A bit of artistic justice

Lurking on some of my usual movie sites today, I noticed a fun fact that has gone unnoticed by the godless blogosphere. I still haven’t seen Bill Maher’s Religulous; I understand the ACA had a little group movie night when it opened here, which I missed due to being out of town. No one saw fit to blog a review of it here, though, so perhaps it just didn’t make much of an impression at all.

Still, it’s gotten pretty good notices in Free Inquiry and other sources I keep up with, and so I’m looking forward to the DVD.

But here’s the fun fact. Religulous had a minute fraction of the hype Expelled got, and never played on more than half the screens of Ben Stein’s disasterpiece. And yet, Religulous almost doubled Expelled‘s box office take.

So go Bill. Sometimes, the good guys win one. Now all he has to do is jettison his ill-considered anti-vaccination issues, and he’ll really earn his skeptic stripes.

On the same page: another atheist criticizes the FFRF

Just tripped over this editorial by atheist David Gleeson over at the Denver Post, where he lambastes the FFRF’s Christmas sign for most of the same reasons I did. Some good points here.

My wife’s mind is not enslaved when she lights the Hanukkah candles and sings the blessings that have been handed down to her through the generations.

She is simply taking part in a tradition that is important to her identity as a Jewish woman.

Religion certainly can harden hearts and enslave minds, but so can atheism.

The FFRF is taking the very worst that religion can muster and using it to paint everyone with the same bold brush strokes, a tactic perfected, ironically, by radical religious groups seeking to brand all nonbelievers as immoral devil-worshipping heathens. How easily the FFRF stoops to the same level. Pot, meet Kettle.

After some discussion in the comments, I must qualify my position on Gleeson’s piece. I do think that atheists can be hard-hearted people; anyone can be. I do not agree, though, that atheism itself can “enslave” a mind. Atheism is nothing more than not believing in a god, and there are no dogmas or creeds one must subscribe to, no requirement that one throw evidence to the winds in determining how you learn about the world. A person, however, can be atheist for irrational reasons, such as simple rebellion towards or hatred of religion and religious people. Most atheists I know and have had the pleasure of working with base their atheism on a rational critique of religion’s claims, but there are foolish people in any group. And if your atheism is rooted in unreason rather than reason, then yes, you can be a hard-hearted person whose mind is enslaved to anger and emotionalism, instead of being liberated by reason.

If you’re looking for TalkOrigins.org…

…it seems to be down, though there is a mirror site at toarchive.org. The Talk Origins Archive has frequently (and not surprisingly) been the target of creationist malice over the years. It’s faced numerous DDOS attacks; someone hacked it and placed some code on it forwarding visitors to a pornographic site, which got TO delisted from Google for a while; you name it. No idea what’s going on this time, though, but at least the site is still online in its complete form, just at a different URL. Adjust your bookmarks accordingly.

Oh, I just had to send off for one of these!

“Is America Going Under?” asks the hand-wringing wackaloons over at the Christian Worldview Network. Well, yes, guys, it has been. But remember who’s been in charge the past eight years: an extremist, Christian fundamentalist gang of right-wing thugs who view the Constitution as a list of bothersome technicalities to be skirted around, who honestly think their military misadventures in Iraq (which have all but broken our military) are part of a battle between Biblical notions of Good and Evil, and who have been supported by a mob of like-minded religious ideologues who look upon the prospect of total holocaust in the mideast as ultimately desirable, as it will prompt the Second Coming and the Last Days all the much sooner. If people who view the end of the world as if it were a party they can’t wait to get to seem scary as shit, that’s because they are.

I suspect, however, that the Christian Worldview goons see the decline of America in a slightly different light. And they’ve compiled all their paranoid lunacy into a “new, free, full-color magazine” that apparently explains “how America’s rejection of a Biblical worldview is leading to our demise and how every Christian must respond.”

This just looked like such a heaping, juicy helping of red meat that my mouth began watering right away. Hey, it was free. So I sent off for one. Look forward to seeing it, ahem, dissected here very soon.

Here is some of the entertainment promised within.

  • Reinventing A Stormy History: 25 Worldview Similarities Between America Today and Nazi Germany and How Christians Must Respond (Wow, Godwinning right out of the gate!)
  • Five Consequences Facing America For Rejecting God As Found in Romans, Chapter One
  • America’s Unknown Revolution That Robbed You of Your Liberties and What Must Happen to Get Them Back (Which liberties, you wonder? Me too. We’ll see.)
  • Obama, Liberals and Political Correctness Which is Really Cultural Marxism (Do these clowns even know what Marxism is? I suspect they’re just throwing it out because their ill-educated sheep will react with, “Hey, wasn’t Marx that commie guy?” and then go “Ooo! Bad thing!”)
  • How Politicians Pervert the Law and Liberty is the Casualty (Which politicians? Do you think they mean Republicans? No? Gee, what makes you think that?)
  • How Humanism is Leading to Judicial Tyranny (Translation: “Waaaah! We can’t get our way all the time! Waaaaah! Want my bwanky!”)

Celibate men in dresses say dumb things about sex

Ah well, the Roman Catholic Church is always good for a laugh. This week they’ve come out swinging against the pill. It’s deliriously silly.

The pill “has for some years had devastating effects on the environment by releasing tonnes of hormones into nature” through female urine, said Pedro Jose Maria Simon Castellvi, president of the International Federation of Catholic Medical Associations, in the report.

“We have sufficient evidence to state that a non-negligible cause of male infertility in the West is the environmental pollution caused by the pill,” he said, without elaborating further.

For real, you can’t make this stuff up!

Remember, the official position of the Church is basically that they don’t want you to have sex at all, unless you’re married Catholics trying to make little Catholics, or…well…we know what the other criterion is.

Celebrate the new year by beating up on some religious wankers!

What better way to get 2009 off to a positive start?

Wanker A: Kent Hovind.

The 11th Circuit Court of appeals has upheld Hovind’s conviction. Too bad, so sad. One thing I’ve always been amused by is the way that, nearly two years later, this post has become AE’s zombie thread, with the occasional Hovindite still popping up like a gopher after finding the thing via Google, and posting some petulant comment about how we’re mean and evil and a bunch of heartless bullies and they hope we find the grace of Jebus in our hearts and all that. And oh yeah, Kent’s innocent and the tax laws are unfair/illegal/evil/whatever, too. There is no breaking the delusions of fundies, and there’s no overestimating just how profoundly disconnected from reality they are. After all, Kent still indulges in his laugh-a-minute “dialogues with God,” which you just have to read. (HT: PZ)

Wanker B: Ben Stein.

What fun! You can vote for Ben Stein to receive the Malkin Award, handed out by Andrew Sullivan over at the Daily Dish. The Malkin Award is, in his words, “for shrill, hyperbolic, divisive and intemperate right-wing rhetoric. Ann Coulter is ineligible – to give others a chance.” Hat tip on this one to Jim Emerson, editor of RogerEbert.com, where the venerable movie critic already beat Stein bloody a few weeks ago. Emerson has his own flogging to deliver unto Stein at his own Chicago Sun Times blog, too.

Addendum — Wanker C: Casey Luskin

The Discovery Institute’s official punching bag gets his ass handed to him by Ken Miller, for getting everything wrong about Miller’s testimony in Dover…let alone the pathetic foolishness of still trying to win a case his side lost decisively three years ago. ID is deader than dead, Casey. Deal.