intended.”
For many, the case confirmed long-standing fears that sharia law is coming to this country. The alarmists note that in January, a federal court struck down an Oklahoma law that would have barred citing sharia law in state courts. But there is no threat of that, and certainly not in Oklahoma, which has fewer than 6,000 Muslims in the entire state. Rather, the campaign against sharia law has distracted the public from the very real threat to free speech growing throughout the West.
To put it simply, Western nations appear to have fallen out of love with free speech and are criminalizing more and more kinds of speech through the passage of laws banning hate speech, blasphemy and discriminatory language. Ironically, these laws are defended as fighting for tolerance and pluralism.
After the lethal riots over Dutch cartoons in 2005 satirizing Muhammad, various Western countries have joined Middle Eastern countries in charging people with insulting religion. And prosecutions are now moving beyond anti-religious speech to anti-homosexual or even anti-historical statements. In Canada last year, comedian Guy Earle was found to have violated the human rights of a lesbian couple by making insulting comments at a nightclub. In Britain, Dale Mcalpine was charged in 2010 with causing “harassment, alarm or distress” after a gay community police officer overheard him stating that he viewed homosexuality as a sin. The charges were later dropped.
Western countries are on a slippery slope where more and more speech is cited by citizens as insulting and thus criminal. Last year, on the Isle of Wight, musician Simon Ledger was arrested on suspicion of racially aggravated harassment after a passing person of Chinese descent was offended by Ledger’s singing “Kung Fu Fighting.” Although the charges were eventually dropped, the arrest sends a chilling message that such songs are voiced at one’s own risk.
Some historical debates have now become hate speech. After World War II, Germany criminalized not just Nazi symbols but questioning the Holocaust. Although many have objected that the laws only force such ignorance and intolerance underground, the police have continued the quixotic fight to prevent barred utterances, such as the arrest in 2010 of a man in Hamburg caught using a Hitler speech as a ring tone.
In January, the French parliament passed a law making it a crime to question the Armenian genocide. The law was struck down by the Constitutional Council, but supporters have vowed to introduce a new law to punish deniers. When accused of pandering to Armenian voters, the bill’s author responded, “That’s democracy.”
Perhaps, but it is not liberty. Most democratic constitutions strive not to allow the majority to simply dictate conditions and speech for everyone — the very definition of what the framers of the U.S. Constitution called tyranny of the majority. It was this tendency that led John Adams to warn: “Democracy … soon wastes, exhausts and murders itself. There was never a democracy yet that did not commit suicide.”
Legislators in the United States have shown the same taste for speech prosecutions. In June, Tennessee legislators passed a law making it a crime to “transmit or display an image” online that is likely to “frighten, intimidate or cause emotional distress” to someone who sees it. The law leaves free speech dependent not only on the changing attitudes of what constitutes a disturbing image but whether others believe it was sent for a “legitimate purpose.” This applies even to postings on Facebook or social media.
Judge Martin’s comments are disturbing because they reflect the same emerging view of the purpose and, more important, the perils of free speech. Martin told Perce that “our forefathers” did not intend the 1st Amendment “to piss off other people and cultures.” Putting aside the fact that you could throw a stick on any colonial corner and hit three people “pissed off” at Thomas Paine or John Adams, the 1st Amendment was designed to protect unpopular speech. We do not need a 1st Amendment to protect popular speech.
The exchange between the judge and the atheist in Mechanicsburg captures the struggle that has existed between free speech and religion for ages. What is different is that it is now a struggle being waged on different terms. Where governments once punished to achieve obedience, they now punish to achieve tolerance. As free speech recedes in the West, it is not sharia but silence that is following in its wake.
Jonathan Turley is a professor of public interest law at George Washington University.
Copyright © 2012, Los Angeles Times
Imagine. Blasphemy made unlawful.
What do you reckon might happen to a blog, like this one, modestly titled “Blasphemous Blogging?”
Freedom of Speech. Use it or lose it.
Guess what? Our friends at Answers in Genesis, and the Creation Museum, and the soon-to-be-built-they-hope Ark Encounter, comes this thrilling opportunity:
These goodies and many others await the family daring enough to bring themselves and their children into this great pooling of ignorance.
Doesn’t that look like fun!
When the Creation Museum opened, I proposed the following:
OmniMyth of Kentucky Theme Park Proposal
Answers in Genesis has led the way with its brand new, soon to be opened, multimillion dollar extravaganza in Kentucky, called the “Creation Museum.” This delightful diversion into fantasy could be but the first in a major undertaking to expand the area into a world class amusement theme park complex in rural Kentucky. Permit me to propose that this pooling of the preposterous be known collectively as “OmniMyth of Kentucky.”
This suggested grouping of sites, featuring magical explanations for everything, is an idea whose time has come. OmniMyth could provide genuine creative comedy relief in a world all too weary with the mess created by failed attempts to solve real problems with make believe. The theme parks could also make their owners a decent profit.
The possible recreational facilities that could be constructed are limited only by the creative imagination of potential designers. The Creation Museum, after all, posits the proposition, which no educated person would hold as true, that the Earth is only a few thousand years old and that it and all life on it were created by magic.
The lushly exhibited creationist fantasy rejects, as its central premise, the fact that humans developed from less complex life forms in the process of change over time known as evolution. Instead, the visitor is treated to the myth, presented as true, that humans were magically made from dirt.
One can be transported to a time before computers, space stations, and wireless telephones when people wrote on rocks, set broken bones without x-rays, and answered tough questions, like where did people come from, by saying a god did it.
Similar delightful ideas could be represented by similar theme parks grouped in OmniMyth of Kentucky, making the attraction truly international in scope. The diversity of the project might contribute to a lessening of tensions among the world’s peoples, who could come to visit and to see and to laugh at our commonality of recognition that we all share primitive pasts in which our ancestors created make believe stories to explain things not understood.
Ancient Greek stories of gods living on a mountain and hurling thunderbolts of lightening. Egyptian stories of preparing the dead for an afterlife by removing the brain. Indian stories of a god who was crucified and arose from the dead. Eskimo stories of a raven who made the sun, moon, stars, the earth, people, and animals.
OmniMyth of Kentucky can put Disney to shame. Thanks to Answers in Genesis, without which this project would not have been birthed, for such creative leadership in education.
Here is a possible advertisement:
“Antidotes to thought. Magical reasons for everything. Fantasy is made real and Myths become true. Pretend it is so and it will be so. See models of humans and dinosaurs together—and you can believe they lived at the same time. See a model of a god pulling the sun across the sky in a chariot—and you can believe it is true. Forget reality for a few hours at OmniMyth of Kentucky where Reality is Fantasy and Fantasy is Reality.”
Looks like the overall creation of OmniMyth of Kentucky is on schedule.
Dark ages here we come.
Note to commenters, critics, crazies, and Christians:
The following document is meant as humor, satire, and just plain foolishness.
It is consciously created fiction.
No rational person could think such things, could they?
But then there has been big time criticism of a wonderful billboard erected by Ernest Perce, Pennsylvania State Director for American Atheists
that tries to show that the bible is pro-slavery.
No kidding. See:
Hopefully, this explanation will keep the villagers from coming after me with pitchforks and torches.
(Note to Editor: All of the spelling herein is quite intentional;
it, and the rich vocabulary, is adapted from that of certain Holocaust Deniers. Edwin)
Is Black Slavery a Myth?
Noted historian Dr. Felix von Krautschimer has determined that the notion taught in history classes that black slavery once existed in the American South is a myth. “Yankee liberals invented the whole lying thing,” Krautschimer said at a recent talk at the Moore Centre for Clear Thinking in Sperm Bank, Georgia where he presented his controversiant antecaesarian artatype. .
The conundrumian revisional theory has aroused some obliquity against its creator from the usual suspects. But the Reverent Guilder Smelt, of the Mail Me More Money Miracle Mission Movement’s “7 M s Club,” conversely said Krautschimer is a “great American” who has “corrected bad history,” claiming “the detractors are just in it for the money and are in cahoots with evilness people and scum who like to agitate against those who love God and recognize the fallacy of the hyperbola.”
According to Rev. Smelt, “They have faked the evidence, going far enough to build fake chains and cabins and stuff along the river to make it look like there was something that we know wasn’t and couldn’t have been.”
It is expected that the controversy will not be settled early, in that schools have invested a lot of money in textbooks that make it look like white people once owned black people.
However, given the fact that science books are soon to be changed to conform to other more revealed truths, it has been proposed that perhaps just one textbook would do that covered all things students really need to know.
“We don’t need revised books,” said Smelt. “We need a reborn book. We need a whole new textbook that tells the truth for once.”
It is better than a burka. A lot better.
A very brave young freedom fighter, Aliaa Elmahdy, has stunned the world that gave us burkas by appearing naked on the Internet. Then by putting out a calendar of naked women.
Sexist? Hardly. This is a strike at the heart of religious nonsense and control.
Today March 8th is International Women’s Day (IWD). See:
Here is Aliaa:
And here (censored) is what may well become one of the most important photographs to emerge from the current struggle between freedom and those who want to wrap up women and thought and to keep them under wraps.
Way to go Aliaa!
Stay tuned. We will be hearing a lot more about this, I think.
Edwin Kagin ©
An op-ed in the New Your Times is friendly to Rick Santorum and says he merely recounted what lots of Americans think about how religion should control our government.
Brother Santorum, who wants to be President of the United States, was actually quite graphic. He said the very idea that America has separation of church and state makes him want to vomit.
Remember when American Atheists and some named plaintiffs sued over the World Trade Center “cross” being moved onto public land with public money? In their original complaint plaintiffs said that the idea of this artifact going into the World Trade Center museum gave them dyspepsia.
The media went crazy with ridicule. “It gave the plaintiffs a stomach ache,” they mocked.
So church and state coming together and causing gastric distress is funny. But wanting to vomit because of efforts to keep church and state separate is okay.
It is too crazy to contemplate in any rational way.
So here is my poem
Never let the Church and State
Get close enough to meet and mate;
For the safety of our nation
Prohibit this miscegenation;
Keep Church far from the bed of State;
Separate their greed and hate;
Abstinence is what they need
Or the monsters they will breed
Will mongrelize both law and creed.
Never let Church marry State—
Do not even let them date.
Edwin Kagin (c)