The neural basis of seeing God?


A remarkable case report describes the brain activity in a man at the moment that he underwent a revelatory experience.

According to the authors, Israeli researchers Arzy and Schurr, the man was 46 years old. He was Jewish, but he had never been especially religious. His supernatural experience occured in hospital where he was undergoing tests to help treat his right temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE), a condition which he had suffered from for forty years. As part of the testing procedure, the patient stopped taking his anti-convulsant medication. Here’s how the authors describe what happened:

While lying in bed, the patient abruptly “froze” and stared at the ceiling for several minutes, stating later that he felt that God was approaching him. He then started chanting prayers quietly, looked for his Kippa and put it on his head, chanting the prayers more excessively. Then, abruptly, he yelled “And you are Adonai (name of the Hebrew God) the Lord!”, stating later that god had revealed to him, ordering him to bring redemption to the people of Israel.

The patient then stood up, detached the EEG electrodes from his skin, and went around the department trying to convince people to follow him, stating that “God has sent me to you”. When further questioned, he said that he does not have a concrete plan, but he is sure that God is going to instruct him what he and his followers should do on their way to redemption.

The full article is here. The Times of Israel also has this story.

Trans* Support

AP Photo / Shutterstock

AP Photo / Shutterstock

John asked American elected officials to recognize the concerns of all people, including transgender individuals, in a commentary for The Hill. He called the North Carolina law a “brand of ignorance” that “shuts out the perspective of an already marginalized community” and expressed concern over similarly bigoted legislation introduced in other states.

While John mentioned the “millions of taxpayers dollars” wasted in defending the law, above all, he called North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory’s discriminatory law “a failure of compassion.”

Full Story Here.

AP Photo

AP Photo

On the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia, President Obama has released a statement reminding nations around the world of “the simple truth that LGBT rights are human rights.”

In the statement, posted on the White House website, Obama noted his administration’s activism on behalf of LGBT people and the recent advances made in LGBT rights, such as the Supreme Court’s marriage equality decision last year. “At the same time, there is much work to be done to combat homophobia and transphobia, both at home and abroad,” he noted.

Full Story Here.

“I know you’re hearing a lot of hateful rhetoric about our LGBT families,” says Arizona Rep. Ruben Gallego. “Please, hang in there.”


To mark the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia, 25 Democratic members of Congress are promising to stand with LGBT Americans in the face of hateful legislation and rhetoric.In a video kicking off the #WeAreWithYou campaign, members of the Congressional Equality Caucus channel U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch’s historic remarks last week, when she told the beleaguered transgender community, “We see you, we stand with you, and we will do everything we can to support you going forward.”

The congressional campaign is led by Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, New York’s first openly gay member of Congress and cochair of the Congressional LGBT Caucus. Maloney published a compilation video on his YouTube channel this morning, featuring clips of each of the featured members of Congress; full-length videos are slated to be published by each Democrat’s office throughout the day.


“Discrimination has no place in the law, and these attempts to legalize hate are shameful,” Maloney said in a press release announcing the campaign. “These laws tell LGBT people that who they are or who they love makes them less valuable as human beings — and that’s just wrong. I started this campaign because, from North Carolina to Missouri, I want LGBT Americans to know that they are not alone. So I am asking my colleagues in Congress and folks across the country to join me and tell our LGBT brothers and sisters, ‘We’ve got your back, and we’re going to keep fighting for you until we win.’”

Full Story Here.


Sadiq Khan, the mayor of London, flew the rainbow flag from City Hall on Tuesday to commemorate the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia. […] “I could not be more proud to help celebrate IDAHOT 2016 by flying the Pride flag here at City Hall,” said Khan in a statement to U.K. LGBT outlet Pink News.

Full Story Here.

President Obama is Bullying God.


When the Obama administration told every public school in the country that students who identify as transgender can use whichever restroom and locker room they want, parents and school administrators gasped. Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick said the decree would be “the beginning of the end of public school system,” while a school superintendent said the directive was going “straight to the paper shredder.”

Beyond rejecting the Constitution, Obama is also challenging God’s authority, Anthony argued.

“I think he is bullying God,” Anthony said. “He is forcing his redefinition of sexuality on everybody, regardless of their religious beliefs.”

The president, Anthony continued, is “acting like a theologian while being a politician.” So, as a pastor, Anthony has every right to speak about this situation because Obama has “forayed into his territory.”

Silence from Christians, he said, is not going to cut it.

Full Story Here. So, a federal guideline is bullying ‘God’ (there’s that effing placeholder again. Be specific, name your god please). Does that mean that this so-called redefinition of sexuality is being forced on ‘God’, too? How is it possible for this most amazing, super-powered ‘God’ to be bullied? Either your ‘god’ is great, or seriously weak. Looks like the latter in this case. I wonder if it ever occurs to people like Anthony that their belief is seriously weak, too, as they are convinced they must fight their God’s battles. I don’t see how you can truly believe a god exists if you must leap to a vicious defense, and declare your ‘god’ to be bullied into submission.

X-23, the New Wolverine?

(Credit: Marvel)

(Credit: Marvel)

future X-Men movie could have a so-called “female Wolverine” and — for once — fans are embracing the change.

After 17 years of Hugh Jackman filling the role of Wolverine on the big screen, X-Men: Apocalypse director Bryan Singer revealed to Fandango this week that he had already spoken to Fox about instead using the character X-23 — a female Wolverine clone — for a future X-Force movie.

“I have discussed that with the studio,” Singer explained. “I actually initially pitched the X-Force and the female.”

According to the Marvel Database, scientists created Laura Kinney — or X-23 — as a clone when they were unable to salvage the Y chromosome from the original Weapon X experiment.

Unlike fans disdain for female Ghostsbusters characters, the idea of a “female Wolverine” was largely met with praise on Twitter.

There are some tweets and more at Raw Story. Many of those supportive of the change have what I feel is a bad reason – they don’t want another male actor to replace Jackman, so a female Wolverine would be easier to take. As someone who has never much cared for Jackman, I wouldn’t care about him being replaced, but I am all for X-23, bring her on!

Itzhak Perlman says no to NC

Violinist Itzhak Perlman - Facebook

Violinist Itzhak Perlman – Facebook

Thursday afternoon the Grammy Award-winning musician made the announcement on Facebook:

“As my fans know, I have spent a lifetime advocating against discrimination towards those with physical disabilities and have been a vocal advocate for treating all people equally,” he wrote. “As such, after great consideration, I have decided to cancel my May 18th concert in North Carolina with the North Carolina Symphony as a stand against House Bill 2.”

He continued, “As Attorney General Loretta Lynch recently stated, HB2 ‘is about a great deal more than just bathrooms. [It] is about the dignity and respect we accord our fellow citizens.’ I couldn’t agree more and will look forward to returning to North Carolina when this discriminatory law is repealed.”

Full Story Here.


Courtesy Thirteen years before he took office as president of the United States, James Abram Garfield predicted the extinction of the American Indian.

Thirteen years before he took office as president of the United States, James Abram Garfield predicted the extinction of the American Indian.

Thirteen years before he took office as president of the United States, James Abram Garfield predicted the extinction of the American Indian.

“The race of the red men will… before many generations be remembered only as a strange, weird, dreamlike specter, which once passed before the eyes of men, but had departed forever,” he said in 1868 when, as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, he proposed a bill that would transfer Indian Affairs from the Interior Department to the War Department.

The Indians had unpronounceable names, crude clothing and habits of “roaming,” Garfield said. He called it a “mockery… for the representatives of the great Government of the United States to sit down in a wigwam and make treaties with a lot of painted and half naked savages.”


Garfield spoke despairingly about the future of the Indians, believing nothing could be done to stop “the passage of that sad race down to the oblivion to which a larger part of them seem to be so certainly tending.” Perhaps, he concluded, it was best to let the Indians slip into extinction “as quietly and humanely as possible.”

Full Story Here.

The Rich Forks

#RichForks (The Beginning of an exhibition touring our unequal world)

#RichForks (The Beginning of an exhibition touring our unequal world)


Endless high quality food and drink, silver service and luxury hotel rooms adorn the daily routines of the idle rich these days more than ever. It’s no surprise that this occurs when only 62 people own as much wealth as the poorest 3.6 billion people on this planet. Luxury items including 5/6 star hotel food and wine is always at the finger tips of the extremely wealthy. And they don’t lift a finger when it comes to washing the silverware, setting the tables or cooking the exorbitantly priced food. Thousands of hotel workers (waiters, chefs, stewards/dishwashers, laundry workers) bend over backwards, working ridiculous hours to bring food and wine to the mouths of the world’s extremely wealthy. And many of these workers can barely afford housing, let alone food on a daily basis. But this daily routine of the world’s obscenely rich – having access to free, high quality cuisine while attending corporate functions,  is hidden from many of us.

What if artefacts from this political/cultural activity of the wealthy class were taken from under their noses and displayed to the public? This exhibition is a result of that exact task. Taking something back. Re-appropriating a tiny piece of the vast amount of wealth stolen from us (recall the trillions of public money used to bailout the banks post GFC?). So, this is an exhibition for the people, by people. It’s a small gesture, but symbolically and perhaps artistically, it can mean the world.

Luxury dinner forks have been collected over a 15 year period, complete with the saliva and food stains of their users, and will be displayed in public/community spaces.

This exhibition at Footscray Community Arts Centre’s Gabriel Gallery will be the first in a series of #RichFork exhibitions touring the world in the years to come. It is no accident that the venues chosen for this touring series are venues ostensibly run by local communities, labour groups and/or publicly funded spaces.

There is more about Van T. Rudd’s current work here.

And with this post, I’ll be leaving you for the day, I have to go into town to see my neurologist. Have fun, and don’t burn the blog down while I’m gone. Stealing forks is okay.

The Angry, Confused, Bigoted Responses To Transgender Student Inclusion.

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R)

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R)

Zack Ford at Think Progress has a state by state roundup of responses to the new federal education guidelines.

On Friday, the Department of Justice (DOJ) and Department of Education (DOE) told the country’s schools that they should be making sure transgender students have equal access to all educational opportunities, including using facilities that match their gender identities. If they don’t, they put themselves at risk of losing federal funding.

While the debate continues to play out in North Carolina in the courts, the response nationwide, particularly among Republican governors, was not pretty.

The article has responses from Kentucky, Utah, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Idaho, Mississippi, Michigan, Arkansas, Texas, Alabama, Indiana, aaaaand the Catholic Church.

Full Story Here.

Atheists are just pre-Christians.

(Photo: Screenshot/KSFY-TV) Atheist billboards in Sioux City, South Dakota.

(Photo: Screenshot/KSFY-TV)
Atheist billboards in Sioux City, South Dakota.

Pastor Jeff Hayes of Faith Temple Church responded to 20 atheist-themed billboards in his city that display messages such as “God didn’t create man” and “prayer doesn’t work,” by telling local news station KOTA-TV that atheists who criticize religion might just be “pre-Christian people” who need prayer to experience a personal spiritual awakening.

“I think it’s good for Christians to have a reaction and we can be negative toward the Free Thinkers but I think we should just pray for them and just believe that, wow if there is a God, is He big enough to reveal Himself to them,” Hayes added.

“Pre-Christian”. Is this like “Pre-Owned” and “Pre-Born”?

Full Story Here.


Via Twitter.

Via Twitter.

The computer-hacking activist collective known as Anonymous claims to have shut down several North Carolina government websites in protest of the state’s anti-LGBT law, House Bill 2.

The organization announced its action in a series of tweets over the weekend and today, tagging the group’s name, #OpLGBT, in several posts:



However, while many of those domains the tweets listed remain inaccessible, some major sites, such as those of the governor and the state legislature, are online and functioning. “All of our state government websites are operating as normal,” a spokesman told CNN Money.

Anonymous and other “hacktivists” intend to keep up the pressure on the state over HB 2, which invalidates all LGBT-inclusive municipal antidiscrimination laws, prevents cities and counties from enacting new ones, and bars transgender people from using the restrooms and locker rooms, in government buildings, that match their gender identity.

Full Story Here.