Minnesota Republican congressional candidate Aaron Miller’s gripe with Washington is personal. Speaking at the district convention on Saturday, Miller, an Iraq War vet who won the nomination to challenge four-term Democratic Rep. Tim Walz, explained that he was running for office in part to ensure that his daughter won’t have to learn about evolution at her local public school. Read the full story here.
An aggressive stand on new legislation in Oklahoma.
Originally posted on American Heathen®:
View original 474 more words
A Healthy Dose of Scientology
Originally posted on Why Evolution Is True:
All religions tell stories that seem somewhat bizarre to the more critically-minded unbelievers (talking snake, anyone?). But surely there is little out there to match the wackiness of what Scientologists truly believe, which is described in all its gory detail in this gif (pronounced…) An Illustrated History of Scientology, which was posted on Imgur. It lasts about 5 minutes and is highly recommended if you haven’t previously encountered this truly sophisticated theology. This is apparently called “Advanced Technology” by the Scientologists and is only revealed to believers when they have donated $$$$$$$$ to the Church. Why they hide this stuff from public gaze isn’t clear to me – could it be they think we will laugh?
PS: I just noted on Wikipedia that “Scientologists warn that reading the Xenu story without proper authorization could cause pneumonia.” Just in case,
View original 7 more words
The Catholics, from 1765 to 1996, when the last institution was closed, systematically incarcerated young girls and women in so-called Magdalene Asylums or Magdalene Laundries.
These institutions were quietly supported by the state and operated by the church. They were responsible for the enslavement of at least 30,000 innocent women in Ireland, other European countries and North America for more than 200 years.
Their prey were so-called fallen women. Innocent girls who were sexually active when women were supposed to be “pure.” Some were unwed mothers or teenage girls who became pregnant. Others were victims of sexual or physical abuse by men who got away with it. Sometimes the perpetrators were the very priests they trusted.
For these “crimes,” the girls were forced into servitude and incarcerated. They worked without pay, were subjected to forced isolation and shaming techniques that gradually stripped away their sanity and their emotional and physical health.
This is on the record of the Catholic church. In this case, it’s not persecution of gays, or atheists, or heretics. It is systematic physical and emotional abuse of young women who either enjoyed their sexuality, or who were victims of other people’s sexual crimes.
The last such asylum was closed as recently as 1996.
Denying service to certain groups of people, like gays, as it made recent headlines, is a very slippery slope, if religion or the bible are used as justification.
First, who decides which religion or which book trumps the others? Why the bible? Why not the Quran or the Book of Mormon?
Second, if we use the bible as the basis to discriminate, I could, within just a few minutes of thumbing through the bible, find tons of examples that would justify discrimination against just about any group at all.
I could justify not selling hot dogs from my hotdog stand to:
- Anyone that wears clothes made out of two types of materials, like polyester/cotton blend [Leviticus 19:19]
- Anyone with any blemish, like scabs, mutilation, less than 20/20 vision, deformities of any kind, blindness [Leviticus 21: 16-21]
- Menstruating women [Leviticus 15: 19-21]
- People who eat calamari [Leviticus 11: 9-12]
Menstruating women are really untouchable. God supposedly designed 50% of the human population (women) so that during 20% of their time (about 6 out of 30 days) during their entire reproductive lives (about age 13 to 45) they bleed. Then he proceeds to litter his book with reasons why this design is unclean and filthy, and why menstruating women should be shunned and ostracized. That whole thing makes no sense to me, but I digress.
Although Leviticus makes for some really hilarious reading if you want to creep yourself out, there are many other books of the bible, if you search for justification for abusing other people or groups of people, or if you want to justify atrocities, that will work just fine. I’ll just bring one example:
If you want to bash wine drinkers, read [Ephesians 5:18]:
And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit
I am aware that I am hand-picking passages of the bible out of context to make my point.
However, that is exactly what the religious do when they justify their actions by defining morality by the bible and denounce the lifestyles of groups of people they do not agree with.
Kalei Wilson, a 15-year-old high school girl tried to create an atheist club in Pisgah High School in Canton, North Carolina. After school administrators refused to allow it initially, protests surged and the school caved. Kalei raised $500 in start-up money. However, recently she gave up. She said her family and friends had been sought out and demonized. This kind of abuse was not worth it to her. There won’t be an atheist club.
This shows that the religion that claims tolerance, support of the meek and love of fellow human beings is no different from other religions: As soon as they feel threatened, they lash out. We see this in Islam, Mormonism as well as in this example of Christianity.
I am sure many Christians do not feel this way, but there were certainly enough of them in Canton, NC to intimidate Kalei.
Fortunately, we live in an age where you don’t have to be threatened by the state and its power for blasphemy, a term invented by religions to assert their power and suppress anyone not buying into their dogma. I say this, knowing that I live in the United States, where I have the freedom to write such a post without fear of arrest by the authorities. This is not true in all nations, like Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Uganda, the list goes on.
It’s easy for me to sit here and blaspheme.
Separation of church and state – and schools is critical for the progress of humanity.