Sacrifices Must Be Made

They told me their religion gave “a different way of knowing”,
In addition to experiments, I also learn through prayer;
The precious love of Jesus is what keeps my garden growing—
It’s the fertilizer used, along with water, sun, and air.

While science speaks of Nitrogen, Potassium and Phosphorus,
Religion speaks of Angels that can help my plants to grow;
Like Europe meeting Asia at the strait they call the Bosporus,
Both Science and Religion meet where I have weeds to hoe.

Generations of selection give varieties that thrive—
Horticulture, as a science, helps me constantly, I note;
But Religion also helps me! Why, to keep my plants alive,
I make sure, in planting season, that I sacrifice a goat!

There are artificial pesticides, or totally organic,
And the scientific knowledge can support me either way,
And Religion also tells me I have no real need to panic—
There are prayers and incantations that can keep the bugs away!

When the time has come to harvest, then technology and Science
Have combined to help me multiply the bounty of the fields.
And, of course, the Gods and Angels where I’m placing my reliance
Are (I’m certain) doing something to the quantity of yields.

The power of Religion, as I pray for intervention
While the atheistic farmers on their tractors point and smirk,
Is tremendous and insightful, though I think I ought to mention
I’m beginning to discover… that it really doesn’t work.

What I really want to talk about, after the jump: [Read more…]

“An Invisible Statue Of Atheism”

Comment, on a Yahoo News story on a FoxNews debate about the presence or removal of Tacky Jesus on Big Mountain:

If the statue is removed, then technically there will be an invisible statue to atheism standing in its place. Why should atheism get special treatment?

Salvador Dali created a scene
With “Invisible Bust of Voltaire”
The viewer can see it as plain as the day
But the truth is, no sculpture is there

Invisible statues may come and may go
But of course, we can never quite see ‘em
They seem to be lacking in matter and mass
So they can’t clutter up a museum.

An artist may sculpt an invisible piece
As a tribute to negative space
With a negative body, and negative limbs
And a negative head and a face

And having so done, could display it, of course,
Though I really don’t know why you’d do it—
The time and the effort, the planning and thought,
And the public just walks the hell through it!

Invisible statues hold meaning for some
While others just wish they would go—
Which brings up a question I’m dying to ask:
If it disappeared, how would you know?

I also want to ask her–if I remove the invisible statue to atheism, what remains in its place?

I guess the good news is that the vast majority of the universe, technically, is an invisible statue to atheism. Makes me feel a little better about all those red dots.

Christian Jailed (5 Years) For Blasphemy

When the faith of the majority
Abuses its authority
They ought to take a breath and look around
We could point to an example
(Cos, believe me, they are ample)
Where a different pecking order can be found
When you’re on the top and winning
It’s the furthest thing from sinning
To bring praying to the courthouse or the schools
But when big and small trade places
See the anger on their faces
When they hear it’s the majority that rules

Context, after the jump: [Read more…]

On (Mutual) Respect

I’m striving to not be offensive
To respect every person’s belief
Though the effort is pretty intensive
And it’s giving me nothing but grief
No coffee or booze am I drinking;
I’ve given up shellfish and pork
I’ve given up beef, and I’m thinking
There is little that’s left for my fork

I’ve given up mocking the prophet
I’ve given up teasing the pope
I’ve told all my friends to get off it,
If we all have respect, there is hope;
Changed my clothes, my behavior, my diet
And I’ve given up shaving my beard
If they say it’s respectful, I’ll try it,
But I’ve noticed one thing, and it’s weird:

When I look at the faithful, my brothers,
There are times it’s not easy to see
They’ll insist I’m respectful of others
But they’re never respectful to me
I’ll give them respect when they earn it
It’s a matter of live and let live
And I’ll hope they’ll eventually learn it:
You only get back what you give

More, after the jump: [Read more…]

This Is What It Looks Like

This is what it looks like
When a mob of believers act out on their fevers
And act in the place of the law

This is what it looks like
When a person’s attacked for beliefs that are lacked
And when public emotions are raw

This is religion in government.
This is religion by force
This is the brawl when you tear down the wall
And the thrall of the mob runs its course

This is what it looks like
When the church and the state allow people to hate
With the force of the law on their side

This is what it looks like
When majority rules in the towns and the schools
And the fools force dissenters to hide

This is religion in government.
This is religion by force
This is the brawl when you tear down the wall
And the thrall of the mob runs its course

This is what it looks like
When the law of a nation holds no separation
And thinking some thoughts is a crime

This is what it looks like
And it wouldn’t be hard, simply let down your guard
And it’s only a matter of time

This is what it looks like.

Context(s), after the jump: [Read more…]

Football, With God On Our Side

Yeah, technically it’s a Super Bowl song, but after last night’s game, I just couldn’t help it.

Oh, the workouts are nothin’
And the wind sprints are less
We don’t even practice
We think that it’s best
Cos practice means nothing
I’m forced to confide—
But we’ll win big on Sunday
With God on our side

Oh the networks will show it
They’ll show it so well
How the righteous team won
And the evil team fell
Oh the righteous team won
But it’s not cos we tried
It’s Super Bowl Sunday
With God on our side

Oh, when I cross the goal line
I’ll raise my arm high
With one upraised finger
I’ll point to the sky
I’m sending a message
That can’t be denied
I just scored a touchdown
With God on my side

When it’s fourth down and inches
We’ll go for it all
It’s a quarterback keeper
But where is the ball
They’ll bring out the chain gang
And the refs will decide
First and ten to the team
With God on their side

And the fans in the stadium
Will cheer on their teams
And eat without stopping
Or that’s how it seems
And most of it’s salty
And all of it’s fried
They’ll eat it on Sunday
With God on their side

Oh, it won’t even matter
What’s the final score
The points aren’t important
That’s not what it’s for
This game’s about Jesus
We can all say with pride
We won big on Sunday
With God on our side

We gather each Sunday
We won’t miss a week
It’s more than just victory
It’s salvation we seek
It’s more than religion
It’s the reason Christ died
So we could play football
With God on our side

“But Sometimes, The Answer Is No”

God answers all prayers, you know…

My dad’s unemployed, and my sister has cancer,
I’m hoping that heaven above has the answer–
Just pray up to God, and you know He will show…
Except for the times when the answer is “No”.

A hurricane’s coming, or maybe a flood,
Or earthquake, tornado, or volcanic mud
But God will protect us from rain and from snow
Except for the times when the answer is “No”.

That kid in the paper, who fell from a tree
We’re praying he’ll live, but we’ll just have to see
We know God can help him to wake up and go
Except for the times when the answer is “No”.

We’re going to war (Or else, maybe, just finished
And can’t stand the thought that our power’s diminished)
But God saves the soldiers, and weakens their foe,
Except for the times when the answer is “No”.

It’s funny, how God can pretend He’s not there,
To teach us a lesson; to make us aware
It’s a lesson we should have learned long, long ago:
Is God there to help us? The answer is “No.”

Why Brother Smoggy Is A Christian (A Guest Post)

I am delighted to share with you a guest post by friend of good people everywhere Smoggy Batzrubble, beloved of all, member of the Order of the Molly on Pharyngula. Smoggy did send this to PZ for his “Why I am an atheist” series, but since that gives it a less than 1% chance of being posted by Christmas, and since it contains a Christmas poem by Smoggy, I am performing the public service of expediting the delivery of high art. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
Why I am a Christian, A Conversation with Jesus
Transcribed by Smoggy Batzrubble

(With a Bonus Christmas Rhyme)

Smoggy Batzrubble: Dear Jesus?

Jesus Christ: [sigh] Yes, servant Smoggy?

SB: Dear Jesus, those Hell-bound atheists are baring their tormented
souls on the evil Pharyngula blog, blathering on the theme of ‘Why I
am An Atheist’ to justify their pointless existences and pretend
they’re not terrified of the eternal damnation which awaits them.

JC: And?

SB: And? And… and… and it’s not good enough Jesus! What if some
impressionable young believer gets whiff of the heady haze of heresy
and starts thinking rational thoughts? Can you imagine a world with no
religion, no heaven, no hell below, above us only sky?

JC: Careful Smoggy, you’re getting lyrical. (continues after jump) [Read more…]

Another Atheist Christmas Card

Ok, this one really takes the “let’s out-Hallmark Hallmark” and runs with it. Cuttlefamily’s first christmas cards have begun arriving–one from a cousin who has an album of christmas hymns out. Seriously. Her cards always–always–have a bible verse, and a poem that is weapons-grade glurge.

So, below the fold… weapons-grade atheist glurge. Do not click if you are insulin dependent. Do not click if you are allergic to syrup. Do not click if you have just eaten.

But if you get the same sort of cards I get from my relatives, and want something equally saccharine to send to them… put on your protective goggles and look past the jump…

[Read more…]

Last Tuesdayism

So I’ve been having a bit of fun at a tiny little internet backwater. Hey, it’s what I do sometimes. Don’t judge me!

Anyway, I noticed today that somebody invoked the idea of “Last Tuesdayism” which (by the blog author’s argument) all of us, in order to be intellectually consistent, must remain agnostic about. Thus, today’s little ditty.

Only last Tuesday, a quarter past four,
The universe was, when it wasn’t before!
The whole of the universe started to be,
Which it hadn’t at all, at a quarter past three.
Existence itself, in the blink of an eye;
No reason for billions of years to go by.

Of course, it looks old—that’s the way it was done,
Looking old from the instant it all had begun;
The universe looks like it has a real past,
And one that seems incomprehensively vast
It seems there are billions of years to explore
But it started last Tuesday, a quarter past four.

The earth and the heavens, the sun and the stars,
The mountains, the oceans, the cities, the cars,
The falsified memories that seem to be real,
Each trip to the doctor, each holiday meal,
Each nursery school freeze-tag or hide-and-go-seek,
Each one an illusion from early last week.

Each fossil was planted, and each sacred scroll,
Each childhood memory, made up in whole,
Your very first friend, and the first one you kissed
Another illusion to add to the list.
No God whatsoever creating a scene,
And nothing at all from before 4:15.

There is no “last month”, and there is no “last year”,
Just Tuesday and later, that’s perfectly clear.
The scientists’ “billions of years” is a guess,
Like the people who say it’s six thousand or less—
They each claim their evidence tells them what’s true,
And they haven’t a clue that they haven’t a clue.

So how do I know what I’m telling you now?
If it’s all manufactured last Tuesday, then how?
You can’t trust the science; religion is bunk;
You can’t trust your senses, cos all of it’s junk;
No possible way that the real truth can show,
So how do I know it? That’s it—I just know.

Religion and science are two different ways
We can look at the world—that’s what everyone says.
But really, why limit ourselves just to these?
My Tuesdayist view is as good, if you please!
It’s as old as the others, so please don’t ignore—
Cos they all started Tuesday, a quarter past four.

As usual, more after yon jumpage: [Read more…]