War on Easter!

Echidne has a great suggestion: a War on Easter! After all, our godless War on Christmas almost gave Bill O’Reilly a stroke, so maybe if we take a shot at him twice a year we’ll finally see his head explode on television. Echidne is taking a hard line against little yellow chicks, which is a fine start, but I can think of a few others.

  • The date is ridiculous, changing from year to year and calculated by some absurd algorithm based on phases of the moon or something. It’s on 16 April this year. I suggest that we fix it to 10 April every year: it’s somewhat arbitrary, but it is Max Von Sydow’s birthday, and he did play Jesus in The Greatest Story Ever Told. He was also a great Ming the Merciless in Flash Gordon.
  • The only good thing about Easter is that it is a fertility festival. I suggest that we emphasize good, conservative, traditionalist values, and insist that it be celebrated properly: everyone gets naked and frolic in the nearest freshly plowed corn field and, ummm, “plows the field” some more.
  • The reason for the season is Eostre. While we’ve been wallowing in the commercialism of Cadbury creme eggs and chocolate bunnies, we’ve been neglecting the pagan fertility goddess behind it all. For shame! Too many people act as if the name of the holiday is “Jesuster”.
  • There is also a tradition of blood sacrifice here. I’m a little squeamish about that (“plowing fields” is more my style), but I’d encourage any Christian fundamentalists who want to celebrate that sentiment to go ahead and nail themselves up on boards or practice self-flagellation. Maybe we can even say that if you aren’t bleeding on Easter, you must not be a True Christian.

Although, come to think of it, I’ll probably be about as fervent about any War on Easter as I was in the War Against Christmas. I think we’ll have to hope that some quasi-Christian poseur takes it up as a theme, because I fear we godless are just going to say “eh” again.

Get that heathen some popcorn


I know that Steve Allen was a lifelong skeptic and freethinker, but was he also a squid worshipper? How else to explain this sign?

Through the Center for Inquiry in LA, which hosts that Steve Allen Theater, there’s also a very useful list of dramatic productions of interest to freethinkers, including everything from Agnes of God to Zardoz (sorry: Red Dawn didn’t make the cut). Any college students interested in subverting their university’s film series might want to recommend some of the movies from this list. Or you might just try adding all of them to your Netflix subscription.

Drywall Jesus


I’m staring at that thing, and all I see is some cracks in a flood-damaged wall.

The church was flooded by Hurricane Katrina; causing some drywall in the building to buckle into an image that church members believe is an image of Jesus on the cross.

Touching it causes miracles, they say—the blind see (or, at least, the myopic think their vision is a little better), kidneys start working (maybe), but the most important miracle of all is…

Church leaders say it really doesn’t matter if you believe any of the testimonials about people being healed. But what is a fact, is that more and more people are coming to the church everyday.

…the church’s bottom line is improved! Hallelujah! And the new church members are all natural-born suckers! Pass the collection plate!

God hates squid

From the comments, here’s something bizarre: creationists (at least the ones at Answers in Genesis) have defined life…and it excludes squid! I have yet another reason to reject the Bible, in this case for disrespecting perfectly wonderful invertebrates.

Many scientists make the distinction that vertebrates have hemoglobin,
hence red blood, and invertebrates contain other oxygen transporting
proteins, like hemocyanins, and do not have red blood. As far as
we’ve researched at this time, all vertebrates have hemoglobin and
invertebrates do not, though there may be exceptions we are not aware

So, animals that contain hemoglobin (vertebrates) and therefore have
red blood can be considered “living” and animals that contain
hemocyanin, or other proteins (invertebrates) and therefore have blue
(pink/violet or brown) blood can be considered “nonliving”. This is
further supported by Scripture since the Hebrew for “blood” (dawm)
is derived from the Hebrew for “red” (aw-dam). And with Genesis
1:20-22 and Leviticus 11:10, there is a distinction between
“living” creatures and “swarming/moving” creatures that teem in
the waters. So the logical conclusion can be made that a “living”
creature is one that contains red blood.

There’s much more, but it’s all masturbiblation, picking at words and extracting far more significance from them than is warranted, all to determine that squid actually aren’t alive*. There’s hairsplitting in Genesis, and a silly exegesis of the dietary rules in Leviticus.

What I’d really love to see now, though, is the rhetorical squirming they’d go through when it’s pointed out that human embryos do not develop red blood cells until about the 5th week of development, and therefore the early embryo, by their own definition, is not living. Heh.

One bit of good news: this definition greatly simplifies the project to create an army of death-ray-wielding undead squid-men.

Oy, another award?

Pharyngula has been nominated for a Cobb Award. No, actually, that’s not quite right: you, the readers of Pharyngula, have been nominated for an award for Worst Community.

It sounds awful, but don’t panic (they almost instituted a ‘Most Super-extra Worst Professor EVAR-INFINITY’ award, and then I might have been in trouble). Here’s the description of the Worst Community award:

[Read more…]